March 5, 2013

National Craft Month Demo Days at The Muse!

As part of National Craft Month, my local handmade shop, The Muse, hosts a local artist each Sunday of March to demonstrate a craft or skill from 2-4 in the afternoon. I was asked to kick off Demo Days and I decided to demonstrate how to use pom pom makers and then use them to make a pom pom rug! I only got about half way finished the rug, as I taught SO many wonderful people how to use pom pom makers, but I'm excited to finish the rug during this huge snow storm we're expecting this week.

Anyway, while I was teaching an adorable 5th grader how to use the pom pom makers, Bill Green, a photographer from our local paper, The Frederick News Post, came by and snapped a few photos. It's certainly not the best photo, but is a little bit of press to add to my resume! I wish they could have included the little girl, too, but that's ok!

Read the press release here.

What have you been crafting for National Craft 9and Crochet!) Month? 


February 18, 2013

Fresh New Necklaces!

I've been overwhelmed with crochet inspiration this weekend and was able to whip up a fresh batch of necklaces in Spring-like colors. Are you desperate for warmer weather and sunshine, too?

I love using the alligator stitch for jewelry as it offers such a fun, unique texture to an everyday item.

These necklaces will be at The Muse later this afternoon, but you can also find them in my shop (only $25)!

I hope you're having a lovely President's Day!

February 16, 2013

Crochet Class! March 10th!

My friend Karla and I will be teaching another crochet class at The Muse on March 10th! This time, we're teaching two skills: making t-shirt yarn and how to make a bangle bracelet!

We're expecting this class to be a lot of fun as attendees will learn the art of re-purposing an everyday item and transforming it into something functional and cute!

For more details, visit The Muse or call 301.663.3632!


February 14, 2013

at The Muse

A few weeks ago Whitney from The Muse asked me if I could put a crochet twist on the collar trend. I thought about it for quite a while before I actually put a plan into action. I attempted 5 or 6 different designs, ripping them all out after only a few rows as I knew they wouldn't work. This is the best and the worst part of designing wears with crochet. It's so exciting when it works, but there's so much work that goes into the process!

I dropped off a few collar necklaces to The Muse once I had a design I loved and talked to Whitney about the proper way to display them. We discussed the functionality of the necklace and went our separate ways. A few days later, she sent me a photo of the display, I was absolutely floored with how stunning it is!

I love how this display allows all women to see how a cute collar can add to any wardrobe or style. It's so gorgeous!

If you're in the Frederick area, stop by The Muse and checkout Whitney's spring product! If you're interested in purchasing a collar necklace, but do not live in Maryland, you can order one here from my shop.


February 13, 2013

Getting Ready for Spring.

I can find reason to enjoy every season. I probably don't have an absolute favorite season as much as I just enjoy having seasons. I can't imagine living in a region that is warm or cold the majority of the year. I need change. I thrive for change. Seasons are good because they allow me to see how time is passing and the ever changing scenery around me. All that being said, I really enjoy winter. I enjoy nesting my home to make it more cozy. I enjoy baking and cooking more as fresh fruits and vegetables are not always available to us. I really enjoy snow. Every year, however, when the snow starts to fade away and the wind becomes a little more harsh, I am desperate for the change in seasons. We've had some unseasonably warm weather over the last 3 or 4 days (45-50 degrees) and it has been absolutely wonderful.

This weather, combined with Cory being away for a few days, has really allowed me to spend some time with myself and create a healthy routine that will lead me straight into spring. After trying to make our elliptical fit all my exercise needs and it completely not working (apparently I hate the elliptical, but Cory loves it), I joined a gym and put in a good cardio session yesterday after work. I've been finding ways to cut out bread from our meals--lettuce wraps, etc.--which also makes me feel a lot better. Taking the time to exercise and read on a regular basis really helps me feel like me. I'm struggling to fit everything I need to accomplish in a day before bedtime, but I'm trying to not let it phase me.

I was recently searching around Pintrest and found a few projects that made me giddy for spring, so I wanted to share them with you!

 These sparkle elbow patches by A Pair and A Spare are adorable and a great addition to a spring sweater.

This bedroom set up from the latest UO lookbook is incredible. I love the mix of brights and neutrals. I really want to have more plants around our home this spring. I also think I could re-create the majority of this room on a tight budget. I love a good challenge.

I recently came across the Sunday Crossbow fashion blog and am inspired and smitten all at once. Even though she hasn't blogged since August, her outfits are designed on a budget and inspire me to be more creative with what's already in my closet. I get terribly insecure when mixing patterns and she's really inspired me to try it a little more frequently!

So that's what's inspiring me today. I'm ready for longer days and the hint of warmer weather. Of course, I wouldn't be upset if we had one more big snowstorm this winter, though!


February 12, 2013

Happy Valentine's Day Sale! Coupon code inside! :)

I'm not crazy about Valetine's Day, but I am crazy about treating myself. I don't go shopping a lot or get pedicures on a regular basis, but when it comes to "holidays" like this, sometimes it's nice to treat myself to something small, but meaningful. For example, I wear a large jade ring that I purchased for myself after "surviving" my first year teaching. I wear that ring all the time and it reminds me of my accomplishments as a teacher. If I've had a stressful week, I make sure I stop by Starbucks on my way home on Friday to get my favorite drink. It's the little things, right?

Well, the good news is that nothing in my shop is ever over $55. This means before shipping the most you could possibly pay with 30% off is $38.50! Treat yourself on this cheesy holiday. Remind yourself how much you mean to you. Get yourself something pretty or cute to perk up for the remaining weeks of winter.

For those of you in the States that have spring fever, head on over to the shop and check out our collar or lace necklaces, or our leather & lace cuffs. For those of you who live elsewhere---maybe somewhere like Australia where you might start to yearn for autumn temperatures--check out the rest of our cozy crochet wears! This sale will be over at midnight on Friday, so get it while it's hot.

Happy Valentine's Day to you :)

What I'm Reading: Wildwood

It's been a while, but I'm happy to be back. One thing I've done this year is make more time to read and generally relax. I spent the majority of January reading Adventures of Huckleberry Finn with my sophomore class and enjoyed it so thoroughly, I wanted another text in a similar vein. So when I thought about Huck Finn, I wanted a text that would have a lot of nature scenes or descriptions, a fun, whimsical story, with characters I could truly admire. I really thought I would just have to pick up another Twain piece, but then I saw this post from One Sheepish Girl and instantly fell in love with the cover art of Wildwood (yes, some of us still judge books by their covers). I had a little money left on a giftcard from Christmas, so I ordered it online after reading a few blurbs about it (I think I paid less than $12 total).
A few things caught my attention about Wildwood. The illustrations on the cover of Wildwood looks familiar to me, so after I realized Colin Meloy, the leadsinger of the Decemberists, is the author, it all clicked. Meloy's lady friend, Carson Ellis, is the illustrator behind both the Decemberists website and also this book! Cool!

So, once I was completely finished with Huck Finn, I picked up Wildwood and was instantly smitten. The illustrations alone made me excited to read, but when I cracked it open and realized that it wasn't written as a book for kids--it was a book for really inquisitive, smart kids--I was overjoyed. I don't read a lot of young adult literature any more (which I should probably change), and I certainly don't find myself in the kids section very often, so to read a book that has middle schoolers as the target audience and actually enjoy it was awesome!

What baffles me, though, is that while the storyline is fairly simplistic and wonderfully whimsical, the language is extremely complex. As nerdy as it sounds, I've counted 40+ SAT vocabulary words throughout the text, and I'm not even at page 200 yet! I plan on recommending this text to some of my sophomores as an easy book to read over the summer that can also simultaneously enhance their vocabulary. It'll seem like a dream come true, I'm sure.

Wildwood follows the story of Prue McKeel's sojourn through the mysterious Impassable Wilderness, otherwise known as Wildwood, area outside of Portland, Oregon in search of her baby brother. As she discovers this magical, animal-controlled world, she also realizes the terrors of being away from home, having to trust four-legged creatures and nature itself.

Although I haven't finished it yet--on page 200 out of 540+--I'm excited to keep reading. Usually a longer text like this doesn't keep my attention long enough for me to actually finish, but this is certainly a keeper! Also, I love books in series, and the second book, Under Wildwood, has already hit the shelves. I'm eager to give that a shot, too, to see how Meloy continues this story!

What have you been reading in 2013?