November 25, 2012

CYBER MONDAY SALE


**All orders will be shipped BY 12/5 to ensure you have them in plenty of time for your holiday celebrations! :)
***All items will be beautifully wrapped to ease the burden of last minute scrambling!

November 22, 2012

November 18, 2012

Free shipping on all orders until Wednesday!


BLACK FRIDAY SALE


It's coming... tune in Thursday for full details!

November 4, 2012

On the hooks + in the shop!


A lot has been happening here behind the scenes in what I like to call my "scarf factory" otherwise known as our condo. Every waking moment I am not working on school, I am trying to crochet. I have had so many ideas come about recently that just having the time to bring them to fruition has been really awesome. I finally had some time over the last week to photograph new items and list them in my shop! Please check them out!

The first item is the new Bohemian Wrap Cowl.


I also have a set of coordinating fingerless mitts available: 


But don't worry about buying them seperately--save $5 by buying them as a gift set

As usual--the entire shop is up for grabs, but I thought you might like a little peek at what's new! 

xo,

November 1, 2012

WANTED: People who wear things made of yarn.


Hi, fine folks! I am coming to you with a need, a wish, a hope. Over the last two and a half years I have sound hundreds of crocheted wears to many of you. Either through my shop, The Muse, or various craft fairs in Maryland, I have head the pleasure of decorating your wardrobe with colorful, hand crocheted accessories. It has been so much fun developing the brand and business over time, but now is the time I need help from YOU!

 Last November I shared a customer appreciation post featuring two of my favorite customers sporting their Donna's. I would LOVE to highlight you (and your blog/shop!) wearing a piece of Donna's wears! You can accessorize it however you want and email me (donnasdecembers(AT)gmail(DOT)com) your photo. or you can simply snap a photo on Instagram and tag me (liz_matheny). Either way--I want to see YOU wearing your Donna's!


Don't own any Donna's, but would like to try it out? Let's partner up! I'll send you a piece of Donna's and you can review or share it in an outfit post or just as typical blog post! Up to you and very easy!

If you have any questions, leave them in the comments. If you'd rather not do that, email me ANY time! :)

donnasdecembers(at)gmail(dot)com

xo,

October 30, 2012

Auburn 2012


Last Wednesday, after a long day at school, I piled into the car with my husband and two of our closest friends for a 4 day road trip to Auburn, Alabama. This is the third year we've made the trip and it certainly lived up to expectations! Also, I remembered to snap enough photos to share our trip with you! Hooray!

Our plan every year is to drive the majority of the trip after work on Wednesday and make it to Greenville, South Carolina to stay with Beth's aunt Kathy. It's always a late night, but this year we ended up in Greenville in record time (by 12:30 a.m.). The next day we hit up Kathy's diner, Midtown Deli, for delicious sandwiches and her ever popular chocolate chip cookies (they're different than any other CCC and so delicious!) before hitting the road to Auburn.


One of my favorite parts of making the trip from Greenville to Auburn is all the roadside stops and attractions to see along the way. We stopped at a gas station to fill up and I noticed this boiled peanut self-serve station. We definitely don't have anything like that here in Maryland. My friend Lisa happens to love boiled peanuts, so I wanted to snap a photo for her.

My other favorite stop on the ride from Greenville to Auburn is a tiny alcove in Atlanta, GA called Little 5 Points. We stop every year to hit up our favorite vintage shop and record store, and to stop by our favorite watering hole. We only stop for an hour or two, but it's always a lot of fun. In fact, the hand-painted brick wall from the photo above is a storefront in Little 5 Points.


We always get really pumped on the ride from Atlanta to Auburn, as it's only about 90 minutes long. This is when we start getting silly, singing the Auburn fight song and chanting the cheers from the football games.

 
Thursday evening we stayed in Auburn proper with Beth's friend Mark. By this trip, we have hung out with Mark quite a few times. You might remember him as the bride-dude from Rich and Beth's wedding in the spring. Thursday we went out and about downtown Auburn to get to know the locals and check out the sights. Our favorite stop was The Hound, a new restaurant specializing in bacon and bourbon. It is gorgeous both inside and out and the atmosphere was excellent. I love minimal yet woodsy design. The Hound is an ace.


We're really fortunate that the people who give Beth their tickets for us to use also give us access to the condo on Lake Martin. This is one of the most gorgeous places I've ever seen, so it's a treat visiting year after year. This was the view from our balcony:


Saturday is always full of food and football. This year's game wasn't until 6:15, so we had plenty of time to socialize and hang out with Beth's friends from college. I'm always amazed by the sheer quantity of tailgaters that make their way to Auburn for every game. It's serious business down there!



The best part of this trip was certainly getting to see a little bit more of the town and get to know more local establishments. It was nice to check out a new mom & pop game-day gear store and pick up a few gifts for students who are interested in Auburn University.



We even had more time to walk around campus and get those same students admissions information regarding scholarships and out-of-state tuition. 


Even though the Tigers aren't having the best season, this trip was certainly a lot of fun and a nice break from the daily grind of teaching. We're fortunate that we're given a certain number of personal days to use each year and that we're given the opportunity to travel.

Auburn is easily becoming a home away from home and I can't wait to get back. Do you have a favorite away-from-home town?

xo,

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               

October 29, 2012

There's a storm a'coming!


We're home safe and sound from our annual trip to Auburn, Alabama. We actually got home earlier than usual (back in VA around 8:30), so we were able to swing by the grocery store and stock up on food and supplies before Hurricane Sandy took control. 

I woke up confused this morning, because my clock said 7:30, but it was still so dark outside. While we're not expected to get the brunt of this storm, Frederick is still on the watch for serious flooding and wind damage. We're expecting 5-10 inches of rain within the next 36 hours and nearly every public system and/or profession is closed for the day. I'm expecting to also be home tomorrow, as the peak of this storm is taking shape between 8 p.m. tonight until 6 a.m. tomorrow.


We've got plenty of bread and water. I took all our candles out of storage and even baked some sweet potato fries this morning (in case we need a spicy snack ;)). As a graduate of Salisbury University, Hurricane days are something I've experienced fairly frequently. While the wind and rain can be scary, there are a few things to have on hand that are very helpful. I thought I would share my prepare-for-the-worst tips, just in case you live in Sandy's path, too!

  • fill ziplock bags with 1-3 cups of water and place them in empty spots in your freezer. They will freeze and then keep the meat/foods frozen for longer if the electricity goes out. 
  • fill up the bathtub(s) with water! There's no guarantee that you'll have water access once the power goes out (especially clean water), so you can use the water in the tub to help flush toilets. 
  • stock up on: bread, jugs of water, canned fruit, jars of peanut butter, and honey. Jelly and jams must be refrigerated, but honey does not. Commence the pb + honey sandwiches! 
  • hold off on lighting candles for as long as possible. Open up all the blinds in your house (unless the wind is dangerously bad) and use the natural light so your candles last longer.
  • stack up all the patio/deck furniture from outside close to your house so it doesn't blow away, knock over, or smash into your windows.
  • keep a healthy stash of craft supplies out in case you're with roommates, kids, or spouses. Most crafts require very little electricity and have the power to help time pass.
  • keep your laptops/phones plugged in 24/7. I know this isn't the best for the battery life, but this way you're fully charged whenever the power goes out and/or flickers back on.

Now I need to heed my own advice and fill up our bathtub before it gets too late! Good luck today, east coasters! Be safe!

xo,


October 24, 2012

Crochet in Style: Anthropologie

I always like seeing crochet on the runway or in my favorite stories. Throughout the last few seasons a friend of mine (and fellow hooker) and I have been tracking how Anthro incorporates crochet into their seasonal style. I was a little disappointed when Anthro released their first series of fall clothing lines and didn't see much crochet. It didn't take long for that to change, though!

Deroucheau's crocheted clutch bags are now available at Anthropologie! I'm thrilled that Anthro has included crochet yet again, but also that these bags are made by hand in the USA! Hooray!





Have you seen crochet at another store and want me to post about it? Leave a link in the comments!

xo,

October 23, 2012

What am I packing for Auburn 2012?

 
While I'm busy putting together the last details for our Auburn trip, I thought I'd share with you a little list of what I'm taking with us!

  • I'm in the middle of Jeffery Eugenides' The Marriage Plot and LOVE it. I'm so excited to finish it on the drive down to South Carolina. I also have the latest Real Simple packed because let's be honest, I take it everywhere with me anyway!
  • Cory's favorite snack is peanut m&ms, so you'll be sure to find them in our snack bag. I also made a loaf of pumpkin bread, too! 
  • The Black Keys aren't anything new, but I am still smitten with their first big release from 2008. It's one of my favorite albums of all time.
  • This jacket from Target is my favorite staple piece of the season. I don't usually wear leathers or any kind of animal skin (the only exception EVER is a good pair of boots), so this jacket was a perfect fit.
  • Cards Against Humanity is our favorite game recently. We can't stop playing it. Definitely only suitable for adults!
  • After this summer, Cory and I have decided to ditch the GPS and keep our brains alert while driving. We love using our Atlas to discover the roads on our own! So fun!
What do you pack when you travel?

xo,

October 22, 2012

this week...

(image)

This week is flying by *already* and it's only Monday!You might think I'm a crazy person, but truthfully, this week is flying by mostly because I'm only working until Wednesday! That's right, it's time for our annual trip to Auburn, Alabama!

This trip is so much fun for a variety of reasons. We leave after work on Wednesday and head toward Greenville, South Carolina to visit with Beth's aunt, Kathy. After we stay the night there, we'll grab lunch and catch up with her the next morning. Then we only have a short drive (about 4-5 hours) until we finally arrive in Auburn. We'll explore the town all day Friday and then enjoy the football game against Texas A&M on Saturday. After such a short stay, 14 hours in the car on Saturday is usually a raucous time, listening to all the football games we can find.

Either way, this is one of my favorite weekends of the year, so I'm pretty busy over here getting ready! Tonight is all about getting caught up on grading and updating my gradebook. I'm also going to start packing and bake some pumpkin bread for the ride!

The to-do list seems impossible right now, but it will be so worth it in just a few short days!

I hope you're looking forward to something fun this weekend, too!



October 19, 2012

Movie Review: ARGO

Living in this area is really interesting because it's actually flooded with highly accomplished people. For example, romance novelist Nora Roberts lives about 10 minutes outside of my hometown. Ideally, this part of Maryland is a great place for retirees because it's close to the D.C. metro area, but far enough away to not feel like you're being consumed by it. So, when I found out that the man Ben Affleck's most recent film is based on a man whom lives right outside my hometown, I wasn't entirely shocked.


ARGO is the story of CIA agent Tony Mendez plan to free 6 American diplomats that were being hunted down by the Iranian government in 1979 during the Iran Hostage Crisis. To be honest, I wasn't even alive in 1979, so my knowledge of the Iran Hostage Crisis essentially stems from whatever I can remember from my U.S. and World History classes in high school. However, the movie taught me everything I needed to know.


This was a really amazing movie for a few reasons:

1) It was politically neutral. It bugs me to no end when I see a movie that completely glorifies America when we were clearly in the wrong. Affleck did a wonderful job stating the facts at the beginning of the film that were (according to my middle-of-the-road history teacher husband) very accurate.

2) The intensity kept me on the edge of my seat. No, really. The EDGE. I could barely breath by the end of the film. The action was incredible, the pacing was perfect, and really, I just fell in love with the whole idea of one man saving so many lives.

3) This guy lives in my school district. His kids graduated from the same high school I did. Cory's students have turned in projects about "Jesse's Dad". This guy has essentially been my neighbor for the majority of my life and has had such a crucial role in American history, which is so amazing.

4) It's nice to see Ben Affleck in a serious role that isn't horrible. I can't remember the last time, or if I ever said, "Hey! That Ben Affleck sure is a great actor!" With all due respect, I know he's taken some time off to stay behind the camera, but in ARGO I was truly impressed. 


So, yeah. Movies can be expensive and we certainly only make it to the theaters a few times a year. ARGO was completely worth it. It is so nice to see such a quiet, but influential man be recognized for his dedication to the safety of Americans. Don't have plans this weekend? Well, now you do! :)


DISCLAIMER: The language in the movie is pretty filthy, but in a realistic sense. I don't live in a cave where I think our government officials speak in courtesies every day. Don't take teens with you unless you're comfortable with them hearing the f bomb a time or two. Other than that, the violence is limited, but when it does occur, it's pretty graphic.

October 18, 2012

In Crochet::purses and bags

Over the last few months I've developed an affinity for Pintrest that I wasn't entirely expecting. Maybe it's because my best friend just got engaged and it's the easiest way for us to communicate wedding ideas (she's in NYC), or maybe it's just the idea of escaping from my giant stack of papers to grade for a little while? Either way is fine with me. I have been pinning a lot of crochet projects I want to try out now that the sun is setting earlier and I'll be spending more hours indoors. Here are a few I thought I'd share with you!

I'm smitten over these bags from Bamba, an independent crochet artist from Buenos Aires, Argentina. This is the crocodile stitch at it's best! I've often heard that Buenos Aires is a yarn wonderland--city blocks full of yarn vendors! What a DREAM!




I've also been eying up this Ribbon Accent Bag from Pierrot yarns on Ravelry. What an adorable statement. I love the idea of this bag in black with a red bow or with a black bow mixed with metallic thread. Either way, it's so chic! You know, the best thing about this bag is that it would make a really cute gift to a bff or sister-in-law this holiday season!



The Salmon Lace Bag from Chalklegs on Ravelry is so chic and romantic I just can't stop looking at it! This would be a great year-round bag!


Follow me on Pintrest to see what other fun crochet creations I find!

xo,


October 17, 2012

Craftspiration: What You Should Read Right Now

Let's be honest, we're always looking for inspiration. We're always waiting around waiting for that one brilliant idea to come about, or that color combination that sparks a genius idea (or any idea!) for our next project. For me, a lot of inspiration comes from reading. I tend to fly through craft biz books on a regular basis because I think it's extremely important to keep your skills and perspective as sharp as possible when trying to establish an indie biz. This is why I'm sharing with you two pieces I've read recently that I think you'll really enjoy!


1) In this month's issue of Martha Stewart's Living I stumbled across a two page article called "This is Your Brain on Crafts." The article is not available online yet, but I'm hoping that this post might inspire you to pick up a copy next time you're checking out at the grocery store or sitting in a doctors office. I love MSL magazine for a myriad of reasons, but mostly because it makes me feel good about myself. I love MSL's aesthetic and it seems like it was designed with people like me in mind, which is nice, because I don't usually feel that way with magazines. MSL inspires me to bake from scratch, to try new herbs, to learn how to weatherize plans (I mean really, if it weren't for MSL, I'd have no idea what weatherize even meant). I just sorta love this magazine, to be honest, but this article really hit home.

When I saw the faux embroidered image partnered with this article, I was intrigued. It was a good thing, too, because it completely validated the time I spent sampling a new yarn yesterday instead of grading papers. It made me feel much calmer about the idea of needing time to crochet and be creative instead of attempting to maximize every second I'm awake during the day. Ultimately, this brief article is worthy of the 10 minute break to read and have a private conversation within yourself regarding how much time you spent crafting or creating and how that should be just as important in your daily routine as eating balanced meals and exercising. I loved it! It's already torn out and on the cork board in our office!

2) Hello Craft's Handmade to Sell was just published last month and has been flying off the DIY bookshelves. I picked up this book on a whim last month when I knew I wouldn't be able to get to it for at least a few weeks. Fortunately, I'm able to squirrel in a few pages every now and then before bed and I'm so happy I have it as a positive, thorough tip-of-my-fingers resource. My favorite component of this book is that it uses real, successful shops instead of fabricated imaginary shops (pun not intended ;)). Kelly Rand certainly gets to the point and explains the what's what extremely well and in a very positive manner. The other thing I really enjoy is that Kimberly Dorn, cofounder of the local (and amazing) Crafty Bastards and Handmade Mart, also contributes to this book, which tells me that it's extremely up to date and applicable for people like me (I was accepted to Handmade Mart last year, but couldn't attend because of other plans)! I appreciate the jump start this book offered me as I look down the remaining days of 2012 and begin to think about how I want to advance my small biz on 2013!

What have you read that has given you craftspiration?