December, 2008

Farewell, fair year!

Wednesday, December 31st, 2008

As we get ready to usher in the new year, I am so thankful for the year that has just passed. It was the best one I have ever had the pleasure to experience, filled with so much love and joy and opportunity. I can only hope that the year ahead is as wonderful.

We are up in Maine, staying cozy and warm by the fire with family and friends, both human and furry.

May your celebration be just as cozy and warm, and may your 2009 be filled with love, joy and craft.

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West Coast Story, Part Two: Los Angeles

Wednesday, December 17th, 2008

Our time in LA was lovely as ever. Arriving in the delightfully small Bob Hope Airport in Burbank, we were picked up by Rufus’s sister, Phoebe, and the truly good guy who is her husband, Drew. They drove us back to their rad little house in Atwater Village where we were immediately fed delicious pork tacos that Drew made from scratch and glasses of rum punch mixed by Phoebe. And of course we were snuggled by their dog, Bitty. That’s my idea of a welcome wagon.

The next morning, we woke up late-ish and made our first trip out into the LA wilderness (i.e. street traffic) to run some errands and check out Phoebe’s favorite thrift store. I got me a craftastic little dress that will have to be documented and posted on another occasion – it’s quite sassy. Then we hit our favorite LA Mexican joint, Loteria at the Farmer’s Market. Feasting ensued.

After stuffing our faces, we made our way to Santa Monica to take a tour of the Getty Villa, home of the Getty Antiquities collection. Yes, that includes Ancient Roman Coins. Yes, that made Rufus very happy. The spot is ridiculously spectacular.

But it’s also wicked fun. There is a room where you can put on crazy costumes and do a shadow puppet play for your friends. Rufus was a huge fan.

From there, we made our way to the totally cool The Urban Craft Center in Santa Monica. Yep, I went from an Urban Craft Uprising to an Urban Craft Center. I just love those urban crafters. The turnout for the Crafternoon reading was great fun, with lots of family and friends and a big posse of co-workers representing from the LA office. And the crafting was fantastic. These are just a few of the amazing clothespin dolls made by the crafty attendees. Rufus’s homage to Tim Burton hung out with Daniel’s seductive Pink Lady…

JJ’s ballerina got close to Molly’s Russian warrior man…

And Phoebe crafted this delicate dashing duo.

While Joe made this post-holiday alien invasion celebration card…

The next day we ate at Phillipe, home of the French-dipped sandwich.

The lines are crazy but the ladies behind the counter wear old school diner-lady outfits, which almost makes up for the wait, and then you take a bite of the tasty goodness, and that way more than makes up for the wait. I’m not sure what makes the dipping French, but whatever it is also makes it delicious.

Then we wandered through Olvera Street, a Mexican market lane where the oldest house in Los Angeles is located. The weather was just as pleasant as can be, and we soaked it up while checking out the merchants and the religious icons.

Then it was off to the Griffith Observatory for the usual Hollywood-sign photo ops (no need to post those). And then that evening, dinner at home on the grill, which felt crazy decadent knowing the snowy weather in NYC.

And though the next day was a bit of a wash with Rufus and I both getting hit with a cold, it didn’t put a damper on the trip. ‘Cause the West Coast is such a good place to visit, it’s worth collecting some germs for the return trip home.

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West Coast Story, Part One: Seattle

Sunday, December 14th, 2008

The crafty week out West was a great success, thanks in no small part to the many friends and family members who came out and supported me at the crafty events in their fair cities. Rufus gets the most props, as always, for being the best traveling buddy of all time. Man, I love that guy to pieces. He just makes everything more fun and more relaxed when he is around.

We got into Seattle Friday night and slept like Lincoln Logs until the morning, when we started our day off right with donuts.

My friend Erik was kind enough to give us all kinds of great recommendations while we were out in his hometown, and Top Pot Donut Shop certainly didn’t disappoint. (But I have to say, I still think that Peter Pan Donuts right here in Greenpoint is the best donut shop in the world, though the coffee at Top Pot is a zillion times better and the donuts were mighty good.)

We walked around for most of the morning, making our way down to the Seattle Center to check out the The Urban Craft Uprising.

I was slated to do my UCU signing at 4pm that day, but we went early to check out the vendors. I picked up a new hat, pictured above, from the talented Paula Deer. It’s hipster hunter chic! All of the vendors were really rad – we bought cool ornaments made from vintage wallpaper from Sydney Designs, an etching from Sarah Landwehr and a delicate little porcelain bird from Leah Nobilette Ceramics. I coveted many things from other vendors, but I just couldn’t carry all of it back to NYC. The fair was an excellent mix of all sorts of crafters offering items at lots of different price points. The organizers did a fantastic job and the turnout was fantastic! I was so happy to be included in such an awesome event.

After sussing out the joint and spending all of our cash, we moseyed on out of there for some victuals. We walked a while back to Belltown to the lovely bakery/cafe called Macrina, another Erik-approved joint. (It was so good, we ate there for lunch on Sunday, too.) We also checked out some waterside outdoor art. I enjoy being dwarfed by a Richard Serra.

Then I returned to the Uprising for my signings, and was picked up by our friends Drew and Michelle who were our companions for a rocking Seattle Saturday night. We had drinks and dinner in Capitol Hill at a very popular place called Quinn’s. We ate many things, including frog legs, which, indeed, taste like chicken. And the whoopie pie was the best I’ve ever had, which is odd, since the pie is a treat native to Maine. We then crossed the street to Neumos, where we rocked out to Stephen Malkmus and the Jicks until the jetlag sent us packing.

The next day, we had a lazy morning and then headed back to the UCU. After my signings were done, my cousin Mike and his wife Jennifer picked us up with their gorgeous kids Logan and Shawnee and they took us to their house for some quick-but-quality hang time. My cousin Logan is an amazing crafter, and sent me packing with a collaged picture and a little guy made of clay.

Mike drove us to the airport, which is a treat that rarely happens in NYC, and before we knew it we were making our way to LA for the second leg of our crafty adventure. Farewell, fair Seattle! We had such fun, we’ll be sure to see you and your lovely residents again soon.

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December Crafternoon Events

Friday, December 5th, 2008

Greetings, friendly crafters!

The holiday season is upon us, and I plan to celebrate it with a few crafty events across this great nation.

This weekend I will be in Seattle doing book signings at the Urban Craft Uprising. I’ll be at the UCU booth on Saturday,12/6, from 4-5pm and Sunday,12/7, from 2-3pm. It looks like a totally rad fair, and I promise to write something sassy in your book if you stop by and say hi.

Then I will make my way to California (which, I understand, knows how to party) for a Crafternoon Reading and Holiday Craftstravaganza on Monday, December 8th,at 7:30pm at The Urban Craft Center in Santa Monica:
2433 Main Street, Santa Monica

I’ll read from Crafternoon and we’ll make some ornaments to deck your halls with.  It will be a jolly, crafty way to get your holiday season into high gear.

And back here in NYC, I’ll be throwing a Happy Holiday Crafternoon on December 21st. Time and place are TBD, but that’ll be the date to save, baby.


Here’s a link to my flickr page of photos from last year’s holiday Crafternoon to whet your appetite:

Hope to see you and yours at a Crafternoon real soon!



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