‘Sydney Designs’

Holiday Gift Guide: Stocking (or Small Gift Box) Stuffers

Monday, November 30th, 2009

The holiday season is officially upon us. And while I intend to do tons of my own crafting to fill stockings carefully hung by chimneys, I’ll admit that I’m not going to have time make everything myself. Here are some little gifts that pack a big old punch, all reasonably priced and ready to ship. They’ll make lovely gifts for anyone on your long and jolly lists.

I love these sweet but practical handmade coffee sleeves from The Doe and The Mouse. They are the perfect thing to give your favorite eco-loving caffeine fiends:

coffee sleeves

Any compatriot with a vivacious fashion sense will love the sparkling pieces of wearable fruit from Glitterlimes:


You can never have too many bags, especially when they’re as cool as these gorgeous totes. Each one is hand printed using wood blocks from Ramshackle Press:

crab tote

Your hotblooded sidekicks will love a pattern tank top from Mike Perry:

pattern tank

And your favorite person of letters will love to write notes of  thanks on these vintage wallpaper notecards from Sydney Designs:

vintage wallpaper cards

With so much to do over the holidays, it’s nice to know you can take care of some of your gift-giving needs by supporting other crafty artisans.

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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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