Saturday, February 28, 2009

Scenes from Puyallup

I headed down to the Sewing & Stitchery Expo in Puyallup to check out the sewing scene. Okay, I admit was also lured by the prospect of fair scones and onion cheeseburgers.

I was not disappointed on any count.

I must admit that Michaela and I sort of looked like urban aliens amidst the patchwork vests and comfortable shoes in the halls, but we had good fun eking out the newest trends and technology. I thought I'd emerge with only my food expenses but toward the end of the day, I spied buttons at Marci Tilton's booth, remarkable, unique works of art from Paris' last button factory. My favorites are a sheet of six carved shell buttons that have a ring of velvet embedded in each one. I look forward to making button creations for CraftStylish this month (in honor of Susan Beal's new book, Button It Up); I'm newly inspired.

I also bought some quirky patterned organic cotton fabric from Pacific Fabrics. It's got "cute summer skirt" written all over it.

I've included a few photos to give you the fever for the flavor of the Puyallup. Got an extra $12K laying about? Maybe you'll be interested in the new Bernina...

Mani watch: day 6

Still no sign of a chip anywhere on any of my 10 nails. The most I can say is that the tips are getting slightly worn down from my typing, but it's not visible to the naked eye. My left thumb makes me weep it's so beautiful. And I'm not my only admirer: I was at a sewing expo yesterday and got several compliments on my nails, mostly because they are so darn shiny.

Axxium Gel Lacquer continues to blow my mind.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Mani watch, day 4

Day 4: No chips or scratches! Not one.

The Axxium Gel Lacquer manicure at Spa Scotta seems to be living up to the hype.

More to come...

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Mani watch: day 2

It takes a lot to blow my mind.

Spa Scotta
's new manicure made my head explode. I don't usually rave about spa treatments but I have to gush for a minute and spread the word and the love.

I rarely get manicures because I hate spending money on something that only lasts a day or two. My polish always chips and I cannot stand looking unkempt with even one chipped nail so I always take it off when I spot a chink in my fingernail armor.

Yesterday, I got to experience a manicure with Axxium Gel Lacquer, a process that uses a gel-like color and UV light on each coat to cure the color. After each coat, the nail was completely dry. After the entire process, the color was dry and hard. The best part about this is that it is supposed to last TWO WEEKS! Can you wrap your mind around this? Think about it: workaholics, brides about to honeymoon, women about to give birth, harried moms, frequent travelers, chicks like me who don't like to spend on a transitory service can all enjoy a long-lasting manicure without fear of it chipping or dulling.

I'm only on day two of my Big Apple Red mani but I'm the eternal optimist about beauty products and I have every confidence that this manicure service (only available in Seattle at Spa Scotta) is going to go the distance. Meanwhile, I'm going to heed Spa Scotta owner Jessica Campell's advice to treat my nails as "jewels, not tools."

Monday, February 23, 2009

The Artist's Shui

Over at CraftStylish, I talk about restyling my desk with a Feng Shui eye. Embrace the bagua!

And while it might seem a bit counter-intuitive, check out my new blog, Things I Want to Punch in the Face. It makes me giggle. Maybe you'll get a kick out of it, too!

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Shui to go

I've been a feng shui fool lately. Ever since Sandra (an amazing event planner, seamstress, and busines woman) came over, eyeballed my home, and plotted out my bagwa (the weird illustration at right), I've been moving things around, chucking crap that is harshing my chi, and shifting energy. I put a purple orchid in my prosperity corner (the bathroom, which explains a LOT), I painted a mirror red for my bedroom (and use dry erase markers to write mantras on it), and have relocated the booze from my love and relationships corner (again, certain things make sense now)

I'm even burning incense.

I feel the change working. I'm caring for myself, I'm bringing intention to my life. I don't know if the red tape around the pipes in my bathroom are working, but I know that every time I put the toilet lid down, I think about prosperity. And new business and personal opportunities are making my head swim.

I can't wait to see what the universe and future are going to bless me with next.

Have you ever tried feng shui? I highly recommend Move Your Stuff, Change Your Life by Karen Rauch Carter. It's a very practical, non-woo woo approach to feng shui.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Make a magnetic makeup palette

My latest post went live on CraftStylish, a tutorial on how to make a magnetic palette to house all your makeup (or in my case, a small selection of my cosmetic collection).

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Happy Valentine's Day

I took this walking back from Darcey's pad last week. I love happening upon a great photo opp.

Whether or not he or she is into you, love yourself. As Oscar Wilde said, "To love oneself is the beginning of a lifelong romance."

Monday, February 9, 2009

Make note cards featuring your pet

It's pet month at CraftStylish. Having had to put my cat to sleep last month, I wasn't exactly excited or inspired by the thought.

But I rallied and created fun note cards featuring Mac Daddy. The tutorial just went live so you too can make up cards on your computer to give as a gift or to use as your own stationery.

Friday, February 6, 2009

Cooking with condiments

Last night, I trotted over to my friend's house for chili and cornbread. Darcey Howard is not only an accomplished, stylish business owner, she's a mean cook. I always admire folks who can whip up incredible dishes from stuff they have tucked away in their cupboards and fridge. Darcey is one of these talented people, to say the least.

As I was leaving, I suddenly remembered that she loves to collect condiment and spice packets during her travels. Beyond ketchup, mustard, and mayo, I wondered what sort of packets she picked up so I asked her to show me her stash. Out of the fridge came a large plastic container chock full of Sriracha, lemon juice, taco sauce, Tabasco, sweet and sour sauce, wasabi, chopped onions, honey, relish, peanut butter, and Nutella (amongst other things).

My jaw dropped.

As Darcey sorted through these treasures, she showed me which packets came from Germany and displayed a wide variety of taco sauces (girl likes her Mexican and Asian food, if her condiment collection is any indication).

Darcey once told me she wanted to experiment with the different packets, perhaps making pad Thai with a few (peanut butter, honey, Siracha, soy, and vinegar) or a spicy shrimp glaze with another group (sweet and sour sauce, ketchup, lemon juice, and horseradish). I'd love to see this sort of kitchen McGyver action go down and I have every confidence that Darcey could whip up some seriously tasty vittles with these packets as her only seasonings and sauces.

What could you imagine cooking up with condiment packets?

Monday, February 2, 2009

"Dope" Valentine's Day gift

I have a deep aversion to Valentine's Day. I go out of my way to ignore both V Day and New Year's Eve. Like many of my past boyfriends, they consistently disappoint.

Anyway, I was scrolling through various tweets today on twitter and found a link to Team EcoEtsy, a group of eco-friendly crafters on etsy. I was skimming over the creations page and was intrigued by the "Geekery" category. I clicked through and found this great store. Created by a scientist-turned-artist, Molecular Muse creates jewelry in the shape of different molecules, including caffeine, seratonin, and estrogen.

I was drawn to the dopamine earrings. I could use some pleasure in my life, or at least a reminder to seek it out. I ordered the sterling version in short order. Happy Valentine's Day to me.

Crafting Your Personality

What does your chosen craft say about you? This is the question I ponder this week in an essay on CraftStylish. As someone who knits, sews, makes jewelry, whips up lotions and potions, and dabbles in various other handcrafts, I'm certainly a bit ADD, but I'd also like to think I'm traditional, cutting-edge, cool, and earthy, as well as a passel of other great adjectives.

How do you think your craft has shaped your personality or defined you?

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Craft industry insight

Check out this Craftypod blog post from Diane Gilleland. It offers some amazing insight into the disconnect between the mainstream craft industry and the indie craft community. When I read a newsletter that the show put out about indie crafters, I was amazed at how poorly they scratched the surface of such a rich, creative, and diverse group of crafters. Diane mulls over the topic with her usual thoughtfulness.

A sampling of my books