Wednesday, December 15

Post-Craftacular Round-Up

I know I am days late in posting about how awesome the Bust Craftacular was, but it took me a couple of days to recover from all the fabulosity. (To be honest, I didn't even leave my house on Monday after we got back. It was too cold here in DC and I was too tired after arriving home at 2AM from New York.) This is unfortunate because we leave for our Christmas on Saturday, so being more ready is preferable to less ready.

What was I talking about? Oh, Bust! Righto.

Bust was awesome.

The morning started off with Amy Sedaris and I opening one of the big windows together next to my table. That was when I knew the day was going to be fantastic. I managed to not squee like a little girl while I was perched on a chair unlocking the pane (which is good, as I did not want to break an ankle because I lost my balance because I was freaking out about Amy Sedaris talking to me).

Unrelated story. A few years ago as a shopper at the same event, I got Ms. Sedaris to sign a book for my friend Billy, who thinks she is possibly one of the hottest people on the planet. "Um, hi. Could you sign this for my friend Billy, but make it like you and he hooked up?" She didn't bat an eye. "Oh, sure." It read, "Billy - thanks for last night. You were dyn-o-mite! love, Amy." This is why this woman is awesome.

She is also awesome because she commandeered my box of garbage bags (brought by me to wrap up vintage maps since it was raining; used by her to keep the window open) without asking. Normally that would be a mite irksome, but it's Amy Sedaris, so it just makes her more badass. I will happily mail out a folded garbage bag from that box to anyone who is crazy enough about her to want one. It's too bad she's not someone like Justin Bieber and her fans have a modicum of sense, because otherwise, I'd sell them individually for like, $50 a pop on eBay.

My neighbor on my right was a fun lady named Faune Yerby, whose work is a gorgeous mix of photography and toys and paper lovelies. She was also quietly hilarious, a quality I admire, and we had fun chatting with each other when there was a rare break in the crowd.

The rain poured steadily on all day, which was a bummer, but it kept the normally claustrophic crowds to a more manageable, constant level, which was nice. Getting to talk to people is one of the most fun things about selling in person, and actually being able to hear them is always a plus in that department.

One of the ladies who I got talking to noticed my vintage stamps and asked if I knew of her stamp dealer. As he is my main stamp contact as well, we started talking about him and of the blogs we read regularly that are also fans of his, and then we introduced ourselves. Her name is Mim, and it turns out I've been reading her blog, too! Small world. You should check out her blog and her contributions to the MailArt365 project.

I also was able to do some shopping toward the end of the day and found some perfect presents for several friends. Among them: a squirrel mirror from Bubbledog for my best friend, issue #1 of Remedy Quarterly for her foodie fiancée, and soaps for my aunt from Meow Meow Tweet. I also got to catch up a bit with some fellow DC crafting folk, like Mary (and hubby Tom!) from Herban Lifestyle.

Now that the show is over, I'm making custom works for some customers I met there, and then closing up shop after this Friday for a week or so while we head to Florida for Christmas. If you want anything in time for the holidays, order soon! I've posted the remaining bicycle Gocco prints in the shop, so grab one while you can.

This will be my first Christmas ever not spent with my family in upstate New York, which feels very strange. But it'll also be the first Christmas Dan and I get to spend together (after spending the past three years traveling in different directions), which is about the best present I could ask for. :)

Enjoy the rest of the holiday season with your loved ones!

Friday, December 10

Sunday is the Bust Craftacular!

I'm so excited about this weekend's Bust Magazine Holiday Craftacular! Not only can I barely believe I got in, there are going to be so many other amazing makers there; I'm looking forward to getting all of my holiday shopping finished up.

I know, I know, but as it turns out, when you're hand-making items for one of the largest craft shows in the country, you have very little time to get your holiday shopping done.

Also a casualty: I have left my house twice this week for periods of longer than five minutes. Yes, today is Friday.

Oh right, Craftacular. I've attended as a shopper since 2005, when it was in a comparatively tiny Polish dance hall in Brooklyn, and it is so worth a trip. My best friend and I (and later our fiancé(e)s) made it into an adventure each year, either in day trip or weekend form, and always had an awesome time. You should grab a friend or five and come visit!

I'll be on the second floor of the Metropolitan Pavilion on the left, just as you come up the stairs. Hope to see you there!

P. S. Whisper your favorite tip for cold weather bicycling to either me or Dan and get a free pin!

Wednesday, July 14

hello again

I've been busy with some temporary work (which has become a good source of fun crazy-people stories). It was only supposed to last a few weeks, but here it is mid-July and I'm still plugging away. Not that I'm complaining, mind you, but I wanted to explain that I have to strike while the iron's hot.

Today, however, is humid and gross and drizzly, which means it's disgusting out, so I'm avoiding the outdoors by sitting in front of a fan and unloading images from my camera. This has the added benefit of being a quiet activity, which means it won't wake up the birds, who are still sleeping in their cages. (Yes, plural birds. We rescued another cockatiel, because we didn't have enough projects going on.)

Here are just a couple things I've been working on lately.

These were for a handmade notebook swap through a mail art group I belong to on We were to mail the notebooks as they were, so I had to think of a way to keep them shut in the mail. Then I realized that I usually have the problem of keeping it shut in my bag, too, so I designed my partners' notebooks with a little flap to protect the pages inside from the postal system's machinery and their errant pens, lip balms, and other purse whatnots. I used color-coordinated rubber bands to keep them from "flapping about like a wounded bird," as one swapper put it, with the intent for them to continue using the rubber bands as a fastening device.

Su's a big postal nerd like me, so I made for her a collage of pretty postmarks on typically American stamps to go on the back of the notebook. The front I designed to look like an airmail envelope using a mostly steady hand and trusty Sharpies.

Lisa enjoys public transit, so I covered her notebook with a Metrobus schedule and stamped it with a bicycle stamp of my own design and carving. Among the themed sides of postage stamps, I also snuck in a vintage one featuring honoring the 200th anniversary of the "treaty of amity and commerce" between Sweden and the U.S., which means she gets Ben Franklin on both sides of her notebook. Lucky gal.

"Mr. Franklin, I would say you are probably one of the sexiest presidents ever." --Michael Scott

The insides are all mixed papers and maps, along with a few little envelopes and other pockets into which I tucked surprises (like "par avion" postal stickers for Su and Metro tickets and found stickers for Lisa).

Both ladies have now received their notebooks (intact!) so I feel safe sharing without ruining their surprise. :)

The other thing I've been working on are these sweet Gocco-ed bicycle map prints.

I drew the bicycle and burned it onto a Gocco screen. Then I cut down a bajillion maps or so into 5x7 pages, then screened the bicycles onto them. (I also did them onto colored cardstock, but I'm more excited about maps because, well, I'm a nerd.) I have them available for a bunch of cities, including Portland, eastern Canada, Dublin, Lourdes, Hamburg, Istanbul, Lisbon, San Francisco, Copenhagen, and of course, the mid-Atlantic/DC-MD-VA region. Plus, sweet jesus, they're only $15! What are you waiting for?

Let's hope my next update won't be 7+ months in the making, shall we?