Creative Envy

Sunday, November 29, 2009, 9:58 pm
Filed under: craft envy, design envy, Etsy | Tags: , ,

My parents and I popped in to Rochester’s Second Storie indie market last Saturday to check it out. It was pretty great and very similar to Columbus’ Tiny Canary event. It’s always so inspiring to see people making their living (or just some extra money) through handmade goods and art.

These were some of my favorite vendors at Second Storie.

Based in Portland, Oregon self-taught photographer Abby takes pictures of her everyday using old film cameras she’s picked up in thrift shops. I was completely drawn to the subject matter of her prints as well as the color tones in her work. They are vivid yet still have that vintage softness that I am so drawn to. I picked up a pack of her winter card prints.

Foundling’s owner Betsy creates jewelry using pages from old books, vintage patterned fabrics, timeworn beads, and recycled silver. I am in love with her product photography style and have my eye on this necklace and these pins. (Great site too).

Dani and CharLee are the design team behind Pearl & Marmalade’s charming cards and stationery. Their designs and sentiments really stand out to me in the ever-growing world of letterpress. I love their little manifesto too:

We love shadowy grey inks, lively greens, Jane Austen, thoughtful typesetting, Cy Twombly, fresh cut peonies, clean lines, whiskey & gingerale, quirky graphics, vintage trophies & Vera textiles, NYC bagels, salt water taffy, square knots, and a rich cup of Intelligentsia coffee on Sunday mornings in mighty Chicago.

Overall, it was a great show and I gathered up lots of business cards so I don’t forget to keep up with the vendors. I’ll definitely go back next year.

Friday, November 27, 2009, 11:31 am
Filed under: random | Tags:

I know I’m a day late but better now than never.

I am thankful for:

1. My ever supportive family.
2. Friends who get me.
3. The best dog that has ever lived.
4. My health.
5. Being able to follow my dream of self-employment thanks to unbelievable friends and colleagues who have referred business to me unprompted.
6. Being back home where I get to de-stress and sleep like a log because my Dad gets up and takes out said best dog that has ever lived for me each morning.
7. Throwing my healthy eating out the window for a long weekend in favor of rich, bad-for-me food.
8.Creativity because where would I be without it?
9. Readers like you who continue to check out my blog and inspire me to continue down the path I’ve chosen.
10. Elastic waistbands (see #7).

Friday, November 20, 2009, 4:24 pm
Filed under: design envy | Tags: , , ,

P henomenal is the only word that comes to mind over and over as I browse the work of artist Jessica Hische. Did you like that initial cap P I put right there? Cuz Jessica designed it. It is part of her current project called Daily Drop Cap, in which she is offering a new hand-crafted decorative initial cap everyday for our enjoyment or for “the beautification of blog posts everywhere”. Amazing idea.

I proceeded to get on Jessica’s website that showcases her work and my jaw hit the desktop when I got to the home page. Just the home page! Jessica’s style is right up my alley. It’s decorative and sweet and sophisticated and smart and simple and fancy and organized and vintage and classic. That’s a lot of adjectives, sorry. I was just gushing as I went through it. This girl is beyond talented! I’m not joking when I say her work literally raised my heart rate and kinda got me choked up because it’s so great to know that there are people out there creating such beautiful things.

Jessica’s passion is typography which is something I truly admire because type is tricky and she makes it look effortless. She reminds me a lot of one of my favorites, Marian Bantjes. Not only does she appear to know how to use type, the girl actually creates her own from scratch! Beyond that, she’s just obviously a kick-ass designer and illustrator.

Artists like Jessica inspire me like crazy. I love discovering people like her because they remind me of the quality of work for which I will continue to strive. Jessica also has a blog (that I will now be subscribing to).

An enormous “THANK YOU” is due to Christina over at Christina Likes for posting about the Daily Drop Cap project, introducing me to Jessica’s work.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009, 9:11 pm
Filed under: craft envy, design envy, random | Tags: , , ,

I just received the Crate & Barrel 2009 Gift Guide in the mail yesterday and fell in love with these ornaments.

But here’s the thing. I feel kinda guilty about it. I mean, don’t I lose some considerable street cred if I were to purchase these and people asked where I got them, anticipating that I’d naturally say “Etsy” or that “I made them” instead of sheepishly saying “Crate & Barrel”? Nothing against this big, lovely store (my couch is from there), but when something looks handmade, don’t you want it to come from an individual who made it with love and care and sweat and tears?

I’m torn on this issue. While I truly appreciate how mainstream the craft movement has become (and hence, stores like C&B and CB2 are offering products in this aesthetic), it still bums me out. Because I feel like the big guys can mass produce these items for significantly less and make a killing on them in comparison to someone, say from Etsy, that has labored over their product and it is one of a kind (and, therefore, more expensive). Plus I prefer to support independent, self-employed artists but sometimes I just can’t afford it.

What do you think?

Monday, November 16, 2009, 11:46 pm
Filed under: five faves | Tags: ,

Last Saturday Christina and I were numbers 97 & 98 in line at Columbus’ annual indie design market, Tiny Canary. (I only know that because the two people behind us got the last two goodie bags.) This was my third year going and, per usual, I was not disappointed. Unfortunately, I’m on a budget these days so I couldn’t go as crazy as my first time. I only spent $10 on three cards. I know, that’s a sad statement. But that doesn’t mean I didn’t have some favorite vendors. Everyone there was so great and brought something unique to the table, but these are the ones that really stood out to me.


1. Cleveland-based Oddball Press specializes in old-school aesthetic, quick-witted, letterpressed cards. This is where I spent my whopping $10 on Saturday. I love their classic illustrations combined with sarcastic sentiments.

2. I’m pretty sure Red Raven Studios was new to TC this year (correct me if I’m wrong) because I think I’d remember these darling little works of art. Amy hails from Pittsburgh and specializes in jewelry (and BUTTONS!) made from porcelain. She details each piece with decals that are reminiscent of antique china patterns. So sweet.

3. Anne Holman is one of the co-organizers of Tiny Canary but also runs her own jewelry-making business. Her work is gorgeous and my beloved peacock necklace (a staple in my everyday accessorizing) was purchased at my first TC. I have to say, I was really coveting the necklace Anne was wearing that morning . I can only assume she made that one too. Beautiful.

4. Girl/Boy Coalition had some really clever screen printed shirts for sale. Among them was a bike wheel with “Columbus” over top as well as this one featured above. Very whimsical and clever, their sales pitch was equally entertaining (the boy of Girl/Boy Coalition was super witty and quick with a comeback). Thoroughly enjoyable.

5. When it comes to concert posters, I’m not sure anyone comes close to touching the illustrative style and talent of Columbus artist Clinton Reno. This guy is truly spectacular. I haven’t exactly figured out where I could put all of his show posters (I’m in desperate need of a basement music room apparently), but I love to admire them whenever I’m at a show like TC. True talent there that brings me great inspiration. So thanks.

Thursday, November 12, 2009, 10:20 pm
Filed under: craft envy | Tags: ,

Tonight I attended a letterpress class hosted at Columbus’ own Igloo Letterpress. Owner Allison Chapman walked us through her sweet shop and gave us a general overview of this amazing, old school craft. I am super envious and want to move in and make cute cards all day long. I forgot to bring my camera so excuse the pictures. They were taken with my phone.



I also didn’t bring my notebook to take notes so please don’t quiz me on the names of these presses. I just know that they output some lovely stuff. Allison’s background story was really charming. Her big press (that she just got working again) was her granddad’s and dates back to the 1890s. I love the history and the tradition that has been passed down from generation to generation. It makes it feel that much more homey.


Thanks to Terri Price-Deep for bringing this ladies night of letterpress together. I want to go back and make more stuff. Here’s the sweet little reindeer and tree I did. I love the definition I was able to get.


Allison had all kinds of retro pattern blocks at our disposal. She brought out a bunch of trays filled for us to pick whatever we wanted to do.


A big thank you to Allison for your patience with the large group and for teaching us a little bit about what you do everyday. Igloo has an Etsy shop here and you can follow them on Twitter here. If you’re in Columbus or the surrounding areas, keep Igloo in mind should you have any printing needs (business cards, letterhead, invitations, etc.).

Sunday, November 8, 2009, 8:49 pm
Filed under: projects | Tags: ,

This weekend I finally bit the bullet and tackled the new home office I’ve been wanting to set up in my bedroom. I had all the pieces and parts sitting in my kitchen collecting dust and I was finding I could not focus on anything until I knocked it out. It was a major speed bump in me becoming serious about going out on my own.

Using some old salvaged wood (compliments of my dad) as a counter top (woodwork and assembly advice compliments of my brother) plus two storage cabinets on sale at Target ($19.99 each) I was able to streamline my work space on a budget. I’m pretty pleased with how it came out. All I need is a keyboard tray to attach to the underside.


Because the counter top is much shallower than my old beast of a desk, it makes my small bedroom look much bigger.


Yes, I realize that Beck’s bed is not tres chic. And it’s enormous. But he’s my co-pilot so he gets his own corner (although I’m pretty sure I’m going to have to have carpet squares leading up to it for him to even consider hanging out there).


Dear Container Store:
Please stop selling such cute storage solutions at ridiculously inflated prices. I am a sucker and cannot resist. Thanks!


It’s great to have the extra surface area and to hide a ton of stuff that used to be on open shelving (which translated to way too much dusting of little odds and ends). It feels good to check another thing off the list and finally have a space that is both functional and inspiring.

Saturday, November 7, 2009, 10:17 am
Filed under: craft envy, fashion envy | Tags: , ,

Have you all received the November Anthropologie catalog yet? I’m loving the over-sized format and the section titled the stories within where scenes are cut from book pages.



Of course there are plenty of items I’m gushing over, but I’m now accepting submissions for the following dress. Just contact me and I’ll give you my size and shipping address. 😉