Craft & Consumption

Monday, January 30, 2012

Etsy Pick of the Week: Hot Pink

I can see these bright printed coasters adding a splash of color at a lovely outdoor summer gathering. Strawberry lemonade perched atop these beauties? Yes, please! The printed coasters by Portland-based Ruby of Ruby Press are available here ($12 for 8). Read more about the amazing garage-shop that Ruby runs here. It is a model of sustainability and environmental consciousness.

The hot pink tags are available from Colorado-based Etsy shop owner Melissa, here at Paper And Present ($3.95 for 25). I would get them for Valentine's day and use them all year round for an extra special pop on a birthday or a "just-because" gift.

Sunday, January 29, 2012

White Out

I've been very inspired lately by the clean, crisp, spring-like quality of white. I just want to paint every room in my house white and bask in the sun-drenched walls. Aren't these images so clean and fresh?

For now, I'll settle for some fresh white hydrangeas greeting me each morning when I wake up :)

P.S. My bedside book lately is Will Shortz' Little Luxe Book of Crosswords. A must-have for any cross-word enthusiast (or novice like me!). It's a lovely way to start the weekend, nestled up in bed with a good crossword, your sweetie, and your beloved pooch. Hope you all had a lovely weekend!

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Etsy Pick of the Week: Neon edition

I love etsy for all of its great handmade and vintage finds. It's like having a top notch craft market in your own backyard, 24/7. In an effort to support smaller, local businesses this year, I've decided to point out some of my favorite etsy finds, starting with these great spring/summer accessories. 

Check out the fluorescent grecian sandals by etsy shop ammos here. And that chic neon clutch by etsy shop clutchny here.

Happy etsy shopping! 

Monday, January 16, 2012

Farm to Table (backyard edition)

I live in farm country and don't get an overwhelming amount of visitors. When my friend Jamie called unexpectedly to say she was coming down from NYC last fall, I was oh-so pleasantly surprised (read: ecstatic). Jamie is a food journalist (check out her writing here) who lives in Brooklyn, one of my dear friends from college. Her adventure to rural PA introduced me to a world I was so happy to find in my own backyard.

Jamie was in town to visit friends on a local farm, Eckerton Hill, for the annual pig roast. Hosted by farmer and writer Tim Stark (check out his book on tomato farming here), the gathering was a communal feast of farm hands, friends, and locals who all celebrated the summer's harvest and congratulated one another on a season of hard work.

It turns out, my parents' know Tim and his family well, and my Mom (a big organic gardener in her own right) joined me for the farming festivities.

We partook in some of the roasted pig.

Then feasted our eyes on these beautiful chili peppers, drying in the rafters of the Eckerton Hill barn.

The farm staff organized a few horse-drawn sleighs to take the visitors out to the fields and gather some pumpkins for carving.

Homemade whoopee pies were ahhhh-mazing. 

I was recently reminded of Tim's farm when I came across this amazing organization, Outstanding in the Field. More details on that to come. Suffice it to say, Jamie's visit to the area made me realize that the rise of farm-to-table is right in my very own backyard. And that, my friends, is a beautiful thing.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Bookbinding 101

I am, admittedly, a big journal nerd. Back in 2001 I started a travel journal and began visually documenting any trip I embarked on that lasted more than a few days. I've been doing it consistently since, which adds up to over 10 years of travel journaling (as I said: nerd).

Knowing this was a fond habit of mine, my sister got me a great book called "Real Life Journals: Designing and Using Handmade Books" as a gift a few months back.

The book is so amazing. First off, it walks you through a bookbinding questionnairee before you jump into actually crafting your book. The questionnaire is called "Choose your own bookbinding adventure", how freaking cute is that? As you go through the little survey, you answer questions like "Do you want your journal to open flat and stay open by itself so wet paint can dry easily?". My answer was YES ABSOLUTELY and OMG HOW DID YOU KNOW THIS BOTHERED ME IN OTHER JOURNALS?!?! After you've answered the questionnaire, you end up with a suggested book type based on your personalized needs. Genius!

Needless to say, this little book helped me embark on my very own journal-making endeavor that was tailored to my personal use for the book (read: traveling, watercolor, lots of collage, and overall durability).

I ended up creating a concertina fold, which allows you to sew lots of little "pamphlets" of folded paper together. I also got a little crazy and alternated regular drawing paper with vellum for the actual text pages. I'm so excited about the mix of textures in my new book.

You can see above that I used 3 concertina folds for the project, 2 white with 1 black sandwiched between. I sewed each pamphlet of folded paper into the concertina fold and added 2 strips of fabric for extra support.

I bought some panels of black leather and stitched them together for the cover. The end result is something I'm so proud of and can't wait to use! I hope it holds up through many, many trips. It will be stowed away in my suitcase on many adventures to come. Here's to a calm, creative, and adventurous 2012...

Saturday, January 7, 2012

New Year, New Commitments

Ok, so I want to get something off my chest. You know, clear the air. My apologies, the most sincerest of apologies, for taking over a year-long hiatus from Craft and Consumption. My brother tells me I have lots of craft projects that I could've been sharing with the world in the last 16 months, and I think he's right. So in light of 2012, and a brand new start, I'm resolving to chronicle my adventures in creating (and consuming) more consistently.

I've been vacationing this week with my family to get 2012 off to a relaxed start (wait, family + close quarters = relaxation??? really?!?!? are you sure?). So while (ahem) relaxing on the trip I found some time to do a little bookbinding. More on that to come (I am SO excited to share)!! 

I also have been reading this great book, Design*Sponge at Home by Grace Bonney. I LOVE it. It's been such an inspiring book to start the year with. Lots of DIY projects, lots of amazing interiors at which to gawk. More on my favorites to come! And a big thanks to my sister Avery for gifting it to me this holiday season!! <3

Here's to a wonderful 2012, with beautiful imagery, personal discoveries, lots of projects, and maybe even a little relaxation :)