Craft & Consumption

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Etsy Picks: Thank you very much.

I have two very polite friends who have recently come into my life*. They're the type to show up with amazing hostess gifts just for spending a night at your place. They bring homemade kahlua and fresh-brewed iced coffee to casual summer pool parties.

I was not raised to do such things. When visiting a friend's summer home or hanging out at a little soiree, I usually show up and simply try to act charming. I'm often lucky if I can even show up on time, let alone think ahead sufficiently to plan for fabulous gifts and homemade offerings.

The world of Emily Post has not come naturally to this gal. However, I can say that these newfound friendships have inspired me to try and be more gracious in my everyday life. And what better way to start than with a stock pile of Thank You notes.

I just purchased these last week! The color combos are custom, you choose the ink color and the envelope color. I went with tangerine ink and the bright caribbean blue envelopes. Can't wait until they're on my doorstep! 

Vermilion Star Press is a fabulous Etsy shop run by a husband and wife team right here in the USA. Check them out for fabulous letterpress note cards, custom invites, coasters, and more.

*Shout out to Ziggy and Stace for being awesome.

Monday, July 16, 2012


This has been a summer of road trips. Our Audi Wagon has hauled us up and down the eastern seaboard of the US of A. From the sun-bleached shores of New Jersey to the colonial charms of Williamsburg, Virginia. We've hiked up to the ports of Maine and even crossed the US/Canadian border in our trusty steed. Here's to more fabulous summer destinations throughout our homeland.

Friday, July 13, 2012

Etsy Picks: Knit Kid

All of these amazing sweaters are from Sabrina of The Knit Kid on Etsy. Sabrina is based out of Berlin and makes (hand makes) amazing sweaters, collars, dresses, and fabulous little booty shorts! She uses merino wools, alpaca, mohair, and silks in the coolest colors. I want everything.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Turquoise and Fuchsia

I love turquoise and fuchsia in the summer for all seasons. The combo makes me feel so happy and bright! I wore this ensemble to dinner the other night with friends. When things got silly (after multiple bottles of Sauv Blanc and some brewskies) these shorts were extra stretchy and supported all of my wacky dance moves. During a recent episode of a classic lily-dance-party, one of my dear friends coined my erratic dance move the "lil-hula". I'll take it!

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Wellies and Wildflowers

It's often dewy in the morning. If I wear my actual shoes out there to water my plants I end up with water between the toes and marks on my leather shoes. 

My solution: I slip on my wellies and tend to the greenery in flaming red boots. They have a special place right by the door- I stomp around in them almost every single day. 

And just in case you've been following my gardening adventures, the wildflower garden is thriving and glorious, thanks in part to my flaming Hunter wellies and their magical water-proof powers!

Friday, July 6, 2012

Etsy Pick & Wedding Bells!

My cousin Em is getting married! Last weekend was her bridal shower, and we celebrated with lots of food, lots of prezzies, and a tandem-bicylce theme everywhere! 

The mother of the groom found the best cake-topper for the happy (fitness loving) couple. She gifted them a custom tandem bike topper made out of wire from Etsy! 

Em found this perfect little sundress from Anthropologie to go
 with the bike theme of their nuptials.

Sunday, July 1, 2012

The story of LL Bean

Earlier this month I finished a book called L.L. Bean: The Making of an American Icon. It was written by Leon Gorman, the grandson and second generation President of L.L. Bean who just retired in the last decade. 

Leon charts his personal course at L.L. Bean, from his first job there in his 20's to his eventual transition into the President role and then later the Chairman role. He gives an inside look into the values, mission, and idiosyncrasies of the Bean culture. He also speaks very candidly about the business decisions he made and initiatives he started while managing the company. The path was so interesting. Leon started off with an entrepreneurial mindset in the first 10 years of his tenure as President. He then ended up moving in a much different, more corporate direction as the business grew in size.

This book meant a lot to me because I too work for my family business. I grapple daily with the transitional challenges of the second generation learning, growing, and taking more responsibility within the business. It's so comforting to see how other American companies have successfully transitioned into the second and third generations.

I feel very connected to Bean after this reading adventure, I look at my old Bean Moccasins and my Bean Hunting boots in a whole new light. I'm even more enthusiastic knowing that Bean is celebrating it's 100 year anniversary this year. They're celebrating with a huge Hometown Celebration this week, starting July 4th and going until Saturday July 7th in Freeport, Maine. I'd like to stop by and say hello to Leon. He's kind of my hero :)

Some of the wisdom I took from Leon's writing:

  • "Growth for its own sake was a form of managerial adventurism and didn't interest me. On the other hand, I believed strongly that if we could keep adding value to people's lives, we had an obligation to grow." (p 111)
  • "I came across the famous Lao Tse quote on leadership during my early years at Bean. "A leader is best when people barely know he exists...When his work is done, his aim is fulfilled. They will all say, 'We did this ourselves.'" This concept seemed to fit my thinking on the ideal leadership outcome- the importance of humility and competence and of attributing success to those most responsible." (p 100)
  • "Service was important, and so were advertising and attractive catalogs. But they could never make up for faulty products and second-rate assortments, at least not for long." (p. 91)
  • "Our core value is trust. It goes to the essence of respect for people. It is what the Golden Rule and L.L. Bean is all about" (p 258)
  • "I should add that there's no shortage of resistance to process leadership. It's too slow, takes too many meetings, requires a lot of compromise, and wastes a lot of time. Many people, including me, simply want to leap to the next most obvious goal and not go through all of the process steps. But, as some wise person once said, 'The solution to a complex problem is oftentimes simple and it's usually wrong.' Process is important." (p 252)
  • "People support what they help create and vice versa." (p 235)
  • "Much of our initial Total Quality work was meant to break down functional barriers and teach people how to be good interdepartmental customers and suppliers...We couldn't do our best for our external customers if we weren't doing our best for our internal customers" (p 217)
  • "The perfect company was the ethically correct company." (p 105)