So you have taken tours of my studio and if you peeked at the book of Kitschy Crafts you could see my old living room and pink bathroom, but have you ever wanted to see my house in its complete entirety? The guest bedroom you would sleep in if you came to visit, the bowling trophies you would see in my Florida room and my grandmothers Electro Hygiene Vacuum – you know you are dying to see! Well now you can if you just pop over to Apartment Therapy for a tour of my casa and article on my home decorating sensibilities.
I’m a little scared for the response since with the preview article about my version of magazine storage the term wack-a-doo was already thrown out. If you have an Apartment Therapy account and of course if the looks of my humble abode tickle your fancy I would love you forever if you left a nice comment and took the virtual home tour. 49 whopping pictures of polka dot floors, beauty parlor chairs and Tiki Gods! Thanks tons to the amazing Adrienne Breaux of All Things Austin Design for taking a chance of my kitschy casa!
What home decorating blogs do you frequent? Are you as addicted to Top Design as I am? Do you covet your copies of Pad & My Prescription for Anti-Depressive Living as much as I do? I do love me some wack-a-doo home decorating and as the article says “After all, I am the girl known for making jewelry out of plastic gnome cupcake toppers did you really expect my house to look normal?” that pretty much sums it up.
Friday, October 31, 2008
Thursday, October 30, 2008
I hate to brag, but my mom is a crafty bad ass. She makes jewelry, sews purses, does broken plate mosaics, hand paints rugs on the floor, uses power tools, tinkers with resin and more. I’ve known her crafty idol status for years, but the current issue of Craft Magazine makes it public knowledge. That’s right look for one Mrs. Fredda Perkins in the new issue about crafting green. The article is called Whose Craft is it Anyway: Elder Crafters Respond to the Slogan “Not Your Grandma’s Craft” written by the amazing Rachel Hobson of Average Jane Crafter and wondermous Diane Gilleland of Crafty Pod. I have always thought that slogan, besides being overused, was a touch antiquated and this article proves it. My mom is about to be a grandmother and she does not do lame crafts. For that matter my grandmother did fun pottery and painting and that I have hanging in my house as I type. Grab a copy of the magazine and read the article. My favorite quote from my mom is “I learned to sew on a treadle sewing machine! Now sewing machines are computerized and will do just about everything but kiss your ass when you walk in the room”. That Fredda, I come by my potty mouth honestly I tell you.
Below are some pictures of a few of my favorite crafts my mother has whipped up. Be sure to check out more picture of her amazing home decorating prowess here.
One of a kind necklace with vintage metal toy mouse and pink stones, Vintage Barkcloth Pink Feather Messenger Bag and Hall of Harlequins Clutch.
One of a Kind Kitschy Christmas Wreath - she made me my very own this year I can hardly wait to hang it, Vintage Barkcloth Kris Kringle Stocking and Santa's Tutu Stocking.
The rug she hand painted on her front porch, Flower Mosaic Table, My bathroom mirror she made me out of my plaster fish collection that made it into a book about kitschy crafts!
Various mosaics and Vintage Midol Tin Necklace.
Maybe some day DIY Network will re-run the Crafting with Mom and Waterslide Decals episodes of Craft Lab and you can see Fredda in action! Got a thing for Wall Pockets, pick up a copy of her book Wall Pockets of the Past to learn all about your collection. Speaking of collections did you see the amazing article she wrote Discovering Tomorrow's Collectibles Today?
Did you get your crafting genes from your mom? Grandma? Are you a genetic crafty anomaly and have no idea where it came from?
Wednesday, October 29, 2008
Last night was my last class at Craft-o-Rama for October. I wrapped up my 3 part series on how to run a small business with “How to Take Your Business to the Next Level”. We chatted about You Tube, putting together a reel, courting companies for product lines and endorsements, getting book deals and more. I’ll probably be teaching the class again in December or January.
Never fear, I have two jewelry classes I am teaching in November….
Bracelets Galore! Sat. 11/8 11:00am-1:00pm
In 2 hours you will make 4 different bangle bracelets! First up you will wrap and adorn a bracelet with ribbons. Next up will learn to reuse and recycle when we decoupage a bracelet with paper. Some people knit with yarn, others wrap bracelets with them. The last project will be something straight out of the new Naughty Secretary Club book, the Thank You for Calling Bangle. We will be learning how to make a bracelet from scratch and covering it with telephone cording. Jen will bring all the supplies you need to make 4 bracelets including tons of fun papers, yarn ribbons, telephone cording and more for you to choose from but feel free to also bring your own. $40
Making Your Own Revamped Vintage Necklace Thurs. 11/13 700pm-900pm
This two hour class will teach you all the basics you need to get started whipping up jewelry. Jen will bring all the supplies you need to string up a necklace including findings and a big stash of Naughty Secretary Club goodies for you to choose from. You will also get your own beading board to take home! After you make your perfect revamped vintage necklace we will be learning basic wire wrapping and making a matching pair of earrings. Once you have this skill down you will be able to make almost anything! Again all the findings and beads will be provided. Bring your own set of jewelry tools if you have them or Jen will have sets at $10 a pop for sale. $40
Teaching all these classes has got me to thinking lately, why don’t I take a few classes myself? There are several classes offered around town I am interested in. One day I’d love to take a silk screening class, pottery has always intrigued me and my mom still has her wheel and kiln that she said I could have, plus one day maybe I will learn to knit.
I keep looking at adorable little felt baby booties on Etsy and could save myself a bundle if I took the 3 hour felt Baby Booties class. Needless to say mine could never be as cute as the ones pictured by Piddies, Stops and Starts (these are adult size Mary Janes!!!) and Pedro Sprout – but a girl can try can’t she!
To knit or to crochet that is the proverbial question. Knitting seems to involve so much counting and I already know the basics of crochet. I am basically just looking for an excuse to use my friend Amanda’s yarn for something. I think I might just take the refresher course at Craft-o-Rama about crochet. I hope the instructor does not remember me as the girl who’s sister spilled a beer on her dog at the bar. I recognized her from her picture and heard she brings a little dog to class. Hopefully he does not smell like Miller Lite anymore.
When I saw the Tweet from my friend Traci about Jay McCarroll’s new fabric line at the Houston quilt show I was immediately intrigued. I love the kooky little prints, especially the one with the white rabbits that is a little on the Watership Down side but still awesome. If I had not already picked out fabric for Lil’ Whip’s room I might just go the Jay route. However that is not to say I could not sign up for a quilting or baby sling class at Craft-o-Rama and use the fabric for something else. As a matter of fact I think I may just do that!
Do you take craft classes? Or do you prefer to learn your new crafts from books, magazines, the internet or crafty TV shows? Just curious how everyone acquires their crafty skills. I remember in the summers I would be in different summer camps, many of which had crafty classes. I even took paper making once. I loved the classes so much and have not taken a craft class in almost 10 years when I took a jewelry class to update my skills. I guess I am a book learner. Well that and I got 2 seasons worth of hands on training from the experts filming Craft Lab and Stylelicious.
Tuesday, October 28, 2008
My friend Anne Marie recently sent over this press release for a new and exciting show they are putting together here in Austin spring 2009.
The Bearded Ladies Present: Shop Austin
Independent designer, craft & fine art showcase
Event Name: The Bearded Ladies Present: Shop Austin
Date: Saturday April 18, 2009
Time: 11:00am to 5:00pm
Location: Saengerrunde Hall, 1607 San Jacinto Blvd, Austin, TX 78701
Tickets: in advance $8, at the door $10.
Event Info: The Bearded Ladies Production Co. is set to produce its first show in Austin, Texas. The 2009 event will be a craft fair, fine arts festival, and independent designer showcase all wrapped up into one. By featuring the best vendors in Austin, The Bearded Ladies Present: Shop Austin will provide shoppers an opportunity to find one of-a-kind gifts, unique accessories, fashionable attire, home decor and more. Shoppers can browse the work of talented artisans who buck the trend of mass-production by offering handcrafted goods that are finely constructed and very unique. These independent entrepreneurs are locally based, but also come from surrounding areas to participate in what is sure to be a fun family event filled with items you can’t find anywhere else. The first thirty shoppers to arrive at the event will receive a goodie bag stuffed with great giveaway items from vendors and local businesses. Shopping begins at 11:00 a.m., and admission is $8 in advance, $10 at the door; parking is available near Saengerrunde Hall.
The Bearded Ladies Present: Shop Austin is currently accepting applications for vendors. All local crafters, independent designers, and fine artists that want to broaden their customer base are invited to apply. Let all of Austin know what you have to offer and join The Bearded Ladies Present: Shop Austin!
To apply go to: http://www.TheBeardedLadiesPresent.com/apply_here.html
I'm excited already and can't wait to go and shop!
Monday, October 27, 2008
Last night was my friend Erin’s annual pumpkin carving party, I think this might be the first year I actually carved. Probably because I could not join in the tasty bevies so I had nothing else to do. Chris and I could not decide on what to carve on our pumpkin for the life of us until the idea of the baby came to mind. I summoned Hope to draw from memory what she had seen on the ultra sound pictures and Fetalkins was born. Fetus + Pumpkin = Fetalkin.
I can’t wait to light this baby up Friday night for all the neighborhood to see. Some people at the party thought I carved a jelly bean and one person even suggested it was a motorcycle but once I pointed out all the features and especially the little umbilical cord that goes up to the cord of the pumpkin it was all clear.
Other favorites of the night included my friend Dave’s Satan hearts the USA pumpkin with an upside down cross. Ya know satanic jokes and pumpkin carving never get old, especially since he and I had been singing a little Iron Maiden “Number of the Beast” earlier in the evening. Hope carved an amazing Biggie smalls, my blurry picture does not do it justice. Neil made a glitter and pom pom covered pumpkin and carved Zatarans into it to make fun of Hope, which was a hilarious inside joke.
Chris and I tried out a new and exciting recipe to take to the party that was a big hit, truffles. We made a white chocolate gingersnap batch as well as a dark chocolate Oreo cookie batch. The recipe was so super easy, a little messy, but really easy. Plus with my new Cuisinart I chopped those cookies up in a jiffy.
1 pkg. (1 lb. 2 oz.) OREO Cookies, finely crushed, divided
1 pkg. (8 oz.) Cream Cheese, softened
2 pkg. (8 squares each) Semi-Sweet Chocolate, melted
MIX 3 cups of the cookie crumbs and the cream cheese until well blended. Shape into 42 (1-inch) balls.
DIP balls in melted chocolate; place on waxed paper-covered baking sheet. (Any leftover melted chocolate can be stored in tightly covered container at room temperature and saved for another use.) Sprinkle with remaining cookie crumbs.
REFRIGERATE 1 hour or until firm. Store any leftover truffles in tightly covered container in refrigerator.
For the second batch we just used Gingersnaps instead of Oreos and white instead of semi-sweet dark chocolate.
What did you carve into your pumpkin this year? Did you even carve one?
Thursday, October 23, 2008
I felt like Wolfgang Puck this week I was getting so crazy with all my cooking.
Not sure where I found the energy for all this, maybe it is that nesting thing that everyone keeps talking about. I read that this week the baby can start to taste things so I figured I better start broadening their horizons. When I was a kid my parents would take Hope and I out for sushi, escargot, pad thai you name it. Not because they liked it (they now eat at the same restaurant a minimum of 3 times a week so I know they don’t love diversity in their meals) but because they wanted to expose Hope and I to various foods. This probably explains why for Chris’s birthday we had Ethiopian that I requested and on my birthday we had Indian. Anyway I thought I would start the baby out early and this week I was feeling sassy. On top of that Chris was putting his foot down on our going out to dinner too often so I had to do something. Here are the 3 recipes that came out of my kitchen this week.
Recipe from Epicurious
three 15 1/2 ounce cans black beans (about 4 1/2 cups), rinsed and drained
1 cup drained canned tomatoes, chopped
1 1/4 cups chopped onion
1/2 cup minced shallot
4 garlic cloves minced
1 tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/2 stick (1/4 cup) unsalted butter
4 cups beef broth
a 16-ounce can pumpkin pureé (about 1 1/2 cups)
1/2 cup dry Sherry
1/2 pound cooked ham, cut into 1/8-inch dice
3 to 4 tablespoons Sherry vinegar
Garnish: sour cream and coarsely chopped lightly toasted pumpkin seeds
In a food processor coarsely pureé beans and tomatoes.
In a 6-quart heavy kettle cook onion, shallot, garlic, cumin, salt, and pepper in butter over moderate heat, stirring, until onion is softened and beginning to brown. Stir in bean pureé. Stir in broth, pumpkin, and Sherry until combined and simmer, uncovered, stirring occasionally, 25 minutes, or until thick enough to coat the back of a spoon.
Just before serving, add ham and vinegar and simmer soup, stirring, until heated through. Season soup with salt and pepper.
Serve soup garnished with sour cream and toasted pumpkin seeds.
* I was very excited to have an excuse to try out my new Cusineart with this recipe. For years I had been pureeing my black beans in the same blender I have had since college that smelled like a burnt motor. That baby purees like a dream! Also I forgot the onion so I used onion powder instead. I added half a bunch of fresh cilantro and sprinkled more fresh over the top. I also cook this in a crock pot rather than on the stove. Served with salad and fresh mango slices.
Recipe from Cooking Light
1 (16-ounce) package rigatoni or penne pasta
1/4 cup butter
1 medium onion, chopped (about 1 cup)
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 pound collard greens, washed, drained, and chopped
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups milk
1 cup shredded mozzarella
1 cup ricotta cheese
2 teaspoons sugar
2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1. Prepare pasta according to directions. Drain and set aside. Preheat oven to 350°. Lightly grease a 13- x 9-inch baking dish.
2. Heat butter in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat; sauté onion 5 minutes or until just brown. Add garlic, and cook about 1 minute. Reduce heat to medium-low, and add greens; cover and cook 15 to 20 minutes or until greens are tender, stirring occasionally.
3. Sprinkle greens with flour. Cook uncovered, stirring constantly, 1 minute. Gradually add milk, stirring well. Cook 5 minutes, stirring often, until thickened and smooth. Remove from heat; stir in cooked pasta, mozzarella, and next 5 ingredients. Place into prepared dish, and sprinkle evenly with Parmesan.
4. Bake at 350° for 15 to 20 minutes.
I'm not sure I have cooked anything with collard greens so this was pretty exciting for me. I could have used spinach or kale, but the collard greens at the store looked nice and fresh. This casserole was a heavy sitter. The recipe says you can omit flour and substitute 1 1/4 cups chicken broth for milk for a lighter version which I might do if I made this again. As my husband pointed out I never make the same thing twice. We had fresh watermelon for desert.
Recipe from Rachel Ray
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil, eyeball it
1 1/2 pounds boneless skinless chicken thighs, chopped into bite-sized pieces
1 onion, thinly sliced
3 cloves garlic, grated or chopped
1 cup shredded carrots
1 fresh bay leaf
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon coriander
Pinch ground cinnamon
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
3/4 cup chopped dried fruits - pick 1 or combine: figs, pitted dates, apricots, sultanas
1 lemon, zested and juiced
3/4 cup pitted mixed olives, chopped
4 cups chicken stock, divided
2 tablespoons butter
3 tablespoons pine nuts
1/4 cup slivered or sliced almonds
1 1/2 cups couscous
Handful flat-leaf parsley, chopped
Heat the extra-virgin olive oil in a deep skillet over medium-high heat. When the oil ripples add the chicken and brown 3 to 4 minutes on each side. Add the onions, garlic, carrots, bay leaf and season with spices, salt and pepper, cook 5 to 6 minutes. Stir the fruits into the chicken and vegetables, add the zest of the lemon, olives and 2 1/2 cups of stock. Reduce heat to low and simmer 10 minutes more. Sprinkle with lemon juice and turn off heat. Remove bay leaf.
While chicken simmers, melt butter in a sauce pot over medium heat. Add nuts and lightly toast for a couple of minutes. Add 1 1/2 cups stock and bring up to a boil then stir in couscous. Cover and let stand 5 minutes.
Serve chicken over couscous, or vice versa, and garnish with parsley.
I never watched much Rachel Ray until this summer when I was incapacitated with morning sickness and I’m glad I started. This was the second recipe I have cooked from her show (the first being Mozzarella Stuffed Chicken Sausage Balls with o-Basil Sauce, Cacio e Pepe Potatoes and Roast Broccolini) and it was delicious. I would say this recipe was my favorite of all 3 things I cooked this week. I used a combination of dried apricots, dates and figs for the fruit that was yummy. I forgot to add the parsley, but besides a bit of green color I’m not sure what it would have really added. As left overs it is even more delish! Chris might be proved wrong with this one it might just get made again. I served it with a green salad garnished with shaved carrots and mandarin oranges.
I'm always looking for new and exciting recipes, have any suggestions? Where do you find your favorite recipes - cook books, blogs, magazines, TV? I find I love the internet for recipes because I can search based on what I am in the mood for. I also subscribe to Cooking Light and as of late watch a lot of Food Network. Oh and since fall is here I am especially found of my crock pot so any good recipes you know where I can bust that baby out, pass it along!
I’m still giddy with afterglow from this past weekend’s Maker Faire and now today I see that the Craft Magazine blog has mentioned my Halloween videos I did for HGTV!
You can check out the videos on HGTV or on You Tube. Thanks tons to my buddy Rachel for writing about the webisodes. I agree with her Craft Zine review, I heart the faux tattoo sleeves (although I found it amusing I had to cover my own in the videos) you might also recognize the Cowgirl Hat Headband in the same webisode. Shout out to Monica Burnett for the fun crocheted headband I am wearing in the picture.
I need to re-watch some of the videos as I have a pumpkin carving party to attend this weekend with prizes involved. To make things fair I sent all the other guests a link to the video and pre-warned them that I am now skilled in the art of pumpkin shaving, using Dremel Tools on pumpkins and would not be afraid to bust out the Collage Pauge and do a little sparkly decoupage action on my pumpkin.
Wednesday, October 22, 2008
I have been feeling sentimental about Stitch after having so many people ask me about it and when the show is coming back this weekend at Maker Faire. I have always wanted to frame all my Stitch posters and hang them around the house. I have two up so far, but my favorite design by Austinite Brian Keplesky has yet to find a home. The girl that Brian illustrated for us is more of a silhouette showing the inner workings of a designer. Her ribs are scissors, arm bones replaced by sewing needles, safety pins and spools of thread rest inside also. I have always loved this graphic, so much we tweaked it and used it for Stitch 5 as well. When I saw the paper cuts by Cuban artist Elsa Mora, I saw a similarity and was imnmediatly smitten.
I toss and turn about which of Elsita’s paper cuts I love the most. Currently Secret Anatomy of a Young Girl is my favorite. I think the name of this print hits the nail on the head about why I love this style of illustration, it’s the classic silhouette with something secret and fun on the inside. Sugar and spice and sewing needles, anchors and dead birds.
Another print I might have to add to my collection is by Mexican artist Rosie Music. I have mentioned how her prints make my heart go pitter patter before, but now with her Too shy No.14 I’m not sure I will be able to resist. I think all 3 of these prints hung together would look amazing.
I feel a collection being born. My mom always says it just takes 3 of something and then it's a collection. I could go the plain silhouette route, but there are so many of those to be found it is a slippery slope and I could fill an entire wall in a jiffy (not that I don’t love the way a collection of silhouette’s look). I’ll stick with ones that have something hidden on the inside. Do you know any others I did not find?
Tuesday, October 21, 2008
Whoo-wee this weekend at Maker Faire about wore me out! I’m ready to spend the week relaxing but between teaching two classes at Craft-o-Rama, my father in-law coming to visit and a photo shoot with Apartment Therapy this week there is no rest for the wicked. Maker was tons of fun and I have the pictures to prove it.
The lovely Hope Perkins of Hot Pink Pistol helps fluff our booth...
Our friend Amy Barber of Sweet Tooth Bags was our neighbor to the left, which was mighty handy for bathroom breaks!
Our neighbor to the right were the lovely peeps of Belle and Burger and Blue Mama. Jen sold a necklace to Bill Murray, here she is sticking the cash between 'the girls' for safe keeping.
Saw lots of friends at Maker Faire including fellow preggers Austin Craft Mafia lady Jen Arntson. My friend Mae Mae stopped by and scored herself a Yummy to My Tummy Necklace.
Textile Fetish was there representing at Maker Faire! When lil' whip is older I am getting him/her some patchwork pants!
Look I'm the meat in a Patricia and Rachel sandwich!
Lot's o' Ladies from the Dallas Craft Mafia were making the rounds including the adorable Tara and Julie. So excited Hope traded Tara for a feather fasinator so I can borrow it, still dreaming about the headbands that Julie had that I should have gotten.
Becky and Amanda, AKA the Craft-o-Rama Cuties (don't forget my Marketing a Small Business Class there tonight) basking in the afterglow of seeing Bill Murray.
Jen and Hope man the booth while I go off to teach and shop!
Speaking of teaching here I am preaching the gospel of using fabric in jewelry. On Sunday I taught a little jewelry 101 demo. Thanks to Tina and Rachel for the pictures.
And speaking of shopping, I almost spent as much as I made! How could I resist a new cardigan from Bossa Nova Baby. Mine is actually black with pink scissors.
I did a little trading and a little shopping for onesies. Currently this baby is going to be naked so I thought I would snag lil' whip some new duds from Rose & Duke, Harrilu and Elsie Q.
I also scored some panties for a gift from Lil Hop, a new tiger person T-shirt from Model Citizen and I am going to be getting some rings from Leighlena.
I was super excited that not only could you snag a copy of The Naughty Secretary Club in our booth, but the Maker Book Store was also carrying copies!
And for those that sat in the Bizarre Bazaar all weekend, snuggled up next to the Ponginator, this is for you...
Monday, October 20, 2008
With Elle Girl long gone, Teen Vogue only showing expensive jewelry and rumors swirl about Cosmo Girl closing down I sure am thankful I am on the good side of the editors at Seventeen Magazine. According to their November issue chunky necklaces like our Full Metal Necklace, animal prints like our Safari Ring and studs like on our Green Stud Muffin Bracelet are all the rage. Who am I to argue.
Does anyone else secretly or not so secretly read teen magazines? I subscribe to Teen Vogue I’m not gonna lie.
Sunday, October 19, 2008
I’m not saying I’m a huge fan of Britney Spears. I’m not gonna lie and tell you I don’t sing along to “Baby Hit Me One More Time” when it comes on the radio either. My feelings about her music aside, I did happen upon her new video for "Womanizer" recently and it caught my attention. No I didn't watch the video because she is practically naked for some of it (don’t watch the video below if you are the type that thinks naughty is a bad word, abort this blog post now) but because she is a Naughty Secretary for some of the video. Not in the same way I was running a business on the sly when I should have been filing, more in the photocopying pictures of her well toned butt in cat eye glasses kind of way. Any type of naughty secretary is welcome in my club, Britney included.
Friday, October 17, 2008
This weekend will mark my first ever Bizarre Bazaar and my second Maker Faire. Last year Stitch participated in the Swap-a-Rama bit of the show. This is Maker Austin’s first year to have an official craft show and Naughty Secretary Club & Hot Pink Pistol will be there front and center in booth # 709. Stop by for tons of hand painted purses, one of a kind jewelry and more. Be sure to hit the show barn out at the Expo center to check out over 50 different crafty booths. Yes I said barn, I’m curious to see how this will all pan out - hopefully they moved the cows.
You can also stop by the Maker Shed a couple of different times over the weekend and learn a few tricks of the jewelry trade from me!
3:00 PM Saturday, October 18 -I will be teaching how to make your own fabric jewelry.
11:00 AM Sunday, October 19 I will be doing a little jewelry 101.
On both days after my 30 minute demos I will be signing copies of The Naughty Secretary Club book there in the Maker Shed!
So come out to Maker Faire and say hello Austin. Last year it was a bit like a Renaissance Festival meets the SXSW interactive crowd, I can’t wait to see who turns up for year number 2.
Thursday, October 16, 2008
The new issue of the Austin Chronicle has the best of awards and what do you know Stitch won something. Pretty exciting stuff. Makes me that much more sad that we are not doing Stitch this year. The thing is Tina is in the middle of finishing her book, I’m knocked up, Karly is kicking ass with Design Crisis and Jesse is cooking like a mutha. Look for Stitch in 2009, I’ll keep you posted.