Thursday, February 25, 2010

Fabulous GO Vendors: Baby Bolt & Craft Chi

More vendor awesomeness! Baby Bolt & Craft Chi are two more local faves who'll have lovely handmade gift items on display at our Grand Opening tonight.

First up is Becka Spellman of Baby Bolt. In addition to the brand spankin' new & awesome trailer bibs she'll have at our Grand Opening, Becka also makes crazy-cute clothes & plenty of functional items to make life easier for parents and kiddos. Pacifier Bibs keep drool in check and the pacifier nearby. Crayon Rolls keep your little artist's tools on hand whether inspiration strikes at a restaurant, car trip, or the doctor's office.

New-Baby Gift Sets, available in custom combinations like this cute little cowboy, are the perfect, stress-free gifts that will stand out at any baby shower. What a great idea!

At BabyBolt you will find designs that combine new, upcycled/reclaimed, vintage, and imported fabrics - resulting in unique, one-of-a-kind or limited-run clothing and accessories.

Becka says, "Through my life I have attempted to find a home in all sorts of arts and crafts. From oil painting to photography to knitting to collage, I never really felt I had found my "thing." Shortly after my son was born I pulled out my mom's old Kenmore and started working on small projects and took a few sewing classes. As I gained skills and confidence, I turned our spare bedroom into my studio."

Come out & say hello to Becka tonight; she is super-sweet & also quite a funny lady. You'll enjoy meeting her and you will love her ah-DOR-able kids' stuff!

Next I'd like to tell you about the multi-talented Amy of Craft Chi, "the universalizing life force of craft." Love that! Amy makes all kinds of things, all handprinted with her original artwork. Her beautiful handmade wares include bags, pillow shams, tees and pretty linen tea towels.

I love the fluid patterns Amy creates & her screen-printing technique is impeccable. Amy also keeps a wonderful blog about her craft process that is full of great tips & interesting behind-the-scenes pics.

In addition to her printed items, Amy sells cute rubber stamps made from her own drawings and screen-printing screens that can be custom-made with your own image on them. She also offers a wide assortment of screens for sale with all kinds of cool images that are ready to use. We carry these in Stella's boutique & they are awesome!


Tonight at the GO we'll be using some totally cool screens on loan from Craft Chi for screen-printing on neckties. It's gonna be super-fun! Join us, won't you?

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Fabulous GO Vendors: SoCoDivka Designs & Anne Marie

I have two more amazing designer/crafters to tell you about today: SoCoDivka & Anne Marie Beard. Both of these ladies are exceptionally talented & I know you'll want to meet them!

SoCoDivka founder Shanna Howard says, "I've been creative all of my life—for years I've been painting, drawing, designing, writing, making mosaics, jewelry-making, sewing, costuming, and more—but it had taken a backseat until the last couple of years. Thanks to a Saturn Return and some inspiring friends, I started to make creativity a priority."

Well I'm certainly glad that Shanna has gotten her priorities straight! : )

In case you're wondering about the unusual name, she says, "SoCoDivka is a nickname based on where I call home—the South Congress area of Austin, Texas, and "divka," which means "girl" in Czech. I'm half Czech, and I'm 100% native Texan."

Shanna's work is inspired by mid-century modern, '50s Lucite, Bohemia and whimsy. I just love the look! How gorgeous are these Cherry Candy Drops?!

Speaking of gorgeous, have you seen the *annemarie* Style for the Individual line? Founded by Anne Marie Beard in 2002, these handcrafted bags are full of sass, polish and style. And as anyone who's had the pleasure of meeting Anne Marie can attest, she herself fits that description, too!

Anne Marie began designing handbags in 2002 with the mission of creating beautifully made accessories for women with unique taste. Her Degree in Costume Design from the University of Texas at Austin was the springboard in making her lifelong passion for sewing a business reality.

What I love about Anne Marie's line is that you can order your own custom creation! There are several designs to choose from, such as the Adah Clutch and the Rosie, both shown above.

I'm the proud owner of a Mirella reversible(!) bag similar to the one shown on the left here, & I absolutely adore it. I got to choose the style of bag I wanted & then pick 2 fabrics from her swatch collection. It was so fun, but hard to choose from all of her awesome bag designs & beautiful fabrics! Maybe it's time for a second one...

Along with her beautiful purses, Anne Marie creates fun coordinating Mini Wallets, Cosmetic Bags and Zippy Wallets. They are so cute, and so useful!

Come out and meet these super-chic crafty ladies tomorrow night at our Grand Opening!

Monday, February 22, 2010

Fabulous GO Vendors: Sweet Wolf & Nepenthe's Bathtime

Nepenthe's Bathtime and Sweet Wolf are two of our awesome vendors at the upcoming Grand Opening celebration. We've gotten to know the two of them well from the numerous events and EtsyAustin meetings we've all been together at, and they are certainly some talented, creative, crafters!

Samantha Hlavaty of Nepenthe's Bathtime creates some awesome soapy goodness, of the likes you've probably never seen before! Check out our favorite: the airstream soap of course! For sale in the Boutique, only $6!
About the history of Nepenthe's Bathtime Sam says "Creating soap and bath products began about 5 years ago as a hobby and a way to diffuse after a stressful day of work, and has managed to morph over the years into a full time business".

Despite the fact that Nepenthe's Bathtime is relatively new, it sounds like she's always been on this path "As a child, I loved to raid my mom's gardens and make little concoctions out of the flowers and herbs. Unfortunately for her, at that age I had absolutely no clue what preservatives were. To this day, I am uncertain of how many moldy jars of mush she discovered throughout our home. I’m afraid to ask! Thankfully, I’ve learned a lot over the years. In general though, I have always loved bath products, aromatherapy and botanicals. Mixing with this a passion for art, design, and colour ... it was a natural fit!"

Another favorite is her popular Sushi Soap! Come see and smell them in person on Thursday at the Grand Opening!

Sweet Wolf is the creation of crafty gal Cathie Fuentes. She's a self proclaimed "nerdy gal who loves to get crafty." Her whimsical creations include flower brooches (above) handbags & clutches, scarves, and even tartan plaid bows, my favorite.
About her craft Cathie says "I have always made things for myself and friends and family. I have dabbled in many, many crafts over the years but I have always loved to sew. I learned how in 2nd grade when my parents bought me my first sewing machine. I then had my first
little entrepreneurship, making and selling tooth pillows. I still have one of the first ones I made and am still proud of it!

I really like to make people happy and giving them something I created helps me do that!
And for a long time, friends have been telling me I need to sell the things I make -- so here we are!"
Check out her Etsy shop Sweet Wolf, and come meet her and see all the wonderful sewn things she makes, Thursday at the Grand Opening!

Fabulous GO Vendors: DeLisa, Pigsey Art & Pommes Frites

Today I have the pleasure of telling you about 3 of the awesome makers who will be vending at our Grand Opening this Thursday night: DeLisa Designs, Pigsey Art & Pommes Frites. They are all super-talented and will have fabulous items for sale.

First up is Lisa Linbrugger of DeLisa Designs, who says:
"As long as I can remember, I have liked making things. I was lucky to have a father who was an artist and could recognize my artistic side. When I was eight he gave me his collection of glass and African beads which he had been collecting and making his own jewelry with. Since then I have loved making jewelry."

You've gotta check out DeLisa's Etsy shop - her work, most of which is sterling silver, is so interesting! I just love this "little painting for your neck!" I also love how multi-dimensional most of her pieces are. I've seen the work up close & it is stunning, and Lisa is a real sweetheart, as well as a talented jewelry designer.

Next, we have Brandy Davis of Pigsey Art, maker of unique, upcycled journals. Brandy is a very funny gal who's always saying wacky things like this:
"I currently am focusing on journals when I'm not loving my squirrels or my dachshund or making fun of my pirate husband."

But on a more serious note, she also has this to say about her work:
"I love tearing apart vintage books and items to make things. The texture and look of vintage items sends a thrill down my spine. It's a gorgeous quality and style that is lacking in many things in current times."

Well said, Brandy, well said. I really like how she intersperses the vintage book pages randomly throughout her journals.

Last, but certainly not least, we have another vintage book lover, Kristen Pumphrey of Pommes Frites (clever, no?). Kristen makes hollow books, pins, magnets, record bowls & more, all of them "reclaimed, repurposed & handmade with love!"

Some of her hollow books are cleverly-disguised flask safes, and include a stainless steel flask. Others are less specific & function well as hidey-holes for your cash or other valuables.

Kristen also makes really cool pin-back buttons & magnets with images from old dictionaries & her favorite fabric, plaid. Another sweet & funny lady, she keeps a blog that always makes me laugh.

Hope you'll come out & say hello to all of these crafty ladies this Thursday!

Friday, February 19, 2010

Rockstar Sponsor: The Cupcake Bar


Get this guys: we've got not one, but TWO amazing local bakeries sponsoring our Grand Opening! Trust me, you don't want to miss out on all this deliciousness! In addition to those amazing bourbon bites from Blue Note Bakery, we'll also have a gorgeous spread of mini-cupcakes from The Cupcake Bar.

The Cupcake Bar is a full-service cupcake catering company that's always a hit at parties. They're a new fave of ours since meeting them a couple of weeks ago when we hosted an Austin Cupcake Meetup. It was so much fun! Jackie, the fearless leader of the cupcake meetups, wanted to combine cupcakes & crafting. What could be better?


So we led the guests in a cupcake-themed sponge-painting craft, and Rachel from The Cupcake Bar was our fabulous bartender. She was so sweet & helpful & the cupcakes were super-tasty. You can see all of the pics from this event in our Cupcake Meetup set on Flickr.


The Cupcake Bar offers 12 delicious varieties of cake, fillings, icing and an array of toppings that is simply astounding, including cotton candy, Pop Rocks, mini Oreos, and even pretzel Goldfish for those who like a sweet-salty mix.


It's so fun to choose & create your own custom cupcake. I had the Tres Leches cake topped with Rice Krispie Treats & silver shimmer dust. Yum!


Don't miss your chance to sample the delights from The Cupcake Bar at our Grand Opening!


Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Rockstar Sponsor: Blue Note Bakery

Blue Note Bakery has agreed to sponsor our Grand Opening event and we couldn't be happier about it! They also sponsored us out at EAST and fed our sweet tooth all week! I'm now obsessed with their deliciously rich Burbon Bites, not to mention how quickly the Pistachio Cake disappeared! Just last week I got some beautiful cupcakes for my cousins' birthdays, mini ones for the 1yr old, and big ones for the 14yr old!

Blue Note Bakery began in April 2004 in a small shared catering kitchen. Since then, thanks to loyal clients to whom they have become their “family bakery,” Blue Note opened their own shop at 4201 South Congress.

Angela Jiles is the “Confection Composer” at Blue Note Bakery. She is a Professional Pastry Chef & a 1993 Graduate of Johnson & Wales University. Over the years she has been the Pastry Chef at Dell, Moose’s in San Francisco, Vespaio here in Austin as well as a Pastry Instructor at The Culinary Academy of Austin. Angela has been in the Pastry profession since 1990, loves what she does & believes each cake & dessert should be a work of edible art.“I love the Austin music scene & how diverse & unique the Austinite palate is for food & the arts,” says Angi.

Well put! We love being a part of the small business community just as much! And of course our favorite cake is her latest Austin-ish creation: the Airstream Cake!

Loving Buntings!

I've been seeing buntings everywhere lately! There are some super cute ones available on Etsy, and I've seen some good tutorials on the Craft Blog, this one is my favorite for a greeting card! Inspired by all this I made one for Valentine's Day and hung it before my husband woke up, he was impressed.

I created the design in Illustrator and added some special touches, like a message along the bottom that was sweet and personal. I then just printed it out on regular 8.5 x 11 in. cardstock and cut them in half. Got a red gros grain ribbon and used my sewing machine to sew the ribbon onto the cards.It was super easy and looked really nice on V-day, I've kept it up all week! Since it was a surprise I couldn't publish this post til after V-day, so keep it in mind for an idea next year! Or for any occasion, birthday, anniversary, mother's day, or just as a surprise to brighten your day!