Toadstool Love

Lately I've noticed that my love of all things cupcake has subsided slightly, giving way to a new love; all things toadstool. I keep finding great little bits here and there that are covered in mushroomy goodness and I can't help but take them home. I've found tiny spun cotton toadstools on etsy and larger crepe paper ones at the World Market, sweet little magnets and clips in yellow and red in Japantown, and postcards, notebooks, and wall hangers in a fantastic little boutique by the lake called Urban Indigo. But wait! There's more!
I finished another thing on the apartment to-do list. I painted and hung the shelf of my dreams above my bed with some help from Dennis. I got it for 14 dollars at a craft store and painted it white, then I painted the pegs red and added white polkadots: insta-toadstools! I'm using it to hang all my scarves and display all my fun little plushies and other junk I like to look at. I got the toadstool kaleidoscope and Playmobil mushroom dude from work, naturally. I just love working at the toy store but I have way too many little toys now, lol.


Christmas-y Goodness

I think this year I was a little slow when it came to getting the house decorated for Christmas. Usually I get it done in the first week of Decemeber so I have lots of time to enjoy it, but I've been so busy! But I did manage to set aside some time with Dennis and the cat to make a garland for the kitchen while we drank hot cocoa and watched Prancer.

I know, everyone makes fun of me for liking that movie so much but it really is one of my favorites this time of year. Also on the list is Christmas Vacation, A Christmas Story, It's a Wonderful Life, and of course all the old Rudolph claymations.
Anywho, on to the garland. I got a package of dried orange slices last year at a farm shop near my parent's house and I had an idea to make a garland with them. I always see these amazing garlands in magazines made from whole walnuts or nutmeg and knotted ribbon and I've always wanted one, but I also wanted something colorful and nice enough to leave up year-round.

So I was shopping for presents at World Market and I found packets of whole nutmeg for a dollar each and I got 5 of them. I borrowed Dennis and his drill and he helped me drill holes in the center of each of them. The whole house smelled like nutmeg! Then I picked out a ton of red, green, white, clear, and turquoise vintage beads from my stash and grabbed some deep red linen embroidery floss.

To start, I threaded a long needle and sewed thru one side of an orange slice and tied the thread with a few square knots. Then I threaded 5-6 different colors of beads and then a nutmeg, more beads, another nutmeg, then more beads. Then I sewed thru the side of another orange slice and tied off the thread tight. I kept going until I used up all the orange slices and the resulting garland is super long and smells heavenly, and it looks super cute with the little holiday vignettes I put up in the built-ins. I especially like how the orange slices look when light shines thru them, kind of like little stained glass windows.

I can't believe those little trees were $2.50 at Target. There were only a few left when I found them and I should have bought them all, what was I thinking?! Oh well. The little deer are from the toy store where I work.
And the tree is covered with all the old ornaments Angela and I had. Very cozy this year, just the way we like it.



Sorry it took me so long to post this, but I've been working 9-10 hour days at the toystore the past few weeks and by the time I get home I don't have any energy left! It's great that the store is busy, though. And what makes it even better is that my boytoy Dennis is working there with me now while he's on the hunt for a more permanent possition elsewhere and we have lots of fun together.

Anywho, my first craft fair was a complete success in my eyes; Monica made a ton of deliciously-scented flax-filled eye pillows out of Japanese fabrics and flannel, and I brought my etsy wares along with some new earrings, owls, and scarves, and we ended up making about 100 dollars each! Not quite the sold-out fantasy I had in mind, but good enough for me since a little extra cash goes a long way this time of year. But even better than the money was the experience I got - I met tons of amazing artists and even got to trade for some of their wares. I love trading with people so much! I have to give a shout-out to my new crafty buddy and etsy seller JaneBox, whose booth was my absolute favorite at the craft fair and I'm so sad I didn't snap a picture of it, but go check out her etsy store! She was kind enough to trade me a couple of her a-freakin-dorable quail egg candles in a sweet little moss-filled nest for one of my owl pincushions! I love them sooo much!
Also, we were sharing the table with an amazing artist who had traveled across Europe and kept a journal of watercolor paintings. They were stunning, and my favorites were some still lifes she did of some figs when she was laid up in Greece with a sprained ankle. I almost bought them straight away, but I figured I'd wait till the end of the night. She sold 2 of the 3 almost immediately and I knew the last one was meant to be mine. It was freezing cold in the open and airy studio the fair was in, and I was making scarves to sell out of chunky yarn while we sat there. She didn't have a coat so I let her wear one and at the end of the night I asked if she would trade me for the fig painting and she said yes! She chose a citron yellow sarf and a camera case and I got the most lovely painting of hers. I'm going to have my roommate frame it and hang it in the kitchen!
I can't wait to do some of the summer craft fairs next year! Monica has a lot of connections and friends in the oakland art scene so hopefully she'll get more word about some fun little events we can get into.
I'm going to post a little how-to later on for a cute christmas garland and I'll show off all the cute decorations we put up. Happy holidays!


Very Last Minute

I got invited to share a booth with a friend of mine at a craft fair that's on the circuit for the first friday art walk in downtown Oakland. I found out about it wednesday night and have been crafting like crazy since. It's Friday, Dec. 5th from 3-10 pm at The Warehouse Red Door Gallery at 416 26th Street. Come out and see us if you can, it's bound to be a good time. Pics will come later for sure.