Square Credit Card Reader 3D Printed Hinged Case Keychain by C Westbrook Designs


Selling at craft fairs with a Square is awesome, but I was always misplacing the darned thing. Christina Westbrook (C Westbrook Designs) of San Francisco made my life a lot easier. I bought one of these as a necklace last year in pink and it’s much easier to find now when I need it. The keychain design is new and equally handy. I meant to sing the praises of this product earlier, but I had dropped the blog ball. Hats off to you!

Hip to hold Square:
C Westbrook Designs

2012 Week 2: Hedgehodgepodge

So far so good with the resolutions. I’m holding steady and I’m finding that I have a bit more energy and I want to eat better since we started working out with the Wii Fit Plus. Here’s to keeping the La De Blog resolution!

Letters to Santa - BeanElf.org

I neglected to mention in my last post one thing that ruled about 2011. My friend Rhea told me about the USPS Letters to Santa program. I organized a trip with co-workers to go to the USPS and pick out some Letters to Santa to answer. They had done the trip the year before and I had done something similar with my old job but for a shelter, so I wanted to continue the tradition of giving back. What happens is that the USPS chooses letters from needy children and families (determined by factors including zip codes, what the letters ask for, etc.) and participating locations have boxes of the letters for “elves” to pick from and answer. I chose two letters; one for Zachary and I to answer and one for friends and I to answer. Pictured above is the pile of gifts that friends and I purchased to answer our letter. If a USPS branch near you is participating and you’d like to do something special over the holidays, I highly suggest that you be an elf next Christmas season. The site gives a lot more information about it. It was so much fun to pull together all the gifts, but it was a lot of work. In 2012, I’m going to buy generic type stuff like crayons, coloring books, games, etc. early when I see them on sale.

One of my favorite purchases of 2011 was from my neighbor mikinora at the Madison Glitter Craftacular. This is what I bought: spike earrings. I think they look like little hedgehogs all balled up. I rarely wear earrings, but the times I’ve worn these, I’ve received a ton of compliments.

Weekly Roundup: 5 Favorite Midwest makers

Hang art from your neck
Cursive Design

Illustrations full of whimsy

Hammered wire for wearing
Mano Y Metal

Cute coats for canines
Mad Dog Cookies

Vegan accessories that stand the test of time
Miss Alison

Films watched 2nd week of the year:

Margin Call
Attack the Block
Sorry, Thanks
The Parking Lot Movie*
Rise of the Planet of the Apes
The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest
The Art of Getting By
The Queen


Attack the Block was my favorite film of the week and I didn’t even think I would like it. Street kids in England fight glow-in-the-dark toothed aliens. Pretty great, actually. I am doing a challenge on Goodreads in the fiftyfiveme group here. I know that seeing 50 new to me films will be no problem, but finding the time to read 50 new books…we’ll see about that one. I just started Book 2 at the end of Week 2.

Books finished 2nd week of the year:

    Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? (And Other Concerns)

by Mindy Kaling

Sorry to Tina Fey, but I LOLed so many more times at this book. Mindy is definitely the kind of person I am friends with. I love that she is totally a nerd, but enjoys pop culture. I bought Joni Mitchell’s Blue while reading this book.

Newness is goodness.

If you go to a lot of local fairs or sell at a lot of them, you tend to see a lot of the same sellers over and over again. While this can be comforting, it’s good to try something new once in awhile. I received a message on Etsy asking me if I’d like to sell at the St. Berchmans Fall Festival and Craft Fair. While I was raised Catholic, I’ve been agnostic longer, so I admit I was a bit skeptical in taking part. I firmly believe it’s your right to have faith in whatever you choose, but I don’t have to agree with it. The Catholic church I went to through high school preached that practicing homosexuals were going to hell. A large part of the reason I left the church was when one of my best friends came out to me and I wrestled with the thought: “Why is it okay for me to pursue a partner and not okay for my friend to pursue hers?”  I decided not to let my experience with one church dictate my opinion of all Catholic churches, so I ended up doing the craft fair.

When I arrived to set up, I received offers from total strangers also selling if I’d like help carrying my stuff in. It was a welcome change from the usual big fairs I do where everyone’s eyes are on the prize and it’s rare that you are asked if you need help. I knew no one else selling at the fair, which is a rarity, but Lauren, currently of Swell Goods (and Cutie Cooties), happened to come in since it was in her neighborhood. Another friend stopped in and hung out for awhile. The fair was a little slow and few sold anything for the first three hours of the four hour long fair, but the last hour picked up and I ending up making a profit. In the mean time, I met some very nice fellow sellers and customers and had good conversations with them. I had one customer buy four toddler tees for her grandchildren without batting an eyelash. I believe that’s a new record for me on number of clothing items sold to one buyer. Below are some of my favorite sellers from the fair. One seller, K’s Kreations by Krystle Ansay, was selling beautiful ceramics, but does not have a website. There was also one woman there; Shannon Rohde, selling books from Usborne Books & More, which are all really unique and beautifully illustrated children’s books. A lot of the books had fun interactive parts for stimulating kid’s brains (think Pat the Bunny). I ended up buying one as a Christmas present for one of my friend’s children. I hope he likes it!

Light as a feather:

Help kids GROW up:

It’s a bird, it’s a plane…it’s something cute!

Gifts for brew loving dudes & dudettes

When I first met my boyfriend Zachary, I had maybe had the combined total of 2 beers in my life. As our dating matured, so did his taste for craft brews. Seeing how much he loved the stuff, I wondered if maybe there was something I was missing after the watery stuff I had consumed in the past. Turns out that I really like stouts; beers as black as night. There’s a craft beer explosion these days and, especially being a crafter, I am on board. Heck, my newest card is inspired by beer, but that will come next post. Here’s a round-up of a few things that a beer aficionado you know might like; a beer stocking that would be the perfect home for a Southern Tier Choklat this Christmas; vegan beer soap made in Chicago by my buddy Jack; and a shirt for beer snobs so they’ll look cool on their next brewery tour. Enjoy responsibly, of course.

Stalking the perfect stocking:

Beer in the bathroom:

Booze tees are better than band tees:

Handmade Ceramic Owl by Spotted Owl Pottery

Once in a blue moon I’ll go through Etsy’s Pounce feature, which allows you to check out items that just sold (good to see what people are buying) or brand new shops that have yet to have a sale. Usually looking at the new shops that have just opened does little for me, but these hooty hoos caught my eye. I know owls are such a cliche in the craft world, but I will always be fascinated by them. This ceramic artist has representations of many different types in soft and beautiful color ranges. It seems that he is updating his shop as I type this as new owls keep appearing. Make his day and give him his first sale. Owl bet that he’ll be popular on Etsy!

Hoo do you do?

Two Cement Artisans: DrCraze & Lulubugjewelry

I promise to get back in the game and post at least once a week from here on out. It’s not that I haven’t been inspired by beautiful handmade items lately, because I have. I’ve just been very busy making Rhymes with Twee stuff and selling at craft shows and I had a bout of bronchitis gone wild. As always, I had THE best time at Crafty Bastards in Washington, DC. This year I split a table with my lovely friend Jessica of Miss Chief Shop. I feel like it’s probably not blogged about too much since it’s rather a taboo subject, but I feel like it’s important to note that we were waitlisted this year, but still made it in. It’s hard to be rejected or waitlisted, but it happens to all of us. I will not deny that my heart was broken that I didn’t immediately get into my hometown show for a fourth year, but I knew I could not to take it personally because there are a great number of factors that go into picking artistans for a craft show, especially one as small as Crafty Bastards. We were thrilled to make it in at the (rather) last minute. Will I apply again? Heck yes. For other fairs I have been rejected from, I tend to take the “If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again” route. This year it worked and I made it into one that I’d been rejected from twice or thrice before. So, don’t stop believing!

On to the eye candy! These artists who use concrete as their medium in the jewelry that they made are totally rocking my world. Both make extremely different styles, yet both are so appealing. DrCraze, based in Elephant Butte, New Mexico, makes simple but striking designs out of stainless steel. He then fills the designs with concrete and crushed or pulverized glass which has been recovered from local beaches. His last step is grounding the piece to smooth the finish so it’s ready to wear. Sue Urquhart (aka LuLu Bug Jewelry), of Santa Rosa, California, makes pieces out of Precious Metal Clay (PMC) and etched brass plates she makes to give the pieces texture. Also, her blog is just lovely. This hedgehog necklace is going on my Christmas wish list because it’s one of the cutest representations of a hedgie I’ve ever seen in necklace form.

Crazed for Concrete:

Bug on over to:

3D Bronze Tarsier Skull Pendant by Moon Raven Designs

I tend to stick to cute over here at the RWT: la de blog, but I am fascinated with this incredible 3D Bronze Tarsier Skull Pendant by Moon Raven Designs. Mike, residing in Brentwood Bay in British Columbia, Canada, casts his jewelry from the actual skulls, talons, teeth, claws, and other bony body parts of animals who died of natural causes. What results is art that is wearable and wondrous. Tarsiers are one of my very favorite animals and their skulls are very distinctive. Look at how huge the eye sockets are! If you don’t know what a tarsier is, then I advise you to go watch one of the many youtube videos of these adorable alien-like creatures right now.

Om nom noming to get you: