31 October 2008

Shop Update: Alice and Jane

Since my shop is still associated with Alice Gocco prints I did when first starting out (you can still see an example on Flickr), I thought it was worth noting I listed some Alice pins in the shop today (you can see the new set here and another set here).

Also, thanks to several blog features, the kraft Jane Austen Moleskine has proven really popular! I'm so glad it was a success and wanted to let people know there is only one more left in the shop. That's right, just one! With Gocco supplies being scarce I'm not sure when they will come 'round again.

Thanks to those who have connected with my literary leanings!

Friday Finds: Yellow Fawn Pin

I'm in love with this little leather pin from The Illuminated Owl. Wouldn't it be incredibly sweet on a little tweed blazer or wool coat?

30 October 2008

Slow and Steady Wins the Race

These days I'm trying to remind myself that things don't get resolved all at once, that change and comfort come slowly, that I can take time to stop and enjoy the little things. The turtle should be my totem animal, I think.

{Turtle buttons available in the shop.}

29 October 2008

The Amazing Elsita

I saw this on Flickr and just had to contact artist Elsa Mora, otherwise known as Elsita, so I could share it here. It is such amazing work and so appropriate for this week!

Elsita does amazing papercuts and inspired me to try the same (you can see my attempts here and here). Her creativity never fails to astound me--- little girls and apples and lit jack o' lanterns? Charming.

You can check out Elsita's blog here and her Etsy shop here.

28 October 2008

Good Dog. Stay.

After my wonderfully strange dream about George the other night, I picked up the book Good Dog. Stay. by Anna Quindlen. She recounts her elderly dog Beau's decline and her choice to put him down. And well, I snuggled with Chesney and Bear on the couch and read it in one sitting, sniffling the way through.

If you've ever lost a dog, I highly recommend this book.

A quick excerpt:

Human beings wind up having the relationship with dogs that they fool themselves they will have with other people. When we are very young, it is the perfect communion we honestly believe we will have with a lover; when we are older, it is the symbiosis we manage to fool ourselves we will always have with our children. Love unconditional, attention unwavering, companionship without question or criticism.

26 October 2008

The Secret Whistle

I had the best dream last night.

In the dream we had three little daughters, and they were inconsolable about something. Suddenly Billy decides to give a secret whistle, and our dog George (whom we lost to canine bone cancer in May 2007) comes prancing around the corner, wiggling with joy. He nuzzles all three girls, cheers them up, and then . . .

dashes into a random voting booth in our living room and VOTES FOR OBAMA.

George comes back out of the booth, looks at us lovingly and wags his tail, and then dashes off into the sunset.

I woke Billy up at like 4 AM to to recount this all for him, and his response was "Well, what does the whistle sound like?!" If only we really knew.

A Bunny for All Seasons

Winter white and autumn brown, plus two more for summer and spring. Now in the shop.

Built By Baby Steps

I finally managed to get this dress cut out yesterday . . . only to realize that I had no matching thread nor any of the other required notions, nor did I have the energy to run to the fabric store as it was closing. Oh, well.

25 October 2008

Finds: Cuckoo Clocks

After my post below, I continued waxing nostalgic for my childhood cuckoo clock . . . and then I found the very one on Etsy!

Alas, it is way out of my budget. But it is lovely. And someone should love it. I'm also a big fan of this alternative budget version by decoylab, especially since it is Gocco'ed:

Love the cheery folk motif and the bright orange. There are also several other colors available in their shop.

Woodland Buttons

I have this childhood memory of a old cuckoo clock we had in our house in Vermont, and it drives me crazy that I don't know what happened to that great little piece of furniture . . . I'd really love one hanging in our kitchen.

Regardless, I have always associated cuckoo clocks with autumn and charming little woodland creatures. Maybe because they are all things that I love. I whipped up a little set of these free associations and listed them in the shop. They are available as pinback buttons or as magnets.

Curried Roasted Pumpkin Seeds

We spent last night carving a pumpkin, drinking beer (Fat Tire, if you can get it where you are I highly recommend their 1554 brew), and watching Mr. Smith Goes to Washington, because it makes a girl hopeful this election season).

I also roasted up some spicy pumpkin seeds, the true reason I get excited about carving pumpkins. I tossed this together sort of randomly, but here is a basic recipe:

1 to 1 and 1/2 cups pumpkin seeds
1 tbsp olive oil (some recipes also suggest 1 egg white, but we were out of eggs)
1 tsp curry powder
1 tsp salt (or reduce to taste)
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper

Toss pumpkin seeds in olive oil to coat. Combine rest of ingredients; toss again to coat. Spread in a single layer on a baking sheet and roast in 375 degree oven for twenty minutes, tossing once halfway through. Store in an airtight container once cool, or snack on them while enjoying your beer.

24 October 2008

Friday Finds: Atherton Lin

I love this calendar from Atherton Lin. I love this calendar from Atherton Lin. Can I say how much I loooooooove this calendar from Atherton Lin? Because it's also a story book, and in their words:

At the centre of the story is a hero who climbs trees, makes recordings, wears corduroy and writes letters. There is a fox in the snow and a badger who chases a balloon. There are trains and radios and anoraks and birds and lucky totems and apartment buildings. There are long summer days indoors and imaginary adventures.

Anything involving great illustration, corduroy and badgers is alright by me!

22 October 2008


I need new clothes. Badly. But I am also broke and told myself that if there was a pile of fabric and patterns in the closet, I could (should) make them . . .
So this Built By Wendy pattern has been sitting on the ironing board for almost a week. The ironing board I bought, erm, just for sewing. Because otherwise I don't iron. Eventually I want to make the longer dress in red. It will be cute, right? If only I get around to actually doing it.

Instead of actually sewing this morning, I made sewing-themed buttons and listed them in the shop.

First Frost

The "Frost" cards are now in the Holiday section of the shop!

On another note, a huge thank for to Ez at Creature Comforts for posting the Jane Austen notebook. I have admired her blog for so long and was tickled pink!

21 October 2008

What Now?

Over the past few months we've been through a lot of transition--- a move away from our comfort zone and friends to a new state, new jobs, the hope of a new pregnancy and the loss of that pregnancy, and my attempt to go half-time with Paper Menagerie just as the nation's economy tanked.

This is not a post with the intention to whine. In fact, I'm quite proud of the way Billy and I have dealt with these adjustments, and I'm also proud of the fact that usually I'm a worrier, a person who operates and makes choices based on practicality and fear. I like a plan, and I like to feel that that plan is failproof. But I have not let myself give into all that this time . . . yet. And I'm trying not to.

All these things have been kicking around in my head a lot lately, and despite the fact that I'm proud and hopeful, I also give into frustration and depression sometimes. Wandering around at the library, I was drawn to the book What Now? by Ann Patchett. This was originally a commencement speech that Patchett delivered as Sarah Lawrence, and I admit, I'm sort of a sucker for those sorts of things.

But what really resonated with me what the post-college journey that Patchett described: the transition from being so darn sure about everything, to floundering in waitressing jobs, to going back to graduate school for lack of a better answer, to the acceptance of being less sure but happy in your travels. It's a journey I can relate to and am trying to be better about accepting.

A quick excerpt, and not even the best part:

Every choice lays down a trail of bread crumbs, so that when you look behind you there appears to be a very clear path that points straight to the place where you stand. But when you look ahead there isn't a bread crumb in sight--- there are just a few shrubs, a bunch of trees, a handful of skittish woodland creatures. You glance from left to right and find no indication of where you're supposed to go. And so you stand there, sniffing the wind, looking for directional clues in the growth patterns of moss, and you think What now?

19 October 2008

Hip to be Homemade

I know the posts have been featured on new work lately, and I apologize for that, especially since I went on a rant about product-centered blogs recently. I promise to have a recipe (probably for roasted pumpkin seeds) up real soon, I promise.

But I really, really wanted to share my excitement over my first print press--- an article in The Albuquerque Journal profiling local Etsy artisans! That's is me in the picture. I'm making buttons and my precious Gocco is in the background.

18 October 2008

A few times in my life . . .

. . . I have ended up at events that have defied explanation or reason. Pugtoberfest would be one of those times.

Places I Long to Be in Autumn

My two favorite East Coast cities. All made from vintage papers, all available in the shop.

Things I Want to Do This Weekend

1) Attend Pugtoberfest, the ridiculous local Halloween parade of pugs. It starts in two hours!
2)Vote early. It's part of my candidate's strategy in this swing state.
3) Iron the gorgeous red fabric I picked up on sale and finally make that Built by Wendy dress. I've been hanging on to the pattern for ages.
4) Pick up a pumpkin, carve it, and make chili-roasted pumpkin seeds. Anyone know a good recipe?

I guess I'd better get crackin'.

17 October 2008

Friday Finds: Pardon My Vintage

So I don't really care that I already did the "Friday Finds" post today, because after the Mad Men reference, sharing these just seems so timely. They could so be in an elegant mid-century modern home.

I discovered Pardon My Vintage via dooce and boy does she have some amazing things. The hard thing about vintage is the driving need to scoop it up right away before it's gone. Unfortunately I cannot give these dishes a home right now, but there is practically a complete set in the shop--- someone should snap them up!

Midnight and Silver

In the past few months I've become obsessed with the television series Mad Men and early 1960s vintage. I love the deep blue and silver I see in housewares and clothes from that era.

I've worked on a new set of Gocco prints this morning using that color scheme--- midnight blue paper with silvery pine needles and seeds floating away from a pine cone. The text floats down along with the seeds, reading "Happy, happy holidays."

They'll be bundled up and listed in the Holiday section of the shop as soon as they are dry.

Friday Finds: Peace Tote by EcoWorks

I love the simplicity of this recycled cotton tote by EcoWorks. Peaceful message, peaceful design.

15 October 2008

Hey Put Your Records On

I made these while drinking coffee and listening to Pandora this morning. It was a good morning.

These can be pins or magnets and would make great stocking stuffers for the vinyl-head in your life. They're available in the shop.

Speaking of records, what are your favorites as of late? I'd love to check out some new music. Fall always makes me want to hibernate and absorb all sorts of new media.

13 October 2008

You'll Never Know

If you have not read The Rhetorical Question on Dooce yet, you should.

There's so much we'll never know.

Found Paper Gift Tags

I've been playing around more and more with vintage and found papers and whipped up some gift tags for the holidays. They're made of archival cardstock with cutouts of vintage images--- all attached with a little metal eyelet.

You can find them in the "Holiday" section of the shop.

More Free Flair Pictures

The pictures from the Free Flair Giveaway are still trickling in. Thank you to everyone for sending them! Here are some more for your viewing pleasure.

Here's a little feline model courtesy of Jamie from Magic Bean Buyer.

Jessica of Reclaimed to You (and my old street team, Boston Handmade) pinned her little flower flair to a bag for everyday use.

I know from experience that these pins are not easy to photograph, and I know how busy we all are. Thanks to everyone who sent in pictures!

11 October 2008

Diana Camera: First Look

Well, I am not very pleased with these photos, but I am an amateur and I promised to post my first Diana camera results, so here are the ones I'm happiest with.

These were taken at the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta last weekend. I haven't digitally enhanced them, only scanned and cropped the prints since the photo shop neglected to do so (and that is a frustration for another post--- if anyone could recommend a good local lab or mail-away processing, I would be grateful!).

I do like the way the film captured the sunrise in a way my digital camera did not.

The mass ascension was really pretty--- the balloons kept alighting in waves.

I like the colors in this shot, but they are pretty muted--- I think I had the aperture on the wrong setting.

I cannot explain this creepy Ronald McDonald balloon. Who could possibly think that is good advertising?

Up and away they go!

The sky was full of them by the end of the morning. This is only part of the crew.

Well, those are my first results. I have to allow myself to play and not worry about what will be my next craft with Gocco disappearing. I just need time to fool around in a variety of media.

If anyone has any Diana tips (or just film photography tips in general), I would love it if you would post below!

10 October 2008

Friday Finds: Terrariums from Made by Mavis

In this desert landscape, it's my goal to slowly collect lots of lovely houseplants. I've blogged about terrariums before (here and here and here), and I adore these little ones by Made by Mavis. The simplicty of moss! The inspired containers! I love them all.
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