hottest august ever.

let me preface this post by saying to all you craft folks that carry on several blogs at the same time, i don't know how you do it. i've had plenty of time this week to write, have badly wanted to write, and am just now actually taking the time. so hats off to those of you that find time for more than just one! i'm amazed by you.we went to lazy days in cary on saturday:
and let me tell you, for those who are not familiar with august in raleigh, it is hot. really hot. so hot you're not sure you can breathe the air and you don't even want to move and there's sweat rolling down your back hot. (if you're wondering if the girl with the tiny rear end in the white shorts is me, i'm going to just go ahead and let you think that it is). so of course, there was no parking anywhere near downtown cary, so we walked quite a while before we even got to the walking where the interesting stuff was... and we couldn't help but wonder why they keep having this thing in august in north carolina? they know how hot it is by now, this is not the first year. we decided they should just go ahead and change the name to sweaty days. or keep it lazy days because after an hour or two out there you're too lazy to do anything else with your day.

i came home and took a nap.

but it was nice to see that so many different types of crafters were doing so well, and interesting to walk around comparing prices and display ideas, etc. we stopped and got an egg salad sandwich at blue moon bakery and it was wonderful. we got our fantastically delicious wedding cake there, and even though we don't go to cary that often, like to stop in whenever we can (or whenever we have an occasion for cake- which is easy to find if you look hard enough!)

i'm not sure who to hold responsible for the fact that i am just now discovering the loveliness that is marie claire idees magazine or how i knew to look for it the other day in borders, but oh wow... unbelievable. i didn't have any spare cash to take home the one copy they had, so i resorted to being that weird girl that tries to covertly take a picture of one of the pages that had a really inspiring idea (one of the great benefits of being obsessed with and permanently attached to my powershot).

besides getting to brush up on my french by trying to read it, it is crammed full of unspeakably cool handcrafted ideas for self and home that are so wonderfully simple, so wonderfully french, so wonderfully do-able. you know when you read some idea books/magazines and, even if they include instructions for the projects, you just know that you will never actually be able to pull it off exactly how it looks in the picture? well, everything in here gave you the delicious feeling of being able to make something exactly the way you're picturing the perfect outcome in your head as you read. it doesn't hurt that the french have that inexplicable way of taking something completely ordinary and making it beautiful and useful and special. i honestly don't know where my affection for all things french came from or where it's eventually going, but this magazine is really incredible.


stack o books and a date night.

we did one of my absolute favorite things last night... matt had to study for his real estate licensing exam, so we went to barnes and nobles, got coffee (and cupcakes), and parked at a table with a pile of notes to study for him and a pile of books to browse for me. we used to do this all the time back when he was finishing his master's thesis, but we hadn't gone in months. we sit, engrossed in our own little worlds, until one of us makes a comment about the music playing in the store... or a random thought... or something we'd just read. i love having my feet propped on his chair, a pile of books i know i won't finish (i only made it through 2 and a half of these), and us both trying to make the other laugh and break the library-like bookstore decorum. i may have to insist we reinstate these date nights more frequently, as i'm actually very interested in what a swedish interior looks like.cupcakes never last long when we're involved.

some of the books weren't really that great. "handmade for profit" seemed about 20 years out of date, and actually recommended selling plain old dried flowers as a fall back when your sales are low because apparently, hey, everyone will always need dried flowers. (what?)

"organizing your craft space" was nice because it featured so many different kinds of craft rooms (wall to wall quilting fabric, more rubber stamps than you could use in one lifetime, crafty shabby chic, galvanized tin bucket industrial, etc.) some of the ideas were good, some were impractical, and some of those pictures were craft-room crack. i discovered that anna corba has already put into existence my dream craft room. that, and a mixture of all the twinkle lights that sally jean alexander uses, as seen in the very inspiring "pretty little things." oh, if only soldering were as simple and glitch-free as she makes it seem... and i think the most driving thing about these ladies is that they can and have actually made a living (a fairly decent living, one suspects) at this crafty handmade thing.

on a much less happy note, my heart goes out to alicia of posy gets cozy. i was telling my husband, it's a little strange sometimes, this little blog-land where i read about and am interested in people that i don't *really* know at all. but i can't stand to even think about losing my girl and will give her an extra tight snuggle after reading that post tonight.

time for a little midnight snack, and then heading off to get some sleep.


mailing list!

i felt like i had a totally unproductive day yesterday (other than getting my hair trimmed, which i desperately needed) so i stayed up really late last night working on things. we stayed up until about 4 am, which is not entirely unusual for us on a weekend. i got some new notecard sets and some gift tag enclosures done, two of which were christmas themed. never too early to start planning! i can't believe it will be here before we know it.

i started working on my mailing list too, getting some postcards that i'd had printed prettied up and ready to send:

don't worry, the addresses are all blurred for privacy in internetland. this is the first big mailing i've done other than the couple of invitations for the launch party i threw which was really more like an open house. nothing beats a piece of hand-written mail, and i absolutely love using tea-dyed address label stickers. they're time-intensive, but so worth it!

(by the way, if you'd like to be on this list please send a little hello with your mailing address to me at ellebeestudio[at]hotmail.com and tell me. i'd LOVE to have you!)

speaking of christmas coming soon, i think i've been accepted for mistletoe market in november. i'm assuming them cashing my check equates to my acceptance? i'll have lots of work to do stocking up (no pun intended) and making sure i have a good mix of regular stuff and christmasey stuff available. thing one... get my soldering iron fixed so i can make loads more soldered ornaments! i have some notecards, gift tags, and miscellaneous ornaments, and i'll probably get a few scarves done, hopefully. these little bad boys are what i'm most excited about making... they are fairly quick and easy to do while watching a movie, and absolutely sparkle on the tree:

i made a set for my mom last year and she loved them. this year has gone by so quickly, it's hard to imagine that we're almost at christmas again. maybe we'll actually get some snow this year...


new camera!

time for an early anniversary present! i had wanted a little compact digital camera for awhile, and with our anniversary trip to paris coming up, we figured it would be a good time to go ahead and get one (that, and a sale at amazon). a lot of the pictures on these recent posts have been from this little guy. it's exactly what i wanted in a small digital, and i'm having lots of fun getting to know it. (by the way, yes i did feel silly taking a picture of one camera with the other, but i wanted some size reference).

on another happy note... updates at the shop! i'm testing out some new lovelies like collaged coasters, and trying to get some projects finished up and ready to list. it's making for a really fun, eclectic mix. i love that i started out listing jewelry, and then the floodgates just sort of opened up to all the other things i really enjoy making.

i imagine this is not the last paris-themed item that will emerge from the studio these days...

in shopping news, my mom was in town this weekend and we braved the mall during tax-free weekend to hit the local sephora to find a certain eyeliner. well, i had forgotten how much i love "makeup mecca" as we called it in high school, maybe it's because it's kind of like painting with little tiny brushes and wands, but i really do love makeup. i could easily waste a big chunk of time and money in there if given the chance.

also, i've been on the search for the perfect (affordable) purple dress for my best friend's upcoming wedding in september. this one is my favorite so far. purple's not a color i'm typically drawn to wearing, but it's funny how much more you see something when you're actually looking for it. for instance, on the cover of this month's lucky magazine and in bunches of fall trend predictions. and let's don't lie, you know if i had an unlimited budget for such things, this one would definitely be hanging in my closet by now! i have pale gold accessories in mind, something like these shoes since it's a beach wedding, and the finishing touch... an armload of thin jangly bracelets. i'm also going to be designing and making necklaces for all of her bridesmaids, so i'm super excited to get some ideas flowing with her about that! i'll definitely get some pictures posted of them.


a new obsession

i've really gotten into the idea of hand-carving stamps, which i had experimented with a bit a few weeks back, so i thought i'd troll around on flickr a little bit and see if anything interesting popped up. well, yet again, i am completely amazed and obsessed at the cool things people are doing and making and posting pictures of on flickr. (one might also say this blog is becoming a bit of an obsession. yay!)

so this is the cool stuff i found...

scripty scrolls ... unbelievable detail ... simple and graphic ...

i thought this was an olive ... mini genius ... oh wow ...

all the seasons ... repeating image pattern ... so smart! ...

i like the mirror image ... sticker-making ... definitely my favorite!

this list isn't quite as extensive as the cupcake list, but still lots of fun to compile. there's just something about stamps that intrigues me. all that positive and negative space. plus, actually carving them is completely soothing and addictive. i started out by getting just a few hi-polymer erasers because they're super soft and easy to carve, but i'd love to get a speedball block for making bigger designs.

now my mind is going miles a minute. hand-stamped, gift tags, wrapping paper, regular paper, stickers, notecards, labels, a fun little faux postage stamp... looks like maybe the stamped envelopes from last year might be full blown stamped christmas cards this year!


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