a very happy birthday

...a dinner with family, a dinner with friends... more desserts than a girl should be able to eat... a glass of wine... a bottle of lovely perfume from my husband... a new cd in my car... phone messages full of birthday wishes... and my own little pink and white cake, the most delicious cake ever. what a great way to turn 24!

i have the day off work tomorrow and plan to spend it snuggled up on the couch, eating leftover cake and posting a large much-needed update to the shop! so feel free to stop by and see what's new, including some christmas items... see you there!


happy thanksgiving!

sorry for the huge lull in writing! typepad had been having some log in issues for me, but i think it was my laptop causing the problem.

i popped right out of bed thanksgiving morning since there was still a pumpkin pie, two green bean casseroles and a pan of rolls that needed to be baked in time for thanksgiving lunch at noon. i left matt snoozing and let a hyper-morning puppy out to the backyard to see such a beautiful sunny fall-colored day!

we did double-duty this year for the first time in awhile, having lunch with my family and dinner with matt's, which all in all made for a really nice day full of lots of unbelievable food. people joke about gaining 10 pounds in one day, but seriously, the diet will begin right after my birthday tomorrow (because let's be honest, who's going to not indulge on their birthday, right?)

i did color my hair the night before as planned, but had to laugh when i got in the car, carrying a tray of covered casseroles and such that the leaves had fallen on, that i dyed my hair the exact color of a fall leaf! i spent the rest of the day showing it off to everybody because i thought it was hilarious.

it must be something about having a late-november birthday, but i've always been opposed to starting any christmas decorating until december 1st, but i admit it's getting hard this year to resist when i have seen so many cute ideas in the past few days! i was looking through martha stewart to see if i could find an idea she posted last year about a mini stocking garland that i was thinking of making into an advent calendar, and happened across a great blog that i have heard of but never read before... amanda from soulemama had made her own version that is really beautiful (plus she has three adorable kids that love to craft as well... i really love her style, and her pictures pretty much sum up everything i want in life right now).

so yes, lots of garlands... a yo yo garland, a stuffed stars garland, a paper hearts garland, and a blanket stitch garland... not to mention these delicious japanese-style ornaments and such of various types from wool felt.

off now to begin birthday celebrations... after a year or two of not really knowing what a "grown up" birthday celebration is supposed to look like... sweet but not cheesy, fun but not silly, a bit of wine and a bit of birthday cake... i think i finally found it!


thinking christmas yet?

if you're planning ahead enough to actually make some of your christmas gifts by hand this year and need some ideas, inspiration, and maybe a few detailed photo tutorials to tell you how to do it, i highly recommend checking out the sew, mama, sew! blog. the ladies over there have put together an incredible handmade gift-making guide... not just one gift idea for each day through november, but one gift theme each day with multiple gift ideas! my favorite so far is november 16th, gifts for the crafter (mostly because i really want to make myself a roll-up keeper for my crochet needles. shame shame! i'm supposed to be making gifts for others). but there are tons of ideas for several types of recipients that are probably on everybody's list (ie: crafty things, baby things and clothes for the kiddos, super-organizational things, and home decor things). there are direct links to the tutorials, most of which are super detailed and have step-by-step directions and photos, which is good for me. if i see pictures i can generally figure things out or flub my way through it, but if i have to read instructions i'll just glaze over them and never really understand what they're saying (cough cough **visual learner** cough cough).

even if you're not planning to make them in time for christmas, it is a good reference to have some great tutorials all gathered up for you. i've posted two of my favorites below on the left hand side under "patterns and tutorials" for my own future reference, the book cover and the dishtowel potholder. enjoy!

thanksgiving, a birthday, and other november-y things

this week i'm sorry to say has not been too exciting around here. lots of closing shifts and pre-holiday mayhem preparations at work, a little hanging out with friends, a little recovery from the show, and not enough cleaning up around my house. are you supposed to be feeling the need for a spring cleaning in almost-winter? (i say almost-winter because the mid 40's we get in january is about the closest thing to a winter in north carolina, as i've probably mentioned before. not bitter about the lack of snow or anything. nope. not bitter at all.)

i have a long-awaited day off tomorrow, which i have already filled to the minute with things i want to accomplish, as is typical and essential for the entire idea of a day off. i think it will look something like this... cut and color hair (badly needed in preparation for thanksgiving and birthday pictures this week and next, respectively), meet husband at work for lunch, take pup for slightly overdue rabies shot (probably also a nail clipping for her now-vicious talons), planning and possibly a grocery trip for supplies for our two thanksgiving festivities, and if i'm feeling extra productive... maybe finally unearthing our dining room table from craft show remains or ordering photo christmas cards.

so yes, unexciting daily-life-type things. for a few chuckles i'll leave you with a photo of our first married thanksgiving together, three years ago now. we had just really met each others' families right before we got engaged, then got married about 3 months later, then thanksgiving was about 1 month after that. scary how much younger we looked, and it's only been three years!



my first really big craft show was a lovely little success! it was a long day, but it really energized me to be around so many crafters and to have such great shopper traffic. i was amazed at the size of this show, and to be honest, can't imagine how anyone was still interested in shopping by the time they got to my space!


there was definitely lots to see, although i was suprised at how few items really were handmade. there seemed to be quite a bit of cookie lee-esque re-selling going on. i was right next to two cute gals selling tupperware, one of which was the spitting image of reese witherspoon. (i'll leave the link there as though there is anyone on this planet who hasn't been inundated by celebrity culture enough to know what any given one looks like!)



these pictures were all taken right after i was done setting up, so i think i was so distracted by trying to get set up quickly that i really didn't take all that many pictures. but of course, you don't realize these things until days afterwards. i also didn't write down the one thing i was going to remember to do next time... and promptly forgot what it was. oh well! i did meet my goal for sales for the day, and had a fantastic time with my mom, and actually got to network a bit with the little crafty community of raleigh! i got to meet the awesome proprietors of these shops:
  • white pear- delicious and beautifully packaged handmade soaps

  • small beans- gorgeous baby things including the cutest felt booties ever.

  • katie carolina- lovely beaded jewelry, and she is helping organize a craft show for triangle area etsians

  • faded blues- you must see her adorable knitted tea cozies!

  • rippa's custom silver- lots of pretty pink breast cancer awareness jewelry and accessories
i have some other possible shows coming up that i'm hoping i'll be able to do, but unfortunately, at this point it depends completely on my work schedule, which we only get two weeks ahead of time. i've got lots of lovely things left and could have gotten up and done mistletoe market all over again the next day, so i guess that's a good sign. after so much preparation, it's almost like a let-down for it all to be over so quickly. hopefully i'll be able to do another show or two before the season is over!

as of this week, i've been accepted into delightful blogs online directory of great blogs in lots of different catagories... you can go visit the main site to rate and bookmark the ones you like (hint hint!). i could spend hours browsing and clicking and finding fun new things to read. blogs are so interesting to me that way... little windows into peoples' days and lives and styles, all punctuated by pictures of course! i don't really take the time to read any books anymore, but each little blog really is like a book about the writer's life and interests. if you do get a chance to check it out, feel free to leave a little comment! (or leave one here for that matter, if the inspiration strikes!)

for now it's nice to be able to take a little break from the mad rush of creating. well, so to speak. i've actually started crocheting a little afghan (we call them snuggles blankets) for our couch. we have this pile of cheapies right now that i want to replace with several handmade ones. i'm starting with a crocheted one in shades of blue, and then will move on to a patchwork quilted one in neutral tans. crocheting is such a nice somewhat mindless project while you're watching tv and hanging out, even though i feel like i'm about 60 years old anytime i sit around crocheting! i do have a birthday coming up next week (shhhh...) but i'm not that far up there yet!



my first big craft show is tomorrow and i've got the pre-show jitters big time... do i have enough products finished? too many? too much of a variety? enough price points? does everything look pretty and cohesive? are my prices reasonable? will i have candy to snack on for a sugar rush when things get slow?

i think i do have everything ready, but there are always those little last minute doubts. i am, admittedly, much better prepared for this show than any others i've done. my signage and packaging is a little more professional looking (color-coordinated this time, at least) and i have more "inventory" you might say to fill the holes if things get a little patchy when i (hopefully!) make some sales. a few friends have said they are stopping by and i do have sweettarts on hand. and my mom. both crucial elements.

here is a very bad messy-dining-room-background picture of my layout plan (or plan-o-gram as they call it at work):

this is much messier and not completely arranged as it will be tomorrow... and it also doesn't include the huge picture frame i bought from the clearance aisle that i plan to make into a big chalkboard sign. for now it has cork in it instead so it will house letters to spell out ellebee studio since i don't have any type of shop name banner. but i think it will be pretty! more pictures of the actual booth are to come, of course.

so if you are local to raleigh, nc please feel officially invited to come check out mistletoe market at wakefield high school from 10am to 6pm tomorrow!



aprons and letters!

i've been trying to think of past craft shows i've done and things i wished i had done in order to be better prepared for mistletoe market,
my big show coming up this weekend. (i can't believe it's this weekend
already!) one thing i did think of was that i wanted some sort of
pocket to keep money in so that it would be on my person throughout the
show and i could easily access it to make change. so i thought, why not
an apron?

so i took a lightweight cotton scarf that i never wear anymore but is the perfect shade of green...

cut it into three pieces, added some ribbon for decoration and a waistband/ties, and made a little kangaroo pocket out of one of my fat quarters, and voila!

it's pretty lightweight, and the pocket won't be able to stand up to a stapler shoved in it or anything like that, but i think it should serve it's little purpose well.

the mail fairy also came this week (or the post, as my newly-relocated-to-london best friend would say), leaving me two little parcels of exciting things! i've never met anyone who gets quite as excited as i do over "real mail" (except maybe my mom, who is cool enough to send people things just because. everyone gets tired of bills and junk mail before too long). anyway, one was my first package from the ever-lovely french general which contained this lovely book, not to mention an entire page of pink label stickers (all an early birthday present from my mom!)

the second package brought the contents of my first etsy trade, which included two adorable teacup pincushions, and french fabric-covered magnets which i love. check out more of natalie's lovely shop here!


happy halloween!

remember the lovely plump pumpkin from my last post? as inspired by the diabolical pumpkin on the cover of this crazy book, we created a halloween masterpiece that definitely took the cake over last year's!

here is how we went from pumpkin to cannibal pumpkin:






the little victim is actually some sort of squash (ambercup, i think it was called) that we found last minute at the grocery store. we never go super-elaborate on halloween costumes or decorations, but who can resist a pumpkin? (or a super diabolical one, at that!)

ps, did you know that taking sharpie off of a pumpkin just got added to the list of cleaning wonders that can be accomplished with a magic eraser? the list never ends!

happy halloween!


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