The Makers Summit

What I’ve been up to lately. Planning, planning, designing, making, and teeny amounts of stressing.

I’m super excited to see this idea come to life. Conference details are online at the event site Andrew designed. I’m so excited and hopeful about the connections and opportunities that will come out of this one day. And happy to be part of the growing community of makers in Greenville, SC.

Conference tickets are almost sold out, so if this applies to you be sure to snag one today!

simple updates.

Last weekend, I dusted off my sewing machine to make my first project in months — if you can even call it a ‘project’. I’m sharing it because this is a good reminder that creativity doesn’t have to be complicated.

About a decade ago, my sister and I were both proud owners of floor length formal skirts, purchased for Homecoming Banquets. I decided to find out if my mom still had them hanging around and try to resurrect one for my company Christmas party.

The inspiration: I needed something fancy to wear to a party and I remembered a skirt that might have potential (and would save me a trip to the mall).

Step 1: Measure and cut. I knew I wanted the finished skirt to fall above the knee. Measuring that approximate length with it on let me know where to cut.

Hem. This skirt had a lining so I finished each layer with a tiny hem like the original had. Because this was such a full skirt, it seemed to take forever!

And it turned out exactly like I had hoped — a fun party outfit for $0. And I was able to turn an outdated skirt into something worth hanging on to.

I can’t believe I forgot how rewarding little quick projects like this can be!

Holiday Fair in West Greenville.

I haven’t mentioned how great the Indie Craft Parade Holiday Fair was!

Below are a few of my favorite images from that day, which was only about two weeks ago — but it feels like a month. What is it about this time of year that makes days feel long and short at the same time?





Note: These images were not all taken by me. Most were pulled from the Indie Craft Parade Facebook album.

My favorite things:
balloons, giant and otherwise
the most beautiful weather we could ask for
happy shoppers
a neighborhood full of people and excitement
even happier artists

A handmade Christmas.

This weekend, we’re hosting our first Indie Craft Parade Christmas show. If you’re in Greenville, you’ll definitely want to check it out. Over the past month, it’s grown from a small gathering of artists to a neighborhood party, including food trucks and open studios. I love having a front row seat to all the amazing things going on in our art district! This show has been fun to put together alongside all the normal holiday things going on. But it’s also made me do a little more thinking on why I care so much about handmade, especially this time of year.

Sometimes, it’s easy to look at handmade items and think ‘I could make that’.

Only in the last couple years have I realized that trying to make all my own Christmas gifts is a pretty terrible idea. Why, during the busiest time of year, am I choosing to stress myself out with so many projects, trying to learn multiple new skills and then give my first attempts as gifts?

Also, where did the thought come from that I have to do it all myself?

A few favorite gifts I’ve given and received, clockwise from top: Crocheted Dishtowels / Custom magnets from Jordan Grace Owens / Stainless Steel Tie Bar

It’s much more rewarding to honor those who are out there doing it. The people who have made it their career to perfect bookbinding, or sewing, or metalwork instead of just dabbling in it. The artists who deserve to make a living at this because they’re truly talented and passionate about their craft.

I want my money to support creativity, courage, and hard work. Buying handmade is just one way I know how to do that.

indie craft show and tell

Here’s a peek at what we brought home from Indie Craft Parade last weekend! This year was more of a blur than the last two and shopping didn’t happen until Sunday. Which means when the show was over, I remembered several booths I intended to revisit, but never made it back to!

Overall, I felt like the booths and handmade goods this year were even better than in previous years, which is hard to believe. I really couldn’t be more pleased to be part of this event! Check out what made it home with us (except for a few gift items that can’t be pictured):

Clockwise from top: Screenprinted set of 4 napkins from Tiny Peepers / medium bowl from Jeanette Zeis Ceramics / inside, three soaps from The Herb Garden, a necklace from Spectrum, and my first Finkelstein creature! / letterpressed tags from Concrete Lace / hand-lettered, letterpress cards from Ink Meets Paper / The New Empires latest album / Tea towels by Chomp Textiles / letterpress coasters from The Gilded Fete / Metal bangles from Lily / an extra bright Spectrum bead

It’s obvious I gravitate toward all things paper and letterpress — with kitchen textiles and jewelry coming in at a close second. If you missed this year’s show, don’t worry — The Parade will be back next September!

Indie Craft Parade

It’s time for the Parade!

At our house, Indie Craft Parade weekend is quite possibly the craziest one of the year — even more so than Christmas! But it might be my favorite anyway. I can’t wait to see what all these artists have been working on for the last few months, shop (or at least window shop) my way through a sea of handmade goods and try to decide which ones to take home.

And this year, we’ve got workshops! I wish I could take every one of these. If you’re anywhere near Greenville, SC there are a million reasons you don’t want to miss the Indie Craft Parade this weekend, so come check it out. You can still buy a ticket to the VIP Gala tonight, or come out tomorrow and Sunday when it’s free.

learning, just because.

I have a fairly long list of skills I’d like to learn ‘one day’, and this weekend I finally made progress on one of them by taking a (free!) knitting class at the library.

My project at the end of class. Wobbly, but better than I would have done figuring it out on my own!

The sad part is that I really can’t remember how long it’s been (if ever) that I learned something in a group setting just for fun. Here, my only motivation is to learn something — not to earn a grade or be the best at it — but because I want to learn. Plus, after years of following online tutorials and trying to figure things out by myself, the experience of learning alongside others is just really fun.

o christmas tree.

The prospect of not having an actual Christmas tree for a second year running was a gloomy one, so after looking at several different tree options, we finally settled on a small live tree. I’m so glad we did! It was fun unpacking all the ornaments that we never pulled out last year and remembering the ones we’ve purchased or been given. Here are a few of my favorite additions this year:

Crochet snowflakes purchased on Etsy last year.

Delicate tin icicles from Tinworks.

Porcelain pears from Crave Studio.

Now to finish choosing what will go under the tree!

a parade of goodness.

Here’s a glimpse of the wonderful things we brought home from Indie Craft Parade last weekend. I had much more time to shop this year and it was wonderful! Along with these goodies for us, we bought several gifts I’m really excited about (but can’t share of course). Here’s what I can show you:

Clockwise from top: port wine caramel sauce from Sweeteeth / fingerless gloves and a cozy cowl by erin elizabeth (I’m so much more excited about these than I look!) / stitched cards from Common Thread / handmade collar for Riley from Tree Parlor / owl ornament from Once Again Sam*

Not pictured (but things I can still share): leather clutch from Sew Few / bag with leather handles from lightnest / grey braided leather bracelet from Happylooks / What if Greenville poster from Shed Labs

*I know this photo is blurry, but I could barely get a clear picture of the owl since Riley thought it was a toy for her and kept trying to eat it in one gulp. I love they way they’re looking at each other here!

hello, goodbye.

I can hardly believe the Parade has come and gone. This year went even smoother than last, and I enjoyed it more than I ever expected I could. Stress levels were way lower — maybe since we knew a little more what to expect — but I suspect it had more to do with the number of amazing volunteers we had. Somewhere between taking shopping breaks, I realized that all the work I put into Indie Craft Parade is probably for myself!

I love this event through and through. It’s a combination of all the things I love — art, craft, design, Greenville, new friends, good food. I feel so privileged to work on this with Erin for months and months, and then watch all the pieces come together in a single short weekend.

The booth where I spent most of my money, by erin elizabeth

I have lots more to say and purchases to share, but for now — if you missed Indie Craft Parade this year, you can see photos of the artists and their work in our growing Flickr pool. I hope these images can communicate even a little bit of the inspiration that was Indie Craft Parade!

It's time.

The extended silence over here means The Parade is about to happen! Festivities officially begin tonight at 6pm, but we’ll be busy all day with setup and preparation. My shopping list is growing by the day and I can not wait to see what all the artists have been working on!

If you come out this weekend, look for me in the lobby at the Indie Craft Parade booth and Andrew upstairs at the Parachute booth (#12)!

We are lucky to have so many people who are as passionate about Indie Craft Parade as we are. A big special thanks goes to my Mom who has spent countless hours making  tiny felt flags, stuffing swag bags for vendors, and just being all around event support. She doesn’t believe me, but I really don’t think we could have done it without her.

Indie Craft Parade Treasury

My excitement for this year’s Indie Craft Parade is growing and growing, and this treasury of our 2011 Indie Craft Parade artists should provide a teeny glimpse into what I’m so excited about! We have 74 participating artists (view the complete list here), and about half of these are new this year!

Erin and I hung posters downtown this past Friday, and billboards start going up around Greenville tomorrow. Everything is starting to come together, and I can’t wait to see all these great artists and their work in September!

you're invited.

It’s time for more Indie Craft Parade news! We are about a month (eek!) away from the main event, and this time we’re planning to kick things off with a Friday night VIP Gala. I am so excited about this addition to the event, and you are invited!

Indie Craft Parade VIP

As if Indie Craft Parade isn’t cool enough by itself, this VIP Gala adds a whole extra level of specialness. Tickets for the Gala are $25 each, and ticket holders get a first look at all the artists work, as well as a chance to win some of the amazing handmade goods. There will also be food, drinks, music and a few artists demonstrating their crafts.

Indie Craft Parade is still free Saturday and Sunday, but if you were scared off by the crowds or the lines last year, the VIP Gala is where you want to be. Tickets are limited, so reserve yours today. We’d love to see you there!

Just a note: This VIP night allows us to keep Indie Craft Parade going year after year, and continue to keep costs low for our artists, so consider investing in the Greenville arts community in this way. I promise you won’t be disappointed!

pillowcase roundup.

We bought our current pillowcases (above) at the Knack Antiques on Augusta booth. If you live in Greenville, these and a few other designs are still available, so go check them out. They’re beautifully screen-printed by Branch Handmade and we use them so much they’re almost worn out! So it’s time to find a new set. Check out a few of my other pillowcase favorites below:


Clockwise from top: Tin Can pillows / embroidered mine & yours / embroidered Mrs. (& Mr.) / wake up pillows (unfortunately no longer for sale) / DIY glasses cases – via D*S / hand drawn YOU pillows

speaking of handmade

You’ll want to read this thought provoking post from Etsy, tracing the history of fashion through the years. Two fascinating points:

· We now only make 3% of our apparel in the United States, down from 90% in 1955.
· In 1930, the average American woman owned an average of nine outfits. 

Also, today you’ll find me interviewed at the Yellow Elm blog, so make sure you visit Elizabeth Blanton’s site to read it!Yellow Elm

In other news:
· Applications for Indie Craft Parade are open — and are so much more efficient than last year, thanks to DUO Interactive!
· Indie Craft Parade now has its own blog.
· The Handmade Nation screening was a success. I particularly loved the discussion afterward! So many great questions and comments to think about.
· My garden is actually growing! Pictures to come.