Tag Archives: etsy

One down, forty billion to go

…or something.

 

Today I gave one of the first handmade gifts of the season:

 

That is, of course, rageguy.  I found the pattern from Lexysaurus Rex on Etsy and knew it would be perfect for my officemate (he’s an avid Redditer and all-around awesome nerd.).  It was super quick to put together, and the frame really adds a nice touch, I think.  (That’s the same frame type I use for my collection of Rembrandts, coincidentally.)

 

HOWEVER, we should probably be concerned, because Tom said his first suspicion – during the pre-opening present squeezing activities – was that I’d gifted him a framed picture of Rick Astley, or of Goatse*.  I mean, what does he take me for?

 

(Answer: after he told me that, I thought, “Damn!  That would’ve been brilliant!” and tucked the idea away for future gift-giving occasions).

 

PS>I have been alerted that this has been added to Reddit.  Stroke my tiny fragile ego and give it an upvote?

 

~~~
*Don’t Google that, Mom.

The last 5 days are always the longest

In just 5 short days, I will have new yarn to fondle.  Beautiful, wonderful, soft, squishy, vibrant, delicious yarn.

Just mere moments ago, I received the most wonderful tweet ever:

And then I succumbed: two skeins of Dyeabolical SW worsted in “We’re All Mad Here”, a colorway I’ve been coveting since it was released:

Unf.  I just died.  Died of love and happiness.  Are those not going to make the most badass HH pants EVER?  Hot damn I love Dyeabolical (and guess what? The shop is being updated *right now* – including some wonderful Strong Arm Sock in the same colorway.  Get it while it’s cozywarm!)

But it’s not quite over yet.  Because even if the wonderful package arrives before 6/1, I WILL NOT TOUCH IT.  I mean, I’ll bring it in the house and set it on the coffee table and stare at it, but I promise you I will not open it.  This I solemnly swear.

So while I eagerly await that wonderful day, I thought I’d polish off the Diet Coke post trifecta in style.

This was me, at work, on Wednesday.  Double-fisting the good stuff:

(No, I don’t have giant hands.  One of those is just a dinky little 7.5 oz can that they have at work events.  WHY?  I mean, what’s the point of 7.5 oz of Diet Coke? 0 calories in 7.5 oz is still 0 calories in 12.  So, to indicate my protest, I always take like 3.  Fight the power!)

Oh yeah, that’s the goodness.

Because I’m hardcore:

And because I’m not *that* hardcore:

HULK SMASH.

In other news, I love that no one in my office questioned this behavior.  I don’t know if that says more about me, or the people around me…

In other OTHER news, notice those beautiful flowers in my window?

Wednesday was our fourth anniversary, so Jeff surprised me with a delivery from Blooms on the Loop (highly recommended – isn’t that a gorgeous arrangement?).

Is there anything better than getting flowers at work?  Especially when I get to go pick them up from the reception desk, which means that everyone who walked by the reception desk saw the flowers with my name and saw that I am loved (for some reason I *still* haven’t quite figured out).  Especially when that means I get to carry them from reception to my office, and everyone sees me carrying flowers.  Especially when they get to live in my window, so every time someone comes by I get to say “Oh those? They’re from my husband.  It’s our fourth anniversary.” And then I get to feel special.  Just a bit.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I need to go grab a Diet Coke and wait for the next 5 days to pass.

PS>Yes, that’s my work yarn in the background of the flower photo.  It’s always there, just in case a knitting emergency arises.  And it’s somber grey cotton – very utilitarian and work appropriate, yes?

Envisioning the end

T-minus six weeks ’till the end of the yarn diet.

I know, I can’t believe it, either.

So I’m currently sorting out a multi-pronged plan of attack to celebrate THE END.

Here’s my strategy so far:

1a)On or about 5/25, order 1 skein of Wollmeise sockenwolle or merino superwash from a Ravelry seller (should arrive around 6/1).  I’ve never held Wollmeise before.  Never seen it in person, never touched it.  But since it’s clearly made of unicorn farts and fairy tears, I can hardly fail to be impressed.

1b)On the same day, indulge in some Etsy treats from one or more of these sellers.  Oh, yes.

2)On Wednesday 6/1, scoot to Knitorious straight after work.  Twirl gleefully in a circle (Julie-Andrews-on-a-mountaintop-style) and fill my arms with wooly goodness.  Purchase wooly goodness.  Cry a bit.  Happy tears.  Prepare to be mocked by Sandy.

3)On Thursday 6/2 after work, visit The Loopy Ewe in person (I can’t believe I’ve lived in St. Louis for three years and haven’t been there yet); they’re open till 8pm that night.  You can watch my frantic scurrying on webcam, too.  I’ll probably Tweet the event.  And take pictures for posterity.

4)On Saturday 6/4 and Sunday 6/5, spend the ENTIRE WEEKEND holed up in my house with nothing but a dog and full DVR for company, and knit as though my life depended on it.  I anticipate putting in 12- or 15-hour days.  Make Jeff watch the whole yarn orgy on webcam from DC.  You know I’m not kidding.

Am I forgetting anything?  What else can I do to make the celebration even more special?

I feel like buying a lovely small painting or print; something done by a “real person” (ie not a famous old Master :-P).  Maybe a landscape.  Or something else cool and natural.  Anybody have some favorite artists/Etsy sellers to recommend?

 

My only request/requirement – that it gives me the “it’s so beautiful I want to crawl inside and live there forever” feeling.

Dire Straits

I am in dire straits, my friends.

 

The yarn diet (::shudder::) is over halfway through – less than 5 months to go – and I’m in bad shape.  I’ve got the shakes.  I can’t think straight.  Last night I may or may not have dreamed about walking into Knitorious, throwing my Visa at Sandy, and running out with armfuls of alpaca and wool, a lone ply of Malabrigo fluttering in my wake.

 

Nevermind that my mom came to St. Louis in December and purchased me many yarns at that selfsame shop (see Rule #2).  Nevermind that I have a gorgeous batt of Brewergnome’s fiber on its way to me right now (see Rule #4A*).  Nevermind that fully half of my Christmas knitting spree was executed from newly-purchased yarns (see Rule #1).

 

Now, when a loved one is confronted with the very real and serious problem of alcoholism or drug addiction, you would never suggest that they go hang out at a bar or in the bathroom of a New York nightclub in the ’80s, would you?  No.  You wouldn’t.

 

So why – WHY?!?! – did I decide to self-medicate by browsing Etsy?

 

Come window shopping with me.  It won’t do me any good, but maybe you non-dieters will find something to love.

 

“If I weren’t on a yarn diet, I would buy…”

 

…amazing roving in the “Peppers” colorway from Black Trillium, which very much wants to be spun poorly turned into longies for a Hoopling.  I asked it.  It told me.

 

“Tobias” sock yarn + pattern from Little Red Bicycle.  Because who doesn’t love an Arrested Development-inspired colorway?  It’s like an inside joke for you and your feet.  Brilliant dyeing and marketing!

 

…the perfect red sock yarn from A Piece of Vermont.  If this isn’t begging to be knit into cozywarm textured socks, well, then I don’t know what is.

 

fiber inspired by Kaylee from Firefly, by Christina Marie Potter.  I love Firefly.  I love spinning (poorly, currently).  I love pretty things.  I love this fiber.

 

…an amazing “Crumble” Tosh sportweight from Madelinetosh.   Because these colors – and the name of the colorway – represent all that is right with the world.   And deliciousness.

 

…drop-dead gorgeous merino laceweight from Dyeforwool.  If yarn were people, this one would be Jeff.  That is to say, I love it more than life itself and want to grow old with it.  And have its babies.  And fix it pancakes on Sunday mornings.

 

sparkly sock yarn from Dyeabolical Yarns.  In the most wonderful shiny unicorn-puke colors (and oh I mean that in the best way imaginable).  ‘Tis glorious, forsooth.

 

…what would you do with 8 oz of gorgeous dark grey laceweight?  Pardon me, but I believe the question is what wouldn’t you do with 8 oz of laceweight?  Answer:  eat it.   If the blue goodness above won’t have me, then perhaps I shall marry this.  From Fearless Fibers.

 

Four more months, my lovelies…four more months.

 

Please, knitter friends, I beg you:  if you’re currently able, go buy yarn for yourself.  Squeeze it.  Knit it.  Wear it.  Love it.  For pete’s sake, blog it!  Let me live vicariously through you.  And if you can, take a moment and think of me, sitting here alone in my cold dark apartment with nothing to keep me warm but a mere four Rubbermaid bins full of perfectly good and very nice – but not new and exciting – yarn.  Someday I’ll be there, shopping alongside you.  But in the meantime, I will somehow manage to get by.  Somehow.

 

::sob::

 

(fade slowly to dark, but for four double-pointed needles flashing under a solitary lamp)

~~~

*Rule #4A:  When life deals a particularly crappy hand to an Internet friend, it’s OK to buy from their Etsy shop as a gesture of goodwill and fiber yumminess.  Besides, it’s not a fiber diet, anyway.  I don’t have to justify myself to you!  QUIT PICKING ON ME!!!

Cover my bum

Now that we’re entering St. Louis’s rainy fall season, I should probably start thinking about a saddle cover for Holly.  She’s currently sporting one of these dealiebobs:

(photo source)

The Kmart shopping bag *is* charming in its own special way – with its simple, cheerful red-and-white color scheme, versatile form and ironic plastic-y-ness.  But for whatever reason, I feel like Holly deserves *better*.

So away to Etsy I go!

This beauty sticks with the red and white palette:

But in a bit classier way, eh?  By KatieKouture, and can be custom-made to fit my narrower Serfas saddle.

Ooh or what about *blue*?

Though that one isn’t oilcloth or anything, so this one may be more about form over function.  By SewCreativeBySara.  So cute!

But I think I’ll pass on these…

Seems like those horns and ears might look kinda silly from under my bum. 😛

What the heck…maybe I’ll just DIY my own 🙂 (horn-less and ear-less though, methinks.)

Can any of you other cycling types recommend pretty and functional seat covers?

SQUEE!

It’s a well-established fact that there are few better things in life than receiving a package in the mail.  (I suppose  exceptions would include anthrax, rotten fish, or killer bees, but for all practical purposes, the statement holds true.)

It’s also a well-established fact that the only thing better than receiving “a package” in the mail is receiving “packageS”.  (Exceptions would include if one of the packages contains anthrax, rotten fish, or killer bees.  Or if you were expecting three packages and only got two.  Unless you knew the third contained one or more of the aforementioned undesirable items.  Like rotten fish breaded in anthrax.)

So it should surprise no one that when the doorbell woke me up this morning and I trudged to answer it with my standard “probably the neighbor looking to borrow a plunger” grumpy face, I was delighted to see that it was *not* Richard come to tell me (though not in so many words) about a particularly heroic bowel movement, but merely the mail carrier holding something that is in no way bowel-related.

To make a long story short (“too late” – my mother-in-law’s joke), I got this:

Which is a gorgeous braid of roving from Rachel, in the “I suck at deciding so I’ll just send you some money and you surprise me ok?” colorway.  I have great trust in Rachel by this point.  That, and I truly don’t believe she’s ever dyed anything that wasn’t amazing – so I figured there was an exceedingly low risk of receiving something baby poop yellow.  And even then it would be a *deliberate* baby poop yellow and the colorway might be called “autumn gold” and would actually be super pretty and not at all poopy.  My point is, I don’t think Rachel is *capable* of bad dyeing.  Just like I’m not capable of brief descriptions.

I am going to spin it, and then it will be yarn.  And then I will knit it and I will die of happiness.  (I do that quite a lot – have you noticed?)  I LOVE the semisolid burgundy color and can’t wait to see what it’s like to spin with a semisolid.  Will I get that barber pole effect at all?  Only with the slightly different shades of burgundy?  Only time will tell…

If you’re still with me by this point (and kudos and a lollipop to you if you are), then you might be wondering what the other package contained.  So was I.

It was from my mom.  And inside a Wal-Mart prescription bag (how Po-Mo; “weird for the sake of weird” in the words of  Moe Szylak), inside a Priority Mail flat rate box, was this::

First up:  real Accidental Artists business cards!

(that’s Mom’s “lolspeak” and apparently her “lolhandwriting”.  and the moM is because of some joke a few months ago regarding spelling one’s name backwards.  It still makes me giggle.)

OK seriously, how unbearably cool is that?  I’m going to carry them around in my bag and distribute whenever I receive a compliment on her jewelry (which is literally just about every day).

Inside the second innocuous-looking bag…

Another little note!  (so cute.  My mom is awesome.)

I opened up the first packet to find these drop-dead gorgeous dangly little earrings, made with stone and sterling silver:

Won’t they be perfect for spring? I can think of about 15 outfits I can’t wait to pair these with 🙂

But wait! There’s more!

And this is where I died again.  Isn’t that GORGEOUS?!  So simple and pretty and happy and cute!  (Oh and apparently part of my death process was forgetting to make the darned thing lay straight.  The beads are all the same rectangular shape but they’re rather tight on the cord for now.  Mom says the cord will stretch a bit eventually, and then they’ll lay straight naturally.)

I’m going to be the prettiest little asshole this side of the nuthouse.

Ahem.

And then there was the third package…

Thanks for the warning, Mom.

After I put on a Depends and laid an old towel down on the couch, I proceeded…

Gah!  There I go again!  Death.

A couple months ago I’d emailed Mom and said, “I’d really like to have a necklace that would work with both black and brown and look good with either.  And maybe copper too?” and then she sends me this…

Which is so unbelievably perfect and gorgeous, that I almost can’t believe it.

LOVE the toggle, too:

Doesn’t it look like an instant heirloom?  So beautiful.

But of course that wasn’t it…

Mom threw in matching earrings, too.

I LOVE these beads.  They’re everything that’s right with the world.

I’m astounded and thrilled, as always.  THANK YOU, MOM.

Any readers who want to feel like me (only…um…I think you’ll have to pay for the jewelry), go check out Mom and Peggy’s Etsy shop.  They both have very unique styles – Mom tends to play with wire and texture; Peggy has a great eye for color and unusual stones.

Now, imagine what Mom might send if I weren’t just her third-most-favorite daughter!


PS>I think I’m taking my Nikon into the shop today – it seems to be having trouble autofocusing.  Though the jewelry-splayed-on-my-couch’s-throw-pillow setup?  That’s all my fault 😛

Ye Olde Wish List

OK first off – it’s nowhere NEAR my birthday, Festivus, Kate Appreciation Day, or any other common gift-giving holidays.  HOWEVER, as I am exceedingly fond of my own taste in…(what’s the right word?)…STUFF, I thought some of y’all might like to see what’s making my credit card itch this week.  Of course it runs the gamut from “incredibly practical” to “in yer dreams, girlie” 🙂

Think of it as an “If I won the lottery, I’d buy…” exercise.

~~~

Morelle Patchwork bag, in orange:

If this isn’t the most perfect all seasons knock around bag, then I don’t know what is.  That buttery golden orange absolutely couldn’t be more gorgeous, and you can see through your computer screen how soft it must be.  I just discovered this today, but I’m already certain that I’ll die if I don’t obtain it at some point in the future.  I WILL DIE.

~~~

KitchenAid Pasta Maker attachment:

I could make my own macaroni and lasagne! How stinkin’ cool is THAT?!  My mixer wants a friend.

~~~

John Fluevog Chinoa boots, in brown:

I blogged these on Two Closets a few weeks ago.  Then I visited them in person two weekends ago.  And now they WON’T GET OUT OF MY BRAIN.  I ❤ these boots so freaking hard I can hardly stand it.  J’adore everything about them.

~~~

Rivendell Necklace by PoleStarJewelry on Etsy:

I’ve been following this lovely lady’s Etsy shop for about a billion years, and continue to be in awe of her gorgeous work.  LOVE the wire wrapping and the beautiful stones.  (Like in the Artemis Necklace, too! WOW!)  Each piece seems like a real treasure, and hopefully some day one of these treasures will be mine…

~~~

iHome alarm clock:

Only I would put this little darling in my kitchen – I have just the spot picked out for it – and listen to music while I bake and it would keep me company if/when Jeff runs off across the country for a summer internship.  Seriously, if he interns in Minneapolis or something I’m going to buy one of these.  And maybe between it and the dog I can prevent myself from going *completely* stir crazy.

~~~

This belt, by AudraJean (aka Audi, aka Fashion for Nerds):

(only maybe custom done in black)

Is that not the most awesome belt you’ve ever seen? EVER?  I know, right?  (click through the link to see an amazing back view of it).  I can think of about 45 outfits I’d wear this with, RIGHT. NOW.

~~~

A huge-ass print of Miranda, The Tempest (JW Waterhouse, 1916) to hang over our sofa:

Isn’t that beautiful?  I *love* PRB

~~~

For next winter (and I’m well aware that this is the second pair of “OMG NEED” boots in this post…), LLBean shearling lined weatherproof boots:

I have a pair of Wicked Good scuff slippers that are shearling lined, and they’re about 10 years old and still as warm as they day I got them (for Christmas).  The website says these boots will be back in stock on May 27th, and I may seriously buy them then.  And wait ’till next winter, then style them like What Would a Nerd Wear does.  Because isn’t she adorable?

~~~

Le Creuset 3-qt enameled cast iron saucepan:

I’m pretty sure that with this, my dutch oven, my 2 qt copper-bottomed pan, my wok and my $12 cast iron pan, I’d be set for cookware for life. (not for bakeware, mind you.  Just cookware).  Well, a cast-iron two burner griddle would be nice, too.  And a tiny cast iron pan.  And maybe a 1 qt copper-bottomed pan.  But THEN I’d be set.

~~~

Finally, another tattoo.  And that’s all I’ll say about that for now 😉


So that was a fun little romp through my imaginary shopping list, no? What’s on your list (real or fantasy)?

And now, if you don’t mind, I’m off to buy a Powerball ticket…

The way I buy

This post was directly inspired by two things:

1)Lingering elation over the Strange Folk weekend

2)A couple of wonderful articles in my most recent issue of Bitch.

I realized that I’ve been going happily along, lah-de-dah-de-dah, buying and consuming in the ways that all of us do (more than some, less than most, lah-de-dah-de-dah), following my own little rules and guidelines and intuition (and yes, whims – lah-de-dah-de-dah), but I’ve never really tried to sit down and lay it all out.

I must admit, it’s a very complicated system, this idea of “What I Buy.”  It’s tied to my morals and personal convictions, as well as financial situation (read: not wealthy), selfish desires and (very occasionally) convenience.  And, like all good complicated systems are, it’s always changing.

Most of my consumption rules fall into three categories:  Companies/Stores I Avoid (and why), Companies/Stores I Seek Out (and why), and Companies/Stores I Have No Strong Feelings About.  Being a rather opinionated person of strong convictions, the third group is by far the smallest.

—————

Sometimes, I Avoid or Boycott stores because I don’t like the company’s overarching beliefs and policies and how they express them.

~I don’t buy Nestle products, because I don’t support their efforts to kill babies in developing countries (OK that statement might be a tad melodramatic, but I dare you to read up on the issue and tell me you don’t agree).

~I don’t shop at Hobby Lobby, because their owner is a right-wing lunatic nutjob and besides, they put out the Christmas decorations *way* too early.  It’s only relatively recently, though (like, within the past year-ish) that I’ve cut them completely from my patronage.

~As a general rule, I don’t buy from places that stick a Jesus fish or bible verse on their signage, because I think it’s a shallow tactic to try and draw in sheeple; trying to build their business on guilt and a false sense of commonality rather than producing a product/service that’s actually worthy on its own merit.

~WalMartNeed I say more?

~Best Buy used to be on this list, due to a grievance I suffered about 7 or 8 years ago when I was denied a rebate for no reason, but I’ve put on my big girl pants and gotten over it.  I still think they’re overpriced, though.  And I’ll shop elsewhere first.

—————

The Seek Out list is rather happier, I think.

~I get a lot of my clothes from LLBean, because I’ve found, over the years, that their quality is second-to-none.  Any time I’m buying an item that I intend to use for years, and need it to last, I’ll turn to LLBean first.  Furniture, winter boots, bags.  I’m confident and comfortable with their return policy (a few Christmases ago, I received a sweater that, after washing and drying flat, shrank nearly 6″ in length.  They paid return shipping and gave me a full refund, no problem.), and appreciate their continued dedication to quality.  Plus, it really helps that they’ve started carrying some cuter clothes lately – It’s not just the staid-old-lady-type stuff anymore 😉

~I’m a huge fan of Trader Joe’s, but that’s no secret.  The employees are friendly, and I love that I can freely shop there without always checking labels and prices – their foods are made with wholesome, simple ingredients and I know the prices will always beat the big grocery stores.  Aldi (owned by the TJ’s founder’s brother) is similar, but I do check ingredient labels there – they don’t always steer away from the preservatives and HFCS there ;-).  About 95% of our groceries come from either Aldi or Trader Joe’s, with remainder from the convenient overpriced grocery 1/2 a block from our house.  And every time I do buy from that grocery, I end up pissed – “I spent $3.99 for milk that’s sour 3 days later?”.

~Most all of my yarn comes from one of my favorite local yarn shops, Knitty Couture and Knitorious.  I also like Hillcreek Yarn Shoppe in Columbia (though I haven’t been back since they changed ownership), and Stitch Knitch, The Studio, and Yarn Shop and More in Kansas City.  All are local businesses, and buying local is very important to me.   Between these handful of shops, as well as assorted Etsy sellers, most of my yarn dollars turn around to directly support individuals.  Though I’ve gotta admit, I will shop from Knit Picks every once in a while.

~Let’s talk about Etsy.  Etsy has many fans, and a few critics.  While I admit that paying for Fedex/UPS/whoever to ship and deliver Etsy purchases isn’t exactly the greenest practice, that’s not a problem that’s unique to the Etsy site.   My own opinion is the relatively minor environmental detriment is outweighed by supporting the “cottage industry” which Etsy facilitates.  I have great respect and admiration for the artists’ work, and I support them by buying (and enjoying!) their products.  I like to think it also helps a wee bit when they show up at local festivals (thus saving the shipping costs for me), and I’m able to do my part to drum up business by linking them for all 2 of my non-local readers.

~If we’re going to spend $20-$30 to eat a dinner out (something we do *maybe* once a month, if that), then I don’t want to give that money to Applebee’s in exchange for a chewy chicken sandwich and soggy buttered vegetables.  So even if we’re in the “just a burger or whatever” sort of mood, we’ll go to one of the great restaurants here in U City, like Fitz’s or the famous Blueberry Hill, or to Ted Drewe‘s for ice cream, etc.  Again, supporting local businesses.

~Even though I’m not wealthy, and even though I do love a bargain, I’m *always* willing to pay more for quality.   I’d rather pay $170 for boots that I know will last for years, than $45 or $50 for some that’ll only hold on for a season.  I’ve had my LLBean canvas bag (linked waaaay up there) since about 1999 or 2000, and it’s just now starting to wear through at the corners.  LLBean would still probably take it back for a free exchange, but I’ve really sent that bag through the wringer and am satisfied with its durability.  Within the next couple years, though, I will be ordering – and happily paying for – a replacement, confident that the quality makes it well worth its price.

—————

I could go on and on, naming places that I love and support (and love to support), but I think you get the idea.  So time for the final category I mentioned above – Neutral places.

~Taco Bell.  Fast food that’s big business and bad for you, but damned if those cheesy fiesta potatoes aren’t delicious.

~Most “mall” clothing shops – Old Navy, Gap, Macy’s, etc.  I freely buy from there, but don’t usually feel any particular affinity for the brands.  I’ve got a GAP jacket that I’ve had for about 5 years and absolutely adore, and I’m not fond of how Macy’s treated the Marshall Field’s takeover, but on the whole – neutral “meh.”

~Target.  We don’t really buy much there, but it seems like somehow our once-monthly trips always end up totaling $50 or more.  Cute designs at great prices, but it all feels so…mass-produced.  Rather conflicting, y’know?

That’s all I can think of for now, but you get the idea 🙂

—————

I guess you could say that in general, I stick with the old adage “vote with your dollars.” I don’t choose to spend my money on brands or organizations I dislike, and I actively spend at places I do support.  I know my money is just a drop in the bucket for most of these groups, but I’ve gotta keep my conscience clean, and try to spend that money in the best way I can.  For me, that means paying a bit more if I can feel comfortable in my purchases.

I don’t expect anybody to follow my words as Law, but I do hope that this post has made you think about your own habits for consumption, and the larger ripple effect that those habits can have on your community.

I’d love to get some feedback on this post – are there any companies or brands that you boycott or seek out?  Why?

Lewd Loot (Subtitle: Strange Folk Part II)

Remember how I said I got fun stuff at Strange Folk?

Now first I’ve gotta say two things:

1)I was very, very, very good.  I could’ve literally bought something at every single booth there.  But I didn’t.  But I wanted to.  But I didn’t. (Self-restraint!)

2)Just days before the Event, my in-laws had graced me with a birthday gift, a check with “Yarn money” clearly written in the memo line.  And in the interest of pleasing the in-laws (self-sacrificing for the sake of family harmony!).  This enabled me to buy more than I normally would’ve been able to.  This made me happy.

So, what does my cute lil’ tote bag contain?

Roxie will be your tour guide!

Roxie halp.

Tote bag contains…

One Miss Havisham shawl, abandoned when the skies were sunny and the temps got close to 80*F:

(but I did receive many compliments for the hour or so I had it on).

1 small bag of kettle corn, half eaten:

One pile of tote bag freebies (including super-cute buttons, cards, and a local music magazine), jumbled:

One project bag, purchased months ago at Knitorious…

Containing one completed blueberry pie waffle sock and the start of another:

~~~

One tiny little silver-and-fabric pendant:

…no, really.  TINY:

Which came displayed in the most charming way possible:

That’s a tiny little card it’s on, and not only is it a fun print, it’s a …

PLAYING CARD!  OK I’m a sucker for fun packaging anyway, but that takes the cake.

That little piece of happiness was crafted by Pretty Fun, an apt name because it *is* pretty fun.  Lots of fun.  Almost unbearable amounts of fun.

…I hope they’re there next year, so I can have even MORE fun! (And buy one of her super cute project bags!)

I’m going to turn that over to Mom and see what she can do with it.  For me.

~~~

Next up was my most delicious purchase of the day:

Inside that unassuming little bag is the BEST SMELLING STUFF EVER:

A bar of goat milk soap, in the “luv spell” scent.  It’s truly lovely and no I haven’t actually tried to eat it, though I might.  Because YUM.

I chatted with the booth’s owner for a bit, and I’ve gotta say that I *love* the story behind this soap.  It’s made right there on their farm, with the milk of their own goats.  The soaps are all (I can attest – I smelled every one!) wonderful smelling, light and simple and clean (durrr….it *is* soap, Kate!).

Their website is here, and you can order online.  Luv Spell is amazing, and I also really liked Black Raspberry, Lilac and Cider.  I think this delicious stuff is about to become a staple in my home 🙂

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This next item was created by Picard Creative (Artfire shop is linked on her blog), and it’s another one where I had a *really* hard time choosing just one.  But when I saw this magnet:

…I knew it had to be mine.  That image is actually crafted on a tin can lid – brilliant!  I love upcycling 🙂

It will live on my fridge forever, and I will smile every time I look at it. 🙂

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Next, I’ve gotta give a disclaimer.  It seems like every time I attend one of these events, no matter how hard I try I lose track of one item’s origin.  Such is the case with my beautiful little cuff here:

I love this thing.  The green fabric has such a lovely texture to it; I think it might be vintage.  And that little peep of magenta color is perfect.

Best of all, it serves as an ideal tattoo coverup, for situations that call for it 😉

(Um, might’ve helped if I’d taken a photo of the underside of my wrist :-P)

So who made this lovely little piece?  I *think* It was Fair Ophelia designs.  I know I stood there and chatted with Angela for a while, and I remember admiring her bags and super-cute coaster sets, but I can’t remember for 100-percent-beyond-a-shadow-of-a-doubt-certain  that she’s who made my cuff.  If anyone who was at the festival and has a better memory than me can either confirm this for me, or set me straight, I’d really appreciate it.

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Of course, no festival is complete for me without yarn, and since Rachel at Dyeabolical Yarns (that’s, what – the 10th time I’ve linked her in a blog post? You can tell I’m a fan! :-D) was so kind in explaining this whole “Strange Folk” thing to me in the first place, I was more than happy to support her business as best I could (see? The self-sacrificing again!)

“Support” came in the form of this:

and this:

Both of which are skeins of her amazing Strong Arm sock yarn, and both of which are destined to be lovelysquishycozybeautiful fall socks.  (And also, both of which are showing up more brightly on-screen than they are in real life.  Think more “autumn”, less “day-glo”)

I’ve used her Strong Arm base twice now, for my Joker Socks and Glacial Socks.  It’s got all the properties I love – wool/nylon blend for strength, slightly thicker than your usual fingering weight, and firmly (but not too tightly) spun.  The yarn wears *incredibly* well, and is a joy to work with.  I can’t wait to knit both of these up 🙂  (oh, and I miiiiiiiiiight have put in a special request for a skein of Themyscira in the same Strong Arm base.  Maybe.  Possibly.)

Oh, yes.  I had a good time at Strange Folk.

Not only did I enjoy the food, the music, the browsing, and the strange folk themselves, but I *really* enjoyed getting to do my small part to support local (and not-so-local!) artisans and crafters.  I’m always amazed by the different forms that creativity can take – from innovative and beautiful screenprinted apparel, to ceramics that are heart-stoppingly amazing, to stitching skills I can only dream of, to the really off-the-wall.  There’s no better feeling than being surrounded and inspired by others.  It’s really an amazing feeling, as if the best parts of Etsy all jumped out of the computer and landed on my doorstep (well, relatively speaking).   I’m so glad that I had the chance to go to Strange Folk this year, and I’m already saving my pennies for next year‘s trip.

…assuming they straighten out the funnel cake issue, that is.

PS>Be proud of me! I didn’t even spend all my birthday money!  Nope, I saved that till *the next day*, when I promptly blew the remainder on alpaca and sock yarn at Knitty Couture.  I tried.