Tuesday, December 29, 2009

bye bye, christmas.

and now for a post-christmas christmas post. (see what i did there?)

i had a great time in chattanooga with my extended family. it was hard to be there without mema, but we were able to carry on and also start some new traditions in her honor. twenty-something people in one house for four days sounds like a disaster waiting to happen, but it was a cozy, funny time that i will always remember.

the view from our mountain abode:

and another:

one hundred stockings, hung with care. (my brother, sister, and i have the super cool bear stockings. i hope to never retire the bender bears.)

christmas sockies!

i missed gretta severely over the five days we were gone. luckily, santa knew how to make me feel all better.

i had to include a photo our air mattress sleeping arrangements. it's sort of like a christmas dorm room. inside these walls remain many untold secrets of the bender family.

it's hard to believe that christmas has already come and gone. i'm thankful for the time we were able to spend together, and i am already looking forward to next year.

** i will have some hair treasures updates soon. i am working on lining up at least one craft show per month, so i will be a busy little bee here pretty soon with lots of new treasures. feels like it's been a while! **

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

my first attempt at a neck tie.

my brother tyler likes to wear ties and has collected quite a few over the years. he is a musician and has a great sense of style, so i wanted to give him something for christmas that he could wear for both his shows and his job. it took me quite a while because the process involves so many details, but i am pretty happy with the finished product. i took some pictures along the way:

first i made pattern pieces based on one of my dad's ties and pinned them on the fabric:

then i sewed the two main pieces together and pressed the seam open:

then i sewed on the tip pieces, wrong sides together, and flipped them to create the double layer and seam:

then i used my dad's tie as a pattern to cut pieces of interfacing for the inside of the tie. the interfacing helps the tie to keep its shape and add a little weight. it has an adhesive side, so i arranged it and ironed it on:

the part of the process that took the longest was pinning the back of the tie. it was very tedious! the sides are folded under to create a clean edge before sewing it closed with a hidden stitch.

after i sewed the back of the tie, i attached a keeper. the hidden stitch turned out really well!

after attaching the keeper, i ironed the tie, cleaned up all the thread tails, and after almost five hours, had a finished product:


the only thing i wish i could have done better is the front tip. it was difficult to get a crisp, sharp point, so it's slightly rounded. i sort of like it that way, but it's definitely a variation on the standard tie shape. i don't have any pictures of tyler wearing the tie, but he put it on as soon as he got it, and it looked really great on!


Monday, December 21, 2009


yesterday the benders had our christmas gift exchange. we're going to chattanooga on wednesday to meet up with our extended family for a few days, so we had our own little pre-christmas christmas. i got so many sweet presents, many of them pertaining to hair treasures, like:

-electric scissors
-a set of 3 titanium scissors
-two embroidered / monogrammed hair treasures tote bags
-a new glue gun
-and this huge vinyl banner for future craft shows:

i got some clothes from modcloth.com and the coat that i wanted (my sister discovered my heart's desire here on my blog!). i got some harry potter movies, a fantastic vintage table runner from my friends jessi and jessica's etsy store, j. emporium, and even a new electric typewriter!

one of the gifts i gave my sister was a headband made with one of my mema's brooches. mema passed away in july, and we all miss her so much, especially at this time of year. i'm glad i could give this gift to my sister:

i ordered a colts snuggie as a gift for my dad because we are all huge colts fans (duh), and i thought it would be funny. but sadly, it didn't come in time, so i had to improvise. one of the greatest moments of the day came when my mom opened a gift from my dad -- and it was a snuggie! now both of my parents can relax in their sleeved fleece blankets together:

(the picture of my dad was the improvisation. i was pretty proud of myself.)

i made a tie for my brother for christmas, and in my next blog i'm going to post some pictures of the tie-making process. it was my first attempt, and i think it turned out pretty well! who knows...maybe neck treasures is in the works!

i'm excited to go to the mountains in a couple days and spend time with my family. it's definitely christmastime.

Monday, December 14, 2009

a little flower power.

look what my supertalented friend ashley nacke created for me! she is such a sweetie pie.

ashley is a wonderful artist and photographer. go take a look at all the amazing photos on her blog . i am seriously so blessed to have such inspiring, creative friends. sometimes i am overwhelmed by their talents.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

santa! i know him!

i just can't resist posting these santa pictures:

gretta was naughty during this photo shoot, so i wouldn't be surprised if santa skips our house this year. (also, my friend mindy mentioned that gretta and i are kind of sitting the same way -- yes, i guess i have become one of those weird dog people.)

my beautiful sister trisha, staring dreamily into the distance. i think she is having a daydream about christmas morning. or maybe she's reminiscing about all our '90s mall santa visits. those were the days.

more pictures of new treasures coming soon!

need a christmas gift for a special lady? head to the hair treasures etsy shop or leave me a comment about a special order.

i hope you are all having a great holiday season so far!

Friday, December 11, 2009


i finally decorated my apartment for christmas last night. i acquired the majority of my decorations from the students i taught when i lived in tennessee, but some of them are hand-me-downs from my mom's old stash. here are just a few of my favorite little areas in my home:

christmas records and a little tree from my mema
(the legacy she left of christmas joy is magical):

a country star luminary in my kitchen:

just a few of the christmas mugs i received from students over the years:

my humble little tree, full of teachery ornaments, handmade
ornaments from students, and a few '90s classics.

my friend anna was here to help me decorate, but she ended up taking on a role more along the lines of paparazzi. she took some really cute pictures of my pride and joy, gretta louise. it's gretta's first christmas, so i wanted to get her in the holiday spirit.

so she got her very own mini stocking to adorn her crate:

i rode my little reindeer around:

she gave me a kiss:

and finally smiled for the camera with santa:

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

oh, fantastic.

i just went to see Fantastic Mr. Fox with my friend joe. roald dahl is one of my favorite childhood authors, but this is one of his books that i never read. it's such a cute, imaginative story, and the stop animation in the film is pretty incredible. i have no idea how long it took to make the movie, but it's pretty visually stunning. go see it if you haven't yet. i chuckled through the whole thing -- especially at jason schwartzman's character, ash. he is seriously perfect in every movie.

i've been working my way through a few special orders. it feels good to check things off of a list, and that's the way i operate. here are my most recent check-offs:

the fourth and final headband for one of my friend debbie's daughters.

(i can't wait to hear about their christmas morning!)

an order from my friend tori. it's a christmas gift for her sister.

(she requested earth tones, blue, and buttons. i hope her sister likes it!)

and then a couple new headbands just for fun. these will be available on etsy soon!

blue and gold pheasant band.

brown, cream, and yellow wrap-around feather band.

oh! one more thing. i have spent hours on a fruitless click-and-search journey to find a new coat. just when i was about to give up, i found this little gem from charlotte rousse:

my size isn't in, but as soon as it is, it will be mine. oh yes, it will be mine. (name that movie and win a prize.)

Monday, December 7, 2009

treasures in a treasury.

i got a message today from Spice of Life Designs letting me know that one of my headbands was featured in her Hoosier Holiday Hoopla etsy treasury. most of the items in the treasury are from members of the INCrowdteam, our fast-growing collective of indiana artisans. i am so excited to have it included along with these other bright, colorful gift ideas. there are a few more items that aren't pictured, so click, take a look, and buy a unique handmade christmas gift from the best place in the midwest. it's fun, i promise.

(mine is in the bottom left corner.)

ps. how cute is that helicopter?

pps. more pictures of new hair treasures coming soon!

ppps. it snowed last night, and when i woke up and discovered everything covered in glistening whiteness, i got butterflies in my tummy. it was sort of magical.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

warm hands, warm heart.

it's here! hooray!

today was the first day of the Holiday Artisans Boutique at the Sullivan Munce Cultural Center's Mahaney Gallery. i stopped by yesterday to drop off my all my stuff, and i got to take a look around at some really great pottery, jewelry, scarves, ornaments, handbags, and other accessories. i feel so humbled to have hair treasures be a part of this wonderful month-long event to support local art. if you live in or around the zionsville area, you should definitely stop by. there are some other really wonderful places to go on main street, too, including some antique shops, boutiques, and resale shops. there's even a dog bakery, some art galleries, and, of course, eagle creek coffee co., where yours truly will serve you up a tasty hot bev.

i went with my bff brittany last night to the indie handicraft exchange christmas mini downtown. everywhere i looked there was something new and creative and fun and inspiring. i tried to explain to my dad that it was less of a mom craft fair and more of a hip craft fair. i think that description does it justice. i wanted so many things, but i narrowed it down to this pair of cozy handwarmers:

i also got something for my sister, but i can't post a picture of it because it's a christmas present. but i'm pretty excited about it. as we were walking around, this guy was handing out applications for an Alternative Gift Fair put on by Earth House Collective. i snagged an application, but, unfortunately i don't think i'll be able to participate. because so many of my pieces are out in boutiques right now and i am focusing on quite a few special orders, i just don't have the inventory to do another craft show right now. but i'm sure it will be really great! i am planning on going, and hopefully hair treasures can have a booth next year.

i finally got my package of new fancy feathers and have been pairing them with my most recent vintage finds from the flea market. i can't wait to assemble some new, fun treasures and post pictures. i have a lot to keep me busy. busy little tarabee.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

late night. last minute. looky!

so i have to be at work in about five hours. i have no business being awake right now, but i decided to clean / organize my apartment tonight and then i wanted to finalize a few more pieces for the Holiday Artisans Boutique. i'm dropping everything off tomorrow, and then the opening event is on saturday. i'll post a little flyer tomorrow.

another little owly. i just love him.


rufflefest + lacefest.

i feel good about the variety of things i'll have for sale. i hope some of these treasures will end up wrapped up under christmas trees. eee!

also: if you live in the indy area, you should definitely go to this tomorrow:

i didn't have a chance to go to the big indie handicraft exchange back in october, but i'm pretty pumped that i'll get to go to this one tomorrow. i hope that next year hair treasures can be included in the handicraft exchange -- it would be a little dream come true. i can't wait to shop for some gems tomorrow night and report my findings.

being at work at 5:30 a.m. should be illegal. it's just wrong. night night.