Thursday, March 24, 2011

emily's birthday present.

yesterday was my friend emily's birthday. she is a rare find in this world of ours. few people spread joy like she does -- santa claus is the only other person i can think of off the top of my head. it's pretty perfect that we found each other in grad school.

emily travels a lot, and i adore her thirst for adventure. it seems like no matter what life throws her, she always makes the best of it and inspires other people to do the same. i wanted to make her something for her bday that would communicate this little notion, so here's what i came up with:

(a little 6"x6" canvas covered in brown calico. i got the floral ribbon at an antique store in bloomington and used scraps of other calicos to make the piecemeal heart to go along with the theme of the quote. i used my typewriter to type the quote on brown paper.)

(i stumbled upon this virginia woolf quote and knew immediately that it was perfect for emily. also - i glued the heart pieces together, then sewed them around the edges. i glued everything to the canvas instead of actually assembling them with my sewing machine - good choice.)

(the back: i used felt to cover up the yuckies, and unfortunately i only had white. oh well. i typed a little note on brown paper and placed it in the inset on the back of the canvas.)

(one time we took a picture of ourselves in our fake glasses in front of a christmas tree. it looks slightly weird, but that pretty much sums up what everybody thinks about us anyway.)

i'm so thankful for the people God has put in my life during my time here in bloomington. i am blessed beyond measure.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

flashback city, USA.

in the words of one of my favorite musicians, jens lekman: this, of course, has nothing to do with anything. 

i was going through some old photos on my computer tonight and came across this little guy circa 1994. i forgot i had this in digital form! yes, it's me posing proudly with my pfaff (still using the same machine 17 years later - definitely time for an update, though we've had some good times together). 

the table is one of those old fold-down machine/table combos that i used until i got this baby. every time i see a similar one in an antique store, it brings me back to my beginning sewing days. i also still use the floral notions box in the photo. my grandma kate gave it to me! 

i started sewing when i was about 7, but this might be the earliest photographic proof of my preferred hobby. (yeah, when everyone else was playing soccer or tap dancing, i was at sewing lessons.) oh, and don't even pretend like you don't love my side ponytail and black turtleneck. i am STILL this cool.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

all my crafty SXSW adventures.

i made it back from austin a couple days ago. if you're keeping track - yes, i left austin just as the music portion of SXSW began. i was there for the interactive festival, which was TOTALLY AWESOME, and, unfortunately, when IU booked the tickets and i was given an opportunity to extend mine, i didn't capitalize on it. i didn't have any idea how to make arrangements at the time or what a few days in texas alone would entail, so i decided to come home with the group. c'est la vie. there's always next time.

("madness" is accurate.)

if you've never been to austin, you should definitely change that. and go in the spring - the weather was gorgeous! there are so many music venues, food trucks, restaurants, shops, outdoor activities, and other cool attractions that have made 20-somethings flock to the city in droves to soak it all in. obviously my time there was unique in that there were 20,000 extra non-austinites in the city, but i still couldn't help but feel that the city is alive and vibrant, even without the influx of SXSW festival-goers.

(high above the city)

on my second day in the city, i spotted some outdoor vendors set up. i came upon a shop that sells upcycled cards, jewelry, and accessories - all made out of recycled materials - called R&R Design. i bought a little greeting card and debated whether i should get this texas card, too. i decided against it since i knew i wouldn't be proactive enough to send it while still in texas. so cute, though!

(love is bigger in texas)

(the R&R Design setup)

here on this crafty craft blog, i wanted to share another little piece of my SXSW experience. i heard about an "etsy party" and made my way to Venue 222 in downtown austin in between SXSW sessions. i went with my friend casey, but they turned her away since she's not 21. how rude!

(outside Venue 222)

(etsy austin has their act together.)

so i had a little solo adventure inside where i discovered a display of austin etsy sellers' wares, sewing machine stations sponsored by BurdaStyle (a really cool pattern sharing web site), photo booths, shot glass painting sessions (ha!), and a general population of handmade appreciators. 

(austin etsy sellers display)

(hand-painted shot glasses, anyone?)

(the BurdaStyle table)

i tried out the fancy singer sewing machines by making a tiny drawstring bag. i'm so jealous! i'd love to have a computerized machine with so many cool stitches. someday. someday. i didn't partake in any other activities besides milling around and observing. it was fun, but i was bummed that my bud casey wasn't there.

(it will be mine. oh, yes. it will be mine.)

(the view from above)

i also met a really cool girl named julie at this event. she works for etsy as a blogger and community programming coordinator. since casey's project was about blogging communities, i decided to do a little interview for her as a favor. excuse my on-the-fly interview style. yikes! and also my amateur flipcam film technique. ha. (ps. her job sounds like the coolest thing in the world. i want her life!)

Julie Schneider from Tara Bender on Vimeo.

more events were hosted by etsy austin and Venue 222 throughout the week including live music and a handmade fashion show, but i didn't attend any of those. my week was jam-packed with SXSW sessions, panels, interviews, blogging, and eating (of course). i wish i had more time to spend in austin, especially during SXSW time because the possibilities of things to do and see really are endless. it's fantastic. 

(totally sweet etsy cut-out banners.)

on my last night in austin i went with casey and rachel to a couple shops on south congress. i was told about Parts & Labour, a local handmade shop, by the girls at R&R Design. i didn't end up making any purchases there, but i wanted one of everything, i promise. there was a really cool section of upcycled t-shirts that gave me some new ideas i can't wait to try!

(some clothes @ Parts & Labour)

(Parts & Labour austin-themed t-shirt & magnet wall)

(lil guys @ Parts & Labour)

("scenes from austin" coasters @ Parts & Labour - should have snagged one!)

we also made our way into a little vintage shop where i found a calico floral jumper. that's right, people. KOOLOTZ. i can't wait to show off my fav (and only?) austin purchase once it gets a little warmer outside. for now, i'll just share a couple pictures from the shop. 

(i had to resist. i still have a drawer of unused treasures waiting for me!)

(keepin it classy.)

it's pretty safe to say that i had a blast in austin and can't wait to go back! it's on my list of potential places to live post-graduation. i'd say it's probably in first place at the moment. if you want to see more of my SXSW adventures, you should check out my tumblr blog. i wrote and posted videos and photos every day. you'll see a few celebs mixed in there. eee! 

thanks for reading this super long jumbo post. see you soon!

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

absence makes my heart grow tired of homework.

it's been way to long, bloggies. this semester has been very busy and productive with little time to divert my focus from school, internships, assistantships - more ships than you can shake a stick at!

my friend jim was one of my favorite regulars when i worked at eagle creek coffee co. he recently shared this photo on the hair treasures facebook page :

last spring i made a special headband for each of jim's girls, and he promised that he would take some professional photos. i am so grateful! and isn't she adorable? 

tonight i finished up some wedding pieces for my friend shea. it was fun to be crafty for a little bit in the midst of so much homework. i'll post pictures soon!

in other news, i am leaving for austin, TX on wednesday. i will attending the SXSWi (interactive) festival with my classmates by day and enjoying all of the totally awesome austin-ness of austin by night. i have a separate blog specifically for this trip (mandated by my professor), so take a look if you have a chance. i'd love to share my nerdy adventures with you. 

i'll be back soon. pinky swear.