Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Ten Favorite Places for Online Shopping

When I got the email for this week's Ten on Tuesday, I misread it as 10 Favorite Small Shops Online - a subtle difference. Anyway, I was initially very excited at the thought of paging through different ToT posts today, learning about everyone's favorite indie shop. Then, I reread the prompt, realized my mistake and decided I was gonna do my interpretation anyway - I'm pretty sure we can all already count as among our favorite online shopping spots Amazon.com (which, truth be told, is probably the site I window-shop the most).

1. Threadless

I love their $10 tee sales, but more than that, I love browsing through the clever tees.  And then, I love buying them for Mike so I can see the tees in action.  Like this one. Communist Party. 

2. BoyGirlParty
I found BoyGirlParty the way I find most things on the Internets. I did a search for squirrels.  In this case, I was searching only Etsy, but no matter - squirrels abound on Etsy (just like everywhere else).  I have this very notepad and I ration out its sheets like sheets of titanium, encrusted with diamonds, and woven with threads of gold.  

3.  bomobob
I've not actually purchased anything from this shop, but in looking for a replacement for another Etsy shop that seems to be on hiatus (new baby, understandable), I came across this shop.  I am a sucker for vignette-y photos of fluffy weeds and seeds.  I have no doubt I will make multiple purchases from this shop - right after I favorite every item for sale.

4. RebekahMakes

FO Natalya Mission Falls superwash merino
I like old cameras, and I cannot lie.  They don't have to work, they just have to be old.  I don't usually buy my cameras online.  I prefer to discover them in the nooks and crannies of antique and consignment shops.  But I am particularly lusting after the Antique Devry Box Camera on this site.

5. ThinkGeek


ThinkGeek is the place I jump to when I'm shopping for nerds.  Whether they're Trekkies, engineers, gear heads, or just plain old DIYers, I can find something for everynerd at ThinkGeek.  

6. FledglingFactotum, and 7. laceramiste

Unique, beautiful gifts for the fiber artist and quilter in your life.  I have a quilt pendant necklace and love it (I found mine at a craft show and cannot find the artist online).  These two shops each have interesting items, many of which I'd buy and/or gift!

8. studiokmo 
I have a thing for maps.  I have a couple on display in my house, but nothing quite as lovely (and insanely awesome) as what you can find in this shop.  I bought the above prints a couple of months ago - simple line drawings of my adopted hometown.  But, what really inspires me are the crazytalk mapcuts.  Even if you can't afford one (they're mostly $500 and up, except for the wee 10x10 personalized mapcut - that's an affordable $90), you should click on over and marvel at the skill and patience.*

9. dlkdesigns

 I stumbled on this shop by accident and luck and I am so glad I did.  I can't reveal what I've purchased from this shop, but I will tell you it involves two points on a vintage map.  I think I'll be revisiting this shop a LOT.  Maps on Scrabble tiles? Yes, please.

10. Three Potato Four

I saved this one for last because it's a two-fer - not only do they have a fairly fabulous online shop, but 3P4 happens to be right around the corner (and down the road, and over the bridge, and on the side of a hill) from me. I just ordered some fun stuff from them yesterday and opted for the in-store pick-up, so I can't wait to do that Saturday morning!

*My friend Stacy did one of these mapcuts for fun and leisure (not for sale!).  She's awesome.  When I grow up, I want to be as crafty and lucky and lovely as her. :-)

Tuesday, November 02, 2010


About a month ago, my friend A. and I took a quilting class together. The instructor showed us a way to cut and sew simple, curved patchwork. Just as advertised, it was super-easy and QUICK! By the next day, I'd finished piecing my squares (all 84 of them).


When laid out one way, the effect is similar to blades of a windmill.


I'm not normally one to follow directions when it comes to crafting (see: every sweater I've knit has failed because of this tendency), and so I decided to play around with different ways of piecing this quilt. I liked the idea of staggered, deconstructed windmill blades. To lend a bit more to the staggering, I threw in the occasional scrap of solid (as in, uncut) fabric, and then sewed the squares into vertical columns.

I used my living room carpet as my design board, something I've done dozens of times in the past. I carefully laid everything out, paying attention to pattern and color repeats and proximity. Then, I took a couple of photos, and went to bed, just like I'd done the same dozens of times before.


The next morning, Mike got up and went about his morning routine. When he came back up to say good-bye, he said, "Uh, did you need the fabric to stay in order from last night?"

Half asleep, I mumbled back that it didn't matter, I'd taken a photo. "Why?"

"Well, I think one of the cats got to it last night."

Suspect is a female torty flops-a-lot kitten

And while there's another cat in the house, we honestly knew it wasn't her doing, whatever it was that was done. Aside from her incessant chattering and constant need to be ALL UP IN YOUR GRILL, Penny's not a bad cat at all. She's more likely to nap upon the laid out craft-in-progress than anything else. Unless it's yarn - she will chase a ball of yarn like it's going out of style. Good thing I'm not so much into the knitting these days, right?

Anyway, I figured whatever Lucy had done to the fabric was no big deal. I figured maybe Miss Flop had decided to flop on the fabric and that maybe that had caused things to move slightly askew. Mike didn't elaborate - and I went back to dozing for another 20 minutes or so.

When I finally did get up and moving, I went downstairs and found this:


And honestly, the only thing I could do was laugh. I tried to imagine her delight as she played with the fabric strips, batting them around the living room and into the dining room. Then, I picked them up, laid them out again, numbered them in the order I wanted, and folded them into neat little piles before storing them in a large zippie bag.

All's well that ends well - I managed to finish the top a couple of days after the "incident". It's not at all close to the order I'd originally intended or, for that matter, the second order I laid out. Still, I like it and can't wait to finish this one. More photos when that happens, for sure!