Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Download October

This is something I was just doing for myself to keep track of a few things. I figure I'll keep it in our laundry room and mark off when things various places around the apartment have been cleaned or when I've actually made it to the gym as extra motivation. I'm practicing on the last few months of the year to see what layout works best for whatever I end up using it for. Hopefully when 2009 comes around I'll be ready to do a full year. Anyway, I decided I might as well share!

Containing - Excitement; Shipping - Orders

I am excited to have more than a few items that shipped out this week! The photo on the left is one order! Also, a friend purchased a pair of earrings that I think will look just lovely on her, they are one of my favorite pair.

Anyway, I'm also excited about a very nice blurb about me and my shop up on a blog called The Hot Spot. This was written up by Etsy seller Julia Finucane a painter out of New York. Read more about her and her work on her blog here: http://juliafinucane.blogspot.com/

And it looks like it's shaping up to be a nice sunny day in Chicago, . I enjoyed the rain yesterday , but does make a sunny day seem even nicer than before.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Fantastic and free!

There is so much to do in this City and a good deal of these things are free. This week Chuck and I attended the Calexico Concert at the Pritzker Pavilion in Millennium Park. Our timing was just about right, and I think there must be a good balance between people that come to picnic in the lawn in the back and people that chose the seating pit. There were plenty of seats, but it still looked pretty full. The perfect size crowd.

Calexico put on a really good show and we were thinking they brought so many people from Tucson up on stage I was surprised my Aunt Leslie wasn't there! She lives in Tucson's Barrio Historico, and has been a fan of theirs for a very long time. I'm amazed that somehow this was the first time we've managed to see them live. The first guest was Salvador Duran who belted out an amazing song of his own and supported Calexico on a track I recognized from their album with Iron & Wine, In the Reins. Another song featured Pieta Brown in a song about losing a hubcap in the desert outside Tucson at night, which I can attest is very, very dark. I've recently been enjoying Pieta Brown's album Remember The Sun and I was really excited when she came on stage. My one complaint would be that she didn't come back again after that song! To wrap up the guests they brought out Mariachi Luz de Luna for about the last half of the performance.

Then Saturday I spent most of the day with my Mom & Dad at the Art Institute. Also Free! They were having a special event "360 Degrees, Art without Borders" which I still haven't completely figured out, but the museum was packed with lectures and events, the Symphony was doing free performances as well, though we were worn out from the museum and didn't wait in the massive lines to check that out. Instead we saw all we could in the museum, including a Henri Cartier-Bresson photography exhibit and some of their amazing permanent collection. They are currently undergoing a huge addition of a Modern Wing by Renzo Piano which has meant various galleries have been closed on and off. (I can't wait until it's done, which should be May 2009.) Nonetheless, I think I could probably do a blog a day for a month about specific pieces of work I was excited about...but...I think I'll just leave it at this: Chicago has lots of cools stuff! And free is a really good deal!

Oh, and pictured above are some photos my dad put up on his Flickr today of one of the performances at the Art Institute we stopped in briefly to check out. The space was just beautiful and the musicians, Swing Gitan, were really good and seemed to be enjoying themselves! I don't think I've seen an accordion played so well...

As for the rest of the weekend, we of course watched the debate Friday night. And today has been pretty nice and relaxed. We mostly spent the day listening to our most recent downloads from emusic & worrying about our cat Lucy's sleeping pattern. (those of you following me on twitter may have caught that!) She finally did get a nap and is currently bugging us about dinner.

Friday, September 26, 2008

The Last Knit

For the second installment of Video Friday I thought this cute animation about knitting seemed appropriate. I've been knitting a lot this week and I have to say I can relate to this video. It's neat, it's very dream-like and I think since I first watched this I've incorporated some of the imagery into dreams I've had. I originally saw this posted on the Craft Magazine blog. The writer/director, Laura Neuvonen works for the Studio Anima Vitae out of Finland. I'm enjoying these video Friday posts because they've caused me to make a little extra effort to find out more about some of my favorite videos. Unfortunately, another animation of hers is called "The Next Move" about a couple moving into their first home sounds good, but I don't see it on the internet so far.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Not necessary

But it made me happy!

Tuesday night I order a buckle for the wrap I'm knitting that's nearing completion. Yesterday, for all intents and purposes, I finished it off. That is finished knitting, weaving in ends and block are another story. Anyway, what I was referring to above was the fact that I was so excited about the buckle and finishing the knitting that I felt the silly need to Photoshop the two together to try to predict what they would look like. (See above. It's not a very good Photoshop, so at least I didn't spend a lot of time on it. Though I did feel the need to 'shop the yarns out. Silly. The original photo can be seen here.) Very unnecessary since the buckle is on it's way and it should be an assembled piece by next week if all goes well!

And in music news, yesterday afternoon I listened to Cold War Kids on one of my favorite radio programs from KCRW out of LA, Morning Becomes Eclectic. They have a new album out and I look forward to giving it several listens. Hopefully it will be on emusic next time I have downloads there, if not I may need to figure out the Chicago version of Seattle's Easy St. Records. Anyway I really like their dark, blues-y story telling and I always enjoy Morning Becomes Eclectic for the combination of interview and in studio performance. Apparently the lead singer tried to be a high school teacher and had an interesting explanation for the title of their latest album. Also, the band Calexico is playing the Pritzker Pavillion tonight, more on that after we return from the show! I will say I love the free concerts here in Chicago, I know I've already made a few friends back in Seattle a little jealous

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Coat Quest Resolution

The week before last I stopped by Loehmann's, a discount department store, after visiting my Mom for lunch. I was there for a while, seeming to have fun and success trying on coats, jackets wraps and sweaters. The timing must have been right, or that store just generally has good selection. I came home with the top two coats (the red and white) pictured above. The bottom two (blue and green) were just for fun, just jackets, which I couldn't justify buying. I had to admit it hasn't been very long since my last jacket purchase.

Both of the coats are by Esprit, made from 58% recycled wool. They were very discounted and I pretty impulsively decided to buy both. I liked the length of the white coat but the red coat had just the kind of collar I wanted. It also has neat pockets on the chest for hand warming.

It wasn't an easy decision for me to buy what was probably the most wool material I've purchased for 5 or more years. I called my mother for her input on fiber and wikipedia access. Wikipedia says "recycled wool is made by cutting or tearing apart existing wool fabric and respinning the resulting fibers." I decided I felt alright about the material, knowing I didn't want to end up with a poofy poly-filled coat from the north face like last year.

Now I did try to do an alchemy request on Etsy recently for a handmade coat, but ultimately I decided I would probably need to spend more money on that than I can right now to get it right. A good number of responses came back, and several from very cute shops, but none of the responses were very clear about what material they would be using. That for me was the biggest concern. I started the price at $200, expecting to get some higher numbers than that, and I did get a very high bid, but also a handful right around the price I set. I imagine to do a handmade coat that would be heavy enough and still have some style it would probably be nearly twice as much, so I respectfully turned down the bids.

I am still unsure how well these store bought coats will end up working out. They are probably a bit lighter than what you would get from a traditional wool coat. But layering is also an option (one I'm used to in the PNW where you seem to need to be prepared for all temperatures.) So I still have the idea of putting in another alchemy request in a higher price range in the future, when I am more prepared and able to spend the money on it.

(Oops! It took me a while to get this post up, I had to set up my cell phone with my computer to download the pics! Technology...it's fun. Actually, now Chuck wants me to get one of those google phones that came out today...but I'm thinking not anytime soon! I'm happy with my current phone.)

Monday, September 22, 2008

Sunday Dinner

Peppers & Potatoes
Originally uploaded by emmakat79
Last night we went over to my parent's house to cook some yummy vegan food from the Vegan with a Vengeance Cookbook. Dad had picked out the Quinoa Stuffed Peppers, but I thought we could use a little more food than that. Technically the stuffed peppers are in the "little meals" section of the book. I figured finding a side dish to go along with them would help make a more complete dinner-sized meal. So I picked out the Maple-Mustard Potatoes. Both of these dishes called for Maple Syrup, so they seemed like they would go together well.

Everything turned out great, in spite of the fact that we forgot to pick up the chili powder for the pepper dish. There's always something! I could see how that might have helped make it a little more flavorful, but it certainly didn't seem like the peppers were missing anything in the end. And the potatoes...yum. I'm tempted to make up another batch here at our place just for munching on the rest of the week! It really is the best Vegan Cookbook ever.

A sidenote, I noticed Vegan YumYum posted a lengthy article about photographing food that looks very in depth. I don't know if I'm up for much more than a snapshot here and there (I want to eat it before it gets cold!) but perhaps I can pick up a few good pointers here.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Turning the Place Over

Friday is a great day for a nice and simple blog entry so I've decided that I will start posting videos on Friday. There's no shortage of cool artistic videos of installations, kinetic art, animation and more on the internet and so many of them just amaze me. I've already got at least four bookmarked for future Fridays. So here's the first one I've got to share, an amazing public work by Richard Wilson from 2007 done in Liverpool called "Turning the Place Over." I first saw this months ago, maybe longer, yet it continues to be one of my favorites. There are also videos avaliable for the view from the inside and the reaction of some of the locals (complete with great accents!) that I hadn't seen before today.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Guest Chef

Upon meeting my parents for lunch this afternoon my Dad suggested that we come over this weekend and make something from the Veganomicon or VWAV together. We did this last Christmas and it turned out great. Oddly I barely remember what we actually made (I think maybe the VWAV corn fritters? I know we discussed making the chickpea cutlets.) I think because it was just fun putting the meal together with my Dad. The food was very good, I remember that. Well this time maybe I'll take pictures!

Anyway, this reminded me that I've seen a few great looking recipes around the web that I have yet to make. The site 101 cookbooks (which I originally came across because it showed up in my g-mail ads of all places! I guess I must have been having a conversation about cooking with someone) always has fantastic images of their food. So far I've made the caramelized tofu from their site, which I would highly recommend. Perhaps the success of that dish is what is making me curious about the Maple Grilled Tempeh, with a similar sweet/salty combination. That and the fact that it sounds like it would have quick & simple preparation with an interesting end result.

Over at Vegan Yum Yum, a site Chuck discovered, I was excited about another simple looking dish. I hope it's not just the photography (though the images are great here too) but the Super Quick Tomato Basil Cream Pasta looks amazing. Just very rich and satisfying, perfect for a rainy day. Hmm...maybe I should've tried making it last weekend instead of being upset about Renegade getting so rained out! Their most recent post for Bubble and Squeak Cakes caught Chuck's eye. He's made a few variations on Potato Croquettes & these seem somewhat similar, but with a much more adorable sounding name! Admittedly I am really happy with anything involving mushy potato goodness, so I hope he tries making these soon!

Lastly, for something a little more complicated the Pistachio Crusted Tofu at FatFreeVegan looks really good. I've found trying to crust or bread tofu a little bit challenging, but finding a good recipie to follow could make a big difference. And what better to crust tofu with than pistachios?

So we'll see what we end up making, but hopefully we'll get to try most of these recipes before long. Links to these blogs and others can be found under my list of Favorites on the right side of my blog & if I come across any great new sites I'll put them there too!

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

In the shop, Will be soon and a WIP

These necklaces are based in the idea I had around Halloween last year. Last year, however, I was just starting to get my Etsy shop going and wasn't really able to explore the concept completely. So I've had the materials to make a few more, and even to make the "patina" color scheme with copper findings, but hadn't really been motivated until Halloween things started showing up on Etsy again. The Black version is available in the shop now, and the patina color scheme will be there soon!

Additionally, I have an idea involving knitting with wire I've been wanting to execute for a while. It's pictured to the left. I'm still experimenting with the right gauge, so unfortunately this isn't the final version. Still some experimenting/playing to do, but I'm hoping there will be a few variations on this theme in the shop before Christmas. For now, I'm pretty happy with how the experiment turned out!

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Our Mostly Carless Life

Last night we had our first grocery run enabled by an I-go hauling device (okay, yes a car.) We were lazy and had put off smaller trips to the store for long enough that there was next to nothing in our fridge. So after a nasty rainy weekend spent thinking about the fact that there wasn't any food around the apartment (though Chuck somehow managed to throw some meals together, he's got some skills I don't possess) and receiving the I-go membership information on Monday, it was time to try it out.

Here's a picture of Chuck perfectly coordinated with the car we had for about 1.5 hours. We can see the parking spot from the apartment perfectly, so Chuck took the opportunity to throw on his only blue shirt, which matched the car perfectly. Just kidding, actually the shirt was something Chuck ordered off Woot recently, so the timing just worked out so the first time Chuck wore this shirt was the same day we tried out the I-go, which happened to be bright blue. The exact same shade. It makes me giggle. Next time we plan on using I-go and see that it's the bright blue car out there, I'm going to suggest he wear this shirt!

So overall it was a fine experience. I-go seems to have a better deal than zip car, and there are 3 hours included in the membership each month. That should be enough to cover two large grocery runs if we want it to. Interestingly, I-go is a non-profit company based here in Chicago; perhaps that makes a difference in what they charge. We had to stand around just a few moments to wait for our time window to begin. You scan your card on a device in the front windshield, and it seems to know who can use the car and what time it is. The only complaint I had was that our car was smelly! And a little beat up inside, but that didn't bug me as much. They are pretty clear in the rules that you aren't supposed to smoke in the cars, but someone before us did. A lot. For a quick grocery run that didn't really matter either, but if we ever use I-go for a trip it's probably something to figure out how to avoid.

Lastly, here's our grocery haul, pictured to the left! It's nice to have food again. Next time we won't be waiting for the membership package to show up and we should just be able to go!
It's certainly easier to transport a large package of toilet paper this way. And there are the Totes 2 go in action!

Monday, September 15, 2008

Emmakat's Gallery of Incomplete Knits

Note to self: you have plenty of knitting projects going on. You have plenty of materials to start other projects. Do not look at the new knitty and get any ideas. Do not stop by the LYS, even though they are having a grand re-opening post move. You may even just want to stick to finishing off a few of the projects below before starting on the projects you're stashed for. So you certainly don't need to get any new ideas. Although, hmm, this is pretty cute and interesting...uh-oh!

Geez. Well, starting new projects before finishing the old ones is certainly nothing new and I know it's a problem most knitters have. So it's time for me to fess up via blog. I have too many things on needles and many of those are so very close to being finished it's ridiculous that I don't spend time on them. But of course, each one has it's reasons for delay that make the idea of starting a new project from scratch more appealing...

Chain Scarf - (inspired by a Japanese knitting book) I'm pretty close but there are several issues. One is the concept of weaving in all the ends. I also need to decide what length I want it. Either I could just use up all the yarn I have or I could stop soon and still have tons of ends to deal with. I do get bugged by little bits of leftover yarn for some reason, so that's actually been a contributing factor to not finishing this off.

The Buckled Wrap - (from Creative Knitting Magazine.) This was going great and the end was so clearly in sight until I dropped a stitch in the lace pattern. I gave fixing it two pretty good tries right after it happened and then put it away for a new project. Or...Ahem two new projects. Also haven't located a good buckle for it yet, so even when the knitting is done it won't be done until I do that!

Leaf Cardigan - (From Knitty) It was going quickly. Two things happened here 1. it's coming out too big and 2. I ran out of yarn and can only make it about 1/2 way around to attach the i-cord leaf ties. Buying yet another ball to finish it is unappealing prompting the thought of undoing the bottom ribbing on another "completed" project. Which would turn this into two projects- fixing the completed one and finishing this one!

Drop Stitch T-shirt - (S'n'B Calendar 2007) It's going fine! It's just...not the most manageable thing ever. The yarn is slippery (but very nice) and 25% of the stitches get dropped. Ack! I have the front & back panels knitted up, the stitches dropped on one, and there will be sleeves. It's hard to visualize the end product even with as much done as I've got. I've been holding it up to myself in the mirror...but it's just a square, it's not a shape yet! Plus the next task after dropping stitches is seaming...ew. This does seem like one of the easier UFOs to tackle.

So...four sizable projects...that's not great! Additionally I started messing with a lace tank top from The Best of Interweave Knits last week. But then I screwed up the last row and really I think I ought to forget about it for now and finish any of these four. It's really a matter of mind over knitted matter. What prompted this post? Well it's always in the back of my head. Plus I keep seeing lovely knits everywhere (prep for fall I guess, although I do go looking) and thinking how quickly a project could be done. And it's true, a small project, I could get that done in a snap....(uh, maybe) So this is really just a reminder to myself that while that might be true, it'd be a lot more satisfying if I got it done in a snap after I finish a few projects that are practically complete anyway.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Renegade Round-up

Well, we made it over to the Craft Fair yesterday, briefly. Saturday, the day we went, was a record breaking 6.63 inches of rainfall, complete with some flooding around town causing transit issues and general unpleasant wetness. Yet the turnout seemed pretty good in spite of the weather, so I can only imagine what it might have been had it been nice out.

Since I wasn't sure how long it might be before the "light" (note this was not what you would consider light in Seattle terms) drizzling turned into something worse our pace for the show was faster than I would've liked, but it was slow enough to pick out a few favorites. I am disappointed though, I'm sure with further browsing opportunity I would have been able to pick out many more, because there was certainly no shortage of good looking booths. It's also a given for me, with my indecisive way of shopping, that such a quick visit meant no purchases this time around, but I'm hoping that I'll either see my favorites around town or if not, be able to look them up on Etsy or elsewhere!

Actually that does bring up a point though, one of the first booths I looked at was a lovely booth with embroidered totes & other items which I'm currently having a hard time remember the name of. I've spent a little time trying to figure it out by looking at the list of vendors, but
unfortunately nothing is popping out at me! Hopefully I'll be able to remember the name in the next few days. Several of my other favorites were artisans whose work I've been drooling over for a while. One of these days I'll have a lace necklace from Cursive Design, and perhaps also an adorable necklace from Figs & Ginger, since I've been eying both for years! Somehow I didn't realize until this weekend that the necklaces from Figs & Ginger are made from recycled sterling silver, so that provides some added interest. Cursive also has lovely wrapped twig necklaces and votive candle holders, either could easily be added to my list of things I would like to get myself.

While there was no shortage of great looking booths, two really stood out to me. These were kindling & Up In the Air Somewhere (pictured above.) It was interesting to see how well their booth display matched their aesthetic providing an overall sense of what their product was all about. Of course there were all kinds of great display ideas, doubly impressive because I am sure it was difficult to set up in this weekend's conditions. In fact, not all of the vendors were set up when we were there, and I can't say I blame them!

Lastly, a few of the new (to me) artists that stood out where Mimi, GoGo & Deadbird. Mimi's illustrations were a done in a lovely color palette and I have to admit that the representation of people reminded me of architecture school (in a good way!) I especially like the pieces drawn on veneer. Gogo's booth was filled with lovely bright jewelry that really stood out on such a gray day & I was of course taken with Deadbird's booth full of images of birds (no actual dead birds, fortunately) my favorites were naturally the ones done on Formica samples.

Of course that's just from a brief walk-thru of the whole fair, there's really no telling what I might have loved enough to bring home if I'd had the time. There was certainly a lot to choose from. Well I guess I'll be looking forward to Renegade's holiday craft fair with anticipation!

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Raining in my heart

It's currently looking like it's going to be a very wet weekend for the Renegade Craft Fair over in Wicker Park. I'm determined to make it at some point, though judging from the forecast it's not going to get much nicer out than it is right now.

Ideally I'd like to be able to spend as much time checking out all the cool stuff and maybe even catch some of the bands in the evening...but I guess the weather just isn't seeing it my way. For now I am thinking that today might be the best time to go, but I'm choosing between a forecast of "likely rain, chance of thunderstorms" or "definite rain." What to do?!!! Well, look for updates here on the blog and on my twitter.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Etsy Shop Updates!

The last week or so my shop has seen an influx of new items, as I have recently made an effort to document & list a bunch of stuff I finished months ago but hadn't found time to photograph. I guess that's probably the result of packing, unpacking, moving, etc. And I still have a few more items to list!

In light of the increasing size of my shop I decided to create a little more distinction between the items. I divided Necklaces into three categories: beaded, with chain and pendants. I hope this makes the browsing experience a little easier for shoppers. I also added a small sale section, which for now has a few gocco prints where the ink didn't take as well as I would have liked. I've also been working here and there at improvements to my listings, better descriptions, and switching around the first image to make the shop seem a little warmer. This, however, is a task I know will take a lot of time and thought to get everything just right, but I'm happy with the difference it's made so far.

Even without any new sales it's been a very good week for me on etsy. Monday started off well as my Raincloud notepad (pictured above) spent about an hour on the front page. I was pretty happy about how my Doily treasury turned out in spite of all the treasury weirdness. Last night I noticed that my Andrika Moleskine (also pictured above) was used as a related item in a Storque article. And today, I just couldn't resist the urge to turn the song that popped into my head for no apparent reason last night into a brand new treasury!

That treasury actually reminds me of Halloween. I will have to dig up a photo and share exactly how "Lydia the Tattooed lady" relates to the upcoming holiday in my mind. I'm sure my parents can help! Which in turn is a good reminder to quickly make up a few more webbed necklaces like I made last year! I got a few ideas for varations on the theme, and there's not much time to waste.

P.S. the Renegade Handmade craft fair is this weekend in Chicago and I'm ridiculously excited to stop by as a shopper! Look for a post on some of my favorites early next week!

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Doily Dallies

Featuring Doilies
Photostream of: emmakat79
Well, Since it's not looking like the treasury situation on Etsy is going to get completely straightened out until the next round of treasuries are up, I thought I might as well post an image here. My treasury items ended up here while my title is hanging out with pirates! (Note these have now expired.)

Anyway, on a related note, because I was recently thinking about doilies, I was very excited about these Newspaper Doilies I saw featured on Cuteable first thing this morning. What would be really awesome is some kind of waffle press type contraption in which you can press old newspapers to make these. Can you imagine? Wake up, make some waffles, make some newspaper doilies. Okay, I'm just being silly. But these are very neat and I'm really curious as to how they are made!

And on an unrelated note, Craft Magazine's Blog featured a tutorial on making a note pad from The Small Object that is very nicely done. It involves a "life changing compound" to glue the top edge together a la store bought note pads. I am fascinated by the idea because I love lists and forms and nothing I ever buy seems to suit my needs correctly. I will probably have to find out more about this compound! It certainly looks intense!

These also caught my eye last night on Penguin and Fish and showed up this morning on Cuteable! (I've been wondering what "alpaca wire" is ever since. It seems like something I should've heard of before, but I haven't! Anyone know if it actually involves alpacas in any way?)

Well, I started my day pretty early this morning, so I am either expecting to be very productive and/or crash around 5pm or shortly there after. So far I've been productive, I've already been to the gym and blogged. Let's hope it stays that way!

Tuesday, September 9, 2008


Well this morning has flown by and I managed to get myself sidetracked with some unexpected things. First off, I grabbed a treasury last night, only to find that some server error on etsy was causing the treasuries to be inaccessible. I awoke this morning to find my empty treasury waiting to be filled. Unfortunately there were more issues to come and my treasury vanished later in the day. Well, because of all issues etsy admin opened up more treasury spots than are usually avaliable. So I nabbed one again and refilled it with my doily themed concept. Wow, okay I just checked that link and it seems to go to my treasury with the wrong title. I think it may be done for. Well I'm done messing around with treasuries for a while, though I am disappointed. At least you can see the screen capture by checking it out on my flickr page here.

Then I came to the blog and decided that it has been bugging me for too long that the width of the posts were too narrow. The major reason I thought this was a problem is because I put some effort a while back into doing a nice layout for a few feature posts and they weren't looking like I intended ever since I switched to a 3 column format. Perhaps no one would be bothered by that but me, but now that it's fixed I feel better.

That little bit of tweeking prompted a "I can master html" mood. And I decided it still didn't look quite right. I decided to solve that problem by replacing the dotted lines between posts and widgets with a few lines of my own design. Nothing too fancy, but I hope that now the page looks a little more unique. I'm still trying to decide what to do with the sidebar space, and I added a few more project wonderful advertising slots to even out the length of the sidebar. So we'll see how that goes, but I am done messing with all of this for today!

And now I am properly caffeinated, and I don't think I can stand anymore tweeking or other ways of sidetracking myself from the 5 to 10 things I actually need to do. It's time to get off the computer!

Monday, September 8, 2008

Stats from the Front Page

I just had my second etsy front page experience! (Well second time for one of my items to be on the front page. third experience including the treasury I curated last week!) I think my notebook was up for almost exactly one hour, from about 10:45 to 11:45am. This brought about 17 new hearts for the shop, 18 hearts for the notepad itself and something close to 330 new views of the notepad. Additionally several people added other items from my shop to their favorites, the majority of which were other paper goods.

I'm running through the stats just because I think it's kind of interesting to think about the impact being on the front page has on a shop. I've been making an effort to list a few items a day for the past several days, but that certainly doesn't bring people in at the same rate! This was kind of an interesting experience since I was an alternate choice in the treasury. I saw the little gray star next to this treasury yesterday and it filled me with suspense to know which item had been chosen. I promptly tried searching through the curator's favorites but didn't see any of my items. Having the item show up on the front page was a pretty excellent way to see that mystery resolved!

So far this hasn't resulted in any immediate sales, but it sure made me happy anyway. There's something pretty neat about how Etsy is set up & I am sure to spend a bunch of time looking at the shops and favorites of all my new hearts!

Friday, September 5, 2008

Andrew Bird is Crafty

Wednesday night Andrew Bird performed for free at the Pritzker Pavilion in Millennium Park. This was a show I knew we could not miss since we've been a fan of the musician's work since his 2004 album and a fan of the Pritzker Pavillion since...shortly before we moved here. This was the first full length show we had a chance to attend at this venue since we arrived, though we did catch Le Loup for a short lunch hour show when we first arrived. The evening show did not disappoint, the sound was very good and it did not rain! Though architecturally, Chuck & I were wondering why the lawn wasn't sloped for better views of the stage, but that didn't matter too much because we were able to score seats in the "seating pit."

The first time we saw Andrew Bird was a the Tractor Tavern, shortly after my dad sent me a link to a free mp3 on Salon's audiofile mentioning it sounded like something I would like. It was. Of course the sound was right up my alley so I was pleased to find out some facts about him, that he's from Chicago and he used to be the violinist for the Squirrel Nut Zippers. But I was also struck by the photos of him. First of all he's very stylish, I love the suits, long coats & scarves. There's also an air of craftiness to his press photos. Often these pictures include props like large Victrola parts, birds or birdhouses that must've been handcrafted. The artwork on his albums & concert posters reflect this as well. Plus he whistles, plays violin, guitar, other instruments and he's pretty cute.

So this week's show was no exception. He dressed in a suit, and was notably controlling his looping effect with his shoeless, colorblock sock covered feet. 3 video screens displayed fascinating videos of machinery whose purpose appeared to be to animate a chair, wings or eggshells. One song even included an animated short about a fisherman and a squid that both perplexed and amused the audience. Victrola parts were present as well, one spun during certain songs. It was an very enjoyable show, but I'm also glad we got to see him at such a small venue early on. It was harder to get a sense of what he was doing on stage, looping his live violin samples, though I'm sure it would have helped if we had been closer. And ultimately Andrew Bird is one of the few musicians we've seen that really doesn't need a band, he's able to fill the stage on his own. But the band added excitement, even if I did miss the intimacy, and it was great to see the enthusiastic hometown crowd rush the stage during fake palindromes (a more upbeat song from his repertoire.) It was certainly an excellent show!

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Setter Happy Card Making Extravaganza!

The past few days my shop has seen an influx of blank cards. I've gotten pretty "setter-happy." I got an instant setter tool last year at a paper store but I've only recently decided to put it to heavy use making cards. (It was purchased to punch holes in cards for packaging necklaces and jewelry, giving me a little more flexibility than a standard hole punch.) But it is loud and does scare the cat but I'm pretty happy with the results. Fortunately Lucy's got a pretty good hiding spot in which she's very comfortable. I believe there will be more in this style.

In other accomplishments, I set up a facebook page for my shop, which can be seen here.

If you are facebook inclined, please check it out and consider becoming a "fan." If it sees enough traffic I may end up using it as a sort of online newsletter (as if a blog wasn't enough!) where I can make some announcements and updates about the shop! I will treat my fans well, sign autographs, kiss babies, you know the usual stuff. Just teasing. Unless you really do want my autograph.

Monday, September 1, 2008

Architect's Treasury

Etsy treasuries are always a nice thing to do on a Sunday afternoon. Well, okay, technically it's not Sunday...which somehow gives the day even more of a Sunday feel. It's Sunday times two. So today I wasn't even trying all that hard, but happened to be looking at treasuries when they were at the magic 333 number. With 5 minuted to go before a treasury became avaliable. (For anyone that doesn't know, etsy treasuries are explained here.)

I stuck around to pursue an idea of collecting architecturally influenced shops. I like the results and I can see coming back to the idea later. It's already spawned a possible gift idea; despite Chuck's lack of interest in having things he's already declared an interest in having a Mies pincushion. He's now an IIT student, you see, and Mies designed most of the buildings on his campus.

Anyway, I'm always checking profiles to find out if designers I suspect are architects are in fact architects, and I'm sure I've come across several more than I've featured. This treasury represents a mix of those influence and those involved in the profession. Perhaps a future treasury will be exclusively filled with those in my profession. But for today I am happy with a mix!

UPDATE: This Treasury made it to Etsy's Front Page! It's the first time for a treasury I picked out! YAY!