What I’m Lovin’ in December

christmas

I hope you are reading this post while snuggled under your favorite blanket in front of a warm fire with hot cocoa in hand. {Or at least I hope you’re channeling that image}

I wanted to pop in to share a light-hearted read with you: the list of what I’m lovin’ this month!

resliced by Jordan (1)

Because of all the time I was able to spend sitting on my couch thinking of all the things I love, most of this post contains moments from my wisdom-tooth-recovery at the beginning of the month {It was a slow recovery, but I’m feeling better now!}.

1.¬†Leaf Lookin’

I love when fall transitions to winter and the grounds become covered in the most beautiful blanket of leaves…and the sky becomes a little more visible through the trees. It’s just magnificent!

blue ridge mtn

This year the Hubs and I spent Thanksgiving at his grandfather’s in the Blue Ridge Mountains. The drive there was absolutely amazing! The photo above is from Popcorn Overlook. I wish I could bottle it up and send all of you a piece, but for now you’ll just have to enjoy the picture ūüėČ

2. The Great British Sewing Bee sewing book

Having my wisdom teeth removed really zapped my energy. I was hoping to have enough energy to sew some while I was at home resting (thinking my only compromise would be a pair of chipmunk cheeks). No such luck.

Since I didn’t have the energy to sew, I gathered up all my sewing books – including one of my newest gifted from my mother-in-law:¬†The Great British Sewing Bee: Sew Your Own Wardrobe¬†– and did some sewing-related reading.

sewing bee

The Hubs kept me stocked on Frosties which really helped with healing ūüėČ

The book is stuffed with tutorials for closet staples. It even included five full-size patterns which is exciting! One of them is a pair of men’s trousers which the Hubs is super excited about – he is quite tall and has the opposite problem I do: he struggles with finding clothing long enough. After plugging along with my Moji pants, I’m feeling more confident that maybe one day I could make him some pants! We’ll see…

3. Iris Apfel

iris 2

While stuck at home recovering from my wisdom teeth removal, I realized that I’m not a great television watcher and had no idea what to watch (after binge’ing¬†on¬†Friends…again…because it’s the only show I could think of).

My friend Markessce gave me lots of great recommendations Рincluding Iris which he recommended because she reminds him of me.

iris

{Click the image to see more quotes from Iris}

I¬†loved the documentary! Iris is absolutely fabulous and so witty! If you haven’t watched the documentary on Netflix – add it to your list! {You can watch the trailer here¬†& read 11 inspiring quotes from Iris here}

4. Knitting

knitting

Over the days I spent recovering from my wisdom teeth, I picked my knitting needles back up and finished the ear warmer I’d been working on. I took a knitting class over the summer, but I didn’t catch on as quickly as I’d hoped and struggled a little during the class. I went home and started searching the internet for help. I ran across Good Knit Kisses on YouTube and found her videos¬†super helpful!

Then I started searching for beginner knitting projects. I thought I’d try to make some dish cloths because I heard they were easy, but then I ran across this ear warmer that looked even easier [and way cuter!]. I am kind of smitten with it and wore it to the Indie Craft Parade Holiday Market¬†with my sister {cuz why not wear your handmade goodies to a handmade fair?!}.

ear warmer

Next up: I want to learn how to use circular needles so I can make this infinity scarf!

If you like to knit, follow my Knitting Pinterest Board!

5. Being a quilt guild member

A few months ago, I joined the Palmetto Modern Quilt Guild. It has been such fun! I have enjoyed getting to know all the ladies and being a part of a group that loves sewing as much as I do.

At the guild’s holiday party, we decided to do a gift exchange. The rule was that everyone had to make something smaller than 18 inches to exchange. We played by the white elephant rules – there was lots of “oooh-ing” and “ahhh-ing” and gift stealing ūüėČ

I mean – look at this gorgeous array of handmade presents!

quilt guild

Clockwise from the top left: a set of 3 vinyl-front WIP bags on top of their draw-string gift bag, an open-wide pouch (pattern also from Noodlehead), a zip-top pouch & Tula Pink fat eighth, my envelope clutch, patchy mug rug and large zip-top pouch.

For my gift to exchange, I made a tried-and-true envelope clutch {pattern by Noodlehead}.

envelope clutch 2

A few weeks ago I snagged a bag of Liberty of London scraps from Mad for Fabric on Instagram. The scraps are so small that they can’t really be pieced together so I used a glue stick to place them where I wanted them on a piece of batting then zig-zag stitched between them construct the flap. The method worked out pretty well.

My new friend Francine stole the bag when it was her turn – and lucky Francine…you can’t steal the gift more than once!

6. Crafty Feast

As usual, my sister and I had a blast shopping at Crafty Feast!

crafty feast

In the photobooth before the doors opened (yes, we got there early!)

We took over the Cola Indie Maker’s Instagram account to live post the event. I made sure to tag vendors in the posts so browse what we found and follow the shops! We discovered a lot of great new shops and loved seeing our local favorites ūüôā

7. Supporting Friends & Makers

The holidays can be a frivolous time. It’s easy to find yourself mindlessly stocking up on meaningless gifts or putting your Amazon Prime subscription to good use (I’m not judging! #BeenThereDoneThat).

I think it’s really important to support handmade businesses as often as you can. As someone who has owned a handmade business, I know exactly what that sale means. It means the world: your purchase tells that artist “I believe in you!” / “Keep going!” / “Your skills are worth sharing!”

The president of my quilt guild has the cutest Etsy shop. When I saw that she would be at Crafty Feast, I started stalking her shop and asking her constantly about the bags she was making (we both love Noodlehead patterns). She’s mega-talented and super-duper sweet and I couldn’t wait to get my hands on some of her adorable bags!

I wanted all.the.bags, but settled on this¬†ahh-dorable zip pouch (because who doesn’t need another zip pouch?!):

roar haus

The fabric made me swoon and the gold accents made me feel so fancy! I¬†love it. It’s already been in my purse non-stop since I bought it – holding my favorite homemade lip balm¬†{I’ll share the recipe soon!} and other little essentials.

Every time I pull this pouch out of my purse I’m reminded of Amber and how sweet and encouraging she is. Always air on the side of buying it when it comes to handmade businesses (unless, of course, that money was earmarked for your electric bill because you can’t enjoy it if you can’t see it! ūüėČ ). These makers appreciate your purchase more than you know! And if you’re going to buy “stuff,” it should be stuff that’s going to bring you joy.

{Visit Roar Haus on Etsy to see what Amber’s been making. If you’re looking for more handmade businesses to support, read my re-cap of Vintage Charlotte last year with links to several of my favorite shops or browse the Cola Indie Maker’s Instagram page¬†to see all the awesome shops we found at Craft Feast – just click the shop names tagged in the post to check out their shops.}

Merry Christmas!

tree

I’d love to tell you this is my tree {HA!}, but it’s actually just a beautiful nautical-themed tree my sister and I fell in love with in a shop in Greenville.

I hope you all have a wonderful holiday filled with warm memories and lots of snuggles!

Catch up on all of my monthly¬†What I’m Lovin’ posts here.

Craft Party 2015 recap

Last Friday may have been the most lovely day I’ve had in quite a while. After taking my little pup, Twitch, for a visit to the vet (who officially deemed him a “senior” – as his mama bear that was tough to hear…especially because he’s the youngest of our 3 black dogs), the loveliness began!

My sister headed downtown to spend the afternoon with me. Where should a vegetarian and a recent adopter of the gluten free lifestyle eat? Good Life Cafe, of course. We walked around Main Street and ended up at the Sweet Cream Company. Like a pair of old bitties, we sat on a bench out front watching the traffic go by as we shared a cup of handcrafted salty peanut ice cream.

me & kt

Sister bliss.

And to top it off, we still had the #CraftParty!

#CraftParty table pic

{Photo credit: Taylor Kearns Media}

Once a year, Etsy “hosts” their Craft Party – describe as “a global celebration of meeting and making” – and that it is!

Last year, I founded the Cola Indie Makers (formerly “Columbia’s Etsy Market Team“) with Emily of Butterfly Vintage in an effort to build awareness of and support for vintage and handmade businesses in Columbia.

me & em

The last picture of me & Emily before she moved to Michigan (ironically on the day of our party!).

We hosted our first¬†Etsy Craft Party last year (read all about last year’s party here) which made this year’s planning seem a¬†wee bit less intimidating.

With Emily en route to Michigan as we speak, it’s just me & Shanika (of Life is Pichey) holding down the Cola Indie Makers group in Columbia. So when it comes to planning events (like this year’s Craft Party), we pull in some of our favorite people like MaryAnn of Life is a Maker Faire¬†to help out.

photobooth 1

Me & MaryAnn in the #CraftParty photobooth (props made by MaryAnn)

As soon as we saw that this year’s theme was paper crafting, we knew we wanted MaryAnn on board. As the owner of MASW Designs, she’s our local paper crafting guru – it’s amazing what she can do with a little cardstock and glue!

I have to give a¬†BIG shout-out to MaryAnn¬†– in addition to¬†lending her knowledge and expertise, MaryAnn generously shared her crafting tools and donated loads of supplies for the event. She even sacrificed her valuable time to help us with planning, securing the venue, making samples for inspiration and easy-to-follow instructions for our attendees. I am so grateful for my friendship with MaryAnn – she keeps me inspired and helps support me when I’m in over my head (like with planning this party!).

sticker

Thank you Etsy for the stickers! {Photo credit: Taylor Kearns Media}

The party was loads of fun! The event was held at Grapes & Gallery Рa local craft beer, wine bar and paint studio (the perfect location for a craft party!).

grapes & gallery

I can’t wait to return to Grapes & Gallery for some painting!

Grapes & Gallery is such a neat place. In addition to being a traditional paint and pour studio, they have a neat rustic, full service bar¬†and a lounge area downstairs which includes a TV and very comfy couch (aka: a place to send your husband while you paint upstairs…).

G&G bar

The bar at Grapes and Gallery {Photo credit: Taylor Kearns Media}

Whether you’re interested in an evening of painting or a fun spot to stop by for a drink with friends, check out Grapes & Gallery – you won’t be disappointed!

Just look for the white storefront on Taylor Street (between Main and Assembly Streets) and you’ll know you’re in the right spot!

G&G

MaryAnn & I ready to welcome everyone to the party!

Keeping with our theme of paper crafting and making your own Happy Mail, we had 3 stations: upstairs we had mini-cards and full-size cards and downstairs we had envelope-making.

mini cards

Attendees embroidering mini-cards {Photo credit: Taylor Kearns Media}

I love the size of the mini-cards – they are the perfect size for lunchbox notes if you have little ones or gift tags.

envelopes

Attendees at the envelope-making station downstairs. I love how Taylor captured this moment of pure happiness at the party. This might be my favorite picture from the night! {Photo credit: Taylor Kearns Media}

For the envelope station, we upcycled cereal boxes (and maybe a few pizza boxes too ūüėČ ) to make durable templates that our attendees could trace. MaryAnn brought a stack of old National Geographic magazines and maps to use in addition to the scrapbook paper.

{For more handmade envelope inspiration, check out this post about how I upcycled last year’s calendar to make a lovely set of floral envelopes.}

I love this beautiful picture that Taylor captured of my amazing sister:

kt

I’m so thankful for her. {Photo credit: Taylor Kearns Media}

In addition to the FUN crafts, we also had 5 handmade vendors onsite – all of which are based in Columbia, SC:

We also hosted 3 giveaways during the party – resliced donated the last raffle prize of the night:

necklace

this brown bird nest necklace with genuine Amethyst stones

{You can view all the raffle items here}

Speaking of raffles Рthe Cola Indie Makers are hosting one last raffle on Facebook Рenter for a chance to win a 2 inch pillar candle (fragrance of your choice) from J. Cottage Industries! Get all the details here.

Thank you to EVERYONE who attended the Craft Party! We are already looking forward to next year ūüôā

party

It was an amazing night of crafting with friends. {Photo credit: Taylor Kearns Media}

One last MEGA shout-out goes to this guy:

TK

Taylor of Taylor Kearns Media (and his beautiful bride, Caroline)

Not only was he smart enough to marry my best friend, but Taylor was generous enough to attend our Craft Party and take some amazing photographs to document the event. Taylor is a super talented videographer, photographer and one-man-interview-team (I’ll never forget the time he came to my office to interview my boss and I asked where his crew was and he responded “I’m a one-man-show” and proceeded to set up all of his equipment, proceed with ease through his interview, pack up all his gear, head back to his office, sliced/diced/edited the story and ran it that night on our local station…impressed might be an understatement, but he blew my socks off). Check out his website to hear all about his experience and book him for yourself! Speaking of his experience, browse all of his pictures from the Craft Party in our album on Facebook.

I must admit, it was GREAT weekend! The Craft Party was such a blast and I spent the rest of the weekend enjoying mine & the Hubs’ new routine…

Trail running on Saturday:

trail

Yes, that’s the Hubs running the trail with his lacrosse stick in hand practicing dodging with the trees.

And running the statehouse stairs on Sunday (then cancelling out the calorie burn with coffee & french toast at Drip on Main):

drip

So so so delicious.

Can’t lie: I’m diggin’ our new weekend routine.

Again, thanks to everyone who came out to the Craft Party! We appreciate your support and can’t wait to throw another bash next year! {Follow Cola Indie Makers on Facebook & Instagram so you’ll be the first to know about upcoming events!}