Wednesday, October 29, 2008

A Show of Hands Trunk Show

The weather has -suddenly- turned cooler and more seriously toward Christmas. With that in mind, I am honored that A Show of Hands with be hosting a trunk show in a few short weeks. This is a wonderful opportunity to get a jump on your holiday shopping with the best selection at the beginning of the season.

I will be showing my usual suspects- funky patchwork purses, little recycled bags and polar fleece reversible hats. However, I also have challenged myself to create a few new pieces, such as comfy shawls, more unique hats and perhaps true artwork bags. Who knows! You'll have to come by and check it out.

This is a great chance to get introduced to A Show of Hands, and the neighborhood of Del Ray, if you aren't familiar with it. The shop, which opened its doors nearly 3 years ago, carries almost exclusively local artists. The variety of offering is astounding! From fine ceramic platters, brightly colored glass pitchers and knitted hats to dip mix and precious gemstone jewelry, there literally is something for everyone. This trunk show will not only highlight my own work, but it would be a great time to pick up a truly unique item for the hard to please person.

Please join us for this very special event that I am so looking forward to!

The Details:

Where: A Show of Hands, 2204 Mt. Vernon Ave, Alexandria, VA
When: Saturday, November 15, 11am-4pm
Who: Owners Pat and Maria, great local crafts and you!
Why: You want to support local business women- and get some great gifts.

Looking forward to showing all my new products off! Come and check it out~Jen

Green Tip~ Compost properly.
The fall is a great time to start a compose pile. As you rake and clean out your yard and garden, these plants can be the beginning of a new adventure. I personally don't know much about it, but you can find a huge amount of information online.

This website will show you how to do it from scratch. The Compost Warehouse will sell you a fun machine to help with the process. Happy Composting!

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Yummy Pumpkin Spice Lattes!

Fall is HERE.

I have been focused with tunnel vision about festivals going on, so I hadn't really noticed a subtle shift from the Indian summer to early fall. I Love Fall. I LOVE IT. Really!! The cozy sweaters, aromatic comfort food, the crunchy colorful leaves. All these things add up to a great season. And, I feel better when I have more clothing on, so I love getting out my coats.

In addition to warm scarves and flannel sheets, fall also heralds in YUMMY pumpkin spice lattes. I so *heart* these. Perhaps it is the mere fact that I can't get them all year long that make them so special....and the first one of the year is perhaps even the most special of all. Coupled with a pumpkin doughnut or muffin, sheer fall heaven...


The pumpkin spice lattes are also partly a celebration for such a great festival weekend at the beginning of the month. BOTH festivals were wonderful, better than I even expected or could have really hoped. The weather was spot on, people out in full force and were so complimentary to my work. I was sold out! On the one hand, it is exciting to have a clean slate in front of me, and I can explore some new ideas. However, it is scary to think I had almost nothing left! I have been working like crazy to get some stock back together ever since.

I had a fantastic show at Art on the Avenue, which I always love doing. It was Takoma Park that was a real pleasant surprise. I had never been, so didn't know what to expect. I had a great day...thought I would share some with you....

Traffic jam in the morning, crowds of happy people later in the day

The weather was so nice, which helped. The people were fun and the vendors around me very friendly. I had a great show and snagged some interesting gifts for Christmas. I got so much fun stuff that I just have show off my finds to you.

My sister pointed out to me last Christmas that I seem to get soap for everyone each year. What a wonderful coincidence that I was right next to one of my soap makers. Sandy Pea makes smooth and fragrant soap. She is carried at A Show of Hands, in Del Ray, like I am. Being next to her, I thought I was able to get first dibs. However, by the time I got over there, she was already sold out of a few scents! Oh, well, I still was able to grab a fine selection for my family.

My neighbor to my left was a huge Hokie fan, through and through. Karen makes soy candles in such enticing scents as Autumn Spice and Crisp Cotton. She even makes a maroon and orange candle for other VA Tech fans too. I picked up several, claiming that they would be gifts. By the end of the day, I did consent that I would probably keep one for myself. Karen said she's heard that before!

Right next to Karen was a delightful couple from Fairfax, selling under the name New Moon Jewelry. Debbie makes the jewelry and Jeff makes the jokes. They both helped make a better day! I snagged an adorable pair of dragonfly earrings. I don't know for sure who will get them for Christmas, but I do know they will be loved.

Across the aisle was a very talented mixed media and collage artist, who came over late in the day to lust after my new polar fleece scarves. Bobbi was so cute and enthusiastic when I suggested a partial sale/trade. She acquired a scarf and little bag and I got a wonderful collage piece. I have yet to put it up, but it is sitting on my desk and I can enjoy it while I write this blog.

The day was just such a fantastic experience all around. Takoma Park really put out the welcome mat for all the vendors, musicians and visitors. I can't wait for next year!

Thanks to all my great neighbors~thanks for making it a truly enjoyable day.~Jen

Green Tip~Go shopping in your friend's closets.
I might have mentioned this before, so bear with me. I truly do believe in this and it worth a re-visit now that the season is changing.

Clothing swaps are a great way to get some new clothes, in an economically and environmentally friendly way. I recently commented to a friend that all my pants seemed to shrink while in the dresser all summer (and how did that happen??). She mentioned that hers seemed to have grown and she would pass them on to me. FIVE bags later, I have tons of new clothing and am so happy!

So, keep some friends in mind when you are switching out summer to fall. Do you still have some great pieces that don't fit anymore? Have you dyed your hair that green sweater doesn't look right now? Did Sally's daughter just have a growth spurt and could use some jeans?

In this economy, many people simply can't afford new clothing, but who won't love to get some free 'new' things. I've done this for years with my sisters and friends and I simply love being able to get -and give- clothing without going to the mall!