Monday, December 04, 2006

No Coast Craft-o-rama: Big Success!

It was a long weekend in Pumpkin Land! Friday afternoon we trekked over to Midtown Global Market to await the delivery of lots of rented tables for the big event. Willa and I waited in relative calm, just knowing that the storm was about to begin. We've been planning for this all year, and it's a little surreal knowing that people are on their way from Iowa, Michigan, Wisconsin, Illinios and the far reaches of Minnesota to be part of the festivities.

We were really glad we arrived early to set up tables, and we also got the help of friendly Joel and the Americorps volunteers who arranged lights and moved things around for us.

Around 4 everyone started to arrive for the pre-sale. At that point I got really nervous, because we still hadn't put up all the tables, some spots still looked really dark, and I hadn't placed the signs on each table so the vendors would know where they were situated. Much less, we hadn't unloaded our car or started to worry about setting up our own table yet! But, never fear, Ellen, Trish, Chrissy and various Midtown employees helped get everything in great shape before invited guests arrived.

The pre-sale was very relaxing and I'm glad we had the "dry run" to work out kinks. Most of the vendors were able to leave their stuff on their tables until morning, which made the start of Saturday very un-chaotic (thank goodness!). We sold quite a bit and met some nice shop owners, as well as Arwen from Craft, who was kind enough to blog about us.

Saturday I woke up at 4:15 AM, wide awake and ready to go. Unfortunately, that lead to a very tired Pumpkin Girl for all of Saturday. But, I toughed it out and put on a happy face, until about 5 when I just wanted to sleep, or cry, or both. The day was amazing, with over 8,000 people attending (we expected 5,000). I ate lots of good food, including Huevos con Chorizo, egg rolls, and garlic chicken. I saw lots of friends (thanks for coming Carrie, Brittany, Eric, Becky, Jen, Andy, Meggan, Caitlyn, and everyone who couldn't find me but stopped by). The Roe Family Singers rocked for about four hours and I was sad when they stopped, but I also enjoyed the hip hop step group (of cute young girls) The Sandburg Steppers.

I only bought two things. One, a great necklace from Small Motor Designs and another unmentionable gift for a good friend who couldn't make it.

Mostly, this day was about friendship, family, and crafting your heart out. I have to give MAJOR shout outs to my girls who plan this event with me. I know each and every one of them working long hours and did lots of things they didn't want to or have time to, just to make this so successful. They deserve a big raise (ha! well, a raise from $0 isn't hard to do)! Also, big props to my mom Granny's Closet, who I heard many people say had come early just to get to her table early (she nearly sold out of everything).

Thanks everyone who came and supported the fun, sweet, brilliant designers and craftspeople at No Coast Craft-o-rama 2006. Thanks for supporting me!

Thursday, November 02, 2006

More happy holiday stuff!

I've just been crafting up a storm over here. No Coast Craft-o-rama Returns; No Coast Craft-o-rama Part II; Second Annual No Coast Craft-o-rama...well, you get the picture. I'm eating it, sleeping it, breathing it right now.

In other news, you can come visit me November 15th at the Linden Hills Home Store (across from the Linden Hills Co-op, in Linden Hills) for a little "Meet the Artist Night" type deal -- there will be free food and wine and other artists, too.

Well, back to crafting!

Saturday, October 21, 2006

Getting Ready for No Coast Craft-o-rama

I'm getting really excited...No Coast is only 41 (OMIGOD! FORTY ONE! THE BIG FOUR ONE!) days away! Here at headquarters we've been cranking out some awesome Pumpkin Girl wares, like room and linen spray, grocery lists, and yes...Christmas cards. Here's a couple new designs to pique your interest!!

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Thanks RunAmok!

I just want to say thanks to my friend Run Amok for introducing me to WISTS! These are the coolest little things ever. Basically, you download a button onto your internet browser so that you can add an item to your wish list from anywhere on the internet. And, you can find really cool things on other people's wists!

So, in case you were thinking about buying me a gift for my 30th birthday (in just over a month!!) you can see my wist right here:

Tracy's Wist

Monday, October 02, 2006

Cat People vs. Dog People

There are very few people I know that love all animals equally (my grandma was one of them). Most of us either gravitate to dogs or cats (or llamas, in the case of my hubby). My business partner has always been a cat person; however, her friendship with me has endeared her to my two miniature schnauzers. Even so, she is still a cat lover.

This photo is one of her family's cats, done up Warhol-style (sort of). I think it turned our pretty darn cute. Maybe she can turn me into a cat person...?

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Happy Birthday Bake Sale Designs!

I recently had the pleasure of working with a really talented designer, Rebecca of Bake Sale Designs. Today she sent me the MOST over-the-top generous goodie box of stuff that I couldn't believe my eyes!! THANK YOU REBECCA!!! She makes the cutest ever mustache bags!! And her flower pins are all so super retro and colorful, I want one in every color. The best part is, she reuses fabrics she finds at thrift stores. What a great concept.

Anyway, I helped Rebecca announce her birthday blog contest and first year of business with this press release. I hope it makes her super famous.
Visit her store, support her second year of business and I wish her a very happy birthday.

Sunday, September 10, 2006

Loving you is easy cos you're beautiful...

Well, the hubby and I spent our second anniversary traipsing around the country. Chicago was our last stop; we visited Pumpkin Girl-in-law and The Bean (pictured using my anniversary gift fish eye camera). I have to say, in all seriousness, that America truly is "the beautiful." We visited Davenport IA, St. Louis, Memphis, Nashville, Bloominton IN, Chicago, Madison, Eau Claire and lots of tiny towns along the way. Ah, refreshing!

Not much going on in the crafting world. Pumpkin Girl 2 and I have been working on these, though. Never again will you need to hand-write every darn thing you need on your list! They come equipped with lines for you to write in the amount you need or simply check off that you need something. Each list has the basics (bread, toilet paper, etc.) and are tailored to the type of cuisine you typically eat - this one for latin-inspired cooks! More to come!

It's feeling quite like fall in the air. I think we're in store for some home cooking and sweater time! Yikes, can't believe it's already here!

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Happy Trashmas

We drink a lot at my house. But, we generally drink good beer: Red Stripe, Chimay, New Glarus (couple questionable ones thrown in there: Miller did THAT get in there?!). We bring beer back from the far reaches of the country from wherever we travel. So, I started saving the bottlecaps figuring I'd come up with some creative use for them. Hence, the bottlecap wreath. I'll be making a few of these to sell at No Coast this year, so if you feel the need to celebrate the holidays for the boozin' they inspire, please stop by my booth December 2nd, Lake St. and Chicago Avenue.

Ahhh, makes me think happy thoughts about warm pubs and snowy days...

Sunday, August 13, 2006


Recently I had a total craftastrophe involving my super awesome retro red kitchen table (pictured) and the hot end of a soldering iron. Yes, in a complete moment of idiocy, I set the dang thing down on my table and it burned a hole in it. I cried, I stomped my feet, I cursed out loud.

So, what do you do when you have a craftastrophe? Make a craft to cover it up!! This weekend I made a little table runner out of this cute Route 66 fabric I found at Crafty Planet and picked some flowers out of my garden to make it even more intentional-looking. The Route 66 works well with my "Greetings From" postcard border (also pictured). I'm also in the process of making some coordinating kitchen curtains with some great preppie stripey material also from Crafty Planet.

In other super exciting secret news, I'm planning a craft retreat for spring 2007. There will be 12 spots, it will be in Red Wing, and it's going to be relaxing, luxurious and of course, crafty.

Happy Sunday!

Sunday, August 06, 2006

August Already

I can't really believe it's August already. I've only been to the beach once, only planted a few new things in the garden...seems like it slips away so fast. But, what am I lamenting about? I love fall! I can't wait for cozy sweater season!

Yeah, yeah. Right now I love skirts and tees, but I also love weather I can bake in. Today was 86, but I still cranked up the oven for this lovely Blueberry Buttermilk Tart I found on Epicurious!!

In other news, I had my cork floors refinished. They are original to my 1940's house, and I love them.


Sunday, July 30, 2006

So hot my garbage can melted

It's a sweltering 100 degrees here in the land of -20 below winters. We just aren't used to it. Today we bought a blow up kiddie pool and cooled our dogs and our toes in the icy water. Last week, we had a little mishap with the garbage can. Let's just say don't trust charcoal, no matter how many days (or weeks) it's been cooling. Water it down before you put it in the can, or at least that's what friendly fireman guy told me. Yep, the fireman had to come.

Anyhoo, been working on Christmas ornaments this week (yeah, seems weird, but the No Coast Craft-o-Rama is only 3+ months away!). Also this clothespin hanger. I read an article this week that many developments in the suburbs are banning clotheslines. I've done a lot of thinking about it, and boy am I glad I don't live someplace like that. So, for all you fellow tree-hugging, tradition-keeping people like us, I'll make you a clothespin holder and you can go hang your undees outdoors like it was meant to be.

Sunday, July 23, 2006

Art Car Parade and Pillow Talk

My nieces came to visit yesterday and we went to the annual art car parade. My favorite was this "band van" featuring Savage Aural Hotbed.

And...I spent my Sunday morning making another pillow. This one has a quilted pinwheel pattern back with some complimentary stitched leaves. Makes me want to take a nap!

Saturday, July 22, 2006

New Card Design Featuring My Parents!

Our newest card design features my mom and dad in a starring role: it's their wedding photo from 1963 with a vintage postcard-collaged church in the background. It doesn't get much cuter than that. Happy almost anniversary to M & D.

Thursday, July 20, 2006

Interesting Article about crafting...

Thanks to my friend Jen for sending me this great article by Rob Walker in the New York Times regarding crafty businesses and the indie craft community:
Craft Work

Monday, July 17, 2006

Find of the Week: Crispina / Fuchsia Inc.

We really strive to create things using recycled materials whenever possible, but I just have to share this gem of a company I discovered via my weekly email from If you've got kids, you'll love:

If you don't, they have really cool and colorful bedding, rugs and pillow shams! They've got a great concept, good design, and a really neat web site. Go support fellow treehuggers!!

Sunday, July 16, 2006

Currently inspired by: '60s upholstery

Years ago, my mom and dad somehow got invited to help clean out some old farmhouse in Wisconsin before it was demolished and my mom scored some great decorator samples for me. They've been sitting in my sewing room just waiting for me to do something with them. So, I've started putting together some pillows, and they look so cute! I am keeping one, but here's one that will be for sale in my etsy shop. Many of the pieces are much more mod — lots of browns and some nice blues and reds, too. Stay tuned for more ways to take hipper naps!

This weekend was a much needed vacation, but now it's back to work. I've got a custom order earring hanger to make...if only I could find the perfect fabric!

Monday, July 10, 2006

My Happy Place: The Fabric Store

Well, to be totally honest I didn't actually buy anything at Mood Fabrics in the Garment District (NYC), but I did look, feel and ogle the fabrics for quite some time. I also witnessed many a weird New York wannabe fashion designer doing much the same thing, but with much more fury and many more exclamations, such as "I just MUST hahve ZEES!"

Anyway, I just returned from New York and am full of new ideas. I did a lot of shopping, and also had my fashion-dar on to check out all the great (and some really terrible) styles.

Thursday, June 29, 2006

Dog Lovers

Here at Pumpkin Girl we have a real soft spot in our hearts for dogs, cats, llamas and all the lovable animals of the world. Here's a new picture of my pooch, just looking like he needs some lovin'. If you see him, he really likes rawhide bones, and he might growl at you if you try to take his treats. The good news is, he only has 22 teeth left. I guess that's not so good news for him, but good for anyone he might decide to bite!

Just kidding, he's friendly!

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

More Recipe Cards!

For those of you that don't know, Willa is a great cook. She's got some specialties, yeah, but just generally the girl can cook. So, I've been making some recipe cards for our store. Essentially the whole reason we make bath products is because we like to hang out in the kitchen together. Instead of stitching and bitching, we're cooking and bitching...stirring and purring...tinkering and...oh geez. Whatever. You get the point. Anyhoo, here's another recipe card set I designed. This is just two of the 5 - design set.

Monday, June 26, 2006

New Eye Masks!

So, my husband likes to read well into the night, and I need to get up early. Given my strict bedtime of 10 PM, I needed some way to shield out the light from his side of the bed. I made these super soft eye masks, which are now available in our Etsy shop.

Check it!

Sunday, June 25, 2006

We survived Art vs. Craft!

Well, we survived our first "Art vs. Craft" in Milwaukee this weekend. It was a long weekend driving from Minneapolis to Madison and then to Milwaukee all in reverse again. We saw some really fantastic crafts, met some great people, reconnected with lots of old friends (hi Chris, Dug and Laura) and spent quality time people-watching. We ate at Beans and Barley in Milwaukee and daydreamed about moving back to Wisconsin.

Thanks for the good time, 'sconi. We'll see you in a couple weeks at our annual "Girl's Maxwell St. Days Weekend" in Madison. Yay!

Thursday, June 22, 2006

Welcome to the Pumpkin Girl Blog!

Welcome, thanks for stopping by! We've been really super busy getting ready for Art vs. Craft this weekend! We'll be debuting these cute new dog themed recipe cards, featuring this cute Fox Terrier and quotes from the likes of funny Fran Lebowitz!

Stop by and say hi if you happen to be in the Milwaukee area!