Friday, May 30, 2008

Cool Moms Read Cool Mom Picks

If you're a cool mom (am I?) and you like to check out all the new gadgets and gear for you and your kiddies, you MUST check out! I just stumbled across the site the other day and am already ooohing and aaahing over several things, like the Father's Day Gift Guide (*edited* written by two moms who know what dads like!) and their guide to lead-free toys. Geesh, now I have another great web site I must look at daily. It's overwhelming sometimes!

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Apply Now for No Coast Craft-o-rama

Just a little plug for all of you who are interested in applying to be a part of this year's big sale: the No Coast vendor applications are now available on our web site! The sale will be December 5 and 6 this year, at Midtown Global Market.

In other exciting news, Lonny Unitas will be the designer of the No Coast artwork (including posters, postcards, tees, etc.) this year. We're so excited to work with him!

Also, No Coast will be getting a new web design to align us better with our overall nonprofit mission of helping the crafty scene in the region. We've selected Giant Squid Industries to help us, and we hope to launch the new site later this year. I'm really looking forward to seeing that project come together.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Wanted: New Toy

We spent our Memorial Day holiday visiting lots of family. We met a big oaf of a dog named Mort, who has loved up this little toy to an extreme. Now I know what Mort needs for his birthday, I guess. Recently, I've actually felt a lot like this toy looks. Pretty over-loved, and worn out, and ready to be reborn as a new toy with new tricks.

I did a lot of talking and thinking (and visiting actual places) about where I want my life to go in the next handful of years. That is such hard work, isn't it? Didn't make any decisions, but got a lot of Big Questions out on the table, such as "why do I work in a cubicle?" and "what does health insurance cost?" and "do I want more babies?" and "what would it be like to move back to our home state?"

Like I said, no decisions, just a lot of good thinking. I thought, and then took breaks from thinking so that I could let it sink in. It was nice to just spend time with people who matter, and talk to them about what matters to them.

Did you do anything fun over the long weekend?

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Minnesota, Yah Yoo Betcha!

We say some funny things here in Minnasohdah. My favorite is the "auto" and "autumn" which becomes "ahdoh" and "ahdum" when pronounced by a Minnesotan. Others prefer the "boat" and "toast" regionalism, which becomes "booht" and "toohst" when spoken here. I might poke fun at my Minnesotan friends (do I count as a "Minnesotan" now that I've lived here over 10 years?), but I do have a small amount of Minnesota pride. Especially when it comes to surviving winter (we're tough), the cost of living (sh*t's cheap here) and our crafty scene (we're talented).

There is a great new site called Minnesota Materials that deals with all things made in this great state. They were nice enough to feature a couple of things I've made. They've also featured quite a few people I know. If you like the idea of "shopping local", I'd recommend checking it out. The author has a great round-up of Minnesota-made things, of which I particularly like her collection of information about bicycling and the nice gathering of letterpress and paper artists represented at Craftstravaganza.

Friday, May 16, 2008

Ribbons from Frisco

I recently *had* to spend a week in San Francisco, which under normal circumstances would have been welcomed. I wasn't too keen on it, though, since I had to leave on Mother's Day (my first) and be away from hubby and baby for so long. I tried to cheer myself up by spending one of my evenings at Britex Fabrics. If you go to San Francisco and you are a sewer, for SURE visit this place. It makes Mood in NYC look pale by comparison. It's four floors and one is just ribbons and buttons. Unlike Mood, it's very welcoming and the sales staff are ever-present but not hover-y; helpful and not snobby. A friendly saleslady helped me pick out these ribbons (a total of $45 worth!) and spent quite a bit of time with me, making suggestions and oggling right along with me. I had at least 4 compliments on my sweater while I was there. Overall, exactly what I would want in a fabric store experience. Oddly I didn't buy fabric, but all this ribbon. I guess with so much to choose from I had a bit of a tough time picking a few to come home with me.

I also had some great food while I was there, like Shrimp Chow Fun at a great Chinese place off Market St. and some delish Korean BBQ and potstickers at the food court at Westfield Mall on Market St. at a place called Sorabol's. My big food night out was at One Market right in front of the Ferry Building. I spent a ridiculous amount of money on my meal, but oh, it was so good. I had scallops and wine (lots of wine) and dessert and shrimp and ooooh I was so stuffed.

As you can see, I really suffered a lot while I was away. I jest. I seriously just wanted to come home. I was so restless that one night I walked from Chinatown to Japantown, which is about 2 miles uphill the whole way. It took me about 2 hours! But, I was able to burn off some of my energy AND buy some great Japanese tchotchkes. Yay! I came home, tired, missing my baby and a lot poorer. But I did have fun, despite myself!

Friday, May 09, 2008

It's Garage Sale Season!

Wanna hear a crazy story about the time a fight broke out and we had to call the cops? No, it wasn't last night at the bar. It was at the garage sale my parents had a few years ago. Yes, folks, there was an actual fight over something at their garage sale. It was one of the most ridiculous moments ever.

Here's the scene: my parents collected antiques, but when they wanted to downsize they sold most of the good stuff at an auction. The leftovers were part of the Great Garage Sale of 2002. They put an ad in the paper about their sale, stating clearly in the ad that the sale started at 8 AM, no earlier (a person needs to get coffee into their system before the sales can begin, right?). Regardless, a gaggle of people, we'll call them garage sale enthusiasts had gathered LONG before 8 AM outside the closed garage door. Eventually, despite the milling crowd of gawkers, we needed to open the garage door and start moving a few tables of stuff out to the driveway. We asked the crowd (geez, you'd think we were selling half price Feraris or something!) to respectfully give them space to move things and that they could begin at 8 AM promptly.

At 8 AM, my parents said "go ahead" and the whole mob leapt forward, sending "antiques" crashing to the floor everywhere. These GROWN MEN were yelling and shoving over who knows what. Whatever they were after couldn't have been that great (we never did really discern what they were after). We had to call the cops to break it up, but luckily it had fizzled out before the nice lady cop showed up. All day long people were walking up saying "Hey, is this the garage sale where there was the FIGHT?!" Yes, folks, it was pathetic, but it sure provided us with a chuckle.

I'm so excited that it's garage sale season again. I found a great list of Twin Cities neighborhood and group garage sales that I plan to print out and pin on the fridge. I'm for sure going to check out the the Como neighborhood sale, which is next weekend. I've also heard great things about the sale in Linden Hills.

Any other neighborhood sales you'd recommend? Please share!

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Goodbye Long Hair!

I cut my hair off today to donate to Beautiful Lengths. They require at least 8 inches, and I luckily had 9 or so, so I was able to keep a little length. It felt so amazing to see all that hair go! It's refreshing to have the short summer 'do again. Right now I'm drying the ponytails we cut off so I can send it in. It's a great feeling to have a sense of accomplishment and also a sense of having a fresh start. Who knows, maybe this is just the beginning of another ponytail donation!