Friday, December 28, 2007

Holiday Gifts - Oh what fun!

This morning found me spilling my espresso in a sleepy daze, and trying to be positive, I noticed that I had half of a shot left. Of COURSE I was going to make more - but now I have a shot and a half of espresso - on the "glass half full" side of life :)

Christmas is always such a special time of year. I have a wonderful family and group of friends, and I am always very pleased with the thoughtful, unique and cool gifts I get. I wanted to feature two of these presents today.

The first is this awesome video of 50s and 60s fashion news reels - very entertaining and very thoughtful for a fashion whore like me! Thanks, Mom and Dad!

Item Name:50s and 60s Fashion ReelsCategory:MoviesValue:$30.00

Content Generated - 12/28/2007

Title:Fashion Flashbacks!
Studio:VidCat Productions
Genre:Vintage Fashion News Reels

This is a great collection of vintage fashion news reels from the 50s and 60s. There is a male announcer who says the corniest things at the end of each reel - but it's a great view at high fashion from the period. Shorts feature swimsuits, couture, shoes, hats, ready to wear and more! Highly entertaining for any fashion lover.

The second is this amazing massager - I requested one, as all the time spent sewing and crafting can lead to some rather nasty soreness. Just a few days before Christmas, my Mom pinched a nerve in her back and is still in very severe pain. I knew this gift had come right on time, and took it over to massage my Mom. She enjoyed it too! Thanks Sarah and Cat!

Item Name:Thera Spa 15-speed Professional Percussion MassagerCategory:ElectronicsValue:$100.00

Content Generated - 12/28/2007

Title:TheraSpa Massager
Product type:Hand Held Back Massager

This powerful massager uses pulsing acupressure nodes and three massage programs to provide a massage unlike any other. Like a professional session, our versatile massager not only works away knots and relieves tension, but also enhances immune system efficiency, releases trapped toxins, promotes circulation and produces endorphins (ârunnerâs highâ). Three modesâsoothing, therapeutic and stimulatingâprovide unique massage experiences. Or choose one of 15 speeds for a custom massage. Nodes may be adjusted to three separate widths to accommodate various body areas and frame sizes. Ergonomic handle with minimal power kick-back. Auto shutoff after 15 minutes of uninterrupted operation. 12-foot cord. UL-listed.

The connection between the two is that I can massage myself while watching this cool DVD! Coming soon on the blog: New purse designs, Post Holiday crafts, and MORE fabulous jewelry :P

Blog by Anne Marie Beard

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Handmade Holidays - My first Wall Hangings!

This year for Christmas, I wanted to make two of my best friends some wall hangings. The inspiration started when I stumbled upon the Vintage Bella ebay store. I got in touch with the owner - a super nice lady who takes original vintage images and sells them as fabric blocks or images you can print yourself. I got so excited by all the possibilities! Visit her new website at

My friend Sarah loves Halloween - she and her sister decorate their house to the NINES with Halloween goodies. She also loves cats, so I chose three panels that each featured a cat for her wall hanging. My mom was kind enough to let me raid her fabric stash (a quilter and crafter of over 30 years, her stash is much bigger than mine!) and helped me figure out how to make them.

My friend Cathleen loves Christmas - it is her favorite season, and as she is getting married in just a few days (dum dum de dum!) I wanted to give this to her as the last Christmas present while she is still single! She has been working hard for months with her fiance to spice up his home, and she deserves a lovely handmade item to deck the halls with!

My family always celebrates Christmas on Christmas Eve - we have tamales, enchiladas, chili con queso and all kinds of snackie goodies. Looks like we'll have a chocolate silk pie, a lemon pie and a tollhouse pie. Can't wait! Merry Christmas,

Anne Marie

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Handmade Holidays - Cute Decor!

I love the Holidays! It brings out the uber-crafty princess in me! Actually, I have been crafting and sewing and baking like mad the past few weeks, but I keep forgetting to take pictures of things and blog about them.

As Christmas is almost upon us, I wanted to update my blog today, FINALLY. I just wanted to feature a few of the items I have made this year. Today I will feature my retro inspired glitter ornaments. I have a very tiny Christmas Tree, but I do have a long wire that stretches across my living room, and I chose to hang ornaments on it this year.

I will have to do a tutorial on the ornaments for next year! Suffice it to say that after Christmas I will be cleaning out the craft stores for all glass ornaments and glitter that might be on clearance!

Monday, December 10, 2007

Handmade Toy Drive

I was watching the news the other day and was sad to see that many local charities and resale shops are short on toys because of all the recalls (lead and other toxic materials being an issue now).

I have decided to try and make 10 handmade toys this week - and drop them off for Blue Santa. There are MANY organizations that accept toys for children, and most will accept through this week. Look up Blue Santa (Austin Police Dept.), Brown Santa (Travis County Sheriff Dept., Orange Santa (UT Police Dept.), and the Season of Giving with the Austin American Statesman. If you're not in Austin, Texas, I am sure there are plenty of charities in your town!

Searching the web has brought many ideas to make - little fabric blocks, small stuffed animals, baby bibs, little purses, the ideas are endless. Even putting together craft kits is a great idea! I know we all have a TON of crafty items - and we can sit and spend a few hours to make something for the little ones.

The hope is that you will be inspired to make something and repost this to inspire others - if each of us make just a few toys to donate, we can make a special Christmas for lots of kids. Please join me and make some toys!!!

Anne Marie

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Get your Shop On!

This weekend has some of the best Holiday Shopping in Austin, Texas. Who wants to purchase cool, one of a kind, modern, reasonably priced gifts? You do??? Well peep the Cherrywood Art Fair! I do this show every year, and we got great coverage in the Austin American Statesman today. Check out the article for shopping details on two other fabulous events - Blue Genie and the Armadillo!


Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Treasure Tuesday: New Jewelry!

Ahh, one reason I love the Holiday season so much is all the new goodies I get! As a handbag designer, I have the priveledge of being able to trade my product with other designers - namely, JEWELRY designers. This past weekend held three days of shows, and I was thrilled to be able to snag new jewelry from Husak Design, Irok Gems, and Claire Fielden Designs. All three ladies are friends of mine, and I am so happy to have the new jewelry to wear this Holiday season. See below for details about what I scored!

Item Name:Brass Lion PendantCategory:JewelryValue:$35.00

Content Generated - 12/4/2007

Main stone:Citrine
Stone color:Green
Secondary stones:Brass Pendant
Designer/Brand:Husak Design

Designer Courtney Husak is always updating her look - this year saw many of these brass pendant necklaces.  I had to have the LION one - so fierce, but in a sweet way.

Item Name:Classic IROK GEMS NecklacesCategory:JewelryValue:$95.00

Content Generated - 12/4/2007

Main stone:Onyx
Stone color:Black
Secondary stones:Vintage Crystal, Ruby
Secondary stone colors:

Iridescent Bronze, Red

Designer/Brand:IROK GEMS

After 5 long years of waiting, I finally have my own IROK GEMS Necklace!  Known for her BOLD style and excellent craftmanship, designer Kori Jones turns out some of the best handmade jewelry around - period.  I wore it almost immediately, and I LOVE IT!

Item Name:Art Deco Style EarringsCategory:JewelryValue:$45.00

Content Generated - 12/4/2007

Main stone:Rhinestone
Stone color:Clear
Secondary stones:Rhinestone
Secondary stone colors:Bronze
Designer/Brand:Claire Fielden Designs

Claire has this way with jewelry - it is subtlely elaborate, feminine and always very sexy.  I love the necklace I have of hers, and these Art Deco inspired earrings just HAD to be mine.

Saturday, December 1, 2007

Thornton Road Studio Sale - Saturday!

Come on out to the Thornton Road Studio Sale today! From 10am to 5pm, we will be celebrating the holiday season with handmade art and live music! I am set up at the Cone 10 Studio - which is the very last studio on the left. Check out all these awesome photos of some of the work there.