Thursday, May 29, 2008

Get your CRAFT on

This weekend in Austin there are two fabulous events - one all about crafting - and one all about Austin!

First off, the acclaimed magazine Craft is having a magazine launch party here in Austin! Hosted by Rachel Hobson of Average Jane Crafter and Leslie Bonnell of The Stitch Lab - it's going to be a rockin' event! The cool craft-and-take space The Work*Shop is where it will be, and where I will be!

It's this Sunday, June 1st from 1pm to 4pm. There will be Mini Wallet door prizes from me, Jenny Hart of Sublime Stitching & cookies from Anna Ginsberg of Cookie Madness. In addition to all that coolness, Rachel and Leslie will be helping you make your very own crafts - a surprise project that will be fabulous, I'm sure.

Wanna go? RSVP to Rachel Hobson at averagejanecrafter at gmail dot com, and tell her I sent you.

So what else is going on this weekend? Well Austin's own RARE magazine's last issue featured reader's picks for the best of Austin. To celebrate the magazine is having a huge extravaganza on top of the parking garage at The Monarch. It's one of those fancy new condo towers in downtown Austin.

There will be free food, music, drinks and seriously sweet shopping. I will also be set up demonstrating how to make crafts from paper - most notably - from back issues of RARE! Publisher Matt Swinney has started featuring custom artwork from a new artist in each issue of the magazine. The art is super fabulous, and makes GREAT paper crafts! To purchase tickets, visit their website.

Whew - in addition to all this craziness - it's my Birthday this weekend - and you KNOW I will be celebrating by going to see Sex in the City. Uh huh - busting out my cutest shoes for this event!

xo, Anne Marie

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Treasure Tuesday: PlantEscape Gardens

So last year I wrote a blog about how to paint your own pots. I went a little overboard on painting pots and collecting planters - and in my first year of trying to have my own container garden - I now have 23 potted plants! (And most survived through the winter).

front porch

The key to keeping my plants alive has been starting with *great plants*! I like to shop locally in anyway I can, so I found a local plant shop in Austin, Texas.


The place? PlantEscape Gardens, 3507 S. 1st Street, Austin, Texas. Owned by mother and son Sandra Diaz and Adam Diaz, the little oasis on South First has a lot of plants in a tiny space.

newest flowering succulent

I run into Sandra every time I stop by. I tell her what I am looking for, and she walks me around the grounds and helps me pick out my plants. She is very knowledgeable and helpful, and definitely earns her dues by working out in the heat so much.

new succulent

When you finish picking out your plants you get a chance to go inside the nicely chilled shop - they have a small art gallery and feature locally made soaps by So.A.P. (South Austin People!). I have been a fan of their products for several years, as I been a vendor at some of the same shows they do.

My Little Hippo

If you need help finding just the right plants, soil and fertilizers - I highly recommend PlantEscape Gardens. As summer approaches with high 90s and surely - well over 100s here in Austin, nothing is nicer than having some beautiful green plants to decorate your home or porch.

Keep it green - keep it local!
xo, Anne Marie

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Treasure Tuesday: Reusable Produce Bags

Ok friends, it's really rare that I see something totally *new* when it comes to sewn bags. Everyone and their pet chicken is making or buying reusable grocery totes these days - and the variety, quality and prices of them is all over the map.

Today I spent a fair amount of time browsing on Etsy. They have this cool "Pounce" feature where you can check out what other people have just bought. I am normally drawn to brightly colored items, but today I was really drawn to the text description.

Esty Shop owner LisaAlso has come up with a GENIUS idea - she makes reusable PRODUCE BAGS! Her bags are made from tulle net, and won't add to the weight of your produce when you go to check out. They're even washable!

For some time now, I haven't used the plastic produce bags. Mostly because I am single, and I am only buying one or two apples or bananas at a time. I just toss the fruit/veggies into my basket, and go on my way. However, I would so use these! Especially for grapes or lots of small items like lemons.

One thing I think is really cool is that you could keep your produce in the bag and rinse it out inside there. So many options, such a genius idea! Go Lisa!

Lisa has been happily surprised with the success of this new product - and I hope you will go purchase some and add to that success. She charges just $8.00 for a set of 3 bags, and you can message her on Etsy to order larger quantities.

xo, Ambie

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Tasty Tuesday: Baubles & Queso!

Just the other day I was looking at my friend Diane Petkoff's website - she is the creator of Tasty Jewelry located here in Austin, Texas. She has a little bit of an attention span problem, just like me, so she has tons and tons of cute items for sale because she just can't sit still!

I recently redecorated my fridge - yes - I am serious. I got some new magnets and picture frames, and I wanted some more magnets to spice it up.

Well, lucky me, I ran into Diane today at Parts & Labour - and she had a HUGE tray of brand new magnets for the store. They are a STEAL at only $1 each, so I picked out several that I liked.

I got three owls, two leaf prints and one geometric print. Yippie Yippie Yay! She has her website set up in the most genius way so you can order all kinds of colors of any item from just one page.

So Diane had her friend Carolyn with her from Chicago, and we walked down to Guero's to have some Chili Con Queso, homemade corn tortillas and yummy salsa & pico de gallo. I LOVE Tex-Mex - and Guero's does the munchies well.

Guero's is also a place that really reflects the laid back and mixed up atmosphere of Austin. There were dressed up business people, street looking people, the artist type, families, a drag queen waiter - oh, and Jeff Tweedy of Wilco. Hmm... you seriously couldn't pay me to live anywhere but Austin!

Anne Marie

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Zip-e-de-do-da - I made this purse!

That's what all the gals were singing as they left The Stitch Lab this past weekend! A total of 8 fabulous ladies took my Erin Zipper Hobo class and left carrying a brand new bag all their own!

Stitch Lab Class

Ok, so maybe they weren't singing, but sometimes I like to pretend my life is just like a classic Disney Cartoon, and there are real blue birds outside my window almost everyday...

Stitch Lab Class - in action!

Don't you want to make your very own Erin Zipper Hobo bag? I can't even tell you how satisfying it is to carry a bag that you've made - I've been making bags for six years, and every compliment I get makes me light up inside. It never gets old to hear "what a great bag, where did you get it?" It feels even better when you're shopping in a big store like Old Navy or Target, because sure, they have great, cheap bags - but they make MILLIONS and MILLIONS of each style! And when you make your own bag - there's only ONE like it!!!

Speaking of One of a Kind - one of my students decided to use a skirt she found at a thrift store to make her bag - aren't the ladybugs darling? I love recycling clothing into bags!

Sara's Bag

There are still two classes left this month where you can learn how to make this fabulous bag. The Stitching Studio has a few spots open for Tuesday May 13th, and Saturday May 24th.

Erin - Zipper Hobo Paisley

Did I mention that purchasing a sewing class also makes a great gift for a friend or your Mom? Classes are only $40, and include the pattern & instructions, and a guarantee to walk away with a brand new bag.

The Tiffany bag will be making her class debut next month! Check out the pictures and look for an announcement about when those class dates will be scheduled.

Tiffany - Psychadelic Dots Vintage Fabric

Tiffany - Psychadelic Dots Vintage Fabric

Tiffany - Psychadelic Dots Vintage Fabric

xo, Anne Marie

Friday, May 2, 2008

*annemarie* launches Eco Chic Home Decor Line!

That's right, folks. Starting this week, my new line of Eco Chic Home Decor is available online. I am calling the line Eco Chic, and putting a spin on my tagline to be "Style for the Home."

Since 2002 I have been making bags out of vintage and recycled fabric. I just LOVE to use old fabric and give it a new life.

I recently decided to get rid of all paper napkins in my house, and use cloth ones instead. They feel so much better, and I can use them over and over again.

Now, you can replace all of your paper napkins with cloth ones too! They are sold in sets of four, and are reversible! Did I mention that they're made out of vintage fabric?

In addition to the napkins, I make coaster sets. The fabric coaster sets are cushy and absorbent - sure, the tile ones are cute, but they just leave pools of liquid lying around.

These sets of napkins and coasters are very limited edition - check back soon for more colors! Looking for a great Mother's Day Gift? How about some napkins!

Anne Marie