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Oh heeeey, blog. I haven’t forgotten you, it’s just that my husband and I thought it would be a hoot to move to Minneapolis from New Jersey, and we pulled that off successfully at the end of the summer.

So there was the packing, old-house details, then new-house details, and oh yes, the UNpacking. But the upshot is that there is a new craft room with lots of natural light, in a city that’s got crafters up to the rafters (and artists, too.)

I’m enjoying exploring the creative “occasional stores,” including The Cottage House and Your Lucky Day  for seasonal loveliness, interesting furniture, and other one-of-a-kind vintage treasures. And wow, Hunt & Gather Antiques is so special, I take out-of-town visitors there to peruse the old-timey kitchenwares nook, and cut-up license plates that you can reassemble to spell whatever you like. And taxidermy. And Red Owl food wrap, still on the roll. So yeah, all of life’s essentials, but boy is it fun in there.

More developments later! I pinky-swear.


I’ve been so wrapped up creating things for the {verdigreen home} store that I neglected to post about my latest garlands. I have two new styles for Halloween, including a Ghost Garland:



Ghosts are hand-cut and stitched onto light-grey seam binding ribbon. Each one is unique and ranges from about 3 1/2″ to 2″ tall. The faces are drawn by hand.

The ghosts span six feet of the garland, with an additional of a foot on each end for tying and hanging. (Eight feet in total length.)


And may I also present the Happy Halloween, Witches! Garland.




Dark navy cotton pennants are stitched onto deep green seam binding ribbon with orange thread. The pennants and lettering are done by hand.

Each pennant is about 1 1/2″ wide and 3″ long. The banner is about 4 1/2 feet long PLUS over a foot of ribbon on each end for hanging/tying. (Over 2 1/3 yards in total length.)

In related news, boy did I buy a lot of Halloween candy today. (Most of it has to make it ’til Halloween, after all.)

My four-year-old daughter and I made some clothespin dolls together. I’ve had the supplies in my stash for years, surprising no one.

We used:

  • Clothespins
  • Fabric swatches
  • Ribbon
  • Sharpies
  • White glue
  • Glitter glue
  • Scissors
  • Pliers

Clothespin doll-making supplies

The swatches were from an estate sale of a fabric designer. (I even found some painted swatches that were later printed into fabric. Very pre-computer.)

Cutting the dress for a clothespin doll

A fabric was selected, then a dress-sized swatch was cut.

Trimming the clothespin doll sash

A face was drawn in marker, a little glue was added to the body, then a dress was wrapped around the form. A ribbon sash to keep it in place was tied and trimmed.

Adding the pipecleaner hair

Pipe-cleaner hair was formed, snipped, then glued in place.

Gluing the dress in place

A hair bow and glitter-glue embellishment finish the look.

So that’s the clothespin-ladies look for Spring 2013.

Screen-printed bags, made on site

Last Thursday I spent a few hours at the first-annual Martha Stewart American Made Awards at Vanderbilt Hall in Grand Central Station. One of the points of the gathering was to honor artisans who make useful and lovely things, right here in the U.S. of A. Also,  for guests, there was much to take in, learn, make, and taste.

Vanderbilt Hall

Silke Stoddard shows hoi polloi how to make pom poms

I enjoyed making my way around the crafting stations and trying various crafts that were either made from Martha Stewart craft products or inspired by the editors. Speaking of which, many craft editors were on hand to show hoi polloi how to make pom poms, craft clay, wooden bead necklaces, and more. I think it’s really cool to be able to have this interaction with “craft celebrities.”

Crafty highlights

What I made, from left: baker’s twine and dot sticker garland; green, white, and pink “frames” made from air-dry clay; blue pom-pom keychain; red tag flower; blue “punch around the page” test run; pale green envelope; wooden bead and plastic thread necklace.

There were former MSLO employees and a well-edited selection of other crafters and artisans selling their wares as well. I didn’t get any photos of them, but the Wall Street Journal took a great photo of my favorite artist-vendor present, Vintage by Crystal. 

Blog panel

Martha Stewart Living Editor-in-Chief Pilar Guzman hosted a roundtable of bloggers and commentators including Deb Perelman of Smitten Kitchen, Maxwell Gillingham-Ryan of Apartment Therapy, Gabrielle Blair of Design Mom, Erica Domesek of P.S. I Made This, and Stacy Morrison of BlogHer.

Oh, and Martha sat two rows in front of me. That’s her head in the foreground.

bag silkscreening, blue

Silkscreened-on-demand tote bags (as shown at the top of this post) were a popular takeaway. Here’s the blue paint…

bag silkscreening, red, and loopy guy doing it

…and quickly thereafter, the red. Along with a slightly punchy silkscreen operator who decided to get in the photo at the last minute.

Bouchon spread

There was a rotating “cafe” of gratis nibbles for visitors. The stars were aligned or something because I happened to be there when the spread was by Bouchon Bakery, pictured above. Ohhhhh yes.

Sample treats from Bouchon

Here’s what I chose (one of each.) Something like a brownie, a ganache-covered tart, a pate de fruit square, and a ganache-chocolate square.

Martha Stewart iPad app

I tried out the new CraftStudio iPad app. It was beautiful, fun, and pretty intuitive to use.

Jodi Levine and Heather Donohue

At the end of the event: Jodi Levine, Martha Stewart Living’s kids editor and I, in front of the sign composed of a zillion craft supplies.

Halloween outdoor lights

I put up Halloween lights for the first time ever this year. Why? A few reasons.

  • I have young kids who dig Halloween
  • I, too, dig Halloween, and decorating for holidays
  • I live on a street that sees very few trick-or-treaters.

So I figure, if I put some effort into lights and such, it might appear “worth it” for youngsters to walk up our driveway to ring the doorbell. Sometimes I even put candy and toys in the little Halloween bags! Gee, it would be nice to have some kids to give them to. I feel like the Kringle family before Kris came along and started hauling toys over the mountain to the kids of Sombertown.

Halloween outdoor lights detail

There are three strings of lights–two jack-o-lantern strings and one orange-light string with black cheesecloth. I added the Beistle scarecrow jack for a visual anchor.

Halloween outdoor lights, b & w

So spooky in black and white

And I added a big black cat, also Beistle. The whole thing is on a timer so it goes on at dusk and shuts off in the wee hours.

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