Help The Foundrie Open Location #2!

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If you’ve been reading my blog for any length of time, you’ve heard me showering The Foundrie with praise. It’s a beautifully curated, local, independent shop that sells handmade and vintage goods–I’m always so proud to say that my work is sold there!

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After 5 years in their first storefront at Chesterfield Mall, they recently downsized to a more practical location there and are currently working on opening location #2 in West County Mall! I’m so in love with the idea of this gorgeous little handmade shop in a huge shopping mall in the suburbs, attracting a clientele that might otherwise never think of going to a craft show or to a local boutique in the city.

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The owner, Shelah, has been sharing photos on Facebook of herself, her husband, and daughter Stella working hard giving their two new spaces make-overs and fresh new displays with salvaged materials. This shop is such a labor of love and a total gem in our city. When Shelah announced an indiegogo campaign to help with all the costs of opening new doors(computers, fixtures, displays, flooring, signage, insurance, etc), I knew I had to share it with you guys!

The Foundrie is running a flexible funding project on indiegogo, meaning they receive all donations even if they don’t reach their goal, so each dollar you can spare is so so important and will mean so much. Expanding to West County will broaden their reach and customer base and get independently produced goods into the hands of an even greater number of shoppers!

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The perks for helping fund the project include the chance to get your name on a one of a kind statement wall in the new location as well as limited edition stickers and t-shirts designed and printed exclusively for The Foundrie by local artists. You can proudly say that you played a part in helping a small, independently owned business grow in hopes of becoming a St. Louis institution that creates jobs and opportunities with the ability to give back and make a difference in our community.

Even if you guys aren’t locals, just take this as a plea to at least support your own local entrepreneurs! A couple weeks ago I asked friends on FB where I could buy button-making supplies. I had been calling Michael’s, Hobby Lobby, and all the usual big chain craft stores with no luck. Turns out that buttonmakers.net is local and has a brick and mortar! I stopped in and had the best experience–the owners were SO nice and helped me with all my annoying amateur questions, suggested better solutions and the prices were great! Just goes to show that you never know what kind of hidden gems your city can have! :) xo

Photos courtesy Shelah McClymont/The Foundrie

Drawn: Strange Folk

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I was flattered and so happy when Autumn asked me to make the promo artwork for Strange Folk Festival this year! I finished this baby a few months ago but wasn’t sure when the best time to share it would be–also, it’s very horizontal, so I knew sharing it on the blog would be a bit wonky.

Strange Folk’s art theme is usually gnomes, so I knew I had to include some. Autumn said she was hoping for a whimsical foresty theme. When I think of SF I think of tons of activity, music, and happy people so I knew I wanted a lot of energy and thought playing with a bunch of different characters in almost a repeating pattern kind of way would be fun. Also, the illustration has to be flexible and able to work on a wide variety of promo materials–web ads, banners, print ads, and even a billboard(!!!)–so I thought going the pattern route would make sense.

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I don’t think I’ve really ever drawn gnomes before, but I liked to think of them as little fat bearded hipster dudes. 8)

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I liked the idea of gnomes and animals hanging out and partying together in the woods.

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Hehe, these guys are my favorites. I want to go dance with them!

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I know I sing its praises often–I’ve shared my experience visiting in 2012 and a video when I vended in 2013–but Strange Folk really is a fantastic event! Autumn is truly a wonder and has been running this shit for years and it’s a well-oiled machine. Two days of 100+ artists, crafters, artisans, food vendors, live music, and kid’s activities and the place is HOPPIN’. The crowd is always huge and enthusiastic and it’s definitely one of my yearly highlights.

Vendor applications are open until July 4th so if you’re an ambitious maker from the midwest, you should definitely think about applying! See you in September! xo

Product Review: Punchdrunk Panda

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Happy Monday, everyone! Today I’m sharing my experience with Punchdrunk Panda, a brand of accessories focusing on great design and strong artist collaborations. Tomorrow I’ll be hosting a giveaway with them so make sure to check back!

Punchdrunk Panda describes themselves as a team of Filipinos that funkify the world with passionate, like-minded people by creating functional graphic-designed products and happiness-inducing events. Sounds like a pretty fun group, right? I’m always attracted to brands that openly collaborate with designers and illustrators. I love that they have a section on their site where you can meet their artists. Clearly they form healthy relationships and treat their collaborators well!

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Punchdrunk Panda offers a great little collection of accessories including camera straps and iPhone and iPad cases, but for my review, I chose the slick looking headphones. I got the Colorful City Headphones, designed by Dan Fajardo. Earbuds can be convenient, but I never find them very comfortable and always prefer this style when I’m working at my computer. Besides the comfort factor, they help me block out everything else and really get focused on my work.

I’m really pleased with my experience with these guys so far! The padding on the ears fit perfectly around my whole ear and each piece adjusts really well to fit my head. The padding underneath the headband is a nice touch! The cord is detachable which is another nice detail. The quality of the artwork seems great too–bright colors and a clean wrap design.

I must admit that I usually expect the worst from the quality of electronics that focus on design. Form over function is unfortunately a constant battle. I’m totally satisfied with the sound quality on these! I’m no audiophile, but my music sounds rich and full and my podcasts sound perfect. Definitely an improvement on my usually cheap pairs of headphones. Plus, Punchdrunk Panda offers a 30 day money back guarantee and a 1 year replacement warranty.

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I also have to note how amazing the customer service was! My communications with co-founder Gail have been so friendly, easy, and quick. I got shipping notifications after making my order and received my headphones packaged super safely and they were delivered surprisingly fast. All around it was a fabulous experience and I recommend checking out their goods. I especially love the Sea Camera Strap and would’ve definitely ordered some headphones with that design if they were available!

Disclaimer: I was given free product in exchange for a review. All opinions honestly reflect my experience with the brand and product. 

FF32: Full-Range Fashion at ModCloth

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One of my favorite online retailers and affiliate partners to spotlight here on the blog is ModCloth(duh!) and I’m really happy to share that this week marks the one-year anniversary of their official plus-size clothing launch!

I often ride that awkward line between straight sizes and plus sizes. I can usually fit into something at most straight size stores, but knowing that only one or two sizes up is considered a ~special interest~ is just ridiculous. I only really feel comfortable openly endorsing and collaborating with stores that offer clothing for a wider range of sizes than just S, M, or L. Our bodies are not that basic, y’all.

ModCloth has expanded their product catalog with more items fitting more body types. They actively use models of all different sizes, and of course have their lovely style gallery where you can see their products on everyday people.

This anniversary isn’t the only thing to be excited about–ModCloth’s sale section is up to 30% off on adorable dresses, shoes, accessories, & more until June 29! Trust me, the good stuff often sells out so go for it! Here’s a little collection of some of my current sales section faves:

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1. Coastal Break Skirt $54.99 $37.99
2. Like, Tote-ally Mini Backpack $54.99 $37.99
3. Tea and Tassels Flat $49.99 $34.99
4. You’re the Palm Overalls $89.99 $62.99
5. Test the Watermelon Skirt $54.99 $37.99
6. Doo-Wop Your Thing Dress $99.99 $69.99
7. Premium Picnic Spot Shorts $54.99 $37.99
8. Quirk It Sneaker $39.99 $27.99
9. Best Suds Shower Curtain $29.99 $20.99
10. Sculpture Park Picnic Dress $59.99 $41.99
11. Arbored Entrance Dress $52.99 $36.99
12. Coast with the Most One-Piece Swimsuit $128.99 $89.99
13. Spritz a Wonderful Life Bag $44.99 $30.99

Disclaimer: This is a sponsored post that uses affiliate links to some specifically pictured items that I love. Clicking on or purchasing via an affiliate link may result in commissions for this site.

INDIEana Handicraft Exchange

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Tomorrow evening I’m packing up the car and truckin’ it to Indianapolis, IN to sell at the INDIEana Handicraft Exchange on Saturday! I’m really excited to check out this HUGE event. It’s so well curated–I was beyond flattered to even make the cut! You can check out all the vendors ahead of time here.

There will be over 100 artists, crafters and makers on site selling contemporary handmade goods in addition to local craft beer and cider, ice cream, live music, food trucks, a photo booth and food craft demos! This is definitely one of those shows where I almost wish I wasn’t vending just so I could walk around and actually see and enjoy everything!

Here’s some photos from past years, c/o the INDIEana Handicraft Exchange website:

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If any of you guys live around Indy, please come say hi! A few other talented STL crafters are also making the trip and we’re sharing a hotel, but I’ll be by myself at the booth all day, so I’d love to meet people! xo

Prescott, Arizona

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This weekend we flew down to Arizona for Andrew’s step-brother’s wedding at his fiancee’s grandparents’ ranch just outside of Prescott. We stayed in town at a cute little historic hotel and had four fabulous days walking around town, resting, learning about cacti, and searching for desert creatures. We also ate In-And-Out Burger (Twice!!!), watched Orange is the New Black, hung out with family at wedding-related events, and hunted for local whiskey–unfortunately to little avail. We’re really spoiled with a great spirits scene in Missouri, aren’t we? I’m learning this!

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On Friday, Amanda from Little Lady Little City drove up from Phoenix to visit! I was so excited and happy that we were able to make it work and meet each other! Amanda is adorable and so sweet, funny, and fun to hang out with. We had lunch at an amazing carnival food-inspired hole in the wall called Devil’s Pantry and perused some thrift stores. I adore her and wish St. Louis crossed her path more often! <3

OOTD: Rule Breaker

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Skirt: Vintage | Heels: Target | Vintage Clutch: Parsimonia | Necklace: H&M | Earrings: Creature Type

I broke one of my cardinal rules of thrifting last week.

It had been a while since I hit the racks at some secondhand shops and I’ve been on the hunt for a few specific items, so I snuck in a trip after work. My favorite two places have closed–one was chased out by the neighborhood association and the other was bulldozed for a new Wal-Mart. How heartbreaking is that?! I bitterly headed to a Goodwill that’s never very great and just as I was about to head out in a disappointed funk I spotted a gorgeous vintage dress just sitting there on a round rack.

If you frequent Goodwills, you know that real vintage is a pretty rare find nowadays. This black dress had the perfect fit-and-flare silhouette I just die over, so I broke my ultimate rule of never buying something that doesn’t fit. It’s about two sizes too small, realistically, but! I can fold the top down and wear it as a lovely, full skirt, which is exactly what I’m doing with this outfit. It’s a little sacrilegious to not wear it in its full glory, but I just couldn’t leave it!

Maybe the dress saw some snazzy cocktail parties during its lifetime, but it gets a slightly edgier remix with me now. :) xo

Drawn: Thirsty Thursday

Last week I was officially invited to join the STL Craft Mafia! The Craft Mafia is an organization of indie crafters and craftepreneurs who work together to support local artists and facilitate awesome local events. If you’re involved in the handmade STL community at all, you know the Craft Mafia as the coolest of the cool kids and I’m super honored to be included! :) 

A month or two ago, April emailed to ask if I’d be interested in making an illustration for the Craft Mafia to use for their Thirsty Thursday pop-up market at Urban Chestnut in August. I was hoping for a drawing of a girl with tattoos wearing sort of bavarian beer-wench clothes and with flowers and a crown of braids and holding a mug or stein of beer.” Umm, you came to right place, girl! Yes, of course I want to draw that!

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My first instincts were to parody a St. Pauli girl or maybe make some art nouveau inspired piece. April and I both loved the art nouveau direction.

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I think the final turned out really fun. I had a blast drawing all the details–tattoos, art nouveau frames, flowers… such a fun project! Here are a couple detail shots:

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Cats and cat-eye glasses are a must in my opinion! ;)