Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Tasteful Americana

July 4th is coming up, and despite the annual Austin Symphony concert and fireworks cancellation, I'm excited. Don't look at me like that. I know this holiday gets a bad wrap for being tacky (search '4th decor' on Etsy and tell me I'm wrong) and characterized by a misguided notion of what defines patriotism (and no, it's not being pro-war and it's not wearing those terrible excuses for clothing that Old Navy passes off as acceptable $5 t-shirt attire).

I think this holiday, like most others, is worth getting excited about because it gives us an excuse to indulge in foods we don't normally eat and get together with friends (not that you should need an excuse for either, but a nudge in the right direction never hurts). And, it doesn't need to be celebrated in a tacky manner. To prove this, here are a few awesome finds from Etsy:

Swim Dandy Swimsuit by FablesbyBarrie, $106.00

I am in love with this as well as the Sailor Swimsuit. This piece is so cute that you definitely aren't limited to wearing it just on the 4th. The model this shop uses for pics is awesome too.

Beach Breezes Lighting by BootsNGus, $185.00

Since Austin has a fire ban in effect, I think mason jar lighting and strings of white lights are a good substitute for fireworks as a way to illuminate nighttime celebrations.

50 Aqua Barber Striped Straws by isakayboutique, $7.98

I always see these straws on fancy event planning websites and love the sweet retro feel they add. These come with free blank paper flags too!

4th of July Star Sparklers Cupcake Toppers by TwoSugarBabies, $15.00

In case you're wondering, these "sparklers" are edible. Amidst all the bad cupcake decor on Etsy, these cute and playful fondant pieces really stood out.

So, what are your favorite Fourth finds on Etsy? Do you plan on going to the lake, spending all day outside, or hitting up the Tiniest Bar in Texas Vegan Hot Dog Eating Contest?

Action Jackson out.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Make it Work

As of tomorrow, I have one month left at my job. Naturally, that kind of foreseeable end date leads to daydreaming. Lots of daydreaming. To dissuade myself from the morose "but I don't want a new goldfish" outlook moving is bringing out in me, I'm trying to get excited about pairing down what I own and decorating a new space.

Gorgeous gothic/Victorian-inspired armoire I spotted here on Apartment Therapy.

What does this mean for me? Spending more time on Apartment Therapy than any normal person cares to, field trips to Ikea, and possibly a major garage sale (for which I don't have a personal garage and would gladly accept any offers). I'm especially interested in small space storage solutions because I'll only be allotted one coat closet in my new sublet. For my clothes, I'd like to fit everything into a wardrobe or underneath my bed. I don't have any ideas for non-clothing items, but my goal is to have a living space that doesn't look like a cluttered dorm room.

Some make it work with even less than what I'll have though. I'll leave you with this awesome food for thought in the form of a simply chic 125 square ft studio I found on Apartment Therapy.

Action Jackson out.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Minimalist Me

Above is a photograph I came across while perusing The Everyday Minimalist. It's a snap of Steve Jobs at home in 1982, presumably pictured with most or all of his possessions at the time. TEM paired it with the tagline quote from SJ, "All you needed was a cup of tea, a light, and your stereo, you know, and that's what I had."

So, why am I suddenly turning my attention to minimalism? I'm fairly certain this isn't new knowledge to anyone who reads this blog regularly/knows me in real life, but if it is, I'm moving to NYC in August for grad school. And while I have moved within Austin every year for the past seven years, I've never made a cross-country move.

It should come as no surprise that moving hundreds/thousands of miles alone is not glamorous (yes, even to NYC) and is instead incredibly laborious. However, I genuinely had not thought about how I would move my cat, desktop and laptop, jewelry supplies, musical instruments, and any essential odds and ends until I visited the City last weekend. The reality of the move didn't sink in until it came time to find a place to live in a city I've only visited a few times.

For the fall semester, I'll be living in a furnished sublet that's a 20 minute walk from NYU. And while the unit itself is nothing to sneeze at (silestone counters, hardwood floors, and a clean bathroom and kitchen), it isn't my gorgeous, spacious, brand spankin new Austin apartment. Oh, and I'll be sharing one bathroom with three other girls in the sublet. If that's not a premise for a sitcom, I don't know what is.

As inane and superficial as it sounds, I'm pretty broken up about the prospect of leaving behind a lovely home I share with my boyfriend and most of my possessions (leaving behind my friends has not set in and I'm convinced that when it does, I will have a meltdown, guaranteed). I am by no means a minimalist, I hoard more than I care to admit, and until airlines started charging for checked baggage, I did not pack lightly.

This all leads me to the question, how will I make it work? I've considered shipping everything ground and taking the delicates with me on the plane (including a sedated cat), renting a car in Austin and packing up the essentials, and my dad's favorite solution (which I consider a horrible idea bound to be laden with problems) of hiring movers.

Currently, everything is up in the air except my last day at work and the date I need to be in New York. I have a little over seven weeks to figure everything out and determine what I really truly NEED to bring with me. If you happen to see me in the meantime, any advice is much appreciated.

Action Jackson out.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

All That Glitters

While at the Austin Craft Riot party last Friday, I was reminded of one of my favorite Austin artists when I stumbled upon these paintings by Sue Zola. I first came across her work a few years ago in a South Austin coffee shop; the Iggy Pop and Kurt Cobain canvases look very familiar. Everything she does is on my list for things I want to buy when I'm rich. Her paintings have an earnest joy that gives familiar pop art a fresh feel. These two snaps are ones I took from the party; you can view more of her work on Facebook.

Action Jackson out.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Rengade Austin- Finds and Buys

While I realize that a few weeks have passed since Renegade Craft Fair Austin 2011, I say better late than never when it comes to blog posts. I missed last year's RCF, so I was thrilled to attend this year. I worked the first opening day volunteer shift at The WonderCraft and helped attendees craft matchbook style wallets and buttons. Most of the booths fit the indie aesthetic of part nature, part ironic, part 60s, part wood, and part metal. And, not to be a negative Nancy/diss this style, but it's just not my thing. That being said, I was able to snag and spot some great finds.

I bought a pair of these in slate gray from InfraredStudio, who is based out of Minneapolis and is really stinkin nice. Her RCF stock was one of my favorites at the show.

Heartbreaker Earrings in Hot Pink Laser Cut Acrylic by InfraredStudio, $10.00

Local duo SquidInkKollective premiered these bags at the show. They would make a great going away present for any redhead you know who's moving to NYC at the end of this summer to attend grad school. Ahem. Though, I can't pick between the colors. Which is your favorite?

Commuter Messenger Bag in dark pink green and purple by SquidInkKollective, $65.00

Robo Roku made these new laser cut acrylic necklaces of Robo and Roku just in time for RCF (and I'm going to go out on a narcissitic limb and say it was just for me too). I had a hard time picking between them at the show and could still not tell you which is my favorite. In which case, you should probably buy both since they're such a steal.
Mirrored Acrylic Roku Bling Necklace by Robo Roku, $15.00

I'm on a new kick where I only buy handmade soap or bar soap from Lush. So, it was pretty perfect that I found these lavender-scented Tea Time Soaps from Nepenthe's Bathtime while at RCF. The aroma reminds me of a calming yummy tea and incidentally causes me to smell my hands a lot after I wash them.

Another one of my top ten favorite pieces at the show was this La Catrina wall hanging by IllustratedInk. She had one in purple and aqua (drool) too. In addition to hefty home decor, there were tons of postcards to sift through. I picked up some of these for myself:

Loteria Postcards (El Corazon and La Mano) Tattoo Art by IllustratedInk, $6.00

My last frivolous buy was this Mustachasaurus Key Chain by grrfeisty. If you can't tell yet, I'm nutty for laser cut acrylic. This piece was too cute not to pass up. She also has a Professor Fancy Fox necklace that I'm thinking about buying for myself...or adding to my list of bon voyage gift ideas for others.

What was your favorite shop or find from RCF Austin? Did you have a chance to meet your favorite artist or stop by The WonderCraft for some wonderfully crafty times?

Action Jackson out. Link

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Etsy Craft Party 2011

Last year, I along with Renee of Robo Roku planned and hosted the Etsy Birthday Craft Party. I should note that several Etsy Austin (now Austin Craft Riot) members and officers also helped to make sure the event went off without a hitch. While I was both sad and relieved (I have a terrible tendency to over-commit, like woah) to have my involvement be limited to attending this year's Etsy Craft Party, I'm happy to report that the event was a blast.

This year's party was hosted at Starving Art Studios, a laid back art gallery on the east side that hosts drive-in movies and is home to the airstream boutique, The WonderCraft. The atmosphere of the event was very relaxed and the night consisted of free crafts for Austinites and Etsy Craft Riot members alike. From start to finish, attendees were busy as bees crafting upcycled t-shirt produce bags, duct tape jewelry, buttons, and screenprinting everything from embroidered handkerchiefs to bbq aprons.

If you weren't able to make it to this Austin Craft Riot affair, stay tuned for details on the holiday show happening in November. If you did stop by, what was your favorite aspect? Be sure to check out more great snaps from the par-tay on Baby Bolt's flickr and the Austin Craft Riot flickr pages. A big thank you to everyone who helped plan this year's event and to Tara George for sharing some good pics with me for this post.

Action Jackson out.
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