Crafting & Art

Handmade Holiday

Does this totebag from Richmond Threadlab look familiar? If so, it may be because you caught our Instagram feed a couple of weekends ago when we hit up our local Handmade Holiday Craft Show (just like we did last year). The fair is a bi-annual craft-stravaganza put on by the Richmond Craft Mafia (we went to their Spring version earlier this year too). It’s always filled with tons of cool artists, crafters, and other handmade magicians from the Virginia-ish region. And thanks to most of them having Etsy shops, you guys can sort of virtually shop along with us. So here’s some the cool stuff that we came across, starting with some of the new guys that we haven’t spotted at previous events.

Spade Moderne had tons of graphic pillows and tea towels that we loved, but what caught Sherry’s eye most was this mistletoe brooch (though you could totally cheat and make it an ornament too). Knowing Sherry she’d stick it in a shadowbox and call it holiday art.

Also calling our name from the printed-fabric arena were these screenprinted tea towels from Tiny Peepers. And to live up to their name, there was also this hipster-tastic onesie that kinda made me wish Clara still wore onesies…

Check out this sweet 2013 calendar from Flytrap Studios. Can you believe we already have to start thinking about 2013 calendars? Where did the year go?

These fabric rattles from Tributary Handmade were also pretty darn cute. But I think the true brilliance is that fact that they sell silent versions as well. Plus, the one on top (with the pears and apples) is the same fabric that we used for Clara’s 17 week photo way back when. Memories.

Tributary Handmade also had these cools dolls that for some reason kept reminding me of the Beatles. I think they’d go great in a little boy’s room – especially the mustached and suspendered man in the middle. I’m talking to you Weston Bower.

Nearby we also spotted a bunch of pillows, bags, and things made out of old grain and feed sacks from Jessica Reed Artifacts. Of course the Christmas spirit of the room meant that we were most drawn to the stocking.

Found Studio had these fun mixed media paintings with mason jars as the subjects. They’re like the Warhol soup cans of the Pinterest era.

They also had a bunch of smaller paintings available. We especially liked this long one with the pennant banner (and that small green bicycle).

A lot of booths are starting to become very familiar now that this is our third consecutive visit to one of these local craft fairs. But the cool thing is that most of them are always doing new stuff, so it still feels new. Like Funnel Cloud Studio now has a New Jersey version of the state prints that we admired previously…

And clay-master Tasha McKelvey had these cool clay gnome ornaments this year. It kind of makes me think a gnome-themed Christmas tree would be funny. Or a tradition of “find-the-gnome” each year when you decorate the tree.

It’s always good to see Phil Barbato (and his wife Meghan) at these things. We’ve purchased his artwork in the past, but it was his Baby Octopi that got our attention this year. I love that this one has a gold tooth (at least, that’s how I’m choosing to interpret it).

Matt Butler had us cracking up over his bacon print at past events (it says “either you love bacon or you’re wrong”), but this year it was this print that had me chuckling. Truth in comedy, right?

Matt also has a few bike-themed items, which you know I can appreciate. He does these custom printed Toms shoes, and I think it’s really cool that they connect to create one image.

Suzanne of Silver Tree Art had lots of fun and colorful stuff as usual. Sherry spent a good five minutes browsing through some of her “wisdom cards” that are like cheerful little spirit-boosters.

And Sherry was also struck by these cool layered necklaces by Lucky Accessories.

Of course we couldn’t afford to purchase everything that we admired that day (heck, we couldn’t even cram it all into this post). But we didn’t go home empty handed. I bought part of a Christmas gift for a coffee lover in my family thanks to a local shop called Lamplighter Roasting Company. And yes, their bag design is just about enough to make me want to get over my aversion to java-flavored anything.


Sherry also snagged a couple of those wisdom cards that she was so enamored with. They now sit on her desk as pretty daily reminders.


And we also raided Funnel Cloud Studio a bit. No, I didn’t let Sherry bring that Jersey print home, but I did give into her addiction to all things shiny and animal related with these gold and silver prints. Gold armadillo for the win. And you know we love our rhinos (see our blog header for evidence).


Meanwhile I convinced her that we had to have Funnel Cloud’s awesome new poster: Things That Are Awesome.

We don’t have a spot picked out for it – we’re thinking guest room – but I’ve already clocked about thirty minutes just discovering all of the intricate little drawings (and secretly evaluating whether I agree with their awesomeness or not). We even had guests over for the holidays and all of them were drawn to it – just standing there staring. So we think it’ll make an awesome addition to that room.

Now we’ll pause to send a huge thanks to all of the awesome artists who make these cool local craft fairs possible. Your talent runneth over, and we love Sherry loves bouncing from booth to booth. Literally, I think she was bouncing for a good part of the fair. You know what they say: giddy wife, giddy life. Wait, that’s not the expression?

Anyone else hit up any craft fairs or get any handmade gifts to give this year? Got any favorites from the items that we shared above?



Who has two thumbs, an Instagram addiction, and just bought a bunch of jewel cases?

I think we all know the answer, right? This guy had a little art project up his sleeves.

Ever since jumping on the Insta-wagon back in April, I’ve been itching to get some of our photos printed. We just never had a place for them and were always a little wary of the quality through various printers. But a few weeks ago when I spotted a Facebook coupon for five free Instagram prints using Picplum, I ordered away (nothing to lose, right?) and I was pretty impressed with my handful of free 5×5″ prints… so, like the sucker they hoped I’d be, I purchased a bunch more for $1 per print.

My paid order was fueled by the fact that I stumbled upon something completely accidental. With a tiny trim on two sides, these square prints fit pretty darn perfectly into the front of a jewel case (you know, the clear plastic cases that CDs come in… used to come in?… do I need to refresh everyone on what a CD is?). The only reason I ever discovered this is because my five free prints were sitting on my desk on top of an old CD case, and I realized they were basically the same size.

So I swung by Office Depot and snagged a $10 bulk pack of slim jewel cases (there were 30 of them in the pack, and I didn’t need that many, but it was the smallest pack of thin ones, and I thought thin cases would look the best). Then I just slid some of my favorite prints inside twelve of them.

As you may have guessed from that first picture, I’m not designing homemade covers for some stocking stuffer mixed CDs or anything (although I guess this would work for that too). I actually thought they made for a cool way to display photos in my Man Cave Complete With Pegboards as I’ve lovingly come to call the basement these days. Because nothing too precious makes sense down there with pieces of wood and sawdust flying everywhere – but something to cover photos that I want to display (thereby protecting them from said sawdust) might just be handy, right?

It’s certainly not very fancy or overly fussy, but I really like how easy this was and how stress-free it feels. If a rogue screw cracks a “frame” it’ll cost less than a dollar to replace. Plus they look pretty great against my navy pegboard, amIright?

Total cost for each “frame” including the art inside = $1.30. Can’t buy much other framed art for that price, right? And you know Sherry loves to say that geek is the new black. CD cases are bound to be the next mixed tape/eight-track, right?

To hang my grid I just used 3m Command strips (the velcro kind for “damage free” picture hanging). I actually like to use the strips perpendicular to one another (rather than right on top of each other) – that way I have more flexibility to move things around once both strips are stuck in place (I can shift things up and down or side to side a bit that way).

And fortunately the holes on my pegboard made for a great guide when I was pressing them into place.


Wanna know a secret? I actually tucked an extra photo or two behind some of them. So if I ever want to mix things up I can just hinge the case open, swap the photos, and call it a day.

And since I have extra photos and extra cases, I can always expand my super classy inexpensive art installation across the whole board down there. But for now I’m leaving it open so I can hang some other non-Instagrammy item on the right. Ya never know when I might come across something else to dude things up down here. Although I’m surrounded by hammers and drills and saws, so I’m a pretty happy guy already.

Oh and every time we share pics we realize that we should mention a few other things on the basement agenda, so here they are:

In the meantime, does anyone else have Instagram art projects up their sleeves? I’d love to hear ‘em – especially if you know of other cool places to get them printed on paper, canvas, etc. Oh yeah, and if you want to follow us on Instagram you can find us at (you’ll never guess) @younghouselove.

Psst- We hear the Cultivate quiz from yesterday’s giveaway is still running very slowly/crashing. Looks like they weren’t quite ready for all of you quiz-loving folks! So sorry about that, guys. We hope they get all the kinks worked out soon… and there’s still a $200 gift card for one lucky winner (whether you take the quiz or not), so that’s the good news!