Wednesday, November 11, 2015

The paper + craft pantry

It's rare to come across a kindred spirit nowadays. That's why when I met Pei of p.s. Paper Shoppe I knew we would become great pals. It wasn't until Pei moved from Houston to Austin that our friendship truly blossomed and now I'm proud to call her a close friend. I'm so honored to write a post about my dear friend that is making her dream became a reality by opening up her very own stationery shop and workspace this weekend to all of Austin! Without further ado, here are my interview questions that Pei so thoughtfully answered.

Q: For those readers that don’t know you personally… you were originally a dance major and lived in Houston. When and what made you decide to start your own stationery business while living there? Was it a dream that you always had in the back of your mind?

A: I have always been a paper lover and have always appreciated really great, quality and unique stationery. It started out as silly little doodles on post-it notes that I decided to turn into stationery so I could share them with friends and family. It was a huge learning curve since I am a self-proclaimed "analog" kinda gal. With a lot of trial and error, I taught myself the basics of Illustrator and In-Design so I could turn my little doodles into paper goods that I could share with others. 

If you would have asked me a few years ago if I thought I would ever be a small business owner, I would probably laugh and say you were crazy! All I knew from the beginning was that I loved designing and creating things that would be be accessible to everyone. 

Q: You later decided to “take the plunge” and move from Houston to Austin. What made you decide to make that change? Was it business related?

A: I definitely consider Texas my home, after having lived here for over 16 years, but I have enjoyed traveling between Texas cities. Houston was home for a while because it was where my family lived when we moved to Texas but I spent many weekends in Austin. I've always loved Austin and the creative community here, so when I was debating a change of scenery, it was a no brainer! 

Q: About how long after moving to Austin did you decide to open your own stationery/workshop. Is this a dream that you’ve had for some time now? How did the idea start and develop?

A: Earlier this year I spent a lot of time thinking about what direction I wanted my small business to grow in. After realizing that my passion and love of my business was primarily directed to the other small businesses I had gotten to know through the years. I absolutely loved seeing other small business owners grow, gain momentum, and flourish. I wanted to create a space that would be inclusive and supportive! 

Q: Tell us about your shop "Paper + Craft Pantry". I know your space is one part local paper shop & one part collaborative workshop which is a unique idea.

A: The Paper + Craft Pantry came from combining two of my favorite things! I wanted to be committed to showcasing stationery from independently owned businesses from all over the United States and beyond while also having a space where local small business owners could come share their talent with the community. 

Q: What types of crafty and fun workshops do you have planned for Austin?

A: My goal for the workshop calendar is to be sure to offer a variety of workshops so that anyone wanting to learn or create would be able to find one that excited them. From the more DIY and crafty workshops like calligraphy or stitching, we also have workshops for small business owners that would empower them to grow their businesses. 

Q: What are some of the difficulties that you’ve faced while taking on this huge venture to open your own business? What are some of they joys that you have also encountered along the way?

A: It's hard. Plain and simple! Behind the social media photos, are long hours and to be honest, some tears. I believe so much in this business and in what I am trying to create here in Austin that it can be extremely overwhelming when things don't go exactly according to plan. 

Owning a small business seems like fun, where you get to work form home and have a flexible schedule etc. But I don't think enough small business owners get credit for all that they do! True, most of us don't work a 9-5 job, because most of our workdays are probably 12-18 hr days. Yes, we have a flexible schedule! But that also means that we work through most weekends and don't have a day "off". 

When it comes down to it, I think it is a matter of how bad you want it and how hard you are willing to work. The best part of all of this is the folks I have met along the way. The go-getters, the movers and shakers in this amazing town I call home, who have rallied behind me. The ones who brighten my day by simply believing in me. The ones who believe in my goals with The Paper + Craft Pantry. And also to the fellow small businesses who want to be a part of what I am creating! 

Q: For people who are reading this and are trying to pursue their own business ventures and dreams, what’s some good advice that you could give to them? What are some words of wisdom that have helped you out along the way?

A: Find something you love, something that you are willing to give 110% every. single. day. 

You'll have good days and bad days, good events and bad events, the most important thing is taking something positive from every experience you encounter. Also, finding time for yourself, even if it is just for fifteen minutes a day! 

Interview by Taylor Hart and the lovely Photography by Chelsea Laine Frances

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Crochet strawberry... a free patttern

Howdy folks! I've been gone on vacation for awhile but I'm back with a very deliciously cute strawberry pattern for you. It's fast and fun and makes the perfect little gift for someone you love.

Chain 2. 2sc into the 2nd chain from the hook.
Row1. 2sc in each sc all around. = 12sc. Pull magic circle closed tight so there is no hole.

Row 2-3. 1sc in each 12sc all around. 
Row 4. * 1sc in the 1st sc, 2sc in the 2nd*. = 18sc.
Row 5. *1sc in each sc all around*. = 18sc.

Row 6. *1sc in the 1st 2sc, 2sc in the 3rd.* = 24sc.
Row 7. 1sc in each sc all around. = 24sc.

Now it's time to add the seeds to your little berry. You can use white, yellow or even black yarn for this... feel free to experiment! All you'll need is a tapestry needle and a long piece of string of your choice color of yarn. Sew seed shapes in and out like you are sewing little quarter inch stitches. Repeat until you have your desired look.

Row 8. *1sc in the 1st 2sc, dec into the next st.* Repeat. = 18sc. 
Stuff almost all the way to the top.
Row 9. * 1sc into the 1st sc, dec into the next st.* Repeat. = 12sc.
Row 10. * 1sc in the 1st sc, dec in the next sc.* Repeat. = 8sc.
Stuff the rest of the way.
Row 11. Skip every other sc, sl st in last st pulling through a small tail of yarn. Cut yarn and weave in the loose end. Now it's time to work on our leafy part of the strawberry. 

Chain 2, 6 sc into the 2nd chain from the hook. Pull tight.
Row 1. 2sc in each sc all around. = 12sc.
Row 2. *3dc into the 1st sc, sl st into the 2nd sc*. Repeat.
Sl st in the last sc pulling through a long (12 inch) tail of yarn. Cut excess yarn. 
Now it's time to sew your green little leaf onto your strawberry!!

Place the leafy part on the end of your strawberry (as seen above). Using your tapestry needle weave the long piece of yarn in and out of your strawberry making sure to keep it as close to the green leafy part as possible... this will make it look more neat and clean. After you have finished sl st in the last st and cut yarn leaving a little tail to weave back into the leaf. Voila!

You should have a cute little finished strawberry to put on your shelf or give to someone you adore!


Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Fall vibes...

Oh hi there! I've been struggling to find time to blog and actually post about something meaningful. I have so much to say but not nearly enough hours in the day to do all the things I love doing 
(blogging being one of them). The last week has been spending time catching up with all my crochet projects for stores, wholesale orders and Etsy orders. Not to mention crocheting taxi heads to send off to be photographed for my upcoming book! Eeeeeep! I'm also trying to work on taxi heads for the four shows that I'll be participating in this Holiday Season. I'm so excited that I've gotten into all of the ones that I applied for. It's going to be a lot of work but I love that I'm a "Girl Boss" now and get to decided how I run my own show.... literally. 

This is a little outfit that I wore to my dear friend Becky of The Pink Samurai's Baby Shower. I was honored to be a part of her baby experience and am also delighted to help decorate her Dino themed Nursery. (I crocheted her a Triceratops Dinosaur head). It was a fun night and I aslo got to catch up with some crafty peeps that I hadn't seen in awhile.

I'm really looking forward to spending some QT with the Husbear coming up here mid October when we take a trip to Port Aransas. We booked a cute little love shack through airbnb. It's tiny but we will basically be spending the majority of our time at the beach anyhow... we just need a place to rest our heads at night. 

In other news, I'm hoping to buy some cute pirate accessories for my Halloween costume tonight with my BFF Christopher. I'm going the "cheap route" and am building a costume around a teeny weeny black skirt I own. I figure that I already own black boots and a red bandanna so voila! Instant pirate costume. I just need a few more pieces and it will be complete. 

Besides Halloween and vacation things I've been trying to get back into my daily workout routine now that my sister and brother in law have left. Did I mention we had house guests for a week? It was fun but I neglected my regular diet and workout regime and it basically threw my whole schedule off. It's totally okay to indulge every now and then, and I totally let myself.... but getting back on track seems so hard now, especially since the days are getting shorter and it's darker in the mornings now.

I have a few small goals planned for this October if I can find some free time I'd love to host a clothing swap and maybe have a small dinner party as well. I'm trying to be more involved and more social but I find it hard to find time. I swear there are not enough hours in the day....

On that note, I better take off to go on my daily run. Have a great week kittens!

bre pea.

Friday, October 2, 2015

Chicken update...

Hello there! Wow, I've been really lazy with my posts lately... I've actually been having fun just livin' life and not living in front of the computer or behind my camera anymore and I have to say it has felt really good. I have a little chicken update for you all in case you were wondering about our little feathered friends. These are are three adult chickens that we have remaining. From left to right we have 
Whitey, Betty and Molly. Whitey we couldn't come up with a name for and at the time she had two other sisters that looked just like her and we couldn't really tell them apart so we just called them 
"the white ones".... Unfortunately, the other two both perished. One got heat stroke (we think) and the other was malled by a raccoon. It was truly horrid! Betty (the brown one) and Molly (the speckled one) are from our first two batches of chicks and have managed to hang in there. I have grown really attached to those two but I have to say Molly is my favorite. 

This is Whitey, she is a light tan Brahman. She is more of the aggressive one in the bunch.

Molly is a Wyandotte and is pretty shy but is very sweet and will let you pick her up. 

I had to take her to the vet for a split nail several times and developed a tight bond with her. 

These six fuzz balls are our new chicks! Although they are gawky teenage chicks now they were all very tiny a month ago... especially that little one all the way on the left. She is my favorite little chick and boy o' boy does she have grit. We ended up naming her lil' bit. We both didn't think she would make it, but she surprised us both. Actually, they all surprised us. Usually about half will perish just naturally and the strongest chicks will remain but in this case they all made it. This has never happened to us before... which is why I bought six, thinking that half would die. Nope... now we have nine total! Two Plymouth Rock's (the black ones) and four Americana's (the tan striped ones).

This little girl is one of the Plymouth Rock's. There are two in the bunch. They will grow up to be speckled white and black sort of like Molly and will lay white or light tan eggs. 

The other tan striped ones above are Americana's and with be various shades of light blonde, reddish and brown and depending on their color they may lay green or light blue eggs which are very beautiful. We seem to have a mixture of Americana color variations because one is definitely blond so of course we had to name her Blondie. Then we have one that is a golden shade and she is named Goldie, and there is one that is dark brown that is now known as Brownie and of course don't forget Lil' Bit. Lil' Bit has distinct markings around her eyes that now makes it easier to tell her apart from her sisters but she is catching up in size.

They are now so big that Matt had to build them a huge coop for outside. They enjoy meal worms as a treat on a daily basis. We like to spoil our chicks. There are many more images that I have taken since these baby pictures so I'll have to do another update soon. It's so much fun to watch these little guys grow up and change.... 


Friday, September 18, 2015

daisy duke

Happy Friday! If you've noticed I haven't been blogging very much lately... I haven't been doing much of anything except working these days. I must say this week has been very productive... but I'm still left with this sinking feeling of not getting enough done. To be honest... I'm terrified for this upcoming Holiday Season. I've applied to four shows and don't really have much of anything made as of yet. All my time and energy has been devoted towards my upcoming book and keeping my stores stocked. Yesterday morning I actually took some time to do something fun for myself. As you know... I love to play dress up, so I spent the early morning taking fashion pictures of my new outfits. I never get to "dress up" anymore because I work from home and it's really not necessary... I mean the only people that see me are my dogs. Ha! So... it's always fun every now and then to get all dolled up. 

It's been unusually cool here in Austin. Don't get me wrong... there are no complaints here. I've actually enjoyed life a lot more now that it's not balls hot outside. Sadly, it's not going to last that long.. it should be back in the 90's here this weekend. I'm so ready for Fall weather! Unfortunatly, we won't see or feel that kinda vibe here until late November perhaps... Oh well.... a girl can dream can't she?

Other than it being hot as hell here... life has been pretty swell. I had some help from my dear friend Lisa of lalafauxbois host a giveaway. That was pretty cool. Our little chicks are strong and very healthy and are also growing like weeds!! It's time for them to be moved outside into a permanent coop. 

I also managed to squeeze in a girl date with the gorgeous Katy of Wit & Bloom. Katy found a really cool pottery workshop for us to try out. It was too fun and I can't wait to take another when I can find some time. In other news... I've been looking at my girlfriend Pei of p.s.papershoppe's IG feed and am super envious of this "girl's road trip" that she's on with a few of my other gal pals. They have all taken a trip to Marfa, Texas and are currently staying at El Cosmico. I can't wait to hear all about it when she gets back home.

In just one week my dear Sister and Husbear will be in Austin and staying at our humble home. 
I'm super excited... it has been way too long since I've seen her face. That's not all either! Our longtime family friends will be staying in Austin the same time as well and we are all going to get together and break some bread and reminise about old times. It's going to be swell...

Until next time...


Top: Target
Daisy Dukes: Target
Boots: Old Navy
Flower Crown: Garden Head Co.

Friday, September 11, 2015

August in a nutshell

The Mister and I have been exploring our beautiful city and have been finding some really great spots to brunch at. This little hidden gem on the east side of town came highly recommended by 
Katy of Wit & Bloom. It certainly was delicious and oh so retro!!

Excuse the crazy amount of puppy pictures that you are about to see. I work from home and this one is always at my side.... 

Our beautiful Green modern home in Austin....

We live by a natural easement that is full of frogs and toads. Every now and then we'll catch one in our screened in porch and set em free....

Hippo's for days.....

Weekends are made for shopping for cacti and succulents.

The Mister and I tried our hand in infusing vodka. He made jalapeno vodka and I made Limonchello!

Farmer's Markets are our Jam....

Lazy bones Lucy...

Trailer food is the best, especially when you're with friends.

My backyard has turned into a giant kiddie pool where I like to lounge and soak up the sun.

Just a little selfie.

Does it ever seem like the older your dog gets the dirtier and dustier they get?

New bunny design in the house....

Plaque staining day is the worst!!!

Sophie likes to sit like a human and watch TV with me.

Sometimes I swim in real pools.... with Pei of P.S. Paper Shoppe.

I made some really delicious cilantro, lime sauce. Recipe to come laters.....

Made some new designs for my upcoming book due to be out August of 2016!

We grew some oyster mushroom from a kit!

I came home with 6 baby chicks... they have since trippled in size!

I've been pickling a lot of veggies from the farmer's market. I found an awesome recipe on Pinterest and now I want to pickle everything!

Lastly, how I am normally without makeup and in my chill clothes with the babies on the couch. This is my happy place.