In typical fashion, I had the majority of this post drafted right after the holidays, but haven’t gotten around to finishing it until now, a solid two months later, hah. During my annual visit to good ol’ Bakersfield, I made an obligatory stop at Michaels Art & Craft store (made easier with the help of numerous 50% off and 30% off coupons). Upon walking in, right at the head of Aisle 1 (glitter paper and Martha Stewart supplies), I stumbled upon these fantastic marquee light kits by Heidi Swapp:
Her collection ranges across the full span of the alphabet along with a few miscellaneous shapes like ampersands and arrows. Each kit costs only $12.99, a steal compared to real metal marquee lights that easily run $100 or higher.
The kit contains the essentials: the letter/shape frame itself, which is a blank white paper material, a stencil, lights specifically for that letter (some have fewer/more lights than others), and the light bulb casings that you pop on in the end. With the AAA powered LED lights, unsightly wires are not a concern. You can customize the letter in almost any way you want – with paint, glitter paper, real glitter & glue, washi tape, or just leave it white if that works with your decor.
Below, I used black and bronze paint with a sponge to achieve a burnished metal look:
And glitter paper cut outs (with the handy stencil) for the following:
As you can see, I had quite a bit of time on my hands. Five out of five stars for ease of set-up and customization – a fun project for a rainy or snowy winter afternoon!
Unfortunately, I missed the latest Renegade Craft Fair in November this year, but was luckily able to stop by the Etsy Holiday Handmade Cavalcade at Chelsea Market this past weekend!
It was a great opportunity to discover some new local shops and sellers – though the venue was on the smaller side, there were still plenty of goods and wares to peruse. Some favorites of mine included:
- Amber Lee Isabella Home – Etsy shop here
Cute design-oriented prints with a variety of fun quotes and sayings – the colors used between the typography art and paintings are consistent, so it’s very easy to mix and match! Lots of NYC-related prints, perfect for decorating a new apartment or as a housewarming gift. While most of her shop consists of prints, she also has some die-cut pieces that are fantastic along with home goods.
Left – Print “Kick Up Your Heels”, $20 here; Right – Gold Foil “Design the Life You Want to Live”, $40 here
- Cynla – Etsy shop here
Lovely hand drawn illustrations and cards made with eco-friendly and recycled materials. Per the store description – “Designs are influenced by my half-Japanese culture, nature, my travels and the pursuit of stressing less.”
Left – Hot Chocolate Holiday Card, $4 here; Right – Rice Cooker Birthday Card, $4 here
- Titiluli – Etsy shop here
Pretty hand screen printed paper goods and textiles like tea towels, pillows and baby clothing.
Left – Tea Towel, $15 here; Right – Christmas Gift Bag, $12 here
There were many other great vendors there selling items ranging from jewelry to custom flasks – the full list can be found over here!
It’s crazy how quickly time always flies – it feels like just yesterday that I was pressing “Submit” on my business school applications (approximately 5 minutes before the deadlines, of course), and now I’m almost finished with my first semester at Columbia Business School.
There is one thing that has remained constant over the past several holiday seasons – advent calendars! Behold:
- 24 Ways – http://24ways.org/
24 ways is the advent calendar for web geeks. For twenty-four days each December we publish a daily dose of web design and development goodness to bring you all a little Christmas cheer.
24 Ways was the first advent calendar I found back in 2008, when “Web 2.0” was the buzzword of the day instead of “IoT”. Always has great articles on design and development – though I don’t keep up as well as I’d like each year, the topics are still relevant for months after.
- UXmas – http://uxmas.com/
An advent calendar for UX folk.
Newer calendar (began in 2012) focused more on design and UX with gems like Santa, the Child, and the Magic of UX.
- Performance Calendar – http://calendar.perfplanet.com/2014/
The speed geek’s favorite time of the year
Started in 2009,a more technical look at sites through the holidays.
- Responsive Advent – http://christmas.code7.co.uk/
A responsive advent calendar featuring a selection of funny, heart-warming, and nostalgic festive videos. For extra fun, we have a competition giving you the chance to win a vaguely festive prize!
Contains gems like “How to wrap your Christmas cat” and N64 nostalgia.
Let the festivities begin!