2016 Gift Guide // The Foodie

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We all have one in our life, and some of us even are them (raises hands). The foodie appreciates anything and everything that makes the dining experience that much more enjoyable. Items that transform their kitchen into their happy space will get your foodie friend all sorts of giddy. We’re all about pretty little home decor items that bring a little extra life and warmth into the kitchen, fancy additives that they may not usually treat themselves to, or items that appreciate the humor in their obsession (note item #4).

What gifts are you guys eyeing for your food fanatic friends this season??


1. Coffee Press Enamble Pin
2. Jacobsen Salt Kit
3. The Food Lab Cookbook
4. Snack Club Key Tag
5. Black Truffle Salt
6. Wooden Salad Servers
7. Marble & Copper Cheese Knives
8. Wooden Cutting Board
9. Printed Dish Towels
10. Jeni’s Buttermilk Frozen Yogurt Collection


 

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Etsy Round Up // Vol 28

Guys, I can’t believe I’m actually saying this – but I’m already starting to think about buying gifts! And next week is Thanksgiving! The holidays are inching closer, and the time to start thinking about gifts is now. Etsy always blows me away with the gorgeous and unique gifts they have and I love sharing what I find with you all! Here are just a few things that I would love to give to friends and family (or keep for myself!)…

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^ Our family is big on games, and Curtis and I just learned how to play cribbage! What a beautiful and easy little travel board!


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^ Inspire your ladies with this tee (and even buttons!)


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^ haha, so great!! What a fun little stocking stuffer or office secret santa gift.


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 Block Print Calendar // Travel Cribbage Board // The Future Is Female Tee // Leather Toiletry Kit // Foodie Dice // Screenprinted Placemats


Etsy Round Up // Vol 27

Happy Monday, loves! How is October a week away?! We’re officially into Fall and we’re excited for Fall things, like apple picking, Halloween & socks! We’re also into crafty goods, neutrals and graphic typography – visible below!

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^ Yes, please!!


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^ Just so dainty & beautiful


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Etsy Round Up // Vol 26

Welp, it’s the last week of August, how did that happen?! We’re feelin’ the end of summer vibes with graphic, geometric motifs and crisp clean designs that will transition into Fall oh so well. I know, I said Fall…let’s pretend I didn’t 😉

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^ How amazing is that shelf – it has such style and functionality!


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^ Makes me want to wear turbans and get bangs 🙂


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^ Guys – I’m obsessed with these ladies. I want everything. This tray/wall art is gorgeous, and I’m eying this headboard real hard.


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Etsy Round Up // Vol 25

Guys, it’s almost August, what! This summer is flying by, and we’re nowhere near ready to let it go. We’re embracing summer in full force (heat and all), and I think these Etsy items showcase summer in the best way – beautiful jewelry, hues of pink and purple, cocktail cups and more. Check em out…

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^ I know, I know, a fanny pack…but it’s leather and cute! Perfect for bike rides and short spontaneous trips around town!


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^ Those colors are speaking to me. They remind me of trips to Kansas in the summertime – steamy humid air, peachy sunsets and earthy grass tones. LOVE.


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Druzy Rings // Rose Fanny Pack // Firefall Yosemite Candle //  LE Longhorn PRINT // Colored Pencils // Copper Cup


Etsy Round Up // Vol 24

Happy Monday, loves! How was everyone’s Father’s Day weekends? We had a busy busy day on Saturday shooting with CT Eats Out & Allegra Anderson for another CT Eats Out post that we are very excited about! We then got to hang with our Dads! My family went mini golfing with some family friends, and then had an amazing surf & turf meal that my Dad grilled up at home. Reg’s parents drove her back to Boston and they had a decadent meal over at Legal Seafood. Nothin’ like a beautiful day with some amazing food 🙂

Anyway, we’re back with this month’s Etsy Round Up, and it always surprises me how I can accidentally create a theme while browsing for my items. This month I am loving metallics and home goods apparently! Curtis and I have been talking about looking at new apartments, so maybe I’m channeling my inner stylist and secretly getting excited about redecorating a new place! Enjoy…:)


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^ Pizza is big in our family, and Curtis and I met at a pizza place, so this gorgeous peel caught my attention!


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^ Curtis so lovingly helped me refinish our dining room table (hoping to eventually get a before & after post of that up on the blog eventually!), but we never got around to sealing the wood, so we live in constant fear of water marks! I never knew I could be so into coasters…


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Leccare Lollipops

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Until last weekend, we sort of couldn’t remember the last time that we had eaten a lollipop. They’ve been an overlooked adult treat for some time, but they’re making a comeback – and when we saw these beautiful and creative lollis by Kimberly at Leccare Lollipops, we knew we wanted to give them a try! Turns out they’re as delicious as they look (and sound!), with inventive flavors like Lavender-Marshmallow, Marigold, Rose & Honey, and Marshmallow-Hibiscus. Plus, they catch the light stunningly for photo-ops!

Check out Kimberly’s Etsy shop for a fun springy-treat!

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Artist Profile // Xiaotong Duan

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This morning we’re thrilled to feature one of our closest friends and talented artist, Xiao. Ceramicist, photographer, and just all over awesome person, this little lady is making some beautiful work, and we knew we just had to share it with you all.

Xiao and I (Reg) go way back to college, where our soul-sister-ship blossomed over a bowl of pesto tortellini while watching Saved! in her massive wrap-around porch home in rural Coventry, CT. The first of many movies and meals we were bound to share together, the two of us soon became roomies, and now both live in the Boston area.

This little dumpling’s ceramics have been blowing up all over the Etsy stratosphere and the local Boston scene, she’s had a recent pop-up shop at West Elm, and she just re-launched her brand through a newly updated website and logo (which Christa got to design!).

Check out Xiao Crafted and her Etsy page to see some more of her stunning handmade custom pieces.


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You went to school for photography, did you take ceramics classes throughout college as well? Or was that something you got into after?
It’s totally interesting to compare the journey we take through learning and what our lil’ paper degree says. I got into ceramics in college a little late in the game or else I think I probably would have focused on ceramics. My good friend/ex-roommate took a ceramics class and she would bring back to the apartment all the cool things she made. I enrolled the following semester because I also wanted to make cool things.

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Obviously you love the animals. A lot of your chosen animals aren’t just your average woodland creature – you have everything from praying mantis to big mouth bass, where do you get your inspiration for some of the quirkier ones?
Honestly? Mostly from Nat Geo’s Instagram. I love the way they tend to tell a story alongside each image, it totally activates my inner naturalist. There’s just so many interesting species that I really like to explore beyond the more commonly know creatures. Like did you know that sometimes fruit bats are called flying foxes?

How long does it usually take to create one piece from beginning to end?
Oh man, I have no idea. If I had to guess i would say 10 days if the stars aligned perfectly. Clay requires a lot of patience because there is just a ton of steps involved in its journey from this squishy formless ball to something functional and beautiful. Usually I throw a batch of work on the wheel and then let it set up so that I can trim it within a couple of days. After that, everything is hand painted and left out to dry completely before entering the first kiln firing, called  a bisque. It takes a full day for everything to “cook” in the kiln so that it is solid and porous enough for the glaze. Then I take a day to glaze my work and then back into the kiln it goes for the final firing. The glaze kiln runs for a full day as well. Long story short, if this was a race, ceramics would be going at a slow and steady pace.
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So ceramics can be a pretty time consuming craft (pun intended), any scheduling tips for someone looking to take on a new art?
Just be patient. Ceramics will never provide “instant gratification” but it is an awesome feeling to take a lil’ lump of clay and make something out of it. For people starting out it’s actually a really good 1x/week kind of craft because how the background time involved with letting work set up and firing in the kiln. Just be warned, you may get addicted and just be constantly making cool stuff!
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What are some of your favorite shapes to throw? Anything that is still a tough one you’re trying to tackle?
Recently i’ve really gotten into making planters. Just in time for Spring! The forms are really simple but I love trimming lil’ feet on the bottom to give it a little height and negative space. I don’t really make a lot of tea pots because there are so many parts and spouts are always so challenging. Definitely something I strive to work on.
We noticed that you started taking on custom work, have any of these projects sparked an idea for a new line, or new piece? Or do you try to keep them separate?
My custom work totally inspires me! It helps me explore new themes and surface treatment methods for clay. Recently I did a platter that had my first human being. It was a cowboy on a horse set to the backdrop of the American West. I really loved integrating a background and foreground visual and I’ve created some new work that follows the framework from that original custom order.
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What was the first ceramic you ever made?
It was large hand built candle holder in the shape of a star with little moons cut out on each arm of the star. So cheesy. I see it every time I visit my parents and wish that the cat was strong enough to knock it off the end table.
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Who are some of your artist inspirations?
Ayumi Horie, Chotsani Dean, Diana Fayt, Polly Fern, Molly Hatch, Julia Rothman. Lady creators represent!
You recently had a popup shop at West Elm (congrats, btw!), do you have any other goals or dreams you’re reaching for with your work?
This year I’ve really been trying to make the push to establish myself as a small business artist. (Eeep!) I’ve been doing a lot more pop up shops and sharing my work with the people. I’m hoping to just continue to develop my work and continue to add to my portfolio. I would like to do some residencies and be able to continue to explore the medium.
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Go to late-night junk food?
Grillo’s Pickles
Night owl or morning bird?
Morning bird

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Etsy Round Up // Mother’s Day 2016

Mother’s Day is right around the corner, and we found some lovely Etsy items that your Ma will love! Browsing Etsy is one of my favorite internet holes to get sucked into, and it’s even more fun when you’re looking for items to pamper your mom with!

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^ Get her something she normally wouldn’t buy for herself, like a gorgeous leather glasses case (*insert sunglasses emoji here*)


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^ Because your mom probably don’t pamper herself as much as she should!


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Floral Table Runner // Grass & Clover Candle // Natural Leather Sunglasses Case // Mother’s Day Card // Rose Vanilla Bath Salts // CT (insert your state here) Cutting Board


 

Loving Now // Pins

Pins are having their moment, guys (pieces of flair, anyone?). They’re cute, fun and can accessorize any outfit. We are especially loving little animal pins like these, anything food related (as you will see below), and sassy remarks. After doing our own search, we stupidly attempted to browse pinterest, and damn, are there a lot of super cool pins on that stream. Get ready to get lost in this wormhole, my loves.

So for the time being, check out some of our faves…

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Readers Gonna Read // I Love Chips // In Cats We Trust // Happy Heart // Pizza Love // Pineapple // IPA // Popsicle // Lucky Blue Eye


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Think Sunny Thoughts // Coffee cup // Bobbi Pin // Taco // Heart Sunnies // Bolt // Big Sur // You’re a Virgin Who Can’t Drive // BAE


 And take a look at these beauties…

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