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 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 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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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 // Vol 20

How are you guys on your halloween costumes?? I thought I had my perfect costume and things changed, so I’m sort of floundering a bit – which I hate, because I LOVE dressing up for Halloween! Anyway, we figured you’ve seen the excess of last minute Halloween costume links floating around Facebook and online in general, so we’re moving right along to this month’s Etsy Round Up!

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Before finding out I was allergic to nickel, fun earrings were my thing. But I still suffer for fashion on occasion 😉

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Gotta love a gorgeous mirror! Loving this one and this one as well!

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Put a bird on it this holiday season! A cute way to be holiday & wintery without being over the top.


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Etsy Round Up // Vol 15

Guys, I went to a lovely concert last night (Sufjan Stevens), the weekend was wonderfully warm & I finally started refinishing a table for my new apartment that I’ve been meaning to revamp since college (4 years ago…), so let’s say that April is off to a good start! And this is why April’s Etsy Round Up is fun, colorful and inspiring! Let’s jump into spring with a bang!

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Those are some cute handmade S&P shakers!

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I’m thinking this bourbon & vanilla soap would go wonderfully with the sage & rose face mist

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I want to hand these out to all of my friends because they’re the cutest!

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Colorful Clutch
Mini Salt & Pepper Shaker Set
Sage & Rose Face Mist
Bourbon & Vanilla Soap
“Let’s Get Coffee” Letterpressed Card
20in Marble Balloon 


 

 

Etsy Round Up // Vol 14

Happy humpday friends! (Where’s my camel emoji when I need it?!) I can’t believe it’s the last week of February — when did that happen? To finish out the month strong, we’re back with February’s Etsy Round Up.

Although it’s cold as sh*t out there still, it’s time to start thinking (and preping) for exposed skin and warm weather outfits, hence the wishful thinking items you see below. Cheers to warm thoughts…

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Get your skin back into shape with this beautiful exfoliating soap

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I’m super into those brass minimal hooks! And how adorable is this phone stand catch-all?

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This vintage bag is calling my name – think of the spring styling possibilities?!

Bird Notebook // Pink Clay Soap // Brass Wall Hook // Walnut Iphone Catch-All // Brass Fringe Rope Necklace // 70’s Ratan Tote 

Sweet Notes

Valentine’s Day can be the cause for an array of emotions, but if you’re sipping on that hater-ade, you have to admit, this holiday sure knows how to make a cute card. It’s pun-city up in here, and we’re soaking up every bit of it. It’s also becoming more and more apparent through the cards that we’ve seen, that these designers are total fat kids at heart, which we are so on board with. I mean… bagels, hotdogs, and butter? Don’t mind if I do.

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Etsy Round Up // Vol 13

Now that we’ve got Christmas cash layin around, how about an Etsy Round Up?! We’re goin geometric with a touch of romance this month (is Valentine’s Day really a few weeks away??). Enjoy!

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I’m kind of obsessed with all of these earrings – I had such a hard time picking between these ones and the ones shown!

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Loving this graphic tee – it would be super cute for Valentine’s Day! (This way you can be in the spirit without the over saturation of red & pink! Add some lip color to be a little more festive.)

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I have such a thing for bangles, especially wood and metallic!

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Earrings // Geometric Scarf // “XO” tee // “Cheers” Glass // Wooden Bangles // Leather Sunnies Case