Do It Yo'self

Make It: Hand Dyed Silk Scarf


It’s here! Above is the first DIY video in the Make It series that I helped produce with the Lillstreet Art Center! If you’re interested in learning how to professionally hand-dye a silk scarf with an even and intense dye color, watch this short video. And, below is the companion video, which shows you how to mix the dye concentrate for your hand-dying projects.


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Blog News

Put a Ring on It

Brian's second anniversary ringAs you may know, we recently celebrated our very first wedding anniversary! As part of the festivities, we decided to get new wedding bands that, we hope, will kick off a yearly tradition of sitting down together to find some new bling. Seems fun, right? Well, it was also kinda tough. We really wanted some rings that would go together. Not necessarily matching rings or anything like that, but rings that were similar in some way. Eventually we found two that we both liked on their own, but also happened to go together (marriage is about compromise, right?).

Sarah's 2nd Anniversary Ring

Sarah’s ring (from Meander) is very simple and dainty, but the curves echo the rounded inlays of my ring (from Harmony Winters)…and thus, a match was born!

Who Are You Pairing?

Who Are You Pairing: 2012 Emmys

Inca Pan, Ginnifer Goodwin

{ Inca Pan }  { Ginnifer Goodwin }

The Emmys were last night, so you know what that means… It’s time for another installment of Who Are You Pairing!

Jane Cornwell; January Jones

{ Jane Cornwell }  { January Jones }

Burrowing Home, Allison Williams

{ Burrowing Home }  { Allison Williams }

Ashley Goldberg; Julianne Moore

{ Ashley Goldberg }  { Julianne Moore }

Anne Watkins; Elisabeth Moss

{ Anne Watkins }  { Elisabeth Moss }

Megan Diddie; Julianna Margulies

{ Megan Diddie }  { Julianna Margulies }

Ultra Delux, Edie Falco

{ Ultra Delux }  { Edie Falco }

If you missed them, see my 2012 Oscars, 2012 Grammys, and 2012 Golden Globes pairings!

Faire Play, Featured

Renegade Craft Fair Chicago 2012: New Faves & Quirky Finds

ceramic cups & bowls from Ship & Shape

In addition to the few friends and old favorites we saw at the Renegade Craft Fair in Chicago earlier this month, I also happened upon a few new favorite shops. One of my most favoritist new shops is Ship & Shape, which had a very well-curated assortment of handmade jewelry, clothing, accessories, ceramics, and other lovely miscellany.

Ship & Shape at Renegade Craft Fair Chicago 2012

So many things I wanted!

handmade jewelry and accessories from Ship & Shape

air plants from Alapash at Renegade Craft Fair Chicago 2012

The greenery and beautiful displays from Alapash were refreshing to see. Unlike our now sad terrarium, these looked pretty darn robust!

handmade scarfs from Herron Clothier

These scarves from Herron Clothier looked perfect for a classy, geometric fall and winter.

Herron Clothier at Renegade Craft Fair Chicago 2012

Just look at that beautiful weaving.

beaded necklaces from Moshi Handmade

Moshi Handmade had approximately one million necklaces I wanted.

handmade purses and pouches by Milkhaus Design

But the award for having so many beautiful things I wanted in my life that I couldn’t decide which one to get goes to….. Milkhaus Design! Can I have it all? Puh-leeeeease.

handmade dishes from The Bocket Store

I loved these hand-painted and re-imagined vintage pieces from The Bocket Store. The beauty was in the detail. And in the name. Bocket. That’s fun to say.

handmade bead & wood necklaces from I Am Home

Feeling nostalgic for the Original Wham-O Superball? Or maybe you just like bright colors and sand inspired patterns? In either case, iamhome makes the necklace for you.

iamhome at Renegade Craft Fair Chicago 2012

homemade kitchenwares from Tartella at Renegade Craft Fair Chicago 2012

At Tartella, I found some adorably printed napkin sets that were packaged in mason jars. Now that’s a nice touch.

handmade porcelain envelopes from Redraven

I’ve never really considered that I might one day need a handmade porcelain envelope, but these from Redraven were pretty enough to make me consider it.

art by D. C. Ice

These weird old animals in vintage frames from D. C. Ice were a major highlight for me. The stark color palette and elaborate frames really fit these delightful little weirdos.

D. C. Ice at Renegade Craft Fair Chicago 2012

That’s one tall drink of rabbit.

handmade cards from Bison Bookbinding & Letterpress

Bison Bookbinding & Letterpress had some of our favorite cards. Brian and I definitely picked up a few for some lucky someones.

handmade beaded jewelry by Sara Cramer

Sara Cramer was one of the friendliest sellers I met, taking a few minutes to explain to me how she made her intricately beaded jewelry. As you can probably imagine, each piece takes quite a bit of time.

Sara Cramer jewelry at Renegade Craft Fair Chicago 2012

Nerfect at Renegade Craft Fair Chicago 2012

A pug with a banana? A gnome with a hot dog? This silly cat face? OK, count me in, Nerfect!

upcycled candles from Reuse First

…Somebody drinks a lot. Namely, those at Reuse First.

crocheted dolls from Morico

OMG fuzzy creatures! Need something silly and fuzzy…. Morico is your new best friend.

temporary tattoos and illustrations from Burrowing Home

It’s probably no secret that I really want a cat tattoo, but I figured I should play it safe for a little while and try out a temporary one first. Luckily, Burrowing Home came to the rescue. Now I just need a special occasion to try it out! Like, maybe… a Monday?

Faire Play

Renegade Craft Fair Chicago 2012: A Few Friends & Old Favorites

Brian West, Jonathan Thomason, Laura Bock, and Sarah West Ervin

{ I stole this photo from Debbie Carlos }

The Renegade Craft Fair came to Chicago the weekend before last, and it was, as expected, the crafty highlight of my year. Brian and I grabbed some comfy shoes and our buddies Jonathan and Laura (pictured above), fueled up at the Milk & Honey Cafe, and got our shoppin’ on!

Renegade Craft Fair Chicago 2012

There was quite a crowd to navigate through, but we kept our heads down and pushed through to the goods.

Labrabbit Optics at Renegade Craft Fair Chicago 2012

One of the first booths we stopped at belonged to our old favorite Coyote of Labrabbit Optics, flaunting his awesomely curated collection of affordable new and refurbished vintage frames. With our powers combined, I think Laura and I must have tried on ever pair of glasses he had. I vowed to come back this winter for a new pair!

vintage eyeglass frames from Labrabbit Optics

Lady Faye Jewelry at Renegade Craft Fair Chicago 2012

Then we found Katie of Lady Faye Jewelry and I got the kitty ring I’ve been wanting all summer!

handmade czech glass rings from Lady Faye Jewelry

Right Brain Drifts at Renegade Craft Fair Chicago 2012

We also stopped to say hi to Steve & Michelle of Right Brain Drifts.

bright, geometric wall art from Right Brain Drifts

handmade jewelry from Michelle Starbuck designs

But Laura and I probably spent more time drooling over Michelle’s jewelry (Michelle Starbuck Designs) than chatting! That little macaroni necklace was one of my favorite necklaces I didn’t buy that day. I’m gonna get one eventually.

Debbie Carlos and bf/gf at Renegade Craft Fair Chicago 2012

Finally, we ran into our new friend and guest blogger Debbie Carlos with hubby Devin at the booth she shared with BF/GF.

handmade jewelry by Debbie Carlos

We also spent a lot of time ogling Debbie’s beautiful jewels and posters.

photo posters by Debbie Carlos

Laura Bock and Jonathan Thomason with their new Dino Planter

But are you wondering what all we bought? Well, Laura and Jonathan brought home a new bundle of joy—a triceratops planter from The Plaid Pigeon!

bright aqua triceratops dinosaur planter with succulent

silver teardrop ring from Ship & Shape

Laura also got the sweetest dainty ring from Ship & Shape.

handmade loot from Renegade Craft Fair Chicago 2012

While there were a million things I wanted but didn’t get (I’m not made of money, people), I did make out with quite a bit of loot. In addition to my Lady Faye ring, I snagged clay bead earrings and a set of ceramic cups from Ship & Shape, a temporary tattoo from Burrowing Home, and cards from A. Dub Designs, Kate Funk, and Bison Bookbinding.

temporary cat tattoo from Borrowing Home and cat ring from Lady Faye Jewelry

handmade ceramic cups and earrings from Ship & Shape

These shops and killer handicraft weren’t the only things I discovered at Renegade, though! On Friday, I’ll share some of my new favorites and a few more quirky items we found.

Needle Drop

Rip it Up

Let’s start the week off with some 1980s Orange Juice!

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Blog News

One Year Down, Forever to Go

Sarah West Ervin and Brian Anthony Ervin West on their wedding day

We’re not just celebrating Labor Day and having a day off from work today—we’re also celebrating our first anniversary! It’s hard to believe we were married exactly one year ago. This year has flown by!

Sarah West Ervin and Brian Anthony Ervin West holding hands

And you know what? It’s been a great year, and we can’t wait to tackle the next one. But before we do, we wanted to take a quick look back…

Brian Anthony Ervin West and Sarah West Ervin

at all the balloons,


and shoes,

Brian Anthony Ervin West, Sarah West Ervin, and a Harry Caray bull

and bespectacled bulls,

Brian & Sarah

and smiles,

reflection in bronze

and weird reflections,

Dolly Parton & Porter Wagoner

and… just kidding …

boots & champagne

and toasts,

and side hugs,

red, white & blue outfits

and coordinated outfits,

and one happy year.

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