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Cannot. Wait.

Alright I left something off of my list from my post yesterday.  THE PORTLAND BAZAAR!  In it’s inaugural year, this project of Grace Bonney of Design Sponge is sure to be AMAZING.  Inspired by The Brooklyn Flea, Grace, Matt Pierce, and Greg Hennes, are pulling together 50+ local Portland artisans to showcase and sell their work at Sandbox Studio during the bazaar.  Among the mix are woodworkers, metal workers, designers, chefs, etc.  Read this description and tell me you aren’t DYING to go!

To kick off the very first Portland Bazaar, we’re holding a curated holiday fair on December 10th and 11th at Sandbox Studio in Portland, Oregon. Our goal is to celebrate the high-quality handmade work being produced in Portland’s incredible creative community. In addition to offering a curated selection of vendors in a wide range of categories — clothing, accessories, home goods, books (Colin Meloy and Carson Ellis will be at the Reading Frenzy booth to sign copies of Wildwood!), music, vintage wares, fine art, food and spirits — the Bazaar will also offer live music performances from local bands, unique demonstrations and classes, including whiskey & gin tastings and DIY workshops on how to make holiday wreaths from Portland flora taught by our own Amy Merrick (stay tuned for class times/signups)!

To complement the excitement happening inside the Bazaar, the street in front of Sandbox Studio will be closed to traffic and lined with some of Portland’s finest food trucks. We aim to provide each and every guest with not only great holiday gift options and DIY ideas but also tasty snacks and drinks.

–Copy from DesginSponge.com

What makes it even better is some of my favorite local shops are being represented!  OMFG Co., Adler & Co., Bridge & Burn, Pigeon Toe, and Reading Frenzy!

Oh my goodness gracious I just cannot wait!  And as a semi-related side note, Grace Bonney is my hero.  I would seriously LOVE to be her little minion.  Whatever she’d need me for, I’m there.  Would never happen, but a girl can dream right?!

So, in my 25 years I have received a lot of birthday cards.   Not one, and I mean not ONE holds a candle to the card that our dear friend Cody Haltom made for me this year.  Cody is an incredibly talented designer and member of Public School in Austin, TX.  You should check out his work if you haven’t already…it is much more than superimposing people’s faces on other people’s bodies so don’t get the wrong impression.

Cody, knowing how much I love my alma mater, sent me this image on the day of my birth. Please see below, the BEST birthday card I’ve ever received.  Nick Saban’s (the football coach of Alabama) face superimposed on Brad Pitt’s body.  The caption in the email said that he just knew that I was going to leave William for the Pitt/Saban combo.  All I have to say to that is…don’t tempt me…don’t tempt me! JUST kidding!

Pitt/Saban amazingness

Save Time, Get a Mail Box!

Yeah, I have no clue what this picture was meant for. I guess many years ago you had the choice whether or not you had a mailbox? I’m not sure, but I LOVE my mailbox. It’s a little on the silly side (keep in mind we’re renting so I took no part in the choosing of the mailbox), but I love that it has bluebonnets painted on it. In case you didn’t know, bluebonnets are the Texas state flower and since that is where Mr. Fancy Pants and I grew up, it warms my heart a bit.

I snapped a little picture of our mailbox! Bluebonnets. Check! Dirt. Check! Rust. Check!

The other reason I love my mailbox is what comes in it. Nothing brightens my day more than a card from a friend or a package from my mom. AND of course there is the occasional (or not so occasional) online purchase that I am waiting anxiously for. Postman (mine is a woman), UPS man, FedEx man…they’re all my friends.

This past Friday I had what I would consider an exceptionally good mail day. I’m not sure which is better–receiving a little surprise everyday or receiving them all at once. Man, both are good. The best are the unexpected arrivals. On Friday, I had 2 unexpected arrivals. Both from friends back in Austin. Made. My. Day. Here’s what arrived:

  • Lightbulb from Jessica and John (I’ll explain in a bit)
  • Gift certificate from Mary Kathryn–the genius behind Loretta Flower
  • Return address stamps that Mr. Fancy Pants designed for me
  • MSU/UA koozies designed by a precious family friend who runs Polka Dot Parties
A little something to brighten our new home!

Now seriously, how creative is this?! Jessica and John are two of the most fun and creative people I know so this clever gift did not surprise me. I still had never seen this idea before and thought it was precious. On top of being a clever idea, it’s a great gift! These vintage and Edison inspired bulbs are some of my favorites and we have them in several spots in our house! She knows me well! Now all I need is a new side table lamp to put the bulb in (Mr. Fancy Pants is rolling his eyes right about now…women can justify just about anything. It’s a gift).

Gift certificate to Canoe courtesy of our sweet friend MK

Our next surprise was a gift certificate to Canoe from our precious friend Mary Kathryn! They have some of the BEST housewares around and are a great fusion of mine and William’s styles. This was the most perfect gift for us! And such a personal touch that MK took the time to send us to someplace local. Mary Kathryn is the amazingly talented lady behind Loretta Flower (no kin to my cat). She makes some of the most beautiful floral designs you’ve ever seen. When we moved out here, I commissioned her to design some dried floral arrangements for 3 clay pots we were given as a wedding gift. They are stunning. I will be doing a whole post in the near future on Loretta Flower. So STAY TUNED!

New return address stamps from Mr. Fancy Pants himself!
I realize that blurring out our address severally hinders your seeing the stamp in its entirety but I don’t want strangers showing up at my house.

These gems also arrived on Friday. If you’ve been following my blog for a while, you’ll remember that I used Paperwink to create my return address stamp when I lived in Austin. (read about that here). When we moved, of course we could no longer use the stamp with our Austin address on it. Mr. Fancy Pants decided to give it a go with the design of our return stamps. I may be biased, but I think he hit the nail on the head. He designed two (upper left hand corner) and I couldn’t decide between them so he had both made. He threw in the Dixieland Delight stamp for grins to surprise me. I was so excited to see these when they came in. So excited in fact that Friday evening I sat on the couch for an hour and wrote about 10 cards to friends and family. One to say hello, but mostly to use my new stamps!

REVERSIBLE KOOZIES!
IT’S GENIUS!

Last but CERTAINLY not least, the long awaited, double sided, MSU AND ALABAMA koozies arrived! I have been so anxious to get these in the mail. We are such HUGE football (let me narrow that by saying SEC) fans! Mr. Fancy Pants’ family is from MS and he went to Mississippi State. Mine is from Alabama and Arkansas and I went to Alabama for school. We’re a house divided! Ha! We’ve gone back every year for a game and we’re trying to make the UA/MSU game a tradition. Some of our best friends, Landon and Julia, live in Mississippi and are nice enough to let us stay with them when we come down. Last year we weren’t able to make the MSU/UA game but we went to the MSU/Georgia game and had a BLAST! (Here was my post on that weekend). THIS year, we’re headed down November 11th to see my Crimson Tide play the Bulldogs!

A sweet family friend of ours from Texarkana owns a company called Polka Dot Parties. She designs and sells stationary, invitations, personalized gifts…anything under the sun! When we moved up here to OR we invested in Directv so that we could host football game watching parties at our house on the weekends AND catch all of the SEC games. As a little housewarming gift, my mom had Whitney @ Polka Dot Parties make these AWESOME cups that have MSU on one side and Alabama on the other!

Reversible styrofoam cups!

And to take it one obnoxious step further, I asked Whitney if she could do the same thing with koozies. And guess what, she could! So Friday marked the arrival of the dual-sided MSU/UA koozies. We are READY TO TAILGATE now! Both William and I have friends that will be in Starkville for the game in November so it will make for fun pictures to have everyone choosing sides by their drink koozie. I have a good feeling I will be out-numbered. OH well! Please check out Polka Dot Parties‘ website. Whitney is fun, talented, and everything I’ve ever purchased from her has been amazing!

I am sure you noticed that I did not mention my Portland Power & Light or Qwest bills that also came in the mail on Friday. The doom that came with their arrival was thankfully overshadowed by the goodness that came in all of the other packages! All this to say, the surprises in the mail on Friday made my day! If anyone is interested in having a pen pal, I think I’d sure make a good one! I’m accepting applications now… :)

Scrabble Letter pillows by shopdirtsa on Etsy (photo from shopdirtsa on Etsy)

These beauties arrived at my doorstep this week.  I ordered some “Scrabble inspired” pillows from the talented lady behind shopdirtsa.  I have had my eyes on these for a while and I finally saved enough pennies and dimes to snag them. You can, I assume, get any letter of the alphabet that you’d like.  I got the three-pillow bundle with a “W” “S” and an “&”.

W&S

I’m not exactly sure what the fabric used is but it looks like a cross between a burlap and a textured linen (so I’m not the best with fabrics…I was an International Business major) BUT I love how simplistic, rustic, yet detailed these pillowcases are.  I haven’t purchased inserts for them yet but I’ve priced out the ones I want from IKEA and I’ll pick those up sometime before the big move.

Up close and personal

Bryants love ampersands

S is for Sally

I’m planning on putting these on our guest bed in the new house in Portland town.  I’m thinking white/off white bedding, solid colored sheets, and these beautiful pillows.  I am very excited to see what it looks like.  I’d like to give a BIG thanks to shopdirtsa for her patience with me (I emailed her asking for fabric pictures) and for sharing your amazing talents with the rest of us!  Go check out all of the things she’s making on Etsy!

http://www.etsy.com/shop/shopdirtsa?ref=seller_info

I’ve pretty much fallen in love with these.  I bought Mr. Fancy Pants one for Christmas and though he hasn’t worn it yet, a nice little British man on a YouTube video taught him how to correctly tie it (quite successfully I might add). I may be a little bias, but he just looked wonderful in it!

Forage Bowtie that I purchased for Mr. Fancy Pants for Christmas

These are made by the amazing couple, Stephen and Shauna, at Something’s Hiding in Here.  Here’s what they have to say about their new line of bowties:

“why bow ties? as stephen likes to say “they’re the most practical form of neckwear”. they don’t interfere with various working methods like a dangerous, dangling neck tie. it was out of necessity for safe neck accessorizing that we created our own collection of bow ties. we call them FORAGE because gathering the perfect fabric is always quite the hunt.”

Inside of the Forage Bowtie

Each bow tie comes packaged in mason box filled with shredded kraft paper. Both functional and scores huge points on the supreme level of packaging coolness. Coolness.  Is that a word?  We’ll go with it.  Regardless, there is also a swatch of the bow tie’s fabric that can be found on the inside of the box.  Can you say amazing?

Picture Book Report

As it has been pointed out to me that nearly all of my posts this week have been about food (yikes), I am switching gears as not to continue the illusion that all I think about is food.  Ha!

Today I’m going to brag about Mr. Fancy Pants, aka William Bryant, aka my husband.  He is an extremely talented artist and is continually being asked to participate in some pretty awesome projects. One of my favorite on-going projects of his is the Picture Book Report. Picture Book Report is a project started by the amazing illustrator and maker Meg Hunt. Picture Book Report features 15 talented illustrators taking their favorite childhood books and reinterpreting them in their own way. Mr. Fancy Pants selected J.M. Barrie’s Peter & Wendy.  The project rotates between illustrators so you get a new instillation of each artist’s selection every few weeks.  Some of my favorites, other than my obvious favorite, are Meg Hunt‘s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, Sam Bosma‘s The Hobbit, and Stephan Britt‘s The Bremen Town Musicians.

Here are my favorite illustrations so far from the Picture Book Report:

Alice's Adventures in Wonderland illustrated by Meg Hunt

The Hobbit illustrated by Sam Bosma

The Bremen Town Musicians illustrated by Stephan Britt

I think another reason I am drawn to these particular projects, other than their amazing illustration and design, is their story selection.  J.M. Barrie’s Peter Pan (first entitled Peter & Wendy), Lewis Carroll’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Hobbit, and anything by The Brother’s Grimm are some of my all time childhood favorites.  Props to Meg Hunt for coming up with such an amazing idea.  And thank you for inviting Mr. Fancy Pants to participate!  Here are Mr. Fancy Pants’ submissions thus far.  His next post will be very soon so check the Picture Book Report site to catch his next instillation! (here’s a little hint!  The next illustration involves the Lost Boys!)

To quote Mr. Fancy Pants’s take on the project, “my characters have been reduced to the most refined elements and hopefully are loaded with charm.”  I love his characters and how he took them down to their rawest form.  Tinker Bell is my favorite–a bell with wings.  Classic Will Bryant humor.  I love it!

Peter Pan and Wendy Book Plate

The infamous Pan enters the nursery and the adventure begins!

The Flight!

I'm Never Ever going to grow up!

Side note on the above illustration.  This was one week’s submission for Picture Book Report.  However, it was also found and picked up by Society6 and made into a print that you can purchase here! Look at that Mr. Fancy Pants!  He’s so fancy!

Never Never Land and our first glimpse of Captain Hook!

Drum roll please…I can finally post the last part of my ‘Favorite Things’ because #4 arrived in the mail from my parents’ house in Texarkana, TX on Saturday.  Not sure what took it so long getting here, but it just prolonged the suspense!  Looking back at the other posts, coupled with this one, I didn’t want these to be in any particular order (i.e. #1 is my most favorite and #15 my least favorite of the favorites).  So, take these as the last 5 rather than the top 5.  With one exception.  #1.  It’s legit my favorite.

Here goes!  Enjoy!

5.  Official University of Alabama Football Jersey

#22 Mark Ingram the 75th winner of the Heisman Trophy and the first from the University of Alabama.

I am a proud graduate of the University of Alabama.  How I ended up there is not that exciting of a story but it was the perfect place for me for college.  I loved every minute of my 3 1/2 years there.  I grew up in Texas so I have long known a Southerners love for football.  I grew up in a household with a father that loves the Arkansas Razorbacks and loathes the University of Texas (the hatred dates back to when both schools were in the Southwestern Conference, which also included Baylor University, my parents’ alma mater, though football is not Baylor’s forte).  Slightly unrelated, I’m convinced by dad cannot fully enjoy himself when he comes to visit us solely because he knows that UT’s campus is a few miles away. Ha!  Anyway, I have always loved SEC football (and yes, it is the best conference in the nation), but I didn’t understand love for football until I went to Alabama.  Those people know their football.  When I went to school there, I didn’t bleed Crimson, didn’t know the fight song, didn’t know the players for that matter…4 minutes in Bryant-Denny Stadium changed that.  You can’t help but be a fan.  The school spirit and love for Alabama’s deep football tradition is contagious.  That was all it took.  A dear friend that I met in my first weeks at Alabama sat with me during the first game and taught me the fight song and at the end of my first game I was screaming “Rammer Jammer”.

The official jersey of the 2010 BCS National Championship

Yes, I'm legit. Merry Christmas to me from Mr. Fancy Pants! The best gift EVER!

Needless to say, I was thrilled that Alabama made it to the National Championship last season and probably would’ve given my first born child for the chance to go to the game had I had the opportunity!  Not really, but I would’ve thought about it. Mr. Fancy Pants gave me this official National Championship jersey for Christmas last year before the game.  I think I was one of 2 people in Austin, TX cheering on the Crimson Tide on the evening of the game (the other being my roommate from my freshman year of college who also lives in Austin).  This fantastic jersey is Mark Ingram’s number, 22.  Ingram was the 75th winner of the Heisman Trophy and the first winner ever from the University of Alabama.  I watched his acceptance speech in Mighty Fine Burgers in Austin, TX and yes, I cried.  The rest of the restaurant was mad–in their burnt orange.

No offense to any of my UT fan friends (Mr. Fancy Pants and I actually are Texas fans, we are from Texas you know–except when they play Alabama), but it was a great year to be an Alabama fan.  And I’m so happy to have this jersey to commemorate it!  Roll Tide Roll!

4.  Wood carving of our initials inspired by our “save the dates”

Mr. and Mrs. Fancy Pants' Save the Dates

One of my favorite things about Mr. Fancy Pants and my wedding was our Save the Dates.  Our dear friend, Beverly Hayman-Polen (a fellow graphic design student at Mississippi State with Mr. Fancy Pants) designed our lovely Save the Dates for us. Bev now lives in Jackson, MS with her husband Neil and is the Artistic Director for Libby Story & Company. She is amazingly talented and creative and I love what she came up with for us.  As you can tell from the picture, she drew a tree on right side of the card with a heart including our initials.  Hanging from the branch was a little brown bag that held two cards, one with the wedding date information, the other with the hotel information.  We got so many compliments on these and with good reason–just look at how amazing they are!!!  Check out Bev’s website!

Cards that fit inside the bag on our Save the Dates

Save the Dates designed by Beverly Hayman-Polen

What makes these even more special to Mr. Fancy Pants and I is a gift that was given to us by Dr. Randy Brown.  Dr. B is Mr. Fancy Pant’s best friend Ryan’s dad. Mr. Fancy Pants and Ryan grew up together and were pretty much inseparable for the majority of their adolescent life.   Some of my best memories are with those two kiddos.  William and Ryan were Eagle Scouts together, and Dr. B was Troop 16’s leader (not sure the “official name” though I probably should know).  Dr. B and his wife are very special people to Mr. Fancy Pants and I and also to Mr. Fancy Pants’s whole family.  They through a party for us and some of our friends before we got married and that night Dr. B gave us this wood carving that he did for us–inspired by our Save the Dates.

Wood carving by Dr. B inspired by our Save the Dates

Detail of the intricate wood carving

This beautiful piece of art now hangs in our home.  It is a constant reminder of our engagement, wedding, and of a very special man.  I know I’ve written about this before, but it doesn’t get more personal or special than a gift that comes from the heart. Dr. B’s wood working is incredible and we’re honored to have such a personal piece made by him to keep forever!

The back of Dr. B's wood carving-a sweet note to us.

3.  Acapulco dishes

Acapulco dish collection

I know I’ve already posted once about these dishes (to refresh your memory, click here), however, these are some of my favorite things.  My mother, grandmother, and I all share a collection of this lovely china made by Villeroy & Boch.  When Mr. Fancy Pants and I got married, I told him that I wasn’t going to be those women who has 16 sets of dishes.  Sadly, I am well on my way.  Entertaining people in our home has quickly become one of my favorite things to do, and I can honestly say that I utilize all of the dishes and serving pieces that we got for wedding gifts (not because they’re needed when entertaining, but because I’m determined to prove to Mr. Fancy Pants that they aren’t a waste of space!)

My Acapulco collection, however, are and will always be my favorite pieces.  They’re unique and colorful and I love my family’s history with them.  They might fall into that category of “what’s beautiful to one is dreadful to another”, but to my Mom, my Mimi, and I, they’re perfectly lovely.

Acapulco bowls & salad plates

2. Family pictures

Wall of Family Photos (Bryants, Sarretts, Woods, Marshes, Brabhams)

I apologize for the quality of these pictures–I’m no photographer and it’s hard to photograph photographs without getting a flash on the glass.  I failed.  Ha!

This has been one of my favorite projects that I’ve worked on since Mr. Fancy Pants and I got married.  My mom had done this in my childhood home and I thought I’d incorporate it into our home as well.  I have collected pictures from William’s and my families, printed them all in black and white, and hung them all together on our guest room wall.  I love the reminder of where we came from and some of the faces on the wall are people that Mr. Fancy Pants and I miss everyday–it’s nice to have a reminder.  I also love the obvious joining of our two families through these old photographs.  Believe it or not, these have been a huge conversation piece for us.  I thought that they’d be generally overlooked by our friends, as most don’t care to hear stories of other people’s families, but they’ve been the topic of conversation during several parties we’ve had here at the apartment.  It’s funny to hear the comments people make–they’re all generally the same which we find comical.  The first is always about the uncanny resemblance that William has to his maternal grandfather (pictured with his wife, bottom row in the middle).  My other favorite comment was by one of my girl friends.  She said, “Who is this handsome man?”.  It was a picture of my mom’s father who I never met.  And yes, he was handsome–my mom looks just like him!

Detail shot of the left side of the wall

Detail shot of the right side of the wall

I love this idea–everyone has these old pictures of their family stuck in drawers and hidden in rooms where people never go–why not put them where people can see them?  I’d like to think that Mr. Fancy Pants and my family members would be honored to be making their debut in our home!

1.  Avey Tare

Meet Mr. Avey Tare

And finally, my #1 favorite thing…granted he’s not really a thing but he’s still my favorite and it’s my list of favorite things so here he is!  The kittiest of kitties…Avey Tare!

He’s pretty much the most handsome cat ever.  Avey has more personality than we know what to do with.  He’s nice to most people…with the exception of Mr. Fancy Pants’ brother Stephen, my dad, our friend Micah, and a few others.  We have no explanation to his reasoning as it appears his least favorite people are some of our favorites.  He just has bad taste apparently.  He loves ice cream, treats, hair rubber bands, and laying on his back with his paws and legs spread out for long periods of time.  We got him in November of 2006 and he lived with Mr. Fancy Pants in Starkville, MS during college.  It was here that he met two of his favorite people in the world, Landon and Julia.  Landon taught him some pretty cool tricks which makes him even more special.  While he lived with William and Landon, he had a tendency to tinkle on things: beds, couches, chairs, etc.  It was a bad time in the lives of all involved.  We think it was his equivalent of bed wetting.  Also, when he had surgery and became a little less of a man, if you know what I mean, he got an infection which also lead to some really nasty things.  All of this earned him the nick name of Mr. Avey Bottom.  Luckily after moving to Austin he’s turned a new leaf and is back to his crazy steller self minus the peeing on things that aren’t his litter box.  Basically he’s the coolest ever.  If you’ve never met him, well you’re missing out.

This is what Mr. Fancy Pants and I call "airing it out". He does this a lot. He's not what you would call a shy being.

Avey getting ready for work. He's not good at his job. He never brings home money--if he's making it, we're not sure what he does with it because he never pays rent.

Avey at Halloween. He was a jester. He loved his costume.

Avey at Christmas with his festive holiday collar.

I’ll leave you with this last image.  I hope you enjoyed my favorite things!

Here are my two favorite boys.

Mr. Fancy Pants and Avey Tare at the park. Yes, the cat is on a least. He needs his exercise.

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