Handmade for the Holidays Blog Hop – starting next week!

With the holidays here, I will be spending some time working on my crafts. Next week I’ll be joining 5 crafty bloggers to participate in a Handmade for the Holidays Blog Hop hosted by resliced by Jordan!

hh blog hop image2

The series will start on Monday, December 1 and run through next Friday, December 5, 2014.

Here’s how it will work:

Each day one blogger will share with you links to some of her favorite handmade gift tutorials. In addition, we’ll also share with you some handmade shops we’re looking forward to supporting (hello, gift ideas!) and some local craft fairs and other events where you can support local artisans this season.

Here’s the schedule:

Monday: Jordan of resliced by Jordan

  • Jordan is a full-time data nerd with a fierce passion for making things by hand. She owns a small handmade business called resliced where she focuses on upcycling to create one-of-a-kind jewelry and purses. Read more about Jordan here.
    • Jordan’s favorite crafts include: sewing (mostly bags & occasionally garments), jewelry making, calligraphy and just about anything else!

Tuesday: MaryAnn of Life is a Maker Faire

  • MaryAnn spends her days training teachers to better utilize technology in the classroom. To escape the Monday-Friday grind, MaryAnn makes cards and other paper goods for her handmade business, M.A.S.W. Designs. Read more about MaryAnn here.
    • MaryAnn’s favorite crafts include: Anything paper – cards, treat bags, banners, etc; Sewing; Baking- cookies, cakes, or any sweets.

Wednesday: Rachel of Sew Happily Ever After

  • Rachel spends her days chasing children around the classroom as an elementary teacher and her evenings chasing her adorable toddler around (and she’s got another little one on the way!). From making you a custom t-shirt quilt to sewing up some seriously impressive clothing – you name it, Rachel can sew it! Read more about Rachel here.
    • Rachel’s favorite crafts include: sewing garments (womens & girls), home decor sewing, and quilting – anything with fabric and thread! Rachel also enjoys photography and cooking.

Thursday: Addie of Addie K.

  • From a wedding dress to a 20 foot boat cover, Addie has been there and sewed that! Addie has been sewing for more than 20 years and has spent the last half of those teaching others to sew – at The Art Institute of Charlotte, at Midlands Technical College starting in the spring, and she’s even available for private lessons! In addition, Addie is also a talented pattern designer. Read more about Addie here.
    • Addie’s favorite crafts include: sewing clothing, quilting, embroidery, kid-friendly crafts and upcycling / finding creative ways to reuse things.

Friday: Shanika of Life is Pichey AND Emily of Butterfly Vintage

  • Shanika loves to craft so much that she founded Gather & Craft as a way to encourage members of the community to come together and create (gather and craft). Recently, Shanika started offering her handmade goods to the public through her new shop, Sebastian Harper. Read more about Shanika here.
    • Shanika’s favorite crafts include: anything fiber related, sewing (hand and machine), knitting, crocheting, natural dyeing.
  • Emily is a former art teacher turned vintage fashion expert {browse her shop on Etsy}. In addition to stocking my closet full of vintage clothes, Emily is also a graphic designer with Sandra Mack Studio. Read more about Emily here.
    • Emily’s favorite crafts include: painting, repurposing, minimal sewing, paper crafts, garlands and anything that incorporates vintage material.

I hope you’ll “hop” around and support the other bloggers participating – subscribe to their blogs, like their Facebook pages and share the love with these gals!

Continue to support handmade businesses by following Columbia’s Etsy Market Team on Facebook where you’ll stay in the loop with upcoming events and all things crafty in Columbia.


Life as a beginning runner.


In August, my husband and I decided it would be a good idea to start running. I am not sure why… it was August in SOUTH CAROLINA! What were we thinking, right? We began the Ease in to 5K program (Couch to 5K). I have never run before in my life. It was something I never thought I would do. Since August we have completed our first 5K and are schedule more through the holidays to keep us moving.

Some things I have learned in the last few months:

1. Running gives me confidence. It’s a hard to explain but running makes me stand a little taller. Not just because of the physical benefits of exercise but because I can say I did it. Prior to August I could barely run 30 seconds straight let alone 45 minutes that I do now. When it comes to workout plans I have not been known to stick to a plan. I stuck with it and when I complete a run no matter how short or long I feel a sense of accomplishment.

I'm slow and that is ok.

I’m slow and that is ok.

2. I’m slow but that is ok. Speed is not what I am after. I want to finish. I am super slow. At times I wonder if it would be faster to walk but I keep trying. I know that everyday I get out there and complete a run, it makes me stronger mentally and physically. One of the things I enjoy about running is it allows me to let go of everything that is going on in my life. The only thing I focus on is meeting today’s running goal. Can I make it to the next tree/stop sign? I push through my brain saying, “Why are you doing this? No one is chasing you.” I have found that I don’t like to just run. My thing is intervals. It helps me push through to the next recovery time.

3. I am more aware of my body and what it needs. So many things are going on here. First off, my body is changing. I am not drastically losing weight but I feel leaner. My close fit differently in some cases they are too big. My body now gives me very clear signs when I eat things that are good for me and things that aren’t good for me. My taste/palette have changed. Processed foods taste gross. It’s almost like exercise has become the translation mechanism for my eating habits.

4. Sugar is the enemy and water is my best friend. There is not other way to say it. One week out from Halloween and I can say I have eaten my fair share of sugar and my body feels awful. I’m slow and sluggish. Sugar is everywhere and I need to be mindful of how much I am ingesting. On the other side of the spectrum I have learned just how important water is to the body. If I don’t drink enough when I run, I feel like I am literally running and going nowhere.

5. The runner community is amazing. I think this is the most rewarding part of the last few months.  Runners are so supportive.  No matter if you need help when your head is getting in the way of you running, you are looking for the right shoes, or just to tell you “Great Job! Keep it up!” The community is amazing. When I completed the 5K a couple of weeks ago, a woman I didn’t know walked up to me and said, “Are you MaryAnn?” “Congratulations on your first 5K! I run with Shirley and she said you would be here today.”  It was great. We shared our experience. I showed her my road rash and her and another women were like, “Yeah, it happens to all of us!”

My Thought.

My Thought.