Thursday, March 28, 2013

Best Barbeque Joint in Raleigh: Ole Time Barbeque

         This past week, Nash and I went out to Tigers Be Still, a hilarious play about depression and dealing with mental illness at Raleigh Little Theater. It was nice for a change to laugh about the topic instead of the standard sweeping under the rug for today's PC society. We don't do that enough I think. Face up to the stuff that scares us. However, this is not a play review, it's a post about barbeque. Specifically where to find the best stuff in town at Ole Time Barbeque down near NC State.
          The food is good, cheap, and the clientele is colorful. There's doctors rubbing knees with retired bikers, NC State students recovering from a late night party, and family kids out for a meal on the town at this family owned joint. A sure sign the food is good around here is when it crosses all races, ages, and stereotypes. You can get a great southern meal for $5-8 (even the legendary Nash can be fed for under $10.00). All of them come with complimentary hushpuppies.
          So next time you're headed out for a Friday night and want some good southern cooking, drop by. You'll be glad you did. It's the big yellow roof driving down Western from State towards Cary on the left. You can probably see a few bikes out front.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

4 Free Tickets to The Brementown Musicians

          Hey guys, it's that time of month again where we give away free tickets for the upcoming play. This time we are giving away an entire family's worth of tickets so both you and the kids can have a night out. Four free tickets to the Brementown Musicians. This is a classic retelling of a Grimm Fairy Tale. I'm so excited over the costumes.

           The show date is Thursday, May 2nd from 7:30-9:00 pm. Simply leave a comment on the blog or facebook to enter. We will have a drawing for one lucky reader on Friday, April 5th.

            Have a great week!

Monday, March 25, 2013

Artists for the Spring Arts and Crafts Show

Hey guys, welcome back from the weekend, it's spring! The Durham Art Walk is starting to come together, we're officially on the map! I hope to see you all out in a few weeks at the place. At this point we are slated to have 11 artists in our Acorn to Oak Handmade Location at Coco Cinnamon. Looks like a good group all around. Happy Monday. I hope that you have exciting things in your life happening too!


Kathleen Garcia with K Garcia Photography (Photography)
Christine Mertz with Harvaitt Design (Oil Painting)
Christine M Johnson with Poppy and Purl (Hand-crochet hats)
Melissa McLawhorn with Salvaged Jewelry (Jewelry)
Al with StickStaffCane (Hand-carved wood sculpture)
Dara and Nash Page from Li Sashay (textile and metal art)
Jill Evans from Jill's Jewels (Jewelry)
Elizabeth Strugatz with Wired'n'Twisted'n'Stoned (Bead Wire)
Rachel Rooker  with Thaila’s Treasure Box (Jewelry)
Shannon Talton with Art’n’Silk (painted silk scarves)
Pascale Toussaint with Pascale’s Studio (Oil on Canvas and Custom Art Prints)

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Volunteering at Maker-Faire and Animazement

    Hey guys, we don't have any product to sell at our normal shows except the Durham Art Walk so we are volunteering at Maker-Faire and Animazement instead of running booths. Hopefully this will be fun for everyone and look forward to seeing you there! These are great events we support, sometimes it's about the money. And sometimes it's just about having a good time. This year it looks like more of the second.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Advanced Hand-Sewing

               In response to requests the past week, I'm posting a resource in the blog on where to go if you are interested in doing advanced hand-sewing if you're not on a time budget: Alabama Chanin. She has a great class on Craftsy for learning traditional sewing techniques for $49.99 which is one of the few online sewing classes which actually delivers as promised.
               Most of what I'm going to teach you is speed sewing to fix clothes you've bought to make them fit you better. I'm a whole under 15 minutes or it isn't practical kinda gal. But I know some people like the whole making from scratch, not just altering so I'll give you my favorite resource for doing beautiful high-end work when time isn't an issue. These are weekend projects, doable, but not something to whip up in a night. Natalie also has several books out, but I'd start with the videos myself as I'm a visual person. 

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

New Commercial for Rogue Gunfighter Vests

                       Hey guys, I don't normally show private label work, but got permission from my design boss as the commercial is in the public domain to give people a little taste of what I do behind the scenes for my military and law enforcement work. Rogue Gunfighter recently released a snazzy new commercial about a new vest series I helped sew for OEM manufacturing out in RTP. The video is a little over the top, but hey...most military stuff is.
                       These vests are locally made here in North Carolina in the Triangle (some by me!) and the Southeast at 2 other plants. The prices are competitive, Berry Compliant, and all the gear is made to hold up to serious abuse. I love stuff that is manufactured in the US because of the huge jump in quality. One of the great advantages you have as a buyer purchasing locally is significant improvements in fabric quality as good heavy weight fabric is expensive to ship over long distances and one of the first things to go under the ax of competitive pricing. If I'm a cop, I want to know my vest will actually stop a bullet, not just look good. Anyways, hopefully you will be entertained for the day.
                       Note, I don't release pictures or video of private label work I do without express permission after the product has already been finished and in public domain. Patterns, flats, and other technical pieces are never available out of respect.

Monday, March 18, 2013

Behind the Scenes Look at the Importance of Being Earnest

                                   Hey guys, thought you might enjoy a small behind the scenes pass to the upcoming Raleigh Little Theater Play, The Importance of Being Earnest. One of the great things I love about theater is you get to create over the top pieces there's no way you could sell for a living. Take this over the top yellow number. All that yellow and pink! Crazy. I'm trying to put together a behind the scenes tour for people who are not familar with a theater costume shop to enjoy. There's something about this process which is a little like weaving together magic.
                                    I love how this place shakes the cobwebs of my daily routine from me and let's me just experience a small sense of wonder. Oh and this photo comes to you courtesy of my friend and patternmaker, Heather Meadows. I always forget to take pictures. If anyone is interested in hiring her for costume/patternmaking work, feel free to e-mail me at:

Friday, March 15, 2013

Textile Friday: Professional Home Textile Repairs

                   Buttonhole thread. Actually if you remember nothing else I say from the next few weeks, remember that. It's the difference in hand-sewing at home between stuff that falls apart and traditional tailored clothing which is made to last the centuries. Look right. See this. This is buttonhole thread. It's what professional shops use to make their hand repairs last.
                   The beloved favorite of shops in the US has always been Rice's Silamide and it's expensive and sold in amounts WAY too much to be practical for the average home sewer. I know theater majors who talk about this stuff with open lust as being out of their department's budget. If you love theater and want to improve shows you personally see, spring for some of this stuff in bulk and watch the costume room faces light up in your beloved theater.
              Because your secret is it is sold in every major beading store probably in the nation in small 40 yard stock cards you can buy for $1-2 including some lovely samplers for $9 on Etsy, Overstock, etc. which offer a dozen major colors for under $10. This and a couple of good needles is all you need to do the repairs I'm going to show you over the next few weeks. No fancy machine. No breaking the bank. No hours laboring to create the perfect x or y.
                    Ah, but you say, I want something historical or traditional and cost is no object, well...allow me to let you feast your eyes upon kimono silk. This is also often called filament silk thread. I know some of my friends will spring the extra $ (These packs are $2.50 each online) for the fussy fabrics or when they want beautiful invisible stitches. Great stuff silk thread. Strong. Flexible. Made to last. It's been used by every major culture to my knowledge for thousands of years because it works. Everyone always mentions the needle as their weapon of choice, but for me it's thread. Well, I'm off to do some spring cleaning. Happy St. Patty's Day.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

"Do. Or do not. There is No Try" ~Yoda, Star Wars

               Sometimes you just have to skin your knees. Lately I keep getting asked for this magic formula for life, business, or weirdly enough Etsy. Honestly people, I do not have the answers to these questions. And the longer I'm alive I think there is no answer. Or maybe it's the wrong question. If you hesitate forever on the doorstep, you never get anything done. I've watched people stronger, better funded, and smarter than me fail. And I've done my share of stupid things and failed. Businesses like my life are imperfectly run actions strung together on a long string that make a living, a family, and an imperfect present. But the difference I think rests in all of us, are we going to get back up after we fail or lay down? Or is it time to try a new door?

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Spring Show Artisan Guidelines

             Hey everyone, it's spring! It really is! And our group is getting ready for our semi-annual Arts and Crafts show. This season it will be in downtown Durham during the Spring Art Walk, April 13th  from 10 am- 5 pm. If you are member of the local group and interested in being in this year's show: go register here through March 21st.
We will be partnering this time with:

The Durham Store Front Project and
Cocoa Cinnamon at

420 W. Geer St.
Durham, NC 27701

to bring you some spring magic. Nash is standing in the lovely stone courtyard they are offering us for the day.

Each artist will get a table, chair, and table cloth for the event, plus paid advertising.

Set-up is at 9 am (All artists are expected to arrive by 9:15 at the latest) with the event starting at 10:00 am. Break down begins promptly at 5 pm and generally takes 30 minutes. 

We are so excited to be doing the Durham Art Walk this spring with everyone! We love Durham's strong artist vibe.
As a side note for artists who may not have done an arts and craft show before remember to bring:

Business Cards
Plenty of Product
Square/Cash Box to take Money
Bags or Gift Wrap for Customer Purchases
Clear Pricing (Each Item MUST be marked)
Bottled Water/Snacks

Nash and I will be offering vendors space coverage every 2-3 hrs. for 15 minutes so that you can do your own browsing, grab a bite of lunch to eat, or quick pop to the facilities.

Can't wait for another great show! Have a lovely day everyone! And a warm thanks to Jess for making all this possible. You rock!

Monday, March 11, 2013

8% Rise in US Factory Non-Durable Goods Orders

                    There's a whir of machinery, unanswered phone calls, and designer and small business owners hustling. Factory orders are 8% up in January, and many of the trained tradesmen I know in the business are sold out for 6 months to a year. This is the first time in my living memory and it's great news. It's also forcing a leaning of the overall customer service end as people have less time to hand-hold and answer questions as they're more likely to be out working the floor instead of twiddling their thumbs by the phone.What a great start to 2013. I hope the trend continues.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

The Produce Box: A Local Triangle Treasure!

               So this week, Nash and I finally got to sign-up for this year's Produce Box. We're both struggling with the battle of the bulge and it's been past time to change our lifestyle. What's the point of having great clothes if you're too fat to wear them? As someone who has grown up with this Triangle, NC staple, I thought I would share a local edible treasure with you, my readers that we are putting to use. Neither of us have any excuse for not doing it beforehand except sheer laziness. We know we should eat local, fresh fruits and veggies to keep us healthy, but not all of us have time to shop at the local farmer's market on Sat. Or to be frank will-power. May I suggest the lovely Produce Box if you're trapped for time and money on a budget like us?
                For those of you who aren't familar with the service, it is a local produce delivery service that drops off a weekly variety of fresh fruits, veggies, plus optional add-ons for $18-24 a week. $18 for a single person, $22-24 for a typical family from online orders. Many people I know who are single will order the family box and then can, freeze, or jam the extras for the cold winter months or parties. The Produce Box will come to your work or home provided you live in the area. You can change out foods or add others at will each week for picky eaters and special treats. This is less than HALF any other service I know of and fits even slim college budgets with a wealth of food. It's amazing! It's local! And it's making a difference here, locally in your neighborhood.
             In your home. We like to think that better eating and health begin somewhere far away, but really it starts with each and everyone of us. So make a difference in your waistline and life today, sign-up if you haven't already. Nash and I will try to post up pictures and recipes from stuff we get to hopefully help inspire you to improve your health too.