New Swallow Christmas Ornaments

There are times when I feel myself becoming something of a living Portlandia skit, and never more so than when I decided to whip up a batch of swallow ornaments the other day. When in doubt, put a bird on it!These candy-colored avians are inspired by classic tattoo illustrations, and a variation on a brooch design you may remember from years back. Bright and cheery colors like this are sort of my thing, and these birds do their job looking pretty darn cheerful on the tree. Tis the season to deck the halls!

Swallow ornaments are now!


Current Obsession: Andean Neon Hats

Chicago is forecasted to get 3-6″ of snow this weekend and basically this means that I’m going to be super grumpy. It’s not like I grew up in the South and don’t understand about Midwestern winters. I get them– I just hate them.

The only good thing about the 6 months of winter that are coming is that I do love getting cozy. Blankets, oversized sweaters, scarves: the cozier the better is my mantra. A cute hat is a must to get through the winter unscathed, and these new Andean-inspired knit hats from Purl Soho have totally stolen my heart.knit hatCreated through a partnership with a group of artisans in Peru and blending traditional shapes and designs with a modern twist, these hats are, first, adorable, and look hella warm. Perfect for my Christmas list. Are you listening, Santa?

These beauties are available here.

Blast Off

The early 70s are a fascinating moment. After the upheaval of the 60s and the backsliding of the 80s, there was a moment when things actually seemed to be getting better. The Vietnam War had come to an end, and the women’s movement was gaining ground with Roe vs. Wade and the passing of the ERA. Progress had been made in Civil Rights, and identity movements like Black Power were raising people’s consciousness. Environmentalism and nuclear proliferation were being talked about.

All these new thoughts were making it into the mainstream finally, too. You look back at early episodes of Sesame Street, for instance, and the cast is a rainbow of colors and abilities, everyone singing together, looking vaguely hippied-out and unpolished. Of course there were still problems, but for once there were glimmers of hope to be seen in pop culture– moments of progress that seem progressive, even by our standards today.

Case in point: the wonderful children’s book Blast Off from 1973. Blast Off is the story of Regina, a young black girl who dreams of becoming an astronaut. Her friends laugh at her crazy ideas, but she eventually makes it to the stars, floating among them in her white spacesuit, riding a rocket shooting long, psychedelic trails of fire.

This is only a few years after the moon landing, and space travel was still pretty novel, as was a woman of color in space. Sally Ride wouldn’t go up in the shuttle for another decade, and Mae Jemison nearly ten years later in 1992.

In addition to being way ahead of its time, the illustrations are absolutely charming, featuring bold, graphic shapes and groovy colors. Definitely the kind of space travel I can get behind. You gotta give it to 1973– they had some good ideas.

Via Brain Pickings.

Holiday Products Are a Go!

It’s that time of year again! The holidays are upon us– or getting there, at least– and seasonal products are available now in my shop!Louis CK ornament, Ira Glass ornament, Frida Kahlo ornament, Steve Martin ornamentAny finger puppet you’ve had your eye on is available as an ornament, for the perfect bit of fandom for any tree. How about a Ruth Bader Ginsburg ornament for the law student in your life, Frida Kahlo for your favorite budding surrealist, or Steve Martin going wild and crazy on the tree for years to come.
Pop culture ornamentsBack in the shop is also old favorites– felt state ornaments and Ralphie from A Christmas Story (“You’ll shoot your eye out!”).

Unless you happen to be one of those weirdos who has all their shopping done by November, there’s an excellent chance you’ve got somebody on your list who could use a finger puppet or ornament to make their life complete. So get on it! ; )

Meet the Maker Feature

Last week I was featured in the “Meet the Maker” series on Lucky Break Consulting’s very useful blog. Remember last month I said I needed a new headshot? Yeah, it was for this. Meet the Maker Abbey HambrightThe interview was a fun opportunity to reflect on my process and my work a bit more than usual, including why I’ve decided that the whole “quit your day job” idea that gets floated around a lot in crafter circles just isn’t for me. Oh, and I also reveal my favorite Kurt Vonnegut quote (how to choose!).You can read the full interview here, and I’d encourage you to check out the whole Meet the Maker series for some great advice. Also, a big thanks to my friend Jason of Burton and Levy— himself a Meet the Maker interviewee a few months back– for suggesting me for this series.

Yarn Bomb Grandma

Besides maybe The Golden Girls, there aren’t a lot of role models for how to live like a badass as you get older. I firmly believe that we don’t lose our coolness just because we age– it’s just that that’s not a story that gets told very often.

Luckily there are people like crocheter Grace Brett. At 104, she proved that contemporary art need not be just a young person’s game. Grace participated in yarn bombing her UK town with her colorful, crocheted creations. Fanciful and vibrant, they are still most definitely cool.

Via Bored Panda.