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Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Introducing Roundtable Goods


So, I know I keep alluding to this new shop in Houston I've been a part of lately.  It's time I finally formally introduce you to Roundtable Goods, Houston's new 100% handcrafted 100% local artisan marketplace in a homey little neighborhood we call the Houston Heights.

It all started when I was at a slightly less-than-fun craft fair in late April.  Some random woman from Etsy named Juanita came and found me while I was quietly manning my lonesome booth (located in a primo spot across from the men's bathroom of course).  I had briefly traded a few messages with Juanita through Etsy over the past few weeks, but didn't really expect anything to come of it. Maybe I have an underlying belief that everyone that sells things on Etsy is slightly crazy (including myself?), so when a very normal, happy-looking woman introduced herself as Juanita I was pleasantly surprised she had taken the time to seek me out at the show.

Juanita started talking about craft shows, Houston, new groups, and even the possibility of opening some sort of storefront.  Then, she said the magic words, "19th street", and I think that's when I fell in love.  To me, W. 19th Street is the perfect little Main Street USA of Houston.  One of the only spots in this ginormous city where, for a few lovely blocks, pedestrian shopping is still practiced.  Not only that, but there's not a single national chain or department store to be found.  Smack dab in the center of a neighborhood that clings tooth and nail to its roots and history, it's a small mish mash of funky and eclectic, trendy and modern, vintage and antique small local businesses.  And Juanita had her eye on a space for lease right on this very street!  I had never even really dreamed of selling Lazy Owl products in a storefront, let alone being part of one, but when I got the opportunity to be part of this I knew I couldn't pass it up.

This is the Lazy Owl Boutique area at Roundtable
I can't exactly describe what followed.  Somehow, in the space of just two months, we went from a group of eager strangers with a totally raw, unfinished space to a collaboration of artists with a painted, fully-stocked handcrafted boutique open to the public.

Lazy Owl bunting necklaces
Juanita found a group of local artists with all sorts of talents.  We fine-tuned our business pitch and met with these ladies in late May, hoping that 2 or 3 would be willing to come on this adventure with us; I was totally astounded when over 13 of them jumped on board!  Our leased space was formerly a storage room for antiques - unpainted, old ceilings, concrete floors...the list goes on.  But with a lot of elbow grease (and only a small amount of yelling) we turned that space around in a matter of weeks.





Just a small selection of all the amazing goodies we have in the shop
We are a team of artists from very different backgrounds and even different cultures, some of us work full-time day jobs, some of us have children, and something different drives us all.  But our passion for our creative art and our drive to offer Houston something new and different really motivated us to bring this vision to life.  We are starting out slow - only open on the weekends for now - but we definitely have big plans and big dreams!













I am so proud of what we have all accomplished together!  I hope if you are ever in Houston you stop by Roundtable Goods on W. 19th Street.  You might even see me working behind the counter; regardless, you will see some wonderfully unique heartfelt and handcrafted treasures.


Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Ciao!

Long time, no see!  So sorry for my prolonged absence.  And boy, do I have a lot to update about!  All in due time.

June was a very busy month with me simultaneously planning a family trip to Italy and the opening of a unique, all-handmade shop here in the Houston Heights with a gaggle of other ladies.  We left for Italy June 21 and I was working (and tearing my hair out) up until the very last minute.  I kept reminding myself that I am totally blessed to be stressing out over two such wonderful things - a once-in-a-lifetime trip to Italy with my family and the opening of a store with Lazy Owl Boutique products included there.

So, rather than dive into all these wonderful things at once, here's a short recap of our Italy vacation!


We flew into Florence after a horrid Air France flight.  Non, merci to Air France!  Typical to Italy (or Europe in general?) we were greeted upon landing with the news that the airport's ground and baggage crew was on strike that day.  No worries!  We eventually made it to our hotel and spent the evening wandering Florence, checking out the beautiful Duomo, walking to the Arno, and having our first Italian dinner.

I must admit, one of my favorite happenings in Italy is watching the guys in the big cities that sell hats and purses on the streets react to the police.  They scoop up everything they are selling and just bolt.  A guy selling hats in Rome was running away so fast he was dropping hats behind him.  We almost got a freebie!  This scene happened many times during our trip and was always amusing.

Anyway, our stop in Florence was short, as the next morning we got on a train to Riomaggiore, one of the five villages of the Cinque Terre, a rugged piece of coast along the Italian Riveria.  Riomaggiore was wonderful, with breathtaking views from every angle.  Our apartment was right on the harbor looking down at the sea.  We ate some wonderful seafood and fresh fruit and enjoyed walking along the coastline.  I even got to check out an authentic Italian beach, where everyone was laying out on bolders and rocks rather than sand.  Didn't look very comfy to me!


After a few days in Riomaggiore, we rented a car for a drive through Siena then onto our farm house in Orvieto, Umbria.  I knew this day would be the most challenging, and unfortunately, I was right!  I got extremely car sick on the way to Siena (that city will probably always have a negative taint in my mind!), my husband got pulled over by the police not once but twice in one day, my mom set off the fire alarm at the rest stop we went to, and I'm pretty sure we drove through two dreaded ZTLs (traffic fine zones) trying to find the parking lot in Siena.  But oh well, all memories I'm sure we'll look back fondly at someday...right?

We made it in one piece to our agriturismo in Orvieto, and I think this was our favorite place by far.  The pace for the next few days slowed down as we got to take in the hilly countryside and relax some.  It helped that the rooms were large and the water pressure was good too!  We explored the little hilltown of Orvieto and did lots of driving through the hills of Tuscany and Umbria.  One day we got to go on an amazing wine tour in the country, and then explore the tiny village of Civita up on a cliff.


We eventually had to sadly say goodbye to the country and (happily) return our rental car for the train ride into Rome.  Rome!  What can I say?  It was amazing to be there, but I guess none of us are really big city people.  It was crowded and it was hot!  We went on a very educational (but hot) tour of the Colosseum, and a nice (but extremely beyond crowded) tour of the Vatican.

So, that's our trip in a nutshell!  I miss yall and now I can't wait to tell you all about the new shop in Houston and what's next for Lazy Owl!  Hope you enjoy the Italy pics.



Wednesday, May 23, 2012

It's our one year Etsyversary!

Oh happy day!  At the end of this month we will be celebrating Lazy Owl Boutique's one year Etsyversary (that's our Etsy anniversary, just in case you couldn't figure that out)!

One year ago this month I was going through a lot of changes.  I was just beginning a well-deserved vacation at the beach away from my hell job when I got a wonderful offer for a new job.  I debated for a few days, scared out of my mind.  I had never actually quit a job before.  I always just had to leave because I was graduating, leaving to study abroad, etc.  I returned from the beach well-rested and at peace with my decision and put in my two week's notice that Monday morning.

Over the next few weeks I created, created, and created on overdrive, along with taking lots of photos and figuring out how the heck to get started on Etsy.  By the end of May, Lazy Owl Boutique officially opened for business!  It was definitely slow going at first, but it has been a very rewarding experience and I'm delighted to say that in less than a year we have reached over 100 sales!

We've made some mistakes but learned a lot along the way in just one year.  Check out this awful product photography for example:

Ay yi yi!  Talk about gloomy.
We've fine-tuned the creating/photographing/listing process and even begun to sell in person at craft shows!  We are even in the process of joining with a handful of other local handmade artisans to open a unique handmade boutique in Houston (stay tuned)!

One year ago I would've never thought I'd be capable of doing all that I am now.  And I have all of you to thank!  So thanks to all my family, friends, fellow artists, and customers who have supported Lazy Owl on this journey.

To celebrate our one year Etsyversary, we are giving away hairpin freebies! Get one freebie hairpin with a purchase of $10 or more, and two hairpins with a purchase of $30 or more! Check out Lazy Owl's facebook page to pick out your favorite hairpin(s) and include your top four preferences in the note to seller during checkout!

You can also view the hairpin selection below:

Free hairpin choices!





Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Spring Craft Show Display

As I mentioned (not sure if I did actually, let's pretend), I did a craft show last month in Katy, Texas.  Setup was all day the Friday before the show started.  My craft show adventure weekend started out pretty stressful.  It was a really busy week at my day job, and my husband ended up having to work late on Friday (and all day Saturday) so I was flying solo nearly all weekend.  I left work as quickly as I could to go home to grab my tables and inventory and head out on the 45 minute drive out to Katy, during rush hour AND during a terrible thunderstorm.  Of course when I finally got home, my puppy had peed all over her crate.

By the time I made it out to Katy, I had about an hour to set up as much of my booth as I could all by my lonesome.  After check-in I found out my booth was not actually IN the main arena, but in a hallway...directly outside the MEN'S restroom!  The show director promised me this would be a preemo (primo? premo? is it even a word?) spot, so I decided to put a smile on my face and make the best of it.

Anyway, it wasn't a super wonderful show, but it was my best yet (out of 3, still a craft show newbie here), and a great experience.  I met some other wonderful vendors, made some good sales, and handed out almost all my business cards.

Plus, I got to debut my new and improved show display!  I graduated from 2 to 3 tables, with the addition of my vintage china plate tiered displays (that's a mouthful!), and all my new titanium post earrings.  I also made a handful of colorful yarn wreaths to sell.  AND I got to try out my new VistaPrint banner!

One side of my display

Oh hello, men's restroom!

Antique shutters, antique plates, yarn wreaths...

Handmade earring card display for my plated stud collection

Birdhouse display and antique printer's tray display
Check out my tutorial for how to make my DIY ring box display here, and also an explanation for how I built my DIY earring card display here.

I'll be setting up my display again May 19 at the Friendswood Fine Arts Institute's Art in the Park!

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

March Madness

Please pardon my prolonged absence!  March has been flying by for me.  My husband, an engineer, has been working turnaround at his plant.  For those of you who haven't grown up around engineers, turnaround is basically a time where the plant shuts down and the engineers have to work 24/7.  He is home and awake for about an hour or two every day.

This has left all the cooking, cleaning, and household duties to yours truly.  And...if you know me, you know I don't cook.  I don't really know how to cook honestly, so this month has been interesting for me because as a good wife I need to put food on the table for him to eat every night after a long day at work!  Thanks to Pinterest, I've been able to find some recipes that even someone as kitchen-challenged as me can handle.

So, to sum up what I've been neglecting to blog about in March, here we go in photo form.

Crispy Cheddar Chicken
This was the first dinner I attempted.  Probably not the best idea.  It was a good recipe and I allllllmost pulled it off, but I have no experience baking chicken.  I left it in there for the amount of time the recipe called for, but I apparently over-cooked the chicken.  The crust was still totally yummy, but the chicken itself was really tough.

Broccoli cheese soup
This recipe was great.  I've never made soup before (did I mention I've never made like...anything before?)  So getting the flour base down and all that was a challenge.  But the soup turned out great.  I even heated a couple frozen pretzel rolls to go with it.  Success!


I am also taking a beginner's sewing class this month.  It's been very interesting, and not nearly as intuitive as I  thought it would be.  This is the pattern I've started out with.  I had no idea it had so many pleats...and pockets...I'm still working on it.  I have all sorts of dreams of making purses, dresses, etc. etc...


Blueberry Snack Cake
I made this delicious blueberry snack cake.  It was pretty easy, even for me.  Definitely yummy.

Essie nail polish in Tart Deco

I've also been really obsessed with coral lately.  I got coral shorts, two coral tops, a pair of coral shoes, and finally this light coral polish from Essie.  It's going to be all the rage this spring/summer I swear (I hope).  See my coral treasury:

'A touch of coral' by LazyOwlBoutique


Coral Bracelet Coral Je...
$98.00

Salmon Pink Jersey Infi...
$18.00

Vintage Coral Corning C...
$20.50

Red, coral and peach sa...
$12.00

Mini Ruche Bag in Sea C...
$212.00

Coral Lattice Print Pil...
$78.00

SALE Salmon Wrap Bracel...
$24.00

Coral Ocean Beach Sea P...
$48.00

Womens Clothing Top Cot...
$32.00

Coral Rose Ring - Adjus...
$5.99

Wristlet Clutch, Coral ...
$27.00

Little Coral Chandelier...
$25.00

Dogwood Mother's Da...
$4.00

Salmon Coral Necklace -...
$44.00

Scandinavian door photo...
$30.00

1950s Skirt - Quilted F...
$45.00


Moving on....

Chicken lasagna
This was big-time for me.  Chicken lasagna! The recipe was actually not too difficult, just very time-consuming.  I used a grocery store rotisserie chicken for it.  I also did not use any of the low-fat versions of the 270 cheeses that went into this recipe, I went with the real deal.  But the husband loved it!  I will admit, I was pretty impressed with myself for pulling it off haha.

Turquoise and yellow chevron earrings
Over at Lazy Owl, I posted a new collection of handpainted metal feather earrings.  They were really fun to make.  I'm definitely into bright, happy spring colors right now.


Pasta salad
For some reason I've always been in love with the idea of pasta salad.  Plus, a couple days after I made chicken lasagna, I thought a pasta salad would be nice and easy to make.  I didn't realize it'd take me an hour just to chop up all the dang veggies.  Also, I seem to have no concept of how much food a recipe makes in the end, so we ended up with about 2 pounds of pasta salad.  Luckily, it turned out to be pretty good.

Oreo and peanut butter pie
Omg, the weekend after my husband's birthday, I made him this oreo peanut butter pie.  It was seriously SO GOOD. And easy enough for me to handle.  This was the first time I've ever made a homemade oreo crust, which was basically just melted butter and crumbled up oreos.  I'm pretty sure I'd like a pie that's just all oreo crust.  That was the best part...

Hunger Games Mockingjay inspired wire wrapped ring
I also bought my tickets to the Hunger Games yesterday; we are going on Saturday.  Super pumped!  I will admit to buying a few of the Capital Couture nail polishes as well...I'm hoping they come in before the movie.

Last night I attempted chicken, mushroom, and spinach quesadillas.  Everything went fine until I put the finished creation into the skillet and attempted to flip it with a spatula.  Disaster!!  I cannot flip quesadillas.  Most of the filling ended up on top of the tortilla.  But it still tasted good!

Today I'm tackling sloppy joes!  So as you can see, I've been keeping busy, and it's been all good.  I've really enjoyed the feelings of creating and providing.  It feels good to take care of someone (and myself).  What have you been up to this month?

 

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Handmade Louisiana

Today I had the honor of being selected as Handmade Louisiana's Shop of the Day.

Handmade Louisiana is a group of artisans and crafters from Louisiana.  Even though I don't currently reside in Louisiana, it's been great to re-connect with that distinctive Louisiania "feel" via the internet.

The group consists of so many talented people!  Follow us on facebook to see different shops and items being featured daily.  You can also check out the HML blog.

Also, check out this awesome HML treasury inspired by my candy cane bunting necklace!

'Red and White' by TrappedInTimeDesigns

Inspired by LazyOwlBoutique's amazing Buntin Necklace


Red and white bunting n...
$24.00

Red House in Snow 5x7 (...
$10.00

Mermaid Paper Doll - A...
$9.00

Vintage Red and White C...
$50.00

Car Wash - Hand Spun Th...
$31.00

Toy Leash Tether Strap ...
$10.00

Funky Earrings, Red Whi...
$18.96

1950's Vintage Dres...
$120.00

Big Top Ring - Red and ...
$13.43

Vintage 80s top t shirt...
$29.00

Red and white leather C...
$40.00

red and white .vintage....
$125.00

Red, white, and blue ba...
$26.00

Bakers Twine Red White ...
$26.50

Red Pillow Covers TWO 1...
$32.00

Set of ten red and whit...
$12.00

Thanks for all the love today yall!

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