September 26, 2008


alOne, originally uploaded by Aru, Arunosfe.

HARDCASTLE, Charles Gregory "Greg" Age 34 of Nashville. Died Sepember 24, 2008. Graduate of Franklin Road Academy and UT Knoxville. Survived by parents, Rosemary and Lester Porter of Nashville; sisters, Beth (Greg) Lawrence and Lacey Porter, both of Nashville; grandmother, Mary Austin Hubbell of Columbia; uncle, Charles L. (Joyce) Hubbell of Lynnville; three cousins, Jeff (Susan) Hubbell of Murfreesboro, Jamie (Penny) Hubbell and Cyndy (Paul) Gibson, both of Columbia.

miss you already...

September 21, 2008

Laser Tag in Hendersonville!

Alien aerobics class? No - just a fun night of laser tag, mini putt putt golf, beer, and pizza for Thad & Hilary's wedding shower. It was definitely a fabulous wedding shower/party and of course we had to go since we'll be at a craft show the day of their actual wedding. I've never played outdoor laser tag - we ran around this big open field with lots of hay bale obstacles and mini woodsy hiding places - we all got a good workout for sure! It reminded me of how much I used to love laser tag - just call me the "sniper in the woods"... The highlight of mini golf was when the one and a half year old toddler got a hole-in-one. Time to sign that kid up for golf lessons! You can read more about over at my husband's blog here if you're interested.

September 18, 2008

Custom boxes are here!

I've been in the planning process of custom boxes since May and they are finally realized! You may remember my post that was a cry for help in the design of the boxes. My current logo is great but it was a little too plain to get hot stamped in one color on a thousand boxes so Beth Snyder came to the rescue with a fun hand drawn design.

It was love at first sight. We tweaked the text a little to be more "pretty" and wire-like, and then I submitted it to the box company. Their printing specifications forced me to nix the ribbon-like aspect of the drawing, so the final design that went to print was this:

I was really hoping to get them in time for the Renegade Craft Fair but unfortunately, they were not shipping until the day we were leaving for Chicago. So my sweet husband got out my embossing powder, heat gun, and stamps and embossed 200 boxes for me. If that's not sexy, I don't know what is. What's even better is that he stamped about 500 gift bags for me with this very logo on them so I would have some representation of my new "alternative" logo at Renegade. That sweet, sweet, fabulous husband of mine.

Anyway, I saw the UPS man walking up to my door on Tuesday with a stack of boxes and it was like Christmas morning! I ran downstairs (not even caring that I was still in pajamas) and opened the door to greet him! I nervously opened up the boxes to see my custom gift boxes in all their glory:

custom boxes!
they kind of look like Wonka bars in this picture

ahh... fabulousness

They are hot stamped in a metallic light blue on chocolate brown. Now I just have to wait to go through the embossed gift boxes before I take these on the road with me. I am already using them on website orders, though, including one this weekend from a certain famous celebrity who I will not name here... but it was my first celebrity sale and I had to call my mom to tell her!

So much good news is going on in Freshie & Zero land right now - stay tuned for an even more exciting announcement in the next day or two!

September 16, 2008

Renegade Chicago 2008 - the good times

So yes, I have established that this was the rainiest show I have ever done. We were wet, we were stressed, and we were a little cranky. But we persevered. So now it's time for the good times of the Renegade Craft Fair Chicago 2008!

Last year at this show, I was so busy that I didn't get to talk to anyone. Very sad stuff - I love networking with my fellow crafters! This year, because we were all concerned about each other and because we weren't swamped with customers, there was much visiting of other tents and chatting about the weather, the scene, and other fun stuff. Crafter heaven, actually!

My friend Heather from Rinse Soap shared some of her successes with me, including adding a wholesale account in Chicago during the show - you go girl! The friendly gals of the Indie Craft Experience in Atlanta, Shannon and Christy, were keeping me in the loop of their upcoming holiday show which I am excited about and hopefully will be able to apply. (just gotta work out the timing of buying a house and moving) There are just too many shows I want to do this fall! I had to bail out of the Girlie Show in Oklahoma due to all this house buying mess and that makes me sad. I have another application out in cyberspace that I am already worried about being able to commit to doing. I guess I'll have to "make it work!"

Anyway, I also reconnected with Chicago illustrator Cindy T. who is now making beautiful cards under the name Paper Parasol. She was sharing her booth with Holly of Thread and Needle and Courtney Fischer - they had done an amazing job of saving their products from the water by rigging up some fancy tarp and bungee cords to keep the rain out. Holly actually won my Valentine's contest and she was so grateful that she gave me one of her coffee cuffs which i have been using nonstop since!

Cindy T and friends

Amy of Olaria Studio flew in from Boston to do the show and my hubs and I were lucky enough to grab some very tasty brunch at Forno with her Sunday morning. (the food was delicious - if you've never been and you live in Chicago - go there now!) She is originally from Birmingham and only moved to Boston recently, so she filled me in on all the southern crafty scoop. I had a feeling that if she lived in Nashville, we'd be hanging out all the time. She also encouraged me on the Philadelphia Buyer's Market of American Craft application I have sent in and said we should be booth neighbors if I get accepted. I have already been rejected from the American Craft Council wholesale show so I'm not holding my breath, but if I got in that would be wonderful! I welcome more wholesale with open arms.

The ceramics of my back yard booth neighbor, Up in the Air Somewhere did not disappoint. Her work is so beautiful I was overwhelmed. I could not make a decision of what to buy but again - after the house stuff is worked out I'll know exactly which one (or five) of her pieces will be the perfect finishing touch to our new pad. I'm thinking an arrangement of Silos on a dining room table (that I don't have yet but hey a girl can dream).

Socializing aside, I was lucky enough to do a bit of trading. Megan of Harrilu and I have done a few shows together in the past - she was wearing my birdie necklace all weekend and picked up a few more Freshie & Zero pieces for gifts. I am now the lucky owner of two of her v-neck t-shirts, including the one below.

Squast by Les - my favorite hat maker was also sweet enough to trade with me, so I indulged in a fourth hat from her. This one is totally different than the others, though. First of all, it's fuzzy on the inside so it's great for cold months, plus it has little ear flaps and it's simple black (all of my others are prints). I told everyone who would listen that they should go to her booth and two girls came back to my booth, each proudly wearing one of her hats and thanked me for the suggestion! Just spreading some crafty love...

my new Squast by Les hat!

My one and only purchase of the show was a purse from Made by Hank. It's like an avant garde work of art! She was forced to open late - I kept looking to see if she had unzipped her tent but it was so leaky that she had to make several Home Depot style runs in order to fashion some rain protective curtains and tarp to keep her merchandise dry - she said she had several meltdowns before opening up but at the end of the second day she only had 12 purses left so I think she ended up having a successful show!

new purse by Made by Hank

So that's the thing - yes everyone was soaking wet and praying that their product wasn't ruined but the ones who stuck it out both days really were rewarded with good camaraderie and good sales. My sales were still high overall for a show - people really came out to shop despite the weather. Chicago shoppers are tough cookies! They aren't going to let a little rainfall keep them from their crafts and I love them for it!

Rainy Renegade Craft Fair

We just arrived back from Chicago and I have a lot of catching up to do, but here is a tiny bit about the Renegade Craft Fair. I will write about the happy side of it tomorrow when I've digested it all!

For starters, Chicago had a record day of rainfall on Saturday - a record that's been held since the 1870's when they started recording weather. They usually have about 2 inches of rain during this time of year and they've had 12 as of this weekend. So it was rainy and wet wet wet. Chicago area suburbs flooded - including Bloomingdale where our hotel was and schools were even closed today due to flooding. One of the main interstates in Indiana/Illinois was entirely shut down near Lake Michigan - we had to reroute ourselves down through Indiana (thanks to my trusty Road Atlas) to avoid the four hour delay to get through the interstate closure. Nuts!!! In a gas station in Indiana, this poor girl was trying to get to Detroit and the worker at the gas station told her it wasn't going to happen today since the interstate she needed was closed. I would have advised her to get a map and figure it out, but hey that's my d.i.y. mentality kicking in.


Anyway, this was supposed to be brief! I only bought one thing - I was just feeling too wet and icky to shop and that's just not like me! The one final bummer was that the electricity we paid for was never turned on. So it was dark outside and inside our tent. I understand why they were afraid to turn it on (safety issues I presume) but I was still bummed out about it and I imagine they're going to get some angry emails from crafters wanting a refund. However, it could have been worse. And how could you foresee this kind of weather?

The upside of the Renegade Fair will be posted in a day or two... yes there was a definite upside!

September 09, 2008

Coming Up

Tonight is my first hula hooping class. I seriously can't wait. Plus, I'm taking it with my mom, so I'm excited to do something together that doesn't involve eating or shopping, not that I mind eating and shopping one bit. Eating and shopping are actually two of my favorite things, but I'm hoping that hula hooping can nudge its way up there, too!

The Germantown Festival this past weekend was very successful. My sales were up a bit from last year , and I anticipate the upcoming Pink Palace show in Memphis to be even better. We even had nice, cool weather on the first day - I actually needed a jacket! It was awesome!
The Renegade Craft Fair is this weekend in Chicago and I can't wait! I'm making a list of vendors I want to visit, so that I have a game plan when I have a few free minutes. These include:

Dolan Geiman - awesome art

Up in the Air Somewhere - the above piece was just featured in Martha Stewart Living! (luckily they're right behind me so I know I'll get a minute to shop their booth!)

I'm also hoping to say hey to my friends from Rinse, Olaria Studios, Seibei, My Favorite Mirror, Mike and Mary Jewelry, Holly Hue, Mary Ink, So Silly, Squasht by Les (she makes the hats I wear all the time), and Supermaggie, just to name a few! And did I mention that Northern State is playing? Aw yeah.

September 08, 2008

Please vote (for me!)!!

Shameless self promotion strikes again, my dear readers. One of my favorite magazines, Venus Zine has amazing coverage of the DIY scene and they have a reader's poll every year featuring music, film, and fashion. One of their categories just happens to be "Best DIY Business"! Jennifer Perkins of Naughty Secretary Club and Susie Ghahremani of Boy Girl Party have won in the past and aren't they fabulous???

So what can you do? Go and vote for Freshie & Zero in their survey! Pretty Please? The DIY category is at the very bottom of the page, #17. All you have to do is select "Other" and write in Freshie & Zero. I know it's super easy, but I made a little skitch image below for your viewing pleasure:

I do not expect to win, of course, but I would love to be on their radar... who knows? The poll is up until October 15th. Please tell all of your friends to take a sec and vote for Freshie & Zero and in the meantime, if you don't see Venus Zine at your local bookstore, ask them to start carrying it! It's a great magazine and just keeps getting better.

Thanks and no more self promotion for a while... although this weekend is the Renegade Craft Fair in Chicago and I'll be there in case you were wondering... lots of new stuff not on the website... I'm just saying...

September 04, 2008

Upcoming weekend

I will be at the Germantown Festival in Germantown, TN this weekend (it's near Memphis). The show is on Saturday and Sunday at C.O. Franklin Park. A highlight of this show is the Sunday afternoon Running of the Weenies dachshund race. You will never see so many dachshunds in one place! The show is fun and hodge-podgey - there are fair-like activities for kids and the usual fair food you would expect, plus a huge variety of arts and crafts. And me. :)

photo by Alexander Gordon

The first year at this show, my tent neighbor was a Tupperware booth. Last year, it was a booth selling "spirit hair" - real dyed human hair you attach to your own hair to show your school spirit. I kid you not. I can't wait to see what lies in store for us this year!

we've got spirit, yes we do... ew....

September 02, 2008


So you want some Freshie & Zero jewelry but you don't want to pay for it? Then you need to head over to my favorite indie shopping blog, Indie Fixx and enter to win a free bracelet from my new collection! It's easy to enter which means it's easy to get your hands on a free piece of jewelry! What are you waiting for?