Note the tote: Austin’s gotta brand new bag

With Spring done and gone, Gadora reflects on a recent-ish project whereby I had the pleasure of creating a gift tote graphic for my Boss Lady’s intimate wedding. She and her Hubs tied the knot in April, and to help out-of-town guests feel at home she assembled a personalized goody bag for each. It would draw attention to the couple’s favorite city spaces and was filled with an Austin map, snacks and love. With my own favorite city blog, CultureMap Austin, featuring an Etsy Austin-themed roundup just this week, I thought it time I get mine on the internets… (keep scrolling for it).

Austin-based Etsy artist Victrola 35 created her own rendition of some of the city’s hot spots. On organic cotton canvas, buyers can choose from kelly green or bright red. $32.

Austin tote by Victrola Design

Can’t find much about this artist, but their Etsy site purports, “Goody Bags are every busy girl’s staple item.” You be the judge. The simple graphic appears on a nice woven jute bag with a cotton handle, and at $20 it’ll pay for itself in style points in no time at all.

Goody Bag <3s Austin.
Goody Bag

I’d been noodling additional ideas about this post since yesterday, then serendipitously a hankering for a HopDoddy veggie burger on a magical gluten-free bun would march me past By George to spy this handy tote. Sorry folks, they don’t do eCommerce, but you can read about the cross-continental collaboration between By George and Apolis here.

Jute and canvas tote at By George

And now for Gadora’s tote. It helps to have a friend with a screen press. He worked with me on making sure the text and images were large enough for his press to interpret. And, Melissa gave me a list of locales that were meaningful to she and her groom: where they ventured on their first date, their favorite watering hole, and where they’d share their nuptials.

Close-up of Melissa’s wedding tote…

I simply penciled a map on a piece of copy paper, making sure to include the city’s famous bats, and handed it over for the screen printing. Voila! It was a darling, and inexpensive, way to greet the couple’s guests. And a personal way to include them in the wedding. Happy Marriage, Lady!

The Happy Couple’s Tote

When My Time Comes… revisited.

Gadora’s been making a good go of a great opportunity here in Austin — full-time work is hard, y’all — and sadly it has carved a little into some of my creative mojo at home. While I’m grateful to be exercising certain talents by designing the office’s downstairs lounge, and am proud of our big win at Lifeworks’ recent Home Improvement Challenge (story forthcoming), I find I miss writing. And certainly miss sweating in the shop every day.

I still manage the time to remember cantankerous Harley and the sweetest Peepers. 6 months later, I wrestle with knowing I did the right thing for them. Recently I snugged up on a spunky kitten, and then a perfectly healthy and quite OLD cat, and can’t help but feel We. Got. Robbed. They were supposed to live forever. My cousin is having a hard time with her 16-year-old Schnauzer. Bridgette is her only baby. And they’re dealing with aggressive melanoma. They still have time. My Cuz is relishing it, texted tonight to say Bridgette was enjoying the freedom of her new du. While it wouldn’t make her feel better, I admitted “it” doesn’t get easier once they’re gone. I wholeheartedly understand her. The loss of a pet is quite possibly the most difficult thing a (human) childless parent will face. You are NEVER prepared.

One never knows when the need to deal with a loss that big will come creeping up on you. In fact, I ruined a perfectly lovely concert at Austin’s recent ACL when Dawe’s belted out “When My Time Comes.”  The crowd sang. I did too. But I also cried. Harley hated that song. Well, maybe not the song so much as mine and the BFF’s rendition (we’re not about to try out for American Idol anytime soon). He’d follow us around the house and lunge for the jugular, or ankles, whatevs. Dawes was on the docket, and I knew they’d play it for us. I had to hear it. As if I needed a good excuse to cry in public, I relished this one.

Continue reading “When My Time Comes… revisited.”

Meet Miss Kitty…

Meet Austin local Miss Kitty. Like the city she calls home, “she’s vocal and soulful.” Her proud Mom beams Miss Kitty is a very special cat, “We love her so much. She has character and panache.”

Pretty Kitty.

Kitty’s picture was difficult to decipher. Were her eyes yellow? Was her belly brown? Her Mom Faith confirmed, “Her eyes are more green than yellow, very pretty and exotic,” and added, “she also has two “wisdom” whiskers—one on each side that is white. She has very soft luxurious fur. She is extremely beautiful and intelligent. She’s my #1 girl and my little black angel.”

Kitty on the carpet.