[black friday] balance restored.

30 11 2011

black friday when all nuts this year. some stores opened at midnight, some at 4, some at 6… all of which made it nearly impossible for me to form a workable plan for a pleasant shopping experience. what was i supposed to do, hit the old navy and the target at midnight and then hang out at the denny’s until the mall opened?

NO. my digestive system could not take such a beating (although i still really do want to try out that grilled cheese with the mozzarella stix embedded inside, even though i know it’s wrong)!

i considered just hitting the midnight store and then going back later in the morning… but that also seemed less than ideal in terms of efficiency. so i decided to do something a little different this year- SLEEP IN.

it was actually kind of awesome. and then around 7, i leisurely got up, walked the dog, and headed to the mall. considering that i don’t need any big ticket electronics, and all the cheap movie titles were complete crap, it wasn’t like i was missing anything anyway (other than shivering in the cold with a bunch of other cranky folks who are more than willing to elbow you in the throat to get the last creepy stalker barbie).

and since i had already slept through the “best” deals, i also felt little pressure to hit the big boxes and try to scrape up what was left. so i just went wherever the hell i wanted regardless of big signs yelling DOORBUSTERS! and here is what i got: Read the rest of this entry »





get your local on- hungry for a picnic.

8 12 2010

it seems like only yesterday that i was pimpin the summer picnic arts & music fest… but alas, winter is here. fortunately with the frosty ass weather, we also get a a second serving of our favorite local indie craft bonanza. thus, this week’s installment of my buy local last minute xmas shopping guide is dedicated to the fine local artists who will be rockin it at winter picnic all weekend long (saturday, dec 11, from noon to 8pm and sunday, dec 12, from noon to 5pm) at the maine irish heritage center (at 34 gray street and state street).

EMBLEM STUDIO: a long time ago, kris johnsen was an intern at a place where i used to work (that will remain nameless). i asked him one day if he could draw, and his answer was: “kinda”. well kris johnsen, you’re a fucking liar. little did i know that our mild mannered intern would grow up to be the most incredible poster artist in town. like HOLY SHIT good. and right now you can get his work for anywhere from $10-$40. and trust me, you want it.

i am deeply in love with this dress by LUSKIN. sophisticated but comfortable shapes in bamboo fleeces and cottons with unexpected printed details. yum.

STRONG ARM BINDERY makes me giggle every time. beautiful and infinitely clever letterpress cards,  hand bound books and other assorted treasures. i’m especially fond of their recent foray into faux bois.

i want JUSTIN RICHEL to illustrate my whole life. stacks of sweets and birds! powdered wigs made out of stags! i have a dream to some day commission a vintage globe covered in hand painted sweets. but until a day arrives where i can afford such a thing, i’m going to hoard all sorts of his prints. and for around $10 to $25 each, i could paper a whole wall.

did i ever tell you that i was a ceramics concentration in college? i actually suck, but i have a deep love for the clay that can never be broken. PATTICERAMICS knows what i like, and what i like are lots of gorgeous hand thrown vessels covered in charming mushroom scenes.

i don’t have time to talk about everyone, but i would also like to strongly encourage you all to stop by the booths of the fabulous kate sullivan-jones from sweet disorder (maybe to pick these up for me?) who will be sharing a table with the equally marvelous audrey of little eye designs, milo in maine to say hello to meanmama, and the goodwill of northern new england table to check out their sweet select vintage spread. actually, just check out everything. it all looks fantastic (picnic doesn’t do half-assed).

in short, it’s gonna be an kick ass amazing couple of days of shopping and live music curated by hillytown presents plus the maine radio project DJs (double musical pimps to my good friend galen/computer at sea). bring cash, bring your xmas list, bring your friends (admission is free!), and wear your best holiday sweater so that you can get your fucking picture taken with the yeti.





get your local on- pop & lock.

2 12 2010

well, december is here. and that means that jerks like me who didn’t celebrate xmas shopping in july (and certainly didn’t sign up for any sort of xmas club) are all like “OH SHIT, i didn’t do any xmas shopping, and now i have no money and no time!” it’s last minute time folks, and the solution is simple- BUY LOCAL. we talked a little bit about it on plaid friday, but along with supporting/growing the local economy, shopping local has some additional benefits worth considering:

1. no exorbitant shipping rates. how many times have i filled my online shopping cart full of amazing discount goodies, only to find out that shipping will cost more than the merchandise. so not worth it. BOO!

2. no stress about things shipping on time. i spent last xmas tussling with an amazon.com call center employee over a lost package that didn’t make it on time and RUINED XMAS. ok, not really ruined, but gifts lose a little bit of their potency when not given on the appropriate day. if you bought local, you wouldn’t have to worry about the shame of lost potency EVER AGAIN. plus, you can do all your shopping on xmas eve.

3. everyone buys the same crap at amazon.com, and frankly, you’re better than that. screw the big label mass market consumer goods this year, and get your friends and fams something that they can’t get anywhere else but here. state pride doesn’t have to come in the form of a black bears sweatshirt (although it certainly could if you’re into that sort of thing), and there are tons of great local shops, companies and artisans hovering all around you just waiting to sell you the perfect gift.

anyway, this month i’ll be spotlighting some of my favorite local businesses where one can purchase thoughtful, exciting, and original merchandise at the very last possible moment, and never have to pay for shipping. today’s focus is on my very favorite food of all time- POPCORN.  fabulous flavored popcorn is a great xmas hostess gift, inexpensive gift for co-workers, stocking stuffer, or treat to put out at your holiday shindig (i’m over you potato chips!). or, if i’m on your xmas list- a garbage bag sized sack will do just fine. coincidentally, maine is packed full of gourmet/boutique popcorn poppers- and they know their shit. here are my favorites: Read the rest of this entry »








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