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Happiest of New Years and New Decades

May abundance, good health, and happiness find and grace you.

much love, wonder, and awe
.n & .t


Happy Holidays from Defabricate

May your holidays be filled with abundance & may that abundance follow you through the new year.

Best and Happiest of Holidays!
.n + .t


Last Minute Stocking Stuffer Ideas

I'm usually pretty awful about putting things off until the last minute, Christmas gifts are no exception.  This year I created a bunch of free printables that can easily fit into a stocking and take less than 20 minutes to print out, trim, and finish.
Last minute Christmas / Holiday cards
Make your own Holiday Music Mix:
Something for the book lover:
Try these handy bookmark based on late 19th and early 20th century book plate designs. I've created a set for the nature lover, and another for the animal lover.  Add a paperback from the used bookstore to round out the gift.

    Like to play cards?

    Here's a set of six printable playing card rules (includes I Doubt It, Gin Rummy, Spite & Malice, Crazy 8's, Kings in the Corner, and Spoons). Add a deck of playing cards and you're set.

    Family Dice Game:

    Find three dice (die) and print out these rules to play BUNCO! - it's a great after Christmas game or perfect for those White Elephant gifts from Christmases past and it's fun for the whole family.

    Share some family recipes:
      I have several different recipe card designs that are great for giving. Print out several and give as a set; write your favorite cookie recipe and give with a dozen home made cookies in a tin; Write out your family recipes by hand for your favorite dishes and wrap with ribbon.

      Gift Tags for everyone:

      Bird Lover gift tags
      Fruit Illustration gift tags


      Gift Ideas from Defabricate

      Looking for stocking stuffer ideas, or just simple presents that fit into this year's budget? We have some ideas:


      - 2oz. bag(s) of coffee [usually $1 each]
      - a fabulous mug from the thrift store
      - a handmade/reusable coffee cup cozy

      - copy some of Julia's favorite recipes onto these free printable recipe cards.
      - Not a Julia fan? Well, why not share your grandma's famous cookie recipe, with a sampling of cookies?

      you can buy me on Etsy

      1. Make Your Own Dolls / Sock Creatures
      Have boys or girls on your list that appreciate odd little creatures?
      Why not make your own dolls out of (old or new) socks, following these simple instructions. Instead of sock monkeys, make sock monsters, sock frogs, sock penguins, even sock Octopi, there are no rules.
      Not crafty or just don't have the time? We have a few creatures wandering about our shop looking for a good home. They're ready to be packed up, just say the word.

      2. Gift Cards
      I was raised to believe that it was poor form to give money or gift cards as presents, but let's get real. There are just some people for whom it is impossible to find gifts... then there are those unexpected guests (or, horror of horrors, the forgotten ones). SO, if you're giving away gift cards this year, why not spice 'em up a bit and make your own gift card holders?  If you have old postcards (or other cool ephemera) in a drawer somewhere just taking up space, why not make these little wallets - perfect for gift cards, or a little cash.
      Better, yet, hop over to our store and buy 'em for a buck(ish).

      3. DIY Wallet
      Speaking of wallets, why keep your teen or tween busy by crafting and recycling with these easy to make projects: tetra-pak wallet or juice pouch coin purse.

      How about some nifty little felt mice. Hand sewn with absolutely NO catnip (none needed, the cats'll go nuts for 'em).

      Make the music lovers in your life a good ol' fashioned mix tape or holiday mix and house it in one of our free printable CD sleeves.

      WRAP IT UP:
      And to top it all off, we even have vintage style wrapping paper and some swanky gift tags you can print out for free: Bird Lovers, Vintage Fruit Illustrations.


      Happy Merry Days: Free Stuff

      Like many people this season, we're finding creative ways to bring joy into the lives of those around us (without breaking the bank).

      Nicki just designed a new CD sleeve (and CD labels) for our Holiday music mixes and we thought we'd share it with you all.

      As you can see, she's still stuck on fully entrenched in the retro theme, but we like it, so no complaints.

      And if you're wondering who is on our holiday mix this year:

      You can download and print out the sleeve for free, here. Just cut out, fold and glue the flaps and you're ready to go (except for the music mix... I mean, we can't do EVERYTHING).

      Thanks all! We hope you're holiday season is FULL of good music!.

      A Toast to You GSO: Images from Indie Market

      While it didn't reach the predicted 28ยบ low, it was still plenty chilly with slight breezes Friday night. We prepared ourselves by bundling up in our hand knit scarves, caps, and wrist warmers. We further kept our hands warm by knitting. And when it got too cold to knit, we kept our hands warm around hot cups of coffee.

      The overall feel of the Market was jolly with Santa and Mrs. Claus set up next door to our tent entertaining infatuated children and handing out candy canes.

      And, of course, we were thrilled to see so many friends and familiar faces. We are very proud to be a part of the local, independent merchants and crafters in the Piedmont Triad.  Thanks to everyone who came out in support of local businesses.

      We wanted to let you know that, while we may have sold out of a few things, we still have stock and are busy getting it all listed on Etsy for your perusal.


      Readying Ourselves Once Again

      Somehow the month between Indie Markets feels more like a week. On the eve of the December market we are drinking lots of coffee and frantically trying to finish up last minute projects and errands. This month's Indie Market will coincide with the Downtown Festival of Lights, and despite the predicted cold weather, we're hoping lots of people will come out and support Greensboro's downtown district - full of local shop owners who, like us, will have their doors open late. (You know, if our tent had doors).

      We also wanted to introduce you to some of the new fare, making a debut tomorrow.  Both Tracy and I have been working on more sock creatures, since everyone was so enamored by them (and how could you not be). This month we have another batch full of characters, some with bow-ties, some with bandanas, and some with attitude. We'll leave it up to you to give them names (although we'll have suggestions). I caught these two trying to finish Adam Levin's 1000 page tome, The Instructions, by tomorrow (they're on page 30, but are getting some ideas - so be careful).

      I've also been feeling rather nostalgic this holiday season, & to my surprise, I was craving those old felt ornaments that my mom and I made when I was six. This time, of course, I used way less glue and glitter (most are hand stitched), and gave some of the ornaments a more 'retro' feel. Missing are those glass bells with the glittery stripes, but maybe I'll make some of those for the Etsy store front. Also making a debut will be felt and ribbon Christmas-Tree-shaped ornaments. And, of course, we'll have the wool felted birds, felt doves, and felt apples & pears, bird and vintage card garlands (just like last month).

      Tracy's been busy knitting scarves on the hand loom - so don't worry if you forget to bundle up tomorrow, we have you covered.

      We'll also have plenty of stocking stuffers including Tracy's hand embroidered, felted wool coffee cup sleeves (made from old sweaters). So if you have a coffee lover out there, who can't start his or her day without their 'Cuppa' of 'Vitamin C', this might just be the perfect gift.

      Also on hand will be our hand knit baby caps and receiving blankets. Grandma's been working hard on the blankets and has even sent along a few Christmas themed ones.

      As always, we will have our fun, fabulous & functional attitudes - and anyone who brings back their Super Secret Fabulous Society cards (with the code name on the back) will receive 10% off their purchase.  If you didn't get a Super Secret Society card, dress up in 50s attire & visit our booth and we'll give you 10% off for being fabulous (& take your picture to post on the blog) - only one coupon per person per purchase. (no doubling down).

      We hope to see you tomorrow night!

      & Thanks for reading,

      .n & .t


      More Holiday Fun

      Do you have a fishing fanatic in your life? Check out the felted fishing lure ornaments Nicki has created:

      available, this holiday season, at Lantana's in Southport, NC. We hope to make more available through our Etsy shop, until then, if you're interested, you can contact us via defabricate [at] gmail [dot] com.


      Tracy Sells Sea Shells on the Sea Shore

      More accurately, she's selling her earrings (with shell inclusions) at Lantana's Gallery in Southport, on the coast of North Carolina. Since she's getting ready to send another batch we thought it'd be nice to show you some of her work ('cuz it's really cool), and let you know that if you're in the greater Southport area you can check out the earrings for yourself.

      The shells for this (& her second) batch were all collected on the beach just north of Southport, in Wilmington, NC. Tracy includes a balance of industrial and natural elements to create one-of-a-kind ear ring pairs.

      If you're interested, the earrings sell for $44. And we have a new batch of shells, this time from Florida's Gulf coast, with which to play. So keep your eyes peeled for new designs!


      Black Friday = Be Nice Day

      You're not fully ready for the biggest shopping day of the year until you have your retail clerk appreciation cards in hand.

      As someone who has had to work retail on Black Friday, I can tell you, it's no picnic to get up at 4 am to be at work super early in order to deal with the throngs of people desperate to find the best deals in order to make THIS holiday season the most perfect ever.

      And when you're dealing with the potential down fall of perfection - you're dealing with the crazies, who, on any other day are perfectly normal, congenial, and down right nice. Remember, it's the retail clerks that are running to the back to see if they have any more of whatever it is you want, they're calling other stores for you & making special orders, they're ringing you up, and they're picking up after your messes. So show 'em some love, tell them that you appreciate them, because you know they're only making $8 an hour - which is not nearly enough to put up with all the crankmeisters (it's the stores that are rakin' in the dough, not the employees - so be nice).

      Should you find yourself out and about before the crack of dawn on the day after Thanksgiving, make sure you have your cup of coffee, your check book, your lists & coupons - AND your thank you cards.  Who knows, you might just make someone's day - or at least make it possible for them to make it to the end of their work shift without breaking down.

      You can download a sheet of 10 cards to print and cut out here. (and if you want to be extra nice, consider tipping those retail clerks who are working extra hard to help you get what you need. $1 will go a long way to making someone's day).


      Preparing for the Swift and Stealth Attack of the Holiday Season

      Every year about this time I get hit with excitement for the approaching holiday season, AND anxiety over the approaching holiday season. Ack! So much to do and so little time. WHY OH WHY did I not start earlier, say... July?!? AND WHY do those infernal stores have to put out the Christmas decorations the day after Halloween?!?!

      This season, like so many before, will prove difficult for a lot of folks (not just us) in juggling pocket book and family. So I would very much love to come up with even more free goodies to post under our "Free Stuff" tab.  I hope, as well, to have a few tutorials posted over the next few weeks, but it would be helpful to know what you guys might want to see (or have in the way of downloadable printable goodies). So let us know how we can help make this holiday season easier/nicer/more pleasant/more fun for everyone.

      And, as you're shopping be it in the virtual world or the real one, don't forget to breathe... and smile (because a smile can go a long way to improving not only your day, but the person's who might catch a glimpse of it as well).

      .n & .t


      Holy Schamole! You Guys are Great!

      Well, it's mid-morning on Saturday - the day after our very first Indie Market, and BOY are we sore! The crowds were great even if the weather was not  and we got some fabulous feedback! So Huzzah!

      We're both sad and delighted that a few of the sock creatures found new homes - Both Perry (the peg-legged pirate) and Wallace (with his slide rule) left in the arms of loving parents. As did our Coraline Frog, and several of our argyle sock frogs.  I have to give props to Tracy for working so hard to make these guys more baby friendly - she replaced the button eyes with felt discs & EVERYbody was happier (Perry told me so).  We will certainly be making more fabulous sock creatures for the Etsy store and December's Indie Market, so keep your buttons peeled. 

      Also popular was Tracy's impromptu demonstrations on knitting with a hand loom. She kept her hands warm last night by knitting a skinny scarf and showing the curious passers-by the technique and results. Good Job Tracy!

      Many, many thanks to all the great people (venders and shoppers alike) who showed up for First Friday Indie Market. We hope we'll see you again on Friday December 3rd (same bat time, same bat channel).

      Have a great weekend and come see us at our Etsy Store on Monday!


      Our Indie Market Adventure!

      Tomorrow we're embarking on an adventure--our very first craft show! If you happen to be in downtown Greensboro, NC, enjoying the First Friday festivities, please stop by the outdoor Indie Market and say hi!

      Our Etsy shop will be on vacation for the next two days, since we're taking the whole kit and caboodle to Indie Market. Our sock creatures will be making their Greensboro debut tomorrow (they're a little nervous, but we think people will love them), along with some other brand-new goodies like vintage card garlands and skinny knit scarves. If we don't sell out tomorrow, a few of them may make their way to the shop next week as well.

      Have a great weekend! And please wish us good luck with the weather tomorrow--it'll be a bit chilly but (we hope) not raining...


      More Free Stuff

      In the midst of preparing for Indie Market, I have found myself procrastinating by creating even more for our FREE STUFF section.

      Newly added is printable instructions and artwork for vintage postcard wallets.  You don't even have to go scavenging Grandma's card drawer - I've already done the scavenging!  The download includes four, very cool, vintage postcards (from the Public Domain).

      So, if you feel the need to be crafty or just have a hankerin' to make little money carriers / business card holders / gift card envelopes, head on over to our Free Stuff tab and check it out.

      I also posted the popular "How-To" tutorials for the Tetra-Pak coin purse, the Sock Creatures, and the Juice Pouch Coin Purse.


      November Indie Market is Upon Us

      Greetings and Salutations to all our nifty, crafty, and ultra cool friends out there.  Tracy and I would like to let you know that we will be at the First Friday Indie Market next Friday.

      Today, in fact, Tracy is busy (custom) making utility aprons for each of us. If they turn out nicely, we may even have a few to sell next Friday.

      Of course, I wanted to show up dressed to the hilt in 50's house wife regalia, with my hair & make-up done up, but since I have no 50's house-wife regalia in my magic closet (nor do I have a 50's house wife regalia budget), I'm guessing this fantasy will remain as such.

      Although if any of you want to dress up 50s style & visit our booth, we might  just have some little "extras" for you (& you only).


      New Ornaments For the Holidays

      A few weeks ago, whilst perusing books at the bookstore (where else?), I came across an idea for ornaments that threw me back into the fondest memories of my childhood - making felt ornaments for our Christmas tree.

      Usually those ornaments were flat, glue laden, slightly lopsided snowmen, but occasionally we got super creative and made the ornaments somewhat dimensional with a little fiberfill stuffing.

      While Tracy has been busy working on earrings for our friends at Lantana's Gallery in Southport, NC (pictures to come), I've been creating these charming, folk-style, felt ornaments.

      We'll soon have pears, apples, and lovely little birds listed on Etsy. Each ornament is hand stitched & made of thick wool felt (because the texture is so much nicer than that acrylic craft stuff). The apples come in a subtly mottled red, wool felt. The pears and birds will be offered in a variety of colors (including burgundy, oatmeal, light blue, and sage green).

      Also, on the less folksy - more vintage side, we've been trying to figure out what to do with our stash of vintage holiday cards (from the 1940s & 50s). We've been playing around with different ideas, but the one we like the best is this set of 12 nifty, tag-style ornaments, ready to hang.

      Tell us what you think, and if you'd like to see more!
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