Whether you’re shopping for your mom, a friend, that coworker two cubicles down who is always covered in cat hair or your bestie who’s expecting, we have the perfect Mother’s Day gifts from makers right here in the DFW area. Shop local, shop small and support your community. It’s a win all around, if you ask us. Here are a few of our favorite finds for all the moms in your life.
Hello, everyone! My name is Alex Hughes, and I sell my globally inspired prints and illustrations through my business, Wandering Paper Co. I went to college at TCU, where I majored in graphic design, and I now live in the DFW area with my husband Philip and our cat Athena.
I don't know about you, but I'm so excited fall is here. The breeze is blowing, football season is upon us, and the infamous PSL is back. Yes, I know it’s still 90 degrees outside, but 90 is better than 100, and in Texas, we’ll take what we can get.
It's funny, every year when school starts I have the urge to take up a class or two myself. Maybe it’s the shiny new school supplies (it’s hard to say no to a new leather-bound notebook from Ox and Pine, or a witty to-do list from Kat French Design) or maybe it’s just the feeling of working toward a goal, but I miss the feeling of satisfaction that comes with learning something new. It’s fitting, then, that September is National Self-Improvement month. It's the perfect excuse to take a class, read a book or take on a new challenge. So I've put together a few ways to make the most of self-improvement month. Feel free to give them a try.
Start a Journal
I’m a recent fan of journaling after reading The Artist’s Way and doing the corresponding journal exercises. According to the Huffington Post, journaling can help boost self-confidence, create mindfulness, and even help you achieve your goals. For the full list of benefits, check out the full article on the benefits of keeping a journal. Plus, starting a journal is a great excuse to buy a cool new notebook.
Visit a Museum
The Dallas Museum of Art, the Nasher Sculpture Center, and the Perot Museum are three of my favorites. The best part is, they are all within walking distance of each other. Take yourself on a museum date, then stop by the food trucks at Klyde Warren Park for lunch or a mid-afternoon snack.
Take a Class
I love Oil & Cotton and the wide array of adult classes and workshops they offer. I’ve taken portrait watercolor and marble paper workshops there and loved both. They have lots of new offerings this fall, including felting, interior painting, photography, and intro ceramics. Check out their full fall lineup here.
Join a Gym
Yes, I know, everyone’s favorite subject. Luckily, there are tons of fun alternatives to a boring 30-minute treadmill jog. Go climbing at Summit Climbing Gym, try kickboxing at Title Boxing Club or join a recreational kickball league at Big D Sports. You may have so much fun you forget you're exercising.
De-Clutter and Decorate
Okay, maybe this is less ‘self-improvement’ and more ‘life-improvement,’ but de-cluttering always makes me happier and less stressed. First, choose a small area of the house, like a bathroom or a closet — somewhere that can be organized in one day. Next, take a page from Marie Kondo and keep only the things that spark joy. Once you have de-cluttered and organized, a new piece of art is a great way to give a space new life. I've always been a fan of these origami koalas from Tokodots, and I've had my eye on this hand-drawn map of White Rock Lake from Joy Street Maps for my living room.
In any case, once you have given away all the clutter, every time you pass that space you will feel lighter and more carefree.
Learn a Language
I love to learn new languages, which is why I’m a big fan of the app Duolingo. It's free, and the exercises are only 5 minutes long, so it’s easy to practice every day. Plus, you can find your friends and keep track of points.
Take a Bath
You deserve a reward after all this self-improvement. Taking care of yourself will give you the energy you need to stick with you new habit. Winding down with a bath, a book or a good movie is a great way to de-stress and get ready to tackle the day tomorrow.
What are your plans for self-improvement month? Do you have any self-improvement tips you would like to share? Let us know in the comments.
There's more to back-to-school season than No. 2 pencils and late nights wrapping up new lesson plans. We put together a roundup of handmade gifts for students, teachers and parents gearing up for the new academic year.
Etsy Dallas is a local craft collective run by a juried group of crafters, artists and designers in Dallas who sell their wares on Etsy. (No, we aren't the same as Etsy. We have the blessing of Etsy as the official team for the Dallas metroplex.) We are an all-volunteer group who are serious about our handmade businesses and the success of this team and its endeavors.
Etsy Dallas began in 2007 and was the first city team in Texas. Since the founding, our members have been invested in the Dallas community, working with Etsy Dallas to benefit different aspects of the creative community and culture that makes this a great city. The team is run by a group of volunteers known as the Leadership Team.
The mission of Etsy Dallas is to promote the handmade movement in the Greater Dallas area and beyond. You can browse all our member artists for some of the best handmade wares around.
We hope to see y'all at our events this year. We had a great start to the year with our Love Letters Challenge. And there is much more to come! You can sign up for our newsletter to be sure you don't miss anything.
We have big plans for 2018 and a list of resolutions to prove it. How do you motivate yourself to stick to your goals? We have a roundup of 8 local finds which are great for helping us meet our goals and for rewarding ourselves for our achievements.
1. Track goals with pretty stationery from Kat French Design. We love this to-do list notepad (and the calendar notepad above) for helping us knock out our daily and monthly tasks.
2. Keep things tidy and smelling fresh with soy wax candles from The Pig and the Peacock. This one in Lemongrass Sage is uplifting with garden and citrus notes that leave us feeling refreshed and energized.
3. Recover from workouts and practice self-care with a bath bomb from Whipped Up Wonderful. This Honey Almond bomb is made with hand-ground honey and oat powders that will pamper your skin and is thought to reduce the signs of aging. Yes, please!
4. Take better care of your skin with soothing lotion from Sasha's Hand Poured. We love this silky Spearmint Eucalyptus lotion for winter.
5. Make more meals at home. Pro tip: We hear good things about the Instant Pot. Don't forget a cute apron while you whip up something yummy. We love the selection from Mia Maria.
6. Feed your friendships. Send your friends some real mail and let them know you're thinking of them. When is the last time you got some happy mail? Didn't it feel great? We love the Texas Knit notecards from Tokodots.
7. Remember to meditate. The Texas Zen Garden from SurlyBunny has everything you need.
8. Keep a journal in 2018. We love these personalized leather journals from Ox & Pine.
Here's wishing you all a magical and adventurous 2018! We hope you have a good one.
Our Etsy Dallas vice president SaRatta Murphy visited Good Day Fox 4 to talk about some unique items for sale at the upcoming Spring Bash this Sunday. Watch the clip below if you missed it, and scroll down for more details on the artists featured in the piece.
Matt McCoy of mini Fab uses wood, leather and cork for his creations. He creates personalized beard accessories, including all natural beard balm as well as wallets, cuff-links, flasks and bottle openers.
Kim Dresdner of Joy Street Maps creates one-of-a-kind maps with watercolor and ink, featuring the local area and beyond. Prints and originals will be for sale at the Spring Bash.
Emily Curtin of MushTushy started out creating sock monkeys which eventually evolved into wood art, metal art and custom pet portraits. Most of her wood and metal designs are crafted from upcycled wood and license plates.
Odin Clack of Odin Leather Goods is known for using vintage baseball gloves and mitts to craft some of his most unique one-of-a-kind pieces. From key chains to handmade leather briefcases, each piece is designed and stitched in his local studio.
Jenny and Sabrina at The Pig & The Peacock create handmade bath luxuries using all natural ingredients. Check out their line of soy candles made from recycled and etched wine bottles.
Molly Lam created Tokodots, a stationery and gift brand, after spending nine years in Japan. Look for her care package gift certificate for a unique high school graduation gift, along with other colorful cards and prints this weekend.
We can't wait to see y'all at the Bash!
We got with Molly for a quick Q&A and the inside scoop on what to expect from Tokodots at the Bash on May 7 ...
What are you most looking forward to for the 2017 Spring Bash?
All of the good shopping! I was too busy at the Jingle Bash (my first big show) to shop. This year I am making a plan so I can still get my shopping done.
Is your shop offering anything new/special/different at the Bash?
Yes! I am excited to offer a new care package gift certificate for high school graduation gifts that I have been thinking about for a long time. I also have a new origami print and card to debut that isn't in my shop yet.
What is your favorite part of prepping for the Spring Bash?
All the bright colors. I have a bunch of cheerful new designs for spring and summer that I am having fun putting together for the Bash.
What makes this event special for you?
I don't do many in-person events so the Spring Bash is a really big deal for me! I'm looking forward to meeting customers in person and getting feedback on my designs.