Brooklyn stroll


That is Travis, Crusher, and me hanging out on the Brooklyn Promenade after enjoying some delicious Chipotle burritos. We made the decision to walk to Chipotle today for “linner,” but the nearest Chipotle happens to be about two miles from our apartment. It was quite the trek. While we were all the way out in Brooklyn Heights, we decided to check out the ocean and walked along the promenade for a short distance. It was a beautiful day, so it was a nice adventure. Although, Crusher may disagree. He is pooped!

Speaking of Crusher, he has become quite the little pack rat. We have his crate located under the kitchen table and neither Travis nor I get into it very often. Well, Crusher has been hiding all sorts of little tidbits in there! He takes plastic bottle caps, receipts, old nubs of his rawhides, and of course all of his toys, puts them in the crate, and buries them under his blankets. The other day I pulled about $6 cash out of my jacket pocket and set in on the coffee table. The next day I assumed Travis had taken it to work… but later, as i was putting some toys away in Crusher’s crate, I saw the money sticking out from under his blankets!! I guess he is saving for a rainy day. Too cute!

Etsy labs: Fun and Free in NYC

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CraftCritique_bloggraphic recently moved to new offices in the DUMBO (Down Under the Manhattan Bridge Overpass) area of Brooklyn, New York, and on Monday, September 14th, they hosted the first Etsy Labs Craft Night at the new location. The Craft Nights are free, drop-in events held every Monday from 4 to 8 pm that are open to anyone in the New York City area. I have attended a few of the events in the past (for example, I’ve made cupcake crafts and recycled tote bags at previous Craft Nights), and I wanted to check out the inaugural event at the cool, new location.

The theme for Monday’s Craft Night was a recipe exchange hosted by Rebecca from Moontree Letterpress. Each attendee brought along a recipe or two to share, and we all took turns copying tasty recipes on the exquisite letterpress recipe cards provided by Rebecca. The recipe cards were so beautiful that I had a hard time justifying messing them up with my poor penmanship! But, I dove into the process and brought home a bunch of recipes on the pretty cards.
There were about fifteen to twenty different people coming and going during the two hours that I was at the event. Everyone was extremely friendly and the vibe was very easy and laid back. Julie, the Etsy Labs manager, was welcoming and helpful, like usual. I had a relaxed, fun evening and I met a bunch of cool, crafty ladies.

If you are in the New York area, I definitely recommend attending an Etsy Labs Craft Night at least once or twice. The schedule of upcoming Craft Night themes can be found on the Etsy Storque blog. Most craft materials are provided for each week’s project, and the events are completely free. If you are not near New York City, you can attend the events on the internet via The Virtual Labs. Each Craft Night is broadcast live, complete with a tutorial for the night’s craft. Whether virtually or in person, Etsy Labs Craft Nights are a crafty good time!

Are you an Etsy member? Better yet, do you have a store front, street team or other Etsy news to share? Feel free to leave a link below so we can check you out!

tons of fun in the big apple!


My sweet, wonderful parents were in NYC this week visiting, which means I have been away from the computer and out touring all the hot spots. New York is a demanding city, but we managed to go to at least one major attraction per day, plus we walked around different neighborhoods and tried out lots of restaurants. I would love to write proper reviews of all the museums and sites we visited, but I am just going to write a quick blurb about each location instead. (There are photos on my Flickr – unfortunately none of me with my parents. darn.)

The things we visited, in approximate chronological order:

Bonnie’s Grill – Bonnie’s is a small hamburger place near our apartment in Park Slope. I had read good things about it on some NY blogs, so we tried it out for dinner on Saturday. I had a veggie burger, so I don’t know if I am the best judge, but it wasn’t the most fabulous food I have ever had. Good, but not remarkable. The cole slaw was really spicy.

Guggenheim Museum – I love the unique architecture of this museum and I was thrilled to experience the spiraling art gallery. The current main exhibit is all about Frank Lloyd Wright (the architect of the Guggenheim) so it ended up being a LOT of info about him. I would have preferred a more contemporary painting exhibit as I have visited a lot of Wright buildings before, but it was not unpleasant. His plans for future cities were very interesting and I really did enjoy traveling through the building.

Central Park – We strolled across the park near the Reservoir after visiting the Guggenheim on Sunday and also checked it out near Columbus Circle on Monday.

Stone Park Cafe – Travis and I took my mom and dad here for Father’s Day (and a late Mother’s Day). It is my favorite restaurant in Park Slope, so far. The food is always excellent and the waiters are always nice. I definitely recommend it. I had the Pork Chop market dinner, which was fantastic except for maybe the dandelion salad starter.

Prospect Park – I forced my parents to come with Crusher and I to doggy time at the Park on Monday morning. We walked quite a long route which may not have been the smartest thing to do before a long day of sightseeing…

American Museum of Natural History – This was my second trip to the Natural History Museum in as many weeks. Thankfully there is plenty to see and I only saw a handful of repeat exhibits. I really enjoyed the human evolution exhibit, but we were very disappointed that the Hall of Gems was closed due to “economic conditions.”

Columbus Circle – Dad needed some ice tea in a bad way, so we stopped by the Whole Foods at Columbus Circle.

Katz’s Deli – We all had Pastrami Sandwiches at Katz’s and debated whether it was in fact the restaurant seen in a famous When Harry Met Sally scene. (It is. Dad was right.) The pastrami was delicious, but the potato salad was gross. I always enjoy checking out the Lower East side, so it was worth the trip.

Metropolitan Museum of Art – So beautiful. This was my first trip to the Met. I was a little apprehensive to go because I had discussed the museum so much in school and I felt like it would be too stressful to try to see everything. We definitely did not see everything, but I had a wonderful time. We saw the American sculpture court, Renaissance paintings, an excellent Francis Bacon retrospective exhibit, the general Modern Art collection, the Temple of Dendur and the Egyptian collection, a very cool Roxy Paine sculpture on the roof deck, and lots of Medieval art and objects. We also ate some delicious Crumb cupcakes from the cafes. Yum! I will definitely be going back!

La Villa – We had calamari and focaccia pizza at this new restaurant near our house.

Brooklyn Botanic Garden – Wednesday we spent the majority of the day at the Garden. It is small, but lovely. As a bonus we got to see the tv crew of Royal Pains taping a scene for an upcoming episode near the visitor center! I also saw a baby rabbit and some turtles. sweet.

JPan – JPan is Crusher’s very favorite restaurant (he can’t get enough of the chicken teriyaki) so we had to share it with my parents!

Times Square – We passed through Times Square on our way to the boat cruise. It was actually less crowded during the day than when I previously visited at night. Still too hectic for me, though.

Circle Line Sightseeing Cruise – We had bought City Passes which included reduced price tickets to a bunch of NYC attractions. One of the included tickets was for a two-hour boat tour around Manhattan. We all agreed that we probably wouldn’t have done the cruise if it hadn’t been part of our ticket pack, but it was a relaxing way to see a lot of the city. We sailed very near the Statue of Liberty, and I feel like I have a better understanding of the many different neighborhoods in NYC after seeing them from a different perspective.

Rachel’s Taqueria – I mostly wanted to check out this Mexican restaurant on Thursday night because it shares my name. It was an easy going place, but the burrito I ordered wasn’t the best. We made up for it by stopping for Italian Ices from Uncle Louie G’s on the way home…

There are lots more places I could list, but basically it was an action-packed week. I had a great time!

cute goings on

twocutiesWhen I am bummed out I do not post on my blog. So, if I haven’t posted in a while it might be because I am bummed… or I could just be busy. Anyway, I am NOT bummed out today! Travis and I accomplished a lot this weekend on Swap-bot and I got to work on this cute little robot for a super-secret project. I have named him “robit.” As always, we still have tons of work to do on our websites, but I have come to terms with the chaos – at least for the time being.

On Saturday, we also got the most delicious sandwiches from Blue Apron Foods. A good sandwich can really make your day! There are so many restaurants and food places around our apartment. We have not even tried a small percentage of them, but two other places that I can recommend are Root Hill Cafe for sandwiches and Long Tan for Thai food. Travis and I went to Long Tan last night on a little date (against Crusher’s wishes) and we had a lamb curry dish and a noodle dish with scallops. Both were awesome and surprisingly very affordable! We will go back.

Another bright point in my life: Travis convinced me to purchase the Brooklyn print by Jim Datz that I was coveting yesterday. I think it is just so cute and clever! I can’t wait to get it framed.

One more note on fun and silliness: I just started playing around with Photobooth on my Mac. I want to take a photo of myself everyday just for fun and documentation. Below are some of my first snaps. The only problem is that I am usually working at the computer in my exercise clothes with icky hair… oh well. Posterity will just have to deal with the truth. 🙂


cupcake craft night


Last night I attended Etsy Labs craft night for the second time. The theme of last night’s event was cupcakes and it was sponsored by Cupcakes Take the Cake, a (very sweet) blog all about all things cupcake. I had a lot of fun making cupcake cards and tags and eating a delicious peanut butter and chocolate cupcake from Ivy Bakery. (All of the craft supplies and delicious cupcakes were provided for free! So generous!) I got to meet Nichelle from Cupcakes Takes the Cake, and Swap-bot user, luluvision. Meeting swappers in person is the best! I also got to chat just a bit with Danielle and Julie from Etsy. They are the cool people who run the Virtual Labs and do all sorts of Etsy community stuff.

Overall, it was another fun, relaxed night of crafting and chatting. I even got to spread the good word about Swap-bot a bit. If you are in New York City and you like making things and meeting fun, crafty folk, I definitely suggest checking out Etsy Labs’ Monday craft nights.

Etsy Labs craft night


Last night I trekked over to DUMBO in the rain to attend my first Etsy Labs craft night. I was a little nervous to walk into a new place full of strangers, but it was totally worth it! The event was completely laid back and everyone was very friendly. I had a lot of fun meeting new people and I learned how to make a tote bag out of recycled tyvek mailing envelopes. Betz White (author of Warm Fuzzies and Sewing Green) was there teaching us how to make the totes which are featured in her book. My tote turned out slightly wonky due to some not-so-careful sewing, but it was kind of a thrill to walk away from the evening with a cool thing that I had made! I plan to attend more Etsy Labs craft nights in the future. If you are in the Brooklyn area and plan on going to any of the upcoming craft nights, let me know – I’ll bring you some Swap-bot goodies!