Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Things I Like: Vintage Lamps

I am in love with old lamps. One of these days I will offer an entire line of "one of a kind" vintage lamps complete with handmade lampshades. Until then I am fated to pine over beautiful pieces like these:

Tuesday, January 26, 2010


I am very excited for this year and all the growth it will bring. To that end I am asking a favor. On February 6th I will be hosting a coffee sleeve fabrication day to increase inventory in the hopes that this will, in turn, increase capital for future growth.

We will be cutting fabric, batting, stamping, sewing buttons and machine sewing. NO EXPERIENCE REQUIRED!!! You don't need to have sewing experience or even like to sew.

This will be an open house event! If you are in the Southern Idaho area, please stop by to say hello and have a donut even if you are unable to participate.

Feel free to bring a friend and music by your favorite artist to play in the background as we work. Stop by our facebook event page for more info and please let us know if you will be able to attend.

Monday, January 25, 2010

See Kate Conquer: How do you "give back"?

**Last Chance: Faga-Meyer Family, email me at with your mailing address to receive your copy of Half the Sky!! I really want to give this book to you!***

Hey Folks, Happy Monday to you!

Here in Sweden, there's lots of talk about the earthquake that has shaken Haiti to its core; I can only imagine that for those of you in parts the world closer to this catastrophe, the cries for help and greatness of need is even more loudly heard.

Keith and I have decided that we really want to do something different to help, something that is a bit out of the ordinary for us. So, we are working with a local cafe to throw a Haiti Benefit to raise money for some organization that is at work there (still to be determined). I am really excited at the prospect of this event; I love it when people come together for a good cause and have fun doing it! But, I've never taken the reigns on something like this, and I"m feeling a bit intimidated. In fact, part of me wants to back out and just say "never mind!" But that would make me a quitter. And, I don't want to be a quitter.

So. Have any of you ever thrown a benefit of sorts? Any tips for me? Any good ideas on "entertainment" or music? (These areas are not my strong suit -- food, on the other hand, I've got nailed!) How do you charge people a set price or more of a "donations accepted" thing?

Another question for you: What are some ways that you help in times of need or "give back" to your communities? I am pretty sure that there are lots of simple, easy ways to do it that don't take a lot of time or effort (usual deterrents for people... like me...).

Let's have a conversation in the comments section... I look forward to hearing your thoughts!

Friday, January 22, 2010

Happy online anniversary...

COFFEE SLEEVES!!! Today marks the 1 year anniversary of our online shop of reusable coffee sleeves! Be sure to order today as it is the last day for free shipping on all sleeves.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Twirl your stress away...

with Corinne Baily Rae. I realize this song has been out a couple years but I really needed it today... Hope you enjoy it too.


Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Artistic Adventures of an Ardent Amateur: Marc Speaks, People Listen

I’ve written before about my love of the lecture. This past weekend I had the incredible privilege of attending a lecture given by Marc Elliot, a powerful and dynamic speaker, on the subject of tolerance.

Full disclosure: I knew Marc when he was a little kid. We grew up on the same street and he and my younger brother were childhood playmates. My stepmother (who was one of Marc’s elementary school teachers) had told me of his new career in public speaking, but it wasn’t until a few weeks ago, when I met my middle school drama teacher for wine and reminiscences, that I found out just what an impact he was making on the world. So last week when I read an article that reminded me of Marc, I sent him an email to say hi and wish him well. And when he responded that he would be in town over the weekend for a few engagements and that I was welcome to come hear him speak, I jumped on the opportunity.

My first impulse in writing this is to recount his entire program for you, but I could never relate his stories as engagingly and effectively as he does, and I would run the risk of diminishing the power of his message. So instead I’m going to attempt to give a brief summary of the lecture and encourage you with all possible urgency to check out Marc’s website,, and YouTube videos and see for yourself.

Marc was born with a rare disease which left him with only four feet of intestines, and at age nine he developed Tourette’s syndrome. These two personal challenges have afforded Marc a unique insight into the way society treats people with disabilities, and have served to increase his compassion towards and acceptance of people’s differences. And though he recognizes that acceptance is the ideal, all Marc asks of his audience is tolerance. He acknowledges that everyone makes assumptions about the people they interact with, but he reminds us that we never truly know the circumstances of anyone’s life. By sharing humorous anecdotes and being unabashedly candid about his own experience, Marc demonstrates for his audience how hurtful such baseless assumptions can be when they are allowed to evolve into actions. He challenges us to recognize the assumptions we make, and to keep from acting on them, to be tolerant of diversity, and to live and let live.

I wish my words had the power to convey the impact of Marc’s speech. I wish I could show you the attentive and awestruck looks on the faces of the teenagers who were his primary audience on Saturday. I wish I could tell you what a joy it is to see the curly-haired little boy with the sunny smile become the charismatic speaker and advocate who’s changing the world. And he is changing the world, one speech at a time, making it a more tolerant and, yes, even a more accepting place. So I urge you once more to visit his website, watch his videos, and if you are in a position to do so, hire him to speak to your company, organization, or congregation. Because when Marc speaks, people listen, and the world is a better place.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Artistic Adventures of an Ardent Amateur: Blogaround

Hello D&L Readers!

Due to an unfortunate running injury (woops!) and a corresponding dip in energy, my adventuring has been a little scant this past week. So today I’m going to follow Kate’s lead and point you to some good reads by other writers, where energy and adventure abound. Enjoy!

Ranty’s Machine Blogger Snarkysmachine relates her dealings with Plato’s Closet as part of her (and nearly all women’s) ongoing struggle with body acceptance.

In the Summer A beautiful prose piece by professional writer/blogger meloukhia.

I Am For Sale, Who Will Buy Me? An anonymous contributor to the Afghan Women’s Writing Project shares her story.

Prop 8 Trial Tracker A team of bloggers covers Perry v. Schwarzenegger as it happens. This is history in the making!

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Steals, Deals and Heels GIVEAWAY

Hey Everyone! Steals, Deals and Heels is giving away one of our reusable coffee sleeves. This is not only a good promotion for D&L but a good chance for you to win some free stuff.

Check out for more details!

Monday, January 11, 2010

See Kate Conquer: Give-Away Winner

Congrats to commenter Faga-Meyer Family, you are the winner of the first See Kate Conquer give-away! Please email me (Kate!) at kateisfun [at] gmail [dot] com with your mailing address, and your copy of Half the Sky will be on its way.

Thanks to each of you that commented on the power and inspiration of women. I hope that even if you didn't win, you'll be inspired to read Half the Sky. From time to time I write on other issues regarding women over at my own blog, kateisfun, so feel free to check it out!

My little one is prohibiting me from writing a longer post today. So, I will leave you with some other book suggestions, should you find yourself looking for something to pass these cold winter days with:

following on the empowered women theme:
Between Two Worlds
Iran Awakening

For any woman that's pregnant or one day might be:
Ina May's Guide to Childbirth

Favorite Kid's Book Ever:
Goodnight Moon

When Planning a European Travel Adventure:
Rick Steves' Europe Through the Back Door (or any country-specific guide by him)

I enjoy fiction, but am not very good at picking it out... got any suggestions for me?

Happy Reading!

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Where in the World: Ecola State Park, Oregon

Today's Where in the World submission comes to us from Ecola State Park in Oregon where Michelle is sporting her "Yellow Bird" reusable coffee sleeve. This picture makes me miss living near the coast...Isn't it beautiful? Thanks for sharing Michelle!

Where are you using your reusable coffee sleeves? What does your D&L lampshade look like in your home? We want to see. Please send pictures and descriptions to Be sure to write "Submission" in the subject line.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Artistic Adventures of an Ardent Amateur: Winter Runner's Land

It’s winter here in the Midwest – in fact, the winter this year is rather insistent and vehement about its wintry-ness, and it has taken to reminding us of its icy influence with blizzards and lightning storms and runs of single-digit temperature days.

So it may surprise you when I tell you that I’ve taken up running again. I’ve sought sanctuary under the summer skies for years now, but I’ve always believed that the joy of running was seasonally confined to half the calendar. And then Christmas came and went, I was feeling more emotionally energetic and I was antsy. No amount of yoga was going to satisfy my need to move my body. So, I called my older brother.

“Hey, Big Brother! I need advice. What does your girlfriend wear when she goes running in the winter?” My older brother’s partner of three years is a die-hard runner. She runs in the summer, the winter, the rain, snow, sleet, hail…she’s like the Post Office but without those unattractive uniforms. But what is her uniform for winter wanderings? My brother listed the items she wears to face the Michigan cold, and I dutifully purchased those I did not own and set out on December 31st for my first ever winter run.

After donning running tights, two pairs of pants, two pairs of socks, running shoes, sports bra, t-shirt, two long sleeved-shirts, a white hoodie, two pairs of gloves, an insulated head band, a winter hat, and a hood/cowl with a drawstring that closes over my face so that just my eyes peek out, I looked like the Stay-Puft Marshmallow Man, and I felt like the kid from A Christmas Story (“I can’t put my arms down!”). But those layers of cloth and good advice protected me from the bitter cold, and I was able to enjoy a refreshing evening pounding the pavement of my favorite route. And I found, much to my surprise, that there are some uniquely wonderful advantages to running in the winter, which warm-weather excursions cannot provide. So, without further ado, I give you The Ten Best Things About Running In Winter:

10. Fewer Runners: unsurprisingly there are fewer people out on the sidewalks of suburbia when it’s single-syllables outside. This means more leeway for me to make the path my own.

9. Earlier Sunset: I like to run at night, in the darkness, because I love the silence and the anonymity of the shadows. And whereas in June I have to wait til 9:00 before it’s suitable dark, in January I can set out at 6:00.

8. Increased Anonymity: And since being anonymous is one of the advantages of running at night, my cowl/hat/hoodie ensemble only serves to increase the feelings of security I gain from facelessness.

7. Christmas Lights: I know the season for festive decorations has ended and soon my running route will be dim again, but this last week I have really enjoyed seeing all the creative lighting displays around the neighborhood – enough to put them on this list despite their limited longevity.

6. Soup is Satisfying: Whenever I go to the grocery store I prowl the soup aisle and purchase all kinds of delicious concoctions that sound appetizing – but then I get home and it sits in my cupboard because I’m never in the mood for soup. Well, it turns out that after you’ve spent an hour outside in negative wind-chill, soup sounds pretty darn good.

5. No Smoking: I confess, I’m a former full-time smoker turned occasional smoker, and one of those occasions is post-workout. Sometimes I reward myself with a cigarette after exercise, but that’s virtually impossible in the winter. By the time my run is near its end my lighter is frozen and my gloved fingers are too clumsy for matches.

4. No Bugs: Every summer I swallow at least a dozen bugs, and I bat away many more from my face and body while I plod through the humid night. But the bugs don’t venture out in the winter, and even if they did they’d have a hard time finding me under all my clothes.

3. Clothes Weigh a Lot: My eight layers of protective gear actually add up to quite a few extra pounds on my frame. And that extra weight I’m lugging around means my body has to work that much harder to move itself, which means I’m getting an even better workout than I would in the summer.

2. Shorter Walking Breaks: I confess, when I say “run” what I mean is “jog and occasionally walk” but “run” just sounds so much more ambitious, you know? But the thing about winter “running” is that those occasional walking breaks are shorter by necessity. If I slow down too much for too long I’ll freeze, so the cold keeps me moving.

And…the number one advantage to running in the winter is…

1. NO SKUNKS! I cannot tell you how the neighborhood Mephitidae have plagued me over the years. I have mapped route after route trying to find streets or parks not riddled with skunks and it is impossible. They are everywhere at night in the summer, and they are not eager to share their domain. I’ve even had skunks stalk me and chase me down the street! But apparently they go into a period of semi-hibernation during the winter, which means that right now, the streets belong to me! Take that, PepĂ© Le Pew!

So, if you’ve been feeling listless these past few weeks but had ruled out any outdoor exercising as a cure on account of the cold, I hope this list encourages you to reexamine those conclusions. You may find that the activities you love in the summer are just as enjoyable, or even more so, when the north wind blows.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Free Shipping Extended

Free shipping during the holidays was such a success that we have decided to extend the promotion through January 22, which marks the 1 year anniversary of selling our reusable coffee sleeves on etsy.

We will ship your sleeves via usps parcel post and upgraded FREE PRIORITY SHIPPING ON ORDERS OF 5 SLEEVES OR MORE!!!

Also, don't forget to read Kate's latest post (below) to see how you can win your own copy of "Half the Sky".

Monday, January 4, 2010

See Kate Conquer: Making an Impact (First Official Give-Away!)

Welcome to a new year, a new decade, a NEW YOU!

Well, perhaps that's a bit too ambitious for a Monday, especially before coffee. I'm not really one for resolutions, although I do enjoy a mental turning over of leaves, pursuing new things, and seeing results from concerted efforts. However, I find that sometimes the gung-ho-ness that accompanies a stride towards big change is enough to deter me, putting too much pressure on my delicate streak of gumption. If, however, I allow something to roll itself over in my mind, easing its newness into my consciousness with the slick finesse of a mesmerizing politician or a box of chocolates, I accept the change just a little bit easier, and get more bang for my buck.

Are you still following me?

What I'm trying to say is... over the past several months I've been thinking of how I can be more involved in helping and empowering women, from endeavors like supporting my friends (and myself) in their passions to advocating birth rights for women in America and Sweden, to helping stop the atrocities that women deal with worldwide on a daily basis. It can easily feel overwhelming, as I have much more of a penchant for instant gratification than I do for slow and methodical planning. One thing that I've done recently that actually did help me feel like I was in a position to help women was to read Half the Sky: Turning Oppression Into Opportunity for Women Worldwide.

This book looks at several horrific ways that women and girls are terrorized with around the world, presenting both dramatic research and first-hand accounts. The beautiful thing is that this book also offers a lot of hope to the reader, both in terms of how these victimized women have risen above all circumstances, as well as how we can practically get involved.

I was so inspired by this book that I want to give one of you the opportunity to be moved and inspired as well. Count this as my First Official Give-Away. To enter, leave a comment that briefly describes something you find empowering about being a woman (if you're a man, you can still enter! What's something you find inspiring about women?). I'll pick a winner based on my whims of the moment, and announce the recipient of this great book next week (if you enter, please make sure to check back to see if you've won - I'll need your shipping address!).

One last thing... you may be wondering, why is this lady writing about women's rights on a design blog?! Fair enough. I guess I just assume that the predominant audience of this blog is a group of thoughtful, creative women that look at things differently, and with that perspective there's a lot of opportunity to see and act differently from others. I think that we thoughtful, creative types can move mountains with our visions of grandeur.