Friday, April 29, 2011

Treasure Hunting/Hoarding

Who doesn't love hunting for treasure? Whether it's a thrift store, garage sale, estate sale, or antique shop, finding old junk that's really interesting to you is so much more fun than shopping at the mall. Last week, however, I had the chance to do something even more exciting: pick through my grandma's attic. I got to find some really unique craft supplies and other vintage goodies. It's soooo much more fun to do something like this rather than thrifting because you can hear the story behind the items, find sentimental value, and get a really great deal (read: free).

This apple bag is PERFECT for picnics this summer. I'll also probably just carry it every day.

Lots of her old fabrics still had the original receipts!

This was the perfect addition to my vintage camera collection.

Her pillow fabrics are so unique and cool (with lots of birds)

Yes, that is a box full of yellow yarn

And I now have boxes and boxes full of eyelet, lace, and other sewing notions!

So basically, I'm just turning into a hoarder, but instead of gross stuff I just have really cool stuff. AND maybe one day I'll get to be on TV - win win.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

4 Silly Questions with Chocolate and Cream Cake

Welp, I know this feature is called "4 silly questions" but today there are 6. Why? Because I said so, and because it's silly. The silly interviewee is Mandy Curtis of Chocolate and Cream Cake, who wisely pays more attention to zombies than beanie babies.

1. It's the zombie apocalypse - do you run, hide, or fight?
Fight. With a sawed-off shotgun in one hand and a shovel in the other.

2. Did you collect beanie babies? Which one was your favorite?
There was a period of time when the world thought Beanie Babies were the currency of the future ... but I wasn't going to spend my $2 a week allowance on them because I believed the world to have gone temporarily insane.

3. What is your favorite '90's Nickelodeon TV show?
All of them? I'm a product of 90s Nickelodeon TV. Pete and Pete. Hey Dude. Doug. Hey Arnold. Clarissa Explains it All. Angry Beavers.

4. If you had a pet turkey, what would you name it?
Jonathan Horatio Peters, III. I would hang his portrait in my library, over the fireplace. It would feature him wearing an ascot and a monocle.

5. What 3 historical figures would you like to have dinner with? And what would you talk about?
FDR and Eleanor (Roosevelt) and Ulysses S. Grant. I'd open the conversation with the fact that I'm distantly related to Grant, and then we'd all have an interesting discussion on familial ties, women's rights and the restorative powers of hot springs.

6. What is your opinion of Tom Cruise?
I think he's a nutter. But he's been in some great films, and would also make a good topic of discussion at the above dinner party.

Please visit Mandy's lovely blog, and feel free to answer any of the above questions in the comments. Also, if anyone's interested in being featured on a future 4 silly questions feature, just send me an email at wattlebirddesigns (at)

Photos of Stuff: Easter Candy

Confession: I really don't like candy that much. I'm not some kind of soulless monster who hates everything, I just don't particularly enjoy most types of candy. But since Easter just passed, I have stockpiles of candy staring me in the face all day, so I eat it anyway. I finished all the Reese's eggs right away (my only true candy passion, because of the absolute perfect ratio of peanut butter to chocolate) and now I'm stuck with regular Reese's cups and some other stuff that I don't care about. Easter wrappers are usually kind of pretty though...

What's your favorite kind of candy? Do you pig out after major holidays like I do?

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

On Body Image

This is a post about body image from the skinny girl's perspective. It is IN NO WAY an anti-fat, anti-curvy, anti-whatever-you-want-to-call-it post. I've never thought that one body type is inherently better than any other, so if you're happy and healthy, then so am I. I also am not saying in this post that my "struggle" (if you can really call it that) is comparable to those that other people have faced. I'm not trying to whine or one-up anyone - I just have never really heard anyone tell this side of the story, and I know I cannot be the only one who faced some of these issues. So here it is:

I'm skinny. I've basically always been skinny. My mom is skinny, my grandma was skinny, and the majority of my family is, well, skinny. I was born weighing 10 lbs, and that is the absolute last time I've been above average in the weight department. This is where everyone usually interjects with a "you're so lucky," but it's really not that simple.

Sorry for the awkward, unfocused picture, but this shows what I look like these days.

As a kid, I never really thought about weight much. I suppose that's because it wasn't an issue for me. I was pretty normal. But as I started getting older I didn't gain much weight. I was getting taller but not any wider. I still didn't think much of it.

Around the time I started middle school, you know - that awkward time when everyone is self-conscious no matter what size, I started getting a lot of people saying things like "you're too skinny." You're too skinny? I never understood why this was a socially acceptable thing to say to someone. I mean, I'm not talking about a doctor here, I'm talking about casual acquaintances making such claims in a really nonchalant way. Some of them even sounded like they might be trying to compliment me. I just don't get why, even though saying "you're fat" to someone is so clearly rude and disrespectful, people think it's totally fine to say "you're too skinny." I mean, you're still saying the same basic thing: you're not the right size, and you don't look how I think you should. At least that's how I heard it. (I realize some of you might have said this to people in the past, as it seems to be widely accepted as an okay thing to say, and you probably didn't even mean to be rude - just realize that it's not quite as harmless as you might have thought).

For a long time, I thought I had to gain weight. I didn't really hate my size on my own, but people told me I was too small so I believed them. I ate like a normal kid my age, and then some. But I really honestly could not gain any weight. I have heard about other people struggling with this on the opposite end of the spectrum a lot, and that's exactly how I felt: helpless.

On top of all that, I've been accused of having eating disorders several times. That's a pretty serious thing to accuse someone of, and it was never, ever true. I've always eaten when I was hungry, and this just made me feel like even more of a freak. Did I look like I was sick or something?

Even one time in college (by this point I was pretty much over the self-consciousness about my size) someone indirectly called me "disgusting." We were having a discussion about body image in regards to magazine covers and all that good stuff. He, of course, thought he was being noble in defending overweight people and said something to the effect of "I think it's disgusting when you can see a girl's ribcage." Ouch. I know he was trying to refer to supermodels who weigh 80lbs at 5'10" and starve themselves and all that, (and I don't look like that at all), but yes, I can see my ribcage. I didn't say anything because I didn't know what to say. I've never starved myself or deprived myself of food, but there it is. And apparently it's disgusting...

On the few occasions I've talked about this with people, they usually say something like "oh, they're just jealous" or something. I don't really know if that's true. It might be that they really thought they were complimenting me (kind of warped if you think about it), they just have no filter, or they were jealous. I don't know why anyone would be jealous or happy for a person who is "too skinny" but apparently that's the world we live in?

Again, I have no body image issues anymore. I feel totally comfortable with my size and my appearance. I just wanted to share my own little issues of growing up as a skinny girl who still felt like I was the wrong size. Body image issues aren't specific to one body type. If we all just mind our own business and stop trying to hold ourselves and others to unreasonable standards, then a lot of these things wouldn't be issues.

The bottom line, I guess, is that you never know what someone is going through. Be nice to people and really think about what you say before you say it, especially when talking to young girls who are so impressionable and self-conscious in the first place.

If you have a story, and don't mind sharing it, please do.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

An Outfit: Gloomy Day & My Life As A Hermit

Oh summer, please get here soon. It's no longer really cold here in Michigan, but it's been raining way too much for my liking. I hate hate hate the gym and would so much rather take a walk outside to get my daily dose of exercise. So now in avoidance of the treadmill, I've just been staying in and am getting worried about becoming a weird, unhealthy hermit.

Yep, this weather is now affecting my outfits. I look like the dark grayish blue sky outside in this outfit (thus the reason I am not actually outside in these photos), and I've just been drinking coffee constantly (more than usual, even) because it's harder to keep working when I have no outdoor breaks in between.

Dress and earrings: F21
Shirt and boots: Parisian
Necklace: Vintage
Tights: Target
Headband: H&M
Ring: Thrifted

Linking up with The Pleated Poppy for What I Wore Wednesday.

What do you do to cope with the April showers?

ABC's of Annie

I saw this cute little survey over on Ashley's blog and Allie's blog and probably a lot more too, so I decided to give it a try. It reminds me of Myspace surveys. Remember those days?

Necklace: handmade by me, Earrings: Lia Sophia, Cardigan: thrifted, Dress and Tank: F21

Age: 23

Bed size: I'm in transition with a futon at the moment, sooo... futon size? hah!

Chore you hate: cleaning the toilet, obviously

Dogs: There are two mutts at my house right now - one's an old man and the other is a really big puppy.

Essential start of your day: check my email and social media before even getting out of bed

Favorite color: yellow!

Gold or silver: silver or white gold

Height: 5'5"

Instruments I play (or have played): I played the French Horn in elementary school, and I can get down with a mean kazoo solo (I might be kidding, but I might not be)

Job title: Freelance writer/designer, business owner, Head Nacho (<--what do you think about that title for my business cards, eh?)

Kids: no, thanks. Maybe one day, but not soon.

Live: Southeast Michigan

Mom's name: Suzanne

Nickname: Annie (if that counts, even though it's what I'm always called)

Overnight hospital stays: once when I was 10, and a few close calls since

Pet peeve: intolerance and arrogance... and when people say "Where are you at?" It's "Where are you?" I don't understand why you'd add an extra word just to make your sentence grammatically incorrect. Wait, you mean that's not as important as the first thing? #priorities

Quote from a movie: "I'm pretty sure there's a lot more to life than being really, really, ridiculously good looking. And I plan on finding out what that is." -Zoolander
Seriously though: "Look, in my opinion, the best thing you can do is find a person who loves you for exactly what you are. Good mood, bad mood, ugly, pretty, handsome, what have you, the right person is still going to think the sun shines out your ass. That's the kind of person that's worth sticking with." -Juno

Right or left handed: Right, but I always wished I was a lefty

Siblings: one younger brother and I grew up with an older cousin who's sort of a sister

Time you wake up: 7:30 during the week, unless I decide to be a party animal, then it's 8:30 

Underwear: yeah?

Vegetables you dislike: pretty much everything besides broccoli, asparagus, and spinach

What makes you run late: nothing. ever. I hate being late for anything.

X-rays you've had done: I don't even know - too many to count. I was very accident prone as a child.

Yummy food you make: no-bake cookies. Yes, my food talent extends to baked goods that don't require baking...

Zoo animal: Penguins 4lyfe

Monday, April 25, 2011

April Sponsors

So this is my first post dedicated to my sponsors. I'm only going to do one of these per month, because I promised myself when I first started accepting sponsors that I wouldn't let it take over all of my content. BUT I really honestly love all of my sponsors (I wouldn't have them here if I didn't).

Somer Knits

Somer is a fellow knitting enthusiast with some really great designs. She also has a really cute blog called Knit-o-matic (which is a great name, by the way) where she chronicles her daily life as a knitter and business owner.

Chantilly Songs

Chantilly is a singer/songwriter in Brooklyn who shares her adventures, thoughts, and outfits on her wonderful blog.

Out of the Frame

I own a little amigurumi creation from Rowan and I can tell you first-hand that she does really great work. Check out my crochet twin here.


This shop has some of the cutest prints in all of Etsy. They also do custom "hometown hearts" prints so you can show off your pride in your own city.

Phantom Limb

A fellow Michigander, Stephanie's blog chronicles her crafty adventures, and her shop has all kinds of paper goods made from library cards and maps!

The Curious Pug

Alycia's blog has been one of my favorites ever since I first started blogging. She shares everything from personal stories to DIY's.

Hiya Luv

Another one of my first blogging buddies, Gina's blog is full of her adventures as a budding business owner, and she sells some seriously cute stuff in her shop. She also hosts the #setupshop chat Monday nights (which you may have noticed if you follow me on Twitter). It's a lot of fun - you should join us!

Along for the Ride

Laura's blog and shop are both full of cuteness. My favorite item in her shop is this pink rosette hairpin/brooch that's part of Handmade with Purpose. She's donating proceeds to Susan G. Komen for the Cure!


If you haven't been to Christen's shop, what are you waiting for??! She sells prints, clothing, vintage, and pretty much anything awesome. She also blogs and runs the Love for Japan shop. Yep, she does it all.


Go visit these lovely ladies and leave them some comments or maybe even make a few purchases. They really are the greatest!

If you're interested in becoming a sponsor for may, rates are very reasonable (and this month only, 50% will be donated to the National Kidney Foundation) and you'll get to be in this nifty feature next month! Just check out this post or email me at wattlebirddesigns (at)!

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Molly Weasley Knit Skirt

As I've mentioned once or twice before, I'm currently knitting an entire Molly Weasley ensemble to wear to the premiere of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 this summer. I'm not going to share the whole costume until the release (I'm not even close to being done anyway), but I'm going to share a couple of the pieces as I finish them.

This is the skirt, obviously. I had never knit one before, so it was an experience, but I did manage to finish it without having to unravel it and completely start over! I made it so that it's really large on me, and then I just took it in at the top so it makes me look a little bigger for my costume - I didn't mean that to sound bad, I'm just a little toothpick so I can't quite pull off Molly Weasley all on my own.

I cannot wait for the movie and to wear this crazy, all-yarn getup in the middle of July (hooray!) How many of you are going to geek out with me during the premiere week??

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Call for May Sponsors

It's that time again... time for some brand new (or returning - whatever) sponsors to step forward. This month I have new (larger) ad sizes and a group feature post to drive even more traffic to my lovely sponsors. In addition, 50% of all advertising dollars will be donated to the National Kidney Foundation. This is a one month deal, so jump on it while you can. Read more about the cause here, and read more about sponsorship here.

If you have any questions, as always, you can direct them to wattlebirddesigns (at) and I'll be sure to get back to you.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Studio Shots

Here's another peek inside my crafting world this week. I've been working on some projects that I'm really excited to unveil this spring/summer. I also photographed some new items for my vintage shop (I'm finally going to stock it - yay!)

Also, I'm currently planning my Halloween product line (yes, I know it's April) so get ready to see some previews of wacky costume accessories in the coming weeks!

So now that you've had a peek into my world, what are you working on?

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

An Outfit: Bubblegum Pop

I wanted to do a true WIWW post this week, but I was honestly too busy to even take a few seconds out of each day to set the camera up. I even stayed in sweatpants all day on Monday *gasp*

But the good news is, I've been getting soooooo much accomplished. Aside from my freelance projects, I've been finishing up some blog designs (see here, and also here, here and here). I'm also hosting a giveaway over at Giggles Glitz & Glam for a free blog or Etsy header design. AND I photographed lots of new goodies for my vintage shop, most of which will go up today (maybe go take a look and see if it's stocked, and yell at me if it's not). AND I've been making some brand new items for my handmade shop, which I've been completely neglecting as of late.

So even thought it's been busy, it's been a good kind of busy. I'm really energized and excited about the future of my biz. I love planning and growing and all that good stuff. Plus, I stay sane by watching reruns of The Office and 30 Rock - and who can be unhappy when they have Tracy Jordan keeping them company? I mean, come on.

Shirt and Shoes: Thrifted
Skirt: H&M
Tights: Target
Headband: Janelle Haskin
Earrings: Sandy a la Mode
Necklace: Vintage
Flower Ring: Handmade market in Sydney, Australia
Button Ring: Renegade Chicago (can't remember the seller!)

Linked up with The Pleated Poppy and:

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