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I have been a busy businesswoman this week!
A Japanese Shochu delivery to Matsuhisa Restaurant took me up to Aspen. I certainly didn’t mind! I even stayed for shopping and dinner. Matsuhisa is really a pricey yet deservingly-so restaurant. Their innovation in their foods and presentation is exhilarating, and so fresh! The Sudachi Cosmo is a must try!

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An Aspen. In Aspen. I couldn’t help myself.

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Alsn can’t avoid the caramel apples. They seem to find her!

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A beautiful German-inspired jacket at one of the many alpine-inspired shops in Aspen. I loved the button grouping and the feathers! Still not entirely sure why one needs German things in Colorado, but hey! This is America.

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Rarr. The downtown Aspen streets are gorgeous. There is a babbling brook through the pedestrian walkway, and tons of shops.

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Owl Cigars? What a hoot! I love the old painted bill boards on buildings. It looks like this one has been repainted recently, so I’m happy to see Aspen is keeping their history.

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Just to remind you where you are… It never ceases to surprise me when I’m shopping and suddenly look up over the rooftops to see the mountains all around me. It really is a breath-taking place.

After my Aspen weekend, I went to a company dinner at The Margarita at Pine Creek, down in Colorado Springs. There, we enjoyed exquisite Polkura wines with a 6 course meal. It was a masterpiece! I highly recommend this restaurant to any foodies out there.

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The bright mismatch of colorful lamps at Margarita at Pine Creek were just one touch of “not a box restaurant,” to say nothing of the unique architecture and fabulous circa 1970s plaster walls. There were lots of alcoves and quiet places- perfect for romantic dates.

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Before the wine dinner I got a chance to wind through Garden of the Gods, which is gorgeous, and this picture doesn’t do it justice.
I spent the afternoon in Manitou Springs, where I discovered quite a few new favorite places.

#1: You must try a crepe at Coquettes Bistro and Bakery. They are gluten free, and to die for! I went off the deep end and tried the “Tokyo Crepe.” which was ahi tuna with rice, wasabi, cream sauce, and who knows what else. What I do know, is that is was awesome. My mother recommends the Pumpkin Butter Dessert Crepe. Yum!

#2: Silver Sparrow Bead Shoppe Yes, I’m a sucker for beads, and I love small stores, so this little shop was right up my alley. Strangely enough, their selection was incredible! There were a lot of neat beads, and none of the “usual” findings you see in bigger stores. Great charms, glass, and stone. If you’re a beader, or looking for a unique piece of jewelry, check ’em out!

#3: Safron and Black Cat Books Wowzerz! No offense, but I wouldn’t expect to find this kind of “art wear” in Manitou Springs, let alone Denver! This is an awesome shop! Safron, downstairs, is an amazing clothes shop, full of items you’ve never seen before, and will never see again. 100% unique and artistic, ranging from steam punk to wine snob. I fell in love with a ruched plaid skirt and a re-distributed, rust-orange half-sweater that had a brass button corsage worked in. The book store had great little gifts, and lots of books. Certainly a must for the uniquely dressed!

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I came home the other day to find my mother elbow-deep in the concord grape vine behind our house…

A little harvesting made me feel very “useful” and made me appreciate all the work farmers must do when fall comes. What a difficult job they have!

I don’t normally think too hard about handled baskets- they’ve always been a part of decor and design for me- occasionally holding bread on the dinner table. But using a basket how its meant is really insightful into the design of it. Women who used these all the time ‘back in the day’ must have had really strong forearms!

What a haul! Even the frog is shocked by the backyard abundance!

The last of the tomatoes…

My mother and sister make crab apple jelly every year… I wonder if they’ll show me their secrets.

I dunno what these pretty orange flowers are- but they are quite delicate for a fall flower. I love their shade of orange!

And lastly, the end of the roses. Ah… such pretty things. I will be thinking of them all winter!

I had such a fun time making bobby pins for the craft fair- I couldn’t care less if they sold or not. I learned a lot, too! Here are some tips on making beaded bobby pins…

#1- Use thin wire. As in- 22g, thin. Thick wire takes up that needed space between the two tines that is wanted for your hair!

#2- When cutting your wire, leave the tail end of the wire tucked into the holes of already affixed beads so that there isn’t a pointy end waving around waiting to snag some poor unsuspecting finger.

#3- No glue. What a mess! Why bother, when wire works great?

#4- Sometimes less is more. The more your put on a bobby pin- they less it is able to do its job. This is especially true for lovely folks like myself with super thin hair- a heavy bobby pin isn’t doing anyone any favors.

#5- SiZe, size, SIZE! Changing the size of your beads in an abstract composition is pretty vital to the interest of the piece- even though it is small. Use small, medium, and one large focal bead to keep things interesting.

#6- Color. Danger! Alsn loves her analogous colors. It’s safe. Many hues from the same color family are an easy win. Add one color from the opposite side of the spectrum for some pop, but keep it kosher… unless you want an eighties pin. If that’s the case: You go, girl!

#7- No gaps. Wind your wire really tight. You don’t want gaps between the bobby pin and the beads- and you don’t want big open wire loops. They will only end up snagging your hair and making you miserable. Sad hair!

Click through the gallery below to see larger images of some of the bobby pins I made. It’s pretty addicting!

Arthaus Ceramics

Photo from ArtHaus' Etsy site...

I met a couple of refreshing, young crafters at the Littleton Craft Faire Saturday, and I loved their ceramics so much I have to tell everyone about them.

ArtHaus Ceramics

Photo from ArtHaus Flickr site...

They are literally a couple- a young man and woman up near Fort Collins, Colorado, selling their wares under the name “ArtHaus Ceramics.” Their ready smiles and straight-forward attitudes were refreshing, and there was nothing in their booth that I wouldn’t love to own.

ArtHaus Ceramics

Photo from ArtHaus' Etsy site...

Their work is so well made and so meticulous on the details, that I can’t suggest them highly enough. I mean, we all know I love lace, but these folks take it to a seriously heavy, yet still somehow light and airy level. I have to get myself some of their teacups. Amazing!

ArtHaus Ceramics

Photo from ArtHaus Flickr site...

Also, their indie side really shines in their chic magnets, clay buckets, and even old-school Nintendo controller placards. Really unique! Did I mention their owl mugs, pictured above? They’re even cuter in person!

ArtHaus Ceramics

Photo from ArtHaus' Flickr site...

They are obviously serious about their art- and really dedicated to quality and individuality, which is incredibly motivating to me as a young crafter. I’m really excited to see more of them over the coming years… and of course fill up my cupboard with lacy goodness!
Visit them at:
Their ETSY store, “ArtHaus Ceramics.”
Their blog, “One of a Kind Ceramics.”