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Get $3 off my Valentine digital bundle set by using the code VALENTINE when checking out. You’ll receive digital files containing 10 sheets of printable valentine cards. This kit includes all of my valentine cards from 2012-2015 in one bundle (including the two pages of anti-valentines) 60 different cards in all. A $25 value for just $15 with discount code. The valentines can also be printed onto iron-on paper to create banners, tea towels, goodie bags etc. 
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The Waynesboro Wizarding Festival has come and gone for another year. The ceramic studio was busy creating all sorts of oversized candy so we could transform into Honeypots a magical sweet shop. We offered a make and take of painting your own chocolate frog necklace or magnet which worked out really well and seemed to be a big success! I walked around a little this year and most of the focus seemed to be on the Farmers Market area which is new for our town this year. While I understand wanting to promote this great new area of downtown I did prefer it when main street was closed and vendors and local businesses got into the spirit with decorating and dressing up all along main street. While it is only the second year for the Wizarding Festival and I realize it still needs time to grow and expand I was just a little disappointed that there didn’t seem to be as many activities as last year. Still I am hopeful and excited for next years event. You can see my blog posts from 2017 Wizarding Festival here, here, and here.

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I thought it was time I talk a little bit about some of the books I’ve been reading this Summer. There is of course book club, but that is a bit sporadic so I do a lot of reading on my own. I like to listen to audiobooks while I sew or work on pottery, and then every night I have a second book that I read on my ipad before going to sleep.
Currently I am reading the book pictured above. The Sewing Machine. This book hops around in time from the Singer Factory Strike of 1911, to present day. The people and their stories all relate to a vintage Singer 99K hand crank sewing machine. I’ve been enjoying it thoroughly and its one of those books that I find myself not quite wanting to end. It just gives me a cozy nice feeling reading it. That’s not to say everything happening in the book is happy, but overall it leaves me with a nice feeling.
Next up is a book I finished recently called Picture The Dead. This was a gothic young adult novel with lots of interesting illustrations through out. Its a combination of historical fiction, ghost story, and mystery. Quite a fast read but charming none the less.
This Summer I read a series of three books called The Southern Reach Trilogy. Book one is Annihilation. I really enjoyed reading all three of these books. The books center around an area of land classified as Area X. Some unknown force has changed this part of our world, and the book begins with an expedition into the area known as The Southern Reach. While there is a sci-fi element to the books there is also mystery, and horror. It gave me a lot of the same feelings as when I read House Of Leaves. Each chapter left me with so many questions and I wish we had read these in book club so I could of joined in a discussion. Once I was done I tried watching the film adaptation. Many things are changed in the movie including the ending, so I just didn’t care for it. The books however-I recommend!
Audiobooks I’ve listened to this Summer include…
Good Morning Midnight:I heard about this book on an epsiode of What Should I Read Next podcast. I loved this book. While it is a story about the end of the world, it is also about loneliness, the choices we make, and human connections. If you liked Station Eleven I think you would like this one too.
Sleeping Giants & Waking Gods: The first book took me two tries to get into the story and I’m not sure why but I think the style of writing held me up at first. Parts are written as interviews, interrogations, etc. Once I got into things I was excited to move onto the second book. I’m still waiting on book three from the library. The book begins when a little girl named Rose falls into a hole. When firemen arrive to rescue her they see she is resting in the palm of a giant metal hand. There were parts of these books that made me think of the battles in the Neon Genesis Series between Eva’s and Angels. Then in book two that series is brought up by one of the characters Eva who says she was named after a robot in a Japanese anime series!

You can find a list of all the books I’ve read so far this year here on my Goodreads account. Have you read anything this Summer that really stands out to you? I am always looking for book recommendations!

Please note that the Amazon link above is an Amazon affiliate link and if you purchase something using it I will receive a small Amazon credit.

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I’ve got some new prints and stickers in the shop. Trying to plan early for Halloween this year.

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At the ceramic studio we were discussing needing ribbon or cords for our upcoming Wizarding Festival. Someone mentioned the Ribbon Factory and I had never heard of the place even though it’s only one town over. I decided I needed to go and check it out, and what a treasure trove!
When we pulled up there was a tent out front with ribbon 10 for $1! (The lady inside said they’ll actually keep this tent sale going all Summer)

The 10 for $1 ribbon while mostly plain, most of them had over 150 yards of ribbon per spool. An amazing deal for the type of ribbon.

Inside was bigger then I expected! I found ribbon cording that was perfect for our frog project at $2.99 a roll, but they also had all kinds of other fun things to look at.


The day I visited they were also offering an additional 25% off your total if you spent at least $8. I’ll be back for sure, and highly recommend checking them out if you are in the Hagerstown MD area.

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I recently took a trip to NYC with my 15 year old son, my friend Katie and her son who will turn 16 soon. He wanted to check out the city for his birthday, and so we planned lots of things two teenage boys might like to see and do in they city.
We took the train out of Harrisburg which is really my favorite way to do New York. No worry about a car or where you’ll park once you arrive.
Below I’ll provide links to all the things we did while we were there. You can also check out my previous posts from trips to NYC for ideas too, I’ll put links to these at the very bottom of this post. Some of them no longer have photos (the really old ones) but do still have active links that may be helpful when finding things to do.




Toys!
Toy Tokyo– This is my favorite spot for toys in NYC. Always some fun blind box to buy, and lots to look at.
Lego Store– There are two in NYC so we stopped into both.
Nintendo Store– I loved this for all the fun Animal Crossing stuff.

Books & Comics
Kinokuniya– My favorite book shop in NYC, a huge selection of Japanese craft books, magazines, manga, and lots of toys.
Midtown Comics– Huge comic selection, several floors with lots of toys too.
Forbidden Planet– lots of comics and toys! This place was really crowded when we went so it made it hard to look, but its also located right next to The Strand which is fun to browse too.



Other Shopping:
Elizabeth Center Git Shops– This is located in Chinatown and is a funny little mall filled with gift shops. You can find some really cute things, but keep in mind some shops only take cash.
Kam Man Supermarket-Three floors, the main floor is grocery, lower level is housewares, tea and ramen, and the top floor is gifts, stickers, and beauty items. I always find fun things here.
Flying Tiger– My friend Molly told me about this place. Amazing prices on fun little gift items from Copenhagen.
Fish Eddy– super cool dishes and a fun shop to walk around in.
David’s Tea– several locations in NYC. You can get tea to drink but also a nice sized store to shop for tea and tea merchandise.






Food
Beetlehouse– This is a themed restaurant Tim Burton/Halloween and we were all really excited to go. The only things to keep in mind are #1 its very tiny. #2 they have a policy where each person has to order an appetizer and a main entree. This means each person’s meal will range between $35-45 for the food, soda’s are $4. They do look to have a lot of fun cocktails but we stuck to soda & water. Now some of the apps are quite big and by the time we were done those we didn’t even want our meals. Its a fun place but something to keep in mind. They play themed music, and there was a gal dressed as Corpse Bride. Our phrase for the entire trip then on was “well it wasn’t as expensive as Beetlehouse”
Lillie’s Victorian Establishment– One night we walked down from our hotel to Time Square and on the way spotted this beautiful looking restaurant. We made reservations for the following day for high tea and it was wonderful. The inside has so much to look at, the tea and foods were great. We all loved it.
Totto Ramen– We all loved the ramen here. Small place but we didn’t wait long. Ramen was delicious and we all had to take some back with us to hotel.
The Donut Pub– Yummy soft donuts, we stumbled upon this when getting off the subway near The High Line. Only complaint is the girl taking our donut order was so rushy, even though there wasn’t anyone else waiting. I felt like I didn’t have a chance to even see what they had before having to just pick a donut.
Places we had coffee…
Rex Coffee Gregorys Coffee, Caffe Bene there were a few more stops but I forgot to keep track of the names.
try to go to a diner one night close to Time Square where the servers sing to you. It was raining when we set off and we were looking for a diner since there was talk of wanting Coke Floats. When we reached the restaurant the line was down and around the block, so we back tracked to a diner we had passed on the way instead.
We also had some great pizza, and pasta in Little Italy.










Everything Else:
Dowtown Abby: The Exhibition
The Evolution Store
The High Line
We also made sure to take a cab so her son could experience that and made lots of trips on the subway getting around. I’m sure I am forgetting something. We stayed at the Watson Hotel (which is where I stayed with Molly last time, so kind of funny!) I didn’t realize they had a rooftop pool, but this time we did make time to swim one evening.
NYC 2017, my trip with Molly
NYC 2013, another trip with Molly to Blythecon
NYC 2011 mini book tour
NYC 2010 blog post 1, and 2
Renegade 2008
Renegade 2007
Renegade 2006 part 1, and part 2

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Just some mug experiments to share today.

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The idea for the Summer Plush Of The Month Club box came to me as I thought about Summer reading, and book clubs. I decided on a plush book of fairy tales and my first step was to design the cover and order a few variations until I found one I was happiest with. I chose a striped flannel fabric for the inner book to mimic the book pages, and the covers I had printed on fleece with Spoonflower.
For the add-ins the candy was a easy choice, book-worms in the form of gummi worms. I created and had bookplates printed to match the plush books, and then the whole thing was wrapped up and topped with a vintage library card. These were really fun to have come together.

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I’ve been busy stitching up all kinds of zippered pouches for two shows I have coming up this fall. For my pouches I am using all of my fabric designs from Spoonflower.
First in September I will be selling my wares at Baltimore Comic-Con. Then at the end of October I will be heading to Anaheim CA to sell at the Halloween parade. It’s been a lot of fun working on goods for shows again. Plus focusing on all Halloween stuff for the parade has been a real blast. I’d love to start selling at a different Halloween event each year, so let me know if you know of one I should not miss.

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My parents recently moved back to Pennsylvania after living in South Carolina for the past ten years. We decided to spend the day recently taking a trip to Weaver’s Candy and Nuts, some thrift shops and lunch at Tomato Pie Cafe. I found a yellow fiberglass chair for $10 and some cute vintage toys, and egg salt and pepper shakers…oh and of course candy.

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