Thursday, April 28, 2011

Gimme, Gimme, I Want, I Want

Scoring one-of-a-kind custom pieces from Lad Named Felix is easy. Forget bouncing from shop to shop, trying on "traditional" pieces that just anyone can have. And forget bridal shop jewelry with the same old stuff - acrylic rhinestones, plastic 'pearls', less-than-precious metals. Shopping for the perfect wedding jewelry can be an exercise in frustration and boredom, and if you're a Lad Named Felix fan, you're anything but boring. Learn how simple it is to commission Lad Named Felix!

Commissions start with an idea. Email the Lad at to introduce yourself and get the conversation started. By answering a simple questionnaire about your personal style, details about the wedding, and your ideas for your custom pieces, designing it is a snap. If you'd like, include any pictures of other pieces you're inspired by, your wedding colors, flowers, pictures of your dress...or just a plea of "HELP!". Mention if you're looking for the perfect bridal set, gifts for bridesmaids, cool accessories for the guys, or any combination - tailoring the wedding party's jewelry is the perfect finishing touch to any wedding. Also include the date of the wedding, and the date you'd like to receive your pieces. Commissions take a minimum of 2 weeks to complete and ship, longer if materials have to be special ordered.

Once the bridal ball is rolling, we'll discuss overall look and materials. Lad Named Felix uses only the best components and materials. Want Swarovski crystals for the ultimate in sparkle? Don't really care if the pearls are glass or cultured? Gold, silver, bronze, or other? All the details will be covered.

Once the pieces have been decided upon, you'll receive a quoted price. This price includes cost of materials and the creation of the pieces. Priority Mail shipping for commissions is always FREE, and all pieces will arrive in beautiful gift boxes. Once the price and terms of the commission are agreed upon, a deposit of half the total cost is due. You'll receive regular updates from LNF, with photos of your pieces, and the second half of the total cost is due upon completion of the commission. Once paid, your pieces will ship!

It's that easy! And it doesn't stop at one-of-a-kind bridal pieces. Need something special and sparkly for an event? Mother's Day gift? Graduation (a stylish grad is a Lad Grad!)? Something specially designed for you? Just email the Lad and let's get started!

LNF Custom Bridal Jewelry

Lad Named Felix has been gracing the throats, lobes, and wrists of brides since its inception. From crusted crystal bracelets to sleek necklaces to simple and elegant pearl earrings, LNF custom-designed wedding jewelry elevates every bride's special day to a stylish and one-of-a-kind event. Check out some past designs from fabulous Chicago weddings!

Swarovski crystal, sterling silver, and cultured pearl encrusted bridal cuff

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Artist Date 26 April

There come times when you need to revisit an old friend. A conundrum has presented itself as spring unfolds its dampness around me: I have nothing but time to run my business...but creative blockage is preventing it. My head of late has been focusing on anything but creating and furthering my dream of LNF - money worries, ego trouble, mild depression, too much time alone to ruminate. All the spirals of life are dragging me down, and it has manifested in a profound sense of fear. So, like picking up the phone and dialing across the country to unload on a friend, I'm starting the process of Julia Cameron's The Artist's Way. Follow the link to familiarize if the curiousity is there, and I won't bore with the details (though I could - I'm like a groupie for this chick).

Morning pages are going well. Every morning I'm up at 6am. I make tea by whatever light is available through the clerestory windows of my loft, and sit down with...well, with myself. Three pages every day, written by hand, of anything and everything that is swirling around the drain in my head. Its an exorcism, really. Purging my psyche of bad dreams, fears, worries, insecurities; letting the Censor (read: ego) talk without interruption; scribbling down my goals for the day; or just writing grocery lists and writing "fear" over and over again. Amazing how cleansing it can be to pour it all onto a page you'll never see again and get the fuck on with it.

Second basic tool: the Artist Date. Julia describes this time weekly set aside to spend conscious time with onesself as an artist as "a block of time set aside and committed to nurturing the creative consciousness; a play date with your inner artist". I've been needing this - time out of my house in which I spend quality time WITH MYSELF. I have a lot of alone time, but I'm not consciously using it. Cabin fever be damned. No one else in invited on Artist Dates, and its to be defended bravely against interlopers. Play is at the heart of all good work, and let's face it: it can be fun to play with yourself (only without the hairy palms). Today, in spite of dark grey, glowering clouds and imminent rain, I set out with my camera and walked the few miles to the always beautiful Lincoln Park Conservatory.

No headphones. Smartphone turned off. Just me and whatever awaited. I photographed plants, raindrops, paving stones, flowers - anything that my inner artists pointed at to say "HEY LOOK!". Every time I found myself getting annoyed at stray drops of rainwater leaking through the conservatory roof to hit me in the head, I stopped and took it in. When kids screamed like bastards and I couldn't take it...I stopped and took it in. When I got caught in a sudden torrential Chicago downpour...I stopped and took it in. No annoyance, no predetermination. Just...listened and observed.

And a lesson about growth was right in front of me. All around me, really. Once I quieted the ego and told myself to just play...well, the photos speak for themselves. I'm not into churchy, preachy, hyper-inspirational tripe that greeting cards and "spiritual" people use like a sledgehammer, but I recognize when the Universe is speaking, and today's Artist Date was about listening to the message.

To see the whole set of photos, click here!

Monday, April 25, 2011

A Chance to Help

I'm big on helping others, and ever since April Winchell over at Regretsy helped my shop sell out two months ago, my drive to pay it forward is even stronger. I joined a fabulous Etsy team called April's Army, a group of dynamic and amazing artists from the Regretsy sphere who are gathered together in solidarity to pool their resources in an effort to provide funds for people in need.

The last week of every month, April's Army will open a shop filled to the brim with items donated by team members - some of them gorgeous, some of them snarky, some of them just plain fun - and all proceeds from sales in the shop go to a different recipient each month.

The inaugural recipient for all proceeds from this month's April's Army shop is Jason Williams. Jason is a young man from Alabama who, with the help of his fiancee, Robin Lynne, is fighting pancreatic cancer. Jason is enrolled in a promising clinical trial at Johns Hopkins but he needs help to pay for his expenses. All profits from April's sale will go to Jason for his treatment.

Here's how you can put some good back into the world and help out someone in need:

Robin, Jason's fiancee, is raising money through her For Jason Etsy shop. To make a direct donation or to meet Jason and read about his progress, check out his blog. Or, you can click over to April's Army Shop and purchase something fabulous. I bought this April Winchell Lego minifig keychain, because, well, HELLO:

The shop has been open for a scant few days and already there are 116 sales and counting. There are still some items available for purchase, but the response from the Regretsy/Etsy community has been overwhelming. Join the April's Army Facebook page today to receive word each month when the shop goes live with all new items - there is always someone in need, and this shop will be there to help. There is way more love in this world than we all think, and no one said we can't have a bit of fun while spreading it around. Please help if you can, or at the very least, share this link. I call this "Click-tivism" and it costs you absolutely nothing but a few taps on your mouse.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Artists You Should Know - Annie Nygard

Scouring Etsy for the items I would include in my "30 Days of Play" blog project a few months ago, I searched "Star Wars" and stumbled delightfully upon Annie's shop, Spiffing Jewelry. You can imagine the shriek of pleasure I emitted. A geeky genius, a whiz with a bench block and hammer, and a balls-to-the-wall entrepreneur, it's very possible that Annie and I are fraternal twins separated at birth by the machinations of an evil galactic Emperor. Her work is smart and accessible, her energy positive, and her business sense savvy. I don't purchase jewelry from many designers, but I hit up Annie's shop if I need something unique and amazingly well-constructed. Read her cheeky interview then pop over to Spiffing Jewelry on Etsy and check out her shop!

Come in! Make yourself comfortable. What can I get you to drink?
I'd love me a long island...but it's not quite 10am. Mimosa? Easy on the OJ, please.

Tell us about yourself.
I'm a huge nerd. (Star Wars, Disney, Harry Potter, TrueBlood... and that's just to name a small few.) And I'm married to an even huge-r nerd. (a comic book reading, Star Wars figure collecting, sports-stat retaining viking, who's also an artist). We've been together since I was 15, we watched Star Wars on prom night.

What's your sign?
Oh, I'm a Virgo, of course. The personification of Type-A, I am forever making lists, thinking of things I need to do, and controlling situations. Everything I own has a very specific home, and my closet is organized by sleeve length, formality and then color. I stopped getting birthday parties when I was 9 after I made other little girls cry... I might be a little bossy.

Postcards from Bedlam

A mad collection of style and stories inspired by LNF pieces. Because at the asylum, we all sparkle on the inside.

About the Blogger: Erin Vargo will still tell you she’s a redhead even though she recently dyed her hair black - but she’s not a liar. Her style icons include Pris from Bladerunner, John Waters, Edith “Little Edie” Bouvier Beale, and Agnes Moorehead as Endora. She is deeply envious of people who are synesthetic and she won’t drink without a straw. Erin writes, reads, and eats in Seattle with her husband and their ill-behaved French Bulldog, Tallulah. 

Visit Erin Vargo’s food blog:
Twitter: @EVargo

Monday, April 11, 2011

Wherein the Lad gushes about sauce

And I'm not even talking about "the sauce" this time. Seriously - this weekend was a big gay bender in the sun, and now this week calls for detox. I need to conserve cash, cause bitch...cocktails are expensive. Today I decided to do an impromptu ONE DAY 10% OFF SALE at the Etsy shop, so that's keeping me busy. I will also be beginning my stint as Creative Director for a huge steampunk extravaganza at Navy Pier this week. This means the guy who works from home (me) has to find a way to get dinner prepared for the guy who works in the suburbs (him) with minimal trips to Whole Foods, because not only is it exhausting, but I inevitably buy stupid crap when I'm there, like bath salts or tins of tea. It must be something that can cook slowly today while I attend to the hundred tasks that demand my attention, something versatile that can be applied in many dishes, and I need it to freeze well. Enter: marinara sauce.

I toyed with the idea of cooking through Barbara Lynch's Stir last winter, but I'm no Julie Powell. I'm not even Erin Vargo. That project died before it saw the light of the interwebs. Stir is my favorite cookbook, hands down, which is saying a lot as we have a few dozen piled up everywhere. Modern, intelligent, fresh Italian cooking - nom. Everything I've prepared from the pages of this slick (and spatter-covered) tome has been a knock-out. If you're a home chef and think you know about Italian cuisine - BUY THIS BOOK. You can start with Barbara's recipe for Odd Fellow Marinara, a tried and true basic. I slap it on fresh pasta, pour it over polenta, use it as a dipping sauce for fresh breadsticks, slather it on pizzas, stuff it in calzones, smear it over crostini, pile it into meatball sandwiches and sausage and pepper rolls...seriously, make a triple batch like I do and freeze it in 1-cup portions. 

Odd Fellow Marinara Sauce
Makes 4 cups

1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 small onion, thinly sliced
2 garlic cloves, minced
½ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes, plus more to taste
½ cup dry white wine (Hmm - I use a strong red wine here, like a Syrah or a Zinfandel, which is beautiful)
One 28-ounce can of crushed tomatoes, preferably imported San Marzano
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 to 3 basil leaves

1. Heat the olive oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion, garlic
and crushed red pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the onion is just tender but
not browned, about 8 minutes.

2. Add the wine, increase the heat to moderately high and cook for a few minutes longer,
until reduced by half. Add the tomatoes with their juice and ½ teaspoon salt. Simmer
for 5 minutes, stir in the basil and season with pepper and additional salt, if needed.
The sauce can be covered and refrigerated for up to 4 days.

Friday, April 1, 2011

Spring at Lad Named Felix

So the sun finally decided to stop being an isolationist hoor and come out to play. I actually have my windows open, and I've been waiting to release what I'm lightly referring to as Lad Named Felix's Spring Trend! I say lightly cause you bishes know me, and I'm all over the place. Still - I think I'm onto something here and want your feedback.

I was cleaning my studio space (read: drinking red wine and listening to Grooveshark) and I found a discarded bag from my fave place, Caravan Beads. Peering inside, I found some satin ribbon tangled in silver chains, and my mind went "HOLY BALLS. That's cute." Ribbon and metal - it says Lad Named Felix Spring Trend all over it. I'm not into ultra-feminine, cutesy garbage. If you want that, head to Etsy and type in "flower necklace" and get the hell out of my sight. But I love the hard edge of metal chain juxtaposed against the softness and sleek texture of satin ribbon. So...voila. Here's the first four, and if they do well, you'll be seeing more along these lines. Customizable, wearable, colorful, and totally LNF.


Now go buy some.

Delicious Digg Stumbleupon Favorites More

Design by Free WordPress Themes | Bloggerized by Lasantha - Premium Blogger Themes | Macys Printable Coupons