My So Called Crafty Life

Category Archives: Local Gems

Shop Local Raleigh’s Boutique Blowout 2015 is this Friday!!!

Boutique Blowout 2015 Instagram - facebook free admission

Hi guys! This post is for all my local triangle area followers. I am super excited to announce that Shop Local Raleigh’s Boutique Blowout 2015 is coming up this Friday, yay! Shop Local Raleigh is a fabulous local organization dedicated to promoting and supporting local shops and businesses in the Raleigh Durham area of North Carolina. Their mission is to help fuel our local economy and keep a unique atmosphere in our city. It’s truly a wonderful organization and their events are tons of fun!

Boutique Blowout 2015  Free Admission

Shop Local Raleigh’s Boutique Blowout is a fantastic annual event where some of our best local boutiques and designers get together in City Market for a huge sale! I have been the last few years, and there has always scored something amazing! There are lots of great vendors this year! You can find out about participating boutiques and businesses on the Boutique Blowout Participating Vendors page Here. From clothing and jewelry, to hammocks and spas, to gifts for your furry friends, there is something for everyone! Get your holiday shopping done early this year!

Here are the details of this year’s event:


Date: July 17th, 2015

Time: 4-9pm (4pm-9pm VIP; 5-9pm All)

Location: Market Hall at City Market

Price: $5 for VIP; General Admission is FREE

Shop Local Raleigh is dedicated to promoting and supporting local economy and increase exposure of local businesses which is why Boutique Blowout was created. Boutique Blowout gives us the opportunity to promote shopping locally by having a huge summer sale! We invite local boutiques and vendors to participate and we use our marketing tools and resources to promote this event as well as each boutique/vendor that participates. Our goal with this event is to provide additional exposure of our local businesses and share their story with our local community. We can’t wait to see you on July 17th!



To celebrate this years event, Shop Local Raleigh is hosting a giveaway on my blog! One lucky local will get two VIP tickets for Boutique Blowout 2015! To enter all you have to do is leave me a comment below. Winner will be announced tomorrow afternoon. Good luck everyone! I hope to see you there!

The Nut Doesn’t Fall Far From The Tree- A Mother’s Day Note


The gals at Patience Brewster, who make phenomenal ornaments and decor, have inspired me to share a Mother’s Day celebration post – celebrating special mothers everywhere. I have been blessed with so many amazing women in my life, my mom especially, so I felt like it would be a wonderful post to write. Patience wrote a fantastic post about her mother, which you can read here. Marietta sounds like she was one heck of a lady!


So, I was recently picking out cards for our moms for Mother’s Day with my husband and came across a greeting card that was almost too perfect. The front of the card had a tree with a little branch of nuts on it and it said “They say the nut doesn’t fall far from the tree.” Then you open up the card and the inside reads, “And that just scares the hell out of me!” I almost got it because my mom would have thought it was hilarious. She is a bit scatter brained at times. In fact, when I worked for her, she called me her brain because my memory was impeccable. I say “was” because all the years of having to be her memory have started to take it’s toll on mine. So we joke that I am becoming more and more like her every day, more scattered.

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It got me to thinking just how much alike we are though, and although we joke about it, I am quite proud to be like her! My mom and dad split up when I was just eleven months old, and she was a single parent with me until she remarried when I was nine. Despite everything going against her, she followed her passion for the arts and went back to school to a fine arts college when I was a toddler. She double majored in graphic design and photography, and when she graduated instead of playing it safe, she went for what she loved most, which was photography. I remember carrying her equipment for her, or sitting in the car playing my gameboy while she would go take an order. Through the years she built her business from nothing, through four different cities, and became to be one of the top premier portrait photographers in our area. You can see her amazing work on her website Here. She is a self made woman. She never gave up, and she is a good example of just what a woman in this world can do when she sets her mind on something.


I inherited the creative streak from my mom. I can’t remember a time when we weren’t making things together, crafting, going to local plays, art museums, etc. She has always been there for me, even when things were hard. She has been my biggest cheerleader. She has supported me through every kind of the arts I was interested in from music, to drama, to fashion and costume, to living the creative life I do now. She raised me to dream big and create a life that I loved. Although she is my mom, she is also one of my best friends!


On Mother’s Day, my sister and I always spend the day with her. Sometimes we go shopping, sometimes it’s a picnic. One thing that has become a tradition is that I always make her a gift. One year, my husband and I made her an accent table with a tiled top. We had a lot of fun making that one, and she keeps it in her sunroom, her favorite room in the house. Of course I can’t tell you all what I have made her this year just yet, but I will be posting about it next week. Do you all have any Mother’s Day traditions of your own? How do you celebrate your mom? I’d love to hear! To all the moms out there, may this Mother’s Day be your best one yet! Hugs to you all!

XOXO- Ashlee

Shop Local Raleigh’s Boutique Blowout 2014!!!


This post goes out to all my local followers out there in the triangle. I am so excited to share that Shop Local Raleigh’s Boutique Blowout is happening this weekend! Shop Local Raleigh is a local organization dedicated to supporting and promoting local businesses. This organization is so fantastic, they do an amazing job to help promote local love in our community. You can read more about Shop Local Raleigh Here. You can also follow along with them on Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, Pinterest, and Instagram. I love following the instagram account and seeing all the great places they visit!

So, what is Boutique Blowout you ask? Well, it’s a sale. It’s not just any sale though mind you! Shop Local Raleigh’s Boutique Blowout pools together some of the most fabulous boutiques in the area for a mega sale where you can get some great deals on amazing items from local shops from clothing to stationary to jewelry and more! Here is a list of some of the boutiques and businesses that will be at the show:

And more to Come!

Shop Local Raleigh’s Boutique Blowout is happening this Friday, August 8th! Yay!

VIP members will get first dibs to check out the boutiques’ selection! VIP members will also receive goody bags from our sponsors filled with special deals.

VIP Tickets are :$10 (gets you in the doors 30 minutes early and a cocktail)
General Admission Tickets are $5

VIP doors open at 4:30 pm
General Admission doors open at 5 pm

When: August 8, 2014
Time: 5-9 pm
VIP Time- 4:30-9pm

You can get your tickets Here

For more information, or if you are interested in being a vendor, contact Shop Local Raleigh at!


I hope to see you all there! It’s the best sale of the season! Last year I scored a fantastic vintage inspired North Carolina pillow and a pair of fantastic red leather boots! Can’t wait to see all the goodies this year!


Local Gems- The Handmade Market


Spring is here, and for many of us it is synonymous with craft show season. There are bunches of craft shows in the Raleigh Durham area where I live. One of the best local shows is most definitely The Handmade Market in Raleigh. This fantastic market is a one day semiannual show that features over fifty local and regional indie artists and crafters. This weekend, Saturday May 3rd, will be the seventeenth market since the show’s commencement in 2006. Every year so far, I have been tied up with other things, so this will be the first Handmade Market I will have attended, and I could not be more excited! This show is brimming with so many talented artists in all kinds of crafty mediums ranging from jewelry and clothing, to home accessories and fine art, and even great stuff for the kiddos. Here is a little peek at some of the amazing handmade goods you can find at the market this weekend:

You can see a full list of all the artists participating in the market and their website links on the Handmade Market’s artist page Here.


I recently had the opportunity to sit down for a little chat with a few of the Handmaidens, the behind the scenes crafty supergirls that created and produce this twice yearly event. The Handmaidens are a group of seven creative women including Ndidi Kowalczyk (Hothouse Poesy,) Lois Peterson (It’s By Design,) Kiona van Rhee-Wilson (Lucky Accessories,) Jenni Moore Myers (Milk & Honey,) Kristen Randall (Mood Swing Studios,) Leeann Hynes (Fleur-De-Lee-Lee,) and Tracey Johnson (Patina South.) As it turns out all of these lovely gals met through Raleigh’s most fun bead store Ornamentea (website here.) They became fast friends and decided to attend the 2004 Boylen Height’s Artwalk in Raleigh as a collective under the name “Bead the People.” They had such a great time, they continued to do shows, but under the new name of “The Handmaidens.” Pretty soon the ladies’ came to realize there was a bit of a void in quality shows around in the southeast to showcase our region’s independent design scene. And so, on May 6th of 2006, the first Handmade Market was formed. It featured 35 local artists and was held at Vintage 21. Since then, The Handmaidens have produced seventeen successful shows, grown through a few spaces, and are currently showing out of Cobblestone Hall in downtown Raleigh’s City Market.  The success of this market is such a gift to our area’s indie movement. The Handmaiden’s love all kinds of art, and you can be sure that you will find some of the best local artists to shop from.



I asked the ladies a little about their process and what they look for when deciding which artists to use in their shows. As with most craft show, the work is juried. Every one of the Handmaidens vote on each entry. It is very thorough. Some of the things they look for when they are deciding on an artist as a candidate for the show are the uniqueness of designs, the quality of the photos submitted, and if it is a good fit for the show. Sometimes even the price points of the items are a deciding factor as they need to be comparable to other items in the same category for the show. The Handmaidens strive for a good balance of craft genres as well so they don’t end up with too many jewelry artists, or too many stationary designers. I think they do such a good job creating a show with so many types of items available. There truly is something for everyone!


I also asked the Handmaidens if they have any advice for artists and crafters they’d like to share. The synonymous opinion is to keep at it. Keep moving forward. Try new things, and go to as many shows as you can until you can find where you fit best. Try to carve out a niche for yourself by creating a unique product. Keep working on your photos. You will grow with your craft. If you are a local crafter of the Raleigh area and would like more information on how to apply for the next market in November, you can find the info on the Handmade Market’s web page Here.


One of the best things about The Handmade Market is their dedication to give back to the community through the spring charity drive. This year The Handmade Market will be partnering with Triangle Pets Alive to raise money and awareness of their efforts to save healthy pets at area shelters through a foster-based rescue network. Baskets overflowing with participating artist and local business donations will be part of the highly anticipated voluntary raffle. All raffle money will be donated to Triangle Pets Alive

The Handmade Market is made possible not only by the hard work of the Handmaidens, but also through volunteers and sponsors. If you are a local business interested in sponsoring The Handmade Market, visit their sponsor page Here.


If you are in our area and would like to attend the show this saturday, here is the detailed info from the press release:

The Handmade Market is a one-day, indoor designer craft fair and market featuring handcrafted goods from more than 50 artists, designers, and crafters. The FREE event will run from 11 am until 5 pm on Saturday, May 3, 2014. An extra, early bird, hour of shopping happens from 10:00 to 11:00am. Anyone interested in getting the first peak at all the latest designs can enter the market as a VIP, before FREE admission begins at 11:00 am, for $5 a person. The Handmade Market will be held at Cobblestone Hall, in downtown Raleigh. The entrance is located at 215 Wolfe Street in City Market, just south of Moore Square, in the former Greenshields building.

So all my locals out there, go check it out this weekend! You’re pretty much guaranteed to walk out with something you’ll love! In the mean time, be sure to check out the Handmade Market’s website for more info on upcoming shows Here. You can also follow them on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Flickr, and Pinterest.

And one last thing before I go…. Here is a little stop motion video of artist Jenn Hales creating the logo for the May market. Check out her site, Here, she’s fabulous!


Let’s Shop Local’s March Market

A couple of weekends ago I had the pleasure of attending the March Let’s Shop Local shopping market. For all my local readers out there, Let’s Shop Local is an organization dedicated to showcasing and supporting local artists in the Triangle area of North Carolina. You can read more about the organization Here. What I love most about their site, is that there is an online artisan directory so you can find amazing artists all in one spot! We had a great time at the March market! I really enjoyed meeting everyone! Here is a little sample of some of the lovely items from the shopping spree:

Aren’t they so cool! You can check out some of these awesome artists and more at the next Let’s Shop Local event during the Got to be NC festival at the state fairgrounds this month. I will be posting more about that event soon. Until then you can shop with some of the artists below online! You can read more about upcoming events and vendors on the Let’s Shop Local website Here.

Here are the awesome artists that were at the March Market. Go check them out!

Veronica Lall Handcrafted handbags and accessories

Tish McDermott * Handmade jewelry and more

Marsha Travers Handmade soap and bath and body products

Liza Lotz Handcrafted jewelry

Elizabeth L. Strugatz * Wearable art jewelry

Robyn Johnston Handcrafted whimsical mosaic art

Katie Moller Handmade paper flower arrangements, wreaths and more
Stefanie Lee Original canvases, furniture, crosses and more

Kathy Curran * Handcrafted jewelry, earrings and accessories

Jane Robertson * Handcrafted jewelry and decoupage baskets

Meg Smither * Textile artist, handpainted scarves

Steph Hollingsworth * Handmade clutches, bags and jewelry

Villager’s Trading Post * Handmade soaps, perfumes and more

Bronwyn Gruet Original plaster sculptures mounted on reclaimed wood

Jill Evans Jill’s Jewels Original Jewelry

Jack O’Farrell Hand-painted coat of arms

CinTinque Handcrafted Jewelry Hand-hammered jewelry from vintage coins and watch pieces

Robert Quarles Handcrafted wooden serving and cooking spoons

Alexandra Greijn * Handcrafted bum bags (fancy fanny packs)
Teresa Prichard * Handpainted pillows, sewn pillows and handcrafted baby bibs

Laura Bailey Handcrafted eye-glass holders displaying her art

Lisa Mathias Handcrafted jewelry

Janet Jackson Handcrafted jewelry, tutus and children’s dresses

Oscar Grisson Handmade coasters, shirts and home/yard wooden signs

Michelle Mitchell Custom vinyl designs
Annette Libby Handthrown Pottery

Michelle Bertoncino Handmade items for new parents, babies & children

Tania Tafilowski Handcrafted Children’s Clothing
Good Grace’s Dog Treats * Handcrafted Dog Treats & Food

Pam Tucker * Tobacco Road Candles

Kristin Austin Handcrafted jewelry
Aliya Trinity * Natural body products made from plants

Tammy Parrish Hand crochet clothing, toys & more

Let’s Shop Local Shopping Spree Event

Hi guys! This past weekend I had the pleasure to attend the first Let’s Shop Local Shopping Spree at the North Carolina State Fairgrounds.  Let’s Shop Local is a triangle North Carolina organization devoted to showcasing local artists. Their shows are a great way to show some local love! Saturday’s event was a lovely show filled with all kinds of local artists. I really enjoyed meeting everyone! I was able to snap a few pics to share with you guys of all the amazing items there for sale. Here are some of my favorites:

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Aren’t they cool! If you’d like to see more from these cool artists here are links to their online sites:

Porch Fly        Amanda Cousins Studio         Crocheting Ladybug       Alywillow Organics


Jewelry by Kelley        High Country Bride        4 Fosters Candle Company      Janet Place Designs


Marvelous Katastrophe       Good Grace’s Dog Treats       Stank Weasel          Just A Tish


JEM Collection       Lauri Arntsen      Jenny Lou & Co.       Very Sweet Baby Boutique


MAV Design Concepts      Split Infinity Jewelry     Lucy 2’s      Limon


Meg Smither      Off The Beaded Path       Sarah Coffey Designs      S- Ranked Design Armada


Thirty- One      Scentsy       Art With Knobs On       Needle and Thread Quilts


Raiment Designs        Re-By-Lees      Gail’s Hodge Podge       Felecia’s Stained Glass


Wired, Twisted, and Stoned      Girly Gooz Boutique       Paparazzi by Katina     Missy’s Wishes Farmhouse Primitives


If you were a vendor at the show and you don’t see your name on your photo or in my list, I somehow missed your business card. Please feel free to contact me with your shop link and I will be sure to add it.

The next Let’s Shop Local Show will be held on March 23rd. You can check out the organization’s website Here for more information. Be sure to check out their site as well as all the artist links above!

Let’s Shop Local Shopping Spree

Hi guys! Today I wanted to share something with my local North Carolinians. Let’s Shop Local, a lovely new website dedicated to supporting local artists, is putting on it’s first “local love” show in Raleigh on February 1st! The event will be held at the Holshouser Building at the State Fairgrounds and will feature over thirty handmade artists and crafters. So if you are in the area come on out Saturday February 1st and join in the Let’s Shop Local Shopping Spree!

Here’s a little taste of what you can expect to find at the show:

Here are all the detail’s from Let’s Shop Local’s press release:

You are invited to join us at the North Carolina Fairgrounds’ Holshouser Building on Saturday, February 1st from 11 – 6 for our first ‘Let’s Shop Local!’ shopping spree!
Featuring artists, crafters, and other creative businesses from or near Raleigh, this is an event you don’t want to miss out on! You’ll find affordably priced jewelry, hand-painted scarves, soaps, lotions, unique crochet items, pottery, art and so much more!
Come out and find the perfect gift for that special someone this Valentine’s Day, and feel good about the purchase, knowing your money is going right back to your local community! All of our vendors live within 30 miles of Raleigh! Don’t forget, when you buy local your money stays in your local community!
Also, don’t forget to vote for your favorite business display! The vendor whose display receives the most votes will get their display featured on our Facebook page AND receive a complimentary spot at our next ‘Let’s Shop Local’ event!
Admission to ‘Let’s Shop Local’ is just $3.00 with children under 12 free! Representatives from, an online directory for local businesses, are scheduled to be on site, too, handing out freebie bags stuffed with coupons and goodies from nearby local businesses!
‘Let’s Shop Local’ is an event like no other in Raleigh! Conveniently located at the North Carolina Fairgrounds, ‘Let’s Shop Local’ is certain to become a Raleigh favorite!
So bring all your friends and head out for our first ‘Let’s Shop Local!’ A Southern Shopping Spree, and help support small, local businesses!

I hope to see some of you guys there! In the meantime be sure to check out the Let’s Shop Local website Here for a current list of all the artists who will be in attendance. You can also follow on Facebook and Twitter too!

Shop Local Raleigh’s Boutique Blowout Weekend!

Hi everybody! I wanted to share some of the pics from Friday night at the Shop Local Raleigh Boutique Blowout! My mom and I both had such a blast! It was great meeting so many local shop owners and discovering shops we weren’t familiar with. Let me tell you there are some fantastic boutiques in the area! Check out the fun pictures my mom (of Kim Crenshaw Photography) took of the event!

It was soooo much fun! If you are local to the area definitely check out Shop Local Raleigh’s website to see all the wonderful local shops, restaurants and businesses our area has to offer! If you missed the sale, don’t worry, you can still check out the boutiques around town and on the web! Here are their websites:

·         Clotheshound

·         Frill

·         Fab’rik

·         FanFeet

·         Flaunt

·         Galatea Boutique

·         Gingham & Posh

·      The Go Girl Shoppe

·         Gray Lee Designs

·         Gypsy Jule

·         Kristen’s Place

·         Lucy & Me Jewelry

·         Luscious Couture

·         Peachy Keen

·         Sophie and Mollies

·         Simple Bliss

·         Scout and Molly’s

·         Sugar Magnolia

·         The Purple Polka Dot

·          The Art of Style

and Humdinger

I’ll be back in just a little bit with my Monday Favorite Vintage finds. Until then darlings…

Have a wonderful day!

Shop Local Raleigh’s Boutique Blowout Sale VIP Night

Hey guys! I just got in a little while ago from a fantastic shopping trip to Shop Local Raleigh’s Boutique Blowout Sale VIP night. This is a great sale, and it is for a great cause, supporting our local boutiques! I snagged a few awesome items including a pair of boots from Spain, and a fantastic North Carolina Pillow from my friend Meghan at the Go Girl Shoppe. My favorite thing about the evening though wasn’t the swag I snagged, but meeting so many lovely gals and guys and discovering shops and businesses that I wasn’t familiar with. It was awesome! I will be posting more pictures from the even tomorrow, but I wanted to share with you all some of my favorite Instagrams from this evening. Check em’ out:























Here is a list of participating businesses:
· Clotheshound

· Frill

· Fab’rik

· FanFeet

· Flaunt

· Galatea Boutique

· Gingham & Posh

· The Go Girl Shoppe

· Gray Lee Designs

· Gypsy Jule

· Kristen’s Place

· Lucy & Me Jewelry

· Luscious Couture

· Peachy Keen

· Sophie and Mollies

· Simple Bliss

· Scout and Molly’s

· Sugar Magnolia

· The Purple Polka Dot

· The Art of Style
And there is a WHOLE LOT more fun finds there too! Awesome right! And the best thing is that you still have time to shop! The Boutique Blowout will be open today, Saturday July 20th starting at 10a.m. Tickets are $5 at the door. You can find the Boutique Blowout at the Hampton Inn Crabtree at 3920 Arrow Drive, Raleigh. This sale is not to be missed! Hope you all have a lovely Saturday!

Shop Local Raleigh’s Boutique Blowout!!!

Hey everybody! Today I have something I am really excited to share with all of my local followers and friends. Shop Local Raleigh is hosting a Boutique Blowout sale this Friday and Saturday! Raleigh is growing, and so is its local scene. There are so many awesome local businesses in the triangle and I am all for shopping local! It strengthens our ties as a community and our wallets by sharing in this local love! Some of you all know by now that I love style and fashion, even if most of my days are spent in jeans and a tee. And I am happy to say that we have some really awesome local boutiques and artists here in the Raleigh area!

Shop Local Raleigh is a non-profit organization that is all about supporting local businesses here in Raleigh. Their website has a great directory of local businesses from farms and food trucks, to boutiques and restaurants, furniture stores, cleaners, you name it…. They even have fun events! You can check out the Shop Local Raleigh Website Here.

So, if you are in the area, join Shop Local Raleigh at the Hampton Inn Crabtree this Friday and Saturday(July 19th and 20th) for their Boutique Blowout Sale! It’s going to be so much fun! Here are all the details:

Boutiques Include:

·         Clotheshound

·         Frill

·         Fab’rik

·         FanFeet

·         Flaunt

·         Galatea Boutique

·         Gingham & Posh

·      The Go Girl Shoppe

·         Gray Lee Designs

·         Gypsy Jule

·         Kristen’s Place

·         Lucy & Me Jewelry

·         Luscious Couture

·         Peachy Keen

·         Sophie and Mollies

·         Simple Bliss

·         Scout and Molly’s

·         Sugar Magnolia

·         The Purple Polka Dot

·          The Art of Style

Admission and Location: Friday is VIP night and the sale runs from 5-8p.m. Tickets are $10 and you get first dibs on the sale. VIP members will also receive goody bags from sponsors filled with special deals. The sale opens up at 10a.m. Saturday morning to everyone. Tickets for Saturday are $5. You can buy your tickets at the door, or advance online Here. The Boutique Blowout will be held att he Hampton Inn at Crabtree Valley(3920 Arrow Drive, Raleigh, North Carolina, 27612)

I will be attending tomorrow evening with my mom, the only gal I know who can out-shop me! I hope to see you there!


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