reader buy-n-brag: paul smith needlepoint

Our friend Allyson is getting in touch with her inner crafty girl, thanks to a sample sale bargain!


The other day, I reluctantly went to a Paul Smith sample sale, thinking I wouldn’t find anything worth buying. Until I found this cute needlepoint! I was a textile major in college, which means I used to spin and dye my own yarn, weave blankets, felt wool, use knitting machines, silkscreen fabrics and even once-silk screened a needlepoint canvas. After college, I put all my crafting behind me — space and time were no longer available like they used to be. But when I saw this great needlepoint kit — FOR ONLY $5 !!! — my craftster started surfacing again. Angela keeps telling me I need to find her and celebrate! Well, here I go — me and my ‘lil Dodo bird needlepoint. Honestly, I am very excited to get back into it. I can’t wait to finish this one and choose some sassy fabric to back it with to create a great pillow. Unlike the Dodo bird, my inner-craftster is not become extinct! — Ally T.

Angela’s Note: I found the same kit on eBay for $123. Or you could buy a finished version at Fine Cell Work — stitched by prison inmates in England, for about $100! Ally, you totally scored!

pretty crafty: big footed bunny kit


Now that it’s spring, doesn’t your house need some new bunnies? Why not whip up your own well-dressed, floppy-eared friend? It’s easy thanks to Hilary Lang’s Big Footed Bunny Put-Together book, up for sale in her Wee Wonderful store now. Modeled after one of her most popular creations, the kits come with complete patterns and instructions for a 10-inch stuffed bunny with two outfits. Only $10! When you’ve finished yours, be sure to add a photo of it to Wee Wonderfuls Flickr group.

monkey business: get a load of this dress!


I have to applaud Minneapolis designer Rebecca Yaker on this impossibly ambitious knit creation. Her primate-packed ball gown (there are 30 monkeys total) was the belle of the Walker Art Center’s un-prom fashion show last year, an event that billed itself as “taking prom by the heels and turning it on its tiara.” Wish you had worn a confection this cool to your high school dance? There’s always the reunion: Yaker will custom-design a gown for any sock monkey junky with $1,500 to spare. Check it out on — Megan K.

Shelterrific readers, please share the craft-art creations that inspire you!

vera scarves — for you and your home!


I recently bought myself a new trenchcoat for springtime, and since have been fantasizing about all the colorful Vera scarves I can tie around my neck to go with it. There’s a collection of them available at Auto, $80 each, reissues of the line’s classics of the 50′s, 60′s and 70′s. I know they’ll look fab with my mac, but I can’t help but thinking about how beautiful they’d be as décor. In fact, as the original Vera catalog pointed out, why not hang them as a gallery on the wall? The new reissued ones from Auto are worthy of professional framing, but if you find any while searching around bins at the flea markets, or on eBay, where they are usually about $10, you can be a little more creative. You could stitch them together in an gorgeous silk curtain or twist them together to form a pillow. — Angela M.

happy birthday to us


Now, we’re not gonna make a big deal of this, but… It’s our birthday! It was just about a year ago that Shelterrific was born, following a few crazy weeks that involved the demise of a great magazine, a swank getaway to the Adirondacks and a fondue Academy award party. We have a few things brewing that will help make our second year even bigger and better than our first, including a fresh new design in the works. But for now, we thought we’d just share a bit ‘o cake.

You will always be birthday-ready with one of these Amy Sedaris fake cakes from Fred Flare. They’re limited edition and signed by Amy, $100 for a large one — we guess it’s art?

Play cake decorator all day long with Twinkle-Kids felt cake . It’s a white felt covered teired cake, that comes with 50 decorations to stick on, $45.

Over at Esty, you’ll find Betz White wool stitched creations like these cupcake pincushions, $28 each. Recently featured on Martha Stewart’s TV show, she’s the hottest lady in crafting right now, so snatch ‘em up before they’re gone!

Insipired to make some cupcakes of your own? Check out our Real Life Test Kitchen on Classic Cupcakes.

And, thanks to all of you who have made up our 300,000 or so visitors this past year. It’s your comments, ideas and suggestions that keep us going! Mwaw! — The Shelterrific Crew