Thursday, February 24, 2011


In another lifetime, I'd love to be a scientist. It's not working out for me this time around, because reading about science has a tendency to make me very sleepy.

However, I have found a fabulous little science-oriented nature blog that does not make me nod off. And I must share it.

GrrlScientist writes about clever little animals, their lives and their dramas. 
For instance, check out her article entitled:

Mate Choice: When Mr Right isn't good enough

Now, I am a completely happily married woman, but a title like that is as enticing as picking up an US magazine in the grocery check-out line. Inquiring minds want to know!

Why are these little birds unhappy with their marriage? 

GrrlScientist writes:
Marriage is for the birds -- or is it? Considering the soaring divorce rates and the high percentage of cheating that occurs in marriages, it seems that birds are the only animals that are capable of maintaining a pair-bond. But according to a new study, most female birds are dissatisfied with their mates, too.

Wow! Now that's pretty interesting.

She even goes on to write when Mrs. Bird isn't happy, she doesn't want to reproduce and her stress levels are higher. whoa.

Check her weighing out her options! I love it! 
I've seen a very similar occurrence at a bar the other night.

So if you enjoy learning about the parallels of our lives in the lives of animals, then you just might enjoy: a nature network blog by GrrlScientist.

I sure do.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Musical Guest Adrian Quesada Presents... Songs You Must Hear.

Adrian Quesada, take the mic.

Who am I? I am a musician/producer/composer/etc based in Austin, TX who won over the wife almost ten years ago when I matched her tequila for tequila. I'm also the secret behind the scenes editor of the blog sometimes but I get no credit for that.

For my first installment of "Songs you must Hear" on the wife's skullcrushing blog, I will list seven songs from a wide variety of genres and eras I feel could change your life, or your day at least...focusing on stuff a little out of the mainstream. I'm not a snob by any means and the wife and I aren't above rockin' to Jay Z or Queen or singing B's "All The Single Ladies" with our 5 year old daughter but I'm not gonna waste bandwidth telling you the Beatles kick ass.

I've attached a link so you can enjoy most of 'em with the click of a mouse. Hopefully you like the stuff as much as I do and maybe discover something new, if you already know this stuff even better, knew you'd have good taste if you're on this blog!

A. A. Bondy - How Will You Meet Your End

I'm not the most lyrical person in the world but damn the simplicity in these and the sparseness of the song get me every time....this is probably my number 1 driving home from a gig late night song. This is haunting and beautiful.

I love how you can find so many versions of songs from the 60s and 70s and obviously there are hundreds and hundreds of Beatles covers. But this one is special, it was hard for me to hear the original after this. This is Psychedelic Motown at it's finest.

Los Pasteles Verdes - Esclavo Y Amo
One of the most haunting boleros (ballads) ever, funky drums, farfisa organs all drenched in liquor and reverb. Maybe a little melodramatic but it's pretty gut-wrenching, plus it sounds like Ghostface Killah could just bust out of nowhere and rhyme on it

Los Chicos Aventura - Otro Ladrillo en El Pared

My friend Mexican Dubwiser from Monterrey turned me onto this. I've seen him destroy dance floors over and over with this. It gets em every time, always puts smiles on faces. Synth Cumbia cover of "Another Brick in the Wall."

Yonlu - I Know What It's Like

I first heard this song and thought it was incredible, only to find out it was written by a Brazilian kid who was all of 16 (!) years old when he wrote AND recorded it. The story gets extremely tragic as he went on to commit suicide and Luaka Bop records eventually compiled the album and released it quietly. An amazing document of a young genius who left us too early, it's a little hard to make it through the whole record with the back story honestly but it's worth a try.

Trevor Dandy - Is There Any Love

I can hear the intro on repeat over and over, I hardly make it into the middle of the tune. Apparently, Monsters of Folk felt the same way, I heard something recently where they "sampled" (?) this.

Jingo - Fever
AFRO FUNK. As good as it gets. If this doesn't get you dancing don't know what will.
So that's it, folks! 
Thank you Adrian, for joining us on Craftbox Agency. We think you are super cool.
me + you = for-eva'.

Stay tuned for Songs You Must Hear Volume 2.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

you know when the men are gone.

Recently, I heard a wonderful NPR interview with Siobhan Fallon, writer of You Know When All The Men Are Gone. Fallon is a military wife and earned her MFA at the New School in New York City. Her book (a collection of short stories) is based on the experiences of Army families in Fort Hood.
Wow, she sounded fabulous. It made me stop for a moment and truly think about those experiencing such a different life, yet living so close to us. Fort Hood is literally right down the road from Austin, Texas.

Whether we are in the military world or not, feelings of isolation and fear is certainly part of the human experience. Not to mention, we live in a day and age where all types of loved ones often travel for work and are away for long lengths of time. Think of musicians, attorneys, pilots, or professors. This book resonates with all those dark and confusing feelings of family left behind in a beautiful, understated manner.

If you don't have time to read the book, listen to the interview here, and you just might make the time.

Kirkus Review writes: "In an accomplished debut story collection, Fallon lays bare the lonely lives of military families when the men go to war. In these eight loosely connected tales, the families of Fort Hood, Texas, wait for their men to come home. That waiting, filled with anxiety, boredom and sometimes resentment, creates a Godot-like existence, in which real life begins only when a soldier’s deployment ends... Fallon reveals the mostly hidden world of life on base for military families, and offers a powerful, unsentimental portrait of America at war. A fresh look at the Iraq war as it plays out on the domestic front."

Monday, February 14, 2011

Laced with Romance

Be still my beating heart.

Valentine's Day must be celebrated with a bang... and there is no better way to accomplish that than to feature the Austin boutique Laced With Romance and its owner, Stephanie Villalobos-Fellabaum.

Laced With Romance is a precious hidden jewel tucked away on South 1st Street. Gotta look closely to see it while driving by.... but one step into this stylish vintage den, and you will never forget its location. It is beyond fabulous. I found 20 items I wanted to purchase on the spot.

Creative visionary Stephanie Villalobos-Fellabaum is the perfectly charming hostess at this haute house of yester-year's couture. But the buck certainly doesn't stop here with just vintage-wear.

Villalobos-Fellabaum also curates an incredible collection of handcrafted jewelry and accessories including pieces by Bad Panda Jewelry, Rima Hyena, and Texas Hatters. She has magically harmonized the last six decades of fashion with current, innovative artisans  - and made a divine concoction that is indeed, Laced With Romance. 

Let's learn a little about what makes Stephanie Villalobos-Fellabaum tick:

What is your idea of perfect happiness?

• Sunsets in The West Texas mountains
• Watching ideas manifest into something greater then I could imagine
• Complete silence
• Complete chaos
• Jameson's, a warm bath, Nag Champa, and my record player spinning the haunting voice of Hope Sandoval
• Staying in bed all day on a Sunday

What is your greatest fear?

• being afraid.

What or who is the greatest love of your life?

• my husband Aaron
• my wife Tammy
• my cat Sterling

What do you value most in your friends?

• The ability to see/be themselves in-spite of how painful or awkward it might be.

What is your favorite item of clothing?

• My smokey quartz hand cast, Rima Hyena, shaman necklace

Who are your real heroes in life?

• The dreamers and the twisted eccentrics!

Favorite discovery

• Jennifer Raines, she's honestly the strongest woman I know!!!

Who inspires you

• Right now....Karl Lagerfeld!
I love his work, but honestly, what inspires me most about the man! I love his aesthetic! He is the epitome of effortless eccentric elegance. Something I find myself drawn to time and time again.
Check out this video from his 2009 Chanel Pre-Fall Moscow Accessory Collection. It absolutely slays me!!!

Necessary extravagance

• The Fried Chicken @ East Side Showroom (east 6th)

Favorite color
• muted earthy hues & black (even if its not a color)

Favorite gadget

• my sewing machine

Favorite dessert
• creme brulee

Favorite ingredient



And now for some images featuring her gorgeous sense of style.

Whoa! Rima Hyena head-dresses are rocking my world! 
(Note to self: feature Rima Hyena on Craftbox Agency asap.)

Citizens of the World, be on the look-out. 
Laced With Romance's Stephanie Villalobos-Fellabaum is well on her way straight to the top of the fashion world's finest.

Enjoy... and have a fabulous, inspirational Saint Valentine's Day!

PS: Give a big round of applause to Fashion Freakout for producing the all killer-no filler event that some of these catwalk fotos came from. 

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

naturally sweet valentine.

Need a cute idea for a healthy valentine's day treat?
These are so sweet and perfect for your kid's classmates or your work colleagues.

Just open, download the PDF, print onto sticker paper, cut out with a 1″ craft punch, 
and apply to your special someone’s favorite fruit. 

Thanks Elephantine, for the tip!

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Be mine.

Valentine's Day is officially around the corner.

To make it easier to give some love, 
check out these super cool down-loadable valentine's day cards
Thanks for the tip, Poppytalk.

And Happy St. Valentine's... all month long! 

Monday, February 7, 2011

Oomph Trajectories

Oomph Trajectories investigates the illusionary possibilities of repetitive line, through mark making and hand working of wire. In this work Michaela Bruton examines how movement and rhythm can be generated through repetitive pattern, and whether this can create an illusion of life or ‘oomph’ in otherwise inanimate forms. The essence of time and hand made processes is reflected through works that pursue repetitious detailing. 

Thanks All The Mountains, for the tip.

Friday, February 4, 2011

Allyson Garro, the owner and creator of Coco Coquette

Are there some days you just look in the mirror and need to tap into your inner-diva? It happens to me all the time, especially when I realize my hair is looking somethin' crazy and I'm in same yoga pants as yesterday.

Well, that's when its time to walk straight into the magical world of Coco Coquette and get yourself a beauty treat. Allyson Garro has created a gorgeous den of diva-ness tucked away in a little bungalow cottage on East Cesar Chavez. In her studio shop, you will find absolutely stunning hand-crafted wigs she has created locally-made jewelry, fanciful head-dresses... and let's not forget a wonderful palette of make-up and perfumes.

I first encountered Coco Coquette during a fabulous Girls Night Out, where all the girls were fitted for hand-selected wigs and got their make-up done by professional make-up artist Mahshad Valiki of Big Bang Collective. It was one of the funnest nights I've had in a long, long time. (The next time you need an idea for Girl's Night Out, take this recommendation. You will not be disappointed.)

But back to Allyson Garro. 
What makes a sweet, uber-creative girl like Allyson tick? 

Let's find out:

Necessary extravagance
The three Ps: Organic Produce, Pedicures and Prosecco!

Favorite color
I'm beige to the bone.  Is that weird?  My favorite color is such a non- color.  I also like peach, brown and gold... which I think are all distant cousins of beige.

Favorite gadget
Teasing comb and a hot glue gun - I'm lo-tech.

Favorite dessert
A fresh young coconut, a spoon, a straw and a butcher knife.

Favorite ingredient
Love.  And truffle oil.

What or who is the greatest love of your life?
There is a lot of love in my life.  My best friend of almost 12 years, a Rottweiler named Violet, just passed and I am feeling her absence every day.  Romantically, my boyfriend Greg Rhoades is my greatest love!  I'm very close to my family, too, and then there's the matter of being blessed with friends who I am in awe of on a daily basis... Group hug! 
((UPDATE:: Allyson just got engaged on recent trip to Costa Rica. ❤ Many Congrats!!))

If you were to do and come back as a person or thing, what do you think it would be?
A unicorn, of course!  I'd like to prance around all day, chasing rainbows and jumping through waterfalls and leaving my hoofprints in the freshly fallen snow in some enchanted forest. 

What do you value most in your friends?
Imagination, daring and playfulness

What is your favorite item of clothing?
I'm a big fan of the City Wide Garage Sale, especially on Sunday afternoons when the vendors are dumping their wares at crazy low prices.  I bought this cream colored (borderline beige) oversized wool cardigan with gold buttons for $1 and I wear it everyday.  It makes me look like an old man, but I combat that look with red lipstick.

So there you have it!

Allyson of Coco Coquette is meant to be your new best friend. She's funny, nurturing, good with kids and super-duper creative. You must purchase yourself a little something special from Coco Coquette and unleash the diva from within!

But wait... there's more. 
Get a fix of Coco Coquette during their upcoming event!

12 Designers, 12 Dancers, 12 Twisted Love Themes

Hosted by infamous New Orleans' MC, the insatiable Chris Lane!

Doors at 8, show at 9
Tix $8

The Designers (In Show Order)
Tina Sparkles
House of Space
Jen Rea of Team Fabrication
Amanda Martinez
Katinka Pinka
Lovecraft Vintage
Louise Black
Shari Gerstenberger
Teddy Darling
Curry Beth

Lingerie by Teddies For Bettys!

Special Performance by MC Sweet Tea!

...more fabulous wigs created by Coco Coquette...

Thursday, February 3, 2011

blue tit bird.

This is truly a fascinating little mama bird.

Female blue tits gather lavender, yarrow, curry, mint and other scented plants for their nests shortly after laying eggs, and continue to do so until the chicks leave home.

"They are real botanists and do a great job exploiting their environment to protect their chicks," says Marcel Lambrechts of the Centre for Functional Ecology and Evolution in Montpellier, France, one of the researchers.

The birds make a potpourri of 10 aromatic plants from the 250 species in their habitat. Many of the chemicals in these plants ward off bacteria, viruses, parasites, fungi and insects.

Sheesh, and I thought I was a good mama. 
She is one hard-working little lady.
Read more here.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011


When it comes to most things, Austin is ahead of the game. Consider the music scene, the great outdoors, yummy food, progressive living, etc, etc.

But for awhile there, the fashion scene was bleak. This town was just so utterly casual, it was kinda depressing. I'm totally guilty too, but enough already with the tee-shirts and flip-flops everyday of the year.

Well Fashionistas, your time has come. You can officially wipe away your tears, rev your fashion engines and certainly mark your social calendar for some serious catwalk action!

The Proto-Hunnies from Prototype Vintage Design have answered your stylish prayers by presenting Fashion Freakout Four on Friday, February 4th at The Mohawk, along with New Bohemia and Laced with Romance.

Here's my advice. Get your hustle on and tickets fast because this baby is sure to be a sold-out event.


And everyday folks, do not be afraid. I came to this show last year only 8 month pregnant and had a total blast just enjoying the eye candy, sipping my cranberry with soda... and texting The Husband saying I'd be home late. 

Have a look-see at what the critics say:

"The Prototype Vintage Design team created quite the scene at the Fashion Freakout...if the applause, laughter, oohs and ahhs account for anything, it appeared as if Austin's hipsterati approved."
-The Austin American Statesman

"The line that snaked out the door, around the corner, as hopeful scenesters waited to get in on a one-in/one-out policy, indicated that this fashion show was worth freaking out for."
-The Austin Chronicle

"To put it simply, the Fashion Freakout blew the rest of the city's fashion shows out of the water." -Austin Style Watch