Rich and I went to Austin last 4th of July weekend. He dragged me around to various cycling shops (which I secretly enjoyed) and the capital (many, many steps) and I dragged him through quirky antique stores, handmade boutiques and fabric stores (at which point he decided to nap in the car). If you ever get a chance to visit Austin, I highly recommend it! Only an hour or so into our visit, we began reworking our 10-year plan to somehow accommodate an extended stint in this super cool city.
Some of the highlights of our weekend:
Mellow Johnny's, the bike shop/training center/cafe owned by Lance Armstrong, the kind of shop that makes a non-cyclist (like me) seriously consider making the change. Good coffee, too, always scores big in my book.
South Congress Street, also known as SoCo, home to iconic Allens Boots, curious goods and kitschy antiques at Uncommon Objects, St. Vincent de Paul, a vintage thrift store that my high school friends and I haunted back in the day (still going strong), locally handmade goods at Parts and Labour (basically felt like walking into Etsy embodied), and Amy's Ice Cream (mmm...Coffee Toffee...). Just to name a few.
And then there was Stitch Lab. Okay, so we're driving down some random street in Austin, just taking in the sights, when we pass a cute, little blue bungalow with a sign out front that says Stitch Lab. What?! Totally forgot that this shop, which I'd heard about for years, was in Austin. Our lucky day! (Right, honey?) Upon entering the store, I walk smack into the middle of a sewing class being taught by none other than Tina Sparkles, whom I used to watch on Stylelicious along with her other Austin Craft Mafia buds. An hour and a half later, I blissfully emerged with several cuts of lovely fabrics, Sublime Stitching patterns (love!), a stack of wool felt and a recommendation for what turned out to be an amazing local Indian restaurant. I have to tell you, I totally geeked out in there (as evidenced by the fact that I took a picture of the girl cutting my AMH voile; note the graciously tolerant smile that doesn't quite reach her eyes). This is what becomes of a person who lives in a city with no decent - modern - fabric shops and sewing classes.
Couldn't get a decent shot, but I had to share this great collection of vintage embroidery...
And the perfect finish: sharing Indian takeout on the grounds of the Long Center, unparalleled people watching (picture an old hippie/cowboy in skintight jeans dancing the two step alone with his eyes closed in the street for a good hour or so, just by way of example), listening to the Austin symphony bang out Tchaikovsky's 1812 Overture with real cannons, and watching fireworks light up the Texas sky. So good.
hanging with the other freeloaders outside the fence...
On the off chance you haven't wandered over here from mmmcrafts, the reason I dug these old pictures out from last July is that my bff Larissa and I have a trip planned to Austin in May! I have been trying to get Larissa to Austin for a crafty girl weekend for, like, ever. This is her teaser. And, as if Austin didn't have enough to offer already, it just so happens that this year's Renegade Craft Fair coincides with the trip I'd already planned to visit my folks who live down the road, so I talked (pleaded, cajoled, demanded) Larissa into flying over to meet me. Yay! I feel a serious geek attack coming on.