Thank you, North Market! (and a sidebar)

Oh North Market Apron Gala, how I love you! We had tons and tons of fun Saturday night! The North Market Apron Gala is an event that benefits the North Market Development Authority. Those are the folks that run the North Market. It’s a historical place! The event consists of walking around the North Market and eating and drinking until you can’t do it anymore.

Heather, Mary Martineau and me. You really should have seen her shoes. The whole outfit was awesome!

How we got involved in all this, was Mary Martineau. She’s the marketing director for the North Market. If you ever work on a project with Mary, you better have your shit together is all I’m saying. We made the aprons for the host committee and then created custom aprons for the sponsors. I knew we had to really put our best into these, since Mary was our connection for the event. She just really does a great job and has it all together so you don’t want to be the messed-up cog in the machine,  you know?

I wasn’t sure what to expect. I had heard there was a ton of food and drink and people and celebrities. It’s true, people! All of it is true! It was sort of funny with the food because here is this awesome food and it’s just sitting there for you to take. Bryan went up to Firdous and the chicken kabob was calling to him, “I can just take this?!” the guy said “Yep!” and we were off!

Whenever we saw someone in one of our aprons we tried to get their picture. Everyone was really nice about it, maybe because we were so excited. It was like Christmas every time!

Rodney Wasserstrom and me!

Around one corner, a guy came towards us in his apron and I recognized the Wasserstrom logo and cleaver we had made. “Hey!” I said, “Can I get my picture taken with you? I made that!” He said sure and I had to fix the strap for him and adjust it all to look good and I was pretty much all up in his grill. He asked what I did for a living and I told him Heather and I make housewares and clothing from salvaged fabrics. I asked him what he did and he said he was Rodney Wasserstrom. I know! I about died. DIED! I apologized for adjusting his clothes and luckily, Mary Martineau walked up and stopped me before it got worse. He was super nice and he looks dashing in the apron. (Too bad the pic is a little blurry)

Super-nice Ben Walters of Short North Spices

More food and drink! Bryan said the pulled pork sandwich at North Market Spices was excellent. Let me tell you, those guys are so freaking nice over there. Ben was there and his mom and I think it was his dad or a friend. If someone knows let me know! They were just having a great time.

Tom Griesdorn!

Around another corner, we saw a guy in his WBNS 10tv apron. It was Tom Griesdorn! He’s got a serious job as president and station manager at 10tv.  He was also kind enough to let us get his picture too. Tom’s a big muckity-muck, people,  and he was just hanging out in his apron. This event is awesome!

Patient and kind Limited Brands Gala-goer

This lady from Limited Brands was so nice to us! She waited patiently while we worked out camera glitches and let us take her picture. Her friends were all nice and complimentary over the apron too. Yay!!

Heather, Bethia, me, and Andy Dehus

Bethia Woolf and Andy Dehus of Columbus Food Adventures were there, of course! Bethia pretty much knows everything about food. She was one of Columbus Alive’s People to Watch in 2010. As I was just stalking her online I also learned that she taught at Smith. Smith! I think I got smarter by touching her, I swear to God!

I didn’t get a pic of CMH Gourmand, Jim Ellison, which is unfortunate. He offered some good parenting advice and it’s always fun to talk to him. He’s also a food genius person. I really admire that in others because I possess none of it myself.

If you follow me on Twitter, you might know that I love Columbus Brewing Company Beer. I do I do! I don’t drink a lot. I have one beer per day at 4pm and that’s usually it. Seeing as how I have one per day, it’s got to be a good one. That special beer for me is Columbus Brewing Company’s Pale Ale. Some days it’s the IPA. I could go on and on. Another point to remember is that I know zero about brewing beer. It’s as though it’s magic to me. You put some crazy stuff in a jar and you get beer! Magic! As a fan of Columbus Brewing, making their apron was so awesome! When I say “I’m a fan” of something, it means I’m kind of ape shit focused about it. (If you want to hear a funny little story about how I met them in an airport in Denver, read in the yellowish box functioning as a sidebar below. If you don’t care about that, skip it.) We played around with their logo and came up with this!

Heather, Eric Bean (his signature is on the dang box, people!), and me

Heather has quite an eye for things. (Just last weeked she recognized Greg Lashutka at the North Market shopping) I tend to see mostly just the shiny things. As we were coming out of the Dispatch kitchen, Heather nudged me and whispered “Columbus Brewing! Columbus Brewing!” We got to get our picture taken with Eric and I will talk about it every day. Beth Bean must think I am insane. These people are some of my business heroes! I got to meet them!

At the end of it all, Dave Wible gave us a bouquet of flowers! Dude, I felt like some kind of empowered Cinderella! I was really surprised by this. He was so kind to have worked with us and we really appreciated the opportunity.  Thanks, Dave!

Heather and me at the Apron Gala. I certainly couldn’t do this without her and this awesome town.

Now we’ve got to come up with something supercool for next year! You can see all of our pics over at our facebook page here!


An insiders guide to enjoying the apron gala

This will be my first year attending the North Market Apron Gala! I’m so excited! From what I hear, there’s tons of awesome food and drink and there might still be a ticket or two left for sale! We are were fortunate enough to be involved with this even by making aprons for the host committee and sponsors.

This is the apron we made for Limited Brands

As a newbie to the North Market Apron Gala, I wondered if there were any ways to best enjoy the awesomeness of it all. Luckily, I wondered this aloud and my pal Jordan was nearby and answered, “Totally!” and not in a Valley Girl way. But in a serious way that I knew meant I should pay attention.

Our apron for Ice Miller Legal Counsel. We were hoping “Ice Miller” was some kind of beer distribution thing, but no. Ice Miller Legal Counsel is nice too though!

Here are some questions Jordan was kind enough to answer for me!

How many times have you been to the Apron Gala? (I asked this question to get some insight into whether or not we should take her advice.)  This is my third consecutive year and it’s one of my favorite annual events in Columbus. 

What’s the purpose of the Apron Gala?  The Apron Gala benefits the North Market Development Authority, the non-profit organization that operates and manages the historic North Market.

Should I get there early?  Definitely. I will be there at 6:55 waiting for the doors to open!

What should I wear? Wear whatever you’ll be most comfortable in. This really is an event where you’ll be as comfortable in jeans as you will something fancier. 

Do I have to wear an apron to get in? You don’t have to wear an apron to get in but the best male and female aprons win great prizes and admiration by all and everyone wearing an apron will be entered into a drawing for a special prize. 

Have you seen any celebrities there?  Absolutely! Jeni Britton Bauer was there last year scooping ice cream. I also got to chat with Trish Gentile and Johnny Dornback, owners of the wonderful Basi Italia, and a personal favorite, Randy Malloy, owner of CD101. Not to mention all the fabulous venders and staff at the North Market who are rockstars in their own right.

What’s the size of the crowd like?   The crowd is fairly large, but there’s more than enough food and drinks for everyone. And the patio will be open so it’ll be the perfect place to see and be seen this Saturday with the lovely weather they’re forecasting.

Is the food ample, or should I eat before I go?  Do not eat before you go. In fact, don’t eat all day in preparation for the feast that awaits at the Apron Gala. Each of the 30+ vendors serve an appetizer, main dish, and dessert. I think Miriam Bowers Abbott from The Other Paper described it best when she said, “Essentially, the event is like a giant dream buffet whereby all the North Market vendors serve up nonstop treats for three hours.”

Do you go in with a plan for how to maximize your eating and drinking or are you more of a free-baller?  I’ve been told I sound like Liz Lemon before but yes, I have a plan. Stop 1: The Barrel & Bottle for a cocktail. Stop 2: Curds & Whey. They literally have a tower of cheese (be still my heart). Stop 3: The Fish Guys for fresh oysters. After that I do an hourly lap and eat only the most delectable looking treats, which is hard to do, but you don’t want to fill up your first hour there. You want to maintain to sample as many delicacies as you can over the entire three hours. 

If I have kids and wanted to bring them, is it kid-friendly? (I didn’t want to put her on the spot with this one. She likes kids! But I knew you would want to know! My kids aren’t used to a lot of people being around, since we live in a sweatshop)   I know that both Jeni Britton Bauer and Walker Evans have brought their kids in the past, and they seemed fine with it, but I would suggest finding a sitter if you can. There are a lot of people drinking and mingling, especially as the evening goes on, and I don’t know how much fun that is for a small child.


I haven’t said too much about this, a little about Tim Knapp.

My brother’s partner, Tim Knapp, died in January. We were all shocked and devastated. Tim was so dearly loved and adored by our whole family. There isn’t anyone who met Tim who didn’t like him. He was so sweet and thoughtful to our children. Our daughter, Indie, especially loved joking around with him. She usually tried to get a spot near Aunt Tim at the table or on the couch because she loved his totally inappropriate sense of humor. Tim always let her think he didn’t get it when she teased him and loved seeing her laugh. Tim’s family has been so kind to us. Damon loves them all and they all have Tim’s sweetness about them. My heart breaks every day for Damon and only hope that he can gain some sense of peace or at least tolerate life without Tim.

Tim and Damon

I haven’t talked about this publicly really because it’s just too hard. I’m sorry if you are hearing about it for the first time here in my blog. The reason I decided to share this with you now is that my brother, Damon, and many friends are putting together a memorial garden for our beloved Tim. He absolutely loved gardening. Loved. He planted flowers anywhere and everywhere.

The following is from a letter my brother sent regarding the garden and how people can help…

I have been working in cooperation with The Friends of the Topiary Park (501 3C nonprofit) designing a significant memorial garden to be installed at the northeast entrance to the park. We plan to dedicate the memorial garden on September 1, 2012. A separate invitation will be sent in the mail at a later date. That being said, the garden needs to be started in April or early May. The memorial garden for Tim will have topiary features and be a significant enhancement to the beauty of the park, which was historically called the Old Deaf School Park. (You can read more about this beautiful place at Additionally, some of you may not know that Tim was a writer and poet. He wrote poetry almost every day of our life together and one of his poems will be incorporated into the garden.

Many of you have already sent donations to the park, and I thank you from the bottom of my heart. I would like to give all of our friends the opportunity to participate in the memorial garden if you so choose. All donations should be made to “Friends of the Topiary Park” in memory of Timothy L. Knapp. We are looking to raise about $10,000 to make this project happen, so whatever you can give – no matter how small – will be most appreciated. Your contributions are tax deductible:

Friends of the Topiary Park
480 E. Town St.
Columbus, OH 43215

I would be more than happy to speak with you in more detail about the design of the garden and answer any questions you may have. As you know, Tim loved gardening. I knew my place well in our home–right behind Lucky, Max and the garden…

I thank you from the bottom of my heart for the love and support you have given Tim in his short life. I thank you for every kind deed, sincere conversation and the precious time you spent in our lives.

With hope,

Damon M. Dalrymple

Damon also gave me permission to include Tim’s poem that will be featured at the park…….

When Two Vines Meet
They do not stop
but begin intermingling…
’till you can’t tell where one begins
or ends. I want to be like that
when my arms are around you
and likewise and with a foundation
to support us growing
for years and years
’til we touch the face
of God together.

I remember the farting!

We took the kids to see “Shrek, the Musical” on Tuesday night.  Started at 8pm. On a Tuesday.  A school night.  I emphasize these things because they stayed awake and were interested the whole time and we were very surprised.

Look! It was so great it made them hug on camera!

I won tickets to see it via and decided that free is free and we shouldn’t pass it up, even on a Tuesday. We are so glad we went, not just because the musical was great. The Ohio Theater is known for it’s Spanish Baroque architecture. Lots of red and gold trim and fancy wallpaper with gold flecks and chandeliers and more and more gold. I told my husband it reminded me of a 70’s movie representation of a fancy brothel. He disagreed. It’s fantastic!

Not like a REAL brothel, but a 70's movie brothel

We are Shrek fans.  We have seen all the movies.  We have Shrek stuffed animals and glassware.  I was thinking the kids wouldn’t like the musical because they like their Shrek delivered in its original form.  It’s like seeing a movie after you read the book.  (Remember Garp? Both book and movie were great, but still.)

They surprised us by loving it!  The humor was a little more sophisticated than the movie.  The actors really had a difficult task and rose to the occasion.  I felt bad for the guy being “Donkey.”  I mean, who wants to follow Eddie Murphy?  He was Ellie’s favorite character in the musical though. Wait!  Except for the big-ass dragon!

They had a big-ass dragon puppet that whirled around the stage and danced and sang. When I say “big-ass” I mean it almost filled the stage.  It was so startling and awesome. It made me think about when Kevin Clash, the guy that is Elmo, said kids don’t notice him when Elmo is around.  The puppet was so fantastic and enormous, the kids didn’t mention the puppeteers.

Lord Farquad was the star for me.  Funny, a bit of a queen, and athletic! My favorite qualities. I want to tell you his back story, which is revealed during the musical, but I don’t want to spoil it for you.

The next day after school, I asked them what they remembered the most from the musical.  Ellie (6) said, “There was a lot of action.  They we constantly doing stuff and running and dancing.”  Indie (9) said, “I remember the farting!” So I said, “Well what did you LIKE best?” and she said, “The farting!  There was so much farting!”

If you are a parent who thinks farts are never funny, then you may not like that. I’m a parent who thinks farts are almost always be funny.  I love that Indie has this joyful memory of it.  It was a great way to introduce them to this new avenue to enjoying a story with which they were already familiar. For me, that’s what makes this kind of thing something I want to do.

When you go, pay extra and get good seats.  You’ll be glad.  Let me know if you do, too and tell me what you think.

AmyD Field Trip to Chicago

We really did go to Chicago.  Alas, we were so pooped at the end of each trade show day, this was the only view we got of the train.  Maybe next time we will get out of the loop and do some exploring.

Why were we in Chicago?  Heather and I went to the Merchandise Mart for the Beckman’s trade show.  Beckman’s is a part of the bigger Living and Giving gift trade show that is at the Merchandise Mart.  Beckman’s showcases exclusively handmade goods.

We met some really great people there!  Our neighbor Mandy Adamick put up with our shenanigans very nicely.  We made a unicorn, taped it to a hammer, and during slow times provided her with an exciting puppet show from the top of the booth.  Here is a lovely pic taken by Heather that showcases the Unicorn Hammer and the “Best Bartender” sash we made for the bartender stationed about 10 feet from our booth.  Poor guy.  We made it hoping to bump up his tip jar.  I think it actually worked because I heard people congratulating him.

Here’s a pic of our booth.  We made it fancier by adding the border along the top.  Swanky, right?

We also met the fantastic Laura Tanner of Laura Tanner Jewelry .  Her friend, Natalie, had a skirt with a bead coming off.  She came to our booth and we sewed it back on.  She was so nice and they all stopped by off and on throughout the show to entertain us.  She’s a mom like us.  Meaning, she’s a mom, and she’s like us.  Plus, when we saw Joan Cusack walk by, she was just as excited as we were.  Joan Cusack!  We shat ourselves.

Across the way from us was Village Designs.  Dodie is so sweet and gave me some great advice.  She’s been at this for around 20 years and has seen it all.  I am giving her a virtual hug right now….

Something So Charming was our other neighbor.  They have a thousand balls in the air and juggle them all just fine!  Their booth was pretty populated most of the time and I think they know everyone.

While we were goofing off and making our award-winning sashes, Howard of Whitney Howard stopped in our booth.  He was so friendly and we looked forward to seeing him every day.  Privately, we just called him “California” like that was his actual name, and well, now it’s not private.  (At the show, you wear a tag that says where you are from and that’s what we first remembered.  As in “I was looking for lunch and stopped by California’s booth.  They are so nice.”) Anyway, he is what I would consider successful.  He has a healthy business, loves his family, and didn’t seem stressed out at all.  That’s what I’m aiming for.

We tried to have a beer one night with Lisa of Ellembee for her birthday.  However, we made it about 6 blocks and had to declare, “We think you are awesome and we really want you to have a happy birthday, but we are so damn tired and must go to bed.”  That’s right, we are PARTY ANIMALS.

All in all, the trip to Chicago was a fantastic networking event for us.  We met people who have great ideas and were very generous with their advice.  Plus, Heather and I had tons of fun watching tv and eating in bed.  Which is something we can’t do at home because we have kids.  I mean, we COULD do it at home but my kids are slobs.

See you later, Sweet Potater




Our first pic in a national magazine!

Look, Mom! August 2011 Better Homes and Gardens

We were so thrilled to have one of our products be part of this photo shoot with Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams!  When Jeni called, I squealed.  Literally.  Not one of my proudest moments, but there it is.

That’s our Ice Cream Cozy in Better Homes and Gardens August 2011 issue! We are grateful to Jeni and everyone at Jeni’s for being kind enough to include us.

Jeni’s contacted us last year about making a sleeve for their pint ice-cream containers.  They wanted to include our ice cream sleeves with their Father’s Day ice-cream packages as a gift for their customers.  Everyone likes eating right out of the pint, so we thought it was a great idea!  The sleeves pictured use different fabric but all are lined with fleece so it’s a way to keep your ice-cream cold and your hands warm.  Cute, huh?

(Unfortunately, we weren’t listed in “Where to buy.”  Hopefully, within a couple months you’ll find us listed in the most-read section called “Corrections.” Until then,  you know how to reach us! )


I’m going to spare you the “sorry i’ve been away so long” part of this.  It’s not like you don’t have stuff to read, right? (Besides, my kid was sick.  She’s just now well enough to be super crabby.  Awesome!)

Me modelling the winning belts for the Crafty Showcase Showdown created by the superb @flamestitch

Midwest Craft Caucus was a complete blast!  There were a ton of crafty Who’s Whos there.  Loads to learn and folks to meet.  I didn’t take any pics because I was making coffee, learning about taking pictures, learning about Pinterest, and shmoozing with the Creme de la Craft.   Seriously, look at the website and see who was there.  You’ll be jealous.  Oh yeah, I did get to emcee the Crafty Showcase Showdown.

The Crafty Showcase Showdown is an event in which people compete on teams of two with crafty challenges.  This like “Get supplies from this pile of crap and make a vest!”  It’s really fun and while they are crafting, I harass them.  I try to find their weak spot and exploit it.  Kidding!  These are usually professional crafters and they know I’m full of it.  Really, I’ve competed many times and lost almost every time.  It’s just about having fun.  I like the idea of crafting being translated into other languages.  Like, now it’s a full-on sport!  I want my kids to letter in Crafting!  That would be something for their college resumes!

Did you also notice that I said “professional crafters”?  That’s right.  It can be a profession.  I just find that very exciting.

And that pic up there  (it’s a good thing i don’t get embarrassed, right? ) was taken by Esther of Torn Angel.  See?  Another reason to love Columbus.  Check out what Esther had to say about the Craft Caucus here…

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