Hey, hot mammas. Look what I found this week.
I don't know about you other Tulsa moms out there, but if I try to take my son to a restaurant, a museum, a bathroom or down a cold, dark alley without something for him to do, I can pretty much count on him to completely freak out about 15 minutes into any of the above said adventures.
Considering that I rarely do Tulsa alone - my two-year-old son is recognized around town more often than I am, and pretty much always before me, because we do darn near everything together and, well, someone old and less cute has to man the camera - I have a plentiful stock of toddler diversions on hand at any given time, ranging from broken cell phones to those mini Tonka trucks to interview notes (never a good choice, but almost always better than a major meltdown in public).
But ever since my latest trip to Dwelling Spaces, downtown at 119 S. Detroit, I think I'll start leaving that junk at home. Because I found something better. Something really, really smart.
It's a fold-up crayon and tablet pouch, complete with velcro fastener. My son enjoys opening and closing it as much as he likes to scribble and rearrange the "coy-lers." Plus, it's made well, I don't have to button or unclasp anything for my son to be able to play with it and, hello, it's as cute as all get out.
So, I bought two - one to keep, one to give away.
If you all think I get fired up about shopping local, just wait until you hear me wax poetic about buying handmade. As a crafter myself (if I had more time for any one thing, it'd be for knitting), I understand the time and effort and skill required to make something that will please and be useful to someone else, not to mention something that won't cost me an arm, a leg and 67 hours to make.
When you can, buy handmade either directly from the craftsperson or from a local vendor. It's the absolute best way to get your retail therapy on, especially in terms of supporting the local economy and receiving something original and thoughtfully made in exchange.
These crayon pouches are made right here in Tulsa by Tex Montana, which is the coolest name ever, under the banner explodingmary designs. Tex makes beautiful quilts, too. Ask Mary Beth at Dwelling Spaces if you can see them next time you're in. You all will freak out, dudes included. They're hip, modern and funky, but they're still cuddly, handmade quilts, and that's a combo I can get on board with.
Here's a baby quilt from the explodingmary Etsy page:
"Please don't cover your cute baby with an ugly quilt!
Use this one instead. 100% cotton fabric featuring Denyse Schmidt fabrics from her Katie Jump Rope line. Batting 80/20 cotton.Measures approximately 45" X 60". Original design, completely handmade while whistling happy tunes. Ok, I may have cussed a little, too. But mostly just the happy whistling. Machine pieced and quilted, hand bound. And I wouldn't dream of selling you a baby quilt that wasn't machine washable. No way!
Mind-numbingly boring: This is an original design. That means don't make one like this and try to sell it. I will send goons to your house. You will not like these goons. (Design Copy Right 2010 by explodingmary designs by Tex Montana)"
So, do you all think Tex would be friends with me? No? I'm not good enough, you say? I'm not smart enough? And by the way, no one likes me?
Yeah. You're probably right. If Tex ever decided to hang out with me, I'd be too busy apologizing the entire time for my lameness for us to do anything cool.
So, these uber-cute crayon pouches. They're $12. As in, you could go crazy in the $1 aisle at a big-box store, snag a bunch of crap that breaks the second time it's used and feel really dirty and guilty afterward, or you could purchase a bit of handcrafted insanity insurance from a store that continues to be an integral part of the revitalization of the heart of our city.
Choose wisely, my fellow mothers. Our control of the purse strings in the households of this country, it's a force with which to be reckoned. Wield it with care and for stuff that doesn't suck.