Spice Cake Muffins

I figured I should add some recipes on this blog, because crafters and non-crafters alike require sustenance to keep going sometimes. And sometimes that sustenance is in the form of baked goods. So here’s my first contribution to your crafting fuel:

Spice Cake Muffins (or, how I made friends with baked goods)

I found a spice cake recipe in a vegetarian cookbook. But as you’ll soon find out (because I’m about to tell you), I much prefer things in muffin sizes. Almost all cake, brownie, or tart recipes I try out I use a muffin tin.

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See? Look at that cute little muffin tin.

I’ve always been like this. Bigger portions just don’t do it for me (because if I’m never going to finish the slice of cake why try? Well of course I try, but it’s so much more satisfying to finish the dang thing than to leave a mangled piece of cake on a plate that no one wants to eat and will sit in the fridge with plastic wrap over it and you’ll see it every day and think I should eat that, but it’s not very appetizing, because it’s not pretty because you were only able to eat some of it.)

I made these spice cake muffins because I was bored one day. And the next day I brought them into lab (which is not one of those labs with all the dangerous things in them so you can’t bring food even remotely near them) and shared with my fellow research students, and we rejoiced (until break was over and we had to go back to behavioral training with rats).

The moral of the story is, if you bake delicious things and give them to others, you are more likely to make friends with those people than if you had given them, say, a knuckle sandwich or a third degree burn (who out there does these things to make friends? I don’t know. But I know you’re out there. So heed my advice and bake delicious food instead.)

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Anyway. Here’s the recipe. Which I changed a bit because I didn’t have enough oil or any molasses (apparently you can substitute honey for molasses. Who knew?) But it’s still good. It ends up being more of a muffin than the intended cupcake, but I like muffins. Makes me feel like I can eat it for breakfast and it’s somehow healthy. Which this probably isn’t. But it’s more healthy than, say, a tub of lard or just one girl scout cookie (even though we all know you can never eat just one.) They can actually be vegan if you use molasses instead of honey and oil instead of butter. So that’s kinda cool.

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup plain, unflavored soy milk
  • 1/2 cup pure maple syrup
  • 6 tablespoons honey
  • 6 tablespoons canola oil or melted, unsalted butter
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 2 teaspoons cider vinegar
  • 1 cup white whole wheat flour
  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons ground ginger
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • Pinch (I’m not kidding, the book uses this word) black pepper
  1. Preheat oven to 350 F (I didn’t 375, but I’m at high altitude and my mom always told me to add flour, add liquid, subtract leavening, and bake at a higher temperature, and I go by that). I used cupcake liners, but you can also just grease the muffin tin and dust it with flour
  2. In a relatively large bowl (it says medium, but I always end up needing a bigger one. Probably because I tend to double recipes. So I have no gauge of what baking in small quantities is like. Don’t listen to me when it comes to such things) whisk soy milk, maple syrup, honey, oil/butter, vanilla, and vinegar.
  3. In separate bowl, sift flours, ginger, cinnamon, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cloves, nutmeg, and (just a pinch!) pepper. I just mix it all up because I don’t have a fancy shmancy sifter (maybe some day).
  4. Fold dry ingredients into wet ingredients with a rubber spatula, and try not to overmix, even though I have no idea what it would look or feel like to overmix. I just do it until it feels right. Which I realize it no help whatsoever, especially if you have no real intuition.
  5. Pour into muffin tin, filling about 2/3 of the way, and bake somewhere between 15 and 25 minutes. I know this is a big range. That’s because I baked at a higher temperature. And because I really have no recollection of how long I truly baked these muffins for. I’m already a horrible blogger. Bloggess? Eh. Bake it until a toothpick comes out clean.
  6. Enjoy! Maybe let it cool down just a little. I didn’t. I burned my mouth and it was absolutely worth it. Then maybe share. Maybe.

How to Use Fabric Scraps: The Hair Clip

Felted Wool Sweater Blue Heart Hair Clip/Pin

I go through a lot of felted sweaters. Like, A LOT. I scrounge for wool sweaters at the ARC or Goodwill at least once every week from September until March (which according to thrifts stores is sweater season). I felt and cut up sweaters once every month or so and organize all my pattern pieces so they are easy to grab and use. My goal at this point is to throw away as little of the sweater as possible, so I’ve had to get creative over the years.

Plaidypus felted wool coffee cup cozy in the making

I started by only using sweaters to cut out patterns for my Coffee Cup Cozies. But there were all these parts left over. I began using the sleeves to make scarves, which helped ease my guilt, but I still felt like I was wasting some good scraps. I started looking online for small accessories I could create, and realized that hair clips were a worthy investment.

I found inspiration for the pattern I eventually made on the internet and at home.
After searching the web I found a few tutorials and photos that I really liked and tried to figure out why I liked them. For example, Here’s one that I liked because of the layering effect they used.

I also had a few hair clips at home that friends and family had bought me over the years that added to my inspiration and designs. Inspiration really is everywhere. Plaidypus felted wool hair clip pinI knew I wanted layers and I knew I wanted buttons (because I like buttons on everything. Who doesn’t like buttons?) so I messed around until I made something I liked and then stuck with that and made a bunch more.

Because I was just using up scraps that I would have thrown away otherwise, I was keeping costs low and could therefore keep the price lower for customers. Also, I felt better about not throwing away so much good wool (because wool is getting harder and harder to come by as acrylic and acrylic blends take over the sweater market).

If you don’t use sweaters, you can still make hair clips or pins out of other scrap materials you have laying around. I also use a lot of t-shirts and end up with a lot of scraps from that and I’ve been thinking about making hair clips from those scraps as well. A lot of people have scraps from quilting or sewing projects, and those can be made into hair clips just as easily. Here’s a website with a bunch of great collection of hair bow ideas that you can make with your fabric, yarn, and ribbon scraps.

Scrap yarn crochet flower headband featured on Plaidypus blogScrap fabric hair bows featured on Plaidypus blogScrap fabric hair flower bow headband featured on Plaidypus blog

 

Bonus: Plaidypus pink and purple felted wool sweater hair clipHere’s one of the first hair clips I ever made combined with the moment I realized how difficult it was to take photos of myself with an SLR camera. At least my hair looked fabulous.

 

Plaidypus Spotlight: Sustainable Living Fair in Fort Collins, CO

Plaidypus at the 15th annual sustainable living fair in fort collins, colorado

I’m pleased to announce that Plaidypus will have a booth at the annual Sustainable Living Fair in Fort Collins, CO!

 

Here are the quick and dirty details:

Where: Legacy Park, 300 Woodlawn Drive in the Heart of Fort Collins, alongside the Cache la Poudre River

When: Saturday, Sept. 20 10am to 6pm; Sunday, Sept. 21 10am to 5pm

How much: $10 (12 and under free)

 

So what is the Sustainable Living Fair? Well it’s put on by the Sustainable Living Association, which is dedicated to educating and promoting–you guessed it–sustainable living through buying local, reusing and recycling, and using eco-friendly products. The fair, then, is a place with speakers, workshops, exhibitors (of which I will be one!), hands on education, and food/drink that embody the Sustainable Living values.

Plaidypus fits in because it’s not only a local business, but upcycles old t-shirt, neckties, jeans, and sweaters into new fashion accessories and clothing. We were going to be in it last year, but there was some terrible flooding and the fair was cancelled. But we’re back this year and hoping for some beautiful weather!

Plaidypus will be selling all sorts of goodies, from our famous fuzzy hand warmers to our t-shirt headbands and felted sweater coffee cozies (there are rumors that we will also have some fashionable scarves made from old sweater sleeves). We will also be selling Solemate Socks for our favorite Fort Collins business, Wadoo. The booth might look something like this:

Plaidypus and Wadoo Exhibitor Booth for Sustainable Living Fair 2011

So come by and see us in booth 408 (which is where it says we will be in the Official Program Guide)! You can join me in watching whatever is happening on the “Family Stage,” which I assume will be adults trying to teach kids about sustainable living through magicians and puppets, and maybe some musical ensembles. All in all it should be a good time, so come support local and sustainable businesses this September 20th and 21st in Fort Collins, CO!

Sustainable Living Fair Exhibitors Map 2014 - Plaidypus booth

Plaidypus Spotted in FortCollins Magazine!

FortCollins Magazine Summer 2014 Cover

I found out this week that Plaidypus is mentioned in the Summer 2014 edition of FortCollins Magazine! FortCollins Magazine, as its tag line says, is there to celebrate life in Northern Colorado (I’m assuming the focus is on Fort Collins, since the name is in the title, but I guess there are articles and advertisements for other parts of Northern Colorado as well).

FortCollins Magazine Downtown Fort Collins Spread Mentioning Wadoo and Plaidypus

 

The magazine did a spread on what to do in Downtown Fort Collins, and our favorite store, Wadoo, has its own paragraph in which Plaidypus is mentioned.

Okay, sure it’s only (half) a sentence, but publicity is publicity! And the writer called my aprons and headbands “funky,” which I very much like (I’ve decided to look past the fact that he/she/they erroneously typed my tag line as “Freaks of Fashion” rather than “Freak of Fashion,” because you can’t always have your cake and eat it, too).

Here’s the excerpt of the paragraph talking about Wadoo and Plaidypus:

Wadoo and Plaidypus blurb in FortCollins Summer 2014 Magazine

 

Using those old T-shirts: 7 Websites with Fabulous Tutorials and Inspiration to Help You Use That T-Shirt Stash

Pile of t-shirts

T-shirts are my favorite source of fabric. They’re colorful. They have patterns on them sometimes. They’re inexpensive. They’re plentiful and easy to find. They’re stretchy. And they don’t fray. That’s right, they’re practically magic. They’re great for clothing and quilts and accessories galore. If you’re more of a book kind of person, then check out the t-shirt books referenced in my previous blog post, 6 Books for Recycled/Upcycled Clothing and Accessory Patterns.

Sometimes I’m more of a website, girl, though. My poor bookshelf already bows down in the middle of every shelf. So the whole every-pattern-you-could-ever-want-is-on-the-web fact is one I love. All you have to do is type into Google whatever you want to look for and a million (most likely more) results will pop up for you to sift through.

I sifted through a few pages looking specifically at patterns and ideas that use old t-shirts, and found these for you. They’re all pages with bulk t-shirt ideas. Maybe I’ll come through and make another post with more specific projects.

1. Personal Creations

Toggle Bolero White T-shirt Upcycle PatternThis is a great website because it not only tells you what the item is and where to find the pattern, but also gives you a photo of the item! You can go through and find something you want to make and know what it will actually look like instead of hoping it’s nice when you get to the second linked page.

My inspiration from this website is the Bolero Pattern they show. Definitely going to have to make this one. The website they have this pattern on, by the way, also has some other fun ways to fashion a boring t-shirt.

2. Saved by Love Creations

Apron made from recycled/upcycled t-shirt by Ruffles and StuffAnother big bunch of t-shirt projects rolled into one page. There are so many to choose from! This site also puts photos next to all the titles and links.

My favorite one from this is the T-shirt Apron. It looks easy. And I’ve been needing an apron for a while now. maybe it’s time to actually make myself one!

3. Infarrantly Creative

recycled/upcycled ruffled front t-shirt topFirst of all, I had to look up the word “infarrantly.” Fun fact: it’s not a real word. Here’s what the site says:

“What is an Infarrantly?   Haha!   One of the #1 hits I get from my site from Google searches is “definition of infarrantly”.   Since I made the word up I suppose only I can give you the definition.   My last name is Farrant and I was playing on the word “inherently” which means something intrinsic, innate, basically born in me.   So I am inherently creative…infarrantly creative.   Get it? Smile

Now you know.

There are some great ideas for kid’s clothing and accessories on here as well as for adults. My fave from this site is the Ruffle Front Top.

4. Buzzfeed (that’s right, they have more than just quizzes and funny pictures)

Recycled/Upcycled t-shirt tunic/dress with cinched waist from large t-shirtI was surprised to see Buzzfeed had this cool of a post. But it did. I haven’t tried all the links, but it looks like at least some of them are tutorials. Some might just be a pretty picture. Which, by the way, is also helpful for inspirational purposes.

If you’ve clicked through all of these that I’ve posted you’ll start to see some repeats at this point. Pay no mind to those. They’ll happen if you hang out on the internet for more than an hour (if you’re like me and you’re searching for the perfect pattern, you’ve already been on the internet for at least that long.)

The thing I’m definitely going  to have to make here (and then see if it actually looks good on me) is the T-Shirt Dress with Cinched Waist.

5. Trash to Couture

Okay, not all of these are from old t-shirts. So sue me. They’re all recycled/upcycled basket woven t-shirt pattern/tutorialREALLY cool patterns, though. There are links and how-tos and everything. Some of them look pretty simple. Some look hard, but cool (maybe they aren’t hard. Maybe I’m just convinced that if there’s an intricate-looking pattern on something it’s difficult. You’ll have to try it and let me know).

I was really digging the Basket Woven Shirt idea they had going on. I put it on my long list of things to make.

6. Of Dreams and Seams

Of Dreams and Seams refashioned/recycled/upcycled t-shirt dressThis woman is amazing. Again, not everything she writes about is made out of t-shirts. But dang, this woman knows how to upcycle old clothing and make fabulous new clothing.

She does use a lot of t-shirts, though! Like this dress made from 3 old t-shirts. But there are also other cool things. Just click through her blog. I promise it’s worth it.

 

 

 

7. Julie Ann Art

Here are some cute accessory ideas for your old t-shirts. Some of them only need scraps. Which is good because you will end up with so many scraps from all the other patterns you’ve alrrecycled/upcycled t-shirt bow eady done from this post, right?

I’ve already decided I’m going to make this cute T-shirt Bow and put it on a headband. Or maybe as an appliqué for another t-shirt. I’ll figure out why I’m making it after I’ve made it.

The Headband: For Those of Us Who Don’t Want to Let Our Hair Down

Plaidypus upcycled t-shirt headband - Purple with black and purple buttons

Yes, you can let your hair down. Or you can put it up. It’s really up to you. But if you want a way to put it up (because it’s summer and it’s hot and if you have long hair you probably get that thing where your hair sticks to your forehead when you’re outside and it feels uncomfortable), there are a lot of options out there right now in the fashion world.

For one, headbands are coming back. I’m not sure if they ever actually left, but suddenly I’m seeing a lot more of them around here. I personally like the bigger, thicker headbands because otherwise they get lost in my hair (I always have more hair than I think I do…)

You can make your own headbands by cutting up t-shirts and braiding them in cool ways (I’ve seen this, but never figured it out myself because braids with more than three strands confuse me), by sewing some pretty fabric to some elastic, or by covering a pre-made headband of any size with fabric. Heck, you can even embellish a pre-made headband until it looks nothing like it’s original form. Here’s a website/blog post that gives you some ideas and some tutorials if you have creative energy and time to kill.

If you would prefer to buy a handmade headband, well then you’ve Plaidypus upcycled t-shirt headband - Orange with rainbow lacecome to the right blog post! Plaidypus makes some lovely thick headbands from upcycled t-shirts. They come in many colors and textures and with many embellishments, and unlike many headbands, they don’t start to give you a headache after ten minutes of wearing them. Check them out in our Photo Gallery or on the Plaidypus Etsy Site.

 

Plaidypus Spotlight: Wadoo Gift Store in Fort Collins, CO

I wanted to show some love to the store that first gave me a chance and helped in the subsequent development of my business. This is, of course, the one-and-only Wadoo.

Wadoo Furniture and Gifts Sign in Downtown Fort Collins, Colorado

Wadoo dwells in downtown Fort Collins (if you live there, it’s in old town across the street from those funky fountains that children are always playing in) and is home to a diverse array of talented and whimsy artists from across the United States (and a few odd places like Canada or Isreal).

20140617-174631-63991813.jpgIf you stroll into Wadoo, one of the ladies who work there will be able to tell you almost anything you would want to know about each and every artist. You go in and you say, “Tell me more about these cup cozies,” and they’ll say, “Oh, those are made from old felted sweaters! The company is called Plaidypus. She’s local. She just graduated from Colorado College. Her favorite flowers are daffodils and her least favorite thing about driving is…” You get the point.

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They are probably the most helpful people you will ever meet.

And a lot of them are also artists in the store! Chris Reynolds makes some rockin’ baby bibs, Jennie Milner makes some funky poured resin jewelry, and sometimes you can see the owner, Amy Satterfield, making coasters from old children’s books behind the counter.

Wadoo is particularly important to me because this is where Plaidypus started. This is the shop that took a chance on a pair of fuzzy fingerless mittens and allowed Plaidypus to grow and succeed. Plaidypus even gets its own section of the store now! Wadoo is where Plaidypus gets most of its business and how most people hear about us, so it’s important in that aspect, too.

Wadoo Furniture and Gifts Fort Collins Plaidypus Area Plaidypus upcycled headbands made from t-shirts in Wadoo Furniture and Gifts Plaidypus up cycled coffee cup cozies made from felted sweaters in Wadoo Furniture and Gifts

Here’s my late-to-the-game disclaimer: I work there, too (and my mother may or may not own the store so it is kinda sorta a family business). So I might be a little biased as I describe the place as the most magical store on earth. But it’s also just the most magical store on earth, so definitely check it out if you’ve got a few minutes. It’s got a nifty website, a Facebook page, as well as the actual physical storefront if you’re in Fort Collins for the day.

IMG_0025Wadoo Furniture and Gifts Local Pottery Fort CollinsWadoo Furniture and Gifts Jewelry Display Cases, Gifts, and Furniture

5 Easy Steps to Figure Out Wholesale and Retail Pricing

When I started my business I had one product, my crocheted handwarmers. I had no idea what to sell them at, so I low-balled it. I low-balled it about 11 dollars less than I sell them for now. That is a BIG difference. My original price wasn’t even going to give me the profit I needed if I wanted to get paid minimum wage (which at the time had just risen to a whopping 7.25 per hour).

Dark blue and dark purple crochet handwarmers/fuzzy fingerless mittens

Nowadays I have a larger product line, and I’d like to think I’m getting better at pricing my products. Remember that prices can always be tweaked if, say, the price of your materials or the amount of money you need to survive changes. So this is just to get you started.

Step 1: Cost of Materials

First, you need to know how much your materials cost you.

As an example, I’ll talk about the hair clips I make from felted wool sweaters (because I know that I learn better through example.) Make a list of what you buy and how much it cost you. If you know the exact number, put that down. If not, then over-price things so you know you’re getting your money’s worth (but not too much, because we’re trying to start on the low end here).

Felted Wool Sweater Blue Heart Hair Clip/Pin

1. Hair clips from King Soopers ~2.50 for 10

2. Wool sweaters from the ARC ~5.00 per sweater (lets say I can get 10 out of one sweater once it has shrunk down from the felting process)

3. Buttons ~1.50 for 10 buttons

Total: 9.00 for 10 hair clips; 0.90 per each hair clip

Step 2: Your Time

Your time is worth some money, so figure out how long it took you to make your product and how much money you want for that time. My go-to for starters is 10 dollars per hour (because it’s a nice round number and may as well make the math easier for yourself.)

It takes me about 20 minutes to cut out all the pieces, piece them together, sew them, and attach the hair clip part. That’s 1/3 of an hour, so $3.33 per hair clip.

Step 3: The Wholesale Price

Calculate wholesale price for products

Now you have your materials and your time. Get out your calculator or pen and scratch paper and add those together. That’s your wholesale price (that’s right, it’s that easy). That covers your costs and gives you money for your time.

If that seems pricey, you can cut costs on time, cut costs on materials, or take less money per item. If you sell multiple types of products, maybe another product can get more money to compensate for your loss on this one.

My wholesale price for hair clips should be around $4.23. I round mine down to $4.00 when I sell wholesale to stores. Part of this is to keep the actual cost of the clip down for retail stores, and part of this is because I actually make these from the scraps of sweater I don’t use in my other products, and those sweater parts would be trash otherwise, so I don’t think as much about the sweater costs.

Step 4: The Retail Price

Outdoor Craft Fair

I’m a wholesaler. BUT! I also do craft fairs. Craft fairs are your opportunity to charge retail price for your items. Retail price is roughly twice the amount of your wholesale price. This is important at fairs, because you might also be trying to pay for your booth and your time sitting there trying to sell to people. You’re going to need that extra money.

You’re also not “paying” for a middle man (the retailer) to sell your items. That means you get ALL the money.

My retail price for my hair clips is $8.00. If you go to my online Etsy store, my hair clips are $8.00. If you visit a store that my hair clips reside, the price will probably be around $8.00 (retailers will sometimes charge a little more because of shipping charges they have to think about). And if you find me at a fair, my hair clips will cost $8.00.

Step 5: Make it the Optimal Price

Now you know where to start. But you should always remember that tweaking prices can help you. You have to think about how much your customers are willing to pay for your product. Maybe you can get more for a product than you’re charging, or maybe you have to drop the price just a little to get more people interested in it.

Finding the Optimal Price Graph/Image

I try to optimize my price by charging the most the customer is willing to pay. I don’t think I can get more than $8.00 for a hair clip unless I make it seriously cool, but when I started my handwarmers obviously were not living up to their pricing potential.

Take feedback from your direct customers and the stores you do business with. See what is selling well and if people think something is too much or whether they would pay more for it. See what other businesses that are similar to you are creating and what they price their items at (this is SUPER helpful).

Happy pricing!

 

If you have any questions, comments, or suggestions, leave a comment, or I have a nifty Contact Me page where you can leave your information and I can get back to you directly.

6 Books for Recycled/Upcycled Clothing and Accessory Patterns

Making your own clothing and accessories is fun. Well, I think it’s fun, at least. If you are like me, then you probably hunt the internet and bookstores for projects you can create using your old t-shirts or jeans.

They’re great not only for the patterns but for the inspiration you can find. Some of the things Plaidypus sells were based off things found in books like these or on websites (someone remind me to do a post on websites…) So here are some of my favorites. You can find them pretty easily on Amazon.com, but I linked them for your convenience.

1. Generation T: 108 Ways to Transform a T-Shirt

This is one of the first sewing books I bought. It looked like fun and I had a lot of old t-shirts and all the patterns looked really interesting. Still one of my favorites. You can freshen up old t-shirts or turn them into something completely different with the patterns in here, and they’re all pretty easy, too.

2. Generation T: Beyond Fashion: 120 New Ways to Transform a T-Shirt

I liked the first one so much, that when I saw they had just come out with a second book, I bought it immediately without even having to look inside. Was not disappointed. It’s more fun clothing and accessories.

3. Jean Therapy: Denim Deconstruction for the Conscientious Crafter

This one has some patterns as well as photos of more intricate ideas that they don’t give you instructions for but that might help inspire you to go further with the old denim. It’s nice because they tell you how many pairs of jeans probably go into the different patterns. I’ve used the patterns in this book directly, as well as tweaked the patterns for my own purposes.

4. 99 Ways to Cut, Sew & Deck Out Your Denim

There are options for everyone in a book like this. With 99 patterns, you’re hard-pressed to not find something to your taste. I haven’t gotten to explore this one as much (hey, there are a lot of patterns to look at!) but from skimming through it looks pretty awesome.

5. The Sweater Chop Shop

I like to use wool. You see, you can felt wool and it doesn’t fray. And I like fabrics that don’t fray, so I use felted wool a lot. Wool sweaters are a great source of material, because you can find them in your local thrift store pretty easily (check the tags to make sure they’re at least 80% wool if you’re going to felt it).

6. Sweater Surgery

This one has more accessories whereas the Sweater Chop Shop has a lot of clothing that you can make. So if you want smaller things, this one might be your best bet. It’s got some cute clothing patterns and ideas in it, too, though.

 

The Magic of the Fuzzy Fingerless Mittens

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Again, it’s summer. I know. I’m sweating here, too. But I still believe in these Fuzzy Fingerless Mittens. Yes, they are probably more useful when it’s cold outside and you still want to use your fingers (like in driving or biking or texting or instead of gloves with fingers), but I swear they have utility even in the heat of the summer.

Well, not literally in the heat. That’s probably a bad idea. But a lot of people work in overly air conditioned homes or businesses where their teeth chatter and their extremities get frost bite as they type away at their computers or file papers or whatever it is that people with real jobs do (I’ll learn what that is as soon as someone is willing to hire a fresh-faced college grad…) Those people might need a little insulation, like a coat or a blanket or, hey, maybe a pair of fingerless mittens (because they do still need to be able to do what it is that they do).

If you are one of these cold people, let me know. I happen to sell these nifty things in all sorts of colors. Otherwise, it’s never too early to start thinking about Christmas gifts or gifts for people traveling to places like Russia or Greenland or the northern tip of Norway.