Year-Round Joy

...in tree form? Yes, please!
This amazing tree topper (those hot pink feathers!!) is from Target, of all places! My mother, Andrew and I went to the Christkindlmarket here in Chicago, and saw this EXACT ornament for 3x the price I paid. Pure insanity, my friends.

My love for giraffes & hippos is no secret, so when I saw these guys I freaked out. I bought them a Macy's after-Christmas sale for super cheap and they've been sitting wrapped in tissue paper for years! I was so excited to finally rip their price tags off and hang them :)

These crepe paper cuties have been hanging on a small decorative tree in my studio because I could not stand to not see them daily. Andrew got them for me from World Market earlier this year.

All four of these are from the Christkindlmarket too. Andrew and I went last year and bought the feathered bird and white hedgehog. I usually have the bird clipped onto my bobbin winder and the hedgehog hanging from that same decorative Ikea tree (you know the one). The brown hedgehog and the penguin are new from our visit this year. I die every time I look at that penguin! He was labeled "I'm cold!"

The Christkindlmarket is a very German, very sweet, small annual market downtown. Pegged as "A Traditional German American Holiday Market" with vendors that sell everything from gorgeous glass ornaments, to Bratwurst and Leberkäse. It's so cute. I love going and remembering my Christmas in Fulda when I was 16 years old. These ornaments are from our visit this year. Look at that robot!

I was drawn to the abstract cookie cutter(?) shape after seeing the cupcake. The bells/cherries were too sweet, and for about $1/each (at JoAnn), I had to get them both. I actually got my tree there too for 70% off! It pays to wait till the last minute!

That lollipop was the very first ornament I ever bought. I paid full price because I could not handle the cute. She was like $15 at Macy's. I told myself I would wait on buying more from the collection till after the holidays because I was in college and so, soo broke. When I went back THEY. WERE. SOLD. OUT. The entire sugary-sweet-adorable-candy collection was gone. I died.

This dog is so adorable. One of Andrew's friends from high school had a huge holiday party a few years back, and the price of admission was 1 ornament for his 10-FOOT TREE. It was mind-blowingly beautiful. So, we just happened to go to the Lincoln Park Zoo and stop in the gift shop, where we found these great animal ornaments. We bought two dogs, gave one to his friend and kept one for ourselves. He's been wrapped in tissue since 2007! The pink nutcracker is also a last minute JoAnn find.

Annnnd there's our little 4-foot tree in all its glory. I love it so much. All of the silver pine cones, and gold, silver and blue bulbs are from Dollar Tree. I went crazy last year and spent a whopping $20 on ornaments and decorative ribbon! I used the left over bulbs to make the wreath in my Christmas Photo Explosion post. So much fun.


Christmas Photo Explosion!

Well you guys, I'm a terrible blogger. I even lost my first follower! Andrew was in the Philippines for about 2 weeks and he took his Olympus and Canon with him; I was left with my webcam/phone, both of which don't count in my book. So—to make it up to you—are you ready for a Christmas photo explosion??

Our little celebration was really sweet, and filled with a bunch of firsts. Last year the pups stayed with Andrew while I went home to NY, so this was Muscles' first real one with presents and everything. It was adorable to watch him rip open his gifts while Princess waited for the goods. And since this was my first Christmas in Chicago, it called for my first Christmas tree!

I made this using Dollar Tree bulbs + a wire hanger!

My 1st tree with tons o' gifts!!

Muscles sniffing out his gifts & ripping 'em open!

Princess & her gingerbread nomz

Best rings ever?!

Crocheted for my mom :D


TIM & I are twins!

Crocheted coffee cup sleeves for my mama (+ mother Earth lulz)

Andrew's crocheted cowl

We also gave my mom a nice collection of teas and one of those Starbucks look-a-like coffee mugs. She was super sweet and gave Andrew a few things for his cameras from Photojojo, plus an awesome camera lens mug. I got the back issue of Crochet Today that I wanted so bad AND a year subscription!! She totally spoils me, like seriously. I got The Complete Book of Sewing too! Now I have zero excuses for not sewing all day, every day.

After opening our gifts we lounged around and eventually headed over to Andrew's uncle's house for an absolutely delicious meal. It was the best. I hope you all had a wonderful holiday and in the new year I PROMISE TO BLOG MORE OFTEN. LIKE ALL THE TIME. PROMISE.

P.S. My Christmas tree is a huge deal, like you don't even know. I'm totally going to write a post dedicated to it and its ornaments because I love them SO MUCH!!


Crafty Christmas Club

There is a super short, baby post over at CCC I just put up today. Go check it out!

Unless this is you:



My days have not been jam-packed with busy business, contrary to my absence. You'd think I was out saving the world, but alas, I'm just a procrasticrafter. And broke... I need to finish a bunch of projects but it has been a little difficult. I still haven't gotten the lining, cording or zipper for my Parkahh! I need yarn for some crocheted presents annnd my mom's coming into town on the 21st, so now a non-stop cleaning marathon will ensue!

The best part of my little absence would be the WTFAWESOME opportunity to work at VSA Partners starting last week. It's just a short-term freelance job, but still VERY exciting. I'll post something better soon, I promise.

POLL NOTE: With a 15% lead, the pencil sketch of HippopotamusME won 11 to 8! I'll take that into consideration, though a friend of mine recommended I try coloring it in. So, I might take a shot at that. Might. Maybe. We'll see. See ya later!


Christmas & Hanukkah

As the Holidays got closer I realized I wouldn't be able to make it to New York this year. It's bittersweet because it has been my only guaranteed trip back home since moving here. But I'm excited to spend my first Christmas in Chicago!

I've been planning gifts to send home, and let me tell you, my family is HUGE. I have 7 aunts and uncles, a single set of grandparents, and 7 cousins in New York. My mom lives in Maryland as well as my step-dad and his family. I'm not making something for everyone (obviously) but the few I'm focusing on are so hard to make decisions for! My family isn't really of the crafty persuasion, apart from my mom and step dad, so it can be a bit challenging. I've joined Crafty Christmas Club to blog about top secret gifts there. Not that my family actually reads this, but you know, for safe measure ;)

My planning has me thinking of what I really want. Not that I'm asking for anything because I hate putting wishlists together... But I couldn't resist because some things are just MUST-HAVEs for me. Like these gems:

Colette Pattern's adorable Macaron, because DUH!

A subscription to Crochet Today + May/June's Issue ft. that top!
Jen Oaks' Kitty Bon Bon Giclee Print & loosetooth's Mermaid Gocco Print! & the Twin Lens Holga + Color Flash from Photojojo!

Maybe some creepy old bearded man with astigmatism and an affinity towards milk & cookies is reading... One can only hope!!



When I was younger I absolutely adored hippos with all my heart! To be honest, I adored all animals with all my heart, but hippos and giraffes were at the top of my list. One day my dad made up a pretty elaborate story about "where I came from." The long and short of it was I was adopted from a family of hippos. I know. Kind of weird but just go with it... My dad started calling me Hippopotamuslee instead of Jaimielee and at first I hated it. He passed away when I was 8 years old, along with the nickname. It wasn't until recently that I became rather obsessed with it again. For my senior project in college I even created a small stationery company named Hip Oh! Paper Goods. The original logo transformed from this:

To this much cuter version (because seriously who doesn't love a hippo bum):

The other day I decided to create a mark for myself as Hippopotamuslee. All of my free time combined with a burning desire to revamp my blog led to this:

I'm really quite happy with them (me?), though I can't decide if I prefer my pencil sketch over my vector version. I set up a poll over to the right so you can vote! I've encouraged you to visit jaimieleedesign.com before and in the spirit of a redesign, I'm thinking of moving my blog to that domain (I'll let you know if/when). I'm even considering switching to WordPress. *GASP!* You'll still follow me, RIGHT??