Fun Zipper Pouches, Paper Party Supplies, and More, Handmade and Curated in Montclair, NJ by Claire Cohen.
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POPshop on February 4th at Alacrity Living

This is my busiest time of the year! 
Shoppers looking for Valentine's Day gifts and decorations love my vintage paper heart garlands! Here are my favorite review pics showing off how folks decorate with their garlands...
and read on to learn about my upcoming in-person event where I'll have garlands and so much more!
I'm so excited to be featured in a POPshop at Alacrity Living this Saturday, February 4th, from 11am to 5pm! Alacrity Living is located at 51 N. Fullerton Avenue...that's in the same row of shops as Paper Plane Coffee Co.
Alacrity Living is described by the owner, Barbara Lemley, as "a collective of creators who make colorful things". But it's so much more! 
Barbara has curated a vibe, an experience, a warm and welcoming dose of cheerfulness that stays with you long after you've left.

I joined the Nana and George Vintage Book Club! A twist on the traditional book club, we read books 50 years old or older. This is a perfect example of the essence of Alacrity Living- inspiration comes from "stuff that has been around the block a few times".  As someone who is fueled by nostalgia, this speaks loudly to me! You can join us on the 2nd Wednesday of each month!
This week I've been following the efforts to rally against appeal attempts from a group trying to get books banned from the Glen Ridge Public Library! The frequency around the country of this situation was a topic of discussion at our first Vintage Book Club meeting! More information about how you can support the efforts can be found on the Glen Ridge Public Library website.
Nana and George is a brand that exists within Alacrity Living.
The walls of the space feature "Garage Sale Art" by Traci Giles, read more about her creations here.
Besides offering a wide variety of garlands and brand new versions of my signature Notebook Paper Fabric Zipper Pouches at the POPShop, I'm bringing vintage goodies like field guides, tea towels, art supplies, and more, that I've been having tons of fun curating!
Very damaged field guides become materials for my garlands!
I'm excited to introduce a new line of products at the POPshop- Bowl Covers!
I was inspired to make these out of sheer personal desire. Last year I made a few different kinds of yeast breads, something I've never tried. I found it awkward to cover the rising dough with a loose tea towel and wished I had a reusable cover that would cling to the bowl better. My enthusiasm for yeast breads deflated like punching down the dough. But I knew this idea could be a new product that would make use of all the gorgeous, modern, linen fabric I've been gifted! Pictured are 4 fabrics but there are many more designs in 5 different sizes, S-XL for bowls of all sizes.
Rosemary foccacia dough ready to rise.
Some of my failures and successes...
...braiding challah is hard!
I really leaned into making yeast breads for a short time and embraced the idea of practicing new-to-me techniques, accepting the failures while celebrating the successes, eating the results either way! This practice of doing something outside of my wheelhouse was beneficial in a way I didn't recognize until I went back to the quick bread recipes I'm more familiar with. Like these biscuits that turned out great! I also made the pumpkin bread recipe my family loves but there's no photographic evidence of it because it didn't last long enough!
Making the bowl covers requires me to use pins, something I don't normally do in my production work. I pull each pin before it passes under the presser foot to avoid the needle hitting it as I sew. It adds some time but I think it's worth the effort. It really makes not using pins feel like I'm getting away with something!
Another example of a project that makes my regular production pieces feel easier to make are bandanna blankets I made for a client. She provided the fleece fabric and bandannas and I constructed them. This was less complicated than sewing in a circle and was simply straight lines for miles. Neither are as easy as they sound! 
But like the bowl covers, and like baking yeast breads, sewing only straight lines was a good break from the repetitive work I do day after day. And served to help me look at my production work with fresh eyes. And helped me sew with fresh hands. 
Finally, I want to mention a local wholesale stockist of mine, La Serra Gardens, located in Totowa. They carry my garlands and also my zipper pouches. It's a gorgeous home and garden center and I'm grateful to be included.
Hope to see you Saturday! Measure your bowls and come early for the best selection!
Thanks!- Claire from Montclair Made

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