over here

If you have not yet read about my latest news there are lots of great things are happening in the o.mandalade corner of the world. For one, I finally have some new things in my shop. While I’ve been promising lots of prints many things have unfortunately been put on the back burner for now. New prints will absolutely be here in the new year! A few things may be exclusively sold at upcoming events…details on that to follow.

o.mandalade is in cupcakeMAG. I’m so lucky to share a studio space with Amy of Little Hip Squeaks and she chose one of my bags as her gift guide choices in cupcakeMAG. The entire gift guide is gorgeous and is sure to give you some great ideas on what to buy this holiday season. You can find the entire digital copy right here (find me on page 15!).

I’m so excited to announce that I’ll be selling o.mandalade wares at THREE upcoming holiday events. If you’re interested in going but cannot attend I urge you to check out the event pages and vendor lists for each one. You’re guaranteed to find some great makers and things you love or the perfect gift that you’ve been searching for.

In order, here are the three shows I will be selling my wares at:

Thursday/Friday Dec. 5th & 6th The Holiday Fair at the Plymouth School // Brooklyn, NY
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Sunday Dec. 8th Brooklyn Holiday Bazaar // Brooklyn, NY
This is a curated show with 30+ wonderful makers. I’m truly honored to be a part of this show (and all of these shows!) because it is the first ever, the space looks incredible and there will be some really great food and drink vendors. Also, fancy cocktails…enough said.

PLUS check out this article about my bags HERE

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Saturday Dec. 14th Holiday Heap // Baltimore, MD
I’ve been going to the Holiday Heap for several years and really look forward to it each year. There are so many great vendors that it’s hard not to find special gifts for everyone on your list. I’m thrilled to be a part of this year’s show. 


So in short, I am not sleeping until January. I hope to see you there. AND if you’re still reading….I am doing a discount in my etsy shop for CyberMonday. Use the code MANICMONDAY for 20% off until Midnight on Dec. 2! 

xo amanda


fall wardrobe + what to wear with your o.mandalade bag

Well, it’s that time of year again. The time of year when the season changes and I wonder: what the heck did I wear last fall? How did I survive the ice tundra that is our apartment with such few sweaters? Who knows, really.

Anyhow, fall is my favorite as I’m sure many would agree. I love to wear boots and scarves and drink warm drinks. So while I’m creating a never ending wish list of sweaters and scarves, I thought I’d share an outfit I’d wear on a casual day and how to include my large cross body bag with it!  I’d certainly pair some slim fitting jeans with those ankle boots as well but couldn’t find the perfect ones to include (I am wearing lots of black jeans these days).


<< one >> << two >> << three >> << four >> << five >>

You can find more of my wardrobe favorites on Pinterest. That’s right, I’m finally using my Pinterest. I used to really dislike it BUT I do like making collections of what you see here plus lots of textile inspirations too.

I have some good news coming up…possibly about the holidays and of course new things! So stay tuned.

xxx amanda

in the works…

Hi… I’m still here! 

Lots of great things have been happening in the o.mandalade corner of the world lately! In September, I officially moved in to a new studio space in the Sunset Park neighborhood of Brooklyn. I share a space with 3 other wonderful ladies/makers. More to come on that including photos of course.

The studio has already been so helpful for me in making progress with my work. Here is a stack of mini zipper pouches that I finished up last week. 


I will soon have new prints available in new colors just in time for your holiday shopping. This year I’m hoping to sell my goods at a couple of craft fairs…again, more details as they come. So many people have mentioned that they would like to do their holiday shopping with me and I am overwhelmed with gratitude and thanks each time they say so. I’m so happy that people like what I’m doing because this is just the tip of the iceberg. 

To keep up with my progress as always you can find me here: Instagram // Facebook //  Twitter // Pinterest

sneak peak…

Here’s a little peak of some current bags I’ve been making. You may have already seen a few on Instagram, Facebook, or Twitter. They will soon (FINALLY) be available in my etsy shop!

If I don’t have to work at my regular job through the weekend I will attach straps to the rest of the bags and have them available early to mid week! If you have any questions or see something you’d like in a different pattern, just ask (omandalade@gmail.com). I can always make something different for you. For instance, the tote bag in yellow hoops does not have a zipper but I’ve gotten some requests and can make them special that way.

packaging & branding

I’m pretty plain when it comes to packaging and branding. I like to keep things simple but full of texture. When packing orders I typically use a brown paper and tie it with string. I like for people to feel like they’re opening a gift, because who doesn’t like to open gifts? Here are a few of my go to’s for strings lately.

o.mandaladeThe two purple strings I actually used to tie up little bags of favors for our wedding. I still have a lot left so I may be using them in some orders soon. I love the wooden spools. The large spool of natural speckled twine I use for almost everything. Both are from Olive Manna. The natural white and gold is a new twine I just started using from Knot & Bow. I love both of these shops and really have to resist buying bunches of packaging materials from them. The white thicker piece is a cotton twill that I hand stamp for labels, like below.


Lately, I’ve been stamping directly on the the bags….because I’m a crazy person. Actually, I love how it looks but I get a little scared each time that it will turn out awfully or smudge all over before I get to heat set it. I like that these can be sewn on though or used to attach hardware.

Once upon a time, I used to silkscreen. In Baltimore, I lived in a much bigger space where I could do this at home. While there are facilities in Brooklyn where I could rent space to print, that’s just not within my means at the moment. I will absolutely return to that in the future at some point. Both tags here are silkscreened and I like to add them to bags and use them for business cards at the moment. I also have a stash of these pins that I made from test prints. 

While all of these things may seem pretty neutral and boring, I love the textures of them all. In fact, the texture and feel, and prints of fabric are sort of an obsession. It was one of the reasons I began sewing and making my own designs. I love adding small details to each piece to make it feel handmade and personal. 


current favorite: my summer staples

In general, I’ve always disliked shorts. I don’t feel particularly comfortable in very short shorts and most are just too short for my liking or so long they make me look even shorter than I already am.summerstaplesFor a few years now the only shorts I’ve owned are ones that used to be my jeans and just got cut off when the heat came. They were usually on their way out and I knew this would not do them any more harm. Alas! I’ve found some shorts that I love! The Gap makes some wonderful Boyfriend Roll Up Khaki shorts. I find they’re just loose, and long, and even soft enough. Yes, I’m quite picky about these things I do realize. They also come in several colors, even better!

Sandals are also not high on the list of wardrobe items that are my favorite (I just don’t like my feet). BUT, when I tried on these Franco Sarto sandals I had to have them. The soles and leather straps are really soft, they’re not flat as a pancake, and they go well with both casual outfits and summer dresses. For me, I go through a period of time where most of my shoes need breaking in and hurt terribly. I try very hard to avoid this but my feet just do not like shoes. These sandals took NO breaking in. My only worry is that they’ll fall apart by the end of the summer. I’ve considered buying them in black as well so that I never have to part with them, but they aren’t that cheap for sandals we’ll see.

Oh, jewelry. There are so many pieces of jewelry that I’ve had my eye on lately. I’ve really taken to gold and have been looking for a perfect hoop or earring that I can wear everyday to match my favorite Zola necklace. I’ve had my eye on a lot of the earrings from Fail Jewelry. Anyhow, I wear this necklace with almost everything. My best friend and I bought these as “friendship nuggets” at the winter craft fair at The Philadelphia Sculpture Gym. Gabrielle has a lot of new pieces that are fantastic too!

If you’re reading this and you have wardrobe staples that you can’t live without please share in the comments or always feel free to email me!

1. Gap Shorts
2. Franco Sarto Georgia sandals  (a few $$ cheaper here)
3. Zola bronze faceted gem necklace

current favorite: rain gear

The rain just doesn’t seem to stop lately. Just about every time I go out I end up being completely drenched by the time I get to where I’m going. This is partially because my current rain gear is not cutting it. My City Sports rain coat soaks up the rain once the downpour starts; my rain boots have cracks and are practically useless. I broke and lost my most favorite Marimekko umbrella (that I took after it was left at my old work for many many months) and my new umbrella that I’ve owned for less than two weeks was stolen. So, I’ll be saving my pennies for some new gear and probably duck taping my current leaky rain boots. Here are my top three favorite pieces right now.


My old umbrella was similar to the one above but had beige flowers instead of black. I loved the print and the size was great for keeping in my purse. It is a bit pricey though so and I’m still keeping my eye out for the duck head umbrella I’ve always wanted.

While there are many expensive rain boots out there I found these very short boots by Chooka and really fell in love with the leather straps as well as the much lower price tag ($55 on sale as low as $42 right now). They get great reviews on Zappos and other seller pages and come in some other fun colors too. I like that they’re very short and can fit those of who have bigger calf muscles or just don’t want the feel of a big clunky boot. They have the same boot in the taller version.

While I tend to dislike most rain jackets because they are too short, sporty, and sit at the hips (my hips are especially big) popping out around the stomach, I love this houndstooth Merrell rain jacket that is not as long as typical trench coats but a little longer than the sporty kind and has a belt to define the waist. It too gets good reviews for actually repelling rain (imagine that! a rain coat that doesn’t soak up water).

Yes, I know, all of these things are black. I find myself going very basic when it comes to items like this so that they will match anything. I do love the leather straps on those rain boots though allowing them to pair with other pieces that may have brown tones. All three of these items have other color options too if you are the colorful type!

Marimekko Umbrella   $69  (you can also get one at Crate & Barrel in the smaller print for $49)
Chooka rain boots          $55
Merrell Frances Jacket $149

color inspiration: peach

Whew! It’s been a hot few days in NYC/Brooklyn. While I rarely want to wear extra clothing during the summer months I’m in love with these light scarves by Lee Coren. I especially love this peach one for this time of year. Coral was all the rage last year and I thought for sure I’d be tired of it. Now that I see it less often I actually remember that I love peach, so much that I use it in my own work.

Speaking of my work….yeah yeah, it’s coming. As always I have lots of stuff in the works. I was a little side tracked by my new job and also just really wanting to perfect certain aspects of the newer bags. No more peeks until it’s full on ready to be in my etsy shop, I promise. Thank you to those who have contacted me personally wanting to purchase bags! You’ve kept me motivated and wanting to make more.

my smoothie addiction

If you follow me on facebook, instagram, or twitter I’m sure you’ve been seeing all of my recent smoothie images. I’m a little bit addicted lately as I’m sure you’ve noticed. Not too long ago my husband and I were both unhappy with how we were feeling and wanted to cut out wheat from our breakfast options and add some super healthy things in too. I feel like all I was seeing on the internet were images of juice and smoothies. Finally, I tried one and realized what this is all about and why it’s so popular. They make you feel good! (duh) So we’ve replaced breakfast with smoothies.

We were spending a good chunk of change on fresh options from local places and finally decided to get a NutriBullet. It was an affordable option, under $100, and the majority of the reviews were really good. It turns out that we really like the NutriBullet because it takes up very little counter space and is VERY easy to clean. It’s also really good at blending, of course.

Here is the basic smoothie formula: greens (I prefer spinach), fruit, almond milk. We like to add flax seeds and fresh ginger too and I often add a bit of agave nectar for a little extra sweetness. We try to buy organic when possible and if we can afford it. I know some people may think EW to some of those things or may think they sound gross or weird but with all of the fruit the smoothies are actually really delicious. I was a little afraid of adding greens and flax at first thinking it would taste terrible but I simply wouldn’t have a smoothie every day if I didn’t like them.

Here are some things I’ve tried:

I commonly use strawberries and bananas for our fruit mix but you can really use anything you like. Blueberry, peach, pineapple, etc., I love them all. I have not used harder fruits like apples very much because my first smoothie with apple and chard was AWFUL but I will eventually get back to trying it again once berries and summer fruits are out of season. I didn’t really love swiss chard in my smoothie either but recently used a chard, kale, spinach mix and didn’t mind it in smaller amounts.

We started using almond milk to cut back on dairy. George and I were having cereal almost every morning as well as cheese, yogurt, etc. so we decided to cut back. At first, I really didn’t love it but I finally tried Pacific almond milk and really love it now. I buy this one, which I find to be just the right amount of smoothness and sweetness. To me, other brands tasted watery and bland. Pacific also makes and unsweetened version of the same exact thing. The NutriBullet recommends adding water to smoothies but I honestly thought they tasted TOO watery so we use half the amount in almond milk that they would suggest for water….I’ve added pomegranate and lemon juice to this too.

As for the other ingredients, I usually get the organic Whole Foods coarsely ground flax seeds. I’ve used Trader Joe’s roasted flax seeds in the past but they definitely add the flavor of roasted seeds to your smoothie, which is good but I prefer the WF kind. I also use Whole Foods organic agave nectar. Frozen fruits are awesome too but are more difficult to blend if you use all frozen. Now I like to have frozen fruits in the freezer as a backup for when we’re low on fresh. Plus, I freeze things that are getting close to going bad so they don’t go to waste.

Recently, I started using Rebel Green to wash our fruits and veggies especially for the times when we cannot buy organic. I love it and only wish I had found it sooner! You can also make your own veggie wash at home!

And of course for the times when I need to satisfy my sweet tooth I blend peanut butter, almond milk, banana, and flax seeds (frozen bananas are even better! if not, I add ice).

Now that I’ve gone on and on forever and given you my very beginners guide, what are your favorite healthy (or not) smoothies and juices?


color inspiration: yellow and artist eric porter

© 2013 Eric Porter 

It’s seldom that I am able to have the opportunity to look through photography prints these days. Often, I see only a few selected works by one artist in a gallery or museum. This is something I really do miss from both my college days and living with my former roommate Dustin Ream while he was at Tyler for his MFA. Luckily, I was able to view a few dozen of photographer Eric Porter‘s prints few weeks ago. There are so many that I loved but when choosing a piece for color inspiration I couldn’t help but pick this beauty.

Luckily, spring is finally starting to appear so all of this sunshine is a perfect reminder of how much I love golden mustard yellows. I love the marks and touches of purple and grays here. The tire marks become light and feathery and make me believe I’m looking at a painting for just a moment. Often, I feel bombarded by the amount of imagery I see in a day or month but I really love that photos like this make me stop and look more and explore every detail.

You can find more photographs by Eric Porter here. A big thank you to Eric for letting me share this image!