Fall Festivities:Smashing Pumpkins

These decoupaged pumpkins from the folks over at Country Living Magazine are seriously refreshing and cute. I especially love the one painted with chalkboard paint, which we have lots of, so I’m definitely going to give that a try. I’m craving pumpkin picking and hayrides with hot chocolate at Linvilla Orchards in a big way, even though last time we went I managed to get lyme disease briefly.

{Photos courtesy of Poppytalk}

What are some of your favorite festive crafty ideas for Halloween?

Back From Vacation: Part II!

My parents were gracious enough to pupsit Betty White while we were on vacation last week. Our separation anxiety-ridden pooch absolutely hates overnight pet facilities, so this was the best option for making sure she had a relaxed week as well. My dad ended up bonding with her a lot and supposedly she even cuddled him in bed at night (this never happens!). Yay to big socializing steps for Betty White! She even managed to become pals with my parents’ hyper Shih Tzu, Whiskey.

Pete and I decided to video our Betty White reunion, which just to warn you, includes lots of high-pitch squealing and flailing on my part. I may or may not be using my excited puppy voice upon entering my parents’ house. Don’t judge me.

Some embarrassing things you may notice about the video:

1. My dad is wearing white socks with sandals (I tried telling him this is a big no-no).
2. I am wearing flip flops (shocker to those who know I hate showing my feet).
3. There is terrible “artwork” everywhere from my younger years.
4. I practically pushed a very excited Whiskey aside to get a view of Betty White running out to see us.
5. I walk like a penguin when I’m giddy.

On the evening of our Betty White homecoming, we decided to take her and her new boyfriend Whiskey to the beach for a romantic stroll by the water. The following are the goober-y family photos which resulted.

I tried taking some GQ-style photos of the Ginger, who then attempted to photograph yours truly. I apologize, I’m pretty incapable of making a serious face when I’m not behind the camera.

Does anyone else get a similar reaction after not seeing their dog for a while? Keep in mind Betty White pretty much acts this way when I leave the house for five minutes, but with a little less heel-clicking.

Day 1: Philly Beer Scene takes off for the GABF

Earlier this month I had the pleasure in going on my first airplane trip to Denver, Colorado with the Philly Beer Scene posse for the annual Great American Beer Festival. My previous travel expeditions have taken me as far as Canada. I had never been on a proper plane ride, so I was thrilled to have such an amazing opportunity with a group of friends from the magazine. I can’t even begin to tell you how much I’m still pining for all sorts of useless junk from the SkyMall catalog, including a life-size sculpture of a Yeti (take that as a Christmas gift hint, Pete). Flying over the Midwest and seeing nothing but countryside for hours was breathtaking.

After we dropped off our luggage at the hotel, we headed to the Cheeky Monk Belgian Beer Cafe, where there was no shortage of beer celebrities from the East Coast in attendance–including Sam Calagione (founder of Dogfish Head) and Bill Covaleski (founder of Victory). After indulging in some chocolate fondue for dinner (don’t judge me), I headed down to the Convention Center with the crew. Four of us had media passes and were able to roam around the convention center a half  hour before the public came pouring in. We also lucked out with access to the Farm to Table Pavilion, which was my favorite part of the GABF experience (I am a sucker for cheese).

The Culinary School of the Rockies teamed up with local Colorado farmers, guest chefs and small and independent brewers in an intimate setting for the Farm to Table event. Media attendees were invited to sample craft beer paired with local food, in addition to a few special release beers that were only available at the pavilion. Chefs and brewers were incredibly informative and discussed with us why the specific ingredients were chosen to enhance the beers.

I am pretty sure I can safely say I was the only person at the beer festival who has never been drunk before. To explain, I never drank a sip of alcohol until this past year and even now, I only ever drink to sample beers and learn more about them. Working with Philly Beer Scene has made me appreciate the history and growth of the craft beer culture and realize that there is so much more to beer than I once thought. I’ll admit, I’ve become a bit of a beer snob and find it frustrating when I see someone drinking a Corona or Miller Lite when there are so many other options out there, especially with so many fine breweries right in our own backyard.

The food at the Farm to Table pavilion,  and at Denver in general, was ridiculously delicious as well as innovative with endless eco-friendly dishes offered. Some of the festival’s sustainability initiatives included a slot in the garbage bin for compostable materials, which I can’t say is something I’ve seen at any Philadelphia beer festivals, but I may be wrong.

It was great having the chance to meet some of the faces behind the beer I’ve enjoyed over the past year, including local beer starlet Sebbie Buhler, who has been the face of the award-winning Rogue Chocolate Stout since 2000.

Some of the interesting characters roaming the festival (apart from our crazy posse) were clad in pope and viking costumes with pretzel necklaces, and of course, the always classy gals who were just barely covered in lederhosen.

I was especially grateful to be able to watch the sun set from the back patio with Pete and escape the “OHHHHH!” screams reverberating throughout the convention center whenever a sampler glass was dropped. More to come soon about our second day in Colorado spent taking in the sights and touring local breweries.

I need help with a bright idea…

I was just accepted as a member of the Crafting in Color Street Team, which is devoted to keeping Etsy bright and colorful. I just listed some blindingly bright pieces in my shop, so hopefully people will enjoy the new additions.

I’d like to start selling t-shirts with some of my illustrations on them (and not just because Ms. Meatball requested! hehe), but I can’t seem to find a decent supplier that offers a variety for an affordable price, rather than just one shirt in bulk for a gazillion dollars. I don’t want 100 shirts with a walrus on a skateboard, I want several different types of shirts with a few of each to start with until I can find out which designs are popular and more marketable (I want a golden ticket!!). I’ve tried doing iron-on transfers in the past, but the quality always deteriorates with washings. I can’t afford to tackle silkscreening t-shirts on my own, and my illustrations are too complicated for me to attempt to use my Gocco. Any suggestions, or should I just give up and sell my doodles on fanny packs?

6 quirky Shannonisms

function setAttributeOnload(object, attribute, val) { if(window.addEventListener) { window.addEventListener(“load”, function(){ object[attribute] = val; }, false); } else { window.attachEvent(‘onload’, function(){ object[attribute] = val; }); }Alrighty, so I’ve been tagged by the lovely Stephanie at This Casita, who I had the pleasure of meeting on Weddingbee.



My name is Shannon Collins (although some of you may know me as “Mrs. Candy Corn” from Weddingbee). I’m a 26-year-old illustrator and Editor-in-Chief from Philadelphia living with a menagerie of pets (a rescued Westiepoo named Betty White, a chinchilla named Maude, a loving lop-earred rabbit named Willie Nelson and a sassy Dutch bunny named Cadbury, along with her feisty horndog of a son, Applesauce).

This blog will explore my ongoing fascinations with fine art, illustration, design, style, photography, pop culture, and a never-ending love for furry critters. Wondering where the heck the name “youwannatalkjive” came from? It’s inspired by one of my favorite lines from The Royal Tenenbaums by Royal himself: “You wanna talk some jive? I’ll talk some jive. I’ll talk some jive like you’ve never heard!” So folks, brace yourself for a blog filled with jive talkin’ like no other. Be sure to visit my cheese-lovin’ alter ego at Fromage Photography!


{photo by laura kicey}