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Chudames By Chudames

Bellingham, Washington, USA •

"Bellingham is a magical land of bicycle lanes, many wonderful parks, endless amounts of hiking trails, second hand-shops, and a plethora of artisan coffee shops and local breweries. If you ever lacked a place to get your creative juices flowing, come to the inspiring hodge-podge of a city that is Bellingham. It's not just my home, it is one of my favorite places in the world." 

View Bellingham City Guide in a larger map

Ah, Bellingham, Washington. Coined, The City of Subdued Excitement, it truly lives up to its name. Located in the saturated Pacific Northwest we are just a two-hour drive north of Seattle, a thirty-minute drive south of the Canadian border to British Columbia, right on Bellingham Bay looking upon the San Juan Islands to the west, and a beautiful view of Mount Baker to the east. Bellingham is a magical land of bicycle lanes, many wonderful parks, endless amounts of hiking trails, second hand-shops, and a plethora of artisan coffee shops and local breweries. Not to forget our lovely South Side/Sehome district with Western Washington University’s lovely brick campus covered in beautiful sculptures, and the quaint area of Fairhaven. We are also home to The Upfront Theater, owned and operated by Ryan Stiles of the television show, Who’s Line Is It Anyway? If you ever lacked a place to get your creative juices flowing, come to the inspiring hodge-podge of a city that is Bellingham. It's not just my home, it is one of my favorite places in the world.


My all-time favorite shops in Bellingham are Village Books and Paper Dreams in the Fairhaven District. Located on 11th Street, Village Books’ cozy three stories sell both new and gently used books. Looking for a cool gift for someone who might not be a book fan? Fret no more, for Paper Dreams is right through the open doorway between the two shops. Find a locally made treasure, a novelty item, delicious candies, or that perfect card. Don’t forget to stop in to the attached Colophon Café for a bite, and sit outside on the Village Green while you read your newly purchased treasure.

One wonderful place for yarn-related goods is NW Handspun Yarns. Located in Downtown Bellingham on Commercial St., NW Handspun Yarns is locally owned, and full of knowledgeable & helpful staff. Not only do they have a luxurious selection of fluffy lovely yarns, you can also spin your own fibers AND wind up your purchase into a handy center-pull ball using their fancy wooden ball winder. They also have classes available for your knitting, crocheting, weaving, spinning, etc. needs to become the ultimate yarn ninja.

Our leading Craft Supply stores would be the chain stores, Michaels and Joann Fabrics. If you’re looking for that specific finishing piece for your super-secret project before unleashing it upon the world, those are your sure-fire places to find what you are looking for.

My favorite places to buy crafting supplies would be in consignment and charity shops. I spend an embarrassing amount of time digging around the second-hand shops of which there is an abundance of in Bellingham. You simply cannot go wrong, and will almost always find a treasure.

The most wonderful place to be on a Saturday between the months of April and December is the Bellingham Farmers Market. Local crafters of soap, scarves, bags, shirts, trinkets, cakes… you name it, are spread about. Sign up for a booth to sell your handmade goods, listen to street performers, and sample the many flavors of local restaurants. If outdoor markets are not your thing, try browsing any locally-owned shop to see locally-made items, especially small consignment shops. Many of our local cafés and restaurants happily sell local art as well.

Be Inspired

Bellingham itself is a great source of inspiration. There are so many antique and junk stores located downtown that are great for finding quirky things to inspire. I personally love going to places like The Lucky Monkey and Paper Dreams to fawn over other people’s creative talents. 

We have so, so, many parks in Bellingham: Boulevard Park, Whatcom Falls Park, Cornwall Park, and many more. And beaches, though ours are the rocky kind, not sandy – but that doesn’t make them any less beautiful. If you’re an outdoor adventure, don’t pass over the hiking trails to places like Raptor Ridge, or, if you’re not up for that big of hike, the Sehome Hill Arboretum.

If you’re down on the Harbor, make a visit to the Marine Life Center to their Touch Tanks and see the local aquatic wildlife. Or you could even go whale watching.

Here are three things you should probably get your picture taken with:
One: Sit with the statue of the historical Dirty Dan Harris on the Village Green in Fairhaven.
Two: Walk around the corner from Rocket Donuts to the giant rocket ship. Pose in an epic stance below. Take picture. Post on your favored social site.
Three: Pose in front of the falls at Whatcom Falls park

Eat & Drink

If you’re visiting the Pacific Northwest, you must try the local seafood. One of the top places to go for fresh, local, seasonal seafood is Anthony’s on the harbor. Not only is the food fresh, but it has an amazing view of the bay that can be seen from any seat in the restaurant. Because they can be a bit pricey, I recommend going during lunch hour. One place I almost never fail to go when in the mood for pasta is Cascade Pizza on Meridian Street. Try their lasagna. I like mine with meat sauce and pepperoni. More of an artisan pizza fan? Try La Fiamma Woodfire Pizza on Railroad Ave. I recommend the Major Grigio. Looking for something a little different? Try some frog’s legs down at the Bayou on the Bay! Vegan or Vegetarian? Fret not. Almost all of Bellingham’s local restaurants have vegan and vegetarian options. Even Rocket Donuts features Vegan donuts!

If you visit the Bellingham/Fairhaven area, you are simply failing to experience its greatness if you pass by the treasure that is Rocket Donuts. With two locations (Downtown Bellingham on Holly St, or Fairhaven on Harris Ave), Rocket Donuts is a local gem full of Sci-Fi flare featuring fresh, handmade doughnuts. Classic Sci-Fi movies play in the background while retro posters and replica movie props keep you company. I highly recommend the Bacon Maple Bar.

If you’re not a sufferer of Lactose intolerance like me, do yourself a huge favor and stop in to Mallard Ice Cream on Railroad Avenue in downtown Bellingham. Hand-crafted ice cream in ever-changing flavors. If you’re with a large group, there are board games galore to play so you can pace yourself through ice cream without brain freeze. Remember a napkin, and stop by an ATM, as it is Cash only.

Less of a doughnut and coffee person, and more for tea and tiny sandwiches? Why not wander down 11th street in Fairhaven to the tiny cobbled street behind Skylarks Hidden Café, and open the magical door to the neighboring Abby Garden Tea Room? Get your fill of sweet cakes and savory sandwich wedges while eating off fine china, and drinking from delicate floral tea cups. The only place in Bellingham for a proper tea.  Feel like being creative with your tea? Hop up the stairs to CreativiTea and paint away while you enjoy your Cuppa.

The lovely thing about Bellingham, is that we are just as passionate about our beer as we are about our coffee. There truly is something for everyone when it comes to your own version of a fun night out. Here are just a few options of some awesome places to go, depending on your mood. The local favorite in Bellingham is Boundary Bay Brewery. However, due to its popularity, it’s a difficult place to find a seat, so most drink their beers at other bars around the surrounding blocks. If you find the crowd to be too large, you might want to wander down to The Copper Hog, which is just as lively, but with an old-timey flair with butcher paper table cloths, and Mason jar cups.

Like the novelty of food trucks? Prefer to sit outside on picnic benches? Do you enjoy large signs placed upon stacked beer kegs? Ride your bicycle over to James Street and stop by Kulshan Brewery Company, they have exactly the atmosphere you’re looking for. Are you more of a club type? Can you not resist to swinging your hips to the Untc-Untc-Untc of a catchy dance beat? Look no further than Rumors Cabaret. And if you’re more into the Industrial scene, stop by on Fetish Night in your best shiny pleather outfit and get kinky! Just looking for some cheap drinks and don’t care much how the crowds atmosphere might be? Stumble on down Holly Street to the historic Horseshoe Café. It’s a college-kid-favorite local haunt and our prized 24 hour diner. You will not have a dull night there, I promise. Prepare to come back in the morning for a Hop-Along special. You’ll need it.

Two personal favorites of mine are Honey Moon Mead & Cider in Downtown Bellingham, and Archer Ale House in the Fairhaven district. Honey Moon Mead & Cider is a magical wine bar tucked away in the alley behind State Street. If you love mead, wine, hard cider, cakes, soups, and finger foods, this is a place for you. The bar itself is small and cozy, the servers are friendly, and once in a while you might catch a free mead tasting, or a live band. Archer Ale house is hidden below the streets of the Fairhaven district. Look for their sign on 10th street and follow the downward arrow. The pub itself is fashioned to feel like you’ve taken a step back in time with its European architecture, long wooden tables, and dim but soft lighting. Full of worldly beers, and hearty food, free table-top games, and no cell service, this bar is like a world of its own.


Head out to Fairhaven and sit on one of the many benches along the boardwalk of Boulevard Park. Stop by Woods Coffee before heading out to sit with your crochet, and enjoy the breeze in your hair, the gentle curves of the islands off in the distance, and watch the sail boats float by. A beautiful place to find some peace for crafting is Lake Padden. Take a walk around the lake, then find a cozy spot to rest your legs, and get some crafts done. Or, why not have a picnic at Whatcom Falls Park? Once you wander its trails, gander upon the falls, visit the fish hatchery. Relax next to the pond while watching the Mallard ducks bobbing for food; you’ll always want to come back.

I am not a part of any craft clubs, but there are often hosted crafting groups by local yarn stores, and at the Libraries. Once in a while, if you keep a watchful eye, you can find 21 and over events for crafters, too. Aside from local crafting stores like NW Handspun Yarns, and Apple Yarns, cafés are always a great place to start making new crafty friends! Craft in public! It’s a great way to get a conversation started.

See Something Special

There aren’t many places in Bellingham that don’t have an element of quirkiness or oddity to them. I think that’s part of what makes Bellingham great, and part of what makes people keep coming back. If you’re out for entertainment, catch a movie at the Pickford Cinema. If you’re more for live entertainment, have a laugh at the Upfront Theater, owned by Ryan Stiles. Looking to get your nerd on? Stop by Dark Tower Games and play some Warhammer, or Magic the Gathering.

  Pick Up A Souvenir

Stop by The Lucky Monkey before you leave the area. You won’t leave empty handed!

Do you live in an awesome city? Get in touch with us about writing your own city guide!

Craft Room Tour

Posted June 12th, 2014 10:00


We head to Tromsø in Norway to tour Helle's craft space which is packed full of supplies and inspiration.

"My favorite thing about my craft space is the location of it. It's in the living room, and fortunately my husband to be thinks it`s ok to share the living space with my not always tidy office. We both appreciate the company. My second favorite thing about my space is that it faces the TV. Gotta love that!"

Tell us about your space?
My craft space is in Tromsø, a city with about 70 000 inhabitants way up in the far north of Norway. It has been my hometown for 16 years. Me, my man and our cat have lived in and owned our 67 square feet apartment for the last four years. My craft space, or nook as I like to call it, is in the one end of our living room. The nook is mine alone, though our cat likes to sleep on my desk (when it`s room). My soon to be husband (we`re getting married in June!!!) obviously shares the living room with my space, but I try to keep it small scale, my nook may be 6 square feet. You can say this is my work space, and I most do paper crafts like drawing and card making. I also make scrapbooks, things like door signs with Hama beads and recycle stuff like cans and boxes so they get new life. People can order drawings, cards for a special occasion, Christmas tags, door signs, place cards, invites, a handwritten recepie, a scrapbook or other handmade stuff. I also sell my cards in an awesome local shop called Blåst.

What have you done to make your space cosy, beautiful or inspiring?
My nook is a constant work In progress! I reorganize very (too) often. Because it`s in the living room I have tried to keep the basic pieces white, so it`ll tie in with the rest of the furniture in the space. But I have spiced it up with a lot of color and personal bits and pieces. For me, the space has to be both functional and inspiring. I keep some pictures in my shelves, cool and cute boxes, plus some artwork, both mine and others. I`m also addicted to good lighting; both for working and for lighting up special pieces and artwork for when I “leave the office”; It`s almost like the office isn`t there, just cute stuff. 

How do you keep organized?
I`m on the constant lookout for the most perfect organized system. I try my best by tidying often, and not buying too much new stuff. I have mostly open shelving, so for me it`s important to place the things I use the most in handy. A swivel with my pink chair and I have what I need. I need easy access to my stuff, or I will make a mess looking for it, and not be bothered putting it back.
I tend to reorganize and tidy per season, so when for instance Christmas comes I have all my Christmas stash available without making too much of a mess. 

I also like having my stash in boxes and containers labeled with dymo tape. Labeled, and sorted makes me happy  The stuff I use the most, like markers, adhesive, papers and scissors, are always available in open containers.

Any tips & tricks for organising supplies?
I like to recycle little things that would normally go to the bin, for organizing my space. Napkin holders turning dividers for papers and alphas, cd covers turning clear stamp storage, empty cans for penholders and cardboard boxes for cute storage.  

I also like to hide the not so often used/not so pretty supplies behind pictures. That way I get a personal touch without taking up any of the much needed space, as well as hiding the eyesores!  

Which are your favourite possessions and are there any of your own creations on display?
I try not to get too sentimental about my possessions, but I have a few things in my office I am very attached to. My Lego storage head, a picture of my late cat as well as a painting of her (made by a friend and artist Susann Brox Nilsen). When I have a new drawing done I tend to have it on display for some time while I`m figuring out if I`m happy with the end result. Then it gets sold, given away or saved in a cute, nicely labeled box until needed. Illustrations made by others inspires me, so there`s very little of my own work in both my office and our home in general. 

How do you organise your inspiration and ideas?
PINTEREST! I pin artworks and illustrations, DIY, packaging, interior inspiration, you name it. Pinterest is my go to place. When there are things I need available on paper, like drawing tutorials, I print it out and store it in a cute box (labeled of course) until needed.

When I have worked on different projects, like a baby`s first book, I have another box where all the project sketches are stored, so that I`ll easily can find my notes again when needed. I really do like boxes (cute and labeled)!!

Where do you look for inspiration?
When working on a project and in need for some instant inspiration I use Pinterest and Google. But I also get inspired by Street art, random art work, Drawing tutorials, TV, cartoons, by colorful things and cool design, both vintage and new stuff. I get inspired very much so by animals, both real ones and illustrated. 

If you had three wishes, what would you do to make it the dream space?
Shop at IKEA. The nearest IKEA store is an 8 hour drive (16 both ways) away, in another country. I have seen a lot of furniture there, especially drawers, that I would like to own. I love being organized, and IKEA have so many great and affordable solutions.
I would love to have built in electrical sockets in my desk, for easy connecting my silhouette cameo, computer, mini iron etc.
GO BIG. I would love a bigger space, specially a bigger desk or a second desk. Different areas for different crafts; drawing, sewing, card making etc. I could get a lot more work done and do it more tidy, if I had more room.

Nerd B. By Nerd B.


This week Cazz from Nerd Burger recreates the bright & colorful look of singer Cyndi Lauper:  

"I have always looked up to Cyndi Lauper. This 80s icon was always unique both in music and fashion. From her brightly coloured hair to her mixing of patterns, this rad lady always knew how to make people smile. Cyndi taught me many things about life. It's ok to wear one earring, leg warmers are both fashionable and warm and sometimes girls do just want to have fun. "

See the list »

Who would you like to DIY The Look of? Get in touch to make your own and be featured on the blog!


Jessica B. By Jessica B.

Outfit details:

DIY Beehive:

Recreate the look with Jessica's beehive tutorial:

How would you describe your style?

Mostly 50s style, vintage or vintage inspired clothes but it really depends on how I feel when I'm getting dressed that morning.

What's your favourite piece in your wardrobe?

I hardly ever get an opportunity to wear it, but it has to be this incredible red gingham 1950s dress I found in Melbourne. I spotted it on the rack in a huge antique/vintage shop and kept thinking about it as I walked all around the shop and when I went back to it I saw that the label inside the collar was "Henry Lee" aka one of my favourite songs by Nick Cave featuring PJ Harvey and also the namesake of my blog, so what I'm trying to say is more than any other item of clothing I own, that dress was meant for me to find it.

Who are your style icons?

I suppose when I first really started experimenting with my style about 5 years ago my biggest inspirations were my favourite bloggers but as my style developed I started taking inspiration from everything and everyone around me. So I suppose there isn't really anyone who's style I try to emulate.

Do you have any favourite designers?

I love designers like Orla Kiely and Alannah Hill and less expensive brands like Dahlia, but to be honest over half my wardrobe is op-shopped or vintage so labels and designers aren't super important to me.

Where are your favourite places to shop for new clothes?

Op-shops and ASOS are basically the two main places I shop. And in Australia we have a shop called Dangerfield (and their clearance outlets called ClearIt) which I have a lot of clothes from too.

Do you make or customise your outfits?

Not really, based on the fact that I don't have a working sewing machine or much free time to learn, but it's definitely something I'd love to be able to do one day.

Do you have any great tips for mixing up and personalising an outfit?

- If you're not overly confident with your style, fashion blogs are a wonderful resource. Scour your favourite blogs for outfits you like and then look through your wardrobe for similar items you can try and recreate the look with.

- As you're looking through blogs, try and take note of the basic pieces people have and use in lots of different ways, i.e. a plain black circle skirt or ballet flats, etc. Build up a solid foundation of basics you can rely on and you can try out a top you're not sure about with a skirt you know goes with anything.

- Op-shopping is amazing because it allows you to try out things you won't find anywhere else and you don't have to spend much money to do it. My biggest tip if you never seem to find anything you like is to pick something out and try and picture it in your wardrobe at home and think about what you could wear it with - even gems look ugly in an op-shop when they're next to all the other ugly things, but they can look amazing with what you have at home.

- Experiment at home when you've got a bit of time, not when you have to pick something in 5 minutes and run out the door - do your hair and makeup the way you like it and try out some different outfits. Take photos of the ones you like on your phone and when you have to run out the door the next morning you can look through the photos and pick an outfit you like a lot more easily - it totally helps avoid that "I hate everything in my wardrobe" feeling.

- Accessories are key - I don't really wear jewellery but belts can completely transform an outfit! And hats are a great one too, I think I have about 10 berets by now.

- Find a couple of hairstyles or make-up looks that you love and practice until they're easy and put these on rotation. Even though they're not to do with clothes, they can really help complete your outfit and make it look a lot more "done" with only five minutes more effort

All of these are things I started out consciously doing and as you get more confident with your style it just come naturally without you even thinking about it anymore.

 Which other fashion blogs do you love to read?

Old favourites & as well as and not strictly fashion but is beautiful


Ally Burke is a self-taught artist currently residing in a small Virginia town where she works in a cave-like basement with a bunch of spiders and earwigs. She likes creepy childlore, monsters, junk stores, dream pop, and ‘90s television. Her dad let her watch a lot of body horror when she was a kid. 

Have you always been creative and artistic?

I’ve pretty much always been creative in that I liked to make up stories and write when I was a kid, but as far as art goes I definitely wasn’t ‘born with it’. I didn’t really start trying to draw until I was a teenager, and I fell in love with painting in my early twenties.

How would you describe the style of your work?

I’m bad at describing what I do. Spooky kitsch, maybe. Someone else once described it as ‘candycoated insanity’ so I like to steal that. 

What’s in your pencil case and what’s your favorite tool?

A couple of pencils, a whole lot of different pens, and markers. Nothing out of the ordinary! My favorite tools are always pens. Any pen. Gimme a pen, I’ll draw with it. 

Who is your favorite superhero?


If you could have one super power what would it be?

Hmm...the ability to make breakfast food appear with my mind. 

Where do you look for inspiration?

Nowhere in particular, so everywhere. I just try to find magic. Fighting boredom is my main mission in life so I remain as curious as possible all the time, and that way I’m usually always discovering magical things to keep my imagination going. 

Who are your favorite artists or comic book authors?

Tove Jannson, Leiji Matsumoto, Yoshitomo Nara, Charles Addams, Lolitaagogo, loll3, Hanna Mancini, Arthur Asa, Junji Ito, Ross Cambbell, Mike Mignola.

Craft Room Tour

Posted June 5th, 2014 10:00


We go behind the scenes at The Girl In Red Lipstick to tour Moriah's neat and tidy craft space in North Carolina.

"My favorite thing about my craft room would be the white walls. It sounds weird,  but I love white walls.  They are so simple and you can dress them up or down."

Tell us about your space?
My craft room is in North Carolina and I have lived here for 5 years.  I have  always had a craft room but how it is right now is my favorite way I have had it. Oddly enough my craft room is located inside my closet, which is about 5 x 7 feet. So since my closet is my craft room,  I don’t have a real closet but I use my drawers as my “closet”. I have a room tour on my blog if you would like to see what I mean. My room is just my room.  I don’t share it with anyone, but it does double up as my sewing area as well. I normally use my craft area just for making crafts or sewing. I am starting to use it as my blogging space as well.

What have you done to make your space cosy, beautiful or inspiring?
What I love about my craft area is the section in my wall where I hang my art, crafts, or fabric. It is nice because I can always change it up anyway I want too.

How do you keep organized?
I am a clean freak and I like things organized so often I use drawers and boxes to organize things. I keep my fabric on display and my thread is organized on my DIY thread holder. Inside my drawers I have mini boxes that I keep things in. I have two 3 drawer clear boxes that I keep my craft things in and somehow I still need more space but mostly I just use clear boxes to organize things. :)

Any tips & tricks for organising supplies?
I would say one tip I find useful when it comes to organizing supplies would be to put your supplies in a dedicated section. For example, I have one drawer with all my paint and glue items. I never mix my paint supplies with my glitter suppplies. This is often very useful for me. Because, when I need to do some painting,  everything is in one drawer I don’t have to search around in six different drawers to find my supplies.

Which are your favourite possessions and are there any of your own creations on display?
I honestly don’t have any favorite possessions but I do love the things I have created myself more than the things I bought. Like, my old tin can I redecorated and now I use it to put my pencils in. Things like this make my craft room more unique and like “me”.

How do you organise your inspiration and ideas?
I honestly organize my inspiration and ideas in my head (or Pinterest). I used to have an inspiration board but I never used it. But, if I need to hang inspiration or ideas somewhere I hang it on the string pinned to my wall (a lot of people have something like this, but I don’t know what it is called.  Ha!).

Where do you look for inspiration?
Pinterest. Pinterest. Pinterest. I am obsessed.

If you had three wishes, what would you do to make it the dream space?
1. Unlimited craft supplies.
2. More space.
3. The ability to change my room to anyway I want in a finger snap. 

DIY The Look

Small tankgirl

Tank Girl