dream cruisin’ on twelve mile


Every year on the third Friday in August, thousands of car fans migrate to downtown Berkley to enjoy a parade of classic cars followed by a first rate street party.  catching fireflies joins the festivities by passing out balloons to kids of all ages and staying open late for the crowds of customers this fun event brings. 

Here are some of our favorites rides…


Her sign reads, "Still crazy after all these years"

Car_1 Car_2

How cute are those headlights?

Car_6 Car_4

I think this would be a good company car for catching firelfies.


watermelon cookies

Watermelon_1 Summer is almost over but who says you can’t reminisce with a watermelon cookie or two?  This recipe is taken from Class Treats, Bake Sales & Birthday Parties.

2 C. flour

11/2 tsp. baking powder

1/2 tsp. salt

1/3 C. butter

1/2 C. shortening

3/4 C. sugar

1 egg

1 T. milk

1 tsp. vanilla

3 drops red food coloring

1/3 C. mini semi-sweet chocolate chips

11/2 C. powdered sugar

2 T. water

3 drops of green food coloring

Combine flour, baking powder and salt in a small mixing bowl.  Beat butter and shortening with an electric mixer at medium speed until fluffy; gradually add sugar, beating well.  Stir in egg, milk & vanilla.  Gradually add flour mixture and mix well.  Add red food coloring and beat until blended.  Shape dough into a ball, cover and chill at least 3 hours.

Preheat oven to 375′  F.  Divide dough in half; put one portion back in the refrigerator.  Roll remaining portion to 1/4" thickness on a lightly floured surface.  Cut dough with a 3" round cookie cutter; cut circle in half.  Place on an ungreased cookie sheet.  Press several chocolate chips in each cookie to resemble seeds.  Repeat with remaining dough.

Bake 8-10 minutes (do not brown).  Cook on wire racks. 

To make frosting, combine powdered sugar & water, mixing until smooth.  Add a green food coloring, mixing until blended.  Dip round edge of each cookie in frosting and place on wax paper until frosting is firm.

Makes 36 cookies.  Enjoy!

martin short mania


Okay, I’ll be the first to tell you that the only thing I remember seeing Martin Short in is The Father of the Bride movies (and who could forget the Three Amigos?)  With that being said I wasn’t overly excited to see his new Broadway show… but hey -he’s famous and the ticket was half off so a few fellow artists from the trade show and I thought it’d be interesting to check out.

Well sure enough… it was quite funny and I really enjoyed the show.  So afterwards a few of us (much to Steve’s chagrin) lingered around with the rest of the Martin Short groupies hoping to get a photo or autograph.

(I know… it’s Martin Short.  There’s no excuse for our giddiness – we just got caught up in the moment)

After about 45 minutes his highness exited out the front of the theater and I got a photo and my friend Jenny acutually got an autograph!

We followed our brush of fame by eating Ben & Martin_signing_2Jerry’s Ice Cream down the street.  It was the perfect ending to a quirky night of fun in New York City.

sign shoppin’ in new york

Coffee_shop_b_1One big positive about doing trades shows is that I’m guaranteed to visit New York at least twice a year.  We always try to schedule in a ‘fun day’ which usually consists of me walking the streets in search of interesting shoe & clothing boutiques. (Steve is such a trooper)

Another one of my pastimes is noticing fun signs for restaurants & shops.  Here are a few of the ones I stumbled upon this summer.Shady_jakes_b


Punch_b Stardust_b

another trade show season ends

Every summer Steve & I travel to three ‘week long’ trade shows to sell a.i. paper design wares to stores across the US.  That means we pack all our displays & merchandise samples in this big old wooden crate and ship them from show to show.  This year’s itinerary included Atlanta, Los Angeles and New York.Steve_crate_copy_b

After about 3-4 hours of set up our booth turns into the colorful wonderland of a.i. paper design.

This is our new work place for the next 5 days.  We meet and greet stores of all kinds and write orders that we’ll ship out once we return to Michigan.

I really enjoy doing these trade shows but they definitely tire me out.  That’s why I’m happy to be back in Metro Detroit for a while… or at least until January.


pirates invade downtown rochester

When Halfway Down the Stairs children’s book shop asked us if we wanted to be part of a pirate  scavenger hunt we promptly replied "YES!"  Because as you can see… the manager Dena and her girls like to have a good time entertaining customers of all ages.Pirate_4_b

Lucky for the little scavengers, Daunting Dena took her vengeance out on poor Surrendering Susan prior to their arrival.

Pirate_1_bBefore long, young pirates came knocking at our door looking for goodies to add to their bounty.  We were happy to oblige and handed out metallic compasses to help them guide their way at sea.

Pirate_2_b Some of the more sophisticated pirates even shopped around a bit!


Thanks to Halfway Down the Stairs everyone had a grand time and enjoyed finding special treasures of all kinds.

mix some spoon with your summer

Spoon I’ve been jamming to Spoon’s tunes for the past couple of months and can say I’ve become addicted. Some of my favs are Delicate Place and Beast & Dragon, Adored and I’ve included the I Turn My Camera On video.   

Here’s what the pros say about them, "Spoon make some of the catchiest, most confident rock ‘n’ roll of any group around. Their fifth full-length is nothing short of a dizzying, soulful masterpiece, easily the most expansive work in their career. "Gimme Fiction" is a sprawling, exhilarating, filler-free album of keenly focused artistic vision and ambition."

Give Spoon a try.  You won’t be disappointed.

Daily Tribune Best of Detroit 2006

Best_of_detroit_b I am happy to announce that the Daily Tribune Readers voted us Second Best Place To Buy Gifts in metro Detroit.

We were second only to Somerset Mall and considering that is the premier mall in the whole state of Michigan, that ain’t too bad!

Daily Tribune – 6.11.06

Pet_contest_web Show off your furry friends

Support animal fund-raiser

April Sytsma of Catching Fireflies in downtown Berkley poses with her cat Tuesday and dog Samson just in time for a unique fund-raiser benefiting the Michigan Humane Society.

BERKLEY — So you think yours is the most character-filled pooch or kitty in metro Detroit? Here’s your chance to prove it.

Catching Fireflies in downtown Berkley is offering its first Pampered Pet Photo Contest to let proud animal companions strut their stuff.

Store owner April Sytsma, also one of the masterminds behind this weekend’s Art Bash in downtown Berkley, is asking people to join the contest by sending her their favorite pet photos by June 19.

"We’re just going to look for cute characters in terms of personality," said Sytsma, adding that plenty of dog photos have already poured in — but she’s hoping for more cat photos to add to the mix.

The winner will get a $25 Catching Fireflies gift certificate and another $25 will be donated in your pet’s name to the Michigan Humane Society. The winner will receive a "pampered pet" photo frame from the whimsical store.

Sytsma also plans to use her favorite photo in frames sold all over the country. The chosen photo will help launch a new line of handmade frames by a.i. paper design.

"If your pooch or kitty is chosen," Sytsma said, "their furry face will be seen in various gift stores and pet boutiques across the United States, as well as in our two stores in Berkley and Rochester.Ó

Feel free to dress up Rover or Whiskers in something that helps show off their unique spirit, though cute faces can stand alone, too.

The business owner said she has a soft spot for the Humane Society because her two cats, Tuesday and Piper, who often hang out at the Berkley store, were adopted from there.

"We know a lot of our beloved pets come from local Humane Societies, so we will honor their hard work by donating one dollar for each frame sold at our Catching Fireflies store locations," Sytsma said.

Winners of the Pampered Pet Photo Contest will be notified via e-mail or phone and will be announced in the Catching Fireflies July e-newsletter.

By entering, contestants agree to allow a.i. paper design to reproduce and use their photo in the frames, as well as display it on www.catchingfireflies.com. All photo submissions will not be returned and become the property of a.i. paper design.

No copyrighted images or professional photos will be accepted.

-Christy Strawser

Hour Detroit Magazine – May 2006

Hour_detroit_b Bright Ideas

April and Steve McCrumb’s catching fireflies is creating a buzz in Rochester

Remember that feeling of wonder gazing at fireflies peppering a summer night’s sky?  April and Steve McCrumb have long captured it with their whimsical gift gallery in Berkley, catching fireflies, and now they’re turning it loose in Rochester, with a just-opened second location in the old train depot.

"People like it because it’s like an art fair in a store," says April, who opened the Berkley store a little over five years ago to help support her burgeoning career as a paper artist (that business has also blossomed into a company called a.i. paper design).  But the store, filled with unique items from local and national artists, took on a life of its own and proved so popular the second location made business sense.

For those searching for one-of-a-kind gifts, catching fireflies is a savior.  The cheery store is filled with everything from notecards to necklaces.  Says April: "When I created the store, I wanted anybody, from any kind of background, to feel comfortable and to leave with something unique." 

-Christy Breithaupt

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...