Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Feelin' Overwhelmed!

So it's been at least a week or so...but lots is going on. We had Thanksgiving, and now it's on to Christmas. This year, we're making lots of gifts. Last year we had to make each other everything (except for, I think, one thing we could buy). It worked out well but was a mad dash at the end to finish things. With work hanging over my head, I feel like it's the same thing again this year! But I will get done.

One new thing this year that's different from last: Etsy. We only just discovered Etsy maybe 6 months ago or so, and it was so cool to be able to buy handmade things to give as gifts that, well, we didn't have to make (or, more likely, that we didn't know how to make!). We shopped at several Etsy stores and are eagerly awaiting our packages--I can't decide if the shopping or the waiting/getting packages is more fun!

With all of the craziness, myhampsters won't shut up! (for those of you who don't know, my "hampsters" are those little voices in my head that scrabble around and don't. shut. up. ) I've come up with this amazing idea for a Christmas-themed thing to make...but I won't have time until January! And no, I'm not sharing my idea's like telling someone about a story before you've written it: the thrill goes bye-bye.

But in the short-term, I'm hoping to finish a few little shabby-chic style Christmas ornament/gift toppers. Yanno, pink, robins egg blue, lavendar, yellow with LOTS of glitter! I hope to list them before too long...but if not, they'll be just as good for other things (Easter, Valentines, just plan ol' spring!). Oh, and the Sales Fairy "Competition" that starts this Sunday. Are YOU in on it?? (List a "sales fairy" that you've made in whatever medium you work in--list it between 7 and 10 a.m. Eastern US time and then visit the Promo forum and look for the titled thread and chat with the other Etsians--visit one antoher's shop to check out their sales fairies!)


Monday, November 12, 2007


I've been thinking a lot lately about what makes me want to make something. Sometimes it's seeing things that other people make. We do this a lot: Go into a store, see something cute, and say "Oh, I could make this." Me, Dena, Mom--we all do it. I'll stand in a store and mentally take something apart and put it back together to figure out how it's done. However, I don't always end up going home and making it--but I feel as if I can!

Sometimes it's movies--Out of Africa, Sense & Sensibility, Gone with the Wind--anything with a feisty woman in fabulous clothes does it for me! Lately I've been thinking about historic women. There's Gertrude Bell, who was sort of the female Laurence of Arabia. She doesn't look that dashing in this pic, but she was. She was out there riding camels, talking to heads of state, living in tents--she did it all! And she wore linen skirts while she did it. She was real...
and because of her I've been messing with linens and vintage buttons, old photos, leather goves, and shadowbox art.

Then, of course, there are those fictional women that you can't get out of your head. They flirt, act ridiculous, make scenes, and do it all dressed to the freaking nines! I don't know how many times I've seen GWTW. It's mom's favorite, so it's become a sort of touchstone. I even remember checking books out of the library so that I could read about the costumes. Did you know that the actresses wore real embroidered and flounced underthings? The director and powers-tht-be decided that the women would act more like Southern Belles if they were dressed from the skin out like women from the time. These women are ribbons, ruffles, flounces, flowers, corsets, and hats. I'm still not sure yet what to do with them!

And then there's just the dangerous mixture of fact and fiction, the legends that bloom out of tidbits and second-hand stories. Mary Reade and Anne Bonny, the most famous (infamous?) female pirates from the golden age of piracy. I imagine that they became the terrors they were because they were born in the wrong time--no simpering and taking abuse from any man, waiting at home for someone to own them. They did what they wanted, took what they needed, and when they were caught? well, they pleaded their bellies! These women? They inspire fantasy--looking the girl while kicking ass!
It's all still cooking. We'll see what comes out of it!

Friday, November 9, 2007

Show us your Lair! OR: One Woman's Craft Room is Another's Mess :)

I thought it was high time to record for posterity my craft room when it's all pretty for company. It won't look this way for long.

Sewing, scrapbooking, painting, making odds & ends, putting vintage things together in new ways--there is too much stuff going on in this room to hide it away from the world any longer!

There's the sewing desk on the right (was once upon a time the husband's school desk--it was necessary to make it purple) and the scrapbook table on the left. Notice the pile of "stuff to finish" on the chair? Yeah, there's a tree skirt in there for an xmas tree....uh, I've only been working on it for 3 years!

This is the table in the middle of the room. I tend to forget that it's only a few feet across and try to do 4 things on it at once! (oh, and are those projects oh-so-subtly hidden beneath? :)
Behind the table is the fabric dresser--I finally got rid of all the rubbermaid totes and have one place to keep all of the collection.

One thing I am tidy about, however, is the fabric dresser! A good friend gave me this antique dresser when she moved away--and now I get a thrill out of folding fabric and displaying it all nicely in the drawers (Hey, we all have to get our thrills somehow!)

So, show us yours! C'mon, the world wants to know what dirty secrets you're hiding in your houses....closets full of boxes of fabric? baskets stashed beneath couches full of yarn? Let it all hang out! :)


It's time to give love to other Etsians/Crafters! BabyAnneQuilts

There are some great blogs out there, connected to some fab shops on Etsy. Some are stateside, others are flung to the ends of the earth!

Babyannequilts is an inspirational shop (hey, anyone who takes pics of a quilt with the Eiffel Tower in the background is my kinda girl!) Her quilts have a modern sensibility without losing the traditional emotional warmth that we love in the art. Go check her out!
Tiffani & Dena

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Crafts, Christmas, and other Craziness

Well, it's time for my inaugural post to this, our shared blog. Sister got new bed (finally!) and new sheets (always a fun time!). And me? I'm trying to figure out how to juggle writing, work, crafting, checking Etsy every 10 minutes, the oncoming holiday season without going nuts, and, oh yeah, the glacier that is my house. It's in the 50s outside and it's already freezing in here. That's what happens when you live in a 110+ year-old colossus. This means that I will soon have to move my office upstairs to my craft room. And I'm afraid that that is going to open up a whole other can o' monkeys! Because, seriously (SRSLY), having the 'net at my fingertips is bad enough ... but having half-finished crafts just feet away, looking all cute and forlorn? THAT, my friends, will be bad for business!

I've been freelancing for a little over 3 months now, and so far it's going great. Except for the loneliness thing. I have lots of other freelance friends, but I don't have anymore close-by craft friends (or sister!). So I've been crafting solo these past months. It's been OK, but I've also felt myself sort of falling into it--it's my "buddy" when I need a break from work (and logging onto Etsy!). So having craft materials on the very next table is going to be an internal struggle. Perhaps I'll look at it that way: to path to inner peace is through the acceptance that not all crafts must be finished post hast.

That's just your moment of Zen for this evening.

p.s. I think the next to-do is to take a pic of my clean craft room. It doesn't get cleaned very often or stay like that for long.


Wednesday, November 7, 2007


So, boy and I finally broke down and decided to buy a new mattress. Remember when you were first in love, and sleeping side by side (snuggling, I think it was called--this was so long ago, I don't really remember) comfortably--in our case, on a single (yes, a SINGLE bed). Then, we upgraded to a queen many, many moons ago. My sister and I discussed the snuggling/spooning at night issue, and both agree that there is no way to get to sleep if someone is touching us, even if it is a small little square centimeter of skin touching skin. We figure spooning is something that one only sees on TV.

Mattress just came today! It is a King size with the pillow-top, and I will have to climb my 5' frame happily into bed every night because it is so tall! But the most exciting part? NEW SHEETS!!!!! And Target has the Xmas ones on sale right now, any size for about 17.00--totally worthy. I got the brown ones with the blue snowflakes (in pic). Isn't it amazing how something so simple as new sheets can make a person happy? (The new bed doesn't hurt either).

Monday, November 5, 2007

Heart Etsy!!!!

Let's face it: crafting is not a money maker! Yet, there is nothing more exciting than thinking of that next project, or working out a new idea into something SICKLY, my sister, mom and I decided to put our ADD crafting heads together (I picture one of those 80's kid/superhero shows, "activate!") to create our home away from home on etsy. If you haven't yet checked out etsy, you MUST--there are literally thousands of amazing crafts and arts listed for sale from normal peeps, all at great prices. It isn't like ebay (which I had thought at first); instead of auction, the "shops" list their goods, and they stay up until it sales (one hopes) or until the listing expires (fat chance, since one can renew listing for .20 cents).

So, if you are a crafter, artist, or just love to buy homemade, check out Here are some of my personal faves:

and of course, our very own shop: