Thursday, September 30, 2010

State of Affairs - Part 2

I am coming to you live from my backyard and via my iPhone. Why? Well, I haven't been blogging the last few and the reason my backyard is in the state it's in is part of the reason why. Do you see this nonsense? It's like a hurricane went through a jungle! (minus any visible swamp land) It's been raining pretty heavily the last few days (I think there's a tropical storm moving through) and wouldn't you know it, it conked out my power. Not entirely, though, just off and on. About every hour, lasting a half hour. I don't think I need to tell you how aggravating that is. Especially since in the process it burnt out (or something) the outlet where I plug my computer and modem in. Which happens to be the only outlet anywhere near the vicinity of my computer. So I have off and on power and no Internet. Agh!!! How did people do it in olden days? Luckily, it hasn't been AS hot lately so I'm not missing the air conditioning TOO much, but oh my sweet cable, computer, and web. I miss you so! Last night FPL (Florida Light & Power, for those of you not in the know) finally came out and determined that the rains had caused tree branches to obstruct/damage a transformer in our backyard, causing our power outages. They literally worked throughout the night, power trimming all the trees necessary and rewiring stuff. All with Moondoggie's wary eye and deep growl upon them from the safety of the dining room. It was a very noisy and not pleasant evening. I'm sure our neighbors LOVED us. And now our yard looks like this. And I still have off and on power. All that mess for nothing. Well, maybe not for nothing 'cause I'm sure it had SOMETHING to do with our electrical issues. Time to call FPL again.

And can I tell you that it is really hard to craft in the dark? Cause it is. Also, blogging via phone sucks. 

Update: I tried emailing the above to my blog literally four times. I don't know if it's the photo attachments that didn't let it go through, but at least the photos posted. I have been completely without power since noon and boy did that BLOW. It is now 6:25pm and they were just able to fix whatever the problem was and I am happy to report that I now have light. Let's hope it lasts! 

State of Affairs

Friday, September 24, 2010

Etsy Finds Friday - Special Edition

In honor of having recently joined the Indie Free Spirits Etsy Team, this week's Etsy Finds are all from IFS team members - and I made it into a treasury, too!

From left - right:

SHAbang - Nautical Necklace - Gold Mermaid - Teal Sandollar - Navy and Copper Star Charms - Brass Chain

KuDum - hand knitted baby cardigan and hat set Balloon Set in Ivory and Teal OOAK

colormekelley - Faded Earth Memory Wire Bracelet Butter Jade and Argonite with Antiqued Brass Accents

soleilduautomne - Pacific Blue Aqua Crochet Shoes

hepburncos - Green Haired Girl - Original mini painting - Wooden frame and ribbon included

ThePetiteChouette - Fallen Leaves Shirt

JLBstudio - Bouquet Necklace Mint Rose Fabric Flowers

sleepyking - Woodland Owl King Headband - Candy Corn - Made to order

TheNikiProject - Steampunk sprocket necklace

blueberryshoes - The Blue Side - Wondercard Necklace

virtuebathandbeauty - Citrus Contentment

LAccentNou - Autumn leaves studs

papersquid - Flowing Shapes Original IllustrationArchival Print - 100 Percent Tree Free Cotton Paper, 8.5x11 Inches - White

MollysMuses - Vintage Truck 8x10 color photogaphy fine art print GMC Molly O'Bryan-Welpott

LouiseRose - Vintage Zodiac Coin Necklaces

It's been really rainy and gloomy the last few days, so to combat that "ugh" feeling that weather gives me, I've been working on new, colorful wrist cuffs.

Just need button holes!

I've been on a big embroidery kick and since I'm waiting on an order of headbands to arrive before I can complete my fascinators, I thought I'd expand on the "collection." Thus, the wrist cuffs. These are coming a little more easily to me and I'm really happy with the way they're turning out - though I think it's time to expand my flower repertoire. Ideally I'd like to have snap closures instead of buttons for these, but I think the ones I have in mind require an actual tool to install them and I don't have time to get another gadget. Not right now, anyway. I don't hate how the buttons look, luckily. Gives them a little extra color. What say you?

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Plugging Away

I'm still stitching away and making slow, but steady, progress. I'm also still not thrilled with the results, but I'm getting there. I think it just needs a little fine-tuning. Here are the items I've made, though not necessarily completed, in the last couple of days:

What do you think?

For this project, I've been really inspired by Mexican peasant blouses - although I realize it doesn't really translate here. I told you I lose my way easily. I just wish it came more naturally to me. I get these ideas and in my head they look AWESOME - then I go to execute them and it's not quite the same. I always struggle with colors, placement, designs - maybe that's the difference between "artists" and "crafters."  Clearly, I'm a crafter. Anyway, it's nothing that I'm gonna let deter me. I just need to keep plugging away and eventually I'll end up happy with the results.

The Doomed thinks these are way too cutesy and "tween" and, though I'm inclined to agree, it doesn't really bother me. The only one I consider finished is the white one with flowers and bead embroidery. The rest need...something. Not knowing exactly what that is yet, though, I opted to stop before I screwed them up completely. I did finish the green one from my last post so I can start wearing it and see how it holds up and I have to say, though I'm still not crazy about the flower patterns, I think the overall result looks good.

Ta-dah! It's a fascinator headband!
Credit where credit's due, I learned the basic techniques for these at a Handmade Miami crafternoon, though I modified them a bit to suit my skill level (I don't know how to use glue guns!) and aesthetic, and have been OBSESSED with the idea of my making these for the shop ever since. Just one more reason for you all to get in on crafting with crafty peeps - never know what you're gonna learn and what ideas you walk out with!

And what's that I spy with my little eyes?
My first shop tags, hags! (I say "hags" lovingly. If you've ever seen Broken Hearts Club, you know what I'm referring to.)

Monday, September 20, 2010

Weekend Crafting

I spent the weekend coming up with and working on designs for my new project. Here is the result of the first attempt:

Ahh! What is that?!
 What is this? PRACTICE is what this is. It's far too cutesy to be anything I would carry in my shop but I was just trying to play around with my materials and purposefully chose ones I didn't mind wasting. The lion is a foam cut out that I embroidered onto the felt and the flowers are just hand embroidered flowers. I had no plan when I started embroidering and I think it shows. I made a lion with a flower tattoo that likes to play amongst flowers. Oh well, live and learn!

Here is the result of the second, more serious attempt:

Slightly better.
For this one, I had something of a plan - but then I lost it a bit along the way. I'm not completely happy with the way this one turned out, but it's definitely better. My color choices are off and the flowers need to be rearranged, but I like it enough to keep for myself.

What exactly are these for, though? You'll have to wait and see! I promise I'll have one finished by the end of the week.

For now, I'm cutting out more felt shapes and and am going to try to plan out the designs a bit better so I don't get lost again. I'm having so much fun tackling a project - for the shop, even! - that has nothing to do with knitting. Not that I've given up on the knitting or anything. I'm just putting it aside for the week.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Weekend HI-larity

I realize this is months old at this point, but The Doomed and I just got around to watching it and cannot stop laughing.

First, you watch this (for a little reference):

Then watch this:

That song is CATCHY. And all the covers of the song - just as catchy! Sing it with me folks - hide your kids, hide your wife!

Friday, September 17, 2010

Etsy Finds Friday

From left - right:

PinkPerch - Lifes A Hoot Owl Baby Mobile with Tree (Custom Felt Colors Available)

JooSweetie - Frida Doll Necklace

PoorRobin - Button Hairclips Spotty Dotty Hanky Panky Grande

RoboticLove - Pretty Yellow Bow Button Ring

norajane - Picuture Square Pillow OOAK

23rdandFirst - Against the Tides Clutch

ellothere - Custom Silhouette Prints

MegansMenagerie - Sale Carnival Cowl

farouche - Set of 20 Personalized Rocket Woman Note Cards

chicleather - Handcrafted artisangenuine leather handbag tote shoulder cross body strap bag OREA IN LIGHT BROWN

Another week already gone! Where does time escape to? I've spent A LOT of time on the computer this week, updating my various sites, updating the shop, reading blogs, etc. I'm gonna confess that I've done very little crafting. :(

BUT! Just today I received material for some new items I've been wanting to make for months. And it's not knitting related at all! Yesterday I spent my time brushing up on the required skills 'cause it's been a very long time since I've done it all so I'm definitely rusty. But excited! I just hope it works out the way I planned in my head - there's nothing worse than when you think you have the PERFECT plan for an idea, but then in actual execution, it all falls apart. I hate that.

Anyway, here's a sneak peak of what I'll be using a lot of this weekend:

Wednesday, September 15, 2010


So, as you can see, I've been revamping the blog design a bit. Well, a lot. What do you think, too busy looking? I've also finally started a Facebook page for the shop which you can access through a link in the tabs above (conveniently labeled "Facebook") or by clicking this link. Go on and "Like" a girl, if you wish! Along with all the site modifications I've been doing at etsy, facebook, twitter, and on this here site, I also managed to get around to checking my treasuries again and it turns out I've been in 3 more! Many thanks to ShmileyDesign, favoritehate, knitsbywlsm12 for deeming my items worthy. :)

I've still been taking pictures, readying more items to be posted in the shop. Up next, a little something for the fellas:

The Doomed swears men won't wear knitted wrist cuffs (they like leather! and studs! - manly things, arrgghhh!), but I like what I've made and think the seed stitch and center line make these look a little more rugged, so I'm gonna post them anyway. I also still have all those mittens I was working on to post, but they still need a little refining and I need to find a way to photograph them well. I'd really like to start posting them no later than next week, though. We'll see.

And, hey, snaps for RapidMoodSwings for having 2 sales in the last month! (That's a big deal for us beginners, in case you don't know.) She has made an awesome collection of masks inspired by Dia De Los Muertos (Day of the Dead) and sold my favorite one (listed in last week's Etsy Finds) just yesterday. So big ups to her!

Monday, September 13, 2010


Such a surprising weekend for me! For you veteran Etsy sellers, it's probably no big deal at this point, but for me it was so exciting to finally make my first non-family/non-friend related sale.

I spent all weekend taking and editing pictures for the new wrist cuffs I've been working on. Sunday morning I finally posted a few and when I went to check Craftopolis a few hours later (to see how many views they'd had) I noticed one missing. The only one that had been instantly hearted by someone. I checked my Etsy shop and it wasn't there either. I'M SO USED TO NOT SELLING I DIDN'T EVEN REALIZE WHAT THAT COULD MEAN. I just thought it somehow became unlisted. That's when I saw the convo from a lovely girl who had bought not one but TWO of my items for her friend's birthday! So I'm wrapping them up and out they go!

I still have more pictures I need to take and a few other products to finalize. I want to spend this week adding and revamping the shop a bit and having made my first real sale gives me loads of encouragement.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Etsy Finds Friday

From left - right:

BenAndOliver - Sale 40 Percent Off Modern Circles Necklace

retrofied - Large Reversible Hobo Deer Valley Columbine and Lodge Lattice

shoogi - Love birds on a branch and lucky leaf

diffractionfiber - Paper Dolls Pillow in Fuschia

rapidmoodswings - Day of the Dead Mask Vistiendo Santos

bionicunicorn - Autumn Bouquet Steampunk Necklace -  Vintage Pocket Watch Enamel Flower Silver Gear Dreampunk

NanLawson - Mine is the Heart that You Call Home 8x10 Print

tsaifi - Luau Lulu iPhone 3G Cover

blockpartypress - Out on a Limb - My Heart

gamiworks - SALE valley of vines large round handcut glass and Japanese chiyogami pendant necklace

I've noticed that my "finds" never have rhyme or reason - I just grab whatever I'm liking at that moment. Maybe I should try to have my Etsy Finds have a theme - but that seems like too much work. :)

I was just about to write that today has been a gorgeous day - especially for a week predominantly filled with heavy rains - but I just heard the old familiar rumble of thunder and the sky has quickly darkened, so nevermind! I guess rain is a comin'. I've spent a lot of this week working on the cuffs and organizing the dungeon. I'm headed back there now, to start breaking up a massive amount of boxes that I thought I'd eventually use. I haven't, so out they go. I'd rather have a clean, tidy space I can craft in than keep storing items I may never use.

In the coming week I'm going to try to revamp my shop a bit. I have a collection of items I haven't yet listed because I'm not thrilled with the pictures I've taken of them. I'll have to tackle that first, maybe retake a few for items currently in the shop, consider my pricing again, and focus on made-to-order items. It'd been my belief that most folks would rather purchase items ready-made and avoid the usual delays associated with custom orders, but I've been thinking about it a lot this week and have concluded made-to-order definitely has it benefits. Certainly for sizing purposes and color preferences. I get to make what I like and the customer is practically guaranteed an item that fits perfectly and is in a palette they prefer. Most of my items only take a couple days at most to make and, unless I'm inundated with a barrage of orders (ha!), I foresee my turnaround time as being about a week. I think that's still reasonable. And this will free me up to work on my items in the order needed, instead of crafting madly just to build up stock - which is what I've been doing. Because I'd eventually like to tackle participating in craft fairs, I'll still continue to make my items, with or without orders, but I won't feel so stressed about deadlines anymore. That's definitely a plus. And I'll be able to instantly focus on new ideas I think of without feeling like I'm letting others fall by the wayside. We'll see how it goes, but I hope it'll allow me to post more frequently to my shop and start including a wider variety of items.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010


I'm not really a fan of the rap nor do I keep up with rappers, but English50cent is cracking my bits up. Grammar jokes and mocking slang? - sign me up!

Knitted Cuffs

This weekend was a busy one for me! I got a gift package last week from my crafty soul mate and in it she included this awesome trinket. It inspired me to try to make my own version of a cuff, though, I admit, one with a totally different feel - both tactilely (?) and stylistically. So I started knitting up some cuffs with button accents and I am loving them! So quick and easy to make and it's a great way to use up every last bit of yarn (since it doesn't require much). And such an easy way to add a pop of color to casual outfits. I just finished blocking the completed ones this morning and am working on choosing and sewing up the buttons for them. Wanna see? Of course you do!

In my head, I imagined they'd all have funky contrasting buttons, but I find myself placing complimentary ones on some. I guess it just depends on the color and what my eye finds pleasing.

This weekend was also occupied with taking care of Moondoggie. Full disclosure, I wasn't really the one who ended up with the job. After giving him his usual bath on Saturday afternoon, he became really antsy, whiny and trying to climb the fireplace to look out our front window - behavior very unlike him. He seemed like he kept wanting to go outside so I opened the front door, the back door, but he wouldn't go. Just stayed inside moving restlessly about. We couldn't figure out what was wrong. I went to sleep about 2am and The Doomed stayed up watching tv. I awoke at 5:30am to find that The Doomed still hadn't come to bed and when I opened the door to investigate, I was slammed in the face by an awful, overpowering smell. I found Moondoggie quietly in a corner and The Doomed on hands and knees, scrubbing the rug in his office. Turns out our pooch got horribly sick half an hour after I went to bed, puking and shooting liquid poop for the next 3 hours in our living room, dining room, and finally the office. The Doomed had stayed up all night taking care of him and cleaning up his messes. He hadn't wanted to disturb me and figured with his war experience, he'd smelled everything bad in existence, so his gag reflex wouldn't be as delicate as mine. Poor Moondoggie walked around ashamedly, tail tucked between his legs and looking generally awful. I took over Moondoggie duty and The Doomed finally went to bed around 7am. By then Moondoggie was a little better but he didn't regain his appetite until Sunday evening, after just a bit more puking and pooping. Luckily, he had more control of it by that time and I was able to get him outside to do it. Poor thing! We can't figure out what made him sick, since we didn't feed him anything different or new (though he has been known to take a good, unintentional chomp out of snakes and lizards he finds outside) but I'm just glad he's back to being his happy, hungry self.

Well, that wasn't shop talk! - but, hey, it's what makes up my days.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

What I've Been Doing Since Saturday

1) Learned to use my new knitting loom.
2) Made three scarves with said knitting loom.
3) Almost finished knitting red slouchy beanie.
4) Did a small photo shoot this weekend (wasn't crazy about the way it turned out, but maybe there's something there to work with).
5) Started a new book now that I finished Black Dahlia Avenger.
6) Got a new idea for an item.
7) Embroidered another pair of mittens.
8) Rearranged craft space and began (finally!) tidying up the dungeon. (Gotta get ready to work down there once the weather cool's off!)

I've been busy! And you?

Currently shuffling through my soundsystem:  El Matador - Los Fabulosos Cadillacs, Not A Lot To Do - The Zutons, Consequences of Falling - k.d. Lang, Superheroes - Esthero, The Rain, The Park and Other Things - Cowsills