Tuesday, December 23, 2008

My boy's a crafter!

We stopped in at the local Vintage Stock the other day to do a little browsing, and happened to be there when they were having a snowman decorating contest. They had some styrofoam balls stuck together and a few markers and a bunch of long pipe cleaners. They were going to decide on a winner at 4pm, and offer a gift certificate to the lucky designer.

No self-respecting crafter can let that kind of opportunity pass them up! I asked Griffin if he wanted to decorate a snowman, and he agreed to help me. :)

Griffin drew on a lovely Tim Burton-esque face, then added shoulders, arms, and cheeks. (Kids are so physically aware - who knew snowmen need shoulders?!) I put on some curly-cue thingies, but he made the "wings" all by himself. We added a scarf, and he put on a red belt thing. I submitted our creation and we stuck around for another 20 minutes or so until they made their decision - and Griffin won!!

He was SO excited! We picked out three Hotwheels cars and he handed over his $10 gift card to pay for them. He's excited about getting to go back another day to get a couple more cars.

Next up - learning to use the sewing machine... or maybe a dremel tool...

Monday, December 22, 2008

Holiday Goodies

Not only is it Santa time, but it's also SECRET Santa time! I sent out a package to my good friend and fellow Aretsy member, Denise (way later than I should have) and she let me know it arrived today. Edith the Snowfolk is quite an independent woman - wearing vintage whenever she can, haunting the thrift stores for treasures that have been discarded by others. I think she and Denise will get along famously.

I already reported on my adorable journal from my Aretsy Secret Santa, The Beehive, but I also got a Secret Santa gift from a co-worker. She paints adorable canvases and Christmas ornaments and picture frames for custom orders and also sells at some shows locally. My gift was two of her painted canvases that I LOVE!! They have glittery paint on the snowflakes in the background, which you can't see here. And there are little rhinestones on the berries and a sweet ribbon on the ornament. I have a perfect spot for them in my living room!

I have almost everything I'm making for Christmas made. Only a couple of little things to go; some coasters for hubby's grandma (who will send your gift to her back home with you if she deems it not useful enough!!!), finishing work on my Philly brother's gift, finishing the item for hubby's niece and making things for my dad and stepmom. Okay, maybe I have quite a bit to go... what am I doing on my laptop???!!!

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Secret Santa and Blog-o-riffic

I got a goodie in the mail today! My Secret Santa giftie from my fellow Aretsy artist showed up, and I'm so excited to share the pics with you. The talented Sunny of The Beehive created an adorable little mini-journal for me... it's kind of like a gorgeous custom cake that you don't want to eat because it's too gorgeous. I'm not sure I want to mess up the adorable-ness by putting something in it!

The sun was down before I opened it, so these pics were taken with flash. I was thrilled with the colors - salmon and orange with turquoise and blue are my favorite combos! Thanks so much Sunny!!!!

I have to thank Denise Felton as well, one of my favorite Aretsy artists. She is one of the newest (and most prolific) contributors to the Craft Gossip website, and recently featured my humble little Snowfolk in my shop. Today - I'm sure because of her marketing genius - I sold Ally McTeal to a nice buyer in Baltimore, MD. Ally is pretty hip - I think she's definitely got the makings of an east coast girl.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Snowfolk for everyone!!

Etsy sales abound this weekend, and my shop is no different.

Not only am I offering free shipping on all purchases through Sunday, but I'm also throwing in a set of four handmade vintage fabric drink coasters as well! What a deal! A gift for you, and a stocking stuffer for your Mother-in-Law!!

I've made my Christmas gift list, and am pleased to report that I can make 99% of the gifts I'm giving this year myself. Coasters, pillows, bags, and a couple of other miscellaneous items are on the list... I can't wait to get started. I guess I should say I SHOULDN'T wait to get started... time's a wastin!!!!

Happy Holidays Everyone!

Friday, October 24, 2008

Creative Inspiration

My sweet co-workers gave me this great book by Amy Butler for my birthday. I don't buy her fabric (sorry Amy!) because I use vintage and repurposed remnants and linens in my projects, but I LOVE her use of color. The book includes not just instructions, but patterns. I'm totally going to make some of these things for Christmas gifts this year!

I've been listing some new Snowfolk in my Etsy store, but haven't had many views on them. I know they are cute, and everyone who sees them says they're cute, but I guess they are just a unique thing to collect... only a lucky few have them, right??

Meanwhile, I need to figure out what I can make that might actually sell. Ideas? What would you be interested in if you were looking for handmade sewn things?

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Craft Fair Weekend

It was a BEAUTIFUL weekend for craft fairs! I had hoped to spend all day yesterday with my sister (http://www.idyllhands.etsy.com/) at the Bella Vista Arts & Crafts Festival where we had a booth, but since I unexpectedly had to take Thursday off work to take my mom to a doctors' appointment those plans were scrapped. So it was great today to spend a few hours with her, and with my mom, enjoying some sunshine and handmade craftiness. And fair food... YUM!

Of course, a day at a craft fair isn't complete without almost getting into a fist-fight with someone at the portapotty. At least, MY day at a craft fair. But let me explain... My mom is dealing with an illness that has robbed her of the use of her left side, so we're getting her around in a wheelchair. In addition, she has a sense of urgency when it comes to getting to the toilet, so when we need a bathroom we need it now. So we headed for the handicapped portapotty when she needed to go soon after we arrived, and as we approached I saw a woman entering the ONLY one in the line. She wasn't in a wheelchair, or even using crutches or a cane - just walked right on in.

We waited outside the door, and when she came out I said something to the tune of "you shouldn't use the handicapped bathroom" and she had the gall to say "You don't know my issues." I replied "I know you're not using a wheelchair." She got miffed, and said she was sorry but I didn't need to be so rude. I told her that it was rude to use a handicapped bathroom if you're not handicapped. I think mom was worried that she would be waiting for me when we were done, but I must have scared her off.

So I guess I was bitchy... and no, I don't know her issues. But come on... There was a long line of portapotties - like, 15 or so - if that woman was able to walk, she didn't have any issues that would require that she use the handicapped one.

But other than that excitement, it was just a nice day. It was really cool as we were driving out. My grandparents (mom's parents) were crafters and participated in War Eagle for years selling their stuff. I just had a wonderful feeling of being connected with that "culture" of crafting that was really special and important to share with mom somehow.

Friday, August 8, 2008

Oh Em Gee!!!!

You know how sometimes you stumble across a sweet little bit of fabric, or a perfect little piece of ephemera, and you make something out of them and then they're gone? You may think wistfully about the perfection of those items, and wish you could get your hands on more, but you just assume that they were fleeting things in your artistic life that were not meant to last.

Well. I found a lovely little pillowcase last fall and created a really pretty market bag from it. It was a favorite of everyone who saw it, and it finally sold last week to a lucky lady in Ohio. I was satisfied that it would be a one-of-a-kind cutie that would make her very happy, and let it go.

But then, yesterday I was piddling around on Ebay and found THIS!!! There are two flat sheets and a fitted- all full size - and three pillowcases. Of course, I had to have it. Tonight I won the whole lot, and I will be offering a new collection of gorgeous market bags soon. Don't miss your chance to have one of your very own!! :)

*doing the happy vintage linens dance*
On another note, I apologize for my absence to my reading masses (har har). I will be making a better effort to share more regularly from here out.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Salvage, fleas and various other goodies...

The last day spent in the Saluda/Tryon area of North Carolina last week my mom and I headed into Tryon to go to a place that advertised itself as a warehouse of salvage and other such goodies. Neither my mom nor I have ever met a termite-eaten, flaky-paint-covered piece of anything that we didn't like, so we thought it sounded like a great place to spend a little money and a lot of time.

Turns out, the salvage end of things required quite a hefty bit of money, so all we did there was browse. The owners obviously travel to Europe and South America quite often, and bring home some fabulous pieces of buildings and furniture items to share with Wealthy Vacationing Americans. That term doesn't describe anyone that was on the trip last week, so we just admired. I was really wishing I could spring for the antique French bottle racks they had - those A-frame shaped ones that are hinged at the top - but they were over $400 each if I remember correctly. Maybe it was $200... in any case, they were more than my limit of $25 so they stayed put.

We did, however, do very nicely in the flea market that was adjacent to the salvage place! The actual flea market was pretty much like every other flea market... some dishes, some linens, some crap, some old books, lots of record albums... But then my mom needed to find a bathroom, and we found the mother-lode.

In the back of the building, beyond the booths and organized stuff, were piles and piles of stuff that had been picked up, it seemed, at estate sales and office liquidations, and whatever other kind of sales that would garner a person a dozen or so filing cabinets of different vintages, some professional dishwasher parts, and stacks of child-sized school desks. There was a whole lot of stuff we didn't even bother to try to look through (or couldn't reach) but I came away with a roll of vintage upholstery trim, a dozen or more wire frames to some sconce shades, half-a-dozen little brass keys, three small shutters, a couple of wooden turned posts to make candle sticks out of, small antique bottles - 4 for a dollar - and I'm sure there is something I'm forgetting. It was a great haul. I didn't get the sheets I found, but they were just overpriced - I'm used to paying pennies for sheets and pillowcases at local thrift stores, so paying $5 for a pair of cases would have been against my nature.

Now I have to get busy. I have two craft fairs to attend this fall, and need to decide what, exactly, I'm going to sell. I'm thinking that the Snowfolk are a no-brainer - especially at the October fair in Bella Vista. But I'm also going to make stacks and stacks of fabric drink coasters and some smaller hip bags. I have too much fabric not to make it pay off now. No more buying, lots more selling!!!

Saturday, July 5, 2008

Mama's got a brand new bag!

A friend of mine just had a sweet little baby girl, after having two boys. As you can imagine, she chucked all ideas of buying gender-neutral clothes and went for the pink!

When I found out a few months ago she was having a girl, I told her I'd put together a diaper bag made from some of the lovely vintage fabrics I've got in my piles. She picked out some fabrics, and I put them aside to work on... Miriam was born two weeks ago, and I finished the bag today. I never guaranteed her a delivery date, thank goodness.

The main part of the bag is made from a Tommy Hilfiger sheet, the bottom part is a vintage curtain and they have a little trim of white in between. The "flowers" are cut from a felted wool sweater, the leaves are bits of linen tablecloth and vintage fabric samples, and the strap is another sheet. Vintage buttons finish it out, and it's lined with a vintage pillowcase.

I also made a matching changing pad out of a pink hand towel I picked up at a thrift store. The beauty is that all of this can be machine washed. The sheets and towel have been washed before, of course, and I washed the curtains and sweater as well. Easy!!

I really like the way it turned out. I would love to do more things like this, using different combinations of fabrics. I think I'll post pics of this one in my Etsy shop and advertise that I'll let people pick their fabrics for a truly custom bag.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Weird Sale - Great Goodies!

The other day I ran across a yard sale where a guy was selling quite a bit of old furniture and yard items. I got a metal glider and a couple of metal chairs for my mom to go on her patio. When I went back to pick them up with Hubby, the guy invited us to go through his house to see if there was anything else we might be interested in. Oh my god, was that interesting.

This guy is a hoarder. He had boxes and boxes and piles and piles of stuff in every room of his house. I mean EVERY ROOM. There were 78 rpm records from the 40's (Tex Ritter!), collections of brass instruments, assorted "see no evil" monkey figurines... And a whole lot of junk to go with the cool stuff. We quickly decided we couldn't do the monumental task of actually looking at everything justice (plus, Hubby doesn't like digging through people's stuff, even when asked to do so), so we left. But I vowed to return!

The next day my mom and I went back prepared to scrounge. After two-and-a-half hours of going through every box that looked interesting (and that we were capable of getting to), and surveying all the furniture in the house, we came away with a few things. I ended up with a little box of sewing notions, some costume jewelry, a few vintage ties, a nice Haeger pottery bowl, a ton of vintage buttons, an old crocheted doily, a milk glass jar, and some old cabinet door handles. I also have two large cabinet doors and two small ones in the garage waiting to be repurposed. I tell you I don't know how that guy has managed it, but he doesn't have any place to sit in that house. Really - now that I'm thinking about it... there are no empty chairs. Weird.
There was quite a bit more stuff I would have taken, but just don't need right now. But, I know where he lives...

Sunday, June 22, 2008

ME!?? Unimportant!!!???

One of my blogging and crafting heroes, Casserole, has tagged me with the challenge of sharing 6 unimportant things about myself. This could be difficult, since I'm such a narcissist I probably will believe anything I think of to be of HUGE importance. But I'll give it a shot. (Yes, that's my tongue in my cheek)

1. I wear a size 8.5 or 9 shoe, and they grew from a size 8 after I had my first child. I would have preferred that my boobs stayed bigger, but no one asked me...

2. I have a thing for men with dark hair and goatees. I just realized this after seeing Iron Man and drooling all over myself for Robert Downey, Jr. I already had a thing for the jello-knee-inducing Johnny Depp. Thankfully, Hubby meets my requirements for desireability.

3. There are some things I just have to pay brand-name prices for: Jif peanut butter, Kraft mac and cheese, Coca-Cola products, and Cottonelle t.p. Perfection just can't be duplicated.

4. I was named after a street in a southern California town where a great aunt lived. (Laurie Lane), and the gypsy woman sharing a room in the maternity ward with my mom (Michaela).

5. I hate licorice and cream corn. Seperately, not together - although that would be nasty too... I'll eat just about anything else, though. Unfortunately.

6. The first car I bought myself was a 1987 Toyota Tercel. Steel blue metallic. I guess if I still had it, it would be vintage and I could sell it on Etsy.com. Not in the handmade area, of course - I'm sure someone would report me to the admins.

I'm going to tag my brothers, Brian and David, and a couple of my favorite bloggers - Marcy and Fria.

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Vintage lamps!

I'm in love with vintage lamps, and I feel an obsession blossoming in my gut like a craving for chocolate covered almonds or an infatuation with - who else!? - Johnny Depp. (although R.D. Jr. is running a close second for my crush right now...)

I picked up a couple of fantastic wooden lamps quite a while back, and promptly stuck them out in my garage because I have no idea what to do with them. They have bamboo trim, and a criss-cross pattern of thatch. VERY tiki room!! I would love to use them in the house, but I've already resigned myself to the fact that I'm going to find a lot of fabulous things in my hunts and rummaging, but some of it will have to be treasures found for others. Hence the business, right??

Last week I broke down and bought a couple of incredible turquoise lamps from the 1960's at my favorite thrift store, Samaritan Shop, in Springdale. They were a steal, and apart from needing a little new wiring (for safety's sake) they are pristine. One is going to go to work with me for my desk, the other one may be held onto for retail use later. I found a little shade to go on the one I'll keep and need to get it re-vamped. It's got a hand-sewn silk cover, but some hideous trim. The trim will come off, and I'm thinking of painting the silk, or dying it somehow.

Oh, it's fun to have a new object of my affection.

Saturday, May 24, 2008


It's been a few weeks now since the craft fair my sister and mother and I participated in, and I haven't even touched my sewing machine since that weekend. It's not that I've been too busy, really. I have had plenty of evenings available, I just haven't wanted to make anything.

Maybe it's because I only sold one bag at the fair. I was pretty discouraged, and frustrated - I thought that they were great (I know they are great) but am not sure why no one else feels that way enough to pay for one.

Or maybe I'm just so busy learning my new job and getting all that part of my brain up and running again, that I don't have any synapses left for creativity. Probably, it's a combination of the two. My lack of space on my inner hard drive feeds my feeling of frustration and I shrug my shoulders and say to hell with it. Admitting I have a problem is the first step to recovery, right?

Hopefully it will pass. I can't just let those stacks and stacks of fabric sit there forever...

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Craft Fair vs. Swap Meet

When I was growing up my grandparents had a booth at the War Eagle Mill craft fair here in NW Arkansas. Grandpa was a cabinet maker and sold beautiful cedar chests, quilt racks, spice cabinets, rocking horses... to name a few. Grandma painted many of the things he made with her incredible tole painting. Both of them were primarily self-taught artists, but their talent was such that they shipped their items all over the world to people who bought them at the fair.

Lately, I've watched a trend that I'm not happy with at the craft shows I've attended. There are booths full of items that are NOT handmade, and sometimes, not even crafts or art of any kind. This was the case last weekend at the Spanker Creek Farms show that my sister, mom and I participated in as vendors.

I could probably count on one hand - MAYBE two - the number of vendors who actually made the items they were selling themselves. Now, granted, the application for this show did not require that the items be handmade. But they did say they didn't want the booths to look like flea market booths. So, that specification makes me wonder why there were vendors at the fair selling SUNGLASSES!!?? Or - my personal favorite - 400 count "Egyptian Cotton" sheet sets. In plastic zipper bags. What the....???

I mean, I've come to terms with the people who sell relishes and soup mixes, and the ones who buy canvas bags and tee shirts and use their pricey machines to sew monograms and cute little sayings on them... but sheets and sunglasses were pushing my buttons. There was a woman across from us who was hand-lettering wooden signs to be hung over your tiki bar or on the outhouse door, but at least she was putting paint on something, even if she didn't make the signs herself!

Needless to say, the crowd was horrible, and our sales followed... we won't go back there next year, even to shop. Am I wrong to fantasize about arts and crafts fairs that ARE what they SAY they are??? Come on! We have to get back to honoring the roots of our craft... pass these swap meets up and seek out the legitimate handmade fairs - it will be worth it.

Thursday, April 3, 2008


It was threatening rain as I got Griffin up and dressed this morning. We grabbed a couple of pieces of cinnamon bread, dusted off the wagon, and headed down the street to my favorite thrift store, the Samaritan Shop. It had started sprinkling when we got to the store fifteen minutes later, and by the time they opened it was coming down pretty hard.

It was the first day of their “50% off of everything” sale, and I was determined to be there when they opened at 10 a.m. Not that a lot of other people would be eager to dig through the pile of pillowcases and out-of-season clothing… but you never know. Besides, they were offering free cookies!

I headed straight to the fabric section, where I’ve found some sweet deals in the past. The offerings there were pretty picked over, but the pillowcase cabinet was full-to-overflowing so I picked up a dozen or so at a quarter a piece. Several white and cream for linings, and a number of vintage prints as well.

I scoped out the sweaters on the clearance rack, but there wasn’t much left. I added several nice ones to my stash recently – some bright colors for appliqu├ęs on bags and aprons. I did snag a few oatmeal-colored ones for future Snowfolk bodies. I won’t be working on them for a while yet, but I need to start thinking about the raw materials I’ll need.

Then, I headed over to the men’s pants and women’s skirts and picked up several nice things. Some corduroy, some tweed, and a skirt made of floral fabric that I know some craft fair-goers will enjoy next month.

Extra goodies I picked up included a little chalkboard to use in our fair booth, several vintage scarves, a set of four vintage napkins, and a fitted vintage Star Wars sheet for Griffin’s bed. All in all, a great haul for $39 and some change. And, it quit raining just long enough for us to enjoy a nice walk home enjoying the birds and spring flowers.

Tonight, the newly repaired van that was supposed to be left unlocked with the keys under the floor mat was not. Wasted trip to Fayetteville, hectic evening made more hectic, and now a hectic morning to look forward to tomorrow. Thanks Lewis Ford. Good thing I had a great day of shopping to keep me mellow.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

To be continued...

I'm the kind of girl who likes to put pictures in her blog posts. I know my readers enjoy seeing projects I'm working on, or supplies for projects I'm working on, or just pretty pictures in general. I like to please them - my benevolent readers - but tonight I have only words. I will follow up with pictures tomorrow.

I got a perfect piece of mail a few days ago! It was a postcard from my favorite thrift store saying that tomorrow through Saturday they are having a "50% everything in the store" sale! Not only that, but the card was orange, my favorite color. It was a sign.

I was slightly bummed that I would have to miss out on the first day of the sale because I work on Thursdays. But then I took my van to the dealership to have a funny light checked out... Lucky me, it's still in the shop so I can walk to the thrift store tomorrow since I'm staying home from work. I'd like to think the promise of scoring some half-priced vintage linens and wool sweaters makes the broken vehicle worth the trouble... but I don't think I can suspend reality quite to that level. I'm no Britney Spears.

I'll report on the shopping tomorrow night - wish me luck!!

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Etsy love and free fabric!

Hubby and I were shopping for a sectional to put in our dining room-turned-media room. We found a winner at Brashear's in Springdale, and as we were talking to the salesman one of the other sales people, a woman named Debbie, admired my bag; this one:

So, I spoke right up and told her I made it myself, and I sell them as well. She had me write down my etsy shop URL, and then noticed my sweet ring from Block Party Press... so I put her shop on the list, and added my sister's for good measure.

In return for my great marketing ability, she went to the back of the store and got a pile of discontinued fabric samples for me to add to my stash! Score! And, she told me to check back on occasion, because they discontinue fabrics pretty regularly. What a deal... sectional on sale, possible sales in my shop or at the craft fair I'll be at in May, AND free fabric.

Now, if I wake up tomorrow 10 pounds lighter I'll be ecstatic.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

The Craft Fairs are coming!!!

Are you as busy as I am building your inventory and trying to think about who your buyers will be at your next fair? I've been a busy little Punkin collecting fabric, cutting, sewing, ironing, and designing new bags... and now I'm going to make some craft fair aprons as well.

My sister Erin, of Idyllhands, and my mom and I are going to be at the Spanker Creek fair in May. Erin mentioned that she wanted to make an apron like the ones we used to wear when we waited tables to keep pens, business cards, and other stuff in. I said "hey! I can do that!"

So here's what I made for Erin from a linen tablecloth, a wool sweater and some vintage curtains:

I also made one for my mom and one for myself out of different fabrics, but haven't got pics up yet... I'll be making some for sale in my etsy shop - check in about a week to see what I list!

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Crappy Days Made Good

As do a lot of people, I have a job I can't stand. It's a long story, so I'll get to the GOOD part. Yesterday, after too many hours at said hated job, I came home to find a sweet surprise on my stoop - four envelopes full of crafty sweetness!!
These two pieces of fabric are from different sellers on Ebay. The first is a sinfully cute vintage piece of juvenile print that features circus scenes. I've been thinking of venturing into the diaper bag realm, and thought it would be a great gender-neutral fabric to use for that. The second piece is a feedsack. I know, right?? I've never seen a striped one either! But it's still all sewn up on the sides and everything. I'm not sure how I'll use it yet... that's part of the thrill of having it.

This little pile of cuteness is vintage ricrac from retrocharm and I love it! She even gave me a little extra. Maybe a girl's diaper bag... or not...

And finally, these gorgeous prints are what I got in trade for a couple of my tea light lanterns from marywibis. She also sells original oil paintings and greeting cards.

Definitely turned out to be a better evening than morning or afternoon.

Saturday, March 8, 2008

Building Inventory

Idyllhands, a.k.a. my sister, Erin, talked my mom and I into joining her for the Spanker Creek craft fair in May. Last summer, in order to get ready for the Clothesline Fair in September, I was creating little families of Snowfolk nonstop. But they were fairly easy to whip out, and were not as needy in terms of time at the sewing machine. The tote bags I'm making now are a different story.

Yesterday I spent some time in the morning making some bags, and got three done. They were simple, unlined bags that are intended to be market bags - nothing terribly detailed or time consuming. Two are made from vintage pillowcases. I think my stepmother had a set of linens with that poppy print on them. I have several more pillowcases to make bags out of.

Another bag from yesterday is made from some orange and green vintage upholstery fabric. I have two made from the same stuff listed in my Etsy site, but those have one long strap, whereas this one has two short ones.

Now that the boy's napping, I should go work on some more bags, May is just around the corner!

Monday, March 3, 2008

Excited over crazy stuff

Explaining exactly why something gets one excited is one thing...but announcing to the world that *today* that something is a new ceiling in the shop is drawing sideways glances from the students I'm hosting from Korea and Japan (societies that are a bit more subdubed) and the workers who were installing it as I danced around the shop clapping my hands!!! It's beautiful...recycled barn (or maybe a chicken house) corrigated metal siding applied to the ceiling with some rusty parts showing. The rust gives it character...really it does. Who wants a boring shiny metal ceiling when areas of rusty brownish-red is visible to break the monotony....sort of like the difference between a face at 25 and one at 63....definitely NOT boring, trust me.

The ceiling is up and now there's no reason not to begin production, unless organizing and cleaning is an excuse. But then, we crafty people ALL know if one spends too much time cleaning and organizing before getting started .... nothing really ever happens. So, perhaps the first pieces produced by Junque Rethunque will be created in the midst of chaos...

There are wonderful things lying dormant in the shop, nay, piled one on top of another, and never more so than today. The crew putting up the ceiling didn't see the treasures shining from the souls of broken chairs, rusty pipes, dirty tiles and seatless lawn furniture...they saw junk, trash, discarded garbage and moved it around as such. Pushing, shoving, tossing, stacking and repeating the process again as they moved from one end of the shop to the other with tall ladders (it's a 10 foot ceiling) to be able to apply the beautiful, rusted, corrigated metal to the rafters. Now it's time to carefully and with the respect 'old' things deserve, repair and repurpose these road-side vagabonds, so they can begin their new lives. I'm EXCITED!!!!!

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Etsy photographers

There are tons of pottery artists, loads of fabric artists, and a boatload of beaders on Etsy, but sometimes the photographers don't get the attention they deserve. I thought I'd share a few here in honor of my family members who carry cameras around with them wherever they go.

The inspiration for this post is this listing by ara133photography, and this has to be one of my favorite photos on Etsy, just for sheer craziness. I mean, I've seen deer poop in the woods, but even if I'd thought to take a picture of it, I doubt I would have thought someone might want to buy a copy of that picture. Wow. Lest you think they're a complete freak, however, they also sell some gorgeous closeups of bugs and flowers and kitchen goodies.

Photovita has some gorgeous, ethereal shots in her shop. This one is only one of many that are dreamy and fantastical in their quality. She has a lot of flowers and organics listed, but also includes some great shots of architectural studies and shadows and some ocean views. She has a buy one get one free special going on right now, so hurry on over there. Just come back here when you're done...

Of course, both of these shops were on the main page treasury last night, so they probably have had a ton of hits - but here are a few that may have gotten a little less attention.

Kellya from Colorado also has a special going on, but just through tomorrow - hurry! Looking through her repetoire, I can't for the life of me figure out why this girl has only sold 20 photos! A lot of her images - most in fact, are digitally altered in some way. Mostly just color editing and such - nothing that takes away from the image. Check out this gorgeous sunflower. I would so want this blown up to about 3' x 4' and hang it in my living room!!

Carinemily, from Cincinnati, has had her shop up since July of last year, but has only sold four items. It's not due to her prices or her sense of humor. Check out this great pic called "Gossip". I swear my "fashion dolls" used to talk about me behind my back... She also sells her photos in several sizes, including a postcard. Seems like a perfect combination - a photo called gossip on a postcard to your BFF.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Treasure hunting - no travel required

Of course, what consitutes treasure is definitely open to interpretation, but I'm easily amused. And easily excited when it comes to finding bits of trash that I deem to be treasure.

Yesterday, hubby and I and the boy for a while hung out at my mom's house. She lives in what used to be my grandparents' house outside of town on 5 acres of woods overlooking the White River. Before my grandmother made my grandpa buy the place and build a house on it, it was split by a county road that ran through it down to a bridge that crossed the river. That bridge burned down and the county road was closed, but until that time a whole lot of people used the sides of the gravel road as dumping areas.

You see where I'm going with this, right?

Yesterday I wore my old jeans, put on some gardening gloves and took a spade and a bucket down to the hillside and started clearing away leaves. My mom is a big fan of this activity, and calls pretty much anything she pulls out of the dirt "treasure". But I have to say, yesterday was a good day. Here's a list of things we found... unreliably based on my memory, since the goodies are still at mom's:

*Pieces of green-glazed pottery
*Lots of clear glass, probably broken canning jars
*Two nice pieces of depression glass - one pink and one yellow
*Old shards of pottery with gold gilt on the edges - I think it was a bowl
*An old button
*Lots of old rusted nails, large and small
*A heavy metal piece that looks like a door escutcheon
*Another metal piece that looks like a car part
*Two small bottles with metal lids marked "Norwich"
*Two medium sized intact jars - these are gorgeous!

I'm really pleased with the little bottles and bits of pottery. I think they'll be great additions to shadow boxes and altered art pieces. I'll add some pics as soon as I have some. It was too cloudy and rainy to take any yesterday.

After getting our knees dirty for a while, we went inside and dug through a dresser drawer full of fabric and quilts. I came home with a nice little box of quilt squares to turn into something, and some other bits of lace and fabric that will work their way into my tote bags.

What a fun day! And, there's a whole closet at the top of the stairs to go through. I took a peek, and a couple of boxes were labeled "fabric".... oh joy!

Friday, February 22, 2008

Embellished bags

I'm making a break for it, leaving the Snowfolk behind and running full-tilt toward the spring and summer seasons and all the trips to the library and farmers market they bring. Since one cannot have too many tote bags, I've decided to take it upon myself to create a few.

I prefer to make my bags out of vintage fabric, or at least colorful and unique fabric. In making a few, I found that the coolest part is coming up with a way to embellish them. I can't just make a bag. I have to make an artsy bag.

This is the latest... and my favorite thus far. I used wool scraps from my Snowfolk work to create 3-D leaves and flowers. I've made some bags with long straps to hang across the body like a messenger bag, but this one is for wearing over the shoulder.

More to come, but not tonight.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

AREtsy Street Team!

I'm a proud member of the Arkansas street team on Etsy.com. We're called AREtsy, and we are 76 members-strong!! We are made up of a wide variety of crafters and artists from all over the state, and if you haven't checked us out yet, you should!

Take a look at our blog - created by our very own Idyllhands: http://aretsy.blogspot.com/

For Valentine's Day, we had a secret swap (thanks DogwoodLane!) and everyone received the cutest, coolest things.My goodies were from Ms. Dogwood herownself. :-)

There's a little patchwork makeup bag with too too cute buttons and pink cotton lining, and a little lavender pillow to soothe the stressed eyes. So yummy! Thanks Dogwood!!

Monday, February 18, 2008

Movies inspire me

I went to see Atonement with a girlfriend Saturday, and left feeling so inspired to be creative! I have always loved film - I'm a drama geek from way back and used to have Oscar-watching parties. Attendees were usually just me, my mom and brother, but I won't bore you with my ineffectual party-throwing skills...

So, I've known I love good films for a long time. But I had an "aHA!" moment Saturday when I realized, after reveling in the amazing costuming, cinematography, and even the score of Atonement, that I wanted to get home and make stuff and write stuff and just be generally creative. I stopped by B&N and picked up the Writer's Market 2008, and came home and started digging through my fabric piles and cutting out tote bags.

I got two unlined bags done this weekend, and another one, a custom for a friend. The first two are made from some great vintage upholstery fabric I bought a few weeks ago ---------------------->

Plus, I have three others that just need to be detailed and lined. Isn't it interesting how things can inspire us that are not at all directly related to the craft we actually make? I guess we're all inspired at times by nature - or music... I just hadn't put the film and art connection together before. At least, not in terms of my own art.

What are you inspired by? Anything unusual? Your children? Favorite music? Walks in the woods? Fudge brownies with that crackled crispy crust on top??

Friday, February 15, 2008

And the award goes to....

So, I got an award today for my blog. But it's from my sister, Erin of Knitting Hands, so I don't know if it can be considered a legitimate award... but I'll take it. :)

Erin has a great little blog herself, where she is much better than I am about posting bits about her current craftiness and lovely pictures of things she makes and is inspired by. She also sells gorgeous knitted wire jewelry and colorful scarves in her etsy shop, Idyllhands. Little known facts about Erin: she was a sleepwalker as a child, and had to have a Golden Corral fix whenever she visited grandma and grandpa.

The rules of the blog award are fairly easy to follow:
First - Post the award on your own blog. Obviously, I'm doing that one...
Next - Indicate its original link and link to that site
Finally - Give the award to 5 other blogs that you enjoy, find creative and inspire you.

I'm not very good at collecting blogs, so I don't have five to recommend. Actually, I would recommend Denise Felton and Casserole, but they were also given the award by my sis. So, here are three fabulous places to hang out on the web that I think you'll enjoy as much as I do:

The Thicket is a lovely spot where my good friend Stacey writes about "Etsy, indie design and other goodies. Replete with mental undergrowth." She's been on an 'etsy favorite' kick for a little while now, and I've found some great new artists on her blog. She's also just a cool-ass chick.

Gooseflesh is the home of Helle Jorgensen, an Australian artist with an intriguing imagination who crochets delicate undersea creatures out of plastic bags and string. I know, it sounds weird, but you'll be amazed - trust me on this. On her blog, follow the Crochet Sea Creatures link. And all the other links along the left side... she's wonderful.

Small Motor Designs is where Becky of St. Paul, MN shares her detailed and precious little bits of recycled fabric jewelry. I just can't help but love a woman who lists her interests as "embroidery, knitting, books, pens, beer, cupcakes." She doesn't post often, but she makes me smile when she does.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Bags of the future!

My newest project started as Christmas presents. I made a couple of tote bags for my brothers out of scraps of slacks and denim, and some bits of sweaters I used in my Snowfolk work. My favorite details are the pocket on the first one that is actually the pocket of the slacks and the bottle pocket made from a wool sweater on the other. (He's a law student who bikes to school - so I thought that would be handy)

They turned out pretty cool, so I have been putting together some other bags. I have one made from the top of a pair of overalls and a pair of sleeves from a cardigan, and a couple from vintage curtains... The only pics I have are the ones of my brothers' bags.

I suck. I'll post more soon, I promise!