Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Blog Giveaway! Blog Giveaway! Blog Giveaway!

No, I'm not giving away my blog. But I AM giving away a flower brooch, in celebration of the new flower brooch line soon to be introduced to my Etsy shop. I'm having so much fun making these little flowers!

This one is a combination of bright bubble gum pink, golden yellow, and bright green. The flower is about 2 1/2 inches in diameter. The center of the flower is accented with white sequins and pink seed beads. It's all stitched together with gold thread. I'm so proud of this little guy, I took three pictures!

To enter into the drawing, just post a comment on this post by midnight Friday, February 1. And since it's true that you don't ever get something for nothing, I'm going to ask that you tell me something you like about my blog, or something you'd like to see in my blog. This will help me plan content that you want to read.

I'll choose one comment at random and that person will recieve this brooch. Yaaaayyyy!!!

Monday, January 28, 2008

Etsy Word Results: Callow

I know I'm a little late with this, but here are the results from the "callow" search.

Denise offered up items that a callow youth might want:

Marshmallow Shooter, Flame Thrower by Neverland Toys

GoldenChild Mohawk Hat by Infantile

Skull Cufflinks by Baubles N Bows
..while I thought about hatchlings and bald little babies:

Bald is Beautiful onesie by Shirts for Shortys

Bows for Bald Baby Girls by BaldBabyGirls

Hatchling Future Child Pin by CollageArtist

PeepPeeps Little Girl Ponytail Holders by The Magpie's Nest

So that's it for last week's word. This week's word? Its.... *drumroll please*.....
sylvan \SIL-vuhn\

1. Of or pertaining to woods or forest regions.
2. Living or located in a wood or forest.
3. Abounding in forests or trees; wooded.

1. A fabled deity or spirit of the woods.
2. One that lives in or frequents the woods or forest; a rustic.

As always, anyone is welcome to play along! Just post your suggestions in a comment to this post. Have fun!

Friday, January 25, 2008

This one's for you, Denise

So my friend Denise is known for her recycling and upcycling of random would-be-trash into beautiful works of art. She is the laundry lint goddess, and we all pay homage to her with our dryer lint. Whether it's dryer lint, old CDs, or leftover packing material, she collects it and calls it all "art supplies!"(always with the exclamation point).

Tonight I was in my studio punching shapes out of felt and Olivia is digging through the scraps in the trashcan. "There's a whole lot of this in here," she says. "Yes," I respond. Then she asks me, "Why don't we save it and give it to Aunt Denise?"

The child knows you well, Denise!

yucky, cold day

It's a yucky, yucky cold day here in Arkansas! It's hovering at 32 degrees and the sky is overcast and it keeps spitting sleet and freezing rain. Blech. Guess it's a good day to stay in an create!

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Make your own stamps - an update

A couple of weeks ago I subscribed to a thread on Splitcoast about a little contraption called the Stamp Critter that apparently lets you make your own photopolymer clear stamps. Well, someone on the thread bought one of these puppies and posted a photo tutorial on their blog, showing how it all works.

From what I can tell, it looks like this machine has two basic conveniences over the more labor intensive DIY process that I linked to in my previous post on this subject. First, it provides a light source that sits directly above the polymer & image and provides even distribution of that light. Second, it looks like the polymer stuff comes in a little baggie, which takes the place of having to build little dams out of craft sticks and pouring the polymer in.

Woohoo!!! I was famous for 3 minutes!!

Yesterday I was browsing through the treasuries on Etsy and was pleasantly surprised to see a little yellow star next to one of the treasury links. This meant that an item from my shop was featured in the treasury! It happened to be one of my new paisley brooches. Woohoo!!!

Fast forward to this morning. As usual, I crawled out of bed and stumbled to my computer. As the crust lifted from my eyes, I checked my views on Etsy. Sure enough, I had gotten a lot of views over the night, thanks to the treasury. The item that had been featured went from having 39 views to 53. AND, I noticed that three people had hearted me. What an awesome morning! What the heck, I thought, and I checked to see if anyone had hearted the paisley. (I know, I know, I'm totally vain...)

No hearts for the paisley, but when I reloaded my shop I noticed that the views had jumped from 53 to 109! 56 views in the space of 1 minute!! Seriously. My foggy morning brain realized that something as definitely up, so I loaded the Etsy home page. And there it was.


It took a second to sink in, then my first thought was, "OMG, send Denise a convo!!!!" I clicked the convo button, and my second (more rational) thought, was "Take a screenshot, you moron!" And it was at that exact second that I got the notification from Etsy that my paisley had been purchased! So while I was super-excited that I had sold the first of my paisleys, I also realized that this meant that the little guy was no longer on the home page.

It all happened so fast, like in the space of about 3 minutes. If I didn't have the evidence of the sale, I would think it was all in my imagination. It's like the final scene in a movie where the main character wakes up and realizes that all the surreal stuff they had experienced as all just a dream, and then.... they look over on the nighstand and see some tangible piece of evidence that it had actually all occurred.

Monday, January 21, 2008

Etsy word: Callow

Here's the Etsy word for this week:

callow \KAL-oh\, adjective:
Immature; lacking adult perception, experience, or judgment.

I can't wait to see what people come up with for this one!

PS - sorry for the short post - I've been crafting all day and my brain is not much into forming thoughts right now. Will post a pic tomorrow of what I made today.

Saturday, January 19, 2008

An UTEE experiment and a sinking feeling in my tummy....

So my mother decided she needed some little girl time with my daughter last Saturday. As soon as the child had cleared the threshold, I was back in my studio cooking up a little UTEE experiment. (UTEE stands for Ultra Thick Embossing Enamel. It's basically this powder that, when heated, turns all plasticy. You can use a melting pot to melt enough of this stuff to pour in little molds, or in little puddles to stamp into, or whatever else you can imagine. The possibilities really are endless!)

In some emailing earlier last week, Denise and I had mused on the possibility of recycling all the little left-over gold threads from our felt embroidery and beading projects into inclusions for homemade paper. This morning it occurred to me that small snippets of gold thread would be awesome inclusions for some UTEE tiles. I also thought I'd snip up some left over felt and see how that would look.

So as soon as the house was clear, I was back in the studio heating up the melting pot. I'm still learning how to pour molds with the molten UTEE, so this was an experiment on several fronts. I learned that it takes a whole lotta UTEE powder to make one molded object. I thought I had put enough in for two, possibly three, little hearts. Turned out it was enough for one.

The one little heart is a little lopsided and it's actually hard to tell that it's a heart at all. A little more UTEE in the mold would have helped. The felt and gold threads (and a few seed beads thrown in as well) turned out to be cool little inclusions. Definitely something I'll try again!

So that was my UTEE experiment. And the horrible sinking feeling in my tummy? Yeah, that's because I've realized that I can now longer throw away my little bits of felt and scraps of gold thread. Another category for my hoarding!
Off to find little containers to store more bits in....

Friday, January 18, 2008

I found my sexy legs!!!!

Once again, I possess a pair of sexy legs. Too bad they're not attached to my body. But, a cool transparency mask cut from a photo of some sexy boots in a Victoria's Secret catalog is not a bad second. I posted last week that I had lost them after using them only one time. I TORE my studio apart, but to no avail. My sexy legs were seemingly gone forever.

Then, two nights ago, as I was looking for my sticky-back sparkle gems, I looked down at the floor and there were my sexy legs. I had looked there only about a thousand times before, so my only guess is they stuck themselves to the bottom of another container and waited until that moment to redeposit themselves on the floor. Of course, my sparkle gems are still lost, but those are easy enough to replace.

Etsy Word: Primogeniture

The word for this week was:
primogeniture \pry-moh-JEN-ih-choor\, noun:

1. The state of being the firstborn of the same parents; seniority by birth among children of the same family.
2. (Law) An exclusive right of inheritance that belongs to the eldest son.

This was a hard one!!
Denise offered three examples of first sons. First, a collage from her own shop, "The Improvement of Offspring." If you haven't seen this girl's collages, you need to head over to her Etsy store RIGHT NOW and check them out. Not only are they visually appealing and complex, they also highlight her sharp wit. Each collage features an original vintage photograph, a snippet of text from a vintage book, bits of ephemera and collage items, and a story on the back that connects all of these items together.

Anyway, back to the word of the week. As examples of first sons, we have her original collage, and then items with pictures of American presidents:

The Improvement of Offspring - DeniseFelton

President GeorgeWashington Rubber Stamp - Terbearco

Artist Stamps - George W Bush - Twine Workshop

And finally, for my contributions to this week's Etsy word I focused on royalty and birth order.

The Queen Lioness collage - Lookability

This Is A Print Of A Girl Who Peas In Bed - thedreamygiraffe

Sibling Rivalry - kochansky
Well, that's it for this week! Check back Monday for a new Etsy word!

Thursday, January 17, 2008

My paisleys are featured!

I got an email from Rouge Picote Noir the other day, asking if she could feature my paisley pin in an article on her blog. Um, YEAH!

I was so excited! I'd never had any of my items featured on a blog before. How cool is that? And, when I checked out Rouge Picote Noir's Etsy shop, I was even more flattered. Her stuff is so beautiful! Her items feature such strong, vibrant colors. There's definitely energy at her shop.

Be sure to check out her paisley article. She also has links to a number of paisley items, including a pair of drop-dead gorgeous wire-wrapped paisley earrings.

Monday, January 14, 2008

Time for a new Etsy word!

Classes started today; it's that time again. Time when I quit being "just" a stay-at-home mom and put on the teacher cap for my little part-time gig. Man, it was nice being unemployed. Ah well, back to work... At least for the next 16 weeks.

It's also time for a new Etsy word. Our word for this week is:

primogeniture \pry-moh-JEN-ih-choor\, noun:
1. The state of being the firstborn of the same parents; seniority by birth among children of the same family.
2. (Law) An exclusive right of inheritance that belongs to the eldest son.

This should be interesting. I think it's going to take a bit of creativity to work with this one.

As always, if you want to play along, just post a comment to this entry with Etsy listings you feel match the meaning of this word. It's totally okay to post your own items as well, as long as they fit the word.

Can't wait to see what everyone comes up with!

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Mr. Monk Goes to the Craft Store

One of my favorite TV shows is Monk. (If you haven't watched this show, you SO need to!) He's a detective who suffers from OCD. The screenwriters always put him in some situation where his OCD comes out in full force and makes him look totally ridiculous. You feel such pain for the poor guy, like you do when you see someone walking around with their fly down, but at the same time it's so incredibly funny that you can't help laughing at the poor guy.

When he surveys a crime scene, he does his "Monk thing" where he puts his hands out in front of him, as if touching something or feeling out the scene. But of course he doesn't touch anything (might be germs!), his hands just move through the air sensing what is amiss.

When I went to the scrapbook store the other day, I was on a mission. I needed some orange and/or dark rose paper, preferable floral or paisley designed. And I got there just a few minutes before they closed, so there was no time to waste. The way the store is arranged, there is paper scattered throughout the store. A little here, a little there, a whole lot over there. I had to survey the scene, and I had to do it fast.

So there I was, walking down the aisles and around the displays. I'd made it about halfway through the store when I happened to look down and see my hands out in front me, a la Mr. Monk, sensing the colors and patterns to see if any matched my goal.

My friend Denise and I always joke about my OCD tendencies, and there they were right out there in the open for everyone to see. I hope the people at the store weren't Monk fans, and that they didn't laugh at me too hard when I left.

Saturday, January 12, 2008

You guys know I love a garage sale!!

So tonight I made quick pit stop in our local scrapbook store (Scrapbook Corner) searching for pink and orange patterned paper. I found exactly what I was looking for in some orange and cream Tres Jolie paper (on the markdown table, no less!), and when they rang me up I noticed that they had their blog address written on the paper sack.

I checked it out tonight and found out that they're having a garage sale on February 1. They're letting individuals set out their unwanted craft items on tables in their scraproom.

Oh, my heart did a little dance! You don't have to exchange three sentences with me before you find out that I'm a yard sale junkie. I love pawing through people's cast off items and coming away with a little treasure.

I'm TOTALLY marking my calendar for this!

Check out this post on their blog for details.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

The most awesomest pillows ever

Those of you who know me, know this already. My sister makes the most awesomest pillows EVER. They aren't just pillows, they're art pieces. Seriously. She sells them through her website,

She uses vintage fabrics, pulled from the most amazing fabric stash. She literally has a whole room filled with file cabinets containing one of a kind vintage fabrics. All neatly stacked, and sorted by color.

Even better than the fabrics are the shapes. Cause these aren't no square pillows, baby. They're all different kinds of strange, organic shapes. Some look like cream puffs, others like sea creatures. Achieving this effect actually takes a LOT of sewing skill. First, you have to draft a design that will keep it's true shape once you put the stuffing in. (And she REALLY stuffs these pillows. ) Then, you have to sew the curves. Sewing a smooth curve is very tricky, especially when you're using fabrics of different weights or fabrics that like to crawl around under the needle (as many of these fabrics do). When she sews one with velvet, she literally places a pin every quarter inch. It's a pain to do, but it's what makes her pillows look so good.

Oh, and one of the most fun features of her pillows is that the fronts and the backs are different, so you can change out the design depending on your mood. It's like the commercial - sometimes you feel like a nut, sometimes you don't. Sometimes you feel like a vintage 70s paisley print with rust and purple accents, sometimes you feel like a houndstooth.

See? I told you. The most awesomest pillows. Ever.

I've lost my sexy legs, dagnabbit!!

Not that my legs were ever that sexy...

Last night I experimented with making masks from transparency sheets. The idea came about from a series of convos with Denise on Etsy. (You ALWAYS inspire me, Denise!) Masks are basically like a reverse stencil. You cut a mask to the shape you want (or purchase one already made) and lay it down on a piece of paper. Then, you can sponge or stamp or paint all over the paper, making sure that you go over the edges of the mask. When you remove the mask, your image is there in the space that hasn't been colored.

I had this big idea to cut a mask from a page of the Victoria's Secret catalog. A pair of very shapely legs in some very tall, very high-heeled slutty boots. I put it down on a page from an old book, and sponged and painted around it.

I got just that one use out of it. Denise came over this afternoon to pick up some heart molds I snagged for her from Target, and I was going to show off the sexy legs mask. But when I got to my craft table, they were nowhere to be found! Not on the table. Not below the table. Not stuck to the bottom of any boxes on the table. Not anywhere. Gone. Gone. Gone. Somehow my sexy legs disappeared in the night.

Doesn't help that the thing is completely clear. From now on, I will mark all over with my transparency masks with a Sharpie marker. And put them away when I'm done.

Etsy word: Scrabble

This week's word is "scrabble." Idyllhands suggested that we eliminate scrabble tiles from our game this week, making the word much more of a challenge.

Denise sent examples of items using a crab image. What a cool connection to make! It's both a play on words (sCRABble) and also in keeping with the part of the definition that says to scrabble is, "to scrape or scratch with the hands or feet."

Idyllhands took the scribble-scrabble approach, sending links to items with scribbles as their main element. (Actually, the first two items were ones that I had also chosen. Great minds, huh?)

As for me, when I first saw that "scrabble" was the word for the week, I immediately thought of the term, "hard scrabble," or a very impoverished existence. This item, titled "Trailer Trash" would be an example of hard scrabble roots:

One of the definitions of scrabble was "to proceed by clawing with the hands and feet; to scramble." So, here are a couple of examples of someone scrambling. First, scrambling out of the crib and second, scrambling to the top of the corporate ladder. I found this picture to be so fitting of the corporate culture. If I was still a corporate warrior, I would SO be putting this print up in my little gray cubicle.

And finally, this fun print is so full of energy. The colors and shapes go every which way, kind of a scrabble of shape and color.
So that wraps up this week's Etsy word! Check back on Monday for a new word to use as inspiration.

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

The big reveal

A couple of days ago, I gave a preview of my new felt addiction. After several rainy days that prevented me from photographing my new items, I was finally able to go outside and take some shots. This is my latest listing:

It's paisley Window Bling! It's the trophy wife of my Etsy shop, serving absolutely no purpose except to look pretty. When I showed it to my -usually- supportive mother, her first words were, "What are you going to DO with that??" Once I told her it would be a decorative element, she was her normal supportive self.

It was actually my friend Stacie who gave me the idea for Window Bling. I gave her one for her birthday, not really knowing what she'd do with it. (I did give it a string, though, figuring that whatever she did with it would require hanging of some sort. And if not, she could just remove it...) She looked at it and told me that she could hang it at her desk at work. Which got me thinking about my horribly gray surroundings back in my corporate day, and Window Bling was born.

Now off to do more stitching...

Monday, January 7, 2008

Today's word is....

Well, it's Monday again and time for a new Etsy word of the day! (Or the week, I guess would be more accurate. But I grab the word from whatever dictionary.com designates the word of the day.)

Today's word is.... (drumroll, please)

scrabble \SKRAB-uhl\,

intransitive verb:
1. To scrape or scratch with the hands or feet.
2. To struggle by or as if by scraping or scratching.
3. To proceed by clawing with the hands and feet; to scramble.
4. To make irregular, crooked, or unmeaning marks; to scribble; to scrawl.

transitive verb:
1. To mark with irregular lines or letters; to scribble on or over.
2. To make or obtain by scraping together hastily.

1. The act or an instance of scrabbling.
2. A scribble.

Oh, this has possibilities!!! Post any items you feel fit this word to the comments of this blog. Or, if you want to keep it all secret till the big "reveal", you can always email them to me at anne@weaver.ws. Happy Etsy scrabble-ing!!

Saturday, January 5, 2008

A sneak peek at my new addiction

I admit it. I'm a fickle crafter. I tend to jump from one obsession to another, though not before amassing a large number of supplies for each craft. When I was in college, we joked that a friend of mine went through boyfriends faster than paper towels. I have the same tendencies, though with crafts instead of men. (I'm sure my husband appreciates that...)

My latest fling is with felt, sequins, and seed beads. I love the flexibility of the felt, and the ease of sewing it. It's easy to cut into any shape you want, and you don't have to hem the edges. The nubby texture just begs to be touched, and it's a great combo with the smooth sparkle of a sequin or a bead. Yep, I'm in love. This blog entry is starting to sound strangely like a love letter. Creepy.

Anyways.... I've spent the last few days working on some projects with felt. I'll be adding them to my Etsy shop soon. In the meantime, here's a sneak peek of what I've been working on:

Thursday, January 3, 2008

Make your own stamps???

Yesterday I was reading my weekly email from Splitcoast when I noticed an ad for a contraption called the Stampcritter. This little puppy apparently lets you make your own clear stamps from polymer. WOW.

The downside? The price. And actually, it isn't that much for the machine itself. The machine runs about $250, which doesn't seem all that bad considering the cost of other larger paper crafting tools on the market. The kicker is that the consumables are also expensive. (The machine comes with some polymer to get you started, but you'd have to buy refills pretty soon.) Enough polymer to make 100 square inches (that's not much more than a full 8 1/2 x 11 sheet of paper) is $40. You can also buy larger quantities, with a definite price break in the price per square inch. Still, the price of the consumables leaves me wondering about the mechanics of the machine. I couldn't find any information about the smallest amount of polymer that is used at one time. Like, if I want to make a small 1"x1" stamp, do I have to make a full sheet, thereby wasting much precious polymer? Or do I just use enough polymer to make that one little stamp?

Of course, I wasn't the only one all atwitter at the thought of making my own stamps. I found a thread in the Splitcoast forums about the Stampcritter. There was much buzz, but as of yet no one had tried it. One brave soul has ordered the machine. I subscribed to the thread so as to get a full report as soon as one is posted. In the meantime, someone in the thread posted a link to instructions on how to make your own polymer stamps without using any special little machine.

WOWZA. There are a lot of steps, but they seem pretty straightforward. And each step is accompanied with a photograph. At the end they have a catalog of supplies you can order from them. What I liked is that they broke the price down for each item to show how much it costs for each stamp you make. Even down to the little cotton swabs! It totally pleased the OCD part of my personality. I also liked that they pointed out when the same supplies could easily be purchased at a local craft or hardware store.

Gelid: an addendum

So.... I was browsing through Idyllhand's beautiful Etsy shop, when I spot these earrings:

I was immediately drawn to the soft, soft blue in the focal bead, contrasted with the darker tones of the smaller ones. And then I read the title. "Icy Pond - Wire Wrapped Earrings" Totally fits the Etsy word challenge!

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Etsy items: gelid

Brrr... it's SO cold here! I just looked out at the little water pond behind my house, and the water is now no longer gelid, but actually frozen. Hah! Don'tcha love how I worked in the little Etsy word? (I suppose that underneath the frozen layer, the water is certainly gelid.)

I had so much fun with this word! Of course, I had half a dozen items picked out for this wonderful word, and then my browser crashed. And since I hadn't actually SAVED any of the links, just had the windows open, I lost all of my items. That'll teach me, right? Anyway, I've recovered most of them, and then Denise and IdyllHands were both sweet enough to play along.

Denise sent examples of gelid personalities. Man, these women look COLD-hearted!

IdyllHands posted links to items that were "just plain cold," as she described them. She's right. That little bird looks so cold sitting out on that branch. And those earrings, wow, they look just like icicles.

As for me, my examples were mainly glass, frosted or icy blue. The silver and the dichroic elements look like ice, while the swirly lines suggest that they are not yet thoroughly frozen.

Well, that's it for this week. Check back next Monday for another semi-random Etsy word match-up. (Not really sure how to describe this little exercise... Any suggestions?)