Tuesday, April 29, 2008

These boots are made for.... all kinds of stuff

I am so in love with the leather from my old early 90's Nine West boots. It is gorgeous and soft. And for this reason, I just keep making all kinds of cool stuff with it. My latest was this beautiful amber ring.
Other items made from these boots are:
I love reclaimed leather!

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Busy weekend!

This weekend was a whirlwind of activity. I barely got a chance to visit my etsy site this weekend. Saturday started bright and early at 7:30 am in my hometown getting together with hundreds of volunteers through Operation Inasmuch. I have a few more pics at my flickr site. A bunch of community churches pitched in to volunteer time, money and effort to make a difference in our community. Everybody had assigned jobs and blue shirts could be seen from one end of the county to the other doing good for others. Our free clinic got fresh paint on the trim, the social services office got a fresh coat of paint, people's houses got painted and repaired, prayer shawls were knitted and it just keeps on and on. My job was to go around and capture these events on film. I do not have my memory card back but I did have a few pictures of the opening ceremony on my internal memory. Operation Inasmuch is based on this verse: "...Truly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these my brethren, you did it to me." Matthew 25:40

After I was done with my job, I went home and met up with the family and we headed to Pocahontas State Park for a bike ride and some outdoor fun. By the time I got home around 7:30pm, I was ready to pass out. But... my oldest daughter is turning 10 on Monday and her birthday party was planned for Sunday, after church. So, I pulled most of my supplies together and hoped I was ready for the next day.

We were like a whirlwind coming out of church today. But we were able to get everything else we needed, get to my Mom's and with the help of family and friends we celebrated and decorated all at the same time. The party was fabulous. I once again was reminded how blessed I am with the people I am surrounded by. My daughter had a great time and by the time we got home this evening I was ready to pass out in the bed... which I did while everybody watched the new Alvin and the Chipmunks movie.

Shew! I am glad Monday is coming... I need a break from my weekend.

Hope all of you had a nice weekend too.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008


Well, today is Earth Day... which means you may be wondering what you can do to make a difference. Well, here are some quick and relatively easy changes you can make.

Instead of plastic bags, use reusable bags for groceries and produce:

Check out the counter at the top of this website, click here
That is a lot of bags. So using reusable bags can make a difference and buying them handmade is even better:
bagsforelephants has this awesome tote

Or how about giving a card made from recycled paper that can be planted and grows beautiful flowers. This card is from recycledideas:

Or, you can buy something that was made from an item headed to the dump, like this wallet in my shop that was created from an old pair of my boots:

Monday, April 21, 2008

Some Etsy Finds for You

I am feeling a little boring today, can't quite think of anything to blog about, so I figured I would show off some of my recent etsy finds, being that shopping on etsy is one of my favorite pasttimes. These are beautiful items that I would totally own if I had money to spend right now. But, I am willing to share them with blogland because I really would love to see them find a good home, even if it is not mine.

First, this amazing apron from kitchenbrats shop which is on sale for $15:

Next are these adorable magnets from nutnutgood's shop, all four for just $6:

And last is this beautiful vase from bridgemanstudios' shop, just $15:

So, go ahead and please buy these so they will stop nagging me.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

The Spring Bada-Bing was so Awesome!!!

I had a great time at the craft show today. I got a super Swag Bag which was filled with goodies. My purchases today were:

I saw so many of my favorites, I love going to craft shows where etsy is going to be represented. I kind of feel like I am seeing famous people. Some really amazing artists who I adore and were there:

  • aekeith who has the most amazing stained glass creations and is also cute as a button.
  • gemmafactrix who has been a favorite of mine for so long. She has these amazing new rings made with glasswork beads that are so beautiful. Keep an eye on her site for those.
  • beeskneesstudios aka otter and the bee beautiful and whimsical illustrations and now felt critter maker extrordinaire. I got a button in my swag bag of one of her little farm animal prints... umm, can we say happy dance?
  • modernjune was right next door and her little kids' aprons were so adorable, but I think my favorite was the adult cupcake apron.

I could go on and on.... It was just an awesome show... I know, you are jealous, LOL.

Friday, April 18, 2008

WooHoo! I am going to a craft show this weekend!

And, not only any craft show, but The Boss of All Craft Shows. The vendor list is fabulous!! And, I am getting a day away from my kids!! Not that I don't love my kids, of course, but every mommy needs a little break and I can't imagine any other thing I would rather do than shop at a craft show.
The craft show is at Plant Zero. What an awesome looking place. I saw wished I had followed my gut in high school and gone to college for a degree in the arts. I thought people would laugh at me and call me silly. So, off I went to Virginia Tech (which is an awesome school) as a Veterinary Medecine major. That did not go quite as planned, but it is funny how life tends to lead us back to where we are supposed to be. Now that I am a SAHM, I have the opportunity to follow my heart and focus on creating things. Yikes! I have digressed.
So, on Sunday, I will be at the craft show!!! Yay!
First I have to get through Saturday, which consists of me having a Yard Sale in the morning and helping host Ladies NIght Out at church in the evening and celebrating my sister's birthday somewhere in between.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Buy Handmade: Etsy Cards

There is an amazing selection of handmade cards on Etsy.com, so I wanted to take a moment to point out four etsy artists who make amazing cards. I also want to encourage you to buy handmade cards as opposed to the mass produced cards available in the stores. You may ask: Why buy handmade?
Here is a great link for info on that: http://www.buyhandmade.org/why-buy-handmade
Also, on that site, you can make a pledge to buy handmade.
For me personally, it means so much to me that I am buying something that involved the hands of an individual, and that dedication and passion goes into each card. Also, when buying handmade, especially cards, you are buying individual works of art. The makers of these cards put a little of themselves into each card. You are not buying a cookie cutter illustration that has been over-analyzed and over-tweaked by industry people. you are buying something that comes from thew soul of an individual.
Another reason, the price of store cards continues to rise. Why pay such a large sum of money for a mass-produced card when you can get so much more for the same amount of money.
I have highlighted four card makers from etsy and I encourage you to check out their stores and buy some handmade cards.
Please check out these terrific artists.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Is it a macaroni noodle necklace?

Sometimes... not always, but sometimes I wonder if I am just that kid who spends all day, struggling with diligence over that beauteous work of art, beaming with pride and joy as I add each piece and each splotch of color, then with an exuberance that resembles a golden retriever puppy, I put the newly created object out there, and the world, like a young mom, smiles and says all these wonderful things but deep down inside knows it is just a macaroni necklace.

I made the above wind chime for my mom. It is sitting on my craft table, waiting to be given to her. But then that feeling, that familiarity hit me, like I knew I was resembling something... then I realised, what it was, I was feeling like the sheepish kid handing something to my mom that I had made with my own two hands.

As a child, I was famous for spending all day on a project and then getting frustrated and throwing it in the trash. The sometimes imperfection and uniqueness of handmade has always something I have struggled with. With my own children, I encourage them in that their mistakes make things unique and wonderful. And I am sure my mom said the same things to me. But I would never believe her.... kind of the same way my kids are. Being a perfectionist and having a fragile self esteem makes it difficult for me to put my work out there.

But, I have made great stride in dealing with this, I am so proud of my Etsy store and I always feel good when I look at the things I have for sale there. But for some reason, a lot of the old feelings of inadequacy can seep back in when it comes to making something for my mom or family. So strange.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Yes, folks, another Gudonyatoo rave

I usually prefer to showcase the less well known artist on Etsy, but I got to tell you guys about this deodorant. It did something miraculous, I tell you, it conquered the stink of my tween on a hot day of playing hard and getting sweaty! I was not a fan of having my daughter use deodorant, but the girl was so stinky, I knew people could smell her. So I got her some deodorant, which went against my gut intuition but something had to be done. Well, when the over the counter stuff started irritating her skin and making her all itchy, I decided to spend the little bit of extra money and try some handmade deodorant. This deodorant worked fabulously and I can give it to my daughter without the fear of all of those chemicals... especially the aluminum. I can honestly say I am not up on the Alzheimers research, so I don't know if they still consider aluminum to be a possible risk factor, but after seeing my grandma struggle many many years with that debilitating disease, I felt a slight bit unsure when I bought my daughter deodorant from the store. Well, who knew handmade deodorant would work better! She had no itchy arm pits and she even said she felt less sweaty. AND, I smelled her arm pits and they smelled.... good.... I know, it is so hard to believe, but it is true. I am a true fan of Gudonyatoo!

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Attn Etsy Shoppers: Tonight is SNS Night!!!!

I love to shop on Etsy!!! I am probably more of a buyer than a seller seeing that I have 54 purchases and only 15 sales. I am obviously not breaking even here, LOL! So, I am always shocked at the fact that the SNS goes relatively unnoticed by buyers only. I am not speaking of all buyers, but I think quite a few buyers do not venture into the forums so I think they miss this awesome opportunity to shop handmade on sale. That is a shame because the deals to be had on the SNS thread are awesome!! And, if you venture into the SNS Companion thread in the Etc forum, you will find that sellers are actually giving away free things.... I'm dyin' if I'm lyin' (little Jerry Clower impersonation there). So, buyers, please come check out the SNS thread tonight and do a little handmade bargain shopping. I will come back later with the link to tonight's thread.
Come and shop the SNS Sale Thread!!

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

EtsyRecycle Yahoo Group (and my Great Aunt)

Today I joined the EtsyRecycle Yahoo Group. The reason it happened today was due to my genetics. Yes, that is right, my genetics. I have hoarding in my genes. I hate to throw things away. My grandfather's shed was like a farming museum... but that is not the worst of it. My dear Great Aunt (that is pronounced "Ant", remember I am a country girl) Virginia was a for real hoarder. And she was also a collage artist and up-cycler before it was cool. Every Christmas, each family received from her a Reader's Digest, but it was not any old Reader's Digest, it was a transformed Reader's Digest. All year long, she would cut out clippings from magazines and newspapers and glue them to the pages of the Reader's Digest and create a new book. And it is not until this instant that I realize how for granted we took those books. I can not even imagine the amount of time she spent cutting and gluing and I am not sure I ever read any of them. It hurts my heart and makes me wish I had one right now to read. Anyway, back to the hoarding, she would hoard magazines, newspapers... all kinds of stuff, it was piled all around her house. And she had a terrible husband who was mean and scary (he really was a mean man) and would smoke his pipe and fuss at us kids and he was missing a lot of fingers and he was always dirty.... anyway, I digress... where was I? Oh, yes, Aunt Virginia's books... it is in my genes to be a mixed media artist. My Aunt, who we thought was crazy and maybe a little scary, put so much time and energy into those books, and being ungrateful little kids, we thanked her (my family was strict on manners) but we never appreciated those books like we should have.
So, back to the point, I had to do a flyer for Ladies Night out at the Movies for church and I used this really nice card stock. Well, when I cut the paper in two it bugged me that the image was not centered so I cut each flyer to center it. This left me with a huge pile of cardstock strips. Being the pack rat I am, I could not stand the thought of throwing perfectly good card stock strips away, so I posted a thread in Techniques and Materials and somebody pointed me to the Yahoo group, EtsyRecycle. So, I am now an official member and I am looking forward to participating. And, tonight, I am going to say a little prayer to my Aunt and thank her for all the time and energy she put into those books each year and hopefully one of my Mom's sisters kept one because I would love to have one to remember my aunt by and acknowledge the fact that I am probably a lot more like her than I ever realized.

Monday, April 7, 2008

Crafting Slump or Idea Overload?

Which ever it is it is driving me crazy! I keep thinking I am in a crafting slump... I think I might have crafting block.... but then again, I think my brain is overloaded with ideas and I just can't pick something to start on. A lot of times I find the hardest part of a project is just getting started. Once I am going, I go, but it is just getting it rolling that I have problems with. And that comes down to the fact that I have a zillion ideas rolling around in my head but I can't seem to commit to just one. I have this amazing vintage tablecloth I picked up at an antique mall. I LOVE it! But I want whatever I make with it to be fabulous. So I keep changing my mind on what it should be. I think apron, then I think a little toddler skirt, then maybe a tote bag, or possibly a purse... and that is just the table cloth. I also just started making plant stakes from clothes hangers and old wool sweaters and vintage buttons. The listing of the one I made does not do it justice so I need to retake the pictures. I have donated it to Idol Gives Back so if it does sell, it would be great to be able to pass the money on to a good cause. I really want to make more... but then there are so many other things that are calling me...
I think it comes down to my one major hang up: an inability to focus! But like I said, once I get going that is not a problem. So, tomorrow, seeing as my Bible study is cancelled, it gives me the perfect opportunity to grab something and commit. Hopefully, my update tomorrow will be all about my work in progress.

Sunday, April 6, 2008

Adventures in tooth chips

Well, I purchased the above tooth chips from Rose of Sharon Acres back before Christmas. The description of them in the listing made a lot of sense. Also, since it is handmade, I know the ingrediants that are used to make it, I know where it is being made, unlike the stuff on the grocery shelves. Not to mention the benefit of the lack of expensive, landfill filling packaging.
So, since I bought these back before Christmas, I bet you are wondering why I am just now getting around to reviewing them. Well, I have to admit, the thought of putting soap in my mouth kind of goes against a lot of deep seeded dislikes... like the taste of soap in my mouth... or at leat the thought of it. But, I finally decided I was being silly and tried these.
So, I followed the directions and found out soap foams up very easily with a tooth brush. It was simple to get a good sudsing and a thorough clean. I rinsed three times like the directions said. I must admit, the taste was definitely not "oh, yum, cinnamon!" but it also was definitely not "oh, I think I am going to be sick", it just kind of tasted soapy with a not so bad taste of cinnamon on top. So, I figure for all the benefits I am gaining, a not so great taste is really not that big of a deal. I am liking the tooth chips!! Definitely giving these a thumbs up! They come in a variety of flavors, with or without neem oil.

Friday, April 4, 2008

Scrubbed Clean Hair

There is nothing like the feeling of a sea salt scrub for your hair. This shampoo by Gudonyatoo is absolutely fabulous. Because it is loaded with sea salt, when you first put it on your hair, it has a feel very similar to a buffer face scrub, which feels awesome on the scalp. But it is by no means harsh. The salt quickly dissolves and a foamy lather builds quickly. I love this shampoo! Perfect alternative to the mass produced, chemical filled, animal tested options found on the store shelves. And, probably waiting for me now at the post office is the conditioner. I have been using my hand made soap to condition my hair, and that does work well, but I can not wait to give this conditioner from Gudonyatoo a try. I like the citrus blast scent a lot, but my conditioner is in the tahitian vanilla scent. Oooo, can't wait!