Friday, November 7, 2014

And the craziness continues...

Phew, I already needed another cup of coffee for the day...and this is going to be a jam packed weekend!

1. Finished up making most of the pencil bags with 5th graders. (We used the sewing machine today!)  It's been nice to work with the kids one on one and see them try something new.  Here are a few of them:

2.  Getting ready for a girl scout weekend in Julian  - girls get a girls weekend and boys get to play at home.  Need to be packed and ready in 40 minutes - YIKES!

3.  Prepped the shop for the Saturday sale.  If you've been hemming and hawing, stop it! Saturday is the only day this year I'll be offering 10% off everything in the shop, so get it now.  Use coupon code  SALE2014.  (Since I'm going out of town, the coupon code is active now through the end of day Saturday, so you can shop a little early, if you want.)

4.  Coming back from camping and going straight to a wedding (after I wash the outdoors off).  I got to make a LOT of jewelry for the bride and 8 bridesmaids.  Yay, I get to show pictures with models!  Something for you to look forward to, right?!

Hope you all have something fun planned for this weekend!  Oh, and hug a veteran while you're out and about.  Tuesday is Veteran's day after all.


Sunday, November 2, 2014

You need some of this...

The Handmade Forum is proud to present a 24 hour Christmas sale featuring handmade shops from around the globe!  On November 8th, just type in coupon code SALE 2014 at checkout in any of the participating shops for discounts of up to 25%.  Just think - you could get your shopping done without ever having to search for a parking spot or wait in a line.

All of the participating shops are listed in this brochure with clickable links to their Etsy shops.

Insomniac Treasures will be offering 10% off all shop items.  There will also be a special sale section for even deeper discounts on select items.  

Hope to "see" you there!

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Good Fun Randomness

Do you ever just grab supplies and start creating stuff?  I'm having some fun lately with freeform creating.  Here's what has happened the last couple of days:

Here's my first ever barrette/shawl pin:

and this random triangle ended up like a Christmas tree, which reminds me that Christmas is just over 2 months away, yikes!

Hope you have some good fun a random way!

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Mermaids and Buried Treasure?

I'm feeling inspired by mermaids and gold lately.  Maybe it is because summer is ending?  

Here are some new necklaces that feel a little like they'd be found at the bottom of the ocean.

Really beautiful faceted, but still rough and rustic fluorite in aqua and deep green on gold plated chain with leaf detail.  Look for them on Etsy if they don't sell at this weekend's handmade market.  

I'm struggling a bit with some mermaid necklace designs, but determined that it will be.  What does your creative process look like?

Wishing you luck on all of your new and creative projects!

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Handmade Halloween Goodies

After overindulging on tasty food at a conference away from home, I decided to create some "eye candy" for a change of pace.  Enjoy!

This one is an extra large "Raising the Dead" tree.  It would look great hanging on a door, window or wall to show your Halloween spirit.  It was made from copper wire, pyrite beads, magnesite skulls, and then antiqued to enhance that old and creepy feeling.  (6.5 inches tall x 5.3 inches wide)  

Should I add a wire tombstone?  Hmmm...maybe that can be the second in the "series"...Ooh!  It could have a garnet "blood moon".  

I have been searching high and low for the perfect spiders to spin my web pendants, to no avail. Decided this spiderweb could hold it's own:

When you have crazy colored wire, you need to make a crazy colored pendant.  It is a rule!  Here's mine using purple and bright orange wire and a peach aventurine "moon":

If you haven't seen it lately, come check out my Etsy shop.  Lots of cool stuff for Halloween and every day of the year.  

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Got Skills?

This weekend was all Girl Scouts all the time!  I finally got to attend the Adult's Outdoor Skills Weekend up at Camp Winacka in Julian.  
Girl Scouts Adult Volunteer making pie with smiley face

A great group of volunteer and career Girl Scouts were on hand to teach us skills of all different sorts that we could use with our girls.  It was fun and I AM EXHAUSTED!  

I hiked, and wandered, and hiked some more; cooked in trash cans, in old milk cartons, on pitchforks and shovels AND ate the food; got certified (finally) for cooking and tent camping; sang songs both new and familiar, played skill building games, made cool crafty badges, exchanged SWAPS (Special Whatchamacallits Affectionately Pinned Somewhere), drank a boatload of ice water, hung out with friends, and met lots of wonderful new people.  

Came away with SO MANY ideas.  Look out girls!

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Fabric Love

September 27, 2014

Yesterday, I went to the local material store to grab a last bit of corduroy needed for an art project with my son's 5th grade class.  The kids decorated their very own fabric and we will be making pencil bags and purses with them at our next session.  

I am so glad to have met SewLoka owner Claudia a few weeks ago.  Her drawer full of zippers was the inspiration for this project.  


I also got some scrap corduroy from her, so the only big expenses were the sharpies and alcohol. 

Here are a few of the pieces the kids made:

Pretty cool, eh?

I was amazed at the number of people buying quilting fabrics at the store.  I waited in a LONG line to get my measly 1 yard of fabric cut.  I guess people are getting started on their cold weather projects.  Anyway, one of the ladies was offered the end bolt piece at a discount and she said "Of course, I can always use scrap!" , which reminded me of another shop I've been looking at lately on Etsy - Make Mine Patchwork.  

Karen is OBSESSED with fabric concoctions. I mean, take a look at her work room:

She is well stocked to take on any project, I am convinced.  That is a pretty impressive sight!
Karen mixes and matches fabrics to make some really neat pieces.  Here are a few of my favorites:
image  image  image

Really unique and detailed stuff.  I bet she is great at custom orders too.  

So, don't go to the fabric store and stand in line like me.  Just head on over to Make Mine Patchwork and pick up a cool new quilt, bag, or stocking for yourself.  Oh, did I mention she makes baby items too?  Bet those'd make great shower gifts.


Donuts and Eggs

September 24, 2014

Long, busy day yesterday!  It started out with prepping for teaching a 5th grade art class at 5 am and ended with buying donuts with my daughter around 11 pm...because doesn't everyone buy donuts for a late night snack?  Come-on now!  There was a lot of other stuff in between, but it doesn't really matter what.  Just that I was pretty punchy by the end of the day.

I've been trying to eat more healthy foods lately and the donuts just grossed me out.  Especially because it was late, I was tired/punchy, and the box was labeled "glazed yeast rings" instead of just raised or glazed donuts.  How does that sound appealing?  It sounds a little like you'e eating an infection.  

(In a nod to #coolness graphed...

I'd much rather have eggs (or farina with tons of cinnamon and dried cranberries) for breakfast.  This got me thinking about a shop I saw recently on Etsy called Sammy's Jewels.  Out of all of the things on for sale here, I am drawn to the egg clips most.  They are really cute.  (Maybe this year's costume could be a few of these in my hair as a play on getting "egg-ed"?  LOL - like a bad comedian.)


So as we were headed home from the store, I started talking with my daughter about these clips and all of the other creepy cute stuff in the shop.  She is a definite fan, as are many others - 3890 admirers, wow!

She picked out a few of her favorites this morning:


...and those were just the ones from the first page of the shop!  So join the crowd and check out Sammy's Jewels.  They're reasonably priced, super cute, and handmade by a college kid with plenty of imagination.  

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Live...Simply Live

September 23, 2014

I admire people who take that less is more approach to life.  I feel like I am constantly over-involved, over-thinking, over...well you get the idea.

Over the past few months a friend has been purging her home and really focusing on minimizing her "stuff".  Can you imagine how liberating that might be?!  She does indeed look happier for the effort.  My cousin took the approach this last year of requesting that his friends not give him the standard gift fare, but rather gifts of their thoughts and experiences with him - written and drawn for him to cherish.  Such a personal approach and a great thing to look back on later in life.
Not everyone wants to get rid of their worldly possessions and shun every bauble, but the idea of simplifying your life is generally very appealing, no?  Today, I've been looking at a shop called Huewood on Etsy.  It's a simple idea, really but with beautiful effect.   


Miran hand paints wood cubes and squares in simple and vibrant colors with unique black accents.  


If I didn't see the brush marks, I would swear they were machine printed.  


Very polished and professional!

I am suddenly imagining playing a game of name that shadow.  Do you ever do that?  Something or someone casts a shadow and you try to guess what it looks like.  You could play that with Miran's pieces...a tree, a lake, an ocean, a sunset, a city, a shoe lace...wherever your imagination goes.

Whether you decide to purge your worldly possessions, recall a memory with a friend, or simply play a shadow game, I hope you interact with life today in a way that makes you glad to have lived another day.  

Brooches are Awesome!

September 22, 2014

Are brooches just for little old ladies?  No way!  Maybe I am reaching "that age", but I am starting to find them appealing...and even considering making some myself.  I have been recently inspired by some different textures.  These are not the crazy sparkly metal ones you see in department stores, but softer and cozier feeling.


I even found one that might go with that necklace in Katie Joy's shop to build on my Halloween costume cheat for work:


These lovelies can all be found at a wonderful shop called Quinny's Crochet on Etsy.  Now, she's got plenty more than brooches, so go take a look.  Especially you folks who live in the cooler places.  It's all the stuff I would think to pile on when I visit...or it gets colder than 60 degrees here.(Yes, I am a weather wimp!)  Seriously great scarves, headbands, neckwarmers, etc...

On the topic of brooches, I found another shop who makes some terrific ones of a different sort.  Since the Paisley Lizard is more about fun jewelry, she offers some wonderful clay brooches, like these:

image  image
image  image

Can you imagine the time and patience it would take to carve and paint these pieces?  I just love 'em.  Hey, that last flower might also look good as an addition to a black suit for, you know, Halloween spirit.  Ahem.

Anywhoo, leaving you with the thought that brooches can be fun whether you are young or old or somewhere in between, like me.

Cheers to a happy Monday!

Allergies be Gone! *Poof*

September 22, 2014 

With all of the weird weather we've been having, allergies have been at an all time high in this household.  How about you?  Feeling a little out of control lately?  
So, when I was looking at Flaherty Naturals on Etsy this morning, I was thinking about how wonderful it is when you can control your allergic reactions to things.  Reading through Deb's about page, I find that's exactly how she got her start...helping her clients overcome their skin sensitivities with natural, organic products.  


Now, when your allergies are out of control, you appreciate every bit of soothing you can get your hands on, and Deb's got quite a few.  I love that you can try them before you commit to a big jar or bottle with these sample packs:
I'm thinking a basket of this would be a great gift for that picky or non-committal someone on your shopping list, although Deb does have some very nice full size gift packs too.


So, sit back with a nice cup of tea and your tissue box and peruse the shop.  You are bound to find some great new essentials.


Community Pride

September 20, 2014 

Saturday is a beautification day, though today it is not at home.  (Drat!)  Do you ever participate in projects in your area?  I love the community pride that comes with a cleanup, though wish people felt enough personal accountability that they wouldn't throw their trash around to begin with.  (steps off soapbox)
Talking about community...I recently joined a new one not limited to a specific locale.  It is a group of people who are passionate about supporting handmade goods and small business and building our ability to get seen by the masses.  The Handmade Forum was started by a very dedicated Katie Joy and today I am celebrating her efforts and products.
Katie Joy has a great eye for fashionable, youthful pieces.  I would never dream these up (I'm a stones, wire and re-purposed leather girl), but would definitely wear them or give them as gifts.  Take a look...


Cute, right?  
Oh, and this piece really makes me think of Halloween and candy corn:


I am horrible at costumes, so this would be something I might cheat with and call my costume.  It would also be a great addition to a modern suit or dress.  Love versatile pieces!
I would encourage you to take a look at her shop and see the many other beautiful baubles and bangles there.  

Alrighty...I am off to clean.  Hope you all do something to support your community today.  Cheers!

I Had No Idea...

Sept. 16, 2014

A few years ago, I discovered fuze beads when my kids brought them home as camp projects.  They made quirky little magnets with designs and may have made a unicorn or two.  They are really pretty cute, but the beads are terrible to clean up when the bucket spills on the floor.  (Trust me, I know.)  I recently met Rhi who has taken this art form to a whole new level, called pixel art.  I mean, just look at this headpiece:  


and this one:

Cute, creative and totally wearable, right?  
You should check out the rest of her Etsy shop - Puffy the Slayer.  It's super-creative geek chic.

In Opposite World...

September 13, 2014 

We are having a crazy heat wave here in SoCal.  109 degrees during the day Sunday, but I went out anyway and got to see some cute lion cubs at the Wild Animal Park. #SafariPark #Overheated #SundayFunday


Anyway...Late in the night, I find myself looking through Black Raven Creations, my friend Rhonda's Etsy shop.  It occurs to me that we are experiencing quite different realities from one another - opposite world, if you will.  Weather over there looks to be 60's and raining (as a high!) and her shop sells all sorts of knitwear to prepare you for cooler weather.  I am fantasizing right now what that might be like, and am maybe a little envious at the moment.  Plus, she has a very cute dog, see?


Of course, I also have a cute dog, but he's cute in more of a big, beastly and doesn't know if sort of way.  See, again with the opposites!  Anyway, she's got some cute things for us melting people too.  Just look at this bag.  It'd be perfect for a trip to the beach or pool...or maybe ice cream.  Yum! 

It's time for me to head to sleep, but if you're up reading this, you should check out her shop too:


September 7, 2014

Well, I spent last weekend and many nights this past week finishing 2 tables I was determined to have ready for an upcoming handmade market.  You've seen this one already, but now it is ready for prime time with stain and poly and a great new mosaic tile top.  Dimensions are 38" dia x 15" tall (in case you are in the market for some new living room furniture).


A bit irritated that I didn't take a before pic to show the big change on this next one, but after a LOT of work (new top and bottom wood, fresh paint/stain, and a fresh mosaic tiling job), it went from looking horrid to this:


It looks kinda small, but is really 22 inches square on the top and a great height at 26.5 inches.

Down the Rabbit Hole Chair

Recently, I re-finished and re-imagined this chair.  I called it "Down the Rabbit Hole", as the legs of the chair reminded me of a rabbit:

Check out more pics on Facebook.
This is the finished chair.  I also dressed a white rabbit, complete with matching vest and pocket watch to accompany it.


Below is what it looked like before I started.  The bar between the legs was mauled my an animal of some sort, (didn't realize that until I got home) so I got to do a lot of patching and sanding.  Yipee!

The finished chair went up for auction in the Salvation Army's Transformed Treasures fundraiser in September.  

It was a lot of fun!