Monday, March 29, 2010

chicago and a few new lessons

i'm back from chicago and had a great time visiting an old friend. my 5 days were spent flying, shopping, eating, sewing pinch pleat drapes - which are in fact quite simple, eating, shopping some more, lounging, thrifting, eating, hemming and most of all, laughing. thanks steph, for a wonderful weekend! now if i can just make you love this amazing crystal chandelier as much as i do :)

Thursday, March 25, 2010

chicago and a vacation

yep, you guessed it, i am headed to chicago for a long weekend and i am sooooo excited. for all you moms of small kids out there, you know that the chances to get away are few and far between. i'm visiting an old friend/roommate of mine who is about to have her first child and am looking forward to a weekend of thrift store shopping, eating great chicago pizza and a general laziness to my days. i will be back online early next week to share all my finds, or at least, the finds which were able to fit in my suitcase!

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

critiques and photography

for a good number of people selling on etsy, including me, photographing your work can be a rough experience. there are many sites giving you tips and tricks, but the truth is that often you can't visualize what is wrong until you see your competition. picclick is a convenient etsy/ebay cataloging site where you type in what you are looking for and it pulls every item thumbnail for sale that meets your descriptions. no matter if your search turns up 10 items or 500, every thumbnail will appear on one page. ONE PAGE folks - no longer clicking through a ton of pages!

for photography research, search for an item you sell and be as descriptive as possible. i chose "large lamp shade" and the above shot is a sliver of what turned up. i now know that:

A. it really is hard to photograph lamp shades creatively!
B. my photos are a bit too gray
C. i am one of the few who show the entire shade in their image, and really like how mine are cropped.

which means... i am off to search out tips on lighting!

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

site and style

i'm trying out a new online shop this month at papernstitch. being a graphic designer, i love sites that are clean and pleasant to look at. all too often, websites are an assault on your eyes. much like buying a book by it's cover (which i do all too often), i feel more confident purchasing from a beautiful site. for some reason, i feel like they are more reputable. anyhoo, head over to paper n stitch to see all the wonderful sellers they are highlighting. i am definitely in good company :)

Monday, March 22, 2010

sewing and a new stitch

at this point in my life, i have pretty much tried every artistic/crafting technique out there. well, maybe not every technique, but sometimes it feels like it! from printmaking to ceramics to bead loom work to painting, i am often pretty confident that i can find my way through. except with sewing machine stitches. for some reason, i only use the straight stitch on my machine and treat all the other stitches like a foreign land where i don't have a passport to travel. until last night.

i have been wanting to make flower appliqued pillows to offer in my shop for a long time, but that zig zag stitch was simply too threatening. irrational, i know, but true nonetheless. last night i was inspired and dove right in and guess what, not scary at all! in fact pretty darn easy, as long as you move slowly.

and the good news is, i love how they are turning out, but you will have to wait and see :)

Thursday, March 18, 2010

congratulations and a tutorial

click here for my new tutorial! i made this congratulations banner for a recent baby shower i threw, but it would work for a ton of different parties with just a change of ribbon color. the glitter letters are made by hand and i found sweet glitter birds to hang off of each tag at target during the holidays, but any trinket would work. as always, let me know if you have any questions.

sorry about the poor image, but this sucker is hard to photograph!

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

supplies and decorating

of all my studio supplies, i think my mat cutter might be the most indispensable. a few years back, i received this logan compact cutter as a birthday gift from my mom and i would be lost with out it. not to mention - broke! it is a crime how much professional framing costs.

decorating is a big part of my life and i love to find inexpensive ways to get great artwork on the walls. my go to place for artwork is calendars. typically a calendar is under $20 and you can find some great ones showcasing a series of similar prints. when we moved into this house, i knew i wanted to line the walls of our hallway with artwork and was thrilled when i found a beautifully printed calendar with a bird/botanical theme.

i used 8 months worth of art and bought some inexpensive ikea frames. then i went to work with the mat cutter. it is so simple to use, and very durable. i think the finished product came out just as great as any framing shop, and it definitely makes a statement when you walk into the house.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

decorate and redecorate - it's a vicious cycle

due to my business, lamps come in and out of my house on a daily basis. which means, i am constantly switching out the ones i use to decorate my home with.

i bought a pair of milk glass lamps months ago, and they have been sitting untouched since then. the wiring needed replaced, but these were a bit trickier because the base is a nightlight, which translates into: 2 sockets, 1 cord. i was a bit intimidated which is why i didn't jump on updating them right away. but, the good news is they were easy peasy to rewire. the base can light up on its own as well as the top standard light, or they can be lit together as shown above. i am hopelessly in love with the effect of them glowing in an otherwise dark room.

Friday, March 12, 2010

tons and tons of jewelry

my sleepy little atlanta suburb is having a huge jewelry show this saturday. 62 vendors, and all selling jewelry - this could be a bit dangerous. my lovely friend, joy, will be setting up even though she is 38 weeks preggo and has been having contractions all week, yikes! anyone who knows me, knows that i wear her jewelry all the time, i can't get enough. she re-purposes vintage items and the result is youthful, feminine and eclectic. since many of you don't live in the area, you can visit her etsy shop, which is stocked full of goodies as well.

now, let's just hope her little man can wait til sunday to make his debut. fingers crossed!

Monday, March 8, 2010

office and studio, finally!

i've been talking about my new studio a lot lately and i am happy to say it is now ready to be revealed! my friend jessica ashley came over the other day and took fabulous photos for me.

since my new space takes over the formal living room of the house (which really, who uses this kind of a room anymore?), i added french doors to keep out the noise that 2 munchkins make. the street sign is from a thrifting weekend in savannah, ga - i couldn't resist, it was too perfect.

the space is what i have always dreamed of. i can do my graphic design work, make a mess crafting, or read a book. my own personal retreat :)

the desk is from ikea and is actually 2 tops put together. it has a glass top with a shelf underneath which is perfect to hide paper clutter. an old crib spring is used as a twist on a bulletin board - clothespins hold the items onto the frame. the crazy brown thing on the wall is left over from when this was a living room. i had painted a tree, but now i can't decide if i want to paint over it or not.

a few years ago, we built a row of bookcases along the back wall. since there is no closet in this room, the bookshelf is indispensable. it holds books as well as artwork from friends and family plus office supplies

i love this chicken wire basket. vintage milk glass holds crafting and sewing trinkets.

i'm always on the lookout for store props to hold everything i make. this old spinning store rack holds my aprons before they are shipped out.

and once again, my sewing table which i love, love, love. the color is so unexpected and puts a smile on my face every time i walk into the room.

so that's it, a little view into my world!

Friday, March 5, 2010

thrifting and a new collection

after my rant a few posts ago about people's hard work ending up in thrift store - it seems i have a new collection beginning. the local thrift store in town marked everything half off today and it was a mad house. lines 50 people long waiting to get in, my car about to get towed, people pushing and shoving, it was nuts!

i scored these 2 embroidery pieces and just might start collecting more to hang on a blank wall in my hall bath. i received some advice on cleaning them, so after they get a very gentle wash and dry, i will see about re-stretching them.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

sleep and productivity

i slept 10 hours last night and the amount of energy i have is amazing. i should do that more often since my amount of productivity is equally amazing!

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

an owl and a baby

this little guy has been hanging around my studio for a while now. the pattern came from retro mama and i knew he would be perfect for a baby shower gift. the instructions were super easy to follow and i love how he turned out. the only thing i would do differently is not use such a thick fusible interface. it was all i had on hand, but you can see that he is a bit lumpy bumpy on the right side where i stitched him up.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

light, pink and girly

a good day is when i find lamp parts that can be painted. having a pink accent on a lamp makes the piece even more unique and special. plus, it doesn't hurt that the little girls love it!

new items being added to the shop daily... head over here to check out all the girly creations :)


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