Free food!

Yes, I know this is totally un-craft-related, but seriously, who doesn’t like free food? Apparently a lot of people, and I’ll tell you more about that at the end of the week, but for right now I wanted to share some free food offers I’ve stumbled upon tonight that you can enjoy too. Hopefully someone amongst you enjoys free food more than my friends…

If you’re one of the first 250,000 people to sign up for Chick-fil-a’s, they’ll send you a coupon for a free original chicken sandwich. They’re currently over 240,000, so hurry up! You also get entered to win a $50 CFA gift card. Yum!

The next one comes with a few more restrictions. If you’re on facebook, visit and, well, fan woody. IF he gets 500,000 fans, the first 500,000 fans will get a coupon for a free $5 Jack Daniels burger or chicken sandwich valid from 10/11-10/14. The link came from the TGI Fridays official website, so it is legit. He doesn’t have anywhere near 500,000 fans yet though, so help him out, and help yourself out too!

Mmmm Cupcakes!

Or should that be fairy cakes? Either way, I’ve been taking the Wilton course 1 cake decorating class which has been a lot of fun. I’ve been struggling with getting the consistency of my icing just right, which has made things difficult, but I think I’m getting the hang of it.

Sunday is the final project, which makes me a bit nervous, but I can’t believe it’s almost over! I’d love to take course 2 and 3 and learn more fun flowers and things, but I think it’s been a bit difficult arranging my work schedule around it so that might not happen right away. Ah well, I’ve had fun, and I’m already dreaming of fun things to decorate for our Christmas goodie trays this year, AND my coworkers have already decided I’m making one of the cakes for our American Heart Association cake raffle next month. That should be interesting…

American Heart Association Fundraising

At my office job I am on the American Heart Association Fund Raising Committee. Our locally based, family owned company has made a large pledge to the AHA, and as part of that effort I will be donating 10% of my proceeds from my etsy shop, starting July 1. Hopefully I will be able to contribute more than when I pledged last December to join other members of the EcoEtsy Street Team in donating 10% of my sales to Heifer International, but didn’t make any sales 🙁

We’re doing a lot of other fundraising events at work- snack and bake sales, bingo, a car wash, a yard sale, lunches, a golf mini-event, some raffles… if you have any tips or suggestions, I’d love to hear them!

Why the American Heart Association? The company has always been charity-minded, but we choose to focus our attention on a few select charities in order to help them more deeply. Our president suffered a major heart attack a few years ago, and he and his family were touched by the people and the work of the AHA, so we have decided to support them in their ongoing efforts. Cardiovascular disease is America’s number one killer, and I imagine most everyone knows someone who has directly or indirectly been affected by its consequences.

My First Etsy Treasury Spot!

Etsy member Dolphinmooncreations has featured my Caribbean Sea Earrings in her The Blues Have It! Etsy Treasury featuring blue items from Virginia sellers! (you can click on the image below for a larger view) Be sure to check out the Treasury, as well as the curator’s shop- she has a ton of options for personalized pendants and other items that look so awesome. My mom’s on this new hummingbird kick, so I’m very tempted to buy her a “My Hummer” necklace!

This follows on the heels of a custom order from an old friend (which I’ll be writing about as soon as I have my camera handy) as well as my first etsy sale in over a month. I’m feeling a renewed sense of excitement, so hopefully I will be listing plenty of new items in the shop soon (although I guess it’s too late to list those Fourth of July earrings I made like three months ago, right?)

I am housesitting this week and I think the computer’s haunted… at the moment it’s not letting me upload photos, so this is a rather boring looking blog entry. Sadness! Hey, at least I made time to post…

Sunshine at last!

Sorry I haven’t posted recently. It’s this whole “real life” thing, whatever that is. I’m not entirely sure, but I know I don’t like it when it takes away from my crafting time!!

You’d think I’d have gotten used to damp grey days after living in England for a year, but if anything I notice the weather even more now! I’ve been yearning for some free time and sunshine for quite a while, and on Easter Sunday I was off of work and able to enjoy the sunshine! (and yes, I enjoyed my friends and family too) I took advantage of the sunshine for some nice clear photos of new items I’ll be listing on etsy when I get back from New York next week, but I couldn’t help but snap some photos of the signs of spring around the yard!

Makes a marked change from the last time I took photos around the yard!

I’m traveling to New York Thursday-Monday to be in a wedding, and the new craft that may be occupying much of my time on the trip (or perhaps just really frustrating me) is nalbinding, a yarn art that predates knitting. A wonderful friend dropped off a nalbinding needle for me, the question is, can I learn from youtube & printed tutorials in the next, errr, 24 hours?? I’ll let you know how that goes…

What I should have learned from Wisit…

On the second season of Bravo’s Top Design reality interior design competition show, Wisit, an opera singer who’d studied at Parson’s, was one of my early favorites. Sadly, he didn’t hold up well under pressure – his style was self-described as “modern classic elegance” and when one of your clients is Project Runway’s Jeffrey Obnoxious, it’s just not going to work out. Although he should have been out then, the final blow was episode 6, a green office challenge. I don’t remember the exact wording, but basically, he said his green attempt amounted to not buying more than he needed for the challenge. I joined the judges in scorning him for not really understanding “green”, but today I’ve been thinking about how that would be a really good first step.

When I started working at the craft store in November, I hoped I’d find some new ideas to use all the craft supplies and such that I already own. Instead, I’ve bought even more. My yarn stash is quite literally exploding out of its drawers, and my papercrafting supplies no longer even have drawers to explode out of. It’s ridiculous. I mean, I buy things with the intention to use them – I won’t let myself buy anything without a specific project in mind – but that doesn’t guarantee that that project will ever get done or those supplies will ever get used. I’m not a craftaholic, I’m a craft supplies-aholic.

Back to the main point… in all honestly, if more people took that first simple step of not buying more than they needed, well, it would be a great green start. Things like gluing plastic bottles to your light fixtures and stapling the old carpet padding to your walls can come later…

And now, just so you don’t get bored – pictures! I sold my third item! Another set of the mini-notecards, this time with some very vibrant colors and a cute swallow!

I really need to get back on etsy, taking down my Christmas cards and listing new stuff – I’ve made more notecards and some gift tags. Here’s a preview, made from scrapbooking and knitting scraps 🙂

Custom scrapbooking?

Surely someone out there offers scrapbooking services, yes? I mean – the customer sends their photos and nostalgia to the scrapbooker, who provides the supplies and puts them together into scrapbooks. This idea interests me, since I’m sure there are people out there who want a scrapbook made but feel like they don’t have the time or talent to do so, but it also worries me because there seems like there would be a lot of risk involved in entrusting your photos and materials to someone else (not to mention, to the postal system!) I’m curious if anyone has heard of services like this being offered? I guess it’s really just a curiosity question, since I intend to make my own but am about 4 books behind right now! I have no shortage of scrapbook corners or double-sided tape though, yay for clearance bins and Michael’s weekly 40% off coupons!

Perhaps this was really just an excuse to post scans from my craft portfolio of 3 of my favorite scrapbook pages. I do love Robin Hood…

Welcome to 2009!

Here’s hoping it will be better than 2008 has been! I haven’t made New Year’s resolutions in a long time, since I never managed to keep them. This year though, I’m going to make some craft-related resolutions.

1- I’m going to be productive every day. This can be working on a craft or listing something on etsy. Reading other blogs or browsing other etsy shops does NOT count, since that’s all I manage to do anyways! It can be as simple as knitting one row on a scarf, which really shouldn’t be a problem since I’ve usually got at least 3 scarves in progress.

2- I’m going to work through my craft stash as much as possible. Any new project, unless it’s a specific custom request from someone, must include something from my stash. Ideally, I’d like to be able to fit all of my yarn in the set of drawers that’s meant to be my yarn stash. And I’d like all my beads to fit into my bead box again, lol. Seriously, it’s at least 12x12x12, so it holds a LOT of beads as is.

Not craft-related, I WILL find a full-time job. Although the craft store is promoting me as of Monday to a temporary Front End Supervisor, so at least I’ll make slightly more at that job 🙂

For a different take on the New Year, I’ve just been reading Lucky Girl Trading Co’s blog post about making a New Year “theme” rather than a resolution. She’s got a contest running where you choose a theme for your year, and then leave a comment about which item in her shop will best fit that theme and help you work towards it for the New Year. I chose “simple/simplify” and I think my crafty resolutions above fit into that. I found this lovely dichronic glass pendant in her shop that strikes me as simple but elegant. You should check out her shop and also the details about the contest, as you could win a $15 store credit and I’m SURE you could find something to spend it on (or hey, you could pass it my way and I could spend it for you :P)

HauteAndi is also sponsoring a contest via the shop’s blog, Hauteness. The shop is full of adorable hats made from upcycled materials. This is all coming from someone who isn’t a big fan of hats, and really doesn’t like wearing them, and yet I felt very reluctant to advertise this contest, because I WANT THIS HAT!! Still, I thought the shop deserved your attention! 😉

Ok, I’m going to stop rambling and roaming etsy-related blogs, and go be productive because hey, it’s my resolution!

Bobby pins & Flickr

Sometimes things were just meant to be 🙂 My crafting is often about happy accidents, so I think this story is pretty fitting! Not too long ago, I stumbled across an etsyian and fellow Richmonder who was decorating bobby pins with vintage buttons, jewelry, etc, such as these by Historically Inspired Designs. I was reminded of some old clip-on earrings that had fallen into my possession when my grandmother passed away (I was 10 at the time, and already quite a hoarder, so I was the only one interested in some grimy old clip-ons with a couple of jewels missing). I’d taken off some of the fake rhinestones for other projects, but had held onto the earrings themselves in the hopes that I might some day make use of them. So after seeing Historically Inspired Designs’s bobby pins, I thought I’d try my hand at my own.

I’m something of an immediate gratification crafter- if I don’t start something the minute I think of it, I’ll never do it, so I usually have to work with the materials I have on hand (which is part of why I have such a HUGE craft stash). So, I dug out Grandmother’s earrings, opened the epoxy glue I had recently purchased for marble magnets (which still haven’t happened, although that E-600 glue is amazing stuff which has come in handy several times), and raided a couple of rooms for different types of bobby pins – eventually opting for a pair of my mom’s goldtone ones to coordinate with the earrings (the bobby pins themselves are vintage as well).

After ripping off the clip-on backs using some heavy-duty wire cutters, I glued them to the bobby pins and propped them against some stacked newspaper and the like. The gluing didn’t go very smoothly as there’s very little of a bobby to glue to anything, so I started to wonder if there were bobby pins specifically made for such a thing (I’ve just discovered that there are, but I’ll get to that in a minute). Still, I don’t think they turned out too shabby (I think you can click the photos below for larger versions).

Some things I wish I’d done differently – taken photos of the process, I really wanted to get into the habit of doing that. Found the correct materials before starting the project (that never happens with me – wishful thinking!). Left the rhinestones in the earrings long ago (although I think that several of them were missing already, so I guess it really doesn’t matter that much.

Now to the second part of the happy accident – I’ve worn them several times, and really love them, but had kind of forgotten about sharing them here. I’ve wished I could make some more, as they are simple but beautiful, but I know it wouldn’t work very well with regular bobby pins. So, tonight while roaming I wandered into a section I’ve never been in before – “Opportunities for crafters” – where I spotted a post directing me to a bobby pin challenge, with details here. There’s a prize of some findings, including some silver bobby pins with plates on them specifically for decorating! It looks like no one has entered yet, even though the deadline is tonight, so if I can get some good photos of grandmother’s earrings I might have a chance, but at least, now I know that decorating pins exist and where I can find them 😀 Score!

You can see photos of more decorated pins on the flickr group for this and presumably future challenges as well. If you aren’t ready to tackle this project yourself and would rather buy some, be sure to check out Historically Inspired Designs on etsy. I’m curious to see if the contest sponsor lists any on etsy as well, but that shop is currently in vacation mode, so I’ll have to wait and see!

EcoEtsy & Proceeds of Promise

My new Etsy experiment is going slowly, but I’m getting some positive feedback and I’ve made two sales! I’ve also joined an Etsy street team, EcoEtsy, comprised of “Etsyians dedicated to ‘Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle’ in their products and packaging.” This seemed like a perfect match with the idea behind my shop, and so far I’ve discovered some wonderful eco-friendly artists, gotten some great tips for packaging and for prepping for the holidays. You can learn more about the team by visiting the team homepage and blog.

I’ve also signed up for a team charity promotion called “Proceeds of Promise”. From December 7-14, participating shops will donate 10% of their sales to a charity called Heifer International, selected in a team vote. You can find out more about their work “Ending Hunger, Caring for the Earth” by visiting You can learn more about EcoEtsy’s promotion and see a list of participating shops by clicking the banner below 🙂

Proceeds of Promise