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Friday, October 16, 2009

Really cool shirt/dress tutorial I saw today

I subscribe to a lot of different blogs. One of them Totally Tutorials always has multiple postings a day. These range from face painting to jewelry to sewing, knitting and a whole lot more.

Today one of the tutorials was How to Make a Drawstring Halter Top/Dress

Now, I do sew enough to hem a pair of pants, fix a hole in a shirt, re-attach a button but that's about it. I'd like to get to the point where I can make my own pouches for my jewelry packaging. I know what to do/how to do it, even have the fabric, thread and ribbon for them. I just need a sewing machine. Technically I have one, it's one of those hand held deals that I think would work. I just need to find the time to try it out

This tutorial I could do with my hand-held thing or I could hand sew the 2 seams. I really want to try it out as soon as I can. I just need to either A. find a suitable shirt that I could use at home that I don't mind not being a t-shirt anymore or b. head out to target or walmart and buy one.

I think I'll maybe try this one out early next week.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

How is it that this month is already half over?

When I looked at my watch this morning (it has the day on it) and saw that it was already October 15th I couldn't believe it.

I've got so much to do before November hits I can't believe it!

I've got jewelry to make up for my sorority's Founder's Day Chinese Auction. I've got 60 samples to make up for the November Spotted Box. I've got things that I've made that need to be photographed and listed.

Not to mention everything that I have to do for my HOA (I'm on the board and also on the Architectural Control Committee), my day job and my home life.

Where has this month been going?

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Had a really productive evening last night

As the title of the blog post states I did in fact have a truly productive evening last night. I was able to finish a few projects that have been around for longer than I care to remember.

My first project was to paint the plastic ceiling medallion for our dining room so it actually looks like a piece of wood and not the cheap piece of plastic it really was. Not so hard but glad that I got it done anyway.

We've bought a new chandelier for the dining room. My husband took the old POS builder grade one down like a month ago and was gonna hang the new one but decided that he'd rather not mess with it and call an electrician to put a new mounting box up there (the plastic one bothers him) and hang the thing because he doesn't want it to come crashing down on the brand new Stickley dining table that we've ordered. The table is rather expensive so I can't say that I blame him.

Personally I'd like the whole thing done because we're currently without lights in the dining room because the only light source there is from afore mentioned chandelier that's been taken down so there's just a hole in the ceiling with a few taped wires hanging out. At least he remembered to call the electrician this week.

I'm getting really sick of having to figure out what bottle of wine I want to drink with a flashlight after the sun has gone down. Of course the wine rack is in the DARKEST corner of the room....

Anyway, the next thing that I got done. I FINALLY finished the cork board that I've been working on for much much longer than I care to think about. When I first bought the board from Wine Enthusiast I started filling it up with all the corks that I've collected over the past 3-4 years. I started collecting them when we were still living in New Jersey and I bought the board about 8 months ago (told you it's been around for longer than I care to remember). So that's what? About 4 years worth of corks. Yea, I still didn't have enough, I was about 3-4 rows short. So as we drank bottles at home, at friends house's, out I'd collect the corks.

Now for the past 4-5 months the board has been mostly finished. I just needed to cut the corks for the spaces that couldn't fit a whole one. I FINALLY for around to that last night.

I wound up using a craft saw that I've had since I've been in college that I used to use for cutting bass wood for models in architecture school. It worked better than I imagine an x-acto knife would have for any other cutting implement would have. The only downside, cork dust. That's now done and I have to figure out where to hang the damn thing. I've got some ideas that I just need to convince the husband to go along with.

My last project of the evening was making myself a beading loom. It was a fairly simple process that I was able to do with an old cardboard box, duct tape (what can't you use it for?), some glue and toothpicks. Here's a few links where I got the info on how to do it. - I took the duct tape and toothpick part of it from this one. - I got the cardboard part from this one.

Instead of screws I used little eye loops for picture hanging. Works just as well IMO. I promise to take a picture and post it tonight or tomorrow.

I wanted a loom but the sizes that I saw in stores were too small (for bracelets only) or online were way too expensive. Total cost to me was almost nothing as the box was from something that was shipped to us and we'd recycle it anyway, duct tape that we've had around for a while and the toothpicks which were also bought a few years ago.

I started using it last night with the elastic thread that I found at Hobby Lobby on Monday night. Really super easy so far. Best part about the box is that I can keep my seed beads in it and if they fall out of the little baggie no big mess because they are contained in the box.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Featured Artist - Charlene Anderson

This is the last of many interviews that I have left to post on my blog. I know that I've gotten some new followers in the past week so if any of you would like to be featured just contact me and I'll be happy to email you with the questions!

Here's Charlene of Purveyor of All Things Creative, she's got a great mix of totes, jewelry supplies, beads, and fiber arts supplies.

- What’s your name and where are you from?

Charlene Anderson, born in Hollywood, CA, lived in Hawaii 20 plus years, now in beautiful Jackson Hole, Wyoming

-What is your shop name and what does it mean to you?

Purveyor of All Things Creative. I chose it as I have several creative fields I word in and wanted a name that meant creativity to everyone.

- What websites do you sell on how did you decide on which ones?

eBay, Amazon and just starting on Etsy and a few smaller ones that are getting set up as I type

- How long have you been crafting?

As long as I can remember but seriously started at about age 15, which would be 36 years. Ugh. I'm 16 in my mind.

-Tell me any interesting things about you that you would like to share.

I have travelled to over 100 counties, am a tech geek, was a world class athlete in several sports and am married to a great English guy 17 years my junior who is an incredible photographer.

-What do you sell in your shop?

Art and craft tools, supplies, equipment, books, DVDs and more all related to arts and crafts. I also sell my own work.

- Tell us about your crafting space.

I have two rooms upstairs that are devoted to my business. One is the office and one the studio. But I am like Mark Twain and Vera Wang, however and like to work sitting on my lovely bed with my work around me and my Vizsla dog Arazi next to me.

-Do you belong to any guilds, teams or other indie craft organizations?

Handweavers Guild of America. I was their National President for several years in the 90's.

-Where do you find inspiration?

Everywhere. Photos, travel (a big one) walks, brainstorming, talking with husband, in the shower, everywhere!

-Tell me a bit about your creative process

Usually I let an idea run around around in my mind for a bit before working on it. I'll take notes and talk it over with my husband, who can help work out kinks in my process.

- Where have you learned to do what you do?

Trial and error

-What is your favorite item in your shop right now?

The new Wubber Pliers.

-Why is it your favorite?

Easy on the hands, easy on the wire, easy to work with, very cool.

- What is your favorite part of your craft?

Thinking up new ideas

- What is your least favorite part?

Photographing finished work

-How did you get started with your craft?

One thing lead to another, and it seems I am interested in a lot of things!

-If you sell on more than one site which is your favorite and why?

eBay as I have been doing it for 9 years and know it well.

-What makes your shop unique?

I carry items that are hard to find, I have fabulous customer service, great prices and ship very quickly.

-What advice do you have for other independent crafters just starting out?

It's hard work and be prepared for it. I've been doing this since 1981 and it is still hard work.

-Where else can we find you on the web? , , , ,

Thanks again for letting me interview you Charlene!

Monday, October 12, 2009

Trying to find the right damned thread

So in my last post I was talking about trying to find the right kind of elastic thread for the headbands that I want to make. This is proving to be quite a task. Nothing that I've found as yet has been thin enough for the beads that I want to use. I've checked Walmart, Michaels, bead shops. I need to get my behind to Hobby Lobby because I think they have what I need.

And craft stores... Is it really so hard to have a SEWING section? And WTH did Walmart do with there's? It was there BEFORE they did the stinking re-model. I can't find a freaking thing in the store anymore.

In other news, I finished a pair of earrings for my friend Anne. I've sold a pair of them before and I own a pair. Here's the pair that I sold but they are pretty much the same.

They are simple but kinda fun at the same time. I've got these beads in a few colors (pink and blue. I need to make up a few more pairs and get them listed.

I've also got a few artist interviews that I need to post still. Maybe I'll do that tomorrow.

Friday, October 9, 2009

What I'm trying to work on

When I was in Hilton Head a couple of weeks ago I saw these really cool stretch beaded headbands in the same shop that I bought this really cool necklace (I'll take a photo of the necklace post if over the weekend). I thought that it would be really cool to make a few up and try to sell them.

The main body of the headband was just seed beads. It looks like it would be really time intensive to weave by hand so I might need to go out and purchase a beading loom to speed the process up a bit. That and I need to get thin enough elastic thread. I really need to get out to the craft store and see if the sewing section has what I need because my local Walmart, which is usually pretty good about sewing supply inventory, is lacking right now. They are in the middle of a re-model and not only did they move EVERYTHING around in the damn store they don't have all of the inventory out because they are moving it all.

Oh, and in other news I started to build a web page yesterday. Still a work in progress but here it is It's a free service right now and depending I may upgrade to a pay site. I could also have a mini store on the site. Right now as a free member I can list 5 products. If I upgrade then one day I can have my store totally on my own website. We'll see how that goes for the time being. I'm still trying to figure out everything that I want to put up on the site. So if you have any suggestions just shoot me an email!

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Totally unrelated to jewelry but I'm pretty proud of myself

I just finished this today.

Should have been done a LONG time ago but I promised my friends, Ken & Stacy, that I'd draw them up a pavilion for there pool deck that they want to put in next year. I drew up the plan in CAD then imported into SketchUp (3D Modeling software) then built the model.

Fairly certain that it will actually stand up the way that I drew it. King Post trusses with a purlin roof system (so you get the overhangs without a huge truss). The pavilion is 16'x16' the spans are about 7' which the trusses should be able to carry. They are only holding the roof up. Seems a bit of overkill but not too sure.
Whaddya think?

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

What am I going to do with myself?

Yesterday morning I had what I pray is my last Architecture Liscesing Exam (ARE).

I've been taking these stinking tests since December of 2007. When I started out there were 9 divisions, 3 technical sections, 3 non-technical sections and 3 graphical sections. I flew threw all of them except the 2 structural divisions (general structures and lateral forces).

On round 2 with the structures exams I managed to pass general structures but once again bombed on lateral forces. Doesn't sound too bad does it? Well I got news for you, each time you fail an exam you have to wait 6 months before you can re-take it. Oh and also after I failed lateral forces for the second time they had closed the transition window to a new format.

What did this mean for me? Not only did I pass general structures but because of the new format (7 divisions instead of 9 and they mixed a bunch of crap up) and the associated graphical vignette but I get to take 1 exam and re-do the vignette that I already passed.

Well, took the test yesterday and I feel pretty good about it. I'll get the results in about 4-6 weeks (yes you read that right). NCARB is horribly slow with score reporting even though the exam is administered by computer and also computer scored. If you want some interesting reading check out the ARE forum general topics section and do a search for NCARB. It's rather amusing to see some of the posts.

But now that I'm not studying I have ALL of this free time on my hands. I really need to get my house back in order first off. Also I've been neglecting the jewelry business a bit and need to get back on the train with that one. Maybe I'll go out to the movies or dinner with the girls sometime while the hubby is in Charlotte?

Any suggestions?