Friday, October 31, 2008

Featured Blogger - Baby Friendly Beads

I'm under the weather today and would rather be back in bed but I really wanted to share with you this month's EtsyBloggers featured blogger. She has two Etsy shops; Baby Friendly Beads, Mama's Magic Studio, and a blog, Mama's Magic.
(Apologies for not having more photos! Jen's photos are quite large and in my flu-state I cannot figure out how to shrink them. Jen, I'm so sorry!)

Baby Friendly Beads is a wonderful shop of jewelry for nursing moms.

"Baby Friendly Beads are beautifully functional nursing necklaces and bracelets. Breastfeeding jewelry gives baby something else to focus on and play with, instead of pulling mom's hair or pinching her skin. Reminder bracelets track nursing sessions."

(I had a lovely pic here of this necklace)

This is a pretty clever idea, and beautiful pieces to boot. Take a look through her feedback to see how much moms and babies adore her work!
But who says you have to be nursing, or even a mom to wear this jewelry. I often have to remove my jewelry when I'm doing any kind of physical work that might break it. Buying something sturdy would fix that problem!
(I love this bracelet)

Her other Etsy shop, Mama's Magic Studio, is beautiful. I only wish there was more to see! Great pictures on a lovely serene green background. Clever paired earrings, very reasonably priced. See for yourself! The above earrings are from this shop.

The blog, called Mama's Magic, is full of the same green serenity as the shop of similar name. Sweet musings about family life, creativity and creative writing are a treat as she's a poet and her eloquent posts make that evident. But you have to go see for yourself!

All mommas and friends of mommas will be happy if you do!

Now I'm going to make myself a mug of hot, soothing tea, curl up on the couch with the kitty and hang out in my pyjamas all day :)

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Craft Show Recovery

Once again I had a fantastic time at this event. And it is and event, not just a show. Belly dancing, raffles, and cake walks went on all day. And they had food and wine for sale. And music.

I got the same space as last year, which was perfectly positioned between the food and the restrooms. Everyone came my way at one time or another. The down side was a large couch blocking a major traffic lane. And my neighbor stuck her table out so far that people had to move single file between her table and the couch to get to me.

But I had a new weapon with me- my bright red kitchen display! And, I have to say, I looked really cute in a black 1950s dress with bright red heels on. If the display didn't draw them over, my outfit did (whenever it got slow I would wander out into the center of the room to act as a walking billboard. Shameless, I know, but very effective!).

I only had time to snap a few lousy pictures as my old battery was dying again. I'm really pleased with how my display is evolving. The red play kitchen is a fantastic focal point and draws crowds from a distance (it's terribly awkward to move but c'est la vie!) I'm finally getting some height and the theme is apparent. And I finally settled on some gift packaging that looks great and ties into the theme perfectly too. More on that another time :)

What the photos show me though, is the dead space the table cloths create. From the waist up it looks good. From the waist down it's blank. My next project will be to make new table coverings from canvas and paint kitchen cabinets on the front. I even have some awesome Formica picked out that would make for the most swell counter top!

I had a great time, sold about the same as last year (not too shabby) and am looking forward to next year's show. But it's amazing how exhausting it can be! I ended up getting a little sick and run-down after this one, and I was actually sore from lifting and lugging my booth and inventory (doesn't help that my studio is up a flight of stairs) .

Now I'm unpacked, inventory taken and the holiday sewing rush begins!
How have your shows been going?

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Blog Carnival - Scary Recipes

I didn't plan it this way. I couldn't decide - something spooky (wonderful foggy morning with dewy cobwebs) or something delicious (hot apple cider toddy with a pear cobbler).

But I knew the moment I saw these recipes I had to use them for my carnival entry. For BOTH topics. I mean seriously, would you eat any of this? I know my grandmother probably did (these are from the 1950's) but there's no way you'll get it near me!

Kidneys are kinda yucky. Devilled Kidneys are REALLY yucky.

"Prepare brains the usual way"...?

I cut the recipe short but I think you get the idea. "Remove skin, cartilage and small bones..." *shudder*

No thanks!

Tongue AND calf's foot. What a treat!

Hungry anyone?

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Skillet Mitt Madness

These things really do drive me mad. Well, they definitely put me (here's the pun) on pins and needles. They are essentially mini oven mitts to put over the handles of hot pans. There's a lot of thicknesses to sew through on the little guys. Six, to be exact. Then when I get to the part where there is binding, it's even thicker. That little half inch causes me much anxiety as I often break needles there. On the batch shown here I only broke 3 and that's pretty good! Then I trim everything closely and turn them inside-out.

But aren't they darling! I was especially pleased with myself for thinking of displaying them on the mini skillet with clothes pins!

This is just the tip of the iceberg as I prep for this weekend's show, and for the holiday season. I've finally finished my retro packaging and it's just too darn cute. I'm so proud! But I'll wait to share that with you tomorrow :)

Friday, October 17, 2008

Sign of the Times Past

I I love this sign. I love all retro/vintage 1950's signage. It's in my town but my sister snapped this shot on her visit last week.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Cluttered Space, Cluttered Mind

People are always asking to see artists and crafters work spaces. I'm one of them too. I love to see the magic behind the scenes and the inspiring spaces different artists work in. It also says a lot about a person. The eyes are windows to the soul and the studio is the window into the personality of the artist.

I was thinking about this last night as I surveyed the mess I made of the house. My sweetie is out of town a lot and I generally make a bigger mess while he's away since it's just me in the house. This time I truly let it get out of hand. I have a show coming up at the end of the month and I usually get panicky as the date draws near as I try to complete all that needs to be done.

But how could anyone think straight with all this mess!? I mean really, do you think this might have just a little effect on my time management problems? Even I don't know how I can work like this. Every room is a mess; my studio, my "show room", the dining table (and chairs) and even the coffee table are a mess.

My sweetie is coming home tonight so most of the mess will be gone but not organised. It will just end up a pile in my sewing room and I will panic every time I can't find something and have to dig through the mess again. Our house is always generally a little cluttered but this is mayhem! I can't think! I look at it, get overwhelmed, and pick an uncluttered room to go work in, cluttering it in the process.
I think about this last night and I don't like what it says about me. I am not a slob but I am very disorganized and a great procrastinator. I don't like what this mess says about me as a craftsperson or a business person. I used to think that my mess was a reflection of how stressed I was getting but I'm realizing it's the other way around. It's the mess and disorganization that's most of the problem and by cleaning and organizing the physical clutter the metal clutter should clear a little too.

I know this seems a bit obvious and everyone knows that you can't work properly in a dump but I couldn't see the forest through the piles! So I'm taking a stand! I need a slogan, like "The key to success is cleanliness!" I vow to clean up my toys when I'm done like a good girl and not start another project until I've finished with the first one. I vow one day we will actually eat at the dining table!
Who's with me! Who else needs to conquer the clutter?

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Fabric Fortune Cookies - The Joy and the Anguish

Ok, I'm being a little melodramatic. But I do have a love/hate relationship with these little guys. They are low in cost but very high in labor. The fabric cutting, the fusing (stinky!), cutting all the circles (by hand!), hammering all the snaps, the printing and cutting of the fortunes, and finally assembling.

The smell makes me sick to my stomach, the cutting gives my hand blisters and the hammering gives me a headache. But how can you not love the results!

I love choosing the fabrics, the love the sound of the blade cutting the fabric layers, I love leftover fabric after the circles have been cut out, I like reading the fortunes/quotes as I'm assembling and crack myself up.

And I love the sound of "These are the cutest things I've ever seen!" That is all the reward I need.

That and $2.00 a cookie!

The cookies shown are a special order for Hunkydory Home, soon to be for sale there!

Friday, October 10, 2008

Great Giveaway at Modish

Modish is a great blog featuring sellers of hand made goodness and business tips for crafters. Every month she has a giveaway. A huge giveaway. And I donated some loot! Look in the lower left corner of the photo and you'll see one of my mouse pads!

All you have to do to win (this pile of loot has been divided into four. That's four chances to win!) is go to Modish and find the huge list of shops that donated items. Visit one or more shops and return to Modish and comment on something you found. That's it!

Go here to play!

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Of Oil Cloth and Craft Shows

I finally got my oilcloth! I have so many ideas, so many fun ways to use this colorful stuff. The trick is to do something different than all the other oilcloth vendors out there. I'm working on it! Sewing with this slippery stuff takes some getting used to (if you have any tips I'd be oh-so-grateful!).

But my time is running out. I have a show at the end of the month and I have many things to catch up on. Stocking up on current inventory always takes precedence over creating new items. But I would sure love to show up with some fun new things so we'll see what happens!

Monday, October 6, 2008


Just a simple snapshot from the interior of a pub. I love the glow that the slight blurriness gives it. It adds to the aged feel of the decor. Or maybe it was just the beer I was drinking :)

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Dancing the Boogie

This isn't very 50's but everyone in the 1950's did know how to dance. They probably just didn't Boogie too much!

Every time I watch this I am amazed at the level of energy they put in to their performance - all below the waist! Makes me exhausted just watching it. And if it doesn't look all that hard (it's not supposed to, that's why they're professionals) when was the last time you just jumped rope for 2 1/2 minutes? It's harder than it looks too.