Wednesday, June 29, 2011


Working on a banner for my booth at the 4th of July craft show. I cut a strip from a canvas drop cloth and used my opaque projector (similar to this one)to trace my logo onto it last night. I'm painting it today (although I can't seem to find my black paint! Arg! So I have to go out this afternoon and buy some!)

I am planning on ordering a professional banner at some point. I just wanted to have one ready for this weekend. Although, I may end up liking the whole handmade look (since handmade is the basis of my business and all!) We shall see I guess.

RNEST Monthly Challenge: June (Carnivals & State Fairs)

This month's theme for June's RNEST Monthly Challenge was Carnivals and State Fairs. (the theme was chosen at my suggestion after spotting it on the list of trending topics on Etsy's Merchendising Desk post for June). This is my entry, Barnum the Stripey Sweater Monster.

See the Amazing Barnum juggle balls of yarn and swallow pairs of scissors!
Barnum loves carnival life (where he can eat all the cotton candy he wants!), but he hopes to graduate from being a carnie to working as the ringmaster of his own circus someday, and train acrobatic sock monkeys!"
- description from my Etsy listing

I enjoyed staging the photos here. I took two of my scarves and arranged them to look like a striped carnival/circus tent.

I originally didn't start making Barnum with this month's challenge in mind. I had the body made with the limbs and ears attached, and had him set aside for hand-sewing the eye and heart on, and stitching up the stuffing opening. It wasn't until after I knew about the challenge that I decided he was a good candidate for a Carnival-themed monster, and I added the hat, moustache, and bow tie ( know... bow ties are cool!).

Voting for the challenge starts today, so be sure to check out all the entries on the RNEST Blog and vote for your favorite! (there will be a poll in the top-right corner of the blog.) I won't guilt you into voting for me if you like something else!...but it would be nice if you liked mine best!

Monday, June 27, 2011

Make It Monday: Recycled Coffee Cup Post-It Notepads

I did a "guest post" over at my mom's blog for a tutorial for making her Post-It notepads using recycled coffee cups.

She has so many cool, crafty ideas, but she "hates blogging" because she never knows how to format the posts... so she gave me posting access to her I kind of act as her "personal blogger" sometimes! (and write the posts as if I'm her) But even though I wrote the post, the work, directions, and most of the photos are all hers. I just tweak the wording a bit, take a couple extra photos, and edit it all together into a comprehensive blog post!
Anyway...please go check it out and leave her some nice comments! And if you make your own coffee cup Post-It notepad, be sure to take some pictures and blog about it, or put them in your Flickr, and post a link in your comment!

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

My KiraArts Director Chair

Yesterday was my 29th birthday! I got my gifts a few days early, since we had lunch with my parents on Sunday to celebrate both Father's Day and my birthday. One of the gifts I got that I'm most excited about is a tall director's chair with my KiraArts logo on it! My parents bought it at Pier 1 and then brought the back cover to their friend Misty, who has a printing business (Cornerstone Printware), to have her print my logo onto it! (I also got a white T-shirt with the logo on it, since Misty wanted a test first before she printed onto the chair cover. It's a XX-Large, so CJ wears it. He actually wore it when he took me out to dinner last night!)

We set the chair up as soon as we got home on Sunday. It was barely set up for 5 minutes and I turn around and see that Terra has made herself at home!

The chair is primarily for me to use at craft shows...since I can't see people from behind my display when I'm sitting in the folding camp chair I usually bring. I usually end up spending most of the show standing, so I can interact with customers. I don't like peeking up at them from behind the suitcases, so I'll stand so I can talk to them face to face. Then I usually end up continuing to stand so people can see me...which makes my feet really sore and tired by the end of the day. So I am SO glad to have this tall chair now! And it's extra cool that it has my logo on it, and that the canvas seat and back are turquoise! So I look all professional too!

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Treasury Tuesday: The Mad Man With A Box

Yes...I am a geek. I like Doctor Who. And there are more geeky, crafty people on Etsy who like Doctor Who too.

Amy: "I started to think you were just, like, a mad man with a box."
The Doctor: "Amy Pond, there's something you better understand about me 'cause it's important, and one day your life may depend on it...I am definitely a mad man with a box!"

Sadly, I can't say that I'm an old-school Doctor Who fan. My husband got me into the newer "relaunch" seasons that first came out in 2005. The 10th Doctor (David Tennant) was my "first" and favorite Doctor. Although I am liking the current Doctor, #11 (Matt Smith).

Sorry...none of this probably makes any sense if you've never seen the show. And if that's the case, my apologies (my mother is most likely rolling her eyes and Grandma probably has a quizzical look)...and just know that I'm simply a sci-fi geek.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Make It! Monday: "Little Letter" Needle Book (Rachel's Needle Book)

Remember the "Little Letter" needle book I made for myself and how a friend of mine asked me to make her one as well? Well, here are some photos of the finished product!

My friend, Rachel, is one of the sisters from Primele. They are all about letter-writing, envelopes and stationary... so this little letter needle book fits very well! The fabrics she provided me with really fit their aesthetic as well. All it's missing is Tricia's calligraphy on the front! ;)

I loved the orange flower fabric she provided for the stamp! (and I bought new pinking shears just for this project!)

Rachel didn't tell me what color felt she wanted on the inside, so I picked out this peachy-orange wool felt I had in my stash. (Which she loved!)

If you want to make one for yourself, you can find the online tutorial I used here.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Happy Father's Day!

I had a realization that I talk about my mother a lot here on my blog, but I very rarely talk about my father. (probably just because this is a crafty blog and my mom is the crafty one) I do indeed have a father...and he's awesome!

(the only photos I can find on my computer of just Dad and I together are my wedding photos)

I may look like my mother and share her love of making things and crafting, but I really take after my father. We have similar personalities (I can't tell you how many times my mom will say "You're just like your father!") and have similar tastes...particularly in movies and music. I owe my "geekyness" and love of sci-fi/fantasy from my dad. I get my silliness and sense of humor largely from my dad (of course, mom can be silly too!). Dad is the one who instilled a love and appreciation of movie scores and classical music in me. We both love techno and celtic music too. And when I was little, Dad was the one who watched Saturday morning cartoons with me (I actually gave him a DVD of "He-Man" today, in memory of watching cartoons together)

Happy Father's Day Dadoo! Thanks for being awesome! ;D

Friday, June 17, 2011

Turquoise Fabric Roses Brooch

I made this pin/brooch for my mom's friend's twin sister. Their younger sister is getting married in Venezuela next month. The wedding colors are turquoise and brown (a winning color combo in my book!) and Mandy (mom's friend's twin) wanted something to add color to her white bridesmaid dress. She saw a hair clip I had made for my mom and decided to take a look at my Etsy shop and liked my turquoise fabric rose hair clip, but she wanted a pin, and wanted more than one rose grouped together. No problem! I'm on it!

I'm really satisfied with how it turned out and actually might start offering these in the shop now. This could also be easily converted into a headband or hair clip.

(back view)

I felt the need to model it, so she could get a sense of how it will look. So I busted out my one white dress I own (besides my wedding dress) and went outside to take pictures.

I hope she likes it! :)

Hervish & Mims

I find myself preferring using sweaters over socks lately, but I still do make sock monsters...

This is Hervish. He's (obviously) made from a toesock.

And this is Mims. I can't remember if Mims is made from the same sock as Hervish or the mate (probably a bit of both).

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Ipswitch the Sweater Monster

It's been awhile since I've posted about any new plush I've made. After having a whole bunch of craft shows in the spring (including my biggest show, Mayday Underground) I decided to take a bit of a hiatus for awhile to regroup and recharge before my summer shows. I made a few new monsters just before and after Mayday Underground and just hadn't photographed them.
This guy's name is Ipswitch.

I made Ipswitch out of a colorful children's sweater I got at the thrift store. For some reason, I decided not to give him legs...but I imagine the corners at the bottom as little pointy feet.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Treasury Tuesday: In Bloom

It's almost officially summer! Next Tuesday it will officially be summer (also my birthday!). Me, and a bunch of other other RNEST members were featured in this flowery, summery treasury...

I also had work featured in a wedding treasury, Here Comes The Bride by my friend and fellow RNESTer, Crys from aDifferentView. And speaking of weddings, I was also featured in a wedding blog by a Rochester bride-to-be who is wanting to showcase local artisans. Go check out the post on her blog, Bridefied!

Want more Etsy Treasuries?...go check out my Treasury Tuesday post on the RNEST Blog.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Etsy Craft Party...

I hope some of you are able to attend or host an Etsy Craft Party today!

I'd love to have done one today, but my anniversary is a little more important! And just because I didn't have one today on the "official", "global" party day doesn't mean I can't have one on another day! Right?

If you hosted/attended a craft party today, and blogged about it, or took pictures, be sure to leave me a comment with a link to your post! I'd love to see what people did!

5 Year Anniversary!

Today marks 5 years that I've been married to my wonderful husband...

5 years...
It feels like such a long time, and yet at the same time feels like no time at all. We still occasionally get mistaken for newlyweds when in public...which always makes me smile, since I've had a goal for myself to keep that crazy, googley-eyed, "newness" in our marriage. Where you still hold hands in public and can be silly with each other. I think the above series of pictures (that I took when we set up the trampoline last week) captures those feelings of love, happiness, and silliness. It's just :)

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Treasury Tuesday: Violet Yellow & Mix It Up

Here's a lovely color combo treasury I was featured in this week!

I love purple paired with yellow. (they're complimentary colors you know!) And they're even meant to be together in nature...just look at the iris and the pansy. (God is the original color-theorist!)
After I featured Sugar Shox Crafts in past week's Etsy Favorite Friday post, I was inspired to make a treasury around the humble cassette tape. Even though it's pretty much become an obsolete form of music media, there's still something iconic and nostalgic about the mere image of the cassette tape...and the idea of making mix tapes for friends and sweethearts.
And because it's gone the way of the 8-track and most of us have forsaken our cassettes for CD's and MP3's, cassette tapes are ripe for recycling and incorporating into art and craft wallets/change purses and even to be used as mini notebook covers. Just search Etsy for "cassette tape" and check out the ways crafters are re-using them!

Want more Etsy Treasuries?...go check out "Feeling Fresh", a cute & colorful treasury by ArtSnack...and, as usual, my Treasury Tuesday post on the RNEST Blog.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Make It! Monday: "Little Letter" Needle Book

I found a tutorial at (via Pinterest) for making a "Little Letter Needle Book" (it's a needle book that looks like a little envelope). I've been wanting to make myself a new needle book for awhile. The one I have is functional, but it's pretty plain and not really cute or pretty. (The outside is a "blah" navy-blue vinyl plastic with a piece of grey felt on the inside...I won't even bore you with a picture.)

This was the perfect project for me to use the sock monkey fabric I got from the thrift store!

I was most excited to use the sock monkey fabric for the "stamp". I would have liked the lines to be more evenly spaced (the fact that the top line is further up kind of bugs me a bit)...but, hey, this was my first attempt.

The back view of the envelope.

My pinking shears are kind of old and not the best for cutting the edges of the "stamp" are a bit wonky.

I also used the sock monkey fabric to line the inside...

I used sew-on snaps for the closure, but you could also use velcro or even a button. I kind of wish I'd done a button closure...but I wasn't confident in my use of my sewing machine's button-hole function. I may practice a bit and re-do the closure with a button/button-hole later.

This is a great gift idea for anyone who sews! I'm looking forward to making more! Although I'd like to try making bigger ones. The template makes a pretty small "letter" (about 3 inches long), but if you wanted a bigger one, you could always open up a regular envelope and use that as a template. I want to experiment with making a bigger one that I can tuck a small pair of scissors into, or even one for crochet hooks (or a dual one for both needles and crochet hooks!).

I showed the one I made to my friends Tricia and Rachel on Saturday. They are the girls behind Primele and Fawnsberg and are into letters, letter-writing, and stationary. Rachel asked me to make one for her and gave me some fabric she wanted me to use. I'm using the same cream, canvas fabric for the outside...the green will be for the lining inside the envelope... and the orange flowered fabric is for the stamp. (I want to get some new pinking shears first though!)

Friday, June 3, 2011

Etsy Favorite Friday!: Sugar Shox Crafts

I met the artist behind Sugar Shox Crafts at the UBCon Anime convention I did back in April. Our tables were next to each other and she was a nice artist to be next to.

My favorite item she makes are the recycled Ramen Noodle package purses. I actually have one that she traded me for a plush owl. Mine is the Chicken Flavor (because that's my favorite flavor) but she makes the purses with all different flavor packages and is often looking for different/unique flavors that are hard to find in her home town. I love it when artists recycle items creatively. I have a soft spot for Ramen noodles. I loved eating them as a kid and used to call them "Long-Long Noodles". I still love them and consider them a comfort food. When I'm sick, Ramen Noodle soup is my go-to thing to eat (the warm, salty broth feels soothing when I have a sore throat).

She also makes fabric clutch bags with retro Nintendo game cartridge designs on them. She also does the purses in a cassette tape design!

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Trampoline Fun

We set up our trampoline on Monday. My brother got us for Christmas. The story behind it is that when he came to visit last year, he was amazed at how big/long our back yard is (he lives in Staten Island, so his yard is small). He joked with CJ and I that we need a trampoline (...and a pool...and a bounce house!). CJ said that the only way we were going to have a trampoline is if Adam bought us one. He was half-joking. We didn't really expect Adam to buy us a trampoline. forward to Christmas. My parents told me that Adam's Christmas gift for us had arrived at their house...and to bring the truck to pick it up. My thought was "Oh boy...what on earth did he get us?". In my parents' garage was a big box. I looked at the writing on the box and...yep...trampoline. My brother is crazy...but pretty awesome. So now we have a trampoline. Unfortunately, it didn't come with the safety net, so we can't let our friends' kids go on it without a group of spotters...but I can still have fun on it!

And half the fun for me has been trying to take pictures of myself while jumping on it! (CJ took the above photo)

I had a ball trying to take photos at that moment where I come down from a jump and my hair is still in the air

Ah... simple pleasures!