Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Calendar for the New Year

2009 Calendar

I've just listed a 2009 desk calendar in my 1000 Markets shop. Since I'm coming to this a little late in the year I will most likely only be listing it there, rather than on Etsy. I actually kind of sort of just made it for myself, unsure of how it might turn out. However I ended up feeling pretty pleased with the results and figured I could photograph my copy and list it as a made to order item. Which will take me just a tad longer than most of my other items to ship off, but seems like something I'd still be able to manage within 2-3 days.

Anyway, I'm working on a few things like this to feel a little bit prepared for 2009 and New Years resolutions. I'd like to make myself a journal in order to feel like I can start keeping on in 2009. And I had some luck a while back with a form I made myself to keep track of daily workout efforts. I plan on making a little booklet of those pages to keep myself going. But mainly at some point today or tomorrow I probably need to just sit down and write up a list of priorities and goals. If this all sounds excessive, this is most likely due to the even number I will be turning end of 2009, which we will not speak of...

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Christmas Gifts

I'm back from my Christmas trip to Ohio which means I can finally post all of the crafty gifts I've been working on the past few weeks. I managed to knit, sew, bead and embroider objects for gift giving. I even made a journal for my aunt that I completely forgot photograph! I had a lot of fun with all the crafts, but I was particularly pleased with some of the ones that were less familiar territory. Improving my sewing skills has been a goal for a while, so sewing up a few fabric cuffs for my cousins was a pretty quick and gratifying project. And though I think I've tried some embroidery in the past I was excited with the results of my sheep and circle t-shirts. And I think the recipients were as well! Or course there were several knitting projects, though the poor boyfriend is going to have to wait a little while before I'm done with his sweater.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Quiet - Happy Holidays!

Sorry it's been so quiet here on the blog this week. I've been busy trying to pull things together for Christmas. Cards decoration, handmade gifts, etc. It's kept me pretty busy. But perhaps this means I will have lots of things to post about after the holiday. Crafting for Christmas has certainly generated several ideas for new items for the shop, which I will hopefully be able to post about early next year!

Goodbye 2008

We did accomplish one non-secret holiday crafting task this week that I can blog about. Last year Chuck got me a really pretty calendar from Herman Yu. Her work is just too pretty to discard and we still have too much empty wall space, so we grabbed 12 cheap frames at Michaels and pulled apart the Calendar. Perhaps a little early...I suppose it is still 2008...but I'm really happy to finally have something up on one of our main walls.

I'll be going back home to Ohio from Dec. 23rd -27th and the hiatus from blog and shop is likely to last just a bit longer than that. I may end up getting one more post in before our trip (in fact I'm hoping I will, I have an idea) and maybe a few more before the new year. But just in case, happy holidays! And travel safely, especially you folks in Seattle dealing with all that snow you're not used to! I don't want to hear about any more buses dangling over I-5!

Monday, December 15, 2008

Giving, receiving

"This blog invests and believes the PROXIMITY - nearness in space, time and relationships! These blogs are exceedingly charming. These kind bloggers aim to find and be friends. They are not interested in prizes or self-aggrandizement. Our hope is that when the ribbons of these prizes are cut, even more friendships are propagated. Please give more attention to these writers! Deliver this award to eight bloggers who must choose eight more and include this cleverly-written text into the body of their award."

I've been pretty busy crafting, preparing for Christmas and trying to do some other stuff, so sorry the posting has been a little light through the weekend. I almost wasn't going to post today but then I remembered Kayce of On A Whimm passed on this blog award last month and I still haven't gotten around to picking out my choices. Well, it's close to Christmas and it seems like an appropriate chance to link to some of my favorites (in no particular order.) I suppose a lot of these picks show up in my links on the right, but for anyone that follows my blog through a reader I suppose this provides a few links they might not normally see! (plus a little history for everyone else) And in no particular order:

1 - extra medium - Janie is a good friend I was in College with (another architect) she recently started up this blog of her observations about life in South Carolina. I'm envious of the theme she picked, she has the tag system done nicely from the get go (something I'm still -always- tinkering with!)

2 - Vegan Craftastic - I found Kala through the ravelry forums for vegan knitters. I saw the pattern she designed for Mossinette Socks & I just had to knit it! Since then her blog has become a regular read.

3 - Rekoj Rants - Sara of Rekoj and I worked together in Seattle. Part of what lead me to finally get started with an Etsy shop was having her and a few other people around that where already or just getting into etsy too. Sara's work & process is exciting to read about even if you don't know her, but I always enjoy just a little bit of insight into the part of the world I used to inhabit not too long ago.

4 - Scary White Girl - A member of Seattle's EtsyRain, her shop alone is clever & fun. But I also relate to her love of sci-fi shows and movies. Though from the sound of it she gets out to see more than I manage to, so it's always fun to read her thoughts on the latest movies. And some of my favorite posts were about tracking down supplies for her cute crocheted Daleks (though Dr. Who fans will have to wait until after christmas for more of those!)

And I'm gonna stop at four though I think it's supposed to be 8. Perhaps I'll add more later. But hey, Kayce did the same thing! (:P) Plus I ought to get back to Christmas crafting!

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Stringy Inspiration

Blue Embroidery

Grabbed a new Treasury this morning. Took it as an opportunity to explore some of the embroidery type work on Etsy. And naturally it is blue because I do enjoy that color. And after seeing this amazing architectural embroidery project over on craftster embroidery is a subject that's been on my mind. I've thought once or twice about embroidering floor plans before. Closest I got was once binding a photo album with an abstracted linear map-like binding. That was a lot of work. Anyway, In the process of looking through the work over on Etsy I found this cool shop seapod, full of ameoba and so forth. Fun, reasonably priced brooches that would make cute & unique stocking stuffers. Actually upon making this treasury I realized that embroidery crafts generally seem pretty affordable! And because I'm enamored with my latest find, here are a few more from Seapod:

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Feeling really Busy!

I almost wasn't going to post again today, but I thought I ought to drop in and say hi. I'm feeling really busy and excited about a lot of things. I guess one thing is Christmas is really not that far off. I posted an entry over at 1000 markets today about holiday shipping. (I've decided to maintain a somewhat more professional tone over there, and I'm planning on trying to make myself post about once a week.) December 18th is the last day for holiday orders and that would be cutting it very close.

We all have those days where you feel like there's so much to do and even though you're really excited about it it just doesn't get done. I think I'm having one of those. I spent a chunk of my morning trying to resolve a unexpected/uncredited use of one of my product photos. It was resolved correctly, quickly and politely so I won't go into it too much. It happens, I suppose, when you're trying to get yourself out there and I suppose it is somewhat flattering.

I guess this is a bit of a teaser blog entry cause some of the stuff I've got on my to do is list are a few things I'm planning to post about on the blog soon. But I'm not going into that either! Hopefully I can get what I want to done very very soon and you will see the results.

In the meantime fun stuff today. There's a brand new knitty! I really like the fargyle sock pattern. Also Nora Gaughan's Surface is really interesting, though I think I would make it with less of the collar. And Amelia is a pretty pattern too. Also yarn finally came for Chuck's sweater. Not sure if I'll have time to get it done for christmas...I keep joking he'll get a box of yarn for christmas and then maybe I'll get the sweater done for his birthday next month. That's not looking like too much of a joke right now. But still I was thrilled to get the yarn today. We went with a Graphite color instead of the Fern I blogged about earlier.

Oh and I hauled 4 heavy bags of groceries, a large purse, and a few supplies (boxes for presents) home from the stores...almost a mile! Not really that blog worthy, but it is a thing I did today that sorta prevented me from getting other stuff done. And it feels like an accomplishment, I think I might be sore from it later....

Monday, December 8, 2008

Holiday Renegade

Renegade Holiday 2008

We visited Renegade Handmade's holiday show yesterday with my parents. It was packed! It wasn't unlike other shows we've been going to the past several years, but for my Mom & Dad it was the first time they'd had a chance to check out a show with the younger generation of crafters. And also, incidentally, the first year they haven't gone to Winterfair since it began. I have to admit I was a little sad too the first year I couldn't make it to that show too, when we first moved to Seattle in 2004.

One thing I noticed that was a little different about this show compared to other shows was the number of Flatstock/poster artists mixed in. (I did have to assure my parents that all the bands were real, though they did recognize a respectable number of the band names. And none of us had heard of the band Mustard Plug before. Oh well!) It's certainly great to see that kind of work at most of the shows here. But it was a little packed, I would've liked to check out the Ork Poster booth a little more closely. I've heard they recently added Seattle and we've been contemplating a set of their print for a while. They also had t-shirts!

So anyway, here are a few favorites. Unfortunately I didn't make any purchases because well, I'm on a small budget this year, and it takes me a while to decide on purchases anyway. But there was plenty of great stuff, and this is just a very small sampling:

All the images above are linked and clickable through to the shops. You might also see more of the sellers from the show turn up in my favorites over the course of the week! A few are already there. Or, alternatively here's a link to check out the renegade vendor list!

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Tiles, Dogs and Twigs

Tiffany Ceiling & Holiday Decor FAO Schwartz Display Yule Log Dog Baha'i Temple

It's already been a busy weekend for me, and we still have to make our way over to the Renegade Handmade Holiday show. To quickly summarize, I spent some time (while Chuck was finishing off his semester, and subsequent sleep recovery from the semester) with my parents. Friday we checked out the elaborate decoration at Macy's downtown and the market on Daley plaza. Yesterday we went to the Botanical garden and saw a parade of dogs in holiday costumes and an elaborate model train display with twig and gourd buildings from all around Chicago. Now I'm recovering a little bit before we check out renegade!

Friday, December 5, 2008

I am a cat lady

I just have to go and make it official by admitting that watching video of cats doing crazy (awesome!) things is one of my favorite internet activities. This one of a cat on a roomba is everywhere right now, but it's funny. In my opinion, required viewing. Oh Wait! I like the one of the cat chasing its leash around a toilet too. And this is just such a cute kitten! So yes. This post makes it official. As if it wasn't already.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Our Tofurkey Day

Tofurkey & sides
It might seem to some that Thanksgiving is maybe not the best holiday for vegans, but this is not the case. Think of all the glorious veggie side dishes! And these days it's pretty easy to pick up a Tofurkey at the store. The past few years it's been a small affair for us because of the distance between Seattle and Ohio. This year we're closer but with Chuck's classes coming to a close and the need for someone to watch my parent's cat while they traveled we stuck around. And that's fine since I've really enjoyed having a whole day all about cooking lots of stuff every year. We've got a handful of recipes we typically use, though every year I take notes on how I might adjust them a bit better to our taste. And one of these years I hope I actually remember that I did that and take a look at my notes from past years before I start cooking! Ok, so this year I forgot that again...but really the recipies only require some minor tweeks. A little more sugar in the cornbread, try out more broth on the stuffing, etc. But it all turned out well..and made up several dinners and lunches for us. Oh, and there was Pie of course, mostly by Chuck though I did mix up the dough for the crust and help out some cutting up the apples. Every year I think I should make more of these dishes on other occassions, hopefully this year I will. Particularly the cornbread, which would be fantastic with some Chili!

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

My Monday in Photos

Laundry & Ice:
Sweater in the Sink Icicles!

Monday, December 1, 2008

Hearts & New Markets

First off I surpassed 200 hearts on Etsy last week, and I'm very happy about that! It's been a pretty great first year there. I can't complain and I'm not much of a complainer in general...but I will say there are quite a few features I've seen discussed in the forums I'm highly anticipating. Etsy's full of such fun and inspiration, I tend to think I'll keep a shop open there as long as I can, in spite of any growing pains it may be experiencing.

So. I've been hearing about this site 1000 markets for a few weeks now. I guess in light of what I said above, I was hesitant to really even look at the site. Plus, you know, the idea of trying to manage two cyber store fronts, figuring out a new site, etc. didn't really seem all that worthwhile. Until this weekend. And what really convinced me were Anandi's posts about it. She's been excited about it for a while now, but the market she helped set up for Handcrafted in Seattle really impressed me. It looks great! So I could no longer resist. It's free to sign up and list items so what the heck!

So I've set up a page there:

Already there are several features I pretty happy with. Uploading and managing images is pretty easy, not nearly as time consuming as Etsy can be. You are able to upload multiple pictures at once. And a blog is integrated into the site. Plus you can rearrange items in your shop and the main pages on the site consist of a random selection of items instead of the most recent uploads. I am missing the ability to select and keep track of favorites, but from browsing the forums it sounds like that feature is in the works. Which also reminds me that apparently some of the forums are only accessible to sellers, which seems like a good idea. The site uses Amazon payments for checkout, something I'm not too familiar with, but it seems reliable and easy enough to sign up with.

So I'm not really sure how to go about managing this site alongside my current Etsy shop and blog, but it is a pretty site. Right now I've got more paper goods than jewelry, since I already have multiples due to the nature of the printing process. That may be how it goes, which I suppose is fine. And I imagine blog entries there may be less frequent, but perhaps more focused and professional. Which really I think will be an interesting contrast. So I guess we'll just see! You can visit my new 1000 market shop here, or of course my Etsy shop if you prefer is always open.