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Trimmings and An Angel

Friday, July 31, 2009

A Picture’s Worth a Thousand Words

black cat I’ve noticed when I read other blogs that I can’t stand the posts that have no photos.  A picture somehow makes it easier to start reading.  But on the other hand, I also can’t stand blogs that are nothing but pictures.  It needs some words to read even if it’s just a caption for the photo.  Is this strange?  Maybe it stems from my earlier years when all picture-less books were considered “boring”.  Even today, if a novel doesn’t have a cute looking cover I’m likely to past it by.  That probably seems superficial, but not always.  Sometimes one’s definition of cute or appealing varies greatly from another person’s.  The cover of a book and a photo on a blog are both like a store’s banner or sign, drawing in the target audience and getting them to sit down and take notice.  Of course its then up to the author of the book or writer of the blog to keep the audience’s attention, hence the need for at least some writing with that snazzy photo.  Otherwise, everyone will feel like they wasted their time.  Sort of like a movie that was hyped up by advertising, yet bombed at the box office.  So the questions to think about are who is your target audience, do they think your photos are “cute”, and can you back it up with your writing?  On that note, how well did I do with my photo choice?

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Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Another Tribute

photos 040“M”ore of it ends up on my hands then on my project.

“O”pen easily, it certainly doesn’t.

“D”on’t ask me how to keep it from sticking.

“P”lease let it stop dripping,

“O”n the floor or on my chair,

“D”own my shirt and in my hair.

“G”ot it finally on all right.

“E”verything now has turned out right.

 

I was inspired to write this when my jar of Mod Podge glued itself closed.  I had to get my “little” brother to open it.

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Monday, July 27, 2009

Works for Me

Ever had an old pair of overalls you didn’t know what to do with.  I had a pair that were actually cute.  They had cute zippered pockets that were useful and all, and they had red Velcro instead of the usual metal button things on the side.  The Velcro was the problem though, because it kept coming undone.  Here’s what I did to make them more useful.photos 034

This is my work apron.  Neat, huh.  Before I tried this, I had converted the overalls into the a jumper, but I got tired of it.  I just cut off the front and stitched on a band made from scraps of fabric for ties around the waist.  The one for the neck is just knotted around the button things on the bib.  Love the Tweety Bird fabric.  I used some more scraps to make a matching scarf to tie my hair up.photos 035

 

 

 

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Now here’s what I did with the back half.  I  just folded it in half and stitched down the side and the bottom.  Then I attached both overall straps to the top.  Now I have a tall bag that can fit my umbrella easily.  And as you can see, the cool zippered back pocket doesn’t go to waste.

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Thursday, July 23, 2009

Stranger than Fiction

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I was walking to the library again, and I saw something odd crawling across the sidewalk. 

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I thought it might be some breed of cockroach or something out for a stroll.  It was over 3 inches long and jaws about 1/2 an inch wide.  It was also super fast, but apparently it had problems walking across leaves.  All I could do was stare at it, it’s like watching an accident, you can’t look away.  

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Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Grown Up Dolls

One of my hobbies includes collecting dolls.  Not Barbies, although I do have a reproduction of a vintage bubble cut. 

Antique Bed Doll or Boudoir Doll

This is one of my favorites.  Her name is Violet and she’s a bed doll.  Apparently they were popular from about the 1920’s to 40’s, although I’m not an expert on this.  I got her on EBay with another that I gave to my mom. 

The price was a steal, but understandably so because they had no clothing at all except for Violet’s socks.  So I set to work trying to make an outfit that fit and hopefully was accurate to the style.

Grown Up Dolls

The little crocheted hat is adorable and a necessity because to my knowledge many manufacturers of these dolls only added enough hair as to peek out from the hat and left the rest of the head bald.  At least this is the case with most dolls wearing hats.  Again I’m not an expert on this topic. 

The little flower on the brim was just something I added because it needed a little something.  I had meant it to be temporary, but it’s actually been there for several years.  Oh well.  The matching scarf was just because I thought it was cute.  I actually made one for myself, although I don’t plan on wearing it anytime soon.  Darn Arizona summers.

Grown Up Dolls

The dress was made fairly quickly since I lacked patience, strange that years later it still technically isn't finished.  I still need to hem the sleeves and add some snaps and stuff.  At least she isn’t naked anymore, and her appearance has improve greatly since I cleaned her up and all.

If you’d like to learn more about dolls like her, there’s a fantastic book called Dolls of the Art Deco Era, 1910-1940 by Susanna Oroyan.  It has tons of info and it is really fun to read, plus it has patterns so you can try to make your own bed dolls.  I haven’t tried it yet, but someday maybe.  As soon as I finish Violet’s outfit, in like 20 years.

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Saturday, July 18, 2009

Another Sign

 

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I’ve seen this sign several times while walking, but I only really noticed it recently.  I really like the font used, but I can’t quite say why.  It’s not exactly the fanciest lettering I’ve ever seen, but maybe the simplicity is part of the charm.  I’d like to use it for something someday, I just need to figure out what’s it called.

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Friday, July 17, 2009

Strange Tastes

I have to admit my tastes in some things can be odd, but let’s leave fashion for another day and talk about food.  The following are a few of my favorite combinations that some people might find strange, but I say don’t knock ‘em until you’ve tried them:

  • Mayonnaise and ketchup:  technically this isn’t that odd since I hear it might be the base of a certain secret sauce, but I’m not certain of this.
  • cheese and peanut butter: this is great on sandwiches obviously and it is especially good with cheddar or coby jack cheese.
  • tortilla chips on sandwiches: tortillas chips gave my sandwiches a delightful crunch and texture that’s hard to resist.
  • ranch dressing in oatmeal: it’s also good in rice, likewise soy sauce tastes good in both.
  • cheerios in yoghurt:  well people put granola in yogurt, why not an oat based cereal?
  • cold spaghetti sandwich: leftover spaghetti is great in a sandwich, especially if you use garlic bread.  If you’d prefer it warm, I’d suggest heating it up in a skillet with some olive oil.
  • pickles and avocado:  again on a sandwich or in wraps.  I guess you could say I have a thing for sandwiches.  They’re quick and portable.

Now if this list made you cringe, get some guts and go for it.  In this world it’s okay to try new things, it makes you a more confident and creative person.  And those of you who either think some of them actually look tasty to you or you’ve already tried them before, rock on.  Or should I say eat on.

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Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Something Old, Something New

Here are some projects I recently finished.  A couple of them are classic, things a few of you may remember doing yourself, or at least something similar.  The others may be something you’ve thought about doing at one time or another, or maybe after seeing this you will want to try them.

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These are classic fabric yo-yos, at least I think they’re classic.  My mom has been making them for years.  I used some fabric scraps I had and some old buttons, and I glued magnets to the back.  I also made two more with pin backs on them for pins.

 

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These are painted bottle caps that I also made into magnets.  I’ve been on a magnet kick lately since I bought a package of discs at Wal-Mart.  I’ve made tons of these already.  I think people have been using bottle caps as craft supplies for a while now.  From scrapbooking to jewelry, they have a lot of uses.  I once actually made a necklace out of them as a Christmas  present for my older sister.  For that I didn’t paint them because I thought the logos on them were kind of cute, although ironic.  Neither she nor myself actually drink.

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I got the idea for these painted thumbtacks in Wal-Mart while standing among all the office supplies.  They did have pretty and colorful thumbtacks, but I didn’t like any of them.  I thought I could do much better, so I did.  I made other ones in complementary colors. I’ve been into painting things since I found paint on sale.  What better inspiration than a good sale. :)

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This is a chain belt I made with jump rings and key rings.  I happened to come across an assortment of key rings in a variety of sizes, but didn’t need all of them.  So rather than waste them I chained them.  The clasp is something I saved from an old hand-me-down dress from one of my sisters.  The dress was awful, but clasps were cool.  It wouldn’t the first time ugly clothing became useful for me.  I used to have this really odd bright orange bathrobe, can’t really say who gave it to me.  It was perfect to make stuffed animals out of, including a certain little orange cat that was quite popular awhile back.

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Yep, it’s more painting.  Again, I thought I could make office supplies more fun so I thought, painted pencils would be good.  You may have noticed I have a thing for polka dots right now. What can I say, they’re super easy and super cute.  I’ve also made some with stripes and some that are sparkly.  A few of those are already up in my shop.  I don’t  think I’ll ever get tired of these, although I still would like to look for pencils that are more environmentally friendly.  At least these don’t use rainforest wood.

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Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Signs of Amusement

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I noticed this while walking to the library.  I thought it was kind of amusing, especially considering what was below it.

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As you can see here, cars are an exception.  I guess it technically doesn’t say no cars allowed on the sidewalk. 

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Monday, July 13, 2009

My Favorite Sewing Tool?

Tribute to my Sewing Machine

My Favorite Sewing Tool? A Poem about My Sewing MachineTo my dear friend on the craft table, what can I say about you?

The way that dealing with the “tension” makes me wish I had somebody new.

Your too complicated when I don’t need you to be, and too simple when I need much more.

Exciting when your well running, but otherwise you’re such a bore.

You clam up when I least expect it and snap my every last thread,

but when I truly have had it up to here with you, you turn out to be a gem.

 

Update: For those who are curious, my sewing machine is the Brother LS 30.  Very basic, both in function and thankfully price, and still running after nearly 10 years.

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Saturday, July 11, 2009

Inspiration Super Highway

 

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I guess you’re wondering what this is suppose to be.  It’s a rough sketch of an idea for a doll I had.  Rough is right.  I got the idea from watching an episode of SlayersNext on YouTube.  On it there was this monster with big hair and an odd dress I found it quite appealing.  It’s surprising when inspiration will strike.

 

green earth dollsThese are dolls I have in the shop.  Strangely they were based on a doll I made for a dance class.  My class was putting on a small performance based on the musical Wicked, and we needed a small green baby for one of the dances.  There was talk about using a Shrek doll, but I knew there was no way I was going to be able to do it with a straight face if that happened.  So I grabbed some green leaf print fabric and a pattern I made before and after a few hours a star was born.  Later I made a matching one with pink florals, just for fun.  It just went on from there.

veronica doll

This one is also in my shop, and I’m quite proud of her.  I actually saw her in a dream just before I woke up as weird as that is sounds.  It’s not the first time I’ve been inspired by dreams.  When I was still in high school, I had entered this one poetry contest.  It wasn’t the first, but still I was on edge since I had to read out loud in front of practically everyone.  Anyway, I didn’t actually write the poem until the morning of the contest after I had woken up from a strange yet inspiring dream.  The results… second place.  Not too shabby, right.

I guess what I’m trying to say is that you never know when inspiration will hit you whether it’s when you’re hitting the snooze button in the morning, turning your mind to mush watching TV, or just going about the norm.  The trick is to be prepared for it, even if it’s with a rough sketch on a piece of scrap paper.

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Friday, July 10, 2009

Truly Giving

pink sparkle notebook

This is one of my recent ideas, isn’t it so cute!  I made it with the intention of selling it in my shop, but I find it hard not to just keep it for myself.  It got me thinking, have you ever made something intending to sell it or give it to someone and wanted to so badly keep it?  What do you do?

Will first if you’re selling, the easiest thing to do is make an extra one for yourself.  You can probably justify this as promoting your work.  I’ve heard plenty of jewelry designers say that one way they promote themselves is by wearing their creations.  People complement them and they hand out cards.  Seems like a perfectly valid excuse.

Now for gift giving, you can try the same thing, but you should ask yourself one question first.  Is the gift actually appropriate for the recipient, or is it more appropriate for you?  What I mean is sometimes people give gifts that they themselves would like not realizing the person they are giving to may have slightly different tastes. 

For example,  my twin sister has on many occasions given me things that would suit her way more than me.  Once she gave me this fringed belt that I totally hated, but she loved to death.  She actually wore it more than I ever would dream of.

So the best thing to do is to think carefully about what they would like, and in what design would suit their tastes.  For this you’d have to pay close attention.  It may be extra work for some, but it’s worth it. 

After all, most people say they prefer to give and receive handmade gifts because extra thought was put into them.  That would mean giving a handmade gift that suits the recipient has twice the thought put in it.  And not to sound corny, but I think that’s truly the gift that keeps on giving.

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Thank you for sharing

I recently listened to a CraftyPod podcast about crafting for money instead of just passion (CraftyPod #95, thank you Sister Diane, I’m a huge fan).  One of the things mentioned toward the end was how some bloggers are afraid of sharing “personal information”.  I started to think why this is so.  Like most people, when I hear those two words, I think of things like your phone number or ATM number or address.  Things you definitely do not want to get out there.  Things that can specifically identify you like your full name and social security number.  I guess with identity theft on the rise, this is just being smart.  Still, there are other types of “personal information”.  For example, I have a number of moles all over my body.  And if I mentioned certain specific areas of my body that have them, that would be very “personal”.  It’s not like I can be specifically identified by that, tons of people have moles and not all of them are in my family either.  Plus who would hold it against me for having them,  it’s not like someone wouldn’t hire me for having odd birthmarks in weird places.  The point is that sometimes it’s okay to share personal and maybe embarrassing info about ourselves, because it brings us closer to our readers and ourselves.  At least that’s how I interpreted it.  And if anything else, it’s makes for great reading.

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Thursday, July 9, 2009

Introduction

Alright, I finally did it!  I have been thinking about starting a blog for months, but I finally got up the nerve yesterday.  I’m still not entirely sure what to write about, but I can’t really let petty details like that stop me.
mini-midnight

To start I’d like to introduce my pride and joy, my cat.  Her name is Midnight, she’s  4 years old, and she’s been in my life since she was 1 1/2.  She likes avocados, Friskies and tofu and she is the bravest little coward I have ever seen.  More on that later.
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