exciting news.

February 18, 2012

Wow. I just realized how long it’s been since my last post. I am so bad. Anyway, so much has happened since I last wrote to you all. First, I recently made my 90th sale in my Etsy shop! I remember, not too long ago I might add, how excited I was when I reached my 10th sale. It seems that the more sales I make, the faster they start coming. At the moment. I am averaging about four sales a week. I hope to start making at least one sale a day. My next bit of good news is that I finally finished my graduate school application for the distance learning program in Historic Preservation at Goucher College. I decided this program suited me best, because I won’t be geographically confined to any particular place. Acceptance letters will be mailed out on March 12th. I don’t like knowing a precise date. It makes me nervous. Still, I’ve decided it’s out of my hands now. I gave it my best effort, so if I don’t get in, it’s not meant to be. In other news, I went back to my old job at Hope House! It’s only part time, so I have time to pursue my other interests. I really missed everyone a lot, especially after looking through some old photos. Here are a few of them:

Anyway, they are awesome, and I am happy to be working with them again. I also recently got a second job as Gardener’s Attendant at Hermitage Museum and Gardens, which is a historic house museum/art museum. The house rests on twelve acres of gardens and wetlands overlooking the Lafayette River, so I think I’ve got my job cut out for me. I’m looking forward to spending some solitary time outside, digging in the dirt. I’ve interned and volunteered there in the past, so I’m really excited to get a paid position!

Apparently, two jobs and a jewelry business weren’t enough for me. I am now a co-owner of a new shop called Kitsch! A very nice and talented crafter named Michelle just so happened to see some of my jewelry through a mutual friend on her facebook newsfeed. She contacted me and we became friends. She introduced me to some other cool girls, who were brewing up a plan to create a place dedicated to the arts and crafts community. In addition to selling handmade goods and art from fellow Virginians, the shop would offer a variety of awesome classes and workshops. Once we realized we had enough financial capital to fulfill this shared vision, we jumped right in. We found a great spot located on a side street of a main thoroughfare in downtown Norfolk, in a very artistic-minded community. We were able to find most of our fixtures either for free, or for dirt cheap from thrift stores and flea markets. We also didn’t need to spend any money on merchandise because everything is on consignment! We already have over forty consignors, many of whom are from the Hampton Roads area. We found the rest of our consignors by scouring the many shops of Etsy. I must say, we have quite a lot of wonderful things including jewelry, clothing, housewares, bath and body products, and other random cool things. Our grand opening weekend extravaganza is February 25th and 26th. We plan to have live music, good food, crafter demos, and free craft projects of course! Stay tuned for photos and like us on facebook!

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A few weeks ago, inspired by some really creative DIY doily projects on Pinterest, I attempted a project of my own. With very little money to spare for holiday gifts, I decided to go the handmade, and in my opinion, much more thoughtful route. After I searched unsuccessfully for some doilies at the local thrift shops, a friend of mine selflessly gave me a handful of really pretty doilies she had collected over the past few years, some of which were passed down though her family. She also gave me a bunch of different glass bottles to play with, with the one request that I share my creations with her. Among the many cool glass bottles, I found two cute milk bottles that seemed to me, almost like mother and child. This seemed very fitting for this maternal woman. I decided to repurpose them and turn them into flower vases! I used the following materials…

Oops I forgot to include scissors! Oh well. I picked up the nicely crocheted doily, apologized to it, then began cutting away at it until I had a few circular pieces. I used Fabric Mod Podge to adhere the round pieces to the milk bottles in an aesthetically pleasing way.

I thought I’d keep it simple with the smaller bottle. I decided not to make the pattern go all the way around the bottles so the sunlight could still shine through them. Plus, I didn’t want to take away from the future fresh cut flowers. I know I’m lame for not finding any flowers to put in the vases but I didn’t have time! They were kind of a last minute holiday gift but my friend still loved them and quickly added them to her windowsill. Yay!

DIY paper clip earrings

November 29, 2011

 

Recently I felt myself falling into sort of a creative rut. I took a little break from crafting and began perusing my favorite blogs as well as the always inspiring craftgawker. During my ventures, I stumbled upon a bunch of really fun new DIY projects, one of which I had to try right away –paper clip earrings. I love when I already have all of the materials required to complete a project. Anyway, after finishing one pair I was hooked. Not only did they turn out really cool, I strangely enjoyed the therapeutic motion of winding string around wire. I made a bunch of earrings trying both colored hemp and yarn. I gave a pair to my friend, Laura, for her birthday and was super excited to hear her say she “could totally picture them gracing the pages of the Anthropologie catalogue.” These earrings make unique holiday gifts, so I’m excited to pass along this tutorial. So here goes, my friends…

paper clip earrings

what you will need:

As far as the glue is concerned, one that dries clearly and quickly is ideal. I took a picture of only one paper clip, but obviously you will need two. Also, I know 84 inches sounds like a lot of string, but if you plan to wrap them the way I did, in a continuous pattern with minimal knots, it is best to use one really long piece of string. Anyway, next you will unbend the paper clip at all of the rounded edges…

Once the edges are all open, you will shape it into a triangle. The open side of the triangle will overlap a bit, which makes it easier to bind the sides together. Next you should tie a knot, secured with glue, at a point on the triangle, like so…

Add a tiny bit of glue to a small area of the paper clip, as it will dry pretty fast, and wrap the string around and around in a tight fashion. I try to wind the string away from the opening so that I may use it to my advantage. Rather than spending lots of extra time pulling the ridiculously long piece of string through the triangle with each turn, you can simply slide it in through the opening. You will see what I mean…

Please excuse my poorly trimmed nails:) The only tricky part of this project is wrapping the overlapping, open side of the triangle. I tried to overlap the sides one on top of the other rather than side by side so it would be less visible. Just do your best to hold them in this position with a good amount of glue while you wrap. It’s really not that hard, I promise. Once the string wraps all the way around, wrap it to a point just below the top of the triangle so you may begin the infinitely easier task of wrapping it across the triangle. Try not to go too crazy with the glue so the earrings look nice and neat. I left space at the top and bottom because the string is most secure from unraveling. When you reach a stopping point, tie a knot and secure it well with glue. They should somewhat resemble these…

That’s my friend Laura wearing her new earrings. I love how they happen to match her shirt perfectly! You can do so many different things with these earrings. Instead of wrapping them so tightly, you can make a sort of webbed, dream catcher look, and even add some beads to it…

If you decide to use yarn, you can achieve some really interesting looks. I should note that yarn is much more stretchy, so you won’t need nearly as much as you would with, say, hemp. I would go so far as to say you may need only half the amount. If you like the rainbow hemp, you can purchase some at a lovely shop called Hemp Hutt. I hope this tutorial was clear enough. This is my first one! Enjoy and let me know how it goes!

Of course, you will need some music for inspiration. Here is a random playlist of awesome songs.

Don’t worry, though. If you don’t feel like doing this, but you think the earrings look cool, I’m selling them in my etsy shop!