Handmade Prom

It's many many moons since I went shopping for my prom dress. For my senior prom I wore a black lace skin tight dress with a slit practically up to my navel. I still can't believe my Mom bought it for me but she said I looked great in it, which I totally did. I went with around 10 girls and we had a blast. After the dance we went out partying at a frat house and I won't go into any more details from there.

I know you probably aren't shopping for prom but isn't it fun to imagine. There are so many amazing handmade dresses on-line and honestly many of them aren't any more expensive than if you bought them at the mall, when chances are 3 other girls had the same idea. How cool would it be to show up to the party in one of these handmade originals? If you want to really make an entrance how about this Custom Tutu Dress by Gingercream. I'm generally opposed to all forms of tulle but how can you not love the whimsy of this dress?

The one above is for the glamour girl with her own sense of style. They are each one of a kind and are made completely from recycled men's ties by Glamarita.

For the Free Spirit hippie chick there is this Spanish Moss dress by The Wind & Rain Creations.

For the punk/emo girl this Rodarte inspired multi-colored knit dress would make a great statement. I love how Miss Samantha has accessorized the look with the hat and belt. I can totally see Anh wearing this outfit if she were 10 years older.
For the classic/retro girl there is this Red Silk Scarlet Swing Cocktail Dress. Classic Tailors makes it in sizes XXSmall to 2XL so just about any girl could look gorgeous in it.

To accessorize I think this UPCYCLED Gold VINTAGE Bumblebee Clutch would work with just about any look. Get Ready Set Clutch has some other great clutches to carry the essentials for the big night out and they would make a great bar purse in the future.

And I wouldn't be a good etsy blogger if i didn't pimp my own jewelry. I made wedding party jewelry recently and I think my knitted wire bracelets would make unique and fun prom wear as well. I can make them with any color beads and trust me I have lots of cool beads to work with if you wanted something custom. I can also make simple earrings to match. I hope you had fun reminiscing about your prom and imagining how fun it would be to shop for a handmade prom if we were young again.


My new Favorite bags

I am a bit of a bag whore. I was recently talking to the woman that I bought this amazing 1940's hand tooled leather bag from at a consignment shop near my work. She asked me if I collected bags and I told her that my husband probably would say I do. It isn't intentional but I just love purses of all kinds. I have several hiding places where I stash my out of circulation bags. Some friends were over to play games with Mike when I was out of town once and one of them was looking for a board game and had an avalanche of purses come down on her.

I took the picture in my craft room with my Nana's handmade knitting bag that I have displayed on the wall. It was actually made by my great grandmother around 100 years ago.

no pics

A blog I frequent, Audrey's Country Crafts, recently had a fun bag swap. I sent a bag that I had bought on Etsy that I really loved but I thought would be perfect for my recipient along with a headband and wristcuff to match. I'm pretty sure that Dragon's Den reads my blog so if you see this I promise it will be there soon!

Today I got in the mail the absolutely stunning bag at the top of the page from Hip Chic Designs along with a matching key fob. I had told her my favorite colors are purple and orange and she combined them in the most gorgeous way I've ever seen. The details on this bag are really what impresses me. She even embroidered my initials on it and chose the perfect button to compliment the patterns. If you are in the market for a new spring bag I totally recommend checking out her new Etsy shop. This Colorful Flowers bag would be perfect to brighten things up!

The prints in the picture are by one of my favorite Etsy artists Allison Strine, who I blogged about here. Her pictures smile down on me every day and give me encouragement.


Graduation Gift Guide

I have spent the last 18 years of my life on a college campus in one capacity or another. Just to be clear only 4 of those were as an undergraduate student. My current day job is all about helping students graduate. I'm an academic adviser and career-technical counselor. So graduation season is a very real part of the cycle of the year for me, whether I know someone personally who is graduating or not. I have always loved graduations, high school or college. So many kids don't want to go through with the ceremony and I tell them to do it for their parents. I know that it will be more meaningful to them than they can imagine at that moment. Even here at the community college, were for many it is just a stepping stone to the next degree, it gives the graduate that real sense of completion and recognition for their hard work. I think everyone deserves that. The print above, by theloveshop is perfect to be framed and given to your favorite grad, male or female.

I have put together a gift guide of handmade gifts for the graduate. If it is a special graduate that you want to recognize there are some very unique and creative ideas on Etsy. The Handmade t-shirt quilt is a personal way to honor where they have come from and is a useful item for the future. You send the shirts to WARM KEEPSAKES and she puts them together for the very reasonable price of $125. You can use shirts from the different sports and clubs they were a part of in high school and whatever else reflects who they are at that moment.

For the artist or wanderer this vintage train case by GetReadySetGO has been screen printed with the JRR Tolkein quote on the back "NOT ALL THOSE WHO WANDER ARE LOST", a black tree on the front, and a black skeleton key on the lid. It can be used as a carry on, to store artist supplies, makeup or whatever else they want to keep safe.

One of my favorite gifts to give a graduate is a journal. I will write something personal in the front to hopefully inspire them to record what they are thinking and feeling at this point in their life, because I know it will be gone before they can even imagine. The hand bound leather journal on the right is by Julie Boyles and can have personal monogramming added for no cost.

This journal by Elvie Studio is probably more appropriate for a girl and it has plain white paper inside with some decorate paper added that would be great to put pictures on. The VanGogh quote says "The way to know life is to love many things" which couldn't be more appropriate for the graduate.

If you are a teacher who has lots of graduates you would like to recognize there are some smaller handmade gift ideas as well. There are all kinds of buttons and magnets on Etsy that would be a good little gift that can be personalized to the grad's interests. I like these Smart Girls Are Cool buttons by Pure Vintage Gold. She also makes these Tiny Origami Blank Notebooks, a Set of 5 is only $5 so you could combine a button with a book for a great little gift.

There are tons of personal jewelry ideas on Etsy that would make good gifts for graduates but if you want to get something inexpensive yet meaningful you can find Scrabble pendants with just about anything on them. I like this little Fly pendant by LaVieIllustree. It is simple and direct with a great message.

For a boy you could give these Paperclip Bookmarks in neutral colors by RowdEClips
either with a card or your favorite author's book to introduce them to someone that could open their minds.

There are lots of other great personal handmade gifts to be had on-line or to be made by you. These will hopefully be around a lot longer than the $20 you could slip in their card that will be gone before they walk across the stage.


Award's Day

So I got a few awards last week that I thought I should acknowledge and since I have no energy today for anything else here goes. First Mary from Mother Nos Best gave me the The Queen of Alll Things Awe-Summm award.

Here are the award rules:

* List 7 things that make you Awe-Summ and then pass the award on to 7 bloggers you love.

* Make sure to tag your recipients and let them know they have won!

* Also link back to the Queen that tagged you.

Here are the seven things that come to mind:
1. I am an awesome aunt
2. I am an awesome knitter
3. I am an awesome friend
4. I am an awesome blogger
5. I am an awesome listener
6. I am an awesome wife
7. I am an awesome kisser

That was the best I could do today my friends. And now for the amazingly awesome recipients of this awesome award:

1. The Queen Speaks
2. Stroll Through Storyland
3. Momma Miller
4. Magic Markings Art
5. ShimmerMeBlueDesigns
6. Namaste
7. Joy To the Blog

And Nancy over at Nfall2rt awarded me the Works of Heart Award. This means a lot coming from here since I have come to consider her a friend. She is one amazing knitter and crafter too. So that wraps up The Award's Day. Stay tuned tomorrow for some regularly scheduled blogging.


Happy Birthday Angie

Today was my sister's birthday and it was a very bittersweet day for me. She had a little get together and I got to see some family members I haven't seen for awhile which was nice. But it was also the first time I've seen the girls since finding out that they are moving to Dallas in September. My brother in law works in finance and his company is closing their St. Louis branch and they are going to transfer him. He is lucky to have a job but it has been really hard on me as well as everyone else. Anyone who even passively reads my blog I'm sure is aware that I'm pretty attached to my nieces. Not having kids of my own it has been very important for me to have my sister's girls so close. Angie and I were never close but we have bonded so much over her girls.

I know that they will be coming home often and I have a feeling that Ani and I will be making the trip to see them as well. Mike is pretty upset too since he and Kate, the 6 year old have had a mind meld since she was a baby. Kate is a truly fascinating kid with a vocabulary and IQ unlike any child I've ever known. I've decided that she likes Mike so much because he is the only person that she considers an intellectual equal.

Jess is my goddaughter and we have always had a very special bond. I'm the one she turns too when she needs someone to tell her mother that they spilled nail polish on the carpet, which is why I have water all over my shirt in the pictures. I spent 30 minutes trying to clean it up so she wouldn't have to face the music.

My brother was here as well. He just got back from a work trip to India and brought back all the bangle bracelets and the saris the girls are wearing. The black one is mine and I'm going to use it as a curtain in my bedroom. I had a friend's parents from India bring me back some gorgeous red ones a few years ago that I have hanging in the study. I let Kate keep the pink one since it really doesn't go in my house and she fell in love with it. She decided she would decorate her new room in Texas around the colors.


Handmadeology, Etsy Guru Extraordinaire

I'm sure all of you Etsy sellers are familiar with Timothy Adam Designs and his other blog Handmadeology. He is rapidly becoming the Etsy Guru Extraordinaire. I recently bought his tutorial Handmade Blogging Essentials which had some good tips for increasing blog traffic and improving your SEO. I really wish I would have had it when I was first starting out with blogging because it would have saved me a lot of trial and error that I went through figuring things out on my own. He is also starting a five day Etsy Secret's Class with tips on marketing and ways to drive traffic to your Etsy shop that I just signed up for. If there is anyone I would listen to it is Tim Adam since he is not only making a living purely from his on-line handmade business but he is completely willing to share his knowledge which I admire.

He has also started a directory for handmade blogs as well. It is another great way to get some backlinks for your blog and some exposure to the world.

So he is currently having a Challenge to promote his blog Handmadeology. Here is what it says about it on his blog:

Handmadeoloy is holding another Promo Challenge. The first Promo Challenge was a great success with 5 of the top promoters winning ads on Timothy Adam's blog. Now that Handmadeology is in full swing with loads of great info, it is time to Spread the Word!!

What is in it for the winners?
The Top 5 Promoters will receive a one month ad space on Handmadeology.com
Handmadeology is the leading source for Etsy and Art Fire lessons. You will find over 20 videos, helpful insider Etsy tips, Art Fire lessons and a great forum to connect and promote your handmade goods. Handmadeology is currently seeing over 5000 visitors per week, and just hit a Google Page rank of 4 in only 3 months.

So if you want to help me win please click on one of the many links in this post, including clicking on the big picture above to connect to his blog Handmadeology.com.

If you really want to make me happy I would love it if you would vote for my picture in another contest going on as well. I entered the High Times Scarflette into the Etsy Worthy Contest. It is an old picture from my old camera but it is one that I'm proud of since it was the only thing ever deemed gift guide worthy by Etsy.


Happy Birthday Dad

Today is my father's birthday. My Dad is a very complex man. There have been periods of my life when we really didn't understand each other or communicate much but he has always been an all important figure in my life. He is a very macho and hard working guy. He believes in traditional roles and traditional values, which is ironic since only one out of four of his children has really lived that kind of life. I love the picture above because it is a great contrast between my Dad the cowboy and Kai the city boy. I have 3 stories I'd like to share that I think reflect my Dad's different aspects.

The Hardworking Dad: I rode to Chicago with Dad years ago to drop my brother off at college. We got there and immediately turned around and headed home. We stopped around midnight at a cheap hotel. He woke me up at 5:00 A.M. and said it was time to move. I said it's 5:00 A.M. and he said "ya, well all we're doing is laying here."

The Crazy Dad: This story is what is known in my family as the Toilet Paper Caper and it best reflects the insanity of the man. My younger sister moved home for a year in between finishing her undergraduate degree and starting her graduate degree to save some money. For the first 3 months my mother was constantly complaining to my father that they were going through toilet paper so much more quickly. Her quote was "that girl must have the cleanest butt in 3 counties." My father then hatched a plan and started hiding toilet paper. He would take a few rolls each week and stash them in his storage shed so that Mom was buying TP several times a week. This went on for the rest of the year. After my sister moved out he then started bringing out the TP and putting it in the bathroom closet so that there was a constant supply. My mother went for several months without buying any TP and still hadn't made the connection. Finally my Dad told my Uncle who couldn't stand it so he asked my Mom when she had bought TP last and the gig was up. Only my father could carry on such a silly prank for almost a year without telling anyone. If you look at his face in this picture of him giving Ani a wedgie you can see how much he loves tormenting people.

The Caring Dad: When I was in my mid-twenties I was going through a really bad depression. I rarely left my dreary apartment except to go to work. I would force myself to go to the farm once a month to watch TV with my Mom, listen to my parents bicker, and have some normalcy. When I would get in my car to leave I would often find a little something in the passenger seat waiting for me. Once it was my favorite candy bar, once a rose, and once an old brass candle holder that looked like it had been rescued from an antique auction. I asked my Mom about it and she had no idea. I never talked to my Dad about it but it is something I've never forgotten. It was his way of saying that he knew I was going through a hard time and he wanted me to know that he was thinking about me. He is not a man that expresses his feelings much but he will find a way.

When you are young you don't think about your parents as complex people who make mistakes sometimes. You see things in black and white but as an adult I can see all the vivid colors that make up my Dad.

Happy Earth Day!

So I celebrated Earth Day a little early. I was the lucky winner of the great selection of handmade earthy goodies by a group of Artfire sellers that I got in the mail last week. I won Risky Beads giveaway with all of the cool stuff in the picture above. I particularly love the Love Your Mama tote bag by NotMoira which I will be keeping in my car for all of my toting needs. The Antique Doll Part by CobWebPalace is also really unique. I haven't decided what I'm going to do with it yet but I'm intrigued.

My earth day tip of the day is to check out 41pounds.org. Mike just did it a few weeks ago so we haven't seen the effects yet but they claim to get rid of the majority of your junk mail. From their website:

"The average adult receives 41 pounds of junk mail each year.
Our service stops 80-95% of unwanted catalogs and junk mail
for you. We’ll contact dozens of companies on your behalf to

If you are looking for some other tips to reduce your impact Instructables has a great post on 100 ways to reduce with many relatively painless ways to make a difference.


Thoughts on Social Bookmarking

I recently did a post about blog directories vs. social networking sites. I know that I am always a bit behind the techie trends but I am just now getting into the social bookmarking world which is another layer of these two areas. For those of you that are even a few steps behind me About.com has some really useful howtos on the subject. The above less techie handmade bookmark is from HAWKMANSTUDIOS. It was made with recycled components and is an elegant way to mark your spot.

My first venture into social bookmarking was signing up for delicious. You can view my bookmarks on delicious here. What I like best about this site is that you can view the websites you mark from any computer anywhere. If I mark a site on my home computer but I want to use it the next day at work than I'm out of luck, but if I mark it on delicious than I can access it anywhere. I can also search the site by tags which is a unique method of search unlike any other type of search engine.

You can also share your tags and bookmarks with friends or any like minded folks who like the same stuff you do. You can search for other great websites through tags that people like you have bookmarked. I think that it helps to make the world wide web a more manageable and homey place to visit.

StumbleUpon is another useful social bookmarking site that can also be used for promotion. Everything I've read about sites like delicious say that you should not use it for promotional purposes or you will be considered a spammer. But StumbleUpon and another popular site called Digg are set up a bit differently. Along with the bookmarking capabilities you can submit web pages to the site with a review and they will then be circulated among like minded searchers. You can stumble with a targeted search or just spend a few hours stumbling through interesting sites that have been recommended by fellow users. While doing "research" for this post this morning I got sucked into Stumble and could see myself easily wasting an entire day in its grasp. The more time you spend on Stumble the more street cred you earn so that time could eventually help your promotional efforts.

I read somewhere that for every 5 sites that you submit you should add one of your own pages with the intent of getting all of your content eventually into the system. The more people that stumble your web page the more visibility it will have and hopefully more people will find your content interesting to mark in someway. If you manage to make the front page of Digg or StumbleUpon than you will hit pay dirt in the world of visitors to your site, which could hopefully turn into sales. These sites can also help you build up those all important backlinks that are necessary for SEO.

For bloggers it is important to make your site as easy to mark with the social bookmarking sites as possible. I have recently added the widget from the free site AddThis to the end of each of my posts and in the top of my left column so that people can easily add a page or the entire site to any of the major bookmarking sites. I would love it if you would add whatever content you enjoy to the bookmarking sites you use. This feature makes it easy and fast to bookmark and share any page with the world.


Crafting It Forward

So I recently did a crafting it Forward on Facebook where I committed to sending something handmade to the first 5 who responded to my Facebook note. I found a similar idea to pay if forword for bloggers on Cheese and Chocolate's blog that I replied to so I will be getting a box of fun stuff from her neck of the woods soon.

I'm going to do it a combination of the 2 ideas. I will be crafting it forward to 3 people who commit to pay it forward on their own blog or in their own community. I'm going to have to limit it to the U.S. unfortunately to keep shipping costs down. If more than 3 people reply to this post by the end of this week, 4-25-09, I'll draw 3 names from a hat. The 3 people will be getting something hand knit from me of my choice. It could be a fashion scarf, a wrist cuff, or possibly even a pouch.


GoodWill Winners

I don't know if it was a sign of the economy or what but both of the Goodwills I went with a girlfriend to this afternoon were packed. I'm not complaining that more people are turning to resell clothes. I am a great proponent for one main reason. With so much good stuff already out there why buy new? There were people out today that looked like they didn't usually shop thrift along with the regulars. My husband refuses to buy any clothes new since I can get him 10 shirts for what it would cost for one new. If he doesn't like any of them I bring home he immediately gives it away to Goodwill, no harm. I am more of a hoarder of clothes but I have actually given away over 5 bags to Goodwill this year. I'm trying to take a bag out for every bag I bring in now but it doesn't always work out. On more than one occasion I have pulled something out at my local GW, started to admire it and then realized that I had actually donated it for one reason or another.

Today I got him 6 work shirts, including the washable linen and black silk in the picture above. He likes all but 1 of them. I got myself 5 shirts including the light blue one above and a wild swimsuit cover up in the picture for the cruise this summer and a pair of jeans. I also got the cute black and white shoes, the metal necklace hanger, and the fold up wine rack that I will use as a display at my craft shows for wrist cuffs. I like that it folds up so it won't take up any room in the car. The one casualty was the lovely mug that tragically didn't survive the trip home. All of this for less than $50. I spent almost 1/4 of that amount on dinner afterwards.


Entrecard Debacle

I, like many, am really fed up with the whole Entrecard debacle. If you aren't an entrecard blogger feel free to ignore my venting post. I was in a total wait and see mode with all of the paid ad changes recently. I rejected all of the annoying Blog for Money and sexy model ads and went ahead and approved the fellow crafters and regular blog ads, but it's all left a bad taste in my mouth. I've decided to just accept credit ads for a week and see if that makes me feel better about the system or not. I'm not planning on pulling my widget but I want to see what not accepting paid ads does to my ranking. I know that they need to generate some cash to keep the system going but it seems as thought there are many other ways to do it. Allowing us to use a double widget is one suggestion I've seen, and how about putting big dollar ads up on the pages we all check everyday on the entrecard site.

What I loved about the Entrecard system was the simplicity of it. You generated credits by visiting blogs and having other blogs visit you. You spend those credits on advertising on other blogs. I loved blog surfing my fellow craft and other interesting blogs through widgets. They have completely ruined much of this system with all of their changes. How many people really care about getting cash for their credits? I could care less honestly, that is not what I earned them for. But I like everyone else have started hording my credits and not spending them on advertising since all this started. For me it was because I just didn't understand what was happening and it seemed like we were no longer getting our credits worth with the paid ads taking 50% or more of the clicks we bought.

I have not been getting nearly as many paid ad requests the past few days since I started rejecting all but the blogs I knew. I hope everyone understands when I go back and reject your paid ads for now. I may change my mind, which is completely my prerogative.

The Happy Bluebird Scarf always makes me smile. It's still for sale in my shop if you click on the picture above.


Card Making Wannabe

Around the time I started knitting I also briefly got into card making. I bought several large lots of vintage post cards on e-bay and used them to create some unique cards which I don't have an example of to show you since I gave them all away. I used up most of the rest of the postcards by decoupaging them onto my bathroom closet door shown above, which has a Victorian theme.

I also bought a bunch of rubber stamps and card stock to use in this ill fated card making venture. I donated some of my supplies to my friend Tif when she was working with a crafter who couldn't afford supplies for her paper crafting needs but I still have a basket full of card making supplies stashed away. I haven't made a card in almost 5 years, but that hasn't stopped me from buying pretty paper stock when I see it on deep discount. My impulse to buy supplies really is a sickness.

Recently I discovered this amazing print Japanese paper tape. It comes in all kinds of colors and patterns. I bought 5 rolls from Origamichan in Toyko and it got to me in a little over a week. I'm totally in love with it but I have no idea what I'm going to do with it. The best part is you can reuse it if you can come up with a use for it in the first place. You can put it on paper and then take it off and move it. I really am easily amused I know. I'm thinking that I might use it on my price tags somehow or who knows what all. It is so pretty I could use it as a border on a sign. Two of the rolls I bought are a plain olive green and nice brown that will go with my business cards. The 3 to the right here are the others I bought and they would go with my banner colors. Do you have any unexplainable supply purchases that you would like to confess so I don't feel like such a freak?


Handmade Nation Review

It only took me a little over an hour to read the actual text of Handmade Nation: The Rise of DIY, Art, Craft, and Design by Faythe Levine and Cortney Heimer but who are we kidding I didn't buy it for the text. It's all about the pictures with pure crafter's porn on every page! Page after page of crafters in action at indie craft shows around the country, working in their studios, or modeling their incredible creations. There is nothing I like better than learning about other artisans creative process. I love reading how they come up with their ideas and seeing how they organize and decorate their studio spaces. And getting an inside view at some top indie sellers booth designs is priceless. I put a lot of thought into my booth space and seeing other crafter's displays, even if it is a total different medium helps me to come up with my own inspirations for next year's shows.

The book was inspired by the rise of the indie craft movement at the turn of this century. It covers indie designers all over the country and there is also a documentary that just came out last month. Here is the website for the movie. I can't wait to see it as soon as it makes it anywhere in the St. Louis area. There are interviews with designers and crafters were they share their ideas about the handmade movement. Here were some of my favorite quotes:

page 26, Sabrina Gschwandtner of Knitknit.net:
"I love making things. I love writing about aesthetic objects and their makers. I love conversations about making things. I love thinking about making things."

page 80, Annie Mohaupt of MOHOP.com:
"I think people want things that are unique. As the world becomes more and more homogeneous, handmade things become more precious. Also, as people become more aware of issues like the environment, workers' rights, and toxic ingredients or materials in products, they are more drawn to artisan-made goods, which are purchases they can feel good about."

page 125, Susan Beal:
"Indie craft fairs have defined a generation of women and men who value the nature of handmade and innovative goods.... I have never felt more at home than in an indie craft fair. It's a place where our hobbies, our ideas, and our worldviews are packaged up into a tangible object to share, to be admired, and to start new relationships between people."

Many of the people interviewed described themselves as makers not crafters. This is a term that I think is starting to become more popular. I like the DIY connotation and it has a broader context than crafter. The article about indie craft shows by Susan Beal was one of my favorite chapters. It shows the progression of how the new indie shows started out in small ways and morphed into a movement all over the country. The Strange Folk Festival and the Craft Mafia shows here in St. Louis are the best representations of these shows in this area and I was proud to be a part of them last year.

I would totally recommend this book to anyone who loves reading about art and design but more importantly wants to see some amazing pictures of fellow handmade advocates around the country.


Handmade Mother's Day

My family is pretty used to get handmade presents from me now. I like to think that I am seen as giving thoughtful and unique gifts. I have had some big hits and a few misses, just like everything else in life. My mom is one of the hardest people to buy for since she really does have everything. She is also a big shopper so if there is anything she actually needs there is little chance that she will wait until a holiday comes around for someone to give it to her. She started collecting frogs like 10 years ago which was great for the first 5 years. I could just look for some quirky frog related item to give her. Unfortunately everyone else had the same idea so the house is now full to the rafters with all things frog related.

My mother in law is much easier. I talked about what a sweet mother in law I have in this post. She loves gift cards to Target or Office Max which I will usually supplement with something handmade for the personal touch.

This year for Mother's day I'm giving them both yummy products from fellow blogger and maker of all things delicious smelling The Soap Seduction. She has an etsy shop here but it looks like she is filling up an Artfire shop to make her home base. Mom is getting the lovely rose soap above with a soy candle and sugar bubbles all in the black currant scent. Betty is getting the Marley and me soap, her favorite movie from the past year, with a matching candle and soap bubbles in strawberries and cream. While I was at it I couldn't pass up the yarn ball soap trio in her shop for myself.

I got my mother in law a locket and a heart book mark from Hub Girl's shop for Christmas. I love this rose book mark which would make a great gift inside Mom's favorite author's newest title.

I recently bought 2 of zcatstudiocreation's Print NotePad and Assorted Pen Sets. One is a birthday gift for my sister and a more manly one for my Dad. He is always scribbling notes on random scraps of paper and I thought it would be nice if he had a handy notepad to keep in his truck. It is functional yet lovely which is the perfect gift idea for Mom too. Please share your handmade mother's day ideas while there is still time to use them.

If anyone would like a knitted Mother's Day gift I would be happy to come up with something perfect for your Mom.


A Not so Good Day

I promise this is the last time I will complain about the construction going on in my office suite. In fact I won't mention it here again until it is completed, whenever that might be. So I had a lovely weekend. I already documented Saturday and Sunday was nice as well. I gorged myself on ham and the most amazing brisket my brother in law made, ate too much candy, and relaxed with the in laws. My chest cold of 3 weeks was practically gone, or so I thought. I go to work today, a cold and drizzly day with layer upon layer of dust, soot, and drywall everywhere. Everyone was like "oh you're feeling better finally" and then 2 hours into the day I was hacking up a lung again. Then the banging started which I really can't complain about since at least they were making some progress finally but my head was pounding by hour 4. To top it off it was the opening day of Fall registration, which means an onslaught of students. I will say that that the students were all pretty prepared today. Usually the ones who make it in on day 1 are the eager and organized but still it was a lot of walking around the maze of the office, finding files, and counselors getting in each others way.

I brought my camera on Friday to document the chaos. As my colleague said, at least we'll have proof if we all get emphysema. The shot above is the view from straight ahead of my office as I was standing in my doorway. The other view is the pile of stuff that has been sitting in the middle of my side of the suite for the past 3 weeks. Every day they bring more supplies in but they never actually finish anything so the pile keeps getting bigger. It's been almost 2 months now and they are supposed to be done by May 1 or they lose some $$ so hopefully things will start to pick up. I really am getting sick of hearing myself complain about it but I can't seem to stop. I will stop venting now and I promise to return to your regularly scheduled crafty blog tomorrow.


A Good Day

So I actually had a good day today. It's been awhile so I thought it was worth documenting. What may you ask does a good day look like to Paige. (yes, I did just refer to myself in the 3rd person.) Well let me lay it out for you. First off I got to sleep in which was particularly nice since we were out late last night visiting with some friends. We got to catch up with Kudas, one of Mike's oldest friends who is one of the most animated people I've ever known and always tells a great story.

So after getting up at 11:00 and eating a leisurely breakfast, I watched an hour or so of TV and knitted and then went out and got the eggs and dying essentials. I spent $30 on 3 dozen eggs, 2 kits, tissue paper, and vinegar. If you're going to do something you might as well do it right. I picked up Anh and we spent a couple of hours in an egg dying frenzy. Ani decided that we had created the best eggs in North America. She didn't want to go out on a limb and say the whole world but she gave us this continent. I agree that we had created some damn fine eggs. We used the marbling technique I discovered which is done by adding a tablespoon of olive oil with the vinegar. It creates a cool effect by leaving splotches in the dye. We tried the tissue paper technique but it was less impressive by our standards. Anh was not going clubbing after dying eggs as her outfit, including spiked belt and chains, might suggest. She was just going to Grandma's house but she is ever the stylish little diva.

After this Mike and I went out to the Indian restaurant in U-City that we rarely get to and had lamb which was cooked perfectly. From there we went to a coffee shop and watched Ryan Spearman play folk music. He went to high school with Mike and they recently reconnected through facebook. They are now sharing a booking agent since Mike also connected with a guy on FB that has offered to work with the bloolights to set up some gigs. We met his wife who was a very sweet free spirit who sews and is obviously a big handmade supporter as well. I gave her my card and hope to see her again at some open mics that Mike will be going to play at.

When I got home I discovered that I had gotten Handmade Nation: The Rise of DIY, Art, Craft, and Design and a few other books I had bought on-line recently. I'll review it as soon as I get a chance to read it.

Mike and I then watched The Office on DVR, ate some white cheddar cheese popcorn, and drank a white Russian. That my friends, was a very good day. I have been in somewhat of a funk so I'm glad to shake it, if only for 24 hours.

(c) Lenox Knits, 2009|Created by NSD