Sunday, December 28, 2008

Plastic Bags the War

We all know about my ongoing campaign against the plastic grocery store bag.  They are terrible for the environment and few people recycle them.  I'm driving the bandwagon for the eco-friendly shopping bags because I'm SO bad about remembering to bring the plastic bags back to the store to be recycled.  I can't possibly throw them away so what to do with them?  I bought one of those metal things that you put up and then stuff the bags in them and take them out.  Well, we had so many bags stuffed under the kitchen sink that the thing soon became completely full and you couldn't get anything in OR out of the thing.  The solution, of course, is to not bring home any of the plastic bags but what to do with them if you do bring home a plastic bag and don't want to buy an expensive and unnecessary gadget for housing plastic bags?  A checker at a grocery store said that in lieu of the gadget, his mom uses kleenex boxes.  She then puts the bags in the kleenex box and then when she's ready to use a bag she takes the bag out of the box like a kleenex.  If she wants to take the bags back to the store to recycle it's a lot easier to pack up a kleenex box and take it to the store than one of those silly metal gadgets.

This also begs the question, maybe I should stop talking to so many strangers?

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

A Crafty Little Christmas Part II

As I reflect on A Crafty Little Christmas, I'm now searching for shortcuts to the gifts.  For Whisking you a Merry Little Christmas, rather than coming up with your own cookie mix just go to the store and buy a pre-mixed cookie or brownie mix.  You could do cocoa with mugs as well.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Have Yourself a Crafty Little Christmas/Chanukah

So the economy is in the stinker.  I can't help but wear my accidental environmentalist and cheapskate-ness on my sleeve.  If you're near and dear to me, stop reading, or this will be a Christmas Day spoiler.

My siblings and I have had a $50 limit for a while but this year I'm going to make my $50 stretch as far as it will go by recycling and using things around the house.  It's more of an experiment to see just how much quality stuff I can get out of my $50.  Christmas should be about giving things that people wouldn't normally buy or make because they don't have time or the ability.  The commercial aspect of Christmas has really driven the heart part underground so when I say "things around the house" that sounds cheap and crappy but there are some pretty cool things you can do and A LOT of them for under $50.

I've had crafty little Christmas' before and if you're looking at this list hoping for inspiration the night before Christmas, be prepared for a long night.  I started my prep for Crafty Little Christmas back in July and have started putting things together lately.  Today is November 14, if you're reading this today, "git 'er done".

Here is my workshop list:

1.  Stick it in Your Ear:  This Year's Soundtrack; I'm making a cd of the top 15 tunes I've listened to all year.  I listen to NPR in the car, downloaded tunes and pod casts every where else and the only time I hear anything new is at a movie or in a trendy shop where I probably don't fit in anyway so I would love to hear what other people are listening to.  A mixed tape would be an awesome gift.  Don't think too hard about what the recipient would like, give them your top 15!  Don't even think about buying a new CD jewel case!  Make your own origami cd case or take two pieces of fabric, sew together, turn right side out and hem for a quick cd case.

2.  A whisk, a wooden spoon, an old spaghetti sauce jar and the dry fixings for cookies with your cookie recipe.  Oh yea, tag it with "Whisking you a Merry Christmas or Happy Chanukah".

3.  I'm making my own notebooks out of recycled paper, using the comb binder I now own and unique things for notebook covers like cereal boxes, VHS boxes, cake mix boxes etc.  You get the idea.

4.  Bath mitts.  For the kids I bought NEW towels and I'm making them into bath mitts with eyes and fins.  I'm sure Martha can help you embellish but very simply, just trace your hand onto a towel, give yourself about an inch for seam allowance and to make it ridiculously big for bath tub scrubbing.

5.  Tree ornaments.  I'm using scraps of fabric to make all sorts of new ornaments for people's trees but in fabric that is trendy/decorator/suits their fancy.  My sister in-law really likes Mickey so guess what she's getting?

6.  Sweater buddies.  For $1 or $2 at a thrift store, you can pick up a nice, shrunken sweater that can be easily dismantled and turned into a stuffed animal.  Martha (of course) has the instructions: (tip: search for one of a kind woolen gifts).

7.  Yeah, people will probably get shopping bags from me this year.  Go green or go home.

8.  iPod cozies.  Take the stuff you didn't use off the shrunken sweater from your sweater buddy in #6 and make a cozy to keep iPods safe.

9.  Pre-made scrap book pages.  I'll be the first to admit that it's not that I don't enjoy my family and it's not that I don't like scrap booking, I'm just not very good at it.  I would love somebody to commandeer my pictures or just give me pages and say "here, put your pictures in here".

10.  New stockings.  I'm making new stockings and resisting all temptations to put names and years on the stockings.  The thing about Christmas stockings is that some people cling to their sock with great sentimentality and some of us want to shake it up a little bit every year.  Why not give a stocking that can be given away as a re-gift for the next year or handed down to a child?

11.  Frozen dinners.  Don't grimace.  I love this.  Make a huge batch of chili and save off two nights in containers as a gift for somebody.  It kind of sounds lame, unless of course you have kids and a full time job and then it sounds like a little piece of Heaven.

12.  Hand shaped cookies.  Back in my magnetism posts I went over what grandparents go "Wow!" over.  If you thought they liked junior on the fridge, just wait until you trace his/her hand onto a piece of paper and then use that as a template for sugar cookies.  Give grandparents little hands they really can nibble on and you will have a winner for sure.

And that exhausts my creative list.  Somebody is going to have to come up with a list for me to work off next year.  As soon as I have pictures, I'll start posting.  In the meantime, people, please add to the list!

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Special Olympics Scarves

Do you want to volunteer for the Special Olympics?  Can you knit or crochet?  Well, I have a project for you!  The organizers are looking for 5000 scarves to give each of the athletes.  So far, they have over 1000 and need quite a few before the games start in February.  If you're interested, click the link embedded in the title of this blog entry!  Scarves are due by January 15, 2009.

How Martha is Getting Me into Trouble This Week

I saw an episode of Martha Stewart a few weeks ago where they did a simple embroidery with felt.  I'm hooked.  Just one more way for me to put stuff on my eco-smart canvas shopping totes.  I made one for myself for the zoo.  It's unbelievably easy and incredibly addictive.    Anyway, this is what has been keeping me from posting lately!

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Black and White Issues

Black and white weddings are really popular and with good reason.  I don't know of a more exquisite color scheme.  I've had a lot of orders from brides lately and one of them is having a black and white wedding.  She ordered a gift for a bridesmaid from me and then posted my shop on a wedding forum.  I was pretty thrilled just to get posted somewhere else! I got so excited (probably a little too much so) that I decided I would make an eye mask in a black and white damask fabric.

Yeah, that turned into bookmarks, coffee cup sleeves and of course, magnets.  I started thinking about the eye masks though.  It's a great 30 minute project and Martha (of course) has a template.

My thought process wandered from there.  I have a book with a template for an eye mask in it but I don't dare use it because it strictly forbids using any of the patterns for re-sale items.  Okay, I get it.  Copyright protection is a good thing but how far is too far on some of this stuff?  I'm really glad Mr. Business Card didn't copyright the shape of his business cards it would cost me a bloody fortune every time the kids wanted a 2"x3" rectangle cut.

When does something become non-unique enough that we no longer need to worry about copyrights?  I have my own bag patterns that I have created, and I'm really very fond of them, but is it really necessary?  If I invent a new wheel and even if the wheel is similar enough to the old wheel but new enough to garner interest, have I broken an agreement I may or may not be aware of with Mr. Wheel?  When is my interpretation of the wheel different enough for me to sell my own?  What expectations should we have for a genius idea like the wheel?  Shouldn't I be happy everybody else wants to make their own?  My kids are pretty good looking.  Should I investigate protecting their image now?  If they run for public office someday, I could make a mint off every campaign button.  Maybe that's the problem, the desire for money outweighs common sense.

Why isn't it more of  a simple black and white issue?  I need a lawyer.  Especially if Martha sues me for linking to her website.  Please don't sue me Martha.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Just stuff it....

I'm a purger.  Even though my office desk is a bit messy, I generally don't like to keep things.  Once it's been used to its fullest potential, I donate, recycle or throw it out.

Even though I'm a purger, I still like to do things in a conservative or ecosmart way.  When I started my side business I realized just how expensive it is to start anything up.  In order to sell things you need to have things to sell.  That seems simple enough.  So, I had to buy supplies.  The more I got to know the industry, the better I was able to understand the demand and what people are looking for.  In handbags, people are usually looking for something extraordinary and that means, for me, using a lot of designer fabrics.

Designer fabrics are expensive.  They are typically about $5 more per yard than fabric you would pick up at a local craft/fabric store.  These fabrics are not carried at local fabric stores like JoAnn or Hancock Fabrics, you have to either order them online or go to a specialty quilt shop.  The first time I used one of these designer fabrics, I was very careful.  When I finished making whatever I was making I had scraps left over.  I felt a pang that a purger rarely feels.

I couldn't just throw the little scraps away but what would I ever use them for?  The same thing with thread.  I go through a lot of it and a lot ends up getting cut off the end of a seam.  At first I had to just resolve to throw it away and then I came up with an alternative, stuff it.

Now, when I sew, I keep a small bin next to my sewing machine and throw scraps into it.  I can always dig through it and grab a scrap for a covered button etc. but if it doesn't get used in a timely manner, I take the scraps and put it in the middle of things I make for the kids.  My example here is a little globe.  I made one for both of the kids and while the outer, cushy stuff is fiberfill, the core of the globe is made up of scraps I used.  

It's my way of saving some money and reducing what I put into the garbage.  Yeah, I used the globe as an example because I'm a bit amused that the directions called for the hole for the stuffing to be located in Antarctica.  Just in case that one flew by you, think ozone.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Eco-Smart Ideas

As you are aware, I love to post my eco-smart ideas and findings in my blog.

I saw the best one yet today at a Thai food place. A woman walking out of the restaurant carried out a large, quart sized yogurt container. I couldn't help but wonder, why on earth did she have a yogurt container in her hand? It took me a minute and then it dawned on me, the eco-smart solution for styrofoam carry out containers is to bring your own re-usable container.

Why didn't I think of that?? If you're going out to eat you already know the portions are going to be too large (unless you go to one of those places with cloth tablecloths) so why not bring your own carry out/to-go container?

Just another "duh Nik" moment.

A Weighty Subject

So, I have been trying to lose the weight I gained from the last baby, who is almost 15 months old.  When I hit the 12 month mark I realized I needed help because it just was not happening.  I enlisted the support of a health coach.  The health coach help me set the initial goals, one of which was food logging.  This is, essentially, how I lost the weight from the first baby.  Food logging is a great tool and to be more successful my coach advised me to carry a food journal with me in my purse.

Then, I discovered a number of other useful things for the food log.

While at lunch by myself, I doodled ideas for a new logo for my gear, in my food log.
I then saved my fortune cookie fortune and later taped it into my food log.
I jotted down some things I needed to remember for work, in my food log.
I clipped out some magazine pictures with gift ideas for the kids and put them in my food log.
Writing down blog ideas took up another page, in my food log.
Price comparisons are really going to help me shop and I'll keep them in my food log!
Pictures of inspirations travel destinations will help inspire me, in my food log.
Funny things the kids say have been written in my food log.
Interesting findings about my car's fuel consumption are a good entry for my food log.

As you can see, this food log has been enormously helpful keeping me organized.  If I had different logs for each item, say one for gift ideas, one for car mileage, one for reminders and one for fortune cookies, my bag would be full of little notebooks.  Instead, one log is fantastic for all of my needs in one place.  I'm even going to start tracking my goofy expenditures that I don't need to make like mocha purchases.

I noticed I haven't logged any of my nutrition notes in my food log yet.  My coach isn't going to like this.  But honestly, why lie?  I'm not losing weight not because of my food log failings but because I like cookies.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Patriotic Pinwheels

Pinwheels. These are so easy to make you will slap your hand to your forehead for buying the ones in the store.

I did this activity with my 4.5 year old but he was more interested in constructing other things with the fancy paper scissors. A more goal focused 4 year old would like this and the 5-10 year old set would love this.

Ingredients needed: 12"x12" scrapbook paper, scissors, pin (a sewing pin or a long push pin), small craft beads, "fun" foam, pencil eraser or a wine cork (yeah, I know) and a straw.

How to:

1. Cut the 12"x12" piece of paper into (4) 6"x6" pieces. You now have paper for either 4 pinwheels or 2 pinwheels with decorative paper on both sides. If you want the decorative paper on both sides, glue 2 of the pieces together (blank sides together).

2. If you opted for the 4 piece with blank side and decorative side, do something to jazz up the blank side like writing something on the inside. For my patriotic pinwheels I wrote up the Gettysburg Address on a few and the Preamble of the U.S. Constitution and part of the Declaration of Independence on another. This would be a good way to get your child to study and read documents like this...make them copy it, it's bound to stick, right?

3. Fold the paper in half both ways (length and width) to mark the center.

4. Use a screw top from a water bottle to make a circle at the center of the paper.

5. Cut diagonally from each corner to the edge of the circle (4 cuts); this is where I like to use the cool patterned type paper scissors.

6. Take the sewing pin and put it through a small piece of foam, then through one small bead.

7. When you cut your paper you ended up with four triangles connected to the circle. Take ONE corner from each triangle and put the pin through the corner. If you use the left corner, use the left corner from all of the triangles.

8. Now that you have all of the corners pinned, put the pin through the center of the paper and you should now have something that looks like a pinwheel.

9. Put the pin through another bead and then through the straw and then sink it into a pencil eraser cut off from a pencil or a piece of cork from last night's wine bottle (the goal here is to keep the pin from poking you as you play with the pinwheel).

10. Now you have a pinwheel. If you want the pinwheel longer, put a long 14" lollipop stick (craft store) or a match (yeah, cut off the red strike area) through the straw.

You could embellish the whole thing by tying ribbon around the handle etc.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Tote Your Vote

Just in case you haven't been to my Etsy shop in a little while, in a few short hours I'll be uploading the first "Tote Your Vote" bag. The bags will be $12.50, of which, $5 from EVERY "Tote Your Vote" bag sale will go directly to the Barack Obama Presidential campaign. Once I hit my $2300 personal contributer maximum I plan, right now, to stop selling the bags. Since contributions to the primary campaign and national campaign each have their own contribution maximums, I am starting over at $0 so I should be making and selling bags from now until November.

Tell your friends! Buy a bag! Voting and participating in the electoral process is one of the most patriotic things you can do. You're sending a message that the right to vote is not being taken for granted. It wasn't always this way, we didn't always have the right to vote, particularly those of us who are women and minorities.

Oh, and thanks Mom for the "Tote Your Vote" slogan. I'm going to use it ad nauseum or to the point it makes everybody sick, whichever comes first.

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Magnetism IV

I might have to sell this as a supply on Etsy. Take an adhesive backed magnet and apply the glue size to one of those pocket sized first aid kits. You now have a readily accessible first aid kit in your kitchen and won't have to scramble to the bathroom if you cut yourself.

Friday, June 6, 2008

Magnetism Part III

I found magnets on sale today when I went to the office store for foam poster board. Not good. I bought 23 packages of magnets. Each package has 50 magnets the size of a business card. Each package weighs about 1 pound....they're magnets, they're heavy. The best part of the story? I parked 1/2 mile away to get some exercise. As I was about to cross a busy intersection where tall buildings make an urban canyon, a guy walking by noticed the poster board and warned me that there was a fierce wind tunnel in the intersection and to be careful. Are you kidding me? I was weighed down by 23 extra pounds of magnets and I'm not piglet!

I'm just glad I wore sensible shoes today.

Sunday, May 25, 2008


I took our youngest shopping with me today (the oldest gave me a big thumbs down and watched cartoons with his dad all afternoon.) The store was busy and it took a long time to get somebody to check us out in one department. (I would have left but the lady seemed kind of desperate to keep me there and I was amused that my child was bothering other people and that the store knew it was their fault.) After 5 patient minutes of waiting, the little one started to REALLY meltdown. I tried to find a new toy but had nothing new for him. I did, however, have change in my purse and a prescription bottle. I emptied the contents of the bottle into my purse and put a quarter inside the bottle and then handed it to the screaming 1 year old. I now see the error in my ways. He never got the bottle open but he spent 15 DEDICATED (and very quiet) minutes trying and people walked by, gasped and pointed. I'm not sure how many times I can win worst mother award in a row. Next time, I'll put a cookie in the bottle and then open it for him so that all of those gasping and pointing, holier than me people can be more horrified when he eats the cookie. I wonder where I can find some hazmat stickers and lab, specimen collection jars to use as his snack can?

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Magnetism Part II

To continue the journey of magnets and art I've branched out to include clothes pins, glass beads or marbles and wood with decoupage.

I've put in several pictures of things I've been working on lately and also a shot of what materials and
tools I've been working with.  To work with children and these materials, I 
highly suggest skipping the xacto knife all together and punching images out of paper with the really cool paper punches they have out now.  

Another way to work with kids and the glass beads is to paper punch circles of cool paper, have the kids add a sticker to the paper, glue the paper and sticker to the underside of the glass bead and then glue the magnet to the back.  The glass beads are definitely a choking hazard so this is probably an age 8 and up thing.  (Well, really, any kid that reaches an age where threats work to keep things out of their mouth.)

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Office Store Purchase with a lot of Uses

You know those magnets that sometimes come on the front of phone books or that they give you at your vet's office and you cherish it because you can never remember your vet's phone number when Fluffy swallows the cat?

I was browsing in an office store once and found that you can buy business card magnets (pack of 50 for $11.99: They are 2"x3" and one side is magnetic and another side is a peel and stick adhesive. So, all you have to do is peel the paper, stick something on there and throw it on your fridge. They come in other shapes too.

I was so stymied by these little gems I became giddy. These solved my major dilemma of never having enough magnets on the fridge (my children find it unacceptable to give up their Leap Frog Fridge magnet letters for my shopping list or even their artwork).

Here's another hint, did you know your exterior doors have metal in between them to keep robbers from throwing their shoulder through your door? I use the magnets for notes to myself as I walk out the door etc. This solved my major dilemma of not having enough stick-able space after I discovered the magnets and pasted them all over the fridge.

For anybody out there that has been living under a rock, like I have, you can find these at your office store and here are just some of the things I have done with them:

1. Bought a super inexpensive coffee table book at a bookstore and cut pictures down to size. I have a whole Monet magnet thing going on now.

2. Then, I decided to start cutting Martha Stewart magazines apart and making those into magnets.

3. I then discovered my heavy duty scissors will cut the magnet to any size I want; hence there are round magnets, heart magnets, shrimp gumbo, shrimp scampi.....

4. Of course, I also stuck every business card I thought I would ever need again on a magnet.

5. What to do with those wallet sized portraits left over from every school picture day and the incessant JC Penney photo studio trip "because I have a coupon"? Slap those on a magnet, grandparents freak out and go nuts over these.

6. Got some awesome scrapbook paper or fabric scraps that you can't bear to part with but honestly, they REALLY are too small to make into a bookmark or card? Yep, slap those on there too. My picture collection below will demonstrate that little project.

7. Know many people who have gotten married or had a baby in the last few years and you can never remember the anniversary or birthday? Collect the wedding invitations, birth announcements etc. and post them on your fridge.

8. Do you have friends on the wagon (or should be)? A good alternative to a bottle of wine you might take to dinner would be a collection of your favorite photos from a book or you can even throw wine labels on there.

9. Make your own save the date magnet cards (why pay somebody else to do it?)

10. For your kids' birthday parties, have the little guests draw a picture on a sheet of paper that is 6" x 9". Lay the magnets adhesive side down on the back side of the picture and then cut it out. Kids will be amazed at the puzzle they just made for their fridge and parents will thank you for not sending their kids home with yet another choking hazard (refer back to Fluffy if you no longer have kids that stick stuff in their mouth or up their nose).

The Queen Elizabeth II magnets are available to buy from my Etsy shop.  100% of sale will go to the Idaho Food Bank.

ECO-friendly Stuff

I have shopping bag totes to bring to the store with me so that I don't waste plastic bags. After a few weeks of using these, I started to wonder what kind of alternatives I had for those ridiculous produce bags I will never use again.

My friends pointed out that I can take the plastic bags back to the store and recycle them, but I'm just too dense to do it and the produce bags, sadly, don't hold up very well.

So, I went in search of a good, re-usable fabric that would be as lightweight as the plastic bags. Guess what you can do with that crappy tulle fabric they put in wedding dresses and fluffy flower girl outfits? It's perfect as a replacement produce bag.

These are very easy to make. Cut a 14" x10" rectangle on the fold so that ifyou unfold it, you have a piece that is 28" x 10". Right sides together (I don't think there are right sides to most tulle but depending on whether or not you get the kind with sparkles and sunshine, this could make a difference) Sew up the long 14" side and then down the other 14" side to make a bag. Then re-sew what you just sewed for strength. Hem the top and if you want, leave enough of an opening to put ribbon through so that you can make a drawstring.

These are really easy to make. If you don't have a sewing machine, I can make them for you fairly cheap. See my Etsy site. (Now, isn't it convenient that I plugged my Etsy site here?)

Monday, May 19, 2008

Bags, Bags and bags

Well look at that. Posting a picture inside a blog isn't nearly as hard as I thought it would be. You just have to use the little icons on the little bar.

Since this blog is all about my creative outlet and the things I'm selling on ETSY, I thought I would post pictures and links to ETSY where you can buy the purse as well as a little bit about the bag. Most of the things I write about the creation of the bag won't be interesting to anybody but me but it's worth noting that I don't have anybody standing over my should telling me what is an isn't interesting.

This bag is one of my favorites. I took a purse pattern that I liked and figured out ways I could like it more. First, I changed the handles (and now the handles don't define the style, it's the shape of the bag that does....I use a lot of different handles for this bag.) The next thing I did to the pattern was to enlarge it. That became the small bag. Then I took the small bag pattern I had made and then re-tooled it to be larger but at the same time, also retain some symmetry. This sounds odd, but even in an asymmetrical design, you still have to have some symmetry or else it just won't look right. For example, if you install tile in your kitchen, tile on your countertops need to be small than the floor tile or else the room looks top heavy and weird. If you use tile on the wall, counter and floor, you should think about the math or else the room will again not quite look right. For example, if you use 12 inch tiles on the floor, you should make the tiles on the countertop a divisor of 12. So, 6, 4, 3, 2, 1 inch tiles would be used. If you use 5 inch tiles then something won't look quite right. Wow, that was more time spent on symmetry than I planned. Oh well, it's my blog. If you're still with me, good for you.

So, where was I? Oh yeah, for the medium sized bag I used good old math and a ruler and made it bigger. This medium sized tote is probably as large as I would ever make a bag for myself. Although, I know lots of people who like even larger bags so I'll probably be breaking out the ruler and math again.

The fabric on this bag is Amy Butler. I was completely blow away when I first saw Amy Butler fabric. My concept of fabrics, particularly those from quilting stores, had always been of soft little florals that suggest a great feminine quality than I'm willing to embrace. Don't get me wrong, I love being a girl, but some of those 1970's and 80's calicos scream 19th century, barefoot and pregnant in the kitchen woman and less the I really hate to cook, 21st century socks on in the kitchen girl that I am. Who are all of the people who are screaming hot during pregnancy, oh I was hot, just not temperature wise. My extremities were like icicles when I was pregnant with both kids born in opposite seasons. I had one hot flash with the youngest. Anyway, the fabric in quilt shops quite frankly scared me. The new fabric designers are such a breath of fresh air. They took a much loved concept, the florals, and paired it with geometry that gives it such a modern flair.

And then there are the Michael Miller scenes that I love so much; but that's another entry.

If you would like to buy a Jane in medium size purse, you can visit me at ETSY or even request something custom. Find a fabric you like and let me know where you found it. Peruse the fabric shops at ETSY. I buy A LOT of stuff from ETSY sellers. One of my favorites is Fabric Supplies by Charlie (see the link at the bottom of the page). He has a great selection and pairs the fabrics so that even the most challenged fabric pairer can't go wrong. I even bought the fabric for this bag from Fabric Supplies. The price was fantastic, selection great and shipping phenomenal.

Gosh, I hope I do this everyday

I like reading other blogs, especially friends and family with kids so that I can see what's going on in their lives.  It irks me when the blog isn't updated frequently enough.  That, of course, begs the question, what kind of blogger will I be?  The everyday variety or the once a month until I forget entirely?

This is a great way to move material in and out of your life though so I hope it's not a passing fancy.  I have some great ideas for homemade gifts, party favors and eco friendly ideas I'm planning on foisting off on all you good people.  This should keep me busy for a while.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

The World of Blog

To be honest with you, this is my first blog. Not just the first blog I have created but the very first blogging I've ever done. To blog is a radical notion for me. It's one of those social networking things that I have been so reluctant to try. I have a mySpace page, but I haven't done much of anything with it. Actually, I set it up to see what students were saying about me once I discovered there were such activities going on. I just received a new iTouch as a gift from my husband. I wasn't looking to upgrade my iPod but well, I've been upgraded. The most important feature in a phone is that it makes and receives calls (don't text me because I can't really do that either). You would think I'm technologically challenged but the reality is, I think, I just reject the newer technologies because they counter my natural tendency to isolate myself. By day I work for a large technology company as an infrastructure analyst (a tech engineer). Before that, I supported servers for this large company. Friends and family are always astonished and bewildered at my detachment from such technological wonders as texting but here I am.

I set up this blog to save my creative ventures in an electronic portfolio. For some weird reason I don't sleep like a normal person and in the eery hours of the morning I'm often sewing. So, I have turned my nocturnal activities into an electronic trade, of sorts. I just started selling on ETSY - you know, the handmade crafters website. You can see my stuff here:

I love the handmade revolution we're seeing. In an age when we need more and more consumer protection from the things we didn't know could harm us 30 years ago (honestly, did any of us ride in a car seat past the age of 2?? The kids from my generation that were in a booster seats when they were 3 were always the ones we suspected would turn out to be paste eaters but now kids are in booster seats until they're 4'9"). Anyway, in the era of consumer protection from things made with toxic chemicals, I have come to love the handmade revolution and have even signed the handmade pledge, which just says we will try to buy handmade gifts etc.

If you haven't been out to ETSY and haven't the foggiest idea what I'm talking about, I urge you to go. I spend a lot of time with the Pounce feature just looking at what people are making out there. There are so many amazing artists selling their creations on ETSY that you will never run out of options. I wander around and window shop but I think my favorite artists are those working with glass. There is so much talent out there! Before you buy another gift card go out and spend some time with the indy crafters!