March 31, 2010
Want to know of a way you can use your craft skills to make a difference? My sister, Stephanie, has come up with a great way to get crafty and raise money for breast cancer research as well. Check out “Time Invested Toward Painting For A Cure”.
The main objective of this project is to sell paintings that have been painted and donated by many different women. One hundred percent of the proceeds go to breast cancer research. The thing that makes these paintings unique is that instead of using paint brushes, the artists paint with their breasts.
Yes, you read me correctly, these paintings are painted with breasts.
It took me about ten minutes to warm up to the idea when Stephanie first proposed it to me, but now I am totally on board. As a matter of fact, I finished my painting yesterday and hope to have it in the mail to her by the end of the week!
You don’t have to be a master painter to join us in this project. All you need is a stretched canvas, some non-toxic washable paint, and a desire to help find a cure for cancer. If you have lost a loved one to cancer, like we and so many others have, you know what a battle this disease presents. Let’s join together and fight back!
If you’d like to be a part of T.I.T.P.F.A.C., you can email Stephanie at firstname.lastname@example.org. The first event will be the Relay For Life in Richmond Hill, GA on April 16. If all goes well, they hope to be at the Race For The Cure in Savannah, GA on April 17.
March 30, 2010
All that talk last Friday about Easter bonnets led me to recall a crafty Easter project from my past. Easter was drawing near, and my mother set the idea of an Easter hat tree before us. I believe it was an idea that originally came from my great Aunt Edna, who is a crafty queen in her own right. What resulted was a wonderfully tacky little Easter hat tree that is a great family project, or even a good long afternoon project for the kids to do once the Easter egg hunt is over and the adults are ready for a nap.
Here’s what you’ll need:
small Styrofoam cups
small tree branch with multiple limbs – one that looks like a small tree
poster paint and brushes
craft notions (ex: feathers, sequins, ribbons, buttons, etc.)
Preheat your oven to 300 degrees and arrange the Styofoam cups upside-down on a cookie sheet.
Place cups in oven. They will shrink and curl into small hat-like shapes. My cups took only about 3-4 minutes, so watch carefully. You may have a few “duds” to toss out, but that’s okay. Just do another batch.
Decorate your hats however you wish, using your paints, craft glue and crafty bits. I stuck with mostly bright Easter-y colors, but you could definitely alter your color scheme for other holidays. As you can tell from the picture below, I always save those little extra buttons and beads that come with new cloths, and I raided that stash for this project.
Take your tree branch, making sure it is clear of all leaves and dirt, and spray paint it. I went with white spray paint, but like I said before, you could go with whatever color you want.
Cut a piece of floral foam that will sit tightly into your flower pot. Insert the “trunk” of your tree into the center of the foam so that the tree stands straight.
Cover the top of the pot with the floral moss, making sure to hide all of the floral foam. You could use any type of covering that you’d like. A bag of inexpensive jellybeans (that you don’t intend to eat) might be a neat idea…
Decorate your tree! Just arrange the little hats on the branches, and you’re done. 🙂
I tried to use mostly things that I already had on hand for this project. The flower pot, spray paint, tree branch, buttons, ribbon, and sequins were things I already had. I did have to purchase the floral foam and moss, but for the most part this was a very inexpensive project. If I had to make one change, I would have chosen a shorter tree branch. This one is just a little too tall.
March 29, 2010
In my “First Ever Treacle and Ink Giveaway” I passed along a set of Easter eggs that were made from my fabric set – that is, the set of fabrics from which I made my own tablecloth set last summer. This was before I got my sewing machine, the one I had previously had been broken beyond repair, and so I did the entire set by hand. Yep, just me, a needle and thread, and endless Jane Austen movies and classic BBC Miniseries. It was quite an undertaking, and at one point I really began to wonder if I had it in me to see the project all the way through. Thankfully, I did manage to finish it, and just a short while later, my sweet husband gifted me with a sewing machine.
The time has come to share with you my tablecloth, the one that started it all! As you can see, the color inspiration came from my curtains since they were already in the kitchen. 🙂
March 26, 2010
An email from my pastor this morning reminded me that this Sunday is Palm Sunday. Wait a minute, where did that come from? That means that next Sunday is Easter Sunday, and it just seems a little too soon for Easter to be here already. Palm Sunday really sneaked up on me this year.
As I was thinking about Holy Week, I was reminded of Irving Berlin’s Easter Parade:
In your Easter bonnet, with all the frills upon it,
You’ll be the grandest lady in the Easter Parade…
Now, of course, the point of the Easter season is the celebration of the loving sacrifice that Christ made for us. However, it also brings back childhood memories of bright sunny Easter mornings, waking up to see what the Easter Bunny had left during the night, and getting all dressed up in our new Easter dresses before heading out to church, and then to a big lunch with family. Sometimes the Easter dresses were accompanied by special accessories like…dare I say it…hats!
I love hats. I don’t have terribly many, but I love to have an occasion to wear one. I watch British films with envy when they include wedding scenes, because hats at such functions appear to be the standard over there, and not so much over here. A few weeks ago, this week’s Featured Friday seller was featured in Etsy’s Handmade Portraits, and I greatly enjoyed the segment. So, without further ado, here’s this week’s Featured Fridays seller, Topsy Turvy Design!
Store Name: Topsy Turvy Design
Tag Line: I Make Hatties!
First Name: Kim
Physical Location: Oakland, California
Inventory: “Costume Accessories for Stage, Film & Play”…hats, hats, hats!
These hats are something else. No, I really mean that. You won’t be able to swing by your nearest department store and pick up a hat that rivals anything you will find at Topsy Turvy Design. They are vibrant, whimsical, colorful, and full of life. Kim’s toppers come in a wide range of sizes, from the Mini Rhinestone Top Hat and small peacock feather hair clips, to the Seafaring Pirate Hat. Her shop is full of wonderful photography featuring gorgeous models showing off her beautiful creations. Be sure to check it out! And just to whet your appetite, here are a few of my favorites.
While I’m not suggesting you grab one to wear to church on Easter Sunday (who would be able to focus on the sermon with one of these awesome hats in the room?), I definitely think you can find find an occasion for at least one. 🙂
March 25, 2010
As you know, I have been struggling with a little case of motivational paralysis in regards to my sewing endeavors. This is not a great thing, since most of the items I sell require sewing. However, it has afforded me an opportunity to look inwardly and try to better understand my creative self.One thing I know for sure, I enjoy being creative in multiple ways. I’m an actor, musician, and crafter (sewing in this case), but I also love to cook and invent new recipes, draw, and write. I relish opportunities to be creative in new ways, whether it’s visiting a pottery painting studio, or discussing a film project with my hubby. It’s this desire to always try new things that got me thinking and lead me to the conclusion that I get bored with the same thing after a while. I’d always thought that, when those lulls came, perhaps I had just finished my ride of inspiration on that
particular creative wave, and that’s probably still true sometimes. But now I’m thinking that, in some other cases, I just get bored.
So instead of trying to face this problem head-on, I’m going to attack from a different angle. Instead of focusing onsewing, I’m going to turn my energies to something completely different: creative writing.
Two nights ago I was trying to fall asleep, and unfortunately, we had watched a particularly suspenseful movie shortly before bedtime. That’s always bad for me because it keeps my mind racing. I asked Adam to make up a nice story to tell me so I could have that on my mind instead. He very kindly obliged, and strung together a very few words. It wasn’t Shakespeare, but it was enough to get the wheels in my head turning. I think his little germ of an idea would make a great children’s story, so that is what I have set out to write.
Hopefully, by giving my sewing a rest for a bit, I’ll be able to return to it soon with renewed vigor.
March 24, 2010
If you’ve taken the time to visit my Etsy shop, you know my need for fabric. That’s my primary crafting medium for my goodies at Treacle and Ink. So, of course I was excited to see that Kim over at Everything Etsy was having a fabric giveaway! The winner of the giveaway will receive a $30 gift certificate to Above All Fabric.
Also, from now until the end of the month, you can get 20% off of your order if you enter the code “Everything” at checkout time. How cool!
Now, I know that the more people who enter the giveaway, the less my chances are of winning it. But really, what kind of a friend would I be if I kept this info to myself? Good luck!
March 23, 2010
Some days, I just feel craftier than others.
I have another set of stuffed Easter eggs that I am wanting to list in my shop. They have been pieced together and stuffed. The only thing that remains to finish them is to sew them closed. I have been carrying them around with me for about a week now, planning on finishing them, but so far, nothing.
Why? It really won’t take that long to just sew them up. It’s not a strenuous activity.
I just don’t feel like it.I have only recently begun to pay attention to where my inspiration comes from and what things put me in the crafty mood. One thing I know for sure: I craft better if I have my morning coffee. I can focus better on what I am doing, and I can get more done. I’m not going to make excuses for it, or apologize for it. That’s just the way it is. I went off of coffee completely for about three weeks, and it totally interrupted my rhythm.
I also craft better if I don’t feel like there are other things that I need to get done first. A sink full of dirty dishes? Those need to get done. Dirty laundry? Those need to get done – although I will admit I have forgone many a load of laundry in the pursuit of more creative activities if I felt like I was on a roll. You have to ride the wave of inspiration when it hits, or you just might miss what it’s bringing!
Alas, at the present time, I can neither diagnose the cause of my slump, nor prescribe a remedy. I’m just waiting for it to pass. In the mean time, I would love to hear any suggestions that you may have for getting out of this slump. Is there something that you do to inspire a creative mindset? Leave me a comment
March 22, 2010
“It is a truth universally acknowledged,” that I am a Jane Austen fan.
I have at least one copy of each of her novels, along with at least one film version of each…two each of Persuasion, Sense and Sensibility, and Pride & Prejudice. Three years ago, I dressed as Elizabeth Bennet for Halloween, and my dog’s name…
I was introduced to Austen by a friend who lent me her copy of Pride and Prejudice my freshman year in college. Shortly thereafter, the Ang Lee version of Sense and Sensibility hit theaters, and I was hooked. There is just something about the way Austen writes about her time of courtesy, manners and honor that draws me in every time.
Last night, I was so glad to have a “new” Jane Austen story to experience. Lost in Austen is a British TV miniseries that follows the adventure of Amanda Price, a 21st century girl who is also a lover of Austen, as she meets, and then trades places with Elizabeth Benet thanks to a magical hidden door in her apartment.
I know, I know, sounds cheesy, right? It took me about ten minutes to get into the movie, but once I did, I was in it for good. This was such a fun movie! As soon as Amanda and Lizzy trade places, things begin to change. One of the obvious questions is, if Elizabeth is in 21st century London, what happens to Mr. Darcey? And Mr. (ugh) Collins? If she is not there to encourage Jane in the pursuit or Mr. Bingley, do they end up together? And for Amanda’s part, how does a girl with 21st century manners adapt to the manners of the late 18th century, all the while trying desperately to keep the story progressing as it is supposed to?
If you’re a Jane Austen fan, take the time to catch this new modern twist. As I said, it was originally made as a four-part TV miniseries, but I watched it on Netflix, and it ran right under three hours. You will get more of the humor if you are familiar with the book or story, and they make references to the BBC version starring Colin Firth which made me giggle. Remember Colin Firth’s afternoon swim??
With that said, my husband, who also thoroughly enjoyed the movie, was of the opinion that Lost in Austen would be a great way to introduce those who are less familiar to the world of Jane Austen.
Oh, and rumor has it that they are in pre-production for a Hollywood remake of this film. (thanks to guardian.com.uk for that tid-bit)
A quick Google search directed me to this website where you can watch it online. As of right now, if you have Netflix, it’s on Instant Watch. Let me know if you get a chance to see it. I’d love to hear your opinion!
March 19, 2010
It’s hard to believe that the end of the week has already arrived again. Every time I sit down to write a Featured Friday post, I feel like I just wrote one the day before. Is it a good thing that the weekend comes so quickly, or a bad thing that the weeks are flying by? Hmmm…
Anyway, let’s get to this week’s Featured Fridays shop!
Store Name: Butterfly Blue Designs
First Name(s): Kristin, Liz and Heidi
Physical Location: Silverton, Oregon
Inventory: “Butterfly Blue specializes in high quality unique hand-crafted designs.”…which means a variety of super cute handmade items, from shirts and hats, to items for your baby or favorite four-legged friend.
As I promised in Monday’s post, “How To – Coffee Cup Sleeve”, today I am going to give you the rest of the story of my coffee cup sleeve adventure. Like I said, I had been thinking that I would like to have one for about two weeks before I finally sat down last Friday and put together the sleeve that I featured in that tutorial. Just about the time I got to Step #4, where you sew the fabric and batting together, I got a call from my husband. He had been pretty active on Ebay last week and wanted me to check the mail to see if any of his packages had arrived. He had, in fact, three packages that day, and he asked me to immediately open up one in particular.
Upon opening the package in question, the first thing I noticed was that it did not come from an Ebay seller, but from an Etsy seller. As I turned the package upside down, out slipped, you guessed it, the prettiest little coffee cup sleeve. All I could do was laugh! He had no idea that I was in the middle of making one at that very minute, and I was just so touched that he had secretly created his own Etsy account and made his very first purchase of a gift for me. And where did that sleeve come from? Butterfly Blue Designs!
What a cute shop this is! Along with the variety of coffee cup sleeves they have, they also have a neat collection of tooth fairy pillows – with hangers – which I imagine might come in very handy for a less-than-stealthy tooth fairy. There are also a number of must-haves for the true OSU fan. Being from Texas, I probably shouldn’t mention that, but in this case I’ll make an exception. 🙂 One of the things that led my husband to purchase from Butterfly Blue Designs is their wonderful photography. Yet another confirmation that great photos are essential to Etsy success (something I’m still working on).
For more ideas of some of the things you can find in their shop, take a look at a few of my favorites. The first one is my new coffee cup sleeve!
*In case you are wondering about the fate of the sleeve that was featured in my tutorial, I embroidered it with pink initials and gifted it to a friend.
March 18, 2010
As I have mentioned before, my hubby can not resist the power of a good deal. Sometimes, this has lead to questionable purchases, such as the 10 lb bag of rice that we bought on our first grocery shopping trip as a married couple. A year later, we were still trying to finish that bag… Other times, such as this past weekend, it has lead to great things.
See, along with being an actor/crafter, I am also a musician. Actually, I have been a musician longer than anything else, almost 25 years now. (Yikes! Putting it like that makes me feel old!) I’ve explored music as an instrumentalist, a vocalist, and eventually as a composer/arranger. Over the years, I’ve used various computer programs to “record” my compositions, but those programs were really better for printing and publishing sheet music, and not so much for getting a nice sounding recording.
When we moved here to Texas, and Adam began his new job, he was given a very nice Mac Book Pro that came with… ta-da! Garageband! This program is leaps and bounds ahead of any other music software I had ever used! And the best part is, it comes standard with the computer! So far, I have enjoyed many hours working with this program on the weekends. Since it is on his work computer, I can only use it when he is home.
But sometimes, I just need to be alone with my creativity.
Enter Trader’s Village. I think I’ve mentioned this place before. It’s a HUGE flea market just a few miles away from our house. This weekend, as we were strolling along the never-ending aisles of vendors, Adam’s eyes lit up as he spotted a Power Mac G4. After doing his best wheeling-and-dealing, He purchased it for $30.
It was in pretty rough shape when we first got it home and plugged it in, but, being the computer savvy tech guru that my husband is, a few evenings of work and research, and a new monitor purchase later, I now have a clean, fully-operational Mac at my disposal to work on my music at any time of the day! I’m so excited! Maybe I’ll pass along some samples to you in the future…we’ll see. 🙂