May 28, 2010
TGIF! Whew, what an emotional roller coaster I have been on this week. I let my employers know that I am officially looking for full-time work, and that was so hard because they are such a sweet family. I had a very promising interview at the bank, but I have not heard anything back from them, and they have already removed the job posting, so now it’s not feeling so promising. And on top of that, over the past year, I have begun to become quite emotional about *once a month*, and this week I almost bought a plane ticket to go to SC this weekend, until I realized that it was Memorial Day weekend. One thing I have learned – never make big decisions when I’m feeling like that. Yay for the weekend!
And on to today’s Featured Fridays’ seller:
Store Name: GreenTrunkClothing
Tag Line: Handmade Reproduction Vintage & Upcycled Clothing
First Name: Jaya
Physical Location: Westchester County, NY/Fairfield County, CT
Inventory: “…OOAK, handmade, clothing and accessories, all inspired by the styles of the past, and all made from upcycled, repurposed, and thrifted materials.”
As you know, I am all about vintage patterns and upcycling. So, of course, fellow TeamCAC member Green Trunk Clothing caught my eye right off the bat. Here are some clothes that would be great on a holiday weekend, such as the one we are quickly approaching. Going on a pic-nic? Grab one of her too-cute sun visors to keep you protected. Staying home and doing some spring cleaning? There is a plethora of aprons to choose from. Going out on the town? How about an upcycled slip dress. And, all of Green Trunk Clothing’s listings have a wonderful vintage feel.
Now, not only does Jaya upcycle and repurpose, so you know you’re doing the environment some good when you purchase from her, but:
“10% of all sales go to suport the WAMAMA Sewing Project of Lake Kivu Christian Center in Goma, DR Congo, E. Africa for more information go to http://www.lkccgoma.com/default.html”
How cool is that? Good for the planet and the people on it!
Be sure to check out Green Trunk Clothing, and while you’re at it, go on over to Green Trunk Designs as well for more cute hats, tote bags, and yoga mat bags. In the mean time, here are a few of my faves.
May 27, 2010
This is not so much a craft post as it is an introspective monologue. So, if you’re really more about the crafts, don’t feel bad about skipping over this post and digging through the archive for some nifty how-to’s to carry you through until my next post.
For those of you who are still with me, thanks! I just wanted to get a little more personal and update you on some choices I have made recently.Before we moved here to Texas, I was working three jobs: Bank Teller, Church Music Director, and Advertising Sales Executive. We moved, and I went from having three jobs, to having one: actor. My dear husband and I agreed that, since we were moving to a much larger area with more opportunity, I would focus on giving acting my best shot, and not be tied down with a full-time job elsewhere. I asked for six months; he gave me two years.
In those two years, I have had some wonderful experiences and met people that I wouldn’t have met otherwise. I have had my first real experiences in front of the camera and have made some great theatre connections. I have made a decent living – by actor standards – which is to say, not a whole heck of a lot.Now, I am approaching 30 and have come to the point where it is time to make a change. We live a good life in a lovely little rental house with two of the sweetest dogs ever. I have nothing to complain about – except that I want a little more than that. I want a house of my own and children of my own. I want the freedom to change my hairstyle and appearance without the expense of getting new headshots made. I want to take kung-fu lessons. I want to start a theatre for the disabled. I want to travel and see more of the world, and maybe fly home to visit my family more often.
These desires all have one thing in common, they cost money. Now, I don’t even like to talk about money, but it is a fact of life. And, as I said before, we do live a good life. But, the only way for us to move forward from where we are now, is to become a true two-income family.
Which brings me full circle. My desire for these “other things in life” has now grown to the point that it outweighs my desire to be a full-time actress. I’m not saying that I’m giving up acting completely. I have no intention of quitting improv, or divorcing Ida Straightshooter, or dropping out of projects that can be worked around my schedule. In fact, I am interested in getting more involved in the theatre scene around here. But, I have also decided that now is the time for me to get settled in at a full-time “real job”.I sent off my resume on Monday to the bank that I was working at before we moved. They have new branches opening up here in DFW, so I thought it might be a good shot. They called me on Tuesday for an interview on Wednesday. That was unexpected. The last time I went job hunting, I looked for four months without being called for a single interview.
So, now I wait. I am hopeful. The sooner I find a good full-time job, the sooner I can begin my next life adventure. It’s an exciting thing to stand at the edge of a new beginning and think of all wonderful possibilities that lay ahead.
“Delight yourself in the LORD and he will give you the desires of your heart.” – Psalm 37:4 (NIV)
I’d love to hear your stories about big life changes you have made. Leave me some comments! Encouragement is especially appreciated. 🙂
May 24, 2010
In my continuing exploration of all things atomic, I stumbled across this website devoted to a truly worthy cause:
Oh pink bathroom, how do I love thee?
Before moving here to the Lone Star state, we were living in a lovely, large ranch style house that my grandparents built. The interior had seen many design changes over the years, but one thing that I remember never changing (at least as long as I have been alive) was the pink bathroom. This oasis featured pink wall and floor tiles, a pink tub and toilet, and duel pink sinks. White and gold accented the pink in the mirrors, counter tops, sconces and wall paper. Two white saloon-style swinging doors separated the sink area from the tub/toilet area. My oh my – that was an awesome bathroom.
And here I thought that bathroom was pretty unique. Little did I know that the pink bathroom was a pretty popular thing back in the day – so much so, that there are many people now who have inherited those pink bathrooms and pledged to preserve them.
Now that we have moved far, far away and have had to bid farewell to that pink bathroom, I must confess that I do miss it. I will dig around and see if I can find a picture of it somewhere. I know I’ve seen pics of my sister and cousin in it getting ready for prom…
Where did this pink craze come from? The Save The Pink Bathrooms website has a great little write-up on the history of this “Mamie Pink” and how it became so popular.
Now, in continuation of my new atomic obsession, I put together a little atomic-themed treasury yesterday morning. Check it out here, and pass along your clicks and comments! And to further whet your appetite, here is a look at my alternates. Happy browsing!
May 22, 2010
I completely fell in love with this set as soon as I saw it, and it was so hard to give them up. I love everything about it – the colors, the pattern, the milk glass, the shape of the plates and texture of the cup handles. As I was doing a little background research on the pattern and maker, I came across an old listing by another Etsy seller for a set that was identical to this one. Glancing through the tags that this seller had chosen, I noticed one that said “atomic.” Curious, I plugged atomic into the Etsy search engine to see what exactly that meant. And so was the beginning of my new obsession.
At the risk of this post becoming a full-blown novel, I’ll try to stick to the main points.
I first became interested in Atomic Design (only I didn’t know it at the time) while playing Fallout 3 on the Xbox 360. This game takes place a few hundred years after a fictitious nuclear fallout:
Okay, okay, now don’t go thinking, “You want your house to look like THAT?” Try, instead, to look past the rubble and imagine the interior as it originally was. I loved that 1950’s feel.
Back to my “atomic” search. As I clicked through page after page of the Etsy search results, I stared in wonderment. People still made and used stuff like that? It wasn’t long before that little curiosity became an intrigued internet scavenger hunt and then a full-blown obsession.
I love it for so many reasons! I love the look of old futuristic, not so much new futuristic or “modern”. I love the concept of the Jetson’s meet Ozzie and Harriet. I think the post-war era also draws me in with ideas of solid family values, G-rated TV, and being able to unashamedly ask the blessing in school before lunch. And, as an added bonus, this just might be where my taste and my hubby’s taste will come into alignment.
Now, to bring myself back down to Earth, I currently have absolutely nothing in my possession that would even come close to falling under the heading of “Atomic Design”. So, for now, I’ll just share a few of my recent inspirations. Enjoy!
May 19, 2010
As of right now, my hubby and I are planning on going camping for at least one night this weekend. I love camping, although I haven’t done it in quite some time. There is just something about being outdoors in the fresh air, away from the city and…yes, even technology. When we lived in SC, one of my favorite “retreat” places to run away to on a free weekend was Bonclarken – the mountain retreat and conference center for the Associate Reformed Presbyterian denomination. Ahhhh! Tall, tall pine trees, winding mountain paths, clean air, rolling mountains. What could be better?
Here’s a list of a few things I’m hoping to do this weekend: fish, make and eat banana boats and s’mores, hike with my dogs, chat around the camp fire, nature photography, play cards…I could totally go on. 🙂
If you have never made banana boats, you are missing out in a big way! Here’s the quick recipe from my Girl Scout days:
Leaving the peel on the banana, cut a slit into the banana along the inside curve (without cutting through the other side) creating a pocket. Stuff the banana with mini marshmallows and chocolate chips. Wrap the banana in aluminum foil and place on the coals of the campfire for about ten minutes – just long enough to warm the banana and melt the chocolate chips and marshmallows. MMMMM, ohhh so good! (I’ve made this in my oven on a non-camp day as well. Why wait?)
Having camping on the brain this past week, what other theme could I possibly pick for my new treasury? Check it out here, and once you do, check out these other great camp inspired ideas!
May 17, 2010
If you have been keeping up with my blog for any amount of time, you know that I have committed to posting every Monday, Wednesday and Friday. However, this past Friday I neglected to post. Shame on me! And I apologize. I was out in the big city of Fort Worth performing my civic duty of serving as a juror.
Just a quick side note, that morning at 8:30 am I reported to the Tim Curry Criminal Justice Center. Tim Curry. All I could do was imagine, with great wonderment and terror, Tim Curry sitting at the judge’s bench passing judgment on everyone.
Around 10am we were dismissed with instructions to return by 1:30pm. I had three and a half hours to kill, so of course I hoofed about 6 blocks to the nearest Barnes and Noble, where I could grab some lunch and wile away the time. Most of my time was spent in the arts and crafts section where I leafed through about a dozen books. Here are a few I would recommend getting your hands on.
I was actually introduced to this book over at Holy Craft. It’s full of really cool projects, ideas, and tips, and all with the intent on helping you stay as green as possible. Betz White, the author of this book, also has her own blog that I encourage you to check out!
I hope these two titles have sparked your interest. And remember, inspiration is everywhere!
May 12, 2010
As I have mentioned before, during the week, when I’m not crafting, blogging, or doing the actor or housewife thing, I take care of a little girl. When I say little, I mean that she is eight months old… not necessarily that she is little. She has grown so fast that she is now able to wear 12 month-old clothes. She is not so much big around as she is long. Most of her 8 month onesies fit her everywhere else except for being too short.
I got to thinking, “What if I could convert some of her too-short onesies into dresses? That way she would get some more wear out of them.”
So last week, I brought home four onesies that she had outgrown in an attempt to match them up with my stash of fabric scraps and see what magic I could make.
Dress Attempt Number One:
I cut off the bottom of this onesie and used some of the scraps to make the little rosette. The skirt is pretty basic, and I made relief cuts up the sides so that it would accommodate her bottom. As I attempted to try it on her, I discovered the one thing I had not taken into account.
Babies have big noggins.
They just do, and I had completely forgotten that. So, I couldn’t even get the dress to go over her head. Most of my scrap fabric consists of 100% cotton, non-stretchy material, which is not the most baby friendly.
Dress One Final Determination: FAIL
Failure, however, is not always a bad thing. There are several things I have learned from this project that I will carry over to my next attempt. After all, I still have three more onesies left.
May 10, 2010
Today I’m going to take a little turn away from all things Etsy and let you in on a little experience I had this weekend.
The other day, as I was channel surfing, trying to find something good to watch on a weekday afternoon, I happened upon a Travel Channel (or was it Food Network??) show that was counting down 100 must-eats. They had everything from the best philly cheesesteak, to the most ginormous cinnamon roll I have ever seen. The item that really caught my attention, however, was the Texas-sized doughnut, created by Round Rock Doughnuts. This doughnut was originally created as another option to a birthday cake and is the equivalent to one dozen regular sized doughnuts. Two things drew me to this scrumptious sugary snack. One, who doesn’t like a doughnut? And two, it’s location. Yes, Round Rock is just close enough that I might get to experience the ooey gooey gloriousness of this doughnut for myself.
And so I did.
This weekend, while visiting my mother-in-law, we made a little side trip to Round Rock Doughnuts. The verdict? If you’re anywhere near it, make a point to stop by and get you one!
May 7, 2010Treacle And Ink, I have tried to keep up with the plethora of information that Etsy has to offer in the Storque and the forums. They cover everything from how to set up you Etsy shop, to SEO (search engine optimization), to ways to improve your shop. One thing I have paid close attention to, but have never really put into action, is all of the information and suggestions about list pricing. I think I’m ready to put some of those suggestions into action.
One of the things I see on a pretty regular basis is the idea of making sure you are paid fairly for the time you invested in creating your handmade item, much the same way as you would pay a worker who was making the item for you. Underpricing items seems to be a common issue with many handmade sellers. I know I’m one of them. As of right now, the listing prices of most of my items do not accurately reflect the time it took me to make them.It pretty much all comes down to this. In many cases, if I add up the cost of materials plus an hourly wage – even minimum wage – I get a figure that makes me think, “Is anyone really going to be willing to pay that much for my listing?”
Well, I have decided that it’s time to find out the answer to that question. As of Monday, May 10, I will be increasing most of the prices in my store, Treacle And Ink, to better account for all of my time invested in the creation of each listing. I wanted to give you an advanced heads-up so you’re not surprised when you pop on over there next week and see the changes.
I’m still pretty undecided about how I think this is going to turn out, and if increasing my prices is going to be a good decision. I’d love to hear your thoughts on the matter!
May 5, 2010
This past weekend, Adam and I headed out to my first ever Etsy craft fair. Now, I’ve been to plenty of craft fairs before, but this was the first one I’d been to that was hosted by an Etsy team, Etsy Dallas, to be specific.
I was on the lookout for Mother’s Day presents, but as both my Mom and Mother-In-Law are both a little difficult to shop for at a craft fair, I walked away empty handed. HOWEVER, I had a great time, and saw a ton of awesome things!
Rachael’s booth was smokin’ when we got there. She had inventory flying off her shelves!
I’m looking forward to the winter “Jingle Bash.” But next time, I’m going with some cash set aside for me.