Saturday, August 14, 2010

UFO's



For some reason, I could not sleep this morning.  After tossing and turning for an hour, I gave in to my insomnia and stumbled out of bed.  I don’t understand how I can feel so tired, but not be able to fall back asleep.  It is not fair. I need to find someone to blame…. (My problems are always someone else’s fault) 
After brewing a strong pot of coffee, then watering it down with a store bought sugary creamer, I find myself staring at UFO’s.  For those of you who aren’t crafters, I am sure this is where you decide I have lost my mind completely.  While that might be the case, these are UFO’s I created myself.  My UFO’s are Un-Finished Projects.
I am a little embarrassed to be sitting here and looking at all the money I have spent on crafting supplies, only to organize and keep it all as my own hidden treasures.  Lately, with my jewelry crafting, crystals have been my weakness.  Maybe because they are so sparkly and colorful, tiny little gems that even in this economy I can afford to buy.    But who am I kidding, when I add up the amount of stuff I have accumulated, I am truly shocked.  I need a plan.
If anyone has any ideas of how to organize and begin completing my room full of treasures, please share.  At this point, the only thing I can think of making another list.  Unfortunately, the only place I have to put it is filed with the hundreds of others on my desk.   I am overwhelmed already. >.<

Monday, March 8, 2010

Handmade gifts are better than anything retail.


My daughter’s birthday is just a few short weeks away.  So my hunt for the perfect gift began last week.  In an age of Ipods and cell phones, it has become more and more difficult to find a gift that will be remembered.  I want to give her something special, and not just something she wants because all her friends have one.  With the economy being the way it is, I find that I am not the only person looking for gifts with meaning not just monetary value.  My Mother was also struggling to pick a gift out for her.
So I started to think of things she likes.  The things she thinks are “Cool”.  The first thing that came to mind was “Firefly”.  Not the song, the TV series.  Many of you are probably not aware of the show.  It was produced a few years back by Joss Weaton.  The Show only ran for one season before it was canceled.  Since then, it has become a bit of a phenomenon among the fans of the show.  There was a movie made after the cancellation and tons of collectibles.  I would say it’s the “Twighlight” of the Sci-Fi World.
I did a search on Etsy and quickly found lots of handmade gifts with themes from the show.  My daughter’s favorite character is Jayne Cobb.  She quotes the show often, and one of her favorite parts is when Jayne received a crazy knit hat from his Mom.  Wash: "A man walks down the street in that hat, people know he's not afraid of anything." I typed in Jayne Cobb Hat and found this amazing shop.  Ma Cobb's Hat Shop I told my Mom about it, and she was thrilled.  She purchased this amazing hat that exceeded both of our expectations.  My Daughter went to the mail box, and her screams of delight could be heard for blocks!  She could tell from the box what was inside, Ma Cobb's Hat Shop had even stamped the outside of the box with Logo's from the show.  She included so many goodies and little extras, it was fantastic.

MA COBB'S HAT SHOP 
Wash is another of her favorite characters.  He is the pilot and when in stick situations he says Wash: "I'm a leaf on the wind...watch how I soar." -And then-   Wash: (flying debris glances off ship's hull, rattling everyone) "It's okay...I-I'm a leaf on the wind."  So my daughter often says she is a leaf on the wind, giggles and goes about whatever she was doing.
I make jewelry.  How can I make something that is both Jayne Cobb, and Wash?  I took a sometime and thought about the things I make that she likes.  She loves my Rings!  So I set out to create a Jayne Cobb-Wash, “Leaf on the wind” Ring.  This morning I finished it.  I couldn’t be happier, and I know she will be thrilled beyond any store bought gift I could find for her.  It was a lot harder then I thought, but I continued to work on the ring, with many proto types, then finally, I felt I had the one.  It is so perfect.  It's so HER!  So here it is.


Handmade gifts are for everyone!
Handmade gifts have a little part of the creator in each piece.   Artisans put their creativity, personality, style, and often blood, sweat, and tears into their work. Giving a gift that you can put a name or a face to is an amazing experience that creates a very personal connection to and the item. When things stop being just stuff, and start being art, the value of it shifts so much. When you find that handmade gift that is right, you find a gift that speaks volumes about who you are, who the recipient is, and the connection between the two of you.

The arts have been a part of all societies for as long as man has existed; from cave paintings of centuries ago to the handmade items found everyday on Etsy.com
.  Showing your support for artists by owning their work goes a long way in helping to create a world where it does matter where you got the gift and how it was created.  There is a place for beauty and craftsmanship in every home.   I for one do not want to be a part of a world that is devoid of art, or the amazing artisans that create it.
 Handmade gifts ARE GREEN!
From the big boxes, plastics, and wrappings that are used in store bought gifts, the difference between handmade and retail gifts are so much bigger than a lot of customers realize.  Handmade gifts are so different. They are made with more traditional and environmentally safe methods. Many artists are conscious of the impact their work will have on the environment and try to create green items with green techniques.  They will often use recycled or recyclable materials.   Also, handmade gifts are not planned with the idea of becoming obsolete; they are usually meant to last a lifetime at the minimum. In stark contrast to many mass produced goods, handmade items don't tend to end up in landfills.  They are cherished treasures from the heart.



Saturday, February 13, 2010

Happy Valentine's Day!


I want to send big hearts and love to all my family and friends in the Pacific Northwest.  I miss you all so much.  Thank you so much to my Mom, she never forgets to get me a Valentine, even when I move across the country.  The kids say thank you too!  We got the mystical box in the mail and it was full of treasures.  Some of the thing I expected to see, and some were a surprise!  I hope you all remember take care of each others hearts.  And as always, even though I am across the country, you all mean the world to me. 

I love you.

Happy Valentine's Day!

Friday, January 15, 2010

To my suprise.....



Last week I went on a little adventure.  I had no idea what was in store for me.  When I moved here to Greenville, SC, I was disappointed at the lack of bead stores in the area.  I was used to the abundance we had in Seattle.  Determined to find some beads, I went on line and made a list of stores in the area.  At 10am. I set out driving around the area and checking high and low for some pretty beads!





After a few disappointing stops, I ended up at The Mercantile.  They have a little bit of everything crafty.  It was like a tiny upscale Michaels.  Their beads were kept in an antique cabinet with drawers marked with colors.  They had a lot of bead making supplies, but not the selection I was looking for.  The ladies that worked there were so helpful and sweet.  They assured me they could find whatever I was looking for.  


As I stood at the counter chatting, I saw out of the corner of my eye, the most amazing bead I had ever seen.  A pretty petite lady stood there with a small box of beads.  As I looked closer my eyes widened.  I couldn’t believe how beautiful these beads were.  She told me that she had crafted them herself and they were lampworks beads.  Now, I have seen lampworks beads before, and they looked nothing like these.  The beads I had seen were mass produced and always seemed uninspiring to me.  In high contrast, these beads were so original, and the colors were amazing.





I couldn’t believe my luck when she invited me over to see the rest of her art.  I jumped at the chance, finished my purchase at the Mercantile and headed over to her home.  To make a long story short, she is nothing short of a genius at bead making.  (And her latte skills are pretty amazing too)  We sat for hours talking about beads, and crafting, and just about everything else under the sun.  It was so much fun.  It wasn’t long before I realized she would be more than a bead supplier, she was fast becoming a good friend.

I didn’t end up making it to any of the other bead stores on my list, but it didn’t matter.  I found more then what I was looking for, and am honored and excited to have met someone so kind and willing to open their home and crafts to a stranger from across the country.  I don’t know how many of you have moved far away from the only home you have ever known.  It’s much harder than I thought.  My chance meeting at the Mercantile was such a blessing for me.

I am so glad I met you Kathy!  You truly are my first REAL friend in South Carolina and so much more.  Hugs for you!!!  Talk to you soon!










Saturday, January 2, 2010

Romance is in the air.....

Romance is in the air and with Valentine’s Day approaching, I can feel it. It’s like a soft, warm blanket that wraps around your heart. Flowers smell sweeter; I notice reds and pinks where ever I go. I see more sweet glances, sense more quick heart beats. Is it me or does there seem to be extra love woven into crafts this time of year too. I know there is in mine. I can imagine first dates, first kisses, making memories with that special someone.



Valentine’s Day is a little holiday, one we usually scurry through, filling out the 24 Valentines, and taping the lollipops to our little ones cards. We send a few extra so no child is forgotten. I see people stopping on the greeting card isle to find one for their significant other, one that isn’t to over the top, but says how they feel.



But this holiday isn’t the red roses that show up on office desks, nor is it the chocolates that are shared with friends. This holiday is about taking a moment to remembering the ones we love whether romantic love, or eternal mothers love.. We take a moment to just remember, Love.




Another year will pass holidays come and go, retailers peddle their seasonal d├ęcor and gifts cashing in on another holiday. To me, romance and love can’t be found on the shelves at the local mall. They are created by the hands of crafters and artists who not only know what love is, but put it into everything they create, each and every day. If you love someone, I would give them something made with love.


 

I know there is romance in the air. I can feel it, smell it, and sense it. I’m glad there is this little holiday to remind me it’s there.