Because going forward and looking back so often occur together…

Whether is be that in going forward we find ourselves looking back or that in looking back we find how far we’ve come or consider where we are going, the nostalgic and the explorer intermingle in a lust for wandering and wondering especially in thoughts of travel…

full original treasury here

Traveling and Exploring we go..

There is something about the traveler discoverer aesthetic that is so appealing. It tells of old time studies rich with books, of maps and travel logues and naturalist journals, of worn shoes and ships, of trains and suitcases, canvas and leather, binoculars, compasses and untouched places

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Filed under Neat thing I had to show you, Outfit Me Etsy!

My first Etsy Treasury… addict in the making?

I finally made a treasury, and seeing that they take about 1/100 maybe of the time it takes to create an outfit me post, I think it’s likely I’ll do it again. You can see the images below but you don’t quite get the feel. So check out the whole treasury here:

http://www.etsy.com/treasury/4c523b10c59c6d9145771705/copper-amber-sunrise

and post comments on it about how you think my first attempt came out :).

Copper Amber Sunrise

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Filed under Neat thing I had to show you, New pursuit, Outfit Me Etsy!

So it’s been a year- Masquerade Wedding

Forgot to post this one, clearly…Only a day left to get in a post for March! <–should have been posted in March 😉 Last weekend or so was our 1 year anniversary. In honor of that I thought I’d share a little about our traditional but not traditional DIY low budget masquerade wedding and a few ideas if you’re looking to do something offbeat yourself. And hopefully you can learn from our mishaps ;).

A little bit about it? Well, the ceremony and reception were in a church but my dress was red and the reception was a masquerade. It was pretty much all orchestrated by me, no wedding planners, very little reading up on the subject, done from a plane ride away on a budget and in under three months ;).

Example 1- I designed our wedding invites myself, found watercolor paper pads the size of the invites and printed each and everyone, single fed on my printer and then had to lay them out covering our living room floor to dry.

You can do that too. Easy. Well OK, not easy, but doable. O and did I mention the pinata? I decided not to make that, but we did have one :).

Our theory was we wanted it to be fun, classy but comfortable and affordable. We weren’t interested in having to not invite people or be exclusive. It was either going to be a small secret wedding or an open door event. We went for the open door variety. If you could make it you were welcome to come. And three months, well for the first time, pretty much ever and for the foreseeable future I had time off from all my jobs at the same time. And, we didn’t want to worry about planning a wedding for several months adding stress and piling up time and money on it.

Our planning consisted of coming up with things we liked. Every year I throw costume party. So I threw out there masks like masquerade style, definitely not mardi gras, because they are intriguing, fascinating, elegant and that satisfy my love of costumes :). Just about every party I’ve had as had a pinata. I don’t know what it is about the violence, silliness, anticipation and the rush towards a pile of candy but pinatas seem to kick the party up a notch if it lulls. Gotta have a pinata. From there we thought about colors, we ran through a bunch before deciding black and white would make everything easier. Black and white are pretty easy to match; they can be classy. And when you are planning a wedding from a far it’s pretty important to have easily matching colors. You can find most things in black and white. You cannot match greens over pix-messages on a cell phone.

So tip #1- go with what you like and do well

Tip #1.5 -If you are far away choose colors that match easily

and note the quick one off hanging paper and feather sculpture 😉 up in the netting draped Xmas light strung ceiling (xmas lights all gotten on after Christmas crazy discounts and left to the church along with the tule for future celebrations)

Mishaps, the Dress- my now husband actually looked at dresses online with me. We saw a red dress by Davinci which was just gorgeous in the picture. I had never really liked white but always assumed there would actually be viable options other then a white or semi white dress. This was a clear well red, a color I have never really worn, could be just fine if it is that (mind you picture stunning dress in real life depends entirely on the dye batch :p). It was far more gorgeous than most we had seen. Most dresses we saw were really disappointing and not my style. Not that this was my style…

When I went home for xmas my mom wanted to go shopping for my dress so I called around til i found a shop that had it. Got there and it was a totally different dress, but similar, burgundy and huge. After a bunch of lovely traditional ones we decided to go with it. It was a Mary’s dress with a massive detachable train and it was extremely affordable including the veil, shoes if i wanted them, jewelry and gloves and alterations the price was still under what I had been willing to pay for the dress alone. Fantastic. Now here comes tip two

#2 Go with a seamstress with a good rep

2.5 give yourself enough time for a back up plan

2.75 consider getting your dress/alterations where you live

3 you do not wear two sizes bigger in a wedding dress. You probably wear the same size you would in any other dress (depending on style & designer of course). I actually could wear two sizes smaller than my usual clothes.

She didn’t take measurements; she pinched and eyeballed. No big deal. The problem was when I went back to see the alterations finish up and pick up the dress, it fit worse than before. It was as if the alterations were done upside down- waist too big and bust too small and shape all wrong. She didn’t seem to think she could fix it, so I suddenly had no dress. And mind you, with a few weeks before the wedding, finding one, and ideally a stunning red one, in stock, in my size was not going to be easy.

But hey I had gotten my prom dress two days before prom this really wasn’t that big of a deal. After searching back where I lived and getting hung up on some more traditional gorgeous expensive gowns, I went with a new stunning red dress by Bonny, and bought it about a week before the wedding. I  got it altered reasonably well in one visit and then had to not only bring the massive thing on a plane but also hide it from my fiancé who was traveling with me. Mind you dress bags are neither opaque nor big enough to accommodate a dress.

Tip 4- If you will be traveling with your dress, seriously consider how when and with who you are traveling and how big the dress is and really how you will carry it.

Tip 5- call the airline ahead of time if you are traveling with your dress. And then call them again and confirm.

I did this after being told to, and they told me i could carry it on in addition to the two carry ons you are allowed because it would be put in another area of the plane and not count towards the two standard carry on items. However, phone conversations don’t matter for anything when you are getting on a plane and they won’t let you on because they can count three items in your hands. Luckily our bags clipped together and we were fine, but beware of what you hear on the phone.

Anyhow, my dress rocked. A random girl at the zoo told me so as she took my picture with her cell phone camera. And it fit the masquerade theme and the feel so much better than any of the other dresses I’d been looking at. And since the height happened to be just right, I wore  my work shoes instead of searching endlessly for super cute uncomfortable never seen strappy sparkly expensive things especially on the lack of time. So I wore my Borns-

Toby- by Born

You’re going to be on your feet all day, so you might as well be comfortable and able to dance in the shoes you wear right? And if that dress goes to the floor, why not… I love heels, but really I wasn’t finding anything quite right and comfortable that fast.

Tips on finding a red dress: If you are looking for red wedding dresses of course check out redhotbrides.com Also check out this short list of a ton of red wedding dresses. Bonny, DaVinci, Mia, Essence of Australia, Justin Alexander and Mary’s have dresses, but you really don’t get a feel for them from the pictures. You have to see them and touch them and try them on. There’s also a heap of designers making magenta and pinks that are pretty too.

Also, Masks- I got far too many masks but luckily they are great decorations too. I have these from Bluemoon-

Code: # 852B Mask: "Cignetta White" from Blue Moon Mask

Code: # 862 Mask: "Catwoman Completa Gold" on Blue Moon Mask

thinking they might have worked with my first dress or for my maid of honor. They are just as gorgeous in person, however (and they do tell you this on the site) they are really not good for wearing they ar emore for decoration. The first one is not weighted properly and so it ends up sideways when you finally get it on and the second really is somewhat dangerous given the metal so close to your eyes. If someone bumps you, you might go blind ;). But again gorgeous masks. But if you want it to be wearable try their other categories and find things that are pretty, less expensive and wearable.

We got these for the groomsmen and they were very well made, looked great and were completely wearable. The traditional category is the way to go.

Code: # 441B Mask: Colombina Rombi on BlueMoon Mask

The ordering process is a bit odd but don’t worry they send them and they are just as shown and described on the site.

I got another for myself on an ebay shop in Australia or the UK, I’ve forgotten, and though it was very pretty it shed glitter like a waterfall and i only got it on once,very briefly before the tie ribbon popped off. I got a bunch for my bridesmaids from another ebay shop but haven’t been able to find the same ones again. They were much smaller and oddly shaped than we’d anticipated which was disappointing.

Looking for something wearable, the groom and I got the masks we wore from Gypsy Renaissance and I’d highly recommend it. The masks are handmade and very different from traditional masks, which would be another good option. Her masks are lined with a very soft fabric and tie with string. The eye holes, though I still prefer the much more flattering cat-eyes, are very large so you don’t worry about your eyelashes banging or having a hard time seeing and there is quite a variety, especially if you want white. And if you don’t see something you like, she also custom makes pieces.

We ended up with these:

Dawn on Gypsy Renaissance

Cinderella Companion Mask on Gypsy Renaissance

The guy’s mask is a bit larger and covers more of the face than you might expect.

And here’s what those look like on real people:

(PJ Johnson Photography)

Food-We did a massive amount of hors d’oeuvre but didn’t hire a catering company, we bought/made/prepped the food ourselves with the help of friends and volunteers and the church youth group took on the task of serving and clean up and we helped them out with a trip they were going on.

We invited 300+ ppl, 70ish showed up.We had heaps of food left, much of it completely untouched including full bottles of soda, loaves and loaves of fresh bread, and boxes of frozen foods. So after sending every volunteer, worker and by passer we could find home with a  bottle of soda and a loaf of bread we donated the rest to a local shelter/soup kitchen. We really just should’ve gone down there with a stack of invites in the first place. That would have been pretty fun.

O and my aunt and cousin made our cake. I wanted something that actually tasted good more than something semipretty and crazy expensive. So even though they would have done it from scratch, I brought back 10 boxes of 54 cent cake mix from Aldi by plane. Seriously, Aldi cake mix has never failed and it always gets compliments and you really can’t get less expensive either. And it as kinda pretty too.

and those serving tools were from our friends who recently got married. Plenty of corners cut ;).

So, you can make you wedding work on a budget, get more food than you’d ever need and help a lot of people in the process. We even had parents of of the kids coming up to us after and the next day telling us how happy they were that their kids got to be a part of it and that they got to see that you don’t need to spend a lot or do things a certain way.

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Filed under Backstory, Mishap, Neat thing I had to show you

Thump Thump

Whether you think it says thump thump, thud thud, pitter patter or I love you, hearts are everywhere at this time of year and they say a lot of different things. I’ve never been a huge fan of the cutesy geometric heart shape but I have an affinity for the anatomical one that beats inside creatures.

In college, it became a regular mini-obsession in my art and I had quite big, if not horribly emo, plans on creating a massive muti-room installation that paralleled blood flow through the chambers of the heart with the cycles of love and loss (something you may still see me do some day).

If nothing else I am still intrigued by the shape, form and function of the human heart and its complexity. Here’s a few of my own anatomical heart based creations and then we’ll look at a smattering of the myriad of ways its popped up recently including the lovey dovey, the squishy, the odd, the beautiful, the wearable and the DIY.

I think the first heart I made was a patchwork piece made of fake red leather, a deep red maroon. I created a form, probably of stuffing and wrapped it in duct tape form medium of choice as always) and then carefully hand sewed the heart together. This little piece was fun, detailed and durable (like an odd football and similar in size). I’d love to make more and have them be specifically for that purpose ;). I really like hand sewing, especially when it yields something neat at the end. Eventually, on account of college art classes bing based on specific assignments, I had to incorporate the heart into a larger piece, which ended up including an oversized aluminum guitar and a welded cage flashlight…It was really the heart I was, and am still, the most interested in, though the whole piece is alright too.

close up of heart

I wish I could find a good pic of just the heart itself… For scale that ‘guitar’ is aluminum and about 5+’ tall and 8?” thick front to back.

So one of the things I’ve wanted to do is make glass hearts. I have a few different sizes and purposes in mind. I was told many of the sizes (small to medium) were really not going to work for the glass process and that it must be much larger than I had initially wanted. So, to this end I first sculpted a anatomical heart out of clay. I really loved some of the detail I got on it too. That was during one of several summers I stayed at college on a grant.

In the summer in central NY you’ll often find it the mud season. It gets incredibly hot, immensely humid and you get rain. During the time I was working on the clay stage of the heart, they were also working on the roof of my studio. It was interesting. Occasionally, they’d drop something through a skylight and I’d hand i back up to them. One day I came into the studio and found a beautiful if not peculiar and worrisome sight. It was raining, in the studio. A large sky light had been left uncovered and here it was raining inside. It was fascinating and I regret that I did not have my camera at the time. I quickly made sure my uncured clay was well out of splatter range. Everything turned out alright and I think it stopped raining eventually.

So after the cay hart was completely I reluctantly covered it in liquid latex, plaster and burlap to make a mold. After making and cleaning the mold I made several (6 or 7?) wax hearts using the mold. The first being made with recycled motor oil mixed with a cherry wax. It smelled pretty terrible and some of the overly friendly/inquisitive (read smarmy/creepy) seasonal cleaning folks became significantly less once they thought it was animal blood (which of course it was not). The rest of the hearts used much more cherry than motor oil wax, which was much more pleasant.  After wrestling all of these out of the mold I made plaster/silica molds out of them, all but the motor oil heart, destroyign the hearts in the process. These molds were supposed to be used to make the glass hearts, but my glass blower moved to China and I failed to track down another. I also made a foam version with my mold and hope to make some out of other materials. Anyhow, here’s the surviving heart-

recycled motoroil wax hear

Some detail is lost with each level, so the wax heart doesn’t have quite as much detail as the clay one. But it is still interesting. That heart is big enough for you to hug, and 2 feet maybe tall?

When I was studying and creating in south France, I made a tiny, fit in the palm of your hand heart out of an odd white, very unexpectedly light weight, plasticy clay/dough. I really am not sure what the stuff is. If you have any idea, I’d love to know. Again I made a plaster mold, which lost vast amounts of the detail compared to the white heart. I cast several hearts in clay and them air dry. (these I would love to make in glass!) I still have the mold and one surviving heart as well and may actually make more of these since I can cast them fairly easily.

The hearts I made in France became part of a project/installation for our final show where I had a shelf of air dried clay hearts and a shelf of olive jars filled with one. The way it was supposed to work was that one heart would be dropped into the water each day of the show and dissolve. As they dissolved, the heart would bubble at a regular interval like a beat. Eventually it would crumble and become a pile of clay in the jar. Unfortunately, on opening night several ppl dumped hearts into the water, which somewhat worked as well. I have video somewhere of what it looks like when they dissolve. If I find it, I’ll have to amend this. So you can see.

But it doesn’t end at sculpted hearts. I have countless paintings, some abstract some not, some 5 or 6 feet high and some small as well as drawings. This is one of my favorites. I don’t know if there is a name for this type of drawing or these line patterns but it’s something I do a lot, sometimes involuntarily.

These are all older pieces of mine. I’ve been surprised by the number of things one can find on etsy when searching for anatomical hearts.

And clearly I’m not the only one making hearts. They are all over the place used in puns and art and cards. Like these:

Wood You Keep My Heart 8 x 10 print by blockpartyprints on etsy

Anatomical Heart Block Print Card - My Heart_ You Have It- Light Yellow by PrintByMRB on etsy

El Corazon Anatomical I heart You Valentine's Day Card by VoodooDollDesigns on etsy

Hip Heart You by SweetDee on etsy

Anatomical Blank Cards Set of 4 with Envelopes by CrowBiz on Etsy

I adore some of the more art and illustration representations as well, with this being a favorite by far, especially being a printmaker

Antique style Anatomical Heart Lithograph LIGHTBOX by munstre on etsy

sadly, but great for Munstre, this lightbox, and it would appear the whole shop, is currently sold out (or possibly on vacation but there’s no indication of that)? The image will link to the shop for now and I strongly encourage you to check it out. MUNSTRE creates stunningly beautiful work in these lightboxes and you will want to see more for sure.

Custom Order --- Heart of Gold, ANATOMICAL HEART SERIES 12 x 12 Original Textured Artwork by Donna David by theInvitation on etsy

And if paint and light aren’t your kind of decor, how about tile? Hang it up or use it as a regular tile for something truly unique.

Anatomical Heart Tile by firewoodfurniture on etsy

I don’t know exactly where to categorize this one- decor? art? practicality? But it is definitely one not to be passed up:

My heART is your pinata 1 Sculpture by JenniferPod on Etsy
Check out her shop for plenty more heart shaped goodies…
And I’m not the only one into plush hearts-

Anatomical black heart plush by batteriesnotincluded on etsy

love them :). And if you aren’t into black check out the rest of the shop for red ones too and last I checked you could even get a set of one red and one black.

and I’m fond of this ‘Ghost Heart’ as well

Plush anatomical heart GHOST by shannongerard on etsy

Check out the rest of the shop, you are sure to be fascinated. And if you aren’t looking for a ghost heart you can also find a vampire heart and what may be a human heart as well.

Art, plush and cards aren’t the only places we find hearts. There’s even practical heart shaped items, like soap…

HEART ON- Anatomically Correct Heart Soap - POMEGRANANTE Scent - VEGAN by dugshop on etsy

Cool shape, color and scent, mmm pomegranate and it’s vegan too! And you’ll see once you click through, it has all that without a crazy price.

I give you my heart - anatomically correct heart box set glycerin soap merlot wine scented by kcsoapsnmore on etsy

And if you prefer wine to fruit scents try these equally fun affordable soaps above.

And equally practical and fascinating is this spoon rest. Who knew displaying an organ could keep your counter/stove clean?

Black Heart on White Spoon Rest Handpainted OoaK by HeartMarks on Etsy

And, as you look through this shop, you’ll notice it’s part of a set :).

Practical and yet wearable-

Recycled Classic Tote- Anatomical Heart by thecraftpantry on etsy

vintage anatomical drawing of the human heart messenger _ laptop bag by CraftieRobot on etsy

Anatomical HEart Cufflinks by LittleAngelsJewelry on etsy



And then there’s a vast array of wearable-

Anatomical Heart FiveCameo Stretch Bracelet by joolzhayworth on etsy

Anatomical Heart Locket 18 inch chain by heronadornment on ETsy

These lockets are an absolute favorite for me for wearable hearts since it gives you the outside and the fascinating inside. Check out heronadornment on etsy for many variations including half hearts, whole hearts, lockets, different chain lengths and a variety of metals.

another really neat wearable piece:

Anatomical Heart Silver Bracelet by AzureeAlice on Etsy

Talk about a ticker..

Antique Worn Brass Anatomically Correct Human Heart- Industrial Steampunk- Pendant _ Necklace by monsterkookies on etsy

I simply adore this one (above) . The work, the detail the fascinating combination of shapes. From the shop announcement: ” Although they look like metal, don’t be fooled – they are completely handsculpted from polymer clay!” would you have thought? And MonserKookies has so many more heart variations. Do go check out that shop.

I like the name on this next one and that it’s got a different interpretation than many of the others-

Cardio by missyindustry on etsy

Lovely silverwork indeed

And if you prefer copper, try this one

Heart Necklace oxidized copper by liliancrowe on etsy

but it appears to have sold now, so might I recommend the gunmetal variety the image is linked to? There’s also an antique gold colored one and some other intriguing pieces in her shop you should see.

And if metal isn’t your thing, how about rubber?

rubber anatomical human heart necklace by snew on etsy

And if you’re not into black, there’s a massive variety of colors available in that one.

Now for some more color and cameos…

Cameo collection ANATOMICAL HEART IN COLOR by wickedgems on etsy

Stunning and fascinating don’t you think? Note that the shop is in vacation mode until March 1st so you won’t be able to get your hands on it until then.

clear oval pendant with red anatomical heart by affixment on etsy

Kinda of wish I knew more about that one, but it’s fascinating anyway.

For more colorful hearts check out Saucerville’s Hearts which is giving away sparkling heart pendants with $10+ orders.

And wearing your heart doesn’t need to mean jewelry

Anatomically Correct Heart Illustration TShirt Red by darkcycleclothing on etsy

Perhaps at this point, your creativity is tingling to get working on something  and you love this anatomical heart stuff but aren’t sure what to do. Check out these DIY ideas to help you get started.

If you want thorough instructions and a completed product all from one box check this out

Anatomical Heart Needle Felting Kit by fancytiger on etsy

If you just want to make something but are having trouble with the detailed drawing of the heart, why not just use a stamp like this

Anatomical Heart Illustration Rubber by AsspocketProductions on etsy

Or these colorful stickers also by snew (rubber heart above)

handmade Anatomical Heart stickers set of 20 by snew on etsy

And if you want to get started on something right away, go digital with these digital collage sheets:

Antique Anatomical ILlustrations Human Hearts by paperstreet on etsy

Digital Collage Sheet Anatomical Heart 055 Set of two by TUGoneDigital on etsy

Hearts aren’t just for Valentine’s Day. So, if you stumble across something unique and intriguing do share! The complexity that beats within you is there daily, be fascinated.

PS- musically, until I can find or make something using real heart beats, try pitterpatter goes my heart by broken social scene.

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Filed under Backstory, Neat thing I had to show you, Outfit Me Etsy!

Outfit Me Etsy with Spats & Legwarmers

This is a post I meant to put up back in November. But it still holds true, I have always adored legwarmers and loved the spats in old school cartoons. So, I’m completely thrilled that spats have become something available and wearable now and that legwarmers seem to be branching out to near spat like proportions in ways that would make them ideal for the way I like to wear them.

In the fall and winter especially, I love to wear boots or anything warm. However, you can’t always wear boots and there’s plenty of super cute shoes in your closet. So, how do you make them cool or cold weather appropriate? Wear legwarmers or spats! They also solve the problem of the unsightly break between pants and shoes that you get when sitting or crossing your legs and keeps the chill away when wearing lower cut shoes and well they just look cool. Whether you wear them with pants or shorts or skirts, for practicality, for fashion or fun, spats and new shaped legwarmers are sure to be a favorite accessory.

Here are some of my favorites. Check out these shops for a huge a variety.

charcoal spats with hot pink lining size small by faitavec on etsy

I love plenty of the stuff at Faitavec on etsy and they have some of the most versatile and stylish spats and I like the way they are styled in the shots too.

chocolate woven spats with copper snaps size medium by faitvec on etsy

Pleated Spats by Fabulize on etsy

Fabulize on etsy has a variety of shorter stylish spats.

Midnight Waves SPats by Fabulize on etsy

Midnight Waves Spats by Fabulize on etsy

Gizelle-Pinstripe spats w_ leather ruffle and Silver buttons by ashesandempires on etsy

Ashes and empires also has some lovely short spats. The short spats aren’t just for girls though, check out these spats for guys and find more like them at dashandbag:

Original Black Wool Spats by dashandbag on etsy

There’s also a variety of unisex spats out there, many military inspired. Check these out:

Cruikshank Spats Unisex Large Weathered by StraughtRazorSlasher on etsy

They are definitely some of the most versatile.

And I thought these were quite neat. You’ll find a wide variety at this shop as well:

Papel Picado Spats Black and White Unisex Medium by StraightRazorSlasher on etsy

And if you’d prefer something warmer, like a knit check out these (and this shop for more):

Faux Boot Legwarmers in Wood Brown with Spat Style Buttons by LeshasWorkshop on etsy

They are the bridge between spat and legwarmer. The final ones I have to share are legwarmers for sure but are too interesting to pass up. They are super tall and they lace up. In this shop you’ll find a variety of sizes colors and heights. They can be worn over shoes or boots or inside boots for versatile looks. I especially love that part of them. And apparently socks under boots in ‘in’ now, so you can bring it a step further with these. They are quite feminine and pretty as well.

Thigh High Lace Up Leg Warmers in Grey by Sannica on ETsy

That’s all for now. There’s a just a quick smattering of styles and shops for you to check out. If you find some other cool examples, post them in the comments to share!

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Oops, where have I been… Updates & Statements

I kept thinking, Surely I will update this. I was going to do a Winter themed outfit me post, and several others and well, it gets terribly busy around the holidays and around the start of a new semester and most places in between. I do so wish there was a quicker easier way to do the outfit me posts because I’d certainly do them much faster. And I had some update but then the cord for my camera broke and it took me quite a long time to find a proper card reader for it.  So, I’ll try to get some stuff up in the next week or so.

Current updates:

I still very much need to get the sewing machine fixed, eitehr one of them. I launched creatureness.etsy.com . Which will be a place for my creature based creations like the squid monsters. I have sooo many ideas for things I want to make and have made several prototypes. But then, of course, the sewing machine broke for the 3 or 4th time. I got one to replace it, used, which worked for about 4 stitches. I thought I’d fixed that one, but then it coudln’t spin a bobbin, so I spun one by hand only to find out that the sewing machine doesn’t work at all. At least I gt a great sewing cabinet and stool out of it. Currently, I’m trying to decide if getting another bobbin casing will be worth it or if it will simply destroy it like the last few. I think it may be time for a new sewing machine.

But anyhow, creatureness, I’m excited. I only have a few things up but I already have 1 sale, which was lots of fun. Boxchicken, on the other hand, I have been neglecting, which is unfortunate because the boxchicken cards for valentine’s day are certainly among my favorites. I also have GIF animation (horribly rudimentary like a messy flipbook) but I like them anyway. I’m contemplating offering printables at Boxchicken. This might be easier than keeping a stack of printed stock taking up space and would get them to people faster. I’d love to find out more about how people do this. And there will finally be boxchicken plush once I figure out the whole sewing machine thing.

I’m looking for a new place to buy the white jewelry boxes I use. The last batch I got was only half useable. I’m also looking for a supplier for boxes, (or I may need to make some, possibly pearl folder style), for my new statement necklaces. This is very much the way my jewelry making is going. I have a bunch of other ideas too. With many of them, I am struggling to find quality materials that are affordable and that will do what I want them to do. After getting faulty crimp beads and wire at some point, I’m quite skeptical of materials at the moment.

Here’s some pics of the new pieces. You can find more on my flickr account (the start of the silver & grey binge) or facebook page (statement necklaces) too.

The first one I started experimenting with is a red piece made of fossil. It’s made with a woven design and is the first piece I tried like this. It looks great and the fossil isn’t as heavy as if it was glass or stone, but the necklace is by no means light weight even those it has a very airy feel. I wanted to put this one up immediately, but the back is less than ideal, though still completely wearable. So, it is not for sale. Though, if someone really wanted it, I’d be happy to pass it on too ;). For now I’m wearing it. By doing so I can test the sturdiness of the construction and see if it will continue to hold before I make similar pieces. Expect one made in aquamarine pearls…

The necklace that reminds me of a red berry wreath:

Woven Berry Necklace

I love the sophistication of this piece and how it would just work in a  variety of situations. It’s very wearable for a wide audience. It can easily be worn o work, with a cute top to go out with friends or with a strapless dress for a special occassion. One of the things I really like about jewelry in general is how it transforms you look. You can wear the same outfit but accessorize it differently to completely transform it. Something that seemed boring and drab can become alive and situation appropriate with the right accessories. I also like pieces that have significant wear-time. Though, there are certainly plenty of things I like to have even if I just wear them occasionally or they complete a certain look or are really special, I love the pieces that you can just wear with anything and it boosts the look and gives you confidence. Like your favorite pair of jeans, a favorite necklace or pair of earrings can just make you look great and give you confidence, regardless of what else you might be wearing.

Anyway…

And this red berry necklace gave me a chance to use one of my favorite clasps that I’ve been hanging on to for months now:

clasp

I like box clasps, what can I say. They tend to give a really finished look and many of them are really interesting. I have a hard time finding clasps that I really like but they can completely make or break a look it seems. If you know of a great supplier for interesting (and somewhat affordable) clasps let me know!

Here’s another that I’m pretty happy with:

‘Stormy’ is by far my favorite, I think…

Stormy- Deatial

stormy- full

Clasp

I love the clasp on this one. It’s rhodium plated (non tarnishing yay!) and CZ and it completes the necklace just as I’d want it to. This is such a huge necklace! I could never display it without my new stand that you see in the picture. It has made such a difference in photographing, building and storing necklaces.

And this necklace, Plum Point Fringe, I adore the deep colors and the simple yet dramatic statement it makes. If I can find the shell fringe again, I’ll be making one for myself ;).

Pictures!

Plum Point Fringe, Statement Necklace

So there are a few of my favorite new things. I’ll post another, maaaybe, with the new pink and brass earrings. There are a few other statement necklaces in the shop including two with white/ivory/cream loops. But there’s something for now.

In other news ‘flock’ has been doing remarkably well making the rounds on several blogs, the storque and a squidoo lens on weddings.

Flock- hanging cut paper sculpture

(more pictures here on flickr)

Hopefully, I’ll post more on sculptures, perhaps show you the ones that aren’t for sale and some of the experiments. Paka for now.

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Filed under Backstory, New pursuit

New Earring Boxes

I’ve been looking for new ways to package leverback earrings. I’ve been using cards cut in different ways but it never looks as nice as I feel like it could. I use satin lined boxes and the cardstock just pales in the comparison to the luxurious feel of the satin. I feel silly covering it up. I also find that lever backs in particular are difficult to get to stay nicely on a card. It’s never quite right. So I got to thinking about alternative options.

What I came up with is a ribbon box. I don’t know that I’ve seen this anywhere before but it seems completely logical. I stretched a piece of my brown ribbon across an earring box and glue it on the bottom. Then I poked two holes in the ribbon and simply hung the earrings through the wholes on the ribbon. I added the top and bottom of my earring card with my shop name and URl on it to the box and it doesn’t look half bad. Here it is:

Then I needed to solve the issue of the earrings possibly clanging together. To do this I just tucked the scrap ribbon into the box with one earring on top and one on the bottom so the ribbon sits between them preventing them from rubbing against each other.

(that loose end gets tucked in too)

I normally tie them up wth two ribbons witha  bow in the center. For this one I tied the box up with a single brown ribbon lined up with the one glued to the box and tied it in a bow.

I’m still working on it and change up my packaging regularly, but for now at least I’ve got options for the more difficult to card earrings.

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Filed under Neat thing I had to show you, New pursuit