Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Crafty Resolutions

I'm not one for New Years resolutions. In fact, I'm opposed to them. I've read far too much about how often one actually keeps a resolution (coughnevercough), so I never make any. However, I do have some goals for 2009 regarding crafts and my business. Here are a few.

1. Grow my business. I need to do this either by putting more effort into my Etsy shop or by finding consignment opportunities. Eek! Scary!
2. Learn new skills. I want to make my sewing machine my bitch in 2009. I'm definitely still its bitch at this point. I also want to start making body products, crochet an afghan, and learn more bookbinding techniques.
3. Improve the Disciples of Etsy team. As a new team leader, I have a ton of ideas, but I've yet to do anything. I want to make the team more useful to its members.
4. Set up my studio. That room is a total mess! I bought some more organizers at Target, and as soon as I have a couple of free hours, I'm gonna go crazy in there. We also need to get some bookshelves.

Those are the main goals. I know others will pop up, but these will do for now. What goals do the rest of you have for the New Year?

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Oklahoma Today

If you live in the service area of Oklahoma Today magazine, check out the latest issue. Why, you ask? Because four members of the Disciples of Etsy Oklahoma Street Team are featured! How great is that? One of them is my very dear, very talented friend, GemsByEm. This isn't a free publication like Oklahoma or Urban Tulsa Weekly, so you'll have to plunk down a couple of bucks for a copy, but it's worth it to support something that's supporting us indie artists. For a screencap of the feature, click here (thanks, Elizabeth!). Also, be sure to check out each of the shops mentioned: GemsByEm, KeysAndMemories, TeterDesigns, and Revamped.

Congrats, ladies and gentlemen! You all truly deserve it.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

All I want for Christmas ...

is peace, love, understanding, and all those goodies. Failing that, anything from this Etsy mini would be just lovely:





Have a safe and happy holiday to everyone, no matter what you celebrate!

Friday, December 19, 2008

My head is a garden

There's another flower perched lovingly atop my head today, and once again it came from Miss Sweetheartville.

See how festive this one is? I know you all love the goofy faces. :)

I just spent the last couple of hours preparing for our agency's holiday party. The food should arrive in 45 minutes. Woo hoo! We get out early today, too, so once I'm done chowing down, I'll be off to buy more gifts.

I hope you all have a loverly Friday!

Thursday, December 18, 2008

I'm blooming!

I'm wearing a wonderful hair ornament made by Holly of Sweetheartville today. Isn't it the cutest?

She traded me it and a couple more for a pair of custom earrings. We had the Tulsa Craft Mafia holiday party last night, and Holly was one of our lovely guests. It looks like our group may be expanding. I think that sounds lovely.

Tonight I'm painting faces at a party for kids being thrown by my day job. I can make jewelry, but paint or draw? Not so much. I hope there won't be any mirrors for the kids to see themselves!

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

It's a girl!

No, not for me. My friend Kayla is having a little girl. I'm so excited! It will be years -- well, it better be! -- before my siblings reproduce, and Kayla has none, so I get to be a surrogate aunt. Hurray! She and her husband had been calling the baby Peanut until they found out the sex today, so I plan to make her an ornament shaped like a peanut. I haven't decided how, though. Should it be beaded? Crocheted? Paper crafted? Something else? If anyone has ideas, please let me know. Yay for babies!

Speaking of which, tonight is the Tulsa Craft Mafia's holiday party. I'm hoping for an appearance from my favorite three-month-old dude. We'll see. :)

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Kid pictures

Sorry for the silence, folks. I've been enjoying my lack of busy-ness (which probably correlates directly to my lack of business), so I haven't had much to say. Sunday was a bizarre day. The temperature peaked at 75 degrees F and then fell 50 degrees by nightfall. We're now icy and snowy here in Tulsa. Before the ickies headed in, I did take the kids for a fun photo session. Wanna see the pictures? You do? That's great!

I ordered individual shots of all the kids and then two group shots. My dad and Jo will get a set and my grandmother will get another. Talk about saving money on holiday gifts. Here's what they will receive (click pictures for larger image):






And here are my two favorite "outtakes":






These are all the unedited versions. The printed ones are properly cropped and such. I got the prints today after ordering them yesterday on Walgreens' Web site. They aren't the fanciest prints ever, but for the speed and price -- $15 for 9 5x7s and 2 8x10s -- they are well worth it. I plan to rummage around dollar stores and Goodwill for frames. Fun! I'll probably also get Jo and Dad a gift certificate to a restaurant for Christmas/Hanukkah, and I will take Jacob and Kaity (the older kids) to the Globetrotters game in January. Sarah is still a mystery. Only two weeks left to decide!
I hope you're all enjoying the holidays. I'm getting over my grumpies by crafting a little and buying gifts for people in need. That's my favorite part of the season.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Bubble-printed stationery

I got started on some holiday presents (finally) Wednesday evening. I was in a sour mood, but whipping out these supplies much improved things. This would be a great project for kids or those of us who still act like children! These instructions came from Mark Montano's Big Ass Book of Crafts.

Supplies:
Food coloring (mine was icing gel)
Blank stationery
Small bowls
Straw for each color
1 tsp dish soap
1 tsp sugar
1/2 cup of water

Instructions:
Combine dish soap, sugar, and water in a bowl. Add food coloring. If you're using the normal stuff, the book recommends 10 drops. I just eyeballed it with my gel. Make the color a bit darker than you expect because the color will lighten quite a bit when it dries. Remember: you can mix the colors to make new ones. Oh the joys of primary colors. Anyway, stir until everything is combined and the sugar dissolves. Here comes the fun part: insert your straw into the bottom of the bowl and start blowing bubbles until they rise over the top. Now, take your blank stationery and run it gently over the top of the bubbles, popping them. Try not to saturate too much or the moisture will leak through. Coat to your liking. Let it dry. If you like, repeat the process a second time with another color. Here is my first set:









The colors came out a lot lighter than I expected -- so light, in fact, that they were hard to photograph. They look much better in person, I promise. This was a combination of blue and orange.








My second set had much richer color. Here, I did a layer of red (which turned pink when it dried) followed by a layer of purple. After both sets dried, I pressed them in the pages of a heavy book to get the cards to close right. They are still a little open, but they work.

As far as cost is concerned, the stationery came in a set of 50 white cards with 50 envelopes for $9.95 at Michael's. The icing gel was about $3 also at Michael's. Everything else I had at home (or "borrowed" from work, in the case of the straws and the toothpicks I used to mix the colors). I plan to gift them in sets of 10 cards with envelopes. That's five gifts for about $2.60 each.

This was so much fun! I can't wait to do the other three sets.

Handmade Tulsa Weekend Update

I dont have time for a big, full update this week, but there is one event I wanted to promote.



That's all I have time for this week. As always, if you know of any events promoting local artists and crafters, leave a comment with the info. Please make an effort to make at least some of your gifts locally made this year!

Come down to Ida Red, 3346 S. Peoria Ave., this Saturday between 3 and 11 p.m. for a wonderful holiday market! The event was organized by the store and Amby Barnes of The Knit Owl. Several local crafters will have items available for purchase, including gemstone and stamped jewelry by Gems By Emily M., fragrant soy candles by Such Pretty Things, adorable printed onesies by Klover Studio, rockin' jewelry by Holly Rocks, and wonderful bath products by Blue Turtle Soap. Of course, Ida Red's unique product line will also be available, including Tom's shoes, a billion flavors of soda pop, rock n' roll merchandise, and lots more. Local sirens Erin Austin, Joy & Day, and Fiawna Forte will provide wonderful, live entertainment starting at 8 p.m. For more information, call the store at 949-6950 or check out this Tulsa World article. Take a trip out to Brookside this weekend -- you won't be disappointed!

That's all I have time for this week. As always, if you know of any events promoting local artists and crafters, leave a comment with the info. Please make an effort to make at least some of your gifts locally made this year!

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Tagged again!

Renee over at The Greener Me tagged me! I have to list six facts about myself here for you all to read. Here are the rules:
1. Link to the person that tagged you
2. Post the rules on your blog
3. Share six non-important things/habits/quirks about yourself
4. Tag six random people at the end of your post by linking to their blogs
5. Let each random person know they have been tagged by leaving a comment on their website.

My facts:
1. I am not an inherently crafty person and I don't come from a very crafty family. My parents are both artistic -- both write and do theatre, and my mom also sings, plays music, and used to weave. I decided I wanted to learn to make stuff, and now I do.
2. I would like to learn to sing jazz music. First I'll have to learn to sing period.
3. I always take off my rings and often take off my bracelets when eating.
4. If I could pack up and move to Italy today, I would. That's probably no secret, though.
5. I'm trying to give up corn syrup completely, which would be a lot easier if I wasn't addicted to Sour Patch Kids.
6. I wear a size 6.5 shoe.

Okie dokie, I will tag Paper Menagerie, Keiko Lynn, Audrey Eclectic, QUiD Essential, The Storybeader, and DancingMooney. I'm off to comment on your blogs!

The envelope please . . .

I am now ready to announce the winner of my first giveaway. Congratulations to . . .

Digital Misfit!

I'll email you immediately after posting this so we can work out the transaction. Thanks to everyone who entered! I'll do another giveaway in January.

In honor of all the fun, I listed my Christmas-themed memory wire bracelet on Etsy this morning. Check it out here.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Luxe Deluxe

Deluxe was a big, wonderful, exciting success! I can't remember the last time I've had so much fun with fellow crafters, and it was certainly the best paced show I've ever done. I stayed incredibly busy, so this is the only photo I have. It's of my booth.



I would like a new tablecloth, but otherwise, I thought everything came together nicely. Behind me you can see Miss Sweetheartville herself and part of her booth. She won the best display award, which she totally deserved. If I could give an award for best personal styling, she'd get it, too. Can you see the awesomeness of her hair and outfit?

I feel lame that I have no other photos to present, but I seriously had no opportunity. The show went so well, and though I spent plenty of time chatting up booth neighbors Gems By Emily M., Claudias Burning Ink, and Klover Studio, wandering around was not much of an option. My mom came at one point, but she only relived me for about 15 minutes, at which time I did some shopping. I bought a gorgeous painting by Audrey Eclectic, a yeti from StelaBird, and holiday gifts from Chaos Into Art, Paper Lotus, and Weather and Noise.

Thank you to everyone who came to the show! Those who missed it can look forward to another installment in 2009. The directors are hoping to do a spring version. Check out the MySpace page for more information.

I'll do another update later announcing the winner of my giveaway, so check back soon.

Friday, December 5, 2008

Deluxe is TOMORROW!

We are now less than 24 hours from the amazingness that will be the Deluxe Indie Craft Bazaar!

Have you already made plans to attend? If you live any where near OKC, it will be worth the drive -- I promise! The line-up of crafters and artists is phenomenal. Where else can you buy marble rings, wood-burned photo frames, bracelets woven on an inkle loom, and a Keep Tulsa Crafty T-shirt all created by hot, sexy, Okie ladies? Nowhere, I tell you! Nowhere! Make your plans now to be at the Farmers Public Market, 311 S. Klein Ave., sometime between 11 a.m. and 7 p.m. Bring the whole family because there will be something there for everyone.
I'll see you at Deluxe!

The opening

The opening of "Handmade Tales: Gifts and Trinkets by the Tulsa Craft Mafia" was last night. I had such a wonderful time. Now you can enjoy it, too! (Click on photos for a larger view)







Here's the whole set-up. From far left is Holly's section, then mine, Christine's, Amby's, and Tara's. Oh, the cuteness!









Here's a close-up of my section and a glorious photo of me in front of my stuff. The lighting wasn't the best.










Grey made a grumpy face just for fun. I took a picture, and now I will spread it around the Internet. Bwah ha ha! We also enjoyed hot chocolate. Yum!

It was fun to hang with the Mafia ladies, their respective gentlemen, and some of the lovely people who attended. My former boss and an old friend from high school came. It was so nice of them! I certainly didn't expect it. Emily, the boss from my last job, even bought my corn earrings. On my lunch break today, I have to run out there to replace them. Woo hoo!

If you couldn't make the opening last night, you can still check out the show throughout the month of December. Just come by The Collective at 11th and just west of Harvard to get in on the fun!

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Handmade Tulsa Weekend Update

Shake off that turkey (or tofurkey) hangover with some wonderful arts activities this Thursday through Sunday! This will be a great weekend for supporting local indie artists. The area is full of great opportunities, so don't miss out!

Thursday
Handmade Tales at The Collective! Come out for the opening reception of "Handmade Tales," a monthlong exhibition and sale of goods produced by the Tulsa Craft Mafia. Five local crafters -- Weather and Noise, HollyRocks, The Knit Owl, My Little Gnomies, and (me) Grey Eye Designs -- will have handmade items on display through the end of December at The Collective, 3148 E. 11th St., across from TU. What a great opportunity to drink great coffee and enjoy some local art!

Black Mesa Vs Live4This! Come to Liggett Studio at 3rd St. and Kenosha Ave. for art "honoring the roots of Tulsa's creative culture." The opening runs from 8 to 11 p.m. tonight, which special guests DJ Moody & Little Chairs providing entertainment. The show will be up throughout the month of December. For more information, go to the Web site.

Friday
Rock City: Portraits of Tulsa Musicians 2007-2008! Tulsa photographer Jeremy Charles will have a showing of his works featuring local musicians, including The Red Alert, Jesse Aycock, Ghosts, American Idol David Cook, (my personal favorite) Annie Ellicott, and tons more. The exhibit will be held at Shades of Brown Coffee & Art, 3302 S. Peoria Ave. Get there between 6 and 7:30 p.m. for the official opening. Jeremy Charles' work has been featured in area publications. To learn more about the artist, go to his Web site.

The Tulsa United Film Festival! The festival opens Friday night at the Circle Cinema, 10 S. Lewis Ave, and runs all weekend. According to the Web site, "The festival’s focus is to bring together talented filmmakers from diverse backgrounds, thus creating a 'United' showcase of creative energy and talent." This will be the sixth year of the film fest. The first showing -- Dirty Country, about Larry Pierce, "America's raunchiest country music singer" -- begins at 7:15. Saturday's showings begin at 8:00 p.m., and Sunday's first film begins at 6:15 p.m. All showings are preceded by short films. An all-access pass getting you into all films is $24, with each movie costing $8 when viewed separately. Day passes are also available. For show times and more ticket information, visit the Web site.

Spexton Jewelry Trunk Show at Dwelling Spaces! Come to Dwelling Spaces, 119 S. Detroit Ave., between 4 and 8 p.m. to check out unique, handmade silver jewelry! Spexton Jewelry is a Tulsa-based company specializing in unique, handmade bracelets, rings, and necklaces. Their store is located at 823 E. 3rd St.

Saturday
Deluxe Indie Craft Bazaar! This totally handmade event will feature crafters from around the state helping to offer you an alternative to the mall. Though the event is in Oklahoma City, it is still the place to be this holiday season for indie, locally produced items. Taking place from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. in Oklahoma City's Farmers Public Market, 311 S. Klein Ave., the show will feature many artists from Tulsa -- including href="http://audreyeclectic.etsy.com">Audrey Eclectic, Gems By Emily M., and four members of the Tulsa Craft Mafia -- as well as the rest of Oklahoma. There will also be photos with Santa from noon to 2 p.m., food to purchase, costume contests, free crafts for kids, and more entertainment options. Plus, admission is free. Check out the Deluxe Web site for more information.

Darnaby Arts & Crafts Show! Can't make it to OKC? There are still handmade goodies to be found in the Tulsa area this weekend. Check out the Darnaby Arts & Crafts Show at Union Intermediate High School, 7616 S. Garnett Road (technically in Broken Arrow). Now in its 27th year, this event will feature 150 booths of local artists and crafters. Three members of the Tulsa Craft Mafia will (wo)man a booth featuring items from all members. Admission is free, and there will be door prizes. Proceeds from booth fees will benefit Darnaby Elementary in the Union district. Stop by the I-High between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. to get it on the goodies.

Carols and Crumpets! If you're staying in Tulsa this weekend, head over to Carols and Crumpets at the Tulsa Garden Center, 2435 S. Peoria Ave. Between 8 a.m. and 3 p.m., guests of the Tulsa Herb Society event can enjoy items created by artists from a four-state area, live caroling from the Renaissance ensemble, and lunch for purchase between 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. Handmade items for sale include items for the garden and kitchen, beautiful pottery by Cindy Walker, and body care items. If someone on your list loves gardening and home decor pieces, this is an event not to miss! Admission is free.

Sunday
Cascia Hall Christmas Walk and Holiday Market! Sunday brings a big dose of Christmas thanks to Cascia Hall Preparatory School, 2520 S Yorktown Ave. The walk takes you on a tour of midtown homes decked with boughs of holly. Meanwhile, the school gymnasium will feature handmade items, gift baskets, poinsettias, and more from local vendors. Lunch and performances by the school choir will also take place. Tickets are $10 for the tour and free to attend the holiday market. Come by for the festivities between 11 a.m. and 4 p.m. Tickets are available the day of the event.


As you can see, the weekend is teeming with chances to buy handmade, support local artists, and get in the holiday spirit. I hope you can find time to check out some of these wonderful events! If you know of any other events like these, let me know about it in the comments.

Memory wire bracelets

As promised, here are some of the memory wire bracelets I've been making:

What a happy bunch of beads, wire, and charms! I've really been enjoying making these, but I'm running out of the "spacer" beads I used on most of them. To Hobby Lobby with me! Here's a close-up of the thick green one:
Go to yesterday's post for a chance to win one of these babies! You'll get to choose the color palette, what kind of charm you want in the middle, and if you want beads dangling from the ends.

I apologize for not posting these sooner. I've been a sicky pants the past two days. Stupid migraine. I'm back in action now, though. Look for more posts soon!

Monday, December 1, 2008

Giveaway!

Yep, I'm going to do my very first giveaway on my blog. I'm very excited! Based on the poll I did over the past week, most readers are interested in winning a memory wire bracelet. I've only just recently discovered the genius of memory wire, so I'm looking forward to making one especially for a wonderful reader.

The winner of my giveaway will receive a bracelet custom made for them. You pick the colors and the charm from my collection, and I'll make a piece just for you! The winner will be announced during the day on December 8 in my blog, and I'll also send you a private email to let you know you've won. Tomorrow, I'll do a post with example pictures of bracelets I've been making to give you an idea. In the meantime, you can search Etsy for examples.

Here's how to win:
1. Comment on this post by midnight CST (that's minus six hours from Greenwich Mean Time) on December 7, 2008. In your comment, please let me know what your favorite item from my shop is. Also make sure to leave a way for me to reach you to arrange shipping.
2. For an extra chance to win -- that's your name entered twice -- refer a friend to the contest, and make sure they put you as the person who referred them in their comment.
3. For another two chances to win -- that's a total of three just for commenting or four for recruiting someone, too -- mention my giveaway in a post in your blog. Make sure to leave the link as a comment to this post.

The winner will be chosen at random using a very scientific method (i.e. I will throw all the comments into a bowl and have my boyfriend choose the winner). The giveaway is open to everyone -- except you, Mom -- no matter where you live. Have fun entering, and make sure to tell everyone you know!

Weekend overview

Well, it was a good -- though bordering on too-long -- weekend. Just because I feel like it, I'll do a backwards update.

Sunday -- I had the All Souls Arts and Crafts Fair in the morning and early afternoon. I was worried that the economic problems would reign in profits, but I was pleasantly surprised. In fact, I made $50 more this year than last year. I owe it in part to my ProPay account. One very nice woman made a good-size order from me using her Visa card. How wonderful! I'll have to be better about advertising my credit-card-taking capabilities in the future. I had fun hanging with Kaity, though she was absolutely silent. Grey and my mom each bought a piece from her, so she walked out with $25. Woo hoo! In the evening, I made more stuff, trimmed and washed the dog, and watched TV.

Saturday -- We set up for the show at 10 a.m. Everything looked lovely. I forgot my camera, so you'll have to take my word for it. After, Grey and I had lunch at Ri Le -- yum! I can't ever turn that place down. It's the best Vietnamese food I've ever had, and it might be Tulsa's tastiest treat. Later, my mom came over, and we chitchatted for a while. I was fairly early to bed that night.

Friday -- The day brought Part II of his family's visit. They are such lovely people. I enjoy being with Grey's relatives because they lack my family's crazy factor. They are normal. It's so weird. :) Anyway, we celebrated his dad and little sister's birthdays with pizza, eggnog cake (which I artfully avoided), and a few games of dominoes. The best part was watching his impatient grandmother bang on his aunt's door with rollers in her hair. Most excellent.

Thursday -- Feast Day, so they say. After a Thanksgiving-related meltdown, I pulled myself together well enough to enjoy Part I of his family. I ate a decent amount, but I've found that being vegetarian forces me to limit myself somewhat. I did enjoy Grey's vegetarian stuffing/dressing, the broccoli-cheese dish, and rolls, of course. His goofy family doesn't do pumpkin pie, though, so I've yet to eat any this year. Later in the evening, we whipped everyone else at Trivial Pursuit. We are no longer allowed to be on the same team. Too bad.

So that was my time off from work. It was not relaxing, but it was largely enjoyable. Now I am back in high gear to prepare for Saturday's Deluxe Indie Craft Bazaar. As much as I love craft shows, I can't wait to have relaxation time come December 7!

How was your long weekend?

Friday, November 28, 2008

SALE!

Don't forget -- everything in my shop is marked more than 10% off in honor of the shopping weekend! Also, every purchase of $15 or more will include a free gift. What a deal! Head over to my store for great savings!

I hope everyone had a happy, food-filled, relaxing Thanksgiving. :)

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Publicity!

Check out this great article in the City Sentinel Online about the Deluxe Indie Craft Bazaar coming your way December 6. Yours truly, in addition to about 40 other amazing vendors, will be there a-sellin'. It's going to be the handmade event of December, so be there!

While we're on the subject, I'm doing a show at my church on Sunday. Yep, it's the first show I ever did, so this weekend will mark my first anniversary on the craft-fair circuit. How fun. My stepsister, Kaity, will be there with me selling a few jewelry items she has. If you're in the area, come to All Souls Unitarian Church, 2952 S. Peoria Ave., between 9 a.m. and 2 p.m. to buy some fantastic handmade goods. The artists who sell there are spectacular. There will only be about 20 or so, but I've been to far larger shows with nowhere near the quality of this show. If you can, come. If not, there will be pictures, so fret not.

Oh, and Happy Thanksgiving to you all! I have family plans in about four hours, but until them, I'm PJed out and enjoying the quiet apartment. :)

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Handmade Tulsa (and Free Family Fun) Weekend Update

Friday brings "Black Friday" shopping at nearly every store in the area. If you hate the idea of beating up old ladies for savings at the mall this year, head over to Etsy for great sales. Tons of sellers are offering discounts from Friday through "Cyber Monday". Search "sale" or "Black Friday" on the site to find those offering specials. On The Storque, Etsy admin will also do an article about some of the different specials. If you want to keep it totally local, check out the site's Shop Local feature.

If you do plan to get out in the craziness, here are some handmade shopping opportunities as well as some free or low-cost family events.

Thursday
Lights On at Utica Square! Enjoy the lights-on ceremony at Utica Square, 21st St. and Utica Ave., beginning at 6:30 p.m. Utica Square isn't exactly a goldmine of handmade goods, though a few shops -- Flirt and Kokoa Chocolatier for sure -- do sell some locally produced items. Also, the event is free and is still a lovely way to enjoy the beginning of the holiday season.

Friday
Chandler Park Lights on the Hill! This is a free drive-through light display at Chandler Park, 6500 W 21st St. There will also be horse-drawn carriage rides available. The event is every Friday and Saturday through December 28 from 6 to 10 p.m. Come enjoy one of Tulsa's most beautiful parks!
Winterfest! On the west side of the BOK Center, enjoy ice skating on an outdoor rink ($8 with skate rental, $5 without and for children under 3), a giant tree, live music, carriage rides, caroling, and more fun. The rink is at 3rd and Frisco in downtown Tulsa. Winterfest will run through December 31.

Saturday
Jonathan Sobol -- "Everyday Paintings"! Saturday will be the final day of Jonathan Sobol's solo show at the MA Doran Gallery, 3509 S. Peoria Ave. The gallery is open from 10:30 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.
Saturday Market! Familiarly known as the west side flea market, the Saturday Market boasts an impressive array of new and second-hand items sold by locals. There are a few handmade items, but most items are used, which is still a wonderful way to stimulate the local economy without contributing to mass consumerism. Located at 5802 W 51st St., the flea market is open every Saturday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Sunday
All Souls Arts & Crafts Fair! This annual, all-handmade craft event features artists from the church, 2952 S. Peoria Ave., from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. There is no admission, and you don't have to be a church member to attend. Proceeds -- 10% of all sales -- go to the youth department. There will be jewelery artists, potters, knitters, card makers, and tons more. It'll be worth the early rising to get your hands on some great gift items!


There are a ton of other lights-on celebrations throughout the area as well. If you live in a community outside of Tulsa, just do a search to find ones closer to you. Also, if you know of any other handmade, crafty, DIY, or indie events going on this weekend, leave a comment.

Have a Happy Thanksgiving, and keep safe during the shopping insanity!

Etsy finds

Happy Tofurkey Eve!

In honor of my favorite holiday friend, the pumpkin pie, here is an Etsy Mini of some wonderful handmade finds. They all have me excited to chow down on the sweet, spicy goodness!


Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Sale forthcoming

I decided to jump on the Black Friday/Cyber Monday sale bandwagon. Starting Friday, everything in my shop will at least 10% off. Plus, purchases of $15 or more will include a free gift. No need to contact me before buying; I'll adjust all prices manually, so the price you see is what you'll pay.

If you would like a custom item, the sale will also apply. Just contact me, and I'll get everything set up!

Monday, November 24, 2008

Weak weekend

Last Saturday was a craft fair at Centennial Middle School in Broken Arrow, Oklahoma. This was the worst show for us Craft Mafia ladies to date -- at least since I've been involved. Sales were really bad, and there weren't even very many lookers. The people who did the best were the multi-level marketing folks with the Silpada, Avon, etc. Too bad. I thought our booth looked great. See?


Everything, minus Tara's clothes rack, which went against the table on the far left. Here's my stuff:
Do you see the cuteness of the banner? Crazy people not buying our awesome wares. I'm sure our show was affected by An Affair of the Heart that was happening in Tulsa. For those readers not from Oklahoma, An Affair of the Heart is one of those country-kitschy shows that takes place in our expo center/fairgrounds. Most stuff -- probably 90% -- is not handmade, though shoppers tend to assume it is. It's basically the bane of most local artists' existences. I've even heard stories of friends picking up stuff from the show called handmade that had a big ol' "made in China" sticker on the bottom. Not cool, bro. I don't detract from the show itself, but I hate that people think it's handmade.
Anyway, the show was still fun because I got to hang out with some lovely ladies plus Tara's beautiful baby boy. He's my best friend now. Plus, I cheered myself up Sunday with this amazing $.50 ring. Bask in its glory:

Will you Mary me? (I can hear you laughing!)

Handmade Holidays

If you're like me, spending unthinkable amounts of money on Christmas and Hannukah presents makes you want to hibernate until the New Year. Last year, I did a halfway handmade holiday, but I've decided to commit more fully in 2008. Luckily, resources for making things at home or assembling them out of cheap-o supplies just abound. I've seen a few posts around about homemade gifts, but I wanted to compile a list of my own, too. On with the show.

My Plan of Attack
  • Baked goods. I love to bake, so having an excuse to spend all day getting high off sugary goodness sounds like a wonderful plan. I've never made truffles or candy of any sort, but I plan to learn this year. I may also do fudge and/or cookies. I have an uncle who loves chocolate of any kind, and since we don't know him terribly well, this idea came out primarily as a way to make something for him.
  • Luggage tags. These are from the Mark Montano book listed below. Basically, laminate an 8.5 x 11" sheet of paper -- scrapbook paper, a map, etc. Cut a 3 x 11" section, then fold a one-inch section over on one end. Staple over the flap, close to the folded edge. Fold the other end almost in half, so the unfolded end slips easily into the stapled part. Punch a hole in the stapled part to attach something to secure the tag to the luggage. On the blank inside, use a Sharpie to write the recipient's name and address. Voila! For pictures and such, go look up the book on Amazon, choose the Look Inside! option, and search for "luggage" in the box.
  • Jewelry. Alright, time for a gimme. Yes, I'll be making jewelry for friends and family. I may even use leftover craft-show inventory for some of this purpose. Don't tell!
  • Recipe books. I haven't quite figured out a plan of attack for these babies. There's the basic method of writing recipes on index cards, punching a hole through them, and then connecting them with ribbon, a key ring, or some other method. There's the full-on handbound book method, but I doubt I'll have the time for that. I'm thinking of buying a small three-ring binder and typing up recipes. Basically, this is definitely still in the planning stages.
  • Classes or lessons. I'm very excited to put some money into paying for loved ones -- especially the kidlets -- to do something. I'm looking into getting my brother guitar lessons through the local community college (only around $60 for 10 weeks) and possibly my stepsister to take some jewelry classes with me. I'm also interested in signing my mom up for voice lessons, something she's been dying to do.
  • Calendar. This was suggested in at least two of the links I posted. I intend to give one to my father, who is notorious for forgetting my birthday every year. I am considering making the entire month of August and most of September dedicated to my birthday, with items such as "start planning Brigid's birthday present" on August 1, "wrap Brigid's birthday present" on August 31, "plan Brigid's giant birthday bash" on September 1, and "Brigid's 25th birthday!!!!!!!!!!" on September 10. It sounds a bit passive-aggressive, but it's really not. I think my dad would find it funny, and I'd be more likely to get a gift next year!
  • Bath products. Many bath items are insanely easy to make. Bath salts, for example, are easily made using epsom salt (which costs pretty much nothing), some table salt, fragrance, and food coloring if you like. Body scrubs are nearly as easy, made by combining sugar or sea salt, some oil, fragrances, and food coloring if you want. There are also tons of fairly basic soap, lotion, bath bombs, and other goodies online. Do a Google search, and be amazed with the possibilities.
  • Crocheted stuff. A few (possibly unlucky) recipients may be receiving hats and scarves made by me this year. I say "may" because we'll first have to see how much time and patience I can whip up. I do plan to crochet little face cloths to go with the body scrubs. Any basic crocheter can do them: get some fairly thin cotton yarn and small hook. Use it to make a square -- 4 x 4" or 6 x 6" would be good -- just in single crochet. Way easy. There's also a really small chance I may try some more amigurumi this year. We shall see.
  • Sock critters. You may remember that I made my first sock monkey several months back. Well, it was so fun and easy that I'm considering trying other kinds of animals, too. I have big plans of making little ones out of baby socks. Aww!
  • Manipulated photos. I'm no PhotoShop whiz. In fact, I've never use it in my life. However, there are lots of other fun ways to personalize pictures without all the fancy computer stuff. There are collages (digital or the good-old-fashioned kind), ones presented in decoupaged frames (Mod Podge+dollar store frames+old magazine clippings), ones made into 3-D images (check out the Montano book for instructions), photos printed up poster size, scrapbook pages, and other items printed up with family photos -- tote bags, T-shirts, napkins, placemats, etc.
  • Assembled kits. These are a pretty common suggestion for gifts in the links below, too. And why not? They're easy, cheap, and fun. When I was a kid, I did one for my stepmother of different varieties of tea and a couple of chocolate bars in a thrift-store basket. Movie baskets (popcorn, soda, candy, and a DVD/rental coupon), garden kits (spade, seeds, and gloves in a pot or watering can), home spa sets (bath products, nail polish, lotions, aromatherapy candles, and a loofah in a nice basket), travel activity kits for kids (travel game, coloring book, crayons, Play-Doh, and flash cards in a decorated shoe box or little case), and romance basket (wine/sparkling juice, candles, coupon for free babysitting, restaurant gift certificated, and bubble bath) are all basic and fun ideas, too.

These are some of the things I intend to make. If you see an idea you like, please steal away. There are a million more good ideas out there that aren't going on my list this year but will still be great choices for others. Below is a list of resources I found and love for just such an occasion.

Resources

  • Get Rich Slowly blog: This blog entry has 34 excellent ideas for things you can make for holiday presents (thanks, HighFashionGirl, for mentioning it!).
  • Buy Nothing Christmas site: From the previous blog, I found this interesting list with even more ideas for ways to save money and give from the heart. Many have a religious slant, but most gifts are perfect for Christians and non-Christians.
  • Crafty Gifts community: From the crafty_gifts community on LiveJournal, I found this great list of things to make or put together using low-cost items.
  • Go.com: I've looked through this list several times, too, and there is a ton of good ideas. Most suggestions -- with complete instructions -- are great for kids, too.
  • The Big-Ass Book of Crafts: This will more or less be my present-making Bible this year. The writer, Mark Montano, has directions for making a huge variety of stuff. Plus, the pictures are great, and I find that it sparks my creativity in tons of areas.
  • Recipe Goldmine site: There are tons of good recipes here, but I'm most interested in the truffles and bon bons section. I'll let you know the results!
  • Web-Goddess.org: She is the creator of the best, easiest, clearest sock monkey tutorial I've ever seen. Here it is.

Even with all this, I haven't started making a single thing this year. Yikes! There is a method to my madness, though. I will start crafting as soon as I'm done with shows this year, which will be soon.

Who else is doing a handmade holiday? Please share any links or ideas you have!

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Everything's coming up roses

...and other assorted plant life.

Yep, the cold weather has me down again. Be like me and choose to ignore it! You can have your very own spring with these bloomin' good items.

Friday, November 21, 2008

"Traditions"

The current theme for the EtsyBloggers Carnival is either my favorite Thanksgiving tradition or how I'm preparing my Etsy shop for the holiday rush.

Hmm . . .

On the second one, the truth is I have absolutely no plan to prepare my shop. Ha! How about that? My goal is to put things in it and hope people buy them. Maybe someday I'll have a plan of attack.

The first topic is difficult for me, too. As discussed in an earlier post, Thanksgiving went from being my favorite holiday to much lower on my list. Back when I ate meat and only had one family destination every year, I loved it. What a great time to wear your fat pants, eat a whole pie, and sleep for 19 hours, right? Once I left for college, the holiday got more complicated since I had at least two houses to visit in a very short break, so I quit returning home. In fact, my two favorite Thanksgivings happened in college after I decided I would not leave campus. On the first one, my mom came out to visit me, and we spent the weekend in a brand-new, gorgeous hotel I got us a steal on in Huntington Beach. The second was my senior year of college when my friends and I made a vegetarian meal ourselves and ate in one of the dorm kitchens. It was so fun, and I ate pie for days after.

When I was a kid, my favorite thing was to eat at least half the bowl of mashed potatoes intended to feed 12 people. I looked forward to seeing my family and taking three days off from school. Now, I'm more of a Thanksgiving Scrooge. I can't eat most of the traditional foods (turkey, dressing, candied yams, gravy, sometimes the greenbean casserole and mashed potatoes), and I don't like football or parades. My parents split nearly 15 years ago, and when you add in my boyfriend's intact family, that's a lot of houses! My newest tradition is picking who I like best that year and eating with them. This year, his family wins. They're a bit more pleasant than my crazy one anyway.

I guess my favorite tradition will be the one I make one day. I look forward to having a family of my own, babies included, to celebrate with. I love the idea of giving thanks for all that we have, but the reality is too anxiety- and dead-animal-laden for me. My goal eventually is to serve meals on Thanksgiving instead of watching loved ones make pigs of themselves. Though I wouldn't personally cook a turkey or eat one, it would make me happy to help others who aren't as lucky as me bring their traditions to fruition. I genuinely look forward to traditions to come.

How about all of you? What are your favorite traditions or ones you'd like to start?

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Handmade Tulsa Weekend Update

Good morning, fellow Tulsans!

I know everyone is starting to gear up for the holiday season, so I wanted to share some great ways to spend more of your dollars locally and on handmade goods. Buying locally produced goods allows you to give one-of-a-kind gifts, stimulate the local economy, and help the environment by eliminating the long commute mass-produced items make to get to you. For more information on the benefits of buying handmade, click here.

The Tulsa community has tons of great opportunities to support local, independent artists this season, and you have several chances this weekend.

Thursday
Knit with The Knit Owl at Ida Red! Whether you're an accomplished knitter or a total novice, come by Ida Red Boutique, 3346 S. Peoria Ave., tonight at 7:30. Amby of The Knit Owl will be there to craft alongside others and even teach newbies the basics. It's totally free, and there will be cupcakes! Come make a holiday present of your own, and while you're there, check out some of the great, handmade goods for sale at the boutique.

Friday
Autumn Arts Fest! Riverfield Country Day School, 2433 W. 61st St., will host local crafters from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. during its family preview day. There is a small admission fee to benefit the school. Shop for great things made by local crafters, including Christine of Weather and Noise and Such Pretty Things.

Saturday
Centennial Middle School Arts & Crafts Fair! Come browse booths full of handmade goodies at Centennial Middle School, 225 E. Omaha in Broken Arrow. The festivities will run from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., and admission is free. Come check out the Tulsa Craft Mafia booth while you're there. Proceeds from the booth fees will benefit the Centennial PTA.

The Holiday Market at Battle Creek! While you're in Broken Arrow, come by the Church at Battle Creek, 3025 N. Aspen Ave., between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. for another craft fair. There will be lots of handmade goods here as well.

Champagne and Chocolate Invitational Holiday Art Sale! Living Arts of Tulsa will hold this annual celebration of art from 6 to 10 p.m. Saturday evening. Tickets are $10 and include champagne, chocolate, hors d'ouevres, and the chance to purchase amazing art produced in the Tulsa area. Come see the works of artists Nicole Moan (Ceramic Corsets), Susan Barnard, Lisa Regan, and more than 60 others. Click here for a full list of artists, ticket purchases, and more information.


There are five excuses to shop local and handmade this weekend. If you know of any other events this Thursday through Friday, please leave it in the comments.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

I'm it!

The wonderful Tara over at Nothing Elegant has tagged me! Here are the rules:
-You have to link to the person who tagged you
-You have to write 7 things about yourself (both weird and normal stuff)
-You have to tag 7 people and link to them in the end of the post and you have to leave a comment on their blog.

So here we go.

1. My weirdest "talent" is that I can turn my bellybutton inside out, i.e. make my innie look like an outtie. It's very strange, so I won't show you any pictures. :)

2. I love black pugs, and I don't think I can die happy without some day acquiring one.
pug pup Pictures, Images and Photos

3. I still secretly wish I was a ballerina.
ballet shoes Pictures, Images and Photos


4. My mom is my best female friend in the world.

(Us in 2004)

5. If I got offered a job in Italy, I'd grab my boyfriend and leave tomorrow.









6. I wish I could join the Red Hat Society. They seem to be my kind of ladies.









7. I don't miss eating meat, and I really never liked bacon.














As for the tagging bit, I choose Renee, Stela, Heather, Grace, Amby, Jessie, and Addielou. I look forward to your posts!

Twitter feature

If any of you are on Twitter (Twitterers? Twits? Twitterpated?), YarnCoture chose me as her featured Etsy seller of the day. Follow her here to see the updates, which will run sometime between noon and 1 p.m. today, Central time. If you miss them, you can still click on her profile to see what pieces in my shop she highlighted.

YarnCoture is such a sweetheart to do these weekday features. I'm so excited to be chosen for today. Check out her Etsy shop for unique crocheted and knitted items. Check out her hats in particular, modeled by one of her adorable children!

Thank you again, YarnCoture!

Monday, November 17, 2008

The Cola Contenders -- Rounds 3 and 4

Round 3
We continued the great soda war last week with 365 All Natural Cola.

Sorry, no photos this time around. You can go back to the original post to see the soda can. I was going to take a shot of the cola in a glass like I did last time, but it was identical to Blue Sky, which you can see in the original post. Once again, this mean's that 365 cola contains caramel coloring, but it also states it's from a natural source.

Anyway, this brand was somewhat similar to Blue Sky in flavor. It was similar to RC again, but its flavor was a bit more complex and interesting. It wasn't too sweet nor too bland. 365's biggest advantage over its competitors so far is bite. Yes, this soda actually has adequate carbonation! That's a really important cola quality for me. While the RC-like flavor doesn't do it for me the way Virgil's more organic notes did, the presence of amped-up carbonation is an important factor.
Rating (out of five bubbles): We both concur it's a 3.5, making it Grey's favorite and tied for first with me.

Round 4 -- the finale
In the final round, we tested out Jones Pure Cane Cola.

Photobucket

It's in a clear glass bottle, so you can see that it is, in fact, brown thanks to naturally sourced caramel coloring. As I anticipated, this was the clear winner. It has a crisp, complex flavor and plenty of delicious carbonation. Unlike its competitors, it has caffeine, so that may explain the extra bite. Whatever the case, this was a joy to imbibe. It is its own cola -- not a Coke, Pepsi, Dr. Pepper, or (God forbid another) RC Cola rip-off. It was refreshing and tasty from the bottle, and as I discovered over the weekend, it's quite wonderful from the can, too. You can buy 12 packs of it from Reasor's for $4 (I think). I am very happy to have found the perfect Diet Dr. Pepper replacement. Though this one has calories, I'm happy to spend 160 of them on something tasty and not totally chemical-laden.
Rating (out of five bubbles): He gives it a 4, I edge it up slightly to a 4.5.

Conclusion: Jones definitely came in first, while Blue Sky was the least appealing. Of course, none can overtake my favorite cane-sugar cola of all time, the German-produced Afri-Cola. Oh how I miss thee.

I hope you enjoyed this little adventure as much as we did!

Garage Sale Recap

Well, Saturday's Holiday Rock N' Roll Garage Sale was not a huge financial success for me, but it was fun -- and LOUD! The last band, Colourmusic, was quite awesome, and I had a good time hanging out with JD, Stela, Claudia, my new friend Heather, and of course my beloved man. Here are a few shots:







(Click on photos for a larger view. I'm trying not to overwhelm my readers with giant photos!) The first one is Grey being a sexy salesman. He's actually really good at getting me sales. On the right is me. Check out my displays in action. I'm really happy with them.








Here's a fun side view of my teeny table. On the right is the display I "made" for my Yo Yo Pendants, rings, and barrettes. It's the little trunk I got from Hobby Lobby filled with white rice. I love it! The best part is that everything gets a little jumbled in transport, so you get to dig for buried treasure trying to set things up. :)







On the left is the lovely JD getting things set up. I love her little Christmas tree and, of course, her gorgeous displays. She was right across from me. On the right is Heather of To the 9's, my neighbor to the left. She's a relative newbie to the craft-selling scene, and I think she's off to a great start!







Here's Claudia with her table. I didn't manage to get a shot of her Green Line bags, but they are lovely -- little bags made from T-shirts. So environmentally friendly! On the right, she's burning wood. It gave off such a nice smell, and I swear I felt warmer when she had the burner out! Unfortunately, I didn't get any photos of Stela, but you can see her recap on her blog.


And lastly, I give you the absolute coolest sale attendee -- this tiny child dressed as Winnie the Pooh. I don't know who he/she is, but he/she is my hero! (EDIT: I've just been informed that this adorable wee one is the daughter of Nicole Moan of Ceramic Corsets by Nicole Moan. That explains her awesomeness!)

All in all, I guess the garage sale wasn't really my venue. I did sell one of my favorite pieces -- the Gilded Leaves Necklace -- and hand out a good number of business cards. I definitely enjoyed hanging out with my Oklahomies and meeting new people. I didn't end up selling any rings or rosaries, but they got by far the most compliments. I'll have to list more of them soon.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Holiday Rock N' Roll Garage Sale


I'm participating in the Holiday Rock N' Roll Garage Sale tomorrow in Oklahoma City. If you're in the area, please stop by! There will be awesome handmade goods, vintage finds, and great local music. It is this Saturday, November 15, from noon to 8 p.m. at the CD Warehouse at 905 N. Broadway in Oklahoma City. Sellers include JD Star, Stelabird, Claudia's Burning Ink, and me! Admission is free, but everyone is encouraged to bring a canned food item to benefit the Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma. Come on out and buy some Christmas/Hanukkah presents, enjoy local bands, and contribute to this great cause. For more information, check out the event's MySpace page at http://www.myspace.com/rocknrollgaragesale. I hope to see you there!

Thursday, November 13, 2008

The Cola Contenders -- Rounds 1 and 2

For the past few weeks, I've been feeling icky about drinking soda. The regular stuff is full of high fructose corn syrup and chemicals, which I know aren't healthy. The diet variety -- my typical go-to -- is a combination of fake sweeteners and more chemicals. Since I don't like club soda or fruity pops, I decided to start the search for a delicious, natural cola drink. Along the way, Grey and I thought it would be fun to do a taste test. We bought three -- with plans to acquire at least one more -- and evening by evening, we're working our way through them. Here are the contenders:
From left to right, we have 365 Cola (Whole Foods brand), Virgil's Real Cola, and Blue Sky Natural Soda in Cola. Not pictured is Jones Cane Sugar Cola because I still have to go buy it.

Round 1 took place Tuesday night. Up first was Virgil's. This brand is the most appealing visually in its neato glass bottle. It also has a fun twist-off cap that I can use for craft projects. Unfortunately, it's nearly a dollar more expensive than the cans for the same amount of beverage. Taste-wise, this drink was quite good. It has a complex flavor more akin to Dr. Pepper than Coke or Pepsi. The clove and vanilla are noticeable but not overpowering. What this soda is missing is bite. The carbonation is a bit lacking, which is too bad. If it were stronger, this may have been an early winner. Rating: Out of 5 bubbles, my co-tester (AKA my boyfriend) gave it 3 bubbles, and I was a little more generous with 3.5.



Round 2 took place last night. The second competitor is Blue Sky.

(A friend recommended I take a picture of the drinks in a glass to show off the color since, without caramel color, most soda is naturally clear. I don't have a picture like this of Virgil's, but I plan to purchase another bottle so I can show you what it looks like out of the bottle. As you can see, Blue Sky's cola is brown because it contains caramel coloring, though the can indicates it's from natural sources.)

This soda comes in a pretty can with lots of lovely blue, but it's not nearly as cool as the bottle. It cost me $.69 at Whole Foods, and I think you can get a six-pack there for about $3, so it does win the price war. The cola had a decent flavor but was much less complex than Virgil's. No particular flavors stuck out to us. Grey and I both remarked that it tasted a lot like RC Cola. I think Coke drinkers will be more likely than Pepsi drinkers to enjoy this soda. Like Virgil's, it has low carbonation, which is a definite strike against it. Where's the bite, natural soda manufacturers? Rating: I gave it 2.5, but my love gave it a 2. Virgil's was a clear winner over this one, giving it a second-day advantage.


Round 3 takes place tonight, so I'll make sure to update you soon. I hope you enjoyed this little detour. :)

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Photos of the Day #9 and #10

This is yesterday's photo of the day:


It has started to get unreasonably dark when I leave work at 5 p.m. This photo was taken yesterday, when I left 20 minutes early. The sky has been moody for days now. It makes me feel almost imprisoned by the lethargy, so the fence and power lines seemed fitting.

Here's today's photo:

I finally broke down and bought a pair of tights. The truth? I love them! They are warm and cozy. They aren't itchy and cutting into my skin like I expected. Now I have to buy another pair in brown and maybe some wacky colors, too. Oh my!

New items in my shop

I'm finally being a good girl this week and adding things to my Etsy shop.

Yesterday, I added the Lucky Scarab Bracelet, priced at $15.



This morning, it was the Into the Red Abyss Earrings at $10.

EDIT: I have now added the Harlequin Romance Necklace at $25.

Check out these items and many more in my Etsy store!

About Me

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Tulsa, OK, United States
Hello! Welcome to my blog, which I run in conjunction with my Etsy shop, greyeyedesigns.etsy.com. Here, I'll track things I'm working on, do reviews and interviews, and offer advice and information. Thanks for stopping by!

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