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?

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!

Your humble blogger

Your humble blogger