Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Featured Etsyblogger: Lazy T Crochet

The featured Etsyblogger this month is Lazy T Crochet. There are so many different items in her shop, here are just a few of the ones I liked. She also excepts custom orders and doesn't require you to have a paypal account.

This boucle scarf is only $15. I can't imagine needing one in Florida but it would have been great when I was in San Fran.

For those of you starting on a more green living experience the perfect hand saver for your starbucks, this coffee sleeve is only $12 and will be the talk of the office.

This hat is reserved for someone, but I am a sucker for hats. Not currently since I am almost 7 months pregnant and I am hot all the time, but I think hats are super fun!
So go check out Lazy T Crochet.

Monday, June 29, 2009

MIA for a bit

I am having some personal issues right now that have caused me to be MIA for a bit and may continue for a while. We are all ok but any positive vibes out there would be greatly appreciated.

My friend Adrien

I met Adrien a couple years ago at a show I was doing in St. Pete. She runs this fabulous show called Atomic Holiday Bazaar, which I was lucky enough to be a part of last year. We have become friends over the years and I asked her these questions recently based on my interview with kittykill.

1. How did you get into embroidery and how long have you been doing it?
My aunt is an amazing embroidery artist and gave me my first needle and floss kit which was a chipmunk when I was about 8. I didn't get serious about learning difficult stitches until my early 20s prior to that, I was just sewing things my way which made for some really cool pieces but beading that wouldn't hold because I wasn't using the correct thread, etc. It's good to really do it right the first time, duh!

2. Tell me a little bit about yourself.
I'm sunny to partly cloudy.

3. Tell me about your indie business
Tuff Betty Bags began in '99 in L.A., I don't produce as much as I had in the past due to my other indie biz stuff, Vintage Stew on Etsy, Atomic Holiday Bazaar my crazy craft show in December, Raging Retro, stylized retro photography (I don't take the pics) so I'm pretty busy year round with my hands in a bit of everything.

4. Any advice for the masses
Trademark your business name...very important. The potential to lose your rights to your business name after you have established a good following is a true reality that can bite you in the behind. You can easily trademark your biz name on line and it is worth every penny to do so.

5. What is your website/blog

6. What is your favorite piece of yours?
Really too many to mention. Here are most of my bags on a Flickr slideshow, 1999 - to 2009

7. Who/What are some inspirations for you
Aubrey Beardsley, Edward Gorey, Arts and Craft Movement, Art Nouveau, nature, music and vintage clothing.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

My friend Kittykill (AKA Pam)

This is a little interview I conducted with my good friend Kittykill. I met her on Craftster oh about 2 1/2 - 3 years ago. She is the moderator for needlework and I have learned so much from her. I am also lucky enough to have a few pieces made by her and her craftsmanship and attention to detail is not to be believed. We became fast friends and although we have never met in person I feel like I have known her my entire lifetime! I am so excited to have you all meet her!

1. How did you get into embroidery and how long have you been doing it?

I saw an ad for Sublime Stitching in Bust magazine and decided that I wanted to try it. I bought some patterns and began stitching. I had done some needlepoint and crosstitch up till then but really fell in love with embroidery. It was like I found a home,something I could do well and have an excuse to watch movies while doing it.I also discovered Craftster and my life has never been the same. I've met so many amazing talented people. I've been embroidering for about 5-6 years.

2. Tell me a little bit about yourself.....

I just turned 39, live in Portland Oregon with my husband Mark and our two Jack Russells Lola and Jujube. When I'm not stitching. I work for a women's domestic violence/sexual assault crisis line and help moderate Craftster.org. I love anything vintage from 1890-1950's, scary movies, kitschy stuff. We have a Tiki bar in our house and my hubby can make a mean drink. I treat my dogs like chilren and I'm sure it embarrasses my husband to death. I'm also a contributing writer on FeelingStitchy.com and I just started the Scrappy Dog Society. I love embroidering vintage patterns, it makes me smile to think 40 to 50 years from now my work will inspire someone when they see it at an estate sale or a thrift store. I love the way embroidery tells the history of our cultures. You can see the world evolving (or de-evolving) through stitches.

3. Tell me about your indie business

I have a shop on Etsy.com. 3 Jack Design. I sell jewelry, embroidery and vintage clothing/housewares. I also have a joint venture with an awesome friend selling patterns. We are still trying to come up with a name but the patterns seem to be doing quite well.

4. Any advice for the masses?

Don't listen to negative criticism! Do what you want to do and you will be happy. I don't embroider the conventional way but it always turns out the way I want it to. Also, practice, practice, practice. My first pieces were a little shaky but I kept up with it and really like the work I turn out now. Also, BE NICE TO PEOPLE! You can certainly be sassy but the head you step on, on your way to the top, is the ass you will have to kiss on the way back down to the bottom. Meet people in your community, encourage others to share their talent and their voices.

5. What is your website/blog?

6. What is your favorite piece of yours?
(I have added some of kittykill's favorite pieces throughout the interview as well as here)
This pillow above was made for me by Kittykill from a Shag print and I <3 it.

7. Who/What are some inspirations for you?

My family inspires me. Music and movies inspire me. People in the crafting community like Jenny Hart, lovely little deer, anyakase, kunderwood, Lilyvanilli, Brook, flossbox, sew sew a go-go, fiberartsy. Pin up artist, bad "B" horror movies, vintage embroidery patterns and pieces. And of course-you!

If you want to read my interview on her blog check it out here

Monday, June 15, 2009

Busy Weekend.

Whew! I got caught up in embroidery this weekend. It's funny cause I only started on Saturday but then Dan went fishing so I was home and made a ton of things.

First I knew I had to get Regina's long awaited tote bag done. I have slacked way too long and I wanted to get completed and all of her goodies together to send out this week.

Kinda of weird shadow came out when I looked at this.
Cow Cow and Chicken based on one of regina's illustrations. She calls her bf cowcow.

Regina sent me over some line art of the new sushi line of patterns she made for sale and I made a set of napkins and a onesie for Sam.

These are 8 x8 cotton napkins from CB2, a division of Crate and Barrel.

This little onesie was on sale for $3.00 and I loved the color and thought the new patterns would look super cute on it!
Up close of the sushi roll ( don't mind the extra floss)

Then the final thing I completed is from a prop used in Dazed and Confused. After my Bake Cake towel I made last week I wanted to make a more adult version with the F word involved. Dan and I loved the FAH-Q on Ben Affleck's paddle in Dazed and Confused so I copied it and made framed art.

I have a ton more things I need to do still. I need to finish up an order, and make a apron for 4th of July..

Friday, June 12, 2009

My friend Regina!

Ok so technically we have never met but I have been working with Regina for quite a while. She is a very talented graphic artist/designer. Regina also helped out with my day job by creating some promotional pamphlets we needed a HUGE redesign on. My friendship with Regina started out where I made a towel from an illustration she had done to represent her ( chicken) and her boyfriend (cow cow.) Then I asked Regina if she'd like to draw pdf's for patterns for my etsy shop ( which we were going to open a new one) and she has made some of the cutest patterns for the shop over the past couple months. The ones coming out next week are super duper cute! I wanted to write a little feature on her etsy shop Notebooks Etc.

Notebooks Etc. has a variety of items from memo pads, notebooks and stickers to her newest item coffee tumblers.

We are Explorers memo pad.

The Turtle Tumbler

Cow Cow and Chicken Long memo pad ( I use mine for grocery and to-do lists).

Funtastic Fruits Sticker

The quality and prices can't be beat. Regina and I are supposed to swap ( I am a slacker) and she sent me a ton of goodies from her shop and I have some at work and some at home. So why are you still here, go check out her shop!

Finished Bake Cake Towel

Oh I finally finished this towel. I was inspired from a shirt my friend SewSew-A-GoGo created for her adorable daughter! I am thinking of other phrases to do this towel in. We have free HBO and Showtime this weeked so I am hoping to catch up on some much needed craftiness.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Blog Carnival Topic- B-day

Hmm my b-day is at the end of August and this year is a big b-day which I do not care to mention..lol I am thinking that we may go out to dinner earlier for my b-day because I will be about 36 weeks pregnant and if my trip to Tampa yesterday taught me anything, eating and getting in a car are still not such a good idea...

I have bought gifts before for myself and my mom has given me money ( like clothes) and for the hubby. I think I am a pretty easy person to buy for, plus I have a wist and an amazon list to help my baffled family. I like music and books so there is always something I don't have. I have tried to stop buying books cause they are so darn expensive.

I think the best gift I ever received ( and it may not have been a b-day gift) is I always bug my husband to tell me how he fell in love with me. One year he bought a message in a bottle, wrote the story of how he fell in love with me and had it assembled in the beautiful kit that he gave to me. It made me cry like a b-day then and still tear up now. It was in a gorgeous glass bottle and nestled in this little treasure chest.

For this b-day there are about 5 concerts I'd like to see but I will wait until these bands come back here again. I think all of the bands have been here before and I have seen them all. I did go 4 years ago to see the Killers with Dan for my b-day and it was a fabulous show.

For this b-day, I think I would like to sleep in, maybe a massage and a nap!

Monday, June 8, 2009

This weekend

Ok so first off the gazpacho was freakin' amazing! I ate way too much of it. I left it at the people's house I made it for and then made a whole new batch on Saturday...YUM!

I have been working on a tote for Regina for a while and I still have not finished it, well cause I am a slacker. I will finish it this week and post a pic of it so I can send it on it's way to her.

I did finish a set of pillowcases. I saw a similar set on a website for sale that were made in china and were machine embroidered for A LOT of money so I figured I would whip up a set and have them in my store. I figured these would be a great baby shower or new parent gift for a couple that has a sense of humor. Each pillowcase had On Duty on one side and when you flip the pillow over it says Off Duty.

I have been working on this towel for a while. It will eventually say "Bake Cake" in the knuckles but for the time being it is a very slow WIP. It is from my friend SewSew-A-Gogo on flickr. She makes some of the cutest stuff.

Please don't mind the scattered blue my water soluble pen is not coming out so easy on here.

Friday, June 5, 2009

Artist Friend: Wild Olive

I am sure many of you know Mollie of Wild Olive on flickr and on etsy. She makes some of the cutest patterns ever. I have been buying them for a bit now and she recently asked if she could use a couple pictures of her patterns that I embroidered for her etsy site and I was like sure!

Since I have started to use a light table I think my embroidery has gotten so much better because I am able to draw much thinner lines and then water makes them disappear. My sulky pens got way to fat and the lines get too thick and then I need more floss to cover them.

Free Pattern available here

From her Christmas tree topper ( I think) collection available again soon.

The patterns on this towel are from her Bar-B Cute Set. This is one of her newer sets to be released in her shop. I made them on a towel for a 4th of July Party we are going to. Since we have 2 places to be I may make an apron for the other party hostess.
The blue lines are all gone now this was before it was totally done.

Oh watermelon is yummy.
Mollie has a blog where she posts her new items and projects she does as well. If you sign up for her mailing list you can get free patterns and info about sales and promos. So check her out!

Gazpacho..MMMM My Favorite

Ok so this is one of my all time favorite recipes especially for the summer since it is a cold soup. Since I have been pregnant I have been craving gazpacho, unfortunately from weeks 6 until 21 weeks I suffered such bad morning sickness ( every afternoon and evening) that tomato's were not my friend at all, I really wanted to eat pizza, spaghetti and gazpacho. I think I am truly craving salt but I have begged my mom to make gazpacho and we all knew what would happen if I ate it.

I was telling Dan on the way to work today it is such a fresh smelling soup. I still have morning sickness but we are going to my parent's friends house for dinner and I made it last night. I am 24 weeks on Sunday so I figured it would be safe to try it. I ate some after I made it and felt the heartburn kick in immediately. I tasted it this morning and it was sooooooo good. I could eat the entire bowl (it's HUGE). I am taking Zantac for my heartburn ( turns out my doc didn't like me taking 10 Tums a day) and I am going to take another before dinner so I can eat it later.

Here is the recipe:

Gazpacho Recipe
This is my favorite soup. Please add/delete ingredients to your liking.
5 ripe tomatoes
1 bell pepper ( I use yellow or red because they are sweeter)
1 cucumber ( take the seeds out)
1 large onion ( maybe 2)
garlic ( fresh I usually put 3 cloves)
1/4 cup lemon juice
cumin-to your liking
cayenne-to your liking
salt -to your liking
olive oil ( recipe asks for two tablespoons, I don't use much)
1 can tomato juice

Put all ingredients in a food processor, chop to your liking. I can't fit it all in
one time so I do it 2 or three times, dump it all in a big bowl and add the
entire can of tomato juice, but you do not have to. Do not eat until the next
day and make sure it is very cold. Some people add sour cream (will kill the
bite if you were cayenne happy), and croutons.


Thursday, June 4, 2009

Etsykids Store " Mary Had a Little Party"

I was wandering around the forum and team section of etsy and happened upon Mary had a Little Party's shop and found so many adorable items. I get the Oriental Trading catalogs from my past days as a teacher and they have a lot of licensed commercial items for parties but this shop has some adorable unique invites and all items needed for a party.

This store does everything from custom cake toppers and favor bags to matching invites and thank yous.

Owl Cupcake toppers on SALE NOW!!
Pirate invitations

This is called the everything but the cake complete party kit.

I guess I have been looking at so many boy things lately that I picked two boy themed party ideas.

So for your next party stop by Mary had a Little Party's shop and check it out!