Monday, September 28, 2009

Facing A Challenge...

Alrighty folks... well... I'm finally going to do it. After 8 years... I am going to buck up and face my fears... and try to start working on my 56" Macomber Loom. Back in college, when I was hoping to concentrate on Pottery... I was so kindly disregarded in class choices since I was a freshman (go figure) and needed to fill up my space, preferably with an art class. Turned out that my adviser was also the Fiber Arts professor and she, of course, prompted me to take her course. I was hesitant. I really didn't know anything about working with Fibers... and I really, honestly, had a pretty crappy art experience in high school. I can't believe we, the taxpayers, pay some people to sit around and work on their OWN art projects, while allowing kids to pretty much blow off a couple of class periods doodling or mashing polymer clay between their fingers. Frustrating. Anyway... as I was saying... I didn't know much about Fiber and let me tell you, there were some kooky things being taught that I knew nothing about! Line, Form, Shape, Color... sounds pretty elementary, but when you are in college and have never had a decent understanding of such things via your high school years... it can be pretty overwhelming. Come to find out though, despite not really caring much about the ins and outs of the "artsy fartsy world"--I actually did take a liking to weaving on a loom. I would go to the studio in the evenings to work on my projects. Just me, the radio and a small Macomber Loom. Most of the other kids in the class really didn't care and did simple things that they could blow through in the 3.5 hour class time twice a week. A long story short... I hated college. I roomed with my best friend... it was supposed to be the time of our lives... and it actually ruined our friendship to the point where we didn't speak for YEARS. I'd say maybe 5 yrs. We do send an occasional "hello" email... but it's not the same. (I never recommend rooming with your best friend, unless you want to try to endure through the tension--Best of Luck). I also had a very obnoxious boyfriend at the time. One of those things I look back and and say WHAT THE H-E-Double hockey stix WAS I THINKING!? Seriously. No... MORE than seriously. What a waste of my time, breath and GAS MONEY. Yeah, he didn't drive or work and lived 40 mins away. WHAT.WAS.I.THINKING? Ew. Anyway... I decided to drop out of college. I never was very studious anyway and I absolutely hated my english class. **shudder** I finished out my semester and then went to work. The American Dream. Right. But it led me where I am today, so I really can't complain! About 4 months or so after having left college and moving back home... I decided to drain out some savings and buy a 56" Macomber Loom. The thought at the time was that having a loom that could making things as big as rugs would be beneficial. Instead, it turned into quite the ball and chain hauling it around the few times I moved. I did use it a couple of times, but it ended up becoming more of a "catch all" than a useful tool. I am ashamed. But today, I begin again! I pulled out my trusty old weaving book from college and I am going to attempt to face my fears. May sound lame, I know... but I have this little nagging inside of me that says that nothing I do is ever good enough. I don't want a constant pat on the back for the things that I do... but I guess everyone wants their talents to be worth something, right? So, I start today. I have already set the loom up, ready to start threading on the Warp. Here is a picture of my loom, as it is now, in my dining room (please don't mind the 70's linoleum) (Also in the picture is the warping board with a funky yellow yarn that I am going to use for my first project... and also, my trusty weaving book). Perhaps this will become a theraputic art for me. (Hopefully). Here are a couple of other pics of sample weaves I did in college. Unfortunately, the only scarf I actually kept ended up getting eaten by my parents dog. No joke. Not like "the dog ate my homework" or anything... because it happened a couple of years after I was out of college... the dog must've been drawn to the wool... or perhaps a yarn was dyed in some organic substance that attracted her. Either way, it is gone. So my sister is the only other person with a piece of my weaving. I made a scarf for her, however she claims it is too scratchy to wear. I can't dispute her, I honestly didn't do the best job in picking out a comfortable yarn... although if she wore it, it would probably become a little less scratchy over time. This here is the Waffle Weave (which I absolutely love and get a thrill just from even looking at this sample... it's so neat to watch it come together on the loom!): And this... its just a small sample of a bunch of different weaves that we did using cast-off yarns...
Wish me luck, eh?

And on an ending note, I'd like to share this little bit of my weekend. My mom and I set up a table at a small fall festival in my hometown. It pretty much rained the whole day, which was a bummer... but I did make a little money and that helped to buy some groceries today!! But, here is a pic of my sweet little nephew snuggled in a U-haul blanket with my mom. We were all freezing up on the windy hill, luckily our stuff didn't blow away!

I am off to peruse through my Weaving Book and hopefully refresh my memory so that I can start becoming The Weaver at the Loom that I know I can be.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Not Quite Sure What to Do....?

So, I've been thinking a lot lately about closing out my Etsy Shop. I haven't sold anything in awhile and I don't do enough of ONE thing to really make my shop appealing. There are so many other people on Etsy selling great stuff, I just don't know that I feel like my items are up to par. I do spend a lot of time on the things I make and I enjoy making them... but I'm just not sure where I am going with them. If I don't try to sell them though, then there is no point in creating things because I won't get a return on the materials I buy. Of course, I can always make things to give away as gifts. *sigh* I'm just not sure. I have more items that I could post... but I hesitate. Is it really worth it? It is so thrilling to have a sale! But so disappointing to go on each day without selling anything. Perhaps I need to focus on just one thing? But I get bored doing just one thing. Perhaps I need to focus on taking better pictures for the listings? So many things to think about...
Does anyone else have an Etsy Shop? Any secrets of success? Any words of wisdom?

Sunday, September 13, 2009

And What Might This Be??

This weekend, Cory went to Maryland to help some friends move into their new house. Conveniently, my aunt's house is on the way to where he was going! So he dropped me off on his way through! I think it was the first time she and I actually got to spend time together... just US. My cousin was there some of the time, but she was running around with friends and also had to work. So, Saturday... we went to different shops in her little town. CUTE! I saw many things I wanted to buy, but I didn't. I brought some money with me, but I wanted to hold onto it until I saw something that I really wanted (if I happened across it). We went to some HUGE antique malls... it was so fun and I got a lot of ideas for things I want to put in my home or art studio... but WOW... it was exhausting! Your eyes get tired because there is so much to look at! It was fun though and nice to spend time together.

So, what's in that box at the top of this post?? Can you guess? I wrote about it in an earlier post... but this one FAR out-weighs the one I was hoping to get back in July... CHECK IT OUT!!!

SO awesome!!!! My aunt even got me 10% off by asking the guy in the shop if he could do better. It is sooooo great! Honestly, it hardly looks used! Everything is in awesome condition... and I love that it comes in a case to protect it! I have to get a new ribbon (which we looked up online before I bought it to make sure we could even get one)... but it is just SO cool!!! I know, you're probably thinking I'm weird... but I can't believe the price for being in such great condition. It's estimated to be from 1911-1924. :) I'm excited! That was probably the hi-light of my trip... other than seeing Cory after a day and a half of being apart!!! (And of course, spending time with my aunt & cousin). WOO HOO!!

A few glimpses of some other things...

These are some YUMMY cookies I made for Cory's lunches. I really need to stop baking. I am not going to be able to fit in my clothes by the time thanksgiving comes around! ARGH! The cookies are really good though!

I wrote about these next few things in an earlier post. Check out the doors and window I plan to spruce up!! (Don't mind my basement... we are getting ready to get it organized... right now it's a mess!)

Here are the kitties I'm working on!

And... Here is the weird wooden thing we found at the flea market to use as a card display... I think it works well, don't you!?

Have you found any great flea market or antique shop buys?

I hope you've had a great weekend!!

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Been Doing A Little of This, A Little of That...

Over the holiday weekend, Cory and I did some gardening. We went to Lowe's and used some of our gift certificates from our wedding (THANKS!) and picked up a few things. We didn't do a whole lot... but each little bit counts and in the springtime... we are going to have a nice little chunk of colorful blooms! And it will be a surprise of color since we aren't sure what colors the blooms will be!
We also took a trip out to the flea market. It was a splurge for me... Cory knew I was wanting to look for some display pieces for my items that I'd like to sell at the upcoming fall festival. We were on the lookout for a ladder. You know, an old and worn out looking one with character. We found one... but hadn't made it too far around the flea market and decided we'd come back for it. AGH! Someone else bought it in the mean time. We should've known that would happen, but we took our chances. We saw the lady lugging it around and I kept kicking myself! We did end up finding a really cool wooden piece that will work to display my cards. I didn't take a picture... but I probably will at the festival. On our way out, we spotted some neat old windows and doors. The kind with glass panes. The doors looked like they were from an old cupboard and the panes were busted out... but I have some plans for them. :) Think... fabric and hinges!
On Monday, we decided to bake some pie with blueberries that Cory's mom gave us. So we made mini-pies! Too cute and delicious! And yesterday I worked on more kitties and plan on keeping on that task for the rest of the afternoon today... They are turning out cute. I'll post a pic when I get a few done.
And this morning, I baked some bread. I only made a small loaf since it's just me and Cory... but I'm excited to try it! I am waiting for Cory to get home though. :)
I hope you're all having a great Thursday! It's beautiful outside here! I just mowed the lawn and the breeze was fantastic!!

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Where in the World Have I Been!?

I heard somewhere once that creative people tend to lean toward the "depressed" and "moody" side of life. I don't know if there is any scientific evidence to prove that... but I think there is some truth. Although maybe it has to do with family history and the gene pool and all of that rot. Who really knows? God, I guess. Anyway... I have so many thoughts that run through my mind in the course of a day... and even at night when I try to sleep. Sometimes I wish I had a little switch up there behind my ear somewhere to turn the "thinking" part of my brain off (while the rest of my brain still allows for bodily function, of course). But alas... I am human and I can't just flip a switch. So, I have a bajillion thoughts and ideas... and they all seem good... yet... I never seem to be satisfied in my own accomplishments. I try so many things and have very little focus for any one thing in particular. It's frustrating... but I just keep on keeping on and living life.

So, what have I been up to while I have put the blog on the back burner? Welp, besides the normal cooking, cleaning, mowing the lawn, etc... I have been working on some crafts. I really don't like that word... crafts. It seems so... "bubble-gummy". Like, "Oh, I'm working on a craft today!". Lame. But when you use the word ART... people expect paintings and drawings and all sorts of artsy-fartsy stuff. I'm really not into that either. I do consider myself an artist... but not the artsy-fartsy kind... I guess more on the *ugh* craft side... but who needs to categorize, right? It's all just labeling! So, let me show you what I have been doing to occupy my mind so as not to go completely insane. Don't get me wrong... I am not complaining about being at home all day. It has been my life-long dream to stay at home (and be a mom--some day)... but the "insane" part I am referring to isn't about boredom... it's about the internal workings of my own mind that I can't even begin to explain. Ok... so here we go... (Hoping to sell these in Sept. at a Fall Fest):

First up... CARDS. Yes.. cards. Which I suppose are considered CRAFTS... but whatever. I love papers... envelopes... pens and stamps and interesting note cards. I really despise going to a store for a card, though, and having a cute pic on the front... then you open the card up and there is some generic greeting on the inside. Now, I understand, not everyone wants to sit down and fill up the inside of a blank card. People actually LIKE the generic greetings. Sometimes I do as well, when I need to send out a sympathy card or something. But I have a real loathing for great cards on the outside with crap printed on the inside. I could think of a million other things I want to write on the inside--but the manufacturer always ruin it! So, I created my own cards.
Some are big, some are small... but most importantly... they are BLANK on the inside!!! *sigh*

Next up is my jewelry. I have tried selling some items in my Etsy shop (as well as mittens and pottery and some hair doo-dads)... but there is just too much competition with Etsy. Who wants my random little pieces of jewelry... when you can find much cooler things if you search? That's just my own opinion... coming from a lack of sales and a negative attitude! Anywho... I am hoping to sell some of this at the Fall Fest as well.

I would really have liked to have some pottery to sell at the festival... but with getting married and also an elbow injury from back in JANUARY that is still healing... I haven't had a chance to throw any. Kind of bummed... but maybe for next year!

Another project I have taken on without really knowing what I am getting into... is sewing a little stuffed cat. I got a good deal on the pattern and thought it looked adorable... but there is some hand stitching that I wasn't anticipating. I mean, OK, I guess I knew it had hand stitching... but I'd never done it before and didn't think it was that big of a deal... but it is pretty time consuming! Although, I admit... it's not that hard. Of course, I am not going for perfection here... so my edges leave much to be desired... but like I said... this is my first time--so I'm not too picky.
I think it will be cute, even if it is a miniature!

And lastly... I have been put in charge of booking the bands for the local Christian Teen Center... which takes an obnoxiously enormous amount of time to do! It's not easy coordinating bands and prices and dates and having to turn some people down. BUT... I must say that I am SUPER-DUPER excited that we MIGHT be getting one of my all-time favorite bands in October! I am still in communication with them about what we can work out... so CROSS YOUR FINGERS AND TOES!

I am off to have some chili and cornbread for dinner. It's funny, ever since I met Cory... my taste buds have opened up tremendously! I now eat cucumbers, green peppers, watermelon and chili!! Weird! But good! Tomorrow--getting my hair cut and getting ready for a yard sale out at my sisters!