Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Sample Invitations?

Thinking about getting into doing some wedding invitations. It's fun to design them, but I have to either fix my printer or get a new one to do more high quality card stock printing.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Wedding Dress

I'm working on a cotton wedding dress right now. I made a mannequin of myself about a month or so ago, but I'm finally starting to use it. I've been doing the wedding magnets and I guess I wanted to try my hand at sewing. Watching numerous re-runs of Project Runway has nothing to do with it...
Anyways, rather than spend ridiculous amounts of my money at Joanns on organza or silk, I decided to do cotton. You've seen those Cotton ads with Zooey Deschanel and Miranda Lambert, right? You know..."the touch, the feel, the Cotton...fabric of our lives". Anyways, I LOVE those ads. I want every single dress that both of those ladies wear. Okay, that was a side note that really has nothing to do with my dress. The fabric I used is actually just a sheet (not my own. That would be odd and slightly gross), 100% cotton. This is more of a practice dress- no one's actually going to wear it.
I wanted it to have a more Grecian/toga shape but with an eye catching blue streak. It's actually pretty flattering on my flabby bod :-)

Fun with Picnik

I just signed up for a premium membership with picnik.com (I've mentioned it before) and I wanted to try some of the features. No, my eyes actually aren't green, and the weirdish yellow is one of the halloween features. Fun

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

More moving layouts

Scrapbook layouts- Moving

These are a few layouts from my first full length scrapbook. I finished this a couple of years ago, right after I moved with my family from Michigan to Arizona. The result is a bit amateurish- I'd definitely do a lot of things differently now- but I still really like it. It was fun to do a book about a cross-country trip. There's lots of inside jokes that you can play off of.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Does that make me a lesbian?

Nice title, huh? Actually, this post is mainly about my short hair, which, for some people, seems to scream "LESBIAN!" I just like funky haircuts. I have super short hair, which I wear spiked in a semi faux hawk. Its now a dark brown/black, but when this incident occurred a few weeks ago, I had blondish/brown streaks.
I was at the movies and had just gone to the bathroom. A movie had just let out so the women's stalls were filling up fast. As I opened the door to exit, I saw an older woman (maybe in her 60's) with a cane on the other side, so I held open the door for her while I was still in the restroom. She looks confused. Checks the sign on the side of the door, then looks back at me. It's time to note my clothes. I had on jean shorts (fairly androdgynous), and a slightly ruffled flower shirt (QUITE girly). Not until another girl exited the bathroom did she come in, saying to me as she passed "I wasn't sure if this was the women's or not".
Excuse me?
Come again? Did you just suggest that I look like a guy? Let's review: I have a big chest (hard to miss), I'm wearing flip flops, shorts, and a flowered shirt, and I'm standing in the women's room that has a "Ladies Restroom" sign next to it.
I'm not super insecure about my looks, but neither do I wish to be mistaken for the opposite sex. A friend once told me that he assumed that all girls with short hair were lesbian. Uh, thanks. That accounts for the lack of guys hitting on me.
What about you? Do you base your "gaydar" on a person's hair?

Friday, July 31, 2009

Overheard at the Library

"Can you trash this receipt for me? Otherwise my pockets will be too full".

Asked of me by an adorable little kid, who apparently didn't have room in his cargo pants for a single sheet of thin paper :-)

Overheard at the Library

"But I returned that item".

I hear this refrain over and over and over again, much like the title words of "Blinded by the Light". Patrons insisting that they BROUGHT that book back, that our technology is FLAWED, that we are incomptetent IDIOTS WHO ARE CONSPIRING TO EXTRACT MONEY FROM HONEST CUSTOMERS and that really, the book was in with a pile of others that they returned on the same day. Together. In a bundle. With the others. And they repeat this in varying voices, tones, and threats over a period of five minutes before I interrupt with a placating smile.
"Okay sir, what I can do is put it in claims return. What that means is I take it off your account for 60 days, we look for it in the library and we just ask that you glance around your house and car before the 60 days is up". Why don't you get off your lazy ass and check under your couch cushion where your kid wedged it in between sessions of Dora the Explorer?
"I guess I don't have to talk to the manager then". Fuck off "Yeah, okay. Because I definitely returned it."
"I understand. Have a great day." Bullshit. You'll be here tomorrow with a sheepish look on your face and the book in your hand, because when you went out to the car you realized it was on the passenger seat.

I think its important to note that I really don't swear a lot out loud, but I am a horrible, mean person inside my head.

Overheard at the Library

I work at a public library, and for the most part, I love it. However, as with any service that's free to the public, you get some wacky stories and crazy, bat shit weirdos that come in. And that's just some of the mom's that come by every week. It's funny, because most people gripe about their co-workers. Not me- I love my co-workers and everyone get's along well. We have to, to present a united front against our patrons. Sorry, did I say against? I meant for our patrons, because, after all, we are only here to service their needs and wants and to find 50 millions things for them in the two minutes before we close. So I think I'd like to share every day just little tid-bits of the things I hear every day working in a library.

Anecdote #1:
I almost always work the afternoon shift, ending at 7 pm. From about 5-6:50 pm, our library is dead quiet. The library is in a family orientated suburb, so I imagine everyone is at home eating dinner. However, once the countdown is T-minus 10 minutes, our library is filled with squabbling, loud, and rude people. This particular woman wasn't any of the three, but she was amusing in an irritating-get-out-of-here type of way.
She rushes in at about 1 minute to closing, insisting that she's "just here to pick up her hold". Yeah right. After picking up her hold, she proceeds to me at the front desk and asks where our display of one week checkout books is. Pardon?
"one week check out", she replies. "But you don't actually have to check it out. My friend saw them here last week."
"Sorry," I say, "but we don't have any one week check outs. We have 2 and 3 weeks. Maybe she meant our new book displays".
"No, she definitely said 1 week, right near the front desk."
At this point I'm a little exasperated. I think I would know what displays we had located RIGHT WHERE I WORK EVERY DAY. I asked her what book she was looking for.
Black Dagger Brotherhood books.
I immediately know what she's talking about, and I also know we don't have any copies of that series at our branch.
-Little back story here. We have a library that's less than two miles away from us that is not affiliated with ours in any way. It's a different city library but it looks remarkably similar to ours-
Conveniently, the library down the road (which I've already suggested to her as the possible culprit of the display), has that series on hand and guess what? 1 week check outs.
After protesting for a few more moments, she finally accepts defeat and walks out, hold in hand, 5 minutes after closing.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Excited to make paper!

So I've been doing crafts for awhile now that I've been trying to sell on Etsy with little success. I don't really care that much- I still enjoy making clocks etc. out of recycled stuff. Now, I'm not a raging environmentalist (although I am a proud owner of both "An Inconvenient Truth" and "The World Without Us", courtesy of my brother Karl) but I LOVE recycled products. I'm going to start making completely, 100% recycled notebooks.
I found a recipe on the internet yesterday that looks easy enough without having to spend a lot make the necessary tools. I already have a wooden frame and some window mesh screen, and tons of scrap paper. We don't get the newspaper at my house anymore, so I was initially wondering where to get paper from. The little lightbulb of creativity went off somewhere near my left ear (burning me in the process), but I remembered that I save all of my scrap paper from scrapbooking and I have a lot of scraps. Pays to be a pack rat sometimes.
The front and back of the books are going to be made out of record covers or old books, and the it'll all be hand sewn together courtesy of moi.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Annoying Sewing Machine

So pissed today. I went to Goodwill and bought a bunch of men's shirts because they're only $1 on 50% off day. I'd planned on ripping them up and sewing them into tank tops and vests- even went and got some fun zippers. Turns out, my sewing machine is on the fritz. I have no idea what's wrong with it. Everything looks fine to me, but it fucking won't work. I'm so frustrated at this point. I've never had a problem with it before and I don't think you can even bring it in to fix it. It's not like there's a help line that gets forwarded to India for assistance in fixing your sewing machine like there is for your computer. That would be kind of amusing though. I was talking to my Dad (who's been an upholster for years) and he said the cost of repairing a machine is not worth it compared to the cost of a new one. I'm really reluctant to buy one. Yes, they're relatively cheap, but I've only had mine for two years, and have gone months without using it, so it has no wear or tear. Plus, it still looks pristine. It was easy to leave my old sewing machine behind when I moved because it looked old (which is was) and would've been worth maybe $10. Maybe JoAnn's can help me.
My plan was then to hand sew the vest I was working on. I used to hand sew all the time when I was younger, mainly because I was scared of the sewing machine and had no clue how to use it. Apparently it's been 50 years since I last hand-stitched anything because I was bored with it within minutes and no longer wanted to sew. You get used to finishing seams super fast with a machine that doing it by hand looks messy and takes forever. No thanks.

New magnet designs

I've been experimenting with different wedding themed magnets/save-the-dates/invitations in the last couple of days. I'm not getting married anytime soon, but I know how much brides like little unique things to send to their friends and for wedding favors. I'm so hip and now, I even included a set for two grooms.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

My first inkling of plant life!

I have a couple of clay pots in my room that I planted with a variety of flowers a few weeks ago. There's an assortment- astors, sunflowers, wildflowers. I don't really remember. Basically the cheap ones at Target. Anyways, I got some little pots from Goodwill and some soil and threw the seeds in with the whole mix. I'm not a gardener by any means. Just because I did every single elementary science fair project on the benefits of growing lima beans in the sun vs the dark does not make me an expert on plant life. In fact, I'm pretty horrible. I constantly forgot to water them, and they hardly get any sunlight. I rarely open the shades in my bedroom because it heats it up. The last time I put my flowers in the smoldering Arizona weather, they wilted and died. So I haven't been having much luck with the plants (well, more like pots of dirt), even though some of them should've sprouted by now. Success!! Today I was reorganizing my bookshelf and noticed two tiny tiny green sprouts in my glass jar. I guess some sunlight peeked in after all. I'm excited, because they're astors, which I love. Hopefully they'll continue to grow. I also haven't killed my ivy yet, and it's still trailing down the side of my wooden bookcase, which is absolutely thrilling for a person who wishes she lived in an old brick house surrounded by trees instead of beige house in a Phoenix subdivision.

Monday, July 6, 2009

My online Etsy site!

I finally set up my online shop at Etsy, a website for people to sell handcrafted items. I figured I might as well try to make some money off my creative endeavors.
Here's the link: http://www.etsy.com/shop.php?user_id=7617654

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Poem- Old Town

Okay, so this is the poem I submitted to Tin House magazine. It got rejected, but I still like it.

my town was living
a breathing giant,
of sweat, determination and greed
and the thud of miner's stakes
echoed the crash of coins
that fell into grasping hands
It was was booming
with brick-lined streets
and copper hopes
that forgot to stop and breathe.
Because now my town
is dying
The streets are barren
the bricks are broken
quiet snow fills the air
while desperation seeps around
every corner
Hoping to catch you
with your copper dreams
and hollow hopes.

It's about the town I used to live in, Calumet, MI. This isn't a knock on the town. I was showing it to one of my friends from up there and they interpreted it as making fun or criticizing Calumet. Not at all. I loved growing up in the Copper Country. I had a fantastic childhood rambling through the woods and exploring the ponds and rivers that dotted my neighborhood. But, eventually, you grow up, and as an adult, Calumet doesn't have a lot of opportunities. It relies heavily on tourism from it's former glory days during the copper mining boom. The Copper country and the Keweenaw is literally littered with ghost towns from copper mining. Calumet is still a town, it still has people and schools, libraries and stores, but it can feel desolate and isolated, cut off from opportunity.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

How to make a record clock

I'm not nearly old enough to have had a turntable, but, I love records. There's something very cool and retro about them. Here's a way to use records as decoration. I made two record clocks this weekend. They're cheap, fun, and can be made out of recycled materials, so you feel good about yourself as well.
Items you need for a keyboard clock

A record
(obviously. You can purchase them from Goodwill stores for about 99 cents)

Clock works
- buy a clock from Goodwill or any thrift store/garage sale, as long as you can see the clock piece in the back.

AA battery
(for the clock)

Keyboard numbers
(Again, Goodwill has computer keyboards for about $2. Use scissors or pliers to yank keys out)

Hot glue gun

gel pen

(any color but black)
mirror mounting tabs

Instructions: Dissemble the clock. This can mean anything from loosening a few screws to popping out the plastic/glass front face.
Line up the keyboard numbers around the record. 12 and 6 will go in a straight line vertical to each other, 9 and 3 in a straight horizontal line. Using the hot glue gun, glue the keys to the record. If you only have one keyboard, you won't have enough ones (1) for 12, 10, & 11. Instead, for 10 or 11, scrape off (using scissors) the letter off a separate key and write in the number using gel pen.
If the clock hands are black, you may want to paint them a different color to show up against the record. Affix two mounting tabs to the clock pieces and stick it to the back of the record, with the screw coming through the hole. Secure the clock hands to the clock, and put the battery into the back. (If the clock doesn't work, try hitting the back of the clock piece with your hand. It might just need a little jolt.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Bargain hunting weekend

I had a great weekend hunting for deals. I got up early on Saturday morning and hit the garage sales with two of my friends. Everyone knows that the best deals are to be had earliest in the morning, but that's not the only reason to go at 7 am. Here in Phoenix, the weather hits 95 before noon, and schlepping around in the heat isn't exactly pleasant. We got going around 9:45 and only went for about an hour and 15 minutes. We literally had sweat pouring down our necks. You know its hot when you drink two full bottles of water and still don't have to go to the bathroom.
I did buy an awesome chair for $7 from the second garage sale we saw. I was so proud of myself- I do not bargain, for two reasons. 1) I'm horrible at it, and 2) I always feel dumb paying less. I mean, prices are so dirt cheap to begin with that it seems the height of greed and ridiculousness to say "Will you take 50 cents instead of $1 for this pristine prom dress?" However, the chair was $10 and on a whim I asked if they would take $7, and they agreed. I would've payed the ten bucks. It just barely fit in the truck of my car but it looks awesome in my room- kind of old and antiquey.

From there I went to Goodwill for their 50% off everything sale, and I bought the coolest item ever- an old-fashioned phone, the ones that you wind on the side. Too cool. It's not actually that old- quite obviously made in China nostalgic piece, but it looks amazing in my room, especially since I finally put up all of my map pictures and rearranged my bookcase.

A few photos:

That's a barometer on the top of the chair. I haven't decided where to hang it yet, so for now it's hanging out on the chair.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

I feel like a real writer

Today I feel like a true writer, because I got my first rejection letter. I sent a poem in to Tin House Magazine a couple of months ago, and got a reply today. Standard, "sorry we couldn't use your work at this time. Best of luck, blah blah blah". I'm a little disappointed, but not terribly, since I didn't think I had a shot in hell anyways. I'm going to try submitting some stuff to smaller magazines, maybe some college ones. There's so few literary magazines that actually exist anymore that it's hard to publish in them.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Scrapbooking layouts

I haven't done a lot of scrapbooking lately, but I am working on one strictly of Arizona & the places I've been, like Sedona, The Grand Canyon, Tombstone, places in the Valley, etc. I'm trying to incorporate more of the feel of an altered book into it, so I'm using different materials that I wouldn't ordinarily use in a scrapbook, like fake flowers and material, and tearing up paper to get different textures. It makes the book seem a bit more unique. I think scrapbooking is fabulous, and I see some of the books at shops that are just fantastic, and so much better than I can do, but at the same time, they're starting to feel all the same. It should be how the picture speaks to you, what kind of mood you want to portray, rather than how structurally pleasing to the eye the page is, with three different colors echoed throughout the book and a ribbon with a button to show your creative side.

Anyways, that's my little rant. I like to be messy with my crafts, and experiment, so I think this book will eventually veer into a bit more of a deconstructed look than it is now. It's fairly clean at this point. Also, I actually used my OWN handwriting for a quote. That's pretty amazing for me- I HATE my handwriting. It's atrociously messy and never looks good, but my printer wasn't working. It kind of works for the crumpled paper I wrote in on though.

Edited photos using Picnik

Have you ever used Picnik (http://www.picnik.com/) to edit photos before? It's a lot of fun, and I've been playing around with it the last couple of days using photos from my sister's wedding. I think my favorite features are the 1960's effect ( I like anything vintag-y and old) and the lomo-ish effect, which simultaneously seems to brighten and darken the photo.

A few of my (very amateur) favorites:

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Craft - Picture mosaic/tile

I found the initial idea for this craft on instructables, but I modified a few of the instructions. Basically, its a photo that I took and "blew" up to a 12 x 12 image. Its nine pieces of the picture printed individually on tissue paper, then ironed to plain white tiles. the nose is slightly off balance because I didn't line the tiles up perfectly to take the picture. It's of my gorgeous mother on her wedding day.

Edit: The link to the instructables is here
I changed a few of the instructions- I ironed the paper on instead of gluing it, and I added a sheen to it with a spray adhesive. I used Gimp (free on google) and divided the picture into nine parts by making the grid at 33% and 66% for both vertical and horizontal, adjusting if the line landed at the eye.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Great Poem By Emily Dickinson - Death

Because I could not stop for Death,
He kindly stopped for me;
The carriage held but just ourselves
And Immortality.

We slowly drove, he knew no haste,
And I had put away
My labor, and my leisure too,
For his civility.

We passed the school, where children strove
At recess, in the ring;
We passed the fields of gazing grain,
We passed the setting sun.

Or rather, he passed us;
The dews grew quivering and chill,
For only gossamer my gown,
My tippet only tulle.

We paused before a house that seemed
A swelling of the ground;
The roof was scarcely visible,
The cornice but a mound.

Since then 'tis centuries, and yet each
Feels shorter than the day
I first surmised the horses' heads
Were toward eternity.

Friday, May 1, 2009

Children's Book

I never realized how talented children's book authors are until I had to make one for my creative writing class. Seriously, with a kids book you have to come up with an age appropriate moral and an interesting story all in one. My writing was laughably bad for this assignment; I wrote about a girl who was too tall but felt better after seeing how tall the giraffes were. Plus, we had to illustrate it, and I'm definitely no drawer. For that I turned to my scrapbooking. This is my favorite page from my 10 page book, mainly because of the illustration (I didn't draw the giraffe or the lion, I just printed them from google images).

Posted by Picasa

For the ground, I used a bunch of different colors of brown torn up paper and a little bit of brown paint. The same goes for the pond & the greenery.