Monday, July 20, 2015


I haven't really posted here regularly lately, I have been unhappy with the platform and trying to find a place/format I like better. I created a blog on wix. I have a new domain too  . I posted a movie review today, I used to do them all the time. Click the link to see my new site and read the first movie review in a while! Thanks!

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Ancient Rome, Scottish Highlands, Italian Travel, Mad Max and a Giveaway

In my previous post I revealed a little about what I do in my free time. Well allow me to indulge myself a little more. I also love action movies. this weekend we saw Mad Max, Fury Road. I am of the age that I saw the original Mad Max. Mel Gibson did mad really well. His eyes just have that crazy look. Although Tom Hardy's face is obscured for some of the movie he does crazy pretty well too. Charlize Theron does tough and sexy but the real star of the show I think is the visual. The effects are amazing and the action over the top. It's a classic chase movie with really awesome pyrotechnics. Overall, I say go see it in the theater, with your guy.

Enough about a post apocalyptic, dystopian society, how about an ancient Roman poet quoted by a Scottish Highlander? Like many women (and men) I've read all the Outlander series and anxiously await more. I love the way that Diana Gabaldon weaves history with fiction. One of my favorite quotes is in the Drums of Autumn book, it is an excerpt from a poem written by an ancient Roman poet, Catallus. "Da mi basia mille....Dein mille altera" Give me a thousand kisses....then a thousand more. Jamie says the first part and Claire the second. I loved it so much I put it on a passport cover. The cover itself is red cotton, I trimmed it in black passementerie. The rest of the quote is on the back.  I've paired it in the picture with some Italian themed luggage tags. I think though they aren't matched, it makes quite a nice set for romantic travel whether you are an Outlander fan or not. Click here to see more details on the cover. 

If you are a serious reader, read the books. If not, watch the series. Sam and Catriona are well worth it. I won't say any more, there are whole blogs devoted to all things Outlander, but, I am giving away the travel set pictured. Comment  below for an entry. I am drawing Tuesday morning after the long weekend. You can also follow me on instagram for an entry. Thanks in advance for entering. 

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

While I'm not working on orders.....

While I'm not sewing, doing things for my kids or husband my passion is reading. The kindle/ipad was invented by some evil person who wanted to eat up all my spare time. I've been an avid reader since I was a kid, remember the contests over the summer at the local libraries to see who could read the most? I was always in the running for winning. The kindle app for my ipad and iphone just made books so much more accessible. I can read anywhere without having to remember to bring a real book, With the click of a button I can have the sequel to what I've just finished and it's at a fraction of the cost usually of what it would be at a book store. I still love the feel of a real paper book in my hand but the kindle app and more specifically romance e-books are my crack. So I will occasionally write about a book or a writer that I love.

Penny Reid is a recent discovery. She has a lot of things that appeal to me and evidently to a lot of other readers. I have read literally everything she has out at the moment. Why does she appeal to me? Because I was and still am an insecure dork. Her heroines like hiding in closets. They are smart, neurotic, they use word games to help calm themselves. They are crafty even if they can't craft. In the end they always find love with someone who fiercely and actively tries to understand and protect them.

She is also funny and smart.

I wholeheartedly recommend any of her books but I would start with Neanderthal Seeks Human, which is free right now. No risk, if you don't like her writing style, you have invested nothing but your time.

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Shibori, or as Some Call it Tie Dye

When I was in college it took a class in Shibori, or Japanese tie dye. It literally means pleated and bound. With the current emphasis on denim it's really popular right now in the indigo color so I decided to try it myself again. I went to the internet to get more information (my college memory was a little hazy). One of my favorite blogs, Honestly WTF had a post and how to here. They are a little more in depth on the pleating technique, although it isn't all that hard. They did go to the trouble of getting special dye,but since I'm a little more of an immediate gratification kind of girl I just went with plain old buy-it-at-the- grocery-store Rit. I bought two colors, denim and black. My daughter wanted to use the black first, more on that later.
Since this was basically a first try experiment I used an old white sheet for the fabric. This did two things.One, it had been washed over and over and was very soft and two it had no residues or coatings left on it. I cut it into manageable pieces, small enough to get a good dye but large enough to make small bags or other small projects with.

I chose some 6 by 6"tiles, 2 by 2" tiles and a wooden tart maker as my objects to use for dye resistance. I followed the Honestly WTF instructions on pleating, I folded the fabrics accordion style a little wider than my tiles and then accordion style again, ending up with a square a little larger than the tiles. I have a great stash of old lace, so I decided to try dying some of it too and that is what I used to bind the larger tile. The smaller one I just used twine. The tart maker I pleated the fabric long ways only and then wound it around the dowel part. I bound it with twine too. There is no rhyme or reason to how I bound them.
Here comes the tricky part. I used the cold bath "sink" method as described on the bottle. I tried it with the black dye and soaked the fabric according to the instructions using the required amount of dye and water and salt. It turned out less than spectacular. The color was muddy and had little definition. So I tried again with the blue. This time I strayed from the bottle directions. I used a large metal pot with non-stick coating (would hate for my nice enamel coated cookware to be blue) on my stove top, I doubled the amount of dye used and lessened the water, still using the salt. I simmered it for 45 minutes before I took it off the burner, rinsed and washed it. I think the results were pretty great. On the larger piece you can even see the striations made by the back of the tile. The piece I wound on the tart maker was my least favorite, but still nice. The lace took the dye in different ways since it was a combination of different fibers, nylon, polyester and cotton. I think I will try some t-shirts too but for now I have some really nice shibori pieces for a new project I'm doing next week!

Monday, May 4, 2015

It's Been A While!

I used to make posts fairly often. Then I stopped. I didn't realize it but the last time I made a post it was 2010. I couldn't believe it. 
It isn't that I'm not on the internet, I am. I just haven't made it a priority I guess. 
Then I discovered Instagram. I love it. I am hooked. Looking at the images on Instagram led me to some blogs and projects I just love too. I started new projects and with it came the desire to write about them and post about them. That led me to wonder what the best platform was now to blog on so I did some research.
I considered Tumblr. That seemed to be the thing that a lot of people are using, but honestly it seems like a cross between Instagram and Twitter. It isn't really set up for tutorials, or other things I typically post about. It seems like it's set up for images with captions mostly. But other than a couple of other newer ones, like Medium and Weebly it seems like wordpress and blogger are still the most popular free blog platforms. So, let's not reinvent the wheel, I'm back and blogging on this site, I hope I can do better than before!   

Friday, May 14, 2010

Dear Diary, What's in a Tag?

One of the most time consuming things about listing items is sometimes the Tagging....
It's also sometimes one of the most important and one of the most controversial. 

What are tags meant to do? They are the keywords that are filed through when someone uses the search box on etsy. According to etsy this is the most used way to find an item that is eventually purchased, so you can see why these are so important. 

I "searched" etsy blog and forums for posts related to tagging and found more information than I wanted. After sifting through them these were the points I found most relevant.

  • Your first tag isn't really a tag it is the category. The other 13 are considered true tags
  • Tags should only describe the item, they should not be uses for the item, verbs, etc.
  • Only use synonyms that are truly synonyms ie. don't use tote bag to describe a clutch, although purse could be used for either. 
  • The who, what, when and even where are most relevant. Kitchen could be used for pot holders.
  • Do not use words that are in your title, titles are searched for keywords too. 
So you are stuck? I wondered how I could find out what tags are most used by people searching so I tried Google's keyword finder, part of their adwords program. I used business card case and found that an even more relevant keyword for that with more than twice the searches was business card holder.

If you have the time to use it it's a great tool. So Links? 
Etsy's Guideline to Tagging 
Tag-o-Rama (lots of actual tagword examples to choose from)

Both were very helpful. I've been falling down on the blogging lately, I'll try to be more regular about it! Good Selling! Jamie.

Thanks to paperquick, click on the picture above to see the other "tags" in her shop!

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Dear Diary, Not Enough Time!

Dear Diary, Today is a rushed day. (Time Ticking image VenusFlytrapJewels) I need to ship, I need to take some photos and I need to list some items. So Numbers will have to wait....

I do want to give a big "great job" to etsy though about the new treasury programs! They are great, before everyone just sat around waiting for them to open and then when they did, rushed to create them and then everyone would gripe about what was chosen for FP. Well now it has an entirely different fun atmosphere. You can make one anytime, you can use it for all sorts of different purposes and the contests they are having are great. Here is a link to one of the forum posts for the rules of creating and submitting treasuries for the Homepage. I was featured in this great little treasury that was nominated.

Also it is an honor for one of my items to be on PaperCakesFinds Blog. If you have never visited, go, her blog is visually so pretty, her selections, background, everything just flows so wonderfully! My item was chosen by using the tag Pretty! So tags are important, check back tomorrow for a post on tagging and guidelines!