Sunday, August 30, 2009

Movie Madness.....with a Cake!

All you guys know I'm crazy about movies. So Here is a Two For One, Kind of......

Rachel Getting Married - Wanted to see it because I love Anne Hathaway and I heard she was really good in it. Well she was but am I happy I netflixed it instead of going to the show. It is a very gritty, realistic portrait of what happens to a young woman who has spent a lot of her young life messed up on drugs and is looking for forgiveness/validation in the wrong way. It really sort of makes you feel hungover by the time it is finished.

So if you are an Anne Hathaway fan, see it, or if you like the rehab topic, see it, otherwise, pass it by.......

Now for the 2nd half.

Ever want to host one of those really cool themed parties like for a birthday or oscar party? Well at Piece of Cake Decorating you can get all sorts of great ideas. Her cakes are amazing. Click on the picture above to be taken to her blog post about the movie cake. You can purchase the reel, film and clap board as well as get directions for it and see the things needed. A hunt around her website and you will see a darling slumber party cake and tons of other cute things!

Friday, August 28, 2009

Organizing Your Etsy Day

Like most crafters/designers the part I love is the creating. I can piddle the day away shopping for fabrics, notions, sketching, sewing, cutting, etc. I also love vintage so a day running to resale and thrift shops is a real treat. The thrill of making a sale is fantastic too. What is not so great and what a lot of us don't like is listing, photographing and shipping. But they are necessary to having a good business so here is how I organize my etsy day, maybe it will help you organize yours!

1. Listing - First off I list, if it isn't listed it can't sell!
  • Check for expired listings first, an easy way to bump your store into recent listings.
  • Check sold items for things to Re-list, another easy way to bring your shop into the top of the searches.
  • List anything new you have (I don't include taking photos with listing, I'll get to that later).

Easy ways to make listing go faster - Install Mozilla Firefox (an alternate browser) and go to . Install this script and it will add Copy Listing to your etsy shop when you are using Firefox. It shortens the amount of time it takes to list items similar to ones already listed in your etsy shop.

2. Shipping - Nothing makes your customers happier than to get their order quickly!

I ship next, I detest shipping because it usually involves lots of busywork. But I usually do it next so I can get my items to the post office or carrier before the mail goes out. Tips to make your shipping go faster

  • Put all your shipping supplies in one central area, somewhere you can take your laptop or somewhere near a computer. Put envelopes, mailers, labels, whatever you need near there.
  • Use paypal shipping. Prints labels, can provide tracking at no charge, gives your buyer a notification that their item shipped.
  • Try carrier pickup, while it doesn't work for everyone, it can be very convenient not to have to go to the post office.

3. Now for the FUN Creating!

  • Have an area (it can be as simple as a cupboard) set aside for your supplies. Gather what you need and go somewhere you can be at your best for whatever inspires you.
  • If you are on the go a lot (mommy taxi) have something portable you can work on in a bag ready to leave when you do.
  • Be aware of inspiration in your daily life! Some of my best ideas come from something right in front of me!

4. Picture Taking and Preparation for the next etsy day

I save my picture taking for the end of the day, I take my pics indoors so light is not an issue if it is for you take your pictures at the time of day that works for you. But try to have a back up method in case it is rainy etc. You can get clamp on lights at Home Depot and either use those or even get a light box very reasonably.

Prepare for the next day, I mentally make notes of what I need to do next, custom orders that need to be done, new item inspiration, etc.

So there it is! The point is to make yourself as productive as you can with the little time you have. While my process may not work for everyone, maybe it can make you think a little about what can. Thanks!

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Inglourious Basterds - Shakespeare?

Okay my husband and I like Quentin Tarantino. We saw Reservoir Dogs way before all our friends even heard about it and Pulp Fiction ranks one of my all time faves, so when my husband walked out of Inglourious Basterds Saturday and asked me what the movie was about I had to think a minute.

I mean his expectation was a movie about the Brad Pitt character and based on the title and the movie trailers I think most people would have the same expectation. In reality it is about Shoshanna, the single survivor of a family that Landa, a high ranking Nazi, killed and her opportunity to take revenge on the Nazis.

Brad Pitt's character, Aldo Raine, is in effect a one dimensional caricature of a quality/action that is necessary to move the plot along. I've heard that some critics panned his performance, but I think he was quite effective at portraying the backwoodsman who psychotically and sarcastically is able to see that Nazi=death and enjoys carrying it out. He didn't need to be anything more for the film.

Taranatino's success in his movies many times involves layering characters in time around the main story line and magnifying character traits in them. It was quite intricate in Pulp Fiction. Inglourious Basterds boils it down to a science. Each side character really embodies a trait. The young actor is greed for flesh and fame, the black man is love, Hugo Stiglitz is hate. Okay maybe I'm being toooo literal, but you see what I mean. In this distilling of the characters you get the quirkiness that Tarantino is known for. So, Tarantino like Shakespeare? Well when you get right down to it Lady Macbeth is just guilt isn't she? College Professors spend whole semesters trying to make you realize that one!

Now I'm getting wordy but I really liked the movie. Gory, yes, for the weak of stomach, this one is pretty bad. And Tarantino does go some places that most wouldn't with some racial comments and his usual irreverence. So this movie is not for everyone. Use your own judgement, but don't go if you are looking for a movie that features a story revolving around Brad Pitt's character, you won't find it!

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Back to School for Families of all Types

Looking around the blogosphere you can read about families of all types. Recently I became introduced to Carol Shwanda, she blogs about her blended family. Her blog is an interesting read about their travels and everyday activities, including recipes an more. Her latest entry is about back to school.

I'm dealing with back to school like every other parent right now too. Here is my current project for my daughter, a 6th grader. She wanted a tote bag instead of a backpack and chose the fabric herself. She also drew the pattern for the felt letters she wanted appliqued onto the bag.

So, I had better get back to work since I need to get it done by Monday! Have a great week everyone!

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Home Again....One Less

I've been gone all week, school starts the 24th so it was time to take my oldest son back to college and move him into his own apartment. He spent his freshman year in the dorm and was excited about moving into his own space. You always want things to be perfect for your kids and my oldest has not chosen the easiest path. He refers to himself as an artist and works at it every day.

The part of town he chose to live is near the school and he has 3 other close friends he is rooming with. They leased this apartment sight unseen off of the internet and it met all their criteria, mostly number of bedrooms, location and price. My husband walked in and was left with mouth wide open. The walls needed another coat of paint, the floors in the bedrooms were just rough wood, the front balcony needs some serious dry rot abatement on one end, and the whole place sort of slants to the rear. To be fair this is a 1930's 3 story apartment building and it is charming in it's own way, just not my husband's way!

We spent the next two days moving things in from storage, buying out Target, putting together furniture and on the whole very stressed out. My son was ready for us to leave, my husband was wondering what had gotten into my son's head and why he was choosing to live there and I had a serious backache! Well it's funny how little reminders come from the most unexpected places. The morning we were going to leave we were at breakfast. We were going to get a few last minute things and meet my son later at his apartment. My husband was still a little disturbed by my son's choice of living spaces. I got Rev Run's Daily Word on my blackberry and it said, "Criticizing is easy, Art is hard".

So, with renewed respect for my son's path we finished our job and left him to create happily in his new space. I'm happy for him and glad to be back home, minus one child, who is happy in his new one.

This is one of my son's pictures from several years ago, he won a competition with is and it is still one of my favorites.....

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Amazing World of Beads and Gems

Most of you who read my blog know that I deal with felt and fabric and love vintage. Metal, gems and jewelry making are not my areas of expertise but I sincerely appreciate those talents. I'm blogging in this post about an amazing proprietess of a site full of information! She is Sylvia of Silver Rose Beads. Her site is huge, she is a wholesaler of gems and beads.

Her blog, links to her shops, and a wealth of other information. I really believe in the power of color, properties of metals and gems and the way they can affect your life. Sylvia has a section on metaphysical properties that I found really interesting.


Click on the picture to read the rest of the turquoise description and those of other gemstones too.

And for all you jewelry makers she has a huge assortment of beads, stones and other jewelrymaking products and inspiration!

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Halloween and Fall Things......

As evidenced by the etsy front page yesterday all things Halloween are soon to be in everyone's mind (including my own). So I took a stroll through the UWIB etsy shops and decided to showcase a few of the items here. It is amazing the variety of things I found. Elena's knit items are amazing and she has just the right one for October.

Click on the pic to visit this listing and her etsy shop.

The sexy witch gets all the attention at Halloween, this little necklace from Susy at earthexpressions lets us all show our inner sexy witch!

And you can always rely on PolishedTwo for accessories that fit any occasion. Classic and simple pumpkins.......

And leave it to heartsnlaserbeams to have these classic felted fall leaves.........

So while it may be hot most places our minds are thinking "Fall" and that crisp weather that accompanies "Halloween".!

Friday, August 7, 2009

Kandace of Kandio Designs

Today I'm blogging about a fellow etsy seller, Kandace of . She is soooo much more than an etsy seller though! I feel like I don't do much after reading her profile. Take a visit to her blog, and you will find out about the wonderful variety of talents she has. Fine art, jewelry making and interior decorating are all areas that she works in. Here are a few of her jewelry designs.

You can see why Kandio-o is such an appropriate name with the brightly colored candy looking drops she uses in her jewelry! I hope you enjoyed seeing her designs and projects as much as I did, have a great day!

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Late Movie Reviews!

Okay I know it isn't Monday, but I've been super busy. We did find time as always to go to the movies though and continuing with the romantic comedy theme we say "The Ugly Truth" and we saw a kind of comedy, "Funny People".

First "The Ugly Truth". This was a cute show, very predictable but well done. Katherine Heigl has quite a following and she has a scene that really updates the famous "When Harry Met Sally" "I'll have what she's having" situation. Very funny stuff. Gerard Butler is cute in a kind of tight t-shirt but messier Simon Cowell sort of way. Cheryl Hines and John Michael Higgins area super funny too. Bottom Line - Harmless show to see with your husband that will make you both laugh.

Funny People, I either love or hate Adam Sandler movies but this one just kinda left me lukewarm. Don't get me wrong, some of it is very funny and touching. But when they try to deal with the messy parts of life it gets tedious and painful. The ending is predictable and unsatisfying. I loved Seth Rogen and some of the other more minor characters. Eric Bana in particular plays a schizo husband very out of character from his past roles. Soooo I'm of the opinion that unless you are a fan of this gang, apatow, sandler, rogen, wait until DVD. Oh, and by the way it is extra long, 2 1/2 hours.