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Thursday, December 24, 2009

More recycled wrappings

Here are some more recycled food packages including some cereal boxes. I collaged some vintage magazine pages on to the boxes, added some age washes in acrylic paint, and stapled and glued satin ribbon handles and trims. I think they look very cool.

The hanging gift tags are made from adhesive mats, more magazine pages and old buttons, tied on with kitchen string.

Another couple of boxes were made with pages from an outdated writer's market book and a hobby catalog.

Check out the article I wrote for the current edition of Natural Life Magazine. So far my plan to avoid buying any new wrapping papers this holiday season is working out fine. I have also used up the woven paper I made for several different gifts, and I have some leftovers from past years to use also. But frankly I'm enjoying the look of the boxes so much, I think I'll keep moving in that direction.

Also look at this sweet little recycled box my 10yo dd made for her daddy's gift. She used our Xyron 150 sticker maker to make the stickers. (Ours isn't sparkly pink or purple but Jayn uses it a lot!)

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Post Market day feedback

Well if I had been really thinking, I would have realized just how quiet most of downtown Los Angeles is on a Saturday. On the plus side, those people who were out and about were genuine shoppers, not sightseers. I had a good spot in the sunny window - but by evening my area was too dark for anyone to be able to examine my dolls. I sold two Dream Star dolls (both planned as gifts) and one Either Way, showed some people how to make plarn, and made a nice trade of some Either Ways for a couple of cool paper doll/collage sheets.
One person wanted to buy an Either Way doll as a chew toy for her dog (!) but I discouraged that on the grounds that the fine cotton poplin would surely disintegrate swiftly under the teeth of a hound (plus she liked one of the vintage fabric ones on top of everything). I'm not entirely sure that the polyfil would be good for a dog's innards. (I am sure she didn't intend to offend. Perhaps I would have a new market if I found heavier duty fabric, but people shaped chew toys???)
I enjoyed meeting the other artists also.
I'm told that there have been good weekday crowds at lunch time and to some extent after offices close around 5pm. I'm contemplating returning either Monday or Tuesday, the last days of the Holiday Market, to capture some last minute gift buyers.
All in all, my average is still holding: about one person in every four or five people stopping to look buys something. So if I can just get into a place with more foot traffic....

Friday, December 18, 2009

Market Day Saturday

It's short notice, but I will be selling tomorrow, Saturday 19th, at the 3rd and Spring Holiday Market here in Downtown, Los Angeles (Map). I will have even more Dream Star dolls (just taking a break from sewing), more Either Way Dolls and some other bits and pieces. I will also be offering "Journey", my Hoffman entry. If this place looks good, I'll be considering a regular spot (maybe every other month or more) down there. Unfortunately I haven't time to make up any more bags or Gift Tag sets, so I'm limited to what I have on hand.

I will be there from about 10am until 7pm at the latest, depending on crowds.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Shudyara mailed

I've sent Shudyara on to the next artist in the Coolaberration '09 round robin.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Here are some more of my wavy edged paper beads. They were made in the usual manner, then once dry I wound variegated embroidery thread around the middles, securing with a drop of white glue. I sewed coordinating seed beads on to the thread. To hang them on a doll's skirt, for Coolabberation 2009, I strung glass beads on either end with more thread and tied them in place. These beads are all about 1 1/2 inches long.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

After the fair

Well I would say that a good time was had by all at the house party craft fair in which I participated earlier today along with some friends. Grateful for a break in the recent and unusual rain here in SoCal, it couldn't have been more pleasant to be sitting in a sunny backyard while the kids who are all friends played together in the main house. I didn't have to put on my sweater until almost closing time.

I sold quite a few of the new Either Way dolls I had made especially but I still have a bunch left that I will be adding to my Etsy store tomorrow, and I have also completed a new batch of Dream Star Dolls. Oh - and the Witch is gone.

Friday, December 11, 2009

X'mas Decor contest

Well I know one thing for sure - I'm going to be entering the Craftstylish "Dare to make your own decorations" contest - making decorations from recycled, restyled elements. I already have a ton of tp roll stars, and a wreath from them too. I have light shades from K-cup coffee pods, and chain garlands from plastic circles and remnant fabrics. I also have some crocheted plarn outdoor garland which I usually put on the balcony along with our lights. Yes - I'll be doing quite a lot entries.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Here's a tantalizer...

I had a commission for some Iggy Jingles character OOAK beaded patchwork purses.
Ho, ho, ho. They're gifts so this is all you get to see for now.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Witch at last

Finally finished my Dream Star Witch, too late for the ADO Challenge for which she was begun. I like her little cat and her droopy hat.

Actually she has two little cats - one sitting at her foot and one small one amongst her charms.
I'll list her on my Etsy provided no-one buys her this weekend. Want her sooner? Please email me. ****Too late - she was grabbed - but I'm happy to make more witches if you want some...***

Monday, December 7, 2009

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

House Party Craft Fair

I'm very happy to be part of an upcoming house party craft fair that my good friend and home schooling mom, Talitha is hosting at her home studio in Torrance, CA. We are hoping to see all our friends who want to have a Hand Made Holiday.

On Sunday, December 13th, from noon 'til 3pm, a small bunch of creative moms, mostly home schoolers, will be gathering to sell our pretties and fancies as gifts for young and old.

There will be Sock Monkeys, hand made soaps, hand knits and other artwork. I will be selling art dolls, wish doll wish making kits, Either Way dolls, Gift Tags - all the stuff you see here - and Jayn plans on selling her little earrings too.

Yet-to-be-confirmed rumor has it that Mama-Is, Heather Cushman-Dowdee, will be on hand with copies of her books, 2010 art calendars and other Hathor the Cow Goddess stuff.

We will also be providing cocoa and snacks for our visitors - it is a holiday party after all.

Contact me for more deets -

Make Your Own Gift Wrap ideas

The new issue of Natural Life Magazine is out, and my column is about alternatives to buying new paper for gift wrapping.

There is limited space in the magazine for pictures, so here are some more pics of the projects I've been working on for the article, and my gift wrapping.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Examples of the Gift Tags

These are the kind of gift tags that are FREE with purchase during the Black Friday - Cyber Monday weekend from my Etsy store. Aww these are sweet - about 3 inches long.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Half Price Shipping started early

What the heck - I've started Black Friday early in my Etsy store - Half price shipping on everything, and second item ships free.
Don't forget to ask for your free mini gift tag!

Huge Black Friday - Cyber Monday Etsy Sale

I'll be joining the big Etsy promotion this holiday weekend, including these three Christmas themed Dream Star dolls.

Starting Friday 27th through Monday 30th I will be offering half price shipping, with a second item in the same order shipping free.

Mention that your item is intended as a gift to receive a free handmade mini gift tag. See my recent listings of full size gift tags to get something of an idea.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

ADO Ornament Trade

I'm not going to show the whole doll ornament until after the trade has been accomplished. But here is a delicious assortment of gleaming wavy edged paper bead charms, along with some simpler pearl and bead charms that will be part of her embellishments.

The paper is some scrapbook paper that I have, nice and thick. The beads are made with Mod Podge following the suggestion of one of my Instructables readers, and sealed with my favorite acrylic sealer, Future Floor Wax. I wrapped them with brass craft wire strung with an assortment of glass seed beads. The pearls and faceted glass beads are repurposed from vintage necklaces I won in a raffle.

The largest beads are about 2 inches long - quite large for a paper bead. The larger ones are flashy enough to be ornaments in themselves I think. I'll be making more for my next set of gift tags. I'm thinking of doing some Victorian style silhouette shapes.

Here's a mermaid figurine modelling one of my beads.

Latest Hub

I was distressed by this news from Wikipedia today, and moved to write a Hub.I sat at my computer with tears pouring down my face as I typed.
So that's what I've been doing today.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Handmade Gift tags

I'm listing some handmade gift tags in sets in time for the holidays. Here are the first. There will be more. These ones would be great for the bridesmaids gifts at a wedding - the music in the background happens to be the Wedding March.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Writing plans

I’m writing a book currently called “Mending, Making and Mothering”. It’s about living an artistic lifestyle as a family, with case studies from parents who are doing it.

I’m interested in documenting how artists combine a continuing arts and crafts practice with parenting, as well as how they prioritize creativity in their family life, schedules and spaces. I’m investigating whether and how parents, especially homeschoolers, are able to create a synergistic creative arts practice that is part of, perhaps the core of, their learning environment. It’s about creativity exercises, practice and philosophy.

The focus will not be on strategies for parents to “carve out” time for their art away from their children, or artisan parents compartmentalizing their life into private adult art activities versus doing “kid crafts” with their children as busywork. It’s not that I think artists don’t need time alone to work, or that the demands of family life and young children will never conflict with the burning desire just to paint or play or write. What I am interested in is how artistic families manage to resolve these issues when the priority is family centered living.

Creative living – making, designing, writing, crafting, making music, performing – can be a lifelong vocation or avocation. I hope in the course of writing the book and compiling to case studies, to give equal time to the activities of all generations in the family. Part memoir, part how-to, I’ll be including my own family’s story as well as creative activities and inspirational practices and ideas that seem to work around here.

I’m not sure how the chapters will be organized. Possible as a conceit I might organize it around the four seasons. I want to wait and see if the information I gather naturally suggests thematic organizing principles.

My plan is to have a blog with the participants profiled and links to your own blogs and especially Etsy or other online stores. Later this blog could be a collection place for readers’ stories of being inspired.

At this time, for the sake of speed, I am thinking of self publishing through Lulu – where the copies are printed as they are ordered, and the quality of illustrations looks very high.

Stay tuned!

Friday, October 9, 2009


Apparently something I made has been published in this book. I think it's plarn baskets that I submitted, but to be honest I don't remember. However I think it's a cool looking book - very dense and this is my second time in a book. I'm also in Life Learning.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Hub Pages

I've joined HubPages, an online writing hosting service. I'll be publishing informative articles on a range of topics.
Here's my first:
You can support me by clicking on any ads that look interesting to you on the page.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Latest newsletter sent...

I've just sent a newsletter to the 9 lucky folk who have signed up for them. It's a quick tute on how I do my dolls' yarn hair.
I promised to make the newletters unique content. If you want the goodies, you have to sign up. ;)

Friday, September 25, 2009

Ebay listings

Currrent Ebay auctions include the Winged Victory (discounted by 12%), a new in the package Playstation2 Dualshock controller, and a Gear Shift Knob.
Soon a new in box Blizzard Authenticator.
My Ebay seller ID is "designarob".

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Cool and unusual jewelry

Been making some whacky charm bracelets with sparkly beads and the innards of silk flowers. When I take the blooms apart to use the petals for Dream Star doll skirts, I'm left with an assortment of plastic shapes that look like anemones or miniature baskets or strange microscopic organisms. The chains are recycled from my mother's old stuff and other vintage jewelry.

I'm popping this first 7 inch bracelet on to my Etsy store, just for fun. Look for some new Dream Star dolls too in the next couple of days.

I'll be going to Good Vibrations next month and I'll have all my stock with me.