Thursday, October 22

A love requited.

The new craftgasm booth banner! Photo by Etsy Labs on Flickr.
Luckily for me, Crafty Bastards has loved me back. Here are a couple of press mentions that craftgasm has gotten from the show!

Nole of Oh So Beautiful Paper was kind enough to post pictures of my booth on her gorgeous blog (and was nice enough to let me reproduce them here).

Map pins, separated by region. Photo by Oh So Beautiful Paper.
The Foggy Bottom Blog wrote a super-nice little paragraph about my stuff in their round-up of the event:
Their upcycled cards and pins are unique and hip, and make you feel totally awesome about buying them. Plus, everything has a perfectly sharp sense of humor.
Scroll down past all the pretty pictures to see their assessment of some other awesome vendors; I missed the text part my first time through because I was so busy flipping through their images.

Pearls of Wisdom from Marion Barry. Photo by Oh So Beautiful Paper.
And last but not least, I was absolutely floored to be selected as one of the Washingtonian's favorite vendors in their Crafty Bastards post. Getting that email was pretty much amazing and made my week.

It's been so fantastic to hear from people who I met at the show and to get orders these past couple of weeks from those who said they read about my shop somewhere. Thank you so much for supporting handmade and making it possible for me and my crafting colleagues to do what we do!

Wednesday, October 21

Crafty Bastards: A Love Story

Being accepted to Crafty Bastards had been a dream of mine for years. Fulfilling that dream? Possibly even better than I'd imagined.

Gov. Mark Sanford pins. Photo by kestrel127 on Flickr.

I had a couple of new items that I brought out for Crafty Bastards. In addition to Marion Barry, I added the disgraced (but somehow not-yet-impeached) South Carolina Governor Mark Sanford to my line of hypocritical politicians saying dumb shit that I type onto pins. Gov. Sanford did better than I thought he would against Mr. Barry in the District, so I'll need to make more of him for the holidays. His "Family Values" collection will be in the shop by the end of the week.

I also had at Crafty Bastards my new "this is not a hipster pin" pins. These were inspired by my old roommate Ben (a hipster if there ever was one, despite his professed ignorance of this fact) and by people who have no idea what they're talking about using the word indiscriminately and completely incorrectly wherever I seem to go. Apparently other people feel similarly (or know someone like my former roommate), as they were pretty popular.

My awesome friends Christina and Meigh came in the afternoon to help Dan and I get a break from (wo)manning the booth. A break for me was getting to eat lunch behind my hanging maps about three hours after it was delivered by the fabulous Crafty Bastards volunteers, but hey, I take what I can get. Luckily, both those ladies know the merchandise well enough to speak for me when customers ask questions. (Helping me package the goods earlier in the week probably helped, too.)

Me sneaking food behind the maps as Dan straightens stationery. Photo by kestrel127 on Flickr.

The entire day was amazingly packed. My first sale of the day was at 9:40, 20 minutes before we officially opened, and there was foot traffic in the booth almost constantly until about ten minutes before 5pm, our closing time. I used that lull to go turn some nearby internet friends into real-life friends. It was great to meet Sara from girlscantell and Christy from a bardis, both of whom I've long admired. And it was equally awesome to talk about reclaiming paper all day with so many fabulous customers.

I was so happy to be part of such an awesome event, and am so grateful to everyone who came out to make the day such a success.

Tomorrow, I'll post about the Crafty Bastards aftermath -- I wouldn't want to shock you by having a complete blog post all together or anything!

Tuesday, September 29

Stacks and stacks

Why are stacks so satisfying?

This one is especially satisfying, as it took a few days to finish. First, I cut each envelope individually; you can see that some of the pages from which they were cut are visible at the bottom of the stack. Each one is then folded up to make it functional, and then I seal the sides to the bottom flap. I then make a crapton of secret-recipe peel-off strips. Finally, I apply each strip to the top of each envelope flap and organize them into countable stacks. Voila!

Here are 300 envelopes organized into sections of 25. Later this week I will organize them into groups of three and work to make sure each set gets envelopes from three different maps. This will be enough for 100 packs of Recycled Stationery Sets, available to you at Crafty Bastards or through craftgasm.

I can't believe that there are only four days left to work until Crafty Bastards!

Wednesday, September 23

Transition to Full-Time Crafter

It's been a while, hasn't it?

To sum up my absence, I was busy getting unemployed and then going on an already-paid-for-and-at-that-point-much-needed vacation.

Now, however, I'm busy getting ready for the massive crowds of shoppers who are coming to Crafty Bastards next Saturday, October 3. This full-time crafting thing has me working more hours than I did at my old job, but it is much more satisfying to have something produced at the end of each day. ("Plus, the dress code is much more relaxed," she said, typing in boxers and a T-shirt.)

Today's happenings in full-time craftgasm-land (FTCL for short):

I trimmed, folded, and assembled 600 sheets of paper into 100 packs of Recycled Stationery Sets this afternoon and evening. I didn't really need to band them up, but it is rather satisfying to do so. These now just need to have envelopes wrapped up with them and they'll be good to go.

Which means I will be cutting, folding, and sealing up 300 envelopes tomorrow. All in a day's work.

(P. S. Have you voted for your favoritest Craftiest Bastard yet? Not that I'm advocating stuffing of ballot boxes, but you get one vote per email address...)

Thursday, July 9

Oh hypocrisy.

Oh Marion. He's been back in the news for allegedly stalking his girlfriend, and has stayed there this week because it came out that his office seems to have improperly hired her, but his most infamous line is what the rest of the country knows him for. What a lot of people (at least, a lot of people outside of DC) don't know is that hizzoner must live in a bubble, since both the quotes shown on the above pins are from him. Apparently, you can smoke crack with a hooker while married, hire your girlfriend on the city's dime, and care about the sanctity of marriage while being on your fourth wife (on whom you were cheating!) but still be "a politician who's moral."

These are made using pages from junk mail and will come matched up color- or pattern-wide (as seen here with the pink plaid). The quotes are typed with my awesome vintage (+ cursive!) typewriter, then cut and assembled into buttons.

I'll be packaging these with fun information about our boy's complete hypocrisy.

I'm thinking about making a line for Mark Sanford, too. Great idea or greatest idea?

Monday, June 29

Reason #6272 to love Etsy treasuries.

While taking a break from my Crafty Bastards application yesterday afternoon, I browsed a lovely teal and red treasury, finding a collage print by Michele Maule that features a twin of Bianca, my bicycle. I explored her work a little more and found what appears to be the parent of the collage print. Dan played for me the song that inspired the title of the work, and I was sold. Then, it was.

Depending on how much space we have left on the walls once we decorate, there may be more purchases from Ms. Maule in the future. In the meantime, enjoy her beautiful work!

Thursday, June 4

Success at the Handmade Mart!

The view from the stage of happy little vendor tents under the Handmade Mart banner.
Well, it was a week ago, but I figured I may as well post some tips and lessons learned from participating in the Handmade Mart in Silver Spring, Maryland last weekend. Sort of a wrap-up, if you will.

Lesson #1: Take better pictures of the booth BEFORE people trek in. It's awfully hard at a busy show to get a picture of the space without someone in it. (Not that I'm complaining about the constant foot traffic, by any means.)
There's me! Totally oblivious to the camera, as ushe.

Lesson #2: Bring watermelon. Luckily, one of my booth neighbors, Meghan of Oh Ginger, had this one down pat and was willing to share.

Lesson #3: A tent is a damn good idea. I was able to borrow one from a friend, but if that can't be an option all the time, it'd be worth it to invest in one. No sunburn OR heatstroke. Sweet.

Lesson #4: Bring change. I know this sounds obvious, but I woke up at 5:15 that morning in a cold sweat, realizing I had totally neglected to get any change. I sent Dan (who took all these lovely photos) to Starbucks to buy something with a $20 and get me through the early-early morning, and then again to get more ones and fives. (Maybe lesson #4 should really be, "Write a checklist now for supplies to bring with me because checklists written the day before are going to forget something.")

Lesson #5: Position the goods in their natural environment. This one comes from the lovely Sara at Girls Can Tell, who put up a post last month about booth displays, wondering why we put things on tabletops when everyone else is putting things on tabletops. (Obviously this does not apply to everyone, but for the sake of generality, bear with me.) I really wanted a small rolltop desk that I could file all the lovely stationery-y stuff in, but what found me was this table from my old housemate when we were vacating the premises in early May. The conversation went something like this:

Him: [shoves desk to curbside trash pick up]
Me: OMG, you're not tossing that, are you?
Him: Why, you want it?
Me: YES. [saves]

It looks much nicer here than in my old alley, doesn't it? It's also got handy drawers for hiding things -- when they're not open to showcase stuff, like the top one. Future incarnations of this desk may be painted the same blue as the interior of my new apartment, but time was a factor.
The desk area of the booth display. See also: lesson #1.
Lesson #6: Wander more. Dan very kindly kept offering to let me look around and visit with fellow crafty folks, but I felt guilty leaving my booth for longer than it took to dash to a bathroom. I need to get over that; I only got to chat with Becky of thischickadee (or Miss Chickadee, as we call her in my house) and tina seamonster very briefly while on my way to check in; the only reason I got to talk to Meghan and Pang (of Pretty Little Fings) as much as I did was because they were my booth neighbors.

Lesson #7: Sell some of the better vintage maps that are still in good condition. (Want one? Email me or comment and I'll see what I can do on any requests for specific areas. I have lots of Asia, for sure.) They were definitely a hit and a nice draw to get people over to the booth. Next time we'll think it through a bit better and use some clothesline to hold 'em up. (Another nice draw was the vintage, sadly-not-working typewriter on the desk. "Look kids! A mouseless, monitorless computer!")

This was actually my first outdoor show, and I think I definitely got lucky weather-wise and location-wise for my first such experience. Thanks to all the friends and new faces who came out and chatted me up about my little shop!

Saturday, May 30

Find me at the Handmade Mart on Sunday!

Things have been crazybusy with work and moving; I'm finally in (if not settled) my new apartment, finally finished with a massive work event, and about to star with 49 of my friends at the Handmade Mart, tomorrow in Silver Spring, Maryland. If you're in the greater DC area, you should stop by and see the fabulosity!
I'm stoked to be booth neighbors with Oh Ginger and have such fantastic crafters like This Chickadee and Tina Seamonster in attendance. (Find me at booth 3, near Fenton Street.) Click here for the official details, and click here to see my Q+A vendor profile!

Monday, April 27

Well I'll be.

I was really excited about Hello Craft's Summit of Awesome when I heard about it at the beginning of the year. People who I admired? Check. Full of useful information? Check. And IN DC (coughnotNewYork)? Check!

And then, of course, I realized it was the same weekend by which I needed to vacate my house. Dammit.

So I've sadly watched teh intarwebs get all abuzz about the Summit, about how fantastic it was going to be, about what neat people they have booked to speak to attendees. While I am excited about my big changes that are coming that weekend, I was sad that it had to coincide with such a cool event. I thought about going, but I couldn't justify spending money just to purposely neglect my moving responsibilities.

This weekend, though, I saw that a one-day pass was being given away. And, well, if I wasn't paying for the privilege of not packing... I decided to toss my ring in the hat.

And I'll be damned if that doesn't work out on occasion.

See you Saturday! I'll be the one stressing over whether I've properly cushioned my china when I ought to be paying attention to marketing and branding craftgasm.

Wednesday, April 22

Happy Earth Day!

I'm totally ganking and re-adapting Sara (from Girls Can Tell)'s idea for today's post. In honor of Earth Day, post your favorite eco-friendly shop in the comments. You can decide its eco-friendly-ness in whatever way you want -- using recycled materials, making a product that helps you create less waste, or making old things new again are all good definitions. You can give us a link to your own shop, but only if it meets the eco-friendly requirement AND if you link to another shop that is not yours that also is Earth-friendly. It's all about the community-building, folks. Spread the love! (To help you get started, here's a link to all tagged items from Team EcoEtsy members.)

One of my favorite shops for perusal is Chakra Pennywhistle, where you can find reclaimed fabrics made into sweet pillows like this one below. She's also a fellow Team EcoEtsy member like me, so that gives her some bonus points.

Lastly, in celebration of Earth Day, I'm offering a 20% discount on any item in the {craftgasm} Etsy shop! You have to order by the end of the day (I'm defining "end of the day" loosely -- just make sure the order is in before I wake up on Thursday morning), and in the "notes to seller" box at checkout, tell me your favorite eco-friendly tip. I may share the best tips here in the blog with a link back to whatever URL you'd like, so make 'em good!

I can't wait to see all the Earth-happy goodness you'll put in the comments!

Tuesday, April 21

Can I be six again?

Photo courtesy of and taken by Leanne at See the Woods and the Trees.
Following the Craftzine Twitter feed has never disappointed me, and paid off once again with this genius idea from See the Woods and the Trees, linked to this morning. Leanne helped her daughter make a four room dollhouse using reclaimed catalog pages and some cardboard. The result is so cute that it makes me want to have a toddler of my own just to have a socially-acceptable excuse to play with it.

I think it could be made even more eco-friendly by using old cereal boxes or somesuch reused material as the walls. Want a second story? Place another layer of cardboard on top of the first floor, then make another level. (This gives you the chance to paste a floor down, too.)

Best of all, since the dollhouse folds up, it doesn't have to take up a lot of room when it's put away. You could have dozens of setups ready for mixing and matching, and only use a few inches of bookshelf space to store it all.

Friday, April 10

How'd I get so lucky?

Floorplan courtesy of Dan; text, doors, and Easter-egg-looking radiator placement by me.

As I've mentioned, I'm getting ready to move in a few weeks. My boyfriend Dan and I just signed our lease yesterday for a one bedroom English basement in Dupont. It's very sweet, but as a one bedroom, it doesn't have a built in craft room, and we'll have to carve some space from the ample living room. We were trying different arrangements on the mostly-to-scale floorplan that Dan drew up last night, and I was stressing out, wondering if my extremely large, well-loved craft desk would fit and look right in the space.

Dan busied himself with the plan for a minute and before showing it to me said, "I don't know if I necessarily like or want this idea, but it's a thought."

He had drawn a bed in the living room's craft corner, leaving the entire bedroom open for crafting and office space.

Is it any wonder that I love this man?

Thursday, April 9

Promos? Maybe some readers can help me.

I have an entire bookshelf full of papery goodness in the form of stock photography books. These are glossy, thick, pretty books that are given to advertising firms by photography companies to entice the agencies to buy the rights to their images. This means they are perfect for collage, ATCs, and all sorts of other forms of papercrafting. A friend of mine who works for an ad agency found out his office would be throwing an entire roomful of these fabulous books in the trash, and let me and Meigh of NoPantsMcGee in after hours to cart as many away as we could carry. She had a hand-me-down SUV at the time, and we loaded that thing's cargo area and backseat FULL of these heavy books.

Unfortunately, they are not going to all fit in my new apartment. I'm moving from a large three-level Victorian rowhouse with five bedrooms, five people, and seven built-in bookshelves (three of which I took over) to a one-bedroom English basement (zero built-ins). This means I need to come up with a way to get most of them out of my house before moving to the new place.

This is where you come in.

Since they're so pretty and useful for upcycled crafting, I don't want to just recycle them -- I want them to go toward MAKING. And since I want them to go toward making, and I also make things, I want to launch some sort of viral marketing campaign about {craftgasm}, with a free book for participants, perhaps. But the cost of mailing out books individually to people would be too cost-prohibitive to manage. (Is it acceptable to ask for $3 to ship a free item to someone?)

What genius ideas have I not come up with yet? Shoot 'em to me in the comments. (Best idea gets a book!)

Wednesday, March 25

Little Bunny Foo-Foo

I'm taking my first tentative steps into the world of plushies. Don't worry, I don't intend to start selling them at {craftgasm} just yet; this little guy is the first of a few gifts for baby-making friends of mine.
Because I know how much everyone loves a crappy cameraphone picture.

I found what looked like an easy-to-cut, easy-to-sew pattern from the lovely Wee Wonderfuls blog. The easy-to-cut part was right on the money, though I've found the instructions to be a little frustrating when one is doing this for the first time and also is cranky because she needs to eat her dinner, posthaste. For instance, after you sew the ears wrong-side together, there is no further instruction on flipping them right side out before sewing them onto the bunny. And the skinny nature of the ears makes it incredibly hard to do that anyway. I winged it by flipping them right side out with a big pin, a pencil with eraser (for inserting the pin), and a lot of tugging and patience. I hope they're not prematurely flipped, but it doesn't look like they are. (If so, I'll deal with that later and let you know.) Also, the instructions call for embroidering after he's sewn up, but my common sense said that would be better done now.

Turns out my sewing machine doesn't like small pieces of cotton jersey fabric (or big ones either, really), and since I was lazy and haven't added interfacing to them, I'm sewing this little dude up by hand as of right now. We'll see if I get frustrated enough to iron some interfacing on later.

In keeping with the {craftgasm} mantra, the fabric pieces are all reclaimed. The solid green and blue were stained t-shirts, and the blue gingham is leftover from someone else's crafting. The little bit of white and pink on the insides of the ears was scrap fabric left over after cutting quilt squares from an old baby onesie. The whole thing will probably be stuffed with fabric scraps when he's done, too; I dislike the feel of polyfil too much, especially for a baby. And since it might be entirely hand-sewn, I don't want the polyfil leaking out the sides after its first round in the washer.

Who could be frustrated with that sleeping little face for long? Probably a good thing, then, that his face was one of the first things I did. I'll try to remember that when I'm ready to set fire to the whole project after I'm all cramped up, needle in hand.

Tuesday, March 17

Happy Tuesday to me!

You may remember oohing and ahhing over the lovely little Accessories of Old shop in Bethesda that I talked about. Owner and blogger Lisa recently had a contest -- and I was ever so surprised to read tonight to find out I'd won! I hadn't been keeping up on my blog reading while trying to get everything finished for the Homespun Yarn Party, so when I clicked the article today, I was just curious as to what the winning idea was. Turns out it was mine! Thanks so much, Lisa!

I'll be receiving the little sheep figures to put theory into practice as decorative knobs for yarn baskets soon. To save Lisa the trouble of mailing them, I may just have to swing up to Bethesda and stop by the store again. Oh darn!

Lisa is currently hosting a giveaway of some seriously cute Easter-colored vintage items, and though telling you about it dilutes my chance of winning, I love you enough to do it anyway.

Monday, March 16

Your favorite crafter halfway through the day, as seen by Anne. The fabulous crafting apron is from Becky of This Chicakdee.
The Homespun Yarn Party was a huge success yesterday! There were TONS of people -- apparently there was a long line waiting for the noon opening, which can only be attributed to the excellent promotional work done by Paula of Woolarina and Jess (whose blog will be linked here once I'm able to find out if she has one).

Here's a low-quality camera phone picture of about 1/4 of the sellers' area.

I learned some bits about some of the items I make. For instance, reclaimed manila folder mini-journals sell faster than I can make them; the only evidence they ever existed is in the top photo because I found the materials on Friday, made them Saturday, and sold all of them Sunday. (They're the purple and vanilla colored notebooks up there.) Also, buttons are a hotter item among knitters than I'd ever thought, as long as they are buttons of skeins and sheep. And cards sell much better in packs than they do singly, so I'm thinking about packaging the existing ones up together, like with like. (Is it because they can be given as gifts, or because customers feel they're getting a better deal on 3 or 4 that they aren't with just one? What do you think?)

I also had a newly engaged couple inquire about custom work after looking at the reclaimed stationery sets -- they want envelopes made with specific maps' locations for their wedding invitations. I love the idea! I hope to work with them soon on those; I'd love to get more into custom orders.

The new-and-improved Reclaimed Stationery Sets, as taken by Anne.

I love when my little creations go out into the world and find happy homes. Thanks so much to all the folks who stopped by and said hello!

Incidentally, I am going to be rescuing several hundred maps from a prominent publisher's recycling bin tomorrow, and will need lots of new projects to make with them. If you have anything in mind, feel free to get in touch with me! They're 2' x 3' to 4' x 6' so they can be used for pretty much anything. (Need some wallpaper?)

Saturday, March 14

Homespun Yarn Party tomorrow!

I don't have much free time because of tomorrow's craft fair, but I wanted to share these with you:

Ignore the messiness of the dining room table (and the low quality of my camera phone) and enjoy the prettypretty papers I've been playing with this week. These are now packaged up as the new and improved, all-maps-all-the-time Reclaimed + Upcycled Stationery Sets for the Homespun Yarn Party; they'll be in the craftgasm shop next week!

Can't wait until then? Stop by the Homespun Yarn Party from 12 - 5 on Sunday, March 15 and snap some up in person!

Wednesday, March 4

Image by The Handmade Movement.
I just learned via Etsy about sneak attacks on new Etsy sellers by The Handmade Movement. Despite the alarming-sounding name, the goal is a worthy one -- give a newer Etsy member a boost by having as many people as possible buy an item from them all at once. How fun!

The sneak attacks are announced at 7pm on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, so head over to check out who the latest victim is! (I'll be on my commute home during tonight's, but they assure readers that participating a little bit late is okay. )

Tuesday, March 3

I've been on vacation (the charming and lovely and EFFING HILLY San Francisco) and doing an insane amount of decluttering the past couple weeks, so while I treasure the time I get on the Metro to read others' blogs, I haven't had time or energy to post to my own. Silly, I know.

However, I promise a blog post every other day leading up to the Homespun Yarn Party on March 15th, where you will be able to find me, other crafters, and a crapton of fiber artists. How's that for a deal?

However, to buy myself a bit of time before my next-promised post (and because I'm only able to find time right now because I'm waiting for my fabulous boyfriend to finish up a project before we go get dinner), I'm going to let you vote in the comments what you want to see next. Evidence and progressive pictures of my craft area/bedroom's destashing and decluttering? Pictures from San Francisco of all the awesome stores (mostly Daiso)? The evolution of craftgasm's Etsy shop as I retake pictures of products? I'll get to them all eventually, but what do you want to see first?

Tuesday, February 10

Hey, adoring public. Yeah, you.

I am going to San Francisco (or really, anywhere else on the West Coast) for the first time on Friday for the long weekend and meant to ask: what should a crafty gal, thrift store goddess, and urbanism nerd like me not miss?

I'll be sure to take a bajillion pictures of all the flea market awesomeness that I manage to come across.

Also, excitingly, I will be a vendor at this year's Homespun Yarn Party in Savage, Maryland on Sunday, March 15! I jut got the confirmation tonight, so I will add more details as I learn them. But mark the date and start planning your weekend! I've never been to Savage, so I can't give you tips on the best way to get there (tip: not Metro), but as I figure it out, I shall share.

Thursday, February 5

Bird-themed EcoEtsy Treasury

Thanks to the EcoEtsy Twitter feed, I found out about Treasury West opening up this afternoon. I grabbed a spot and, inspired by the flock of birds in my tree this morning and with Valentine's Day coming up, made it lovebird themed. The items are all EcoEtsy team members, so if you snap anything up, rest assured they have green business practices!

Tuesday, February 3

Accessories Of Old

I am going to alert you right now that this post is going to consist entirely of pictures from my Saturday trip to Accessories of Old. Side effects may include jealousy, moaning, and the repeated urge to craft. You have been warned.

They have a wall FULL of buttons. It was amazing.

Vintage barrettes!

For someone who doesn't do a whole lot with her long hair, I sure did take a lot of photos of the hair accessories.

Lisa, the shop's owner, has very smartly bagged up variety packs from which customers can choose. The pretty scrapbook paper in the background is the main color of items in the package. They include a combination of all sorts of things, like a length of lace, various buttons, and ribbons. All vintage, of course. (I snagged a package of two different colors of sunny yellow velvet ribbon.)

Vintage trim, still wrapped on its original package. How cute are those little printed faces?

Lovely gift tags for that lovely person for whom you are buying gifts at Accessories of Old.

Sunday, February 1

Brick and mortar and pixels.

My friends Meigh and Christina, the crafty ladies at NoPantsMcGee, sent an email to me earlier this month:

"Ohmygodohmygodohygod. We're going, yes?"

After Inauguration Madness and their return from the Outer Banks, we managed to make time this weekend, and oh my goodness, I am so glad we did. Accessories of Old sells vintage sewing notions almost exclusively, along with a few other pretty gifts and vintage items. Lisa, who we met along with husband Andrew, keeps the store's blog up-to-date with pretty pictures and projects she's working on. I took a bunch of pictures, but foolishly left my camera's cord at my office, so you'll have to wait until tomorrow to see my goodies.

Another adorable, localish store is Three Potato Four, based in Reston, VA (though their shop is an online-only set-up). I have always enjoyed their inventory, especially because of the beautiful way in which they style their photos. Imagine my excitement, then, when Etsy used TPF's Sneak Peek at Design*Sponge to come up with a Get the Look: Decor article for them. (Mostly my excitement stemmed from not having known there was a Sneak Peek of them!)

I love peeking into other people's well-appointed homes, especially with my own move coming up in a few months. I need to curate and cull what I have here to make it easier to get everything to the new place in an economical and timely fashion -- not to mention that I don't need so much stuff. I'll likely be updating with my adventures in downsizing, so feel free to share any experiences you've had on getting stuff out of your life, and any lessons I should learn from you!

Friday, January 30

Excellent news!

Etsy is reporting that the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission has granted a one-year stay for enforcement of the CPSIA rules to review the issues that have been raised by small businesses.

This is fanfreakingtastic news for both small businesses that create items for children and for families that want to buy high-quality, unique, and natural toys and clothes for their kids. Keep up on what further work needs to be done to make sure the exemptions are granted in the next year, but today I think we can give ourselves a pat on the back for all the letters we've written and calls we've made that have helped this day arrive. Hooray!

My first Treasury!

I rarely look at Etsy Treasuries because they're just SO overwhelming. To have the usual 400+ lists of 12-16 items each is a little more stimulation than my feeble mind can take. (Plus, I would never get any work done!) But I happened to pop in there this afternoon, and there were 335 lists, and it needed to drop only below 333 to snatch one up.

My thought process (which often resembles a conversation among very good friends) was something like this:

"No way."
"Are you f[lipp]ing serious?"
"Refresh, refresh. It must be a mistake."
"I am refreshing, chill out!"
"OK, OK."
"Well lookit that. It's for real. For real-for real."
"So what the hell are we going to post?"
"Sh[oo]t, we have to do that first, don't we?"
"Add some fellow EcoEtsy teammates' stuff, obvi."
"Well, duh. But a theme, a theme! My kingdom for a theme!"
"Go with what you know."

Which, my friends, is why I have a map-themed Treasury over at Etsy right now. I included items that were just plain gorgeous as well ones that had maps of places near and dear to my heart (New York, Florida, and of course, DC). Enjoy!

Wednesday, January 28

Linkity links and a question.

After the exhaustedness of last week's Inauguration, and the exhaustedness of the excitement leading up to Inauguration, I've been totally pooped. (What excitement, you may ask? Well besides the peaceful transfer of leadership to the first minority leader of the free world, there was also the small matter of being invited to the White House on Wednesday, January 21. Yeah, that picture was taken from inside the gate.) Plus, DC was amazingly vibrant and dense with all our houseguests and various visitors coming for the festivities. It was fabulous to ride Bianca down the street and have groups of people respond to her bell with cheers. I'm sad that people have left and cars have returned.

In other fun news, my landlord determined my house's roof leak was caused by the heating system's expansion tank, which was housed in my closet. The back of my closet. The back of my deep closet. At least removing three years' of stored stuff from it (plus my clothes) means I have an opportunity to sort through and donate a ton of it to help me get ready for the big move in April. Unfortunately, this requires me to get it off my crafting area's floor in a reasonable amount of time. Sigh. I'll be doing that the next couple of evenings, rather than the much funner creating of new stuff.

Long story short, to tide you over, I'm going to link you to some fabulosity that you hopefully haven't come across before (or that you should rediscover if it's been a while). I can't remember where I first heard about all of these, so I apologize for the lack of hat tips.

} Open Drawer, a de-stash Etsy shop run by the woman behind d. Sharp and the d. Sharp blog.

} Dating a Banker Anonymous girls, a terrifying-if-true blog where women dating bankers in the financial meltdown can commisserate about their suddenly lower-rolling lifestyles.

} Angry Chicken, the blog written by Amy Karol that has now inspired me to eat much, much better (once I move out of my group house requiring me to share a somewhat-gross refrigerator with four other people, that is). Oh, and there are occasionally beautiful projects.

} Chez Larsson, a blog written by Benita, who has a lovely sense of simplicity in her Swedish home. It's a little heavy on the white for me to live with every day, but I do enjoy the tips on organizing and decluttering.

Semi-relatedly, is anyone interested in swapping before-and-after blog posts about crafting or studio spaces? I know I could use some motivation in getting my space cleaned up of things that don't belong in it, as well as better organized.

Thursday, January 22

And the winner is,,,

I fully intended to post the winner of the celebratory-hearts drawing yesterday, but I was a little derailed by spending the afternoon with 399 of my closest friends at the White House, hanging out with my new BFF Michelle. (Yes, for real. It was awesome.)

So, a day late, I'd like to announce that Ashley M. is the winner, as determined by the scientific hat-pull performed by my coworker! Congrats, Ashley.

The rest of you need not despair, however. From now until the end of the month of January, put "Happy Inauguration!" in the notes to seller and receive 20% off your order! After receiving payment, I'll issue the discount back through PayPal.


Thursday, January 15

50+ and counting!

I was so happy to watch my hearts climb upward last night, reaching 50 shortly after midnight (Eastern time, that is). I went to bed super-excited.

So imagine how thrilled I was to wake up and see that people had continued adding me to their faves even after the goal was reached! I'm currently at 52 -- and of course, always welcome more hearts! Thank you so much for your support.

As promised, to celebrate I'm going to host a giveaway of a handmade product of mine. I have been getting feedback about the Recycled Stationery Letter Sets --people love the maps and want more of them in the package. The map envelopes are time consuming to cut, so to keep costs down for customers, I had only included one map envelope in each packet, and used reclaimed envelopes for the rest of the set. But so many people have found the letter sets while searching for maps that I am going to split the product line. There will be a set with all map envelopes and blank labels, and then a set with all reclaimed envelopes with handmade map stickers at a lower price point. This will more accurately reflect the skill and time that go into making each letter set.

I'll be repackaging all of the letter sets this weekend to reflect the change, and I'll post here once they're live in my Etsy shop. However, one lucky commenter will be able to get the very first revamped set! If you want to play, leave a comment here with either a) your re-use resolution for 2009, or b) why you like something in my Etsy shop, along with a bot-proof email address to reach you. (While not required, you are more than welcome to pimp my giveaway on your own blog, linking back to this post.) To celebrate the United States' new beginning along with the new beginning of the Recycled Stationery Letter Sets, comments will have to be received by 11:59pm EST on Tuesday, January 20th. I'll use the scientific method of putting the entries in a box on Wednesday and pull one out. The winner will be posted here (maybe along with some pictures I take at Inauguration?), so tune in!

And, of course, if you want to heart craftgasm you are still more than welcome to do so. ;)

Wednesday, January 14

50 hearts by midnight?

I just looked at my Etsy shop's hearts and found that 45 people have listed me among their faves -- that's so exciting! Now I'm eager to reach the big 5-0 milestone. If craftgasm reaches 50 hearts by midnight (I'll even make it Pacific time, to help up the ante), I'll offer up an item from the shop for a giveaway raffle here on the blog.

Sound fun? Let's go!