Friday, October 10, 2008

Lifes Lessons Learned


I created this collage in my art journal for using the Collage With Crowabout weekly images. I was inspired by the jewish holiday this past week.

Monday, October 6, 2008

Sarah Palin in the 'Hood

Sarah Palin is at the end of my street at a hotel as I write this. There are a series of fundraisers around here tonight. I had to pass throught the main intersection six times this evening doing my mom-taxi duties and was entertained by the throngs of signholders at each corner. Some were protesters, some were avid supporters. All had some type of sign, mostly homemade. My son asked my why these people would spend so much time making signs and standing on the street corner for hours while a VP nominee drove by on her way to a reception. He asked if their presence would make a difference and sway and influence people. Hmmmmmm.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Stitchrock - Indie Craft Show

South Florida is not the mecca for indie crafts, but it is slowly getting better. Miami has always had it's own hip and cool scenes but not in the way that I like to see - like the craft fairs in Austin, Boston, Portland, L.A., - you know what I mean. For the second year in a row, however, a group of like minded individuals have come together to put on Stitchrock, an indie craft show that is absolutely wonderful.

Held in a vintage gymnasium in Delray Beach, around 50 vendors or so set up in every available space to sell everything from jewelry and t shirts to pickles and decoupaged furniture. I went with a friend and we had an absolute blast. We arrived early enough to get a little swag bag with candy, promos, a magazine, and more. We found all kids of things that were unique and handmade and we couldn't live without. She bought the most fabulous necklace - a silver chain with an astronaut painstakingly crafty our of clay. I found a cute cap (I love buying hats. I look pretty good in them. Should wear them more.), a cute stuffed creature with the best color scheme that I want to use him as inspiration for my kitchen, and a great skirt with a screen printed koi fish.

Highlights for the day included a indie fashion show (which we missed because we had already been there for a couple of hours) and a live painting by the Miami artist LEBO.
I was so amazed by his work that I bought his book and had him sign it. I want to own one of his mixed media pieces. That would look so awesome in my new house and his artwork is terrific.

My favorite store for cool things in South Florida, Tate's was there once again selling their oh-so-cool things.


I wish the venue was bigger so more vendors could sell. I will be looking forward to next year's show.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Temptation


The collage sheet for the Crowabout weekly collage challenges contained images of a cat, birds, fish, and a bunny. The feline being tempted by her surroundings jumped into my head and this is what was created.

I am excited to attend the only indie craft fair around my area, Stitch Rock. This is it's second year and is held in a vintage gymnasium in Delray Beach. Last year was so much fun - I was so impressed that the first year brought out so much talent. I am always envious of the more craft saturated regions, so any indie events in my neck of the woods is fabulous!

Monday, September 29, 2008

So I Made Time For Myself

It's funny how writing things down, whether on a blog (that I don't even know how many people actually read) or a journal, you see things and rethink things. So when I finished whining about the guilt I felt about taking time for myself to create art and craft, I made this:

Another tote bag made from recycled tshirts. They are so handy! I attempted to take photographs to try to do a little tutorial. I don't know if I will post it or use it in the art zine that I will be creating for a zine swap. I love reading art zines. So interesting to get a peek into other people's artsy lives and have unique pieces of art in hand. I am excited about this - I have until mid November to create 10 zines of my own to swap. Moving and the Bar Mitzvah? Not evening going there. I am signing up and thus committing myself and will enjoy myself. Creating art is a good way to releive stress in my life.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Finding Time for Creativity

Guilt. I have it. I shouldn't but I do. Everyone does at one time or another. I have so much on my plate - To-do lists strewn across my desk like Times Square after New Years. In my heart I want to sit down in my craft room and do some collage in my art journal (that I am still enjoying), sew another bag, or work on that crocheted blanket that I have had going for over a year. But the fact that I am moving in a few months makes me feel guilty that I should be doing something productive rather than 'frivolously playing in my room'. (That quote came from the inner me, not from the guys of all ages who live with me and have no problem lounging on the couch.) I was packing boxes at 8 a.m. I had yet to do anything and I felt I might as well get started on packing some personal items such as framed photos, which supposedly is better for showing homes for sale anyhow.

I am very excited for this move - I am planning on the decorated feeling to be more colorful, artsy, and inspiring. Fun and welcoming. I live in a house that is too neutral for my liking now, and the high ceilings and flowing layout make it difficult to paint colors. I am planning on reupholstering a lot of my furniture and making slipcovers for my dining room chairs. Oh the fun of fabric shopping! The current occupants will be moving out around Halloween, which will give us some time to work on the house and move in. But first I have to get through my son's Bar Mitzvah.

Much of last week was spent putting the guest list together and stuffing and stamping envelopes. His invitations came out great. They look like mini rock posters with a big guitar in the background and were printed like postcards. The response cards look like tickets. So cute! Well, cool. Must attend to details. So now you can see why I feel guilty about taking time for arts and crafts. Then again, I am writing this. And I just did a bit of online shopping and bought these:

From my Flickr collage group I found out these were good white pens for journaling so I want to try them. I also want to buy these:

Sharpie Poster Pens are also supposed to be terrific for journaling but are hard to find. Heck with it, I think I'll go paint some backgrounds. Then pack another box.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Journaling,Crocheting, Jewelry Making - Crafty ADD!

Crafty ADD - if it was a real affliction, I would certainly self diagnose myself. Of course the cool guy that build a lot of the shelves and wall units in my house is convinced I have regular ADD and thus could never have my own focused business. I don't listen to people like that, oh, no!

I found myself working on my crocheted blanket this morning while my younger son watched Saturday morning cartoons (I still haven't outgrown this.) Following breakfast I water colored and stamped some backgrounds on some pages of my art journal, which I am still enjoying! Around lunch time I found that I had sold a bracelet from my Etsy shop (yeah me!), which is prompting me to get around to photographing more of my jewelry to list. The afternoon found me picking up a few new craft books, one being the Naughty Secretary Club by Jennifer Perkins, who is a DIY tv personality and blogger who I have enjoyed reading and watching for some time. Her book is great fun! The others I will share at another time. I am not a big shopper when it comes to things that I could actually use (new sneakers) but I never pass a bookstore without stopping and never leave without a new craft book or magazine!

My latest artistic endeavor and source of enjoyment has been keeping working on the collages in the art journal.

This was a page from this past week. Fun!

Next endeavor, I think, will be to create an art zine for an art zine swap. I have some good ideas. The timing is a bit tight with the bar mitzvah and the move but frankly creating art and craft is what relaxes, de-stresses, and inspires me. Positive energy. Yes, I think I will do it!

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Many Happy Returns - with Journal Pages

I can't believe how long it has been since I paid attention to my blog. Not that I have ever really focused on it. Although I have kept on with it, I have yet to focus on one single aspect of blogging. But I have fun with it, so tough!

Now that the kids are back to school (hurray) I have time to accomplish things during the day. Of course very little of the things that I accomplished have to do with personal enjoyment. Except exercise. I went back to the gym. Have you tried Zumba classes? They are dance type exercise classes with a Latin flair. So much fun! The hour flies by, I sweat and never look at the clock! A lot of back to school volunteer time fills my days. And my son's bar mitzvah preparations. And preparing to move. It's all good.

I have been keeping up with the collage group. I love it. We get a sheet of images and need to use at least three. I am so amused at what pops into my head when I am playing around with the pictures, colors and textures I have to work with. It seems I have a social commentary going on in my work. Great fun!


These were my latest collages. I look forward to Fridays when I get new images. I play with them over the weekend or on Mondays. Final writing and drawing gets done when I sit at my son's drum lessons. I bring my little journal bag with the pens and crayons inside.

My wish now is to take a workshop - one of those great, super creative workshops with inspiring instructors and phenomenal projects. Maybe even travel to one. Not much of that in South Florida. One can only dream.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Collage Play

Being the A.D.D. crafter that I am, I have recently taken up a new crafting direction - Art Journaling! It is a take off of what I have been doing most of my life, which is collage. As you know I have discovered some wonderful Art Journal artists and have read their blogs, books, and zines and got inspired! I found a collage group through the blog Something Two Crow About. The talented Nancy has put together a Collage Play group and posts a page of images to use in a weekly collage. Group members use at least three images and post them in the flickr pool. They are awesome. I have participated in the 3rd and 4th week and love the image prompts and am fascinated with what the talented members create!



I find myself carrying my new moleskin book (with the heavier pages - much better than the regular page weight notebook that I was doodling in, where markers would bleed through) to carpool line and music lessons. Such an enjoyable way to pass time when I am out. I even made this little moleskin 'cozy' that holds the book and has a section for pens, pencils and the awesome water soluble crayons I have been using.

This is such a motivating thing for me, I must say. And I am forever looking for crafts that I can take with me. The artist inside is bursting to get out. Artist?Crafter? Whatever.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

I Miss You, Eddie


You were my first child. I had never had a dog before, only cats. When I was having trouble getting pregnant and needing something or someone to mother - you came in to my life. I went to the home where you were born and you had your face in the food bowl. Once I picked you up that day I never put you down. We had no leash, no food bowl, nothing to prepare to bring a puppy home but you were the one. We chose each other. I never put you down that day.

Throughout the years you were always at my side. The day I took my first human son home you jumped on the bed next to the carrier and calmly welcomed him. You laid on the corner of his playmate like a guard. You welcome the other child and other dogs into the house but was always the king. You were the man.


You were our road trip guy. You claimed my lap on our many trips to Sanibel and loved to stick your head out of the window and feel the air when I let you. You knew how to open and close the window, unfortunately using the lock on occasion. The day you locked our family out of the car at the gas station will go down in history!

I miss you, my baby boy. Miss you terribly. I will love you forever.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Eddie - My Baby

Please keep my baby pup, Eddie, in you prayers if you are so inclined. My 'first child' who is on in dog years at 14 is very sick and fighting for his life.

He is such a great dog and we are devestated that he isn't well. My kids know he is sick and at the hospital and are keeping their fingers crossed with little discussion at this point. His doggy brother, Gary, is sadly sitting by the front door window waiting for his nap buddy. :(

Monday, August 11, 2008

We welcome with joy

Lars



We have a new addition to our family. Lars is an African Pygmy Hedgehog that our son named after his favorite drummer, Lars Ulrich of Metallica. (Our young guy is quite a drummer and a big Metallica fan. We don't know where that came from, but that is another discussion.)

How very cute is this little guy?! I don't think this is the clearest photo, but we are new to photographing hedgehogs. Our snake, Clam, passed away earlier in the summer and my boys have been wanting a new pet. We delayed bringing a new creature into the home because of our summer travels. Lars came in lieu of a trip to Universal Studios and Disney. (Sold out hotels were a good clue to impending crowds, paired with summer Florida heat and afternoon showers...I was more than happy to forgo the trip and visit the pet store!

Hedgehogs seem to make good pets. I researched them online a bit after my husband took him to the store to 'just look'. He fell in love and that was the beginning. They live in moderate sized cages, aren't smelly or profoundly dirty and don't eat anything is a dead animal. We are proud hedgehog owners now!

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Journaling for Dummies

Okay, I'm not a dummy.

As I often mention I am a bit obsesses with art craft books, magazines, and zines (and blogs). After discovering Teesha Moore's Art and Life zines and pouring through them, and subsequently reading her blog and how she creates such eye candy, I decided to take a shot at journaling with a more artistic approach.

I have always started(and stopped) diaries and journals since I was a kid. I have sketched in them, too. I have cut and collaged as long as I have been able to hold scissors. I have started in a small, inappropriate sketchbook that is more of a flimsy, spiral bound blank book that I have had for a few years. I have sketches in them dating back 7 years (but I don't have a lot of pages filled yet).

I also picked up a few books on journaling (how could I not! I will share them with you another day). I got out my supplies and followed the suggestions of those journal artists that I admire, which also includes Traci Bautista, who ia a collage and mixed media artist with an often fabulous color palette! They suggest making backgrounds first, then adding layers of color, stamping, etc...Some collage perhaps. Then journaling. While I am not quite ready to write out the details of my days, I did let my mind wander with the background and collages that came to be and put my thoughts with them.

I don't know how people scan their journal pages. Frankly, as you can see from my website, I don't know how people make their websites so visually amazing. Something to think about learning in the future (after the bar mitzvah and the move.)

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Art Cozy for the new iphone

First the computer, then my phone. My iphone died on me more or less yesterday. It wouldn't hold a charge and would freeze every time I went to use it. When I called Apple this morning they told me that my warranty expired 17 DAYS AGO! I never got an email or phone call asking me to buy extended warranty like they usually do. So I was out of luck - the nice gentleman who was on the phone with me for over an hour wished me luck trying to find a new phone.

Lady luck was on my side, as I walked into the mall to meet a girlfriend for lunch and lo and behold a new shipment of the new iphone 3G had just arrived and they were passing out numbered tickets. Each ticket corresponded to an iphone in stock so if you had a ticket, you had a phone. I did have to wait an awfully long time to get in and get it activated. But it is done and I am connected to the world once again.

I needed a new case and didn't like any of the plain, overpriced ones they had in the store and didn't have the patience to shop around for one.

Being inspired by all of the collage and journaling books and zines I have been reading I created this ipod cozy.

It is felt with collaged fabric, free form sewing, beads and some embroidery. I have to say that I like it. I hope I like this phone as much.

(And I am tempted to get a Mac laptop next. I have been wanting a laptop and had so much fun playing with the Mac Books. OOOOhh)

Golden Ticket

I never win anything. Not that I am complaining - ya gotta play to win and I am not a player per se (I only by lottery tickets if the winnings are $100 million. Anything below is not worth my dollar!)

A fabulous zine that I recieved from wonderful artist Alma Stoller called 'Odd Ball Charm' delivered a bit of luck along with that charm. Inside was a golden ticket that wins me a piece of her artwork! How awesome is that?! The theme for my new house decorating is color! and her artwork is just that!

My baby girl Nikki shares the excitement!

Friday, July 25, 2008

I Hate Computers (Today)

My newest craft projects were photographed and I attempted to load them onto the computer. It slowed, then froze, then was unable to reboot. Ouch. Frustration. I will have to postpone posting the cute pink and brown tote with vintage pin and the reversible tshirt tote made out of recycled tshirts.

I also received Alma Stoller's Odd Ball Charm Zine and was the lucky recipient of a Golden ticket. Can I post that here today? Oh, no. My computer wants to hate me today. I hate it back. Hopefully we can make up on Monday.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Ducks In the Boston Public Gardens

video

I wanted to try uploading a video that I took on my birthday present - my Flip Mino. I have been going to the Public Gardens to feed the ducks, geese, and swans and take swan boat rides since I was a tot. I thought a short clip of the duck family would be a good experiment.

Crafty Book Finds in Boston

I just returned from another vacation in Boston, which is always a delight unless it is between November and April. Being a city full of young people due to the abundance of fabulous colleges and universities, it has lots of crafty and green offerings. Due to my schedule that centered around visiting my son at camp, I was unable to do what I REALLY wanted to do, and that was visit the South End Open Market, which has everything from crafts to food every Sunday. There was also a green/crafty festival in Somerville - missed that, too.

Having finished the novel that I was reading on the plane, I tried to convince my 9 year old to walk over to Borders to pick up something for me to read. Tired after a day of walking the New England Aquarium, he countered that it was not necessary for me to go. In desperation to avoid watching cartoons later that evening, we stopped into the Paper Source store next to the hotel with fingers crossed that they had something crafty for me to read. I left with the most amazing zine by artist Teesha Moore called Art & Life. Her journaling and collage work is vibrant and inspiring.
This particular issue (#10) had her trip to Tokyo journalled. It was so much fun to read and look at. I went back for the only other issue they had (#7) and just ordered two more from her website.

Saturday we spent walking much of the city, from Newbury and Charles streets to Fanueil Hall and the Freedom Trail (No, our youngster wasn't with us. His little feet wouldn't have made it that far in the heat. Neither did mine, from the looks of the bandaids on my feet.) We stopped into a Boston favorite, Newbury Comics. I am not a comics reader/collector per se, however they have records, cds and dvds, and a very large collection of collectibles, including the designer vinyl and Japanese ones that I like. I found two great books as well. First, I was nostalgic to pick up Moomin: The Complete Tove Jansson Comic Strip.
I used to read the Moomin books when I was in grade school! My memory tells me that I loved them, and the cover graphics on this hardcover is great!

The second hardcover book that I encountered has me so very excited. It is called What It Is by Lynda Barry. The subtext on the cover says "Do you wish you could write?" Every single page in this book has hand drawn copy and illustrations and thought provoking questions, such as "What is a reflection?" "What is a secret? Where is it kept?" and so on. I paid full price and see I can get it for less on line, but it was fun to read and discover on vacation. Frankly, the books and some paper at Paper Source was all the shopping I did for myself this vacation.

I was, however, inspired to start collaging again and have to find some of the artist crayons that Teesha Moore uses in her collages and journaling. Besides this talented artist, I can thank my momentarily whining child for steering me into the store that had the zine!

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Poolside Crafting

It has been so long since I have last posted - a month! How summer just flies by! I know there are still a few people who still check on my blog and read when I post. Thanks for sticking with me. Hey, why don't you leave a comment so I know your there!

My posts are out of order, as I posted last nights crafting endeavor first. Earlier this week I sat poolside while my son cooled off from the Florida heat in the pool. Not satisfied with just sitting or even reading, I needed busy hands.

I have been pouring through design and crafty magazines searching for home decorating inspiration for our new home. Not satisfied with just tossing the leftover magazine in the recycling bin, I started playing with other colorful pages. I made envelopes, which used to be a fun thing that I did back in my mail art days.

I made templates of my favorite sized envelopes and found different, interesting magazine pages and catalogs to trace the outline on. I cut the envelope shape and used a glue stick to secure the sides to the back flap. If there is no place to write an address I use a plain label.

I have card sized envelopes, long, bill sized, and small, enclosure type. I made some great small ones from a catalog from an old gallery exiibition.

Page layouts, like this bathroom photo, make great envelopes. Wouldn't you love to receive these in the mail? Or send one and brighten someone's day?

(And the scraps from these were used to make paper beads - see the top photo!)

Late Night Crafting

I, like so many other crafty people, enjoy working when their house is quiet and no one is demanding of their time. If they were up, family members are apt to hear my sewing machine going after midnight.

Last night was a prime example of a late night crafting session. I am fairly new at sewing and like to experiment. I have stacks of old jeans in my craft room closet that called to me yesterday to be played with. The result was yet another zippered pouch. I put an applique pocket on the outside.


I think it is rather cute.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Crafty Deadlines

I work best under pressure, when I have deadlines, and when I make lists. My most unproductive days are free days when I don't have much to do and I don't have anywhere to be at a set time. Intentions are to enjoy time in my craft room to create wonderful jewelry and other crafty things. But I don't.

I often say I like to do craft swaps because I can enjoy crafting for someone, maybe with a specific theme in mind. I don't keep it, but I get someone else's hand craftiness in return.

I just finished a swap with a color, texture and shape theme. I was to craft one thing in pink, one thing in a star shape, and something soft. I had a great partner and had a great time creating for her. She received:

A Star Plushie, a sterling silver and pink quartz necklace, and a pink zippered pouch.

I received in return, some fantastic knit items, including a great octopus.

So I am not quite packed for tomorrow's trip to the Bahamas, don't have my son packed and ready for camp, and haven't looked at one single thing for the home renovation/addition project I am starting this fall. I need to make a list....

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Too Much Time, Too Little Time

School is out and I am running around like crazy! Shuttling kids to and from friends' houses, orthodontist appointments and camp shopping at Target (one of my favorite places to buy things I didn't realize I needed!) And while I find myself with no time to accomplish a lot of big things (like pick all of the things on the list the contractor gave me for next falls' home move project) or exercise, I am in my house with my kids and there friends, don't need to entertain them - just wait on them and clean up after them. I therefore have some time to craft. I sat poolside today while a few boys were swimming and made envelopes out of recycled magazine pages. I just finished up some crafts for a Crafster swap. And I snap silly pictures of license plates while waiting at lights during my taxi duty.


I snapped this for my good friend who is a podiatrist. It says 'CORN DOC'.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Time to Sew

I don't know where the time goes, but I find time to sew.
I taxi the kids, substitute teach, live in the grocery store (and suck in the cooking department, according to my oldest son and everyone else). I have found time to make a few crafty things in between (literally).

My aunt in Arizona is a fabulous quilter and gave me a gift of three nesting, quilted zippered bags that are just darling! She then sent me the directions and I just had to try them.

With a child home sick one day this week I was able to experiment with machine quilting fabric and using different kinds of interfacing. I had the best results with fusible pellon fleece. I then worked on the medium sized bag in between lasagna baking stages. Most of the sewing got finished before I had to take off the foil to brown the top.

Here is the bag zipped closed.


I chose a nice batik pattern with a contrasting pink lining. I played around with inexpensive fat quarters I had in my stash in case I ruin anything.



I couldn't wait to email my photos to Arizona. So proud was I. Everyone will be getting these bags for the next gift occasion! I just need to remind myself to make jewelry. I am trying to get my etsy shop up and running. I need to price and post my pieces already! And I am thinking about sending some samples to the Sampler. And the kids are out of school for the summer next Thursday. Oy!

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Running on Time while Shopping for Bags

I managed to get everywhere I needed to be today, and on time I might add. Didn't make it to the bank or the pediatricians office (just to pick up papers) - both of those errands can wait a day or so. Along the way, however, I just can't stay away from bags. I didn't buy any but they seem to be beckoning.

I met a friend at the mall (don't like the mall) to purchase a group birthday present for a gal pal. Had to walk through the Saks Fifth Avenue bag department amidst the shiny, colorful patent leather totes on display. I kept walking.
While waiting for my child to get ready for drum lessons I casually browsed my bookmarked Etsy sellers. Look at this bag! It is from Bonspiel Creations.

Again with the colors. How cheerful is this bag?! Kept browsing.

On my list of things to do in the next few days is hit Joann's to get supplies to make a zippered pouch for a craft swap I am participating in. I love making zip pouches and it is always nice to craft for others (and fun to receive!) I am making a pouch to hold double pointed needles. I have a fabulous pattern that my Aunt sent me (along with the bags) called a Humble bag. Very cool shape. I need to get the right size zippers to try this one too.

I am feverishly looking at books, magazines and websites to come up with ideas and directions for my craft room that I will build this fall. I have a meeting with the builder and architect on Monday. The almighty Martha has a great craft room with so much space and drawers and counters. I need inspiration!

Monday, May 12, 2008

Brain Overload!

Yikes! Too much on my plate! I like to think that I function best when I have a lot to do and am very busy and very scheduled. Lately I have been starting to slip. I am being teased that I am getting old (please shut up. I just forget to look at my planner for the 100th time in a day. Last week I forgot to take my son and meet with the Rabbi!!! I had to call and tell the truth - of course I was forgiven. Embarrassed, but forgiven. Two days later I forgot to take my dog with me in the morning to be dropped at the groomers. That resulted in another round trip car ride across town. With gas at over $4 a gallon, that isn't a picnic in my SUV!

I interviewed photographers last week for the bar mitzvah. Different styles, different personalities, same general expensive pricing. I chose some great, artistic people, however, and will look forward to working with them.

My house was photographed for the real estate listing to be sold. I now have to keep it more or less ready to be shown. I have 2 boys and 3 dogs. Good luck to me!

And the builder and architect want to meet with me about the craft room they want to build in the new house. Right now the drawings show doors on two walls and windows on the other. Walls, people! Crafters need wall space!

Cloth, Paper, Scissors Magazine (by the publishers of Quilting Arts) just came out with this Studios issue.


Perfect timing!

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

New Links

I finally updated my link list - at least a little bit. I tend to visit one blog and then visit the blogs that that blogger reads and on and on until I realized that I have spent many unproductive hours reading blogs. I still discover amazing crafts, recipes, design ideas and things I want to buy. I have been seeking out design and decor blogs, as I will be moving yet again next year. And just as I have nearly finished my awesome craft room. Oh well, I'll have another.

Lots of cool things on these sites. I just got the cutest little Cram Cream toaster plates. They call them toaster plates because they fit in a toaster oven - and look like mini Pyrex baking dishes. It wouldn't hold much food, however. But they are so darn cute I want to put trail mix or olives in them and put them out for friends.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

New Etsy Store!

I am officially open for business on Etsy under my new store name, Ruby Underground!. Not only that, but I actually was able to create my own banner! Ok, so it is not super fabulous - but I did it myself! I have never been able to find the time and patience to learn Photoshop yet, but I discovered that Photobucket has some new editing tools that allowed me to crop and add copy. It took me a while to figure out how and where to save it so that I could upload it. It worked. I am proud. I have only listed a few things so far.

Please come and visit me.

Thursday, May 1, 2008

New Name, New Logo



This is what I am thinking about for the new name of my jewelry,craft, and accessory business. And my Etsy shop. Quail was the name I first used to sign into Etsy. Never thinking that I would be a seller and that is the shop name I was sorta stuck with. Ruby Underground just popped into my head. It's kind of a subversive sorta name - could be a character or a singer, jewelry (ruby), another was to describe a 'hidden gem' (get it?) Anyhow....thoughts?

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

I'm baaaack!

Where have I been? I feel so badly that I have neglected this blog. I was enjoying posting and actually having people read my blog, and then 'poof' I stopped. I still read lots of fabulous blogs daily, more or less - I will need to update my link list for your enjoyment. A few big things are coming up and writing my blog may be the perfect creative outlet - to share information and to write my thoughts out so I may clarify my brain.

1. I am planning my child's bar mitzvah. A lot of work. Helping him prepare for the ceremony and planning a cool party to celebrate after.

2. I am moving. I live in a lovely house now. I found a charming house to move to. It will be so much fun to decorate. This house has character.

3. I want to expand my jewelry and craft business - for real. I am aiming to participate in a craft show and expand my Etsy presence and sales. I am starting by changing my name. Ruby Underground is sounding good to me. It came to me when I was getting a facial.

More later....

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Reality Talent

Being someone who loves to craft means I am one who cannot sit with idle hands. I multitask. Sitting in front of the television is not an enjoyable activity unless I am crocheting or cutting up magazines at the same time. Plus I don't like much that is on television. I find most of the drivel is reality shows and dramas that have so many spin offs that seem the same. A few shows, however, are worthy of my time.

Project Runway showcases real talent. To be selected to participate one must be able to create clothing - knowing the intricacies of everything from fabric to pattern making to how to fit a model. I loved this season and will miss it. I am thrilled that Christian won because he truly is 'fierce' and I think his designs and creativity were consistent.

American Idol is on my tivo schedule (thank heavens for tivo!).. I record Idol and fast forward through the commercials, long commentary and bad performances. Last week David Cook rocked Lionel Richie's "Hello". This week, believe it or not, Chickeze was my favorite. The young kid has to go, as does the two blondes. And the pizza bistro guy. Hopefully they will be the next four off.

Monday, March 10, 2008

In Forever and a Vacation

That is how long it seems I have blogged. And I just picked up this magazine today, Artful Blogging - one of the Somerset Studio magazines.
I just love looking at the pictures in these magaizines. It always inspires me to sit down and craft things. Or go buy craft supplies. I do the latter much more than I do the former. Guilt creeps up on me if I spend too much time sitting in my craft room 'playing'.

I made a sweet little charm bracelet as a gift for a little girl celebrating her bat-mitzvah. A check is so impersonal, I wanted to give a gift that was special and about her. I hope she liked it.

Where have I been? Costa Rica. We took a week long family vacation there and had a wonderful trip. For the first time ever I don't feel like I need a vacation after my vacation! We snorkeled, zip-lined, rode horses, swam, fished, boogie boarded and more. (My husband has the better, prettier shots on his camera, which I have yet to put on to my computer.)
Beautiful country, friendly people, good coffee and guajito's (like a mojito only better). Can't wait to return.

Monday, February 18, 2008

Crafty Photos!!

I found the coolest camera's at Tate's before Christmas and picked one up for a creative friend who I knew would appreciate it. It was a fisheye camera from Lomography. I didn't do much research - it just looked like a cool gift for a cool person. Last weekend I returned to Tates and spent some time checking out the line and the books on Lomography. I was captivated! Besides fisheye, there are lenses that infuse color into your photos, make mosaic tiles of one image on a single print, like this one that I pulled of of the e-lomography flickr group,


and cameras that take four quick shots in 2 seconds for a tiled action print. I got the latter one at the prodding of my son who thought it would be so cool to take on vacation. (He, like his crafty mommy, is very creative.) There is no flash on my little toy so i have to take pictures outside in bright sunshine. The fun thing is it turns ordinary shots into artist photos! I bought some cheap film (yes, not digital either.) and can't wait to have my first roll developed to see what comes out!!!

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Godzilla wishes you a Happy Valentines Day

In the long run, having sons may save me from the hormonal turbulence and nastiness that daughters bring (this is paraphrased from my mother, who tells me I was very difficult starting at age 12. Looking back, I just think she couldn't deal.) I do long for someone to make jewelry with and make my dream dollhouse for. Lacking a Hello Kitty loving, pink wearing offspring, I was rewarded with boys who are very creative. They are musical, can whip poems up for their class projects, and raid my craft room often for the same. I recieved a phone call from my son who was looking for my rhinestones to glue on a banner for a rennasiance unit. The younger one creates multi media power point presentations and hand drawn comic books. Don't ask me how much I spend each month on Crayola's Model Magic!

The letter came home from school a week and a half ago with the class valentine policy. Unfortunately this year we would not make mailboxes at home for the little cards (which have morphed into candy with a name on it many times.) Recepticles would be bags decorated in class. The class list was provided so that no child be left out. For the actual valentines, there would be no store bought commercial character cards for the child of this Crafty Mommy. Without prompting from me, he decided he would make is own valentines.



He searched the web for his favorite Godzilla images then added text in speech bubbles. Cut them out, folded them and decorated them with foam heart stickers. I was glad to see the DIY spirit alive in kids during one of these Hallmark holidays.

I do wonder what his classmates thought of his handmade cards mixed in with Scooby Doo, Harry Potter, and Spongebob.

Saturday, February 9, 2008

sparking the creativity


My version of playing on a drizzly Saturday afternoon.

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

More doggy cute

These layered paper cut compositions by SanFran67, another very talented Etsy artist, really caught my eye.


Besides canine cuteness, she has birds, a monkey and beautiful monochromatic work.

Puppy Love

I love my dogs. My three papillons are personalities plus! Never a dull moment when they are around (which is always!)



I fell in love when I saw these paintings and prints from Dog Art by Lyn on Etsy. They truly capture the papillon spirit!



She's got beautiful originals and prints with many other adorable canines.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Must Make Time for Crafting

Crafting and exercising. Two things that I wish I could fit in on a regular basis. Rather than cook dinner...although the guilt drives me to prepare something each and every day for my family, lest I be 'one of those moms' who call the various restaurants around town for curbside pickup.

I finished a cute necklace that is a combination of vintage celluloid charms and new crystals. I have still yet to master good photographs and my easy digital point and shoot camera has a constant 'card can't be used' warning no matter what I do. Sigh.

I managed to squeeze in some time to make some buttons for the parents of my son's basketball team complete with a sports and school logo and the boy's name and number. Made one for each parent because I am so nice and spirited and crafty. I made them for the football team moms and they were much more enthusiastically received. This was a perfect project to keep my hands busy during the Giants football game. Go Patriots! (We are a Boston/NY household here. Always fun at certain sport seasons.)

I got inspired after buying and reading through Sheri Haab's book The Art of Resin.

I have always wanted to learn and now I will. Just another crafty project. If you could only see my craft room (and various spots around the house.) I am still working on the crocheted blanket that I started last summer. Should have known to start with a larger hook. Never thought it would be a blanket though, but I am compelled to finish it. I have jewelry projects everywhere. Collage images needing to me pasted into the images I have in my head. And a zine! That is in my head, too, with ideas jotted down in the art journal that I rarely get to.

Ahhh, but I made nice buttons. And the nice necklace. With lots of projects started, I'll always have one to finish. :)

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Art on Etsy

I am a bit obsessed with Etsy (as are most people after they discover it!) They have a new feature called 'pounce' that lets you see what was recently bought and what else is available from that seller. I also like scrolling through the Time Machine 2 that lets you see the most recently listed items.

I have found some great things on Etsy that I have shared in the past. There is especially some great artwork out there. I recently added Mt. Joy School to my list of favorites. Their mixed media compositions are done with such vibrant colors and subject matter. May have to add to my artwork collection!

i-(can get really irritated with my) phone


Everyone loves their i-phones. Yes, they are cool and you can carry your calendar, music, email ability, photos, and more on your phone. So why do I feel like the only one who has constant issues of freezing screens and 'unable to download' messages. Special thanks goes out to the awesome guy in Apple's call center in Idaho for taking 2 PATIENT HOURS to help me clear up the glitches and get restore and update my phone. Wish I coulda bought him a nice Venti at Starbucks.