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my etsy shop!

i will for absolutely sure be putting items up in my etsy shop this week!  PROMISE!!!

my etsy shop

thanks jenny for sending friends my way!

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crafting and eating

i woke up this morning and not sure whether or not my skin can take another day at the beach/pool, i decided to do some much needed crafting.  i’ve had my etsy shop empty for weeks now and need to list some items!!!

todays work area

today's work area

so i’ll be making some fun fun earrings and other jewelry items to list this week!!!

while some things were drying, i decided to make blueberry-banana-pancakes!  i picked up this wacky pancake in a spray can the other day and haven’t had a chance to use it.  i also had a bunch of organic bananas and blueberries just about to go to waste… voila!  so so good!  the trick with the spray-cakes is to use a BUNCH of it and treat it like an omlet not a pancake!  yeah i know, strange.  D-lish!!!

tastes better than it looks!!!

tastes better than it looks!!!

a quick post…

i had a paper to write for my sociology class and it was to be on our culture.  now that is really nice if you’re italian and have a nonna.  or if you’re puerto rican and have childhood memories of making arroz con pollo with your sweet little abuelita.  But my family isn’t italian or puerto rican and we are void of any “cultural” background.  my family is new york city.  hell’s kitchen to be exact.  and wherever your family came from before that, didn’t really matter once you were there.  so yeah, i’m irish, i mean my dad even rolled with the westies for goodness sakes.  but we’re irish one day of the year, with the rest of you, eating corned beef and cabbage (except me, i hate the stuff).    so i’m racking my brain, ok culture, we also have the option of writing about our sub-culture.  oh ok, right yeah i’m sure the girl in the back with the blue hair and tattoos is gonna write ALL about her scene.  probably even talk about her 1954 ford customline and the sub-culture that exists today revolving around driving, restoring and showing off your classic car.  eh, no thanks.  i just couldn’t be bothered.  put on TLC and watch some LA Ink or something.

so, i decided to write about us.  the crafters.  this sub-culture that exists all over the world, including all different kinds of people, different ages, races, financial backgrounds.  i thought it much more fitting then a paper about how up until just a couple years ago i thought i was german but now my father is pretty sure we might be dutch.  haha, crazy.

so here’s what i wrote in my paper, enjoy!

            At first glance, it is one of those groups that you can only assume met at an AA meeting.  Such odd pairings, drastic age differences.  What else could bring such an unlikely group together?  I can only imagine the thoughts running through the minds of restaurateurs and shopkeepers of downtown Omaha, Nebraska.  In November 2007, the entire downtown area was taken over by women of all ages, all racial and ethnic backgrounds, all financial classes, for an annual event taking place over the course of 4 days.  The bond these women all share?  Mod Podge.  Vintage photos, fabrics and papers, ribbons and trims and glitter.  Crafting is what these women all love, and what brought them together in Omaha for a non-stop crafting extravaganza!

            As early as I can remember, my mother would bring my sister and me to flea markets and craft fairs.  We had regular visits to stores like Michael’s and Frank’s Crafts.  Then come home with all of our goodies to make things that would adorn the walls of our bedrooms.  Sit atop our dressers and desks.  So it is no surprise to any of us that over twenty years later, our love of creating things continues.  My sister, Jenny, has a business with her boyfriend of sixteen years doing just that.  Creating, marketing, and selling their art.  So much so, that over the years their work has been featured in a number of magazines and other publications.  A piece of their artwork is currently featured in this month’s New York Times magazine.

            I am personally working on opening my own shop on a well known Vintage and Handmade website called Etsy.  It is the crafters eBay.  Anything and everything you could possibly want or need purchased directly from the person who made it with their bare hands.  If they don’t have exactly what you’re looking for, shoot them over an email and they will do their best to make it especially for you!  Not only that, you can find any item you may need to work on the project you’ve been thinking up in your head.  In addition to my Etsy shop, like most other “crafters” I have a blog.  A website, where I can give updates about what I’ve been creating, purchasing, finding, and eating!  Full of photos and links to other sites, a blog is a portal to hundreds of ideas and other people’s creations, to inspire you and keep you crafting.

            So after years of emailing back and forth.  Purchasing each other’s items.  Participating in “swaps”, which is where a group of 20 or so women will all create an item or items, revolving around a chosen “theme” and by a certain deadline mail the package of goodies to their “swap partner”.  It was an amazing moment to finally meet these women at the now widely known event called Silver Bella.

            Silver Bella is a “paper arts event” run by a woman named Theresa McFayden.  It has been featured in Country Living magazine and has guest speakers to make any crafter drool, including Mary Englebreit.  The event is set up into daily workshops, where classes are taught by some of the “big-names” in the industry.  There are banquets, dinners, luncheons, trips to local antique centers, a night of shopping – the “vendors faire”, and of course shenanigans only a group of women ranging in ages 17 – 70 can have.

            When the event ends, we return to our homes, and craft rooms, ripe with ideas and inspiration.  We all create and blog and share photos and stories.  And talk about how we can’t wait till the following year and who do we think they will have as the guest speaker next time.  It is a lovely experience.  And throughout the year following, we will all keep in touch through email and our blogs.  Sending our well wishes when a loved one falls ill.  Our congrats on someone’s child’s graduation from high school or acceptance to a University.  Oohing and Aahing at the creations of another crafter.

            So what does it take to become a part of this arts and crafts sub-culture?  Not much, a love of old things and a desire to create.  You will likely want a blog of your own.  Personally, I needed a bigger apartment!  A craft room, where I can get lost in making things was especially important to me.  I am able to go in, put on some music, and spend a few hours working on an idea that I’ve been coming up with in my mind.  It certainly doesn’t hurt to have a master crafter as a sibling; my sister was actually one of “the big names” teaching classes at Silver Bella ’07.  Instead of feeling like I can’t possibly compare or come close to her wonderful creations, I have my own style.  I use the tools and materials I feel most comfortable with.  It’s a great feeling of pride, so wonderful to receive complements on pair of earrings or a necklace you’re wearing when you made it yourself.

While there is a certain hierarchy in this sub-culture, no one is left to feel unaccomplished or less than another.  Everyone is appreciated for their talent and enthusiasm.  There is always something to learn.  A new trick, a great website you’ve never happened upon.  There is a great exchange of ideas and information in this Craft World.  It’s a joy to be a part of!

And you know my cover page was vintage wallpaper with an adorable tag with the title.  HAHA!

amazing day!

could you get better weather?!?!  so i had plans to go to the beach today… that was the plan.  i overslept.  which was ok because my friend matthew who was coming with me overslept too.  we finally made it there around 3 o’clock.  still an absolutely amazing day at the beach.  perfect temp.  sun shining.  we didn’t go in the water.  way to cold.  but the pool wasn’t as cold as i expected.  so tomorrow maybe?  after the beach we rode bikes to get some lunch/dinner.  langosta lounge!  YUMM!  i got the summer crab cake, it was soooo good!  we stopped into bodega shoppe, and i picked up some amazing little items.  i’m exhausted, after last night’s marathon of exercise that jenny and i had together, and today’s walking and bike riding.  i’m already in my pj’s and it’s not even 10pm.  i still have some algebra homework to do for class tomorrow night.  and i certainly have some crafting that needs to be done to prepare for the etsy store opening.  i wish i had taken some pictures today!  it was beautiful!!!

i have more than a couple reasons why i haven’t blogged in, in, wow in months.  i’m back in school.  i go to college.  i study and do homework and write term papers.  i absolutely LOVE it.  i’m thrilled to be a student again.  although the other day, no kidding, i left algebra and a part of my brain that i’ve never felt before was ACHING!!!  you know like when you work out for the first time in, in, months… and the muscles feel like they’ve never been used before.  like these legs have never been walked on.  like you’ve never picked up a stack of books or 24 pack of poland spring.  which brings me to another update… i’m dieting.  well not so much dieting as couting calories and typing them into a little program on my iphone (loseit) that tells me “when”… because i don’t know “when”… i don’t stop the guy when he’s grating cheese onto my plate of cheese filled ravioli with melted mozzarella cheese on top.  so, this handy little program is going to stop me from those extra 3 cupcakes or the rest of the bag of pretzels, or the extra 6 tblsp of peanut butter.  so far so good.  i’m not starving.  i’ve also made a slight effort to exercise a little more.  slight.  between walks with jenny and my new wii active… i should be good.  that part still needs some extra effort.

what else?!

ah!  i am planning the launch of an etsy shop!!!  woo hoo!  it’s going to be a lot of fun.  mostly jewelry.  mostly wood, paint, paper, glitter.  soon soon soon!  more info soon.

ok i won’t over-do-it on this post.

as i’m painting them, charley turns to me and says… “in all the time we’ve been dating, i’ve never seen you paint your nails once!!!”  he was so shocked.  i continued to paint, while we watched the movie gladiator (i’ve seen it a million times and already 3 times this week… but i still watched it again last night… love it!)  and again charley looks over and this time he says… “were you just licking your nail?!?!?”  “why were you just licking your nail?!?!?”  i told him, to smooth it out.  he didn’t believe me.  WHY?!?!?  he was so confused about something that to me, almost seemed like common sense.  SO… i called jenny on speakerphone…

j: helloooooo…

m: hey, why do you lick your nailpolish?

j: to smooth it out.

m:  ok thanks!!!

HAHA!  duh of course it makes sense, me AND jenny both do it!!!

so, i’m painting my nails now.  so what?!?!  i’m doing a lot of things i never used to do!  call it a new lease on life.  call it turning 30.  call it a new years resolution.

a list of things i now do on a regular basis:

  • wii fit for at least 30 min. (aerobics, yoga, strength training, balance games)
  • fast paced walking on my treadmill for at least 45 min.
  • eat healthier (less sugar, more greens)
  • moisturize my arms
  • wash my face before bed even on the nights i’m too tired to
  • read the stack of books i have next to my bed
  • learn to sew with a sewing machine (my new pixie)

so far so good.  the exercising and eating healthier are starting to pay off, i’m down a couple pounds and my jeans don’t cut off my circulation anymore.  the roughness on my upper arms is almost gone.  my skin is almost back to “normal” meaning not breaking out like a teenager on my chin!!!  i’m about to start another new book tonight!!!  the pixie, one of the things i got this christmas, is the most adorable little sewing machine.  perfect for a dunce like me!  i’m getting there… my first project will be to sew those curtains i “made” last year.  if i get really good, maybe i’ll sew a backing to them!!!

i didn’t add the usual… “blog more” to that list… haha i don’t want to set my expectations for myself too high!!!

so on a side note… i’m thrilled to say… that i’ll be in d.c. for the inauguration next week.  i’m beside myself.  no, i don’t have a ticket.  no, i can’t really handle crowds. no, i’m not expecting to really see our new president.  but man oh man to share in the excitement of that day, right there in the middle of it all.  thrilling!!!

till next time!  xo.

remember the curtains i made.  well i have to make 2 more.  the sweet and sinister swap… to be sent out in less than a week.  the house… still a wreck!  ahhhh vacation!

i’ve got quite a to do list today!!!  first things first… an update.  since my last post… i’ve been working like mad!  summer is busy busy.  so after a long and draining summer, i took the much needed rest that i truly deserved.

charley and i drove to philadelphia and hopped on the norwegian majesty.

we cruised down to bermuda.

docked in st. george’s for 3 days, then headed back home.

so the absolute highlights of this trip… the beaches were UNREAL!!!

they aren’t kidding when they say turquoise water!!!  and pink sand… well i mean it’s clean and it’s soft and it’s amazing but it’s not quite pink anymore, i would venture to guess it may have something to do with our unfortunate environmental issues. a quick lesson…

the unique and vivid colors were created by the force of the ocean’s powerful waves that crush sea invertebrates like coral, mollusks, clams, and other organisms with calcium carbonate shells and skeletons. Single-celled sea animals with dark red skeletons grow on coral reefs, and when they die, the organisms fall to the bottom of the ocean. The remains of the red-colored creatures mix with those of other sea animals such as clams, urchins, and sea snails. The pulverized shells mix with the sand giving it a pink tint

we may not have the pink sand for much longer, i fear.  anyway, ok.  so AMAZING beaches!  another super awesome highlight… the SCOOTER we rented!!!  so the cruise line tells you on a regular basis DO NOT RENT A SCOOTER… they tell you this because so many tourists rent scooters, forget that they have to drive on the left side of the road, or forget that the entire island is not sightseeing and get nervous when the workers in trucks behind them are honking to go above 40 kph… and what ends up happening is accidents.  thank god, charley and i did not have this problem. remember everyone, charley is a stuntman… have no worries!

oh and by the way.  i really really want a scooter now!!!

while there, i visited the bermuda perfumery. and of course picked up the his and her fragrance libraries for charley and i!  such amazing scents!

and of course… i gained a few pounds!!!  on a cruise there’s one thing that’ll never happen.  you’ll never go hungry!!!  constant and i mean constant, 24 hour buffets.  24 room service.  an italian restaurant.  a french mediterranean restaurant. indian food. my goodness it was amazing.  so much to eat!!!  i’m hungry now just thinking about it.

ok so now i’m home, and like i said, with a to do list a mile long. charley is training tigers all week at great adventure. oh and putting on say no to drugs performances at a few schools in connecticut.  who’s going to clean this place up?!?!?!

haha!  next week, craft night.  halloween themed!  perfect!  then i’ll ship out to victoria a package of sweet and sinister goodies!!!  oh and i’ll be heading up into the attic to pull out all of my halloween decorations!!!  jenny’s too!

i do love this time of year!!!