Wednesday, November 11, 2009
Here's the thing, though - it's for a friend who is internet savvy, so rather than just go BLAM and post a picture, I'm going to link the pictures, and you can choose to look if you want. I will only say that it is crochet and it is wearable.
After Xmas, I'll post the pattern and such - I don't know where the pattern is from, because I saw a similar piece on a student while subbing, fell in love with it, and figured out the pattern myself from looking at how the piece was made. It's very simple, though, and I really like how it turned out; I just can't claim credit for it OR give proper credit - the original piece was a gift to the student! xD
Here's my fear, though - I love my friends and family, and I know they love me. But I worry that what I give them is crap. No matter how well it's made, I really fear that they'll think it's crap. Now, I'll admit part of this fear came about from an offhand crack someone I deeply care about made about a gift I made them last year (no specific pronouns to protect the innocence), calling it a "yarmulke" (apparently I made it too small - but the person is a tiny person and I wasn't sure!). To the point where I haven't made any of the gift I made last year for this year's round.
I like making the gifts, though, because I'm trying to make a gift that the person will love and want to wear/use on site. It's an extension of my joy of gift-giving in general; it's my goal to find something unique to the recipient that they'll also like AND be able to use. So I'm already disappointed if they don't like what I buy; it's even more heartbreaking if they don't like what I made just for them.
At the same time, I don't want to be treated like a charity case, either - feedback is helpful, always, but the joke hurt. I doubt the person meant to hurt, but it still hurt a LOT. (Not that I ever told the person... not to mention how lame am I that an offhand joke made A YEAR AGO is lingering over my head still?)
I guess this is where I am at a standstill - I still love to make things with my hands, but at the same time I don't want to bother if it's not going to be useful or appreciated by the person. If they aren't liking their gifts, then it becomes, to be blunt, creative masturbation - I'm making things for me but claiming they're "gifts". Meh.
Not that this ultimately matters - I mean, for Pete's sake, I've already made the majority of gifts this year, and this is one of the few years where it's been a NECESSITY due to financial issues. Ultimately I think the people I love take it as my slightly-better macaroni picture of love for them, like I did when I proudly gave my parents my class "artwork". So whether it's actually a good gift depends on the recipient, but ultimately it's received with the intention that I made it for them because I love them. =)
Aaaand on that note it just occurred to me yet another damn gift I'd like to make for people. God dammit. I'M ADDICTED TO GIFT MAKING, I CAN'T STOP.
Thursday, November 5, 2009
Not that I'm some huge drunk, or that she hasn't already been drinking for years. Just... it's a milestone that I get to help someone else celebrate! I'm usually the younger of my crowd; the only other person I've helped celebrate their 21st is my husband (who is 1.5 years younger).
So I'm excited! To celebrate, I made my sister a card AND jewelry for myself to wear tonight so I feel a little younger and more hip. (Not that I'm SO much older, but I'm a good 7 years older than my fellow revelers... and probably the only one who is dorky enough to use the word "reveler". ;p)
First, my sister's card:
I wanted to convey a sense of drinking. Was I successful? ;p I made the martini "paper" with some clear stamps, then colored and stamped the large martini glass.
Aaand these are for me! I'm treating my sister to dinner (and if she really likes this set, I'll just give it to her - I have enough materials to make another xD) for her gift, but I wanted a good necklace to go with my low-cut sweater top. I want to look cute, too! Even if I AM the old lady of the group! Hahahaha.
*If you look to the right, you will notice that I am named Samantha. Yes, Sami is short for "Samantha" and my sister and I have the same name. Just to explain, 'cuz EVERYONE asks: My sister and I share a brother, but are not blood relatives ourselves. Basically, bro and I share a dad, bro and Sami share a mom. Sami is my sister through LOVE, which is even stronger than blood IMHO - I don't have to love her, but she is my sister no matter what you say. The names are merely coincidence - we met when she was 1 and I was 8.
Sunday, November 1, 2009
I am working as a substitute teacher, and unemployment makes up the difference, so we're not broke, but we're trying to be cheap and frugal when need be.
One of those frugal choices was Halloween - we wanted to have fun costumes, but not spend a lot of money. We thrift-store hunted and modified as needed. I went as a Roller Derby girl, and I made my own shirt:
I was lucky - the trims were on sale for 50% off, so I spent about $3 for the trims. Paint cost about $3, and the shirt itself was a whole $2.
I found the stencils at Michaels in a set for $5. I painted the fire first, then layered the skull on top once the painted fire was dry.
My "derby name" and number - hey, if I'm hell on wheels, I should have an appropriately demonic number! (The derby name is a play on our last name, hence the double n.)
Aaaand me in full costume. Helmet is thrifted, found the skirt at a thrift store and cut it WAAAY short (esp. in back - oops), and found the knee socks at a thrift store, too. The fishnets are tights that I cut the crotch out of and cut the feet - the "crotch hole" went around my shoulders, and I owned the black tights already. So basically I made my costume for about $25! I had skates, too, but I didn't get a chance to practice in them before we went to my cousin's house - and I didn't want to get an RUI, or fall on my butt, frankly. Hehe.
Most people got it immediately, and I was told the shirt was the best part. It's my favorite part, too - I'm glad I found those stencils to make the "logo" of the team!
Thursday, October 29, 2009
Xmas '09 gift for Joey 2
Originally uploaded by mantequilla81
Ok, I love this photo, hahaha. But that's because I'm a dork.
So the sad thing about this project is that the gloves are for my friend Joey... who is very much a dude. Yet you can see that these fingerless gloves fit me well. *sigh* I have man hands. I'm a 5'10" Amazonian woman that desperately wishes I was 5'2" and dainty. It's like a St. Bernard trying to be a lap dog. xD
BUT I like how the gloves turned out. I think Joey will, too. They're simple and WARM, and they'll go with a cool leather jacket or a pea coat (as Joey is a fashionable sort). And if he doesn't like them, well... then hopefully he'll lie and tell me he does. Good thing I'm working on a stationary set for him, too. Speaking of, I'll have to show that set when it's done - it's probably one of the cooler card sets I've ever made. Which reminds me, I need to get back to work on those, I still have 4-6 of those to make...
Anyway, this is the second to last crochet project for the holidays, but the last one will be a looooong one. It's a scarf, and it's a scarf I'm trying to figure out from only looking at it. Oy. We'll see how it goes!
Wednesday, October 28, 2009
The funny thing is, I'm not so much interested in her fashion posts as I am her food posts. She makes some of the most exquisite food posts I've ever seen - even when she's not the one making the food. Her photos are works of art, and her write-ups are hoity-toity foodie talk with a touch of wit and the occasional pop culture reference thrown in (she freakin' reference Wu-Tang Clan, she had me at "C.R.E.A.M."). Some examples: Pie Pops Bento Box
Rather than make this a complete ass-kissing post, I'll simply write here what I just commented on her Steak n' Sides post (which isn't even my favorite post!):
"My GOD. I'd go gay for you."
I mean every word.
(The Hubs won't mind, as long as I help her cook a good meal for him before we ride off into the sunset. Something tells me he'll be too drunk on good eats to notice.)
Monday, October 26, 2009
The only problem is I don't make anything mind-blowingly original. I'm aware that there's nothing new under the sun, but man I sure wish I could come up with something awesome that takes off and everyone wants to make themselves... like marble magnets. (Not that I don't make marble magnets, haha, I freakin' LOVE making marble magnets!)
One area where I'm not that creative but I'm capable is crochet. I enjoy the simple patterns, as I'm still new at it, plus the repetition is soothing to me (same with knitting, but knitting takes longer so I tend to fall back to crochet). I accept that I'm not making anything mind-blowing, but I really wish I had the brain to create patterns. Too much math for my simple literature-minded brain; it's a miracle I've trained enough in sewing to look at a sewing pattern and (mostly) figure it out! They used to look like complicated 1000+ piece puzzles when I glanced at them. xD
Anyway. Xmas is coming, and it's my favorite time of year. Unfortunately, this year is going to have to be thriftier than previous years due to my technical "unemployment", so I'm starting early and crafting the hell out of everything. xD The first two completed projects: Neckwarmers! My grandmas are both in Chicago, which gets fa-REEZING in January and February, and as they're not as young and spry as they used to be, I'm afraid they're always going to freeze outside. Last year was hats and pocket-warmers (ceramic pie weights in a nice blue fabric), this year is neckwarmers and hot cocoa mixes! (I haven't tried the recipe yet for m'self - if I try it and like it, I'll definitely share!)
The pattern is by Stephanie Gage, and can be found here on Crochet Me. The idea is that they wrap around the neck, and can fold over or stay up as the wearer sees fit.
I'm crocheting 2-3 more gifts this year. After that... actually, I'm not sure! Hahaha. Gotta review my xmas list again. I LOOOOVE xmas, and I'm very fortunate that I have friends and family that humor me and pretend to like their homemade gifts. =)
Sunday, October 25, 2009
I am a huge comics nerd. HUGE. My dad used to mention it as a point of pride that I was the only girl he knew who ever read newspaper comic strips - he'd read the paper after work and automatically hand off the comics section to me when he was done, ever since I could read. I love comics and cartoons, the combination of story-telling (English nerd WUT) and art is just wonderful to me. Even though I wasn't into the superheroes when I was younger, I still liked hanging out in comic book shops, even if all I bought were the Archie Digests (and KATY KEENE! OMG I loved Katy Keene, probably because I loved drawing/designing clothes when I was young als0). The joy of comics has grown to include superheroes on occasion, with Daredevil being my favorite title, but mostly centers around graphic novels and webcomics. Not too much in the fantasy arena, either - I really love people who illustrate human stories, autobiographical or not.
On that note, I want to share a dude who I don't share with people enough. You may have heard of him, and even may have confused him with the guy who draws "Boondocks" (Aaron McGruder), as he often likes to joke.
Keith Knight, author of "The K Chronicles", "(th)Ink", and "The Knight Life", is the bomb in bomb diggity. I've been reading him since the early days of college, so that would be about, oh... 7 years? At least? Unfortunately, I don't remember how I discovered him, but all that matters is that I DID, and I've been getting weekly giggles ever since. I even bought his "Complete K Chronicles" collection to catch up on the older strips that I missed out on, and I giggled my way through it - and frequently re-read it as well! Now he's delivering daily giggles in his syndicated comic strip, "The Knight Life".
So why, exactly, do I adore this comic strip so much? Mainly his sense of humor. For one, his drawing style conveys a casual sense of fun to me - he's not trying to make cartoons look human, he's making humans look like cartoons. He makes clever little puns, hilarious little jokes, and sight gags as well. He's just FUNNY. Whether a witty one-liner or a well-told story, I almost always laugh at his newest comic. He makes his everyday semi-bohemian life seem full of amusing anecdotes, and his reflections on his family and his past are also entertaining and identifiable. He's also a new(ish) father, and his comics about raising his son are also funny and warm.
Here's a cute example: (Clicking the comic itself takes you to his Buzzle page, where you can look through a good chunk of his archive)
As this comic also displays, he leans similarly to the left, politics-wise. Which is something I also agree with, I will admit, so if you're not really into political comics, I'll admit that not every one of his comics will appeal to you. Not every comic is an anti-right-wing political reeming - if anything, I'd say his comics are 33% political, 67% his own life experiences/funny stories, depending on the hot-button issues, in The K Chronicles. (th)Ink, his one-panel a la "The Far Side" weekly comic, is much more political, though, and might not be to everyone's tastes. On the opposite side of that, his daily syndicated comic, "The Knight Life", is much less political than his weeklies, due to needing to "play in Peoria", so to speak, but still retains a great deal of humor and fun.
I'll admit I have a personal bias towards him, as a lot of his early comics focused around living in SF (a city I have much affection for). He just seems like the kind of guy I could enjoy a few beers with (well, I'd be drinking cider or wine, I hate the taste of beer) and I'd leave with sore cheeks from laughing. Since to find him would equal stalking (and I still haven't been able to go meet him, sadly, as I chickened out the one time I could have, and the other times I've been busy with other engagements), I'll happily settle for reading his weeklies and dailies, and feeling like he's telling me a really funny story - and drew it instead of writing it just to give me a little extra happy.
Check him out!
Friday, October 23, 2009
Semantics, really, because I'm sure there are some people who would consider some of what I do "art". In fact, I have a few ideas of "art" that I'm hoping to work on this weekend (and yes, I will consequently post said art).
All this "art" talk aside, I really do enjoy the occasional doodle. Sometimes I even like them so much that I want to share them. I'm not a constant doodler, and what I usually tend to draw are pictures of people. I esp. love to draw clothes - I wanted to be a fashion designer when I was younger and drew clothes all the time, and I studied costume design in college, where rendering the costumes in watercolors was one of my favorite parts!
While working as a substitute, I am usually bored when the teachers just give me the very basic plan of "watch a movie". That's when it's basically expensive baby-sitting - I appreciate the money, but YAWN. So I decided to illustrate this feeling:
Yes, this would be me. Feeling very, very bored. This particular sub day, I arrived to find out my only instructions were "Have students continue working on projects." That's it. No information on the project other than what was on the board, and no info to do with students if they finished early, if they weren't working, class policies, etc. VERY ANNOYING. And boring.
That was a crappy day. The Hubs heard how frustrated I was that day, so he decided to be a wonderful husband and pick up some dinner for us. Specifically tri-tip that was already cooked at Raley's. Lo and behold, he also stopped and picked up a box of my new cookie obsession: Maple cookies from Trader Joe's.
That's right, my husband doesn't bring me flowers, he brings me meat and cookies. Which is exactly why I married him. xD
So like I said, I'm not an artist by any stretch, but occasionally my doodles are amusing.
Her website portfolio is of similar awesomosity, but my favorite is that one. Partially because it's all glowy (yes, glowy is an art term ;p), and partially because I love all those colors.
I'll try not to re-post CRAFT magazine posts too much, but I love having them on my syndicated feed. They usually post a variety of links to appeal to all types of crafters. If you haven't heard of the magazine, it's now exclusively online - the damn economy made it too expensive to print anymore.
Thursday, October 22, 2009
I'm a teacher, or at least I'm trying to be one, and the economy is not being kind to me in this pursuit. I was pink-slipped, and was one of the (seemingly few but supposedly hundreds) that didn't get their job back.
As I pride myself on being the best that I can, this led to me kind of shirking craft stuff for a while. Well, I'm finally pulling myself up by my bootstraps and jumping back on the crafting train! It's been fun, and cathartic.
As such, the focus of this blog is going to change a little bit. It's not going to be in sole support of my etsy shop (which I also need to focus a little TLC on), it's going to be where I blog about things I enjoy that also focus around creating. Most of this will result in craft-related posts, yes, but don't be tripped out if you see the occasional recipe share or geek-out over something. I seem to be drawn to creative outlets and things one can do with their hands, and that is what I want to talk about here, in the hopes that this will draw in fellow seekers of little touches of beauty in the world so we can share and commiserate over such things. I'm excited for this shift, because my main blog, which is personal, tends to only focus on my life, and most of my internet blog-friends aren't as into the creative side as I am. A few, but not enough where I feel I can talk about these creative inspirations and joys in the personal blog. =)
So, as such, the blog WILL occasionally feature my own work (sometimes with an arrow pointing to my etsy shop if you're so inclined), but it will also be my own little place to point out other great, creative things and go, "OOOOO LOOKIT!"
Hopefully I can give you something to make you ponder, laugh, or at least smile... and occasionally probably make you roll your eyes at my nerdiness. I accept this.
Monday, June 8, 2009
BUT I'm realizing that the joy of unemployment is FREE TIME! Hahaha. So I'm watching tv and crafting this week, as well as prepping for summer school. (Yeah, I'm not all that unemployed, haha.) I'm also going to be working on a custom order for my friend's fiancee's bridesmaids, which I'm looking forward to. It's my first custom order. I'll post progress pictures!
My goal is two pieces next week!
SO, in lieu of my own stuff to shill, I'm shilling my etsy favorites! I have found some GREAT shops and items, I've marked my favorite items from some of my favorite etsy shops, as well as my favorite shops. There are so many awesome things in these shops - If you don't want to give me money, at least go check out these other fabulous crafters! My Etsy favorites
Hope your summer is off to a fun start!
Sunday, May 31, 2009
This week's posting is the FIRST handmade card set to be sold at Deliciously Girly! I'm very excited, because I think these turned out really nice. Granted, I AM biased. Click the picture below to see for yourself!
The listing is for the ENTIRE set - so you'll get 5 lovely cards (with envelopes, of course) to send to friends!
Next week will be wedding necklace #2, just waiting on MORE supplies (I'm so lame at ordering the right supplies amounts, hahaha), and maybe my first CROCHETED item! We'll see how it goes... the prototype is in progress, and if I like it, I'll write the official pattern and then make a nice version for the shop.
In other exciting news, I had my first purchase last week! WHOOO! The customer really liked the little gift I threw in there - marble magnets! I also have an order from a friend for jewelry for her bridesmaids, which we'll be looking at beads for next weekend. =D Yay for all this crafty goodness! If you'd like to see what I've made that hasn't gone in the shop, click here for my Flickr.
Have a great week!
Monday, May 25, 2009
I was hoping to have 2 items added this week, but I've hit a snag in paper coordination. (You'll see what I mean next week. Meh.) BUT I finally was able to finish my big bridal set, so here it is!
Next week - another wedding necklace to match the the Modeste earrings, and my first card set! Whooo!
Sunday, May 17, 2009
It's my personal goal to list at least one new item every week, and jewelry tends to be my quickest thing to put up. I'm currently held "captive" by my supplies order, though. I'm down to my last few headpins and jump rings, and it's driving me NUTS. I'm thisclose to finishing a piece for my wedding section that I think would be really amazing for a beach wedding, but I just HAD to run out of supplies *grumble*... should be here any day now, but obviously I can't list the item yet until it's DONE. Hopefully everyone will really dig it, though. I wanted to make something unique for a bride who wants to go beyond the traditional pearls and crystals look. NOT that there's anything WRONG with that - I love making those pieces, too!
It's not my supplier's fault, either, I love my supplier. SO much, in fact, that I'll pimp them really quick. Artbeads.com has always provided wonderful service, easy returns, and GREAT products! The best part (for me at least) is that they sell their products individually, which means if you want to try a product out or test an idea before buying in bulk, you can buy just a few beads or findings instead of a TON, but when you buy a ton they give great bulk discounts.
It's funny, I'm feeling so full of ideas and just want to create, create, create right now! I've been doing a practice crochet hat because I'll need to start crankin' out my crochet hats for the upcoming cold season soon. I also have a headband idea I want to start playing with soon. Cards! Can't forget cards. SO MUCH TO DO!
Anyway. Let's get to the good stuff - this week's listing, of course!
Sweet Blossom earrings! Simple glass beads in pretty floral shapes. =) Just a little sweet somethin' to make yourself "spring-y" ;D
More to come, hopefully soon!
Sunday, May 10, 2009
To share what else I like to make (despite what's currently listed, I do other crafts outside of jewelry), below are the Mother's Day cards I made for my own mother and my mother-in-law.
I will eventually have cards for sale on the website, but they take a little more time to make in sets; I'll sell individual ones as well, but I also like the idea of selling sets of themed cards. =)
Also, new item listed today!
Click the picture to be taken to the listing!
Sunday, May 3, 2009
It's so exciting! I officially have a shop!
Of course, there's still a ton of things to do. I need business cards and more shipping stuff. Plus now I'm low on supplies. BEH. I'm hoping to add at least 1 new item a week. Figure that's a good pace. =)
Go shop, y'all! There's STUFF in there now!
Wednesday, April 29, 2009
So May 1st is a no-go - which is a shame, 'cuz I was planning on tying in a birthday discount 'cuz it's my baby bro's bday. Instead, we're now aiming for a Cinco De Mayo opening. We'll claim our Mexican heritage (half, on my dad's side FYI) and do a opening/5-5 discount tie-in to be cute. 'Cuz who doesn't like to be cute?
In the meantime, I'll continue to work on pieces. Next project: a set of cute "thinking of you" cards for people to send. Check out the prototypes on my Flickr! (Obviously, the for-sale ones will be a little neater and more cohesive, those two were just playing with the design and ideas.) The shop will probably only open with jewelry while I crochet, cut, and paste my little heart out for the other pieces.
See you when I announce that the store is OPEN!!! So excited!
Tuesday, April 7, 2009
So I'm opening on May 1st. That's my deadline. Below is a list of what I still need to do, and I'll cross it out as it comes along:
- Finish pieces in progress (3 necklaces, 3 pairs of earrings, 3 bracelets)
- Photograph items for sale
- Order banner/business card designs
- order business cards once design is done
- purchase shipping products
Thursday, April 2, 2009
Things Samantha likes and will most likely post about: Art (including her own), craft (including her own), art involving craft, craft blogs, cooking, adorable things that aren't "kawaii", creative processes, girly fabulous things that make her squee, things/people she really wishes she'd thought of/could be, life's little pleasures and treasures that make her world a little sweeter, and occasional pop-culture goodness that she simply can't keep to herself.
Things about Samantha you might be interested to know: Her alter-ego is an English teacher, so she keeps the details of her life fairly non-incriminating (it's like I have a secret identity!); she's married to The Hubs, a sweet man who puts up with far too much of her crap (and you will most likely see in doodles); she likes to watercolor and use oil pastels, make cards and multi-media work, make jewelry, and crochet, and also knows how to sew and knit but doesn't feel much inspiration to pursue those as much due to a short attention span; she is hoping to get a dog soon and will probably torture readers with pictures of its adorableness once the dog is procured; she enjoys cooking for cooking's sake, but not so much for the purpose of eating - same with baking (in other words, I LIKE to cook and I CAN cook, I just don't like it when I HAVE to do it); she loves the little things that make life grand, and one of the purposes of this blog is to help remind her to focus on those wonderful little things on occasion. =)
If you're interested in the store, here's the fancy info about it:
"Deliciously Girly aims to provide customers with fun, flirty accessories for gals. Flowers, hearts, crystals, and pearls abound in the pieces, with an aim for the pieces to be fun without being immature or cloying. Cute crochet hats, quirky scarves, a variety of jewelry options, and happy cards to share with friends are the main products you'll see in the Deliciously Girly shop. She is also a sucker for weddings, and will be making pieces aimed at making a lady's special day just a little more special and unique.
Materials that Samantha prefers to work with are:
- shells and natural rocks
- freshwater pearls
- Swarovski crystal and glass pearls
- interesting glass beads
- fun and funky buttons
- sterling silver and gold-plated wire and findings
- soft yarns (Samantha prefers to work with fibers that feel good as she works with them)
Want to see more from Samantha?
Samantha's Flickr: Wearables photo set
Samantha's Flickr: Non-Wearables photo set