Uh oh. I think I might have a new fixation. :S I made my first two treasuries last night! I've been having a hard time finding Etsy fun because the jewellery market is so competitive and I don't have time to dump into really understanding how the beast works or thinking much about strategy - keywords, tags, search ads, forums, labs, and on and on . . . but this might be promising. It maybe is even more fun than shopping!
This blog is all about found treasures, roadside finds, slightly broken stuff, crafty things, and the excitement of turning unwanted destash into your most favourite thing. Well, maybe there's no better way to describe my cat - the Fatster, Fattie, or plain old Blue, depending on how you know her.
Me being determined to get a kitten in January of 2002 in rural NB, ended up me being the owner of a quasi-feral year-old mongrel whose teeth all fell out due to early malnutrition. After a year hiding behind the washing machine, she surrendered to the domestic life and has been surrendering ever since. Someday, fingers crossed, she'll cave and sit on my lap.
I don't even have a love-hate relationship with IKEA. I should. I think. I don't even hate that it rips of high end Scandinavian design. I don't even hate that you always have hardware leftover or that their instructions drive me to drink. I don't even hate that their products are of mixed pedigree, made under dubious working conditions, in countries I can barely find on a map of the world. I should, but I don't.
I just love it instead. I love the monstrous tacky prints and the schlocky names that I can read thanks to 6 months of Scandinavian immersion at the Universitetet i Oslo. I love that orange crabs and a mint field are a perfectly acceptable aesthetic. I love that every time I grace one of their acres of homogeneity I get the jitters and just want to squat in their stores and decorate.
Ethics, you've met your match.
Korts: $.99 for 6 packages, As-Is section IKEA Burlington
I don't have many Martha Stewart moments . . . okay, maybe I don't have any Martha Stewart moments. I'm okay with that, except she got to make mashed potatoes with Snoop. That lucky ________. Right, but this comes close. This was for Jamie, who is awesome because she likes drinking and quotations in equal measure, on the occasion being included in a great art show!
Card: Homemade, $.50
Book full of quotations on drinking, "Keep Calm and Drink Up": $10.99 at Type Forest Hill
Ribbon: $1 for 4 at Dollarama
Friendship Points: Check . . . that's how Jamie and I roll
I scored a sweet new job this week that I'm pretty excited about. It's work that's totally up my ally in an environment that I think I'll do pretty well in. Of course, this means I need some new creations to wear on my first week. I hope I make some friends!
Above: biggest beads ever from Thailand (note the quarter in the picture), 600฿ ($19) ,spacers and findings from my stash
Below: peach pit beads from Miami - $6.50 US with some hype wood beasts from Tokyo 350¥ ($4.45), spacers and findings from my stash
I'm diversifying, yo! That's what e-commerce is all about, right? Okay, the real story is that my craft supplies are taking over my apartment and I'm drowning in unfinished projects . . . so, I took that little bag of empty cell phone charms and whipped up 8 cute little charms for my Etsy shop.
I hope they get adopted before I end up on an episode of A&E's Hoarders.
1. Procure 100% cotton T's from Goodwill or your PJ drawer. Make sure they're the kind of t-shirt with no seams up the side.
2. Wash and dry 'em.
3. Iron 'em. This facilitates slicing them into the most perfect strips.
4. Lay flat and slice. Now I have the ace in my pocket of excellent quilting gear. A nice healing mat, long plexiglass ruler and rotary cutter. If you have these, great! Measure them up and make slices that are about 1.5" wide. I tried 1" wide and that seemed a bit skinny, I didn't want to look too 'stringy'. I have a feeling scissors and eyeballing it may also work since jersey is such a forgiving fabric.
5. Cut across the width of the shirt (so that you're making it shorter one ring at a time).
6. I used 8 slices to make the layers of my necklace. But, hey, this is craft time - use as many as you like. You'll need one extra to make the fancy knot at the back.
7. I opted not to use strips that had bits of logo on them, thinking a clean look might sell better in my store, but I'll use logos in the ones I make for myself! Yes, ones . . . this is definitely a plural craft.
8. Now line up all your strips one on top of each other and treat it like a single, open circle.
9. This part is important - pull and tug the circle, stretch the fabric so that it curls. Not like your Arnold Schwarzenegger or anything, but don't be timid here. It won't look good if you don't make the strips curl.
10. Tug and rotate the circle by a few inches. Tug on this spot. Rotate. Tug. Rotate. Tug. Rotate. Until you're happy that you have stretched every strip at every point. It should be all curled into tubes now.
11. Take one strip, snip it open, and cut to about 10" . . . no hard and fast rule here.
12. Lay the circles all flat and smooth, one on top of each other. Now take that strip and wrap it around all of the strips to bind them together.
13. You can see in the photos above how to do step #12. Just wrap the strip around, tight coils, smooshed together, for one or two inches. No biggie.
14. Now thread the loose ends back under all those wraps you just made and give it a tug.
15. I tucked the remaining few inches into the necklace. Since the fabric is all curled up, it's pretty easy to unfurl it and tuck the stray ends into a tube.
17. Accept compliments with grace! This has to be one of the best no-sew projects out there!
Notes: I'm tall and like big accessories, so I opted for men's L/XL T's, which produces stretched loops about 42" to 48" long.
If you make these on your own you HAVE to send me a photo!
I have gotta be the luckiest little beader on the planet. After a typical Green scenario (involving a FedEx depot no where reachable by transit or by bike, several months, more than 20,000kms, and hundreds of dollars, I'm sure), I finally got my paws on a crate of beads and jewellery from Afghanistan. Procured by my Aunt (not Ant) while working for an NGO that helps Afghan women set up small businesses selling jewellery.
Treasures: $0, could not possibly have gone to a better home.
I always get a bit edgy about leaving my cat in the care of others. I know, I know, she's a cat . . . throw some chow and water in her direction once every three days and she'll be fine. Unhappy, but alive.
After a month in Asia I returned to find my house plants dead, microwave destroyed, and the cat in desperate need of a nail trim and brushing. I shouldn't expect more from a straight guy with cat allergies, eh?
Plants: $30, highly fungible entities in my world
Microwaves: $100, but let's see how long I can go without one
All the yapping about my trip and newfoundlove of scuba diving paid off! My colleague Dave flopped this on my desk as an afterthought to our conversation about my next great adventure. I totally treasure moments like this and will totally treasure the book and the sunburns and saltwater that it will bring into my life.
Used Lonely Planet: $0, man, I work with some highly awesome people.
Diving in Roatan: $2000, because you can't take it with you