i confess…

okay.  right here, right now.  i’ll confess to you all.  i love harry potter.  this is perhaps not quite normal for a woman of my advanced years…  but i’ve chosen to embrace it rather than deny it.

the last harry potter movie is coming out on friday.  i’m so excited about this that whenever a commercial comes on the tv, everything stops and my heart gets a little fluttery.

but on the other hand, the thought of no more harry fills me with dread…  what will i do after friday?  will my life lack meaning?  what will there be to look forward to?  what do non-potterites do for fun?

but i don’t have to think about that yet…

we had a wonderful harry potter viewing party last night.  i had such a great time making things for the party, i had to share…

first…  the candy!  bertie bott’s every flavour beans, peppermint toads, and liquorice wands. 


the bertie bott’s are, of course, jelly bellys.  i found a picture of a bertie bott’s box and printed the image on cardstock for the tags.

i used a candy mold to make the toads.  they weren’t as “pretty” as i would have liked – not quite finished off.  but i coated the back with tons of sugar, so they tasted really good.  i used green candy melts with peppermint extract.  (they said not to use alcohol-based extract, but that’s all i could find.  it hardens the candy faster than usual, so i just had to work fast.)

the liquorice wands are twizzlers.  the black ones were coated in purple with black sugar and the red ones were coated in chocolate with rainbow sprinkles.

pewter standard size #2 cauldrons


these were crocheted over the course of several weeks.  i used double-stranded red heart super saver yarn in grey heather.  the handles are braided pipe cleaners.  or “fuzzy sticks” as they are now called.  they were a little small…  the liquorice wands kept falling out.  but they looked really cute on the table all lined up.

all aboard the hogwart’s express!

super easy…  craft foam glued to foam core – clipped to the blinds at the top of the stairs.

to make the numbers, use word art in word.  flip them so they print backwards.  tape them to the back of your foam.  (if you have some scrapbook adhesives, you can glue the paper to the back.  but tape works pretty well.)  i prefer to use a craft knife to cut them, but my blade was really dull.  so i had to use scissors for parts of it.  but it seemed to do the job.

gryffindor, ravenclaw, hufflepuff, or slytherin?


once i embraced the fact that the sorting hat is supposed to look beat up, this project was much easier.  my ocd kept wanting to smooth things out.

i used a bowl as a base, some cardstock to make a cone, brown paper, and lots of masking tape.

sweet stuff from some ravenclaws


megan brought an awesome treacle tart.  it was all oatmeal-y and sugary and so, so delicious!

from steffanie…  cutest.  cupcakes.  ever.

i want to thank janett, heidi, monique, michelle, katherine, christina, megan, steffanie, and angela for a great time!


my artfire studio… slowly, but surely…

just wanted to update everyone on the studio progress…

i got photos taken for four items last night.  (yes, only four.  this is going to be a long process.)  i definitely still need to fiddle with the settings on my camera.  and i need a light for the top of the light box.  they’re still too dark.   but these are a definite improvement over the pictures i used to take. 

thanks to finley’s recommendation, i have been using www.picnik.com for my editing.  i’m using the basic version right now.  but i’m pretty sure i’m going to upgrade at some point. 

it occurred to me after i was done that i could have taken pictures of the bottoms of the baskets…  do you think that’s necessary?  if you were in the market for a set of lovely crocheted baskets, would you want to see their bottoms first?

i’ve ordered new business cards with my new logo and web address from www.vistaprint.com.  i was going to order from another site, but i was sucked in by all the free stuff from vista.  not only did i order business cards, i ordered magnets, a banner, a car magnet, and post cards.  i edited my logo in proportion to the items.  so i did have to pay for the download (and shipping, of course).  i don’t need most of my “free” items.  yet.  but this way, i could pay for the cheap shipping since i’m not in a hurry for any of them.

from www.uline.com, i ordered boxes to package the baskets and washcloth sets.  i also ordered some shipping boxes.  there are still a few things i need for packaging and shipping, but i wasn’t prepared to spend the money yet.  (plus, i’m not sure where i’d put 10 pounds of tissue paper right now…)

so at this point, i’ve spent time and money getting ready to sell.  but haven’t actually posted anything.  so i guess that’s the final step.  and then the money will just start rolling in, right?  (yes, i’m kidding…)

if you get a chance, head over to the currently empty studio…  let me know if you see anything that could use improvement – the policies, bio, etc. 

june 1 and the “grand opening” will be here soon.  i’ve already decided to reward myself for all my hard work with a new game (that i don’t need).  😛

finally posting some pictures!

here are some photos of my trip.  i obviously took a lot more…   click on the individual photos to see them full-size.

on the art of being a crafter…

i started this post a while ago, but never finished it.  it’s been sitting in my “drafts” folder for over a month.

a question recently came up in the artfire forums about how people felt about being called a crafter…  so i decided to finish it.

from merriam-webster

craft   noun   \ˈkraft\  –  (1) skill in planning, making, or executing : dexterity (2) an occupation or trade requiring manual dexterity or artistic skill <the carpenter’s craft> <the craft of writing plays> <crafts such as pottery, carpentry, and sewing>

so…  given that, by its very definition, a “craft” requires skill and dexterity, why is anything that falls under that category so often put down?
why is it that someone will see a person knitting or hear that they’re going scrapbooking, and say (with that slightly superior tone), “i don’t have time for that.”
fine.  you don’t choose to do this with your time.  i do. 
you play frisbee golf in your free time.  i don’t.  i don’t put you down for that.  i’m sure it’s really fun – for you. 
we all have different things we enjoy.  and we make time for them. 
(i won’t even go into my whole rant about how traditionally women’s arts and skills are perceived as “less than” traditionally men’s arts and skills – how somehow woodworking is more of a skill than crocheting just because more men do one and more women do the other…)
i think they’re just jealous… 
 i proudly call myself a crafter!

made it to georgia! plus… new banner, avatar, business cards, the whole kit n kaboodle

with getting ready to head to georgia, i haven’t had much time to blog.  so, let’s catch up…

i left early thursday morning, april 7.  i arrived in texas to visit some friends that i hadn’t seen in too, too long on the evening of friday, april 8.  (hi, nickels!  i love you and i’ll be back soon!)  i arrived in georgia on the morning of sunday, april 10. 

apparently, this is very fast for someone driving across the country alone.  that’s what i’ve been told anyway.

but i made it safe and sound.  what is it they say?  the Lord looks out for little children and fools?  i’m not a little child, so that leaves fool…  i suppose i should have stopped to rest more often.  oh well, next time…  really, really wanted to get out here to see my girl.

i should be posting pictures this week.  i think i got some good ones with my spiffy new camera.

yesterday was mostly just relaxing.  i could have slept all day i think.  but that would have been problematic come bedtime.

today, finley had some plans.  so i spent the day playing in my studio

 i had uploaded my old banner and avatar on my new studio site.  and they looked, ummm….  how to describe it… hideous. 

so my day was spent making new avatars and banners for facebook, artfire, twitter and wordpress.  this, of course, meant that i had to redo my business cards.  (which i’m not going to order until my facebook page is done, so i can put all the urls on them.)

if you’re my friend on facebook, be expecting an invitation to “like” my facebook page.  and, at some point, an invitation to follow me on twitter.  (i know there’s only so much of me you can handle…  but we do live in the era of social media, so it must be done!)

i think i’m still on california time.  it’s 2:00 a.m. in georgia.  but i’m up and blogging instead of sleeping. 

we do have some projects this week though.  we’ll be working on all sorts of fun wedding-y stuff!  so i must be off.

see, i knew i forgot something…

business cards.  must update my business cards.  all the old ones say etsy on them.  need to order new ones with the new artfire address. 

but i have a lot of them.  so i have a feeling that i’ll be putting stickers on them for a while.

oh, and thank you cards.  so i’ll be prepared to thank my multitudes of customers.


making a change

i’ve been planning for a while to get my etsy shop filled up.  but something always seems to get in the way.  my plan was to make a big push after the wedding.

instead, i’ll be closing up on etsy and moving to artfire. 

etsy has never been super responsive to input from sellers (their customers).  and they’re going more and more toward a social networking model.  i love the interaction with other sellers.  but, come on, we’re all there to sell what we’ve worked so hard to make.  too many of etsy’s new “tools” serve to pull people away from shops and buyers end up getting spammed when etsy gets ahold of their contact info…

so, i’m gearing up to get things going on artfire. 

i’ve bought a new camera and a light tent to take better pictures.  i’m upgrading my internet and adding some oomph to my computer.  (have to make it last as long as possible before buying a new one…)

i’m in the midst of organizing everything i’ve made so i can get a decent number of listings on there fairly quickly.  i’m going to start on the item descriptions so i can copy and paste when the time comes.

i ordered the shipping kit from the post office so i can figure out the best box sizes for my items.  and from there, i can determine how much to charge for shipping.

and, of course, i have to take pictures.  lots and lots of pictures.  this will probably be the most time-consuming part.  and i’m not looking forward to it.  i would imagine it will fun at first.  but i can post eight photos of each item on artfire.  so i’ll probably end up taking twice that of each item.  sigh…

oh, and i have to figure out prices for everything.  realistic prices.  i’m really bad at that part.  but i’ve been doing my research.  so i think i’ll have a decent handle on it when the time comes.

anything i’ve forgotten? 

packaging and labels!  see…  i knew i forgot something.

anything else?