Monday, November 30, 2009

Living and Learning - and Looking Ahead

Just in case you were wondering, no, my craft fair yesterday didn't pick up in its final hours. In fact, people mostly packed up their wares early, which is a HUGE no-no in the craft community, but nobody even dared stop them. Tempers and frustrations were fairly high. I can't say I totally blame the promoters for the lack of traffic - it's bound to happen in a down economy, the Vikings were playing, it was a Sunday show...blah blah. And having put together a craft fair before myself, I know how nerve wracking it is to sit and wait for traffic after you have done all your promoting. Even the best efforts (not to say that these were the best) can go awry. C'est la vie.

So here are a few of my favorites that are STILL AVAILABLE of course :)

See all these and more in the slideshow I just set up as an application to another craft fair here.
Or, better yet, come see me at Roseville this weekend!

I'm really looking forward to this next holiday craft fair. First, it's a long standing show, with decent community support. The promoter and I worked together when I did the Women of Today Craft Fair on the same weekend as theirs (in the same community) a few years ago, we cross-promoted and shared the costs. I know she carefully screens her entries, only allows homemade crafts and maintains a good balance of vendors. AND she does smart stuff like having a local orchestra perform (bringing their parents to listen & shop then). So keep your fingers crossed! Or, better yet, come VISIT me :) My mom will be booth-sitting most of Saturday as I herd our little debaters through their final tournament, and then Sunday I'll be there all day. I'll have a few new pieces including 2 more jumbo ready-to-hang mirrors (about 18" x 24") that I'm grouting this week, hopefully displayed on my new stands which UPS supposedly delivered today!

Hope to see you this weekend in Roseville! Again, it's 10-4 Saturday AND 11-4 Sunday at Roseville City Hall, on County Road C between Snelling and Lexington.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Craft FLOP

I started the day with hopeful enthusiasm:

this was particularly notable as I had to wake up well before dawn, and after a night of painful restless heartburn (Ryan made me eat 3 lbs of cheese last night. It's a long story). So anyways, I found the Eagan Community Center, and got my booth set up quickly - and I kinda think it's cute too :)

I made my first sale!

I was really surprised at which one it was, not that it wasn't pretty, just not a very elaborate piece - forest green and mirror glass in a very random arrangement.

And that is where the good news ENDS.

Big frowny face here. :(

The show was a total flop. I'm extremely disappointed, not to mention far into the red. Boo, fail, hiss!

It wasn't that I in particular did poorly, it was just a bum show. Hardly any browsers, and even fewer shoppers. It was also a fairly weird show - a few red flags I could have taken more seriously:

*spelling errors on the promoter's website (there instead of their REPEATEDLY - seriously, who does that!?!?!)

*inconsistent listing of the times, booth sizes, and other show info

*lack of email from promoter, despite website saying they would send one with the set up info - my email inquiry went unanswered, and when I asked about it at check in I got a snotty answer that "emailing me would increase the show fees." Uh, WTF?

I think I've made an easy decision about further shows with this company. I never saw any advertising, and the show itself had no quality control. There are a million jewelry vendors, TWO Usborne vendors (such a no no to have the same exact COMPANY! EEK!), and a whole bunch of non-craft CRAP - seriously. We're talking home decor JUNK that people must have purchased really haphazardly and are re-selling like a flea market, along with a bunch of home party businesses and not one but TWO chiropractors. This is not a craft fair, this is a crap fair. I'm embarassed.

And I'm broke. At least I wasn't tempted to buy anyone else's crap :)

Here's hoping that Roseville will be better next weekend! That's a longstanding show in a great (close to my home) location, it's a fundraiser for the nature center, and it's strictly limited to ALL HOMEMADE CRAFTS. I'm really hopeful that it will be a much better show, and at least I don't have to struggle to comeup with more inventory!

I suppose something amazing could happen in my next hour and a half sitting here bored (thank goodness the hubby was kind enough to bring lunch & my laptop, or I'd be scratching my eyes out). But I'm not optimistic. Better luck next time I guess.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Visit me at the Eagan Community Center Sunday 9am - 4pm!

I am once again up entirely too late for someone headed off to a craft show in just a few hours, but it's been a jam-packed weekend. Ryan and I made mischief all day, I ordered new cute glasses (gotta spend the rest of my flex plan ASAP), finished up as many mosaics as I could (ran out of grout, and my large stands are sitting at UPS, so the big mirrors never got done - oh well, next weekend I have another show), packed up the car, hit a birthday party, and now I'm wondering what I forgot to put together for my big long day tomorrow. Hopefully nothing too huge. I will be sure to take LOTS of photos, and please keep your fingers crossed that it is a worthwhile show! It's really hard to know what to expect in another community, a Sunday show, this big holiday weekend - so many strange factors. I'll be happy just to cover my table rental, so let's aim for that. Wish me luck!

Friday, November 27, 2009

Major Award - A Prequel

So it occurs to me (mostly because people keep asking) that I described WHAT I won, but never told you the how & why! You can see the part that I'm really concerned with :) But here's the story:

A few months back I got an email from Michael's (the craft store) about a big Martha Stewart giveaway on a website called . House party selects "hosts" to hold parties celebrating various new products or TV shows. The Martha Stewart party would have included various craft supplies to play with, but I didn't get selected. Bummer.

But since I was already registered on the site, I started poking around at what else they were giving away parties for, and the only other one open was an "online party" for Sargento (the cheese people). I signed up, and then got a little disappointed when it turned out to be a discussion group about Sargento products...uh, okay. I like cheese more than the average person, but I don't have a lot to say about it.

But as part of the "Great Create Afterparty" as it was called, they posted a series of questions about holidays and traditions, and asked for us virtual guests to leave comments on each of the questions. They randomly picked a winner each week, and it just so happened that I got extremely lucky!

Thanks cheese people, and - I can't wait to play with all my new toys!

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Thanksgiving:obligatory thankful for post

Blah blah family, friends, deep stuff...but really, I have a lot of superficially awesome things to be thankful for today:

-I stayed up wayyyyy too late last night, but I slept in past 9
-All of my Amazon gifts have shipped already! I can't wait!
-The hubby & the father in law are doing all the cooking - so I'm currently watching TV in bed :)
-I didn't have to work today! Or tomorrow!

Happy strange holiday of over indulgence celebrating a culture who helped us out before we screwed them over. Eh, at least the food is good :)

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

It's a Major Award...

Mr. Parker: It's a Major Award!
Swede: Shucks, I wouldn't know that. It looks like a lamp.
Mr. Parker: What is a lamp, you nincompoop? It's a Major Award. I won it!
Swede: Damn, hell, you say won it?
Mr. Parker: Yeah, mind power, Swede; mind power.
~A Christmas Story

It appears I myself have also won a "Major Award", and it required very little mind power at all.

I've actually been holding off on this post for a short while, since my skeptical nature hasn't quite let me get excited until I had confirmation, but guess what I'm crossing off the bucketlist today, quite unexpectedly?

#40 Win a big prize


This is just so unbelievable, I never win stuff! Especially big stuff, thus it going on my bucket list? So just what was my "major award?"

A $1500 Amazon Gift Card!
Holy Cats!

Can you tell I'm a little excited?

I've been writing and re-writing my Amazon wish list in preparation, all the while not totally believing it would ever come. When I had called to clarify the award, the gentleman said "it'll be a while," so I definitely didn't expect to get it in less than a week! Gift cards are just the perfect prize - half the fun is in researching and comparing and weighing what to get, and yet you sorta have to blow it on FUN stuff! I mean, it's not like I can pay down my Visa with an Amazon card, so I will be spending it all fully, selfishly, and luxuriously on MYSELF! (I did end up sharing a bit with the hubs...though I waffled on it for a while ;) I made a big purchase last night already (you didn't think I had willpower, did you? Also, there was a sale :) but I think I'll wait till it all comes to show you what I picked out.

What would you get with an Amazon gift card?

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Fit to be tied...since I don't have my glue that will have to suffice...

I just got a note from Amazon:

Dear heathereve[...],

Today Denny And Kathys Ace Hardware shipped item(s) in your order, placed
on November 18, 2009.


The following items were sold by and shipped from Denny And Kathys Ace
Hardware in package 1 of this shipment:

1 of Frank T Ross & Sons #1395 Gallon Weldbond Adhesive

Shipping Carrier: speedee

Ship Date: November 24, 2009
Shipping Speed: Standard


Mad enough I wrote a stupid mad email which they won't care about saying "Thanks a lot for screwing me over" with a few other choice phrases.

Don't you just hate the interwebs sometimes? GRRRR!

Now I'm pretty much in trouble for finishing my mosaic inventory by Sunday. Grumble Grumble.

Monday: Craftily Conquered Quite Fully

I've probably mentioned before that I go to bed early. Like GRANDMA early. I haven't always been like this, but sometime after college my internal clock did a total re-set and now I'm generally snoozing before the news. So nights like tonight when I stay up crafting until 11:30 are fairly rare. That said, I've got not other choice than to stretch my days right now and get as much done as I can!

First, I stopped at Costco to pick up the prints I ordered. I LOVE THEM SO MUCH! I'll admit, when I first got our previews I wasn't blown away, but the more I look at these the happier I am. I took them right home and switched them into my large collage frame that sits on the mantle. It's hard to get a good photo of because of the glare off the glass, but suffice to say I am VERY happy. The red & green go perfect with our living room accents, and I think we look adorable and loving in all of the photos. Can I get an "Awwwww!" ?

Also at Costco, I scooped up one of these:

Yup, couldn't resist. My husband called it "cheating," I call it "outsourcing" - this gorgeous pumpkin cheesecake was only $14, I couldn't pass it up. Now I have one less major task to worry about this week, and more time to allocate to everything else! Thanks for all the good recipes, I promise to try them when I have more time and less panic :)

Next I spent a couple hours re-arranging the furniture to fit two banquet tables into our living room, and digging out china and serving pieces for the big meal. I like to get it all ready and set aside early to minimize scrambling when the stress is already out of control. Though, since Hubby is cooking this year, I get to sit downstairs and watch TV, right? :)

I still need to find out where the tablecloths are hiding, but this is my china pattern - "Treetops" by Mikasa. I inherited it from my grandmother, and it's full service for 12, and even has the gravy boat. Very important for occasions which actually involve gravy, such as this week :) Martha would be so proud. I love that I can intermingle green and white serving pieces and it still looks cohesive and classy - plus I'm a sucker for green.

Once most of the Thanksgiving prep was squared away, I headed up to "the witch's tower" and packed away most of the Halloween tubs so I had room to finish up mosaics. This was slightly complicated because I stole one of my craft room tables for Thanksgiving, so there's a bit more mess to maneuver around, but luckily it's all MY mess and I'm okay with it :) My glue still hasn't arrived (d'oh!) so I busied myself polishing, pricing, and bubble wrapping finished frames. Oh man is this a lot of work! I think I only got 10 or so packed up, and have twice that many left. Thank goodness for the short work week!

Monday, November 23, 2009

Help! I Need a Pumpkin Cheesecake Recipe!

I've been charged with creating a dessert for Thanksgiving this year, and I'm not quite sure what to do. After Halloween I'm a little sick of all the chocolate for a while, I don't have pie pans and have never baked a pie, and cupcakes just seem too sweet after a big rich meal. I know I can make a cheesecake fairly easily, so I started poking around the web for a more unique yet still easy variety, but I'm just not finding what I want. Anyone have an easy pumpkin cheesecake recipe, where I can use Keebler ready-made crusts? I don't have spring form pans, so I can't do anything New York style that really rises. Ideas?

Speedy Delivery... (I hope!)

I am currently waiting for a great many things to come in the mail, which is one of life's great delights. When I lived in the remote wilderness of Northern Minnesota, I fully admit to making rash eBay purchases only to ensure I'd receive fun packages in the mail. Thus explains why I was always broke despite working 80 hours a week :)

A couple of the things I'm waiting for:

My gallon of weldbond glue.
I'm sorta at a standstill as far as making more mosaics, so I probably won't finish many more before my first show - I still have some grouting and lots of polishing to do, in addition to figuring out my display. But with back-to back shows two weekends in a row, I definitely should get working on more inventory!

And two of these stands for my mosaic sales booth:

They're a bit more ornate than I'd like, but they seem sturdy enough to hold my heavy mirrors and display them upright (kind of struggling with how to best showcase everything) plus they were on "mega closeout" for just $29! (Shipping was nearly as much for each one - dang giant things!). I really hope these come by Sunday, I need to figure out how I'm setting everything up, wrap it all in bubble wrap and stuff it in my car - that's a huge project in itself!


Sunday, November 22, 2009

Cyber Sunday - much more productive and less frustrating than Cyber Monday

Whew! Once again I have little to show you, but much accomplished! So instead I'll intersperse my commentary with more pics from our fall shoot with Olivia. Like this one:

While my usual Sunday scenario involves all-day-pjs and lamenting how much I have to do, today I actually took some action and knocked that list out of the park!

We were having friends over in the afternoon, so hubs and I got up and gave the house a good scrub down, possibly the first one since Halloween and a nice head start on our Thanksgiving preparations (can you believe that is just 4 days away?!?!). Thanksgiving is also Norm's unofficial birthday - he'll be 9 people years old this week!

We spent the afternoon watching True Blood and working on Heritage Makers projects, , and boy did I make progress! I finished and ordered our holiday cards, a calendar, a bracelet, and three more scrapbooks! WOW!

Then I knocked out 1/3 of my Xmas shopping - without leaving my house - which is also AWESOME! Remember there's only a month left for that now too!

All in all, an excellent day, and the weekend is saved :) We still have a lot of cleaning and cooking to do before Thursday, but I'm definitely looking forward to a few days off (Thursday - Sunday) - and my first craft fair (Sunday) - and seeing RYAN again (yay for "business" trips to MN!)

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Fanciful Fall Projects

I had a long tiring day of coaching, so I'm barely awake, let alone crafting. BUT, I couldn't resist when the CD of our fall photo shoot came in the mail! I updated my facebook profile pic, ordered new prints for my large collage frame, and created my holiday cards in Heritage Makers! I won't ruin the surprise on those yet :)

By the way, I am still totally in love with my green coat!

Friday, November 20, 2009

Good Source for Party Supplies - Taymark

Taymark is the company behind M&N International, and about a million other catalogs hocking the same stuff but targeted at different audiences. They're headquartered in White Bear Lake, and every Thursday they have a little retail store open with overstocks and super-clearanced stuff. It's COMPLETELY hit or miss, sometimes 100% junk, but sometimes there are great deals. The giant paper daffodils I used for Wicked Wonderland were a big score there - just $1.25 each a few years ago. One day I was there and a mom picked up 15 rhinestone tiaras for a little girl's birthday party, I think they were under $4 each, which is a HUGE deal and what a fun princess party favor that would be!

They're usually only open 10am - 4pm, kind of difficult for those of us in the working world (I've tried to make it there and back in my lunch break a few times, it's rarely successful. Oops!), but in preparation for the holidays they have a few days of extended hours - Thursday December 3rd & 10th they are open 10am - 6pm, much better!

They are located:
4875 White Bear Parkway
White Bear Lake, MN 55110 - it's a huge industrial building with a big sign above the outlet entrance.

One more caveat: it's CASH ONLY, don't forget! There is no ATM anywhere near.

A very pretty pair...

My mother had a present waiting for me on her kitchen table when I swung by her house last night - these ADORABLE Betsey Johnson socks! I <3 them so much! The grey pair has black spider webs and sparkly pink spiders, and the pink pair has black spiders dangling from webs, and orange details. Spectacular!

I actually wear knee socks almost every day, I've decided they're much more fun, easier to match up in the laundry, and since I'm lazy about shaving my legs (much to the hubby's dismay) they provide excellent coverage :) Today I have royal blue with turquoise apples on. They don't in any way match my jeans & maroon top, but who cares! Nobody sees them except myself anyways, with pants being so long and my merrells covering all of my feet.

Mom scooped this pretty pair (2 pair actually) up for $6 at Marshalls - I might just have to see if they have any more!

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Digital Designing

I have been hard at work the past couple days, but nothing to show for it yet - I'm working in cyberspace :) I'm doing Heritage Makers projects, and I'm on a roll! I have 3 books ready to publish - my New York trip, the Bachelorette parties of 2009, and my September scrapbook, a couple of gift items, and tonight I just finished a super fun calendar! These are the "pick of the month" for November, so the smaller size is just $20! I like them because they are fully customizable, like all Heritage Makers products, so I've been able to do sume really cute things like put people's photos on the squares for their birthdays, a wedding photo on our anniversary, etc. I chose tie-dye looking backgrounds, since I just love the bright colors and wild designs, and put old family photos from each month in the header of each page - wedding photos in May, New Year's Eve fun in December, etc. I finished it up tonight, save a few Thanksgiving photos I hope to snap next week to fill out November. I'm so excited to see it! I had never considered doing a calendar until I helped a friend get acquainted with the system last night, and it really caught my eye.

I'll be putting in an order on Thanksgiving, so if anyone wants to make a calendar, book, or other photo gift, let me know ASAP!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Lost & Found

I found a set of keys outside my office yesterday, sort of lost in the bushes along the sidewalk. Of course I thought "Oh no, someone lost their keys, they shall be so happy I have found them" and scooped them up. I sent a message to our building's listserv, but nobody claimed them. I started to rethink my helpfulness. I called the University Police, who told me they wanted no part of it - they didn't keep such things as lost car keys, and I should turn them in to my building lost and found. Which does not exist. And inquiring about said lost and found only resulted in a defensive statement from the building manager about why we aren't REQUIRED to have one, and therefore won't. The building manager will begrudgingly pick them up and hold them in the basement for a week, then throw them out. Hmm. Somewhere someone is locked out of their Audi, home, and mailbox or padlock #151. I even went through two parking lots looking for an Audi, and didn't find one (interesting note: there are a TON of Toyotas at the U). But the moral of my story? Don't be helpful. Leave keys where you find them. Apparently all I've done is hide them from anyone who might have gone back searching. Live & learn!

Have you ever tried to help and just made the situation worse? Share your life lessons in my comments. To comment without signing in, choose "anonymous" - but please sign your submission :)

A Pause in the Action...

I ran myself out of glue and had to stop mosaic-ing for a while. I knew I was getting close, but I kept hoping to find my adhesive somewhere local, and that hasn't worked out. I got the first bottle up in Maple Grove, but I think I'll just order my next batch off Amazon - save an annoying trip through the most awful traffic in the metro.

I use "Weld Bond," and none of the chain stores around me seem to have it - I've checked Target, Michael's, Joann's, Menard's - none of them carry it. I'm lax to try something else when I know how well this works, so good thing tomorrow is payday and I can put in an order!

I did get a lot done tonight though, first I picked up D-rings at Michael's, after consulting with their framing department and determining what would be best to hang my heavy mirrors. they're pretty easy to secure, just measure and drill.

I got four boards set up - the two long thin ones actually have 3 rings on the back, so they can be hung either horizontally or vertically:

One of them I'm halfway finished with, got the center mirror and a cool border of jagged mirror tiles:

I'm going to go with red for the rest of it, and I cut all the tiles for the edges & most of the center while I'm waiting for glue:

But before it ran out, I also got a 2nd jumbo mirror started - these are 18" x 24":

And I cut a bunch more glass:

Just 11 days till my first show, hopefully I can get 4-8 of these large mirrors done by then too!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Random Mosaic Musings

Today I accomplished one major crafty thing, which was racing to J. Ring Glass Studios on my lunch break and getting the mirror sheets for my larger mosaics! I'm itching to go home and work on them, but I have a million other things I should probably do first.
I did manage to make it through this weekend's grouting day with just a couple small (but deep) slices on one finger, I consider that a rousing success after my previous attempt left me mangled for a while. But I do think I will wait for these to heal up a bit before doing my next batch - I have 9 waiting to be grouted right now. It takes a massive toll on your fingers, not just the risk of getting cut on glass edges but the grout also dries out your skin violently. I've been soaking in lotion ever since, and my fingertips still feel parched.

In case you are looking to get into mosaics, but don't quite know what to get, here is what I use:

For grouting I use this Keracolor stuff, since it's what I used in my class and it works great. It's powdered and you just mix with water in an ice cream bucket, definitely worth the savings over pre-mixed grout and you can make only what you need for that "batch." They have a million different colors, so far I've only stuck with "biscuit" which is pretty much white (along with 30 other colors of white). It comes from the tile aisle in Menards - it's absolutely the same stuff you do bathrooms and backsplashes with. That's also where I found a little tool that looks like this:

This little sucker is awesome, it spreads the grout but it's rubber, so it also helps remove the grout from the glass pieces - wayyyyy less to clean that way, which is a HUGE time saver! Best impulse buy in a long time :)

I can't wait to get home and start some more BIG mosaic mirrors!

Monday, November 16, 2009

Fuzzy Food...

Today I cleaned instead of crafting, a much less fun but more necessary part of a creative life. I finally managed to take down the fake blood gel clings in the bathroom (in plenty of time for Thanksgiving, what was I worried about? :) did 4 loads of laundry, a load of dishes, broke down all my paper lanterns. Then I set about cleaning out the fridge, and guess what I found in the pantry?

At first I thought they were potatoes, but according to the label they are bread rolls. Only a month old, but they did not do well in the darkness - I think they got shoved into the cupboard during the last minute Halloween cleaning frenzy, and then were completely forgotten.

Mmmm, hungry?

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Grouting Day

Well, I put my nose to the grindstone this morning and got 14 mosaics grouted - yippee! Any progress I had made on cleaning my kitchen has been set back MONTHS, but I'm really loving all of the mirrors and frames. Here's a sneak peek:

I still have some polishing to finish up, but that's 14 big items off of my to - do list! I have another 10 or so I'm hoping to finish today, but first I'm in need of a lunch break. Then I need to get going making some larger scale mirrors - they're actually a lot easier than the small photo frames, since the edges are wider and more even - grouting the edges is like icing a cake smooth, which I've never been good at :)

Here's my very favorite one so far, it's a big mirror or could be a large photo frame (the center is removable, and thus it's empty right now). As soon as I grouted it and the colors popped, I let out a squeal of delight:

Yay! Rainbows make me happy.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

And the Winner Is...


Congrats Holly, and thanks for continually reading my blog and cheering on my crafty endeavors. I appreciate your support!

I'll send you an email this weekend with several frames for you to choose from :)

Here's how it was determined:

First, I went to and used the "list randomizer" to sort all of the entries - two for Jennifer (she mentioned my contest on her blog), and one for everyone else.

Here's how it laid everyone out "randomly":
1. Joanna
2. Mara
3. Jennifer
4. Jennifer
5. Carin
6. Beth
7. Queen of Clearance
8. Holly
9. Alison
10. Jana

Then I used the "true random number generator" to choose the winner from that list, and here's what it gave me:

#8 = Holly, whose comment read:
I might be one of you biggest fans! I check your blog 2-3 times a day!! It amazes me how creative you are. I love everything you do. A few of my favorites are your aprons you sew (I use the one your made me all the time : ) I like your choice in fabric nice and bright! I also really liked the big X-mas colored mirror mosaic. With all my friends having babies I am for sure making your baby face cookies. They were adorable! Keep up the great blogging!!

Could she be any sweeter? Thanks to Holly and all my readers, I'll try to keep it up!

Friday, November 13, 2009

Random Round Up/End of the Week Thoughts...

I finished 3 mosaics last night during the Vampire Diaries (I'm banished to the witch's tower for that one so hubby can watch and record Community and Bones) but I didn't take any photos - I realized it, but the thought of climbing the stairs again couldn't overcome my laziness, sorry folks. Here's one of all the glass I cut the night before - I actually made a big rainbow mirror using all of these and several more colors last night:

Now I have some SERIOUS grouting to do, like 30 projects worth or more. Boo! That's my least favorite part. This time I'll try to avoid shredding my fingertips. Maybe gloves.

And speaking of mosaics, remember today is the last day to enter my blog giveaway! I know many more of you have stopped on my page than have entered, so go the extra mile and leave a comment on this post. It'll make me feel loved, and you could win a mosaic photo frame to keep or re-gift! Be sure to include your name & a method of contact so I can tell you if you win - and spread the word!

And to add to the randomness of this post, here's another few things I'm in want of today:

4' adjustable height folding table - which goes from kid height (useless) to normal height (useful) to COUNTER height (aka out of dog's reach height) which I would LOVVVVVVVE to have.

Vintage-inspired "flapper hat" at plasticland. Could I pull it off? Probably not. Would I love to try? Of course!

Adorable little retro robot necklace, also at plasticland. I don't particularly have a robot "thing" but lately I'm thinking they're way cute. Ditto these glass ornaments .

True Blood Season II - this isn't released yet, but they're taking pre-orders on Amazon. I do have all of the Season II episodes saved on our satellite, but I most like to watch them while I'm crafting upstairs (not hooked up to the satellite), so I'm anxious for the DVDs to come out.

I'll draw for the mosaic tomorrow, so get your comments in! Happy Weekend.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Shamelessly Coveting

I'm window shopping today via the world wide web. There are no shortage on things I would love to "add to my cart." In particular, today I'm stuck on some big ticket items:

A film scanner. This one is on sale this week at Costco but the reviews make me nervous - half of the people LOVE it, and the other half HATE it - there's little in between. I would really like to get all of my childhood negatives scanned from my mother sometime - a film scanner seems a lot easier than taking all of the printed photos out of their albums and running them through a scanner. Hmmm.

One of these great retro halter dresses from AudreyAndGrace - aren't they to die for? This would be worth shaving my legs for. Then I need someone to invite me to a great swanky New Year's Eve party so I can actually wear it. Did I mention this is $150, and that doesn't include the petticoat? I guess my mother was right when she said "You have to suffer to be beautiful."

A Yudu personal screen printing machine. I have always wanted to burn my own screens and print T-shirts and other apparel, and with this home kit it's easy. It's also $239 at Costco, so I won't be getting one anytime soon. And Michael's doesn't let you use the 40% off coupons on them, just an FYI. Sigh.

Because I'm Punny...

English majors are required to be amused by wordplay. We may not be employable, but we're witty. Here are the little cards I made to help recruit kids to one of the teams I coach - they're "smartie pants:"

The back of the card has the tagline "Someone told us you're a Smartie Pants..." and then a little "rah rah, join us" paragraph.

I set them up in PowerPoint, the photos of pants are all downloaded free from Microsoft Office or google images, I tried to pick unique and sort of crazy designs. They're printed on cardstock for stability, 8 to a page, cut with a paper cutter, and clear tape holds the candy roll to the leg.

Are they cute? If nothing else, it's free candy :) I don't expect the kids to complain.

Packing It In...

I finally made some progress putting away all of the Halloween gear I hauled out for the party - 7 big totes all packed away for another year. I get a lot of questions about how/where I store it all in the "off season", so I thought I'd show you. I use Rubbermaid totes:

They don't all match, since they change the colors all the time and I pick them up randomly as I need more/can afford them, and they're not even all the same size, but they have always worked for me. I've lived in places with wet basements, bugs, mice - and never had a problem with the items I've stored in totes. I have a friend whose basement flooded twice and totes really saved her belongings. They're actually on sale this week at Target too - around $5-$6 for most sizes.

I pack up all my goodies and label the outside with what's in each one - just an index card and some packing tape. I can easily remove and re-label them each year if I change up what I have, or just how I'm organizing it. Here's one I packed up tonight:

I try to keep like items together, so one whole tote is "wearables" - wigs, gloves, costume accessories, etc. Another one is all lights and lightbulbs. One of the larger ones is Halloween dishes & serving pieces. And new this year, one is all styrofoam heads - you can fit 7 heads in one 20 gallon tote, in case you were wondering :) The hubby especially requested I get them put away - they've been piled on the porch since Halloween, and we've both scared the bejesus out of ourselves seeing these "people" looking out our windows!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Wicked Wonderland: More Awesome Guest Costumes

I'm still slowly acquiring permissions to show you all of the FANTASTIC costumes my Halloween guests showed up in - I've said it before, but I was really blown away. Everyone really went all out, and they looked AWESOME! Here are a few more who have allowed me to feature their creativity:

Grant, as The White Rabbit

He's holding Earl Grey vodka he made himself - how perfect for a tea party! This costume got a little hot during DDR, but it's pretty wicked under blacklight:

Ben & Susan as Sonny & Cher (I honestly love these outfits, and would wear them daily if I were this pair):

Brooke as the Dutchess with her Pig Baby, and Rob as The Carpenter:

Brooke made her hat from scratch, and I'm totally impressed - how cool is that? And Rob apparently came up with his costume at the VERY last minute, but totally pulled it off! It's kinda freaky how much he looks like the Disney character from The Walrus and the Carpenter:

"Oysters, little oysters!"

I'm hoping to have a few more to feature soon, keep checking back :)