Thursday, July 31, 2008

A Very Creative Mom and A Super Cute Dress

I found this tutorial a while ago, thought I really should share it with you. This mom is so creative, she made a toddler dress out of a boring old button shirt. Do you have some old shirts hidden in the back of the closet, and a little girl running around the house? Try this tutorial. I am sure you will both love it.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

100 Posts!

Just realized I reached 100 posts today! Wow! Didn't know I 'talked' this much. ;) And I got more than 100 hearts on Etsy! 100 is such a magic number, makes me feel so good! My earlier post looks way too simple for this special occasion, so here is more.
A co-worker approached me on the shuttle today. She wanted to buy my jade fish necklace. I am SO SO HAPPY! That one is my favorite, I even used it on my business card. I am glad it's going to this lovely lady. And remember the guy from my office who wanted a MANLY necklace? He liked it so much, he placed order for two pairs of earrings for his daughters, and two matching bracelets for himself and his little grandson! And he challenged me to make him a huge decoration piece for his living room! I am going to be very busy for a while! But who cares. I love challenges, I am going to have so much fun.

I am also busy making some promo items these days. I was chatting on the Etsy forum, and found some nice fellow Etsy sellers offering help to everyone. They are going to their local craft shows, and ask for more promo items and b-cards for their goodie bags. What a wonderful idea! So, I am going to make some post-it covers with pics of my items, a simple promo item that I saw online a while ago. Unfortunately, I just cannot find that link any more. Here is what I remembered. Go to Mosaic Maker on BIG HUGE LABS. You can make 2*2 or bigger mosaic of your pics on Flickr or other individual URLs. Save it on your local computer. Then use your favorite software to add some notes and print it out on some cardstock. Then cut to size, and put some post-it notes inside. And Ta-dah, you got yourself a cute promo. I will post the link as soon as I find it again, and will post pics of my promo items here later. At the mean time, here are two similar tutorials for you to try out. This one is from Make And Takes website.

This one is from Chica And Jo.

Have You Seen Coleus Bloom Before?

I sure haven't. But this is the first year I had coleus. I planted them (from seeds) because of their wonderful foliage. I love the intense colors, shape and texture of the leaves. Here is a picture of my coleus from a month ago.
And here it is now! The flowers are not very impressive, but it's great to see the full cycle of a plant.
And here is the close up. Oops! I think this one has spider mites problem. See those spider web kind of stuff on the tip of the flower spike? Or it's real spider web. Do you see that tiny thing, looks like a baby spider to me. (You cannot see any of that from this view. You have to click it to enlarge it.)

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

My New Creations

These are some of the pieces I made recently. Since my 'photoshoot center' in the basement is covered with boxes now, I couldn't take some decent pictures. I will have to retake their pics for my store, with pretty background, instead of my dirty deck railing.

Monday, July 28, 2008

A Couple Of Origami Flowers

I know I am not suppose to blog twice in one day, but really cannot wait to share these with you. I found a couple of very nice tutorials, and tried one already. And I loved it. I am sure you will too.

These beautiful flowers are made with post-it notes! Can you believe that? I actually tried this tutorial one day when I was really bored at work, and it turned out to be very easy and really gorgeous.

And these lilies are from U Handbag Blog. You can find the tutorial here.

A Very Productive Weekend

How was your weekend? We had a gorgeous Sat, and not so bad Sun. Besides the routines, lanudry and gardening, DH and I spent some time organizing the basement. The floor paint totally dried, so we started to move stuffs back to where they supposed to be. I painted the small old 4-drawer chest creamy white, so it will fit in the newly painted 'exercise room' better. We are using it as TV stand, so when we do Turbo Jam or when DH running on the treadmill, the TV will be at eye level. We moved the big shelves back against the walls. MAN! They were heavy! I built the two big wooden ones to hold the big and heavy boxes, so you can imagine how heavy they are even when empty. And my workbench is connected to one side of the biggest shelf, so it was even more awkward to move. Even after donating a whole car full of stuffs, we still have many boxes. I don't know why we hold on to all the stuffs back from when we were in school, we are not going to use them any more, just a waste of space. So, we attacked those boxes furiously. You should see the recycle boxes, they were filled with old homework assignments, printouts, and magazine. And we are going to donate those old books, old metal bed frame, and some old electronics, including the old TV and stereo system. I feel happier and lighter as the clutters shrinks. I guess the time spent watching Clean House is not wasted after all. (Love that show!) Now I can start dreaming of my very own craft area, with spacious tables for crafts and sewing, and shelves filled with my supplies. I am going to finish it before our vacation next week. So, only 6 more days to put the whole thing together. I CAN DO IT! I CAN DO IT!

And I managed to squeeze in some creative work while watching movies on TV. I made 3 more cute necklaces and a nursing cover. A guy in my office, (he looks like a big teddy bear) saw my new necklace Friday, and asked me to make something manly for him. So, I chose dark green, olive green and brown satin cords, and make a 3-string phoenix tail knot necklace. I am pretty sure he will love it, just need to measure his neck and adjust the length first. I will post the picture later.

The rain held off almost the whole day yesterday, so my neighbor was able to throw a bday party for his son. I don't know how much people spend on a 4-year-old's bday party, but my neighbor sure spent a fortune. They rented those big tents and set them up in their backyard, and there were 23 guest cars parked in our street. And they arranged horseback riding for the kids! Horseback riding on a residential street! The kids all loved those two horses, the bigger one was for the older kids, and the poney was for the toddlers, even the babies got to ride them in their moms arm. The kids sure had lots of fun, we enjoyed watching the horses from our porch as well. It reminded us our trip to Aruba several years ago. We went on a horseback riding, and it was such a adventure. I almost got thrown off by my lovely horse "Hold On". Yes, that's his name. You can imagine what kind of horse he was, and he loves to roll over in the sandy beach, so I had to kick him hard and ran pass the beach. It was VERY scary for a beginner, and I lost my hat! I walked funny for several days afterwards. But strangely, I still miss him. Oh, off topic here. OK, back to the bday party. Frankly, I still think the party was more for the adults. I don't think the kids will remember anything, maybe only the poneys. And what they are going to do for his next bday? I will never spoil my (future) kids like this even if I had money to flush down the toilet. But it's their life, and they can do whatever they want.

Friday, July 25, 2008

DH's Choice

I showed him lots of inspiring pictures I found online yesterday, and he chose some of my favorites. We both like leaf design, so I am going to make (or buy) some leaf shape stamps, ginkgo, maple, oak, or even palm. This way the designs will be uniform and won't take me too much time to finish all 5 of those huge panels. We are thinking of stamping them in different shades of green, which will add some life to the basement.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

What To Paint

on our new white curtains for the basement? This is the Ikea curtain I originally wanted. We went to Ikea in Stoughton MA a couple of weeks ago, but unfortunately they were out of stock. It's a more than 2 hours round trip, I am not going to drive there again just in case they get new shipment the next week. So, we ended up buying some white curtains with the same hidden taps. DH was the one chose the white ones, because we painted the concrete walls white, the floor porch blue with flakes, he thought it will make the basement brighter and matches the walls. Oh, forgot to mention that these curtains will function as room devider. We are going to use the right side of the basement as exercise room, with the treadmill, and all other equipment, and the TV for Turbo Jam. And the left side will be the laundry area, workshop, and storage area. So, we need to hide the mess, so we can enjoy the newly painted exercise 'paradise'. I spent a couple of nights adjusting the length, and finally hung them up. But now DH doesn't like them any more. He told me they make him think of funeral (Chinese used to hang white fabrics all over for the funeral). Since his dad has been in coma for 16 months after the stroke, he doesn't want to take a chance and kind of cursing him. I know it's a little bit superstitious, but I know he loves his dad very much and respect his opinion. So, now he want me to paint something on them. I used to do traditional Chinese brush painting when I was a teenager, and other type of paintings later on, but haven't done anything in the past 5 years. My original thought was to paint the most famous traditional subjects on them, like the plum blossoms, chinese orchids, bamboo, and chinese mum flowers. Since we have 5 panels, I can paint my favorite lotus flowers on the last one. Here are some inspirations I found online.
But I have never done these type of painting on fabrics before, and I won't be able to use the traditional ink, (have to use fabric paint) you can understand my hesitation. And DH doesn't want it to be too busy. The other choice is to paint some modern abstract design, like the leaves on the one I wanted. Here are some inspirations, of course I got some of them from my favorite blog "How About Orange".

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

My Favorite Blog

I want to share my Favorite blog with you. It belongs to the awesome Jessica Jones, a graphic designer, and it's called How About Orange. I found it several months ago through some google search, and fell in love with it right away. I love her style and her personality. She not only shows us her own design and creations, also posts tons of tutorials of fun and easy projects she found all over. Here are just some examples. You can find more at her blog, the tutorial section. She is a great inspiration to lots of people, no wonder her blog voted one of the best blogs by the blog fans.

She is the designer of this "Modern Flora Fabric Collection", and you can get her gorgeous fabrics from JCaroline Creative.

She designed her apartment, and made most of the artwork and curtains herself. There is nothing expensive in her design, but it looks so modern and very refreshing. Love it! Actually, it was so good, Apartment Therapy featured her home in April. You can see all the pictures at the House Tour.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

More Flowers

More pictures of my flowers.

This is my first daylily bloom. Love the color, nice pink petals with bright yellow center. And look at the ruffled edge of the petals, very delicate.
My four o'clock flower. I have both this pink/purple one and the cheerful yellow one.
This is actually my last columbine flower. The all white flowers look so pure and innocent. This one was already fading. Still lovely.
And the geranium (Martha Washington) is so happy now. Look at how many flowers on it. The color is so rich and intense. Absolutely stunning!
This could be my garden thief, the one who ate my favorite celtuce, and lots of my neighbors salad greens. But it's still cute.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Some New Items

I made some new necklaces and keychains. The necklace is for a 4 year old little girl. A nice lady from Etsy, wants a necklace for her little girl. She is adopting her from TaiWan, and she adopted another little boy from mainland China last year. Her story is amazing, but I have ask for her permission before sharing it with you guys. Anyway, I made two necklaces for her to choose, and here are the pictures.
Update: She chose the first one. So the second one will soon be put in my store.

Here are some of the keychains I made on Sat. Oh, BTW, tell me what you think about these new background I am using.

And here is my special orchid from Hawaii. The flowers were white when I got it from AK last year, but after several months in full sun, the new flower looks like this.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Inspiring Craft Studios and Rooms

I always wanted a great, organized craft room, where I can do all my crafting, sewing, jewelry making, scrapbooking, ... It's not going to happen anytime soon, so I have to admire other people's craft rooms for now.

This room is so colorful and playful. I feel so happy just by looking at it. This is Amber's craft room, and you can see more pictures of it at her blog My Aim Is True.

This one is Soule Mama's craft room. Love the way she store and display the fabrics. Read her blog about this wonderful room here. And there are lots other great craft rooms on blog.

This one is also very colorful. These people are so brave, using strong color like this. Tara Anderson used lots of glass jars and baskets to hold all her craft supplies. Everything is well organized, yet still in plain sight. You can see more pictures of her room here.

This is a great solution for people who has tons of fabric to organize. Fabric are sorted by color, and folded very neatly. Wish my stash look like this. You can find more pictures at Domestic Diva's flickr set.

This one is FroggyMonkey's. And you will find more craft room organizing ideas in this slideshow.

This is the super organized storage in Laura's scrap space. I found this on Making Memories.

And love this one too. See how Lisa Brown uses those spice organizers for the smaller supplies? Very creative. And love those glass jars and the metal boxes, and of course the paper organizer/shelf thing. OK, I love everything I see in this picture. You can find more pictures here.

And this last one is my dream studio! Nicole Heady, co-owner of Papertrey Ink, designed her home office/studio to hold all her crafts and business supplies, and her very handy husband worked very hard to make her dream come true. Read more about it on her blog Capture The Moment.