Sunday, January 31, 2010

Etsyblogger of the Month: NICO Designs

This month's blogger of the month is NICO Designs. When I first started on the Etsybloggers she was around lots...and still is. Her creativity keeps bringing us new things. She still makes her fabulous diaper bags, but is also adding some more home decor and dolls. Before I show off some of her pretties - a quick excerpt from her bio:

"After years of being a Behavior Specialist and Special Education Teacher, I sew for sanity. My two babies (ages 3 and 2) make everything in the past seem so ordinary
and what lies in front of us as amazing. And chaotic."

Now for the pretties...

Special Delivery - Mouse Pincushion and Mailbox

May the Merry Widow Doll

Austin Ave in Fresco Diaper Bag Set

...includes Blankie & Burp Cloth

Don't forget to check out her blog and Facebook Fan Page. And like myself, she is part of the One World One Heart carpet sure to stop over for a may even win a prize :)

Friday, January 29, 2010

Etsybloggers Carnival: Snowflakes and Winter Activity

Our host this month is Alicia Mae.

We were to chose one of these two topics:
1) Snowflakes - your favorite way to make them or your favorite item on Etsy featuring them
2) Favorite winter time activity/how to keep kids occupied during snow days (indoors or outdoors)

I did a mini combo. My favorite snowflake...a melted one. But I think I found some great pretties on Etsy. As for a winter activity...anything that keeps me inside. I get LOTS of reading done this time of year. I think I am on my 6th book this month. (You can double check me on my left sidebar...the 2010 list, not the 2009:P...I am keeping track). Now if only we had a's 6*F outside right now. What is it in Celsius? Who's below freezing - 'nuf said. Now onto the pretties...

Dancing Snowflake Leggings by Dye Diana Dye

Pink Snowflake Earrings by Sabi Krabi

Nuno Felted Snowflake Scarf by Purple Platypus

Pink Ice Brain Squid by Sock Society

Monday, January 25, 2010

One World One Heart

****Giveaway is closed...thanks to all who entered****

I tagged along to last year's One World One Heart event and had a blast - met some great people, found some great blogs and won some cool goodies. And now it's time for another round. So I got my ticket and am ready to ride...

Quick info for those that have no idea what I am talking about. Lisa from A Whimsical Bohemian blog hosts this event. It started in 2207 with roughly 85-90 participants - 2008 tripled that and last year had 911 participants from 28 countries!!!

I like how she puts it, "The original idea behind this giveaway event was to bring bloggers together from around the world who may never ordinarily meet. It closes the gap of the blog community and enables us to interact, discover new and wonderful people, and in the process possibly win a prize or many prizes along the way." So while yes, there are prizes to be won, that is not the point. Opening your blog "house" and meeting others is. So come on in. The journey ends Feb 15th...but you are welcome back anytime. Like she says, "it's not meant for ... self promotion. Meaning that the mission of this event is to meet new people and them meet you, rather than be a commercial for each persons specific endeavors."

Have a look around - say hi & don't forget to leave a note saying you stopped in. (that is your "ticket" hoops, no red tape, just leave a comment to win...remember, you're here to mingle, not 'shop'). If you are having this event at your blog house, leave us a link so we can visit too. Oh, and since there is a prize...don't forget to leave some contact info if there is none in your profile....e-mail or shop is fine.

Anything else? Oh yeah - the winning ticket from this blog will get a $25 gift certificate from either one of my shops - Etsy or Artfire. I couldn't decide on just one bag since everyone has such different tastes. Heck, if you make the same stuff I do & would rather grab some goodies from my destash shop - that works too.
Thanks for stopping in!

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Blogfire: Fave Knits & Crochets

I love this kind of carnival...showing off goodies :) So, here goes...

Light Blue Peony Flower Scarf by Fashionworld

Merino Wool Multicolored Taupe Pink Flapper Beanie Cloche Hat by Annie Fannys Attic

Crochet Sackboy from Little Big Planet by Yarn Yum Yums

Set of 4 Farm Animal Mix, Knitting or Crochet Stitch Markers by Yarn Demon

4 Bamboo Washcloths, Eco-Friendly and Hand Knit by Holistically Heather

Glitter Sea Blue Mohair and Ribbon Charmed Sweater by Mystic Bazaar

Friday, January 15, 2010

Etsybloggers: 2010 is here - what's the plan?

This Etsybloggers blog carnival is hosted by Beadedtail. These were our choices:
1) Now that 2009 has come to a close, what will you remember most about last year? 2) Now that 2010 is here, what do you have planned/look forward to/hope
to accomplish this year?

I know I have done a post on what is to come in 2010, but I have some things to add/alter. Yes, it's only a couple weeks in & I am already rethinking a few things...not too much though.

I still plan to get to sewing projects other than bags & purses. And I still want to play with clay & paint again. Don't forget the embroidery. I think I will learn to frame them in hoops. It can be a very long process if I make each piece into a bag. Maybe some will transform into pillows since I want to add those to the list too. I have a few that still need something done with them...

Digital scrapbooking/digital illustration/blog backgrounds...etc. If it is doable on a photoshop, GIMP, Paint Net, Digital Scrapbook Artist Inkscape type program...I want to learn it - at least somewhat. I found sites for html and css tutorials and some sites for vector illustration - next up - schedule my own "lesson plans". I want to be able to make my own digital kits/embellishments/whatnot...takes away any wonder on how I can use the images. plus, it'd be fun.

Shop decisions. While I will be adding other items...eventually...they may only be to Etsy. I am thinking about downgrading my Artfire. Nothing against them. But I just don't sell much over there. I want to try some more push that way first though since I have the $7 account & not the $12. If it doesn't show much life in the next month, I will downgrade. the shop would still be there, just with fewer items.

The Etsy shops...the Tilt Too is destash now, and may stay that way. I originally thought it could be where I list non-bag items. But I think anything sewn will remain in the Tilt Creations. Perhaps if the clay & painting move along, they can go into the Too.

So - are you making any shop/job/creative changes this year?

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Scrapbook Blogging

Um...that doesn't make lots of sense all by itself does it? What I mean is that I have been playing around with the digital scrapbooking on my blog background. Huh? Where? Well, not here. I have been "practicing" on a blog I started way back in April & never did anything with.

I followed that tutorial I told you about a few days ago. The one by Kevin and Amanda. I changed the colors, but went with the same layout. What do you think? It is so much easier than I thought. And bonus - I also started posting in the blog. Woo Hoo!!

I also used my scrapbook program for some Deal of the Day blog buttons ...

Note: this was yesterdays...but I just loved the pink & wanted to show it off

And I still don't know which program I prefer - Digital Scrapbook Artist or Scrapbook MAX! Anyone out here use either one? I'd love to hear from someone who's been using either one longer than my playtime this past week :)

Wordless Wednesday

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Digital Scrapbooking Addiction

Yes, I added another crafty addiction of sorts. It started out innocent enough. I just wanted to make some blog buttons, new banners for the shop & blogs...maybe an ad or two. I didn't think I'd wind up scrapbooking. I guess you could just call it graphicing (okay, not a real word) too. After all, I am not doing traditional scrapbooking. No family photo books or anything. Yup...keep telling yourself that Theresa...keep telling yourself.

The other day, about the same time we got our new computer, I was trying to make more Deal of the Day "signs" for my Tilt's Creations blog. I use Picnik lots, they have some fun collages now. But I wanted my own. I love my GIMP for photo editing & I knew you can do a lot with graphics also. So i started looking around for clip art. Duh! Get Print Shop. But that still is not quite what I want. It is still too formatted.

Okay, so I start thinking "Hey, I see all these cute buttons, ads, banners & blog backgrounds that look like scrapbooks. Perfect". There is freedom in designing in my own space on GIMP (or Paint Net) that Print Shop doesn't have. Plus, I already have those programs. But I set out on a digital scrapbook software hunt anyway. Thank you cNet! There is a ton out there.I got 2: Scrapbook MAX (trial version for now) and Digital Scrapbook Artist (got the free compact version...for now). I have played with both. Not sure which I prefer just yet.

my 1st one

Then I wanted to find out how people make blog backgrounds, Twitter backgrounds, etc. First I found Kevin and Amanda's scrapbook blog background tutorial. Opened up even more. Now I have been visiting All Things Digital Scrapbooking, The Scrap Girls University, Cutest Blog on the Block, and DigiScrapDepot which led me to tons and tons of fabulous scrapbook blogs & designers. So cool!

Gonna go play some more, but first, I have a question. I don't want to go all pirate & do things I am not supposed to with these scrapbook pieces (still learning the lingo). Do you know any easy to follow, in plain English - not lawyerese - on what you can do with all this stuff? I understand personal use is well, personal. So can I use the freebies & purchased pieces to make my own ads, banners, backgrounds, etc. without having to list all the places I got the pieces from? I realize each place may be different & I am trying to figure out the best way to know which lets you do what. I know I saw one place that stated you can even sell the final design as long as you credit them for the graphic pieces (I am not talking about quick premade templates,just using the pieces).
Nevermind....I read more of the text TOU documents that came with the freebies & I think I have a better grasp. You can't sell/give the parts that make up the scrapbook/graphics but you can use the final, flattened image that you create from the elements. Nor can you take credit for the parts - just the final piece...but best to give credit to the creaters of the pieces within. Okay, so 1 or 2 ask you not to use their stuff, even final creation, in any "public" place (like your blog or banner) without permission. I just deleted those so I don't accidentally use them wrong.
In one creation I play with pieces from a variety of designers...guess I'll need to keep a running tab on who I use each time, just in case.

Okay, I am rambling now...bye :)

Almost forgot, one other thing I found - via my Etsyblogger forum thread - a tute for making favicons & adding your own signature to blog posts: Designed by Jen.

Next to to create the graphics :) It's inevitable.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Blogfire: What's up for 2010

Good question. I am still not 100% sure. I know I want to focus on making just a few bag designs and not keep trying new ones after just a few of one design. I even think I know which ones - woo hoo!

I do know I want to start creating other things, like quilts,

table runner, coasters,

fabric baskets, etc.

And don't forget painting again.

Plus, I have some clay I would like to play with...mostly buttons & pendant type things for my bags. It gets pricey to buy them elsewhere.
It is the how that I need to work on. I can go an entire week and not feel like I made anything. I talked about scheduling the other day...this is where I can find the how...which is more like a when. Within sewing time I will subdivide into bags -v- other. yippee? 2010? Me Me Me. Hubby tells me to spend more time for me, so I shall try. Going to the gym is by far the number 1 thing on the me list. I have lots of pounds to shed and moving more & scheduling (there's that word again) my meals will help. So will My Daily Plate. I've dabbled with lots of online diet trackers & even my own version on Excel, but so far this one is my fave. I am going to steer back towards a primarily veggie diet too. I felt so great physically back when I was a vegetarian. I veered when i was pregnant & just never got back to it. Although, there's not lots of meat anyway...not much of a beef fan. Wish me luck.

So what things are you going to change or try to keep on track with?

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Time to, Well, Organize My Time

I have never been one for organizing every moment, not outside of my head anyway. I can be quite organized....although I have heard my organization being referred to as "organized chaos". Hhummph. Time to get stuff outta my head & onto paper...well, computer. Does anyone really use paper anymore? LOL!

What I want to accomplish:
a - a set daily routine
b - time parsed out equally with kiddos in mind
c - time to do somethings for myself...radical I know, but I have been told I must learn to be at least a little bit selfish.

What to schedule:
a - sewing time - which let's face it, even with a schedule, it will be done whenever I can anyway :P
b - gym time...that'd be the selfish me time
c - gym time where kiddo can go to childwatch to play with kids (a subset of 'b' actually)
d - computer time - internet & paperwork being separate
e - clean, cook, shop, take care of kids & hubby...not sure that'll actually be plotted out, too unpredictable...and constant

I think I may try the gym at a few different times. This week it is right after preschool. Kiddo gets to play with others, but my time is shorter since Childwatch closes about an hour after we arrive. So, no shower...but since I am going right home, no biggie. Next week I may try while he is in school. And if he wants to go "to exercise", then we can go in the evening & I can just do a few laps & maybe relax in the sauna :)

I love the idea of going when he is in school, but it is such prime real estate...I can sew more than when he's home, I can do some major clean up around the house, I can shop in half the time without him...but, he loves going to "exercise". Maybe the 2nd week I can try to go after his nap instead. The only problem is that sometimes his naps are quite long (yippee!!!). Hmmm...maybe once I figure how to get the most sewing time, then I can choose.

And just because I am that geeky, I will be making myself a pie/clock chart on the computer to help. I will do a normal time list too, but I like pictures :) I only have the bare bones now...
btw - anyone know a good planner program?
That is not Outlook? Maybe one that is on the creative side?

Sunday, January 3, 2010

CalKat...late, but still great

I have been a bad Etsyblogger these past couple months. Late submissions for carnivals, late for Blogger of the Month and sparse visitation to the threads. I hope to get back into the grove now that the holidays are over. And since the newest Blogger of the Month has not yet been announced...I will show off December's now...CalKat...with not one, but FOUR shops!!!!

...from the shop bio:
"Carrie & Kathy have a passion for creating things with polymer and precious metal clays and have discovered MANY people have that same passion! So, we opened a shop just for them!"

Here are some of my faves:

Namaste Yoga Fairy Tin from the Yoga Fairies shop

Tree of Life Artistic Apothecary Bottle from the Ametista shop

Playful Fairy Mold for Polymer Clay and PMC from The Clay Shoppe

The Huntress from the CalKat shop

And don't forget their blog, Ametista's - Artistic Offerings...