Tag Archives: handmade

Projects #2 and #3 – Mini collage duo


I’m so excited to finally use these little tiny canvases I bought at Dick Blick months ago. Now that I have tons of wall space to dress and one too many prints in my growing collection of art, I have come to appreciate small pieces of original art. From a buyer’s perspective they are obviously great because they are normally more affordable than standard sized pieces. And from the perspective of someone who has taken on this miniature challenge I can tell you they are just as time consuming as any larger piece would be.


These two pieces were created using old books, dress patterns and ribbon. Unfortunately I wanted to photograph them together and by the time they were both finished, it was dark. Once again the more challenging aspect of this endeavor is not completing a project a day, but actually reporting about the process in a timely fashion.


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Project #1 – Cafe Curtains

So my first project in November were cafe curtains for our kitchen. My boyfriend and I moved in together in June. Slowly but surely we are still working on reaching a point of completion, when all boxes are unpacked (yes we still have some boxes lingering) and we are no longer shopping for furniture. You will be seeing a lot of home DIY projects this month, but hopefully they will inspire you to do some of the same things it has taken me 5+ months to do!

Back to the curtains. After much deliberation (have I mentioned I’m a horrible decision maker?) I rather impulsively chose these Anthropologie dish towels on Friday for my cafe curtains. I have always wanted to use Anthropologie towels for curtains, but I just couldn’t commit to one single design. Fortunately in September I picked up two different Heather Bailey fabrics to recover my kitchen chairs with (stay tuned for that project), and that purchase helped me to narrow down my quest for the perfect curtains. I chose these towels because, unlike many of Anthropologie’s designs, the pattern is simple enough to repeat four times (my windows are wide) without becoming too overwhelming.

More on how to make these yourself after the jump below. Also pardon me as I continue to improve my photography/photo editing skills…

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The first instance of withdrawal

On January 1st I almost made the mistake of logging in, but fortunately I only made it as far as my own store (which I had already closed) before I remembered. Thats just how routine my Etsy mornings had become. Unfortunately, I was also kind of bad and I did a bunch of Etsy shopping the last two days of December, so I had some email messages from the sellers about my purchases and it made me want to sign on too. But I resisted and simply emailed them back instead.

I also desperately needed a weekly planner at this point and this is when I experienced my first true withdrawal symptoms. I do attempt to buy things on Etsy whenever there’s a good selection to choose from and I knew I had some planners in mind but now, due to my chronic procrastination, I couldn’t buy them. The idea of buying handmade has become increasingly important to me in the past year, so now I was forced to find another source for my planner.

Thus I began spending time browsing other stores and galleries for a weekly planner. So now that I couldn’t shop on Etsy, I was simply finding substitutions to fill the same blocks of time I used to spend on there. And I realized this very early into my quest, so I did spend maybe a little less time than I would’ve on Etsy but not much less. For me a weekly planner is something I would normally invest more time than most folks would in looking for the perfect one because I’m horribly indecisive, but also because I have to stare at this thing for 52 weeks. It needs to be something that will make me happy for an entire year. Finally I ended up choosing this Little Otsu beauty  from Buy Olympia


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Why Etsy?


First of all if you’ve never heard of Etsy or visited the site, you really should do that now. It is an amazing resource for handmade items from all over the world and its getting better everyday.

Now why I chose to give it up. I have been selling my wares on Etsy since January of 2006. The attention I paid to Etsy in general and my store specifically has ebbed and flowed since then, but in the summer of 2007 I really began to spend an increasing amount of my spare time on Etsy. It started as soon as I got up – I would grab some breakfast and login to Etsy. Every morning. I would do this under the guise that I was checking to see if I sold anything, but I receive email notifications for sold items so that was a poor excuse. Really I was just slowly, but surely becoming addicted. I would shop, or browse the forums, or worst of all – create treasury lists.

In the fall of 2006 Etsy launched a new feature called the Treasury. Basically it is a large rotating collection of lists of items that users create to highlight things they like. Etsy provides many different, interesting ways for users to shop, but the Treasury is unique in that it allows any registered Etsy user to kind of “show off” the fun items they’ve found. And then usually Etsy admin chooses different lists to feature on the front page. So now I had incentive to spend additional hours pulling items I had bookmarked into Treasury lists.

And then, even before the Handmade Pledge, I decided that I would attempt to do a primarily Etsy Christmas. I do rely heavily on Etsy for a lot of my purchases now, but this goal, again, just provided yet another excuse for me to devote time to Etsy. I was rather successful (I’d say about 70% of gifts were from Etsy), but I was definitely getting burnt out on Etsy by the end of December.

And so I chose to give up my treasured handmade shopping center for the month of January. I am kicking myself for not regularly blogging about this experience, however I will try to highlight the process thus far and begin blogging every day now.

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