a sneak peak at some new work for the NYIGF plus working with the stars

Right now we are all in the middle of an eclipse tunnel that started May 20th (new moon, new beginnings) and ends June 4th with the full moon (endings) - so there are alot of breakdowns and breakthroughs going on!

This tunnel acts like a kind of birth canal and is a great time to get creative work done if we can get in the flow of it -

I once had a mystical fertility counselor advise that if you have trouble starting a baby - start something else, if you have trouble finishing a baby - finish something else and this feels like good advice for our creative babies, too.

what part of our project/business is stuck? Leave it. Do some other creative something - either starting, developing or finishing - from a hand written letter to a from scratch cake to a garden.

It unblocks the creative flow that is always there for all of us .....

Then we have alot of Venus stuff going on in early June and you can google this if interested where astrologers can interpret it much better than I can - but things are definitely happening above us this summer folks!

Anyhoo, I have been working on these little cork backed washer book necklaces and a new fabric hinged locket style for New York International Gift Fair and my shops -

(these look awesome when worn - I am so happy with them)

after discovering these hoops in hubby's shop that I have been cutting and drilling and hammering and sanding and got things just about how I wanted them and then I ask hubs to get me some more and he says

"huh - what hoops" and I show him and he says "those are hose stabilizers, we can't get them without the hoses" and I'm all "what?!"

(this is the crafty girls nightmare scenario with supplies that we have to deal with again and again, but it keeps us on our crafty toes - this is probably why mine look like hobbit's)

but I will figure this out, have to talk to the junk guys at the salvage yards we deal with - they know everything (want to figure this out before the full moon on Monday).

Hoping everyone is having a wonderful week - I cannot believe tomorrow is June already - time has definitely sped up folks! xo

letting our message dictate our direction ...

We know that the internet is gigundo immense and that selling things here and creating a business here requires niche thinking.

(niche as in not everybody is going to love us - sniffle - and that is ok, more than ok in fact - it is necessary -

and this is actually a life lesson the internet has reflected back to us that we should have learned in grade school, but if you were like me you were maybe absent that day decorating plastic headbands with puffy paint)

This thinking isn't about our target market or our products or anything as tangible at any of that.

Niche thinking is all about our message.

And I am not really talking about the finding our voice thing that comes with or without the many off-key choruses of do-re-mi when we are alone in the shower.

This message is the very root of our business, the essence really - the part that all things amazing spring from

(and spring is not the right word here, because maker's makings do not "spring" - they meander like weeds in all kinds of directions while we run around behind them with trimmers and miracle grow until we have ... something)

the roots that define why we do what we do and when we get this part straight - and get a focus on this 

then deciding which makings to make, which people to connect with, how to attract our peeps and how to get in the money flow with this thing we have made becomes alot easier.

(and if we are thinking we are doing this to be making money, well, there are lots of things we could be doing to be making money - why are we doing this thing)

* does this poster .... print by 618love

Happy Memorial Day Weekend All - summer is official

This photo makes me want to put all the politicians everywhere into a room and spin them around and poke them with sticks until they get their heads and priorities straight - yes, that includes you Mr. Obama.

Wishing everyone a wonderful weekend - hubs and I had a nice dinner out last night that actually included a for-real photographer taking a picture of us.

He, of course, looks like he fell out of the Brooks Brothers catalog. I look wild-eyed and unkempt, like I’d arrived at the restaurant by clinging to the bottom of the car.

(I may link to this pic one day ... but I would have to be bribed with a new pair of gladiator sandals and a years supply of Bobby's Burger Palace sweet potato fries and I am thinking that none of you have access to these things so my secrets are safe for now)

xo all

caine's arcade - do what you love and the money ... and the flash mobs will follow - jealous maker tuesday without the jealous maker

This is the story of how Caine Monroy’s hand-built cardboard arcade in his father’s auto parts store led to a flash mob, a $60,000 scholarship fund and an inspiration to makers everywhere to do what we love!

(I especially love how his game pays off in tickets for his customers when they win - pure genius!)

Upcycled Mail Caddy Tutorial - Vintage Book & Dough Kneader

This is an easy peasy little mail caddy you can make with a vintage dough kneader and old book - I think this old stenographer's manual is perfect for office/studio mail!

(it unexpectedly ended up looking a bit like a giant mousetrap which is only a plus, since you know what they say about building a better mousetrap)

gather your supplies and your trusty drill - remember drilling into paper is kind of like starting a fire so unless you want your smoke detector going off or some possible eyelash loss (not that this has happened to me) - drill slowly

1. lay out your kneader with your pipe hangers and mark your holes 2. drill your book - I drill all the way through and then use screws that will be just a tiny bit shorter than the book depth 3. screw in your pipe hangers 4. add your mail - this would also make a great kitchen upcycle with an old recipe book and some recipe cards

the jersey head nod and the stuff mcgruff forgot to tell us about spring safety

Sooo now that the weather is warmer

(and I need to lose the 5 pounds of rice pudding I somehow managed to pack on my hips last winter)

I am back to my daily almost daily walk/run around our local reservoir.

(and by walk/run I actually mean walk but there is this one desolated area where I always run full out - I have no idea why I do this - I guess so I can call it a run)

I usually go around the same time, which is not such a good safety thing, but I have my regular peeps there that I do not want to miss.

Now, of course, I do not actually speak to any of these peeps, but we do this head nod to each other that says "Hello. I know you. Yes, this weather is amazing or yes, we are tough Jersey girls (and guys - although the guys are not so tough which is why Jersey girls are world-wide famous and no one is writing songs about the guys) and this weather sucks but we are out here anyway."

Head nods in Jersey are kind of like the myriad vocabulary Inuits have for 'snow' - we can say alot with very limited head movement.

(maybe so we don't mess our hair)

In fact my smirky nod to a mom putting sunblock on her child was really an entire head nod conversation about that crazy Jersey tanning mom that we both agreed is scary and sad and that we really, really wish was from somewhere else.

I feel a certain comfort in seeing the same faces everyday.

There is a couple who run with their dog - a very skinny brown dog who always looks up at me with eyes that whisper "help me, these people are crazy", a very old, very sweaty, very red man who encourages me to keep my CPR skills up to date, just in case and a woman who walks very fast clutching a golf club - the flat kind not the knobby kind, that would be weird.

(I don't nod or make eye contact with this one - she is my pacer though - I am always very happy to see her because she really keeps me moving - I am not sure what she will do if she catches up with me, or me with her so I have to maintain an equal distance - once she stopped at the port-a-john and I caught up with her, it was kind of terrifying, but at least I know who to ask to partner with me if I ever get invited to a miniature golf tournament)

Anyhoo, these walks have me thinking we need some walker/runner tips to keep us safe this spring:

1. If you are on a road - face traffic. You can see the cars coming at you and jump out of the way if necessary - you can also avoid dark panel vans carrying those guys with the candy and missing puppy posters.

2. Keep your music low. You need to be able to hear horns and dogs and people screaming "STOP" (and of course ice cream trucks because sometimes you just gotta have a pushup icepop).

3. Vary your route. Vary your time. Be safe.

4. Walk/run with a friend

(of course this means you actually have to have a friend which, of course, leaves this option out for me)

5. Be a 6'3", 250 pound dude

(or bring one with you - hubs has knee problems, so I still need to find one of these)

That's all I got- I am off to the reservoir since it closes at dusk. Have a wonderful weekend everyone - take some time to get outdoors - if you are in Jersey though - be careful - there is a woman with a nine iron out there somewhere ....

xo all

* no matter how slow you run by modern elements

why didn't I think of that - jealous maker tuesday - chalktrails

OK - this week's find is called the Chalktrail - how cool is this gizmo - it gets kids outdoors and inspires creativity - love it!

(we used to do something like this when I was a kid the old school way - baby brother dangling from back of wagon chalk in hand while we pulled him around the driveway - I think he liked it so much he has his wife still do this with him sometimes, but he probably doesn't want people to know about it so it will just be our secret)

This is a new design project by Scott Baumann in WA and I think you will be seeing these babies everywhere -

I totally want one for every bike in the house!

Olive Bites Philadelphia (crunch!) - some pics from Art Star Craft Bazaar

my "kindred spirit" - Noelle from the amazing shop Xenotees and my girl Kella!

We had the best weather and I had the most amazing customers- didn't get a cheesesteak but I did slug down half a gatorade that someone had left at my booth when I was dying of thirst and couldn't leave .....(please don't judge me)

Come See Me at Art Star this Weekend in Philadelphia!

Megan and Erin have put together an amazing show this Mother's Day weekend and I will be in Booth 18, at the Great Plaza at Penn's Landing in PA, so if you are in the area stop by and say hey!

I will have a gigundo selection of cork necklaces and rings, locket necklaces, bracelets and rings and some amazing recycled wine cork awesomeness!

Happy Mother's Day everyone!

no fishies were harmed in the making of this post

Hubs and I are needing a little break and going away for a couple days - we'll be back at the end of the week.

For those who have been following our saga with David - we are pretty much back to square one or square minus 276 depending on which one of us you are talking to and whether or not there is any chocolate in the house.

(now I know that we are never really back to square one with any situation because although the situation looks familiar as in "how the hell did we get here again?" we have changed - this isn't a linear journey after all but more of a spiral and I know we have all spiraled to a higher place)

We just need a little space to reflect on what we must let go of here - asking for the strength to let go of what is not retrievable and the ability to see what remains that we can work with.

I know we always have the power to change - we just have to remember how to do that ... xo all - have a wonderful week everyone!

* gone fishing sign by kingston creations

Upcycled Paint by Number / Clipboard Tutorial

I picked up these amazing pups

(painted by Aunt Goldie in 1959 - I wish I had an Aunt Goldie - I think I will just start calling my Aunt Betty Aunt Goldie - I don't think she will mind)

at a vintage shop in Asheville last fall. I finally decided to add some clipboard clips to them and make gigantic clipboards.

 This one is easy-peasy, as mine always are!

You will need: a paint by number (of course you can paint your own), you can also use a puzzle - glue it down first - ack, clips (these can be drilled off old clipboards, just drill into the rivets or purchased new), screws, drill, screwdriver

1. Measure for center and mark your drill holes 2. Drill holes 3. Add screws - now I have a grinder to grind off the back of the screws like I do with the clipboard corkboards that I sell, you may need to add a back buffer of cardboard, wood, etc if they stick out too far - TIP - holding the clip opening while working with the screw hole takes the strength of 10 crafty mavens, so just do like I do and shove a book in it to hold it open.

These are super simple and are the perfect place to hold my growing (sorry hubs) people and their dogs picture collection!

why didn't I think of that? - new series for jealous makers

Too tired to blog a sensible sentence

(more on this later)

but I wanted to kick off my jealous maker spring Tuesday series with this sticker -

this is going to be hotter than those annoying dog owners bragging about their genius retrievers

(olive snickers at those)

also here is a picture of George Clooney as Batman for your bedroom wall girls .... (you're welcome)