Friday, November 18, 2011

Strawberry Shortcake Costume

So I'm a little late but have to share how my kids' Halloween costumes turned out this year. I'm a wee bit cheap when it comes to costumes. The thought of spending so much for a packaged costume that doesn't last bothers me. We did a Black Widow Spider and Strawberry Shortcake. All the pieces came together pretty well but I was most excited about little Shortcake's hat.
I found a cute white hat at Goodwill for a dollar! It was perfect. I bought some pink Rit dye, felt, and ribbon. 

Thrift hat and Petal Pink dye

We (meaning my mother-in-law) added the green and white polka dot ribbon and a handmade felt strawberry. . .

I love pink and green!
We had the skirt and tights, bought a pair of hot pink glitter mary jane's. The t-shirt was my very first applique project! If you don't look too close you'll be very impressed.

Halloween Party
Black Widow Costume:
This was an old Ninja costume that was never used. I sewed red felt eyes onto his hat (another dollar purchase at Goodwill) and bought some wide black ribbon to make the legs. He didn't get as much recognition as the Shortcake girl, of course, but both stole the show in my world :)

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

This is me calling myself out!

OK, SERIOUSLY! August! That was my last post. Now I'll say I got lazy over the summer but I've really picked up the pace on my art projects and listings in my Etsy store. Now for a remodel here. Change is in the air!
Come back soon and check it out, seriously!

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Moab to Colorado

I'm so glad we stayed a little longer in Moab so we could see more of Arches. Definitely worth the trip. I could see a family trip in the future, camping in the park for a few days and then hitting some trails. I burned a back up disc of my photos and inadvertently screwed something up in iPhoto. As soon as I figure that out I'll post pics of Arches. We ran out of time but still managed to get some amazing photos.
Here is one more of Dead Horse Point:
We took the same route home because I wanted to stop in a couple of mountain towns for photos. Of course it was Sunday so no stores were open. Still got a few interesting photos.

These shelves reminded me of a store in the Pike Place Market in Seattle. Nothing but collectible salt and pepper shakers and figurines. Shelves and shelves of them. 
Quaint local bread store. I couldn't imagine being sandwiched between a mountain and an interstate. This rustic main street is holding on, I'm so glad we stopped.
One more fun stop on the way home, I'll tell you about it next time!

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

On the way to Moab. . .

Had a nice road trip to Moab for the wedding. Made some fun stops on the way. Once I hit Denver it was all new territory for me. I can't believe I've never travelled 70W out of Denver. I've gone north, south, east, but never west. Wow was I missing out! Idaho Springs and Silver Plume gave me many lovely photos. Lots of old buildings, mines, etc. What I really loved though, was getting stranded in Grand Junction for a few extra hours while our vehicle's wheel bearing was replaced. (scary)
Their downtown is adorable. Reminds me of Eugene, Oregon, but on a smaller scale.
Found an awesome little vintage/thrift store down there that I could've spent hours in.
A Haggle of Vendors Emporium
Everything was organized in collections like the teapots above. Kinda wishing I would've grabbed that light blue teapot on the left. Been thinking in reds and blues since the wedding. Here's a group shot of all of us, it was really windy. This is at Dead Horse Point State Park.

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Final Details for Moab

Less than a week until we start driving toward Moab! I still have to make my necklace but I have most details taken care of. My dear seamstress has taken in my dress a bit in hopes of avoiding any 'Marilyn' moments in the wind and I should have a shiny silver bracelet to wear with my necklace if I ever make it back to the post office.
I'm shopping for a new camera for the trip. I've been looking at Nikon, they have a lower priced digital SLR that looks nice. I'm so disappointed with my Sony Cyber-shot DSC-W80. Not the worst camera but it's lower res predecessor was much better. Low light shots are a mess with noise and it's just really inconsistent. Won't be going that route again. Anyways. . . 
These are my shoes for the ceremony, not perfectly comfortable but cute with rhinestones:

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Re-Sizing and Saving Your Photos and Files

Today's post is about pixels and printing and photos. Here is a good practice to make sure you never lose a great photo because you re-sized it too small.

How to Save Your Photos When Editing:

1. Open the photo you want to edit.

2. IMMEDIATELY do a SAVE AS. This makes sure you are now editing a new version of the photo and any changes you make will not effect the original. You always want to keep the original as it was. Go to the 'File' menu and select 'Save As' .
3. Choose a name that briefly describes your photo and select where to save it on your computer.

4. Now your original is safe in case there is an "Oh no!" during editing. (Of course you should also back up your photos from time to time!)

Good Info/Rules About Sizing:

1. If you are using your photo on the web or via email the file can be much smaller than if you want to print it. Smaller means less pixels. When I email photos I keep them around 400px (pixels) X 700px, at 72dpi (dots per inch)–100dpi: this gives the viewer a nice size to look at on their computer, it will send quickly, and it won't be high resolution for printing (if you don't want it copied). The file size shouldn't be too big (200KB a little more a little less).

2. If you are going to print the photo then you want a resolution of 300dpi (a lot more pixels!). This is important. Web sized photos are 72dpi, they don't print clear or large. They look nice on the screen but don't be fooled they won't print nice.

3. This is important!!! Once you take out pixels, they can't be replaced! Let me repeat, once you take the pixels out (make the picture smaller in size, like for the web) you can not get those pixels back or put them back into the picture. That is why you ALWAYS do a 'Save As'.

Is this helpful? Let me know, it's the first post like this, of many more to come. Coming up. . . Re-sizing Options. 
Send questions my way too, I'm happy to help!

Funny (not so funny) story. . . my first digital camera was a whopping 1.3 megapixels! I spent over $400 on it back in 2000-ish. And, of course, I knew nothing of resolution at the time, being a new graphic design student. So at least a couple years worth of photos are only viewable on a computer screen. If I print them they are approximately 1.5 inches in size. Luckily for me, I had a film SLR camera, so not all memories were lost.

Saturday, May 7, 2011

New banner for blog

SO this is not exactly what I had pictured and I am still working on some other versions. . . what do you think? I just couldn't look at my sloppy place holder any more.
I also want to create my own background and get rid of the dull gray. I like gray a lot but it's too dark for me :)

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

New earrings in Hematite and Turquoise Blues

I took so many pictures and had such high aspirations, however, only 2 pair of earrings have been listed. I'm too tired, I'll admit it. I just woke up in my daughter's bedroom, apparently the chair was comfortable enough for me to sleep in. Yawn! Time to go to bed. Here's the two pair I listed:
Turquoise Blues Dangle Earrings on Etsy

Stacked Hematite Dangle Earrings on Etsy

I really like this design. Look for more like these but different colors!

Saturday, April 30, 2011

Vintage Ring-A-Dings brochure c.1973

I love finding interesting, graphic, funny, and informative vintage papers. Here's a Ring-A-Ding Ringcraft brochure from the seventies. Some great retro crafts for some brave soul to modernize!

"Crafts that built America strong are popular as Hobby Craft today. You can do your creative "thing" with Gould's idea rings"
My personal favorite is the pipe holder for the prince in your life–Kate, take notice.
I do really like the mobile idea, I've been wanting to create a mobile for each of my children's rooms and haven't done it yet. I was thinking more like butterflies and airplanes.
Check back for the next vintage brochure: ACME Juicerator (seriously!)

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Frisco Texas In All It's Glory!

I need to re-live my warm happy weather days in Frisco. Here's a few pictures to look at. Didn't do the best job on photos this time around. . .

These were at a park near our hotel in Frisco. There were fountains and stone pathways winding through trees. Cactus, ponds, trees with weird roots, turtles and bulls. My husband noticed the statues were out of proportion and I offered him my "David" statue theory from Art History class. The heads are bigger for the viewer on the ground, so as to make it look more in proportion. He didn't believe me.
La Hacienda! The BEST EVER EVER fajitas I have EVER EVER had. YUM! And a tall Blood Orange Margarita that wasn't half bad. Living it up sitting in the patio by the fire. 

If only I'd had my camera for that Road Runner in the parking lot at the hotel.
So overall, Frisco seems like a nice place to go if you have a little money to spend. Everyone looked great. Not a shabby car in the lot, or any lot near us. I'll admit, I felt the need to get a hair cut and a new outfit just to hang. Which was a good thing. I needed a little sprucing up and this trip did it for me.
Now, what is this?
Ok, I know what it is . . .but really?

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Craft fair ideas and lessons learned

So like I said yesterday, my truck broke down on the way to my first craft fair. I think it was a blessing in disguise, it kinda took the pressure off. I didn't like setting up late but it gave me a chance to simplify. I took in the basics and got started.
I learned:
1. Price everything ahead of time. (I knew this but ran out of time so I was pricing some things as I set up.)

2. Have a plan of how to set up your display. I took a couple small metal shelves that I spray bombed white to match each other. I only used one and it worked well to add some height to my booth. I didn't know what to expect but everything turned out ok!

3. Don't forget your business cards, receipt book, seller's permit, pens, paper, chairs, sense of humor, etc. And your smile. A few vendors really looked unhappy and I couldn't help avoiding their tables.

4. I was planning on charging sales tax but I didn't find any other vendor that was. SO I didn't. I did think about making a tax chart so I wouldn't have had to use a calculator.

5. I sell jewelry, prints, cards and vintage items. I used my vintage dishes to display my earrings and it worked well and looked nice. I displayed my prints in a vintage file box.

I met some really great people that I hope to keep in contact with. I'm definitely no pro after this first run but I have a better handle on how I want to display my wares next time. And I definitely want to get out there and do it again.
If anyone has any ideas and lessons learned please share!
ps. I have to get some pics of my awesome craft fair barters and purchases. I'll share as soon as I do!

Monday, April 18, 2011

Frisco Texas, I miss you! & Craft fair

Still recovering from my trip to Texas and the craft fair. The VERY warm breezes/winds and super green landscape was a great pick-me-up from my current forever winter in Wisconsin. My first impressions of Texas were highways and shopping. In fact, everything seemed to revolve around shopping. Where I stayed in Frisco was nothing but strip malls and big malls and chain stores, yee haw!
Here's a teaser for my TX pics! More to come. . .
The craft fair started out a little stressful! Woke up to a half an inch of ice on everything! And then my truck broke down half way there. Luckily I had a cup of coffee and good company to pass the time waiting for our rescue. And, the craft fair peoples still let us set up late and participate.
Stay tuned for my craft fair summary. . .

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Craft fair prep, backhoe painting for R-dub

What a hectic week. I feel like I've accomplished a lot but not the whole list so I'm a little bummed. I had to take the time for a painting for my son. He wanted a 'backhoe digger' as he calls it so I grabbed a pic of his gramps on one and did a quick freehand and paint. Turned out pretty well considering I worked very quickly and without a real plan.
He likes it, that's all that matters!!!
Part of my craft fair list was getting all my earrings on cards and getting a better idea of what I have. I really don't have a lot but what I do have looks pretty good!

I'm loving the vintage dessert dishes as holders. Found those recently and only wish I wouldn't have passed on the 5th one, chipped or not. I'm going to use a couple small casserole dishes to stack my greeting cards in.
Headed to the heat of Texas, no I didn't mean heart. Should be interesting and hopefully fun and relaxing.
See you next week for a wrap up of my craft fair prep and more pics!

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Craft fair, watching Hop, and TX

Craft fair preparations:
*I bought some blank white gift bags and have printed about half of them with my chair and trike lino-cuts. I figure if I can get my cute bags circulating maybe it'll send some people my direction.
*Also got the rest of my tables today to figure out my display. Wish I knew what to expect! I'm going to try to have a few plans so I can be SUPER flexible on how I set up.
*Ordered some MOO mini cards. I liked their business cards but thought I'd give these a try.
*I've got my peoples (aka my wonderful mother-in-law) working on the table covers and I'm almost done designing the earring holders.
So much more to do and I'm running out of time. And a trip to TX. What have I got myself into to?

Had an AWESOME day out and about with the kids. My son got his first professional non mommy hair cut and we went to see Hop at the Cinema. We didn't make it through the whole movie, too much reality, not enough cartoon for the kids.
One of the cute snapshots at the mall today. . .
Feet at rest. . .for a moment

Friday, April 1, 2011

Out and About in Oshkosh and Ripon

So, wow, it's April and I don't know where this last week went. The bachelorette party went so good I did not want to get up in the morning! So nice to hang out with the girls instead of the toddlers, though I love them so. Hung out in Ripon and checked out the local scene. I didn't know until I drove into town that Ripon is supposedly the birth place of the Republican Party.
Quiet Saturday night in downtown Ripon WI

Me and the kids hung out at Grandma and Grandpa's house for a couple days. I was lucky to get out and go shopping/thrifting. If you are in Oshkosh and want GOOD GOOD food, try The Chalice. I had to stop and get some Tomato & Cheese bread on the way to the thrift store. Thick doughy bread topped with fresh tomatoes, mozzarella cheese and basil. The bartender told me the sauce they use is merely ketchup and mayonnaise (hard to believe). I also recommend the portabella appetizer, french onion soup, any sandwich, YUM!
They are on the northeast side of town by the newest round-a-bout that noone seems to get yet. hee hee.
This pic makes me drool, it's addictive food!

Friday, March 25, 2011

Bachelorette party & less than 3 months to Moab!

Though I feel less than prepared to go out and have lots of fun, I'm going to do it anyway! Events like these remind me of how easy it is to become a frumpy house mom. I'm there. What Not To Wear, hit me up!
Luckily the gals I'll be hanging out with are NOT frumpy house moms, so maybe I can get inspired. . . my friend's wedding dress was inspired by Lisa Ling's red and silver wedding dress, I can't wait to see it!
InStyle Magazine image  
Patagonia's Margot dress
The little black dress is very similar to our bridesmaid dresses. The ones we are wearing are sold out so I don't have that exact image to show.
We'll have turquoise jewelry. Did I mention she's getting married in the dessert outside of Moab, Utah? If you haven't been there, GO! I've only been there once and it was a crazy crazy time. Got lost in a canyon after dark, camped under the stars near a Sphinx-like rock formation, and had drinks at Eddie McStiff's in town. I'll have to dig out some photos and reminisce (and share).

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

New jewelry & upcoming jewelry give away!

I've been working on earrings for the upcoming craft fair. Thinking spring even though the wind is howling outside and there is at least 3 inches of new snow on my deck. ugh.

When I was a little girl my favorite colors were pink and green. My older sister gave me so much crap about it. Now I regularly remind her what a huge trend pink and green has become. I was so fashion forward (15years or so) ha ha.
Now that my inventory is growing. . . if only my following would. . . I am getting ready to do some sort of jewelry give away. Trying to figure out a good way to do this. Probably through my fb page: Mellow Mine Facebook Fan Page
Stay tuned for details, actually go and "like" my page so you know when its a happenin'.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

oh the pain, plus its hard to type

This is what I was working on right before I stabbed myself with my carving tool today. And I did it good this time. Right through the side of my thumb, nail and all. Needless to say I took it as a sign and stopped carving for the day. And every time I hit the space bar I am reminded of what an idiot I am for not being careful.

This could be taken as a disqualifying event for including a tutorial on my blog.
On a happy note my kids are still cute. . . see picture below!

Saturday, March 19, 2011

the news

Remind me to not check the news again any time soon. Somewhere between tsunamis, radiation, shootings, stand offs, and air strikes, I've really lost my sense of calm. I am much happier in my little world making things and crooning over my super cute and funny kids.

My son, who is 3 years old, told me today that his 'poopy' was so big it had feet and arms and legs. That may be the funniest thing I've ever heard. He is also the one that was sucking on his big toe "to get the bead out" after he swallowed a plastic bead. And to top it off, he lovingly asked me the other day why I have a mustache. ahem. uh. ouch. Gotta love him. And I really did appreciate the heads up.

Was digging through my folders and found this charcoal drawing I did in school of a classmate:

Unfortunate that I don't have the actual drawing anymore. At least it hasn't surfaced since I moved. And I wish I remembered his name. . . I think it was written on the back.

Friday, March 18, 2011

play dates and permits

Play dates are great until they give your children chocolate chip cookies and chocolate milk right before you leave (and you have to hit the grocery store on the way home). I think I lucked out with only two minor meltdowns in the checkout lane. phew.
Negotiating with fruit snacks really works.

And I just filed my application for selling stuff at craft fairs in Wisconsin. Or maybe for just selling stuff in WI period. I have SO much to learn. It took about 10 minutes and I told them to bill me for the $20 fee. We'll see how that turns out in 5-7 days when my paperwork should arrive.

I set up a 10X10 duct tape square in the basement to lay out my booth. It is bigger than I thought. This whole process is bigger than I thought. Those nice booths you see at craft fairs are a crap ton of work! This is going to be a great challenge :)

A new necklace with vintage metal lantern beads. I really, really like these beads. Tarnish and shine!

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Happy St. Patrick's Day

Baby steps today, nothing more. i guess inching your way toward a goal is better than no forward motion at all. slept through the alarm this morning resulting in my son going to school an hour late. hasn't been a great week for punctuality.
Me and lil B ran a couple errands. got a new pair of rubber boots for the boy, you should see our yard today. i passed on playing in the mud because there is easily twice as much as yesterday. yikes.
In the mean time i have plenty to do. and plenty to list and I'm not sure what I'm waiting for.
Here are a few of my favorite finds, some listed, most not:

 This last one shows my Spanish porcelain bird that I'm still trying to find information on. Luckily it perches prettily on my hutch and there is no hurry to rid myself of it.
Time to go draw something! See you later.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

a fun day in the mud

 What a good day I had. Got to sleep passed 7am (though I had to get up twice to soothe an unsettled 3 year old), had no where to be, kids colored eggs, played in the mud, OPENED the sliding door and let some FRESH AIR in!, de-cluttered and crossed a couple things off my to do list. 

 Yay spring time!

So thankful for happy distractions and fun while the crisis in Japan continues. My prayers go out to everyone in Japan and to my cousin, who is hopefully getting on a plane right now to leave Japan.
A lot of Etsy shops are donating money from sales to the Red Cross for aid to Japan.  Search 'Japan' in the Etsy search bar to find a ton of listings!

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

product photo day

whew. . . took over 200 pics today and I'm feeling good about it. Now if only I had someone else to do the editing! Lots of new items to list and no time to do it. I'm not going to panic though, just gonna take it one at a time and hope I don't lose momentum.

Had to dig us out this afternoon so I can get the boy to school in the morning. We didn't get half as much snow as last time but there were a few thick drifts that might've slowed us down. Looks like the county winged our mail box, AGAIN. Kinda surprised at how well it has held up. It's super super ugly now but obviously it has staying power so why mess with it?

I'm getting closer to having a rough version of my chinese proverb illustration that I spoke of long ago. "Don't curse the darkness, light a candle" or maybe "Don't curse the darkness, turn on the light" or so on. They all work and what a great point. Worth repeating, over and over (especially to certain people).

Monday, March 7, 2011

new logo and stuff

I am working on a new logo, the one at top is the rough placeholder version. I hope to have the new one complete in the next week or so.
Made some new earrings and worked on lino prints today. Got myself good in the finger with my carving tool. Was good because it reinforced me telling my 3 year old why he couldn't try it. I mean, how many times do you have to say no! I promised him when he gets older I will teach him how to use the tools and he can make his own. So then he asked later in the day and said he was older could he try it. He's so cute.
I've got a big to do list in hopes of participating in my first craft fair in April. I figure it's a good push to accomplish some things I put on the backburner. Like making my prints. And I've realized I really need looming deadlines to get more done. It always worked for me when I had an office job with a boss.
Here are a few pairs of earrings I've made lately. Going for more neutrals and I just love these vintage glass beads!

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

new books

Got my book order yesterday, yay! One is from Lotta Jansdotter on Scandinavian style. At first I thought maybe it wasn't a good choice but it has a lot of great stuff in it, including recipes that I can't wait to try. The other book is all about printing at home. I already do a bit of that but it has extra info on screen printing and the like and that is something I haven't done yet.
Today I got my Anthropologie catalogue in the mail. Hats off to the stagers and photographers. I love looking at these! Patterns and colors are great (prices a bit high) but that's why a catalogue is so cool.
Sometimes you just need something new and refreshing to look at. Especially (i know, i don't think that's a word-at least my high school english teacher always said it wasn't) now with snow, snow, snow. I love winter. I love snow. BUT if its too cold to go out and play then I say be done with it. Time for spring!

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Out and About in Wausau

Had some excellent food and music over the weekend. Finally visited the RedEye brewery for dinner and beers. I'm a big Porter fan and their Wheat Porter was nummy, the spinach and artichoke dip was excellent and my dinner of ribs and carrots was very good as well. My husband's steak was cooked to perfection. The only thing lacking? Kinda thought they forgot about us a few times. But, my guess is our server was very new and only trying to survive a busy Saturday night.
Grabbed a couple beers at Marlarkey's Pub and watched a fun slide show while listening to a talented local cover Tom Petty's American Girl. The whole point of the evening was to get out and sample some new places in town so we moved on to another bar not worth mentioning. They did have an open pool table though which always makes me happy.
Sunday brunch was at the Great Dane and oh it was good! A spicy and delicious Bloody Mary with an obscene array of food (buffet style brunch). If it weren't for the family that heaped all of the berries on their plates, thus leaving me wanting, this would've been perfect. (You weren't the only ones liking the berries people!) Any ways, I am over it!
Fresh fruit and veggies got me thinking spring. I want to change up the garden this year and get some things in that I haven't done before, like parsnips. From what I've read they grow well in Wisconsin.  And I have a sketch started for either a lino print or illustration and its all about growing and gardens. I'm having an issue getting started on it though, seem to have hit a block. Hoping for a little more inspiration.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Go Packers!

Just reporting on my favorite Super Bowl commercials. . . of course I missed a lot of them as I was making taco dip and cooking dinner. . . Doritos was hilarious with the raising of the dead and I also loved the logging one with Roseann Bar, ha ha ha, but I have no clue who did it. The baby one just disturbed me, didn't like it much.
Dinner turned out great, made spaghetti with eggplant and sausage, YUM! And I've been gorging on taco dip non stop. (haven't made it in a while, its the little things).
I took a lot of photos today, don't think I'll do any editing or uploading though. Gonna wait for this neck/headache to go away. I'm excited though, I've got a cheery and bright pair of turquoise and coral earrings to list. Totally thinking spring! And a bright sunshine yellow vintage bag that I regret to admit I passed on the matching suit case. Some times I really wonder about myself.
anyways, gotta go, that taco dip is calling for me!

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Saturday night at the E.D. wa hooo

So we had just gotten home from running errands and sat down to eat our Olive Garden when. . . my boy couldn't stop bouncing around on his chair. So of course I say "stop fooling around and eat your dinner" and not even 15 seconds later he tips backwards but then flies forward, meeting the edge of the chair seat in the middle. And you always know how bad it is by the scream. And I kinda knew right away we were gonna be headed back to town. ugh, and the food smelled so good too:P Hoping to eat it for lunch today.
Four stitches and four hours later we were home again. Lac. under the chin and somehow he ended up with an ice cream cone afterward.
On a creative note, I have finally figured out my camera and can now get the pictures off of it. Thought I was going to have to put more RAM in but it's just that my USB doesn't work well with the camera to transfer photos. So why I didn't buy a card reader sooner I will never know. Silly me. BUT, now I am going to work on re-taking several product pics since the other camera had no DoF. Small victories, I'll take them! 

Monday, January 10, 2011

collaborative art project

Here is the first and second steps in our collaborative art project. Me, my 3.5yo son, and 2yo daughter. With all the chaos in between it has not been finished but hoping now that holidays and bday party are done, we can finish!
We started with black markers and my little spanish porcelain bird for inspiration, then I gave my son the paint.

I wasn't totally thrilled when he painted the birds blue too, but I got over it. Will post the finished picture whenever it gets that far.
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