Sunday, March 22, 2009

Sewin' It Up

It's true that once you own a house there's always something to be doing. When we first moved in, we looked at the vertical blinds in the bedroom and knew that eventually they would have to go. Apart from anything; there was one slat missing and, even though it was toward the side, there was always that chance that the neighbor would get just the right angle and be able to see my nakey butt running between the closet and the bathroom. Husband finally agreed with me on a fabric choice (he picked it because it's dark and manly, I picked it because it looks like chocolate) and the choice to do a double curtain so that we can let the light in by opening the darker set. Of course, that also meant wrangling 2 extra 7ft curtain panels...always fun for somebody who is 5'3.5" on a "tall" day. I've been meaning to post this picture all week, seeing as they were actually completed and hung last weekend, but I've been slacking. All I have to do now is take care of the drapery weights at the bottom - but my nakey butt sure is happy to no longer be running the risk of unwarranted exposure.So, my other sewing project that I wanted to accomplish this week is a shirt for my Miami/South Beach vacation (we leave in 3 days!) Since we went on the new house/bathroom remodel/vacation budget, I've been really good about not buying much for myself in terms of clothing and all that. However, I figure that going on vacation to a beachy place requires some new clothing. The problem I've been having though is some serious disappointment in the fashion that's in stores right now.

Firstly, what's up with the denim right now? It seems like everywhere has either skinny leg or flare. I have short legs so skinny leg jeans make my legs look like carrots, while flared jeans make me look like I'm wearing an oversized lampshade below the knees. This did mean I was able to find some boot cut (which is what I wanted in the first place) on clearance, so I guess I'll consider myself lucky on that one. On the top side of things, I seem to be finding a lot of neon colors. Perhaps if I pair a bright orange shirt with some skinny leg jeans, I could be mistaken for a radioactive carrot.

Don't get me wrong, I did find a couple of cute outfits, but resigned myself to sewing a new shirt with some of the fabric that I always seem to be stashing and not using quickly enough. Well, here it is...and you may have noticed it's not so much a shirt as a dress. I swear I used the pattern correctly but how it ended up 6" longer than I anticipated is beyond me. Yes, I could shorten it, but I actually like it as a dress so I'm saying to hell with it and keeping it as is!

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Truly brilliant

I've always been proud to be Welsh. My dad was born and raised in Cardiff, which is pretty close to the English border, and I almost went to university there - but ended up in So Cal instead (totally not the same, I understand).

At the end of our sophomore year of high school, we got to go on a week trip to Brecon Beacons, where I spent a week rock climbing, mountain biking (literally), splunking, canoeing and watching my classmates shamelessly flirt with the instructors. That's what happens when you put forty 16-year old females in a confined space with 6 pretty hot 20-something males. My dad was highly amused when I returned with a Welsh accent. (Note: Mark Salter, I will always remember you for playing football with me and sharing your bag of crisps while watching my classmates get shot down by your co-workers. Oh yeah, and for catching me from falling off that one cliff overhang.)

Anyway, some folks think of Wales and associate it with mountains, castles and sheep. Well, there would be a lot of all of those there. What is fantastic is taking those elements and turning them into something that may well put [whatever small village in Wales they are from] on the map. This just lit up my morning...literally...and I have never been more proud of my heritage!

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Etsy mini tutorial!

I am constantly seeing posts in the forums on Etsy from people who are a little confused as to how they can add their Etsy mini to their blogspot. So, here's a little tutorial that I wanted to share.

Step 1: Locate your Etsy mini. by clicking on "Your Etsy" at the top of the page. The link to your Etsy mini is on the lower left column of the page.
Step 2: When the Etsy mini page comes up, you can now choose to show "items from my shop" and decide between thumbnails or gallery. I personally like thumbnails as it isn't too big. Then decide on how many columns and rows you want it to show. I chose 2 columns, 4 rows for this demonstration.
Step 3: At the bottom of the Etsy mini page, you will see two boxes with a bunch of html type blurb. The first box has the javascript version, which is what you would use for blogger. Keep this page open in your browser, we'll be coming back to it in a minute.
Step 4: In another window, open up your blogspot. Click on the "layout" tab to get to the page where you can change how your blogspot looks. Most people probably have a 2 column blogspot. Mine is three columns and for this example I will be adding the Etsy mini to the left column of my blog by clicking on the "Add A Gadget" button. As you can see, that same button exists on the right hand column if I wanted to add it there instead.Step 5: Once you click on the "Add A Gadget" link, a new window will open up that looks like the one below. Scroll down to locate the gadget that says "HTML/Javascript" then click on the + sign for that gadget.Step 6: Now you've clicked on that, you will be taken to the screen where you can edit that gadget. Where it says "title", that will be the title that will appear on your blog above your Etsy mini. You can title it whatever you'd like, or you can even leave it blank if you want. I've called mine "Shop Organic Stills". Now you need to copy and paste the html that Etsy generated for you. Click back over to your Etsy mini page and copy all the text in the javascript version box (click in the box, Ctrl+A, Ctrl+C). Click back over to the gadget box in blogger and paste that right into the "content" box (Ctrl+V). Then remember to hit the save button!

Step 7: You will now be back at your layout page for your blogger. You should now be able to see the gadget that you have added. You can click and drag it to anywhere that you want it to show on your blog. Once that is done, hit the save button on the top right again to lock it into place. You can now view your blog and there it is for all to enjoy!I hope this helps any of you that have been confused! If you have more than one Etsy shop, then just repeat these steps for your other shop and you can have more than one Etsy mini on your blog (check out my left sidebar for an example).

Monday, March 9, 2009

Yard sale fun

I've been trying to stock up on items for my new vintage store and with the husband out and about playing paintball with his old friends from high school, it seemed like the perfect opportunity to hit up some Sunday morning yard sales! I've never actually dropped by a yard sale before but did my due diligence and checked out what was on Craigslist, then mapped out the ones that were close to each other. It's pretty amazing how many yard sales you can find within a 2 mile radius.

It has to be said, I didn't find all that much that was worthwhile but did find a gorgeous wooden photo box (similar to this one). I've been looking for the right receptacle for photos that can be displayed in the living room and this will be perfect. I also came across a gorgeous little vintage Wedgewood trinket box, which I have now listed in my Etsy store. It's got a small fracture in it, but is beautiful nonetheless. Completely random fact is that Josiah Wedgewood was Charles Darwin's grandfather. That's some evolutionary ceramics for you right there!

I know that our HOA is discussing holding a community yard sale in our courtyard (there's only 10 units so it would be manageable) and I'm getting excited about the prospect. We got rid of a ton of things when we moved in 6 months ago, but that's not to say there isn't still a bunch of things to pass on to others via some yard sale fun.

Friday, March 6, 2009

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Blast from the past

It's official, my new vintage Etsy store is open. I wasn't really planning on opening a second Etsy store (I know, one is hard enough to keep track of sometimes!) but I had a major find last week with a whole batch of vintage sewing patterns that I was able to purchase. I knew that it wouldn't work to just put them in with the rest of the Organic Stills stuff, so my husband says to me "well, just open a vintage store then". That's how Yores was born! Yes, the name is a delightfully dorky double-entendre, but I should hope you expect nothing less of me.

It has to be said, I am somewhat in love with this dress/camisole pattern. It's definitely got a classic summer style. I'm sad that I missed out on buying the fabulously retro jumpsuit pattern, but I will try to be quicker off the mark next time around.

The whole vintage shop thing has got me really excited in general and I spent the weekend rummaging around for additional things to list in my new shop along with the sewing patterns. So far I've found some pretty housewares that I'll be sharing with the world as soon as I can get the research done to date the pieces I've got. I'm no Jonty from BBC's Cash In The Attic but if any of those adorable Cash In The Attic boys want to come over and help me out, I certainly wouldn't complain!