Monthly Archives: December 2009

Paper project – DIY bows

This gift bow tutorial from How About Orange came in handy this Christmas to create some pretty and unique bows for many a holiday gift. 

Experimenting with different types of magazines and catalogs (it wouldn’t be as fun or as eco-friendly with regular paper, IMO), I found that the prettiest bows are made using…

Paper Source catalogs!

The variety of colors in the catalog and the stiffness of the paper stock itself is perfect for this project, which you can do even while watching TV.  Save them up to use to wrap gifts all throughout the year, and never buy another pre-fabricated plastic-y bow in the store ever again!

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Out with the old, in with the new

I hope everyone had a very joyous and festive Christmas!  Now that the craziness of the holidays are almost over, we have a moment to catch our breaths and reflect on all that’s happened over the past year.  I always  marvel at how quickly each year passes, and as I get older, time seems to go even faster.  Not only is it the end of a year, it’s also the end of the first decade of the new millenium.  I remember thinking on January 1st 2000 that 2010 seemed SO far away, but look…we’re almost there! 

Of course, with the start of a new year come new resolutions.  I’ve never been one to really make new years resolutions (maybe  because I’m terrible at keeping them), but with the start of a new decade, perhaps now’s a good time as any to make and committ to some.  Looking around my house at the myriad of unfinished craft projects, abandoned hobbies, and unkept promises in my head to finish what I’ve started, I think my resolution will be to follow-through on anything that I committ myself to.  First order of business – follow through on finishing this blog post. 

Done!

Pros and cons of full-time crafting

There’s an interesting article in the New York Times regarding the risks and benefits of turning a hobby into a full-time job.  Specifically, they interviewed a number of Etsy sellers, who to the outside world, seem to have hit the jackpot – having transitioned a side job or hobby which they loved into a full-time, profit-turning business. 

However, many sellers tempered their enthusiasm with what seemed like sheer exhaustion.  Doing what you love and being an entrepreneur seems like the perfect situation, but as with anyone who owns their own business can tell you, the amount of sweat equity one puts into it can be enormous, far more than a typical 9-5, 40 hour/week job.  Calculate into that the time spent thinking about new products, ways to improve your business, and a million other items and one can easily spend 90% of their waking hours on their business, not to mention shouldering a ton of anxious, sleepless nights and tremendous amounts of stress.

Of course, many people will tell you that the gratification that comes with being your own boss and doing something you’re passionate about far outweighs any of the downsides associated with it.  I’ve thought long and hard about taking the risk to start my own business, but realized that it’s easier said than done, and that it will take more than just a good idea to make it successful – am I willing to make my job my life?  Yes…but only for something that I truly enjoy and I’ll be willing to put 110% of my effort into.  And at the end of the day, that what it looks like some of these Etsy sellers are doing.

To read the full NY Times article, click here.

DIY pom pom failure

Maybe I’m not following instructions.  Maybe I’m using the wrong kind of tissue paper.  Or maybe I’m just not a crafty person.

Whatever the case, I attempted to create some DIY pom poms like the ones I’ve seen on Martha Stewart’s and others’ websites.  Since they required little in the way of materials, skill, or time, I thought this was the perfect project for me.

In order to be sustainable, I reused some anthropologie tissue paper I had saved.  The result was something that looked rather…sad. 

The pictures above that I took don’t look TOO bad because I tried using flattering angles/lighting.  In reality, they sort of look like blooming cabbages.  Or some sort of albino vegetable with red veins.
Maybe using recycled tissue paper was the mistake.  I looked at several different sets of instructions from Martha’s to other crafters’ blogs.  I do have this theory though that Martha’s instructions are purposely a little off to get people frustrated, subsequently leading them to buy her premade craft projects instead. 
Argh!

A little rain = winter in LA

I’ve had to bring out my winter scarves and coats now that winter has arrived in LA.  Anyone who lives in um, less temperate climates than us are probably laughing their heads off when we complain about 50-degree weather and a thunderstorm.  Despite catching a cold and feeling a little woozy from medication, I love this weather because it finally feels like winter and the holidays.  It’s simply not the most festive feeling when you see your neighbors putting up christmas lights in shorts and flip-flops and sunglasses.

I’ll be heading up to Seattle this weekend to visit relatives up there, and I hear temperatures are below the 30’s at night, so I better pack up puffy jackets, earmuffs, and mittens in excess to stay warm! 

The days are getting shorter..it’s barely 4:30 in the afternoon, but the sun is already starting its way down the horizon…