Thursday, August 27, 2009

The Search Continues

I've been collecting buttons for years. I have a few special ones--one striking one made of ivory and carved with a dragon--but mostly I've just picked up whatever whenever wherever. Lately, since I've been making flowers, I'm more interested in vintage rhinestone, and OMG those things are expensive! Yesterday I missed out on a bunch from eBay, and I'm kicking myself for it now. As I was heading out for lunch with friends, I checked the auction, thinking I might bid ten bucks higher than what the top bid was--the last time I'd looked it was up to $35 and the auction would end while I was gone. But the bid was up to $55! That's for a lot of an indeterminate number of buttons; it was just called a "huge" collection. And yeah, I know you'd pay at least a couple of bucks apiece new, and there was a good bunch of them, but I guess I'm just a cheap-o. More than $60 for supplies? And who knows if I'll ever even sell another brooch? I just couldn't make myself bid on it.

The auction ended at $56.25. Wouldn't you know it. Now I've talked myself into thinking that wasn't too much. Where in the heck was my reason yesterday? Oh, well....

In the meantime, I've come up with another way of embellishing my brooches: I'm massing the centers with mounds of plain buttons.

This one I listed a couple of days ago. It's made with that lovely ivory blanket Daisy brought back from NY. (Ignore the red thread. It's caught in the lace, but it's so minute that I can't find it except when I photograph it. You don't know how many pics I've Photo-shopped it out of!)

And this one I listed today. It's made from a boiled wool jacket I felted last winter.

Tomorrow I'll be spending the day in Austin--doctor's appointment--but come Saturday I'm heading out to garage sales. The ones around here are kind of so-so, but you never know when you might stumble on a jar of buttons somewhere.

Keep your fingers crossed for me!

Tuesday, August 25, 2009


I sometimes visit Google Analytics to check traffic in my Etsy shops. It's a really cool tool that shows how many visitors you have each day and where they come from. Sometimes I remember to check; sometimes I forget. Sometimes it makes me blue, and sometimes it doesn't so much.

I always check CraftCult, several times a day actually. It shows where the traffic is targeted, which items are being viewed, and how many hearts each has received.

I'm not ashamed to say I don't get a whole lot of traffic--I've only been doing this since last fall. But last Sunday when I checked CraftCult, I had something like 18 new hearts in my vintage shop. OMG! I don't normally have that many visitors, much less hearts. So then I went to Google Analytics, which showed I'd had 200 visitors and indicated Etsy Finds as the source. GA has occasionally shown other traffic from EFinds, but only one or two at a time and on those occasions, when I checked the location I couldn't determine the reason. I thought it was a glitch or something. Not this time though; this time the reason was obvious.

One of the Sunday articles was about the decor of Grey Gardens with the author highlighting items that could be used in creating a similar decor. The item she included from my shop was a pair of art deco wire-haired terrier bookends.
Even today I'm getting traffic from the article, though not nearly as much.

Talk about cheap thrills! It doesn't take much to make me happy. I think I smiled the rest of Sunday and into Monday. Well, actually, I still kinda am.

Little things, yunno.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

What I Did

With the ivory roses I showed in my last post.

This one is a cluster of three stitched onto a ribbon-wrapped comb. That beaded lace sets it off nicely, doesn't it? That was a bit of lace from the first wedding gown of a friend's friend. It took my friend a long time to unstitch all that lace, and she was generous enough to send a bit of it to me, quite a long time ago actually. Someday maybe I'll think of some way to use it. (Wouldn't it make a nice ring-bearer's pillow? If we had any marriage-leaning children in the family right now, I'd offer it up, but none seem to have that inclination just yet.)

Another comb, using the last of the roses. Actually I finished--and photographed--this one first, hence no lace here.

Hope y'all are having good days. I'm off to have a snack, I think.


Friday, August 7, 2009

My Latest

You know, I really, really don't like fake flowers. It's just a hang-up of mine, and yes, I know, there are some gloriously beautiful ones. I'm just not into them.

So why, you ask, do I make so many felt flowers? It really isn't contradictory, at least not to me. I think there's a difference in the silk/faux silk pretend-to-be-real fake flowers and the blatantly fake bits of jewelry I make.

Here's my latest: A peony, with a vintage MOP (mother-of-pearl for those who don't speak button) as a stigma (center of the bloom for those who don't speak flower). (I'm loving this wool quilt Daisy brought me.)

Anyone else feel there's not enough hours in the day for all you want to create? (I felt that way back when I was writing as well. Obsessive compulsive much?) I have an idea in my head for several tassels as well; I just can't seem to get started on them. And the masses of felt from the blanket are perfect for tea cozies and memory bags....

Here's another bunch of blooms I made, which I still haven't decided what to do with:
This was that paper rose technique that I used on scraps from the two previous flowers I did. Daisy suggested I arrange them in a spray but since I need a felt base to hold them down I'm not sure how a spray would work or to what I would attach it. A comb? Seems as if it would need embellishment as well, like poufs of tulle and maybe sprays of pearls, none of which I have at hand.

Any thoughts?

I'm off to do some handwork I promised a neighbor. Ta, y'all.

Monday, August 3, 2009

Hello, my name is Nancy, and I'm a craftaholic...

And the internet feeds my addiction.

I'm sure I haven't even scraped the surface of the evil contained therein, which sorta frightens me. It's like recognizing a weakness for chocolate and living next door to a candy factory. What's a girl to do?

If you share my addiction at all and hope to have the least little bit of control, do not visit One Pretty Thing! Or Totally Tutorial. Me, I can't stay away from either, and I'm always finding a new "I wanta try that" project.

Here's one:
I can't even remember on which site I saw this--or when. The original tutorial showed it done in paper and I filed it away in my memory bank, thinking, hmm, wonder if that would work with felt. Then, when I finally decided to make it--I was in the middle of another project, yunno, and thought, this is a short one; I can break the monotony of what I'm doing with it. But I could find neither hide nor hair at either of the aforementioned sites, and it took me a while doodling away on the 'net--not working on my project--before I found this tutorial at DoziDesigns. Turned out kinda nice as felt roses, didn't it? (That's two hair clips pictured; I'll be listing them as a pair on Etsy.) They started out as a 4"x4" square of felt, and in cutting them out, I had a few larger bits of corner, so-o-o...I made three smaller ones...

Which I attached to a bobby pin. (My pictures on this aren't good enough to list on Etsy yet, so that'll come another day.)

These cute little boxes I saw some time back too, but luckily this tutorial I found rather easily when I went back for it. (I'm taking part in a swap with my Etsy Texas group and this is my offering.) The tutorial by Applehead is here.

And that's a short little look into the life of an addict! (Anyone want to write a book on it?)

Ta, ya'll.