Thursday, August 27, 2009

Flower Bobby Pins on Etsy

For months I have made lists upon lists of all of the products I want to create for my store (Newman Improved at I have several boxes and bags of materials that I have collected and envisioned making into something else, something new. In the meantime, I have hit some road bumps with moving and my sewing machine. Moving has taken a lot out of me and we are not unpacked or all settled. In addition, my sewing machine needs to be repaired (or replaced) and it has prevented me from sewing.

I finally decided that I need to just get to it! Our h
ouse does not have to be completely unpacked and put together for me to do something else. Nor does my sewing machine need to be fixed in order for me to create. I have many items on my list that I can create without the use of a sewing machine.

Now that I had put my priorities in order, I got to it! Since I was blessed with my first niece, I have been thinking about gifts for little girls. I looked through some of my saved materials and realized I could create flower bobby pins. I am not into flowery things as an adult woman, but when I was small I used to wear all sorts of bows, flowers, and pretty things in my hair.

In keeping with my promise to reduce my impact on this planet, I made the bobbies with all recycled materials. The only exception was the glue that I used. The bobby pins came from a large packet of bobby pins that I had have never used. I have a couple that I use here and there, but I have about 20 or so will never get used (and you can never just buy a couple of bobby pins!).

The flower petals came from a Hawaiian lei that I won at an event. I kept the lei around for a while and then realized that I did not have a use for it. I am not going to wear it anywhere and I could not bear to throw it out. So, I cut the string out of it and disassembled the flower petals.

Lastly, the beads and buttons, used to give the flowers a little pizazz, came from my grandmother's collection that I inherited. Over the years my grandmother collected buttons from clothing and somehow I got her collection. Since then, I have been adding to it when I find a stray button or bead. Again, I just cannot bear to let something get thrown away that could be used for something else.

I had a lot of fun putting together the different color combinations for each bobby pin. I have three listings with three bobbies in each set. Please visit my store Newman Improved to see the listings.
I know the little girl version of me would have loved to wear these and so I know that some little girl now would also love them now. BUT WAIT!!! This product is NOT only for little girls. It is for any one who would like to add some color and brightness to their hair.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

A Tea Themed Excuse for Creativity

With moving, family events, work, etc, I have not had a chance to do anything creative lately. Correction, I have not taken the chance to create lately. I think I have been in a rut and focused on getting our house together. I have always found an excuse as to why “now was not the time.”

John’s youngest sister, Julie, is getting married and his oldest sister, Mary Catherine, and I are bridesmaids and we decided to throw a shower. I used this as an opportunity. I love to paint, especially with watercolors and this shower had given me a chance and an excuse. I decided to commit myself to making the invitations based on our tea themed shower.

As I thought more about the invitations and my ideas, I decided to have two types of themed invitations. Some that were wedding dresses and some that involved the tea theme of the shower. As I thought more, I decided that I did not want each invitation to be exactly alike. They did not have to all be completely different, but I did not want them all alike. I can copy the same design over and over again, but I thought it would be more fun to make them different.

The inside of the invitation was printed out on pink paper with scalloped edges. Those of you that know me are probably wondering why I chose pink. Well, Julie likes pink and the shower was supposed to be Victorian inspired and pink was one of the main colors. The shower, after all, was not for me and my color likes and dislikes do not matter. And besides, I can be open-minded aboutthe color; I just do not choose it for myself. :)

In the end, the invitations might not have been the best or even the cutest,but they were homemade and I put a lot of time into them. I spent several nights in my craft room painting my heart out! I knew they were not perfect, but they were from me to Julie. I saved several for her. I have a scrapbook of all of our showers and I thought she might like to do the same. Maybe not, but now she has something personalized. She liked them and so did the guests! It makes me feel like I did my job.

Painting makes me happy and I wish I did it more often. I need to open myself to find the inspiration that I found so freely in the past.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Google Your Jealousy, Part 2

I left the last post, not sure if I would post on this topic again. The feelings have not gotten any better, only worse.....and so I blog again.

I think I have accomplished step 1. I understand why I am jealous. As I said before, something that I thought was mine (or partly mine) is being taken away by another. It is not something of monetary value, it is something more precious. I feel as I do because I do not understand the why of it-why has it been slipping away from me. I understand why I am jealous, but not why it is happening. I have tried to look at the situation from all angles. I have tried to understand my part. Then it hit me, I do not have a part of it and that is where the jealousy is stemming from.

Having accomplished step 1, I am forced to go to step 2. I need to create and act on a plan. How can I possibly have a plan if I really do not have a part in this? I am watching a situation in front of my face and there is nothing I can do.

A phrase keeps popping in my head.

"If you love something, let it go. If it comes back to you, its yours forever. If it doesn't, then it was never meant to be."

This phrase is usually applied to romantic love, but in this situation I think it can also apply. I need to try and let this go and see if it resolves itself. If it comes back to me, then I know it is for me.

I need to have another part to my plan. I will have a problem just letting it go, if I do not do something else. I am going to try and focus on the things and the people I have neglected while I have been worrying about this. There are several people in my life that I want to get to know better and I think I will use part of this time for that. I will also focus on our new home and re-doing my Etsy store. I have a ton of ideas and I need to execute them. I also need to redo my current listings by taking better pictures to showcase the items I am selling.

Lastly, John and I need to take a brief vacation. We need to get away, even if for just a day. He has suggested it and I keep turning it down because we just moved and I want to be at home doing stuff for the house.

Getting away might be the best cure for all of this. Maybe.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Included in the EtsyVeg Team Treasury

I have put a lot of time into the products that I have posted on, but I fall short in my advertising and photos. It is something that I need to work on and something that I know would improve sales.

Despite those shortcomings, I have been included in one of the latest EtsyVeg blog team treasuries. The product that was featured was a patchwork purse that is for sale in my store. (My store is called Newman Improved, but my username on Etsy is VeggieAmanda.)

I am glad to be part of the EtsyVeg team!

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Simon and Oliver

As I have mentioned in previous posts, I am a little behind on my blog. This is a blog I wanted to post back in February and am just getting around to it. I was inspired after spending almost a week

with two furry, four-legged friends when we went to visit my brother, his wife, and new daughter (Helena) in Texas.

In addition to a new baby (7-months-old), my brother and his wife also have a dog and a cat. Simon is the cat and he is an orange stripped fellow who likes people and would rather have nothing to do with his dog brother. Oliver is the dog and wants everything to do with everyone, including the cat.

When I visited in January, I got to spend time with them and their interactions were hysterical! Oliver would chase after Simon and bite him on the ear, tap his stomach, try to jump on him or try and chew on his tail. Simon would sometimes react by playing back or hissing at him as a warning. Oliver seemed to be clueless about the warnings. We had to step in many times and make Oliver leave Simon alone. I am not sure Oliver realizes that he is a dog and that Simon is a cat. In fact, if I had a guess I would think that Oliver thought of himself as a human.

I really bonded with little Oliver during my visit. I spent time taking him on walks, taking him in the back yard, petting him, and playing with him. Since Helena joined the family, he was becoming the ignored sibling and was starving for some human attention.

Over the past several years, I have become quite fond of small dogs. I have generally thought of myself as a large dog-lover, but now truly have a fondness for small dogs as well. Oliver is a Terrier and Chihuahua mix and seemed to inherit the best of both breeds.

When John and I finally are in a position where we can responsibly care for a dog, I am tempted to petition for a small AND a large dog. After all, our life could only become more enriched with the love of two dogs. I expect that it will be a while before we get one dog, but I become excited just thinking about the possibility.

As I wait for a four-legged friend, I will continue to volunteer with the Animal Protection Society of Durham to get my dog fix.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Google Your Jealousy

I need a little therapy right now and what better way to handle this than a blog. I have already talked John's ear off about the situation and I certainly have not been using my blog for what I intended, so why not for what I need right now? Anyways.

I do not think of myself as a jealous person and most people who know me would probably agree with the perception of myself. Lately though, there is something that has been weighing heavily on my mind, something that I have to admit is making me jealous. It is a situation that is out of my control. It has nothing to do with me and nothing that I caused. It is something that used to be mine and is slipping away and I do know what to do.

I did what any person of the Google era would do, I searched the term hoping that it would give me some comfort. The first thing that caught my eye was this:
"Many people feel jealous from time to time. Jealousy is easy to deal with, once you understand what it's teaching you."
I guess the question here is, what is this jealousy teaching me? I cannot seem to see the lesson. All I can think about is, what did I do to allow this situation to happen. I am not sure I did anything. I have been noticing it happen before my eyes for the past year. I thought I had a handle on it all and I thought I could change the way it was developing. I keep trying. I was wrong. Not surprising.

Control? Could the issue be control? I have lost control of the situation, but I don't think it is control. Then what is it?

Maybe it is simple. I had something that was special to me and I am loosing it. Better yet, I had something that was special to me and someone else is taking it away. I am sure they do not mean to take it away and I am sure the other person does not mean to give it away, it is just happening. Wait!!!! This does not feel simple at all!

I can conclude that it is not control and this is not a simple situation, so what do I do? I am not sure I can do any more than I have already done. So, is this my "ah ha!" moment? Nope.

I don't feel jealous very often, so I am still at a loss.

The only way I know how to deal with this is in an Amanda way. Make a plan. How do I make a plan if I cannot get to the bottom of the situation?

Step One- Understand why I am jealous about this particular situation- This could take a while. I might have to jump to step two during this process.

Step Two- Make and act on a plan.

Step Three- Distract myself from the situation. (This will be a feat in itself since it is in my face all the time).

Step Four- Distance myself from the situation.

Step Five- Let go.

I might never decide to blog about this topic again. Maybe it will get resolved, maybe not. Either way, I am reminded of the words of some top 40 song. "Whatever will be, will be."