Thursday, January 31, 2008

Making Altered Dress Forms

I did one dress form this week. What I did not mention is that, one of these days (ie: probably around May) I plan on having a Creative Jules open house at home and displaying all the different types of pendants for people to see up close and in person. I decided to alter these dress forms to display them. One day, if I ever decide to go big, I may use them to display pendants in a store or retail setting.

To alter a dress form, I started out with acrylic paint, a paintbrush and a non-stick craft mat. If you do not have one of these mats, GET ONE! Especially if you are doing a lot with paint, glue, ink etc.

Next, I painted 2 coats of paint to cover the entire dress form, including the stand:
Next you work on the embellishments. I cut 2.5 inch long strips of cardstock and patterned paper. Then, I took the end of a chopstick and rolled the bottom edge of each strip:

It looks like this:
Then, using a dry adhesive like Glue Dots, adhere the top of each curled strip in a line around the dress form:Then, you get to have fun with ribbon, rub-ons, crystals or whatever you can think of. In this case, since it is displaying a necklace, I kept the top very simple:Here it is showcasing a pendant:

1 down, 4 to go!

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Feelgood E-mails

I received some really nice feedback today about my pendants.

In one case, this gal ordered for Christmas, I mailed it out December 15 and it never arrived. Through some sleuthing, we realized her address was incorrect in Paypal. So it was her mistake. She e-mailed me and admitted the mistake and thanked me.

I knew it was not my fault but I also hated the fact that she paid for something and got nothing. So I e-mailed her and explained that I wanted to make her another one, on the house. I sent it last week.

She e-mailed me today and told me that not only did she get the new pendant but that the original one also showed up the day before. Over a month after it was mailed. It was somehow redirected to her correct address. Her communication:

I am paying you for the extra pendant. Truth is,
when I ordered
the necklace from you, if I
liked it I was going to order one for myself, but you
never know what things are going to look like in person
or around your neck. So I am more than thrilled!

Anyway, it is such a neat thing you do! I can't
remember if I've told you, but there is a store
locally that sends off to have these necklaces made,
and they charge $65! I have always wanted one, but
that is ridiculous. Not to shoot myself in the foot,
but you might think about charging more if you are
getting enough business. When I saw that they were
only $18 plus a few more dollars for shipping, I
thought you were being generous. That is just my 2

So wonderful to have such a unique piece of jewelry!

The other e-mail I received was, again, about the price. She explained that she had been saving for a similar necklace that was priced at over $100 when she stumbled upon my website. She ordered one from me instead and put the rest of what she had saved towards a charity close to her heart.

I am feeling pretty happy today And maybe I need to jack up my prices ;)

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

New Goodies

Look what I got:

These are going to be fun to play with! All sorts of creative possibilities!

Monday, January 21, 2008

Cooper Escape #1

I have often said that if Cooper gets out, he will be gone forever.

Well, he got out today. I came home from visiting friends, did a few things around the house, talked on the phone a bit. Then I realized the door was wide open. Commence panic.

By this time it was dark outside. I ran outside, calling Cooper. Nothing.

I ran inside and grabbed the flashlight and finally found his glowing eyes under the neighbor's Jeep.

I am hoping this means he would stay close. I cannot lose this boy!

Sunday, January 20, 2008

A Fun Week

I have had my college friend and Maid of Honor in town this week and we have had a great time. We have shopped (she is a VERY bad influence), gone sightseeing, spent a lot of time reminiscing about the "good old days" in college. Well, more like the days when we did really stupid stuff for kicks ;)

We were shopping yesterday at Alderwood. I wanted some new jeans and new shoes. I think I am fairly fashionable and up to date in what I wear. But Amber has a great fashion sense and always looks great. Well, I went to try on shoes and she refused to let me try on the ones I liked, calling them "clodhoppers" and "treehugger shoes". I needed her to steer me into 2008. She is one of those friends you can count on for an honest opinion! Apparently, she will fly back up here if I start wearing Birkenstocks.

I really wish she lived closer. We get along so well, just as well as we did in college. Our kids would love each other and I know we would appreciate being closer.

We have implemented a plan; that we talk every month around the first of the month. If I have not heard from her, or she has not heard from me, we pick up the phone as close to the first of the month and make sure we get all caught up. We have one of those friendships that time goes by but nothing changes, even if we have not talked recently. But we want to change that so we made this plan.

I am so glad she made the trip and I feel so happy that she came up here and spent every moment with me and the kids. When someone loves you so much to make such a trip, it feels wonderful.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Oh, Love

Lucas, looking stressed out in the car after school:

Me: What's wrong Lucas? You look stressed.
Lucas: I am, there is a little problem.
Me: Oh yeah? What's that?
Lucas: It's Macy. She follows me and looks at me funny and I have told her a million times I am NOT her boyfriend!

Friday, January 4, 2008

Too much for one day

This happened:

And....I was checking into Kindergarten Orientation and Registration, which are both coming up.

Organizing School/Artwork

I have finally found a good way to keep all of the kids' artwork and stuff they bring home from school nice and organized.

Here is my system:

Tools you need: box for dumping, 3 hole punch, big binders, page protectors

Smallish items go in protectors, or stuff I don't want to punch:

Stuff that is too big gets folded up to fit and then punched

Shows it unfolded:

Multiple small items can be lumped in one protector:

I just had to show what this says (yes, it is incorrect but they write exactly what the children say)

Big things get folded up again and then punched so that they can be unfolded without taking them out:

Shows the painting unfolded:

I know it seems like a lot of work but it really is not. To me, it is worth it to have everything in one place, organized and not all over the house begging to be thrown away. I also put in stuff they do at home as well. I don't keep everything by any stretch but I do keep MOST things.

I think it will be nice for the kids to see all the work they did when they get older and it will all be organized in a series of binders.

Thursday, January 3, 2008

I Resolve

I don't normally do resolutions or if I do, I don't tell anyone. To me, it is somewhat of a personal thing but I want to write them here this year and share them with you.

  • I resolve to exercise and get in shape (which will hopefully lead to losing some weight)
  • I resolve to become more efficient in my life (making the most of my time)
  • I resolve to learn new skills and better the skills I have.
  • I resolve to scrap more.

My guru, Ali E, chooses a word of the year. See her blog entry for details. I have thought about it and I am selecting PRIORITIZE as my word this year. I feel like if I carefully prioritize the elements, people, activities in my life, that accomplishing my goals and being the best I can be will come naturally.

Take a few moments to think about "your word". You will be glad you did!
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