December 31, 2009

A Resolution or Two

I am a bad, bad blogger. What kind of posting is this, to not post in weeks, then pop into the picture again? Ugh, I am sorry!

I am heading for a major change in my life, and I guess it is somewhat appropriate that it will fall shortly after the new year begins. Back in October, my supervisor informed me that I would have until early March (at the latest) to find a new job because they could not guarantee funding for me after that. Ah, the glory of contracting! I have been on the job hunt since I had found out, and it has been quite a stress for me. I have been doing a lot of soul-searching, crying, more soul-searching submitting applications, resume revising, more crying, more resume revising, more applications, and on and on. What makes things more difficult is that I still really don't know what I want to be when I grow up. Do I stay in the same type of position I am in now, or do I seek something new? I know God has good things in store for me, but my human impatience is getting the better of me.

Despite, the stress of job hunting, I have also been learning about myself and my faith. This has, in turn, led me to a few resolutions that I have for 2010:
  1. I need to learn how to make more time to just relax. Not just relax my body, but my mind, too.
  2. I want to start a project and finish it. That is difficult for me to do, as is evident by my numerous cross-stitch projects that have been started, but not finished. Other than cross-stitch, I am drawn to photography, so I will participate in Project 365 in 2010. I think it would be a great way to chronicle my life amidst job hunting, being newly married, dealing with Mr. M's business, etc. And I hope to post some of the images here over the course of the year.
  3. I am going to make things I have found online as great DIY projects, some of which will include:


Miniature Fabric Flower Garland


Ruffly Felt Wreath


Perpetual Photo Calendar


That is my list, and I'm sticking to it. Hopefully. I will also keep you posted on my progress on my DIY projects throughout the year. Oh, yes, and I hope to be a better blogger in 2010, too!

I wish everybody a very happy and prosperous new year!

November 25, 2009

I'm Having a Sale!


I'll be out of town over the Thanksgiving weekend. As an ode to Black Friday and the official beginning of the holiday shopping season, I'm offering 20% off all items in my shop, not including shipping charges. This does not apply to custom orders. Spread the word! You can get some really cute, high quality gifts for your loved ones and friends at a great price! Sale ends Sunday, November 29, so act fast!

Just mention in your 'message to seller' that you're taking advantage of my sale, and I can either send you a revised invoice or refund your Paypal account.

November 24, 2009

Now Featured on Lovely Clusters!

J ust a quick note to let you know that I'm extremely excited to have my shop, Colie's Crafts, featured on Lovely Clusters. It's such a pretty website, and I'm so honored to have had my shop accepted!

If you have some extra time, definitely make a visit to Lovely Clusters. It's such a pretty website, with a ton of great gift ideas and wonderful shops!

November 9, 2009

New Look!

The website that I had been using for my blog background recently made some changes. In doing so, they ran into a few hiccups, which resulted in my having to look for my background on their website all over again. With the luck I have, I could not find my original background, so I went ahead with a new one. Their website hiccups were a good excuse for me to change things a bit, as I can never stick with one thing for too long, anyway. What do you think?

If you like my background, you can find it at Hot Bliggity Blog. They have a ton of cute backgrounds, including three column backgrounds. It was very hard to choose just one!

November 5, 2009

Cuteness!


Is that not the cutest necklace you've ever seen? I could not resist posting about it! Roscata is the talented creator behind this necklace and many other items that are beyond cute, all made of polymer clay. I've always loved tiny things, especially cute, tiny things. Check out some more of her lovely creations!

Carrot cake necklace. It even has a little fork!

Doughnut magnets.

Teeny tiny robin egg earrings.

Roscata is currently hosting a giveaway where you could win the pink balloon dog necklace. Head on over to Pink Dandy to check it out and learn more about Roscata!

November 4, 2009

My Very Own Upholstery Project!

D
IY projects normally are not my forte. I tend to feel pretty clumsy and awkward when it comes to anything crafty not consisting of cross-stitch. I have been brave at times, such as when I created my necklace storage, but that's been about the extent of it. I read about how people create beautiful pieces of furniture by refinishing them, reupholstering them, and so on, and definitely figured that would never happen with me in this lifetime. But, it has, and I am so excited to share it with you!

Let me begin by saying my dining room chairs were pretty sad. Think college days. We don't want to invest in a whole new dining room set, yet, because we want to be sure that whatever we have will fit into our new home once we are able to buy one. So this is what we have been living with.


Those plastic folding chairs are pretty classy, huh? We love having people over for dinner, but after we invite them, I start to regret it because I know everybody will be sitting on the classy plastic. And, it does not help that they are the kind of chairs that you have to be sure you don't tip over because they definitely are not very sturdy.

That is where my local Salvation Army saved the day. For the few years that I have lived in the area, I never once got to look in the Salvation Army. I have frequently visited the Goodwill down the street from our house, but the Salvation Army was a few minutes' drive and sort of out of the way. My mom was in town to visit this past week, and I took a day off to go shopping with her. We were headed to a different shop in the same shopping center as the Salvation Army, and at the last minute, I decided we would stop at the Salvation Army, too. It's a good thing we did because I found these beauties waiting in the back of the store for me! And yes, I used plural because there were six of them!


When I saw the wood and lines of the chairs, I knew I had to have them. The fabric left something to be desired, especially since it was also covered in plastic. This left me to initially think that this was the original fabric.


My mom's eyes lit up, as did mine. We sat in all six of those chairs at the store, just to be sure they would not fall apart on us. All of them were so sturdy! Several needed to be glued in a few spots, but we both saw the potential in them. Especially since they only cost me $49.99!!! For all six chairs!

Mr. M picked them up that evening after he came home from work. I think he was a bit unsure about them at first. The look on his face when he was helping to bring them inside was priceless! But, my mom and I had new upholstery fabric all lined up and ready to cover these treasures that were now ours.

We began wondering what era they are from, considering the slight curves on the front legs, plus the curve in the back. Also, we discovered that lovely floral fabric was not the original. We're thinking maybe the fabric below was, because directly underneath it was old-school cotton batting. There were no markings on the chairs to tell us where they came from, either.


Mom and I got busy right away. We had six chairs to reupholster in only a few days. This is the fabric we chose, which works nicely with the red and blue I hope to have in my kitchen someday. Also, if I need to pull a few chairs into our living room, they will coordinate really nicely in there, too.


And for your viewing pleasure, here are the Before and After pictures! Yay!

BEFORE

AFTER!

And, to show you how much more grown-up our dining table looks:

BEFORE

AFTER!

I am so happy with my find! And Mr. M now likes them, too! I knew he would. He just doesn't have that vision like so many of us bloggers do!



Daily Drop Cap by Jessica Hische

November 3, 2009

Check me out on Hurray Kimmay!

As mentioned in my previous post, Kim of Hurray Kimmay! was my swap partner for the Shop, Swap, and Blog event. Check out her post about me on her blog!

Shop, Swap, and Blog - Hurray Kimmay!

Structured Chaos hosted a really great event called Shop, Swap, and Blog. As a participant, I was assigned a partner with which we would swap items from our Etsy shops, then blog about what we received. My partner was Kimberly Arce of Hurray Kimmay!, and not only did we become partners for this swap, but I believe we've also become e-mail buddies, too. I'm all about meeting new people, and I've really enjoyed working/jibber-jabbering with Kim for this Shop, Swap, and Blog event! Yay!




There was no limit on what the swappers could send in their lovely packages, and I was quite surprised to find so much fun stuff in my package from Kim, notecards, clips, earrings, and ornaments. Oh my! What fun! Everything was packaged so nicely, as you can see above and in the following pictures, and you can tell a lot of time and care was put into each one. I even loved that Kim put cute little stickers on the back of some of the packages!


And I am still totally gushing over this ribbon! The contents of this bag were several fun business cards and a personal note to me.


I love all of the items Kim sent me, and it's hard to choose which one I'll go into detail about first, so I'll start with the mittens, which were custom-made just for me! They're hand-embroidered and are made of felted, old sweaters. These are one of Kim's newest endeavors, and I think they are a great addition to what she has to offer.


Kim also sent me these earrings. She asked me what kind of colors I like and what I'm interested in, and she created these gems especially for me based on what I told her. They even have little felted beads on them. How fun!


Kim currently offers these adorable leaf clips in her shop. You must check them out! They are so versatile, and I can't stop thinking of places where I can use them. Cute, cute, cute! My mom was in town visiting when I got my package from Kim, and I think she was seriously eyeballing these for herself! Hmmm...gift idea, anybody?


And, last but not least, are two lovely handmade note cards. The one is perfect for Christmas, uses vintage 1943 book paper, and I love the little Christmas tree on it! The other is perfect for anytime. I can't wait to use them!



And here is a bit more about the sweet person behind these great items!

About me...

I grew up near Rochester, NY but have lived in New York City for just over six years. I went to school for Musical Theatre and just recently signed with a legit acting agency. I was working full time in high-end retail for years (I even got to be on Martha Stewart and Tim Gunn’s Guide to style while I was working for La Perla!), and it was about time that I made the dive into a more creative endeavor. The decision was made for me when I was laid off in June. I have been taking the time to explore this wonderful city, my creative side, and my frugal side! I love crafting and have been making earrings and cards since High School, but I never thought I would actually sell them. I take after my Mom who had always been really crafty. She made my clothes when I was young, we always made home decorations, and now she has her own quilting studio! I love animals, especially my lovely kitty, Bella. I live with my wonderful boyfriend who is also an actor. And I believe in the importance of recycling, repurposing, and upcycling. Many of my supplies have been collected over the years, and I try to get creative about finding them. I love using something in a different way than it was initially intended to be used. I also try to package things using newspaper, and left over boxes.


What made you start your business?

I started this business because I was laid off and needed some extra cash, but more importantly, needed to tap into something that was both creative and fulfilling. I love little things that brighten my day, and I wanted to share that with other people. I named my shop Hurray Kimmay! because I want people to feel excited about my things, just like I do! I really love all the things I make and I hope they bring a smile to each person’s face. And my name is Kimberly Arce. (That’s AR-say…it’s Spanish for Maple). I grew up knowing a lot of other Kims, so I was always Kim A. Eventually, that got turned into Kimmay.


What do you hope to accomplish with your business?

I hope to accomplish a real sense of self-satisfaction, but also want to help satisfy other peoples’ need for fun and interesting (and affordable) things. I want to spread the word about the handmade movement, and encourage others to think responsibly about our Earth and our society’s well-being.


What is your favorite online shop?

I can’t pick just one shop! But if I had to, I guess it would be Made By Girl, by Jennifer Ramos. She has simple graphic designs and bold and bright d├ęcor.


Thanks, Kim, for being such a great swap partner!

Being the wonderful person that she is, Kim is offering 10% off all purchases from her shop (not including shipping) through December 1, 2009. Just enter in the 'Comments to Seller' section that you heard about the promotion through this post and the words 'HURRAY SWAP!'.

You must check out Kim's shop, Hurray Kimmay!, and her blog, too!


Daily Drop Cap by Jessica Hische

November 2, 2009

Stay Tuned!

I have several exciting posts coming this week! I participated in the Shop, Swap, and Blog event hosted by Structured Chaos. My swap partner is a very lovely person and I had great fun meeting her and exchanging goodies. I'll be posting about her and the swap hopefully within the next day or two.

Also, I love seeing DIY projects that other people have completed, but never thought I'd see myself doing some of the larger scale projects. Lo and behold, I discovered an awesome find at my local Salvation Army, and will be posting details on that in the next few days as well. My mom and I have been working on it all weekend, and I can't wait to share it with you!

Stay tuned! I know I will be! Oh, wait, it's my blog...well, I'm excited anyway!

What do you think of the Drop Cap? I thought it'd be something different to try, and maybe use on an occasional basis. Let me know your thoughts! Daily Drop Cap by Jessica Hische.

October 24, 2009

Quite random, but it suits Halloween

Halloween is not my favorite time of year. In fact, I don't even decorate for it. Maybe I don't like it because I'm a Christian and feel there's too much focus on evil and kids dressing up in inappropriate costumes.

This year, Halloween was a tad different for me. Only because I had my very own live creepy-crawly as temporary decor. It's called a wheel bug, and is absolutely the most ugly bug I've seen in my life!


EEEEEEEEEK!


This little bugger (or shall I say big?) was almost 2 inches long! It's in the family of assassin bugs, which eat other pesty bugs, but they can also bite if you mess with them. And if they bite, apparently, it could take up to 6 months for it to heal. That doesn't sound like fun to me!

I happened upon him (I'll call him Ted), a few nights ago, and at first thought it was a spider because it was kind of dark at the bottom of our steps where he was hanging out. If Ted were a spider, he would not have been hanging out in that nice little glass he's in above.

I wasn't brave enough to take pictures of Ted without the glass around him, so I apologize for the bit of blur. But, I did take enough pictures that Ted may have thought he finally had made his break in modeling, with this being some kind of photo shoot. After the photo shoot was over (or maybe it was Mr. M getting fed up with how many photos I was taking), Mr. M bravely took Ted outside and dumped him in the grass.

My mom is in town visiting, and I told her about Ted the first day she was here. I don't think she understood the magnitude of my encounter with Ted, or his size and ugliness. Well, lucky for Mom, Ted somehow found his way back inside our house. She was both utterly horrified and fascinated all at the same time! So, Ted had another photo shoot before I had to muster up some bravery to throw him back outside myself. I threw him out much farther than Mr. M had previously, just to be sure he wasn't coming back.

So, Ted was my Halloween decor this year. That was enough for me.





October 23, 2009

My photo on another blog!


My, I'm turning into quite the photographer. I know I've posted this photo before, but I had to post it again because I'm just so excited. I love reading Ree Drummond's blog, The Pioneer Woman. She cracks me up, I love her recipes, and I love her photos! Anyway, she occasionally calls for submissions of photos fitting a particular category/feature, and recently it was for photos with rounded corners. On a whim, I submitted my photo, and she's posted it on her blog. How cool is that?!

There are a ton of cool photos, so make sure you go check them out!

October 13, 2009

Time Off

I just wanted to let you know that I've received some news that I'm having trouble digesting. My posting may be sporadic, but, well, I guess it already has been anyway. I'll still be around, and as soon as I can, I will be back and posting diligently. I promise!

October 7, 2009

Something Etsy: I Won!

I just got a message from Katy Mims at Southpaw Studios telling me I won the giveaway she was holding on her blog! I am so excited! Now I have a $25 gift certificate to use in her shop. And I absolutely love her jewelry, so that's even more exciting!

Because I'm so undecided, I'd love for you to help me pick something from her shop. Here are the favorites I have in mind. Leave a comment and let me know which piece you think I should pick. Here they are, in no particular order:




I'm leaning toward the yellow earrings, but I've also been jonesing for some more color in my jewelry choices, particularly more reds and pinks. But, I love yellow oh so much, too! Help me decide!










October 6, 2009

Something Yummy: Hot, Cold Weather Drinks

It's getting to be that time of year (and probably is that time for some) when all I can think of are cozy sweaters, fuzzy blankets, cold feet stashed in slippers, and hot drinks in big mugs.

Lately, Mr. M has been making vanilla coffee, half regular and half decaf. It's been my perfect nightcap when we're snuggled up on the couch while watching our favorite television shows. At the same time, I really enjoy my hot, green tea that I drink like a fiend at the office. It keeps me all sorts of warm when the AC is still on in the building, even though it's 30 degrees outside.

What is your favorite go-to hot drink for the cooler months?

October 5, 2009

You Must Vote! Pretty Please!

An old high school friend of mine has an absolutely adorable daughter. She was a preemie and went through a tough beginning of her life. All is well now, though, and she's the cutest kid ever! Well, I say that sparingly because I know a lot of cute kids, and I wouldn't want them to feel like they're any less cute.

Anyway, she's been entered into the Gap Casting Call and we need your votes! You have to register to vote, but it's quick and painless. I promise! In order for her to become a finalist, she needs to get lots and lots of votes.


Come on! How could you resist a face like that? Go here to vote! And don't forget to come back and vote every 24 hours! Just look at that face!

Oh, and if you have the time, I'd love it if you could spread the word and post about her on your own blog. I'd love to see her become a finalist!

Something Roomy: DIY Jewelry Hanger Update

As promised, here's an update on my jewelry hanger. I had been holding out on buying a cork board for a while just because I'm cheap and didn't want to pay full price for a cork board with the nice espresso-colored frame. As luck would have it, my mom was getting rid of a corkboard at the yard sale I helped with. I waited until the end just to give other people a chance to buy it if they wanted it, but I wound up with it in the end. And my mom refused to let me pay for it. Soa free corkboard is the best deal, yet! Then, while Mr. M was still working on my parents' hardwood floors, my mom and I got to poke around the few shops (like 4) that were in town. I found the fabric at Walmart for a dollar, then got some grosgrain (is that how you spell it?) ribbon for a few cents, and a bottle of no-sew fabric glue. Total cost for the jewelry hanger? Less than five dollars! And it helps that I already had clear push-pins at home.

Here's a close-up of the board as it was drying.


I used the ribbon around the edges to cover up the raw edge of the fabric. The frame color is how it was when I got it from my Mom, and I think it works pretty nicely with the other colors in the fabric and ribbon.

Here it is as the finished product, with my pretties hanging from it. They're very happy in their new home! Or, would it be on their new home?


And here's the before and after of the sad little corner in my bedroom where the jewelry hanger now resides. I still think it's rather sad. Lol!

Before (sorry for the huge difference in picture size. My Mac doesn't like to resize photos properly in Blogger):


After:


Like I said, still a little sad. But, I'm very happy with it anyway. I enjoy seeing my necklaces every morning when I'm deciding how to accessorize. It makes life so much easier!

So what do you think? Have you finished any DIY projects lately that you'd like to share?


October 4, 2009

Braggin' On My Hubby

Just because I can, I'm going to brag on Mr. M. He's off at a meeting with some homeowners right now about a potentially huge job, and in honor of that, I had to post some pictures of his completed work. He loves, loves, loves his job, and takes great pride in all that he does. Enjoy a few of his creations below.

I know you've seen this picture before, but I'm so proud I had to post it again. It's amazing how he cut some of these floorboards to fit around areas that normal people would think weren't even possible to work with.

This sunroom has a deck to the right of it. It's gorgeous, but because Mr. M still hasn't completely mastered holding a camera still, all we have are blurry photos of the rest of the deck. I need to learn him a thing or two.

Take note in the above picture to the perfectly straight line of nails. Well, if you can see them. It's there, I swear. He's sick like that.

This is inside of a sunroom.

And another deck. He loves doing things out of the ordinary. It gives him a challenge, which he loves. He's sick like that, too.

Mr. M is still learning the ropes of the internet and social networking. We're in the process of getting a Facebook page for his business, and once he does, I'll have a button off to the side. So keep an eye out for it!

And, as a shameless plug, if you're in Maryland, and love Mr. M's work like I do (but I guess I'm pretty biased, too), let me know and I'll give you his contact info.

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