Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Oh the Farm

It's been a busy (or not so busy) week and a half. My brother has a pig, two goats, and 8 chickens. We ate fresh chicken eggs for breakfast the other day. There hasn't been much jewelry making but there has been much crafting. Soon (hopefully) there will be some photos of the finished items. But for now all I have are farm animals!

Tucker the pig is afraid of people-unless he thinks you
have food-because sorority girls would run up to him and
pick him up. Every time they saw him.

The goats are both female and don't have
any kids, so they don't produce milk.
They really will eat anything.

There are 2 kinds of chickens. The pretty ones
and the brown ones. The brown ones are easier to catch.

But I like the pictures of the
pretty ones.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Before I left

I was able to take some pictures of a few new things we've been working on:

We found these vintage chandelier drops and they make fantastic necklaces. I stole one of the prism ones for myself. . . I love it.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

The Snow was Beautiful

. . . for a day.

But I'm off to 70ยบ weather for the next month. Hooray!

Wednesday, December 16, 2009


I made these for my 10 year old cousin. . . They are totally unlike any other jewelry we make, but I really love them, and they were so much fun to put together. Everything was made with repurposed pieces, most of which came from samples that I got at my old job. I liked them all, but had no idea what I would use them for. . . But I'm happy with all these pieces. Hopefully she will be too. (although I really want to keep the earrings for myself!)

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

It's That Time of Year Again

Ahh, the office holiday gift exchange. You have to buy a price capped gift that makes everybody happy. These things don't exist, especially when you are dealing with a work environment where tastes can differ so greatly that there is no overlap. So when I need to buy an anonymous exchangable gift, I tend to buy something I would like, but never buy for myself. Here is a list of items that tend to have a broad appeal, and are generally useful--another trait that helps when buying an item for a gift exchange. These items can be used for a family exchange as well--or any group gift exchange where you may or may not know the individuals closely.

These are all items that should be readily available in stores, and are capped at $20. If you find an item that falls slightly short, you can always add something like a fancy candy bar to the gift to meet the price point. Also--buy items on sale. If you can spend $20 on a $40 item--then all the better. Your gift will probably be great, but you still followed the rules of the game.

1. Muji scarf
Muji is a great store for totally useful items that you don't need. You could walk in here with any gift exchange budget and find a pile of objects that fit your price range and everybody wants. The scarf is a great option because, while I always drool over the teapots, scarves tend to appeal to more people. (and the scarf doesn't have to be Muji--Target has quite a few that fall into the same price range)

$17.98 (combined)
Who doesn't like cheese? Honestly, this is probably something that won't be used much, but it's the kind of thing you see in a store and go "I want that" (well, at least I do) and it may one day spur the recipient to have a party with cheese appetizers. And really. . . who doesn't like cheese?

3. Espresso cup and saucer
$9.95 (each)
I bought these for an office exchange one year--and they ended up being coveted by quite a few people. These stainless steel sups and saucers are just cool objects. The person who finally did end up getting them doesn't drink coffee, so he used them as ice cream cups. . . see? useful.

a less expensive cocktail shaker with a set of martini glasses (that add up to $20)
This is a simple, fun gift that may not appeal to everyone, but probably does appeal to most.

5. 4gb mini USB
Something that is practical and gender neutral-it may be my demographic, but I don't know anyone who doesn't have one, and couldn't use another.

$9.95 (each)
Another neat thing that people probably won't buy for themselves. But they are fun and can be used for imbibing drinks other than martinis.

prices vary from $5 and up.
This is kind of a cop out, but it's not really a gift certificate--Movies are a treat, and it's nice to get a treat for free once in a while.

8. snow globe
My boss bought this for the company gift exchange a few years back. It definitely elicited a few groans when it was opened but it was a great idea: he bought a $50 snow globe for a gift exchange capped at $25--and he included the receipt in the box, so the recipient could return the globe and essentially make $25. It was a creative way to to give something that truly does appeal to everybody--money.

Unfortunately (or not), I'm unemployed this year so I get to skip out on all the fun!

Monday, December 14, 2009

Holiday Bazaar (another one)

If you're around on Sunday -- We'll be here. Let's make it a big event!
And once again, on Saturday, we'll be at the YDM in Soho

Necklaces and Earrings

I recently rearranged the studio and created a place to hang all of my in-progress necklaces. It really helps me to be able to see everything that I am working on so that things don't get lost and forgotten in drawers. Previously I just had nails embedded directly in the wall, but it can be problematic to have too many holes in the wall. It's also hard to change the placement of the nails if you want to adjust anything. So I came up with a solution that allows me to hang up all the necklaces I want, with fewer holes in the wall--you can see how I did it below.

Step 1. Measure
I made my jewelry rack 18" long. Of course, it can be longer or shorter according to your space and tastes.

Step 2. Cut
To cut my 2x4 (which is actually 2.5" x .75") I used a miter box and saw. These are relatively inexpensive and can be found at any hardware store. Make sure you cut with steady, even strokes and keep sawing until you are all the way through the wood so that you don't end up with a broken, jagged edge.

Step 3. Sand
After I cut the wood, I sanded down any rough edges or uneven places so that it would be smoother when I painted it.

Step 4. Drill
Next, I drilled holes into either side of the board. These are guide holes so that it can be easily screwed into the wall.

Step 5. Paint
I used Krylon water based spray paint, but you could really use any kind of paint, wood stain or sealer. I left the rack in my studio with a natural finish (you can see it in the photos under the shelves), but I wanted to paint this one blue.

Step 6. Mark and Nail
I marked out where each nail would be placed with a dot that was covered by the nail. I alternated the nails at a distance of .75" and 1" so that there would be nail 'pairs' that would be slightly closer together. I like to hang necklaces on more than one hook because sometimes the clasp can cause it to skew.

When you are hammering, make sure to hammer all of the nails in the same direction so that they don't look wonky when you are finished. Also, make sure that they are all embedded the same distance into the wood for an even line.

And there you have it, a shiny new rack for all your jewelry (or any kind of knicknacks that you want to hang). It can be screwed directly into a wall, but make sure you have the correct hardware for whatever material your house is made of. Our walls are plaster, so we place an anchor in the wall and then screw through the rack into the plastic anchor.


Saturday, December 12, 2009

busy busy busy

Today we were at 3rd Ward's Handmade Holiday Craft fair and it was awesome!

Tomorrow we'll be at the Young Designer's Market. In case you're new here, it's on Mulberry just south of Houston.

We've been busy the past couple of weeks but I have some cool things to share . . . I promise I'll post them next week!

And I leave you with cute kitty pictures:

Thursday, December 10, 2009


We're getting ready for the 3rd Ward Holiday Handmade Craft Fair this weekend, and so very busy, but wanted to show everybody the amazing new items we got for charm necklaces:

The picture doesn't quite do justice to the tinyness of these locks. They are about an inch tall and 3/4" wide. Now I only hope that my spoon order gets here on time. . .

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Studio Space

This is where we work:

we've given up having a proper living room with a couch, television and coffee table in lieu of having a studio. I love it. It means that our bed is a loft bed and our couch is a small one that fits underneath. It works well and it's a worthwhile sacrifice in order to have an actual dedicated workspace.

Lock made a long table out of a door, and I found a sewing table on the side of the street. They fit next to each other perfectly in the room. I am in love with the door table. It's bracketed onto the wall on one side and has a custom built leg on the other. It's a great workspace.
The cats like to watch birds outside of the window. And then they make c-c-caah-cah-c-c-c sounds.
And of course there's lots of places to hang half made necklaces and other doo-dads.

The other half of the room goes to Justin, which I guess is OK. Except that he needs to use his half more often. That's his painting on the left. The bookshelf/cabinet is from Ikea and is fantastic. We also have a space heater, which the cats and Mason love.

Monday, December 7, 2009

It's a warm spot.

This is her favorite spot. I try to make sure my computer is closed and I don't let her do this when I'm using it; but it's warm and any time I leave it alone--she's there, napping.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009


I've been photographing the trees in the neighborhood when I walk in the morning. I remember moving in to our house and being amazed at how many trees are growing along the streets--There weren't supposed to be trees in New York, but we live in Jackson Heights: the 'garden city.' All of the gardens are behind locked gates, but we still get to enjoy the trees:

This one has lichen growing up the trunk.

And this one has ivy.

This one's in an off-limits-to-the-public garden.
(but we still get to peek)

I love this photo because the Coned Guy was
talking on his cell phone and looked really bored.

The trees here are magnificent--And all the rain we've gotten this year has made for an explosion of moss and lichen all over their trunks. I tend to walk the same way every day because there are so many beautiful prewar buildings with community gardens and well maintained grounds. I notice something new every time, and I enjoy the architecture and gardens.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Pictures from the weekend!

Selling at this show was an interesting experience; the first day we did very well, but the second day was immensely slow--luckily we did make our table fee back, and together both days evened out. We'll probably be back there in the next few weeks before Christmas. It was fun to learn what sold here differently than at the Brooklyn Indie Market.

Here's our table:

It's a good thing that Lock is a ridiculously fast knitter, so we didn't run out of neck cowls. They were literally flying off the table. People were drawn to the buttons (which make them awesome) and moms tended to like them the most. One thing we do need, however, is a display head because not everyone knew exactly what they were.

But the best part of the weekend was coming home and checking on the etsy shop before I went to bed. I noticed that one of our items had way more views than it should have. So I checked, and lo and behold--we were on the front page of etsy right at that moment! It was exciting and I interrupted some people to tell them the good news. It was a very nice end to the weekend.