Wednesday, May 27, 2009

ThreeFive18 Giveaway!!

All you have to do is jump over to and
1. Leave a comment
2. Twitter about th giveaway
3. Blog about the giveaway.
Each will get you 1 entry
Giveaway ends May31st at 5pm EST!
After that, check out her etsy shop

Picture Taking.

Anyone who takes their own pictures for etsy listings will tell you, it's not easy. Things inevitably come out blurry or with the wrong tint. Its just NUTS!

I have to say... above is one of the first pictures of beads I took... I think I'm getting better at it. See Below...

Some are still a little blurry up front, but not bad. Theres only so much I can do and unless I can sell something, I dont see a digital SLR in my future. ::tear:: Why am I taking pictures of beads anyways???

I love these Wristlets!!! Love the fabric, love the yoyo, love the button! So easy for just going out for a little bit. I really dont have the extra hands to carry a huge purse and whatnot. I need to hold Layla's hand down the stairs still! I will be listing more today once I get them made. I'm waiting until about 8pm though.. I feel there is more etsy traffic then.

Check them out!

Well, off to the races! Have a Great Day!!!


Monday, May 25, 2009

New stuff...

Sorry I havent posted in a few days. After a long debate process, we decided to get a new computer. Bryan will be going overseas soon and his laptop is toast. Since Desktop computers are sooooo cheap right now, we decided to get a desktop for me and he would take my laptop with him. Works for me. I get the new computer... and its pretty. I'm still trying to figure everything out, which is why there is now picture with this post. Sorry guys!

In other news, I won the Allover Art May giveaway!!!! Yeehaww!!! I seriously never win anything. Not by chance at least. I win arguements, but that's skill. So I will be getting my cool new necklace in the mail soon!!! Thanks Ruth!!! Check out her blog to stay tuned for the next blog giveaway!

I'll be back soon with more new stuff... and pictures!

Have a great day!

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Awesome Giveaway From Allover Art!

Ruth from Allover Art is running an Awesome Giveaway this month! It runs from Saturday May 16th to Saturday May 23rd and 11.59pm EST! One lucky person will recieve the above pictured "I heart Handmade" Pendant with the cord too!
Ruth makes handpainted fine art pendants. She paints everything from flowers to birds and even has special Etsy wearable art! Cool beans! Below are some examples of her work.

Jump on over to her blog to find out how you can enter! Also check out her shop!

Have a great day!


Toddler Memory book! Yay!

So here it is... It took me awhile. I had to set up and design the pages in Microsoft Office. Then Print all the pages, making sure they lined up right (with a few oopsies). I didnt have a three hole punch so I did them all by hand with the the one hole punch I broke on grungeboard. That was not fun. Needless to say, I bought a three hole punch last night. Then I decorated, made a cover and put it all together.

The book covers from 18months to 5 years. I fugure, after 5, they should have a school album or something. Each year has entries for Birthday, playtime, favorite things, memories. Each year, I did a different "specialty page". For example, two year old gets a "potty training" and "terrible twos" section. Four years get a "things to accomplish before I turn Five" Checklist with things like playing in the mud and Escaping from the crib. The basics for every year are the same, but I switched it up a little for interest.

Total items used:
1 ream of multicolored cardstock.
1 stack of scrapbooking cardstock.
5 sheets of stickers.
1 book of rub-ons
1 KIA hole punch
All of my adhesive tabs
1 exact-o knife blade
1 three ring binder.
Fabric & thread.
1-12pack of Pepsi
1 bag of string cheese (thown to Layla over the baby gate)
and 1 big ugly blister from the corner rounder.

How does it look?? Hopefully good! Tell me the truth. Im a big girl! I need a fresh perspective, please!! The book is 20+ pages so I couldnt get them all on here. Sorry!

Saturday, May 16, 2009

A New Adventure

When I was pregnant with my now 2-tear-old daughter Layla, I wanted a prenancy journal. Nothing fancy. Just somewhere to keep all of my belly pictures and write down what was going on in ym pregnancy life. I could never find exactly what I was looking for without it being cheesey. I never kept track of my pregnancy or kept up with the pictures. I regret it to this day. But it has given me the idea to make the journals.

This one took me three days to finish and I loved every minute of it. I remembered that I really do like scrapbooking. I may actually be able to make money doing what I love, instead of catering to what I think people on etsy want. I listed the book on Etsy yesterday and have 1o hits so far. Not alot, but itll get there, I hope. You can see more pictures of it at

Now I'm onto making a toddler memory book for Layla. I realized that life doesnt end after that First Birthday party where most baby books end. I want some thing to record all the silly things she does (like locking us out of the house on the balcony) and how she grows. I initially was going to hand stamp all of the wording on all of the pages, but I've decided to print the wording onto cardstock and embellish from there. Printed pages arent personal, but I will make it personal with the decorations. I am going to put everything in a 3-ring binder and cover the binder with fabric and what-not. I'll let you know how it turns out!!

In other news, its the weekend. Bryan has a 4-day weekend although I wish he didnt! He acts like such a baby sometimes. Doing stupid stuff to get attention and when things dont go his way, I take a hit on my house-keeping skills. Sorry, I'm working to find myself in life and find what I'm here to do. Pardon me if I didnt vacuum today...uhhhh.

Hope you are off to a good start on your weekend. I've got some work to do...

Have a great day!!


Friday, May 15, 2009

The only thing the Army ever gave me for free...

I've been talking for weeks about getting another work table for my scrapbooking but we really dont have the money for all that right now. So I'm stuck working on the floor.

Last night, after running back and forth through post taking Bryan needless items, I finally get home and get my shoes off, and I get a picture message. Bryan found a desk in one of the conference rooms at work that they were just going to throw in the dumpster!! He said he grabbed it and I would have it when he got home.

This morning, he comes dragging butt into the house, after being up all night, with no desk! He said somone snagged it before he could get it into the truck. And they took the Girl scout cookies that were in it too!!! Bummer!! I was really upset... almost in tears. I had rearranged my studio to fit the desk and cleaned up, all ready for the new addition! No Desk! *sigh*

So, heartbroken, I pick myself up and head to the grocery store with Layla, (some guy tells me I am beautiful in the frozen isle...*rolls eyes*). I get back from the store, unload everything put it all away, and drag myself to the office to re-rearrange. The door is locked... hummm....I break a nail trying to get in and low and behold, there sits my desk!! yay!!!

Bryan said he forgot it and went back this morning for it. Poor thing! He's been up all night long and went all the way back to work for the desk for me. AND hauled it up the stairs by himself! I love this man!!! Now I dont have to break my back sitting on the floor to work! And there were two boxes of Thin Mints in the drawer! Yippee!!!!
The desk is a piece of work, really. People have written in the drawers, its dirty and scratched. On the other hand, I think one day it will make for a great story. An heirloom maybe. Kinda like when Bryan's Grandparents brought back an antique china hutch from Germany when Grandpa was in the Airforce. It will be a peice of our history, it had once belonged to the United States Army and now it belongs to me!
I uploaded my labor of love to etsy today... we will see how it turns out!
Have a great day everyone!!

Monday, May 11, 2009

What's Gretchen Working on now???

Anyone who knows me, sees that I dabble in just about anything crafty. Sewing, knitting, scrapboooking, jewelry-making. You name it I can, and most likely will, do it.

I get my ideas when I'm laying in bed at night. Thats why I keep a notebook next to the bed. I've found myself almost falling out of bed to get it in a hurry quite often lately. Here's something I had the idea for and just go finished.
I know, it looks a little rough around the edges. But I came up with it, planned the design, measured, measured some more. I cut the fabric, realized it was wrong, sewed the fabric, ripped some seams, broke some needles, and got it done!!
It's a bag. It's an organizer. It's the be all end all for art journalers. I can carry credit cards, notebooks, sketchbooks, planners, receipts colored pencils, markers, oh the list goes on and on. I made it so that I would be able to carry my sketchbook/ideabook everywhere, to be ready when inspiration strikes.

I'm not crazy about the colors, but its only a prototype. I may try again once I get over the frustration of this one. I like the trees though!!

Other things I'm working on: felt play food for Layla and Anthony. I make them with recycled post-consumer felt and hand sew everything. I just didnt like how it came out when I used the machine. I made 2 fabric covered wood bead bracelets yesterday... Maybe I should work on that some more. I also had an idea for something last night. I've been thinking long and hard about what I can make alot of, is fairly easy to make, and I can give each one its own personality. Maybe this will be it... I'll let you know after I get one made.

It's a rainy day here and I'm off to package up some things and maybe get some of this lingering MK skincare off my hands. See ya'll soon!!! Have a great day!


Tuesday, May 5, 2009

My Rights as a Mother and a Woman!!

I read a post the other day, can't remember where it was, but the woman listed her Motherly rights. It so intrigued me that I had to write my own.

I have a right....

to watch something on TV besides noggin.
to look in the mirror and not see splattered toothpaste
to look through a window and not see fingerprints
to watch tv without looking through crayon marks
to see the carpet on my floor and not an endless writhing mass of toys, teddy grahams half eaten string cheese
to use the restroom with the door shut and no one coming in
to take a shower alone
to get out of the shower without being harrassed
to be free from cooking one night a week. No take-out. Just someone else cooking
to have an hour of "Me Time" in the evening
to shut my studio door and not be bothered
to have someone else put the laundry away
to sleep in or take a nap on Sunday
to put on make-up without the "Why are you getting all dolled up?" commentary
to buy something I've worked for without guilt
to have a glass of wine and a hot bath without wondering who's watching the baby
to go to the gracery store alone.
to have clothes that fit me now. Not when I was pregnant or when I was 17
to not have to look amazing every second of every day
to not be constantly bombarded with photos of what I should look like at 22
to be content with the fact that I am not graduating college this month, but I have a beautiful daughter and my own home.
to buy organic, healthy foods without paying extra
to have my couch cleaned and it not be gooped up the very next day
to keep a journal and have it not be read by prying eyes
to express myself without fear of rejection
to create without fear of failure.

Too much to ask?? Maybe in a perfect world...

Monday, May 4, 2009

Mother's Day Whoooohaaa!

Wow! This weekend we had tons to get done! Mother's day gifts, baby shower gifts, packaging, cleaning, the whole shebang. Thankfully, We got everything done and shipped today!! Yay!! All of this resulted in 6 sales today!! I can't believe it!

One of my sales was a little weird though. I made a custom ring for a woman I met in an Etsy chatroom. I listed it and sent her a convo telling her it was ready. At the same time, I was in a chatroom and a girl *whispers* to me that she bought one of my items! "Awesome" I say and head over to my etsy to see what it was.

Get this. She bought the ring reserved for someone else!! Now, I realize that some people are new to Etsy and dont really know what they are doing, but come on. It said reserved for SPOOLOFPLENTY in the title! Seriously. So I made another ring and relisted the item. The intended has not bought it yet...

I told Bryan that he had to make his mom's Mother's day gift. He did. It took him 3 days to make a necklace and earrings. Talk about time is money! It came out really well though, and now he's bugging me to make more. At least my jewelry supplies arent going to waste!

I think I'm talking to myself here... we'll find out!

xo Gretchen

Friday, May 1, 2009

Cutesie Box Bag Tutorial!!!

I came across these bags on Etsy and just had to figure out how to make them. Knowing what I know about making bags, I set off on a trip that would take me awhile,but I figured it out. Now I will show you! Hopefully you end up with a cutesie little bag for yourself... Here Goes!!!

Tools: Sewing Machine

Zipper Foot (I didn't use one)

Measuring Tape

Scissors or Rotary Cutter
Materials: 2 contrasting Fat quarters of whatever you like!
Matching Thread
Scrap Fusable Interfacing
7 in. zipper ( I used a 9 in zipper. My bag came out longer. You decide)

Cut: Outer fabric 15x11 in.
Lining Fabric 15x11 in.
10x5 in. for handle
5x4 in. for pull tab
Interfacing 1x9 in for handle

1x4 in. for pull tab

Make ready your materials!

1. Cut and Iron all peices for bag.

2. Fuse interfacing to handle and tab. Make this a little offset to one side. This will make folding the handle and tab before sewing easier.
3. While at your ironing board, let's make the handles. Start by folding one long end of the handle in 1 inch. Press! Then fold the other end 1/2 inch. Press. Fold again 1 in. Press again. The two edges should overlap. Repeat for Pull Tab.
4. Sew a line down the middle and each side of the handle and pull tab. This will
stabalize the handles. In the end, you should have this....

Assemble Bag

1. Layer fabrics as follows: Lining facing up, zipper facing up and outer fabric facing down. Line up the faw edges of the fabrics and zipper and pin. Zipper Sandwich!!!!

2. Stitch down the edge (1/4" from the edge) of your sandwich with your zipper foot. Please do not get too close to the zipper. The fabric will get caught in the zipper and we all know how that feels on skin! Don't forget to back-stitch the ends!

3. Turn right side out. Press the edges next to the zipper and topstitch that edge.

Hard Part

1. Make a loop with outer fabric, face to face, match with other raw edge of zipper. Do the same with lining fabric. Match all raw edges making a zipper sandwich again. Lining and outer fabric will be separate loops (like Bunny ears!). Bottom of loops should match up. Trim at the top if neccessary.

2. Stitch the same as you did with the other zipper edge. If you are confused with this step, just play with the fabric and think logically about how the bag should look.

3. Unzip bag all the way. Iron and top stitch again. This may take some finessing. Just GO SLOW and stitch carefully. End up with this...

Pull Tab:

1. Turn bag inside out and zip bag up. Lay flat and trim ends of fabric to match ends of the zipper.

2. Make sure the bag is flat and the zipper is centered on the bag.

3. Fold pull tab in half. Place between the edges of the bag at the bottom (opposite end of zipper pull). Loop should be inside the bag with raw edges meeting raw edges of the bag.

4. Stitch along bottom of bag, back-stitching over the tab to make it strong.

5. UNZIP BAG!!!! If you dont, you better find a seam ripper, this is gonna be good! Now that you have unzipped the bag, you can run a stitch along the top of the bag too. Dont forget to back-stitch!

6. Turn bag rightside out. You could stop here if you just want a lined pouch. Follow along if you want the whole shibang! It should look like this...

Making the box!

1. Turn bag inside out again. Press edges.

2. On a corner at the bottom of the bag, fold to match the seam and the pressed edge. Measure 2.5 inches across the edge. Mark your line and stitch on that line. Try to keep the line as perpendicular to the seam as possible. This will make for a more squared bag.

3. Repeat on other bottom corner.

4. On the top corners you will be adding the handle. Before sewing the corner, add the handle FROM THE INSIDE of the bag. This will put them on the outside when you are finished. Sew the corners just as you did the others, back-stitching over the handle to make it strong.

5. Cut the excess fabric off the corners between the tip and the seam about 1/4 in out.

6. Turn bag right side out and PRESTO!!! You have a cutesie bag!!!! Ready to hold your goodies and go anywhere!

I hope this has helped you make a really neat bag. If you have any questions, please ask! I will be more than happy to help! Have fun!!!