Tuesday, May 19, 2009

I'm going to apologize right now for being soooo out of the loop. I've been caught up in my own little crafting world here at home so I haven't had much time to play on etsy. So I'm sorry, but I've been super busy! The question remains... what haven't I done?

My husband's cousin is getting married at the end of this month, and I had the absolute pleasure of making the bridal shower invitations. That was a big job that had a lot of design work behind it, but I eventually finished that, and I was really happy with the design I came up with. It was also pretty exciting to receive one in the mail. :)

Also, I had an idea for a favor for the bridal shower, and I really wanted to do that so I made it, showed it to the approvers and said if you like it, I really want to make them! It's part of my present. Not all of it; I will also be getting her a real present. Something fun! Anyway, the favor... The bridal shower is a tea party, and I made a matchbook with a teabag inside. The outside has their names on it with their cute little logo, and the tea tag on the actual bag also has that stuff on it, along with the tea flavor. It was just really fun to design and make. Check it out.

A friend of mine asked me to make him a Mother's Day card so I also did that. That was fun just because I'd been looking for an excuse to make this particular card design, and I'm really glad I finally did. I love it! It's also one of my few cards that has a sentiment printed on the inside. It also has shinies! Yay, shinies!

In the midst of all this, I'm sewing a dress! I decided to try this one more time. I attempted sewing a dress last year around this time, and I just didn't get it. Honestly, it's a mess, and it's still unfinished amongst all my scrap fabrics. Not to say it's scrap, but that is where it has fallen. :) So try #2 is going pretty well. I hit some rough spots, but it doesn't matter because you can't tell. I'm not gonna show you that one, yet because I'm waiting to reveal it. But I will tell you this, I look fabulous in zebra print. :) It's almost done!
I'm also working on some smaller crafts and, of course, I have a staple knitting project going. I'm still working on my purple tank top, and I'm loving it. It looks great at this point. I also tried out a new craft. I made a gift bag banner. I some one at Michael's, and I figured, hey, I can do that. I do that frequently at Michael's. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't. I think it did this time. Note the adorable teeny tiny clothespins holding the banner onto the bag. That's my favorite part.
Wish me luck in all my personal crafts. I'll be finishing them soon and returning to play on etsy!

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Moving on to Invitations!

I've branched out into yet another different kind of paper goods. At least I think so. Yes, I do notecards, but invitations are totally different. Just ask those crazy wound-up chic people who do wedding invitations. And now I can say that I've done that. :)

My husband's cousin is getting married next month, and her mother so kindly asked me if I would like to make her bridal shower invites. "Of course!" I cried delightfully. That's my thing. My favorite part of making stuff has always been designing. I made several sketches, and finally came up with what I thought would work. I actually went through several sketches before I came up with my final design, but here it is.

She wanted 27 invites so I thought it would be cool to divide them into 3s and make 9 each of three different paper designs as you can see. Oh, and don't mind the black spots all over the place. I have to protect the innocent and all that jazz. You get the idea. This is the main part of the invite. It also comes with a folded map and a registry card tucked into a pocket in the bottom.

Here's a close-up of the two enclosed cards. Again, don't mind the little black boxes all over everything.

The map has the actual map on the top and then some text directions and phone number for questions on the bottom fold. The registry card speaks for itself. Cute little logo and a website. Can't go wrong with that. :) Below, you will notice the complete package.

This whole package falls neatly into a cute little arrangement. The two cards fit into the pocket on the bottom, that bottom parts folds up, and then the band with the monogram slips over the whole invite. Voila!

And that's how it's done. I'm so excited about going! It's a tea party, man. I'm so ready for the gloves and the sundresses and the crumpets... It'll be great! Anywho, off to craft something else. I'm attempting to make myself my own style of sundress for this shindig. We'll see how that goes. I'll let you know. :)

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Twilight is coming out on DVD soon, and I need your help!

Okay, now that I probably have your attention, I'm having a really hard time deciding what to do about this Friday/weekend. I know this isn't really craft-related, but it's going right here anyway. So there.

So here's my dilemma... I thought it would be really fun to go to one of the Twilight DVD parties that are happening on Friday night. Borders is having one at their stores at 10pm. Their schtick is that they'll have lots of Twilight-themed activities, including Vampire Baseball Trivia (complete with lightning round! :)) and they'll be doing drawings for free stuff. Everyone loves free stuff. :) The not-so-fun part is that, in order to buy the movie there, you have to have either pre-ordered it with them or be one of the lucky crazy people who's going to line up outside their store all dressed up or something to receive their magic wristband. I added the part about dressing up, but that's what always happens at these things. I don't want to be that person.

Option 2 is to go to Wal*Mart's DVD party. It sounds like they'll have tons of Twilight gear, and you don't have to show up ridiculously early or wear vampire teeth to receive a copy of the movie. Admittedly, wearing vampire teeth sounds kind of fun, but I try to keep that stuff at home. :) I would hate to embarass Scott. :) It might be a fun excuse to wear my cat ears, though, not that I need one. Anyway, the point is that I would be able to get a copy of the movie without waiting in a line that has a predetermined starting time. That's always kind of freaked me out. I can handle everyone for themselves, though.

Where all you guys come in is right there at the top right of my blog. There's a poll there where you can all help me figure out what to do. If any of you are going to be attending a Twilight DVD party, please let me know! If any of you are in the area, we could go together! I'm not influencing, though... please, I need your help!

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Happy St. Patrick's Day from the Etsy Owls!

The Etsy Owls are at it again working on another challenge! The object for this month's challenge is to create something in any medium that illustrates your very favorite part of St. Patrick's Day. Mine was easy. Green beer is fun. :) We may have to think of other holidays where we can dye beer other colors. For Christmas, we could have red mugs and green mugs. For Easter, we could have pastel beer. :) For my birthday, I think I would want purple beer. Anyway, since the challenge is St. Patty's Day-related, I had no choice but to make a green beer mug. My point, though, is that I think beer would be fun in any color and why don't we dye it for other holidays? I may have to change that.

I ended up making a felt brooch. This is my first time to delve into the world of brooching, but it was really fun. There's some pretty fine detail work depending on how detailed the object is you're trying to replicate, but I had some really sharp scissors and just a tad of patience. I think it turned out pretty nicely. I may be doing more of this. I just thought of another one I could make! Watch out for that one... :)

In any case, there is voting happening and you should get in on the action! If you like my mug, please vote for me! I'm pretty proud of myself, I can tell you that much. :) If you like any of the other entries, my fellow owlettes would also love your support.

You can vote in one of two ways. You can either go straight to the Etsy Owls blog and vote here. Or, if that doesn't work, you can go to our voting website at Votigo. Vote for me or just support the Owls in general. Happy St. Patrick's Day and thanks for voting!

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Hurray for Cricut!

I finally got around to posting all the things I cut out with my Cricut. :) When I got it, I literally spent the next two or three days just cutting stuff out. Most of it didn't really have a purpose so I gave all the cute cut-outs to my husband. It was Valentine's Day so I was making cute hearts and name tags and stuff. He thought they were awesome. :)

First of all, I have to say that I bought this Cricut off eBay at half the suggested retail price with free shipping so I had NO idea what it was I might be getting. I was kind of expecting the worst since I've had such horrible eBay experience. Anyway, it came in an official Cricut box that was taped with Cricut tape, and everything was there! It looked so perfect and beautiful! Brand new and in the box. It restored some of my faith in eBay. Then I actually watched the included DVD and wrote down some notes. I wanted to make sure I did everything my Cricut could possibly do. So here are some of the things I made.

These are some random shapes I made for my hubby. I made name tags for just about everyone in our house. :)

Then I made some fun shapes. I really like the leaf there. I don't think you can see it very well, but there's a larger brown shadow underneath it that I also cut out. I LOVE its shadow cutting option.

That's my dog's tag. I even let her wear it around for a little while, but I took it off before she could tear it. After all the tag-making, I went for the big guns and made an envelope! Watch as I amaze you!

Is this envelope not way cool? Not to mention, I used some wicked paper. It turned out wonderfully. :) The things you can do with this thing are basically boundless. There are limits to everything, of course, but this comes pretty close.

I bought an additional cartridge about a week after I got the machine. I was pretty much set with the 2 cartridges that came with the machine, but I heard about one that made just cards. It makes all these crazy wicked cards. So far, I've only really had time to make an argyle card, but it's awesome! The cartridge also came with phrases and an owl card!!! I think we all know how much I like owls. :) Yay, Etsy Owls!

Anyway, I'll have to get some pictures of the new cards up soon. I've been a bit of a slacker in my duty (hee, hee, duty...) to update my blog. I will not ignore it! I'm going to sort of promise!

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Ehle Custom Stationery has new products!

I have been searching high and low to find ways to expand my shop, and I think by trying the book binding thing, I may have done that. I bound a couple books from scratch this weekend, and they look great! I even handcovered the book covers. I'm pretty proud of that one. :) I've only listed one of them because I haven't sewn the other one, yet, but the one I listed is definitely my favorite.

The cover reminds me of my favorite storybook character, the Cheshire Cat. I ended up calling this one the Purple Cheshire Grin Sketchbook. I have another book that's almost done. I just have to sew the pages to the cover. :) Let me know what you think of this! I hope they do well. I really enjoyed making the two I worked on this weekend.

On a sidenote, my husband started brewing his own beer about a week ago. He asked me if I would make the labels, and they came out really well. We thought they did, anyhow. :) We should be bottling soon, and when we do, I'll be sure to take a picture of one of our labeled beer bottles. Check back soon!

Monday, February 9, 2009

The Chronicles of Book Binding

I did it! I bound my own book, finally, and I actually didn't do a bad job. This weekend, I spent a lot of time getting my supplies and my notes together on the process. I found a really good video on YouTube that took me through the whole process. Hurray, YouTube!

Anyway, I had a small chipboard shelf that had two doors on the front. The shelf got a bit smushed, so I decided this would be a great opportunity to have a book cover! I cut the doors off the front, which actually work really well for a book since there's a wrap closure and pockets on the inside of the doors. I used some modge podge to seal the cut edges of the doors so they'd be a tad more durable, but I liked the unfinished edge so I didn't cover them.

As you can see by the designs on the "cover," this is a great cover for a sketch/ideabook, which is exactly how I will be using it. Then, I had to make all the signatures (booklet sets of pages to be sewn to the cover) and make a jig so I could evenly punch holes in both the covers and the signatures. I put eyelets in the cover holes to reinforce the chipboard so the thread wouldn't tear it when I put it through. After the jig was made, I punched holes in the signatures and got my thread ready for sewing. I couldn't find any bookbinding thread so I went ahead and got some rayon embroidery floss (industrial strength and really pretty :)), and I waxed the thread myself using a chunk of beeswax. So now the thread looks good and smells good. Yay, beeswax!

When I was done putting off the inevitable (I was really, really nervous), I finally got my head in the game and started sewing my book. I tested out the technique by sewing the cover to the first signature.

It worked! Then I got all excited and did a whole bunch of sewing...

I don't know if I mentioned it, but I used the coptic stitch for my binding. I really like how this stitch leaves the spine visible because it's so pretty! It's pretty much awesome. PS - Use a curved tapestry needle if you're going to do this because it makes going between the signatures super easy! Anyway, not much happened after this except for lots of monotonous and tedious sewing. It was worth it, but still kind of boring. I'm not a person who likes to wait. Once you get the hang of it, though, it goes pretty quickly. To make a long, boring story appropriately short, I finished the book and took more pictures.

Is this cover not perfect? Besides the neat stitching, I think that's my favorite part. :) Here are some pictures of the stitching.

Here's a close-up of the stitch. The braids are what make the visible spine awesome! I also just happened to find some paper that was lined on one side and graph paper on the other side, which, again, makes the case for a killer sketchbook. :)

I told you it had pockets. There will be a mash of notes and random drawings in there in no time. They will all be post-its. I'm obsessed with post-its, and they are my muse. Seriously.

And this is how it looks in my craft bookshelf. It looks great, and I can't wait to use it! And, just so everyone knows, yet another great thing about the coptic stitch is that the open spine and stitching allow a book bound in this way to open flat. Sketchbook central. :)

NOTE: So I've been thinking about the fox tail all day today. I decided I couldn't very well have a fox tail without fox ears. Hence, I need some fox ears also. Let me know if you happen to run across some.

Friday, February 6, 2009

And for my next trick, I will... CRAFT!

So I have this shop at www.raynae.etsy.com, and it sort of showcases my paper crafts. I say sort of only because I have a tendency to write ideas in several different notebooks. Then I misplace those notebooks, and I'll find some random drawing months later. Or I'll print off a sample, and I'll misplace that sample. In any case, I end up misplacing something, and only rarely does something end up on my site. :) So I have tons of stuff hanging around my room. I'm trying to clean up my room, and I want to get some of my favorite stuff on my shop this weekend.

Did you see my Unicorn Barf Bag? Yeah, that's what I'm talking about. I have random drawings like that stuffed everywhere around my room, in my purse and in my pockets. My favorite one that I haven't listed yet is a picture of a sandwich holding a person's hand. It's samwich love. :) Okay, it's hard to explain, but I LOVE it! And I LOVE my samwiches!!!

Anyway, I also want to use this blog to track some of my crafts that don't get showcased on etsy. I like to knit, crochet, and hmm... Well, I like to make lots of stuff. This weekend, I'm going to try my hand at book binding. I'm attempting to use the coptic stitch to make a bee-au-tiful book. I'm taking pictures, but if my book ends up sucking, I may not post them. I will have to think about that. Wish me luck!

Oh, and I had a really fun thought today. Whilst watching Demetri Martin's stand-up (he's super funny), there was a guy in the show who was wearing a fox tail. I have a pair of cat ears that I like to wear all the time, and this made me think how fun it would be to wear a fox tail all day. Part of me thinks that people would think I was trying to be "foxy," but, for one thing, Foxy by Jimi Hendrix is a super awesome song, and I'm not trying to be "foxy," I just want to wear a fox tail. So, there.