Tuesday, December 21, 2010

December Solstice

Happy Solstice! We're halfway to the spring equinox! (I'm an optimist) Only 4 days till Christmas, and all the craziness that comes with it.

I sent my snowflakes and small ornaments with my husband to the local flea market in hopes that they would sell and as a promotion for me. He's working a booth through January. So far, no sales. He says lots of attention, but no purchases. Apparently, everyone at the flea market is experiencing low sales this year, so maybe it's not a surprise that none of mine have sold.

I've been trying to think of something new to sell next month on my site, and I've got a few ideas. I am going to organize my wedding book and put that up for sale as a .pdf. I am going to continue my snowflakes through January, since they make really nice window decorations for the snowy months (or for the impression of snow here in Florida!). I am planning some hearts for Valentine's Day and some more boxes for January and February. I am still hoping to get all 12 made and offer them for sale. I may even put the calendar my daughter and I made for family up on etsy, just for fun. It turned out pretty nice!

This holiday is a tight one and we're hanging in there. As much as I love Christmas, I'm actually looking forward to the end of the season. Things are supposed to get better in January, so I'm hoping for that.

Happy Holidays!

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Happy December


I've been crafting my snowflakes for sale and have three on etsy. I just sold my first one this week! Getting a hold of the forms was tricky, but seems now I have a supplier. I have some that I made that are not up on etsy. I'm thinking of offering them for sale at FleaMasters in Ft Myers. I have to connect with a shop owner to get them in, so we'll see how that goes.

I just joined an etsy team and am hoping to fit in. Since I had a bad experience with forums and chats we'll see how long I last. I have resisted entering anything like this since that experience (it was back in the mid 90s with a fan community). I am a little nervous, but they sound like a nice group of crafters from the outside so I'll try to do my best and make friends.
Support the Florida Etsy Street Team, visit www.etsyFEST.com

I have a new item to post today. I made a plastic canvas box that has a poinsettia on top. I love it (that's why I make them) and hope that others like it too! I am planning (and hoping) to make all twelve of the boxes and offer each one for sale - one for each month with the flower on top. So far I have three completed and a forth near completion. Long way to go!

I have a project that I have to complete for my daughter's Christmas present. It's a castle that mounts on the wall. And I haven't even started it! Eek! I don't want to work on it when she's home, and she's only in preschool for 3 hours a day. But I think I should be able to get done next week. If not, I'll be sneaking the project!

Money is tight this year, what with my husband being laid off, so most gifts are my crafts this year. But that's better, since we aren't contributing to the commercialism of the holiday, right?

Take care, and have a Happy Holiday if I don't get to post again before the end of the month!

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Holiday Ornaments


The first of the ornaments are now up on my Etsy page. I started making ornaments for my daughter and received so many complements and requests for them that I decided to start selling them. I am willing to offer them up as special order, meaning if there is an ornament someone would like in a color other than the colors in the image then I will create a special ornament.

So far I have made an elephant playing a drum (in honor of my brother, a drummer), a cat swinging on the moon, a gift boxed teddy bear, a pair of kittens in a basket, and a mailbox with a letter to Santa inside.

Hopefully I will be able to get some snowflake forms and make snowflakes this coming week. I made a dozen or so for Christmas a year or two ago and gave them as gifts. Again I was complemented on the pieces and was asked to make more. Unfortunately, I had trouble finding the ornament forms I needed. I found a supplier of them and plan to order them next week. They are very quick and easy to make, so I might even put kits together to sell, since they are fun to make.

On a different note, away from ornaments, I am contemplating selling costumes next year for Halloween. For two years in a row, my daughter has placed in a costume contest wearing a dress that I made for her. So maybe that's something I should add to my Etsy next August and September. Food for thought.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

The 31 Days of Halloween

The insanity is over! Head over to my Facebook page to see the results of this year's 31 Halloween costumes. I am frequently asked why I do this. It's because it is so much fun. Yes, it is a great deal of work and it does have some stress trying to get costumes together every day. I start the month with a list of costumes and some are dropped and others are added last minute, but the end of the month arrives with a lot of great costumes and memories!

So my 5 year old's costumes for this Halloween were: Hippy, Ariel, Jasmine, Monkey, Chef, Mother Nature, Lion Tamer, Devil in a Blue Dress, Rapunzel, Pirate, American Tourist, Explorer, Ballerina, Island Girl, Renaissance Princess, Classical Goddess, Scottish Lass, China Doll, Waitress/Lunch Lady, Steampunk, Little Red Riding Hood, Mime, Russian Girl, Miss Halloween, Ninja, Silly Scientist, Wednesday Addams, Ghostbuster, Train Engineer, Alice in Wonderland, Hit Girl from Kick Ass.

This month in NaNoWriMo which I am skipping again this year - I have a novel I am trying to edit, so I don't want to start another until I get that one completed.

I am gearing up for Christmas and hope to get some ornaments up on my Etsy page, and add some snowflake ornaments this year. We'll see how that goes.

Friday, September 24, 2010

31 Days of Halloween (costumes)

Last Halloween, my daughter Kira had 31 Halloween costumes for all of the 31 days of October. (Photos are on my facebook page). This year we shall be doing it again! So far I have made 2 dresses - a Chinese style dress and and Alice in Wonderland dress. Call me crazy, but this is neat!

There will be some repeats from last year (just because) and costumes from last year are being re-purposed for new costumes this year. Kira is looking forward to the Halloween adventure. It makes dressing up more than just one night asking for candy. We try to find activities so she can wear her costumes out and about. For instance, the Disney store has a Halloween event that we attended last year and will try to attend this year. We went to a Halloween book reading at Borders, and even entered Kira in a costume contest (she won!). Since her birthday and mine are both in October, it's something we do together - though I don't dress up nearly as much as she does!

I am most proud of the Alice in Wonderland dress this year. I took my Maid of Honor dress (which was a periwinkle blue - shown to the left) and reworked it to create the Alice dress. The bodice had embroidered silver flowers which were lovely and I was able to incorporate that into the bodice of Kira's dress. The dress is two or three sizes too big for Kira (because I wanted to leave room for her to grow - I am against buying outfits that last one or two special event wearings!).

I have also come to the conclusion that I do not like Mandarin collars from working on the Chinese style dress. Whew! Tough dress.

I have a few more pieces to create - a poodle skirt (need fabric for it), and a caped hood for Little Red Riding Hood, but all in all we are getting close to being set for this October. The only challenge is creating a Hit Girl costume. So you'll have to wait and see if I pull it off! Photos of each day will be on my facebook page.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Traditions

Every culture has traditions that are followed and used for a wedding. This is one of the most celebrated events in a person’s life and they are steeped in tradition.
Something Old, Something New,Something Borrowed, Something Blue,and a Silver Sixpence in Her Shoe

The above good luck saying comes from Victorian times and many brides still arrange their wedding attire accordingly, even though the silver sixpence has been left out. The old and new items represent the transition from single to married life. Something Old is the link with the bride’s past. Antique jewelry or a relative’s wedding gown is usually chosen. Something New is the good fortune and success the bride expects in her new life. The wedding gown can be the new item, as well as jewelry or shoes. Something Borrowed is to remind the bride of friends and family that she needs in her life and represents approval from them. The borrowed item may be a garter, a lace handkerchief, gloves, a veil, or jewelry. Something Blue provides the symbol of faithfulness, loyalty, purity, love, and fidelity. The blue item can be a flower, the garter, jewelry, or shoes. A Silver Sixpence is to wish the bride wealth. In England, bride’s still do this. The sixpence can also be sewn into the wedding dress.

The Garter
Throwing the garter began in France when guests would try to take pieces of the bridal attire since it was considered lucky. The bride would throw the garter to the guests and whoever caught it could expect good luck. In the US, it is removed by the groom and thrown to the unmarried men to suggest who would be the next to marry. Some garters are given to the lady who caught the bouquet since she would be the next expected wedding. The garter is placed on the bride’s right leg just above the knee. Today, many brides wear two, one to keep and one to toss.

With this ring, I thee wed; and with my body I thee honor; and with all my worldly goods I thee endow.

In ancient times, the third finger of the left hand was thought to contain a vein that ran directly to the heart. Thus placing a ring on this finger meant a strong connection of a heartfelt love and commitment to each other. Medieval grooms place the ring on three of the bride’s fingers, symbolizing God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit.

The Honeymoon
In ancient times, many marriages were by capture, not by choice. When a man felt he ought to take a woman, he would carry off any unwilling female to a secret place where her relatives wouldn’t find them. The moon went through all its phases (about thirty days) as they hid from the searchers. It also means the first moments of blossoming love that a married couple spends together are the sweetest. It originally had a negative connotation as the love wanes; the honey moon is over, as the changing phase of the moon. Happily, the connotation has been lost, and the honeymoon is the time the couple spends together before settling down in the home. This was also a chance for the new couple to hide from friends and family for a period of time.

The Cake
Since Roman times, the cake has been a special part of the wedding reception. A thin loaf was broken over the bride’s head at the close of the ceremony to ensure fertility. Wheat symbolizes fertility and the guests eagerly picked up crumbs as good luck charms. During the Middle Ages, couples kissed over a cluster of small cakes. In Victorian times, small charms were baked into the cake. These charms would foretell the fate of whoever came across them. “The ring for marriage within a year; The penny for wealth, my dear; The thimble for an old maid or bachelor born; the button for sweethearts all forlorn.” The tradition of feeding each other a piece of cake is a test of trust. It is meant to symbolize that you will feed each other in difficult times. For some reason, it is popular to shove the cake into each other’s faces which seems silly to me, since the dress cost a great deal of money and the groom may not have purchased the tux.

International Traditions:
• England: The bride wouldn’t allow her married name to be used before the wedding since it was considered bad luck.
• England: Brides sew a good luck charm into the hem of her wedding gown (a silver horseshoe is worn by royal British brides).
• Holland and Switzerland: A pine tree, which is the symbol of fertility and luck, was planted outside of the couple’s new home.
• South Africa: Both the bride’s and groom’s parents carried a fire from the hearths of their homes to the couple’s new home to begin the fire in their home.
• Armenia: Two whites doves were set free to symbolize love and happiness.
• Bermuda: The wedding cake was a multi-level fruitcake and had a small cedar tree on top. The tree was planted and is supposed to grow with the love of the couple.
• Japan: Brides change their bridal attire several times throughout the wedding day.
• Italy: Flowers decorated the front of the bridal car so the bride and groom would have happy travels through their life together.
• Poland: Guests paid to dance with the bride by pining money to her veil or tucking bills into a special bridal purse to build a honeymoon fund.
• Spain: During the reception, wedding guests danced a special dance and then present gifts to the bride.
• Greece: To ensure a “sweet life,” a bride may carry a lump of sugar in her glove on her wedding day.
• Early American: The bride pinned a small pouch to her wedding petticoat that contained a small piece of bread, cloth, wood, and a single one-dollar bill. This ensured there would be enough food, clothes, shelter, and money for the future.
• Victorian: Brides wore gloves, the symbol of modesty and romance, because without the “g” they were a pair of loves.

Anniversaries
These are the traditional gifts considered appropriate to give to married couples.
1st Paper
2nd Cotton
3rd Leather
4th Linen
5th Wood
6th Iron
7th Wool
8th Bronze
9th Pottery
10th Tin, Aluminum
11th Steel
12th Silk
13th Lace
14th Ivory
15th Crystal
20th China
25th Silver
30th Pearl
35th Coral, Jade
40th Ruby
45th Sapphire
50th Gold
55th Emerald
60th Diamond

The book is almost complete, so I'll post when I have it up on Etsy. I guess I've made it! I just need to get it organized and looked over and I have a completed book! Yay!

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Locations

How can you find a location that will match your theme? I say it’s easier than you think. You just have to think away from the typical church and hotel ballroom (although both of those locations can be transformed into something magical!).

Search all sorts of places from wineries and historical buildings and sites. Any place that you come across that feels special to you should be considered.

Make a note of the architecture, color schemes, and amenities (i.e. bathrooms, kitchen, changing rooms) and photography settings. Does this location evoke a mood that resonates with you? How well does the site fit into your dream vision? Make sure you take a physical tour of all prospective sites since there is nothing better than seeing it for yourself.

Make certain that after choosing your site that the feel of the area is comfortable at the time of day you want. You do not want the sun to be beating down or blinding you or your guests. You also need to consider the time of year you are planning and the climate of the location.

Many of the locations will cross over into many themes and you can make any site work for you, depending on the actual look of the building, but to help you out. I am compiling a list of locations and the themes that each location can fit into (at least the themes that I have mentioned before).

Next up: wedding traditions

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Back from northern visit

I am back from my twelve day trip north, so I am slowly getting back into the swing of things. I haven't been feeling like working this week, which is why no updates today. My daughter is spending the weekend with her Grandma, so you'd think I would actually get something done! But no.


Hopefully, I will be back to my regular self come Monday or I am going to be so far behind I'll miss my self imposed deadline. But I am starting to gather my materials together and we'll see what Monday brings!

Have a nice weekend - enjoy Father's Day!

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

The theme

So I've been doing a lot of research into the types of theme weddings there are and have come up with the most notable themes. I have 10. That does not mean there aren't more ideas, but these are the ones I will focus on so my entire package doesn't get too overwhelmed! The themes are sometimes interchangeable (meaning one theme may have some parts that will carry over to another).

The themes I have come up with are:
1) Medieval or Renaissance
2) Ancient Roman, Greek or Egyptian
3) Fairy Tale
4) Victorian (Old West and American Civil War)
5) Titanic (Edwardian)
6) Masquerade or Mardi Gras
7) French Revolution, American Colonial, Pirate
8) Viking, Scottish, Irish
9) Regency or Georgian (Jane Austen period)

10) Russian or Spy

Each of these should automatically conjure up an image which is why I have chosen these. There are many, many more. For instance, I left out holiday and seasonal for the obvious reason that those should be easy to create a theme. I also left out the decades of the 20th century from the 20s onward, but I think those decades are somewhat easy to build around. I have chosen the harder themes, where you may love the style but not have a clue as to how to create a celebration using that style.

The only theme I think could be troublesome would be the Fairy Tale theme, but I am making that a broad term - in that it encompasses the prince/princess idea. This could fall under Medieval/Renaissance or could have it's own with Arabian Nights, but I thought it might be simpler and easier to lump the idea into one category.

The only reason I have included Viking, Scottish, Irish, and Russian in as themes, and no other obvious nationalities, is the popularity in the styles. There are so many Irish and Scottish festivals all over the country. So even if you aren't Scottish or Irish you may want to have a wedding with those elements. Same for Viking, especially with the movie "How to Train Your Dragon" being released, the idea of a Viking wedding could be intriguing to some. Russian has it's own spot because unlike the other three, it has a very distinct feel. The Russian theme can be taken in two ways, as a traditional Doctor Zhivago or Anastasia, to the cold war era with spies and the like (glamor!)

  Next blog - locations!

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Invitations

If you read my last blog, you know that I challenged myself to get myself organized and put my book thing together for creating a themed wedding. There was a book that came out that is called "Storybook Weddings" that I am using as my base. It's a good idea in theory, but the book is just a collection of ideas aimed for the titillation or goofiness of a themed wedding instead of the wow or elegance factor. I think brides want to show their personality and creativity, not how campy their wedding could be.

So for my start I have gathered ideas for invitations. There are so many great invitations coming from the printers now - it's easier than ever to get a themed wedding invite. However, they are still very expensive. I created my own invitations for my wedding. They were very simple and ended up being only a few dollars a piece, that's including the cost of the paper, the return envelopes, the ink I used, the mailing tubes we purchase, and the cost to mail them. And the comments I received made the work I put in worth it! So, how did I create my own wedding invite for only a few dollars? I printed the invite out on parchment paper, cut the tops and bottoms with special scissors, and colored portions of the invite with metallic pens. Then I used the same font on the RSVP cards and envelopes. Then the invites were rolled, tied with ribbon, and placed into a mailing tube - like a missive used to be sent. The cost to mail each tube - 99 cents.

And after going over what I did to put my invites together, I wondered what other ways could an invitation be sent, showing the theme of the event, and yet be more memorable or personal than the mass produced invites. So that's what I'm working on now, describing the ways to create invites for themed events. And even if your event is a regular wedding with no specific theme, it's still the only day in our lives where we (the bride and groom) are the absolute center of attention. And what better way to show your personality as a couple than with the invitation?

Friday, May 7, 2010

What do I want?

So I've watched "The Women" and "Julie and Julia" and have asked myself the questions "What do I want?"

I come up with all sorts of answers. I want to open a ballroom where anyone can go to dance, maybe offer some lessons, but mostly just a place to socialize and dance. Then I want to write a novel. Nothing earth-shattering, just my words on paper, published. Then I want to have a small shop selling jewelry, not necessarily my simple pieces, but something whimsical and fun. And last I want to be a performer, maybe with other flute players or maybe singing in a band again.

So then I looked back at what I have done from this list:
* I was a singer in a band - it was my brother's band, and we only played one gig at a high school. We mostly played in the basement or the garage. And the music was all covers, we never did perform anything of our own that I can remember.
* I have been in a flute choir - that was lots of fun, playing at retirement communities and malls and such, just to have the pleasure of performing for other people.
* Then I have written "novels" in the NaNoWriMo. They never seem to get anywhere but I have done it. More than once I might add.
* I was a ballroom dance instructor with Arthur Murray for 2 years and still dance, though not as often as I'd like. It's difficult to go out and dance since hubby doesn't dance (yet) but we still go out, though not since we've moved since there isn't a plain ballroom here.
* And finally I make my own jewelry. It's beading and I want to expand a little into simple handbags and bridal accessories, but I am happy with my creations and can hope that other people find them interesting, too.

So that's what I've done and want to do. I'm looking back over the past 10 years since my hubby and I are celebrating our 10th anniversary this summer. I really have done everything I wanted to do as a child. I wanted to be a dancer - and hey, I did that. I wanted to be an actress - I did that, maybe only in local Philly music videos, but I did it. I have written a novel, though none have been published (yet - I will keep saying that). And I was in a band and am a musician, so I really have done what I wanted to do. I don't make a living doing any of them, I stay at home with my little girl. But I don't feel like I missed out. But I'm at a point when I want to do more.

So I'm looking at what I can do for now while I work out how to get everything I want going. And I'm going to start by putting together a brochure or something about how I put my wedding together. I thought it would be a good way to celebrate a 10 year anniversary and I've had a lot of questions from friends about how I did my themed wedding, so that's my project for the next few weeks. Wedding season is here, so maybe it'll even have some interest. I love parties, so my ideas could be themed for any party, not just a wedding.

Well there. I've sent my challenge for myself out into the net, and I will keep you up to date on how I'm doing. And when it's done, I'll have a copy for sale at my etsy site. The deadline will be my anniversary - July 21st. Appropriate, don't you think?!

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Up and Coming

Spring will be arriving soon and I think that's a good thing since this winter has been so strange! Too much snow in the north and not enough warmth in the south and snow reported in 49 states! (Hawaii had no snow and they have snow on their mountains frequently - go figure).

I am adding some spring items to FeyFripperies. I am very fond of making things from plastic canvas - comes honestly, my nana made things for me out of it. So I thought I would see if anyone else liked them, too. I have a bunny basket and that is so labor intensive that it will be the only one I post this year. If it sells, I will make another for next year. I am also putting some gift boxes on the site with flowers of the month. March is the only one so far, but I will be adding April soon, and probably May. I have been toying with the idea of adding birth stones to the boxes as those seem popular, but I'll see how it goes.

As for jewelry, I have some flower earrings I hope to get up this week, perfect for spring. I just have to get the right photos. The color seems to be off.

And I will (promise) be ordering some silver anti-tarnish fabric and make some jewelry bags. It seems that there is a demand for these and no one is making them. I have some patterns for jewelry bags - I just need the fabric. I think the reason there aren't many of the bags is that the anti-tarnish fabric is rather expensive. I'll have to be thrifty when I make the bags and get the most out of the fabric I buy.

I'm also wondering what other products that are jewelry related that I can add. The baskets and boxes can hold jewelry and can be good gifts, the jewelry bags are for carrying jewelry, and then I am thinking of trying my hand at purses and jewelry and purses go together so well!

Stay tuned for the new items on my site!

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

New photos, finally!

I finally posted photos to Fey Fripperies. Admittedly, there are only two, but it is a beginning. I created a light box from directions online (since buying one seemed ridiculously expensive). So now I can take decent photos of my jewelry and other pieces and upload the good photos.

I was hoping to have this ready for Christmas as I had ornaments to sell. But those will just have to wait until next year. Until then, I am thinking I'm going to work some other projects in (things that aren't jewelry) and see how they sell. They are home items, small decor or jewelry for the home that I am making out of plastic canvas and yarn and maybe some bead and mirror things. I'll have to play around and see what happens!

I found out there is a RenCon in Hunt Valley, MD in April that I may want to consider. They are looking for demonstrators and activties so maybe it's a good venue to start. I can make jewelry while I sell or I can have items for others to make some pieces to see how easy it really is...hmm. I'm going to see what I can come up with in the next week or so.

And I want to get my writing back up, but as that's neither here nor there, I will just see what I can do.