Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Flat Tharan goes home to Minnesota

A couple of months ago I got a Flat Tharan in the mail. And I had a great time with him. I'm a little late in blogging about him, I mailed him off a week ago, but it was such fun I wanted to share.

I took him all over the city and we got some great shots. These guys were so nice. They let me take a bunch of pictures and "Jack" even made me check to make sure the images were in focus before he let me walk away.

Hollywood and Highland
Santa Monica Carousel
I wanted to add a little treat bag for each of Tharan's classmates with a couple of California items. I remember how cool you felt as a kid when you were the one giving out the treats to your class. Each bag was stamped with a sun and palm tree on the front, a cool palm symbol on the back, and tied with a little yarn bow.

Inside each bag were two caramel treats and three sea shells wrapped in foil and tied with curly ribbon. The caramel's were from Beth at Have it Confections in Glendale CA. Beth made me a kid friendly special order of Heavenly Vanilla and Belgian Chocolate.

I feel I have to give a big thank you to etsy here. I really wanted the treats to be made locally (in the LA area). I never would have found a local candy maker without etsy. And the kids would have ended up with See's Candies, which are made in Culver City, but you can buy at any mall in the country.

I ordered an ibook filled with all the shots I took. If you are a mac person and have never ordered an ibook through iphoto I highly recommend them. They are extremely professional looking and it's really easy to do the book's lay-out in iphoto.

I packed up Flat Tharan, some other goodies for my nephew, the treats for his class, the book and sent them off to Minnesota. I hope it goes over well, I haven't heard yet.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Photo Weekend

Thank you so much everyone for all the great help and input on my photo taking. I think it all paid off.
I spent all day Saturday taking photos and waiting for the perfect light. But I was still getting some blowout of the high polished silver areas. Then I remembered that I had made this cool velum and balsa wood light baffle. I placed that behind the jewelry and ta-da it worked.

And here are the results.
Adding back some props.

Now the only question is for my enamel work.
Do you like the colored background or the rustic background for this kind of work? I like the rustic one. But I worry that the enamel work isn't really rustic. It's more clean and fun. Which makes me think it needs the solid colored background. So I'm torn, what do you all think?

Friday, April 24, 2009

Weekend Eye Candy Circus

Okay I might be a little obsessed. As you may know from yesterday's woes, I have not been having much luck taking photos for my, coming soon, etsy shop. So this weekend's eye candy is all about inspiring better photos. These etsy sellers have some really great photography. Not to mention the items themselves. I'll spend the weekend trying to live up to their example.

You can check out their shops at:
1. Metal Heart Design 2. Umbilicus Designs 3. Chocolate and Steel 4. Jen Kahn 5. Lora Hart 6. Copper Frog Studio 7. Souly Yours 8. Besa Design 9. LuLu Bug Jewelry

I'll let you know Monday how it went. Now, let's go check out Such and Such and Chocolate and Steel to see what treats they have to offer this weekend. Thanks for visiting.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Photo Woes

I really want to open an etsy store next month. So yesterday I spent a little time in my yard trying to create a photo set up that I liked. I brought out a lot of toys that I though would look good.

.....83 pictures later and I'm not a happy camper. The worst part is, I think I take pretty good pictures, but merchandising shots are killing me.

This picture really looked great in the set up. I remember thinking "this is how I would display this pendent if I was selling it in a shop". The pendent has movement and it looks dynamic. But as an online sale photo, is it a little busy? And I know I can't show 4 pictures like this, it would become to much "about the prop".

Pendent 1

But.......this shot, which has simplicity and shows the pendent great is a little flat feeling. And also a little, dare I say, boring.

Pendent 2

This picture is a little bit of a compromise but still not great. It still feels flat. But I love the prop.

Pendent 3

And the same thing happens with the earrings. Love these shots of the earrings. But are they to busy? And 4 pictures with these props will become "about the prop". But I love the dynamics of the shots.

So here is my question for all you etsy experts out there. Can I use a picture like Pendent 1, or the earring shots, as my main picture because their dynamic, but busy, and then use pictures like Pendent 2 to show details? Or do all my pictures need to be on the same background? I did a lot of surfing etsy and most sellers use the same background for all the shots of a piece. Is this a rule I can break? What do you think?

Thanks for visiting.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Order Restored

The closet that was.
I had a very grand plan for organizing my closet this weekend. It included a lot of these really cool things from Ikea.

Then my budget had it's say (I have a literal, beautiful, poopie, excel spreadsheet budget and we have a love/ hate relationship.) and the budget said... well the budget just laughed at me. So I down shifted and did a lot of cleaning out and re-organizing instead of redecorating, cleaning out and re-organizing.

I finally got both my wine crates mounted to the wall. I hope this photo makes sense. It's actually two photos together.

I moved my empty Ikea 3 drawer set, which they don't sell anymore, from under the bed and mounted it to the wall.

Then I cleaned, organized, and re-arranged everything in the craft closet. I hope I can find everything again. The before doesn't show both sides of the craft closet because I had to clean up to get all the sliding doors off.

The closet that is.

So now I have more storage, a clean space, and I didn't spend a penny. I'm very happy with the results. And maybe the budget and I will discuss some of those fantastic red boxes next month.

Thanks for visiting.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Weekend Eye Candy Circus

Okay I have organization on the brain. I need a certain level of organized to be creative, not spotless but way more than I currently have. So my weekend project is going to be to clean up and re-organize my play space. With that in mind my weekend eye candy is some organization to drool over.

1. Craft closet, 2. My crafts space, 3. craft room 9.07, 4. Reorganized Craft Room Created with fd's Flickr Toys.

You can also see more of these wonderful organizers at:
1. The Felt Mouse 2. Chez Larsson 3. Jenna Lou 4. Helen Jane

Go check out what Lora at Such and Such and Christine at Chocolate and Steel have to offer. And have a great weekend.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Me in Metal Clay

As you may have noticed. I love to craft. I really do. But I must admit that I have a bit of a favorite child. Metal Clay jewelry making. I know we aren't suppose to pick favorites, but there it is for the world to read. I want to share some of my work to date with you.

Bronze Clay dome earrings. Really simple.

Silver Clay, denim quartz, and aquamarine beads.

Ammonite bezel set with fine silver bezel wire. Silver clay hollow form beads. I love this necklace. It was inspired by a Thomas Mann piece I saw in a Venice Gallery. You can also see Marsha Thomas' beautiful photo of this piece at the top of my blog.

Silver clay, gold foil, fine silver cloisonne wire, and leaded enamels. This piece was inspired by Klimt's "Tree of Life" and I call mine "Tree of life". I know, step back imagination at work.

This pendent is a little unfinished. Two holes and a close. It's silver clay, fine silver bezel, and a turquoise cabochon.

This was a gift to a friend. The fleur-de-lis is silver clay and the choker is made of czech glass beads. I re-strung this twice to get it right. Why is simple so hard?

And this is Lucinda. I love her. She is one of my first cloisonne enamel projects using metal clay. She is silver clay, fine silver cloisonne wire and leaded enamels. She makes me smile to this day.

Thank you all for visiting during the birth of this blog. And now you have seen something Hammered, something Stitched, and something Burned. And bells start ringing. Thank you all so much for your support. I would not have gotten this far without you. You know who you are.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Weekend Eye Candy Circus

I love felt, don't you?

1. rainbow color wheel, 2. Doodles Felt Purse, 3. Felt painting, 4. Little Flower Felt Bracelet --- Colors of the Rainbow, 5. Green Felt Pendant, 6. Felt Peach Applique, 7. Grey Felt Rose Brooch, 8. felt flower pins - hand made, 9. felt brooch

I would also like to share the following links to either a blog or an etsy site for each of these amazing artists.

1. Lil Fish Studios 2. Simply Robin 3. Little Green Giraffe 4. Kaleidoscope Style 5. Thea Clark 6. I am Susie 7. winemakerssister 8. Croshay Design 9. Woolly Fabulous

Now, go check out what the other Weekend Eye Candy participants have put together.

Such and Such
Chocolate and Steel

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Generosity Alert - Such and Such

Lora at Such and Such is having a really amazing give away to celibate her 1st year of blogging. So get over to Such and Such and check out the rules so this sweet little necklace can be yours.

My favorite item at Lora Hart Jewels are these beautiful earrings. I have seen them in person and they are amazing.

But...this pendent is pretty spectacular also...hmmm

I think the hardest thing about this give-away will be picking just one favorite item to comment about from Lora's great shop.

Okay get out of here and go to Such and Such and make your comment.

Monday, April 6, 2009

First and (maybe) Last Quilt

A classmate of mine, from graduate school, is about to, and I mean it could be happening right now about to, have a baby.

She is a truly beautiful person inside and out and will be an amazing mother. And her husband Travis is one of the most positive people I know. He is going to be a very supportive and giving father. But this road has been a tough one and when I was invited to the miracle's baby show I wanted to create something special. So I said to myself, I want to make a quilt. What can I say, it's a good thing I didn't know what that meant or I never would have started. But like any good scorpion once the project was started I was going to finish, no matter what. Now I had three important criteria in making the quilt. I wanted the quilt to be as green/eco green as possible. Since the miracle is a boy, I wanted to make a little man quilt. And my friends have Asia influenced decor so I wanted the quilt to fit into that style. With that in mind I was off to my favorite thrift store. I bought and felted 4 pair of wool men's suit pants. I also bought 4 kick @ss silk men's ties and washed and dried them, so the quilt would be washable. Something I understand is important with babies.

Then I created my pattern.

The pant squares would be made up of 4 51/2" by 51/2" squares sewn together to create a larger square. The tie squares would be made up of 2 2" by 10" and 1 31/2" by 10" squares. I then laid the whole quilt out, as recommended by my amazing aunt Francine, Thank you, thank you thank you. And then if you look at the picture and do the math you will begin to see my mistake long before I did. But luckily I had plenty of pant material and I just added another 2 51/2" by 51/2" set of squares and it all worked out but I did begin to melt down for a moment there.

Then the re-arranging of squares began. And being a bit fussy this lasted a day. Yes a day. So bright and early the next morning the sewing and ironing began. And the sewing and ironing continued and continued and continued for the next three days. Did I mention the ironing and sewing. I can say that on the third day my dog's co-owner was very tired of hearing "oh my god they met, the corners all met" and "look at these corners, do you think I need to re-do this?" as a matter of fact the word "corner" is currently banned in our house.

But amazingly the quilted side came together, with a little tweaking, better than I could have expected for a first quilt. For the inside I used a felted wool blanket, I like the flatter handmade quilt look. And the back is a beautiful piece of blue cotton fabric. I sewed the back and inside together with a 4" by 4 " grid pattern and then sewed the back/inside to the quilt front. And ta da a quilt is born.

The final quilt is a small 36" by 36" and mom and dad seem to like it. Thanks for reading my blog. I would love to hear about your quilting adventures. And yes, I hope to go into detail about the henna belly in a later blog.

Theater Alert - Venice, CA

This is just a little extra. I had not intended to blog about this but the show is really amazing. I saw it Friday night, and it blew me away.

Survived, written by Tom Burmester, Artistic Director of the Los Angeles Theatre Ensemble, is currently playing at The Power House Theatre in Venice, CA. Survived is part of The War Cycle created by the Los Angeles Theatre Ensemble. The War Cycle's plays are about the current wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. These are not political plays but issue driven plays. Survived focuses on the families of soldiers who have died fighting the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. And the struggle of one family as it tries to repair the hole in the fabric of life that was created by their son, husband, brother, friend's death.

The first show in The War Cycle, Wounded, was about our wounded veterans, also written by Artistic Director Tom Burmester.

If you are in the LA area and looking for something very powerful, entertaining and intelligent to see any Thursday, Friday and Saturday in April, I can highly recommend this show. Also if you email me at I can get you a 2 for the price of one ticket code. I will not use your email address for any other purpose than sending you the 2 for 1 code, this I swear. This blog has a very strict no spam policy.

Also in the interest of full disclosure my dog's co-owner is in the show. And he is fantastic.

Friday, April 3, 2009

Weekend Eye Candy Circus

Lora, at Such and Such, the Queen of Weekend Eye Candy has invited Christine at Chocolate and Steel and myself to join her in a Weekend Eye Candy Circus. Below is a selection from my etsy favorites, Lora and Christine's work are not included although they are definitely on my favorites list.

1. Elysium Beads, 2. Metal Art From My Heart, 3. Elephant and Chickpea, 4. Steel Toe Studios, 5. 26 Olive Street, 6. Besa Design, 7. Miniatures by Mike Rowe , This bowl with lid is 1 1/8 inch in diameter. 8. Meetall’s Shop, 9. The Builder’s Studio

Thursday, April 2, 2009

A Maker of Things

Hello my name is Paige and I'm a Maker of Things. In 1996, while a grad student, I made a New Year's resolution that I would become a maker of things. I had always been handy. I could find things in the trash, or at garage sales, haul them home and fix them up. But to be "A Maker of Things" was different. It meant creating not just fixing. It made making things a priority. And that has made all the difference. I made my bed that year. The same bed I sleep in to this day.

I like to hope I'm becoming more of a craftsperson than just a maker, but that's a journey that can take a life time. And I would like to share that journey. I hope this blog will help me attain higher and higher standards of craftsmanship, in all that I make. I also hope it will help me create and stick to my deadlines. If I share my deadlines with the virtual universe I hope it will make me feel far more accountable to those deadlines. A least that's the hope.

I would love to hear from you about anything I post. I have been a lurker out there in bloglandia for the last year or two. Reading all I can about how and what you are creating. It's about time I gave back and shared also. Thank you to all the current and future bloggers who share what they do with such generosity. I hope I can be like you when I grow up, if I ever grow up. Thank you for reading, Paige