Archive for the ‘Crafts’ Category

This time of year seems especially boring after the myriad of festivities during the holiday season.  The only thing to think about during these cold days is…taxes.

But wait – doing tax work this time of year makes things less boring for me.  I’ve been getting my business spreadsheets perfected so I can submit the 2015 sales taxes due now, and also submit the numbers to my tax man (Husby).  Comparing income and expenses inspires me to get ready for the 2016 craft season.  I want to organize Craftland.  It’s time to order supplies.  It’s time to build inventory.  It’s a new page in the continuing adventures of Auntie B.

So what if it’s cold outside?  I don’t have to go outside to melt wax.  So what if I’m snowed in?  As long as I have bottle caps I’ll have plenty to do inside.

Taxes?  They’re an inevitable pain.  Winter?  It’s cold and dark and colorless.  Lots of people curse both taxes and wintertime, but both motivate me to get going on a new year of crafting.  I guess that’s what people refer to as the silver lining.

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Years ago when Husby and I were first married we’d spend our Saturday nights watching home improvement shows on HGTV.  Not renovating shows, decorating shows. I also used to watch Martha Stewart and Carol Duval on a regular basis. I loved learning new crafts and new ways to spruce up our home with decorating ideas.

Alas, the thing these days on the home improvement TV stations is demolition and complete renovation, mostly kitchens. Craftiness seems to be a thing of the past on TV, so I often scour the internet trying to find a new crafting site or personality to inspire me.

Thanks to Dana at She Walks Softly I think I’ve found my new inspiration.  Her name is Sue Teller and she could be destined for a fabulous crafting career.

Huh? What do you think? Martha Stewart, look out!

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The other day I watched one of my favorite movies, Baby Boom.  It’s a predictable chick flick made in 1987 that I can watch over and over again because it gives me a feeling of business/creative empowerment.  The story in a nutshell: heavy hitter, single business woman working for a large marketing firm inherits a baby, moves to the country, experiences many pitfalls to owning a country house on many acres of orchard, learns to make applesauce out of boredom and necessity, sells the applesauce as “gourmet baby food” and becomes a huge success in her own right.  Cool, right?  And plus the movie stars Diane Keaton, who I love.

A pivotal scene in the movie is when Diane Keaton is at her wit’s end and is contemplating burning down her money pit country house.  She ordered two dozen cans of kerosene at the store when two yuppie couples come in.  The city couples go mental when they see Diane Keaton, her baby and the homemade applesauce with its cute country packaging.  “Gourmet baby food!  Fabulous idea!”  They buy a couple dozen jars each.

Gourmet baby food! Fabulous idea!

Lately I’ve been working on some new drink charm sets and am pursuing a new way of marketing my bottle cap magnets.  I’m also testing some lovely little beeswax container candles.  New twists on things I’ve been making for years.

Not one of my new sets, but a best seller. Who can resist the characters of Oz?

I’m excited about the new charms and “twists” I’ve come up with.  When I hit the shows this summer I’ll see people look at my wares, pick them up, inspect them and tell me, “fabulous idea!”  Those are the times that make a crafter proud.

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Picture this: a young woman in her early twenties decked out in leather pants and thigh-high boots and only a camisole covering her upper body.  Her long hair is brushed away from one side of her face and held fast with a sparkly barrette.  The other side of her face is partly covered by the long mane of intentionally chaotic hair.  She’s heading into a popular danceteria in Minneapolis to watch one of her favorite bands play live.  The Suburbs.  The dance floor will be packed with hot, sweaty bodies, hers included, slam dancing to Baby Heartbeat and Music for the Boys.

That young woman was me.  Those were days that will remain in my mind as some of the most fun days of my life.  But things are different now.  I’m older, and slam dancing is not only unfashionable, but also dangerous for someone who may or may not have the brittle bones of a woman in her fifties.  However, being a woman in my fifties doesn’t keep me from loving the music of my youth.  I wear jeans and a sweater instead of leather pants and thigh-high boots.  I have a neat little bob hairdo instead of a longer, wilder mane.  But in my head and heart I’m still that slam-dancing girl.  I remember what it was like to walk into the dark, smoky venue that was First Avenue.  I remember the adrenaline and the thumping bass that became one with my own heartbeat.

My little DiscMan and über fancy speakers set up in Craftland

I got home early from work today and headed straight for Craftland.  While listening to the music I slam-danced to thirty plus years ago to I deplasticized and flattened 144 bottle caps for future drink charms and magnets.

The beginning of a beautiful craft.

Doing a different thing to the same music.  Recalling old times while living my present life.  All is good.

Remember yourself this weekend.

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Back when I was just a little bud of a crafter I used to watch all sorts of shows about crafting and recycling/repurposing.   In those days I would set up the VCR to record shows like Martha Stewart Living and The Carol Duvall Show while I was away at the day job. 

Martha not only had crafty ideas she also had cooking and housekeeping ideas too.  I loved watching that show with its sweet intro music and calm nature.  Post prison Martha annoys me, and so does her new live show.  It’s all too rowdy and loud and Martha without a script is horrendous.  Well, that’s my opinion at least.

Carol would have all sorts of guests on her show who would demonstrate how to do all sorts of crafty things.  There would be people who could show you how to use the latest rubber stamping products and others who could show you great polymer clay techniques.  It was all crafts all the time and was a well full of ideas from which I could draw.

Husby and I used to spend our Saturday nights watching HGTV which had a great decorating line up.  Some of those shows also had how-to demonstrations, like how to sew cafe curtains or how to paint a hardwood floor.

These days I’m hard pressed to find shows on crafting or decorating.  DIY seems to be all about remodeling and HGTV is all about home buying instead of decorating and crafting.  I miss my simple shows – I don’t have any desire to tear my kitchen apart and build a new one. 

Well, I’ll always have my trusty internet to give me some inspiration and how-to tips.  Somehow, though, it’s just not the same.

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