Sunday, August 8, 2010

Give It Up for Working Moms!!

I really think that working moms deserve a lot more credit than they are given. I, personally, am a working mom--I work full-time at an insurance company Monday through Fridays. My son is now 3 months old, and over that time and also during my pregnancy, I'm starting to sense that working moms are being penalized for having a job to have to go to, especially if you work the 9 to 5 shift. Very few doctors offices are open late or on Saturdays, many baby stores and boutiques are only open till 6 and only open a couple hours on Saturdays, most "Mommy and Me"-type classes and playgroups are only during weekday mornings or afternoons, and people just generally look down on women who just plain have obligations outside the home. That last one in particular is confusing because my logic thinks that with the economy being the way it is, this would be more commonly understood.

Working women need to be recognized for the awesome job they're doing in taking on two jobs--an occupation and motherhood. They need to be recognized for taking the initiative to get up every morning and to have to deal with being apart from their child so they can earn an income and bring their families the gift of financial security. Working also takes a huge emotional toll.

This is not to say that I look down on stay at home moms. I don't; I have a lot of respect for stay at home moms, because SAHM motherhood can be even harder than working when you get to the motherhood part of it. On my leave, I was pretty much a SAHM and it took an incredible amount of mental strength. I also didn't write this because I am a working mom and wanted pity, it's just that working is a huge, selfless sacrifice and it's time that every woman who does this gets a salute.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

RIP Fabric Section @ Walmart Part II

Apparently the company had been in talks to get rid of their craft department for a couple years now. This at least dates back to 2008--at that time I found out through a purse group I belonged to on Yahoo that craft departments were disappearing at the other members' stores little by little. At that time, Walmart was saying they were getting rid of the craft department so they could replace it with a "Celebrations" department, which was supposed to be an expanded selection of party garbage (Ooops, I mean GOODS). I haven't really seen any of these departments in the stores I go to, seems like nowadays, they're just chucking the craft department to just get rid of it instead of replacing it with something else. The Super Center in Clarence, NY spontaneously kicked out its craft department just to leave an empty corner of the store where the staff just piles random boxes to be placed on shelves.

I talk to the ladies at my Walmart's craft department pretty often. The company is now moving towards having a small craft department with precut fabrics. Precut fabrics may not neccessarily be such a bad thing (especially if they keep the $5 bolt test program like they have now), but the way I've seen some of the precut stuff they have already there (again, not including the $5 bolts), we'll be paying a heck of a lot more than what we pay now, for the same fabric. One precut yard of some unlicensed graphic fabric ran for around $9. At that point, you're better off just going to either JoAnn's or even your local higher markup fabric store.

I'm tempted to go on a rant about how Walmart is becoming more and more useless of a store as the years go on, but I won't do this, though this is true in my area. I will say, though, that keeping the craft department would fit real good into their "Save Money, Live Better" motto they're promoting. What better way to save money than to make your own stuff?

Monday, July 26, 2010

RIP: Fabric Section @ Wal-Mart

Today I was at Wal-Mart for more zippers and stabilizer fabric for my clutches, and the fabric section was just a really sad sight. Yes, this was a different store than I usually go to as I was in a different section of town, but what I saw was a crafting graveyard. In case you don't know, Wal-Mart is eliminating most of its craft departments, so huge changes in the fabric sections are showing up in pretty much every store.

The huge fabric selection that this particular store used to have (I used to work there about five years ago) was reduced to one aisle crammed with bolts of unloved, expensive fabric. The real pathetic thing was that I saw Christmas fabric mixed in there, and usually when you see Christmas fabric you know it's a fire sale. No interfacing, no felt bolts, no plain colors...

The current store I go to is one of only two Wal-Marts in the area where the craft section is actually stocked and maintained. The company is also making more and more moves towards pre-cut fabric--OK if it's going to be as great of a price as their $5 bolts, I'm all for it, but that's probably just temporary so customers will get used to the precut fabrics idea. Then what happens, though, when you just need a tiny bit for a project? Another great thing about Wal-Mart is that they sell fabric remnants at great prices too.

It's getting to the point where there is only one fabric store left in my entire area--JoAnn's Fabric. There's also a couple quilting stores that sell fabric, but at $10 a yard for regular cotton fabric, that's prohibitively expensive. I love JoAnn's, but it's really not that great of a place to get fabrics from if you don't have the 40% off coupon, especially if its for business. I'm probably going to start looking for online suppliers...I've already found one for my jewelry on Etsy. I'm tired of the driving anyways :)

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Dusting Off the Old Tapes...

Does anyone remember cassette tapes? You know, those square boxy-like things that had music on both sides? You could record your favorite song on the radio with em? I found myself dusting off a small stack I had last week when I was bored and wanted to see what I could successfully scan with my new scanner. I ended up doing that, and realized that those tapes had all sorts of funky designs on em. Even better was blowing up the image to the size of a sheet of paper, and playing with the image settings and such. The result? Check it out!!

So now I get to carry my wallet stuff in a giant tape!! I'm so excited. It's even got 4 pockets! I'll be making more of these in different sizes and with different shapes. A much smaller sized card wallet is in the works. Check it out at my shop;

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Fringed Fleece Blanket Tutorial

Some call them fringe blankets, some call them knot blankets and some others call them plain old fleece blankets. Ever wondered how to make one? I developed this tutorial from my own special "recipe" of creating the blankets. I was a bit frustrated by having to ask for measurements at the fabric counter each time I would go to make these.

Measurements from these instructions will make a baby or cat-sized blanket. The blanket that is shown in the tutorial was made for my son-to-be. Larger blankets for adults or dogs are made in exactly the same way--just replace the baby measurements with the measurements listed at the end of the tutorial. Happy crafting!

1. Get two pieces of fleece that are about 1.25 yards in length.

2. Place the first piece of fleece FACE DOWN on your work surface. Place the second piece of fleece on top of the first piece with the design facing UP towards you. Line up the edges as best as you can.

3. Cut off any borders or rough edges from fleece. Cut edges so that top and bottom are somewhat even.

4. Measure a 3" square on each of the four corners of the fleece.

5. Measure 3" in from the edge of the fleece, and draw a line with crayon or marker at the 3" mark. Draw the line all the way down the side of the fleece.

6. To make the fleece fringe strips, measure 1" in from the side of the corner square. Mark with crayon. Repeat this all the way down the side of the fleece until you've reached the next corner's square.

7. Cut fleece up to the 3" line you drew in Step 5. Repeat this cut for all the lines you made in Step 6, all the way down the side until you reach the next corner's square.

8. Tie top fringe piece to bottom fringe piece using a DOUBLE KNOT. Double knotting is very important as it makes sure the fringe will not untie eventually with use. Repeat this step all the way down the side of the fleece for all the fleece strips.

9. Repeat steps 5-8 for all 3 remaining sides.

10. You're done, and you now have a warm & cuddly blanket! Unfortunately, these kind of blankets aren't really that photo-op friendly :(


-Use a 2.5-yard length of fleece for each side. (Step 1)
-Cut 4" corner squares on all four corners. (Step 4)
-Cut 4" into sides for the cut "baseline". (Step 5)
-Cut 1" wide fleece strips for fringe. (Step 6)

Monday, March 15, 2010

Blanket Drive for the SPCA!

My cat Otto (you'll remember him as the little darling who stole my donut pillow I made back over the summer) spent a little while in the stray kennel of the Niagara County SPCA a couple years ago before I got him. When I picked him up, I was really impressed with this particular shelter and occassionally checked in with it every so often online from then on. Now I can't adopt another animal because I belong to Otto and he doesn't like other animals much, but thought I could still support the shelter somehow. Then it popped into my head that a great way to support the Niagara County SPCA would be to make small blankets for the animals there.

This facility is a very loving place for homeless cats and dogs, but I thought that the animals probably miss being the comfort of living in a home and being a part of a family. I am hoping these blankets bring the animals a bit of that comfort in their cages. This drive is also being sponsored by my fellow teammates on the Etsy EGG Team (

If you'd like to donate a crafted or gently used (no torn or ragged blankets, please), drop me an email at


Monday, March 8, 2010

Handmade Baby Shower...still looking for features!

Thought I'd bring this up a bit..

I'll be doing a feature article for the Indie Smiles blog on handmade baby products. I'm looking for some sellers of these products to feature in the article. Basically it will be like a buying guide of sorts to all handmade baby items. I think it would be really helpful to parents and soon to be parents--with handmade, you actually know exactly what materials your baby stuff is made from. This is really important, especially now with all the stuff you've been hearing about seemingly harmless toys and products having lead, cadmium, and all sorts of dangerous chemicals in them.

Comment or email me at if you would like to be featured!

Monday, March 1, 2010

Etsy Spotlight: Celticcatphotos' Birthday Cat Greeting\Note Card

Move over Morris; this week’s Etsy Spotlight pick shows that cats aren’t just meant to be seen in cat food commercials—not when they can imitate humans so closely.

Instead of burying his face in a bowl of mush or hard brown shapes, a short-haired orange and white tabby cat named Hamlet takes his first whiffs and samples of birthday cake. This tender moment was captured by Etsy seller Cathy Gangwer (“Celticcatphotos”), and is sold in her shop ( as the Birthday Cat Greeting Note Card. (

Taken on Hamlet’s first birthday, the image perfectly personifies an animal’s life. It shows an animal acting completely human in the context of the mostly- human situation of a birthday party...

Check out the full article at Indie Smiles!

Friday, February 19, 2010

Etsy Spotlight: Creative Kiwi's Crochet Baby Flower Booties

Check out my new feature on these adorable Mary Jane-styled baby booties at Indie Smiles!

Here's a preview:

Going all-natural has never been so adorable!

Containing no synthetic materials with hard-to-pronounce names, Etsy seller Donna Barnard’s (“CreativeKiwi”) Crochet Baby Flower Booties Mary Janes are a great way to keep Baby’s feet warm and safe.

The booties are simply styled to look and fit similar to an adult’s Mary Jane-type shoe. They are light pink and have a one-button closure on the side. They are also very feminine, with an oversized, eye-catching white flower on top of the shoe, which was crocheted “in the round.” The booties will fit a 3 to 6-month-old baby girl.

Stitched using 100 percent cotton yarn, Donna said she is very selective with the materials that are used in making her booties, and only uses cotton or bamboo yarn on them.

“Cotton breathes and is not harsh on babies’ skin,” she said. “The yarn I use is a fine, smooth fiber made from beech trees and then spun with cotton. Babies are so precious, so why not wrap them in comfort? It’s just my way of keeping baby natural.”

Donna also likes to make each pair of these booties unique in some small way.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Attn: All Etsy, Artfire, Folksy, 1000 Markets Baby Product Sellers!!

I'll be doing a feature article for the Indie Smiles blog on handmade baby products. I'm looking for some sellers of these products to feature in the article. Basically it will be like a buying guide of sorts to all handmade baby items. I think it would be really helpful to parents and soon to be parents--with handmade, you actually know exactly what materials your baby stuff is made from. This is really important, especially now with all the stuff you've been hearing about seemingly harmless toys and products having lead, cadmium, and all sorts of dangerous chemicals in them.

Comment or email me at if you would like to be featured!

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Etsy Spotlight: Here Comes the Sun Fingerless Gloves by theemptynest

A love for all things fabric and a classic Beatles song “come together” to create the perfect antidote for those cold and gloomy winter days in this edition of the Etsy Spotlight.

Inspired by “Here Comes the Sun” from The Beatles’ “Abbey Road” album, and a few random sweater pieces, theemptynest’s (real name: Janet Metzger) Here Comes the Sun Fingerless Gloves are an all-in-one cozy glove and arm warmer.

Check out the full article at

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Made My First Ad!

I figure that I should have an ad ready in case I see some promo spots, sooo....tonight I sat down with an old friend named GIMP (aka the cheapskate's version of Photoshop) and made a simple ad all by myself. I'm so excited!! I'm so lame!! Here is the little ad I made:

BTW, I also know why GIMP is the cheapskate's version of Photoshop--using it is like trying to learn a foreign language! You really need a book or some kind of GOOD online tutorial to actually be able to do anything with it. Some people just get stuck trying to open a picture to start with!

Saturday, January 23, 2010


He is officially named Cameron Majewski!! Still deciding on a middle name, though.