Thursday, March 25, 2010

Hi, From Savannah

Hi everyone, I am really enjoying Savannah so far, it is beautiful and I love the warm weather! My mom is a teacher and her spring break starts Monday so after tomorrow I will get to spend a lot of time with her! Autumn is enjoying her grandparents, her uncle Alex, and the household pet Sammy the dog. We went for a good walk today and in the evening I went to practice with the Savannah Roller Devils but there was some confusion about the time or location or something so it never happened.

I am sorry I am not able to read all of my favorite blogs everyday this week but, but my Internet time is limited.

I am hoping my brother and I can bike up to Tybee Island and go to the beach while I am here, because that sounds awesome, and my mom can meet us at the beach with Autumn. What a fun day!

I hope anyone who is on their spring break is having a great time, and I will make sure to get back to my reading list as soon as I get home!

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Etsy Blogger Team Feature: Dizzy Dragonflies

The featured seller for my etsy blogger team this month is Vicki, she has two stores, Please take a look at her store:

http://www.etsy.com/shop/dizzydragonflies


I don't knit or crochet, but you all may know that I want to learn how (along with tatting, silver casting, soap and candle making, cake decorating, creepy doll making) but as it is I don't really have time for all of the things I already like to do.

Knitting Dragonflies rekindles that desire every time I look at her lovely store. She makes the most beautiful hand dyed yarn in so many stunning color combination. (If you click on any picture it will take you to the listing in Vicki's store.)


Stormy Skies


Rays of Light (beautiful for spring)


Astilbe Blooms


Also stay tuned, Vicki is working on a second store:
http://www.etsy.com/shop/knittingdragonflies

♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

In other news, I have finally added my first item to my new store:

http://www.etsy.com/shop/CausticThreads

I have several more to list, but I have not taken pictures of most of those items yet. I am headed out to Savannah with Autumn for a week to visit my mom, so the pictures will have to wait until I return.

I am SOOOO excited to visit my mom! I have not seen her since autumn was very young and I think the three of us will have a lot of fun. I hope my...inquisitive... 16 month old does not bother my step dad too much, and I also hope that they put away anything that she can break.

I am not sure if my trip will interfere with my online class, but I will be taking my camera so I will do my best.

I am also planning to contact the Savannah roller girls and hoping to skate with them. It is always fun to skate with other leagues.

Xoxo

-Erica

Friday, March 19, 2010

Fashion Friday: Fashion before function.

That used to be my motto. Seriously. It was more important for me to look good than to be comfortable, or even able to move. I know that is very silly, and I have managed to get over that after having a baby, getting fat, and finding my time far too valuable to spend quite as much of it primping.

I thought I would share some Awesome etsy finds that are as fashionable as they are functional. Click on the picture to go to the listing.



"Yoga" pants are a must in my life. I work out incessantly, and aside from that, as a mommy I am always on the run. It's always is nice if my workout gear is cute, in addition to comfortable. These awesome pants are from RedBootsDesign . They also have lots of great T-shirts. Obviously one can never have enough of those...



This one is truly beautiful! I love the contrast surged stitching detail up the front. It is made of organic bamboo jersey so it is flexible, soft, and in addition to that it is totally unique! It is from MysterySchool . This store has lots of great clothing AND is committed to providing cute things made of sustainable materials.

I also used to torture myself by wearing high heels... EVERYWHERE. Seriously, I have a picture of myself hiking in the sandia mountains wearing heels. It was taken by Adams Dad, or probably by Ann, his dad's partner. At some point during my pregnancy it was far too uncomfortable to wear heels, not to mention, I was so swollen most of my shoes didn't fit. Even though I liked the lift of heels, as I am a tad short at 5'2", I never went back to wearing heals.



So, a great pair of flats is always a must. These shoes are actually hand made, not just embellished. That is amazing. They are from netamir.

Designers often forget that clothing is supposed to look good and be functional. Maybe not to the extend of making a person highly mobile if they need to be active, but I have read about designers who claim they don't put any consideration to the fact that they are dressing real people. I love things to be eccentric and showy, but you can do that and still make something beautiful and flattering.

Have a great weekend everyone!

Xoxo,

Erica

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Its just thursday

Thank you so much www.christiecottage.blogspot.com for being so sweet, and...

for putting me in this awesome treasury! Please check it out:

http://www.etsy.com/treasury_list.php?room_id=119551

I have also been concentrating most of my writing efforts lately on my "oh the stories you'll tell" online class. It is being taught and hosted by the wonderful Natasha of www.thursdaysweettreat.blogspot.com who is sweet, encouraging, positive and a myriad of wonderful. The class was an excellent price, almost to the point that I feel guilty not spending more on it, but I wouldn't have been able to afford it if it had cost more so I will be thankful for small favors and hope that Natasha is getting as much out of the experience as I am. I have seen some amazing writing, there are so many very interesting people involved! This week we are doing more with photography so I am excited to see the visuals everyone brings into the classroom.

Here is one of my projects from last week:

"The Crack"

As many times as I have gone up industrial, I am sure I had seen it before. My thighs were throbbing as I went up that hill and it struck me long enough to distract me from the burning muscle sensation that I might describe as pain, if I hadn’t been doing it long enough to almost enjoy it.

Like varicose veins or a crackle treatment on pottery it was imperfect and enticing. I was reminded of my love of spalted maple, or marble. I was taken to the skeletons of vines up a wall in winter intertwining and spreading, with no leaves to hide the fascinating structure. A web cracked it’s way down the man made surface the way ice shatters with a sturdy blow. Proof that the lungs of the earth can not be constrained by asphalt I realized I was captivated by a crack in the road.



And finally, just for fun, this is a picture of Autumn playing dress up. She is wearing a brocade coat, pirate bib, red and white tutu, floral hat, and holding a princess light saber. The game went something like this : autumn handed me an item from her dresser, and I put it on her. Repeat until there was not really any way to put on more clothing. Autumn looks so silly, but too cute!


Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Health Update!


Woo hoo!

I have lost over 20 lbs (22-23 to be exact) since having my gall bladder removed! I am so stoked! I spent about a year trying VERY HARD to lose some of the baby pounds and was discouraged that nothing I tried worked at all. I knew something was wrong and went to a Dr about it, but since it was not a thyroid problem he didn't know what to tell me and didn't seem to believe that there was something wrong. I guess that is understandable, I am not sure that it is actually something that can be explained medically. I wish I knew more about my body because I am so curios what caused this change that I can hardly stand it! It is like having massive gall stones (which were likely caused by either my pregnancy or losing about 60 lbs in 2005) threw off my whole body.Before the surgery I had not lost more than a pound in over a year, even with enormous effort. It was really discouraging, and it was also frustrating when everyone would give me their best dieting tip because I knew I was already doing everything right.

People like to argue that one must have made some change in their lifestyle when this sort of thing happens. I did make a few changes, I started eating more, and stopped eating corn syrup. It is probably good that I started eating more, and allowing myself to eat foods that had more protien like meat and cheese because I am pretty sure that my 1300-1500 calorie diet was quite unhealthy for the aproximately 15 hours of intense activity I do a week.

I still have a good 30+ pounds to lose to get back to my base weight, but I am starting to fit into some of my looser pre-baby clothes. It is awesome. Being able to wear old clothes is a little like getting a new wardrobe, which I desparately need since I almost refused to buy new clothes while I was struggling to lose weight.

I also started taking prozac recently, and I feel pretty awesome about that. I am not sure that the dosage couldnt be raised, but I will talk to my doctor about that next chance I get.

I also finally feel like I am making the improvement in my skating that I had expected to make over the course of last year.

I guess everything is coming up milhouse!

Xoxo

Monday, March 15, 2010

Featured Seller: Cappy Sue Creations

You can find something amazing and hilarious in Cappy Sue's stores, and she is busy... she has four of them!

http://www.etsy.com/shop/cappysue
cappysueclay.etsy.com
all clay all the time
cappysuevintage.etsy.com find your unusual vintage here
cappysuespice.etsy.com a budding supply shop



I entered a giveaway on Cappy Sue's blog for a print of a unicorn with the stomach flue, and I WON! I received the 5x7 glossy print in the mail on saturday and I LOVE IT. It has rainbows coming out of both ends and it makes me giggle uncontrollably every time I see it. Click the picture to go to the listing in her store.



Cappy has pets as kids and LOVES animals. She paints things that she dreams up or that she thinks is funny. I really love her sense of humor! Please check out her awesome stores~!

Xoxo,

Erica

Friday, March 12, 2010

Fashion Friday: I love muslin.


Muslin is as boring as fabric can get. It is a plain weave usually greige (or un-dyed and untreated) and can vary from coarse to sheer. I find something about muslin so liberating. It is essentially the blank canvas of the fashion world. It is often used for fittings and as an aide when designing, or a predecessor to a final pattern.

Simply washing it gives it an amazing crepe texture and washing it with bleach creates a beautiful light white material that is worthy of a summer dress or a tunic style bathing suit cover

up.

Muslin can also be dyed and treated in countless ways making the plain boring fabric so versatile that it is inspiring. I find great pleasure in taking something that looks plain and boring and turning it into something breathtaking.

Silk is stunning and I am a sucker for lace. I like crisp taffeta pleats and bows. I love slinky satin draped over a woman’s body. I even am intrigued by duck and monks cloth, but my favorite fabric by far is plain Jane boring muslin.

I look at each bolt as an opportunity.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Knives in the Kitchen

I don’t know what it is with guys and knives. We love them. I’m sure there are guys out there that don’t like them, or don’t care, but for most of us, knives are just something special. Mind you, not all guys like the same kind of knives, but most guys at least will express interest in one kind or another.

If you and your fiancĂ©e are filling out your wedding registry, and he isn’t all that thrilled, take him to the kitchen knives, you can share outrage at how expensive the ones he wants are, and maybe he’ll complain a little less about the process. Or let him register for power tools.

A guy may have no interest at all in cooking, but still want to carve the turkey or ham. Or he may be a culinary artiste, and have a full collection of the finest knives that money can buy.

Personally, I want a knife that doesn’t catch on anything. If I could use a lightsaber I would, but it might cook the meat, melt the cheese, burn the veggies etc… and they don’t exist. Barring that a knife that cuts like a razor and doesn’t ever need to be sharpened.

Some people claim that sharper knives make food taste better because the food isn’t bruised by the blade. I just want a tool that works properly.

So, in the interest of making my knives more approachable to more people, I have been focusing a little more on kitchen knives and utility knives (with the odd outside project: a lord-of-the-rings-esqe machete, a custom camp knife, and such).

I recently finished this stainless steel Japanese style chopper:

And this high carbon chef’s knife:

And I’m really close on these two kitchen carver/boners (they are farther along than this picture shows:

And now I’m fixing a Henkel’s Santoku for my Aunt, we’ll see if quenching it again destroys it. Henkel’s apparently welds bolsters and tang to their slightly higher quality blades. And they use non-stainless for the tang, because hers rusted and broke off in the handle. So, it’s changed shape a little, and hopefully it isn’t destroyed in the next step. It’s a little thinner than I like for quenching.

Let me know what you’d like to see in a knife and maybe I’ll make one just for you.

Adam

Monday, March 8, 2010

Team Etsy Bloggers: Spring has sprung!

This blog carnival was hosted by Melissa at http://madebymelissa.blogspot.com/ Please visit her blog if you get a chance :)

Happy Spring! What a fun season!As much as I love winter, I love watching the world come back to life in the spring!

The weather in Albuquerque has been really Divine, warm but not yet hot. I just love it. It makes my daily bike ride really pleasant!

Here is a little preview of a few items I have to celebrate the season:

APRIL SHOWERS CLUTCH



This pretty little bag is made primarily of an up cycled wool sweater that I felted , it is a lovely purple heather




I had some alencon lace scraps from a recent bridal project and it made a nice accent on this piece. I also really dig the electric blue contrast stitching.


And of course the reason it is called "April Showers Clutch" is because it has this adorable Japanese umbrella print fabric lining the inside of the clutch and also as the handle.

And of course spring showers bring may Flowers, another new creation is this lovely fascinater. I made one for myself also, and if you look into my previous posts you may find me wearing a similar hair piece.



I made several of these as an experiment for another project, and I didn't like how they looked with the other project, but I think they are too cute as hair accessories.



It is made of marabou stork feather wisps, the rose petals that you find in the bridal section at craft stores, pearlecent beads, Swarovski crystal, tulle, and a rhinestone in the center. The back is a barrette.

I am probably going to put these directly into my new store so I am not sure when they will get listed, because I am not ready to get going on my new store yet, I have to make a banner and an avatar and some other things- but really all of that does not take too long. I want to eventually move all of the clothing and accessories items out of my Acrylic and Steel store and move it in to my Caustic Threads store which will be opening within a few weeks, and since spring is a time for new beginnings, it is a great time to open a new store. Then Acrylic and Steel will go back to our original vision of being Adams knives and my art. I guess it is as close as I get to spring cleaning!

XOXO
-Erica

Friday, March 5, 2010

Fashion Friday: Be true to yourself

In your lifetime there will be lots of trends that come and go. Some you hate when you first see them, but they grow on you. Some you love even though they are bizarre or unflattering. Some trends you may just never understand. Even though it is against the whole concept of fashionable behavior I believe it is always important to stay true to yourself no matter what is trendy. Sometimes it is hard to tell if you like something because YOU like it or because you have seen a million people wearing it and you have just gotten used to that look.


Fashion is planned obsolescence at it's peak, Items made to only last a season. The only thing I can think of that even comes close is electronics. Fortunately some items are cyclical as well and if you take good care of your clothing everything will come back in to style eventually.

There are things that are very trendy right now that I can not stand. Not to offend anyone, like I said, this is about being true to yourself so I am certainly not trying to bash anyone Else's style. I hate Ugg boots. I have since they started showing up several years ago. I also hate leggings. I have a few pairs because they are comfortable to wear under roller derby shorts during the winter, and as a mother comfort in general has a new found place in my heart. (and my poor heels are getting dusty-and obsolete ;) in the closet). I don't like most of the 80's resurgence and I LOVE that this spring is all about underwear as outer wear (and yes, I am aware that that actually started in the 80's before Stella McCartney's infamous slip dress) and I can never get enough of the old " New Look" that Dior made the staple of 50's fashion. I also Love the tailored suits that were hot in the 40's and tend to prefer flattering to comfortable, though I don't know what I would do without my jeans! Then there is American apparel, which is awesome for basics but there is always an element of WTF? when it comes to some of their dance wear, swimwear and bodysuits.


Staying true to yourself is always wise, as a musician if you change too much to follow trends you will be a "sell out" as an artist you will be "unoriginal" and in fashion, as a person you may be a "trend whore" or a "slave to fashion"- whatever. Those are kind of rude. What I try to avoid by staying true to myself (and yes I can wear some really unusual things sometimes) is looking back on pictures and thinking "I can't believe I wore THAT!"

So take care, and stay true to yourself in all endeavors!

Thursday, March 4, 2010

From the Workbench


I am not sure if it is really clear what is going on in these pictures but...

This dress is on my form right now. I am not sure what I want to do with it now. I usually design on paper so designing directly on my form instead of starting with a sketch and then transferring the idea to my form was a pretty new experience for me. It was fun though, because it was a much more free way to design. Usually by the time I get to my form I already know exactly what I want to make, and any tweaking is made only to make the dress function properly.


What I am running in to at this point is that I don't know where to go from here. I started without any ideas and I like what I came up with, but now I am stuck! I cant decide what I want to use for fabric, or if I want to go with a print or a solid. I know I want a stiff fabric that will hold it's shape, but that could be anything. I thought a polka dot would be adorable, but then an ochre or pink silk dupioni would be beautiful too.

Other than that, I am designing my logo for caustic threads. I know exactly what I want it to look like but so far my sketches have not turned out the way I want. I want a heart dripping on to a hand like in the corrosive symbol:
:

So, it would only be the hand, and instead of the test tube it would be a dripping heart. The hand I am drawing keeps looking too much like a sketch and not graphic enough.



Also, Autumn is starting to talk! She said "cookie" when we walked past the pastries during our last trip to the grocery store, so I decided that she really SHOULD have a cookie. Adam said she didn't need a cookie, which is true, but I am a sucker for her cute face and gave in. We picked a shortbread cookie that had a mound of neon green frosting on it.



Autumn REALLY enjoyed it.

And now I have several pictures that look like my beautiful baby ate Shreck. Priceless.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Great Weekend!


Roller Girl ACEO (available in my store AcrylicandSteel)



This weekend was awesome! I was really stressed out going into it, but everything went great! We won both of our games, one was close and the other one felt closer than the score indicated. Everyone who came got to play in both games which was important to me, though one girl was still disappointed with her playing time. The entire team was pleasant and worked together and I am so proud of everyone!

I missed Autumn and Adam while I was gone, but not as much as the last trip I took, so that was good. That was a trip to Denver and it was REALLY hard on me! I was still really happy to see them when I got home.

My good friend Francis went with us to help manage the team during the games, and he did well for his first time. It was also nice to have him around. Sunday we took the ferry from Bremmerton to Seattle and spent the day walking around downtown Seattle. That was really fun, the ferry was awesome and it was a beautiful day! Unfortunately things started shutting down sooner than I had hoped.

I have looked for pictures from this weekend and have not found any yet, but here are some awesome roller derby inspired items from etsy:


"Stay Down" panties from http://www.etsy.com/shop/hotacrossbuns , two derby girls from Ontario Canada.


Toe Guards from http://www.etsy.com/shop/derbyvixen
Roller Skate Ring from http://www.etsy.com/shop/sculleydesign