Itsy Bitsy Teeny Weeny Crafts

Is it weird that I'm really amused at their various facial expressions?

I’m very amused at their variety of facial expressions.

A couple of weeks ago, I told you about my not-so-awesome experience selling crafts and what I’d learned, and now I get to show you some of the fruits of that labor.

Up first are the bookmarks. Cute and fun and…

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Apparently hungry. O-Kay, looks like the hearts and monsters need to be separated. Or I’ll just give the monsters some books to munch on.

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There we go.

I made some earring cards out of cardboard and some stamps. It’s amazing what a difference a little branding makes!

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And finally, I’m just finishing up these cute little stud earrings. Someone specifically requested them (in a rather disappointing exchange where I kept thinking, “yes! I’ll finally get my first sale of the night!” right up until she abruptly walked away).

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So what do you think – am I going to be desperately trying to sell all of this off on Etsy at summer’s end?

The One Where I Sell Crafts While Being Cooked Alive

My friend Danielle over at Vintage Notions has awoken quite a craft bug in me (I’m even back on Pinterest!), and we shared a booth this weekend at Sacramento’s Second Saturday, which has music, vendors, and food. It reminded me of the farmers market in my hometown that I often went to in college and made me nostalgic.

If you look closely, you might be able to see me melting into a puddle in the background.

Unfortunately, it was also 108 degrees. I felt like I was being cooked alive, with a marinade of my own sweat.

This also meant we didn’t have many customers until 7 or 8, which was when we had to pack up so that the parking lot we were in could be used for a near by nightclub.

All told, with the six and half hours in the heat (including set up and break down time) I made…

Negative fourteen dollars. Actually if I include the parking I paid before I realized there was free parking and dinner I bought myself, it’s more like negative twenty two dollars.

Yipes.

But I’m not going to give up. Not yet. The extreme heat certainly didn’t help, so I’ll give it a couple more tries to see if less extreme weather helps. Here are a few other things learned by seeing my more experienced partner-in-craftiness: Continue reading

Crafter’s Conundrum

So in case you haven’t noticed, I’m crafty. Also a geek. But something been making it a little tricky for me to be crafty. I’m also…

…a minimalist.

DUN DUN DUNNNN

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Let Me Just Humblebrag For a Moment Here

I’m not usually one to be all giddy bubbly happy, but can I just say that this week has been fantastic?

Photo by Happyologist

It’s just been wonderful in every sense of the word; personally, I’ve found motivation and inspiration in my workout and eating routines (until this week, I never understood how some people could possibly want to exercise), at work I finally got some time to clean out my task list almost completely, relationally I’ve gotten to send lots of time with The Geek and hang out with a few friends without feeling totally overwhelmed. Just in general, I feel fucking fantastic.

Is that braggy? Probably. But it’s not because I’m perfect, it just seems that all the facets of my life have aligned perfectly this week to cause a spike in my personal fulfillment. I’m sure it will be back to normal next week.

Until then, I’ll be over here knitting furiously away at my lace shawl and watching Babylon 5 (I’m planning on writing a post on it later, which helps me rationalize the obscene rate at which I’ve been blowing through it; “it’s research for my blog!”)

Research into what, goofy hair styles? It was the 90s ok, we all did some embarrassing things.

Happy weekend my friends. If your week was shit, next week is a new start. If it was great, well… sorry, you’ve really got nowhere to go but down. *shrug*

Socks, and Blankets, and Shawls, Oh My!

I’m pleased to tell you that my pair of froot loop socks is finally done! A little later than my spring break due date, but I’ll still take it!

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I love these socks so much. I was very disappointed when the first pair I made in this pattern ripped irreparably, so I’ll be making sure to take good care of these bad boys.

I really want to try out working with lace to give myself a challenge, and the first thing that comes to mind when I think of lace is making a shawl. Despite how much I love dresses, I’m mostly a t-shirt and jeans sort of girl. I’d hate to put that many hours into making something and then have it collect dust in my closet.

I even tried to convince The Geek’s mom to let me make her one – seriously, I don’t care if I’m not making it for me, I just want to make a lace shawl because

they

are

abso-friggin…

-LUTELY

GORGEOUS.

I may need to make that last one, usability be damned, because it’s just too beautiful.

For the time being, however, I’m taking a break from tiny needles and complex patterns to make a simple knit 2 purl 2 ribbed blanket.

It’s cozy and warm and…

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… admittedly getting a little big for me to cart around. Looks like this may be an at home only project for now.

My Favorite (and IMHO the best) Foods to Make From Scratch

Happy one year of Excerpts of Awkwardness! Time sure has flown by!

Today I’m doing a roundup of my favorite foods to make from scratch (I’m resisting the urge to say the best foods to make from scratch, since I realize some people’s priorities might be different than mine).

I love trying out making foods from scratch because it fascinates me to learn more food science and how it works. But while I’ll try most things at least once, I have a pretty high standards for what it takes to start making something from scratch consistently.

I’m looking at price, taste, and effort. I only really need two out of three of those – either more inexpensive, better tasting, or pretty easy – but if it only has one I don’t generally go for it.

For example, these are the things I’ve tried making myself but once was enough:

Mozzarella (more expensive, tastes the same, time intensive)

Crackers (taste the same, kind of a pain to make)

Pasta (cheaper, but a much different taste – not bad, just different – and a huge pain without dedicated equipment)

So what do I recommend making from scratch?

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Et Tu, Sewing Machine?

I know I haven’t spent enough time with you lately, sewing machine. I’m sorry I let you get dusty up in my closet. I’ll be better about getting you down more often. Hey, I even have a quilt we can work on together!

But before we can start that, we need to talk. I need to be able to trust you.

When your top thread breaks mid stitch, I’m frustrated that I have to re-thread your needle. Your spool of thread really shouldn’t come tumbling down sporadically. I mean, seriously, you just about ate the sweater I was trying to mend this afternoon! I know you and I have had our ups and downs, but you can’t take that out on my clothes.

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Don’t be passive aggressive here, ok? That hole in the sleeve should’ve been done in five minutes flat, but we spent over half an hour on it and now it’s…passable, but not good. Let’s not even talk about how messed up the inside of that sleeve is.

I don’t know, this just doesn’t seem like it’s working out. I’ll tell you what, when my mom comes by in a couple weeks, how about we let her help us out? Nothing drastic, don’t worry, just make sure everything’s going smoothly with you and that I hit the right buttons on you. We can work this out, but it’s going to take both of us.

Living in an Internet Wasteland (but making it look pretty!)

My friends, I write from the trenches. I’m an eye witness reporter from an isolated wilderness. It’s….

A place with no internet.

Dun dun DUNNNNN.
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Easy Homemade Christmas Gifts

Last week, we talked about why it’s worth trying to make Christmas easier and less stressful, and I loved hearing examples in the comments of how you’ve gotten your holiday to run smoother.

This week, let’s talk about some of the nitty gritty: presents. Like I said last week, this isn’t about going cold turkey and not giving anything or celebrating, but about finding a balance that works within time and budget restrictions, so you can have the best holiday (however you define “best”).

Here are a few of my favorite inexpensive things to give, and I’d love to hear more ideas from you in the comments!
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New Year’s Skills, Not Resolutions

2012 has been a good, but kind of crazy year, and I’m honestly looking forward to putting it behind me.

Normally around this time after all the excess of the holidays I start proclaiming that there’s a new diet I’ll be going on and a strict workout regiment that will have me looking amazing, because this year, I swear I’m actually going to do it.

But lo and behold, late in the game of 2012, I’ve actually already been doing that. I’ve lost my “easy” weight, and now I’m working on getting healthy and becoming fit, before the year’s even over!

Hmmm. But what about those resolutions? “Keep doing what I’m doing” seems hardly worthy of a shiny new year.

So let’s try something different. For 2013, I’ll be working on tangible skills, rather than my health.

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