Wednesday, November 30, 2011

The Tiny House Movement

I've written before about how the Hubs and I live in a small condo (840 square feet). I do complain about it--mainly because the builders didn't think to include much storage--but overall, I like it. It's less to clean, there's not room to accumulate extra stuff, and since there's only one "main" living space, we spend a lot of time together.

However, I don't think I could go any smaller. Could you? The reason I bring this up is the Tiny House Movement. Basically, folks are downsizing and moving into itty bitty homes like this one:


It looks pretty cute from the outside, but it's a 310 square foot studio. I literally cannot imagine living there.

This would also be a problem:


There are even some adventurous folks putting tiny houses on wheels, similar to an RV, I suppose:


Homes are considered tiny if they're under 1,000 square feet, so I guess we're accidentally in this group anyway, but most are a lot smaller. Here's an interesting link if you want to see what some of these floor plans look like.

I'll admit, I'm fascinated by this... but I just wouldn't want to live that way. Would you? Have you heard of this trend? Does it make you want to downsize in a more reasonable way? I'm also curious to hear what some of you larger-homed folks think about it.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Get Fancy

Technically speaking, BHLDN sells wedding items. But when you're me and you're poking around over there instead of doing real work, you end up finding things to wear to a (hypothetical) fancy holiday party. Whoops! We'd better take a gander so all that time wasn't wasted:


It just... needs to appear in my closet! All of it!

And I say "appear" because the prices are a bit of a buzz kill. The sassy blue shoes are $280, the sweet gloves are $160, the AMAZING black and gold dress is $420, that cute yellow number is $375, the black shoes that embody the phrase "the right kind of wrong" are $335, and the dainty flower brooch is $375.

Bummer. If only I had a formal event coming up...

Anybody else a fan of BHLDN? Do you have a different go-to site for eye candy? Or procrastinating?

P.S. I'm guest posting today over at Pretty Handy Girl! Pop on over to see easy Christmas decorating ideas using everyday items.

Monday, November 28, 2011

DIY: Mini Christmas Art

Remember those tiny picture frames I found in the dollar section at Michael's? And I couldn't figure out what to do with them?

No more!


I actually didn't end up doing any of my original ideas (fill them with scrapbook paper, make them into ornaments, or turn them into pincushions). The end product involved scrapbook paper, but that's not the main feature...


They're reversible! Since small frames can be harder to fill, I wanted to start out with some options.



I made them by cutting scrapbook paper down to size and adding Christmas stickers (which were 50% off at JoAnn the day I went) to each side.


The green one is the oddball that doesn't have anything on the back. But that's okay, because I really like what's in there now. Plus, since that frame is the biggest, it'll be easier to fill with other, non-holiday stuff later.

I probably won't display them as a group, but I took a class picture anyway. Ignore how blindingly white the middle paper is; it's not that bright in person (stupid camera):


Have you made any decorations this year? Anybody else making use of glittery stickers? If you look at it kind of fast, doesn't that reindeer look like a dog?

By the way, the Cyber Monday sale is still going on in both shops. All items in LWC are marked 20% off, and you can use coupon code HOLIDAYS20 over at Oh Nostalgia to save 20% and get free gift wrapping.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

A New Photography Project

I've shown you guys my wedding pictures a couple of times. They were taken by our friend Peter Hoffman, and I must say, they're pretty magnificent.


Pete's not just a wedding photographer, though. He's been published in several books, has worked with the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal, and has a knack for telling stories with his pictures.

source

source

source

I mean, I don't even LIKE horses, but I love this picture.

Pete's latest project will take him to New Zealand in February, about one year after the big earthquake they had. He'll document the recovery efforts, asking what has changed and what hasn't, and will turn the results into a photo essay and self-published book.

I think it sounds awesome, and I thought you--being people of fabulous taste--would like it too. To read (or watch) more about the project, or if you want to make a contribution, head on over here.

Friday, November 25, 2011

Black Friday/Cyber Monday Sale

I hope everybody is enjoying their turkey-filled weekend! Just popping in quickly to tell you about the Black Friday/Cyber Monday sale happening in both shops.

Use coupon code HOLIDAYS20 during checkout to save 20% on your entire order and get free gift wrapping. The sale goes from now until Monday night (or more realistically, Tuesday morning when I wake up and deactivate the code).



And if you're looking for jewelry but not sure what to buy, I now have gift certificates available in both shops.

Good luck with your shopping adventures--especially if you're one of those people trekking to the mall today. You're a braver soul than I.

See you Monday!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

November Sponsor Spotlight

It's that time again! Let's take a moment to say hello to my lovely sponsors. Kicking things off is the newest supporter of this little blog, Miss Meghan Elizabeth:


Miss Meghan Elizabeth - Crafting has always been a hobby of mine. I've dabbled in everything from clay, drawing, mural painting, scrapbooking, woodworking, and beading.  As I've matured I’ve found a niche in jewelry design. My designs have two distinct focuses - timelessness and rustic.  Pearls are my absolute favorite element to work with.  I spent over six month perfecting my flagship design of the pearl cluster before ever opening my Etsy shop.

Currently I'm working on my winter collection which will be made up of jewelry using teal pearls, cracked quartz, and Aveturine.  And new this holiday season I'm offering necklace displays that I've handcrafted myself.  You can see all of that and more in my Etsy shop, and be sure to check out my blog for upcoming sale info!


Shabby Apple - Great dresses that make getting dressed simple. No worrying about flashing accidential skin or finding a coordinating cardi--Shabby dresses are designed to be a one-piece outfit. Check out their brand new holiday collection, featuring lots of shimmery fabrics and feminine details (like the dress above). Plus, a portion of their sales benefit women in Asia and Africa. Cute clothes for a good cause? Yes, please.


Goofing Off Sewing Supplies - GoofingOff Sewing Supplies offers sewing patterns, modern and vintage, Judaic fabrics, and other sewing supplies to enable all people who sew make their ideas come to life. My name is Eileen, and I love supplying that special dress or jacket pattern for a wedding or maybe a blouse pattern like the first thing someone ever sewed or had sewn for him or her. Offering Judaic fabrics is very special to me; I am one of the few suppliers of Judaic fabrics on the web. Be sure to find me on Facebook and Twitter too


Favor Creative - My name is Vicki and I own a handcrafted eco-friendly herb favors and event stationery shop dedicated to all things creative for life's special occasions. I am passionate about using all-natural and eco-friendly choices for event favors as well as my everyday life. My Herbs in a Box Favor was created using 100% biodegradable materials and packed and shipped with a conscious effort to reduce its impact on our earth.


Marilyn P Sushi - is a self-taught jewelry designer and mastermind behind Pulp Sushi. She is what happens when you cross a Retro Secretary with the Bride of Frankenstein. Creating jewelry pieces to help you express just a pinch of your playful, flirty, quirky side. You can find some of my jewelry and accessories (like these bobby pins!) along with items from other great artists at pulpsushi.com. For your readers I would like to offer a 15% discount on their purchase at pulpsushi.com when they use the code FCOBLOG during checkout.


Nic's Button Buds - Nicole creates stunning bouquets, boutonnieres, shoe clips, and brooches out of buttons. Each piece is carefully made by hand and is truly something to treasure for years to come. She also enjoys quilting, and has a selection of fun fabric postcards in her shop.


GoatNotes
 - I'm Julia and my blog was started in October 2010 as a way to chronicle my adventures in motherhood as well as share updates about my Etsy shop, Emory&Olly. Over the past year my goals remain relatively the same with both ventures, however GoatNotes blog has shifted to focus more on intentional living, self sufficiency, celebrating all things handmade and has become a space of inspiration for myself and others.

A big thank you to these ladies for sponsoring Final Clothes-Out this month! Be sure to visit all of their fabulous shops and blogs, and maybe cross a Christmas gift or two off your list.

If you're interested in advertising on Final Clothes-Out, check out my sponsorship page for more information.

Monday, November 21, 2011

The ABCs of Me.

These have been floating around the interwebs for a while, and it's time for me to join the party. Ladies and gentlemen, the ABCs of Me:

A. Age: Almost 26.
B. Best Friend: Hubsey. Aww.
C. Chore that you hate: Taking out the garbage.
D. Dogs: None. We live in a no-pet building.
E. Essential start to your day: Caffeine!
F. Favorite Color: Purple.


G. Gold or Silver: For a long time it was silver, but now I'm getting more into gold.
H. Height: 5'9½".
I. Instruments you play: Piano, but I'm a little rusty.
J. Job Title: My business cards say "owner/designer" so I guess I'll go with that.
K. Kids: None. That's still a few years away.
L. Live: Chicago suburbs.


M. Mother’s Name: Lori.
N. Nicknames: Pookie, Baber, P. Rex.
O. Overnight hospital stays: When I was a toddler I fell off some stairs and bit through (yes, through) my bottom lip. You can still see the scar.
P. Pet peeve: Idiocy of all kinds.
Q. Quote from a movie: I tend to quote more TV shows. Lately it's been Party Down.
R. Right or left handed: Right.
S. Siblings: Younger sister, who his very much like me yet also incredibly different.
T. Time you wake up: Around 6:00.
U. Ultimate vacation: A big tour of Europe.
V. Vegetable you hate: Are beets considered a vegetable or a root? Either way, they're terrible.


W. What makes you run late: Hubsey, especially when he doesn't look up directions first.
X. X-Rays you’ve had: Aside from the typical ones at the dentist, I've had my right leg for basketball-related injuries, and recently my entire back and ribcage for the ol' scoliosis.
Y. Yummy food that you make: Chili and turkey tacos.
Z. Zoo Animal: What if I don't like zoos because I feel really bad for the animals? Sad face.

Have you done one of these? If so, feel free to share a link in the comments. It's always fun to read about everybody.

Before I scamper off to make more jewelry, I have to let you know that blogging might be a little spotty this week. I met a store owner at the craft fair who wants some of my items in stock... before the shopping madness of Black Friday. Warp speed!

So if I don't pop in again before Turkey Day, have yourself a delicious time.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Pinterest #11

Today's the first day of the mega holiday craft fair, and I've spent a long week getting ready. It's time to turn off my brain and spend some time with my BFF Pinterest before I hop in the car.

First, a tutorial on how to turn a too-small sweater into a cardigan:


How to make your own delicious pudding pops:


Obviously I don't need an outfit like this, but I like it anyway:


This made me laugh, and then it reminded me that to put that book about Abe on my Christmas list:


And finally, how to jazz up a plain scarf by writing your favorite quote with a paint marker:



If you want to see more of my many, many pins, you can follow me here.

What does your weekend look like? Is yours jam-packed too? I've got the two-day craft fair, then a family birthday, and then I'm seeing the new Twilight movie with a friend. And then I'll be sleeping. Hard.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

DIY: Tiny Picture Frames

Yesterday afternoon I popped into Michael's to buy some jewelry stuff, as I've been known to do. The store got renovated recently and now has a section of dollar items by the checkout. Usually I just ignore it, because I'm not really in the market for a Bob Marley notebook or gold stationary, but today something caught my eye. Three things, actually:




Hello, friends. You're looking swell today. Sadly, I haven't figured out what to do with you.

Yeah, I could put pictures in them, but we already have a lot of that going on. I want to do something different, and here's where I need your input. Thanks to my good buddy Pinterest, I've managed to round up a few ideas:


I could put different scrapbook paper in each one...


Or since they're only a couple of inches wide, I could turn them into pincushions...


Or I could go a more traditional route and make them into ornaments.

Now that I'm thinking about it, I could always spray paint them white and use them for my craft show display, but then they'd only be around a handful of days a year. And that's a bummer.

So if you found yourself with three mini picture frames in convenient holiday colors, what would you do with them?

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Gift Guide: Stocking Stuffers

I get weirdly excited about my Christmas stocking every year. I actually get two of them now that I'm married (one for each foot--ha!), and both of them have more gifts than candy. Never are they full of Hershey Kisses with a pair of socks perched on top, they're little cornucopias of trinkets and handy gadgets. And I can't wait.

Anyway, if you have stockings to fill, too, here are some goodies for under $10 to consider:


The chevron notebook (which I think is the official pattern of 2011) is $5.75, the button hair pins are $4, the foxy pocket mirror is also $4, and the mini soy candle is $8.

I gave it the $10 cutoff because once something is more than that, it kind of turns into a "real" gift. At least at our house it does.

As of Sunday, only 5 weeks until Christmas--and it just occurred to me that Thanksgiving is next week. How are you doing with your assorted holiday prep? Feeling like time can't possibly be passing this quickly? Anybody else already giddy to get their stocking(s)?

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Holiday Show #1 (and some tips!)

Part of my business plan for flying the coop was to do more craft fairs. Some of you asked for tips when I made the big announcement, and I have a few to share today. But first, a quick bit of shameless self-promotion:


I'll be selling my wares this weekend, so if you're in the area and looking for a great holiday craft show, be sure to stop by and say hi!

Now, this isn't my first rodeo, and I've learned a lot over the last couple of years. The best piece of advice I can give you is to bring enough inventory. Let me say that again: bring enough inventory. Even if you think you have product up to your eyeballs, throw a few more things in the car.

The reason I say this is because at my very first show, I REALLY underestimated just how small my jewelry is. And my table looked half-empty and stupid until I ran home, put my Etsy shop in vacation mode, and brought that inventory back with me. So... learn from my mistake. Have enough stuff to fill your table entirely, and then replenish when things sell.

A more recent setup.

Next, accept credit cards. To me, this is as basic as "wear sunscreen." I've found that transactions are larger if people know they can just stick it on their card. It varies from show to show, but around 40% of my customers do just that. I use Square, and once you get me going I won't shut up about it, so I'll just say that it's fast, easy, and the little machine is free. (Now get one.)

The final thing to do is just roll with it. Not every show is going to make you a zillion dollars. Sometimes only 30 people will walk through all day. Maybe the organizers are rude. I've had a couple of crappy events, because it's inevitable, but I console myself with the knowledge that I never have to do that show again--I mark it off as a learning experience and move on.

Do you have any craft show advice? Need tips on something specific? Anybody else doing a show this weekend?

Monday, November 14, 2011

Web Gem: Plasticland

I have a new favorite place. Well, maybe I can't use the word "place" since it's definitely a website, but I will anyway because my new found love transcends space and time.

Say hello to Plasticland, purveyors of kitsch curiosities and retro clothing (this is from their homepage, and it gives me a strong urge to grab my purse):


YES. Yes. I'll take one of everything. I'd also like this top, appropriately named Miss Fancy ($32):


And this SNEAKY OCTOPUS MUG ($13):


And this retro camera that is actually a pencil sharpener ($16):


How fitting, because I actually do need a pencil sharpener for my eyeliner. It's almost like fate.

Have you heard of Plasticland? I'm wondering how I never found it sooner, because it's totally my jam. Do you have a favorite "quirky" website? Or a web gem that you stumbled upon out of nowhere? It's like getting a little present...

Friday, November 11, 2011

In the Details

I'm not a fan of excessively girly items, but I do appreciate things that have a lot of detail. This is true for pretty much everything that involves a decision: home decor, DIY projects, what book to buy, etc. It's also the case for dressing myself:


The blue and tan lace dresses are both $40, the bronze flower flats are $39 (and are probably the closest to girly that I'll ever get), and the typewriter key necklace is $19.50.

How about you? Details in more subdued colors? Or full on pink with glitter?

We have a busy weekend ahead of us. It's our college homecoming, and a lot of folks are coming back into town. Should be fun! Any big plans in your neck of the woods?

Thursday, November 10, 2011

QMDJ

This title kind of looks like gibberish, like I just whacked my keyboard and ended up with a blob of letters. But it's not! It's an acronym I learned on the Etsy forums:


I won't keep you in suspense any longer: today is my last day at work! I'm officially self-employed starting tomorrow! Aaaaaah!

If you had said to me at my college graduation, "Paige, in three years you won't be using your degree--you'll be making jewelry and working out of your guest room!" I would have replied, "Totally! Do I also have a clone?"

This is NOT how I thought my life would go, but now that I'm here, I feel like I should have been doing this all along.


Of course, I didn't get here by myself. My family and friends have been incredibly supportive, and have a knack for shamelessly promoting everything I do. The Etsy community has offered more advice than I could have imagined. And then there's Hubsey. I joke that he's just the business end of this, but he's really a partner in every sense of the word. He helps at craft shows, reminds me to do my bookkeeping, talks to me about web strategy, and is there with a hug and a pep talk when I need them.

So, basically, I have some awesome people in my life and felt like I should say so. You guys are the best.


I'm not gonna pretend that I'm some huge business expert now, but if you have any questions or feel like you could use some advice, I'll be glad to help if I can. Just leave a comment.

And to those of you who already crossed the bridge to self-employment, do you have any tips to share with the class? Anything you wish you knew way back when?

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Inheritance

You'll have to let me indulge in a nerd moment. I read a lot of fantasy books, especially of the young adult variety, and today one of my series is ending.

It's officially called the Inheritance Cycle, but it's probably easier if I just call it Eragon because there's a chance you've heard of it that way. Basically, it's Harry Potter with more dragons and less humor. The last book comes out today (creatively titled Inheritance--wow, I'm not making much of a case for this, am I?) and I'll be heading to the bookstore after work to pick it up.

I really am ready for the conclusion, so I put together some themed goodies for your viewing pleasure:


The midnight sunstone necklace (seriously, what a cool name for a gemstone) is $69, the spotted peacock quill pen is $18, and the brass dragon ring is also $69.

Anybody else buying this today? I feel like it's going to be me and a bunch of teenage boys at the store...

Monday, November 7, 2011

Pinterest #10

Does everybody know what time it is? (Pat yourself on the back if you said Tool Time.) Let's take a gander at some of the things I loved on Pinterest this week.

First of all, how sweet is this custom Scrabble keyboard? Sadly, I can't find any definitive information about it, so I don't know how much it is or who made it, but I do know that I want one.


For those of us who are not so great with graphic design, this tutorial for how to make your paragraphs into shapes will be a huge help:


This dress is just lovely:


Using a bookshelf instead of a traditional railing. Smart!


I've seen a lot of tutorials for how to DIY one particular mirror from Pottery Barn, but this version clocks in at an impressive $11 for materials (assuming you already own paint and glue, which I think is most folks):


Hi, buddy! I like your stripes! And tiny face! And that hand looks kind of like a talon swooping down to get you, but let's not think about that.


Did you have a favorite pin this week? And more importantly, did you have a good weekend? Mine was productive, and kind of set the tone for the busy two months I'm about to have. (More on that soon.)