Tuesday, December 21, 2010

These Are A Few of My Favorite Things...

Feeling a little nostalgic about things I loved as a child as well as times past.

I've fallen in love with the "On the Road with Charles Kuralt" series. I can vaguely remember this series being on the air. If I strain, I can see my father sitting on the couch watching them.

I'm on the second DVD set as we speak. Time really has stood still in this set. You'll find yourself quickly transported back in time as you travel alongside Kuralt and meet average Americans who go out of their way to be anything but average, discover amazing places to visit you'd just as soon pass by, and bear witness to some of the greatest stories that would have otherwise gone untold. I love this series. I miss the clarity of life that shines so brightly in these taped segments. Check and see if your local library has them in stock!

  On the Road with Charles Kuralt: Set 1  On the Road With Charles Kuralt: Set 2

Holiday Movies - Sure, I've got my vintage favorites, but I also love Olive the Other Reindeer. The sweet dog who yearns to make a difference. :)

Olive the Other Reindeer

Finally, there are some super sweet things at Bonanza that take me back and make me smile. Strawberry Shortcake and Wonder Woman....

Happy Holidays!

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Wings and Fences Mummy Costume and Makeup Tutorial on Instructables

Mummy Makeup and Costume Tutorial - More DIY How To Projects

The Halloween contest over at Instructables was just to good to ignore, so I've been busy putting together this tutorial on how you can transform yourself into a mummy. I love that this costume costs more in time than it does in money, so hopefully a lot of people will find some use for it.  :) Hopefully it will be a winner at Instructables too. Either way, enjoy and I'd love to see any photos you take should you use the tutorial.

Do you have an awesome tutorial on Instructables? Share the link love!

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Funny Classified Ad

This silly post made me laugh out loud, hope it makes you smile too. I love the fact that the owner of the chair not only went to great lengths to provide full disclosure about the haunted issues with the chair, but provided a sketch as well. lol :)

We get a lot of funny local classified ads, I'll fold them in as posts in the future.

"I'm kicking this haunted office chair to the curb. I hate it because there is a scary ghost that lives inside. Sometimes it spins around by itself and when I sit on it, it starts shrieking and it just never. Stops. Shrieking. So come get it. It is free. Don't email me asking if it is really haunted; I assure you, it is."

Descriptors: Black and Haunted

Thank you anonymous classified ad poster. You made me smile.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Bonanzle Has Gone Bonanza

Wow, I hadn't heard anything about it, but when I logged on today, I discovered that Bonanzle is now Bonanza.com and has acquired 1000 Markets.

I really like Bonanzle, so I'm excited to see the site growing. Between the ease of the site and the friendliness of the store owners and shoppers alike, I think you won't be disappointed if you decide to test it out for yourself.

Yeah, Bonanzle, er... Bonanza...ok, so it will take some getting use to. :)

Welcome new store owners and shoppers!

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Funny Craft Videos & Appreciation

While she doesn't know me from one potato or tomato, I have to send out my congratulations to mADDmartha Megan for passing her Bar Exam. This is quite an accomplishment! I stumbled across Ms. mADDmartha a few months ago on YouTube, and I have to say, she has inspired me to get back into scrapbooking. :) So, thanks for that Ms. M, and good luck with law. I once contemplated law school, and I may return to thoughts of it again, until then I'll live through you. lol

Check out her videos,  and while you are at it, check out these crafty song videos that keep me in stitches while I stitch. :)

Good day!

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Creating a New Banner for Zibbet

I am planning to test the waters over at Zibbet, a new venue for handmade products. If you sign up for a free account, you are limited to a banner that measures 640w x 120h (Etsy is 760w x 100h). They have a nicely detailed tutorial on the site that will help you build a banner in Photoshop, but it doesn't take into account that many Etsy banners were created as Microsoft PowerPoint slides.

Check out this image size calculator that shows you how to convert pixels into inches and inches to pixels.
Your Etsy banner may measure 10.63"w  x 1.4"h in PowerPoint, but now you need to make that slide 8.54"w x 1.6"h (which means your finished slide will be 640w x 120h). I've actually made mine 8.53"w x 1.6"h and it loaded with no issues in Zibbet.

Hope that helps, and see ya at Zibbet!

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Did ya hear...Books on the Horizon

Sweet Valley Confidential: Ten Years Later is coming out March 29, 2010. Yes, I'll admit I use to roam the virtual halls of Sweet Valley High with my imaginary friends Elizabeth and Jessica Wakefield. I loved the series of books by Francine Pascal.

Now fans get the chance to find out what happened to the twins, and see what their world (in 2009) is like. Oh yes, the twins have aged right along with us. I've read the first chapter of the first book, and I'm intrigued. Want to read it yourself?

Find out more as you "like" them on Facebook 

Three cheers for the Wakefield twins! :)

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

An Angel Policy on one shoulder...

As of April, 2010, Provo Craft updated their Angel Policy for the Cricut personal electronic cutter machines to read as follows:

This new Angel Policy still does not authorize you to produce and sell individual, unassembled cuts using Cricut products (i.e., mass producing individually-cut letters or shapes to re-sell). It does, however, authorize you to sell up to 10,000 completed projects annually (i.e., cards, scrapbook pages, finished cakes), using cuts made with Cricut products. This revision offers the most flexibility possible to those who wish to create and sell projects made using any of the Provo Craft products, while also protecting the creative ideas and images of the independent artists with whom we work to produce art for our cartridges. 
Before you begin to bask in the glow of the new policy, it is worth noting that on the official Angel Policy page, these changes have not been added. There haven't been any changes since my post in September.

The only change is a new line about the Cricut Cake, "Provo Craft content used in cutting edible material in connection with the CRICUT CAKE™ machine is exempt from the Angel Policy."

Again, I think the changes are great, but they haven't been updated on the official Angel Policy site (which is where most people who are searching for the information would look...),  and unless they completely replace the original policy, there are still some changes needed (especially the online selling issue).

And while I believe the Cricut Cake may be the straw that breaks me to buy a personal cutting machine... I cannot stress enough to Provo Craft and other manufacturers that I think it is their responsibility to the consumer that they make this information accessible prior to purchase and easily found on their site.

I'll say it again...

Look, all companies have the right to state how their products can and cannot be used. I do take offense that companies who are creating tools and supplies for crafters are not making these copyright restrictions and "Angel Policies" a part of their own packaging. Let the buyer know prior to their purchase what you do and do not expect of them. Many crafters do not have a clue that such policies exist. Realistically, most people assume, hey, this is an item created for the specific purpose of being used for subsequent creations. Most don't stop and think that the manufacturer of the item would even dream of attempting to limit the creative process or the ability for the crafter to then make a profit on the item.

That's what she said. :) 

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Dunder Mifflin Office Love

I'm a huge fan of the television show "The Office." I love both the British and American versions. I am not alone in my adoration. Here are some great tributes to the show and characters.

Find out more about Dunder Mifflin

There is no shortage of love for Dwight Schrute and his beet-loving heart.


However, those who love Jim or John Krasinski can feel the love (imaginary as it may be)

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

TUT: Decorating with Childhood Memories

The hubster has a number of old puzzles from when he was but a tot. Some are cardboard, but the majority are very thick wooden puzzles. I'm working on places to display these pieces throughout the house. They don't deserve to just sit in the attic without anyone to admire them.

One of my favorite cardboard puzzles is this butterfly-centric piece that will go great in the bathroom. The colors in the room are variations of green, brown, and white, with a focus on nature. Wood, birds, insects, and especially dragonflies and butterflies are little highlights throughout the room.

The great thing about this puzzle is that it already has a hole in it for hanging. Initially, I thought I might frame it, but we actually liked the raw puzzle look of it so we'll just hang it up as is. I did use my handy Mod Podge Matte-Mat to secure each piece, and protected it with a final coating of the Podge all over the surface of the puzzle.

The next puzzle, Peter Peter Pumpkin Eater, is one of my favorites because it probably started my husband's love of the redhead. While I think the original poem a bit odd, I do like this artistic translation.

The little boy on this puzzle had a damaged face, and I was able to repair it quite a bit with paints and colored pencils. You can still see where there was surface rubbing, but it isn't too bad.

For the pieces in this puzzle, I used a reusable sticky tack adhesive to adhere the individual pieces to the board.

The next one is a sweet puppy. Again, this puzzle is made of a heavy wood, so I used the sticky tack to secure the individual pieces and then attached a sawtooth hook on the back for hanging.

Just use as much or as little of the "sticky tack" that you need to keep the pieces down. My pieces are heavy, so I applied a good deal to each puzzle piece.

This is the sawtooth hanger I used:

I did have to snip off a bit of the nails that were included with the hanger or they would have poked through the front of the puzzle. I just snipped them with some pliers.

I love the idea of using these sweet mementos as decorative elements in our home. These pieces of art are just another way that we celebrate the stages of our lives.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

YouTube Tutorials: Build a Light Box

Tired of waiting for the magic hour in which to photograph the items you want to sell in your online shop? Then it is probably time to build a light box. I recently built one, and I love it. They really do make a difference, and if you watch the videos below, you'll see just how quickly and inexpensively you can have one of your own (or two or three if you so desire).

YouTube is used and watched for so many purposes, but my favorite use is to find helpful hints or tips on how to perform a DIY task, or learn a new skill or craft. A simple search term can return so many results. Who knows, you may just find a new passion.

My Experience:

I couldn't find any end caps in my local stores, so don't panic when you see them used in the videos and you discover that your local stores are also void of them. I think they add a little more stability maybe, but I'm doing fine without them.

I also chose not to use glue. I wanted the ability to move my light box and potentially alter it in the future. It does great sans adhesive. Unless you have it in an area that gets a lot of traffic or needs to be moved every night, I wouldn't worry about the glue.

I built a fairly large box. I needed a wide and deep one to accommodate large and long pieces. Base your measurements on the items you will be photographing.

I use a couple of floor lights and a clamp light for my lighting. I do use full spectrum fluorescent lights. They remain cool to the touch and cast a beautiful light. No more waiting on the perfect time of day to capture the needed sunlight.

A word about the videos:

The video from Tushygalore was the first one that I viewed. She tackles the project head on and does a great job of explaining the tools you'll need.  Fair warning, Tushygalore is very funny and personable, you may just find yourself watching her large library of entertaining videos and falling behind on the photographs you need to be taking.

Speaking of entertaining videos, another helpful tutorial I just happened upon  is from BuzzFisher. He had me laughing throughout the entirety of his three-part light box tutorial. He tackles the background image/fabric issue from a very creative angle, and I think many of you will find his method fits your needs best.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Documentary: Waging A Living

What is the American Dream? I don't think it has anything to do with a picket fence or 2.5 kids and a station wagon.

No, I think the Wikipedia article on the "American Dream" that references the following quotation by James Truslow Adams is a pretty good summation of what the dream should be:

The American Dream is that dream of a land in which life should be better and richer and fuller for every man, with opportunity for each according to ability or achievement. It is a difficult dream for the European upper classes to interpret adequately, and too many of us ourselves have grown weary and mistrustful of it. It is not a dream of motor cars and high wages merely, but a dream of social order in which each man and each woman shall be able to attain to the fullest stature of which they are innately capable, and be recognized by others for what they are, regardless of the fortuitous circumstances of birth or position.

This phrase was first used by Adams in 1931 in his book, The Epic of America.

The documentary, "Waging a Living," fully embraces that ideal expressed by Adams and exposes the harsh reality that a huge portion of Americans do not and will not attain this dream. The "dream" is altered by a seemingly inescapable loop of poverty that forces Americans to stay stagnate in their earning capabilities.

The movie, by filmmaker Roger Weisberg, follows four people over a period of three years. The featured individuals and their families share their struggles with job searches, limited or non-existent household funds, health insurance and health care, and job security and advancement. They become the physical embodiment of the poverty statistics that are peppered throughout the film.

The movie does a great job of illustrating how very difficult it is for someone to "pull themselves up by the boot straps" and step out of the darkness of poverty. The featured individuals are hard-working, goal-seeking people who attempt to gain more education and experience in the hopes of getting ahead in the workplace and in their place in life. These are full-time workers who do not have the financial means to cover their basic needs.

A single mother of five who works full-time and attends college part-time in order to earn an associates degree, utilizes the social services that are available to her only to discover that every step she makes to become more self-sufficient keeps her increasingly dependent on welfare aid. She says she is "hustling backwards" and that it seems the system is doing all it can to keep her a member of the working poor.

Filmmaker Roger Weisberg states that the term "working poor" should be an oxymoron. I'll go one step further and say it shouldn't be a part of the American lexicon.

I was raised with the edict that if one works hard enough, they will see their dreams come true and will live comfortably. The ironic part of that lesson is the fact that the members of my family quoting that line were themselves a member of the working poor.

Filmed in 2005, this documentary reflects the struggles still apparent in 2010. We still don't live in a country where every person can attain "the fullest stature of which they are innately capable, and be recognized by others for what they are, regardless of the fortuitous circumstances of birth or position." Yes, life should be richer and fuller based upon the ability, desire, and application of one's work ethic. Unfortunately, this concept is not a reality for the more than 30 million Americans who struggle every day just to keep their lights on and feed their families.

What is your state's minimum wage? U.S. Minimum Wage Rates

Are you making a living wage? The living wage calculator is a great site that breaks down information by your county to help you determine exactly what you need to be bringing home just to cover your basic expenses or to "meet minimum standards of living."

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Wings and Fences Crafts for Animals In Haiti

Just as I had sit down to design a new line of brooches, Haiti was hit by a devastating earthquake. As fate would have it, the brooch design centered on the American Sign Language symbol for "I Love You." It only seemed appropriate to donate a portion of the profits from the sale of these brooches to the Haiti Animal Relief Fund.

I am a trained volunteer for United Animal Nations EARS Team – Emergency Animal Rescue Service. The UAN, as a participant in the Animal Relief Coalition for Haiti, is helping to provide financial support for a mobile veterinary clinic that will provide emergency care to the animals injured and displaced in Haiti.
I encourage you to check out UAN, and if you've ever been interested in volunteering with an emergency animal rescue, you should attend one of their training workshops.

To find out more about the fund: http://www.uan.org/index.cfm?navid=670

So, from Jan. 18, 2010 - February 18, 2010 I am offering the following:

Etsy & Artfire Wings and Fences Shop: 

10% of the profits from the sale of my ASL "I Love You" brooches will go to the Haiti Animal Relief Fund.

5% of the profits from the remainder of the items in my shop will go to the Haiti Animal Relief Fund.

Buy Handmade

ArtFire - Buy Handmade - Sell Handmade

Bonanzle Wings and Fences Shop:

10% of the profits from the sale of all items in my shop will go to the Haiti Animal Relief Fund

One Pretty Thing, a highly addictive and beautiful site, is compiling a list of  "Crafters for Haiti" who are raising funds for assistance to Haiti.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Anna Karenina

Okay, so I've never been the biggest fan of Tolstoy, but I'm gonna give it a go. Sometimes you just need to put time and new experiences between yourself and an author or book to appreciate it.

So, while I don't follow Oprah's book club, I have heard rave reviews about the translators of the version she used for her club. Richard Pevear and Larissa Volokhonsky are considered premier Russian translators, and I am excited to see what their English translation brings to the story.

Here is a reading guide for the book.

Of course, I'm also trying to finish up another book. From the Notebooks of Dr. Brain by Minister Faust is an interesting read, and definitely a book I never would have considered ten years ago. The older I get, the more I'm in search of a superhero.

Have a Shelfari Shelf? Link up with me! Wings and Fences Shelfari Shelf

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Ode to the Funny People That Keep My Head Out of the Oven

How do I love thee?

It has been awhile since my last post because I've been battling a sinus infection that spread to my teeth and caused me to contemplate the removal of said offending teeth and just head straight into dentures. On top of this lovely mess, a filling replaced in November was done incorrectly, requiring additional dental work. Not a happy camper. Antibiotics and humor kept me sane over the holiday and through the healing period. Thus, a thank you to those keep me laughing and keep my head out of the oven.

Catherine Tate - My fellow red, you've taught me to not be bovvered by anything that doesn't make me laugh.

Matt Lucas and David Walliams - If ever I'm on a deserted island, I'm sorry, but you will need to accompany me. As individuals and a combo, I find you delightful.

King of the Hill
- As a native Texan, I'm tickled when I see or hear glimmers of images past in the words and actions of the Hill family. Sadly, KOTH went off the air in 2009, and Brittany Murphy, the human counterpart to Luanne Platter, died in December.

Ricky Gervais
- You slay me. You force me to watch your outtakes just to hear your silly laugh.

Graham Norton
- You are hilarious, and you've created a show that can be filed under "can't miss" with the combination of actors, comedians, and musicians you invite to your naughty couch. I love the interaction you have with your audience--note to self: be careful what you volunteer for when you attend a GN taping.

Mystery Science Theater 3000 - My BFF in high school raved about this show but I didn't have the cable channel that aired it and had not a clue what she was talking about. Now that I can find the episodes on the shelves of my local library, I'm quickly catching up on the series. Question for Laserblast fans, Why is Billy's face the only part of his body that turns green? And, "Are you ready for some football?" :)

Dr. Katz, Professional Therapist
- This is a series that I can watch over and over and keep laughing. I catch something new each time around. I love the relationship between Dr. Katz and his son, Ben. They are a sweet duo. Here is a great episode guide to the show.

Wanda Sykes - A little sass and a lot of fun. The social and political commentary in her stand-up comedy is spot on. I just love the fact that she isn't afraid to "go there" with her comedy.

French and Saunders - Dawn French and Jennifer Saunders are two very funny ladies. I can't get enough of their "recreated" music videos. Wish there were more female comedic duos.

Who keeps you laughing?


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