Sunday, December 30, 2007

When you have a day or two off...

Christmas is over. New Years Eve is tomorrow. So what am I doing....oh yeah working on things for Valentines day of course! This year for V-day I am featuring some slightly subversive pin cushions. Sperm and Human Hearts. Yep, you read that right. Here it is again. Sperm and Human Hearts. If there is one thing I have learned on etsy it's that the things I think are silly and make on a whim- those items will sell. The carefully researched and thought out items will bomb, big time (can you say yarn!).

So it's a warm last Saturday in December morning. I decide I should go to Joann fabrics and buy some felt. I'm waiting in the cutting table line and start chatting with all the 60ish year old quilty women. I feel a certain camaraderie with them. My mom is a quilter, I can talk calico, batik and batting with the best of them. We start chatting. They politely ask what I am making and I respond "Oh, just some pin cushions" thinking that will give them an answer and they won't want anymore than that. Oops. One chirps in "Oh! what kind of pincushions?" I should have told them butterflies. It was a very silent wait to have my fabric cut.

On a whim I also bought a mess of denim and corduroy to make messenger bags out of. Hopefully these won't fall into the carefully researched and well thought out item category.

Drum roll Please!

I'm still working on the shapes a little, but in the overall I think they are pretty funny.

It's not just's a felt heart.

Give him the gift he has been giving you all these years.

On a slightly less disturbing note. I have also been teaching myself to spin. It's a lot harder than it looks, but it totally appeals to my nerdy-crafty self. I cant wait for the day when I have dyed, spun, designed and knitted something all by my little lonesome. Here is the twisted mess of yarn I call my first attempt at spinning. I guess it's a pretty good first attempt?

Saturday, December 29, 2007

To Be Resolute

I was in Orlando for a full 4 days last week. It was a nice trip. I visited my family, I had a few drinks with my brothers, we acted like jerks and re-arranged the lawn ornaments at the neighbor's houses. I hung out with my Sis-in-law, her cute dogs, my parents, and friends. It was awesome.
Sometimes when you haven't seen someone for years it only seems like a day or two. I had that feeling this trip and it was great. One close friend always makes me take a really good deep look at myself, my life, my goals, my wants, my everything. He has this ability to bring out the best in almost everyone he knows. He is kind of Clark Kent. He is the most likely person to have an alter superhero identity, and he has a super cute kid.
Which brings me to the new year, and all the new year means It is amazing how fast a year can pass. This time last year I was trying to settle down into a life in Hartford, and this year I am looking towards my exit from Connecticut. For me new year is a time for contemplation of life, goals, and your happiness. I have been thinking about it all and I have some goals for myself in the new year, and here they are.

My goals (that I'm willing to share with all of the Internet) for 2008 are:

1. Vote and encourage (read: harass) others to as well- I always do.

2. Figure out where I want to live for the next couple of years. Connecticut isn't it, but I don't know where I really want to be.

3. Blog at least 2x a week. I started this thing, and now it is time to effing use it.

4. Figure out a way to promote my etsy site into becoming a profitable business.

5. Make my bed everyday. I'm a grown-up, now I need to act like it.

Happy New Year to you. Be safe, designate a driver.

Friday, December 28, 2007

Merry Christmas to all!

Twas the night before Christmas, and all thru the house the Stack kids were drinking and getting quite soused. With I in my hoodie and Sam in his cap we finished a bottle and really should nap. When all of a sudden what should appear but Sam, Kate and Gray re-arranging some deer.

and the lights that did glisten like white fallen snow lit Frosty and Rudolph giving the neighbors a show.

Merry Christmas to all and to all a fun night!

Monday, December 10, 2007

Why oh why?

Hello friends!

Today was the 2nd annual mink dressing. The mink dressing is when we take all the nasty old dead minks people have given the theatre when aunt Mildred dies and dress them up in little costumes for the season. This year it was Filbert (the crafty mink) dressed as Rudolph and all the other minks as reindeer with a puffer fish Santa. Before you ask- yes this is at my job. We work hard, and we play hard. Also- NO MINKS WERE HARMED IN THE MAKING OF THIS TABLEAU they are all at least 70 years dead and were going to end up as landfill if we didn't find a good (or bad) use for them.

In attendance of the party were my two favorite contract employees. One of them has several teenage daughters and I had directed her to my posting about fused plastic. She always has something thought provoking to say and asked me about posting directions on how to make something I am also selling. Here are my thoughts on that. I have a belief that it isn't helpful to keep a good idea trapped in your mind. The more people who aren't tossing bags into landfill- the better. I wasn't the first person to fuse together some shopping bags and re-use them. Therefore- share the idea.

This speaks to my ideas about good things and good people. I believe the more good you send out into the world, the better things will happen for you. Call it Karma, The Secret, The Gift, Paying it Forward, Religion, whatever. I call it common sense. If you are working hard at being a good person- good things can happen. That is not to say that bad things don't happen to good people, because they do-all the time-they are just a little less terrifying.

I had a wonderful weekend, full of deeply insightful conversations, great crafts and even a few etsy sales. This weekend I am headed to Chicago to see some of the most wonderful people in the world, be a vendor at an artisan market, and hopefully find a little insight into the next adventure in my life. Before the year is up go do something good. It is the reason for the season-that and minky reindeer.


Sunday, December 9, 2007

I know everyone is getting sick of me talking about nothing but the market in Chicago and my etsy site.....This posting has very little to do with either.

Yesterday I made a quick little trip to NYC to see a friend from college and visit the BUST magazine Craftacualr. I wanted to go because I would like to be a vendor at the Craftacular next year and wanted to see if it was worth the several hundred dollar table fee. My sense is- yes, it's worth it. There were so many people you couldn't freely walk, turn or chat with a vendor. It was packed.
As my friend said- you could have robbed Brooklyn blind, everyone in Williamsburg was at the Craftacular. It was a sea of thick rimmed glasses, indie t-shirts, young Dad's wearing a baby in a pouch, and short brimmed military caps. I have never really considered myself hip or a hipster, but apparently I am a little. I got a bunch of compliments on my re-purposed plastic bag, my homemade skirt and I even knew a few of the vendors from chatting on the etsy forums and chat rooms (yes there are chat rooms for the crafty). It was nice to put a face to a name and product.
The show seemed to have a fairly even split of screen printed t-shirts, jewelry, handbags, and crochet hats. It was also like many other shows in that there was a handful of really beautiful products, some moderately nice things and some stuff that wasn't well executed or displayed. Even in the craft world there is always a Walmart.
After the Craftacular, with a BUST magazine, some remnants from Repro-Depot and a couple of indie printed tshirts in hand we headed to Katz's Deli. I had half a pastrami sandwich as big as my head. We talked about the finer points of When Harry Met Sally and the pregnant Cliff Huxtable dreams greasy meat might induce. I even had my first egg-cream soda. As Martha might say: It's a good thing.

Soon it was time for me to head back to CT, and finish my craftiness for the Chicago Show. T-minus 5 days and counting!

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Cupcakes for your head

Hello friends. As I'm gearing up for the Side Project Artisan Market and loading my Etsy shop with handmade goods I also work as a theatrical Milliner and costume craftsperson. Here are some images of my work from theatre. Sure, there are no fat little crafty beavers, but there are some pretty hats.

Sunday, December 2, 2007

What's a diorama?

Well kids, a diorama is what girls named Katie make when they need to photograph their woodland critter pincushions and it's snowing outside. brrrrrr. This week has been incredibly productive. The Secret may work for some poeple, but for me it's some good old fashioned hauling butt. I have finished a lot of crafty projects, published the side project market blog, fancy email advertisement, postcard layout, and opened a show at work. All this and I sold more items on etsy this week than any other week so far. I even found time to have a pedicure, dinner out and a little poke the baby time with Maizie (my favorite dumpling). I didn't sleep much, my apartment looks like a cross between a recycling center and a craft store, and my refrigerator is basically something a college student would be ashamed of, but I did make some great stuff and I feel good about my products this season.

Drumroll please.

>>>>> Here are some of the Woodland Creature Pin Cushions<<<<<<<<

This is Stinky the Skunk.

This is the Crafty Beaver.

There are more listed on, but these are my favorite. I may have to make a beaver to keep for myself.

In other news- the sushi ornaments are selling much better than I thought, so I made some fortune cookies this week, and hopefully they will find their way into the hearts of Asian food lovers as quickly as my merry maki Christmas ornaments.

I hope to keep the momentum up for the next week so I can go to the BUST magazine Craftacular this coming weekend and see some friends in NYC.