Tuesday, December 29, 2009
Sunday, December 27, 2009
With the new year just around the corner, love them or hate them, new year’s resolutions are just waiting to be made! If you’re like me, I’ve made many over the years, and keeping them has been a little less than a total success. Okay, a lot less than a total success! Even if you don’t normally make resolutions (why make them only if they’re going to be broken?), most of us will have some kind of craft goal, or something we want to do differently, in 2010.
I’ve been reading suggestions on how to increase the likelihood of actually following through with resolutions: define your goal, create your plan and tell people! That’s where the Hoarders Unite Team comes in! Telling other people can help you keep your resolution because it might provide some needed motivation.
My challenge to you is to state here, to the rest of the team, one resolution related to crafting and/or hoarding that you want to achieve before Valentine’s Day. How hard can that be to keep? Of course, you can list more than one if you want to!
Maybe you want to reorganize your craft room
or try a new craft
So, if you’re up to this challenge, post your new year’s crafting or hoarding resolution in the comments to this post by January 5.
Then, no later than February 14, send me a photo of the results of your resolution, and a bit about how it went (send email to email@example.com)
On February 21, I will post your photos and stories, and also post at least one photo of something from your Etsy shop (free promotion for you - yay!).
I’ll start by posting my resolution in the comments to this post. What is your new year’s resolution? Post it now – and let’s help support each other in reaching our goals!
Happy New Year everyone! I hope you all have a great start to 2010!
Whoa It's Me: http://www.etsy.com/shop/WhoaItsMe
Finding Things: http://www.etsy.com/shop/FindingThings
Wednesday, December 23, 2009
- How to preserve a newspaper clipping: dissolve a milk of magnesia tablet in a quart of club soda overnight. Pour into a pan large enough to accommodate the flattened newspaper. Soak clipping for one hour, remove and pat dry. Do not move until completely dry. Estimated life: 200 years. (I have a newspaper clipping from my Grandmother's wedding which took place in England in 1918! I don't think it was treated, though.)
- Store out-of-season-clothes in large plastic lidded trash cans. Not only will your clothes be moth-proof, they will stay dry in damp basements.
- Keeping Jack Frost off windows: It gives several options and the last one is "head south."
- Here's a good one I have used. How to hide nail holes from the landlady: rub toothpaste into the hole and smooth with a damp sponge.
- If salad greens are wet and you need them right away, place in a pillow case and spin dry in your washing machine for a few seconds. This hint is especially good to know if you are serving salad to a large crowd. (Yeah, I'll get right on that...)
and last but not least I'll leave you with this helpful hint:
- Whispering works wonders when a child is angry. Simply whisper gentle words into his ear. He will stop crying so he can hear what you're saying. And, 100% effective on husbands!
(Mary Ellen's BEST of helpful hints, Special Edition, Mary Ellen Pinkham and Pearl Higginbotham, Warner/B. Lansky Books, Revised Edition copyright 1979.)
Sunday, December 20, 2009
Nancy is one busy woman. I’m finding that’s another trait common to Hoarders Unite team members! Nancy, or Nanalee, as she is known on Etsy, has two shops:
Nancy comes from a large family (she’s the oldest of 14 children), and she recalls always making gifts. Looking back, she recognizes that her mother and father provided a lot of creative inspiration, but at the time, they used words like "frugal" or "broke” to describe their craftiness! Her mind is always thinking of what she wants to try next, and she has a notebook full of ideas and a white-erase board to help hold her thoughts.
Listening to music while creating is an absolute must for Nancy, and she loves to sing along to her favourite 50’s music. Sometimes, she’ll stay in her room, thinking of more things to do, just so she can keep listening to her music. She’s also been known to cuss on occasion when things aren’t going well (I don’t think she’s alone with that one!).
All of those craft interests and ideas need a lot of supplies. Even though she had to get rid of a lot of her hoard when she downsized three years ago, Nancy, still has tons of paper, stickers (stored in alphabetized file folders), paper ephemera, embellishments such as buttons, plastic items, fabric items, beads, old jewelry pieces, ribbon, and seashells, to name a few. In addition to craft supplies, she has a hoard of tea cups and saucers, vintage creamers, miniature shoes, evening bags, purses, jewelry, and now clothing that she plans to deconstruct and alter.
Nancy has had a mystery project in the works for the last few years, but she’s keeping the details to herself for now. But she did tell me that it involves a lot of caps from water and pop bottles that folks have been helping her collect – bags and bags of them. It’s all very intriguing!
Looking at Nancy’s photos of her stash, it’s easy to see how organized she is. She likes to use plastic shoe boxes and freezer containers, ensuring all are labeled with the contents. She’s always reorganizing and coming up with better storage ideas. As she lives in a very rural area, Nancy relies heavily on shopping online for her supplies.
As if all of that wasn’t enough to keep her busy, Nancy also has four blogs. My Blah Blah Blah Blahg http://nancylhoefer.blogspot.com/ gives a peek into her life, family and friends; Vintage Visions http://vintagevisionsbynancy.blogspot.com/ provides a venue for writing about her love of all things vintage; and Handmade Heaven http://nanaleesnest.blogspot.com/ was started for her artfully handmade crafts. More recently, she has started writing about growing up in her blog, Growing up Rich in a Poor Family. http://lovingthelalas.blogspot.com/
Posted by Trudy
Wednesday, December 16, 2009
- I certainly do have a brain block when it comes to this blog and Wednesdays. Sorry, Hoarders. I'm late because I just went to read the newest post and realized I was supposed to write it!
- Go look at a Treasury on Treasury West. I was fortunate to get one last night. It's called AQUA CADABRA. I think it turned out to be a very nice one. As are all of our Treasuries because we are so talented and wonderful!!Hurray for the Hoarders!
- I am heartened by the write ups about us that Trudy is doing. They are so informative and I am amazed at the similarities between the individuals, including myself. I'm thinking we have a bit of "soul sister" in us. Wouldn't you agree?
- Another warm fuzzy I got when viewing the photos and I saw the "workroom" of NoelBelles... I showed it to my husband because he does tend to make comments about my workroom. It is always messy. No matter how I try to be organized as soon as I start working it becomes a mess once again. Ho hum.
- I've made a declaration. As soon as I am finished making my Christmas gifts I plan to start photographing and listing all the "stuff" that is waiting to go for sale in my shops. I will take a hiatus from creating so the multitudes of "stuff" can begin to find their way out of my house.
- Our family Christmas get-together is this Sunday and I imagine some of you will have some sort of celebration over the weekend as well. Merry Christmas to all of you and may peace, love and family be your most cherished gifts this season and into the New Year.
- Blessings, Nancy
Sunday, December 13, 2009
Mary Ellen began NoelBelles as a project for herself and her sister, so that they could work together despite the distance between them. She lives in Tennessee and her sister is in Rhode Island. NoelBelles offers a broad selction of fabulous Christmas ornaments and decorations! Here are just two. Many are on sale right now - what a great opportunity to beautify your home this season and next.
Mary Ellen has been crafting since she was eight years old, when her grandmother showed her how to embroider. She stitched on everything that wasn't nailed down, and hasn’t stopped since! She has tried all types of crafts, and says she keeps her mind open to all possibilities when finding inspiration. It may be a random grouping of materials on her work table, or she might purposely fully research a subject.
Hoarding, thankfully, is limited to all types of craft supplies: fabric, yarn, beads, natural elements, buttons, ribbon, lace, birds, artificial greenery, vintage jewelry, patterns, feathers, millinery supplies – you name it. She’d need a larger house if she decided to hoard anything else – she already has a storage locker!
Mary Ellen has a few hoarded craft items that she has been carting around with her for a while, and she has yet to give up on any of them. As an example, she has a number of Victorian paper cutouts that she was given years ago, that will finally get used for her planned new Etsy shop, VictorianBelles.
She loves making fascinators, which was a completely accidental craft opportunity. After learning how to make ribbon flowers at the aforementioned quilting convention, she then tried making hair accessories with them, added feathers, did some research, and the next thing she knew, she was making fascinators. Meanwhile, it has been strongly suggested that she steer clear of quilting conventions!
Mary Ellen says her decision to rent a storage locker was the key to marital peace and harmony. That‘s where she keeps her finished inventory, plus her shipping supplies. Notice all of the hanging fabric and the one pair of men's pants on the photo below (with hats) - it's not like her husband has absolutely no room at all! Using clear plastic storage bins helps keep her organized. As far as acquiring supplies, she loves shopping on line, especially those Etsy sellers with destash listings.
Saturday, December 12, 2009
I have stacks of fabric on the floor behind my sewing chair. My sewing table and chair are permanently set for the season in the space between the living room and dining room. Great for warmth and easy to keep ongoing projects handy. Notions, thread, scraps, zippers, scissors, measuring devices, display board, needles, tailor's chalk, pattern and idea books, and elastic all jockey for space on my table and the surrounding floor space.
The ironing board blocks the laundry room doorway. The iron blocks the door to the washer. Rubber boots for going outdoors block the door of the dryer. A stack of books on the side table blocks the light from the lamp. The exercise trampoline on the rug in the middle of the living room floor blocks the straight path to the front door. My daughter has a similar problem on her craft and play table:But, all of this is necessary for me to function in this season, in this cold, in this holiday time of year. I use the exercise trampoline 3x daily for 20 minutes each time. I bounce my way to increased circulation as I watch television. I am considering knitting while I bounce and watch television. I walk by the sewing machine and stop to sew a few stitches. I iron the fabric I am about to sew. I knit every time I sit down in a living room chair.
with the same crazy chaos
happening at your house.
The anxiety will ensue right about
February when it is time to clean it all up and
find places for it all to go again.
Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!
Tuesday, December 8, 2009
Sunday, December 6, 2009
We’ve all been busy getting ready for the holidays and creating some wonderful gifts for those on your list (or maybe yourself!). We’re counting the shopping days until Christmas - 19! Still time to peruse the Hoarders Unite team shops.
It’s been a fun and creative year. We’ve been busy accumulating, hoarding, creating, and organizing; accumulating more, creating more – well, you get the picture. It’s not easy for any of us to part with our treasured supplies. But even more satisfying than adding to our hoards is creating something special, and knowing that it will put a smile on someone’s face.
Here are some of my favourites from the team's latest holiday offerings. I wish I could highlight all of the team’s shops, but our team continues to grow. So, be sure to check out all of the Hoarders Unite Team shops at http://www.etsy.com/search_results.php?search_type=all&search_query=hoardersuniteteam+
Wednesday, December 2, 2009
Not only do I hoard art and craft supplies, I hoard little tidbits from magazines, church bulletins, newspapers, etc. I recently came upon this one and thought it worthy of sharing.
12 EASY WAYS TO WORRY AND ENJOY IT!
- Never worry over rumors or what "they say" ~ first, get the facts.
- Know definitely your worry problem, write it down, face it.
- Worry about only one problem at a time.
- Set a definite day, afternoon, or night for worrying.
- Never worry in bed, in the dining room, living room, or at church.
- Select an air-conditioned room, lean back in an easy chair.
- Set a time limit. If you must go beyond it, give yourself credit for time and a half.
- Never worry with a frowning face. Smile, sing, or whistle.
- Never worry when you are tired, sick, angry, or depressed.
- Never worry while working, playing, visiting, shopping, or gossiping.
- Two times never to worry: a) when yo can help the situation; b) when you cannnot.
- Never worry alone. Take it to the Lord.
Sunday, November 29, 2009
My Inner Princess
I am thrilled to have My Inner Princess as the next Hoarders Unite feature!
Sandi, who operates the My Inner Princess shop on Etsy and Ebay, lived many years as a teacher in inner city schools, convinced she had no creative ability. Then came early retirement after beating leukemia. Suddenly she had the desire to release her new-found creative energy. What started out as the desire to make something unique from her mother’s and grandmother’s jewelry has turned into the fabulous creations you see in her shop. Not being able to bring herself to alter her family’s jewelry, she started collecting a few pieces of vintage jewelry and frames to alter. She received such positive feedback when she showed friends and family, she realized she’d found the inner princess she never knew she had. The hunt was on!
As all hoarders can relate to, she needed “a few more” pieces of vintage jewelry and frames. She is now also altering trinket boxes, vanity mirrors, clocks and even a jean jacket. She’s discovered that she absolutely loves decorating shabby faux pearl initials. Receiving a few huge orders has added even more incentive!
Sandi finds inspiration from several sources. On a personal level, her husband, who she describes as being the most humble and noble man she knows, causes her to want to be a better person. Surviving leukemia has allowed her to see life on many new levels. She emphasizes that you just never know when you won't have another chance. If you're thinking something positive, say it. If you want to do something for someone, do it. Don't ever let anyone question just how much you truly care for them. As for her crafting inspiration, Sandi began by making everything totally symmetrically, lacking the confidence to be bold, which matched her type A personality. She needed to consciously stretch to find ways to make her frames more whimsical, original and unique. She was determined to show just what she had to offer, and to finally take risks. And did she succeed!
Sandi finds crafting therapeutic, and often allows herself to work through the peaceful night hours. She begins with no specific direction in mind, and stretches from there.
Unlike many crafters who grew up from an early age with crafts in hand, Sandi started only a year ago, with a bag of scrap repair jewelry and one frame. She keeps her supply hoard organized. She has at least 30 tubs of brooches and earrings, all grouped by color, "themed" items such as rhinestone telephones, bras, (she even has a little rhinestone bra pin), animals, motorcycles, dancers, musical notes and instruments, crosses and angels. She keeps plenty of clamps on hand as she sometimes works on four or five items at a time. Proof that she is a true hoarder: Sandi bought 200 pretty little pink "a gift for you" bags, but has ended up wrapping the gift in with everything else as she can’t part with the bags. I’m guessing everyone on the Hoarders Unite team can tell a similar tale!
Sandi doesn’t limit her hoarding to craft supplies. She has duplicates (even triplicates) of some things for fear of running out: shoes, purses, desk supplies, you name it. She can’t part with her boxes of teaching materials even though she will never teach again.
The oddest hoard Sandi has is her approximately 400 packs of photo paper in various sizes. As she can’t keep up with the ink demand, the paper may just sit there forever.
Sandi’s advice to other hoarders: Find what you love to do and love what you find...love it so much that it's therapeutic for you. Being organized helps you work more efficiently. There is no need to pay a lot of money for supplies or organization aids. Sandi uses cute $1.00 containers from a dollar store, and little flower planters for her clamps. She shops at thrift stores, yard sales, estate sales, flea markets and Ebay. Her advice to on-line sellers is not to give up. It takes time. She had many moments doubting herself when sales were low, then someone would come along and buy 8 or 12 frames at one time and another would buy 4 or 5 shortly after. She gets raving compliments from her customers, and that’s what keeps her going. That, and the wonderful friendships she’s made with some of her customers and the many awesome people she’s met in cyber world.
Sandi lives in Middle, Tennessee (there is no North or South), but she is eager to move someplace where she has never been – perhaps the mid-west or the shoreline of New England. She remarried in 2000 and together, she and her husband have five children, two daughters-in-law, two grandchildren, three cats and two dogs.
Visit the My Inner Princess etsy shop at http://www.etsy.com/shop/MyInnerPrincess
Sandi has just opened a second etsy shop, Blueberry manor, where she will be selling beautiful brooches. http://www.etsy.com/shop/blueberrymanor
Read her blog at http://etsysmyinnerprincess.blogspot.com/
Photos: (1) a wee bit of Sandi's hoard (2) how organized!
Wednesday, November 25, 2009
- If you are working around the house, set the timer for a 15 minute span in the morning and another in the afternoon. When the timer goes off, sit down, put your feet up and read a chapter of a book; drink a cup of your favorite tea; call a friend or do a crossword puzzle. When the 15 minutes is up go back to your chores.
- Take a bubble bath after an especially stressful or busy day. Light a few candles around the bathroom, pour bubble liquid or powder into the tub. Lock the doors and tell the family you are "off limits" for half an hour.
- If you are planning a day of shopping take a second pair of shoes with you. It is a proven fact that if you change your shoes at noon, your feet won't hurt in the evening. (I worked in a shoe store at one time.)
- Stop whatever you are doing, wherever you are, and eat lunch at your normal time of day. Postponing it or skipping it will just make you feel worse later on.
- Be sure to drink water. When we are busy it is so easy to forget to drink. Keep some bottles of water handy "for the road." I always put one in my purse when I leave home because I often get coughing attacks, but also because our bodies need to drink water all day long, even when we are not at home. Did you know that your body gets used to not having water and once you start drinking more it will crave more? So at first you may have to force yourself to drink the water but soon you will be surprised at how much you are drinking. "They" say that coffee, tea and soda pop DON'T COUNT. They are made with water but they don't take the place of water.
- Don't forget to spend some time with loved ones and/or friends. We can get so wrapped up in all we have to do that we don't have time for the people in our lives who are really important to us.
- Are you in need of a hair cut? Pedicure? Then take the time and the money to do those things for yourself. You will feel better, believe me. And those things, along with make-up and hair stuff, are not luxuries, they are necessities. They should be on the shopping list just like the flour and sugar. Sometimes we women tend to get a little behind in caring for ourselves and start to feel "dumpy" and think we don't have the money to buy bubble bath or get our hair cut...wrong!
- Treat yourself to a very special hand lotion that smells good. Put it on throughout the day. You'll be surprised at how good it makes you feel.
- Turn the t.v. off. A lot of us keep it on to have background noise, but if you are like me, leaving the t.v. off and playing music instead helps keep me going. If you sit down in front of the t.v. before you know it an hour has gone by. Of course there are times when that is perfectly fine. I reserve my evening time for t.v. watching. Then I multi-task, too. I knit or do my crosswords or fill out cards to mail to friends. Sometimes I cut ... out of magazines, or punch paper cut outs for my crafting.
- Do one thing every day that makes you happy!
I hope you will be kind to yourselves this holiday season!
Sunday, November 22, 2009
I am excited to introduce to you Hoarders Unite team member, Mamta! Mamta has an Etsy shop by the same name, which means “maternal love” in Hindi. She creates things in the same manner a mother creates her babies – out of love.
Mamta creates all types of crafts, including crochet, paper crafts, beading, flower making, clay crafts, metal crafts and, macramé. She would need quite a hoard of craft supplies for all of those interests! Mamta first gains inspiration from something she sees – a photo in a book, an object of nature, a dream, maybe just an idea, then goes on to create her concept using her intuition.
Crafting since she was a young girl, Mamta recalls decorating her entire kindergarten class, and covering her books with colourful drawings and stickers. She hasn’t stopped crafting since!
I asked Mamta to describe her craft supply hoard. She has all types of beads, (paper, metal, glass, ceramic), jewelry findings, colorful papers, paints, antiques, semi precious stones, books and almost every type of yarn. She also has lots of unfinished projects, some 15 to 20 years old! In addition to craft supplies, Mama also hoards clothes, shoes, old letter, cards and gifts from friends, newspaper cuttings, bottles, chocolate wrappers, and plastic bags – anything that she can make art from.
The most precious item Mamta is hoarding is a doll named Dolly, a birthday gift from her father on her 9th birthday. Dolly’s eyes are broken, her face has dark marks, and she is almost bald. Dolly has been with Mamta through good days and bad, and Mamta finds it impossible for the two to part.
Most hoarders will hold onto something that others might think has little value. For Mamta, it’s old shoes and her old college books. She’s keeping the shoes as they are still in good shape (you never know when they might come back in fashion!). As for the books, she has plans to use them for making paper mache items – some day!
Mamta’s advice for other hoarders is to marry a man with a big house and a lot of patience! She did just that. Mamta, her husband Raaj and their pet turtle, Dhinglei, live in Mumbai, India.
Mamta is a full-time designer who left corporate life to make a career in designing. Her other hobbies include martial arts, gardening, reading, music and organizing and managing events. Being so busy, you’d think she couldn’t possibly have any spare time, but she has just volunteered to organize a number of promotional events for the Hoarders Unite team!
Hoarding is Mamta’s mantra to stay calm in her chaotic life. Being surrounded by her hoard makes her feel secure that she has all she needs to make life in this world beautiful and meaningful. She loves being creative and giving away the things that she makes, knowing that her gifts provide good vibes and love. Of course, the more she gives away, the more she needs to accumulate!
Mamta has a total of four Etsy shops:
Mamta.etsy.com (clothing, art, jewelry, supplies and embellishments)
RaajMa.etsy.com (pictures and paper goods)
Mamta also has four blogs:
craft blog: http://mamtamotiyani.blogspot.com/
chit chat with my soul blog: http://mamtalovestowrite.blogspot.com/
Friday, November 20, 2009
GothFae has marked down this adorable tutu petal skirt:Le Boudoir Secret is offering this hand-painted dragonfly necklace:
There are more items and more participating shops to explore!
Just search on Etsy for HoardersUnite and FridayFinds
and get shopping!
Tuesday, November 17, 2009
Making lists is just another organizational tool that we can all benefit from.
We are participating in Etsy's Friday Finds
this weekend, November 20, 21, and 22.
During these three days, participating member
shops will offer select items for 20% off the regular
On the sale days, just follow your nose to our
type "HoardersUnite" in the message to seller
and your purchase will be refunded 20% after payment.
We will have a list of participating shops here on
Thursday, so check back here...
Sunday, November 15, 2009
Giving Old Sweaters a Beautiful Repurposed Life
A new (to me) crafting activity I’ve recently tried is working with fulled (felted) wool. It’s a lot of fun and frustration, and a great opportunity for hoarders!
About a year ago, I found a gorgeous wool sweater at a local thrift store. I now have a chest full of fulled wool sweaters patiently awaiting a new, repurposed life. I’ve done a lot of experimentation (hence the frustration), but I’ve learned a lot in the process!
For example, I know that there are oodles of wool sweaters available at the thrift stores, but that most of them are not suitable for repurposing. I won’t buy anything again that isn’t 100% wool, as they rarely react well to the fulling process. They also need to be as large as possible, because it is difficult to make anything of any size otherwise. Loose-knit wool doesn’t achieve good results. Drying in the dryer was only attempted once! (My dryer still coughs up lint balls occasionally). I tried hand-fulling in a bucket of hot soapy water, and learned that the results weren’t worth the labour-intensive effort.
Yes, the sweaters have been worn. But, by the time the fulling process is complete, they have been washed in hot, hot water several times, so I guarantee you they are clean! I’ve made some great finds – such as a men’s extra-large, virtually new wool sweater that had a tiny hole in he front. I can work around that! It cost me less than $2.00. Even better, my favourite crafting supply scout (aka my daughter, herself a bit of a craft supply hoarder) went out of her way, little ones in tow, to get me a huge box of gorgeous already-felted, patterned wool pieces that I’m slowly working my way through.
So far, I’ve fulled about three dozen adult sweaters, and created a few little girls’ sweaters from them. Sometimes it takes cutting into three adult sweaters to make one little size 2 jacket. They are super soft, warm, and quite water resistant. I already have a pile of felted wool scraps that I can make smaller items from, when I have the time. There are so many things that can be made from a little scrap of beautiful felt, it’s a hoarder’s delight!
And that’s not even mentioning needle felting. I would love to try my hand at that some day soon!
There are many Etsy sellers who produce beautiful work with felted wool. Two of my favourite items are the felted wool mittens from FeltSassy.etsy.com and the felted wool slipper socks from Pawfelts.etsy.com. The sweater is from my shop, WhoaItsMe.etsy.com.
Thursday, November 12, 2009
Wednesday, November 11, 2009
- I added our team blog to the Etsy Team Blog Ring.
- I added our team blog address to my Etsy shop page.
- I read this creative team marketing article on the Storque
- I got some ideas to discuss in our upcoming team chat
- I am wondering how we might make our own holiday gift guide