Saturday, April 10, 2010

Logo Design for TheTinCanCottage

I just finished a custom logo for fellow Etsy seller TheTinCanCottage. Take a peak at my sketchbook thumbnails and the final logo below.
I love working with bloggers and crafters who have such unique ideas. Christine of TheTinCanCottage takes here 1964 Shasta Compaq Travel Trailer camping and antiquing while crafting up a storm. How fun is that? Check out her blog here.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Project Freeze & How-To Prevent It

Does this ever happen to you? You are 9/10ths of the way done on a project, you step away from it for a day or two, and then two days become three and four...before you know it your project is covered in dust and your enthusiasm for it has gone out the window. This just happened to me with these vintage napkins I was embroidering. I did finally pick them up again the other night and should have them done soon.

That got me thinking - why does this happen? Getting things done is way more pleasant than procrastinating, so why do we do it? For me, I have a tendency to get overwhelmed with the sheer number of things I have going on, so I just do nothing. Not good. Also, I tend to take on LARGE and DIFFICULT projects which makes them hard to actually get done in a reasonable amount of time. Yesh. Also I love to have every thing 'put away' so I will literally forget that I have a project going on. Oh brother. 

Using these challenges I've made a few new rules I'll share with you to stop project freeze:

1- Limit the number of projects you have ongoing. Try to keep it to 3 or 4. Many crafters get a 'high' from starting a project from the sense of excitement you get choosing your supplies and planning your work. But if all you're doing is starting, you'll likely get overwhelmed with all the half-finished things you have lying around. Make it a rule to FINISH a project before you start one.
2- Allow yourself some 'quick and easy' projects. Why does every project have to get harder and more complicated? It's so satisfying to finish something, even if it's a bit below your skill level. Plus, it builds confidence to show of the skills you've mastered.
3- Keep your project in plain site. Even if you like to keep your work area tidy, leave a piece of your project on a table or desk to serve as a visual reminder to pick it up again.

Hope this helps if your sitting a few almost done projects.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Friday Front Page - Collage Art Mystery

Collage is often looked down in the art world - all you're doing is cutting stuff out and gluing it down, right? Anyone can do that. Not so! Great collage art must have perfect balance and proportion, which is a deliberate special talent. When collage tells a story it become something truly unique, as the below artists demonstrate.

Artist Susan Scott has perfected a clean and rich style in her shop Sushi Pot. This is an example of her series of briocolage - which she defines as a construction or creation from a diverse range of available things. If this inspires you to collage yourself, check out her supplies shop to over at Sushi Pot Parts.

This sureal and spontanius collage is one of my favorites from livingferal. There is something totally unique an haunting about the work you find in this shop.

I love the paring of this pensive bird in a party hat with the vintage text. All the collages in Queen Be's shop have whimsical parings and loads of personality.

If you can't tell already, I'm starting a new weekly feature here at Made Right Guide. The Friday Front Page will feature handmade sellers who making great and inspiring products. If you'd like to get featured, please contact me. I'd love to see whacha got.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Quick Pickled Vegetable's A-Go-Go

I've always been very intrigued with pickling and canning but found the whole process of boiling and serializing a bit daunting. Not to mention that with a  single error I could potentially kill myself and loved ones with botulism.  As someone who has accidentally left the sugar out of brownies, I felt my cooking skills were not quite up to the challenge. Well, no longer my friends! I got the book Quick Pickles by Chronicle Books for Christmas and I finally got brave enough to try it out.
Quick pickles are similar to traditional pickles but they are meant to be kept in the refrigerator and only last for a few months in most cases. This means there is no chance for harmful bacteria to grow (I'm not an expert here, but that's the gist of it.)

I tried out the recipie for American Midwest-Style Garden Pickles. I adapted the recipe a bit and here's what I came up with:

• 8 cups total of the following: cabbage in bite sized pices, broccoli, calouaflour, green beans snaped in half, corn on the cob cut into 1/2" rounds
• 5 cloves of garlic, smashed
• One dryed chilli
• 1 teaspoon celery seed
• 1 teaspoon ground tumeric
• 1 tablespoon whole mustard seeds
• 1 teaspoon whole colves
• 3 cups white vinager
• 1 cup white grape juice
• 1/2 cup sugar (book calls for 3/4 cup, I'll do that next time)
• 1 tablespoon kosher or coarse salt (not table salt!)

Bring to a boil in a stainless steel pot all the liquid, spices, and corn. Simmer for three minuets.  Stir a few times as it simmers to dissolve the sugar and salt. Pour the whole thing over the chopped up veggies in a ceramic or glass bowl and allow it to come to room temperature. Stir it five or six times as it cools to evenly distribute all the liquid and spices. Cover and refrigerator. Should keep for three weeks in refrigerator.
Heres a snap of the veggies when I've just pourd the liquid on it. You can see the the turmeric is already starting to turn the cauliflower a nice shade of yellow. I've let mine sit over night before sampling to let the salt and vinegar do it's magic. So far they are pretty tasty and nicely crisp, if a little bit vinegary - that's why next time I'll use the whole 3/4 cups of sugar.
I'm calling this fist go a success, although my boyfriend says "they taste like my Grandma made" which I guess is a bad thing since he didn't like his Grandma's pickles. I will admit that if you don't like sweet pickles you won't like these.
This is also a great way to reuse glass jars which I love to do. Look how nice the veggies look floating in their yummy brine. If you have any pickling advice I'd love to hear it!

Sunday, February 28, 2010

Ephemera Discovery - Woman's Lib Snapshot

I've been digitally restoring some of my vintage card collection and I found this wonderful handwritten noet on the inside of a Birthday Party invitation: "Wear pedal-pushers or slacks to party." Ah for the days when when wearing pants was an exception to the rule. I like to think that 15 years later little Sheryl Lee was burning her bra and subscribing to Ms. Magazine.

Friday, February 26, 2010

Craft Space Organization - Results!

Well it took almost 6 week to really be "completed" but my craft space organization is complete. 


What a difference some wall shelves and a hutch can make! I did this entire re-vap for under $200, and I spaced it out so it wouldn't shock my checking account too much.

I now have dedicated sewing, crafting, and photography spaces built in to my work area. I also have easy access to my tools and materials, that are sorted into bins and stored in the hutch and on the shelves. 

I'm now much more inspired to get crafting!

Monday, February 22, 2010

Tutorial - Paper Covered Pencils

Although I love all my digital conveniences, nothing beats a piece of paper and pencil for jotting down ideas or sketching out an illustration. Personalize this often over-looked office supply with this quick and satisfying craft.
• Mod-Podge
• Paint brush
• Pencils
• Decorative Paper
• Cup of water
• Medium weight decorative paper (I used this paper from my shop.)
Step 1 - Cut your decorative paper into 1 5/8" x  7" strips. This gives you enough over lap around the pencil  and a bit extra on the end.
Step 2 - Using your brush lightly wet both sides of your paper strip with water. This makes it more pliable and easier to wrap around the pencil.
Step 3 -  Brush a thin layer of Mod-Podge onto a pencil.
Step 4 - Gently stick the paper onto the pencil by rolling it on your work surface.
Step 5 - Brush more Mod-Podge onto the paper as you roll. Make sure you cover all of the paper's edges and ends well with Mod-Podge.
Step 6 - Coat the outside with a final layer of Mod-Podge (I swear, I'm not getting paid by Mod-Podge.) 
Step 7 - Set the pencils to dry by propping them up in a glass cup or jar. Let them dry over night.
Step 8 - Cut away any excess paper at the end with a sharp exacto blade.
Step 9 - Sharpen and get writing!