Like a lot of people who sew, I have a lovely collection of garments that just don’t work. Sometimes, as in the case of one full-length, forest green peasant dress that I unearthed a few weeks ago, they are the result of a baby seamstress first figuring out technique and design, and not thinking about – let’s say, long-term wearability.
This dress was made for a 4-H sewing competition as part of a cosplay Time Lord outfit. Before cosplay was cool.
It struck me that peasant-style tunic-dresses are in, so I made a plan to repurpose the long, mostly useless dress into something fun and functional for (mostly) everyday wearing.
Perhaps I will edit this post to include a photo of me modelling this – with the waist cincher!
I love repurposing one garment into something totally different! A red plaid Highlander skirt has become one of my favorite dresses; and my pretty, princess-y Easter dress this year used to be a hideous ’90’s affair of pleats and sailor collars. But I forgot to document the process!
I hope you are inspired to try some repurposing this week 😀
Phew! Craft Fairs are over; deep breath, refocus, and…
Well, life is still really crazy and more than a little stressful. Not only is the holiday shopping season upon us, which means that we must devote more time and energy than usual to our Etsy shops, but also several things around us are breaking down or otherwise unreliable. It’s crazy, and emotionally draining, and sometimes too much.
And in the middle of it all, Thanksgiving is a week away – reminding us to take a little time to be thankful. So… Another deep breath, and I notice all those things that are truly wonderful around me!
Like, the refrigerator working and full of amazing treats awaiting the feast before us.
And furry animals in general (Annie our dog especially, although I am quite fond of cats too!).
Etsy is a huge part of our lives right now; and naturally we’re grateful for the opportunities it provides. In fact, please head over and check out our shops! We have some really cool Autumn and Winter, Thanksgiving and Christmas and Hanukkah things coming out (plus sales and coupon codes, in case you need something!).
But I’m also thankful for a few treasures that I found on Etsy. Yes, for the first time I went there and actually did some shopping! Hannah gave me a gift card for my birthday, and with it I purchased three little perfumes and some makeup.
Since it’s Friday, when we Feature Favorites, and we’ve always meant to do reviews, here you go!:
I’m not quite sure if AddictiveCosmetics is actually addictive yet – though I admit it is highly tempting to go back and try out more! I ordered a foundation sample (Ivory 2) for my picky skin: It has nice texture (satiny might be the best word), pretty good coverage, and a pleasant smell.
My second purchase was the one I really wanted: Warm ‘N Toasty liquid eyeliner. I’m experimenting with eyeliners right now, and found this one to be a beautiful coppery color which complements my coloring.
Then, as an extra blessing, they threw in a powder eyeshadow! I don’t have a good photo of it (since it tends to cloud every time I open the tight little container), but it is a gorgeous dark copper – the perfect shade to match the eyeliner.
This shop might be my new obsession! It kind of appeals to the (ahem!) goth side of my personality. And to my love of interesting, unusual scents. Because…
They have pumpkin perfume!!!
This makes me very happy.
I chose the Gothic Pumpkin sampler set, which includes Pumpkin Pixie (sweet and playful), Pumpkin Fiend (darker and, for me, nostalgic), and Pumpkin Gloom (dark and woodsy). And the seller threw in a sample, Seven Veils (floral and feminine). And another sample! – Blood and Donuts (chocolatey and perfect for my horror novels!), which reminds me of New Mexico’s very own shop, Rebel Donut, which anyone who comes here must try!
I wish I had space to fully review each of these scents! It is so much fun to experiment with each of them, and (even though they are itty-bitty bottles) they will provide me much pleasure for a long time!
It is, you see, not merely Etsy for which I am thankful: It is the little treasures – moments of brightness, pleasure, happiness, community, that it has brought me. These small blessings lighten the dark times, and make life ever so much more fun!
I would have published this on Thursday, like it should be… but WordPress was being weird. So – better late then never, right?
A few days ago, in the morning I went walking in the woods. I went with most of my family and my good friend and her mother. We went to see the last of the autumn leaves, but besides seeing some lovely fall colors, we got another little delight – cattail fluff!
And that is what I want to feature for my Thankfulness Thursday! (Or Monday… doesn’t quite sound as good though!)
The picture below shows how we found these simple little delights, on the stock and ready to play with. Little did we realize how fun they were going to be!
I’m sure, if you’ve ever played with these funny little things, you know how much fun you can have. Pinch one end a little and what looks like half an inch of compact tan colored semi-solidness then suddenly and softly explodes in your hand and becomes a practically weightless white cloud of fuzz!
Personally, it was rather nice to get away from the political weirdness of the world and the other stresses of life, and I was very thankful to be able to enjoy one of the simple pleasures of life, that of my senses – and my imagination – being tickled by the joys of fluffy cattail clouds.
Sometimes you don’t need that much to be entertained.
My good friend, Addie, who had a lot of fun playing with the silly whiteness!
We all got covered in the fluffiness – it got everywhere!
They got on Abigail’s new red cape! (Abigail, you need to show the whole outfit later to all of our readers! I can’t wait to see it all together!)
Also – I can’t help putting more than one thing for my Thankfulness Thursday post – I’m so thankful for my friend! Addie is very dear to my heart, and almost as close to me as my wonderful sisters! All of my sisters – both blood and sister in the Lord – I am very thankful for!
The wonderful, fun, sweet, lovable, patient and dependable Sarah!
Abby, the delightful and kind, the generous and wise, the thoughtful and caring! Both such an amazing abundant blessing to me! I love you too!
So there you go! Take a walk in the woods with family and friends and enjoy the simple things of life! There’s so much to be thankful for in just these things alone!
Sometimes, in the midst of all the insanity, you have to find a moment of rest.
That’s what we’re up to this week, and it’s definitely time!
What with one thing and another, things have been really crazy around here – as evidenced by the fact that we keep forgetting to blog! It’s been something like this:
Finally found a way to increase visibility on Etsy – which is wonderful, except that it means spending a lot of time and attention.
The holiday shopping season is fast approaching, and there are so many ideas that we want to make and put out there on our Etsy shops!
The dryer isn’t drying, which makes laundry days slow. And then –
The washer developed homicidal mania (apparently), which makes laundry days impossible!
And the oven door won’t close.
And I stepped on a thorn! (Ok, that one’s a personal complaint!)
November’s coming, which means NaNoWriMo! and also:
So – with all of this craziness happening and requiring urgent attention and lots of work – we’ve decided to take a week off from Etsy!
Counter-intuitive? Yes! But it’s a good time to step back and get a bit of perspective on where we’re going, which projects actually require our attention, and where our emphasis should be.
It should be interesting: No Etsy work, or talk, or shop work, is allowed. Instead, Hannah and Sarah and I will work on sewing some personal Autumn and Winter clothes, and focus on planning the novels we’re writing in November.
Sometimes, you need to step away from it all and take a break!
(Of course, you can also use the coupon code “Halloween” for %15 off anything in my store, where I also have free shipping on Autumnal items. I’m really pleased with how my Autumn Ephemeral Earring line came out! Please feel free to take an inspiring look!)
And here is a slideshow of our recent excursions, for a bit of distance-recreation:
Sometimes, quite irrationally, things become irksome. Like blogging, for instance. One loses focus, gets stuck in a rut, forgets a time or two and then feels so guilty about it that one forgets again, other things get busy. And so on. You know how it is!
So, yeah, I think we’ve kind of fallen into one of those times here in “Ribbons”-world. So sad – because we’re actually really excited about what we’re doing and what we want to share!
As we figure it all out and prepare for what I hope will be a grand re-entrance into the blogging realm, here is a gallery of our most recent excursion into our local mountains!
A very pleasant Labor Day hike! It’s always good to step away for a bit, when things get too irksome, and do a little relaxing.
The phrase “Rome wasn’t built in a day” refers to the empire, of course: But what if it referred to the city itself? If, at the height of the Roman Empire, everyone in its domain came along and built with gusto – Rome still wouldn’t be done in a day; cement and mortar and things need time to dry, after all.
I’ve been thinking about this lately; there are a lot of things in life that need more time than a day to finish – distressing as that is to someone as optimistically ambitious as I am. I always thought it would be cool to tackle something and solve, construct, or master it all at once. A few things like this:
Languages. Seriously, you only learn French in a week in ads.
Fitness. Did those Olympic athletes decide to become amazing at what they do, and then do it? No – it took years of training!
Writing. Interestingly, some books work better if you work on them slowly.
Any Skill or Art. I probably should have put this first! But first projects in cooking, sewing, woodworking, mechanics, and so on are always almost terrible. You have to keep at it!
Breaking Bad Habits, and Building Good Personality.
Some clever scientists have even recently decided that procrastination can be a good thing, because it allows you time to work things through rather than forcing a quick decision!
The same principle of steady but prolonged effort applies to Etsy, too:
Much as I would love it if my shop became a roaring overnight success, honestly that would be really overwhelming. It’s been much better for me to slowly build a foundation – learn my way around the site, figure out how the business works, become an expert in listing. So when I start selling at a regular pace, the shipping and billing side won’t come as another straw on the camel’s back.
Making lovely little items to fill my shelves takes longer than I’d like – after all, I’m not a machine, and my hands have other things to do. But that’s ok; producing things steadily has built up a good inventory, and I’ve had time to find designs that will last for many seasons.
Taking time to think about the layout and look for my shop has allowed me to see what other people are doing, and think about what I really want, and come up with some fun ideas.
I admit it; I’m terrible at promotion! But going slow on that has let me get a little more comfortable with pushing my things out there, as I get a feel for the market and the community.
As you may guess, we’ve been focusing a lot on Etsy! And sometimes neglecting other things (oops!). But the nice thing about doing things slowly is that gradually one task becomes easier and you can add in a little more – just like a weightlifter starts at 20 pounds and works his way up!
Every journey, after all, begins with a single bite of elephant!
Next week, I’ll have to post about the opposite problem – which Sarah has reminded me of; sometimes it’s possible to take too little of a bite!