Sunday, January 31, 2010

Crafts on a snowy day

I had planned to try to get to Michael's on Saturday before the snow started, but I spent too much of the morning puttering around on the computer. I took a shower and got dressed and when I came downstairs, I found the snow was here and the ground was already covered.

So instead, I burrowed into my craft room and tried to finish a few projects. I recently read Anna Corba's "Vintage Paper Crafts." What an inspiration! She collages on everything: notebook covers, old bottles, glass candle holders.

Pictured here are two dollar-store notebooks I altered. One is one of those speckled black and white composition books -- you know the ones; it cost $1. The other is the same size but made of all recycled paper with a plainer paper cover; it was $1.50.

I stuck with the black and white theme for the composition book, but it was more work because it had so much type on the inside covers that needed to be covered up (class schedule blanks, and measurement tables). So I ended up collaging inside both covers, too, also with a French/Paris theme. But it was three times more work.

The inside of the other one was pretty clean; it just needed one small photo to cover up some type on the inside front cover. If I go back for more notebooks, I guess I'll spend the extra 50 cents.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Be my Valentine

Red and pink, shiny silver, sparkly glitter, glass hearts. Valentine's Day is coming, and I've been scrambling to finish some jewelry for the store. Maybe I'll throw a few on my etsy site, too. My favorites are the small round glass pendants with a red heart and old text in the background. I have one I wear year-round.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

New beginnings

Here's a photo, taken around this time last year, just inside the front door of the Maple Tree gift shop in Seaville, NJ. It is literally just around the corner from my house, and I often refer to it as my home away from home.

The first time I called Rosie, the owner, to introduce myself, I told her, "You know, I can see your back door from my kitchen window." It just seemed like fate that I should get involved in this shop.

Since it opened less than two years ago, Rosie and the Maple Tree have gradually become a bigger and bigger part of my life. When it opened, I was making crafts for three or four other stores. Most of my output now goes to the Maple Tree. (Those are my Queen of Hearts dolls in the photo.) I work there occasionally, I teach classes there, I stop by to say hi to Rosie if I'm driving by (I was going to say 'in the neighborhood,' but I'm always in the neighborhood).

So much can happen in two years. In that time, I lost my 'significant other,' Pete. Rosie found out she had cervical cancer; she just recently finished her treatment. On the business side, the economy took a nose dive. But through it all, the Maple Tree has continued to thrive.

Today I stopped by to talk to Rosie about new classes and new crafts and new plans for the new year. She said she recently cleaned her craft room at home. She gave away some stuff and threw out tons more. It might be, she admitted, the most wasteful thing she's ever done, but also the most liberating. "I needed a new beginning," she said.

That's the great thing about this time of year. You can throw out the old and plan for the new. We all need a new beginning.