Sunday, February 22, 2015


Friday afternoon, I noticed a big spike in our Etsy shop views and checked my stats to see what was up.  Imagine my goggle-eyed-shock when I saw that the source was BuzzFeed!  I asked the Google what was going on, and discovered that Erin Larosa had published an Etsy Guide for Gingers, and our Soulless Ginger cuff had made the list.  I'm kind of a BF junkie, so this particular mention had me giddy with delight.

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

No Day But Today

Some of my friends are pretty damned talented.  One of my high school buds, Tony Gilkinson, is directing of M.A.D. Theatre of Tampa's production of RENT, and we were lucky enough to have the opportunity to make some commemorative cuffs for his incredible cast and crew.

photo credit: Nicolas Francisco Burgos

 Even cooler, midway through  La Vie Boheme I noticed one cast member---then another, and another---wearing a shiny, silvery band on their wrists.  It was (embarrassingly) exciting to see our cuffs in action!

If you're in Tampa, make sure you get to see this one.  They've sold out all except the Valentine's Day show, so hurry and get your tickets!

And if you ---or your Valentine---are an as-yet-unadorned RENThead, you can get a cuff like the ones we made for the cast here.

Or this one, inspired by the flat-out gorgeous performance we attended on Friday evening.

Tuesday, February 3, 2015


...when you set up at a show and realize that you've forgotten a critical piece of cuff-making gear.

Like a bracelet bender, or a bench block.  And you weep hot tears of maker-ly frustration because you know that now you'll have to take orders for all of your customs instead of making them on-site, and that means eating the shipping fees and people not having instant gratification and it's all your fault.

Yeah, it's happened to us a time or two, and would you like to know why?  Because, until yesterday, there was only one Bang-Bang Kit.  The Bang-Bang Kit---or the BBK, as I've just dubbed it, having typed it twice and not liked messing around with that hyphen and those nasty capitals this early in the morning---consists of a plastic tote that holds all of the essentials for cuff-crafting.  Aluminum blanks, metal stamps, bench block, brick, bracelet bender---what an alliterative craft I practice!--- steel wool, polishing cloths, and a selection of sharpies.  I schlepp it back and forth with our gear, and it comes inside when I need it between shows, to build inventory or fill online orders.  And therein lies the rub; entirely too often a piece of much-needed equipment is left languishing on the workshop table when I unpack my gear at the next event.

Sean talked me into ordering a second bracelet bender and bench block a few weeks back.  I finally got around to making that esteemed purchase late last week, and they landed in my mailbox last night.  And there was much rejoicing. 

Monday, January 26, 2015

Fandom Subway Art

We're starving for wall decor in our little house, and I'm mad about subway art.  It occurs to me, linking up with my old blog, that I probably should have reread that post before putting this canvas together. Because, apparently, I'm reasonably consistent in my mistake-making.

Anyway, I had a good-sized canvas to work with, and one of the local office supply stores was going out of business.  I scored a stash of vinyl letters for 90% off (squee!), and I knew what I wanted: an homage to our favorite tv shows.  I started this project back in October, then went on hiatus when the madness of holiday markets consumed our every waking hour.  (It got seriously hairy there, for awhile. Also, it said "Buffy the Vampire Slaye" for weeks, and that set my poor, spelling-sensitive nerves on edge each time I looked at it.)  I finally finished up last night, when I added in the last batch of shows and hit the spray paint. 

I have some touching up to do; some of the tinier letters kind of melted when the spray paint hit them and didn't leave a clear impression.  And, of course, I listed one show twice---(can you find it?---and left out a few (Warehouse 13, Psych, and The Listener) that I remembered at the very moment the spray paint fumes settled. 

All in all, though, I'm pretty pleased with my handiwork, and can't wait to get it on the wall.

Sunday, January 18, 2015

The Magic of Freezer Paper

Freezer paper.  It's amazing stuff.  Apparently, some people use it to wrap things in before they freeze things, and I've got no problem with that. Except that it seems like such a waste of potential awesomeness.

Here's the deal.

You're going to need

  • a roll of freezer paper
  • a pen, pencil, or Sharpie
  • an X-Acto knife
  • a cutting surface
  • a sponge brush
  • fabric paint (but I almost always use plain old acrylic)
  • something to stencil your design onto
  • newspaper or similar to keep your table clean
  • an iron 

Freezer paper has two sides: one shiny, and one papery.  So what you do, should you ethe need to make something---t-shirt, shop banner, tote bag, whatever!---that looks pretty professional and requires minimal preparation, skill, or moolah, is this

You choose your design.  You can print it out, or flip your laptop over and use it like a lightbox and trace it right off the screen.  Trace it onto the papery (non-shiny) side of the freezer paper.  I almost always use a superfine sharpie for this step, but that's purely a matter of personal preference.  Whatever works. You are the master of your fate, yadda yadda yadda. 

Next---and if it seems like we're moving at a pretty brisk clip here, we are---use your trusty X-Acto knife to cut out your design.  I'm hoping you've got mad X-Acto skills, but if not, we'll wait while you catch up.  Go ahead and cut out the whole blessed thing, then position your design---shiny side down--- on whatever you've chosen to stencil on.  (Ugh.  Preposition at the end of sentence has been duly noted. Sue me.)  Heat up your iron and use it to press the paper firmly and slowly to the fabric until it's nice and stuck.  (I usually turn my iron to the highest setting.  I craft like I cook---a lot of trial and error and "to taste" type of measuring.  Your mileage may vary.  Don't burn yourself.)

Next order of business is the application of paint.  Pour out a puddle of paint and get the tip of your sponge brush nice and paint-y.  Then use a stippling motion to fill in the areas left exposed by your stencil.

 Once they're all covered, gently peel the freezer paper off of the fabric and admire your handiwork.  Try not to smudge. 

Quick, cheap and easy, right?  There are scores of applications for this little trick, and I promise, your friends will be in outright awe of your talents.  Go forth and make stuff!

Sunday, January 11, 2015

Saturday in St. Pete

Yesterday was our first market of 2015, and it was a doozy!  We were lucky to be set up next to the fabulous Kate of Kate Kreates, and spent a busy afternoon and evening hanging out with her crew, hobnobbing with the fine folk of St. Petersburg and basking in the glow of the goodies we've added to our setup.

We finally got a chance to use our new banner (yes, I'm a little obsessed), and we gave the bunting a trial run, too. The banner looked pretty damned good, if I say so myself, but the magnets I sewed in to hold it up were a fail.  Actually, the magnets were less of a problem than the fact that I didn't set up the tent while I was making the banner to determine where the magnets should be placed.  (Duh.)  So we improvised with tiny binder clips, and nobody was any the wiser till this very moment. Consider yourself armed with insider information.

See the canister in the right-hand corner of the photo? That's our new magnet display, and I'm a little bit smitten with it.  Actually, it's so cool that I'm planning to dedicate a whole post to it later in the week.  For now, let's just say that it spins, it didn't cost me a cent, and it worked like a charm.  We let people choose a free magnet if they followed us on 3 social media channels at the event.  It was a good deal all the way around, and I got to introduce a surprising number bunch of people to the wonders of the QR Code reader.  It's kind of magical. (If you're looking to make a follow sheet of your own, you can generate printable QR codes for free.)

Our upcycled cork keychains made their debut at this event, too.  These, like our pendants, are only available at our events--we won't be listing them in the shop.  They're a fun upcycle, and they seem to appeal to oenophiles and garden-variety lushes alike.

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Shop update and a giveaway!

November and December were kind of a blur.  A busy, happy blur, but they went by in a frantic rush of markets and making.  We were constantly under the gun to keep our inventory up, and I'm pretty sure that visions of sugarplums were entirely eclipsed by frenzied 3 AM fretting over whether the resin would set, the bracelet blanks would arrive in time for whatever events we had that weekend, and whether it was actually reasonable to assume that I could card 60 pendants on the way to Sarasota. (It was, in fact.  And, no---I wasn't driving.)

Lots of new cuff designs made their way into our market setup with precious little fanfare. (Unless you happened to be following us over on Instagram, in which case there may have been a modicum of hasty, hey-look-I-made-this show-offery and perhaps a some half-hearted hashtagging, but still.)  The point is that the shop has been languishing while we played store, and we've finally gotten around to fixing that.

A couple of cuffs that have been knocking around in my brain for too long finally came to fruition earlier this week.  Makers gonna make is one of my favorite hashtags over on IG, and our stint at St. Pete Maker Fest gave me the impetus to go ahead and do just that.  It's in the shop now, and was actually our first order of the new year!  Pretty sure that's an omen.  The good kind, right?

Not my circus, not my monkeys has been my unofficial motto for a few years, now.  Works like a charm in situations from traffic jams to family feuds, and keeps me well and truly focused on whose drama belongs to whom.  Try'll see!

You can also check out some new fandom-y goodness in the shop.  We've added another Firefly cuff, an homage to Joss Whedon, and, of course, the Printsicle-inspired ain't nobody got time for that.  Lots more on the way...I'm shooting to list one a day. Goals, right?  You can tell it's January.

In other news, we're approaching 300 followers on Facebook, Instagram, and in our Etsy shop.  When we hit those milestones, you can be sure there's going to be a giveaway.  We'll keep you posted!