Tuesday, July 31, 2012

A few new things around here...

As it turns out, everyone's a critic.  I got some heat over the picture of half naked men Olympians on yesterday's blog from the 'ol ball 'n chain.  Who doesn't like looking at talented athletes in their prime?  Mr. JG apparently.  Don't worry though ladies, I won't let that stop me :)

In other news, I thought I'd show off a few new things around here (in case you missed them).

First, I'm really digging my new blog design.  I found this great template online and after a little bit of cussing and frustration, eventually got it installed. 

I even stepped it up a notch this week and added a blog button!

You can grab one over here ---------------------------------------------------->

Oh, and I got some business cards off of zazzle.com that fit the new theme and look of Jane's Girl Designs (and actually have the blog URL on them)

But I think my favorite part may be the back...

I really wanted to put "keep calm & craft on" in vinyl on my car right under this awesome hot glue gun sticker...

But I haven't quite gotten up the nerve.  I feel like i already is a lot going on...and the wording might just push it over the edge of crazy.

Oh, and just to spite Mr. JG...

Enjoy those Olympics, ya'll!

Monday, July 30, 2012

Make it Monday - Camera Strap

Hey!  Did everyone have a good weekend?  Mine was lovely - relaxing (much needed) and still got a few projects done.  I find it hard to get much done during the Olympics because I love them!  There's just so much to watch, so much...

...athleticism :)

Anyway...here's a tutorial for a recent project - prettying a camera strap!

I LOVE how this turned out.  It makes using my camera all the funner (yeah, I used the term funner...my brain isn't functioning, I'm still staring at the picture of the men swimmers).

Anyway, here's the strap that came with my camera...

I mean, don't get me wrong, it serves it's purpose and I know it's solid and will hold the camera...but it's also a bit fug.  I went to my favorite fabric store a few weeks ago (Urban Arts and Crafts in Briarcliff) and picked up some Amy Butler fabric.

And then I also grabbed some extra quilt batting so I can add some cushion to my strap (definitely glad I did this because I've been wearing it...a lot).

So first thing I did was measure my strap, both length and width.  Then I cut a strip in each fabric - long enough to cover the whole strap and an inch wider than my camera strap.  I also cut one strip of batting the same size.  I tried two strips of batting at first, and it was way too much bulk - really you only need one strip to cover the side that will rest against your neck.

Once I had all my strips cut, I laid them so that the two right sides of the fabric were facing, and then the batting was just outside of the fabric that will be up against my neck.  I pinned along the sides to keep them all lined up, like this...

Now fair warning - when I took these pictures i still had two pieces of batting, one on each side of my fabric.  I made the whole thing like that, realized it would work, and re-did it with one piece of batting.  I didn't take new pictures - I'd like to say it's because it doesn't really change the steps that much (which is true) but it's really because I was super irritated by this point in the project and just wanted to get it done without taking pictures :)

So once I had my fabric and one piece of batting pinned together, I sewed along the two long sides.

Then I turned the whole thing inside out.  The best way I've found to do this is huge extra large safety pins - pin it to one side of your fabric on the end...

Then push the pin inside of the tube of fabric and use the pin to bunch the fabric over and pull down to slowly turn the whole thing inside out.

Now once I had it turned inside out, I just pulled and snaked it over my existing camera strap.  I resewed over the sides once I had it in place (about 1/4" in on each side) so that the cover is sewed to the existing strap.  I also folded over my edges and sewed them to finish off the ends.

With the strap cover sewed onto the actual strap, it doesn't seem very bulky and feels like it's all one strap, instead of just a cover.

Now that I have my pretty strap I can take all sorts of pictures!

Have you ever seen a dog sit like that before?  Like a human?  It looks like he's ready to do your taxes or something.

Action Shot!

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Dogs and Totes

Sorry for the lack of post yesterday...ready for my excuses?

(1) having major tum issues (both yesterday and today) so I really don't want to do much of anything

(2) it was 107 degrees when I got into my car after work yesterday, which would have been fine except the air conditioner at work was BROKEN ALL DAY so I literally just sat in a hot office sweating

Here's what though...I've still gotten a few things done to show you.

I made some custom dog hooks...

Including one for my future sister in law.

She might not be super pleased that her picture is on the blog, expect it's a great picture of her, so I'm posting it.

These leashes and things sign all started with my mom's sign (a mother's day present) -

Personalized Pet Leashes & Things Hooks

Want one?  Well you're in luck...they're on my etsy site!  Check them out and buy one or something :) 

Okay, enough with the shameless plug.  You may be thinking, what about Petey, where's his leashes and things board?


Just kidding, this is a toy that he ate.  I haven't made him one.  It's like the kid who's mom makes the coolest things for all the other kids but then doesn't have enough time to make one for him...right?  He doesn't seem to mind.  By the way, this toy was marketed as indestructible and made out of fire hose...this is Petey destroying it.

Oh and one more thing I've been wanting to brag about but have never quite found a post to fit it into (it still doesn't fit, but I need to get my brag on)...look what my sister got me for my birthday

How cool is this?  Completely personalized!  I love to use it and I think it will be great for some upcoming events...like the BASEHOR-LINWOOD CRAFT FAIR!  That's right kids, yours truly was approved (my application was juried...I like to pretend it was an arduous process when really they were probably just make sure I wasn't reselling McDonald's toys).  So...if you're around on November 3rd and thinking, man, I'm super bored and think I want to head to Basehor, KS...but whatever will I do there???  Come visit me!!!  I'm sure I'll talk more about it moving forward and continue to beg you to come.  Remember, this one will be indoors and not in 100 degree weather :)

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Pretending I have it all together...

You know what's a lot of fun but also super stressful?  Planning a wedding.  Yeah kids, another wedding post.  Sorry 'bout that...but thems the breaks, kid.

I'm not at all stressed about the getting married part.  I'm super excited to be taking Mr. JG's last name (and keeping my maiden name as a middle name, of course) and I'm super excited to be with him forever and grow old and have babies and watch his chicken legs out mowing our yard when he's an old man.  Don't worry..he doesn't read the blog...he won't see the chicken leg comment.  Although I am a little concerned about marrying a liar.  See, here's how I know he's a liar.  He claims I snore...clearly FALSE!  I have a feeling he's hearing Petey from the other room or something because there is no way I snore.  None.  Completely a lie.

Alright, back to the wedding stuff.  We have a wedding planner.  She's a day of coordinator that basically helps keep us from losing our minds during the actual wedding.  I'm quickly realizing I should have won the lottery and hired her to plan the whole wedding..but alas, here we are.  Well we met with her on Friday.  We started the meeting by talking about how not stressed out we were and how we have all our shit together (sorry for the language, but trust me, you'd be cussing and drinking if you were planning a wedding too!).  WRONG.  She started going over timelines and cake cutting and champagne toasts and before you know it, Mr. JG and I realized we were way out of our league.  This means that my to do list for wedding stuff is growing at a rapid pace...

Oh and speaking of weddings...hey Rae, how's that wedding diet going?

Pretty awesome, thanks for asking!

Don't get me wrong, I'm not a complete mess when it comes to wedding planning.  I already have the bridesmaid's gifts done and wrapped.  I even took picture of everything for an awesome post (that I clearly can't publish until after I give them as gifts).

In the meantime, I also have to find ways to do other craft projects to keep my mind busy.  I also get a bit wedding project'ed out and have to mix 'er up a bit.  The other day I went on a little craft store shopping spree (kinda) and got a few cute things...

Super cute Amy Butler fabric (Amy Butler is my absolute fav!) that I made a camera strap with..I took plenty 'o pictures for a blog post later this week about that.

I also got an Amy Butler book...

I love bags and I've already decided I will definitely be making some Christmas gifts from this book (get excited ladies!).

Oh and then the other day we were at JoAnn's and I picked up a box of blank folded cards.  I've been wanting to expand my Etsy shop beyond family boards and lanyards....and I had an idea.

I love the look of sewn paper and I've been wanting to play around with it for a bit.  I know the bunting is a bit overdone right now...but it's quickly becoming a Jane's Girl theme (blog template, some new business cards I found on zazzle) so I figured I'd carry it over to a cute little card.

More to come..I hope!

Monday, July 23, 2012

Poker Run

This is a completely non-crafting/non-girly post.  It's about bikers and being tough and wearing shirts with no sleeves and being sweaty and wearing a bandana...and lots of other tough things too.  Just kidding...no dudes read this blog and I don't think I get a lot of biker chicks either.  So...there will be some crafty references after a few obligatory sweaty bike pics.

Mr. JG was in a Poker Run on Saturday for a great cause.  I volunteered to work one of the stops which entailed watching sweaty motorcycle men pull cards and then marking their sheets.

Here are a few pics from the event...

Here was a handful of the motorcycles at the stop I worked.  It was really hot again (triple digits) which I'm sure drove some people away but it was still a pretty decent turnout.

Here's everyone riding off....I stood at the edge of the parking lot belting "born to be wild" out at the top of my lungs as they rode away.  Just kidding...Mr. JG would have been mortified...but I really really wanted to!

Here's one more...I included this last one because that's my man in the very front of the pack leading them to the last stop.

Alright...enough of that motorcycle crap...now to the good stuff!  There were a couple of books about growing a crafting business that I've been wanting to get off of amazon.com recently but then I stopped by my small town library and BAM...they had both (and a book about making pincushions)!  Color me excited.

I've already started the Handmade Marketplace book and it's been so helpful that I'll probably end up purchasing it so I can refer to it come tax time.  I highly recommend it if you're starting a small crafting business (even just a simple etsy shop) because it has some great tips for marketing, tracking sales and inventory, and write-offs and other things you'll need to know for taxes.  Here's more info about it on amazon.

Alright, that's all..hope you got your fill of sweaty biker dudes because that probably ain't happening again (at least until the next Poker Run)...

Sunday, July 22, 2012

A few new local favorites

I went to a few new local places recently and they have quite quickly become favorites for me.  Here's a little break down...

(1) made in Lawrence, KS (on Mass St.)

They've been there for a little over a year and it's a super cute place (they even have their own facebook page that they regularly update with pics of merchandise).  They sell all local handmade stuff so it's basically like Etsy in a store.  This means a few things (a) I was super bummed that it was my lunch break and I had ordered pad thai and zen zero to go before I walked in so I only had about 15 minutes to look around, (b) I want everything, (c) it can be a bit pricey since it's handmade stuff...nothing too outrageous when you think about the time that went into making everything, but definitely pricey enough that I could not in fact purchase everything (see b above).

My main goal was to get my mom a birthday present and I think I did pretty good.

So this is quite possible the oddest assortment of things, but here goes...

I got her some almond milk body lotion that she's already used and said was pretty awesome.  I love me some almond milk body products so I figured this would be a success.

There's some handmade soap that smelled pretty delightful (while I didn't take the price tag off in this picture, I did take it off before giving it to her...phew).

The thing in the background is a tea towel (see, I said it's an odd assortment of things)...let's get a closer look...

I love a good chevron and I like the colors in this one.  Plus I figured it would be handy to have around for a bread basket, etc.

Lastly, I got a small wood crate mostly just to package everything in (and because I figured it would be cute somewhere in her kitchen).

Here is it all packaged and ready for her to open.  Moral of the story..if you're in Lawrence and on Mass St and have some time to kill, go to made.  Tell 'em Rae sent you...or not, they don't know me.  BUT, I did spend a while talking to the owner who graduated from the same law school as me so that was cool...and inspiring.  Nice to see another non-lawyer/crafty type with a law degree.

(2) Westport Flea Market

It's not fancy, but the burgers are delicious.  We went there on Saturday to celebrate my mom's birthday...it ended up being a girl's lunch with my nieces, mom, sister, and granny...4 generations.  We all got mini burgers and everyone seemed to enjoy themselves.  Here are a few of my fav pics from the afternoon...

Hah, so I know my sister won't be super pleased with this picture of her daughter..but I love it.  She refused to smile when she saw I was taking her picture, but then as soon as I took it we both started giggling.

That kid loves ketchup.  That was only way I could get a picture of her without her pacifier in...with a face full of ketchup :)

And finally...4 generations of women in my family.  We're sweet as pie but don't cross us dammit!

Hope everyone is having a great weekend!

Friday, July 20, 2012

Garden Favorites and a few new items in the shop

You know what's really awesome...having a garden.  We're definitely putting some raised beds in our backyard next year so that we can have freh produce right in our own backyard (and not just in the community garden).

The other night I was left to my own devices for dinner...so tomatoes straight out of my garden plot became a big component of it!

Yep...this was a lot of my dinner (or at least the appetizer).  One of my plants grows yellow cherry tomatoes, they are pretty awesome.  But that big red one in the background was definitely the best.  I will usually just sit in the garden, hose off my tomatoes right off the vine, and then eat them.  It's just been so hot recently that the tomatoes right off the vine are pretty warm inside. 

And when I say hot..I mean really hot...

Almost too hot to play in the backyard (and yes, our grass is all burned up even though we have a sprinkler system and water 3 times a week...super annoying).
Oh and here's what else, I've added something new to my Etsy shop...

This is basically a wall hanging - the jars can hold flowers, kitchen utensils, etc.  I had these displayed at the Craft Fair earlier this month and they definitely got a lot of interest.  I played around with aging the paint and I liked how it came out.

And one more thing (I didn't post anything yesterday so let's add some meat to this post)...here's another wedding project I just finished!

Table numbers!  I made some a while ago and had a tutorial for them (here) but the more I looked at them the more I decided they looked awful industrial and probably not quite the feel we wanted.  So I made these but just printing out some numbers in a super fun font (available for free download here - super easy to download and install, if I can do it anyone can!) on card stock, then chopping them up and sticking them into mason jars as frames.  I like the looks of these a lot more and it means that I can re-do my larger mason jars with something a little more romantic and pretty...

I would create a tutorial on these..but I sort of just played around with the twince until it created a nice figure 8 pattern on the jar.  Then I added the ribbon to finish it off.  Here's a close up...

Now you may be thinking...jeez lady you just re-did a project?  Uh, yes.

Is this normal?  Uh, yes.  I also re-did the menu board I originally created here for this new and improved version here.

Oh, and TGIF!  Anyone have big weekend plans?  I'm volunteering to help out with Mr. J.G.'s Poker Run tomorrow which means there will probably be pictures of sweaty bikers on Monday (it's supposed to be another hot one).  So get excited ladies... :)

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Wedding on the Brain

Well, as it turns out I have major wedding on the brain.  Here's why...

I'm getting married in less than two months....yay!

I've decided to DIY most of the wedding (1) to save money, (2) because I enjoy making things, and (3) because I'm not a big fan of a lot of traditional wedding decor that I've found for sale.

So here's what I've made.

A flip flop bucket for the dance floor!

Sorry about the crazy shadows...I took these pics in the evening and later realized I probably should have played around with the blinds a bit more.  Oh well...you get the idea though!  I bought about 25 pairs of flip flops in old navy in various sizes (all women's...I don't see any of the men at this wedding wanting flops...plus they don't have heels they will  need to kick off).  The tags on them were pretty ugly so I cut them off and made my own size tags and tied the pairs together with ribbon.  Oh, and the bucket is from target - it's supposed to be a beverage bucket. 

I'll show some more projects later this week...because that's one of many.

So after working on wedding stuff and taking a lot of pictures, I turned on the TV...

and low and behold it was Craft Wars night.  And on top of that...the challenge was wedding themed!

Well, here's the thing, I honestly wasn't impressed with the projects last night...they made a photo booth and a wishing tree (and no pics are up online yet) and they both looked a bit sloppy and not like something I would have at my wedding.  I get that they only have 5 hours and have to use things like baby blankets...but I still wasn't too impressed and really felt like neither contestant deserved $10K for what they created.  Regardless...it was a lot of wedding for one night.

My wedding on the brain theory (yes, we're calling it a theory now) was confirmed when I had a crazy dream, well nightmare, last night.  It was Mr. J.G.'s and my wedding and for some reason we were in a church (not part of the plan) and we found out that our wedding was like the 10th thing on the list for them to do so we were just sitting waiting while there was a "SNL church lady"-esque service.  Mr. J.G. was just sitting there getting mad about it (yes, we were sitting together and didn't even have the big walk down the aisle moment) and talking about how we should demand a refund which I agreed.

Then, my bridesmaids all starting filtering in after the service started, only half of them weren't my actual bridesmaids that I plan to use.  They were all wearing little house on the prairie type of outfits because apparently those were the dresses I had picked out....it was all very Big Love.

Except for one bridesmaid (once again...not even an actual person that's going to be in the wedding) that didn't want to buy a dress so she just came in her old wedding dress.

This is perfectly normal, right???  Right guys???

Oh, and one last completely un-wedding related thing...today is my mom's birthday!  And she's awesome!

This is me, my mom, and my granny at my sister's wedding (like 5 years ago...yeesh).

Happy Birthday Mom!!!  A true role model on being a strong woman and raising strong women that don't take no shit (sorry about the cussing, mom).