we like to make things! we like to talk about the things we make! yippee!

Monday, July 31, 2006

what's on your wist-list?

how awesome is shanna's competition news! i'm so impressed!!!
so, etsyans are always finding new ways to promote etsy online (and off!) and a popular one lately is this social bookmarking site, wists. basically, you plug a little button into your browser bar, and whenever you're browsing the net and come across something you like / want / have to have, you can click "add to wists" and it adds it to your wist list. i use it all the time, and i love browsing other people's wists, too.
the fun thing is, you can also use the search tool to see if people have wisted the items you've made and sell. i've found some of my totes on other people's wist lists, and of course, some QueenBee balm (which is unavailable in my etsy shop for the time being because of the extreme heat all over the country).
in other news, i did some more work in the house over the weekend. i need to bring my camera over to post photos to flickr, but basically, i'm working on finishing up the floor i sanded in the master bedroom. and curiosity finally got the better of me, as i hammered a big ol' hole into the wall i'm taking down in the kitchen. much to my delight (and not much shock), it's an old brick column inside of it. so... pretty sweet. if it has to be anything there, it may as well be an original exposed brick column, right?
photos to come...

Thursday, July 27, 2006

We Placed!

Gene (my husband) and I just received word that we placed in the "You, Me and the Bus Competition"! We are very excited about this. We have entered about 5 different competitions the past 5 years and have never won a thing. We entered this competition in April and as of July we had given up on any recognition. Then last Friday a letter arrived in our mailbox announcing that we had received 8th place and that or project is going to be published and possibly built. We were not in the top 4 which are listed on their web site. But thats okay because they are considering building the top 16 winners. Above are a few images of our designer bus stop.

Ps. Sara - Spoon is playing in an out door festival this weekend wish you were here we could check it out!!

PSS. For some reason the color is all messed up on these. I will work on fixing that situation!!

alice of kansas - sara's etsy pick

plum and tangerine tangles

shine a light pin set

marisol seahorse skirt

aliceofkansas is just the right combination of smart, sarcastic, snarky and, most importantly, talented for my taste. her shop showcases her love of color ("all this wool is like a new box of crayons. a big one. with a sharpener in the back that i i never use, but i love knowing it's there. i just wanna roll in it.") her things are all one of kind and also, have magical powers. marisol transformed herself from an adorable three-dimensional seahorse into a skirt with no further explanation... she's just both now. it's amazing, really. what's new and exciting in the land of aliceofkansas is that she's now officially a crafty bastard, so make sure you show her shop lots of loving as she gears up for her first huge show. basically, to get to the point, i wish alice lived next door to me. we could steal pies cooling in each other's windows and stay up til the wee hours of the morning making craziness. until then, she's a chinatown bus ride away in the wilds of... dc.

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

spoon reissues telephono!

so, yesterday evening, chris and i decided to take a drive since it was nice out and it's top down weather and all that. so we went to put new cd's in my cd player, and i got a little made fun of because in my visor alone i had two (burned, not real) copies of spoon's first album, telephono. so you can imagine my delight when i noticed a little blurb today that the band is re-releasing telephono with soft effects. sweet! i mean, not as sweet as scoring a copy of the real deal, but sweet nonetheless!

Food 4 Thought

For those of us who live in the city it is often hard to find good fresh food. Lately the farmers market that arrives each Thursday at Daily Plaza has inspired me. The farmers who arrive each week bring with them a wonderful assortment of baked goods, fresh fruit, veggies, flowers and many other delightful items. I have started taking photos of the amazing freshness, in hopes that one day they could be framed in my kitchen to motivate healthy eating. When I lived in Philly I always made a weekly trip to Reading Terminal market, which houses some of natures best. This is where I got all my fresh fruits, veggies, and fish and even Christmas presents. I truly miss my weekly trips there with my coworkers and my regular market partner Brigham. Now living in Chicago, I look forward to tomorrow’s arrival of white tents & crowded lunch goers, as the farm makes it’s presence known in the windy city.

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

man jewelry (mewelry)

i finally finished this box. it'd be haunting me how long it took me to finish, but with the whole house hunt, the mortgage hunt, and zillion other things i had going on, it just took forever, since i really wanted to spend a good amount of time on it anytime i sat down with it.
so, it's finished. the overall dimensions of this box in plan are to the proportion of a golden section (or google it if you're unsure what this is). then the depth of the box was derived from making a golden section of the shorter dimension of the box in plan. within the box, there is a lift-out tray that reveals a 'secret' compartment (which is the common link between most of my woodworking endeavors - a secret space). the liftout tray is divided into smaller compartments for the utmost organization, they spiral out forming perfect squares in descending order.
the box is made of birch plywood and walnut, and the lovely natural coloring of the woods were preserved with a clear vanish, so as not to detract from their natural loveliness. the bottom panel of the interior of the secret compartment is painted a rich adobe color, and the sides of the secret compartment are lined in dark walnut.
it's a complete departure from everything else listed in my shop (all the fabric-y things and lip balm and earrings), but i'm quite pleased with the results.
what do you think?
ps - mewelry is alice of kansas' lovely invention of a word. it rocks.

Monday, July 24, 2006

Sasho Art - Shanna's weekly Etsy pick

Black Cat Raccoon Playing Chess

Fairy Orange Tabby Cat Owl Squirrel Tree

Fairy Black Cat The Earth Moon

Okay…. so I am a Cat Lover! Keeping with Sara’s Theme of “For Children and Adults alike”
(see below) I have picked Sashoart’s etsy shop for this week’s pick! These cats are great and so is the artist who creates them! Sasho is a young Bulgarian artist currently living in Seattle, Washington. He is very talented and he has work in collections around the world (thanks to his new etsy site there will be more) I have yet to order a Mini poster but that is only because I can't decide which one I like best! If I were ever to write a Children’s cat book, (which has been a long time dream) I would want Sashoart to create the illustrations! I see a undeniable expression of heart felt feelings and attitude in his animals! I know they would be a treasure to any art collection.

Friday, July 21, 2006

staceyrebecca - sara's etsy pick


mr.mistachioed sunshine

chubs the bunny

while my chicago girl was growing up and falling down (see below), i was making things official with the house. what a big day in queenbee blog history! wheeee!
but, onto my etsy pick of the week. this week? staceyrebecca.etsy.com, who makes fantastic, amazing puppets. each seems totally squeezable, squishy and full of character. it's so easy to spot staceyrebecca's quirky sense of humor (mr.mistachioed sunshine? brilliantly funny) and her amazing attention to detail (snalg above is only a wee 2" tall!). her descriptions are fabulously entertaining introductions to her little peanut gallery of characters. i absolutely love how she photographs all these little buddies so up close and personal, and lets you look the the puppets exactly in the way you would if you were to pick them up and examine them.
go check out the rest!

Thursday, July 20, 2006

Create and Fall Down!

I had a sparkling Birthday and now I am back to an even number. I don't know why... but for me an even year better then an odd year. Not that I have truely had bad odd year but... for me I like it even! So 28 is going to be good, I can feel it. I think Saturday birthdays are the best. I woke up and my husband took me to get a coffee at this cute little neighborhood coffee shop called Sip, then we walked in the 90 degree heat to this southern cooking breakfast place called "Wishbone" located in the west loop. I had an all egg white omleet with a bunch of healthy veggies added it was just delightful!! Then it was home to the cool air and my sewing machine. I have desided that I can sew. Although I often get my steps out of order- so some times I end up with edges unfinished and stiching showing where - I wish they wernt... but it's okay! I call it a learning process. I ended up making an I-pod case and a phone cosy. The phone cosy was suppose to be an I-pod case but it ended up being to little, but it ended up fiting my phone nicely. haha..... The evening arrived and it was time for our party hop which was stupendous! Meeting new foks and partying with ones I already know and Like! As my night dwindled in the twilight is was only deserving that I fell to meet the sidewalk, and that was my signial that it was time to go home. Happy 28th. Images are of my birthday creations!

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

i'm pretty excited about lots of things this week. most obviously, signing a hundred papers tomorrow so my house is officially... mine. but also, i'm participating in the BIG ART SHOW this saturday. there are a bunch of reasons why i've decided to show work from my days making ridiculousness in architecture school in leui of locking myself away and making a zillion zip pouches. namely, my apartment is too hot for me to be in full-on sweatshop mode (i'd pass out. seriously.) i've also been going out more, being social for the summertime. but really, i just feel like it's the perfect venue to show it. i've never publicly displayed the stuff i slaved over in college, and so lots of new friends have never seen all the crazy shit i worked on, and why i have this making-bug now... how i really miss the stress of deadlines, constructive criticism, creative input, getting my hands dirty... and i think some of it is just plain ol' fun to look at and kind of interesting...
also, the big art show is gobs of fun - good people, decent bands and hopefully a large enough and air conditioned space. yippee!

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

okay, so i don't even like video games. i prefer to spend my "free time" making things (obviously). but when our good friend keith rented out the pinball-parlour, i had to see what it was all about. turns out, it's hundreds of pinball machines, from the very old (but working) to the current, all set to free play. sweeeet! and if you tire of pinball (possible?), downstairs is a free jukebox (odd selections, but whatever), foosball, driving games, and old video games, including pac-man and mrs. pacman, side by side. so, even i was converted. it was an amazing four hours of awesomeness. my mind was completely blown, and i can't imagine how someone who actually LIKES games much enjoy the place.
and, for those keeping track, we're at less than 2 days til house-closing time. wheeee!!!! i can't wait. i went and made some very 'grown-up' purchases yesterday - a refridgerator, washing machine and dryer. and then some flower pots, since buying refridgerators isn't as fun as one might think, where as flower pots are quite fun. until i get a puppy, my houseplants are my leeettle pets.

Sunday, July 16, 2006

minerva orduno - sara's etsy pick

necklace from rubber hoops

taxco silver + hills

rusty pipes ring

so, this week i think the unofficial theme for our etsy picks is architecture. this makes sense, since shanna and i met working for the same architecture firm in center city philly, and we both believe architecture is a base for many other types of design. yippee! architecture!
my pick this week is also a "pretend architect" (meaning not registered) in arizona - minervaorduno.etsy.com . she's a bunch of fun, and part of what i love about her shop is that she makes jewelry that's about making the unexpected into something a little more glamorous. while i'm anxiously awaiting my order from her, i thought i'd feature some other jewelry and photography from her shop that i really like. many of her pieces feature rubber hoops that she procured at a hardware store, which is brilliant - so geometric, elegant and frankly just stunning. what catches my eye many days, though, is her photography, where it becomes so obvious of her love affair with buildings and structure. a curious eye for detail and composition, minerva seemingly finds great shots in so many great cities. how fun would it be to travel with this lady? too fun. go check out her travel portfolio and her unusual and elegant jewelry, and tell her i said hi.

Friday, July 14, 2006

My Pick of the Week!

My week has about slipped by with out posting my pick of the week!

I don't know how my magnificent Philly Girl has time to do it all! She is simply astounding!
I completely agree with her post about photographing. I feel like lack of Photographing set up is my major hold back from posting things on etsy. I have don't have access to effortless photo back drops (no deck or out side space for this city dweller) Nor do I have someone to "hold" my new creations, so it just so happens that I have a little stash of jewelry and some knitting just waiting in zip lock bags to be posted on my etsy site! I just can't seam to get it photographed. Perhaps it is just another excuse but I do feel like I could use some help on the topic. How do people get these pleasing close ups of jewelry? Perhaps I need a new camera.... okay enough....about my drama!

on to my.....PICK of the WEEK!

mmsomewhere's Shop

Once again I do not know this person nor have I had any contact with her, but I think her art work is Spectacular!
I love the Architectural forms and the dynamic spaces. She captures life and space in her photography!
Below is a sample of her work you can also see more at her personal web site~!
She has yet to make any sales on etsy - but I think its only a matter of time!

Thursday, July 13, 2006

model shot

so. i think one of the hardest aspects of selling online is taking photos. i am slowly warming up to the idea of installing a light tent in my new studio, so i can take wonderful, amazing photos of my bags and things without being at the mercy of the weather. that, and i'm not going to have access to my roofdeck by the end of summer, so i need a new consistent backdrop for my shop.
everyone always clamors over good photos on a white background, and for a while i thought they were just so overrated and boring. but as i continually list things in my shop, i'm beginning to understand the value of consistent photos.
however, i have no idea how people like dyno fit into their lightboxes... does she have a big white room to take all these awesome shots in? a set? a big green screen? i definitely always like seeing well-taken shots of people holding or wearing the items that are being sold (note i say "holding or wearing" and not "modelling" - modelling to me = cheeseball...). this is the best way for a customer to a) imagine themselves with the item and b) grasp how big (or small) the item is. showing a hand holding an earring is a simple way to display how big the earring is without wearing the earring on an ear (which is a BIG no-no - gross!)
so, when i go up on the deck to take photos, lately i've been striving to get one of myself holding the item (yippee for the self timer, as chris is not a great photo-taker, no offense...), one of it straight on, one of the inside or alternate view, and one good detail shot. but the one of myself holding the item (usually a purse) is soooo difficult to take. i'm super self-critical, and try to get discreet shots of myself (no face, not emphasizing my body but rather what is being sold, a shot that gives relative size without being distracting...)
so. my point is, i recently listed two items in my shop with myself in the main photo. and it was a scary thing to do...

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

one week!

only a little more than one week til girlscantell relocates to its new world headquarters. and by that i really just mean i get to start playing around in my house. i couldn't be more excited, even if i do have to buy not fun things like a furnace and a refridgerator... my first project is putting a new door into the closet from the front bedroom. so, yes, i'll be banging holes in walls right from the start. i mean, why else does one buy a house?

in other news, i got tags in from rohm, who is one of the sweetest, most attentive seller's i've bought from yet. i emailed her my design, and she did a test tag, and decided it could be better, so she asked if i'd mind tweaking it a bit, so they would come out as awesome as possible. pretty great, no? i'm just tickled by the results, it makes me so happy to sew them into my little pouches and purses. very, very cool.

Friday, July 07, 2006

pinkbathtub - sara pick of the week

you are what you wheat cards

greeting card sampler

letter S cards

choosing just three images to post here for my etsy pick of the week this week was hard, because everything this artist does is just stellar, in my opinion. noelle, aka pinkbathtub, and i are working on a special collaboration right now which will be unveiled by the end of the month. while i don't want to get into specifics about that just yet (!), i will say that noelle is amazingly sweet and a pleasure to work with. she knows the limitations on her craft, and is always willing to experiment and try new things to make her work pop! just right.
look at the colors on the items in her shop - so vibrant and gorgeous and rich! having seen a small sample of her work in person, i was blown away by how great her eye is. everything is so clean and clear and simple, but at the same time has depth and substance. she uses a lot of everyday imagery in her work - fruits and veggies, letters, household items, and makes them vivid and interesting.
she's the type of seller who makes etsy fun!

Thursday, July 06, 2006

I luv the 4th of July.

The 4th of July is my Favorite holiday. Perhaps it is because it is the closest holiday to my birthday or maybe it is because I love the hot weather and the happy, party, carefree sprit that most people have on this day. I can't explain it but it is a great day. This year I spent my holiday weekend on the Lake in Cicero. This is were I would spend every 4th of July for the rest of my life, if it were up to me. The lake is cool when the sun is hot, my family and friends are close and the sun set is beautiful. This is the place I feel most at home!!

I spent part of my weekend picking cherries off 2 cherry tree's that my great granddad planted for me. This is the 1st year I have ever been there when the cherries were perfect, so I couldn't resist the laboring joy of making a cherry pie from scratch. It was a lot of work but it all paid off when I was able to share it with my grandparents whom I have not seen in a very long time. I had a wonderful 4th of July and I even got some knitting done..... stay tuned.