28 May 2011

Quick update

Settling in to new apartment, I noticed that after reassembling his desk, my boyfriend has placed a single item on it: a photograph of me. Can we share a collective "awwww" moment?

In other news, Internet is not working at new place yet, so I will finish the zipper giveaway as soon as I can. More soon!

27 May 2011

Giveaway Winners: Zippers Like Wow

Thanks so much for everyone who stopped by my blog during the Sew Mama Sew Giveaway Day! I never expected such an amazing response! I was absolutely shocked to have just over 700 entries from happy folks looking to win zippers! I'm glad I was able to offer a giveaway that people were excited to win. I suspected it would be good, since many people were giving away fabric, I knew zippers would be a nice compliment. I found out about the SMS giveaway on the very last day to email to sign up. I've always been of the school of thought that it's way more fun to give than to receive, so I am thrilled to be a part of it.

In case you didn't know, I didn't have very many followers before this giveaway. {Full disclosure: I had 38!} I've been blogging for only a few months here. I thought that maybe I'd reach 100, if I was lucky, and was completely amazed to end up with a final total of 266. I know that someone of you might decide to "unfollow" me and stop reading once this giveaway is over, and I completely understand if you do. We live in an information-overloaded world, and if you don't enjoy my blog, I get it if you don't want to waste your time. No worries. I figure that if only a handful of you become regular visitors and readers, I'll be absolutely thrilled.

Before you go, I hope you'll take some time after the madness of SMS Giveaway Day to look around at your leisure. Crafty Moira is my place on the website to discuss my growing artistic practice, including the growth of my small crafty business, Literary Tease. I have an ongoing series called Etsy Tips & Tricks where I offer suggestions and advice to people interesting in selling more on Etsy. I post pictures of projects I'm working on, links to tutorials I want to try (plus some of my own), and interviews with artists I admire. When I'm not crafting, which is, like, never, I am likely teaching arts-based jewelry classes to middle school kids (Best. Job. Ever.) I also love to cook, and I share a lot of my recipes here. I hope you'll come back to visit!

One last thing before I announce the winners of the Zippers Like Wow giveaway: I started moving into my new apartment in Providence, Rhode Island last night. Hurray! The apartment is right across the street from my friend Jen, which is so awesome. I completely forgot to take pictures, but luckily, Jen snapped a few:
Stairway up to my 2nd floor apartment

The huge living room which will be our dual studio.
Now for the winners! As you might recalled, I promised extra zippers based on how many followers I ended up with -- I never expected to have that many... but I did prepare packages of zippers, just in case. Since I reached over 200 followers (WOW!), I am giving out FOUR boxes* of zippers, one each to these lucky winners:

I'm going to send out emails just as soon as I've got a cup of coffee. Ladies, please email me with your addresses so I can send out your magical packages of zipper love right away. The four winners will have three days to get back to me, and if by some reason they don't, I'll draw for replacement winners as needed on Monday.

Feeling sad that you didn't win?

Just for you, I have a special offer running in my etsy shop, Literary Tease. When you use the coupon code: ZIPPYFABULOUS you will get 15% off your total purchase PLUS I will send you five zippers with your order just for stopping by my blog. (Coupon expires June 30.) If you use the coupon, just leave me a message telling me your favorite color(s) for zippers. I can't promise you'll get exactly that color, but I will do my best! (I have everything but black).

the giveaway's not over yet!

I am also going to do a separate drawing for ten packs of ten assorted zippers a little bit later today or early tomorrow. I hope you'll forgive me for not doing it right away, but I need to email the winners then start packing! More soon! Thanks again for stopping by!

*Okay, box will probably be a flat-rate envelope stuffed with zippers for the US folks. International winners will still get a box. :)

26 May 2011

Giveaway Winner: Candy Is Certain

Looking for the crazy awesome Zipper Giveaway? You have until 5 PM EST on Thursday, May 26th to enter!

Congratulations to Katherine who is the winner of the Candy is Certain giveaway. Katherine will receive my mixed media painting, Candy is Certain, plus 5 resin settings to make her own art and jewelry. Congrats, Katherine! I'll be emailing Katherine in a minute here, and she'll have 3 days to get back to me with her address. If for some reason Katherine doesn't respond, I'll pick a second chance winner and post it here.

Thanks so much to everyone who entered!

23 May 2011

Giveaway Day: Zippers like Wow

I can't believe I didn't think about this when I did my first Giveaway Day giveaway post: Candy is Certain, but I'm so excited that I thought of this that I'm doing ANOTHER giveaway! Yes, there's this one and the Candy is Certain giveaway. Just think: you could win both!

A few months ago, I came across a fabric and sewing store that was going out of business. They were selling zippers hella cheap, so I got carried away and bought a ton. Seriously. I came home with about 15 bags of zippers. I counted the zippers in one of the bags and it had 175 in it. So that's more zippers that I will ever use. Here's where you come in.

I will send FOUR lucky winners a box stuffed full of zippers. All of the zippers have plastic teeth. Some of them are YKK. Some are regular zippers, some are invisible zippers. All of them are at least 16 inches long? All could be cut easily to any length you need. I have zippers in every color of the rainbow, except black, and I will send you an assortment. You'll get as many zippers as I can fit in a box, at least 50. You will have enough zippers to last for a year, or maybe a month if you are really industrious.

We all know that zippers can be crazy expensive, so that's why I want to share the zipper love with you all! If you buy zippers retail, you'd easily pay over $100 for these zippers! I always wanted to craft with zippers but couldn't afford to buy them until I found this deal! Now, I'm overloaded with zippers. I've already made tons of pouches and used a zipper on a mixed media painting. Soon, I will make lampshade covers with zippers (not sure how yet, but I'll figure it out.) What will you make?

Become a follower of my blog, if you are able*. Leave me a comment telling me what you would make with a massive win of zippers. If you are a follower (new or old), leave another comment telling me you are and you'll get an extra entry. Wait, anxiously, for me to pick a winner on May 26th using a random number generator. I will ship internationally, no problem! {* You don't have to be a follower to win. But if you are chosen as the winner and you are a follower, you'll get a bonus gift!}

As an added bonus, I will include a pocket mirror from my etsy shop: Literary Tease. For an extra entry, visit my shop and tell me which pocket mirror (or other item) you like best.

Also, if I reach 75 followers during this giveaway, I will include an extra surprise handmade gift for the lucky winner! (Goal reached!)

If I happen to reach 100 followers during this giveaway, I will choose an extra winner who will receive their own box of zippers!!! (Goal reached!!)

If by a long shot I reach 150 followers during this giveaway, I will choose another two extra winners, which would mean that FOUR lucky people out there will win giant boxes of zippers!!! Think of all the projects you could make! (Please note: the extra giveaways will be for followers only -- just another incentive for you to be a follower!) (Goal reached!!!)

Just to be completely crazy, if I reach 200 followers, I will choose an additional TEN people who will get a small package of 10 zippers each! (Crazy, I know!)

So to recap:

One lucky winner will get:
a box of zippers (50+) in all shades of the rainbow
PLUS a pocket mirror from my shop, Literary Tease

If by May 26th @ 5 PM EST, I have 75 - 99 followers, the winner will get an extra surprise gift. (Note: I reached 75 followers, so the winner will DEFINITELY get the bonus gift!!!)
If I have 100 - 149 followers, TWO people will win all of the above. (Extra prize for followers only) (Goal reached: I'll be choosing two winners for sure!)
If I have 150 - 199 followers, FOUR people will win all of the above! (Extras for followers only) (Goal reached: I'll be choosing four winners for sure!)
If I have 200+ followers, FOUR people will win all of the above PLUS ten people will win a package of 10 zippers each. (Extras for followers only)

You have THREE CHANCES TO WIN these awesome zippers:

1 - Leave a comment telling me what you'd make with the zippers
2 - Become a follower & leave me another comment telling me you are
3 - Tell me your favorite item from my etsy shop, Literary Tease

Good luck! See all the giveaway day giveaways here.

20 May 2011

Giveaway Day: Candy is Certain Mixed Media Painting


Want to win this?

I've been wanting to feel like more of an artist lately, so in January and February, I made a bunch of mixed media paintings. This piece is called "Candy is Certain". [I think it's on a 9 x 11 canvas, but don't quote me on that!] The text on the image reads: "Life is uncertain. Eat dessert first." The materials are: canvas, paper, vintage dictionary, and, naturally, candy in the form of rainbow sprinkles. I added embellishments using a Sharpie Poster-Paint marker. This is a signed, one-of-a-kind original by me. I hope you like it!

If you win, you'll get this piece PLUS an added bonus: 5 adorable resin settings with an 18x25 center.

I use these frames to make pendants, brooches, rings, and magnets. I've glued them onto mixed media pieces, too. Just glue on your choice of jewelry finding with E6000 and add your image to the center. I'm sure you will find something fabulous to do with yours!

All you have to do is leave me a comment telling me your favorite candy. It can be something that you liked when you were a kid or your current addiction. That's it!

My current favorite candy are these maple hard candies that I bought at a gift shop in Maine (the one with the giant chocolate moose!) I always like those maple sugar candies, but they are pretty pricey. The hard candies don't have the same texture, but the taste is FABULOUS. I think they are even better because they last way longer.

Want a bonus entry? Become a follower of my blog and leave me another comment telling me you did (or that you already are).

{Want to win some zippers instead? Enter my other giveaway day giveaway here!}

I will choose a winner using a random number generator. The last day to enter is Wednesday, May 25 at 9 PM. Winner will be announced on Thursday, May 26th. I will ship internationally.

12 May 2011

Random: On Moving, Again

My boyfriend and I are moving into a new apartment for June 1st. I've been thinking about moving for a while now, what with our ridiculously loud neighbors, from the floor below us and next door, but the idea of moving can be so overwhelming. We found an apartment about two weeks ago that we liked (well, if I could get past the hideous speckled paint job, that was), and we were all set to move in, but the landlord was wishy-washy about the rent and about our cats, so we changed our minds. We did end up finding an apartment that was both affordable and pretty as well as right across the street from my best friend in Providence.

The only problems? The move in date had to be June 1st, and it's a one bedroom. June 1st is a problem because the Providence Arts Festival in on June 4th. I already feel like there's no way I can be ready for it, because I just don't have enough energy to get everything accomplished that I want to do. Moving a few days beforehand? Yikes! Instead of driving myself crazy trying to match the inventory and sales from last year, which honestly feels downright impossible right about now, I'm telling myself that I just want to make back what I put into the festival.

Last year, I had to buy a tent and all my displays. Last year's sale more than paid for all of those things, so this year it's all about inventory. Luckily, I know what sold well for me last year, so I'm focusing on those items. I don't have very much in the way of new items, but I'm telling myself that I'll debut new items in time for the September festival. For now, I just want to cover my costs and have fun!

Last year's festival was exhausting, yes, but mostly, it was loads of fun! I love getting to talk to lots of people about my work, and I love being outside, out of the full blast of the sun, drinking iced coffee and listening to music. Plus, once the arts festival is over, I'll be on vacation until June 20th. I can relax and settle in to our new apartment then.

The one bedroom thing is going to take some getting used to, but I'm actually looking forward to it. Nick and I both spend most of our day in our separate studio spaces, so sharing space will be really nice. The room we'll be sharing is actually huge: it's going to be our combined studio / living room space. The bedroom is tiny, and so is the kitchen, but I'm fine with that. The kitchen has tons of storage space, unlike the other apartment we almost rented which has no cabinets whatsoever. I figure I can store some of my craft stuff in the kitchen as well as in the basement storage cage.

The biggest thing about moving into a smaller place is getting rid of stuff in order to fit! That's actually not so hard either. The only piece of furniture I'm really attached to is my awesome desk, the galant system from Ikea. I scored the desk top and some of the legs for free on craigslist and got the rest of it from the as-is department at the Stoughton Ikea. All in all, it cost me about $35 plus gas to Ikea. Replacing it new would cost $200+. So, yeah, I'm keeping that.

In order to figure out what we'd keep and what we'd donate, Nick and I drew a map of the new apartment to scale. We made little graph paper representations of all of our furniture and played around with the arrangement until we liked it. I'm sure it will change a bit once we're in the new place, but I bet not that much.

So moving day is two weeks away and hardly anything's packed, but am I stressing? Nah. We'll get it down and it will all be fine. Even if my inventory is sparse at the arts festival this year, it will still be fun just to be there. And I'll probably do just fine. I tend to stress myself out too much about everything, but this year, I'm taking it easy. I'm dealing with some health stuff, too, and instead of stressing about that, I'm just trying to remind myself to relax and just let it go. It will work itself out in the end. Deep breath. Relax.

09 May 2011

Giveaway: Chaotic Conscience

If you didn't win last week's $25 gift certificate to Literary Tease giveaway, here's another chance. This time, I'm sponsoring a giveaway on Chaotic Conscience. You get multiple chances to win, so check it out! Last week's winner ordered a custom locket with the word "rever," which means "to dream" in French. The best thing about this gift certificate is that it can be used on ANYTHING in my shop, and even to create your own custom piece. Since my work is as affordable as it is fun, $25 goes a long way! Good luck!

05 May 2011

Random: Studio Destashing

Anyone who knows me, probably knows that I am a major packrat. It's not my fault; it's genetic. Seriously. The packrat gene definitely runs in my family. Being a packrat is not the same as being a hoarder. A hoarder keeps everything and is practically unable to throw anything away. I'm definitely not like that. I go through tossing binges where anything and everything could end up in the trash, on the curb, or at the local thrift store. When I moved to Providence from Greensburg, PA, I got rid of just about everything that didn't fit in the back of my dad's small Toyota, selling all my furniture and trash-picked treasures to fund the trip.

I don't keep things just for the memories attached to them either. I hardly have any items that I keep purely for sentimental value. Sure, I have photographs, letters from friends, and a few mementos from departed loved ones, but it's not like I keep every single photograph, letter, or memento. I have a select few items, like a metal lobster claw that I found on the beach the last time I saw my father before he died, ashes of my dear friend Fiend who suicided in 2002, a half-empty bottle of my grandfather's shaving lotion, but mostly the stuff that I have is of a crafty nature.

Everything has a potential crafty use: old glasses bottles could be used in a mixed media collage, tangled and broken necklaces could be reinvented into new jewelry creations, saved wine corks might eventually be carved into stamps. The problem is the same one that most Americans face: time. Who in the world has time to do all of these crafts? Even I, who works very part-time out in the "real" world and mostly from home can't possibly finish all of the potential crafts that might happen from my crafty stash. And what good does a huge stash of yarn do if it's just hanging out in plastic bins in a closet somewhere?

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