Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Let the advent begin!

Well, my father and I both made our deadlines.  He made the tree, and I got the fabric bins done.  Although I still have to do something about the numbers - so if December 1st is tomorrow, the tree is basically ready - oh wait, it IS tomorrow!   It's not like I've never stayed up late craftin' it out.  So, here is the ALMOST finished Advent Calendar.
One of my goals with this project was to use up some of the cute Christmas fabric I've been holding on to.  It's going to be fun taking this bad boy out every Holiday, and I know my kids will have fun remembering all the fabrics I used - er I mean the goodies they got each morning.
My father claims every cubby space is the same size...

Now it's time to get creative filling the bins!

Ok ok, so I have a few more finishing touches, but I am very excited about this tradition.  My sisters and I had an "advent fairy" stirring up excitement every December, and it's something we'll never forget.

Friday, November 18, 2011

I got side-tracked...

Did I get the bins done?  No.  Did I get half of them done, no, not yet.  I got into the craft room and got crafting ADD.  This is when I have a  million ideas in my head, and I start a few projects, and well, finish some.  I did get a few more bins done, but I will have to step up my bin-making game this weekend.
4 more, cute owl, a green to match a some little snowmen
So what did I work on instead of bins?  What - do you ask did I squander my precious nap-time on?  I made 4 aprons, I am calling them work aprons, because they are designed from the pattern I made up for the apron I use at work.  It's a full apron with an "X" in the back instead of ties.  I also jumped back into the goat phase, and make some little pincushion/ornaments with some goat fabric.  Don't they look busy?   I might even get them listed in my Etsy shop.
busy sewing goats 
 Do you have any unfinished projects you NEED to work on this weekend?

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Numbers, fractions, probability ...

I asked my dad the other day if he would make a wooden advent calendar for my family.  In his typical style, he did not say anything.  Then I got a call "this project, what size do you want the space for the boxes?"So the pressure was on me to come up with a number.   Three inches I said. Well, hmmm.. maybe two, eh, two isn't big enough, grr... 2 and half.  It didn't really matter I was just happy to hear he started working on it.  Honestly, I did not think it would happen this year.  Of course, that is chicken counting - you know, before the egg hatches.   So then I realized, he was a roll, and I had to make 24 little fabric bins.  Normally I have time to make something like this, but I knew I couldn't put this off.  So I used up a nap-time to create the pattern, (I'm crossing my fingers it will fit into the cubby space that is 3 (?) inches tall.  My goal is to get them done this week.  So I can put the finishing touches on  the calendar during the last week of November. Here is a peek at the first three fabric bins.
3/24 (12.5% complete, if they are the right size)
I spent a good deal of time working on the pattern and finding fabrics today, so I hope I can get more sewn up tomorrow.  Hmm... what is the probability I will actually get them finished this week?  We'll see.  We have 15 days until it needs to be ready to go.

Monday, October 31, 2011

Happy Halloween!

How to confuse my children... make their Halloween costumes 5 days before Halloween.  Usually we are working on costumes right up until the first trick-o-treater comes to our door (I am ferociously working, as I'm being barked at by a little one as to how: THAT IS NOT HOW BAT WINGS LOOK!).  Seriously, that's how it usually goes.  Not this year.  I got 3 of the four costumes done a good 5 days early!  And the following 5 days were followed by a bombardment of questions as to why we weren't going door to door that night.
The Monster Mash!
Now it's no secret that owls have been an important part of our lives the past few years.  My daughters each wanted to be an owlie.  And thanks to the encouragement and inspiration from my Etsy OWLS teammate. Squarejane, they were the perfect little hoots!

The first-grade-smile owl
Hazel sat on the set next to her "owl pumpkin" hooting the night away
Another current house obsession is bats.  Thanks to my 5 year old son, we have learned a lot about bats, made bat-houses, been to bat festivals, crafted up a lot of bats, and made at least 2 official bat costumes.
The flying fox fruit bat
The Monster Mash song is a very popular tune around our household, Halloween or no Halloween - hence our little Frankenstein.  I hope you had a Happy Halloween.  I must say I had a lot of fun making costumes this year - who knows what Handmade goodness I will be pushed into next year (the count down has already started)!

Monday, October 24, 2011

A Little Halloween Craft

I found this matchbox paper pattern a few years ago on the Swap-bot blog - I figured it was time for me to make something fun for Halloween for my little squirrels.  I found some Halloween paper and embellishments and got to work.  This was one of the times it was fun to have to make four of something.  I had the time, and the inspiration.  I put 5 little orange pumpkins for them to decorate and use in the "5 little pumpkin" poem.
I know for sure one of them is already smushed, but the kids enjoyed them.
I love using orange and purple together.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

My Little Bat Boy. . .

... or actually I should my my little boy dressed up as a bat.  As that is what he was for Halloween last year.  It was about this time last year I decided once and for all I was going to become the new owner of 100 Proof Press.  My son was flipping through the catalog and found image#5737, the boy dressed up as a bat. That image is what he used to design his costume.  My sister had the task of bringing this stamp to life, to my son's very specific specifications.  I think she did a wonderful job, and eventually we convinced Joe it looked enough like image#5737, the BOY dressed as a Bat.
This photo makes me so very happy.  It was a beautiful day, and I'll never forget this little boy dressed as a bat trying to fly in the wind.
I made Joe this Halloween card this year with the bat boy stamp.  The saying is just perfect: "Clothes make a statement. Costumes tell a story."  Joe finally outgrew his bat costume - he got very good use out it , he wore it weekly. This year he wants to be a bat, not a BOY dressed as a bat, a flying fox fruit bat (we have a stamp for that too!).
Fun card, I just loved playing with this paper!

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Baby Boo Feet

I thought of a fun little crafty thing to do with baby this past week.  Paint the soles of the feet in white paint, and turn them into ghosts of course.  I think it makes a cute little keepsake for baby's first Halloween. Of course this can work with bigger kids too, but the baby boo feet are the cutest.
So, if you have some baby feet and white paint, you might want to give it a try, just takes a few minutes, and you can have the keepsake forever, because those little feet don't stay tiny for long!

Trick or Treat, Stamp my Feet. . .

Saturday, October 8, 2011

It's a Halloween Party...

... for the spooky paper dolls.

I recently just got back into the paper-crafting world.  Before this week, I had always just used a glue stick for my paper creations.. never again!  I got some awesome Helmar products to play around with, and well, I am in love.  I was actually having so much fun testing them out I made two paper dolls - just so I could use some more Zapdots - the zapdots were perfect for attaching the "puff-balls" to the hats.  And of course I used several 100 Proof Press images, and that famous inkadinkado dress stamp.  Let's just say I  had some fun with adhesives, stamps, scissors and paper.  Boo!
Party Skull
Also, I am going to enter them into the Halloween Contest over a Retro Cafe Art - I figure they are all dolled up and ready to go out I better take them somewhere.

Punkin' Party Gal
Skirt Detail
Let's Party!
We would love to have more attendants at the party, if you have a Halloween doll, I'd love to see it.  We could have a parade.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Echo Park Paper

For awhile, I moved off of fun papers to fabric, now I'm back into the paper.  And (this is how long it was since I bought fancy paper) NOW papers are useable on BOTH, yes, BOTH sides!  Crazy - I got bats on one side, and coordinating stars on the other.  Needless to say, I am excited about this paper and I had fun making cards.  Here is one of them.  My son is in love with bats (more on that later) and here's a cool bat card...  And yes, always with the owls.  Hoot hoot.
fun card, 100 Proof Press stamps and Echo Park Paper

But wait, there's more!  This paper kept me going...
Look at me, using brads and pleating paper!  Ha!

Monday, August 22, 2011

Back To School

Wow, that month flew by - and I was going to create so much over the summer!  Here's a little back to school "goat love" card I made.  I  am still thinking of fun goat-y things to make.  My daughter said these goats are falling in love - I guess that one is trying to impress the other with that fancy bell around his neck.
Goat Love

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Miss You Card

I finally got some time to play with my Danita stamps instead of just making the stamps.  I made this little card for my sister who is far far away in Alaska.  Now I just have to send it to her.
Miss you.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Little Miss Cupcake

I finally got around to making some new images for my rubber stamp company.  Months ago I asked Danita, from Danita Art if she would like to work with me to make some rubber stamps.  I was so excited when she sent me some illustrations I could use to make rubber stamps.  I turned three of the images she made into stamps - I can't wait to make more.  This is the first one that is for sale, my daughter who is a big Danita fan,  named her "Little Miss Cupcake."
Little Miss Cupcake

Friday, June 17, 2011

Stop looking at me... GOATS!

These goat stamps just keep looking at me, asking me to make something with them.  I haven't quite figured out what it will be.  I just have them there sitting on my work table, trying to get me motivated.   I'm    just not sure what they want to become.  Thinking, thinking.

The goat phase - two stamps starring me down.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

A new place for sitting

I finally got around to cleaning up an old chair and painting it.  I love using fun fabric and adding color to my craft room.  My dad had this chair in his basement for a long time and it was in his "work in progress" pile - he was going to sand it down to the beautiful oak and then refinish it.  But I abducted it and it became a WIP for me.  I did find a carved in branding on one of the pieces, so I think the chairs are kind of old - it would have been nice to see how it started out, who sat on it. . .  it is painted purple now.

I stripped off what was left of the sitting part, spider eggs and all, and then I cut a piece of ply-wood to size and covered it with a thick foam and fabric.  I knew I wanted to do something with that fabric I would see everyday, and this seemed like the perfect project for it.
I feel a goat phase coming on!

Thursday, May 26, 2011

The Party is Over.

Blue Bird Pillow by Zemphira Creations
Blue Bird Pillow, a photo by Zemphira Creations on Flickr.
I've had an idea for a pillow like this for sometime now. And last month I was hopping around some creative sewing blogs, and I found a "pillow party" for bloggers over on Stitched in Color. You make a quilted pillow, blog about it and share. It was my motivation to get this pillow made - but guess what, the party ended last month. I really like how it turned out, and it is going to stay in my craft room. Maybe one day I'll make a quilted wall-hanging to match.  Even though I missed the party, I'm happy to have found some much-needed inspiration and creative time.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Birdie Apron and a Custom Request

Birdie Apron by Zemphira Creations
Birdie Apron, a photo by Zemphira Creations on Flickr.
Woo Hoo! I got a request for a custom apron last week , and I thought my Zemphira shop was never going to have another sale. I quick-like headed to my stash and put together a few new aprons for the Spring Craft festival season. I even got them listed in my shop.

Via Flickr:
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Thursday, April 28, 2011

Alchemy Journal.

alchemy journal by Zemphira Creations
alchemy journal, a photo by Zemphira Creations on Flickr.
Before my sister headed back to Alaska, we had a few "crafter-hour" sessions. This is when we made stamps all day, and then went back into work and stamped up some of our own creations. We had a lot of fun, but stayed up way too late.

This journal was one of my "crafter hour" creations. It uses four stamps that I think are pretty cool, some tags, and some baker's twine. I hear it's not crafty these days if there's no baker's twine.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

We took the Hares to Akron.

Well, we did it. We got our first "STAMP SHOW!" under our belts. It was a lot of fun meeting customers and helping them search through the catalog to find just the right image. We found a perfect cactus, constellation stamp, a realistic pig, octopi, and a few other special requests. Still looking for that fried egg though - I know we have one.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Hop, Stamp, Sew

I found a little time to create some rubber stamped mixed media art -and I have my Etsy OWLS team to thank for the inspiration.   I am a member of the Etsy OWLS team, and the  challenge for this month was to create something with a rabbit.  I used the handsome hares stamp from 100 Proof Press and some fabrics from my stash, and I even used a hoop!  Hoop hoop!  Hop! Hop!
This little art quilt hanging was inspired by Jennifer's fun Handsome Hares Pillow 
I've been meaning to make something in a hoop for awhile now, and I'm pretty happy with how this Easter decoration turned out.
I also experimented with another idea.  This was my original idea inspired by the challenge, but eh, it wasn't quite what I was going for.  I had fun making the cuff, so maybe I'll work on this idea a bit later.
Rabbit cuff...  hmm... 

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Springy Sort of Purses

I  made this purse pattern up last Spring, and I am just now getting around to listing them in my shop.  They are just little hip pouches, kind of like an extra pocket.  But what makes them so delightful  is the fabric.  Ahh.... the wonderful Japanese fabric!  Stop by my Etsy shop and check them out.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

3 years selling on Etsy...

And where am I now?  I am still trying to sell handmade items on Etsy but my new business tends to eat up all my time.  Around November I thought a good goal for Zemphira would be to have 1,000 sales by my third Etsy-versary.   I did not meet that goal.  Another goal I had was to list a commemorative Polkie the Owl Pot holder.  This I did.  If only I could sell 39 of  them to complete both goals.

The Original - My Favorite

2 year anniversary
1 year anniversary

3rd year commemorative Polkie the Owl Potholder.
Now I see I made the eyes different.
Polkies are fun to make, and they really got me going into the owl-world of Etsy.  I just wish there were more hours in the day to create.  Happy Etsy-versarary to me!  Bellissimo!

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Screen Printing with my Sisters

So, I guess I wasn't feeling very "bloggy" during the month of February.  I have been pretty busy working on all the stamp-shop stuff.  My sisters and I took a stamp-making break to screen print some 100 Proof Press hoodies.
The screen came with the biz, so we put it to use.

Mary's inkin' the screen.
Time to squeegee.
Voila! 100 Proof Press uniforms.
Right now we are really busy getting ready for our first stamp show.  Lots of stuff to do.  One day I might get back to my sewing machine.