Thursday, September 30, 2010

Addicted to Etsy

As much time as I spend on Etsy I try to restrain myself from buying everything I like. I splurged the other day though and got these adorable/eerie/functional/gorgeous little note books from  heavensentcrafts.

Seriously the pictures do not do them justice. So perfect I don't know if I will be able to use them.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Fed Up

I guess I thought junk mail was just one of those things that you had to live with. But WHY? It is such a huge waste and I hate it. In my life I am trying to simplify in all areas and become more environmentally and conscious. I am not going to go live in a tree but there are more steps I can take than the everyday things I am already doing. Today my beef is with junk mail. I don't even own a credit card (and hopefully never will) so why do they insist on sending me this crap? Grr.

The other day I was going through a large pile of junk mail and I decided enough was enough. I sent them something back.

Spam me? I am going to spam you back.

I recycled as much of the 'mail' as I could and then used their little envelopes that do not require a stamp and sent them a little note. Then I went on google trying to figure out how to get off some of these lists.  I went to this website. I think I may even have to call my college since they keep bugging me for money. 1. I am still in debt up to my eyeballs to them and I am unemployed (thanks liberal arts education) and 2. I will inform them that the amount of money they will save in paper and postage and printing costs will be my donation.

Here is a treasury I posted to honor those who know how to reuse this junk for better use. I tried using that new thing where you can post an entire active treasury to the blog but for some reason it will not generate html for me. I am going to try again latter because that would just be all kinds of awesome.

Friday, September 24, 2010


Need to make. Create. Do. I can't help but feel overwhelmed and exhilarated all at once. I want to  make things. I want to make all kinds of things right now. I want to make what I know and I want to branch out and make things that I  have zero skill in. I want to make cozy things, beautiful things, useful things, lovely things, all things.

Are things the important part though? They are certainly part of it but I need/crave the process. For too long I have simply sat back and tried to make pretty little things in my spare times and be pretty and quaint about it. I don't want quaint. I apologize if I have been quaint. I don't care what it is at this point but I just need to make. I need to get the images out of my head that have been haunting me. I also need to get rid of this feeling of not doing. No longer will I be stagnant. I will go out and MAKE. Whether it be things or food or music I just need to start this habit and work though whatever it is I am feeling right now. Antsy/productive.

Etsy Holiday Boot Camp

I, RubyMarilyn, pledge to participate in the Etsy Success Holiday Boot Camp to the best of my abilities. I vow to check in every week, do my homework and support my fellow Holiday Boot Campers. I will read the weekly newsletters and blog posts, check in on the weekly forum thread, read the weekly blog post, check off the checklists and salute the mascot. I promise to share what I've learned with those who need it, support my fellow Etsy indiepreneurs and, most of all, have a positive and persistent attitude. I understand that together we can spread the word about our handmade and vintage goods, making this holiday season a more unique and meaningful one to gift givers and give-ees everywhere!

(Sorry Etsy. I am not going to salute a mascot. Even if the one I voted for wins.)

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Etsy Update

It has been so rainy here. It has been so depressing out I decided I didn't want to leave the house at all. (Ah the privileges of the unemployed!) So anyhoo I have been working on catching up on some things. I updated the shop today with a few more items and I am working on some new designs to come out soon. The new thing right now is that instead of just have silver findings (chain, clasp) I have finally branched out and am now including gold.

Agatha in Black w/Silver Chain
Agatha in Mustard w/Silver Chain
Agatha in Black w/Gold chain

Agatha in Mustard w/Gold chain
  Hibernate in Brown

Hillbilly Bachelorette Party

I planned/threw a bachelorette party in June and now it is September and I had to plan another one! This bride to be is a city girl but she is marrying a country boy so we decided to throw her a Hillbilly bachelorette party.

Because I am a one-track kind of person I made goody bags again...

This was the 'Bride to Be' bag. Her colors are orange and red so everyone got a bandanna, sucker/rock candy, and tractor in those colors. We also got name tags, John Deere noisemakers and 'ugly teeth'. The bride also got a cowbell that we tied to her belt so we could keep track of her throughout the evening. It became this great game of running over to her and ringing it as loud as we could and screaming "MORE COWBELL!". Yeah, we are that cool.

We were planning on going to a pumpkin patch but it was closed so we ended up going to a local orchard. They had pumpkins there and a mini hay-bale maze (for kids but we did it as well!) so we still got a lot of fun pictures out of it.

We went back to 'home base' where we had a delicious meal of homemade chili, loaded potato wedges, and coleslaw. There were plenty of sweets including rosemary-apple pie, pumpkin chocolate chip cookies, and caramel apples. Topped off with apple cider and 'butter beer' we were full and ready for a nap before it was dark out.

We rallied and after a few more games at the house we hit the town. A good night was had by all but I can't vouch for how good some of our mornings were!

(Our bride using the extra name tags to put 'dibs' stickers on random boys on our behalf. Good times.)

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

DIY Project: Spice Rack Part 3

The conclusion.

Trying to organize the spice shelf was more frustrating than I imagined. After lusting after some spice rack designs I decided I didn't want to spend a CENT on this project. So for now this is the solution...

I found a plank of scrap wood in the garage and cut it to fit into the shelf. Then I found two mason jars in my basement and made a simple shelf in the back of this cabinet shelf. All the small spices fit on top and the larger ones fit under it and in front of it. It is still not the perfect solution but it will do for now while I hunt for some cool old thing to make into a rack for the wall.

I also typed up an alphabetical list of all the spices we have with stars next to the ones that we have multiples of (which are now in a box in the pantry downstairs). Fancy no. Practical yes.

The before and after.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

DIY Project: Spice Rack Part 2

Here is the situation.

This is the shelf of spices. It is just so muddled we can't find anything without 3 other things falling out at us. I need to find a way to organize this into something more functional.

These are just the 'small' spices. If they are stacked on top of each other that means that they are multiples.

Yes friends that is right. We have 4 ground gingers and 4 oreganos. Really? REALLY? Sigh.

Got to figure it out.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

New DIY Project: Spice Rack

Once again as a result of my moving home I must come up with a solution to a new problem- an overflowing cabinet of spices. My mom had a ton of spices and of course so did I and now it is a crazy amount of spices and they insist on attacking me every time I try to get anything else out of the cupboard. For inspiration I am looking at good ol' flickr:

My new spice rack

Boston Terrier Spice Rack

Spice rack makeover


So many options. I think I really need to start organizing and seeing what will be my best option.

Saturday, September 11, 2010


Aren't they beauties? Hehe. This is my pile of 28 book bags that I made for my teacher friend. He picked out that fabric and I stitched them up for him. Now he will just string some shoe strings through them to make adorable little book bags for his first graders. The bags are just big enough for a couple of books and the instructions for the parents/guardians to read with their kids. Now I guess the other teachers are jealous so I might be getting some more bag-work in the near future!

Friday, September 10, 2010

Zombie Ribcage

One day I was playing around with some yarn and was trying to make something or other. It was pretty much failing but from it I got this idea. It sort of looked like half a ribcage. So I went back and started playing around with that idea.

And now behold: The Zombie Ribcage Necklace.

I also made this one that reminds me of a large spiderweb.

Perfect for anyone who is looking for a little goth-glam this season. Both are now in the shop.

Wine and Cheese

Friends are the best. Mine are the kind of people that love to get together and have good food. Also we love themes. Enter 'Wine and Cheese' night. Pretty fancy right? Don't get too excited. Yes it was delicious and we had a blast but our cheese was more expensive than our wine and I am fairly certain that is a 'bad sign' in snobbish circles. Good thing I don't hang out with those people!

Along with cheese people brought grapes, delicious bread, and Quince (fancy jam that goes good with cheese). The 'foodie-est' of the friends also brought her cheese knife set!

From left to right: Cranberry cinnamon goat cheese, sage derby, another goat cheese (from Spain), and buffalo cheese. Good stuff! But of course I consider cheese a food group so I am fairly easy to please. Have you seen that commercial where the boy is talking about his dad's obsession with cheese? It makes me smile because that is totally me.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Etsy Update

A few new items in the shop today. Tomorrow I will be adding some that are more Halloween-esque so be sure to stop back!

MN State Fair Part 2: Animals

What would the fair be without animals? Well probably a lot of people walking around eating food. But still the animals give the fair that nostalgic feel. My dad was in 4H so he has told me many stories about he would show calves at the fair.

Judging of the goats.

This goat posed for me on a box. Who's a pretty goat?

Ok. So we almost didn't go into the 'Miracle of Birth' center because well it sounds grooooossss. I don't want to see baby things coming out of other things. Ick. But we went in anyway because this is where they hide all of the baby animals! As long as you didn't look up at the tv monitors you didn't have to see any of the icky stuff. I made the mistake of looking up and started yelling 'Why?! OH MY EYES!!!' and my friend Ellen was saying "Look away! Look away!". Yeah we are pretty awesome. Some old lady was laughing at us.

Aren't cows just the cutest? I think so.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

MN State Fair Part 1: Food

State Fair!!!! I had never been to a state fair before this last Sunday, the second to last day of this year's Great Minnesota Get Together. I really love MN so I was really excited to get to celebrate it in style.

My main goal was to go hungry and try as many delicious and weird things as possible. Go big or go home. No regrets. And absolutely no mention of the word 'calories' allowed!

First up: Falafel on a stick.

It was ok. A little dry and not very filling. A bit of a disappointment for my first state fair taste...but I knew there was plenty more coming my way.

Next: Deep fried oysters and fries

Some people might think this sounds gross but I really like seafood and this hit the spot! Had to be careful though because they were very hot and juicy so a bit of oyster juice may have squirted onto my friend. Oops. At least it wasn't a stranger.

Then it got epic...Scotch Egg on a stick!

Bam. Talk about delicious. An egg, wrapped in sausage, deep fried, and served on a stick. It was a bit too massive though. I had to take a long break after that.

Someone else felt pretty epic getting a deep fried Twinkie. We also saw tons of other stuff that was on a stick (like Hotdish!) and just amazing (Big Fat Bacon!)

We even found Ice Cream being made by John Deere. Who knew?

I washed down my first 3 courses with some fresh apple cider. I love fall so much and cider just tastes like Autumn to me.

Finally I was ready for more food. I found Funnel Cake fries which really hit the spot.

And just to make sure my fair experience was complete I topped it all off with a corn dog and a bucket of Sweet Martha's cookies. Somewhere there is an amazing picture of me holding the overflowing bucket of cookies while eating the corn dog and wearing a corn dog hat. I will try to find that.

Overall I give the fair food an A.

What is your favorite fair food? I normally have to have a batch of cheese curds but I can get those other places. I was trying to go more out of the norm.