Category Archives: Thoughtful Thursday

Thoughtful Thursday – Crafting Blues

I am not going to lie – the end of last year was rough. Lots of sickness, we lost my dad, my uncle, and our family dog, and an all-around transitional period of life kind of melded together to create a big ball of sadness and stress. So, as we make our way into the new year, we’re trying to focus on the business and just being creative again. It’s hard to be inspired when you feel blue, but sometimes just making something, not related to gift giving, or putting up on Etsy, but just about making something that you like for fun, can sometimes lead to more creativity.

Today, it’s eyeball earrings. I’ve¬†been wondering what to do with these round, white, retro, blank canvas earrings since I got them (a couple of years ago …?) They’ve been sitting in one of my many jewelry supply boxes, and I’d pick them up occasionally, turn them over, then put them back. It dawned on me today that they’d make perfect eyeballs, so I decoupaged some pupil/iris printouts on them today just for fun, and I like the way they turned out so much that I think I’ll keep this pair for myself, and list the rest in JuJu Eyeball!

Untitledeyeballearrings

Reason number 4,231 why working from home is awesome is that you don’t have to put on makeup or style your hair all the time. ūüôā

So, today I’m wishing you happiness and creativity – get a little messy, and nourish your soul at the same time!

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Chels

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Thoughtful Thursday – Last Minute Ideas To Save the (Holi)Day!

Grumpy Cat, meet Grumpy Dog. (slash Rudolph)

Put on that antler headband, and beat the bah-humbugs with our list of last minute holiday cheer!

Christmas is less than a week away, and yuletide is upon us. If you haven’t made your home festive (or you want to add some extra,) or if you just haven’t been able to come up with gifts for you friends, neighbors, or that relative that’s really hard to shop for, here are some last minute ideas to make your season merry and bright. (Click on the images for more info.)

Easy Decorations:

Simple, inexpensive, and elegant.

 

This has to be the prettiest, simplest tree I can imagine. Outline with lights and add paper cutouts of stars (or snowflakes!)

 all about the paper snowflakes

Speaking of snowflakes, here are some beautiful patterns to use!

20 minute crafter - make a giant star for less than five dollars - it is made from yard sticks.

 

Make an inexpensive outdoor star decoration with yard sticks.

..

 

Forego the can of fake snow, and break out your glue gun instead!

Free Printables:

Christmas Printable Freebie

Buddy the Elf printable.

Christmas printable

 

 

Holiday subway art printable.

Printable Christmas Banner!

“Noel” banner printable.

FREE Printable Christmas Gift Tags

 

Forget the expensive wrapping supplies. Use magazine or newspaper, plus these cute printable tags.

Quick Gifts:

I have to remember this for Christmas!!

An adorable gift for the women in your life!

Christmas on your stove. Made with Cinnamon sticks, dried lemon slices, dried orange slices, dried apple slices, cloves, nutmeg, allspice, bay leaf.  Great neighbor gift idea.

A natural home fragrance that smells like the holidays. A great gift for the neighbors!

DIY Lip Gloss using TWO ingredients!

 

What tween or teen girl wouldn’t love some pretty lip gloss in their stocking?

DIY Rosemary Mint Shave Cream

 

Whip up a big batch of this manly smelling shaving cream, and divide into small containers for a great gift. Add a straight razor (and print out a good how-to) for a gift the guys will use all year!

Of course, don’t forget our giveaway to enter to win this gift-able handmade necklace:

 

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Chelsea

 

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Thoughtful Thursday – We have a new furever friend!

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My mom and I had to put her sweet baby dog, Jewel, to sleep a few weeks ago. She was really a member of our little family, and was a wonderful Yorkie. Though she was initially supposed to be mine, I was gone for the first few days after she came home with us, so she bonded with my mom, and became hers. She was sassy, funny, and fiercely protective. She showed her gratitude for being rescued in every way imaginable, and we will miss her so much!

005Today, though, we brought home a new dog for Mom! His name (right now) is Sam/Sammy/Samson (he was called Sammy at the shelter,) and he’s a Shiba Inu/Terrier mix. He’s very handsome, well behaved, curious, strong-willed, and so sweet. He seems to be right at home with her, and likes me, too, which is kind of a requirement.

It’s so wonderful to have such awesome animals in our lives. From iguanas to rodents to dogs, my mom, my husband, and I have all experienced lots of joy, better emotional and physical health, and extra love because of it. I hope our little man, Bee, and Sam get along well as playmates. We’ll introduce them soon, after Sam recuperates from his operation. Just in time for Christmas – I can’t wait!

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If you’re looking for a pet, please consider adoption as your first choice. Take a look at your city’s shelter website – they’re often updated daily with new dogs and cats. We found Sam at Arlington Animal Services, and there were other dogs we liked as well. So the hard part won’t be finding an animal, it’ll be resisting the urge to take more than one home.

What kind of pets have added joy to your life?

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Chelsea

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Pinteresting People – 5 Pinners to Follow

It’s easy to sign onto Pinterest and quickly fall down the rabbit hole of beautiful images, yummy recipes, DIY projects, wedding planning, kid activities, crafts, fashion, funny quotes, and cute animals! Needless to say, there are plenty of interesting (or “Pinteresting”) people to follow, but if you’re looking for some new content, here’s a list of some of our favorite Pinners.

our blog :)

Etsy Fort Worth¬†–¬†Ok, so we may be a teensy bit biased here, but, really, our team pins some awesome stuff. There’s everything from member items for sale to DIY and craft projects to fun themed boards like “Sweet Nostalgia.” Who doesn’t love pictures of The Muppets and Bob Barker? While you’re there, you can follow individual members from our team by looking to see who’s pinned some of the content.

Offbeat Home & Life –¬†Ever heard of Offbeat Bride, the awesomely wacky site for all things nuptially related? If you haven’t checked out their sister site’s pins, do not passgo! Even if you don’t think you’re “offbeat enough,” trust me – you are. You will love Ariel and her team of weirdos, and they will love you back.

Alison Erion –¬†I have no idea who Alison is, but if you love vintage and antique fashion (among other things, like sewing, quilting, and homesteading) she is one lady to follow!

Tiinia Auler (Makeup Artist) Friday the 13th Haunted House Wedding on Offbeatbride. So proud to have become friends with these folks and to have worked on some of the accessories for the bride, bridesmaids, and groomsmen. BuyMeLove.etsy.com JuJuEyeball.etsy.com

Tiinia Auler –¬†Tiinia has become a good friend of ours, and she happens to be a fabulous makeup artist in the DFW area! She pins some of the most gorgeous makeup and fashion inspiration, and some of the most bizarre and beautiful images. I see something excited and new from her every day.

Stephanie Robot Pop¬†–¬†Stephanie pins some of the most colorful and geekerific things I’ve seen, and I love it! Follow her and add some sunshine and rainbows to your day.

Of course, you can also follow us, if you haven’t already! Our business account, LoveAndEyeballs, is full of Etsy fun and what inspires us, or you can follow me personally here.

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Chelsea

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Thoughtful Thursday – Branding: Lots of words and a little math

As a small businessperson, I sometimes feel a little bombarded by advice. Usually, it’s a different version of the same information, or an article about something I already do without really thinking about it, so it can feel redundant. I don’t stop seeking out those “business for dummies” kinds of articles, though, because sometimes you come across one as good as this:

http://diybusinessassociation.com/gobrandyourself/

In fact, I’m finding this site has a lot of well-written, easy and fun to read, legitimate information for entrepreneurs.

So, this particular article discusses the 20/10/4 method, which, simply put, means you come up with 20 words or short phrases to describe yourself, then narrow that list to 10, then, finally, the 4 most important words on that list.

Now, even if you don’t own a business, this is honestly a pretty cool exercise to try out to help you figure out who you are and what you want to present to others. Obviously, we’re all complex people with different aspects of our lives and personalities, so the list may change depending on the context (social environment vs. work environment, for example,) but it’s worth the effort.

I won’t re-hash what’s already been written – I encourage you to visit that link up there – but I will share my 20/10/4 journey with you. As a self-proclaimed eclectic, it hasn’t been easy, but keeping our first shop, Buy Me Love, in mind, that narrows it down some. It starts with these words:

artisan
crafty
persistent
detail oriented
eclectic
geeky
classy
theatrical
thoughtful
optimistic
sweet addict
open minded
wordy
eco-conscious
animal lover
planner
tactile
creature of comfort
introvert
friendly

Then it goes a little something like this:

artisan
crafty
detail oriented
classy
theatrical
thoughtful
sweet addict
open minded
eco-conscious
friendly

In the end, though …:

artisan
classy
theatrical
eco-conscious

So, my personal brand is a theatrical but classy, eco-conscious artisan. I can’t wait to share this exercise with my mom to see what she comes up with, and to use the exercise to brand our newer shop, JuJu Eyeball. I’m sure we’ll come up with all kinds of fun words for that one!

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Chelsea

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Are You Going To Scarborough Faire? (Thoughts on Renaissance Steampunkery)

This year, Tom and I are continuing our tradition of a trip to Scarborough Faire, the renaissance festival in our area. Last year, we dressed up as a fairy and a pirate (our first trip to the faire in costume,) and this year we’ve decided to join the costume contest!¬†You may be thinking,¬†¬†“You’ve seen one renaissance costume, you’ve seen them all,” which is generally accurate, but not always true:

I was delightfully surprised by this lady jester last year!

This year, we were so excited to discover that the faire is having a time travelers costume contest, which can be anything from Dr. Who to driving up in¬†a Delorean a la “Back to the Future.” Of course, if you’re familiar with the territory, this also means steampunk!

Now you may be saying to yourself, “I really don’t get that steampunk thing,” and rightfully so. It’s a broad genre of style. So, let me try to clear things up for you. Here are the¬†best definitions I’ve¬†come across¬†so far.

Steampunk (noun): A sub-genre mixing Victorian and Edwardian styles with science fiction, often based on characters inspired by literary figures such as H.G. Wells.

Steampunk (noun):  A style that gives the illusion of living in a past in which the future came too soon.

Steampunk (noun): When goths discover the color brown.

See also steampunkery (noun,) steampunk-ify (verb,) and steampunker (noun.)

Okay, so that last one is just funny, but it’s true to an extent! Basically,¬† I’ve found that there are¬†5 identifiable¬†categories¬†within the steampunk sub-genre.

1) One¬†has a more gothic, dark tone, often inspired by Tim Burton characters with lots of black, red, and black¬†and white stripes, and even some dead or zombie makeup elements. Also incorporates some “carnivale” style.

Vistual example of goth steampunk.

2) Another has more of a fantasy tone (fairies and elves dressed in steampunk garb.)

A visual example of a steampunk fairy.

3) Yet another has more of a sci-fi tone (human time travelers and other sci-fi creatures in steampunk garb.)

A visual example of sci-fi steampunk.

4) Then you have the costume hackers, who “hack” existing characters from other genres¬†(superheros, comic book characters, movie characters, etc.) and steampunk-ify them.

Visual example of a steampunk hacker costume. Iron Man, a natural choice.

5) The last style is simply made of a group of steampunk purists who enjoy creating historically accurate costumes mixed with scientifically functional machinery, and who usually have knowledge and appreciation of the literature that inspires the style.

Steampunk Lincoln says it's hard to find a picture of historically accurate steampunk costumes, but they're out there!

Also, you must know that there are people who do steampunk cos-play (costume play,) and there are people who dress in steampunk style every day. Those who have adopted the style as their own in their daily life sometimes don’t know how to respond to those who call it “costume,” but I say please don’t be offended! Costuming is all about transforming yourself into someone (or something) you’re not. When someone takes the time and effort to make or buy and assemble a costume emulating your style, that means they want to be, well, you. That’s a pretty big compliment. (Even with all the steampunk fails out there.)

Not so much with the steampunk tag. You probably violated the Etsy TOUs trying to get more views for your item, but I'll give you the benefit of the doubt.

So, I hope that breaks things down for you if you’ve been¬†unfamiliar with all things steampunk until now. Steampunk expert? Tell me what you think of my list in the comments below! Did I miss a category?

I’ll be posting pics for next week’s Make It Monday with tutorials on how you can make your own steampunk garb, including pics of the steampunk mini tophat I just finished! I’ve never done steampunk before¬†(or made a mini tophat, for that matter,) so I’m pretty excited. I’ll also share other elements of our costumes just for your viewing pleasure.

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Chelsea

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Thoughtful Thursday: A new show, a great Etsy artist feature!

So, I’ve been sick for the past week with a really ugly cold, and I found a relatively new syfy channel show on hulu called “Face Off” to take my mind off of it. The show is right up my alley – a competition (think “Project Runway”) for special effects makeup artists! Now, you have to understand that I’ve wanted to do SFX since I was about 12 or 13 years old – right around the time I also wanted to be a forensic pathologist. So, I’m super excited about the show!

I watched all of the episodes available on hulu (from season 1, episode 5 to the first episode of season 2,) and when I got to the first episode of season 2, I noticed something. One of the contestants standing on the front row was wearing a cute headband that looked awfully familiar. It dawned on me that it might be a design of one of my favorite etsy artists, Janine Basil, so I sent her a message about it. Sure enough, it’s hers! Several people had already contacted her about it, but she can’t watch the episode. The show’s not available in the UK, and neither is hulu. So, Janine, I hope you can view this:

http://www.hulu.com/embed/ata_jfEmJgFvPfhOr-20Vg

You can view Janine’s headband at about 15:55, worn by the contestant standing front and center with long blond hair. Check out Janine’s shop for more amazing designs: http://www.etsy.com/shop/JanineBasil.

Anyway, the show has inspired me to pursue SFX techniques. I contacted a couple of makeup artist friends who also have experience with special effects, and they both gave me some great tips. One of them even offered to teach me! Now that’s a great start to a new year.

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Chelsea

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