Saturday, April 21, 2007

I'm learning...

When I first got PSE, I sat down to do a few things, and I almost instantly realized that ever doing what I want to do with that program would take work. I'm not used to that. I'm used to being able to feel my way around new programs, but his one seemed like it was from another planet. The basic photo editing (at least to my standards) wasn't so bad--especially if the photos are in RAW, but I won't tell you how long it took me to learn how to just draw a rectangle outline. I have made a bit of progress, and I have to say I owe it all to one oh so talented person. If you haven't checked out Jessica Sprague's blog yet, and you're remotely interested in learning how to use Photoshop, you should. I'm not really interested so much in doing fully digital layouts, but I do like to play around with other things. Her tutorials have helped a ton--even in teaching me how to draw a rectangle.

Here's just a photo I played around with from one of her exercises.

I like actually being able to do stuff. I have heard great things about Jessica's new book about PS, but I haven't had the chance to see it yet. I'm thinking I must get this one. If any of you are in the area, she's actually going to be at Carolina Memories next Saturday, and she's supposed to have a make and take. I don't think I'll be able to make it in time, but I might have to stop in for some shopping! Every now and then i just need to see and touch the goodies...

Thursday, April 05, 2007


I promised some people I would update when I got the pregnancy and infant loss awareness stuff together. Well, it finally happened. So far I have a bracelet and a necklace.

The bracelets will be $25, and the necklaces will be $30. Anyone interested can see more details and actually order them here. I can also do custom bracelets with Swarovski crystals in birth month colors and a butterfly charm and necklaces with birth month colors and a butterfly charm or a cute silver bead that says angel. I'm even working on a Breath of Hope version with black and crystal Swarovskis and a little gold bee charm. Definitely let me know if you're interested in any of these. Drop me an email at

Yep--that's right. If you actually click the link I gave you above for the bracelets and necklaces, you will see that I finally jumped in over at etsy. I officially changed the name to Handcrafted by Crystal, and you can find it at Yay!! It will be a good little outlet for all the ideas I have rolling around in my head.

Speaking of which...I have another project to share. This one is a felted messenger style bag. This one took a while and a lot of yarn since it had to be so huge in order to shrink it down. I made up the pattern as I went along, and I really like how it turned out. I also broke out the felting needles that had been in my bag for months and worked out the design on the flap. I literally broke 2 needles in the process and decided I'd probably be better off investing in a felting tool with several needles on it. It was a good use for some little pieces of that black yarn I had left over.

I think my husband is hoping I will get all this stuff I've been working on out of my system soon. What can I say? I had been saving it up for so long. Now my problem is that I seriously need to reorganize my space, but I already whined about that--didn't I?

We're going on vacation next week, and I'm looking forward to it. I'm also looking forward to starting fresh with some new scheduling and structure. We've been just floating through for long enough, I think.

Monday, April 02, 2007

Don't look at my desk.

Oh boy can I make a mess. I've had all sorts of things going, and I my organization has given out. There just isn't a good place to put everything where I can still get to it. I've organized and reorganized, but now I really need to come up with a system that will work. I have too many different things going on.

Here are a few things I've been playing around with.

These are some cute little birdies and a lone Easter egg. The plan was to have the eggs up on etsy for Easter, but I obviously didn't make it in time. This one already has a home. I do hope to start loading the shop soon, though. These are all backed with pins so they can be worn or used to embellish a bag or something. They are stitched and mounted on chipboard.
These flowers are fun, too. They are made with pins on the back as well.
These earrings were made to match the necklace below. They are sterling silver with 8mm aquamarine Swarovski round beads--simple yet oh so pretty.
I love this necklace. It's made with different sized Swarovski bicones and round beads in aquamarine, crystal arora borealis, and capri blue as well as a single turquoise oval bead. All these are hand wrapped onto a 9mm sterling silver soldered jumpring.
Can you tell I've been having fun? Now you see why I have such a mess. I have beads & findings, felt & embroidery floss, paper & ribbon left over from cardmaking, chipboard and lots of tools all piled around on one little table. It's crazy. I won't be posting a pic of that!