making blog friends!

it's been an insanely busy week even though sales in the shop have slowed... i am counting that towards post-christmas bank shock and hoping things will only go up from here! my shift at work is about to change from 10:30am-7:30pm to 12pm-9pm, so i'm hoping that extra time in the mornings will translate to more getting more things made and posting for sale more often.

in the mean time, here's a quick hello to kelly from modernjune... and a huge thank you for posting a link to my site! it's really exciting to start "meeting" people from etsy, reading their blogs, and getting a little glimpse into the lives of other lovely ladies who love to make handmade things. go check her out at *modernjune* when you get a minute!

i promise i haven't forgotten about the powdered resin pendants...i want take some detailed step by step photos of them as they set in the oven, it looks so cool in progress!



it only took a week of tidying here and there, and staying up until four a.m. last night (morning?) because the motivation struck, but the craft room is finally clean and organized. before:
and, after:

the question you're not supposed to ask is what the other half of this room looks like... i'm not quite done with the rest of the organizing. but at least the desk is all set, and that's something major crossed off my list.

it's frustrating to try to go through a bunch of craft supplies i've gathered up over years, most of which i didn't have a project in mind when i bought them, and realize that only about twenty percent is likely to actually be used. but of course i'm the kind of person that, if i get brutal and start throwing things away, invariably i'll always come up with a need for exactly the item i just tossed out. and then i'll have to go buy one when i had a perfectly good one that i threw away. for example, i have a ton of ribbon that i bought because hey, ribbon is a good thing to have. but when i went to create some fun little gift wrap for my first two sales from my etsy shop, of course there was only one little spool of green gingham among yards and yards of navy blue and gold, neither of which i really ever use.

oh well.

speaking of green ribbon and gift wrap, i sent out my first two sales from my shop this week! one was a pair of earrings and the other was a bracelet. here is the whole package for the first sale, all ready to be sent out.

the matchbox is a fun freebie i'm including with a thank you note and business card. i'd like to eventually have several little things i alternate between, but this one's the first. the larger leaf earrings were what the buyer purchased, and the little ones are a bigger freebie since it was my first buyer. i thought it would be fun to include a slightly bigger freebie for "anniversary" buyers... the first, twenty fifth, fiftieth, one hundredth! hopefully anyway. the envelope with the ribbon bow is what it looks like all tied up.

i had a little test run present for my mom to try out my gift wrap, bubble mailers, and shipping, but i was pleasantly surprised to have two purchases in the first week of my shop! so i ended up sending them all together. (mom, you'll never be surprised again now that you read this!)

stay tuned for my weekend experiments with pendants set in powdered resin. it's late, and i have to go back to the "real job" in the morning!


etsy is now up and running!

i'm incredibly excited and happy to announce that my etsy shop is now open for business!!!

though it all came about in a short amount of time, there has been no lack of frustration and perfectionism in trying to get this shop exactly how i wanted it. now i am so excited that i'll have somewhere for folks to go look when they ask about my jewelry! i'm starting with just jewelry for now, but i expect to have other items within the next month or two. they are mostly done, but need a little tweaking. those items will include crocheted sunglasses cases with felt flower pins and photo collaged coasters. be sure to keep checking back, because i have lots more in the works.

here are a few shots from the first official ellebee studio photo shoot. please do take a moment to observe the highly technical set and equipment.

yep, it's my back porch. here is one of my favorite shots of the day.
it's funny how photographing my jewelry all day... jewelry that for the most part has been sitting in my studio completely finished and waiting to be sold for weeks, if not a month or two.... seemed to breathe new excitement into pieces that, for me, are old news. it's always fun to start new projects and try out new methods, but for me i think i'll always come back around to jewelry. it's what i started with and it's what i feel like is the most rewarding to make. i like that i've generally gone with a more umbrella approach to keep the possibilities open, but i think jewelry will always be a big part of ellebee studio.

it's a holiday weekend, i'm on a high of accomplishment after getting etsy done. this is what my list looks like at the end of day two of my three day weekend:

  1. put finishing touches on jewelry so that it's ready to be posted

  2. photograph earrings, necklaces and bracelets

  3. make and post banner to make etsy shop official

  4. post the "first run" of items in the shop

  5. clean and re-organize entire studio (aka my big messy desk and closet)

  6. get supplies for sending out items if anyone makes a purchase from the shop

  7. set up a paypal account
number 5 is the scary one, but i feel like i'll be much more inspired to be productive if i'm not distracted with how much i need to organize and constantly stopping to look for things. secretly at night, i dream of organizational heaven... maybe someday!


ode to francophilia

i'm always a little disappointed in myself when i think of how americanized by life has become again in the 3 years since i was in france. by americanized i mean running up to wal-mart and buying some crappy thing with no personality just because it's cheap, or going through the drive-through at wendy's rather than taking the time to cut up an apple and some funky little cheese. i spent an hour in world market the other night, just wandering and browsing and letting my thoughts wander as well. it was really refreshing to feel like the liveliness i felt in france can be somewhat reciprocated here... all it would take is a little more time and a little less procrastination. living more intentionally.i'd be the first in line to pack up my husband and puppy to move to some rural grassy expanse in provence to make candles and watch my (future) kids play in lavender fields all day. who wouldn't want to open the windows to this every day? of course that's not my reality for now (and might not ever be), but why does it feel sometimes like it costs more to live a more simple life?

maybe that's ultimately my goal in making things, in the restless need to create that i'm always feeling. to savor the waning days of when things weren't so hurried, so rushed, and so immediate. when things lasted and were treasured. so even though i didn't plan to make resolutions this january, maybe there's the makings of one... to try to loosen myself a bit from the clutches of relentless consumerism. to shop at the flea market more. to spend more time creating than i do just thinking about creating.
i miss... yogurt in little terra cotta jars ::: buying fruit at the market on sunday mornings ::: tea and girly chats late at night with my roommates ::: being able to survive an entire year without a car and never having to buy gas ::: walking everywhere ::: h&m ::: pain au chocolat fresh out of the oven ::: real letters and the excitement of packages from home ::: little suede bags of fountain pens ::: citron presse ::: and dogs. everywhere.

pontouf would love it.


finally some wintery days!

most of last week and definitely all of today we've had the kind of weather that makes you want to bury yourself in the covers, throw the diet to the wind, and ingest every form of carb you can find. somehow (for the most part) i've managed to keep it just to a mildly dangerous level of caramel mocciatos.

and even though it's only january, i've been inspired to start spring cleaning thanks to brocante home's list of lovely winter treats for self and home. i really love her idea of putting a blanket on top of the mattress under the fitted sheet as a sort of mattress fluffer/snuggly warm layer. we got as far as moving all of our bedroom furniture around as stage one of the spring cleaning, but our bed still needs lots of work. i'm playing around with the idea of a duvet cover patchworked out of blue striped men's dress shirts, and some semblance of a bed skirt (although i think my husband has slight objections to that term) must be concocted. yes... concocted. brilliant ideas are always welcome.

i've finally added a list of people to go read on the left side of my page. these are the blogs of all the lovely crafting ladies that have created the allure for me to finally start a blog. i'm amazed at what a community they all seem to be, and it's incredibly refreshing to read about people who are not only interested in the same types of things as i am, but also who understand the trickiness of making things by hand... from the initial idea to the frustration of the trial and error that creating can be, to that deliciously elemental feeling of look what i made! they are all very unique and entertaining, and definitely worth a read, and i'm looking forward to being a part of their lovely swaps (vintage buttons, christmas ornaments, and tea towels!) in the future.

the etsy shop in still in progress... i attempted to make a banner (the decorative name at the top of the page) and after at least an hour, i ended up with a beautiful banner that looked exactly like what i wanted. which NEVER happens on the first try with me. when i finally figured out how to change the pixel size to what etsy required, it was all squished and illegible. so, back to the drawing board for now, but i'm anxious to get things up and running!


new projects

well i finally admit that i've given into the whole felting craze that i resisted for so long when i worked at the store. i used to work at a small jewelry and craft materials store, and everyone there was all about felt balls and wool roving and needle felting. well, i was the lucky recipient of this and this in my stocking (thank you matt! ahem... i mean santa)... and ever since then i can't stop finding fun stuff to do with them! this monogrammed stocking was my first trial project, and i was really happy with the way it turned out:i bought the stocking at world market, then printed out a hugely enlarged "n" (for my mom's first name) in a pretty font on the computer. then i cut the letter out of red felt and turned the stocking inside out so that the fuzzy side of the letter after it was felted would be on the outside of the stocking. the felting is really easy to do mindlessly while watching tv, which is nice sometimes.

the next projects i'm headed for with felting will be to try felting some thrifted sweaters (yay goodwill) and maybe turning some wool roving into felt sheets. i also completely adore this little ball wreath and will definitely be trying my hand at some little baby felt booties... maybe even a little mini stocking garland next christmas if i really go wild with it. (can you tell i like little things from the 25 times i used it in that sentence?)

my grannie's christmas gift to me was an embossing tool, despite having absolutely no idea what it was or what i would make with it (which i love!), she also sent me some of her old sheet music, both of which i used to make her a card so she could see embossing in action... with a little matching envelope, of course:
and matt surprised me with a big stack of cork coasters, they were waiting for me on the kitchen counter when i got home from work.
i get really happy over a big pile of naked supplies waiting to be crafted upon... i made a bunch of cool coasters with these for a craft show a few months ago by collaging old black and white photos from calenders with little phrases or quotes in type layered over the picture. i made them as a bit of an afterthought, but they turned out really well and were the only thing for me that sold out. i can't wait to make some more.

so many projects and so little time. i feel like i could hermit myself up for a month or two and still not accomplish all the ideas and plans floating around in my head. there's fun in the creating, but nothing feels as great as a finished product.


christmas and a new year...

even though it's been over a week, i never quite feel ready to take down the christmas decorations. at least this year we didn't have an entire tree to deal with since we were out of town, but there is just something so special about twinkly lights. i'm never quite sure if they would lose their magic if left up all year long.

i've already got loads of ideas for next year, so many that i may have to start in october (especially for #2). the short list is:
  1. make homemade marshmallows, and many more christmas cookies to give away

  2. make many more ornaments (adorable trees, old school yo-yos, and definitely a button wreath) and hopefully participate in the annual ornament swap

  3. wrap all of our gifts with a theme

  4. maybe carve a stamp to make my own christmas cards (i've already sketched out a little tree, but we'll see if this one actually happens)
the only things that won't be getting lovingly packed away for next year are my christmas shoes... these little cheapies will be worn and worn until they wear out!

also for next year, i love the idea of a rustic scandinavian look (as in this month's domino magazine) with lots of white felt garlands and exposed wood branches with a little accent of red. then maybe all the gifts could be the proverbial brown paper packages tied up with string... or with some ribbon and maybe a felt snowflake?

as always, i stressed myself out with a rush of last minute creating, but i really enjoyed making my mom a set of five little beaded wire ornaments:

and she sent me this incredibly pretty set of cards (she knows how much i love blue!). they're wintery instead of christmasey, which means i can use them even though it's january, and i've already thought of at least 5 people i need to send one to as a thank you:

i hope everyone is all set for a great year with lots of creativity and crafting! i hope you have as much fun reading about my dabbling and endeavor-ing as i do attempting it, and keep an eye out for an etsy shop in the near future (i hope to get it started this week, even if it means posting just a small selection of my jewelry for a start). i'm excited about having a new outlet for writing, and it's my intention to use this blog as a way to keep on track with all of my plans and goals for this upcoming year.

happy new year!


a little about me.

hmmn... about me.
my name is lindsey, and i can't remember a time in my life when i didn't love to make things. the materials may have changed, and the methods may have gotten a little more sophisticated [maybe!] but the love to create has always been there.

firstly, i am a child of God. i believe in Jesus Christ, and anything good that i am or that i do or that i have is because of him! we are all sinners in need of a savior, and in giving him the reigns over my life, i have salvation and a way to be connected once again to the perfect, holy, and merciful God that my sin once separated me from.

as for the little details, here is the short version:

i think it all started when my great-grandmother taught me to crochet at around age nine. from there i've delved into decoupage, sewing, scrapbooking, jewelry design and construction, stamping, photography, felting, book altering, and soldering. the prospect of a new project gives me chills and i don't think there's a craft genre i'm not willing to try. when i originally started this blog in january of 2007, it was called ellebee studio, thus the difference in my etsy shop name. long story short, i started fresh in the summer of 2009, and will be launching an all-new shop under the name leaf&letter sometime in the future!

i live in this handmade life where i am also a wife to a lovely and wonderful husband of almost five years (who never complains when i "need" more craft supplies), and have a sweet little pup that curls up on my feet. i've left full-time employment in big-box retail to be a full-time mommy to my sweet baby girl (who doesn't listen when i tell her to quit growing up so fast). most of all, God has blessed me with his love and mercy and given me new life in him! he is the original and ultimate maker. what more could a girl need?

me & hubby M
me & M's mini-me, aka our daughter K
& K's favorite playmate, little pup pontouf.
don't be shy... leave a comment or drop me a little hello if you wish at leafandletter[at]gmail[dot]com. i try to respond to each comment whenever i can, especially if you have a question.

thanks so much for joining me here, i am always happy to hear from you!

tutorials, patterns, and resources!

my tutorials:

basic how-tos:

blanket stitch by anna maria horner
blanket stitch by future girl
yo-yos by heather bailey
rotary cutting by the purl bee
button holes by sew mama sew

other great tutorials:

dishcloth potholder by cotton spice
notebook cover by moonstitches
quilt binding by heather bailey
simple tote bag by super eggplant
zippered pouch by twelve22
mini stockings by stardust shoes
diaper cake by homemade by jill

great crafty resources:

craft of the day by martha stewart
100 holiday crafts by the long thread
handmade holidays by sew mama sew
create for less craft supplies

great blogging resources:

navigation buttons by shannon makes stuff
button codes by musings of a housewife
picnik photo editing
how to use google analytics


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