Feeling Green Behind the Gills?

I pride myself on being self taught in many areas like cooking, cleaning, sewing, painting, building, gardening, writing, and I love the challenge of learning something new.  However, when I  try really hard to do something new that requires a skill I don’t possess, I get to feeling ‘green around the gills.’  I call it Green Envy because I want to learn how to do something so badly that I am jealous of anyone who can do it–mastering Windows 8 is my latest nemesis. Anybody else feel this way about it, or is it just me?

We (me and my husband) recently updated some of our electronic computing devices and one of those is a laptop operating Windows 8.  It’s clearly made for those with touch screen practice.  My husband has more experience with it than me, so he is better at it.  My main device operates Windows 7 and is very user friendly–not a whole lot different from my last operating system–Windows XP Pro.  The problem for me comes in switching between Windows 7 and 8. The two are so very different from each other.  If I used the 8 all the time, I suppose I would get more accomplished with it, but I use it just enough to be irritated by it.

I think the same is true about other areas of my technical expertise, but I don’t like to admit it.  For instance, I see Green Envy raise its ugly head now and then when I read over the blogs of some of my colleagues. I want my blog to be a success, a tool that others will turn to for help in their business. So-o-o-o, in order to push the Green Monster down for a bit, I have recently set some goals to help me achieve similar success with my blog site.  This is what I aspire to do with it: 1) offer advertising space to fellow Etsyians/Bloggers/Tweeters, etc., 2) feature guest shops from fellow team mates on Etsy Ellijay (on Facebook) or Etsy Norga (North Georgia Made team blog), 3) provide pictorial and video craft tutorials from my current line of products featured in my Etsy shop: Green Craft Studio, 4) host a Link party or start my own #GrowingCirclesHop at Becca’s Green Craft Studio on G+. I know its a lot to accomplish in a year, but I love to reach for the stars.  I know that my biggest obstacles will be myself and the calendar after all I already wear many hats in a day. I hope I haven’t bit off more than I can chew and that this new hat won’t swallow me whole before I get past the learning curve of Windows 8.

All you readers, please let me know what you suggest for mastering Windows 8. And, if you have any tips to share to make my list of goals easier to achieve, please do not hesitate to share a word or two in the comments below. Thanks for reading and sharing. 

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GLAD TO ANNOUNCE A WINNER!

handmade wedding registry picregistry drawing winner

On Friday, August 2, 2014, Melisa Searcy of Blessed Bee Melisa (Handmade and Vintage Jewelry and more) and Becca Shuler of Green Craft Studio held the drawing for the winner of the above described Gift Collection Registry.  

We are happy to announce that 49 registrants participated via Facebook at Etsy Ellijay, and in person at Shear Delite Salon in Ellijay or on Facebook at Shear Delite Salon, and in person at the Merle Norman Salon in Ellijay, as well as via personal email shouts from Melisa and Becca via contacts and friends lists.

Thank you to all who participated in one way or another and CONGRATULATIONS to our WINNER: SUSAN RADELLE of Ellijay, Georgia. You are the winner of our Handmade in North Georgia and on Etsy Gift Collection handpicked for someone special like you with a theme of Handmade Weddings in Mind.

For more about Handmade Weddings read the post on the blogs ‘Handmade Trends’ page.

Author of this post: Becca Shuler of the Green Craft Studio, come back often to read more of our Green Crafting Blog.

COMRADERY

Who is a comrade? A close friend or someone who comes to mind when you say, “We’re in this together.” You don’t have to be best friends with everyone in the group to know you have their support.

"We're in this together!"

“We’re in this together!”

This is the feeling I had with our group of Etsy Ellijay team members during a recent team meeting at the Gilmer County Library. The Ellijay Etsy Team attempts to meet monthly to stay in touch face-to-face. This meeting included active Etsy shop owners, both veteran and virgin (long timers and newbies).

To quote the Captain, Melisa Searcy of Blessed Bee Melisa: “In a community like ours we are a part of something special when we come together. It’s more than what “I” can do, but rather, what “we” can do – it takes a village – and we become a village when we encourage each other and hold each other up.”

Prior to our meeting, Melisa, made sure everybody got a copy of the agenda in advance to encourage team discussion. Kitty of Mattie’s Hodge Podge on Etsy, kept us all on point during the informalities by highlighting the agenda when a point was discussed moving everything along at a good pace. Every single member of the team and those contemplating joining the team participated, and we want to say a BIG THANK YOU to all!

COMRADERY in action. A true feeling of TRUST, a bond created by a shared goal or experience came about during that meeting. Since the meeting was so successful, lets use it as the basis for all our meetings to come. Let’s here it: GO TEAM!!!

Quoting a newbie to Etsy: “This is great! I was feeling timid about coming to a group I didn’t know by myself, but really felt welcomed and know it was a big step in moving this along with greater confidence and understanding.”

Quoting one Etsy veteran: “It’s always so great to have actual human contacts, especially when you live in small-town USA! There are always so many questions that we have as Etsy shop owners, and we also have answers from what we have learned along the way, so it’s always good to share, ask and tell! We all have a lot that we can share, and I love that Etsy is not just about promoting yourself, but helping to promote others.”

MENTORING is a good way to describe the Etsy Community as a whole. So taking a cue from the Etsy Community, we–Melisa (team captain) and Becca (team leader)–are mentoring the newbies who want to be a part of the Ellijay Team as soon as their shops are up and running. Encouragement goes a long way and starting out alone can be scary. Etsy has helped us learn, and we are happy to ‘pay-it-forward.’ We hope that by our next team meeting we can add a couple more members to the team line up and maybe next time everybody on the team can be there. Would you like to meet the team?

Select a link below to meet our Ellijay Etsy COMRADS:

Those present for this meeting.

Melisa Searcy of Blessed Bee Melisa: https://www.etsy.com/people/BlessedBeeMelisa

Jim Harmon of Rustic Lodge décor: https://www.etsy.com/people/jimharmon

Candace Harmon of White FeatherJewelry: https://www.etsy.com/people/candaceharmon

Jolee of 12 Precious Stones: https://www.etsy.com/people/JoleeJoy

Kitty of Mattie’s Hodge Podge: https://www.etsy.com/people/mattieshodgepodge

Mary of Starry Nites Farm: https://www.etsy.com/people/starrynitesfarm

Becca Shuler of Green Craft Studio: https://www.etsy.com/shop/GreenCraftStudio/about?ref=shopinfo_about_leftnav

Other active members who did not make it to this meeting

Deborah and Niki https://www.etsy.com/people/BirdSongStudio

Jan Blaskay – https://www.etsy.com/people/fairymuse

…and we have many more in our Team that are yet to come to the meetings but that have lovely shops on Etsy and are hoping to make it to future meetings. We encourage you to come join us sometime at our meetings and upcoming workshops. AND as always, if you have questions, we can come together over the www – through our team threads on our team page on Etsy and Facebook!

JOIN US and Etsy on!

Art Camp in Blue Ridge Mountains of N. Ga.

Blue Ridge Mtn. Arts Assoc. Summer Youth Art  Camp July 2014

Blue Ridge Mtn. Arts Assoc. Summer Youth Art Camp July 2014

Rug Designers at age 8, who would have knew?

Yes, even at the tender age of eight humans are designers. This came to me as my art camp students became fully absorbed during the design phase of our weaving class.

I gave each student a circular design sheet after a brief discussion about color wheel basics. Each and every student was fully engaged during the discussion and it was easy to see that this was going to be the most rewarding part of our weaving class. The designs emerged one by one as the students considered the colors of materials in each of their own supply piles.  Most of them had the concept of the spiral design because they had completed the practice piece on a small scale using the embroidery hoops. These new designs would be done on a larger scale using a hula hoop loom, so they all became very serious about how they wanted their projects to turn out.

Two students who were spending summer vacation together came up with the idea of crafting ‘Friendship Rugs’. They would each do a rug of their own in one design of a rainbow collage of colors in a spiral format, placing one single color in the complete row alternating white or tan in between each rainbow color as they went. The design was drawn in great detail, but they did not return to class on Friday. I didn’t get a photo of their projects.

Another student, who was quite attached to her six cats, wanted to make a rug for her tree house. And since all her materials were dark earth tones, it seemed she had put some thought into that design. She often referred back to her design as she worked on it in a very methodical pace, checking and double checking her pattern of ‘under/over’ and asking me to check her work periodically. Her parents came to our Show and Tell event on Friday and were quite delighted with the project results. Here’s a picture of her work.

Zoey's Earth Tone Art Rug

Zoey’s Earth Tone Art Rug

One of the students warmed my heart by bringing all old t-shirts from her own closet and dresser drawers. Her rug was a beautiful lavender, blue, and green rug. Her design took all of her materials into consideration, and she used up most of her materials during class. She enjoyed the class and worked quietly without much help becoming quite the expert at weaving in the round.

Emily's Lavender Rug

Emily’s Lavender Rug

Most students chose a two tone color scheme using two complimentary colors from the color wheel that they also had in their material stash.  The design sheets reflected those patterns of alternating the two colors. Their projects pretty much followed their design sheets with occasionally adding a third color to the design as they ran out of certain colors. Here is one of those projects completed by Lola.

Lola's Creation

Lola’s Creation

One student, who had missed the first day of class and had not yet made her practice piece, designed her rug into wedge shapes of color. I knew that this would be a difficult design to accomplish as it would entail changing the weft threads more often than the other projects would need. She decided on alternating the warp into black and white and then alternating the weft colors in the design choices of her wedge pattern.  Here is Hannah’s two tone rug.

Hannah's Two Tone Wonder

Hannah’s Two Tone Wonder

Overall, Art Camp was a huge success for the Green Craft Studio.  I will be happy to do that camp all over again next summer if they call me in as a return instructor.

Have a happy summer all you arts and craft campers!

Are You Ready to Party? (fellow Etsyians and local Ellijay folks gather to Recapture…)

vintage recap

1920 girl wHorse

Our Etsy Ellijay Team Captain, Melisa Searcy of Blessed Bee Melisa, is hosting a 2014 ‘Ready to Craft?’ Party in Ellijay, Georgia on Friday, June 6th. In line with the Craft Party theme for Etsy in 2014 our party will include the ‘Recapture: Bring new meaning to old photographs’ projects as we interpret them, as well as how Etsy recommended in the How-Tuesday: Embroidered Postcard project blog. (https://blog.etsy.com/en/2014/how-tuesday-embroidered-postcards/)

As Team Leader, I have come up with a Recapture craft project involving transferring a photo image to fabric via the inkjet printer. I’ve been working on the project examples in the studio and wanted to share the results with all of you. I am very proud of my results in these zippered wristlet pouches.  You can find one in my Etsy shop, too.  (https://www.etsy.com/listing/190151068/vintage-photo-transfer-to-fabric?ref=listing-shop-header-0)

vintage recap

1920 girl wHorse

 

 

 

 

DSCF4502

recap vint

Vintage recap

DSCF4511

vintage recap in blue

Girl in Blue cap

 

I’ll never forget how excited I was to learn that I could print my very own sew-in product labels to fabric using a little spray basting adhesive and card stock paper. Its amazing what you can create with an Avery online design template for transfers or for paper labels all of which is easily turned into a fabric printing project. Check out mine in the photos below.

sewin labels

Avery designed sew in labels

Directions for printing to fabric involve just a few basic steps:

  1. Spray the card stock with the adhesive.
  2. Cut the fabric to size, approx. 8×11”–a little over so you can trim it back with a rotary cutter after you adhere it to the card stock.
  3. Set it into the printer just as you would normal card stock.
  4. Print.

And WAA LAH! You’ve printed to your fabric.

So, when Etsy announced it’s Recapture Old Photo theme for the Craft Party this year, I was all over it. My first idea, which is transferring old photos to polymer clay, is another interpretation of the Etsy Craft party theme. Melisa makes jewelry and has been wanting to make her own supplies, so this will give her the opportunity to explore it with friends and fellow Etsyians. We are pulling together a couple of How-To videos and simple instruction sheets on this one. We found a very good tutorial video on Pinterest; (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eMzeyvjeU3M). Melisa is working on the project examples from her studio and when she has pictures to share, I will post them here.

I got excited when I saw those edible flower sugar cookies on the How-Tuesday Etsy blog, so expect to see those at the brunch buffet table. Here is the link to the recipe/How-to on Etsy. (https://blog.etsy.com/en/2014/how-tuesday-flower-and-herb-shortbread/) And aren’t the cookies scrumptious in my pictures, too.

cookies w flowers

Edible flower shortbread

As we accomplish more on our party preparations, this blog will be updated.

“Are You Ready to CRAFT Party?”

Go to the Eventbrite link to join in the Ellijay fun….

http://www.eventbrite.com/e/etsy-2014-craft-party-tickets-11514920437?aff=es2&rank=1&sid=f88a11d4dfb811e3b23a12313b00d4e1

Crafting Green at Camp Green Craft

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Crafting Green at Camp Green Craft

Hunting….Gathering….Exploring

(The green craft of weaving a rug on a hula hoop loom.)

The hunt is on….

    Hunting materials for the camp led me down a path of exploration. Routinely, I visit our local thrift stores in Ellijay, Georgia, but for this camp project, I ventured into the unknown.

    My first trip took me to the north, a town in North Carolina called Murphy. There is a thrift shop there packed full of clothing, linens and other household items to explore. I took advantage of the sale on winter clothes and scooped up all the long sleeve t-shirts I could hold. Blues, reds, whites and browns were among the few colors found.

    Next, my venture led me to the town just north of Ellijay in north Georgia, Blue Ridge. I found a thrift store I didn’t know existed: Habitat for Humanity thrift. It did not have clothing, but I found linens and jewelry that will help in my crafting of purses and key rings. Off to the next shop.

   Back in Ellijay, Georgia, I visited the local thrifts and consignments (our town has more than you can count on one hand) scouring the racks for t-shirts in XXLg. I hunted every week of March and found a few each week until I filled a plastic bin with nearly every color there was.

Let the gathering begin…

   Gathering tools for the camp was necessary, but not near as exciting as the hunt for materials. After confirming the number of students who would participate this time, I decided to hold the camp at my home outside on the carport. I have plenty of tables and lots of room and the weather was nice, so it was good plan.

   Camp day arrived and the carport was set. Four tables were in place as work surfaces and the conrete carport was covered with throw rugs so the kids could get down and get comfortable if they wanted to work on a lower surface. Campers arrived with bags of T-shirts, so my stash was only used for filler.

   The best pair of shears were brought by one of the parents who cuts left handed. They were a spring type shear designed to reduce stress on the hand while cutting, a practical ergonomic design. I provided extra pairs of fabric shears for the craft because I anticipated that the scissors brought by kids would most likely not work for cutting the t-shirts to create the jersey loops for weaving. Parents jumped in to assist with this step, and was I ever glad. It turned out to be a challenge for all.

   Exploring the art of weaving through a Hula Hoop loom turned out to be a fun way to craft with kids. Everyone brought a hula hoop of some sort. There were lighted ones, weighted ones, basic Dollar Store ones and lovely large glittery ones. Although the large hoops were a bit cumbersome to work with on the tabletops, the resulting projects were AWESOME!

Expression through art is a beautiful thing to watch.

Camp Green Craft showed me how this is true.

   Every student approached their weaving project from their very own perspective. Each experience was their very own and each rug was so unique. One very shy and usually reserved student gave a wonderful commentary on her rug when it was finished. She enthusiastically described each area of her weaving process with such emotion that I was enthralled by it. She ended by saying: “I love this! I really love doing this! I want to do this again real soon!” I believe every student there thoroughly enjoyed the HUNTING, the GATHERING, and the EXPLORING experienced during this camp, and I cannot wait to do it again, too.

Thank you to all who joined us for the Camp Green Craft on April 20th, 2014.

A SPECIAL SHOUT OUT TO MY PHOTOGRAPHER: THANKS ABBYJO! GREAT JOB!

If you would like to hire Camp Green Craft to come to you for a Craft Party, complete the contact form to get started. Cost is minimal.

My Thrift Store links:

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Faith-Hope-and-Charity-Recycle-Store/114637649105

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Community-Thrift-Store/158930490807245

https://www.facebook.com/reach.thrift?fref=ts

Check out our Etsy team blog at http://northgeorgiamade.com/

Becca’s Green Craft Studio is selling crafts / vintage on Etsy….https://www.etsy.com/shop/GreenCraftStudio

Sign up for the Camp Green Craft coming soon near you…http://www.blueridgearts.net/Pages/YouthClasses.aspx

Blue Ridge Mountain Arts Association (BRMAA) in Blue Ridge, Georgia 706-632-2144

Summer Youth Art Camp Schedule for classes taught by Becca of Becca’s Green Craft Studio

June 24-27, 10am-12pm Rugs & More (ages 10+)…Crochet Rugs using Jersey Loop yarn made by up-cycling t-shirts.

June 24-27, 1pm-3pm Fabric Flowers Round 1 (ages 9+)…Use discarded t-shirts to create fabric flowers and turn them into accessories for the girls.

July 1-4, 10am-12pm Weaving in the Round (ages 7+)…Weave a coaster, placemat and rug using up-cycled t-shirts and a round loom—embroidery hoops and hula hoops.

July 1-4, 1pm-3pm Fabric Flowers Round 2 (9+)…Learn to sew with a needle and thread and build fabric flower accessories as you go. Melted fabric flowers as time permits.