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1  OCCASIONS AND HOLIDAYS / Weddings and Bridal Showers / Ribbon-wrapped guest book pen--how do I do it? on: March 25, 2008 01:08:33 PM
Hi!  We have our guest book already, but we need a pen to go with it.  I am not impressed by the ones I've seen for sale.  Anyone know how I can make one of those cool ribbon-wrapped pens?  I'd love to do it, but I have no idea how to get the ribbon to stick to the pen. 

Our wedding has a fall theme, so any other fall-related pen ideas are welcome as well.  Smiley

Thanks so much!!
2  OCCASIONS AND HOLIDAYS / Weddings and Bridal Showers / DIY wedding invitations - advice please? on: March 18, 2008 12:53:20 PM
My fiance and I can't afford to spend much on our wedding invitations (and that's putting it mildly).  We really want to make our own, and we are probably going to print them ourselves, but we'd like to do something with more of a personal touch than a store-bought DIY invitation kit would have.

I found an article online recently with an idea that sounded really appealing: using a maple leaf paper punch (we're getting married in November) to cut out leaf shapes on the invitation cardstock, and then putting colored paper (probably red, in our case) underneath.  I stupidly did not bookmark the site, and now I can't find the article again!  Any ideas on how I can do this, or something similar?  We want something pretty simple--no bows, no frilly stuff, just a nice Autumn theme.

If we go with the paper punch idea, how should we glue the 2 pieces of paper together?  Should I use a glue stick, or something else?  I don't want these to fall apart easily.  And what's the best kind of paper punch to use?

Is there anything cool we can do with the envelopes?

Any recommendations as to a good little calligraphy set with instructions, for addressing envelopes?  (My mom and I are going to try to do these...heheh...)

I have never done ANY kind of paper crafting before, so any tips would be much appreciated!

THANK YOU!!!

Lex
3  CRAFTING FOR GOOD AND NOT EVIL / Crafty Charitable/Social Causes / Beading with a social conscience, part II on: December 09, 2004 07:12:58 PM
Well, I've finally gone and done it.  I've started an online fair trade bead shop (called The Fair Trade Bead Shoppe, appropriately enough).   Wink  It's at www.fairtradebeads. com if you'd like to have a look.

The beads are beautiful, and I'm so glad I'm doing this because in general it's been very hard to actually get the beads--someone not out to run a bead store wouldn't have the patience.  And what the heck is the point of fair trade if it isn't accessible?

For those who are unacquainted with the fair trade movement, there's a little description on the Bead Shoppe web site; but the basics, as far as I'm concerned, are that by buying fair trade you can assure that the bead makers are being paid adequately and treated well.  I'm not out to promote (or support) suffering.

So I've spent the past few months procuring fair trade, ethically made (maybe 1 step short of fair trade, or just haven't gotten the certification yet), and vintage beads for the store.  Business is going well...for a teeny-tiny startup that I've done very little advertising for as yet.  Wink

Please visit the site if you'd like, and try to spread the word if you would like to support the cause.  Hopefully one day we can get more of the bead industry to go fair trade (yes, my aim is to put myself out of business!).   Cheesy
4  CRAFTY BUSINESS ADVICE / Crafty Business Discussion / HGTV "Crafters Coast to Coast" on: December 09, 2004 06:59:42 PM
Has anyone else ever been on this show, or know anyone who has?  They sent me an e-mail a few weeks ago saying they were coming to my area and wanted to know if I was interested.  They came and taped me on Monday.   Smiley  I am really excited about it! 

I'm curious to know what others' experiences have been, if they were happy with how their segment of the show actually turned out, if they got lots of customers from it or not, etc etc.  I won't be on until sometime in or after March of 2005, and I don't get to see anything before that.  *gulp*  In fact, they're not even going to let me know when "my" show will be on--I'll have to keep checking.  That's kind of a bummer.

But...yay!   Grin
5  UNITED STATES / Maryland / "Crafters for Kerry" craft fair on: August 20, 2004 10:32:19 AM
I am a Democrat and want to be able to donate something to the Kerry-Edwards campaign, but I am also an impoverished artisan.  Wink  So I've been thinking about organizing a craft fair for which 25% of the proceeds would go to the Kerry-Edwards campaign.  Possible dates are the first Sunday in October, or the second weekend in October.

Would anyone else be interested in participating?  I want to do this in a venue that attracts people anyway, so we'd have some automatic potential customers.  Wink  I am a volunteer for the campaign, and there are quite a few of us around here; and you can post events to benefit the campaign on the Kerry web site, so I'm sure we'd get some customers from there as well.

I still don't know where the venue would be (I'm in Arlington; it would definitely be a place in the DC Metro area), or if we'd have to pay to rent one out, since I don't know what the date would be yet (it depends on others' availability).  If we do have to rent a venue, we'll need to all split the costs.

Please let me know if you're interested!  You can reply here, or send me an e-mail at lex@lexscreations.com.

Thanks!  Smiley
Alexis

(posted on the DC and VA boards, too)
6  UNITED STATES / Washington, D.C. / "Crafters for Kerry" craft fair on: August 20, 2004 10:31:37 AM
I am a Democrat and want to be able to donate something to the Kerry-Edwards campaign, but I am also an impoverished artisan.  Wink  So I've been thinking about organizing a craft fair for which 25% of the proceeds would go to the Kerry-Edwards campaign.  Possible dates are the first Sunday in October, or the second weekend in October.

Would anyone else be interested in participating?  I want to do this in a venue that attracts people anyway, so we'd have some automatic potential customers.  Wink  I am a volunteer for the campaign, and there are quite a few of us around here; and you can post events to benefit the campaign on the Kerry web site, so I'm sure we'd get some customers from there as well.

I still don't know where the venue would be (I'm in Arlington; it would definitely be a place in the DC Metro area), or if we'd have to pay to rent one out, since I don't know what the date would be yet (it depends on others' availability).  If we do have to rent a venue, we'll need to all split the costs.

Please let me know if you're interested!  You can reply here, or send me an e-mail at lex@lexscreations.com.

Thanks!  Smiley
Alexis

(posted to the VA and MD boards, too)
7  CRAFTING FOR GOOD AND NOT EVIL / Crafty Charitable/Social Causes / Beading with a social conscience? on: August 17, 2004 12:47:15 PM
It has recently been brought to my attention that many beads (especially semiprecious gemstone beads) are made in factories in China, India, and other countries where the workers are subjected to terrible conditions.  Many of them come down with lung diseases from inhaling too much of the dust from the grinding process, and some die prematurely.  They are also paid such low wages that they don't really have what they need to survive, but they are forced to work for whatever they can since other jobs are not available.

I am currently looking into sources for fair trade beads.  I've encountered some opposition, mainly of the usual sweatshop issue argument: if we boycott the companies with "bad" factories, these people will lose their jobs and may be even worse off.  But that argument doesn't fly.  If we boycott, and let the companies know why, perhaps we can influence factory owners to buy the proper equipment for their workers.  Seem far-fetched?  Maybe it is, but it's worth a try, right?  After all, if enough people do this, bead companies are more likely to just suck it up and buy the equipment than to shut down.

I work with polymer clay, but I have also been making a lot of beaded jewelry lately.  I've decided that, from now on, I will use mostly fair trade beads in my jewelry.  I am not worried about paying more for the beads.  A socially conscious customer base will be willing to pay a little more for jewelry that is handmade by me from fair trade beads.

Does anyone know more than I do about which beads are most likely to have been made in a safe way, if it is better to buy beads made in certain countries, etc?  I am trying to do research on the subject but it seems like there just is not a whole lot out there.

Please let me know if you have more info, or if you're interested in supporting this cause.  I am going to compile a list of online bead stores where fair trade beads can be purchased and put it on my web site.  I may even wind up starting a nonprofit organization to educate people about this problem, and to promote further research; but I'm getting ahead of myself.   Wink

Lex
8  UNITED STATES / Maryland / Really nice canopy for sale... on: July 14, 2004 04:52:32 PM
I know this is advertising of a sort, so I hope it's not against the rules...but I have to get rid of my old canopy.  Embarrassed  When I say "old," I mean I bought it brand spanking new 3 months ago and have used it only 2 or 3 times.  It's a 10'x10' Quik Shade Compact canopy with a red top.  It is absolutely beautiful. 

So why am I getting rid of it?  Because I had to buy one that was more lightweight.  I have a chronic illness and just can't do much heavy lifting.  This one weighs 65 lbs; the new one I got weighs 30 lbs.  I literally couldn't even help set up the old one; with the new one, I can't quite set it up myself, but setup only takes me and 1 additional person (and I can get it into and out of my car by myself if I have to).

I'm selling it for only $100 (it retails at $200 at Sports Authority, where I got it).  It has steel frames and should last years, so it's a worthy investment; and I'd love to see it doing something more than sitting around my apartment collecting dust!  Wink

It's available to anyone who can come pick it up.  I live in Arlington, VA.  Please let me know if you are interested, and feel free to e-mail me with questions.

I am posting this on the VA, DC and MD boards, since DC and parts of MD are relatively close to Arlington.

Thanks for reading...

Lex
9  UNITED STATES / Washington, D.C. / Really nice canopy for sale... on: July 14, 2004 04:51:54 PM
I know this is advertising of a sort, so I hope it's not against the rules...but I have to get rid of my old canopy.  Embarrassed  When I say "old," I mean I bought it brand spanking new 3 months ago and have used it only 2 or 3 times.  It's a 10'x10' Quik Shade Compact canopy with a red top.  It is absolutely beautiful. 

So why am I getting rid of it?  Because I had to buy one that was more lightweight.  I have a chronic illness and just can't do much heavy lifting.  This one weighs 65 lbs; the new one I got weighs 30 lbs.  I literally couldn't even help set up the old one; with the new one, I can't quite set it up myself, but setup only takes me and 1 additional person (and I can get it into and out of my car by myself if I have to).

I'm selling it for only $100 (it retails at $200 at Sports Authority, where I got it).  It has steel frames and should last years, so it's a worthy investment; and I'd love to see it doing something more than sitting around my apartment collecting dust!  Wink

It's available to anyone who can come pick it up.  I live in Arlington, VA.  Please let me know if you are interested, and feel free to e-mail me with questions.

I am posting this on the VA, DC and MD boards, since DC and parts of MD are relatively close to Arlington.

Thanks for reading...

Lex
10  MISCELLANEOUS TOPICS / Discussion and Questions / The Crafts Report on: April 11, 2004 06:07:29 AM
Does anyone here subscribe to this magazine?  I picked up an old copy for free and it is FULL of goodies--craft fair listings, tips, etc.  I'm trying to figure out if I should subscribe or not.  Smiley  Their web site also has a craft fair finder, and a place to look up services for crafters.  It's at www.craftsreport.co m.
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