Thursday, December 27, 2012

A New Adventure

Wow, it's been a while since my last post.  I haven't been creating much in the way of crafts. However, I did take on something new.  I decided to enter the direct sales business by becoming a merchandiser for a new jewelry company called Chloe and Isabel.  Why??? Well, I'm actually still figuring that out.  My career is in education/mental health.  I don't refer to it on this blog because I wanted this blog to be about my right brain interests..  I have worked as a school psychologist for 13 years now.  In many ways it is a satisfying job that allows me to feel like I am contributing to the well- being of children.  There are down sides to it as well.  I have to write, ...a lot!! There are certain legal mandates that make it necessary for me to write up evaluations so that children can get the services they need.  There are also a lot of meetings, tons of meetings.  Mostly, I don't mind these meetings as I do like to problem solve and feel like part of a team. I like it best when I can work directly with kids. I actually feel guilty being behind a desk and writing for many hours. I also love working with devoted and talented educators. The consultation aspect of my job is one that I feel most proud of. I love to facilitate the problem solving approach and help a classroom teacher, administrator, or parent find a new approach with their student.  Being a school psychologist can be an isolating job, in that you are the only one that does, what you do, in that building.  I am a people person and try to maximize on that by having an open door and visiting classrooms. I have responsibilities that put me in the positon of having to make decisions that are not always well received.  This can be difficult because by nature, I'm a pretty sensitive person that wants to be well-liked.  As I get older, this gets better, but I will always have that desire.  So, an outlet has always been to create by crafting and decorating. And this leads me to Chloe and Isabel (C+I). 

When I was home with my daughter four years ago, I researched direct sales as I was eager to find a way to stay home with my adorable baby girl.  It was fun to look around but I knew there was no way financially that I couldn't go back to work.  I have had my share of parties, Lia Sohpia, Pampered Chef, Arbonne, Jewel Kade and 31.  I have often thought that a great job for me would be to own my own boutique where I could sell a variety of my favorite things.  This is an ambitious dream and probably couldn't happen until retirement, and by then, I'm not sure if I want to work :-) So, I decided to do some research on direct sales companies.  I decided on jewelry because I love it. Whenever I'm shopping, I check out the costume jewelry.  I think it's a great way to freshen up my wardrobe.  I'm not that trendy in my attire so I try to add a little bling.  Also, jewelry is easy to store and transport. There are a lot of jewelry companies out there.  I had never been to a Chloe and Isabel party so I hadn't actually seen the jewelry.  I chose to send in an application of interest because I really like their marketing, the 30% commission, the hostess benefits ($50 for every $200 spent), and most of all... it's new and not sold by anyone around here!!! I was impressed that C+I had a process of interviewing and selecting candidates.  Only 10% of those that apply are hired.  This is impressive to me because I know a lot of companies are always looking for people to sign up and pretty much take anybody who is willing to pay the initial start-up fees.  I also love that you set up your own online boutique, so I have my store- sort of.  The jewelry is a lot of fun...trendy and classic pieces at affordable prices.  I have had two parties (they call them pop-up shops) so far and the jewelry has impressed most.  People love that it's new and no one else has it.  My husband has been incredibly supportive- I think he knows I needed another outlet.  It will obviously never replace my "real" job, nor do I want it to, I just needed to give it a try.  So good!!

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Felt Poinsettia Wreath

I haven't blogged in forever. I guess the novelty is wearing off and I need to freshen things up a bit. One of the ways I plan on doing that is by teaching a class at my friend Melany's shop, Project Anthologies. I am going to teach them four fabric flower techniques that they can use on wreaths, headbands, home decor, etc. the goal at the end of the night is for them to leave class with a finished wreath. Here is the prototype.

I will post pictures of the class and add some tutorials.

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Pumpkin Topiary

I have seen stacked pumpkins on Pinterest and wanted to do something like that this year. I don't have a big front porch so I needed to incorporate it into my garden space in the front yard. Last weekend, Eliza and I went to a pumpkin patch with some other families. It was a low profile, pick your own patch. You payed based on the honor system, it's nice to know that there are still trusting souls out there!!

The kids and parents had a blast finding the best ones in the patch. The sizes, shapes, and colors were so varied. We got a couple little ones that Eliza found and then I got two larger ones. We went to a nearby greenhouse to look for mums and white pumpkins. Here's Eliza surrounded by pumpkins sporting her Volunteers t- shirt.

I think she's cuter than a pumpkin. I found two pumpkins for the project, one a nudish color and the other white. To make the topiary, I turned a planter upside down. I stacked the pumpkins and tried to give them a little support with pins, lets hope there aren't severe winds :-). I was having a hard time putting the dried flowers between the pumpkins so I decided to use grapevine. I made two circle wreaths and put it between the pumpkins. This allowed me to secure the dried flowers and clippings. I also put moss between the grapevine and pumpkins, which provided support and made it looked fuller.

I ended up using a lot of clippings from my autumn joy sedum. I really like the way it came together. The neighbors drove by and said they were going to try and make one as well, which was flattering.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Funky Fall Wreath

I decided to make a wreath with a variety if fabrics and textures. I wrapped strips of various coordinating fabrics around a foam wreath.

I found some packs of pre-cut hexagon shapes at Big Lots. I used them to make some full flowers.

I'm proud to say its hanging in the front window of Project Anthologies!!

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Pumpkin Patch

Last year at this time I was making tons of fabric pumpkins. I cut fabric in circles and sewed a running stitch around the top, stuffed, added a stem, and tightened. They came out cute but I wanted to try something new this year. I sewed fabric of different sizes, right sides together, to make cylinder shapes. Sewed the bottom with a running stitch, put rice on bottom for some weight, and added stuffing. I like how they came out different sizes like real pumpkins do. I've also been playing around with photo editing apps so here are a few of the pumpkin patch photos.

I will be having fun making a lot more...

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

A wreath fit for a princess!!

My little princess turned 4 and wanted a princess tea party. I had the party the day after Wine and Wishes so things were a bit hectic. I had lots if grandiose plans but was unable to carry them all out. I did buy some tulle and make a flashy wreath for the door to announce her highnesses birthday.

Here's a quick tutorial on how I made it. All you need is some rolls of tulle, which I got at Walmart. I used a green styrofoam wreath. I doubled up on the tulle strips so it looked fuller. They were about 2 ft long.

I alternated colors and kept going until it was full.

Awe, Piper the dog!

I also added a wand from the dollar store, some cute felt butterflies, and an E That I added some paint and glitter to. Now it hangs in the princesses room, eh hum, I mean castle!


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