Tuesday, October 30, 2007

It's the time of the year...

with Christmas items on every store shelf.
I myself can tell by the increasing orders I receive. I am grateful.
An aspect of Christmas, the random act of kindness, is more in my focus than decoration and gifts. I personally am not an avid XMas shopper. Even though I will give to all my loved ones. But no overkill, please. It's the season of love, not the season of plastic nic nacs and abundance.
I have found this website through another blog and I will get gifts and useful winter items ready to send to one of the organiztions. Being a crocheter...hats, scarfs, small sweaters that will be welcome for a good cause. Plus I have a whole tub full of children clothes new with tags, items I had bought to embellish. But they may serve a better purpose as gifts for children on the Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota.
There is still so much poverty in the USA and I like to give to people in need, right here in this country. Some infrastructures create poverty and problems to provide certain necessities.
My challenge is 1 hat and other items per day and mail a box in the middle of November.

I joined this yahoo group. I really would like to be not just another hat and clothes maker, but make a difference with my crafts.

"Click here to join CraftingForACause">
Click to join CraftingForACause

Sunday, October 28, 2007

No Biz talk today, but buy one get one free...whoppers

Today is our boost the metabolism day, the diet break. Once you reduce your calorie intake the metabolism slows down and it gets harder to lose on diet foods. Here is our way of working around it.
My husband had bought a discount card from some girl scouts some time back and it just sat on the dresser for months. As I had a craving for something greasy today (and not much desire to cook) I asked what that discount card was all about, something about BK as I remembered.
Anyway, we had 2 whoppers each...ah, this was such a yucky feeling finishing that 2nd whopper. Stuffed like a tick, getting tired and lazy in the middle of the day. What a great way to cure that craving for junk food, eat it and realize it's not that good after all.
I bought some delicious apples and bananas on our way home and they will make a great dinner.
Tomorrow we'll go back to normal and low fat...and when we eat our bran flakes our stomachs will expect that big whopper again and get that digestion going. Fooled by our little health snack it will work and get the juices flowing and we're in "weight" losing mode again. 6 days of diet, one binging day keeps us happy so far and still losing.

Friday, October 26, 2007

I finished a few new hats and scarves

Every online store gets boring without new products, so here we go. This hemp/wool dreadlock hippie tam is available on my website.
And another basic unisex black snood tam in solid black hemp/wool has been listed on Etsy.
Different folks, different strokes, an acrylic/nylon beret tam and matching scarf (also on Etsy)

Great for those who cannot wear wool or are vegans. Acrylics do serve a purpose in this world.

Random thoughts for Friday

If I still joined the regular 9 to 5 work force I 'd probably shout TGIF.
But one similarity is there for sure...a time to give it a break. Maybe I need to reinvent free weekends again.
Crocheting is manual work, even though creative, it involves a lot of repetitive moves. And your body will tell you with neck pains or just malfunction of your fine motorical skills that it's enough. At least for a day. I have worked up a lot of new designs, will finish to weave in the loose threads and list later on. I won't touch a hook today though.
No thrifty Friday either, I am running out of space. And time for alterations and new recycled creations. I need to regain space, it stresses me out to have too much stuff. My yarn is taking over the storage areas in the craft room. You can work up only so much per day and I probably have a year's supply already in my house. I just ordered new black hemp wool yesterday online, so, I am putting a STOP sign to buying or ordering more.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

I needed a hoodie and I hate malls

Honestly I hate indoor malls, I never liked to go there and I don't see what could be recreational about it. We don't have a lot of department stores where I really like to shop here either.
Since it's getting colder here I really wanted a smart little woman hoodie, and not wear my oversized hooded sweatshirts year after year.
Well, I found this clever tutorial on crafters.org and just went to work. Made from my son's boys size old Nike t-shirt and vintage double-knit, yeah. The pictures don't do it justice...it is actually really cute and fits well. Recycled and reconstructed with a moderate distressed look , love it.
Here is a new tam that I crocheted last night.
Available on etsy.
And I also listed this great plaid jumper dress, too bad that it's too short for my taste. (on Etsy)

Monday, October 22, 2007

New warm dreadlock tams added

available on my website
hemp & wool yarn, sage green and berry blue held together to make it chunky and warm
available in my Etsy shop
beautiful warm fall colors, like falling leaves, and oh so soft

Today was such a dreadful day, cold and rainy. I forced myself to get some new designs up, well, here they are...and now I am off to my couch with hot coffee and a cookie:)

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Let music express my attitude

Sometimes I feel completely out of the loop.
Voicing my opinion towards politics, society or ethical discussions with weighing all the pros and contras is difficult. Especially since you can never be 100% sure you have all the facts.
It's easy to repeat slogans.
It's not as clear as it was for me in my young years, when something was either black or white, good or bad or the answer was yes or no.
I live in a country where I am an immigrant status, a permanent alien resident status until I will get naturalized. My home country does not allow a dual citizenship. I can only keep my German nationality and take on the American citizenship after an appeal process and approval through the German bureaucracy. Many Euros and $$$, a costly venture.
Critique of a guest country' politics or values or of the home country I left behind is uncalled for in many cases. As a citizen I am in a state of transition and "Not Belonging". I don't vote here, I don't vote there. Sometimes I feel like I don't have a voice.

For now I let music speak for myself, as artists have used poetry and lyrics to express themselves for centuries.

Saturday, October 20, 2007

New dread tams listed

I have been busy crocheting again and working with the yarns that I had purchased over the last few weeks.
Listed on Etsy.
The yarn that I have used for the tam in picture 1 is called Quartz and by Lion Brand "Homespun". It's a very feminine but yet rustic weave, supersoft with subtle pastels...like a quartz stone.
Picture 2 shows a hippie dreadlock tam made with a yarn called "Black pearl", monochrome with little flecks of red and orange.
The 3rd beret tam is a basic in faux mohair in this great avocado green color, a fabulous fall nuance of green.

Friday, October 19, 2007

New vintage goodies for the dining table

Fridays are my thrifting days. We have an awesome thriftstore in town "My favorite things", and Friday is their surprise day, with sales not announced until they open their doors. Today was 90% off on vintage items. The real vintage stuff, not fake "looks like vintage" dollar store products.
I treated myself to some nice pieces for dining, not sure if I'll ever use them since I have lots of dinnerware, but I love the idea of being able to set the table with entirely vintage dinnerware. I am especially fond of the sauciers (gravy servers), something that's usually not offered in a contemporary dinner set anymore. Or the nice large soup serving bowls.
I also got cool clothes. Special deal on certain items: 50 Cents. I salvaged wool sweaters, blouses, slacks ...best thing is, you'll never find stinky old crap in that store, everything is in great condition and smells fresh. The only problem you got to deal with is style and size:)

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Music to get real...contra the little narcistic drama

Peaceful Easy Feeling

(non-stop rain yesterday)
"I've got a peaceful easy feeling" (Eagles) was playing on my favorite Classic Rock Radio station while I drove home from the dentist. And I leaned back and said "Yes", that's me.
All my orders have been shipped, the rain has stopped and it's sunny yet a bit brisk outside.
I feel content.
No more rush. Today I will be free to do whatever I want. Start new designs or just read a good book.
Since my companion and I have started to cut out most of the junk food in our nutrition, I feel lighter, too. (I have this funny inspiring book "Why French women don't get fat"...it's a good read).
I just browsed forums and I didn't write any replies, the appeal of forums has worn down. Good so.
For a while I tried to drive traffic to my blog, but only if you bitch around, have drama, then people want to read. I won't condescend myself to bitch around about competition and copying or calling others names.
I don't kiss butt. I don't sweet-talk. I don't need to be popular. I am out of high-school.
Some trends at the "handmade" vending sites bug the crap out of me.
>>>>Buy it, call it handmade, sell it at a mark-up. <<<<
I remember the times when sellers of handmade items were belittled on Ebay, their products called "homemade" like they were inferior to New With Tags mass produced stuff, now everyone wants a slice of the "handcrafted pie", yeah.

Meanwhile I am happy with how things are going for me. I had 2 sales on Dawanda, one never got paid for, but oh well, at least this site picks up traffic and buyers. Same with my website. I am still happy to NOT have an Ebay store anymore. My few auctions do well. Etsy does well. Knock on wood.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Awesomeness -- Music videos on YouTube

Xavier Naidoo -- Nicht von dieser Welt

Xavier Naidoo -- Seine Strassen

Xavier Naidoo -- Ich kenne nichts (so schoen wie du)

Xavier Naidoo -- Sie sieht mich nicht

Xavier Naidoo -- Fuehr mich ans Licht

Xavier Naidoo -- Wo willst du hin?

Xavier Naidoo -- Oh My Lady

Xavier Naidoo & Sabrina Setlur -- Freisein

Xavier Naidoo & Soehne Mannheims -- Geh davon aus

Everlast -- What it's like

Everlast -- White Trash Beautiful

Everlast -- Blinded by the sun

Santana & Everlast -- Put Your Lights On

Santana & Everlast -- Babylon Feeling

Creedence Clearwater Revival -- Down on the corner

CCR -- Looking out my back door

CCR -- Born on the Bayou

CCR -- Who'll stop the rain

Blackfoot -- Highway Song (Live 1982)

Fleetwood Mac -- Dreams

Fleetwood Mac -- Gypsy

Fleetwood Mac -- Gold dust woman

What happened today? YOUTUBE all the way

What a great afternoon...searching for songs on YouTube. Some from the 1970s, some 1990s, some newer. Strangely I don't have a lot of 1980s favorites. I once had well over 300 cds and hundreds of vinyls before I auctioned them off on Ebay, getting ready to move to my companion in the USA.
I thought those treasures were lost forever, but the internet is such a wealth of media. Search and you'll find. As with most things in life...

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Crocheting break=sewing time

(The apron patchwork skirt is available on Etsy)
I was anxious to finish the skirt from my post a few days ago. Instead of an applique I decided to add a "kitcheny" apron for more interest and uniqueness. I am really happy with the way it turned out...only problem is, and that never fails, the wind picks up as soon as I drag my dress form into the yard and I end up taking pictures in a windstill corner of the house...urghhhh.
But what to do? Despite other people preferences I like an organic background, no all white blank background, but maybe I should reconsider. It was nice when the green grass and blooming bushes made an ideal backdrop months earlier.
Tomorrow I will go back to crocheting. There are still a few things on my priority list which are worth saving up for (and so I am working more consequently these days).
Today I have reached an important mile stone, I paid for a roundtrip flight ticket from Bremen/Germany to OKC for my darling daughter. Looking forward to share Christmas with her again.

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Just an ordinary Saturday

It has been a good day, not eventful but reliable and comforting.
Football season for my husband...Oklahoma Sooners vs. Missouri Tigers.
Me: Run to the post office earlier. Pizza evening and bretzels. Crochet work is done. Free time. Reading.
Ideal time to showcase some items from other Etsy sellers that I have received recently.

I have received this fabulous art print from FigurativeHarmony as a PIF. My photograph doesn't do it quite justice though, hadn't time to frame it yet. It will be displayed soon.

I have purchased this wonderful macrame necklace from macraMe, it's part of my owl mania. I just love owls, they remind so much of the 1970s style and I just love owls period.

Owl sterling silver earrings from mydesertstudio. Love, love these, too.

I have more purchases to share soon.

Last but not least I finally have some time to continue work on my patchwork peasant skirt. I can't make up my mind what applique to put onto a side pocket, owl or mushrooms? I most likely will go with mushrooms since they will harmonise with the kitchen feel of the vintage Orleans Rose print of the bottom tier. This is a skirt made entirely from vintage fabrics, some are recycled. We already have enough
"wear once throw out" products in this world, recycling is the logical thing to do.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

How the FLYLADY can make your artist's life easier

I always thought that chaos and creativity were best friends, that a genius had to surround her/himself with chaos. Don't we just all love to think of ourselves as genial?
But, in the long run I found out that chaos is a sign of stupidity when it comes to my time schedule and crafting surrounding, well, the creative person needs time to create, and chaos is sucking up more time then necessary. Looking for stuff, pressure to send out orders because the due date has passed? If we do as the flylady says (here are her 11 commandments, I copied and pasted from the website here) our lives will become easier.
The reading is absolutely worth it, and the kitchen sink make sense, I tried it, and believe me, I hate household chores, so, take it from me.
And one more thing, I don't always follow the rule of the street shoes, flipflops are just fine for Oklahoma 2/3 of the year, but I replaced it with wearing earrings.
I think this site is inspirational to change some things in our daily schedule and set time free for the things we truely enjoy.
  1. Keep your sink clean and shiny.

  2. Get dressed every morning, even if you don’t feel like it. Don’t forget your lace-up shoes.

  3. Do your morning and before bedtime routine everyday.

  4. Don’t allow yourself to be sidetracked by the computer.

  5. Pick up after yourself. If you get it out, put it away.

  6. Don’t try to do two projects at once. ONE JOB AT A TIME.

  7. Don’t pull out more than you can put back in one hour.

  8. Do something for yourself everyday, maybe every morning and night.

  9. Work as fast as you can to get the job done. This will give you more time to play later.

  10. Smile even when you don’t feel like it. It is contagious. Make your mind up to be happy and you will be.

  11. Don’t forget to laugh everyday. Pamper yourself, you deserve it.

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

I am not a passionate shopper, but had a great day at the stores today

Great German foods at ALDI, the Germany based grocery store chain with a frugal twist. Great products, even better prices, less convenience service and no fancy displays (this philosophy made ALDI famous and it is an icon among Germany's grocery stores).
I bought my German style coffee, Chocolate (real important from Germany), Potato Salad (German style, made in the USA), German style cheese, and German style whole grain bread (that's loaded with real whole grains and vitamin B). I even found a pet orthopedic mat for our dog Oscar to make his dog house more comfortable, needless to say, the price was right. and, it was NOT made in China. (No racism here, anyone who knows me will affirm that I am NO prejudiced person, I only write this in respect to product safety. Additionally I believe in the shortest ways of transportation of goods to conserve the environment and minimize pollution due to shipping goods from one corner of the earth to the other when local or domestic producers could provide the goods as well, of course with a certain mark-up, but this would be the price we would have to pay.)
Also a 100% cotton carpet set for our bathroom made in India (well, I have purchased many products made in India in my life, the blouses and dresses have always captured my eye. I don't wish to support child's labor for sure and I am not at the top of information as to how India enforces work laws these days, but have never suffered from any hazardous dyes or other poisonous additives in those materials. I really wish there was another choice to support domestic industries in the textile area though.)
Afterwards I invaded Hobby Lobby once again since they had a Lion Brand yarn sale this week, lots of great fall color yarns in excellent qualities. Blends and wools, can't wait to start new projects with those goodies. Even with yarns I have started to look at the country of origin, well, Lion Brand is still very much reliable to NOT produce in China. I never thought I'd be happy to see wool made in Turkey since they have a questionable reputation as far as being a democracy among European countries, but times and priorities definitely have changed when it comes to imports and commerce.

Sunday, October 7, 2007

Sharing some digital art

My husband does digital art and photography. Still on the side since he works full time for a local refinery, but plans on becoming professional in a couple of years. Here are 2 of his latest digital photoshop art pictures:
Red Earth Art
Here is a picture of us attending a dinner meeting of photoshop seminar members at "The House of Blues" in Las Vegas last month. We are on the outside left (and I was dead tired of the flight and heck of this town:).

New Hippie Snood Dreadlock Tam Hats listed

I got my listings done early today, looking forward to a quiet Sunday, enjoying the last warm days of October (who knows though, in Oklahoma you may wear a t-shirt around Christmas), but anyway, I am going to enjoy a cup of instant cafe latte by nestle from the discount store Hispanic isle (yeah, they have some European/Spanish stuff right there at a great price).
I am proud to show a bit of a variety here today, OOAK creations.
Earthy olive brown long patchwork sock tam
Retro snood
Feminine ballon tam
Woolblend fall color large tam
They are for sale here on Etsy

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

My new supply & vintage store on etsy -- Retro Chic Boutique

Retro Chic Boutique is my registered business name and my first business venture ever.
I established myself on Ebay selling Custom Boutique children clothes for about 2 years. Until I lost interest and got stressed out over commission work. It still has been my first-born baby though, with website and a long history of cute creations. I considered reviving it, but was not sure about crocheting and sewing children clothes again. Well, the shop name leans itself also towards my vintage finds and patterns, so, I have opened a new store for these type of wares on Etsy.
Retrochicboutique on Etsy
(Some past designs as Retro Chic Boutique)

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

I closed my Ebay store today

Should I feel sad after one year of "Purple Sage Handmade Designz" on Ebay? I don't think so.
First, let me say, I have had super customers on Ebay, a few non-payers, but overall they were just great. Thanks so much, guys. Will I leave Ebay completely? No, I will list auctions or Fixed price items as long as there is interest in my work.
But keeping an Ebay store just seemed worthless. Hidden from search, 10% final Value Fee, it takes the fun and ambition out of the store-ownership. The final straw was the new search "playground". Too much best-matching, pre-formatting search results, too far away from a true natural search where you just can pull up whatever you typed into the search bar.
Now I will offer some of my "liberated" hats on Etsy and on my website for your consideration.
See great deals and from now on strictly auctions only on Ebay here