I’ve Moved!

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Yes, you read that right! Not only am I referring to the gorgeous new property that Brad’s family and I have moved into, but I’ve managed to finalize my aforementioned Breakup With WordPress. In this post I mention a few reasons that I’d rather be on Blogspot than WordPress, but I’d rather not go into it again today. Instead, head on over to my new blog! While you’re at it, be sure to check out the other social media applications that you’ll find me on and take some time to admire my improved blog design.

I’m sorry to inconvenience any WordPress users that may be following me, as I’m not a fellow Presser any longer. I hope we can still be friends and that you will find it easy enough to keep up with my posts on Blogspot, as I’m aware that it adds some extra steps to stay in touch.

For WordPress, this is not a fare-thee-well as much as a see-you-later. Someday I might comeback to the awesome interface and community that this site provides, but for now, I’ll catch you on the flip side. Thanks for hosting me.

Edit: I realized that I was so excited in getting this posted that I forgot to mention where it is I’ve moved to!
You can now find me at ShubetteHandmade.blogspot.com. Thanks for reading, internet!

Basement Project Plan

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South WallOver the past couple of weeks, Brad and I have been putting all of our time and effort into getting this basement finished and liveable. I’ve really been neglecting my work-at-home situation to get it done, and Brad has been heading over to the new house to work every day before or after work, depending on the shift he’s on that week. Slowly but surely, it’s coming along quite nicely! It is very time consuming, and yet easier than I had expected! I’ve decided to make this brief checklist and game-plan for anyone who may be interested doing a little basement work. I hope this helps!

  • Electrical wiring
    Luckily, this step was completed before we moved in, therefore we have utility boxes along the west wall of the room. Rather than covering these up with a wall, we will be creating a floating shelf along the entire wall to encase the electrical outlets.
  • Deep cleaning
    After removing all of the debris from the room, clean every inch of the walls and floor with bleach. We also cleaned the ceiling with a toilet brush, with the intention of leaving it exposed.
  • Sealing off leaks
    This is an issue for many basements, as many conditions are required to keep a basement leak-free. This article on The Money Pit is very informative and includes a few suggestions for fixes.
  • Staining/finishing the ceiling
    There are many other options for ceilings, but we decided to tear out the insulation and leave our bare ceiling exposed for a more rustic feel. If you intend on doing this, it’s a good idea to remove any staples or nails that may have been used to attach the insulation. A flat-head screwdriver works well for this.
  • Priming & painting the walls
  • Painting the floor
    Because our room has a fireplace along one wall, we have purchased a carpet that will leave this area of the floor exposed, and have decided to paint the non-carpeted areas.
  • Laying the carpet

West Wall

To be completely honest, we are cutting some small corners here and there budget-wise. This has actually resulted in taking us more time to get everything done. Specifically, we have to stain the entire ceiling before we can lay any kind of carpeting, and it’s incredibly tedious.

We are also faced with the challenge of creatively hiding the exposed wiring and cables that run through the basement, and we have a very interesting idea planned for these as well! There happened to be a giant wood-burning stove in the middle of the floor with a chute that goes right up into the fireplace, and a week or two of firewood stacked along one wall, among other things.

Southeast Corner

At first I was worried that this room would be never be finished or fit for humankind, but now when I close my eyes I know it will be the beautiful modern yet rustic masterpiece that I’ve dreamed of. While this list certainly covers many of the basics, I have so many design ideas to put in motion! I’ve made a Pinterest board specifically for this project titled The Basement-to-Bedroom Project, so be sure to check it out to get a better idea of my design and follow along! I haven’t posted all of my ideas & inspirations just yet, and I’m sure I will continue to keep it updated with more projects that I’ve got in mind after the basement is liveable. Thanks for reading, internet!

On Moving and Moving

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I’m excited to announce that Brad and his family and I are moving! The property is nothing short of wondrous and has been well kept, but it still needs a bit of love to make it liveable. We’ve all been putting very much time and effort into restoring this charming house into the beautiful space that we envision it once was.

The front yard, however, is not the focal point of the property. Behold the view from the living room window.

This sparkling pond is also located on the property, as well as acres and acres of land on which we can explore, hunt, or fish, if we so choose. The well on the right of the photo has a small garden sitting atop it, which protects both the garden from being eaten by small mammals, and also small children that may be thrown into the well.

Brad and I are currently working on finishing the house’s basement. This will allow me to have a studio/craft room outside of our bedroom! I can’t wait! Our ultimate goal, however, is to move the two of us into this lovely little cabin just to the right hand side of the pond.

This is going to be a much bigger job than the basement. It’s completely gutted and at this time it appears that it’s being used as a tool shed. This doesn’t stop me from picturing myself waking up and enjoying a cup of coffee on that porch and overlooking the pond every single morning for the rest of my life.

So this is what’s been keeping me busy this week. The good news is that it’s got me brainstorming a bunch of DIY posts!

The bad news is that it seems I’ll be putting off shifting my blog to Blogger, as I discussed in My Break-Up with WordPress just last month. I’ve still got quite a bit of fine-tuning that I’d like to do before the blog move, which will have to wait until I get settled in after the house move.

While I’ve certainly got a lot on my plate right now, I’m definitely going to be showing off some before, during, and after shots along the way. Thanks for reading!

NEPA Arts & Crafts – September 2012

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How’s it going, arts-and-craftsters? Summer may be winding down here in Northeastern Pennsylvania, but that doesn’t mean you won’t find tons of events filled with local artisans and handicrafters! There’s still time to grab some handmade goodness before it’s time to start knitting those warm, Wintery crafts! As always, I’ve included links to each event listed with its own website or homepage, as well as links to their locations’ websites, if applicable. Please note that some of these events may require fees for admission or parking.

8/26 — 9/01 West End Fair @ Fairgrounds – Rt. 209, Gilbert, PA
8/28 — 9/03 Greene Dreher Sterling Fair @ Fairgrounds – Rts. 191 & 507, Newfoundland, PA
8/29 — 9/03 Sullivan County Fair @ Fairgrounds – Rt. 154, Forksville, PA
9/01 —            Labor Day Market @ Eagles Mere Green, Eagles Mere, PA
9/01 —            StroudFest @ Main St., Stroudsburg, PA
9/01 — 9/02 Country Arts & Crafts Show @ Dushore Railroad Station, Dushore, PA
9/01 — 9/02 Pocono Garlic Festival @ Shawnee Mountain Ski Area, East Stroudsburg, PA
9/05 — 9/09 Luzerne County Fair @ Fairgrounds – Rt. 118, Dallas, PA
9/07 — 9/09 Palmerton Festival @ Borough Park, Palmerton, PA
9/07 — 9/16 Milton Harvest Festival @ Downtown Milton, PA
9/08 —           Cowanesque Valley Outdoors Festival @ Rt. 49, Knoxville, PA
9/08 —           Fall Arts & Crafts Fair @ Mill St., Danville, PA
9/08 —           Hawley Arts & Crafts Fair @ Bingham Park, Hawley, PA
9/08 —           Schuylkill Haven Farmer’s Market @ 1 E. Main St., Schuylkill Haven, PA
9/08 — 9/09 Art & Craft-itivity @ Tom Quick Inn, Milford, PA
9/08 — 9/09 Concourse Club Art & Photography Show @ Sacred Heart Church, Palmerton, PA
9/08 — 9/09 Harford Fiber Festival @ Fairgrounds – Rt. 2063, Harford, PA
9/08 — 9/09 Hazleton FunFest @ Downtown Hazleton, PA
9/09 —            Hometown Fall Craft Show @ 125 Mahanoy Ave., Towanda, PA
9/14 — 9/16 Victorian Heritage Festival @ Jim Thorpe, PA
9/15 —            Fall Craft Show @ Nesquehoning Rec Center, Nesquehoning, PA
9/15 —            Hegins Valley Arts & Crafts Faire @ Hegins Park, Hegins, PA
9/15 —            Luzerne Fall Pumpkin Festival @ Main St., Luzerne, PA
9/15 —            Scranton Cultural Crossroads Festival @ Anthracite Museum, Scranton, PA
9/15 —            Wayne County Wine & Cheese Festival @ Fairgrounds – Rt. 191, Honesdale, PA
9/15 — 9/16 Apple Valley Arts & Crafts Festival @ 108 Rt. 6, Milford, PA
9/15 — 9/16 Ross Township Community Day @ Van Buskirk-Haney Park, Saylorsburg, PA
9/16 —            Bark in the Park @ Nay Aug Park, Scranton, PA
9/21 — 9/23 Fall Frolic Autumnal Equinox Festival @ Camp Netimus for Girls, Milford, PA
9/22 —           Fall Craft & Vendor Fair @ Wyoming United Methodist Church, Wyoming, PA
9/22 —           12th Annual Craft Fair @ 312 Davis St., Scranton
9/22 — 9/29 Bloomsburg Fair @ Fairgrounds – 620 West Third St., Bloomsburg, PA
9/23 —            Holy Rosary Holiday Marketplace @ Holy Rosary School, Duryea, PA
9/29 —            Fall Craft & Vendor Show @ The Oblates of St. Joseph, Pittston, PA
9/29 —            Schuylkill Haven Borough Day @ Downtown Schuylkill Haven, PA

On-going events:
Wed — Sun The Marketplace @ 10th St. Plaza, Bloomsburg, PA
Merchant’s Village Indoor Market @ The old Wal-Mart, Pittston, PA

Resources:
http://www.pavendors.com/events
http://www.artscraftsshowbusiness.com/shows.aspx?state=PA
http://www.fairsandfestivals.net

Hey! If you’ve found an event that I’ve overlooked that contains arts & crafts activities or vendors of handmade goods, feel free to send me an email at Shubette.etsy(at)gmail(dot)com and let me know! Thanks for reading, internet!

Aprons and Eye Candy

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Today I’ve been working on some aprons for the Christian Academy. It’s funny how I can put off making inventory for my shop for so long, but when I know someone’s relying on me I tend to work a little harder, at the very least.

This reminds me a bit of Marie Forleo’s “catch a flight” technique. If you can wake up at 4:00 AM to catch a flight because you know it’s leaving with or without you, you can wake up at 7 AM to work at home. Yeah, it works the same for me. If I can work this diligently on something for someone else, I can surely work up the gumption to do it for me, for my business. I’ve gotta remember this feeling and try to be just as motivated every day, and with future projects. Anyway, let’s get back on track here…

I’ve had quite a few snags with this project. First, I only had universal and leather needles on hand, so I opted for a leather needle, assuming the universal ones wouldn’t hold up. That was a terrible idea. Leather needles are made to cut thicker, non-woven materials, and therefore have to be able to cut as they sew. This makes my straight stitches look really wavy on the underside of the material. Now I’m using denim needles, which are suited for sewing through layers of woven fabrics without cutting and damaging them so much. Problem solved!

Then this happened:

What you’re seeing here was after a little bit of panicking and tugging and a lot of pounding my head against my sewing machine. My needle came right out and was jammed down into the throat plate. The hard part was getting it out of my fabric without making the hole bigger. This is why you need to tighten the screw fully when switching needles! I’m glad the damage wasn’t noticeable, because it certainly wouldn’t have been reparable if it had gone in just a little further. But, a disheartening mistake like this is one of the many reasons I keep this guy close by whenever I’m sewing, just when I need a little pick-me-up.

I made this pincushion forever ago, but recently acquired the eye-pins in a big bag of old buttons I got this summer! Now he’s got a customizable face!

All in all, I’m glad I made the progress that I did. It took me two days, but I finally finished the first apron today. Once I had done this, I figured the next 7 would be a breeze. I was still in the process of cutting out the rest of my pieces when I had to call it a day, but I’m excited and ready for tomorrow!

Afterwards I enjoyed an early dinner with my two favorite people, Brad and Katie. As we were heading out of Burger King, I realized I wanted a picture of Brad in his spiffy new work clothes before we got on the road. I even had the pleasure of snapping a shot of him without a goofy face on. Even Katie made a special appearance in an accidental photobomb.

I don’t know if she’s giving us a wave goodbye or trying to cover her face to avoid the picture. Either way, I’m pretty happy with this shot. My guy can be pretty darn handsome when he wants to be.

Oh! I almost forgot to mention that I’m less than 50 page-views from hitting 1000! I’m so excited! I hope you’ve enjoyed my sewing anecdotes! Thanks for reading, internet!

Happy Birthday, H. P. Lovecraft!

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Tombstone of Howard Phillips Lovecraft, taken by William Hart, Cthulhuwho1 on flickr

H. P. Lovecraft has authored many American classics, but none of which you’d find in a high school curriculum. He has written not only some truly great short stories, but many, many poems, essays, and formal letters. He has haunted us with many wonderfully terrifying stories including a few of my favorites: “The Call of Cthulhu”, “Herbert West–Reanimator”, and “A Shadow Over Innsmouth.”

Howard Phillips Lovecraft was greatly inspired by his own night terrors, dreams, and fears. In his essay, “Notes on Writing Weird Fiction”, Lovecraft notes yet another of his inspirations: time:

“The reason why time plays a great part in so many of my tales is that this element looms up in my mind as the most profoundly dramatic and grimly terrible thing in the universe. Conflict with time seems to me the most potent and fruitful theme in all human expression.”

While Mr. Lovecraft did not live what many might consider to be a happy, prosperous life, at least in death he shall no longer fear the horrifying clenches of time. As a result of his lifetime perils and works thereof,  he has sealed his own immortality in a place without time. Today, on his birthday, let us celebrate him and his 75 years of peaceful rest, which he has rightfully earned.

Thank you for reading. Please click the image above to view its source.

My Break-Up with WordPress

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“Graffiti on the Wall of Separation, Bethlehem” photo by David Masters on flickr

This week I came to a pretty big decision. For quite some time now, I’ve been working on what I originally pictured to be a great design for this blog. I’ve been slowly putting it together piece by piece and trying to work around some financial barriers that WordPress has presented.

To put things quite clearly, I’m pretty sad that I can’t truly design my own blog without paying for it, when I’m not actually making any money blogging in the first place. I’m really an open-source girl at heart, and I’m a little peeved that I have to pay someone to let me use my own code and graphics.

That being said, I’m in no way trying to trash talk WordPress. I’ve had lots of fun writing this blog, and I love many things about the WordPress interface, features, and community, and the WordPress blog is always full of fresh new content and ideas. This is just the path that I must take to be the best cheap-ass DIYer I can be. It’s the only way I know how.

I’m moving to Blogger.

Don’t worry! This transition isn’t immediate, and I’ll let you know when the move is official. First I’m working on perfecting my design, transferring my posts, writing new pages and content, and really just making everything more presentable than it is here and now. Down the road I may decide to come back to WordPress because of its various professional advantages and services, and I may someday decide to man-up and pay the custom design package fee. Until then, I’m confident in this decision, having used Blogger in the past.

I’m also happy to move to Blogger so that I can start to monetize. I hate ads that are really flashy, attention-grabby or irrelevant, so I’m definitely going to be careful in choosing some quality stuff to represent. Ooh, and I’ve been working on some buttons as well! I can’t wait for the big reveal! Are you ready for a little sneak peek?

If you’d like to get a better look at my progress(or subscribe, to be ready for the big switch, *wink wink*), you can check it out at shubettehandmade.blogspot.com.

If you have any advice on switching from WordPress to Blogger, have some input on my new design, or just want to say hello, I’d love to hear it, so leave me a comment below! Thanks for reading!