Category Archives: Crafts

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!

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!

Featured Project: Croc Clutch

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Yeah, that’s right. I’m starting another Featured Project. Something about knowing when to fold ’em and whatnot. Truth is, I’ve put my dress off for way too long, and with Fall right around the corner, I’ve no more reason to pursue any more pretty Summer dresses. For now.

No, now I’m getting on track with this clutch that’s been giving me all sorts of trouble. I’m making it out of some thick polyvinyl-like croc material, and my sewing machine hasn’t taken to it very well. So far I’ve read that I can combat this issue in two ways.

  1. Use a sewing machine needle meant for leather while sewing with the exterior material.
  2. Use interfacing to help the material slide during machine-sewing.

I found these tips on this very helpful post by Christine  of Chris W. Designs, which has helped me learn more about sewing with thick materials such as faux-leather and vinyl.

So this week I’ll be cranking out my croc clutch version 2. This time I’ll be using the same materials from my first draft, but with the newly acquired knowledge from the aforementioned post, and basically make a little crocodile muslin. Also, my machine has been cleaned and oiled very recently, so hopefully version 2 will be a very informative rough draft with version 3 being Shubette Handmade-quality.

Tomorrow, however, my mom is taking Brad and me back to Ohio to pick up our Jeep! I’m glad it’s finally fixed. We had our little accident over a month ago now, and I’m excited to finally get our wings back. Thanks for reading, internet!

NEPA Arts & Crafts – August 2012

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Queen Bee Market - August 2011 by AngryJulieMonday

Queen Bee Market – August 2011 by AngryJulieMonday

Hello there, makers and shakers of Northeastern PA! We are knees deep into Summer this month – are you ready to see everything that’s going on in the arts and crafts world in the month of August? Clear your schedules, folks, ’cause you’re going to be ridiculously busy with fairs, festivals, handmade vendors, and the very best that NEPA has to offer. The summer may be winding down, but there’s still plenty of time to get your inspiration for crafting throughout the upcoming cold months.

8/03 — 8/11 Wayne County Fair @ Wayne County Fairgrounds, Honesdale, PA
8/04               Artfest @ Downtown Bloomsburg, PA
8/04 — 8/05 Arts in the Park Festival @ Howard Elmer Park, Sayre, PA
8/04 — 8/05 Apple Valley Arts & Crafts Festival @ Apple Valley Village, Milford, PA
8/04 — 8/05 Festival of Wood @ Grey Towers National Historical Site, Milford, PA
8/05              Corpus Christi Car Show & Craft Fair @ Church of the Holy Redeemer, Harding, PA
8/07 – 8/12 Carbon County Fair @ Little Gap Rd, Palmerton
8/08 – 8/12 Wyoming Valley Mall Craft Show @ Wyoming Valley Mall, Wilkes-Barre, PA
8/11 — 8/12 Arts & Crafts Festival @ Eagles Mere Village Green, Eagles Mere, PA
8/11               Flea Market & Bake Sale @ Hawley Fire House, Hawley, PA
8/13 — 8/18 Montour-Delong Community Fair @ Fairgrounds – Rt. 254, Washingtonville, PA
8/16 — 8/18 Sunbury River Festival @ Cameron Park & Riverfront Park, Sunbury, PA
8/16 — 8/19 Pittston Tomato Festival @ Downtown Pittston, PA
8/17 — 8/19 Old Timer’s Show @ VFW Grounds, East Smithfield, PA
8/17 — 8/18 White Haven Festival @ Lehigh Park, White Haven, PA
8/18               Arts & Crafts Festival @ Chinchilla United Methodist Church, Chinchilla, PA
8/18              Hickory Fest @ Stony Fork Creek Campground, Wellsboro, PA
8/18              Last Blast of Summer @ First Presbyterian Church, Berwick, PA
8/18              Pioneer Day @ Pioneer Tunnel Coal Mine, Ashland, PA
8/18 — 8/19 Spirit, Mind & Body Expo @ Clarion Hotel, Scranton, PA
8/23 — 8/25 Riverfest @long the Susquehanna River, Towanda, PA
8/24 — 8/25 Plymouth Kielbasa Festival @ Main St, Plymouth, PA
8/25              Craft Fair @ 84 Country Store, Greentown, PA
8/25              Jessup Summer Wine Festival @ 333 Hill St, Jessup, PA
8/25              Wounded Warrior Craft & Arts Fair @ Sun Valley Firehouse, Effort, PA
8/25 — 8/26 Hot & Stinky Garlic & Herb Festival @ Zanolini Nursery, Drums, PA
8/25 — 8/26 Pocono State Craft Festival @ Quiet Valley Living Historical Farm, Stroudsburg, PA
8/26              Arts at Hayfield Summer Festival @ Penn State Wilkes-Barre, Lehman, PA
8/26 — 9/01 West End Fair @ West End Fairgrounds, Gilbert, PA
8/28 — 9/03 Greene Dreher Sterling Fair @ GDS Fairgrounds, Newfoundland, PA
8/29 — 9/03 Sullivan County Fair @ Fairgrounds, Rt. 154, Forksville

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

Am I missing something? Send me an email at Shubette.etsy(at)gmail(dot)com to let me know about an arts & crafts event in NEPA! Thanks for joining me for another month of crafts and can-do here at Shubette Handmade!

Birthday Reminiscing

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I can’t believe it’s already the end of July! My favorite month is already slipping away. With a birthday like the 4th of July, it’s easy to get lost in the ever-so-romantic practice of blowing shit up. This year Brad and I stocked up with some really nice fireworks and put on a great Independence Day display for his family. Really, we bought too many fireworks. We’ve been lighting things on fire nearly every day for two months and still have leftovers. That’s me and a sparkler.

All in all, it was a really great birthday, and I even got to have breakfast with my grandma, who was visiting from Michigan. Brad and I then came home to spend the rest of the night with his family, where there was a lovely surprise waiting for me:

What you see here is a crafty birthday cake. This is the prettiest cake anyone has ever made for me, and it was made with extra love and deliciousness by Brad’s mom, Millie. She had originally planned on using the spools of thread around the base of the cake as pillars to support the second tier, but had made a wedding cake too recently and the supplies she would have used hadn’t been returned to her. It’s still by far the coolest crafty button sparkler cake ever.

As soon as it was dark enough to start lighting fuses, it was time for cake.

Warning: Do not blow sparkler sparks at your boyfriend while he’s holding your birthday cake.
Disclaimer: All pictures with me in them throughout this post taken by Alex Meyers.

My New Year’s Resolution: A Mid-Year Review

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Hello there! At the beginning of this year, I wrote this post regarding my new year’s resolution. In it, I basically stated these two key points:

  1. Open my creative business. Status: Achieved! (Sort of) I listed my very first item in my etsy shop, therefore declaring Shubette Handmade open for business!
  2. Make and list a new item every week. Status: Abandoned/Failed. Very early on I realized that this exercise would not be a good move to make for my business. I wanted to put quality time and so much thought into my projects, and one week to design and construct a new product didn’t seem like enough.

My main idea was just to put myself out there. The more I make, the more people will see, the more my business will grow…right? Shortly after(I did say somewhere in the previously mentioned post that I’m rather fickle) I decided that I don’t want to make crap. I wanted the items that I would be making and selling to be of the utmost quality. I didn’t think I could provide that kind of quality and I let this keep me from making anything for fear that it would not be good enough.

So here are my Resolution Amendments:

  1. Sew every day. If I want to sell items that I sew, I need to keep my skills sharp. I should be doing some sort of sewing-related activity every day. I certainly have enough projects piled up to work on at least one thing for an hour a day, even if I’m just doing something trivial like pre-washing and ironing my fabric.
  2. Sew better. This goal is inherent to the primer. If I’m putting in the hours and the effort I will get better at what I’m doing.

Looking back, I’m starting to feel like all of my blog posts are about doing it better and making it happen, but none are about me doing and making. I’m realizing that my blog is not as big of a priority to making my business happen as making things and improving my skills before I start my business is. This business is my goal, and I’m not going to mess this up.