Labor Day already?? For my lovely fellow crafters and artists, be sure to drop by my shop (http://www.etsy.com/shop/ZoeAmaris) for 20% off store wide Friday-Monday! There won’t be another sale for months…
The impeccable handwriting, the joy of receiving one, and the rainy days they got those young women through… it’s hard not to be jealous! Love letters are magical little pieces of history that just aren’t made anymore. Perhaps it’s partly because of modern technology (who really uses snail mail anymore?). It may have something to do with the fact that men don’t travel away for business or in search of work like they used to. Or maybe it’s because courting just isn’t what it used to be. I don’t know about you, but I certainly long for a little more romance in this day and age. https://www.etsy.com/listing/104561532/a-love-letter-from-world-war-ii
It has recently been brought to my attention that there are not a lot of good, easy-to-find sources for inspiring projects using vintage ephemera. So I’ve decided to take it upon myself to bring you a new idea featuring a different ephemera item every 1-2 weeks! After all, even the most creative of us require a little inspiration every once in a while.
Today I whipped up these little tags in about 30 minutes using items I already had around the studio.
I took an antique bingo card (available at https://www.etsy.com/listing/103357353/antique-bingo-card-nostalgic-lot) and cut it in half each way, leaving four approximately equal rectangles.
I then took each piece and decorated it differently. Ta-da. It really is that easy!
From Left to Right: #1 I used Mod Podge, an old recipe, and an old button. #2 Mod Podge, an antique stamp, and antique french Monogram trim. #3 Green watercolor paint, Mod Podge seal, and stars punched from an old playing card. #4 Black glitter glue and red water color paint.
I punched each with my 1/8″ hole punch and tied them with awesome sari ribbon. I stuck with a Christmas theme because you can never have too many Christmas tags on hand!
Stay tuned for more from inside the studio and check out my shop’s latest goodies at http://www.zoeamaris.etsy.com
Fall is in the air and I, being a full-time student as well as the one-woman show who runs my entire small business alone, know very well the importance of being organized. I also know how hard it is to do and how every fall those of us who go to school or have kids in school have a whole list of “new year resolutions” we swear we’ll abide to. I’m sure that I’m not the only one who picks up a planner every fall and in two months time has no00 clue where it is (you know who you are!). Each year we swear is the year we’ll really get (and keep) or act together! So what if we had a list of easy, cheap, and quick ways to be more organized this fall? Well here are some effective little tips I’ve compiled over the years:
- Containers Don’t Make You Organized. There’s something I’ve noticed about my well-meaning friends who spend hundreds of dollars at the Container Store: None of them are organized. As ironic as it sounds, having dozens of containers won’t make your excess of stuff go away or even look much nicer. It’s about how you organize it. Using open crates for books, notebooks, and other similar items is an effective way to “store” your books where they’re still accessible, without leaving them stacked on or strung across every table or desk. Put them next to your couch or desk. I have one in every corner! Mine measure about 12 x 12 x 12″ but these are pretty awesome and nostalgic: http://www.etsy.com/listing/95140701/decorative-vintage-style-storage-crate?ref=sr_gallery_9&ga_search_query=organization+crate&ga_view_type=gallery&ga_ship_to=ZZ&ga_min=0&ga_max=0&ga_order=price_asc&ga_page=0&ga_search_type=all
- De-Junk Your Trunk. I know it seems obvious and tedious, but it doesn’t have to be that bad! In order to be organized you DO have to get rid of your extra junk: old clothes you haven’t worn in years, those books you got for your kids at a garage sale years ago, those tiny fix it projects you’ve been collecting for years… The theme here is “years”. If you haven’t used, touched, needed, worn, read, in years- you’re not going to. So how do you do this quick, cheap, and easy? Select a theme each day for three days: trash, donate, or give away. On “trash day” select a garbage bag and go through every room in the house and collect trash until your bag is full. This does NOT include emptying your trash cans! I’m talking about throwing away junk that can’t/shouldn’t be used anymore. On “donate day” you’re collecting old clothes, extra random dishes, random crap in the garage/attic, etc. until you’ve filled your trash bag. Now, no regrets- take that bag straight to Goodwill or your local charity donation center. On “give away day” your garbage bag worth of items will be books you never read but that a friend may enjoy, that lip stick you’ll never wear but your sister is always eyeing, or your kids’ old clothes which maybe a friend’s kids could wear. There’s no way to not feel good after removing 3 garbage bags of clutter from the house!
- Tackle the Kitchen. NOW. We all promise to clean our kitchens some day, but I’m here to tell you that day is TODAY! Today is that day because there’s no way to be quick and efficient in the hustle bustle of the mornings when you put your arm in something gooey in the fridge or get caught in a tupperware cabinet avalanche. So here’s your 3 step kitchen tackle system. #1 Clean out the fridge and wipe it down really well, now is also the time to do a date check on your collection of condiments. #2 Clean out that pantry! If you don’t like it, and the kids still won’t eat, they’re not going to. Put some of that tupperware to use and move your cereal, chips, and snacks into air tight containers! I know it sounds tedious but coming from someone who once found a cockroach in their cereal- it’s worth it! #3 Now for all the tupperware that’s left, compile one matching and interlocking set and get rid of the rest. You do not use all of your tupperware and it isn’t worth those avalanches! Now, morning kitchen fiascoes are minimized and half the kitchen preparation battle is done come time for the holidays.
- Tackle the Bathroom. NOW. Aside from some very obvious basic ways, your kitchen and bathroom are actually a lot alike. Like the kitchen, the bathroom is usually cluttered with very nearly empty containers, duplicates, stuff you bought on sale but never got around to trying, and you don’t deep clean it as much as you should. Now I won’t even pretend that I regularly scrub my shower or de-clog my drain, believe me I’m no Betty Homemaker. However, I promise you won’t regret a good back-to-school bathroom scrub down! Take this time to collect all of those toiletry/cosmetic duplicates and place them in a storage container in your closet (yes, I am allowing storage container use here!). My mom actually keeps a plastic storage drawer cart (about $15 at Wal-mart) in her closet where she keeps plenty of extra toothbrushes, travel-size toiletries, and other bathroom duplicates as she stocks up during sales. It’s super convenient and effortlessly organized resulting in, once again, minimal morning drama and stress! Plus, when the holidays arrive shortly,
you won’t look like you’ll look less like a crazy person.
- Your Closet is Not Your Own No-Shame Zone. Now before you beat me up, hear me out: Wouldn’t it be nice to know where to find that blouse you want to wear even though you woke up 20 minutes late? Well it is possible to organize the closet by breaking it into three parts: Clothes, shoes, and most other things do not belong in your closet so get them out. Now closets come in all different shapes and sizes, some of us more blessed than others. However, for the most part all closets have a shelf, a hanging rack, and a floor (duh, but bear with me here). Clothes go on the rack, all hung neatly the same way. Separate your clothes in to two different seasonal wardrobes based on where you live. Put your summer/spring clothes to the back and your winter/fall clothes to the front. Organize your winter/fall clothes into casual and less-casual. Shoes go on the floor. If you can get a floor shoe rack, that’s great. Otherwise, organize shoes by pairs and do not take more than one pair out at a time; you probably only have two feet. As for all other things in your closet that probably don’t belong there, use your new-found organized attitude to see if they might better belong somewhere else. Everything else (like those bathroom duplicates) should fit neatly into storage bins on that closet shelf.
Now, you may feel like you just got a lecture from your Mother about cleaning your house but the truth is that when your home is organized- your schedule (which you have less control over) is much easier to tackle! Think of all the time and energy you save when nobody’s suddenly without a toothbrush five minutes before the school bus arrives and you know exactly where your shoes are when you’re running late. I hope these helped and I look forward to your feedback. Good luck, everyone!
There are few things so special as buttons. They can be all different shapes, sizes, colors, and materials. They can have two holes or four. We can sew them on pants or dresses. They can be shiny or dull. We can re-use them plenty of times. It’s no wonder that grandma kept so many…
After much time and frustration I have finally built a blog! For those of you who already know me, you know how terrible I am with technology. For those of you who don’t know me yet- just trust me on this one. I’ll be using my blog as a tool to both connect with my fellow artists/crafters, as well as keep you guys updated on what’s going on inside the studio. You may already be familiar with my shop on Etsy called ZoeAmaris (http://www.etsy.com/shop/ZoeAmaris) where I sell tons of treasures for mixed media/assemblage/altered art/collage and general ephemera lovers. I’ll try to update as often as possible and please feel free to contact me at any time!
Goodbye for now,