Introducing… Moxie 83

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Slowly over the past week I’ve been working on launching a new endeavor. After much prompting from friends and contemplation of “what do I really want to do with my life now that I have a chance to do anything?”, I have decided to take a chance and open an Etsy shop.

I will be launching Moxie 83 Designs within the next month. I will be able to offer various items for purchase, from original artwork, prints, and puppets to Zentangle inspired jewelry and knit/sewn handcrafts. A little bit of everything will be offered in the beginning so I can get my feet wet and experiment with where I want my shop to go. In the future, I’ll also have a project/shop blog that will feed into this site. That blog will also feature crafting projects and step by step instructions and occasional giveaways and freebies.

For now, I’m working on some merchandise to post beginning in March, as well as vendor license/tax paperwork. (Gotta keep things legal, folks!) I’m really excited to see where this next endeavor takes me!

The current logo for Moxie 83 Designs:

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Why moxie?

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It’s who I am. It’s what I strive to have. It’s a vintage echo of class and determination.

And finally, a packaging prototype of some Zentangle-inspired earrings:

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Until next time, keep smiling — live with moxie!

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What tangled webs we weave… Errm, Knit

December has arrived in a flurry of unexpected events. Well, really just one unexpected event: I lost my job of five years due to corporate restructuring, and now have found myself with a lot of time on my hands.

Oh, I know what you all are going to say : “Everything happens for a reason.” “If you’re honest with yourself, you weren’t too crazy about your job anyway.” “You were working toward a career change anyhow.” “This is a blessing.” Yes, I know all that. But knowing all that doesn’t change the fact a) it’s still unexpected, which b) makes it really scary, and c) means that I now have a ton of time with which to sit in my house and ponder life’s big questions, which is really uncomfortable for me.

See, I don’t know if you’ve picked up on this by now, loyal readers that you are to my recently not updated blog, but I like to be busy. (Okay, that’s an understatement. Those of you who know me in “real life” are probably laughing your butts off right now.) I have to have somewhere to go, something to do, somewhere to be, someone to save, projects to finish (key emphasis on the plural there) and an all-around hugely packed schedule that has me out of my house and to work, school, student teaching, private lesson teaching and the gym for about 18-20 hours in a day. I’m not kidding. This has been my life for the past eight years or so.

And then… Bam. Gone. I lost my job. The semester of graduate school finished. Private lessons are done until February. And I am left with a lot of time on my hands.

I have discovered through all this that I don’t know how to rest. I feel lazy and unproductive and, if I’m truly honest, pretty darn bad for myself because I’m now unemployed (and single with two cats for company and 128 days away from turning 30… But that’s another blog post entirely).

So. I’ve spent two weeks trying to figure out what I’m going to do, and in the meantime, I decided to keep my hands busy.

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Ok, that’s a lie, too. I developed a freakish and insane obsession with knitting. (Incidentally, yes, that is my Instagram username on the photo. Feel free to follow me!)

I have known how to knit, in theory, for about 15 years, but was never very good at it due to lack of practice. Well, now I have a ton of time to practice, and I’m taking advantage of it.

I started with scarves. Which then became cabled scarves. Which then became braided scarves, which turned into hats, which turned into loom-knitted socks… And by about that time, I realized I might have a problem.

I am running out of unsuspecting family members and friends upon which to foist my holiday hand-knitted handiwork.

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So, what’s a poor depressed unemployed artist to do? Get over herself and knit for charity.

I have discovered (through the power of Google) that there are a ton of charities out there that accept knit donations: charities for children, chemo patients, and soldiers, just to name a few. So this girl is gonna pick herself up by her yarn skeins and do some good in the world… Knit one purl two at a time.

Do you have any favorite crafting charities or stories? Please share them in the comments!

Edit: My apologies for the poor quality photos. I’m updating from my phone and apparently I haven’t got the hang of it yet. They will be fixed in the future!

Melty Goodness!

Hello, loyal readers! So sorry for the absence – finals week at grad school is always life consuming. 🙂

Found some inspiration on pinterest this weekend and threw together a quick project. As I’m writing this from my iPhone, this is going to be brief, but I’ll elaborate later when I get back to my Mac. 🙂

Enjoy!

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So how do you accomplish such lovely Melty goodness? Gather up a canvas, some crayons, some tape and a new hot glue gun, and let’s have some fun!

Step 1. Find/buy lots of crayons. And by “lots” aim for at least a box of 64. Melted, crayons are surprisingly tiny.

Step 2. Peel off the wrappers. This can be done by hand or by using an exacto knife to slit the paper to help it remove more easily. (Save the papers. I’m thinking there’s a craft project in their somewhere!)

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And this point in my class, the discussion would go something like this:
Me: Class, what is this?
Class: an exacto knife!
Me: and what do we know about exacto knives?
Class: they’re sharp!
Me: so what are you going to do with them?
Class: not act stupid!

I have the best kids 🙂

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So now after peeling by whatever means necessary, you have this:

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Step 3. Prepare your canvas. I used an 8×24 prestreched store bought canvas, but if you’re feeling fancy, you can make your own. To prepare my canvas, I measured and taped off a 1/2″ border using tape (I used duct tape because I had it in the house, but you can use masking or painters tape).

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Step 4. The glue gun. I have tried both Low temp and hot temp glue guns on these kinds of projects, and each has their pros and cons. I’ll get into the specifics later. But for this particular step, all you need to know is that you really need a new glue gun dedicated to this type of craft. You don’t want to reuse one that already has glue in it, and you don’t want to use this for anything but crayons after.
“New” gun does not have to be expensive. It can be a cheap one! Also go for ye kind that holds mini sized glue sticks. The barrel is approximately the same size as the crayons.

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* UPDATE *

And hence why I should finish blog articles before synching my phone… I have since misplaced the rest of the instructions for this blog somewhere in cyberspace… So, I’m going to have to write a “Melty Goodness, Part 2” post to explain the rest of this project and retake the photos of the processes.  (Technology is wonderful when I know how to use it!)