Friday, September 26, 2008

Visit The Armoury

I am very excited to announce that you'll be able to visit Athena's Armoury in person at the Handmade Holiday Bazzar! I'll be selling all of my maille goodies from the shop plus some more not yet listed including some holiday ornaments and all kinds of fun, funky earrings. I'll also be giving a demo on how to coil and cut your own jump rings and a short tute on how to make a basic weave and some variations that can be done to it. Fiberologie, Elle Belle, and Sew It's For You are all doing various demos and workshops as well! It sounds like it's going to be a really fun day and I'm so looking forward to it.

More info to come as the date gets closer, but for now here's some info from the Handmade Holiday Bazaar blog:

Stacey of Elle Belle, Julie of Sew It's For You, and Karrie of Fiberologie have partnered to create, promote, and host a venue for funky, crafty, non-traditional art sorts of things, the Handmade Holiday Bazaar!

Event Details:

Sunday Nov. 9th from 10am – 6pm

Karrie is hosting the event at Fiberologie, a super cute contemporary fabric shop in a 1920s house off 4th St. N. in St. Pete next to Limey's. (411 15th Ave. N)

Admission is free

35 local artisans will be selling their wares and demos/workshops are planned throughout the day.

We’re excited about giving St. Pete a handmade alternative to mass manufacturing and old school craft shows!

Thursday, September 25, 2008

A Metalhead Gets a Sewing Machine

Over the summer, I kept seeing all kinds of fun crafty projects that required the use of a sewing machine. I also kept thinking about options for decorating my tent. Well, yours truly, a self proclaimed UNdomestic chick and metalhead, decided to get a sewing machine. Inspiration struck in the form of Freecycle - it's free and being saved from a landfill: you can't go wrong! A couple of weeks after posting my want ad, I was contacted by a woman who had gotten a new
machine for Christmas and was finally getting around to doing something with her old one. I went to pick it up the next day and she included all kinds of stuff for me: extra bobbins already threaded, all kinds of extra feet, a plastic thing you put the pedal in so it doesn't move around, and (thankfully) the manual. She even sat me down for half an hour for a little lesson just showing me the basics. She was such an awesome, generous woman! I am so grateful to have received this and for the time she spent with me.

About a week or so after having received it, I was practicing just sewing straight lines and all of a sudden it stops, red lights start flashing, and all Hell breaks loose. I have no idea what happened. Can't figure it out. And it's still not a happy camper. Luckily, Scott's mom (a sewing machine pro) is back in FL and hopefully, I'll be able to hit her up for some help. I'd really love to get some more practice and play time in so I can start using my new toy to make stuff. Weeeeeeeeee!

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Kitty Injustice

Allow me to introduce you to Black Kitty (so named by my neighbor). She has a heartbreaking story. Her family used to live a few houses down from us, but they got divorced, moved out, or otherwise relocated. So, what did they do with her? They threw her out on the street. The people in the next house over eventually took pity on her and brought her in. Until they got a dog. Black Kitty and Jake the Dog did not get along. So, what did they do? They threw Black Kitty on the street. The people in the next house, my neighbors, have not brought her inside, but they do at least feed her. I just don't understand this. Why do people do this? It would never have occurred to her second set of owners to throw the dog out into the street, so why is it okay to throw the poor little pussycat out there? It makes me so sad and so upset to know what she has been through. Do you think these people know that an average outside cat's life expectancy is only 2-3 years? Or perhaps these people don't care?

This hits particularly close to home because I believe my little (well, not so little: he's 13 lbs.) Jack has a very similar story. He had been fixed and declawed and then abandoned. Because someone took away his claws and then threw him outside, he had no way of defending himself and is now sick with FIV. FIV is AIDS in cats and is spread through a scratch or bite. Cats with FIV will lead a long (although, not as long if they were not sick) and healthy life as long as they remain healthy. Feline leukemia is actually closer to human AIDS. It breaks my heart to know that he's sick because of the stupidity and lack of compassion of his former humans. When my vet first told me that Jack has FIV and I started asking questions, she said that many other people would simple have had him put to sleep. I just don't understand that either. He's still the same sweet kitty that I fell in love with, I just have to take a little special care in the event he gets sick. His quality of life is just as good as a healthy cat. My vet said that he was very lucky to have found me. I feel like the lucky one.

If you feel as strongly as I do about this kitty injustice and want to display your feelings, check out julep115's Etsy Shop:

In other news: "The Room" is coming along. The sealant is on the stucco and the corner where the birdcage attaches has been painted, so now our contractor can come back and put the lanai back together. Once he's done with that, we can finally have the final inspection done. We will still need to paint the remainder of the exterior walls, paint the trim work on the interior, and finish up some furniture to be done in there for the time being. There's still two more big things to do: we need to replace the laminate flooring in there (the water damage was so extensive that it's basically turned into speed bumps) and deal with the landscaping so that we can get the standing water away from the house. Damn, we're poor.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Darkening of the Days

The Autumnal Equinox is upon us, dividing the day and night equally, preparing us for the long, dark days of winter. I am ever grateful for the bright, energetic days of summer and the revitalizing feeling of the powerful sun. But, I also equally look forward to the period of rest and reflection that comes with the darker days of winter.

This time of year, although busy at work, is a nice winding down period at home as I prepare to hibernate and stay indoors more for the coming colder (yes, even in Florida it gets a bit cooler) months. This time of year, the cyclic nature of the universe serves as a reminder that endings are also beginnings. That although things may become dark, there is yet a sense of hope for a brighter tomorrow.

This is the perfect time for balance since the day and night are of equal length. It is a time to focus on eliminating the bad and strengthening the good. Let your baggage go and know that for every dark night of the soul, there will be a sunrise the next morning.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Etsy Convo's Downtime

In case you haven't already heard. . . Etsy is doing some "necessary site maintenance" to a few features this weekend: convo's (Etsy's internal messaging system), Alchemy, Kiss and Make Up, and Filing New Non-Delivery of Goods Reports. From Etsy:

"The maintenance will take place from 7pm Sunday, September 21 to early morning on Monday, September 22 (Eastern Daylight Time). During this time, all Convos will be inaccessible. However, none of your Convos will be deleted and will reappear intact after the site maintenance."

The engineers are using for status updates. For more information, check out the Storque Post.

In the meantime, if you need to reach Athena's Armoury, feel free to leave a comment here or send an e-mail to Janine [at] AthenasArmoury [dot] com.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Athena's Armoury Newsletter

I'm very excited to announce that Athena's Armoury will now have a newsletter! Rest assured, it is not my intention to make an annoyance of myself. Just a little update sent out periodically (maybe once a month) letting you know about new product lines, new weaves being offered, events at which you can find the Armoury vending, as well as specials only available to newsletter subscribers. I'd really love for the sign up to be over there in the right hand column, but I haven't quite figured out how to make it fit (yes, I'm a bit HTML challenged). So, for now, if you'd like to sign up for the newsletter, head on down to the very bottom of this page and fill in your info. The first newsletter probably won't go out for another month or so, to hopefully give some people a chance to sign up. (Legal mumbo jumbo: Your information will never be sold or shared. If ever you'd like to opt out of receiving the newsletter, simply reply to the e-mail with the word 'unsubscribe' in the subject line.)

Also, I mentioned a few posts ago about a new product line coming to the Armoury. Well, I just picked up a new set of tools specifically for it.

I love these little stamps and can't wait to play with them!

Friday, September 12, 2008

Les Misbarack - Brilliant

Okay, so I try not to be too terribly personal or political in my posts, but I have to make an exception today. The theatre geek in me is making me. I present to you:

Les Misbarack

You can also find some very, ahem, unique supporter buttons here. For example:

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Chainmailler's Guild Street Team on Etsy

I'm very excited that we finally have a street team on Etsy just for us maillers! It's a very talented and supportive group that I'm proud to be a part of.

We have our very first contest open for voting right now, so go check it out! You can vote for your two favorites (ironically, I have two entires in this contest. . . hint, hint) and if you leave your contact info in the comment section, you have the chance to win a prize just for voting. There really are some amazing pieces in the contest. The entries are anonymous, so check back in two weeks to find out who won and which shop (besides the Armoury, of course. . . hint, hint) has your favorite pieces. Click here to vote.

Another exciting happening with the guild is a trunk show this weekend in the Etsy virtual labs. I'm hoping to be able to show not just examples of my work, but also some pictures of how to coil and cut rings by hand. Check out the info below. Can't wait to see you there

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Sneak Peek: New Mojo Bag Line

I'm very excited to share a little sneak peek of a new line at Athena's Armoury: Mojo Bags containing healing stones. The idea started with this Spirit of the Sea Mojo Bag:

I listed this at the beginning of the summer as a talisman for beach lovers to keep a little bit of the sea with them all the time. There's a chunk of violet sea glass on the inside with a cowrie shell adorning the outside. Plus, there are a few small holes at the top where the rings aren't all connected if you want to add a couple small treasures of your own to the bag.

As the summer progressed, I gained a renewed interest in the healing properties of crystals and stones. I was trying to think of a simple way to carry these powerful amulets when the idea struck me to incorporate them into these little bags.

I ordered some fantastic stones from No Stone Left Unturned and received them yesterday. They are gorgeous. I was immediately drawn to them and couldn't wait to get started working on them:

But this is just a little sneak peek! You'll have to wait a little while longer before they are done and available in the shop!

Monday, September 8, 2008

Fleamarkets Are A Haven for Display Items

shhhhh. . . You can see some stuff I've been working on in the background. Soon available in the shop.

Scott and I hit a local flea market yesterday. He's always got something in mind to look for, and I'm usually looking for unique display items or stuff that I could upcycle. Yesterday I found this awesome old typesetter's box. I fell in love with the old wood and little compartments. Once it's cleaned up a little bit, it will be perfect for displaying pendants or other smaller items.

I also saw a half mannequin there that I'm still deciding whether I should have picked up. The stand was wood, but the bust itself was plastic with fabric covering it. The fabric was a bit ripped, but I probably could have gotten my sewing wiz MIL to fix it or make a new one for me. It was a female bust and the guy was asking $20. I have access to a very similar male bust for free. Damn. I should have gotten it.

Here's another little something coming to the Armoury soon.

Dragonscale Bracelet in Bright Aluminum

Friday, September 5, 2008

I Have a Good Excuse for Being MIA, I Swear

I kept a sort of photo diary as things were progressing at my flickr account.

Okay, I know I've been MIA for even longer than usual. Let me explain. Doing work on the house is a bitch. When we bought our house, we saw some cracks in the stucco on the wall where a wood extension was added on to our block house. Our inspector checked for moisture inside the room and said that the cracks were probably just due to the addition settling. Yeah, well, we went through a period of A LOT of rain recently and this particular room started to flood. Needless to say, we wound up having to deal with it sooner than we had planned.

We had to demolish two walls, replaced both of the weight bearing beams and the post on that side of the house, and rebuild EVERYTHING. The good news is that we got a bigger window and now know that it is built right and is structurally sound. The bad news is that we spent our vacation time home babysitting the work being done (we took turns being home, off and on for about a month) thus not really having any kind of relaxing vacation time and the cost (we are so very poor right now). Other bad news is that the lovely wood laminate flooring that was in that room now needs to be replaced due to the water damage of the room flooding a few times before we were able to get it fixed; and that we still have a standing water issue around that part of the house and unless we get that taken care of, all of this work will be for naught. But, BIGGER window! STRUCTURALLY SOUND!! Sigh. . .