Thursday, October 16, 2014

for a good cause

The local animal shelter where I volunteer is hosting their annual silent auction fundraiser next week. Both my husband and I donated items this year for the cause. If you're in the Des Moines, Iowa area, you won't want to miss it! 


chainmaille bracelets by NoDae
pendants (with cords, not shown) by di-did-it

"Until he extends the circle of his compassion to all living things, man will not himself find peace.
" ~ Albert Schweitzer

Believe,
Di

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Location Matters / Organized Creativity / Oct, 2014

Having received positive feedback from the Organized Creativity series I shared May 12-16, I'm sharing the update each month. Today we feature Joni Stark from the October issue. Click here to read about her, her creative space and how she organizes it. Enjoy! 


Believe, 
Di

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Location Matters / Organized Creativity / Sep, 2014

Having received positive feedback from the Organized Creativity series I shared May 12-16, I'm sharing the update each month. Today we feature Jaime Haney from the September issue (we skipped August). Click here to read about her, her creative space and how she organizes it. Enjoy! 



Believe, 
Di

Location Matters / Organized Creativity / July, 2014

Having received positive feedback from the Organized Creativity series I shared May 12-16, I'm sharing the update each month. Today we feature Sherri Lorenz from the July issue. Click here to read about her, her outdoor space and how she organizes it. Enjoy!

Believe, 
Di

Saturday, August 9, 2014

think outside the fern


It's been a couple months since I posted. Why? Well, I haven't been in the studio lately. In the summer, I love to be outside. There's always something that needs done in the yard or garden and nature is like therapy for me. Is it that way for you too? 

While I miss being in the studio, I know I'll be there soon enough when the weather turns cold. For now, I'm loving summer. Being blessed with four very different seasons is one of the beautiful benefits of living in Iowa, for which I'm very grateful. Something else I'm grateful for is flowers! 

My fabulous husband bought some flowers for me last Saturday. He knows I don't like frivolous spending, so he bought them on sale with no greens. When I went to the garden to cut ferns for the arrangements, I was saddened to see a lack of rain had dried up all my ferns. What to do, what to do. 

If you know me, I often say "where there's a will there's a way and by God I have a will." Determination runs deep in me. I looked around the garden and decided to cut some sage for the red roses and some rose stems (from a climber that went wild and no longer blooms -- just generates lots of stems and leaves) to accompany the yellow gerbara daisies. 

I'm pleased to say the arrangements have lasted an entire week. While the roses looked better in the beginning, these photos show they are still going strong.

My point?

Think outside the fern. When plan A fails, create a plan B. Experiment. You never know what you'll learn. For example, I learned I love the look of sage with roses and the smell in the kitchen in heavenly. I'll use sage instead of ferns in the future, even when there are nice ferns to be found in the garden. 


What alternatives have you used for ferns? I'd love to hear from you. 

Believe, 
Di

Friday, June 6, 2014

Location Matters / Organized Creativity / June, 2014

Having received positive feedback from the Organized Creativity series I shared May 12-16, I decided to share the update each month. Today we feature Sheila Null from the June issue. Click here to read about her, her creative space and how she organizes it. Enjoy!


Believe, 
Di

Friday, May 16, 2014

Location Matters / Organized Creativity / May, 2014

Tomorrow will mark the one year anniversary of when I registered my Location Matters Professional Organizing business with the state. In honor of the occasion, each day this week, I am sharing a link to one of the five feature articles I've shared on my website thus far in 2014. The articles are part of my monthly Organized Creativity series. Since the readers of my di-did-it blog are into creativity, I thought you might like the series.   

Today we feature Valarie Endemann from the May issue. Click here to read about her, her creative space and how she organizes it. Enjoy!


Believe, 
Di

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Location Matters / Organized Creativity / Apr, 2014

This coming Saturday will mark the one year anniversary of when I registered my Location Matters Professional Organizing business with the state. In honor of the occasion, each day this week, I am sharing a link to one of the five feature articles I've shared on my website thus far in 2014. The articles are part of my monthly Organized Creativity series. Since the readers of my di-did-it blog are into creativity, I thought you might like the series.   

Today we feature Dawn Wirtz from the April issue. Click here to read about her, her creative space and how she organizes it. Enjoy!


Believe,
Di

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Location Matters / Organized Creativity / Mar, 2014

This coming Saturday will mark the one year anniversary of when I registered my Location Matters Professional Organizing business with the state. In honor of the occasion, each day this week, I am sharing a link to one of the five feature articles I've shared on my website thus far in 2014. The articles are part of my monthly Organized Creativity series. Since the readers of my di-did-it blog are into creativity, I thought you might like the series.   

Today we feature Annie Leonard from the March issue. Click here to read about her, her creative space and how she organizes it. Enjoy!


Believe,
Di

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Location Matters / Organized Creativity / Feb, 2014

This coming Saturday will mark the one year anniversary of when I registered my Location Matters Professional Organizing business with the state. In honor of the occasion, each day this week, I am sharing a link to one of the five feature articles I've shared on my website thus far in 2014. The articles are part of my monthly Organized Creativity series. Since the readers of my di-did-it blog are into creativity, I thought you might like the series.   

Today we feature Jodi VanDerHart from the February issue. Click here to read about her, her creative space and how she organizes it. Enjoy!


Believe, 
Di

Monday, May 12, 2014

Location Matters / Organized Creativity / Jan, 2014

This coming Saturday will mark the one year anniversary of when I registered my Location Matters Professional Organizing business with the state. In honor of the occasion, each day this week, I am sharing a link to one of the five feature articles I've shared on my website thus far in 2014. The articles are part of my monthly Organized Creativity series. Since the readers of my di-did-it blog are into creativity, I thought you might like the series.   

Today we feature Vicki Jess and Lynne Marie Toivonen from the January issue. Click here to read about them, their creative space and how they organize it. Enjoy!


Believe,
Di

Sunday, April 27, 2014

diy sugar scrub


Do you like sugar scrubs? Have you tried sugar scrubs? For me, there's nothing better to use after a day in the garden or doing yard work. They are also great for shaving legs -- much better than creams, in my opinion. A big plus is that they are easy to make at home so you know just what ingredients are being used and you can customize the aromas to your preferences. 

You can find many sugar scrub recipes on the web. I'm more of a 'just wing it' kind of gal in when it comes to my lotions and potions (as my husband jokingly calls my home-made concoctions). I put 4 or 5 tablespoons of sugar in a small jar and just start adding oils and such until the consistency is what I want. Using essential oils and various teas, I make up scents based on my mood and use whatever oils I have on hand. I don't like to keep too much oil on hand because some can go rancid fairly quickly. Today, I used joboba oil and coconut oil and made two sugar scrubs -- Vanilla/Brown Sugar and Chai/Clove/Patchouli. 

If you haven't tried making your own at home, I encourage you to give it a try. When you do, let me know what scent(s) you used and how it went -- would love to hear from you! 

Believe, 
Di

Thursday, April 24, 2014

old jeans are meant for gardening


It will soon be time to start gardening. YAY! I love spending time outside in the garden and doing yard work. This past weekend was nice enough I could get out there and start cleaning things up. That's when I noticed the condition of my gardening attire. When my jeans are no longer nice enough to wear out and about, they become gardening attire. As you can see by the photo above, I don't give up on them easily. Rather, I mend as many times as I can to get the most wear of out them. Do you do this too? 

Tonight as I sat down to mend four pairs, I was thankful that I'd set up a little sewing station in my craft room. While I don't sew things often, when I do, it's so much easy to just pull up a chair and get started without having to lug everything out like I used to do. The jeans were mended (good enough, anyway) in just a short amount of time which left plenty of time for me to enjoy a leisurely supper with my hubby. Ahh... life is good! 

Hope you're enjoying your life too! 

Believe, 
Di

Saturday, April 19, 2014

week 9 of 10 in metalsmithing class



In the last post, I shared how the copper looked after being annealed. In the next class, I soldered the two pieces of copper together. See all those tiny silver pieces in the first photo? Those are the solder I snipped and, using tweezers, placed in the flux on the copper background. It's a tedious process, for sure, and this class has given me a whole new appreciation for the jewelry we see at art and craft shows, and the prices attached to that jewelry. 

Making jewelry by hand can be time intensive. It's also a wonderful way of honoring the human spirit. Personally, I enjoy wearing something I know is truly one of a kind. How about you?

Believe,
Di

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

week 8 of 10 in metalsmithing class

I mentioned in my last post that hubby and I have been taking a metalsmithing class at our local art center. The instructor is extremely knowledgeable and skilled at both jewelry making and teaching. The first two nights were lecture. The rest of the sessions are all hands-on in the studio, making whatever we desire. 

My goal for the class is to learn to solder metal, which is vastly different from soldering stained glass pendants. The first night of open studio, week three of class, I started a ring, which would require soldering a butt joint. Silly me.... it's much tougher than it looks. The joint has to be PERFECTLY aligned for the solder to join the two edges. I filed and worked on that @#$% butt joint for three class sessions and it still didn't line up as precisely as it needed to. The instructor told me she's had new students use up all eight studio sessions on something like this. Egads! Not wanting to use up any more class time on a ring I didn't want in the first place, I changed gears and started work on a tree pendant. Things started to get fun. 

Last night, I finally got to use the acetylene torch - not to solder, but to anneal. Here's how the underneath side of the copper looked after annealing and before pickling and cleaning: 


It's pretty enough I could have just washed it up, shaped and sealed as-is, don't you think? You can see what it looked like before the annealing process in the bottom photo - it's the rectangular piece near the front. In this photo, I'd just finished pushing it through the rolling press to give it the appearance of bark. It's going to be what you see through the tree cut-out in the pendant. 


In summary, last night's class was FUN and I can't wait to for next week's class to do more! I hope you're doing something fun these days too! 

Believe,
Di 

Saturday, March 29, 2014

new etsy listings

For March being craft month, I didn't spend much time crafting. It's ok though, because my organizing business was busy, so I had fun even without as much crafting as I'd intended. The good news is I was able to fit time in to complete the pendants I started late in January. They are listed in the etsy shop as of this evening. YAY! 


Did I tell you hubby and I are taking a metalsmithing class at our local art center? The first sessions have been a lot of review of things I'm familiar with, but hopefully this week I'll get to solder sterling silver and copper with the torch. It's very different from stained glass soldering and I'm looking forward to trying my hand at it. It should be fun! 

I hope your week ahead promises something fun too! 

Believe,
Di 

Monday, February 24, 2014

in the beginning


This morning I came across this photo of the north side of my craft studio about 10 years ago. When I started di-did-it, I primarily sold floral arrangements, and this is how I stored my materials. The tubs were originally stacked on the west side of the studio, but it was a hassle to move the ones on top to get to the ones down low. The system shown above allowed the tubs to rest on wooden slats and pull out like drawers -- so much nicer. I kept the lids loosely on them just to keep dust at bay. Yes, I'm grateful for my talented hubby -- just told him exactly what I wanted and he built it. He surprised me with the ribbon storage made from wooden dowels slid into special grooved holders.... very similar to the tension rods you now see on Pinterest. 

Today this area of the craft studio is where you'll find my sewing machine and treadmill (click here to see a photo). It seems my craft area is always changing as my interests change. How about you? Do your creative interests change over time or have they remained fairly consistent? 

Here's to creative outlets, however long-lived they are! :)

Believe, 
Di

PS - If you want more craft area organizing tips, check out Location Matters on Facebook

Sunday, January 26, 2014

"failures are interesting"

James Dyson was on Science Friday this past week and I was surprised by how interesting the interview was (not to mention how dreamy his accent is). He went through 5,127 prototypes before completing his first bagless vacuum. That's one tenacious dude and a great example for all us. There was one exchange where Ira Flatow says, "Failure then is an option. Failure is very important in the inventing business." Dyson replies, "Yes. There's no option. You fail all the time... but failures are interesting if you welcome them and try to understand them and watch them." He goes on to explain that examining our failures helps us learn from them. I couldn't agree more! I've had several failures in my craft studio the past few weeks. Lots of lessons indeed. In hindsight, I wish I'd taken pictures of the failures so I could share them with you (as well as document them for my own future reference). I'll try to do that in the future. For now, I'll share a photo of my current WIPs. With some luck, they'll be completed and ready to list on Etsy in the next week or two.  


So what have you tried and failed at recently? Care to share? 

Believe, 
Di 

Sunday, January 5, 2014

if it matters to you, do it

As I was reorganizing the north side of my studio this weekend to accommodate the sewing machine table, I dug through my stash of odds and ends for a shelf to use. This little one was just the right size, and was my favorite Aunt's so it brings wonderful memories each time I look at it. The issue is... I'm just not a bright brass kind of girl. What to do, what to do... 


Experimentation ensued and after a little playing around with alcohol inks, India inks and the heat gun, the leaves are now richly colored. 


At this point, the shelf is up and I'm ready to sew with ease when the mood strikes. At the moment, however, I'm itching to work with metals or some mixed media. It's the scanner* in me -- loving a wide variety of crafts. How about you? Do you focus on one or two or do you flitter about among several? 


* Scanner is a term coined by Barbara Sher for those of us with "hit and run" obsessions, eager to explore many paths. The trait comes with pros and cons, as most things in life do. And as with most things, it's best to embrace it as part of who we are and make the most of it. 

I'll end with this quote from Queen Latifah: 

"I wish every woman would love herself 
and embrace what she was given naturally." 

Believe, 
Di 

Tuesday, December 31, 2013

let's table it


A couple months ago I found this folding sewing machine table at a local thrift store (one that supports animals in need, something near and dear to me). I mulled it over and decided it would improve the odds I'd sew more since my current setup is impractical (click here to see where I had been using the machine -- it's covered with navy fabric behind the pasta maker [for clay] and bench vice at the far right of the photo). 

To my joy, the table was still for sale when I returned a couple weeks ago, and this time, 50% off. It wasn't until I got it home that I realized it's a Pfaff table (which is why it's exactly like the one my Mom used with her Pfaff machine when I was growing up in the 60s and 70s). I have a Kenmore machine - an oldie from the 80s but it still works fine. Lucky for me my hubby is handy since my Kenmore didn't fit on the table. Hubby modified the table and I'm in business! Well, I will be once I rearrange the studio to accommodate this purchase. Woo-Hoo! I love to reorganize my craft room -- it gets me all stoked to create. This weekend can't come fast enough (grinning with eager anticipation). 

In the meantime, I want to wish you all a safe, healthy and freakin' fantastic 2014! 

Believe, 
Di

Thursday, December 26, 2013

card again


The craft room didn't get much use this month due to holiday activities, so I stripped out the organizing portion of this week's post on my organizing blog (http://www.locationmatters.co/#!blogger-feed/c130bso the post could perform double duty. My apologies for the duplication if you happen to follow both blogs (and if you do, thank you!

* * * 

If you are like me, you enjoy receiving holiday cards from family and friends. It warms our hearts to know someone is thinking of us, and if they include a letter or note telling how they're doing and what's happening in their life, it’s icing on the cake. It's a simple way to stay somewhat connected.

Each year I find a new way to display the cards as they arrive, having not yet landed on the ideal location. What is consistent every year is saving the cards themselves. When the holidays are over and decorations come down, I cut the fronts off and place the backs in the recycle bin. The card fronts go in a folder for next year’s holiday. This year I used a round punch to capture images from the prior years' cards and then used the cut-outs for gift tags and embellishments on plain packaged gifts.

If you'd like more holiday card ideas, search Pinterest or Google “recycling holiday cards” and you’ll see countless ideas for other ways to repurpose greeting cards. If none of these float your boat, an alternative to recycling them is to donate them to a charity, such as St. Jude’s Ranch.

Believe, 
Di

Sunday, December 8, 2013

experimenting with lava bright silk

So I'm at the Woodsmith Store with my hubby the other day and I spot this really beautiful stick of acrylic (Lava Bright Stick). Hubby tells me it's for making pens. I think it would make cool jewelry, ask if I can cut, sand and and drill it, and when told yes, purchase it. Last night I pulled out my baby table saw and dremel attachments and started experimenting. The saw blade cut through it just fine but man oh man did it make a mess and stink beyond words. The saw blade left marks so I used the baby belt sander, which also made a mess and stunk up the whole house. The belt sander left scratches so I proceeded to use a series of dremel attachments to end up with a smooth and polished product. You can see the mess in the photo below (guess you can't actually see all the plastic shavings all over, but they're there). 


Doing some research online today, I read that wet sanding is recommended when turning the acrylic for pens. Doesn't matter. At this point, the majority of the product is in the trash. The house wreaked so bad that, even though the temp was in the teens, I had to open windows and turn on fans (in case you're wondering, yes, I wore goggles and a face mask when I was sawing, sanding, etc.). Long story short, I'm hoping to salvage the pieces I worked on and make a few pair of earrings (the acrylic really is absolutely beautiful stuff) but after that, I don't ever plan to work with the stuff again. 

The shop area of the studio is back in order (smile). 


So after that little exercise, I yearned to work with something I'm familiar with and enjoy not only the process but the results. If you guessed metal & Friendly Plastic, you're right! Here's a sneak peak of the current WIP: 


So, tell me, what new thing did you try or learn about this weekend? 

Believe, 
Di

Saturday, November 30, 2013

Etsy shop now open


Woo-Hoo! My Etsy shop opens today, just in time for Small Business Saturday. Come on over and check it out, won't you? While you're there, check out my husband's new shop too. I think you'll like what you see. Oh, and for my blog pals, use coupon code BLOGPAL2013 and receive free shipping through the end of this year (my Etsy shop only). 

Monday, November 25, 2013

pendants in progress

November studio time has been spent on glass pendants. There are several separate steps to each pendant and thus, I've found it best to make several of them at once. What's involved? 

1. Select, cut and grind glass into various shapes and sizes. Once in awhile I'll use pre-cut Ranger Memory Glass -- it's thinness pairs well with thick backgrounds. Most of the time, however, I'm working with textured glass. 
2. Stencil, stamp and/or ink various metals or other materials to create the background. 
3. Attach the glass to the background with copper foil and burnish.
4. Solder with lead-free solder. 
5. If desired, grind off some of the solder for a worn/weathered look. 
6. Either make bales from wire and attach with solder or glue on a purchased bale.
7. Apply glaze and let dry. Repeat as many times as needed to achieve the intended look and feel. 
8. If desired, add embellishments such as wire, beads, charms, etc. 

The photo below shows the current set of pendants drying after the first round of glaze. 


Perfection is not the goal here - in fact - the imperfections are what add character and highlight the fact it is hand-made and one of a kind. Each piece is unique, just like each of us. 

I'm planning to announce the Etsy store opening soon, so please stay tuned. In the meantime, happy Thanksgiving, everyone! 

Believe, 
Di

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

repurposed table cloth

What do you do with your table cloths when you replace your old round kitchen table with a rectangular one? Make napkins from the ones you love best and donate the rest! This project couldn't have been simpler and I just love the results. Oh, and a shout out to my old Kenmore sewing machine. It was purchased in the late '80s and still works like a charm. 


What was your latest 'repurposing' project? 

Believe, 
Di