Thursday, January 28, 2010

Fixing Up My Studio

Since I moved into my new studio space several weeks ago, I've been working on organizing and arranging things. This will be an ongoing process for me, so I will likely have a few follow up posts on this topic.

Here I am in my new space thinking about where to put everything...

I love my bright, sunny window! I had to drive nails in the window trim to keep the fleur de lis finials from bashing me in the head each time I open and close the curtains.

This tall, white cabinet was on the curb for the trash. My hubby picked it up on his way home from work one day, intending to use it in his garage. Heh heh! We see where it ended up, confiscated for my studio. It got a fresh coat of paint, new hardware, and I stamped this ivy design down the front door.

Everyone should have smoke detectors in their home and studio! Not lovely to look at, but a safety must- have. I thought about PhotoShopping it out (is that a verb??) but decided it would be a good reminder about fire safety. I also have a fire extinguisher in my studio. Hopefully I will never need it!

I found this orphaned drawer with the fabulous-cool lion hardware in a thrift shop. I wish I could have found the piece of furniture it originally went to. How does a drawer get separated from its place of origin anyway?? It has a big chip missing out of the front, but I think it just adds to the charm.

Stay tuned for more studio pictures. I have a wonderful new paper sorter to blog about! =)

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Shame on 123Print

This blog seems to be turning into a consumer watchdog site!! Here I go again!

I ordered business cards from 123Print. Here is what I received:

On the left is the proof I approved. On the right is the actual card I received. The card is not centered (there is a white stripe at the bottom, which is difficult to see in this photo), the color is off, and it is extremely grainy.

Call me stupid, but this is actually the second time I've been through this with 123Print. They did the exact same thing (minus the centering issue) on my last set of cards a year ago. I called the company that time, and after jumping through a number of hoops they reprinted my order at no charge and did a great job.

I called them today for this most recent problem and was told they had been receiving complaints all morning. They said the printer is screwing up and no one does quality control--they go straight from the printer into a box for shipment. That explains everything.

I will not order from them again. The odds of this coincidentally happening on a second order a year later are pretty slim. Most likely this is their modus operandi, and they get away with it if the consumer doesn't know any better. Let the buyer beware.

They offered to reprint the cards at no extra charge. When they arrived a week later, they were identical to the first set; there was no change in quality! They tried to talk me into having them reprinted a third time (like what good would that do?!). I declined and asked for a refund. They complied and even refunded my shipping costs. And thus ends my relationship with 123Print.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Learn To Save A Life

Recently I had a very frightening experience when my preschooler choked during lunch. Thanks to CPR training courses I took over 15 years ago I was able to perform the Heimlich Maneuver and saved his life.
The Heimlich performed on a conscious child.
If you had asked me prior to this incident if I knew the Heimlich I would have said no, I don't remember much about it, but it's amazing the information you have stored away that comes up during an emergency.

It all happened so fast and it scares me to think of the times I've walked to another room while he was munching on a snack. The whole incident took less than two minutes, but of course during the episode it felt like hours!

Here's a great website full of step by step resources for performing CPR on infants, children and adults. I encourage you to print out copies of the diagrams for CPR and the Heimlich to leave with your baby sitter and post on your refrigerator. It may just save your child's life (or your own)!
FYI: There's also a new method for adult CPR using hands only, no breaths.

Sunday, January 17, 2010


We rarely get snow where I live, so this is the best I can do for snow pictures! Which is fine by me...snow is pretty to look at when it's freshly fallen, but I can do without the cold thank you very much!

1 Snow Queen Bracelet by drakonaria
2 Magical Blue and Silver Snowflake Ornament by tianarutledge
3 Snowflakes photo cards by filigreephotos
4 watercolor stationery by cynthiacallan

January's Etsy Blogger

This month's featured blogger is Erika of NicoDesigns! Erika does some fabulous things with fabric in her shop including diaper bags, pin cushions, and home decor, but my favorite is her art doll line.
This cute little art doll is Savannah the Horse Lover. Savannah has her own bio written up in the listing. Go check it out!

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Broken Tools

I am not a happy artist today. In the middle of a project this Martha Stewart punch broke while attempting to punch through cardstock. I say attempting because it was doing more chewing than punching. You can see from the photo it's actually a metal piece that has broken.

This is the second Martha Stewart punch I've had that has broken. I also bought her Japanese drill punch and promptly took it back after using it once. I'm not impressed with the quality of her tools. I have no complaints about her bonefolder, but that's just a piece of plastic with no moving parts.

Needless to say, I will NOT be purchasing any more of her tools!

I contacted EK Success, the manufacturer of the Martha Stewart punches. EK Success (aka Wilton Industries) is standing behind their product and I am pleased to report they have offered to replace the broken punch since Michaels refused to accept it when I tried to return the punch.

It had been 2 weeks past Michaels 60 day return policy--though their receipt states they will give store credits after 60 days, Michaels did not honor that. I don't like Michaels either, but there is no other craft store in my market so I guess Michaels thinks they have the right to make up their own rules as they please.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

New Studio Space

Ta-da! My new studio is finished and ready for business! The timing couldn't be more perfect since I'm introducing my new shop, Emerson Bindery. New shop - new space! Very cool.
Here is the main reason I wanted to move out of my old studio down the hall--this work table. My old studio (herein referred to as "Studio A", the new one will be "Studio B") was so long and narrow I had to push my work table to the perimeter of the room, which gave me only one side to work from as furniture was crowed on either side and I had the wall on the back side.

I was so thrilled to be able to use the entire table that I ran joyfully around it several times!
Another bonus is the closet, which is yet unfinished. All my stuff is in the floor until I get some shelving in there. I didn't have a closet in studio A and was using the closet from the spare bedroom.

Friday, January 1, 2010

New Beginnings

I have a momentous announcement to make...After much thought I have decided to open a new shop.

...introducing Emerson Bindery!

My new shop has actually been open for a month now, but I've kept it quiet except for a few friends. I wanted to wait until after Christmas to make my grand annoucement.

I will be transitioning all my books into Emerson Bindery but plan to keep UberArt open for other projects.

Why you might ask, after over 200 sales and the numerous front page features, would you decide to start all over again?!

One of my front page features from June 3, 2009. My book is the first item at the top left.

When I first opened UberArt in November 2007, I chose the name because it would encompass anything I wanted to do. I had no idea what exactly that was though! I tried books, jewelry, note cards, and polymer clay flower pots (!!!) before I stumbled upon the guest book market. In December 2008 the guest books hijacked my store and things took off!

I have thoroughly enjoyed making books and will continue doing so, but I also want to explore other art forms. I didn't feel it was appropriate for me to lump them altogether in one shop, so I considered opening a new shop. But then, what to call it??

UberArt seemed to fit the bill for the new items but wasn't very descriptive of my current line of guest books. Instead of opening the new shop for the art, I decided to move the books instead. Thus, Emerson Bindery was born!

I will let you know when I introduce new items in my UberArt shop. I have big plans there!!
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