Wednesday, March 31, 2010

What I Want Wednesday, March 31, 2010

So a question was posed to me a couple weeks ago - it was a good one - from a fellow blogger, wallflower. She asked what I really want - not a cute new purse or a fun piece of art - what non-tangible actually important things I want for the world. It was definitely a tough question, something a lot of us probably don't think about enough (though it's so easy to point out the material things we want - isn't it?)

So for this very special edition of What I Want Wednesday, I've compiled a (very) short list of things I want that can't be found in a store, things that would hopefully make the world a better place, things that I had to really really think about. I hope this might inspire a couple of you to think about the same things. Maybe you'll even make your own list!

Okay, so my (very) short list contains one thing ...for now. There are obviously more things I'd like to have more of in the world, but I feel this one is very important. I chose it because all of the items on the list I originally made somehow connected to this one thing. And I could keep going, but I'll save the rest for later. You ready?

Tolerance


[image credit: weheartit]


No, we can't always agree on everything, nor should we be expected to. Disagreements are part of life, but sometimes I think we disagree just to disagree. If we could just try to see the other side of the argument sometimes, I feel like the world would be so much better.

Religion is a topic where I feel this is especially relevant. It's not something I talk about much, though it's something about which I feel very strongly. Yes, I have my own beliefs, as do most people - whether that means they believe in a higher power or they believe that no such power exists. Yet I'm continually amazed at how some people on from all different belief systems attempt to push their beliefs onto others. I understand that in certain religions it is said that you should teach others about your faith. But it just seems so wrong to tell someone that everything they've ever believed in isn't true, especially when dealing with something as important as religion. I find it totally acceptable for people to state their beliefs and even try to explain why they believe in such things, but if you don't like it when other people push their faiths onto you, why would you push your faith onto others?

I personally believe in God, though I don't practice or particularly agree with any certain religion. I have many friends and relatives who disagree with me, though we manage not to argue about the topic. That's because we can agree to disagree (in most cases, anyway). Everyone has the right to choose what they want to believe in, and I can't tell them otherwise. As such, I expect no one else to tell me what I can and can't believe in. I don't lose respect for anyone upon learning that they happen to be an atheist or that they believe in a different God than I do. You're perfectly within your rights to believe what you want and to state your beliefs. I take no offense when someone says "I don't believe in God." However, "there is no God," is a different story. Don't tell me that I'm wrong for believing in a higher power, and I won't tell you you're wrong for not doing so.

Politics is another area where I feel this is especially relevant. This country is currently in the middle of a huge debate over the health care system. Yesterday it was the War in Iraq, and tomorrow it will probably be immigration issues. I'm glad that many people are so passionate about topics like these - they're very important. But I'm shocked and amazed by the bickering, fighting, and even violence that these debates have sparked. No, I don't expect everyone to actually agree on any such issue - they're too huge and important. But I wish more people from both sides would try to at least look at the other side of the argument. Healthy debates are great, and compromise has to be sought from both sides. As long as respect is practiced, disagreements can be much more tolerable.

This is true with so many debates. I feel like this country has been so incredibly divided along party lines, and we need to get back to thinking about issues on a human level. No one makes decisions correctly 100% of the time. It's just not possible. We're all guilty of it, and we should try harder to recognize that and cut our fellow humans a little bit of slack every once in awhile.

Like I said earlier, I believe that tolerance is tied to so many of the world's problems - Holy Wars, problems in the nation's capital, and countless other disagreements on all different levels. I apologize if anything in this post seems condescending or argumentative - that is not my intent at all. And in no way am I exempt from the comments I made in this post. When referring to "some people" or "they" I include myself in many cases. I have no disillusions about myself being above anyone else in this or any other area.

A few little notes:

I'd love to hear your opinions about the issues I brought up in this post, but as I already mentioned, conversations about such topics have been known to get a little heated. Just keep in mind that the theme of this post is tolerance. You're absolutely invited to disagree with me on anything I've mentioned, just keep everything respectful and I'll return the favor. Though I'm sure I have nothing to worry about with any of you - I just like to be cautious :)

Oh, and thanks for reading if you actually made it through the whole post! I know I can be a little long-winded sometimes when I get started writing about this stuff.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Simple Hair Bow

Hello lovely ladies (and maybe a few gentlemen too?) I hope Tuesday is treating you well. I've got a really lovely tutorial for you today - a simple but so cute hair bow. It is really easy to make and absolutely adorable.



What You'll Need

  • fabric scraps
  • scissors
  • hot glue gun
  • alligator clip



Steps

  • Cut the out a 6" x 1 1/2" piece of fabric and a 4" x 1/2" piece of fabric
  • Fold the 6" piece into thirds (so it should be about 2" long)

  • Take the 4" piece of fabric and begin wrapping it around the middle of the 6" piece
  • Glue it into place
  • Slip the alligator clip in between the two pieces of fabric; glue it into place
  • Let it dry, then enjoy!


Don't forget to enter my very first giveaway (just one entry down), and submit your items/design projects for me to feature this month! Also, I'm doing something a little different for What I Want Wednesday tomorrow, so be sure to stop by!

Monday, March 29, 2010

IT'S GIVEAWAY TIME!

Yes, I just used all caps for my entire headline - I'm that girl. But I just cannot help it. I'm so excited to do my very first giveaway! You all are so wonderful and I can't wait to see who wins my box-o-neat-stuff. (With a name like that who wouldn't want to enter?)

So what's in this box-o-neat-stuff?

I tried to include a pretty good variety of things that I believe exemplify what this blog is all about.

(okay, so it's really in a basket, but box has a nicer ring to it)


  • a pair of yarn ball earrings
  • a flower pin
  • a bright orange clutch purse
  • an embellished belt
  • a skein bright yellow crochet thread
  • a few fabric samples
  • a brassy vintage-inspired necklace


I want to win the box-o-neat-stuff! How do I enter?!

It's simple. For one entry, you must be a follower of this blog and leave a comment on this post. You can enter multiple times by doing any or all of the things listed below. You must leave an additional comment for every entry.

  • Follow me on Twitter (@AnnieHP), and include your twitter username in your comment.
  • Tweet about this giveaway and include the link in your comment.
  • Become a fan of Wattlebird on Facebook (http://facebook.com/wattlebirddesigns/)
  • Mention this giveaway (include a link) in a blog post.
  • Post my blog banner on your blog's sidebar.


This giveaway will close at Noon on Monday, April 5. A winner will be selected using random.org, and the box-o-neat-stuff will be mailed within the week. Good luck!!!!

Disclaimer: The basket is not included in the giveaway - it's just for display purposes. Sorry :(

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Lovely Weekend Egg Covers

Happy weekend, lovelies! ...what's left of it anyway. I've been so so busy this weekend, working on custom orders and some freelance writing gigs. So I *almost* forgot to do a lovely weekend post! (I know that would have just ruined your entire week, right?)

Well, a few days ago I took a little break from my hectic schedule to decorate my house for Easter. We don't get too crazy for any holidays other than Christmas, but I do have a few cute spring items. These handmade chickadee egg covers were included in the mix. I believe they were crocheted by my grandma. Very cute. Enjoy!





Oh, and I've got a really awesome giveaway package to unveil tomorrow, since I'm currently at 99 followers. Someone hurry up and fill that #100 spot!!

Saturday, March 27, 2010

April Call for Submissions

April is right around the corner, and I'm looking for some submissions from all of you to fill in some of the posts for the month. I created this handy-dandy submission guidelines page, so you can have an idea of what I'm looking for with each submission.

Here are some of the themes I'll be specifically looking for this month:
  • April Fools - anything humorous or ironic
  • Easter - bunnies, eggs, pastels, baskets
  • April Showers - umbrellas, raindrops, clouds, rainbows
  • Arbor Day - trees, greens, nature
  • Autism Awareness Month - any shops raising money or awareness to autism issues, or any artist with a personal connection to autism



Just to reiterate some of the info on the guidelines page, submissions may include individual craft projects, Etsy shops (handmade, vintage, or supplies), home decor, design, or art in pretty much any form. You are welcome to send me submissions that don't fall into one of the themes listed above, but these are the ones I know I will be covering in the next month. Please email me if you'd like to submit anything. I hope to hear from some of you soon!

Friday, March 26, 2010

Fun With Feathers

A couple of weeks ago, I blogged some of my favorite vintage flapper dresses. At the time, I had forgotten about an event my local museum holds every year - a spring speakeasy. It is so much fun. Everyone gets dressed up and drinks and dances (and there's even a fake police raid). So I ended up buying one of the dresses I blogged about - not telling which one! I also bought a cute little feathered hairpiece to match. I'm so happy with my outfit, but it was a really difficult decision - there are so many great vintage choices out there. So I decided I had to make a post about all the other great pieces out there.

P.S. Scroll down to the bottom of this post for a special offer!


Black and Blue Headband with Pearls from vintagespotlight ($40)





Fabric and Feather Headband from tharpstout ($12)




Feather Hat Fascinator from bloomstreetvintage ($18)





Royal Blue Velvet Headpiece from TimeWarp ($15)





Peacock Headband from LovMely



This beautiful headband has sold out since I picked it out a few days ago. (Can't say I'm surprised - just look at it!) But LovMely was kind enough to offer a 15% discount at her shop for people referred from this blog! You must use the code: wattlebird. So nice of her! I hope a couple of you would like to take advantage - that's a very good deal, and all the pieces are beautiful.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Unique Art Pendants

I'm always looking for unique art for my walls. I can't get enough, and the amazing talent on Etsy never fails to disappoint me. One seller, Unique Art Pendants, does something really neat. She uses pages from old dictionaries as the background for her unique prints. They are so unique and vintage-y (yes, I'm inventing words now). I can't wait until I have a big house with my own library so I can hang these up there. (Hey - I can dream, right?) I think they'd be perfect.






She also has some great jewelry in her shop. Take a look!

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

What I Want Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Easter is right around the corner, so this week's What I Want Wednesday is centered around some popular easter mascots - cute little animals (you know the ones!)

Little Lamb by lizzylous

Unfortunately, this little cutie has sold out since I picked him out a couple days ago, but I couldn't resist including him anyway. Maybe he'll come back one day.




Vegan Peeps Soap by ajsweetsoap

Confession: I really don't like Peeps. They're way too sugary for me, but I always eat a few every Easter just to be festive. There's nothing more Easter than Peeps (in my humble opinion). So these soaps are so adorable and festive (and sugar free).




Bunny Pillow by erinflett

You know I had to include a bunny! This pillow is a really great spring touch. The color, the print, the canvas - it all comes together beautifully. Just love it.




I really do love Easter, because it's so reminiscent of childhood - coloring eggs, time with family, decorating the house. That's why all these items brought an instant smile to my face. What items remind you of Easter? 

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Spruce Up Your Scarf

Okay, I know it's starting to get warmer and no one wants to think about cold weather, snow, or scarves. But the harsh reality (if you're a midwesterner like me) is that we're not necessarily done with winter yet. It never hurts to be prepared, so this week for Tutorial Tuesday, we're making a scarf.



Yes, a scarf. This one has a bit of a springy twist, at least. Anyway, I'm not going to go through the process of creating the actual scarf, but instead just give you some ideas about how to add some extra elements to make it really unique and lovely. I'm doing this for two reasons: 1) you don't really need to make the scarf yourself - you can use a store-bought scarf, fabric scarf, knit scarf, whatever. 2) I don't know how to read/write knitting or crocheting patterns. Seriously. I've been knitting since I was about 12 but I've never been able to understand a darn pattern. I always just make something up and hope for the best.

So this week's tutorial is a bit different. Instead of giving specific instructions on how to make a specific thing, I'm going to give suggestions for adding elements to your scarf to make it special. You can choose which one's you'd like to use and which ones you'd like to leave out. It's all customizable.

Supplies

  • scarf
  • yarn or fabric
  • beads
  • brooch
  • button
  • thread


Steps

  • Many scarves are long enough to be wrapped around your neck a few times or tied in front, but this scarf needs to be a lot shorter. The idea is that it will wrap around once and fasten in the front, with very little extra length past the fastener. You can measure what would be right for you, but it should be roughly 2 feet. So either knit/crochet a 2 foot scarf, or cut down an existing scarf to 2 feet.

  • Ruffles - for my scarf, I simply crocheted some ruffles around the outside in a complementary color. This can be done with either yarn or fabric, depending on what kind of scarf you have.
  • Fastener - For my scarf, I used a beaded brooch for the centerpiece of the scarf. It should be pinned about 2 to 3 inches away from one end of the scarf. It can serve as the fastener either by pinning it to both ends of the scarf when you wear it, or it can loop through the other end of the scarf (like shown) if you have a loosely crocheted scarf.
  • Beads and extra embellishments - this is where it gets really fun. There's nothing you can't do, really. I chose to crochet a little flower with the yarn I used for the ruffles. On other scarves, I have made little clusters of beads to go around the brooch for an added touch. I think a big flower looks really nice on a short scarf like this one. (Plus it adds a little touch of spring).


So that's it for the day. I hope you're all staying warm in this whole half winter/half spring weather. Happy Tuesday!

Monday, March 22, 2010

Pick Your Polaroid

Last week I mentioned my love for Polaroid photos. Now I've discovered a Polaroid photo contest through Blur Magazine that has some really awesome finds.

Unfortunately, these photos have to be actual Polaroids and not digitally altered ones - and I discovered a little too late about the contest. But there are some really neat photos on the voting page. I encourage you to all check them out. I had a really hard time choosing a favorite. But I'm really wishing for summer right now, so I voted for this one:


I have sunglasses just like those. Now I can't wait for the sun to make its triumphant return.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Lovely Weekend Craft Fair

Happy weekend, folks. It's been a busy one for me (in a good way). I participated in a craft show yesterday for a local music club. It was a lot of fun - I sold a few hats and got to meet a few fantastic people. Here are some shots of my table.













Luke likes to model my baby-sized hats sometimes. I think this is a pretty good look for him. Anyway, it was a pretty last minute decision on my part, so I wasn't as prepared as I would have liked to be, but I'm still pleased with how it turned out.

In other weekend news:

I'm having a fundraiser today for the Breast Cancer 3 Day Walk. I don't expect you to go, since you probably live somewhere that's - well - not here. But you can check out my fundraising page here - if you're feeling charitable, I need a kickstart to my fundraising efforts.

And yesterday I watched the Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring for the first time ever. Yes, ever. I had wanted to read the books before I saw the movies, and I finally made my way through the first book (sooooooo slooooooww). The second one seems so much better already. I really enjoyed the movie though.

I also won this AMAZING giveaway from Miss Makes A Lot! I am so completely excited.


I hope you're all having a fun-filled weekend too!

Friday, March 19, 2010

Pack Your Bags

Alright, people, it's springtime. That means it's time to dust yourself off from your winter hibernations and get moving. I hope you have some trips planned for this spring/summer. I'll be going to Chicago in May and possibly the Upper Peninsula of Michigan for a few days. I love vacations!

I'm not a huge fan of packing, necessarily, but these vintage suitcases have me more excited than ever to spread my travel wings this summer. Maybe you'll find something that does the same for you?


Blue Travel Case from OpheliaVintage ($44.95)





Amelia Earhart Suitcase from RetroDaisyGirl ($12)




Mustard Yellow Suitcase by AlpenglowVintage ($52)





Round Hat Box from SuzisCornerBoutique ($49)






Doris Day 1950's adVintagous ($35)






Retro Flower Print Suitcase from ShaneLilyRain ($15)



I'm trying to figure out which one of these lovelies would be best to take with me to Chicago. Do you have a favorite piece of luggage? Oh, and if you're planning an exciting trip for this summer, please tell me all about it so that I can live vicariously through you. Thanks.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Just look at this awesome Coolio portrait

Yes, I sketched a portrait of Coolio. That is all.



Oh, and it can also be seen in this month's issue of Words and Tricks.

Words and Tricks: Issue #1

So I blogged before about Words and Tricks, a new literary and fine arts journal that my friend Whitney and I started working on earlier this year. Well, after months of hard work and lots and lots of amazing creative submissions, the first issue has finally graced the internet with its awesome artsy presence.



Click here to check out the issue. There are lots of great poems, short stories, photos, paintings, and a lot more.

We're also currently collecting submissions for the Summer 2010 issue. If you're interested, you can find the submission guidelines here.

Happy Thursday, everyone!

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Happy Guinness Day!

I'm not really into holidays like St. Patrick's Day. It's fine that everyone likes an excuse to drink some beer. That's cool with me. But let's call it what it is - an excuse to drink beer. I don't appreciate being pinched for not wearing green. It's not really my color.

However, I am currently in LOVE with this coat. Maybe it comes in gray?



So anyway, I hope everyone has a good day and drinks some Guinness. Or just celebrate however you like!

What I Want Wednesday, March 17, 2010

I've mentioned before that I've got a bit of a nerdy streak. And by "a bit," I mean that I own a lightsaber and a Harry Potter wand and that's pretty much the most normal thing about me. So for this week's What I Want Wednesday, I'm highlighting some of my favorite Etsy items with a nerdy twist. Enjoy!

Jewelry from Just Duckie Designs

This seller has some really cool silver jewelry inspired by Harry Potter and Glee - both of which happen to be favorites of mine. She also gets extra nerd points for listing her location as "Ravenclaw Common Room." How's that for nerd pride?






Silver Element Ring by Polymath

So I don't really know much about the periodic table of elements, but I do think that this silver ring with the atomic symbol is very clever. It makes me wish I was a science wiz. 




Pillows from Craftsquatch

I love love love these pillows. Any tech nerd would truly appreciate a Gmail or Adobe pillow hanging out on their bed or couch. This shop has a really good variety of them too. There's something for pretty much every internet junkie.




Alright, I'm going to stop for the day, before I out-nerd myself. I hope you all are having a wonderful Wednesday! What kind of nerdy items are on your wishlist?

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Yarn Ball Earrings

As promised, I have an actual original tutorial for you guys today. It's one of my favorites, so I hope you enjoy.

If you've been to my Etsy shop, you might have noticed that I have a few pairs of earrings that are made to look like balls of yarn. (examples: here, here and here). How do I get them to look like balls of yarn? Well... they are balls of yarn. That means this tutorial is pretty straightforward and easy to do. So let's get started!


What You'll Need

  • Yarn
  • Earring posts
  • Scissors
  • Hot glue gun




Steps

  • Take one end of the yarn and tie a few knots in it. The knots should be over one another so they make one larger knot.
  • Begin to wrap the yarn around the knot
  • Glue into place each time you wrap around once. The glue should all be on one side of the yarn ball, so that the other side is clean looking.

  • Once you've made it the size you want, cut the end of the yarn
  • Glue the ball of yarn to the earring post. Make sure to apply the glue on the same side as you did when you were wrapping the yarn.


That's really all there is to it. I love this project because it's a fun and quirky way to show off your love of knitting without actually, well, knitting anything.

I hope you are all having a good week!
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