Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Love at First Light: The Journey to Makeover a Lamp

My mom and I decided it was time to check out the new Salvation Army store in Manassas, VA. It is one big store full of stuff. In the furniture displays they have it set up like you would have it at your house. I saw this lamp on a side table and thought how cute and funny it is. We continued to walk around the store looking at items such as wedding dresses, jewelry and mouthwash (Yes! Mouthwash with the plastic seal around the cap unbroken. Still I’ll pass). BUT I couldn’t get that cute lamp out of my head. I started thinking about all the ways to make it over, dress it up, breath a new life into this beautifully odd lamp. I told my mom I was going to buy that funny lamp. But then you think “if it’s not there then it’s not meant to be,” you get yourself ready incase it’s not there cause of course if you think it’s cute so does everyone else. My walking speed picked up as I neared furniture……”must get lamp”……”hurry” as I leave my mom in the trail of dust behind me. And there is was. Sitting pretty on the end table just waiting. I grabbed it….looked at the price…….and it was only $8.99. It made the find that much more worth it. It’s the only thing I bought there that day. Now what do I do with it?

Stay Tuned for more Crafty Mayhem!! Duhn Duhn DUUUHHHHHNNNN!!!

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Get Your Veterans Day Craft ON!!!

A holiday is always the perfect time for Craft Time!!!!! OK everyday is perfect for craft time so here are some fun Veterans Day craft ideas. I am partial to the Statue of Liberty crafts.

Statue of Liberty Torches

Use old newspapers and roll them in a large cone shape. Let the children paint the cones. When dry, stuff with red and yellow tissue paper to be the flame of the torch.

Statue of Liberty Crowns

Cut crowns from stiff paper to fit around the child's head. Let them decorate them and then with their torches do a parade.

Stars and Stripes collage

Give each child blue construction paper(9x12) with strips of red and white paper cut 1x9. Have them glue the strips on and add silver star stickers. Cut the stars BIGGER for more fun and added effect.

Red, White, And Blue Puffy Paint Pictures


Flour, Salt, Water, Red and blue food coloring, Empty mustard squeeze bottles or at least one with a pointy top like an old empty glue bottle, Cardboard


1. Mix equal parts of flour, salt, and water to make the puffy paint.

2. Divide mixture into three different bowls and color one bowl of mixture blue, one bowl red, and leave the last one white.

3. Fill the mustard bottles with the mixture (one color per squeeze bottle).

4. Let the children squeeze the different colors onto the cardboard.

5. Allow the children's artwork to dry. When it is dry, the design will be raised and will sparkle!

Have Fun and Keep Craftin!!!!!!

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Making the Next Sale

I had recently had the luck of 2 custom orders in a span of 3 weeks.  One was for book cloth and the other was for an 8"x10" box for a birthday party.  I was thrilled!! But afterwards I wondered.........

How to Make the Next Sale!!!

So I started thinking "OK what haven't I done? and what do I need to do?"  

Answer to Question #1, I have never bought an ad outside of Etsy.  I use Craftopolis a lot but I thought the people who go to Craftopolis are other Etsy sellers, not the browsing buyer.  I sent in an ad to run for 1 week for my hand dyed book cloth and linen thread.  I'm hoping Etsy sellers that use those kinds of supplies will be interested to fine my Esy store.  Now I am not hoping for a million sale from this but I am curious to see if it brings me anymore views/visits.

Answer to Question #2, I had don't have any uniformity with my photos.  I created these create wood backgrounds but have only been using them for new products.  The older products are wondering why they'll being left out. (yes I just refer to my products as humans with emotions)  I have monday off from work and I am going to sit a re-photograph all my products that are not with the lovely wood background.  

These are the types of things I read about on Etsy.  I am implementing them and am excited to see if there are any changes in views.  While I am unsure of pros and cons, I think the pros way out number the cons.  

Come join me on this Etsy experience and check back with me in a few weeks to see my results.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

A Little Luck.....

Just when you think you're down and out someone makes a larger custom order.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

My New Project: Furniture!

So i have fallen in love with taking old furniture and reworking it into brand new. I have found I am pretty good at it. I just finished a few wooden chairs and have moved on to a few metal chairs. What a difference. With metal I have to deal with rust but the paint has been coming off easy. The wooden chairs I have had sticky gooey paint and one had dry paint when I applied the paint remover. Home Depot is my toy store. Now i get to by all this fun stuff. I'm looking at learning how to recane chairs as well. Working with my hands is such a fun way to release crearive energy. I will keep you updated on the adventures.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

You know you’re a crafter when……..

  • You know the craft store better than the sales associate

  • You direct other customers to the brads

  • You enter the store with a list of 5 items and leave with 10, just cause you know you would need it later

  • You buy Christmas decorations in July

  • You go to 3 different stores to find the right black spray paint

  • You buy sale items just because their on sale

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Good Morning Baltimore!!!!!!!

I recently returned from a 2 week Johns Hopkins University seminar held in Baltimore, MD. I have been to Baltimore but no like this. We spent the main portion of our seminar at the Walters Art Museum which is a wonderful museum of a great variety of artworks collected by William and Henry Walters. I made some new friends which is always a plus. Had some super yummy food....mmmm crab cakes and italian cookies.

Probably known for the tv show The Wire but Baltimore is also home to the National Aquarium that currently has a jellyfish exhibit that was amazing. I never knew there were so many different kinds. One type looked like the Ood from Doctor Who but much cuter.

If you're visiting Baltimore you will want to stop at Old Dominion Ice Cream over by 3301 33rd St. They have the best cookies n' cream but they have vegetable flavors....Yes you heard me veggies, like, sweet potato, beet, spinach and cucumber. I stuck with the cookies n' cream but from what I heard the veggie ice cream was really good.

Baltimore may not be your first choice for traveling but if you're around the Inner Harbor (picture above) you will find a wonderful mix of people and places.

Now that is all said and done it is time to get the business goods flowin! I have missed you blogging world.

Monday, May 30, 2011

Happy Memorial Day! Mr Ralph Galluzzo

Happy Memorial Day to all those who have served our country.

My Poppy (Grandpa) Ralph Galluzzo served in WWII and the Korean War. During WWII he worked on the Yorktown, which when it was bombed had a significant impact on the War. The Yorktown was an aircraft carrier where he maintained planes and loaded bombs.

My parents and I were fortunate to have him live with us for a couple of years before his passing a little over a year ago. To me he was my little old Italian Poppy, bald and so New York Italian. During those couple years he opened up about his time during WWII where we were riveted with his tales of his jobs and the day the Yorktown was hit. We have 2 of his service trunks in our basement. When we opened them there are badges, a couple pictures and a long ribbon with "GALLUZZO" printed on it for his uniform jacket. The rest are a mish-mash of magazines and family memories. Even a handmade card from me when I was a little kid. My dad told me while he was growing up the trunks were not to be opened or talked about. Being present when they were opened was a touching feeling.

I got to know my Poppy pretty well and enjoyed spending time with him. When I worked close by we would have lunch everyday. I share my Poppy's love for construction and tools. As I strip the furniture I bought I miss him greatly because it would be a project for us to work on together. It's interesting to me as I get older how much my dad tells me my Poppy "would have done that" when I do these construction projects.

Like an retired elder, he and my Ma (grandma) lived in Florida where no matter which time of night we showed up they would be ready with Naval oranges in hand, like any Italian family, ready to fed us. My Poppy had a small but quick sense of humor where he would interject something totally out of nowhere. One night my Ma ran out of serving dishes and apologized for using a tupperware container where my Poppy quickly replied "it's the best looking tupperware container I have ever seen." That one still makes me laugh.

I sit here with a tear in my eye not for missing my Poppy but for the love I feel when I think of him.

And to all the other service men, women and children involved and effected, I give a Thank You to all of you for the freedom and life you have given me the privilege of having.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Lucketts Old Store Big Summer Event!

Recently I have really gotten into stripping furniture of it's paint and redoing it to look brand new so I had to go to Lucketts Old Store, in Lucketts, VA, because they were having a major event. 2 days and 170 vendors including food and live music. Well I had too much fun. I went with my favorite shopper, my mom. You always need a second opinion and it's always great to have a second pairs of eyes incase you miss something.

The picture above it a good indication of how packed with treasures and finds this place is. In the end I walked away with 2 metals chairs, 1 wooden chair with a woven seat, a bottomless rocking chair (for only $15!!!), a small shelf with peg hooks and a little table. All in all I spent little and got a lot. Oh yeah and this wonderful table that had fantastic jewelry. I got a headband with fake pearls and diamonds lined on it. I felt very sparkly all day. Wonderful rings, earrings and bracelets. They were items you could find at Forever 21 but handmade and better quality for major affordable prices. The only thing is the headband I bought didn't have the name of the shop on it so I have no clue. I hope they post the names of the vendors online cause I want more from them.

AND of course being a redhead I have my summer initiation of getting a sunburn. I'm used to getting them. It's finally at the stage where it doesn't hurt but it still bright red. Oh well that just means a new crop of freckles. If I keep getting freckles I'm going to turn into one giant brownish red spot.

Oh and I found this beauty on the website......Look familiar ;)

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

YouTube How-to; How-to Wax Linen Thread for Bookbinding

Today I have uploaded my first YouTube video. I'm trying to incorporate the video's with the items I sell in my shop or the projects I have listed on this blog. I'll be honest this made me nervous because it's a step in an unknown world. As I was telling someone today at work "how will I know if it works if I don't try." In the end I am really proud of the way it came out. Of course my male cat felt he needed to assist playing with my demonstration thread. I told him the new rule of the studio is "quiet time." He will continue to be a little boy but it makes for an interested life.

Stay Tuned (literally!) for more YouTube video's.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Bookbinders Rejoice!!!! New Product...Waxed Linen Thread

Hooray it's Here! Hand Dyed and Hand Waxed 100% Flax Linen Thread. I am so excited about this recent addition to the LeslieGallery shop and hand dyed items.

I always had issues finding waxed linen thread in colors I liked or match the color of the fabric I was working with. One day I thought "Hey! If I can dye fabric why can't I dye linen thread." I started experimenting and found it to be wonderful :)

Plus I got to use my NEW backgrounds I mention a couple weeks ago. I think the light background make the colors look bold.

Check it out and Keep watching for more to come...Happy Craftin!

Garden Store Galore

One of the best parts about warm weather is going to the garden store. I saw this wacky sculpture in the chipped and broken pile. It is so out there that I wanted it but I have no yard and my parents would never buy it. I tried to get them to buy a 6' Leaning Tower of Pisa and was met with a big fat "No."

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Charity: Knit-A-Square

I want to share one of my favorite charities...Knit-A-Square.


This is a great way to scratch the Craft Itch and use up all that leftover yarn (which means you get to make room to buy more new yarn!!).

All this charity asks is for an 8"x8" square, knit or crochet, and send it to them. They make the squares into blankets and give them out to AIDS orphans. If you're new to knitting or crocheting this is a great way to learn to control
your tension and new stitch patterns. Read the label of the yarn of your choice for the right size needles an
d gauge.

The "US 6" under the crossed needles is the size knitting needles you will need to use for that particular yarn. The "22S" is the number of stitches needed for 4 inches of stitches. the "28R" is the number of rows. If you want to know how many stitches per inch and rows per inch use division: 22/4=5.5, depending on your knitting tension round up or down. I tend to round up. It's basically the number of stitches (22S) divided by the number of inches that equal 22s (4 inches). Use the same for the number of rows: 28/4=7 rows, it will be 7 rows to equal 1 inch.

The same applies for crocheting. In this example they want you to use a G/6 hook, same number of stitches and rows apply. If it would be different it would be noted on the label. After about 4 inches of rows measure to see if you're staying within the 8 inch perimeter.

Basic Knit Stitch:
OK so now that you can read the label here is the basic knit stitch. When you do a "knit" for all the rows it's known as a Garter pattern.

1. Cast on the appropriate number of stitches. From our example we will want to cast on 44 stitches: 5.5x8=44, 5.5 is the number of stitches, times, 8 which is the width we want.

2. After you have cast on, hold your work in your left hand

3. Keeping the yarn at the back of your work, place the tip of the right hand needle through the front of the first stitch, so that it ends up behind the left hand needle

4. Bring the yarn from behind, in an anti clockwise direction, and wrap it around the top of the right hand needle, pulling it forward between both needles

5. Slip the top of the right hand needle down and then up towards you, to catch the yarn as you go, creating a loop on your right hand needle. If you were casting on at this point you would place the new stitch back onto the left hand needle, but as you are now knitting, you leave it on the right hand needle.

6. Then release the left hand needle, either by sliding it backwards to the left or by giving it a nudge with your right hand forefinger

7. Your yarn is now back to behind the right hand needle and you are ready to repeat steps 2-5 until you have knitted the entire row. Turn the knitting around to start again.

8. Castoff and weave in your ends

9. You're done! and doesn't it feel oh so good?!

If you would like to discover other yarn based charities check out the book Knitting for Peace. The cover of the book is pictured above.

Happy Crafting!

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

The Craft Itch

This is the last week of the Spring semester. I have been working hard, but what do you do when your craft gets in the way of school? Crafting is my creative outlet and when I haven't made anything for a while I get "The Itch." Yes....the Craft Itch. You know it. It's when you start looking at the flyers with their 40% off any regularly priced item, or the yarn you love is one sale for $2 a skein, or you have that one thing you bought and haven't tried out yet like a new shaped hole punch.

Crafting is the release of stress but it's a catch 22 when you have final projects and papers. I keep telling myself "on Sunday you can do all the crafting you want," but I need that release to calmed down the end of semester jitters.

The Solution: half hour to 45 minut breaks. What I do it get materials ready for crafting. I am cutting lots of linen thread for my new product line or waxing the already dyed strands. That way when I am ready I will be able to dive right in.

We all have the urge to be creative so make sure you feed the need before you go craft CRAZY!!

Saturday, April 30, 2011

Choosing the Right Background for Your Products

My eye is always drawn to Etsy products that not only have great product photos but wonderful backgrounds that accent and help sell the product. I recently saw a posting on the Etsy Success Team's discussion board where someone said something along the lines of "stop wishing you photos look like every else's and start becoming one." I love my photo boxes but i felt like something was missing, a great background. Yes white fabric is a good go-to but I am at the point where I want to branch out. I have found some advice that I hope will help you:

1. Look through your favorite catalogs and take note at how they display their products. I love Anthropology! They have not only the best clothes but the best photos. They use really natural and fun backgrounds.

2. Experiment! Shop your favorite Home Depot. They have a great selection of tiles, wood, flooring pieces...etc. I recently bought 2 pieces of 2'x2' Plywood boards. I look for unbelievable grain.

Right now I am in the process of sanding them down to make it super smooth. I am going to do a light white wash on one side and keep it natural on the other. That way I get 2 backgrounds!

I am looking forward to my new backgrounds. Stay turned to LeslieGallery and see these backgrounds in action. And if they don't work out I'll let you know and keep you informed of the next solution.

With Challenges comes Triumphs!

Happy Crafting :)

Monday, April 25, 2011

Starving Artist

I'm Starving......
Starving for patience
Starving for creativity
Starving for time
Starving for business
Starving for food (until lunch, then I have a slice of pie)
Starving for acceptence
Starving for sanity
Starving for clarity
Starving for chaos
Starving for freedom
Starving for innocence
Starving for maturity
Starving for grammar (sp?)
Starving for the beginning
Starving for the end
Starving for old wounds to heal
Starving for success
I'm Starving for my Craft

What are you starving for?

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Blue For You

Today I made my first Etsy Treasury dedicated to the Color Blue. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did creating it.

Blue For You

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Craft Project! Potato Printing

Hello Crafters
It's been awhile since I posted a craft project but what a great way to get back into the game then with a fun home spud project.

Potatoes are good to eat and fun to craft with so grab a spud and lets get Craftin!

Potato: Buy one that’s a good size for your shape because you will be cutting them in half.
Knife: Kitchen knife works best but you can use any professional stamp cutting tools or an xacto knife
Pencil or Marker Pen
Paint: Acrylic craft paint works well
Paper: For final project and scrap paper for testing

Lets Go:
1. Cut your potato in half
2. Draw your shape onto the flat part of the potato. Keep your design simple. I suggest stars, flowers or presents like the picture above.
3. Cut around the design leaving your shape raised. If you would like to leave a negative image cut your design out of the middle leaving the surrounding surface raised.
4. Squeeze some paint onto a saucer or paper plate. I find that these projects are great if you have extra plates from parties.
5. Stamp excess paint onto a scrap piece of paper. Too much paint will make the potato slide on your selected paper.
6. You can do several stamps before you need more paint. Wash off paint before changing colors or don’t! and see fun colors peek out from each other.
7. Set paper to dry completely before continuing with any additional decoration.

1. You can use cookie cutters to create your shape
2. For intricate designs leave the cutter in the potato and use the knife to trim around it
3. Serrated knives leave a fun jagged texture
4. Skewers can poke small holes for dots and eyes for smiley face
5. Don’t let the potato dry out because your shape will become distorted

Happy Craftin! See you next time ☺

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Sunshine Cleaning

I watched the movie Sunshine Cleaning last night. I thought it was a wonderful movie. As an Etsy seller the message of life offering opportunities at every corner hits home. Amy Adams character is completely relateable to the female population, even if you're not her completely you at least have experienced something she is going through. Bad dating/sex choices, single mom, a school who doesn't understand your kid, odd dad, odd sister......etc. But out of this she finds a job she loves. This story has been told a number of times in many movies but Sunshine Cleaning is refreshing and up-to-date with modern times. Part of me wished for a super girly ending with Winston but it ends the way it should, Amy Adams finding herself. Too all the DIY-er's keep doing what you love <3 Happy Crafting!

Friday, April 8, 2011

The Art of Multi-Tasking

As I become more excited about LeslieGallery I have to figure out how do work school in to the schedule. Hooray for Multi-Tasking!

  • Everything that needs to be dyed has to sit in a dye bath or at least an hour. I have found this to be an excellent time for reading.

  • During online guest speakers and recorded lectures is when I paste the paper backing to the fabric to make the book cloth

  • Thursday is my TV night. 8pm Big Bang Theory and then from there the NBC comedies such as The Office, Parks and Rec and my fav 30 Rock. Ironing, folding, stitching and anything to prepare fabric to be dyed is when this is the best period of the week.

Yes School should be the main focus but it's nice to have my hand doing something while I read how the Smithosian is making their museum for user friendly.

Happy Crafting :)

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

An Ode to ALIAS

Oh ALIAS how I miss your butt kicking adventurous story lines. Whenever Sydney was in trouble there was always a fire extinguisher near by to hit someone over the head with. Whenever there was a plan Jack Bristow was always five steps ahead of everyone. You could always rely on Vaughn being there to catch you and kill the person next to you. And Marshall with his wonderful "My Keys..Where are they poem" and his drum proposal which ended up being a mix of weird and rockin.

Sloan the evil bad guy who waffled between being nice and being creepy. Sydney's mom the former KGB agent and her greedy ways.

And all of them out for one mission to save the world from Milo Rambaldi.

Even though the story line halfway through season 4 became odd with tales of vampires and other non-alias type stuff you tried to bring it all back in the fifth season only to be canceled halfway through.

As I dye my fabric and make my book cloth I still have you on DVD to remind myself that girls kick butt and look good doing it too.

So to you the ALIAS fans of the world, don't wake up in Hong Kong after two years with no memory.

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Shibori Fabric

I am please to introduce Hand Dyed Shibori Fabric. Oh if my surface textiles teacher could see me now. The colors I used are Procion MX Lemon Yellow, Medium Blue and Bright Scarlet. I used a gathered stitching technique to achieve this look.

PS - Teacher - I still don't wear gloves when I dye. Some day my hands will be every color there is.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

The New Changes to LeslieGallery

Hooray! i just got done gluing the paper backing on the first set of Shibori book cloth. It feels great to get back in to fabric dying and book arts. Crazy how you take a couple of electives in college and they end up becoming something you want to do all the time.

The biggest thing I keep thinking about is how to let people know my book cloth is out there. There are so many solid colors. I am excited to offer patterns and alternatives to solid colors.

I was listening to the Etsy Success Symposium today. Today I started a daily list of things to-do to better my shop thanks to the helpful people of the symposium. The tasks for today were making fabric in to book cloth and post on my blog. I even squeezed school work in as well.

Keep checking in cause I'm obviously excited to bring you all the new adventures to LeslieGallery :)

Happy Crafting

Friday, March 18, 2011

New Product Line

Recently I have been disappointed in the selection of Book Cloth and Fabric at the arts and craft stores. One of the electives I took during my undergrad was a Surface Textiles class where you learned to dye and print of fabric using all sorts of techiniques. DING! Lightblub moment! Why not make my own fabric. So I have been busy collecting all the materials; dyes, squeeze bottles, soda ash...etc. I am thrilled to start. I have recently decided to make my own book cloth from printed fabric and sell it on Etsy. I think these business ventures are going to be great.

I'm going to start slow, a couple solid colors before I start mixing an experiementing....Oooooo. My creative juices get going just thinking about it. I am excited to share my creations as soon as possible.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Back to Business, Brown Floral Box

I am excited to showcase a new photo box, Brown Floral Box. ok so the name isn't fantastic. I was also thinking Chocolate Brown Floral Box....actually i like that. There's something about it that reminds me of nature. I think it's the compliment of the outside with the natural paper inside. I walked into JoAnn Fabrics and had something else in mind but I was thins fabric and felt how soft and strong it is I knew I needed it. Enjoy!

Sunday, January 23, 2011

The Future is Approaching Fast

Tomorrow school starts. It's my last semester of taking 2 classes together while working a 40 hour a week job. I'm getting this masters so I don't have to spend the rest of my life processing 130 applications a day asking for free medication. Especially since it has nothing to do with art or museums. That's what my masters is, museum studies. Even though I'm preparing for my future I still want to be an art/crafts entrepenuar...entrepenure...ok so that's why I went into art, I can't spell, do math or science. I hope that someday that dream can still come true and be my own boss.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Snow on the Horizon

What is it about snow that makes you want to curl up with a cup of something warm and a blanket? Stay in your pj's? Start a fire in the fireplace? Those are things I look foward to when it's cold.

When I used to live in Colorado we had a free standing fireplace. You could put a teapot ontop and make hot water. My dad used to put snow from outside in a cup and we would throw pieces of the snow onto the fireplace and watch is sizzle away. That was always so much fun.
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