the ravenna girls

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The blog in 2011…. January 16, 2011

Filed under: business — ravennagirls @ 7:49 pm
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After THIS recap of our house in 2010 and what we hope to accomplish in 2011…..

we bring you the next installment… what are our goals for the blog and the business in 2011?

#1 Set ourselves up as an official business, not just a hobby endeavor. This means filing a Master Business Application with the state and all the associated paperwork. The best part about this goal? Its already crossed off the list! We accomplished this last week and are waiting for our business license to come in the mail. We registered both The Ravenna Girls and Ravenna Girls Vintage so we  can move forward with both ventures. Woot, hooray for getting something crossed off the list!

#2 Get our wares out there. We did our first craft show in the beginning of December, and although it was a lot of work, I think we would like to try some more this year in order to get an idea of different atmospheres. I think it would be reasonable to say we would like to do three shows this year, one in the spring and potentially two during the fall and/or holidays. We did a lot of the legwork for the Ravenna Neighborhood Show in 2010 so they should get easier over time.  It was also a great way to get our name out there and meet members of our community right here in Seattle.

#3 Plow through the stack of vintage and handmade inventory to list on etsy. We have quite a number of items that need to be photo’d and listed. They aren’t going to sell themselves. Also, keep a better tab on the items we collect so we don’t keep getting a back log.

#4  It is no secret that we love making things.   We have a few “staple” items that we constantly produce and find supplies for.  This is mostly to sell at fairs or on etsy at this point.  But, when it comes to making gifts or something, the sky is the limit.  In 2011, not only would we like to tackle more new craft projects, but we would like to create a few new lines to sell on etsy.  No idea what this will be yet, but we have all of 2011 to find the inspiration, make some prototypes and try it out.

#5 For the blog, we have some changes in store. Our friend Dave has been helping us out with some redesign, but it now is at the point were WE need to work on many more elements to get this up and running. Hopefully soon you’ll see a new look around here.  {thanks dave, for putting up with our  slow creative spunk!}

#6 In 2010, we posted 152 times. This averages to 3 posts per week. Our goal for 2011 is to bump this number up to 4-5 posts per week. We have so many exciting projects up our sleeve, we need to make sure to share the results!

#7 Get more involved in the blog community, at least locally. There are some local bloggers who are incredibly inspiring. Orangepoppy, Maggie Rose, and A Chow Life to name a few. It would be great to be more connected online with this amazing group of local ladies. We’d love the chance to feature some of their work here.

#8 Show the love throughout the blogosphere. What does this mean? For me it means making a better effort to leave comments on those posts that inspire me most. There is a lot of inspiration and energy and beautiful work going on out there, and sometimes I take that for granted. I am going to try and leave 5 comments a day. Reaching out also means reading some new blogs, keeping my google reader fresh and interesting. Follow those ideas that really align with our inspirations and dreams.

We have enjoyed having this space so much to share all of our projects, travels, and excitements with you all. Our overall goal for 2011 is to keep this space active and lively.

Before move on to the last of our goals for this year, the personal ones, we thought we’d take a moment to share our top referrers of 2010. These sites sent the most traffic our way and we wanted to show our love back.

Tastespotting. Our most viewed post of 2010 was our recipe for Chocolate Mascarpone Peanut Toffee bars that we submitted to their site and was chosen to be featured.

The Tomlin Family Blog

@LuceEnds

Ravenna Blog

Shelterrific

 

Anything else that you would like to see here this year?

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tags January 10, 2011

Filed under: crafty — ravennagirls @ 5:33 pm
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What do you do with your Christmas cards after the holiday is over?
Around here, unless there is some cutey kid [like this one I took at a twinsie photoshoot…] on the card…we really don’t save them after the season.

But let’s be serious, we don’t recycle them straight away either.
instead, we make gift tags for the next season out of them…

Get out your scissors, punches, and your circle cutters and go to town…

It’s creative and green and easy! 

If you do this now…they will be all ready to get packaged away with your wrapping paper, and ready in December. 

These tags were ones we used this year on some of our gifts…

 Perfect post-Christmas crafting activity….

 

 

Christmas from coast to coast January 6, 2011

Filed under: christmas — ravennagirls @ 5:47 pm
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Since we took the holidays off from blogland (mostly), and D has shared her experiences from the North Pole, I’m going to take a day to savor and share with you Christmas here in Washington.

 

Out the window Christmas Morning

My family celebrates both Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, bookended with cozy family meals on both ends. In between, we open gifts, watch movies, play games, and enjoy the scenery. A festive time for sure.

This year for Christmas Eve feasting we wanted to keep things simple: tomato soup and grilled cheese, done up fancy for the holiday. I made this panini and it was delicious, although I was too liberal with the artichoke spread, I’d suggest keeping it light.  Also, i swapped out radicchio for arugula, and that was just fine. I also made a brussels sprouts salad as a side, with apple and a lemon vinagrette.

 

Prosciutto, Arugula, Artichoke Panini

Fresh brussel sprout salad

For Christmas morning breakfast, my mom whipped up a smoked salmon, dungeness crab, and dill frittata, similar to this recipe. DEEEEELISH!

Simple satisfying frittata

Every year my aunt decorates the house with a theme of decorations. Since she and my grandmother live on a beach, this year’s theme was undersea with holiday sparkle. From glittered clam shells, to felt fishies, to ribbon jellyfish, the decorations were amazing, beautiful, and cohesive. The house was a-glitter with turquoise, copper, and white.

Hand sewn and beaded felt fish

Coppery Jellyfish

Seahorse

Seascape mantle

Glassy tablescape

So many wonderful detals!

And to make it even more impressive, she hand-made all the the ornaments! To fill out the scheme, she found a wicker clamshell at the thrift store, spray painted copper, and added a pearl for extra whimsy!

Christmas Pearl!

Underwater holidays

We finished the holiday by meeting up with the rest of the family, and I’m sad I didn’t get any good pictures of Christmas Day itself 😦 You’ll have to imagine the festivities!

 

Peace on Christmas morning

Hope all had a very wonderful holiday and a happy happy new year. Any fun holiday 2010 stories to share?

If you want a trip down memory lane, photos of Christmas 2009 here and here.

 

glittered December 18, 2010

Filed under: christmas,crafty,Uncategorized — ravennagirls @ 11:28 pm
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I’ve had a christmas craft on my mind for awhile now. I think it came from Martha originally, but I’m not 100% sure. In any case, I finally got around to these sparkly pillars for my Womens’ Christmas Dessert Table, and I couldn’t be more pleased with the results!

To start, I’ve been hoarding away various sized vintage fluted tart tins like these ones from sugarpush.

I ended up with two sizes, approx 4″ and 2.5″ which were a nice size. Much larger than this and you start sucking up a lot of glitter, and they fit a votive or tealight nicely.

Then, matching in pairs, I used Elmer’s Ultimate Glue to turn these into fluted pillars. This glue takes about 4 hours to cure, and you need to use in small quantities since it expands as it cures,  but its really great. Once it hard cured, its rock solid.

Glued solid and ready for glitter!

Two sizes side by side

So then, pull out your Martha glitter and go to town! I used Tacky Glue as the glitter adhesive after trying plain Elmer’s and having it run right off the metal surface. Using a foam brush, I spread the glue evenly, and worked from one side to the other of the holder with the glitter. Apply glue, pour on glitter evenly, tap off onto a clean sheet of paper, return glitter to resevoir, repeat.

I started with the dish on one side, then moved to the outside flutes, letting dry, and the flip for the final coat

My original intention was to have an ombre effect of glitter colors, but this would require mixing up 4-5 custom colors to create a smooth fade. Instead, I decided to take 3 colors from the Martha glitter pack and make 2 rich colors for the top and the bottom. I use Florentine Gold for the tops, Bronze for the bottoms, and mixed in the darker color Brownstone to create more depth. The Bronze was just a bit too coppery for me without it.

I made a total of four of these (two of each size) and used about an ounce of glitter in the process. After they dried, just popped in a white candle and observe the twinkle of light.

 

How was the craft show? December 14, 2010

Filed under: business — ravennagirls @ 12:07 am
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Well, what a whirlwind!

It was great, but I think I speak for both of us in saying we’re glad that the first one is under our belts. The reason we posted about our involvement so close to the date is because we didn’t find out until about 2 weeks beforehand that we’d been accepted! For most of early November we’d been holding off on any serious production because we knew that would leave us with too much inventory, so it became a bit of a scramble there near the end.

But, we were able to pull off quite a bit of inventory (almost too much, I’d say, our tables were overflowing), a very nice looking “booth”, and had fun in the process.

Each vendor was given an 8’x5′ floor space and one long table. Instead of sitting behind the table, we created an “L” shaped booth to welcome people into the space. We hunted around our house and collected crates, wood bins, and vintage clipboards to use in a cohesive wood-themed display. Add in some vintage table linens, and we were pretty much well set.

In addition to some of the goods we’ve been selling on etsy for quite awhile, namely painted vintage frame jewelry hangers, upcycled yarn wreaths, soy candles, and Christmas ornaments, we came up with some new creations. I’ve been experimenting with some nautical braid rope bracelets, accented with vintage fabric. We made some vintage mug pin cushions, which are great because they don’t roll around while you’re sewing fast and shoving pins back in them. D crafted some beautiful felt bow pins, and we had a plethora of felt and pom pom headbands.

Wreaths, bracelets, and jewelry hangers were the big sellers. Unfortunately we weren’t able to move many candles as we’d hoped. With postage costs going up, these have been hard to move over on etsy (I can’t blame folks for not wanting to pay more in shipping than for the item!), so we’re trying to move them at in-person sales venues. But, you never know they might go fast next time.

I think we’ve definitely worked out the kinks for next time, and we know a little bit better what kind of quantities to bring (which should prevent the late nights we suffered this time!) but hey, you live and learn! It was fun to be able to meet the other vendors on the  night before when we got to decorate the community center with twinkle lights and garland, and we got some good neighborhood exposure. We also found out that they went from 10 vendors last year to 20 this year, so probably the word of mouth will spread even more for next year. I don’t think we’ll turn into the type of folks who do this every weekend (we do have full time jobs after all), but we did well enough to be encouraged for next time.

On a related note, stay tuned over at Oh, Hello Friend for Dani’s Craft Show 101 guide soon to be released. She has adorable booths and does craft shows all the time in the LA area, so I can’t wait  see what advice she has to offer.

 

it’s time to start crafting… November 12, 2010

Filed under: christmas,crafty — ravennagirls @ 12:41 pm
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…for Christmas that is.  We fall into this start-too-late habit every single year.  The past two years I was saved a bit by circumstances beyond my control (reduced work hours in 09 and the epic snowstorm of 08 which left us home for days)…

This year we aim to be more prepared.  Supplies are purchased/we already had them…. some rough lists have been made…now we must just work work work to the Christmas music. 

Now – I know what you are thinking here….  show us your craft!

The thing is… I am pretty sure most of our friends and family read this blog.  {well maybe not my dad, unless it is about home improvement projects… but frankly, I would never give him a wreath or a set of napkins etc etc etc.   Although I might this year if he continues to not give me a proper list with more than one lame item on it. }   Ah I digress.

Handmade Christmas idea roundup from some bloggers that I follow via my google reader:

Twig & Thistle’s Pine Cone Garland

via twig and thistle

Really adorable Patchwork Stockings over at Inchmark Journal.

via inchmark journal

Oscar and Ruby’s Snowglobes

via oscar and ruby

Jones Design Company’s NONNA wreath

via jones design company

And last but certainly not least.. a Christmas favorite around here….Our very own Felt Evergreens:

via ravenna girls

After the holidays – let us know what YOU made this year, and we will do the same!

{really I am just beyond excited because B told me we could watch Eloise at Christmastime tonight.   I am bouncing up and down with excitement.}

 

a secret trip, filled with crafty goodies to share.. April 14, 2010

Filed under: adventures,diy — ravennagirls @ 10:10 pm
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A few weekends ago now {seriously where does the time go???}  I took a little trip to New Jersey.   (remember my trips in Christmas and during beach going season?)

An awesome, longtime friend is getting married soon and has so kindly asked me to be a bridesmaid!   The weekend was the necessary pre-wedding festivities all rolled into one jam-packed celebratory time.  While I look back and think gosh, that was exhausting, it was also just really great.  It’s been far too long.. holidays, work, and obligations just always seems to get in the way when we both migrate back to NJ during the year.  We often squeeze in lunch, but it always leaves me wanting  just a bit more time to really catch up… more then just the basics of life.  So, while I totally am excited for Angie to marry someone great like Chris, I am also excited that this gives us more time to see each other this year!  It makes me miss the days of high school lunch and getting ice cream late at night and high school football games and summer days down the shore.

So now where was I.  ..  Oh, yeah, I went to NJ and there was a secret bachelorette and a secret bridal shower.  Now, before Angie thinks that I am using this post to publish pictures of her bachelorette….. let me just tell you, I’m not!  {sheesh, i mean my MOM reads this blog, people!}  … A big sigh of relief just was felt on the east coast…

ha

{ps, do you ever laugh at your own jokes or is that just me?}

What I want to show you are some projects I worked on for the bride-to-be.  I secretly was crafting in the evenings and said gosh I cannot wait to blog about this!

First things first.. invitations.  I admit, I am pretty in love with making invitations these days.  All the inDesign I know and love, mixed with ample cutting and gluing.

Most of these invites came from an early idea amongst the bridesmaids to incorporate recipe cards into the shower.  We wanted the bride to have access to favorite dishes from family and friends… all handwritten out just for her.

That combined with my sketch of a dinner party and a trip to Paper Zone….

The recipe cards pull out from the inside flap.

Once at the shower, all the cards were placed in a recipe box made especially for  the bride – to – be by BullFrog Laserworks on etsy.

I am pretty in love with them.

And then, speaking of in love with and etsy shopping….

I had a pretty talented co-worker/friend/etsy shop owner/baby mama make this apron… (as modeled by the bride-to-be)

Oh, Amy Butler fabric, I love thee.  And the ruffles are pretty much my absolute favorite.  Thanks Jen!

And last, but certainly not least… I got my roving and needle.  Needlefelted birdies have become some of my favorite things to make lately.  These ones are bride and groom style. {kudos to b, the master veil sewer after i had a few failed attempts!} 

And critters that are guaranteed not to attack.

ha.  gosh, I am so funny lately!

Seriously, though, huge thanks goes out to the bride-to-be for including me in her very special-est of days!