Is this thing on?

Remember when I was all like “I’m gonna update this blog all the time!” and then my life was like:

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Well, I don’t know that I’ll continue to update it, but I figured why not check in.

Since my last post, events in my life include but are not limited to:

* went back to being a full time press operator at Gotta Groove Records, which leaves me almost no free time because when I get home all I want to do is sleep or play video games
* started my own “record business” with my coworker Heather called Wax Mage Records
* Wax Mage got kind of big really really fast so now we are about to release three records, become an LLC, be featured in a Thrillist post, we had an art show, etc. and I’m kind of shitting my pants over it
* still dating the most handsome man in the universe, my boyfriend Josh, he finally broke down and said we can get a dog and get married next year ūüôā
*lots of other stuff but I can’t really think right now because I’m hungry and I drank four cups of coffee today

Anyway, I’m still here, maybe I’ll still use this and maybe I won’t. Thanks for listening anyway.

Sarah

(Barely) Organized Chaos

Hi all!

This week has been pretty hectic with the Cleveland Flea coming up. Not only do I have to help get as many products finished under the Sawhorse Woodworks brand, but I have to do the same for Barker Brand. In addition, I am going to be working much less at Sawhorse in order to return to my former full time position as a press operator at Gotta Groove Records so I’m trying to help Bob out as much as I can before he’s on his own again.

GAH.

This morning as I walked into¬†my “studio”, meaning the spare bedroom which has also recently become a dumping place for stuff we¬†don’t have a home for, I remembered that I had said I was going to post a picture of my work space. What better time to take a photo of it than when it hasn’t been cleaned up in a week, when it’s actually being used and I haven’t tried desperately to make it look like I am not a total unorganized slob, when it looks the most honest.

Hey, it is what it is.

Hey, it is what it is.

So here it is, in all its sloppy glory. I literally just work on top of piles of stuff that I was working on earlier. I’ve always done it that way and I don’t know why. I want to be neat, but I’m just not. Mitch is sitting on my 2 year old step daughter’s desk. I secretly daydream about her sitting there next to me as I teach her¬†how to sculpt or paint someday, but for now she’s perfectly content to plaster stickers all over it, “conor” in her “conoring” books, and draw pictures of daddy and I. I am perfectly content with that too.

What does your workspace look like? Come on, I know y’all aren’t neat freaks either!

xo
Sarah

Latest Jewelry / Shameless Self Promotion

Here in Cleveland my boss and I are preparing for the Cleveland Flea, which you can read more about on their Facebook page (here). Basically it’s a local flea market, but the people who sell are super unique. I am going to be selling some of my own items out of our shop’s booth, which I am equal parts excited and anxious about.

For several years I have been making and selling a variety of handmade items from jewelry to hand painted mugs to hand sewn plush toys. I’ve come full circle back to jewelry, but this time I’m working in the new woodworking skills I’ve learned.

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My latest entrepreneurial endeavor, Barker Brand. Check out http://www.etsy.com/shop/barkerbrand !

I¬†decided to revamp my Etsy store, this time using the moniker “Barker Brand”. I went this route to establish myself and my brand as more mature and focused on handmade quality, as well as keeping a good dose of my personal style mixed in. I’m hoping that when the flea rolls around nobody will be able to tell this is my first time selling at such a cool event, ha!

Shortly after I posted this photo to my social media sites, I was contacted by a friend who just started a studio/gallery/consignment type storefront in Cleveland where a place called Buck Buck gallery used to be. It’s called Canopy and he wants me to sell my jewelry there. I was pretty much freaking out. I have always daydreamed about having my things for sale in Cleveland, and now it’s happening!

To see more or to purchase some of my jewelry, make sure to check out my Etsy shop at http://www.etsy.com/shop/barkerbrand

xo
Sarah

DIY Postcards!

Receiving mail that isn’t junk or bills is one of my favorite things. It feels so good to get a letter from grandma, a postcard from my buddy Brittany, or to send a thank you note to someone who will really appreciate it. Postcards are particularly fun because of the art or silly photos you can find on them.

The only problem is, I don’t know where in the heck you get postcards other than a gift shop. I bought one on Etsy recently (it had pictures¬†of hands signing “suck it”) but it was a little expensive and honestly I feel silly buying a postcard on the internet. So the solution is, obviously…

MAKE SOME!

(Again, sorry about the bad cell phone photos. It’s overcast today and I don’t have a fancy camera.)

Here’s what you need:

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  • A cardboard box (such as a cereal box or other food box, think of something that will feel like a postcard and that you can get a postcard sized piece out of. Too thin or thick and the post office may not accept it. Being able to write on the blank side is important as well, so avoid boxes that have a recipe or coupon printed on the inside.)
  • Glue (again, I used paper Mod Podge)
  • A brush for glue application
  • An x-acto or utility knife and/or scissors
  • A magazine page or other image to put on your postcard
  • A surface to cut on
  • Pen or marker
  • A postcard to use as a template (or if you don’t have one to use, keep in mind that to qualify for the USPS flat rate price a postcard must be rectangular, at least 3-1/2 inches high x 5 inches long x 0.007 inch thick, and no more than 4-1/4 inches high x 6 inches long x 0.016 inches thick.)
  • Something heavy to lay on your postcards while they dry

Here’s what you do:

1. Cut your box so you have a piece to cut your postcard out of.20150320_094153

2. Place your postcard on top of your box pieces and cut them out, either trace it and cut with scissors or just cut right along the outside with your knife.
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Now you should have your pictures and postcard cutouts ready to go.
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3. Place your template over the part you want on your postcard, and cut it out.
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4. Cover your postcard (printed side, not the side you want to write on) with a layer of glue. Make sure you cover ALL of it to make sure you don’t get unstuck edges!
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5. Place your image on the glued side of the postcard, smooth out any wrinkles. It’s okay if your edges aren’t completely matched up, you can just trim the excess, like so:
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6. Add any extra glue to the edges if while trimming you discovered there wasn’t enough, then lay something heavy on them while they dry to ensure everything gets glued together well.
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7. After they are dry, you can write on them! Leave an area on the bottom clear for the post office barcode, otherwise they will just slap a barcode sticker right over your message.
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Enjoy your endless supply of FREE postcards!

Pinstriped Guitar

A little while ago an acquaintance of mine who has a guitar repair business came to me with a problem that he needed help with. He had a guitar with a split from the bridge to the outside of the body and wanted to cover it with pinstriping, an appropriate request seeing as pinstriping as it is known today was often used to hide scratches and other imperfections in a hot rod’s paint.

I have been messing around with pinstriping and lettering (as in sign painting) for a couple years, and I’ve found¬†I prefer lettering to pinstriping. I’m not great at either but lettering is just a little easier and more interesting to me.

I didn’t take any photos of the progress or my work area during this project, but I will be sure to do so the next time I paint something. If you’re interested in seeing other things I’ve pinstriped an lettered, check out my Flickr gallery here!

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I had to start over once, which isn’t uncommon for me, I was just having such a hard time with it at first and needed to walk away from it and come back with a clear mind. The second time around was cake. It just happens that way sometimes.

The only thing I wish I would have done was work that smaller dent on the left side into the design to cover it, but I didn’t realize it was there until I was pretty much halfway done.

My buddy is stoked on it, so I’m stoked on it. It turned out better than I expected!

Now that I’ve got this finished, it’s time to tackle something else on my “artsy fartsy” to do list. What shall it be? Hmm…

DIY Instax/Polaroid Album Tutorial

Two posts in one day? I can’t believe it!

As I mentioned in the past, I have an Instax Mini 8 camera, a Polaroid 600 camera, and an old Minolta 35mm camera. What I didn’t have (until I made it) was a photo album to keep the photos in. A photo album specifically for instant photos costs more money than I’d like to spend, so I made one using a book, some Mod Podge, and photo corners.

It’s super easy and fast, you probably have everything to make this in your house already, maybe not the photo corners but you most likely have some glue and an old book.

Here’s the rundown: You glue a few pages together, put the corners on your photo, slap that sucker in there and you’re done! But, for your enjoyment, I’ve illustrated the process with some severely subpar cell phone photos.

1. Get all your stuff together. I used paper specific Mod Podge to avoid wrinkled pages, but it may not make much of a difference if you choose to use regular Elmer’s glue, just close the book and put something heavy on it while it dries. I also used a crappy paint brush for the glue. Even though it is water based and washes off easily having a brush specifically for glue and other nasty stuff is nice. The photo corners were only a couple bucks at the craft store, and the book I got at a thrift store (Blood Meridian, I didn’t read it but it’s too late now, ha!) because I couldn’t stand to sacrifice any of mine. I have a real problem with letting go of books.

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2. Glue some pages together to create your more sturdy album pages.¬†I prefer to glue three pages together, I think it works nicely. Make sure you brush glue over the entire page, paying special attention to the edges and corners, but try not to get it on any pages you don’t want stuck together. You don’t even really have to let them dry before you start putting your photos in, unless you’d like to.

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20150313_131607(forgive my nails, a manicure is pretty pointless when you make furniture for a living)

3. Put the corners on your photo and place them on your new album pages. Easy as that!

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4. Enjoy your new photo album! The nice thing about these photo corners is you can rearrange the order of the photos as you see fit. Just pop the photo out and put a new one in its place!

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Now, go take some photos!

xo
Sarah

Procrastination, Productivity, and Creativity

I am a procrastinator. I’m doing it right now, even as I type this. Of course making a blog post is on my to do list, but it also serves as a means for me to further put off other tasks that should probably be more toward the top of that list.

Lately I’ve been struggling with conflicting feelings of wanting to be productive, but dreading the tasks on my list. I follow a lot of other artists and seemingly productive people on various forms of social media, and I think to myself “I would really like to¬†get more stuff done, if only I had their¬†discipline…”

And this is where the problem starts. For example, I recently pinstriped a guitar for a person who wanted me to cover up a split in the body. When I accepted the job, I was really excited that someone had come to ME of all people to paint his guitar. Then the dread sets¬†in. “Oh shit, this has to look good. I haven’t even pinstriped in half a year, come to think of it I actually kind of suck at pinstriping. What did I get myself into? Am I fooling myself or can I really do this? What if he hates it?” Not only do I have this type of thought process for paid jobs, but for personal projects as well. It’s a vicious cycle of self-beratement that creates a lot of stress for me and is almost crippling at times.

Then I read this article.

The author, David Cain, suggests that there are “neurotic” procrastinators, seeing “every mistake they make as a flaw in them“. Here he expands on that idea:

So what they are motivated to do is to avoid finishing anything, because to complete and submit work is to subject yourself (not just your work) to scrutiny. To move forward with any task is to subject yourself to risks that appear to the subconscious to be positively deadly because part of you is convinced that it is you that is at stake, not just your time, resources, patience, options or other secondary considerations. To the fear centre of your brain, by acting without guarantees of success (and there are none) you really are facing annihilation.

NAILED IT.

So, I guess my point is, now that I know it’s partly not just me being lazy, I need to work on not being so damned hard on myself so I can finally start getting stuff done. It’s something that my boyfriend has even urged me to work on. Maybe someone reading this has a similar problem and can recognize it¬†now as well.

xo
Sarah