Monday, March 30, 2009

Safety First!

This is the first on a series of tutorials/tips/common-sense suggestions that my husband, and me have decided to share with all you crafters out there. Take it from me, I have burnt, cut, poisoned, intoxicated and nearly killed myself not following the advice from more experienced users of all those processes and materials that we use in our daily craft!☺ I think I have learned my lesson, well, mostly…LOL!

Our business is really dangerous, I mean, where else can you impale yourself with needles, bond your skin, brand yourself with heatguns and irons, choke on fumes and break on hives thanks to that funny smelling glue, all on the course of a workday? In our studios, that is where.

I will start with chemistry, which I was not very good at in school but which has become a part of my daily experience. Is there anything in which chemistry is not involved? From relationships to pizza dough we must know the ingredients for success, at the very least the doses and precautions…

In our urge to get our creative juices flowing and our creations out into the “market” we sometimes pay very little attention to the minimal safety precautions that will make our experience more enjoyable in the long term.

Take ventilation for example. Is your studio constrained to the basement, to the little shed in the back or even worst, the kitchen? Are you working with sprays and adhesives, patina solutions and flammable materials as the beans cook in the background? Tsk, tsk.

Many of the adhesives, coatings and sprays can self-ignite in the presence or closeness to open flames. Unless you are looking for a radical perm or that lashes-less new look you better take some precautions. That is of course where instant payback is concerned. But what about delayed effects such as lung cancer due to plastic, paint and dye dust? Getting serious uh?

Are you pregnant or expect to be? Remember then that many toxic chemicals (of which we are surrounded, including the apparently benign ones like out plastic water bottles) produce not only various types of cancer, but also birth defects, chronic respiratory problems, nervous system dysfunctions and the like. Hmmm, not funny.

So, if you find that you have constant headaches, are more prone to allergies, feel fatigued or depressed etc. it might be a good time, not to stop doing what you love best, but rather seriously examine HOW you are doing it so that you can enjoy it fully for the rest of your life without endangering you or others around you. This is also an excellent opportunity to teach your kids how to work safely with tools and materials with which they are and will be certainly surrounded since they are part of our creative environment.

In the next installment we will talk about specific substances, solvents and the like that we frequently use without giving them a second-thought. As with relationships and the kitchen analogy, why did we not read the tiny labels that came with the nice package to learn what we were getting into before we mixed the ingredients in our broth or our life?

To be continued…

Friday, March 20, 2009

Neck Warmer, Scarves.

I don't know why I stopped knitting for a long time. I learned how to knit when I was a child and I remember that moment clearly. When I first tried knitting I was 8 years old and my first experience was a disaster. I couldn't understand how to do it.

The teacher that I got at school had lots of patience with me but I was really a mess. After trying and trying without results she decided that I had to embroider something. I was so happy with her decision that right after school I went with my Mom to buy the special materials for embroidering.

I drew a rabbit on the linen and it was red and had a carrot. You have no idea how proud of me I was after I finished my work that day. A year passed away and I tried knitting something again and this time I did it!. Great for me I said! After that I didn't stop knitting. When I was a teenager I made lots of legwarmers and scarfs because I dance a lot and it was really cold where I lived (near Antarctica!).

Many years later, when my daughter was 3 years old I made sweaters for her. The people were amazed including my mom :-))

This year I wanted to incorporate some of my knitting work in my Etsy Store.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

My Friends!

Let me show you some products made by one of my online friends. Her name is Marilo, she is from Venezuela but she is now living in Florida :-) I met her trough Etsy and we became good friends...

She loves to help people and she also loves to create by recycling things. She is a green girl :-))

Her store name is BululuStudio and right now she is having a moving sale till March 26th. Hurry up to see the wonderful things she sells..

Monday, March 16, 2009

My Birthday!

I was born in March 16th in a little town called Viña Del Mar, Chile. My family was not from this city, they were from Punta Arenas, on the southermost part of the world, right by the Antartic.

My mother took the decision to have her last baby (me) in Viña del Mar, a resort town in the center part of Chile. I don't know how she could do this, she had a huge belly and had to travel a very long distance, about 2000 kilometers to the North.

She first went to Santiago, the capital, with my father and then on to Viña del Mar. Since they were not familiar with that city some relatives recommended a private clinic called Miraflores, which is where I was born at 3 o'clock in the morning.

My mother did not have a name for me since she was unsure whether the crazy kicking creature inside was a boy or a girl. When I finally arrived she still did not know my name, so she looked around, saw a couple of stores, borrowed their name and, voila, I became Lorena Paola. However, I have almost never used that name, since my family always called me Lolo.

I feel I am very fortunate for the good taste of the store owners!, imagine what it could have been...

So today I celebrated my .. birthday, and my lovely 10 year old daughter Antonia made this cake for me that I want to share with you

Happy Birthday Me!