Cast your vote for The Twisted Cow!!!

The Crafty Chic herself, Martha Stewart, is looking for the next American Maker!!  Here is the formal description of the American Made contest: American Made contest spotlights the maker, supports the local and celebrates the handmade. The journey culminates in a signature event this October in New York City. Join us and uncover the next generation of great American Makers.

So, they did this last year and it was filled with some really amazing designers and crafters; I put my name in the hat last year and did not make the cut…the competition was fierce and fabulous! I am trying again and hopefully this year, I can make it to the seminar to just be inspired to do better and be better.  Ideally, I would like for Martha to give me that $10k check while I am there hanging out having coffee and cookies with her 🙂

The voting has started and I am asking that you take a few minutes to cast your DAILY six (6) votes for The Twisted Cow. Voting is open from August 26, 2013 – September 13, 2013.  You can vote SIX (6) times per day; just keep hitting the vote button until it tells you to come back tomorrow.   You may have to sign up for a Martha Stewart account, but they really do have some cool stuff (I happen to be a long time subscriber). Most importantly…You can vote six times per day for your favorite makers. Each vote enters you into a weekly drawing to win a book signed by Martha Stewart, American Express gift cards, or other great prizes. So, you could win something too!! 

Below is a picture to help you with voting (wink – wink – nudge – nudge) AND  you can click on the picture to take you right to my profile. I am all about convenience!! 

The Twisted Cow - 2013 American Made. The Voting button.

The Twisted Cow – 2013 American Made. The Voting button.

Please spread the word to your friends and family to cast their vote for me.  So, please take a few minutes to vote for The Twisted Cow: http://www.marthastewart.com/americanmade/nominee/82294

thank you so much!!

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Project: Home Office

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I decided recently that I would separate my home office from my studio.  Initially, I was going to set up a nice little office nook down in my home studio, but for some reason the paperwork is not jiving with my creativity.  The office is now going to be in one of my spare bedrooms (the one that butts up against my master bedroom) so that there is some separation between my right brain and left brain activities.  So since this is a girl only zone…I decided that my office was going…FULL MUTHA-PHOO-KING GLITZ Y’ALL!!! Obviously I have been watching too much Toddlers & Tiaras (the show is just plain stupid and the puppy as a prize is just too much!!).

The room is approximately 9-1/2 feet wide by 15 feet long, so space is precious and will have to be utilized to the max to give me the look that I really want.  The colors scheme is pink, white, black, and silver or if you love Behr paint like I do: Ceiling Color: Ultra Pure White 1050, Accent Wall: Tutti Fruiti S-G-100, Other Walls (3): Be Mine 100A-2, Desk & Accessories: Jet Black ECC-10-2, Flint Smoke 730F-4, and basic white.  It is almost a Parisian sorta theme/color/idea, but not really.  All in all, this room is going to be so damn girly that when they open the dictionary to define girly…a picture of me and my office will be the example.Office Sample Swatch

I am starting with my desk.  I got this thing on Craigslist (see this proves that there is more than just sex going on with that website!).

Beginning: This is a Drexel antique desk that had some major finish damage.  It is solid as hell and heavier than a mo-fo; in other words, a fabulous find.

Drexel desk before/during the sanding.

a bit of wood filler to repair some odd damage

Filling in the holes from the pulls. Decided to replace them with wider ones and more blingy ones!

My new bling pulls :)

My new bling pulls 🙂

Middle: I decided to prime the desk after it was sanded so that I could get a good stick of my black paint with a lacquer finish.  I wanted it shiny!!

My Drexel with white primer. I was almost tempted to leave it that color…

Still not quite done, but it is getting there

the drawers with their black lacquer fronts and hot pink innards. Still a work in progress because these beauties are still waiting for their bling!!

After: COMING SOON

The home office as a whole has a lot of work that needs to be done.  I will keep you posted and hopefully you will get to see my crazy come to life within the next 3 – 5 weeks.

Off to paint!!!

**this will be posted on my Home Sweet Home section when it is done.

Public Service Annoucement: Sparkleosis

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Just in case you are wondering...$228,000 "Crystal Bateau, by the fabulous Catchpole & Rye.

Just in case you are wondering…$228,000 “Crystal Bateau, by the fabulous Catchpole & Rye.

I have been thinking long and hard about this, but I have a terrible affliction.  I am sharing this because you may have the same affliction and we all need to recognize the symptoms and combat this as a team.  What is the issue: Sparkleosis **grabs a tissue and wipes tears**.  Allow me to share what I have learned so that we can find ways to make it worse!!!

What is Sparkleosis?  An infectious disease, esp. in women, men, children, dogs, and cats, causing you to stop, stare, and drool over something that has some serious sparkle.  Sparkle can be referred to as glitter, ice (or iced out), bling-bling (or just bling), shine, sparkle, glitz, radiant, jeweled, diamond, crystallized, etc…

What causes sparkleosis and how is it spread?  Sparkleosis can be caused by catching a glimpse of something shiny out the corner of your eye or having full on eye contact with some serious sparkle.  It can spread quickly by a touch on the shoulder and pointing with your mouth open, a happy squeal from someone standing next to you, or by staring directly at an array of mini-prisms that are reflected due to light hitting facets on a cut piece of shiny.  Pieces of shiny can include, diamonds, Swarovski or preciosa precisions cut crystals, glitter, silver, gold, or any gorgeousness that causes a reflection.

The first symptoms of sparkleosis is enlarged eyes, laughter, staring, drooling, but most often a powerful distraction that causes you to forget what you were thinking, doing, saying, or going.  Humans and pets alike may feel fabulously beautiful when adorned in sparkle; this feeling is caused by the extra attention from others around you as you strut your stuff.  Sparkleosis appears immediately after coming in contact with any sparkly objects (contact includes but limited to touching, wearing, showing it to your friends for their approval, and / or putting it on your pet’s neck and waiting for oooos and ahhhhhs.  This. Is. Serious. People.

Are there any known cure(s)? Who the hell cares?!

Remember, friends let friends bling out.

This has been a Public Service Announcement from The Twisted Cow.

Thank you.

*Catchpole & Rye created the Crystal Bateau in December 2011 and it can be purchased at Harrod’s of London – just in case you wanted to pick one up.

Change is good when done right…

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blogpostchange

Change is good when done right and for the right reasons.  The Twisted Cow has begun the change in who and what we are and how it is presented to you; hold this sistah’s hand as I talk you through my crazy and why I am doing what I am doing.

I was working on my home studio and as I painted, nailed, pulled, glued, and assembled the various bits and pieces I had this overwhelming feeling that it was time for a change…a major change.  Let’s be honest folks, you can buy a collar anywhere and if you look hard enough the same designs are being offered with other collar makers.  What sets each of us apart is how we assemble and market our products.  So, I’ve had this idea in my head for a very long time about my collar designs and where I want to take my company.  Project Runway has really inspired me to put my point of view in my collars so that they are carefully DESIGNED vice simply assembling them.  I really have two collections of collars; 1) Foundation Stock and 2) Urban Symphony.  My Foundation Stock (or our standard line of designs) will still be fabulously simple, colorful, and fun, but Urban Symphony with all of its embellished and highly designed goodness will be designed to blow your socks off!  I cannot really say right now what I am going to do, but I will tell you that it is going to be a damn hoot and a half!

The website has changed a bit (and it will again just like my hair!), but the product offerings are still in discussion mode.  I am looking at trends in purchasing and how my gorgeous clients operate and some of their needs.  There are several questions being asked and really need to be answered from the client point of view so that we not only give you something awesome, but it is something that you need and will use.

If you look at the main menu at The Twisted Cow, the Accessories link is new and will house the little items to dress up your collar, the Safety First is an absolute necessity because of the offering of ID tags and tag collars that assist with getting our lost fur babies home, and Here Kitty Kitty is for the cats in our lives.  Here Kitty Kitty was almost on its way out, but my cat people spoke up and I listened.  I also realized that the cat section needed its own version of Urban Symphony…its a surprise :).  The Creature Comforts line is a bit of me returning to my roots of making pet beds and/or related items.  I won’t necessarily be offering dog/cat beds, but there will be some stuff that is designed to make nap time purely awesome!  Phone Candy and Camera Straps; I love the idea of the custom people accessories (I am such a girl) but the key is doing them right and really able to give people something fun and highly functional. I am not sure what is going to happen with those two categories at this time, but for the time being they will remain (maybe) on the menu.

I am an analytic person by nature or as some would say…nosy as hell.  I am sure that I am the reason why parents hate the question ‘why?’; I actually drive myself nutters because of that same curiosity.  Anywho, I have been doing some extensive research into the construction and components of my collars and leashes, but concentrating on the right metals and finishes.  I think I have found what I am looking for.  I really wanted a collar that was really nice to look at, light weight/comfy, strong, safe, something that would be worn for years (getting value is very important), and could be sold at a great price.  Sadly, all those things cannot always be realized in ANY product.  The new hardware will be sleek.  It will be lighter in weight while not compromising the strength needed to keep our loved ones safe, BUT it will come at a higher price.  I am all about sacrificing for fashion, but sometimes I have to really really really weigh it all out.  I hate to raise my prices, but this new hardware for my line of collars and leashes is a match made in heaven and the price increase will be necessary.  You are probably asking yourself, “when is the price increase going to take place?”.  The price increase will happen slowly over the course of time as I phase the current hardware out and the new hardware in.

With the new hardware comes other changes that include reducing the widths that are available to you for customization.  The hardware is offered in limited sizes, so I have the option of using two different suppliers or simply reducing my collar width offerings (BIG DECISION TIME!!).  I love variety, but trends are showing me what is hot and what is not.  There is a school of thought that some things should be offered even though they are not popular with the market; I am considering that school of thought, but I have to be realistic about what flies off the shelves versus what gathers dust.  Hopefully by this summer the decisions will be made on what to keep and get rid of…gotta love a good cost / benefit analysis.

So much of what I do is attitude based because no matter what you do, you really should have your whole heart in it.  I have found my own voice when it comes to design and its based on my attitude, my personal history, and culture.  I used to sit down and feel empty because I was just staying within the confines of what the rest of the industry was doing. Worst. Idea. Ever.  It was actually harder to suppress my point of view than express it; so, when I decided to take my own path I became overwhelming inspired.  What my company needed was the real ME.  I had to take ownership of my company, my designs, and my well being.  I owed it to my clients and I really owed it to myself.

What does my attitude adjustment mean for all of us…bigger, bolder, crazier, and more damn fun.

I promise to be the best me that I can be and I will do everything in my power to give you the best that can be offered without sacrificing safety or functionality. Let’s all be crazy together…no one ever said that a bowl mixed nuts was a bad thing!

Kisses y’all!!!

Linda Jean

DIY Overload…Jesus take the wheel!!!

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I am so in love with the handmade movement, but I am drawing a line in the sand people!!!  Why the ‘line’ you ask?  I have been looking at various blogs, DIY sites, and digging around on Pintrest to refresh my inspiration.  I am always looking for interesting color combinations or unique mediums being blended, but when you see something that clearly cray-cray someone needs to draw a line of ‘oh hells naw!”  Why spend 5 hours of dot painting a glass jar to save $20 to make it look like a Morrocan lantern…GO BUY THE DAMN LANTERN!!! Spend one (1) hour shopping and the other four (4) napping, drinking, or eating!

Rant Over.  LOL!!!

The first project at Casa a la Twisted Cow

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So, I have a few projects to do around the house and I want to share them with you and hopefully I can help, inspire, or get advice from my family and friends.  In the meantime, you can check out the house from my Pinterest so you can get a feel for what I am dealing with.

Here is the house with furniture from the listing and from my several visits with my realtor Edward Felton: http://pinterest.com/thetwistedcow/osborne/

I am spending some time in my new space to get a few things set up before my official move. Today was filled with folks coming and going for various reasons..mainly to get the minor things fixed and to get the place clean enough for me to move in. I could have done the cleaning myself, but really…my time is better spent doing other things and besides I am helping out the economy by keeping someone employed!

So, the first official project for my house is my Woman Cave / Sewing Studio. The plan is to pull up the current flooring (a combination of carpet and laminate flooring). The current set up of the floor from the previous owners is not bad, but it does not work for what I want.

I just love the brick wall – what character!!  So, the brick wall is staying and I am thinking about painting the walls a snow white / bright white.  The reasoning behind it is so that my fabrics and ribbons will pop and I can find what I am looking for rather quickly.

I have been gathering up color schemes from this fabulous site called Design Seeds – love this site!! Here are my ideas for color schemes: http://pinterest.com/thetwistedcow/woman-cave/

THE MASTER PLAN – DUM DUM DDDDDUUUUMMMMMM

1. Remove the current flooring.  At first I was so darn ‘gung ho’ and then after pulling about 8 feet of the carpet up, that sh*t is heavy!! So, decided once again to help keep the economy moving…hired a contractor to remove the stuff.  The steps are carpeted too, so…
This is the left side of the basement flooring.  I started to pull it up and then realized it was too much work...hired someone to remove it!

 
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2. Clean, patch up, and etch the cement floor…I think it is in that order. Thank God this is a finished basement with no moisture problems.  Etching is basically, roughing up the surface of the concrete so that the paint will stick.
3. Paint the floor. The main issue with this is…I have no idea what color I want to work with.
4. Stencil the floor. Still looking for the right stencil.
5. Seal the floor to withstand me and my dog Chet. Should probably put several coats of sealant on the floor…we are both terrible 🙂
6. Install shelving (found these raw/no finish wood shelves at Ikea!) http://www.ikea.com/us/en/catalog/products/S79894563/

 

IVAR 3 sections/shelves IKEA Untreated solid pine is a durable natural material that can be painted, oiled or stained according to preference.

7. Paint the shelves. White seems to be my color.  It keeps the basement light and airy.
8. Fill the room with my crap. Nuff said!

I know that I need to make some curtains and figure out how to install / design a dowel system for my ribbons and trims that are still on spools for easy spotting.  Additionally, a chalk board and cork wall is in order to keep track of orders and requests.

This should be fun and a lot of work, but there will be picture and some angry notes when things do not go my way.

Finally, my light at the end of the tunnel

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buildings,business,buying a house,couples,deals,for sale,handshakes,homes,houses,men,occupations,people,real estate,real estate agents,realtors,sales,selling a house,shaking hands,sold,transactions,women

Tomorrow (Thursday 12/20/2012) is my day to sign on the dotted line to purchase our new home in Maryland.  I have been waiting and waiting and waiting again for this day.  I feel loved and I feel blessed to able to have accomplished as much as I have in the past 5 years.

To my friends, family, and clients (old, new, and future) I say THANK YOU from my bottom of my heart and with all of my soul.  I appreciate each and every one of you for your love and kindness over the years. 

If you notice there is a new link on my blog page for my house called Home Sweet Home.  I think that I am going to chronicle the DIY stuff that I do at the house and the non-DIY stuff that I do.  It is mainly to show proof that I am House DIY-crafty too.  LOL!!!

Wish me luck for a smooth closing and a happy home…it could be a lifetime or one day if the Mayans were right.  BBBAAWWAAAAHHHHAAAHHHHAAA!!!

My last sale of the year

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The Twisted Cow Logo

The Twisted Cow Logo

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First, thanks to everyone for a fabulous 2012. I have learned so much from each of you and I am truly truly blessed to be in the place that I am in right now. From the bottom of my heart and soul…thank you.

The Twisted Cow is having an end of year sale that I would love for you to take advantage of. From now until December 14, 2012 use the code HAPPYHOLIDAYS at check out and get 20% off your total purchase.

thanks again and go damn shopping at The Twisted Cow!!!!