Monday, October 21, 2013

it's getting real up in here

Oh the joys of self promotion! I love this new button I got! I actually bought 3, just in case I feel like making family members wear one! I put one on my purse last week, and I get at least 2-3 people mention it every time I go out (awesome)

And then BOOM! I hit 'em with a mini business card! 

Believe me, I'm excited to promote something that I'm passionate about, but I feel like I'm constantly yelling "SELFIE!" 

To get your own buttons visit Jen at Malibu Quilts on etsy
To make your own mini cards with your own photos, check out



Sunday, August 25, 2013

Baby dance party

This August marks the one year anniversary of me getting to see a baby being born first hand! That baby is my adorable godson, sprung from the loins of my BFF! So for his 1st ever birthday, his folks decided to throw him an Elmo themed party! The theme was perfect because the kid is obsessed with Elmo. So, as usual, I contributed with a little craftiness, and tried my hand at fabric bunting!! It was probably one of the easiest things I've ever sewn! We used the larger bunting around the party space, and put the small bunting around the front of the high chair!

 So here's how to do it:

What you need:
- fabric ( you can use scraps, I used 4 patterns, 1/4 yard each)
- bias tape - double extra wide folded - in a coordinating color, you can buy a pack at the craft store or you can make your own!
- pinking sheers

How to:
First I used a scrap of thick paper (junk mail) and created a pennant template. The easiest way to do this is to cut out a rectangle that matches the width and height of your intended pennants. Fold the rectangle in half - longways, and draw a straight line from the top outside corner to the bottom corner on the fold. Next, cut along the line, unfold your paper and voila!
Next I used a pencil, and copied my new stencil onto the back of my fabrics. I used scissors to cut along the top edge and used pinking sheers for the sides. Benefit of pinking sheers - you don't have to hem any edges! 
Finally I placed the pennants inside the fold of the bias tape and pinned them in place, leaving space at the ends. You can make them as close to each other as you want, mine were right next to each other with corners touching. Once your triangles are in place just stitch down the edge of the bias tape! Boom! Bunting!!!

Holla at my challah!

I've recently noticed that ever since I had my little girl, I've become a little more domestic every day. Last week I almost exploded from the amount of maternal pride I had after trying my hand at bread making. I've never made bread before, but I've always been a big fan! So for my first attempt I decided to make challah. If you have never had it, you're missing out! It's an excellent dense, eggy, bread that tastes like a dinner roll and a soft pretzel had a baby. I used the recipe from this website. There are a lot of challah recipes out there, but I figured a Jewish website would be the best source of a Jewish recipe! The entire process took nearly 5 hours, but in the end I had 4 beautiful loaves of deliciousness! Here's the outcome, next time I'll take more pictures! 


Monday, May 6, 2013

The Results!

So the semester has come to an end, and so has my little experiment with presenting anthropology with Etsy. For my project, I solicited my fellow grad students to write up a little bio about themselves. I asked them to tell me about their background in anthropology, their research topic, and their personal interests. I had five students respond, but only four responded in time for me to include them. I used the bios to create blog posts for each student on my blog. I kept the bios pretty much as is and added photos the students sent me as eye candy. I then created four jewelry pieces, using shrinkable plastic, inspired by their comments. These items were then placed for sale on my Etsy site for $10 each. I decided to pick a set price of $10 for these items, with the intent that if an item sold the student/muse would receive $5 – this was mainly to encourage them to market themselves in order to make money or gain awareness. Each jewelry listing included a quick blurb about the project and a link to the student’s blog post. Once all of the items were put up for sale, I created an Etsy treasury featuring all four pieces and 12 other listings from Etsy. Etsy treasuries consist of a grouping of 16 items for sale, which typically share a theme or color palette. If treasuries gain enough interest, they are posted on the Etsy home page. Once the blog posts, listings, and treasuries were completed for a single grad student, I tweeted and facebooked links to the blog and treasuries. For one of the bios submitted, I created the four jewelry pieces but did not include a blog post or marketing. I wanted to use these four items as a control sample.

Here are links to blog posts, treasuries, and individual items:

Amanda Lawson: blogtreasury1234 - 5

Becca Booker: blogtreasury1234

Lauren Walls: blogtreasury123 - 4 

Jayne Godfrey (Control): 1234

So how did I do? let me amaze you with my numbers!

My blog is pretty small – I don’t have a following – in fact the 3 followers i do have are family. I’ve never really tried to reach a wider audience, it’s mainly here to provide a distraction from things I should be doing. With that being said, I typically get 20-30 views per post, but with this project my views increased.

Blog entry Number of views
Intro to project 92
Meet Amanda 91
Meet Lauren 12
Meet Becca 9

Here are the listing views on Etsy

Amanda’s listings number of views
Henry Rollins


rural and proud

Zombie Bourdieu 10
Digital Pride 10
Bill Dressler 8
Treasury 135


Lauren’s Listings Number of views
Disc Golf 26
Cat 12
Palmetto 10
Seed Heart 8
Treasury 34





Becca’s Listings Number of views
Rugby 19


Diver 10
diver flag 6
treasury 24
Jayne’s Listings (Control) Number of views


Farmstead 9
cannon 9
beer 9






  So, what did I learn from all of this?

Well it was pretty disheartening actually. I did make one sale – Becca’s Rugby pendant – and that is awesome, but I was hoping for more page and listing views. I did receive some nice comments on the treasuries though. Like “great idea,” “lovely treasury idea,: and “nice tribute to your friend.” Which is sweet – but doesn’t really express if they learned anything about anthropology, or even gained an interest in it. So, bummer. I did learn that I need to beef up my marketing tools though, especially through Facebook and twitter – and even Etsy. I’ll be putting these new revelations to boost a new venture – which I’ll share later – but alas, anthropology probably wasn’t presented that well. The jewelry is cool though – and sparked a lot of interest at a recent cultural anthropology day – but online, not so much.

Monday, April 8, 2013

Biological Anthropologist Felt Board

In my presenting anthropology class we were asked to create something that could be presented to children. Being the craftster that I am, I had a lot of ideas for this challenge, but finally settled on the felt board. Felt boards were a personal favorite of mine when I was younger! As the theme, I picked three famous biological anthropologists with very different jobs. Below I have included instructions, free templates, “official” bios of the anthropologists and pictures of the completed boards!
*The suggested age range for felt boards is preschool and ealry elementary. Felt boards contain small pieces - don't eat the felt or the felt board, don't let kids eat them. If you think a kid might eat them, don't let them play with the felt board alone. If they decide to eat them, just make sure they chew. I don't think felt can kill you, but call poison control just in case.

To create the felt backboard, I used a corkboard and glued a piece of black felt to the front. The black felt I used as backing came from JoAnn fabrics and is a heavier/starched piece of felt.
The felt pieces can be created using a couple of techniques, I used the simplest one – make everything out of felt. Felt sticks to felt, so it does not need to be backed with anything. However, felt on it’s own is a little flimsy and easier to tear/damage, especially for the small detailed pieces. The second method uses cardstock or construction paper. Create the pieces using paper, laminate the pieces (self stick laminate works well) and then glue sandpaper or Velcro to the back of the pieces. This method will ensure a longer lasting board - but it isn’t felt.
These bios are taken from the official pages of the anthropologists.
William Bass – forensic anthropology:
Forensic anthropologists examine skeletal remains in order to determine identity. Using measuring techniques and careful examination, forensic anthropologists try to determine the person’s sex, age, ethnicity, height, cause of death, and any other information they can gather from the skeleton.
“William Bass is recognized around the world as an expert in forensic anthropology and osteology. He founded the Forensic Anthropology Research Center, known popularly as the Body Farm. Bass was the first researcher to study the length of time since death and cremation weights. He served as the Tennessee State Forensic Anthropologist and is active in consultations with other law enforcement agencies such as the FBI. Bass also has written or co-written several books of fiction and non-fiction.”
Mary Leakey – Paleoanthropologist:
Paleoanthropologists study fossils to better understand human origins and human predecessors.

“Mary Douglas Leakey (b. 1913, d. 1996) was one of the world’s most renowned hunters of early human fossils, credited with many discoveries that have changed the way scientists conceive human evolution. Together with her husband, Louis Leakey, she is considered to be a preeminent contributor to the field of human origins.
Born Mary Douglas Nicol, on February 6, 1913, she spent her early childhood traveling throughout Europe. During her travels she was exposed to prehistoric sites, such as the caves at Pech Merl in Dordogne, which influenced her to plan a career in geology and archeology; not a typical path for a woman at the time. She also showed artistic ability, and worked as an illustrator at the Hembury Dig in Devon, England at the age of seventeen. For two years she worked at the dig illustrating the archaeological progress. She had a special interest in the Stone Age, and she did expert illustrations of Stone Age tools and other artifacts. In 1937 she married Louis Leakey, whom she met through his request to illustrate a text of his. In 1948 Mary found her first truly important fossil of her long career as an archeologist, Proconsul africanus. The fossil consisted of half the skull, the upper and lower jaws, and all the teeth.” (The dalmation is included because the Leakeys had two dalmations that accompanied them on their digs)
Jane Goodall – Primatologist:

Primatologists study nonhuman primates. They observe behavior, social interaction and health.
Jane Goodall In July 1960, at the age of 26, Jane Goodall traveled from England to what is today Tanzania and bravely entered the little-known world of wild chimpanzees. She was equipped with nothing more than a notebook and a pair of binoculars. But with her unyielding patience and characteristic optimism, she won the trust of these initially shy creatures. She managed to open a window into their sometimes strange and often familiar-seeming lives. The public was fascinated and remains so to this day.
Today, Jane’s work revolves around inspiring action on behalf of endangered species, particularly chimpanzees, and encouraging people to do their part to make the world a better place for people, animals, and the environment we all share. The Jane Goodall Institute works to protect the famous chimpanzees of Gombe National Park in Tanzania, but recognizes this can’t be accomplished without a comprehensive approach that addresses the needs of local people who are critical to chimpanzee survival. Our community-centered conservation programs in Africa include sustainable development projects that engage local people as true partners. These programs began around Gombe in 1994, but have since been replicated in other parts of the continent. Likewise, Jane Goodall’s Roots & Shoots, which Jane started with a group of Tanzania students in 1991, is today the Institute’s global environmental and humanitarian youth program for young people from preschool through university with nearly 150,000 members in more than 120 countries.”      

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Meet Becca Booker

My name is Becca Booker, and I am originally from East Tennessee. I received my anthropology undergraduate degree from Middle Tennessee State University. Currently I am at the University of West Florida working on my masters degree. I am working at UWF as a GTA and at the Gulf Adventure Center as a zip-line guide. My career goal is to become a maritime archaeologist. 

 Research: I am currently working on a sunken floating bunkhouse in the Escambia River. This vessel was a part of the cypress lumber industry along the river. We have used the handheld underwater magnetometer and and the side-scan-sonar on the site. We start excavation this summer.

 Anthropology: I truly love the holistic nature of the discipline. It provides opportunities to look at the same research topic in an unlimited number of ways and it has become a part of my everyday life and the way that I view the world.

Inspirations: I have no clue. I have driven to work hard in my classes because I am competitive with the other grad students. I absolutely love to work outside, IE Archaeology, SCUBA, Zip line guide, Rugby player, and I am generally interested in my fiancé ;)

Check out the jewelry items I created inspired by Becca! bt bt2

Monday, April 1, 2013

Meet Lauren Walls

Lauren Walls is currently working her way through the Graduate program in Anthropology at the University of West Florida. She came to Pensacola after 3 years of shovel bumming across the U.S. with her Bachelor’s degree from College of Charleston and her cat, Jinx, in tow. During her days as a Field Tech., Lauren worked on projects ranging from routine reconnaissance survey to large-scale, research oriented, data-recovery projects. It was during a particularly long and grueling survey that Lauren decided she no longer wanted to be a bum. Within no time, she had set her site on a Master’s degree and began applying to schools across the Southeast. You know how the rest of the story goes…
Lauren is currently undertaking a multi-scalar subsistence study of Florida’s prehistoric Woodland Indians. Her thesis research was integrated into the research design of the 2012 Campus Field School; excavation of the Thompson’s Landing shell middens was done in such a way that all of her research questions could be addressed using the data recovered. Little is known about the specific plant and animal species utilized by the pre-agricultural fisher-people of N

orthwest Florida 2000 years ago, aside from the macroscopic faunal remains of the shellfish
that make up 90% of the midden deposits that can be found in estuaries across the Florida panhandle. Lauren is attempting to identify microscopic plant and animal remains recovered from the midden deposits that may help show a more complete picture of the foodways of these people. Most days you can find her behind the microscope sorting seeds from duff; just don’t be surprised if she can’t see you when you enter the room… it can take a while for her eyes to readjust.

Lauren chose Anthropology because she has always been curious about the human condition. Since childhood she has asked constantly asked WHY things are the way they are? The ‘mysteries’ of human behavior, cognition, culture, language, and evolution have all been addressed by anthropological thinkers, so naturally, this is where she found her niche. Lauren’s love affair with anthropology began in 2003 in her Introduction to Anthropology course at the College of Charleston, and her quest to learn has not stopped yet. Her specific interest in Archaeology comes from her passion for, and curiosity about, man’s prehistoric past as well as her love for the natural world.
Lauren’s academic pursuits are inspired by her parents, who both earned post-graduate degrees in their respective fields of medicine and physical therapy. Her desire to achieve success in her field drives her to go above and beyond what is expected in the classroom and in the field. Her favorite outdoor activities include running, kayaking, hiking, fishing, gardening, and playing disc golf. When she is not in the lab, you can usually find her outside with a field guide to trees or birds in her hand and a confused look on her face.
Check out the awesome items I made, inspired by Lauren’s thesis and interests!