Thursday, November 24, 2011

It's the Scariest Day of the Year

Okay, we all knew this day was coming and tomorrow it will be in full swing, heck by midnight some places will start the madness! People running, camping outside, screaming, trampling, fighting, shoving, losing children and for what.... a sale? If you haven't caught on because you are not awake yet, this is what can happen, and according to years past, does happen on Black Friday!

So today I am going to give you some Black Friday survival tips!


There are so many times where people know what they want, but then they see a deal that says, "Spend $75 and get a $15 gift card". Unless you intended to go into a certain store and spend that much or close to that much money, you aren't really saving anything. Don't be pulled into something just because it sounds like a good deal.


So many stores are offering sales on electronics, as they do every year. What you may not know is sometimes you will go to buy a tv, for example, for what you think is an great deal, but in the end, it may only be $10 cheaper than the on-line price which also offers free shipping. So in the end you risked getting trampled, the time you spend in line, and even sleep just to save $10. This is not worth it unless you are going out for other items at the same store that really are door buster deals.


Just because someone else near you is yelling, trying to pick a fight, or is driving aggressively doesn't mean you have to do the same. Keep calm and carry on. This is also great advice for your everyday life as well. Just saying... which leads me to my next tip...


Believe it or not, there are actually people that have kids in their cars. It could be people traveling back home from Thanksgiving dinner with family the night before, a family going out to a restaurant for lunch, or even a person that is taking their children out for the Black Friday sales to try on clothing. Whatever the reason, keep in mind driving aggressively isn't just dangerous for you, but it's also dangerous for those around you. This is another tip that is good to practice everyday as well.


There are so many awesome shops in your own backyard that are having awesome sales too! The great thing about these shops is that only the locals know about these sales and not the whole world so there will always be awesome items left for you to buy! In my neck of the woods there are shop all over Baltimore City and DC, but there are also great places like The Avenue in Hampden and Main Street in Ellicott City that have tons of amazing shops, cafes, places to eat, and usually have great deals at the beginning of every month too! If you haven't heard of first Fridays, you should! The first Friday of every month, shops in Ellicott City and on The Avenue have extended hours, drinks, food, and great deals! Buying local is a treat all year round, plus you know that buying local helps your community.


There are always great deals on-line, especially on Black Friday! You can find cheaper and even free shipping, even lower prices than on-line sites usually have to offer, and you can do this all from the convenience of your own home! You also are less likely to get trampled or get into a car accident!

Now that I have given you some awesome tips I am now going to keep with the theme of the last tip and tell you about my on-line specials!

Currently, you can save 30% off your entire purchase until 10pm tonight! The code for this is SANTACLAWS30. When this coupon goes away, the new one for Black Friday will become active!

This Black Friday Weekend at A Ghouls Best Friend, you can save 25% off your entire purchase with the code: BLACKFRIDAY2011. On top of this, every purchase comes with an awesome gift bag of goodies as well as a little card. The card will contain a discount code for one time use only that will expire December 31st, 2011. The code can be anywhere from 15 to 40% off your entire purchase! This Black Friday Weekend Special starts tonight at 10pm and ends Sunday, the 27th, at midnight.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Painted Doll

Well it's time for another featured shop blog! This time I am giving a shameless plug to gal I work with at my "normal job" that gives me health insurance. She does an array of crafty things and her and I chatted a bit about this side of her. She is the shop owner of Painted Doll: A Shop of Misfit Things.

1. What kind of items do you make?
Oh, god, everything. Clothes, jewelry, corsets, bags. I have the attention span of a three year old when it comes to making stuff.

2. How long have you been crafting?

Since I was a kid (I got lots of, possibly wary, compliments from my kindergarten teacher on how well I used scissors, haha.)

3. What is your favorite type of crafting and why?

I really prefer sewing, but I got into jewelry-making as a way to vent some creative energy when I didn't have the time to get into a big sewing project.

4. What is your most favorite item in your shop and why?

SOOT SPRITES. I sell a lot of these at conventions, and they are just so much fun to make.

5. Are you working on any new items now that you'd like to share?

I'm going to be releasing a limited clothing collection, heavily rooted in a mix of goth/lolita/steampunk fashion in the next couple of months.

6. Are there different types of crafting that you would like to try and why?

I'd love to learn metalwork and chainmaille.

7. What advice would you give to someone who would like to try sewing with a sewing machine for the first time?

Basically, go slowly until you're comfortable with your machine's speed and capabilities. It's terrifying at first-- I was always afraid I'd sew straight through my finger, but once I realized that the fabric will go the way I tell it to, it became less terrifying, and now I sew like I drive-- pedal to the floor, baby.

8. Since you are local, what is your favorite place to hang out in Baltimore?

I actually really enjoy the shark level of the Aquarium. I'm a little obsessed.

9. What is your favorite John Waters film?

I, uh, don't have one. I am a terrible person, I know.

Where do you get your inspiration from?

Primarily, the internet-- I spend a lot of time on imageboards and blogs, so I kind of absorb this great mash-up of stuff that would be really awesome to make or modify. Also, the entire steampunk culture is a fantastic source of inspiration.

How would you describe your process?

Well, I don't ever sketch anything, unless someone else needs a reference image in my costuming crew. I seriously go to the fabric store with some vague ideas and a theory about what fabric I want to use, and play around in there for HOURS. Then I come home, throw it all in a pile on the floor, and start cutting, pinning and draping until I have what I want. I make jewelry the same way-- I buy things because I think they're kind of awesome on their own, and when I get home, I bring out my entire bead stash and try to figure out what works well with the new thing.

Also, hot glue. Lots and lots of hot glue.