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Monday, December 31, 2012

Happy New Year!

We all had a great Christmas and hope you did too.  I got really sick a few days ago, but thankfully, I am on the road to recovery.  There is no better therapy when you are recovering that a little creativity.....right?  Well, that's my story and I'm sticking with it!  So I decided to start a few things that I can use in my Etsy store or in my spring shows.  I found this cool pattern for teddy bears from McCall's crafts (M5605).  I must have bought this a long time ago and just never used it.  I had some upholstery remnants so I cut out a couple of bears.  This pattern is so easy!  There are only two pattern pieces!  And they turned out so cute!!!

I added a bow, a stained tag that says 'I love you' and some bear-y cute spectacles.  These would be great for a new baby, for Valentine's Day or just because.  I am selling them for $15 each plus s/h.  I will be adding to my Etsy shop this week.

I also made a couple of Raggedies.  I kind of use patterns from different dolls to do these but if you are looking for some cute patterns, try the Olde Country Cupboard.  They have some great ones as well as some that are free!  I call this one Raggedy Sue.

Sue holds a sunflower themed watering can, with flowers growing right out of it!  She too, will be listed on my Etsy Store this week but just email me if you would like to purchase.  Cost is $19.

My other doll is a raggedy I call Raggedy Cindy.  She has strawberries and teddies on her dress and carries a red and white teddy in her hand.  She too, is for sale for $19. 

I'm going to close with a tip.  If you sew alot, like I do, you need to take care to preserve your patterns.  I use a laminator.  Now you may say that they are too expensive, but with the cost of patterns, you may want to re-think that.  Especially on the over the counter patterns that you buy at a fabric store, since they are made of that flimsy tissue paper.  If you don't laminate, at the very least, trace them onto card stock. 
Then just trace onto your fabric.  So easy.  The only drawback is that the pieces may not fit back into the envelope too well.  I keep my patterns in a notebook and simply put the laminated pieces in sheet protectors to keep them in order. 

Hope 2013 is great for all of you!  Talk with you soon.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

A bonus post....

It seems like sometimes I get so caught up in things that I don't get around to posting, and then there are other days....Well, anyway, I don't know about you, but sometimes I get an idea for something while I am sleeping.  I think this particular idea came from this really cute snowman that an artisan was selling at a craft show.  She had taken mismatched salt and pepper shakers and put a styrofoam head on it and filled the shaker with glitter.  I thought,  "I am going to try to make them."  Well, I bought the shakers, the styrofoam balls, and I had plenty of glitter.  That was a few months ago and I have never done anything with it.  Then I had this dream or vision, or night time idea that instead of snowmen, maybe angels......
So, I started with this:

The salt shakers were 2/$1 at Dollar Tree and the little wooden butterflies were $.25 at Michaels.  I had the balls which are flat on one end.

And this:
These flurries are seasonal, so if you plan to make them for next year, buy some now because they are really seasonal.  You could use glitter, but that gets a bit expensive and these flurries add just the right amount of sparkle.
Paint the balls a flesh color.  Here is a trick for you.  Put masking tape, sticky side up on your work space.  Tape it down so it doesn't move.  Put those balls on the tape and they will not move while you paint them.  If you tape them to a piece of cardboard, you can turn the board so that you can get to all sides.
Paint the butterflies (wings) white.  You need to paint both sides and don't forget that little bit that is the depth of the wood. 
If you are using acrylic paint, these will dry pretty quickly.  While they are drying, I lightly fill the shakers with the flurries and replace the top.  Now is a good time to gather supplies like lace, beads, etc for finishing off your angels. 

When the heads are dry, create hair by painting on white glue and using the hair of your choice

For the hair, I used black glitter.  You could use fiber, moss, doll hair, etc.  I put each head on a pen or stick so my fingers didn't get in the glue.
Then assemble!  I used bits of lace to trim, little beads and pearls, and some crocheted trim around the "necks", and silver key rings, hoop earrings, and gold ribbon for halos.  I made each one a bit different.  Use either black paint or marker for the eyes and blush for the cheeks. 
The angel in the center is made from a mismatched shaker that I had.

One has a hoop earring for a halo, one has some gold wired ribbon.
I had a tiny circle of battenburg lace.  She also has an orphan earring for a halo.

Two different halos, laces, wings, and neck trim. 
Use this idea for a creative gift, decoration, stocking stuffer. 

Hand-Made Gift Wrap

Sometimes, Necessity is the Mother of Invention.  It is, sometimes in my case, anyway.  Meet Skylar, my beautiful, soon to be a teenager, granddaughter:
Skylar is a harpist, writer, artist and a 7th grader.  Her birthday is on Christmas Day.  This year, as I finished up my shopping, I forgot to buy wrap for her birthday.  I refuse to let Christmas seep into birthday for her, so I decided, since it is snowing out and the nearest store is over 20 miles from me, to make my own.

If you are a crafter of any kind, you probably have all kinds of "stuff".  Well, maybe you don't, but I sure do.  I have alot of stamps!
I have collected these over a number of years at craft store sales, garage sales and even Goodwill.  Some were handed down to me.  But most are holiday stamps.  I sorted through all of them and picked out some "non-holiday" stamps.  The brown kraft paper roll, I picked up at a yard sale for $2 for a case.  I use it for packing and I thought it would make the perfect country gift wrap.  I unrolled a length of the size that I thought I would need and began stamping.

I used two stamps, a small heart, and a small gift box.  After stamping, I used markers to color in the bows on the package.  Be sure you stamp in a random order like commercial wrap because once it is on your package, it will be in all different directions.    I also wrote "Happy"  and "13" in a few spaces.  You could write names, dates, etc on your paper. 

Then, and (what girl doesn't like a little sparkle?), I used some paint dots, (just use the end of a paintbrush) and add some glitter.
And this is the final look!
Here are a couple of tips if you want to make your own gift wrap:
     1.  You can use any kind of paper.  You can use tissue paper (just be careful of bleed-through), newsprint paper, paper bags, or paper that I used which can be found in a home-improvement store in the paint department.
     2.  Work on a covered surface since paint and some markers will bleed through your paper. 
     3.  If you choose to use glitter, don't worry about it if some sticks to your design in areas that were not painted.  And don't forget to save the excess glitter.  I simply pour into a shoebox lid and then back into the container.
     4.  If , like in Skylar's gift, the gift is wider than the paper, put the seam down the center and cover it with a ribbon.  I had this ribbon that I picked up in a discount bin and the bow matches perfectly.  Another little hint:  Most ribbons will curl, even if just a little.  Just use the blade of your scissors.

Have a great day, my bloggie friends.  See ya later!

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Deck the Halls...

Still busy decorating and filling orders.....and I love it!  I had an order from a customer for 50 bags of reindeer food.  These are really a cute and fun idea for little ones with very little expense.  This customer was giving them to a first grade class.  Perfect!

The front of the hang tag just says Reindeer Food.  The back has this little poem:
Sprinkle on the lawn at night

The moon will make it sparkle bright

As Santa’s reindeer fly and roam

This will guide them to your home

All you have to do to make Reindeer Food is to mix oatmeal and glitter (or you can use those colored granulated sugars) and put in a baggie.  These are great stocking stuffers, gift tie-ons, or party favors.

Here is another last minute gift idea for the young ones on your list.  I picked up this  book at dollar tree.  Simply put the face of your little on inside and you have a personalized inexpensive gift.  (This is my 16 yr old grandson.....he may not think it is as funny as I do!)
On Saturday, we went to Denver Zoo Lights.  It was a fun night, a great way to celebrate Brooklynne's seventh birthday. 
This year, I have cut back a little on the decorating.  But I still put up two trees.  The upstairs tree is a fresh cut that we harvest ourselves.  The basement tree is my Santa tree.  Our ceilings are lower downstairs so this is just a six foot tree.  I have been collecting Santa ornies for years, and this tree is just about as full as it can get!

I should finish up my shopping this week.  I have a few things to finish making and some baking to do.  What a great time of year!

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

And the stockings were hung....

I finished my last show on Friday, a small one at WJeffco Elementary.  Though I love doing shows, my inventory is depleted, as is my energy.  It was a great year in sales and I am thankful for all of those who purchased, ordered, and made each show enjoyable. 

So now what?  Well, after packing away all of my inventory, I started digging out my Christmas decorations.  I have a huge collection of Santas so they have begun to take their places in and among my things.  I smile as I unpack each and every one.  Last Saturday, we took the grands to cut a tree.  It was so warm that we only wore sweatshirts and there was not one speck of snow on the ground. 

The puppies wore their Christmas dresses with jingle bells, and we all had a fun but tiring time.  The monster tree was cut down at home and yesterday I finally got the lights on.

The stockings are now hung on the fireplace, most of my shopping is done, I have wrapped most of the gifts, so I am nearly done.  I have a great idea for a new craft item, so as soon as I finish my order and clean up my messes, I will get busy and post!