Who’s Ready for Spring?

I just drove home from my son’s boy scout meeting in a snowstorm…well, not a real storm but it was snowing enough to get the sand trucks out. I am so ready for spring, how about you? Today I am going to share a glittery project with a flower (take that snow!) and it is really easy to make. You can customize it to make a pin or a hair clip depending on your preference and it is affordable using supplies from Papermart! Why not whip up a bunch of these for Easter gifts or to sell at a spring fair (I’m totally OK with you selling the crafts you make with my tutorials!)

Here is where you can find the supplies I used:

Barrettes (you get a bag of 100 of the 3″ size I used for $8.80-smaller sizes are even less!)

or Pin Backs

Foam Flowers

Glitter (99 cents a tube people! It is my favorite)

I hope today’s video sparked some spring-y ideas for you! Thanks for stopping by and til next time happy crafting!

 

 

Weekend jewelry making…

Brrrr…friends, another cold night, it is supposed to be 10 below! Yikes, the chickens will have their heat lamp on all night and I will hunker down by the wood stove. 10 below in March just seems unnecessary. I got to thinking about my crafting habits and I noticed that I rarely make jewelry in the deep winter. I thought it was because I tend to make jewelry for craft fairs or gifts (that’s all done prior to Christmas) but now I think it is because it’s too dang cold in my studio to bead (it’s 52 down there now) and it does not bother me when I am painting, probably because it is a right brain activity so the logical left who says “Dang woman, it’s cold, go upstairs” has no input. Before I ramble any further let me tell you what got me making jewelry this weekend, a very patient viewer wanted to learn how to use acrylic and glass beads together in a design and I thought it was high time I did it!

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I used Urban Ice beads by Jesse James ($5 a bag at Joanns in store) and a selection of glass beads from Fire Mountain Gems and some cheap “E” beads to make this super sparkly, fairly light weight necklace and while I was making it I filmed a tutorial. This is geared to the beginner so I probably over explain some techniques :)

I wish my camera would record for more than 20 minutes…I also wish I was a little smoother when attaching a crimp beads but you know what they say “if wishes were biscuits…” Well, that’s it for me tonight. I actually did another jewelry project this weekend but I’ll save that for another day. Thanks for stopping by and til next time happy crafting!

Scrunched Organza Flower Tutorial!

Howdy friends! Today I am going to share a fun and easy project with you. And I mean EASY! I had seen beautiful organza flowers in boutiques  and thought boy, I bet they are really time consuming to make. I was also worried that it was a hit-or-miss type of craft. I knew making these involved using a flame to singe organza fabric but I could not believe that it is this quick and easy, not to mention fun! So if you know any little girls, own a hair-bow business or sell your stuff at craft fairs you are going to want to try this, especially considering that they only cost about 25 cents to make (using supplies from Papermart that is) and they sell for $8-$16 bucks! Don’t believe me? Check ETSY! This craft is not for children, we will be using a candle to curl the fabric. Watch the video to see how.

I recommend you have a clear work surface and you wear short sleeves when making this project. Be sure to put the candle out when you are done with the heating the fabric bit, I know how easy it is to get distracted when creating, let’s be safe out there!

Supplies available for cheap at Papermart:

Organza Fabric (60″ wide fabric, 10 yards for $10.40, 25 yards for $17.33 or save a couple bucks a bolt if you are placing a large order!)

Glitter (99 cents a tube, yay for cheap thrills!)

Organza Ribbon

Hair Clips (I used the 3 1/8″ but there are other sizes available, bags of 100 are $4.75-$8.80, that’s only 5 to 9 cents a barrette!)

Fabric Flowers (I used them on the pink hair clip)

Other: Hot glue gun and sticks, buttons or brads and other embellishments you might want to add such as beads. You can also attach the flowers to inexpensive headbands if you don’t want a barrette.

I think these would also make wonderful party favors or baby shower gifts (make a headband with soft fold-over elastic BUT never leave a baby unattended with a headband on) or even a wonderful surprise for your daughters or granddaughters. I have a few flowers left over that I think will be lovely on a scrapbook page, oh, you could even make them smaller to go on cards! This is an idea with potential and I do hope you give it a whirl! Thanks for stopping by and til next time happy crafting!

Relax, it’s almost Christmas! Let’s make a quick gift!

Hello friends,  if you are like most you are probably busy scurrying around to finish wrapping, shopping and crafting.  Today I am going to share an easy project you can make for a gift (or you might need one for yourself if you have been hunched over the craft table for days!) and it only takes about 15 minutes and it is always appreciated. A microwavable/freezable hot/cold rice pack! You will need: cotton fabric a fat quarter (or scrap fabric, mine was 18″x22″ but you can make them any size), rice and a sewing machine and thread. Watch the video to see how it is made:

You can even make them smaller for hand warmers!  These are a great addition to a gift basket or a lovely gift on their own, You can add whole flax-seed (up to a 1:1 ratio) and I hear that the bags will stay hotter longer. You can even add your favorite dried herbs to the bags for lovely smells. I’ll be back later today with more last minute gift ideas! Til then happy crafting!

School Vacation is Almost Here! {Got Crafts?}

Christmas vacation starts tomorrow! Are you ready? Today I am going to share a project that will keep the girls entertained this vacation. A couple of weeks ago the folks at Sunshine Shoppe Supply asked me if I’d like to try some of their products.  They have a wide assortment of hair bow supplies and cute jewelry kits for babies, kids and adults. I knew my girls would love making some headbands for their friends this Christmas so I grabbed  a DIY Shabby Chic Headband Kit and a small sampler of Diamond Mesh sheets.

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I no sooner had the supplies laid out and my girls dove in!

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I chose the peacock collection but they have several other colorways to choose from and they are all on sale right now for $8.99. The kit makes 6 headbands!

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My girls are pros at crafting so they used a hot glue gun but if your kids are not as graceful with glue I recommend a thick quick setting cold glue such as Helmar 450 or Aleens Thick and Tacky glue. You might want to let them dry on waxed paper in case the glue seeps through though.

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I think my girls did a great job, the only downside was that we ran out of supplies too soon, the girls wanted to make more!

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One other note, we cut the diamond mesh easily with scissors to add a bit of bling to the bands, the mesh was not in the kit but it was very affordable, the 6″ pack is on sale for $8.95 and a little goes a long way! The girls also added some handmade clay buttons from my stash to their creations.

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With the long school vacation coming up I’m sure your little girl would love a headband or jewelry kit from Sunshine Shoppe Supply! It would also be a fun project to make for a birthday party or playdate.

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I want to thank Sunshine Shoppe Supply for sponsoring us today and I do hope you check out what they have to offer. In addition to crafting kits they have bulk wholesale supplies perfect for folks who like to sell their hair bows. There are some beautiful, unique stuff worth a look! Thanks for stopping by and til next time happy crafting!

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Ahhhh, I can relax now -or- Christmas craft fair done!

Hmm, I couldn’t quite decide on a title for tonight’s blog post. I love doing craft fairs and preparing for them but there is a span of about a week before it happens that I am a complete stressed out lunatic. When the power was out for 4 hours yesterday I could have had a psychotic break but instead I decided to sit in my living room with the wood stove on and knock out a few more watercolor cards (and film them as tutorials, hey my camera was freshly charged LOL, they are up on my YouTube channel) rather than throw a nutty. Cuz really, what would a tantrum have solved? I changed my craft fair booth up a bit going with an “L” shaped table and using all of my booth as “shoppable space” rather than hiding behind a table. I really like it more this way. I filmed a video showing how I set up and share tips for craft fair sellers:

What do you think? OK, you are probably wondering how the show went…

…it was S-L-O-W! But, that’s OK, the people who came were ready to shop (it’s 12 days till Christmas you know!) and I was prepared for the slowness by having my watercolors and blank cards so I could create custom cards on the spot. I also found that it drew people into my booth that might have been shy about coming over, what can I say I’m quite a spectacle to behold! LOL did I mention there was juggling?

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So I thought that I would offer some  more tips for those of you selling (or wanting to sell) at craft fairs:

  1. If you make jewelry, clothes or knits wear them! I got a commission to make a wrap like I was wearing for a lady, she even paid me half up front! It may seem obvious what items will look like on but you will have more buyers if you wear it! “hmmm, this is a necklace but good heavens, what will I do with it?” I am not kidding.
  2. Demonstrate a product. I brought my watercolors, a waterbrush and blank cards along in case it was slow. I painted cards on demand and people who might have walked on by stopped to watch. I also juggled which caught the eye of another vendor who snuck over to grab a set of juggling balls for her grandson. She never would have seen them otherwise!
  3. Act like you are happy to be there! Nobody wants to buy from a sourpuss. Be friendly but not stalky. Let them know you are here to help or explain anything to them. Also get to know your neighbor because you can keep an eye on each other’s booths if you need to grab a cup of coffee or go pee..and you will need to go pee after all of that coffee!
  4. Price everything. People won’t ask. Just price it.
  5. Speaking of pricing charge a fair price, you work hard at your craft, it probably is not going to make you rich but you should at least earn minimum wage for your labor. Rather than discounting a $5 pair of earrings to $3 offer 3 pair for $10 or $5 each. That way your best customers get the best deal and no one feels ripped off.  I feel the same way about offering slashed prices at the end of the day (unless it is perishable) because how would you feel if you paid full price and then walked by a booth and they were selling it cheaper to someone else? Next time that person will wait til the end of the day to buy. My prices are the same at 9am as they are at closing. I saw people giving away their stuff at the end of the day! You need to value your work and charge for your time, you are worth it.
  6. Upcycle items for display. Buying fancy displays cut into your profits and if you are a first timer it will put you into the red. Use crates and suitcases that can be used as storage and display. Build tables from saw horses and hollow doors (nobody will know after you put on a table cloth!) and use boxes and baskets to make your table tidy! Old picture frames make great displays, you can staple wire mesh to the back or add foam core to make a pin board display. You can even glue clothespins to the backing board to clip cards and stuff up on! My standing display racks were throw-aways from a local store, keep those eyes peeled when you see a shop changing displays! They might give you the old one or sell it cheap!

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I bet the question that you all are too polite to ask is how much did I sell? Well, we are friends so I’ll tell you:  about $220, I say about because my 3 kids were hitting me up for cash throughout the day hahaha! I not going to complain, it was good considering the low turnout for the show, with a strong turnout I reckon I would have tripled it but you just never know, factors like it being so close to Christmas, the frigid coldness today and a snowstorm on the horizon for tonight may have pushed people to go to town to hit the big stores rather than a leisurely craft fair shopping day. Still it beats staying home and making nothing! :D I had a hunch it would be slow and I’m glad I brought my watercolors. I had a fun day and so did the shoppers and the kids who came to see Santa and partake of the candy buffet and other activities. Go into a craft fair with a positive attitude and you will do well no matter how much you sell! Thanks for stopping by and til next time happy crafting!

How To Make a Burlap Wreath! {video!}

Hello and happy Friday! Wow, I have been so busy today, we lost power this morning and the school sent the kids home early. This day being the one to get all of my stuff ready and packed up for the craft fair tomorrow! I am so thankful to Jaimie, Susan and Amy (our Girl Scout Leaders) for stepping up and re scheduling the girls scout activities so they could have them this afternoon rather than this evening. Not only did it help me getting ready for my craft fair but the other moms who work outside of the house from having to shuffle jobs and kids. Make sure you appreciate all that your school and scout volunteers do, I sure do! So, I got back from setting up my craft fair booth, sat down to watch TV with the kids and fell asleep in like 10 minutes flat! The kids did not wake me up to inform me it was time for them to go to bed LOL! I’m gonna hit the hay early myself but first I wanted to share a fun holiday project. Yesterday, for the first time, I set about learning how to make a burlap wreath, let me tell you it would be a hit at a craft fair, and it is quite easy. All you need is burlap/jute fabric rolls (I used 14″ wide in moss color, it is $10 a roll and you can make 2 wreaths with one 10 yard roll), ribbon and decorations. You will need a wreath form too but I’ll show you how to make one for free in today’s video!

You can find the mesh and ribbon I used at Papermart. You can also use the same technique I showed you with all of the Deco Mesh products they offer. I’ve seen burlap wreaths selling for $45 and up on Etsy and the Deco Mesh wreaths fetch a pretty penny too. I recommend making your wreath form out of white foam core or spray painting a cardboard one to match with the more sheer mesh. It’s smart to purchase supplies from Papermart because you will get the best price (more profit for you if you sell at a craft fair or on Etsy) and you will also get the best quality available.  I wish I tried this sooner, I’d have a craft fair booth full of wreaths LOL! Right now I don’t think I could squeeze anything else in my booth and there is not a wreath to be seen…hmmm, maybe I could squeeze one in? I’ll share pictures tomorrow:) Thanks for stopping by and til next time happy crafting!

A quick and easy crochet for kids!

Howdy friends! Tonight I am going to share a project I taught to my children’s knit and crochet class. All you need to know is how to chain, making it the perfect beginner project. This is a great way to use up scrap yarn too!

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You will need 3 colors of yarn about 6′ each, a large 4 holed button, a tiny crochet hook that will fit through a button hole and a medium crochet hook such as a US size G.

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Start with one piece of yarn and use the tiny crochet hook to pull the yarn through 2 buttonholes and make the ends even. Make a slip knot close to the button with one string and chain until you run out of yarn, do the same for the other side, just be sure to keep the slip knot as close as you can to the button. Repeat with the other 2 colors and you should have 6 strands of chain stitch crochet hanging from the button. Divide the strands into 3 groups by color and braid.

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Now make 2 knots: one to end the braid and one to form the toggle and you are done! These make cute Christmas presents and kids can use this technique to make bracelets, necklaces and belts for their dolls too! Happy crafting!

Christmas Tree Paper Bead Earrings!

Hello Friends! I am in the holiday mood! I have been picking away at my Christmas shopping online and making stuff to sell at the craft fair in December. I was making some paper beads earlier this fall and they were coming out cone shaped and I thought that it would be great to make in green for Christmas Trees!  What do you think?

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I had some leftover paper strips so I made some more of my  Pandora Style Paper Beads too. I love the glassy look I get from the UTEE. Here is a video showing how to make the earrings.

And yes, you can make these to sell with my full permission! :D I think these lightweight earrings are perfect for children to wear as well as teacher gifts. If you don’t have UTEE you can use clear nail polish or Mod-Podge to glaze them. that way the kids could make these without worrying about burns.  I hope this project helps you get into the holiday spirit! Thanks for stopping by and til next time happy crafting!

Pick Your Prize,Make a Gift Set & 20%off at Green Sneakers!

Howdy friends and happy Veterans Day! Today I have an exciting giveaway for you from the fine folks at Green Sneakers. Whenever I host a giveaway I always hope the person who wins really likes their prize, well I won’t have to worry this time because you get to pick your prize! How cool is that? Go to Green Sneakers and find 2 templates you would most like to win, then come back here and leave a comment mentioning your picks. If I draw your name next Monday you get the templates you chose. Neat huh? Perhaps you would like to win the A2 Kreate-a-lope and Portfolio templates I used in my tutorial today:

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…or maybe you want something completely different. It is up to you! And to sweeten the deal they are offering a 20% discount to any of my readers who want to place an order! Use the code Lin20 as many times as you want between now and November 21st.  Please note: You must log in and use the coupon code to see the 20% savings.You can tell your friends too and make sure they come by for their chance to win or use the coupon to get a head start on Christmas shopping! Check out their kits and specials for additional savings.   Alright, now for a video tutorial so you can see these wonderful templates in action:

I think these DIY card kits would make a fabulous gift or craft fair items. It is also a chance to use some of those embossing folders we crafters tend to collect…or is that just me? I think I will make some in wild bright primary colors (hubby’s idea) for children’s cards and some with more sentiments. I am considering taking special orders for these and bringing them to my next craft fair, I think they are a super gift (but I don’t want to sell out of my stash because I plan on giving some too!)

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You could also use the portfolio to make a painting studio on the go, put a small palette of paints and a waterbrush on one side and cut watercolor paper on the other, instant art studio!

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Use this idea with the supplies you have in the colors you like. I’m sure you can make a perfect stationary set for anyone.

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So, to recap: Visit Green Sneakers and check out the goods, leave a comment on my blog letting us know what TWO templates you want if your name is drawn. That’s it. Easy Peasy. If you feel the urge to shop use the coupon Lin20 to save 20% on your order. This contest is open to U.S. residents only, sorry for any inconvenience:) Good luck! Thanks for stopping by and til next time happy crafting!

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