A ‘punky’ gift for a funky friend!

Howdy folks, I hope you had a nice weekend! My husband was on an organizing tear yesterday, he cleared surfaces, assembled shelves, moved stuff around in the basement {not touching my craft-cave of course!} and really made some progress in the house! I decided I am not going to be the “slacker housewife” today and finish up some of the projects that he started. I had the kids put their post-Christmas nightmare of a bedroom(s) in order and my son did such a good job that I offered to sew him some new curtains for his closet (I went on a kick many years ago and removed all of the luan sliding closet doors from the bedrooms-that’s why all of the surfaces in my craft room are made from doors!) He had Thomas the Train curtains that I made him when he was 3…he’s 10 now…ah, definitely time for a change, we went with desert camo, DS and I picked out fabric and I sewed him the curtains and a bolster pillow (perhaps the only camouflage bolster pillow in the world) last night…well, maybe I’m not a slacker housewife after all LOL! :D OK you are not here to learn about my prowess as a homemaker, you wanna see some crafty goodness…well, here is a gift set I made for a friend for Christmas:

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This is an “activity” gift, you see my friend claims that she is not crafty BUT she likes to send handmade cards so I made her a kit so she can make 3 thank you cards and 3 birthday ones.

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First take a card base and glue on an embossed panel…

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Then add a sentiment…

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And a few fancy bits (AKA embellishments) and write your message on the inside of the card and place it in the matching envie!

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Look, it all fits in the altered box that I created for, and had published in, Just Steampunk 2 magazine:

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Easy peasy! I know some of you will want to know what I used so here is a list:

Sentiment stamps: Stampin Up

Steampunk Stamps: Inkadinkado (Clear set)

Embossing folders: Sizzix (there might be a Cuttlebug one in there too but I no longer buy products from ProvoCraft-they are on my list!)

Ink: Tim Holtz Distress ink in Vintage Photo, Wild Honey and Broken China

Dies: Spellbinders

Oh, and here is the tag I put on the gift, the build-an-ornament stamp is from Oriental Trading, it is one of their $4 sets.

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Thanks for stopping by and til next time happy crafting!

A Kid’s Craft: Gum Wrapper Bracelets & Bookmarks!

Yesterday I spent the morning in my son’s 4th grade class and I taught the kids gum-wrapper folding…Well, actually, an easier version with half as many folds! We used scrapbook paper, which is thicker than gum wrappers so it was perfect with fewer folds. Here are some of the projects we made:

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For the large bookmark I used strips of paper that were 8 1/2″x1″ and for the bracelets I used strips that were 1/3″x4″. I wanted to work with a 4″ length because I could get the most strips from my 12″x12″ scrapbook paper with no waste. If you want to know the equation for figuring out how long and wide a paper needs to be, multiply the width of the strip by 8.5  or 9 if the paper is thick, or less than 1/2″ wide. Alternatively you can take the length of the paper and divide it by 9 to get the width. Don’t worry if it is too thick, you can snip a sliver off if you need too. Why an I explaining all of this? just watch the video!

So, at the end of the video I show you how to fold the paper with real gum wrappers, you can use candy wrappers too! That’s right, start saving your Starburst, Tootsie Pop and bubble gum wrappers and make yourself some snazzy stuff! BTW if the wrappers are square just cut them in half before you fold them:) Any paper will work for this; magazines, maps, scrapbook paper scraps, origami paper and even wrapping paper!

It did me good to craft with the children yesterday. They were so sharp and patient and creative not to mention polite! I would volunteer in that classroom any day  Thanks for stopping by and til next time happy crafting!

Craft Fair Success!

Happy Sunday evening! I wanted to pop in earlier and tell you how my craft fair went yesterday but I had to get the house in order first. I vacuumed, mopped and scaled Mt. Washmore and I am pleased to report the place is clean and neat and I am relaxed and happy. Before I get to the nitty-gritty I want to remind you that you still have a few hours to sign up to win a stamp from about Art Accents, just leave a comment on last Monday’s post.

OK, folks, I luckily took some photos Friday night when I set up because I was way too busy on Saturday to take any. Here is a look at the front of my table:

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I scored the same corner spot I got last year (and have requested for all future craft fairs) so I had a lot of display room! At the corner of my booth I put a rack of mounted/matted watercolors, all original, and they sold like freaking hotcakes! I priced them cheap, $15-$30 but I am a fast painter so it works for me:) I even got 3 commissions! BTW my hubby built me this print rack years ago when I used to do sidewalk art shows.

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I was stressed all week that I did not have enough product for the fair, I crafted like a mad woman and I was still afraid I wouldn’t fill my table. 20 minutes into setting up I realized I had way too much to fit on my table and I had to run home and grab something else to put stuff on, I had this garden cart in my cellar and I hauled it to the fair. I like it!

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You haven’t missed any tutorials, many of these projects I made this week and I will be sharing the tutorial later. Like the one for hand warmers. I sold the for $3 a pair of 4/$10 and they seemed to be a hit! I have so many baskets of finished cards that I rotate around to different shops and I grabbed them all for the sale. I scored this card rack for free because the cards were discontinued and the slots are 7″ wide and that accommodates all of my cards (although some might have to be sideways…LOL…oh well, beggars can’t be choosers!) I put small dumbbells in the bottom of the stand to weight it so it would not tip over and cold-cock any of my potential customers :) Oh and the tall white spinner stand (also a freebie) holds my kids handmade jewelry :)

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My earrings were a big hit, they were $5 and sold like the proverbial hotcakes I mentioned earlier.  People really liked the x-mas earrings too, I offered them at 3/$10 or $5 each…not each, a pair…who need 3 earrings?!?

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I think $5 must be the “sweet spot” for craft fair sales, the juggling kits were $5 too and I sold all but one set!

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But hey, I did give free lessons!

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Who is that crazy girl? I juggled off and on (mostly on) the entire day between ringing up sales that were surprisingly brisk! I think I had a dumb grin on my face the entire day, “They like me, they really like me!”

Of course they might just be wondering “Who is that crazy juggler chick in the Santa hat?” but whatever, it brought them into the booth, now didn’t it. Another conversation starter was the wine bottle display…not sure how effective it was because I did not sell a single piece of jewelry displayed on said bottles but again it made people stop and take a closer look and then they noticed my wine bottle bottom candles. I sold most of them too and I considered not bringing them because I though people would think they were tacky (personally I think they are chic)…I am obviously very concerned with what people think of me…NOT!

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Apparently people bought the candles for gifts. I brought tiny alpha stamps so I could personalize the wine labels…I did not thing to bring another table so I sat on the floor and stamped…not a new thing for me…people thought I was quirky and delightful…or maybe just weird…

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The gift bags that I made in this post were surprise grab bags filled with jewelry I was too lazy to repackage with my snazzy new ATC card labels. I optimistically priced them at $10 but dropped the price to $5 a couple hours into the show when there were no takers. Again, $5 is the sweet spot I think. I sold all but 4 of the grab bags…I though more people would like a surprise…huh.

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Oh, I made some goodies too and they sold out, I’ll be sharing the printable for the Santa S’mores later this week so you can make some too! I sold the S’mores for $1 and the pretzels for $2. The kids made the pretzels so they got to split the spoils :) The lip balm purses were quick to make using my Nifty Gifty Template and I sold them for $1. All but 4 sold but I have an order to make more for a customer because I did not have the amount she needed. I made these for my daughters scout troop last year and they were a hit! Oh, in the upper right hand corner I have knot tying kits, they were a also hit and I sold almost all of them! I’ll have a video tutorial on that later this week.

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OK, lets get down to brass tacks. Sales were great! I’m not comfortable telling people exactly how much I sold but it was a couple hundred dollars more than I sold last year and the only money I had to shell out was the $25 for the space rental and about $22 for the ingredients for food goodies and lip balm and a few beads that I used for the xmas earrings.  I think the increase in sales this year had to do with the fact that I had some paintings for sale and they were more expensive. Also this being the second year of the show we had more traffic. It also helped that I offered a variety of items at a variety of price points. I had a hope in my mind to make a certain amount but I did not know if it was possible with mainly $1-$5 items but I surpassed my “pie-in-the-sky hope” by $58! Wow!

I was surprised that my Christmas cards did not sell at all this year when I sold out last year but maybe because this years fair was a week later had an effect (too late to send x-mas cards?) but my blank and occasion cards sold very well.

I didn’t need half of the boxes I brought my wares to the show in to bring them home in and after I unpacked the van I sorted and organized everything and packed it away neatly for next year. What was left fit in 2 crates! Hooray to getting rid of stuff! I hope I don’t sound like I am bragging, but it was a great day, I am grateful that people liked my stuff, it can be a little nerve-wracking to put your creations out there for sale, there is the fear that no one will like them or buy them but the payoff is great when they do. I can’t wait til next year! Thanks for sharing this adventure with me and til next time happy crafting!

 

WOYWW: Juggling Kits!

Happy rainy Wednesday folks! I have been crafting like a crazy lady {what’s new, right?} to get ready for my craft fair on Saturday. I spent the last two days sewing. I whipped up 14 batches of juggling balls and 38 sets of felt hand-warmers. Here is a pic of my desk as it sits this morning:

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I packaged up the juggling sets in tin-tie coffee bags from Papermart. It was a bit of serendipity that I had that funny juggling stamp. So I simply stamped the bag and placed in 3 of the juggling bags I made, instructions and a business card because I’m sure once people get the juggle-bug they will want to buy them for all of their friends. I am an avid juggler, bordering obsessive at times, and the great thing about juggling is that it is impossible to worry about anything when you juggle. I think instead of taking drugs like Prozac and Zoloft doctors should teach their patients how to juggle. The world would be a happier place!

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Thanks for stopping by! I have to take a break from crafting today and get groceries or I will have to dip into our SHTF Zombie Apocalypse food stash and nobody wants that. If you want to join the WOYWW fun pop over to Julia’s blog the  Stamping Ground and see what other crafty peeps are up to this week! It’s so much fun! Til next time happy crafting (and juggling!)

Ready, get set…Christmas crafts!

OK before you through rotten tomatoes at me it is NOT to early to start getting ready for Christmas. Besides, wouldn’t it be nice to have all of your shopping done by Thanksgiving so you could actually relax and enjoy the Christmas season? That is my goal anyway. In addition to the store-bought gifts I buy I like to make gifts too (no plastic canvas toilet paper cozies either) I’m talking about stuff that people will actually want and use. Check out the easy and pretty calendar I made with the new Homemade Holidays paper pack from Lindsay’s stamp Stuff:

I made 4 of these in the course of an hour assembly line style, the more you make at once the more time you will save. As I was making these I realized that they would make awesome gifts for teachers, coaches and scout leaders as well as the family members I made these for (No one I know in real life reads my blog so I am safe LOL!)

I used 6″x12″ wooden frames meant to hold panoramic photos for my calendars. I bought a ton of these about 10 years ago with grand plans that never happened so this year I am using them up. You can use whatever size frame you want or have. Look around your attic or cellar, a quick coat of paint will make an old frame new! If you don’t have any frames check the dollar store, you can buy small wood frames there, these can be any size you want. If your frame has glass just place it behind the calendar papers so at the end of the year the recipient can use the frame for something else.

Supplies:

Frame, Tear-Off Monthly Calendar (Mine is from SkyBluePink.com), Cardstock, Pattern Paper (I used the Homemade Holidays Paper pack from Lindsay’s Stamp stuff), glue (either hot glue or tacky glue), double-sided tape, embellishments: felt stickers {from the dollar bins at JoAnns}, photo corners, buttons & bakers twine, Optional: Sewing Machine

Gather your supplies, I printed out full sheets of Homemade Holidays paper, to do this just choose the borderless photo setting on your printer, letter size paper and scaling to 100%. Tip: To save money on printing ink try off-brand ink cartridges, I get a set of 6 carts for my HP Photosmart printer (HP02) for $10 through amazon.com and they work just as well as the HP brand ones that are $12 each! Also take your empty ink carts to Staples because you will get $2  for everyone you recycle! It is like free ink!

Since I am using a 6"x12" frame I trimmed my cardstock to 6"x12" and my pattern paper to 5"x11", I used scraps to make the mat for the calendar. Paper punches can dress up corners and edges at no cost if you already have some (although I broke my Fiskars border punch during this project!)

Trim cardstock to fit the inside of your frame. Trim your pattern paper 1″ smaller and adhere it to the center of the cardstock. Use a sewing machine and cream thread to stitch around the edges. Make sure you do not put adhesive near the edge or it will gum up your needle. Adhere your photo over the pattern paper then cut pattern paper to mat your calender and adhere both of them down with double-sided tape. Glue on your embellishments. Place your creation in the frame and you are done! Easy peasy!

Small details really make a big impact: Machine stitching, threading twine through buttons and inking the edges of mats add homespun charm to any project.

This project qualifies for the following challenges:BabyBud (Scallops, buttons, bling), Bee Crafty, OSAAT, Marks Finest Papers, Stamp and Create, TopTipTuesday & Critter Challenge (Christmas), Craft Your Passion, Incy Wincy (anything goes), Craft’s & Me (make a Christmas Gift), Crafty Cardmakers & The Crafty Pad, Stempel Magie (stitching), Creative Card Crew (Punches), gingerloft, SSDS, Humble Pie (buttons), Inspired Crafters & Mami doodles (anything but a card) and Digital Tuesday (use a frame)

Lets take a look at the new Homemade Holidays paper pack from Lindsay’s Stamp Stuff:

If you hate to print in color I have created a Bold Black &White paper pack too and I have a new set of clip art with SVG cutting files called Up, Up & Away in the shop this week too!

And now the moment you have been waiting for….the freebie! A fun pack of 9 papers with an 1980s flair!

click the image to download, enjoy! Thanks to Inferlogic for use of the zebra pattern.

Now let’s see what the rest of the LSS design team is up to this week:

Cheryl Gorka DT Coordinator

Shannon Neparko

Margie Visnick

Tracey Allen

Leanne Garner

Tamara Bennett

Cindi Hooks

Micki Harper

Karin Martin

Jennifer Bliss

Rhonda Walker

Diane Bove

Laurel Seabrook

Thanks for stopping by and til next time happy crafting!

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