Monday, December 5, 2011

My Beautiful Birdie - Gift Exchange 2011

This was the first year I participated in the Craftaholics Anonymous Christmas Gift Exchange. My exchange partner was Kimberley Sminkey. She has an absolutely wonderful blog, is an amazing artist, mom and my new friend. I am absolutely tickled "pink" with my gift.

She knew I loved black and pink, but didn't know I had just recently started collecting birds. How weird is that? About two months ago, I found a couple of pretty little tile bird plaques at a thrift store. All of the sudden, I was in love with birds. I have found a couple of other items since then and now I have this beauty to add to the collection.

In my rush and excitement to send out her gift, I forgot to take a picture, so I am borrowing Kim's pic. Thanks Kim!

For her gift, she told me that she loved bling and animal prints, both Cheetah and Zebra. I wasn't sure what to make. I thought about a fancy wreath and actually started on it, but as I looked around my craft room I had a last minute idea.

I took a black shadow box purchased from Michaels, covered the inside backing with silky cheetah print material. Then I cut out a circle from gold glittered scrapbook paper from Joann's. Then with the clock parts, I painted the hands gold and used the already painted gold numbers that came with the kit and applied them to the gold paper. I cut a hole in the back of the shadow box frame and inserted the clock. Then I added some gold fringe to the top and bottom of the clock. It was great fun to make it for her and I had so much fun just anticipating both giving and receiving these exchange gifts. A big thanks to Linda at craftaholicsanonymous.

I would encouarage you to sign up for one of these gift exchange programs if you have the chance. It was great fun.

Happy Holidays!

Craft Show Ideas

I did my first craft show in 13 years. It was Saturday at Living Word Bible Church in Mesa, AZ. It rained, it was cold and windy and we didn't have a super turnout, however, I did okay and made some great friends in the process.

As, I have mentioned in many of my previous posts, my budget is very limited this year, since I am no longer working and depending only on my "allowance".  My poor husband, I am always asking for an increase. It doesn't go over well, at times. Anyway...

Here are some pictures of what I sold: Above are my clay pot angels. I made these many years ago and they sold well at that time, so I thought I would try them again. They sold very well at this event too. Not all the supplies are available 13 years later, so I had to improvise a bit, but they still turned out cute enough.

My snowman and gingerbread man magnets and ornaments also sold very well. I painted bottle caps, water bottle caps etc white, added a cute snowman face, then sprayed them with a clear coat to keep them from getting scratched. I did the same with the gingerbread men. I wrapped a few of the snowmen caps that were wider with a fleece scarf. The ornaments were made from some foam marshmallows I had purchased on clearance at Michaels earlier in the year. I added a face, a hat and a string. I made a few of them into rings and necklaces as well.
You can see them clearer in this picture...I also used some of them to make clocks (see the previous blog "Clock Making 101)

These little angel pins, also sold well. I made them in different colors to reflect the world around us, and that seemed to appeal to a few people. They were super easy to make.

They are in the middle of the picture. I used a macrame type bead with a larger opening. Then ruffled up a 6 inch piece of lace and stuffed it into the bead. I added a little dab of glue at the top to secure it, but deep enough into the hole so it wouldn't be visible. Then I used another 6 inch piece of lace, folded it in half and made a bow for wings. I glued it to the back of the angel. I added a small wire to make a halo and finished them off with a pretty little coordinated bead on the front.

My husband made me some marshmallow shooters and they also sold well. You can kind of see them in this picture. They cost about 1.75 to make and I sold them for $5 each. Once someone started to play with them, other people came over and wanted to buy them. Next time, I will bring my kids and let them shoot marshmallows at each other...for marketing purposes only, of course.
I sold a few of my clay pot snowmen and both the the Capri Sun bags I made sold as well.

All in all, it was a good day for me. I learned a few things and will definitely change the way I display and set up next time, but this was kind of a trial run and helped me get my feet wet again. I had a great time and can't wait to do it again.

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Happy Holidays!

Christmas Gifts for Mom

We just had an early Christmas during our Thanksgiving trip to Utah with my parents. My budget this year, I really struggled trying to make some nice gifts. My previous post shows the clock I made for my Dad. Men are super hard to make a gift for.

My Mom loves blue and white, Delft, Victorian, fancy etc. type items. Here is what I ended up with.

First, was a teacup pin cushion. She collects these little cups and saucers, but really...she has tons of them and so I wanted to change it up a bit. She also loves to sew. I glued the cup to the saucer with E6000 glue, added lace to the bottom of the plate, then surrounded the bottom of the cup with pearls, well pearl like beads. For the cushion I used a handful of stuffing wrapped in a piece of a nylon type book cover I had lying around. I tested it first to make sure the pins wouldn't cause it to tear easily. It worked well. I stitched it at the bottom to get the tight round effect, then stuffed it into the cup. I did add a dab of glue at the bottom. Then finished it off with a ribbon around the rim of the cup and a little pearl bead.

Next, was an altered Delft candle holder. Mom collects these too. When my husband and I were in Amsterdam last year, we brought her back a few authentic Delft items, but they are much harder to find in the US. However, my local Goodwill just happened to have this little guy on the shelf a couple of months ago. I grabbed it for 2.99 and knew I was going to do something with it for her Christmas gift.
I attached a spaghetti jar lid that I had painted metallic silver. Surrounded it with silver ribbon then glued a votive cup to the lid. I surrounded it with blue and silver lace I found at the dollar store and added in the glass beads. It was a little different, but I think she liked it anyway.

This was my favorite. When I was a little girl....a long time ago...yikes...I used to get into my mom's jewelery box. She didn't have much and most of it was the costume type, but I loved her cameo. It was dark red and just beautiful. So, when I saw this cameo on clearance at Wal-mart for $1.88 I grabbed it. I didn't know what to do with it at the time, but it fit her blue and white decor.

Well, a few days before we left for our trip to Utah, I finished off my French Vanilla Cappuccino and had this cute little tin that I had to do something with. I wrapped it in this Victorian style ribbon I had on hand. I think I bought it at Michaels in the fall sometime. Then glued the cameo on the front, added some pearls and then finished off the top with a fan of lace and a blue newspaper flower.

Finally, I gave her on of the Newspaper wreaths we made. The gold and red looked so pretty together and I found a cute gold and glittery Merry Christmas sign at the Dollar Tree and hung it in the middle of the wreath.

We had a nice visit and the Handmade gifts meant a lot more to my parents than anything I could have purchased.

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Clock Making 101–using recycled items, of course!!

Save those bottle caps, you never know when they might come in handy. My husband brought home about 20  thick cardboard 12 x 12 squares from a recent tile job he completed. (Note the tile frame on the Starbucks clock.) He also had some leftover tile. I wasn’t sure what to do with it at first. I have wanted to make a clock for my sister-in-law aka Starbucks addict, for quite some time. I saved about 30 of the Starbucks caps for the past year and finally found a use for them.

After I made the Starbucks clock, I realized I could do the same with the other bottle caps I had been saving. I made a bunch of little snowman and gingerbread man magnets for a craft show I was doing and just took off the magnets and added them to the clock.

The great part was it didn’t cost much at all. Instead of buying the clock parts from Michaels, which would have cost about 5 bucks even with my coupon, I found a bunch of clocks at Wal-Mart on clearance for 2 bucks. I took them apart poked a hole through the cardboard and used the overlay from the Wal-Mart clocks to arrange the caps accordingly. I did have to trim down the hands a couple of mm in order to keep them from hitting the caps.

I placed a felt cover with a flap over the timepiece in the back to change the batteries.
I also made one for my Dad for Christmas. He is a computer lover and so I took some keys off of an old keyboard and used some old CD’s to construct the clock. He loved it…maybe cause he’s my Daddy, but that’s okay.

I think these will make great gifts for some of my other friends and family too. They are super easy to make and very unique.

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