Category Archives: Too Much of a Good Thing on Etsy

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Too Much of a Good Thing Handmade Gifts

 

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Lessons Learned: My First Craft Show

So my first craft show was last weekend.

It was awesome.

I stressed out about how to display and decorate because designing decorations is not what I’m good at. My sister-in-law rescued me and (if I do say so myself), my booth was super cute.

I don’t have anything to compare it to, but I was quite pleased with my sales. Yay for successes!

Isaac had the sign made for me. Isn't it so great?!

I learned a few things:

– Bring food. Sitting in the same spot for a long time makes you want to snack.
– Don’t shove your face with the food you bring. Eat when it’s slow.
– Be super nice to the other vendors. They are your best customers :)
– Bring something to work on. So many people walked into my booth to ask me what I was making (two scarves, btw), and then ended up browsing and buying.
– A good helper is a must. Between sharing a booth with a veteran show participant, and a husband who is super helpful (and brings me good food), my bases were covered.

I think I’ve officially been bitten by the craft show bug. I want to do more but I don’t know how to find them…by the time I hear about them, all the spots are already full. It’s a dilemma.

PS. Sarah of Roost ReImagined and Shirleen of Danner and Soli put on a great show. Pony rides, Santa, and a great holiday atmosphere made the Holiday Heritage Faire perfect. I’m already excited for next year!

Meet my friends

I’d like to introduce you to some new friends of mine.

Gerald is shy and a little clumsy but once he gets to know you, he’s pretty friendly.  Try not to look up at him all the time…he gets embarrassed about how tall he is.

You might think that Tommy would be mean…I mean, tigers aren’t usually that nice.  But Tommy is the perfect tiger.  He’s very protective of his friends.

Ellie the Elephant and Melvin the Monkey are pretty much inseparable.

I got them to pose for a picture the other day.  They wanted to wait for their friend Lenny the Lion but he’s still working on his mane and he doesn’t want any pictures taken before he’s all grown up and finished.

Aren’t they so cute?  This is my first try at amigurimi and I’m loving it!  Now I’m on a hunt for patterns…I think a turkey on our Thanksgiving table would be awesome.  Any suggestions on where to find a pattern?

PS. Replicas of Ellie, Gerald, Melvin and Tommy will be in my Etsy shop later today but I definitely won’t sell these ones.  I would never sell my friends…what kind of person do you think I am?

Personalizing Composition Notebooks. Or, making the same thing everyone else makes but thinking how original I am

I can’t function without a to-do list; I just don’t get anything done unless there’s a list I can cross off as I go.  I usually use some cute little notebook – standard yellow pads everyone uses are so boring – but lately my to-do list has been a composition notebook.   You know what I’m talking about…the black and white ones with lines paper inside.  Boring.

So I decided to pretty it up with some scrapbook paper.  Now I know it’s not totally original, but I didn’t think that everyone and their mother decoupaged paper onto the front of a notebook.  After I made my first one, I decided to look on youtube to see if there was a video or two about it.

“A video or two”?  More like 234,852,853,784 videos.  And I’m only slightly exaggerating.  There are also 247,259,264 altered composition notebooks on Etsy.

There goes my niche.   Oh well, they’re still fun.  And my “testers” (also known as the first two who responded to my facebook status update) will like them.

And just because I’m a super nice person, I’m going to tell you a little secret: when the spray adhesive advises you to cover the area you’re working in to protect from over-spray…they aren’t joking.

Final product for my Etsy shop...wrapped, stamped, ready to ship

Step-by-Step: Stencil Embossing with Hot Air Balloons

I am glad the week is over, let me tell you.  Work-wise, the last few days have been good but super super frustrating.  We are headed to our fourth [!] wedding of the summer and then to Hood River for a work event on Sunday evening.

Thank goodness for Starbucks treat receipts.  A mocha lite frappacino made all my worries disappear.  I stopped in at Stampin Cat Studio for a little craft retail therapy.  Of course I had to try out my new stencil as soon as I got home.  Here’s a step-by-step of how to emboss using stencils and pastels.  Plus I got to play with my new camera to take these pictures :)

Supplies:
– Stencil
– Pastels
– Paint brush with short stiff bristles
– Clear embossing paste
– Some kind of spreader, like a frosting spreader
– Post-it notes and tape

Position your stamp on cardstock and tape it down using reusable tape.  (Make your own reusable tape by sticking a regular piece of tape to your pants and pulling it off a few times.  It’ll stick to your paper but will pull off without ruining it.)  Put post-it notes around the edges of the stencil.

Using circular motions, “paint” your stencil.  Blow the excess pastel dust off the stencil.

Use anything you can find to spread the embossing paste onto the stencil.  My embossing paste came with a little spreader but a popsicle stick will work.  Use even strokes and spread from top to bottom. Just glop it on there – you’ll get rid of the excess next.

I use a frosting spreader to scrape the excess off.  An smooth, fluid motion is important.

Pull the post-it notes off, and if you’re [super messy] like me, throw them away.  If you’re not super messy and if you’re going to do another stencil, save and re-use them.  Slowly lift the bottom of the stencil up, using the taped edge for leverage.  Pull the tape off, being careful not to drop the stencil – if you drop it, you’ll ruin it.  And no, of course I’m not speaking from personal experience.

Let it dry for at least an hour.  I haven’t tried using a heat tool to speed up the drying but if you try, let me know how it goes.  As it dries, the paste will become hard and clear and the colors will show through.

I’m in love.  My hot air balloons are still drying but here’s a few finished stencil projects.

Are you crafting anything this weekend?


How cool is Mod Podge?

I’m having way too much fun with Mod Podge lately.  Everyone else in the world has already discovered the magic of decoupage but I’m making up for my lack of knowledge with enthusiasm.  So far I’ve only covered “normal” things with paper and Mod Podge like picture frames:

And letters to hang on walls:

But “unnormal” things like on this cool site about how Mod Podge Rocks are probably coming.  Watch out, Isaac.

I kinda stumbled into this new craft.  I was at Willamette Valley Fruit Company the other day and they carry the cutest picture frames.  And some of the cutest cards that this awesome girl named Leyla makes.  Anyway.  One of the designs on the frame was scrapbook paper I’ve used for some of my cards.  As soon as I realized it was just paper…well, that was the end of that.  No way was I going to buy this adorable frame. Like any self-respecting DIY’er, I thought to myself “self, with paper you have and those wood frames from Michael’s that cost a dollar, you can do this.”

No, I didn’t actually talk to myself or call myself “self.”

So I did.  Spread Mod Podge, stick paper, get rid of bubbles, impatiently wait until it’s dry, use an ink-pad to fake-distress around the edges…ta-da.

Pretty cool.

And then one day, I went to Michael’s (don’t tell Isaac), and these awesome letters were just hanging there.  I knew I had to cover one with Mod Podge and paper but how could I justify it?  Aha!  I’m sure my new niece needs one of these in my room.

Uh huh.  “Needs” it just as much as I need a new craft.

She loves it.  Or at least, she will when she’s old enough to hold her head up and look at the pretty pink ‘H’ for Hailey above her bed.

PS. You can make this yourself.  It’s fun and you can’t mess it up.  Really.  But if you’re too impatient to wait for Mod Podge to dry, and would rather wait for a package to come in the mail, some of the amazing-ness that is decoupage in my Etsy shop.

People make really cool stuff

I’m going to tell you a story.  You might be a little jealous afterward, cuz I have a husband who cares about things most guys don’t.  You also might feel a little sorry for me because of the about the long life of black, white, and grey I have to look forward to.

*Sidenote: this post is actually about Ecarlate Boutique.  Hold on, we’ll get there.

When I first met my husband almost two years ago, his living room consisted of three pieces of furniture: a leather couch, a big TV (no, I don’t know how many inches) and this clear plastic pipe that he ran some LED lights into and stuck in the corner as the only light.

Get any pictures of a messy bachelor pad with no furniture out of your head because is that is most definitely not Isaac. Isaac is super design- and asthetics-oriented.  He loves minimalism.  Color is too splashy for him.  Houses should be decorated in black, grey and white.  Brown and tan if absolutely necessary, but not preferable.  Most of the time, I translate his style as “boring” but I’m learning to appreciate it.

Since we got married, I’ve injected a few extras: a tv stand, pictures on the walls, and pillows on the couch.  Most people call these “basics;” Isaac calls them “clutter.”  Anyway, some of the things we’ve added are….well, boring.  Like our plain tan pillows.  I think we need some of these pillows from Ecarlate Boutique:

or this one

I have a feeling this one will never be allowed to enter our house, even though it’s super amazing:

There are so many more, it was hard to choose just a few.  I think the first one is my favorite…which one is yours?

Find Ecarlate online:  BlogTwitterEtsy shop

PS. This is not a design blog, and it’s most definitely not a home-improvement or inspiration blog.  I don’t surf the internet enough for that.  But when I see something I like, I’m gonna tell you.  And since I just joined this super awesome team called Boosting Etsy Shops, I’m gonna show some love to the super awesome team members.   Hope you love the creativity and awesomeness as much as I do.