Sunday, November 30, 2008

A Quickie.

This is a super quick post. But I suddenly had a clever little display idea for my holiday bazaar coming up this Friday & Saturday. I thought it'd be fun to have a bunch of black-n-white pics of kid's on Santa's lap just scattered around my table. I've got the most adorable one of my mom & sister when they were about 5 years old & then there's one of me, crying like a baby---at the age of 10. So, what have you got for me??? I'd love to print out your pics, with your permission, & display them on my table just for fun & chuckles. (I'll make 'em black-n-white if they're colored.) So, leave me a link to a picture on your flick account or email me a picture of you on Santa's lap or with Santa. (**email addy in sidebar on right.) I'm hoping it works out how I have pictured in my head. And, unfortunately I won't be able to use everyone's photos. I'll pic my favorites & reveal the chosen few before my show sometime next week.

OH! OH! (Hey, that's "HO HO" backwards. Hm.) I've got THE CUTEST advent calender idea but I'm scrambling to get all the bits made & put together & photographed & all that stuff for a tutorial. I know the usual advent stuff starts tomorrow, so I'm hoping to get it up late tomorrow. You're gonna love it. I promise!!
Hope you had a great Thanksgiving weekend!

Gotta go. I'm in a hurry for a giftie exchange thingie, with a "Kitchen" theme. Guess what I included?? A fork easel. Clever, I know.
**And don't forget the Cyber Monday Sale is going on today! BUY ONE GET ONE 50% off the WhOlE shop!!!

Friday, November 28, 2008

Happy Day After Thanksgiving!

I had a wonderful Thanksgiving at my parent's & grandmother's house. There were 18 total humans gathered--including kidlets. The food was so yummy. And my twice baked potatoes turned out really good. I didn't go all gourmet on 'em, but just added sour cream, butter, salt, pepper, parsley & garlic powder. They were tasty. My favorite Thanksgiving food item is always sweet potatoes though. Love 'em!
The kiddies even got to sip sparkling fruit cider from real wine glasses. They felt so special! I found a new favorite flavor too---blueberry. Yum!
Don't you remember doing this as a kid?
Pumpkin pies aplenty!
Oh yeah, & here's me all spiffy & ready to go.

Guess what I just finished doing? The tree is up! The decorations are scattered on every spare inch of blank space! YAY! It's officially Christmas time!
It's so fun to unpack the decorations. My girls really got into it this year. And I sat back (& took photos) while they plastered the tree (mostly in the mid-section) with all the ornaments. Christmas tunes in the background...the tea kettle whistling our attention for hot cocoa...the smell of a faux pink Christmas tree in the air....what a perfect day!

I love Christmas so much & I'm excited to finally get to say "Happy Holidays!!!!!" Hope you all are enjoying a relaxing weekend!

Black Friday Sale Starts Today!!!!

HAHA! Here's my 2-second drawing of a little holiday elf announcing the BUY ONE GET ONE HALF OFF sale in the shop!! Sale runs from Friday Nov 28th thru Monday Dec. 1st!

I have been a super productive crafty girl lately. Button rings were on the agenda for the past couple of days. And I even came up with a really cool ring display for the Holiday Bazaar. The combination of empty egg cartons & lentils did the trick! It could either look like I'm trying to be uber-recycle-chick OR it could look like a poor-man's-jewelry-case. I like it though. I'm hoping when everything is put together that it will have the feel that I imagine in my head--whimsical & clever & lovely. We'll see. I'll let you know when I get there.

And I just thought of something funny today. Well, I chuckled a little. I think I only have about an hour & a half to set everything up at the bazaar, as in: park the car, unload, carry everything to my display table (making multiple trips), & then unpack everything & make it all pretty on my table. I'm kinda freaking out & thinking that's not a lot of time. So, I was thinking of having a mock display set-up one night where I'll time myself & everything. And then I thought of an episode of Dukes of Hazzard where Daisy was in this competition & one thing she had to do was put together some motor or something (I can't remember what) in the fastest time. She'd been practicing for days & days & timing herself. And when the actual competition came, somebody tried to sabotage her by turning the lights out. Well, that was no problem for Daisy because she'd also been practicing putting this thing together blindfolded. What a gal! Anyway, I know I'm probably messing that specific episode all up, but that's how I remember it.

Here's the ring boxes I promised to show you. I can't wait to tuck the sweet rings inside the boxes & hand them to my customers! It's so sad that the splotchy painted wood surface in the picture there is actually my dining table. I've totally destroyed it. I got it at a garage sale about 4 years ago for 17 bucks, so I don't feel too bad. Someday I'll have a real dining table & then this will become my work table. That's the plan anyway.
My mom & grandma are gonna be one of the crazy nutso shoppers waiting at the department stores at 4am this morning. I'll be sleeping in. And then waking up to make more stuff. More book art & some fun tags I'll sew up on the machine.

Now stop reading & go shopping!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

It's Almost Turkey Time!!

The kiddies are officially on Thanksgiving break! Wheeeee! Time for turkey fun! My 4 year old brought home this project from preschool today & I HAD to show it. I thought it would make for some perfect last-minute crafty Turkey Day fun.
Just simply stuff a lunch sized paper paper bag with wadded up newspaper, or cotton balls or dirty socks, etc. Fold back the top flap & staple down.
Cut out various shaped papers---stars for the feet, a heart for the belly, a triangle for the beak, a head, that little dangly thing under the beak, & as many feather shapes as you want.
Write these words on the belly: "I am thankful for..." & then on the feather shapes ask your child what they are thankful for & write them down. Glue on all the shapes in the appropriate anatomical turkey-ish way, slap on some googly eyes & you're done!
It'd be fun to have each member of the family take a couple 'feathers', write what they're thankful for & glue them all on together.
I also put together some gifties for my daughter's 2 teachers. I made 2 sets of the Felt Dessert Picks. But silly ole me forgot to put the actual wooden bamboo skewer/picks in with the package. Well, hopefully they get the idea.
And I'm totally into this 'sewing on paper' thing. I just can't stop!

I'm working my crafty booty off every day at gettin' stuff made for the Holiday Bazaar. A couple nights ago I worked on fork easels. They're made, labeled, priced & ready to go. The day after I made them, my hand was aching so awful! Ah, the price I pay for the love of handmade...

I just got more supplies today to finish making LOTS MORE vintage button rings. Last night I started on them & they are so cute! They just look like little pieces of candy to me. So sweet. This weekend I'll have to give you a peek & also let you see the adorable boxes they're packaged in! Hopefully I'll get some in the shop for the BUY-ONE-GET-ONE-HALF-OFF sale at WhiMSy love starting the day after Thanksgiving!
I'll be hangin' with the fam tomorrow. Eating lots, playing card games, munching yummy pies, sipping tea & gabbing with the female cohorts of my family while the male figures slouch on the couch & watch football.
Happy Thanksgiving my blog friends! Have a wonderful holiday!

Monday, November 24, 2008

Monday Stuff

I just mailed 21 packages! That's a record for me--fo sho. Lots of little owlies are now heading to their new homes. And I just realized how cool it is that my little creations will be a part of many families holiday traditions every year. Awwww....Someone asked me if I am sick of owlies yet. I'm sure YOU are all sick of them by now. I'm just glad to be moving on to making other stuff. They still sit in my art studio & stare at me everyday--all perched in their branches awaiting their Holiday Bazaar adventure. Just wait little guys, it'll be here before ya know it...

Speaking of my upcoming Holiday Bazaar....I was recently surprised to receive a lovely gift from my blog buddy Laura Bray of katydiddys: The Craft Show Worksheet. Laura has compiled so much information into a PDF file--ready for easy peasy purchase HERE--that has answered so many of my questions about craft shows. As I read the worksheet, I found myself whispering out loud, "Wow! That is a great idea..." It's full of charts & tips & worksheets & lists & it really leads you through the craft show process step-by-step. We are in the midst of the craft show season, so I highly suggest grabbing this worksheet if you're doing a show! You can use it year after year too. (And don't forget to tell Laura that I sent you. Not that I'll win a prize or anything, but just do it, K?) I should have read this worksheet a while ago. Not so stressed anymore. I can do this!!! And it's gonna be heaps of fun!

Tonight I'll be cozied on the couch while making lots of button rings. I've got these really neato boxes I'm making to package them in too. Can't wait to show you! I've canceled my Monday Night Feast for tonight so I can get crafty all-night-long. (**Suddenly hears Lionel Richie**)

My mouth is already watering thinking of Thanksgiving dinner this week. My whole fam--& then some--will be gathered at my mom & grandma's house to celebrate. There will be about 23 of us there! Oooh, there'll be good food & hanging with my favorite people & games galore! We're a board game/card game family, so I can't wait!! I'll be bringing twice baked potatoes & I need to figure out how to kick-em-up-a-notch.

OH! Before I forget!!! WhiMSY love is having an After-Thanksgiving Sale--from Nov. 28th thru December 1st everything is BUY ONE GET ONE HALF OFF!!!

Gotta go. My girls are running around pretending to be spiders---using their bathrobe ties as spiderwebs. They need to catch a fly--& I guess I've been nominated.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Luggage Tag Tutorial

I learned of the idea of this project from one of my MOPS buddies Julie. (**Hi Jules!!**) This luggage tag would make a GREAT quick holiday gift for the traveler in your family. You can even take this basic concept & make awesome fabric gift tags.

Supplies: The supply list seems long for such a small crafty project, but don't let that intimidate you. You know I only do simple, easy & fabulous tutes! First on the list is to gather different fabrics &/or felts. You'll also need a plain light-colored fabric for the "I.D." part of the tag. I've just recycled an old flour sack for that part.

You'll also need scissors, (optional: decorative zig-zag scissors), iron-on adhesive, an iron, embroidery threads, needles, grommets & a grommet setting tool

Another optional item is some transfer paper.

The first thing you'll do is cut the front piece of fabric for your tag AND a piece of iron-on adhesive a hair-bit smaller. Iron these together following the directions on the package.

The next step I didn't photograph very well. You'll want to decorate the front of your tag now. I cut out some pieces of felt in the shape of hearts & sewed the green & yellow heart together. Then, I stitched them onto the front piece of fabric with a simple running stitch using orange thread.
Once that is done, you'll want to lay this piece aside & work on your back fabric piece. I took a piece of green felt to use as my back piece. Take a piece of your plain light-colored fabric, cut just a little bit smaller than the back fabric piece & stitch it on in a haphazard way to the felt.
Now you'll want to sandwich your front & back pieces together & iron them -once again following the directions that came with your iron-on adhesive. I laid a piece of fabric over my design before ironing so I wouldn't scorch or ruin the felt heart design.

Use your decorative scissors to trim the tag to desired size.

Now for the grommets! Once you learn how to use a grommet you're going to want to do this technique on EVERYTHING! Make a small hole at the top of your tag. There are two parts of the grommets: One part is just a flat disc--kinda shaped like a flattened donut---sometimes referred to as the "female" piece, & the other grommet has a part stickin' out--sometimes referred to as the "male" piece. Put the "male" part of the eyelet/grommet into the hole you just made, through the top of the fabric.

Turn the tag over & slide the donut shaped piece onto the part sticking up. (Rounded part up.)

The grommet kit also comes with a little heavy circular piece. Rest the front part of the grommet (the "male" piece) into the grooves of this heavy circular piece. Gosh, I hope this doesn't sound too confusing.

On a hard surface, position the grommet tool into the back of the hole...
...& hold it with one hand while hammering with the other.
This is what it looks like on the back.
This is what it looks like on the front. A nice tight squeeze!
In the blank area where the light-colored fabric was sewn, you can use a permanent marker, like a Sharpie, to enter your name, address & other info. OR, you can print out the same information on some transfer paper through your computer. Remember to print it backwards (mirror image).

Iron it on.

And you're done!!
I used some plastic cording stuff that I recycled from an older luggage tag---but you can also use those rubber/plastic bracelets that are really bendable & flexible that look exactly like my cording piece.
Give a personalized gift this holiday season! A set for a family would be super sweet! (You can leave them blank for everyone to fill out themselves if you want.)

You can also make this project without sewing. And you can decorate your luggage tag in a bajillion different ways. Have fun gettin' all creative-like! Rock on with yer crafty self!

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Saturday...what a day...

All I wanted to do this morning was have a nice little visit with my sis over a cup of pumpkin flavored something-or-other & then casually arrive home to finish packaging orders & mail them in a leisurely pace at the post office. We did have a relaxing time at my favorite local coffee shop. Yes, here's yet ANOTHER foot shot at Espresso World. Different shoes though. Anyway, my plans started off nicely.

This is what happened next: Car dies while driving home on a busy little street. Poo. But a nice stranger-man helped us push the car in a safe place & wouldn't ya know it--we left our cell phones at home. So, nice stranger-man helped us out again, after telling us a story about his grandma being stranded in the middle of nowhere, in the olden days, & then being rescued by a bunch of hippies with guns.Our original plan for rescue failed, so we had to run across the street for a payphone. I had to borrow a quarter from a waitress to use the payphone. How pathetic was that? I was so ill-prepared for this day. I did remember to bring my camera though!!! Do you know how many people stare at you when you're trying to take a picture with a payphone? Lots. Eventually the tow truck came.
The tow truck driver, funny enough, knows my sister by name & has become quite familiar with her jalopy car. Nice guy. I wanted to take a self portrait with all 3 of us---but I didn't want to weird him out too much. Why is it that the mechanic's family always has crappy cars?

But now the post office is closed & I can't mail my packages until Monday. Double poo.

On a happy productive note, guess who FINALLY finished all the owlies?!?!?! Some of these already have homes & the rest are being reserved for a certain approaching Holiday Bazaar.

Here's my latest, greatest, & newest owlie accessory: personalized tags! A customer asked me to make some for her 2 boys & I came up with these tags. I LOVE how they turned out, so I made one each for my girls. Their names are on the front & the year is on the back. Adorable or what?!
Because most of my 'Saturday Nikki Time' was spent with car troubles, I decided to treat myself to a stop at my favorite antique spot for some vintage treasures. I purchased a big bunch of belt buckles. I decorated some holiday packages last year with similar buckles, but now that it seems to be all the rage (or at least I'm seeing this idea everywhere), I grabbed LOTS more. This is how I'm planning on wrapping my gifts this year.
Here's a peek at my Blogger Ornament Exchange package wrapped up & ready to be sent. Brown & black toile paper tied off with vintage grey trim & a navy blue vintage buckle. It's not very holiday-ish, but it's still super cute!

Tomorrow in the late afternoon I'll have a tutorial ready for ya. It's something that'll be perfect for those traveling this holiday season!!