Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Next Craft Show! And New Trees!

Last Friday and Saturday the DFW area was under siege weather wise. My primary craft show was cancelled. :(  But I will be attending one this upcoming weekend.  If you are in DFW area of Texas, please come see me.

So Many Christmas Projects, so little time....  Here is what I have been working on.
Homespun chic.
Bright and Cheery







Thursday, November 28, 2013

Happy Thanksgiving and Craft Bargains

Happy Thanksgiving Crafty Peeps! It is time to get crafting for the holidays. I am thankful to the people who follow this blog. I am going to share some of my favorite online shopping and links for great coupons to the bigger craft stores.

And there are some wonderful bargains out there to help get started. Save up to 50% of Brother Sewing Machines at Amazon. Special Pricing


I like shopping at an old catalog shopping spot.  Sunshine Discount Crafts.  I am old enough to remember mailing in my order because I couldn't call during business hours. Today I am thankful for Internet shopping! Free shipping is usually available for $100 orders and up.  I have a promo code for free shipping on orders of $25 or more. You can find old style craft supplies, newer products and more. Use code TGFS25 good through Sunday 12/1/13.

Have you visited yet? Well check it out.  You can get craft supplies and crafts people have made for sale. TODAY ONLY 11/28/13 they are having a Thanksgiving Sale

Consumer Crafts is a recent find. They don't have an uber broad selection but they have some good products and a great project blog. TODAY ONLY 11/28/13 get free shipping, no minimum.  Or check out the Thanksgiving weekend specials. has 20% off store wide through Sunday 12/1/13. Promo code is TURKEY20.
If you go shopping today, don't forget to pull from your newspaper or go to Michaels. Today only in addition to sales you get 30% off your total purchase. I am conflicted about attending as I may go crazy (98% probability of going shopping crazy, that is why I don't work in a craft story or book store). Get Coupons. Tomorrow you get 25% off your entire purchase. Yippee! - Oh, oh I feel a crafting shopping crazy coming. ;) is celebrating by gifting 20% off store wide until Sunday 12/1/13. Use code BF13. They have excellent selection of specialty tools you can't find just anywhere, platting, diamond setting and more along with your more basic supplies for the everyday crafter.

Are you a crocheter like me or a knitter? for 20% off select yarns and free shipping with no minimum through Sunday 12/1/13. - GET THE COUPONS before you shop.

Check out another Christmas Tree I found at  Made with cupcake liners - can't get easier than this and cute!

Friday, November 22, 2013

A Collection of Christmas Tree Crafts

I have trigger finger from using the glue gun, but in my ring finger. The finger is immobilized so I am impaired from writing, typing, crafting and even brushing my hair, If I try left handed, well I guess I don't need to brush my hair after all. I'm typing with one finger right now, the splint I crafted gets in the way.

Yes, I crafted my own splint using common household items. First I tried a foam nail file then half of a wooden clothespin. Finally the answer is a hair clip. 

So after crafting, I have been doing some one hand typing for reviews for my Review, reading, writing blog. A lot of TV and some reading - and surfing.

I thought I'd share some of my crafting finds. So here we go in no particular order, some speak for themselves and others will have input from me.

Christmas tree from newspaper.  I have seen them before but none like this. Large and appears to be made not only with higher quality newsprint/paper but I don't think the rolls of paper are glued to a Styrofoam cone.

These are some pretty yarn wrapped trees. I use jiffy yarn or homespun yarn.  The jiffy yarn I do very neatly but the homespun, I need chaotic wrapping. I like how these patterns were made.
The second yarn tree photo comes from Uncommon Designs and they have (yes they, 2 ladies named Bonnie & Trish) have a mini tutorial here.

 This is a wood tree attached to the wall from HGTV.

Jingle Bells.
Here is a tree from Crafts Unleashed Blog and owners of Consumer Crafts. Tutorial here

From Tatertots and Jello.  She has some great hand crafted replicas of Pottery Barn and Anthropologie items.

Let me know if you make trees and attach a photo with a link back to your blog!

Enjoy. Have a Happy Thanksgiving.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Craft Show Photo and Tree Tutorial

Here are some photos from my craft show and tutorial on some of my Xmas tree mantel décor and a tutorial link.
I have been making Christmas trees for several years. My tutorial on the cord wrapped tree below can be found from an earlier post here.


This photo from the show features a variety of trees, all my ideas (and work) except for the fabric covered trees. 
The fabric trees originated from this post (originally I saw an image of her trees) by The Creativity Exchange. I believe and hope I put my own twist on them.

Making the trees that don't start with a Styrofoam cone base is harder than I thought. Getting the bottom even and round and the top of the cone to come to a point is a challenge. Getting the fabric to make a smooth glued edge was a difficult enterprise as well. I had to hot glue then I went bag and used a hot air gun on an area. When the area was heated I rolled the cone on my cutting mat and shoved my hand or a tool (my arm is only so long when I am working with a 3 foot tall cone) inside and pressed. 

The results are lovely but this craft was a pain in many ways beyond burned fingers.

I love the trees below. Have a look and I will tell you how to create them.


  1. Create a cone. I used poster board but you could buy Styrofoam, the plastic cones for angels didn't work.
  2. Ribbon. I used 4" wide wire edged gold ribbons. Wire edge ribbons were much easier to work with than non wire.
  3. Decide what you want to use to decorate (or not) the top of the tree. This will help whether you start at the top or bottom, I did both and found the bottom easier but starting at the top used less ribbon. When you start at the top you must wrap back down the tree - more on this later.
  4. For my decorations I used 1)stars I took a paper mache ornament, pulled the cord and inserted a wire or tooth pick inside securing with hot glue. I painted some stars with liquid gold leaf and coated others with embossing powder, 2) I created 2 fabric flowers and glued together at the top of the cone, 3) store bought mini star top decorations on a spring. The store bought were easiest though not my favorite.
  5. I recommend for handmade poster board cones taking additional half circles of poster board and insert inside the cone. Secure with glue. This gives added weight and security to the base.
  6. If starting at the top cut your ribbon at an angle. Fold ribbon to make a point. Glue the folded cut edge first than add a drop of hot glue at the top. The glue is very hot through the ribbon so wear gloves or use a spatula type tool to hold in place.
  7. If starting at the bottom glue the end inside the cone. Then wrap the ribbon around the bottom. Because of the cone shape the ribbon will never lay flat but this is part of the beauty of the tree.
  8. I put a thin thread of hot glue around the base the cone and secure ribbon leaving about 1/3 of the width hanging below the bottom edge. Bend the wire ribbon left hanging/dangling into the cone and glue inside.
  9. Press the wire against the cone and begin wrapping. The beauty of this project is the wrapping. To accommodate the decreasing size of the cone I pulled the ribbon tightly and periodically folded the ribbon in a twist. Attach with glue periodically to insure ribbon remains fixed to the cone. Trust me if you don't it will slip and fall down.
See how pretty the twist in the wrap looks? When you start at the top you must twist up to the top twist back down. This uses more ribbon because the top will be thicker so you will need to compensate by using more ribbon.

You are not done, there is one final step. I spent a LOT of time finding the best solution. I just can't seem to cut a good circle even using a traced template. I wanted to use felt which requires either a base or very, very thick pressed felt. 

Finally here is what I came up with as a solution. I took my empty ribbon rolls and tore of one side of the paper. I painted the bottom and the inside edge the used ribbon bobbin. I then glued the inside lip of the ribbon bobbin and inserted into the cone.  If some of the inner edge showed, that was okay because I had painted. If I felt I needed a felt bottom, the slightly imperfectly cut felt didn't matter or you can by pre-glued circles of felt that go on table legs or vases to prevent scratches.  I know 3M makes them, look in the area of picture hangers or furniture markers.

More Craft Show projects to come.  What do you think?

Friday, November 15, 2013

Christmas Craftshow

Busy and busy. I have made so many items this week for a craft show tomorrow. Next week I will take better photos and add tutorials. I have burned fingers and a smile on my face. 

Projects included my easy peasy wreaths, trees covered and decorated with: fabric, yarn, ribbon, cord, paper and more - santa hat pillows, mini santa hat magnets, reindeer and handcast paper ornaments.

Here is a sampling:


Friday, November 8, 2013

Craft Show Wreaths

I am in the process of making products for two upcoming craft shows.

Along with my traditional cone trees, wreaths and reindeer I am attempting something new.

Here are pictures of my 'standard' products.

I just finished a 24 inch fabric cone tree.   It looks elegant. I need to photograph. This was a surprisingly difficult craft. The point of the cone gave me fits.

Here are some items I have seen online that I am in the process of making. If they turn out nicely I will post pictures and steps.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Finger Painting Art

I am not a good painter. I have no artistic technique or skill with a brush.  This limits me in the type of art/pictures I can create.

I make collages, sometimes they look good and other times I create a mass of ugly.

Using a pattern I am pretty good with fabric painting. I can use chalk and a template and make something pretty good looking. I will cover this in another blog when I work on this type of project.  I have some very cool templates to share.

Now saying I am not a good painter is true. But I am very good with my hands or my fingers if you will.  I can create some beautiful items with my fingers. 

This weekend I had an idea and tried a new project.  Through trial and error I learned what to do, what not to do and I am finally pleased with my technique.

Now I need to get some black gesso and make some more.  Here is what I did, using my fingers and metallic powder, mica powders and a workable fixative.

I used one of my favorite brand of templates.  I didn't get the best photograph of this work. While it isn't perfect, I finally perfected the technique.

 Here is my first effort and I learned several things. 
  • Using workable fixative improves the results, the large pear created the effect I wanted.
  • If you don't use great care the metallic and mica powder will color the page where it is unwanted, lower left.
  • I experimented on the grapes trying to find the best way to work with the powder and the template.  On this template making a hard line with the grapes did not look good.  A blurring on lines worked better as you can see with the grapes on the left side of this picture.   I experimented with more than one color and shading and learned, what not to do - don't use different colors. Shade brighter from one angle.
  • The grapes are too round on this template and I won't be using them in the future.  The pears and leaves turn out lovely.

Below is a Christmas Cone tree I made from one of my pieces of art. The art actually turned out pretty well but was on construction paper.  I decided to glue the paper to a paper cone I created.

When I get a black canvas and make another 'piece of finger art' I will share with you. I will also try to take pictures of both the steps and my fingers.
Part of crafting is practicing and learning what works and what doesn't.  I consider my efforts successful.

Monday, October 28, 2013

Christmas Trees for Mantel & Tablescape Home Decor

I love crafting, especially for the holidays. I try to give as many handmade gifts as possible. I believe handmade imparts to the recipient the thought, care and love.  Or in other words, I love them very much and want to give something from my heart and hands.

This year I am working on items for craft shows as well.

Until I can purchase a new digital camera we will have to deal with my unsteady hands and camera phone. 

Yesterday I made Christmas trees and wall art.  Today I will cover the corded trees. 
The primary hazard of this project is burned fingers, usually my left thumb. :)

For several years I have made the following type of décor.
This is an easy project.
You need:
  • Hot Glue Gun
  • Cording
  • Styrofoam Cone
  • Optional:
    • Christmas ornaments, stars other misc. décor

Above are examples of Styrofoam cones and cording. The picture on the right is incomplete. 
Aside from hot glue burning your fingers the two most difficult parts of this project are adding additional cord and finishing the top of the tree.
Steps and Tips.
  1. Start making the tree at the bottom. I use the hot glue gun to melt a cord size place on the bottom of the tree.  Do not make the melted space vertical but at an angle, this will make wrapping cord easier. Then put a daub of glue in the melted part of the cone and place the end of cord.  Hold until secure.
  2. Run a bead of hot glue right along the bottom edge. If right handed, use left thumb to hold cord at start of wrap along the bottom. Try to make the first wrap right along the bottom edge.
  3. When you reach the start of wrap you will slightly slope cord. Continue gluing and wrapping cord around the Styrofoam.
  4. When you reach the end of a spool use the hot glue gun to make a depression in Styrofoam and embed the cord end with glue.  When you start a new spool, be sure the cord has a very small piece of tape on the cord so it does not unravel.  Glue the start of new spool over the embedded end.
  5. When you reach the top of the cone you have two options depending on your choice of finish.  No matter the choice you make, you once again must identify where the cord will end. Wrap with a small piece of tape and cut the cord. Make another depression using the hot glue gun on the very top of the cone, which is flat. If you use an ornament make the depression larger. You can do this by gently moving the hot tip in a circle to widen for an ornament. Add hot glue and either tuck the cord end in the top or fill with glue and push the ornament in the top.
In this picture you can see I hadn't decided if I was going to use an ornament or not. Here are some pictures of different sizes with and without ornaments.
The green and gold tree in the back is a different project and I will cover in another post.