Friday, July 30, 2010

Trash to Treasure --- Suitcases

Today's trash to treasure is about vintage suitcases.   It is interesting to me to see all these ways to repurpose an old suitcase.

You can find a tutorial here on how to make this pet bed from a suitcase.   It includes directions on securing the lid.  You wouldn't want it falling on your pet!
Kirsten's Suitcase Pet Bed

Add legs to a suitcase to make a side table.

Here is a tutorial showing how to do this on Good Housekeeping.

Here is a beautiful cottagy side table  with the suitcase sitting on a table made by Songbird

Here are some pictures of other uses to give you some inspiration.

Paint them.

Suitcase Chair

Storage for Craft Supplies

Stack them and use them for storage.

Thanks for visiting today.
Bette Shaw

Would you like to sponsor a giveaway? Would you like to be a featured artist?  Are you interested in promoting your store or blog at a very reasonable cost?   If so, just email me. I would be happy to send you the details.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Today's Featured Artist - Primgals Primitive Palette

    Today's Featured Artist is Jody Seilheimer of Primgals Primitive Palette

I live in a sleepy little town called Sandwich, Illinois with my husband of 19 years. We married in 1991 and have a wonderful blended family. I have always had a love of the arts...painting, music, etc since early childhood. Everywhere I went I had a coloring book and crayons, then at the age of 8 my mother took me to my first ceramics class. I have had a brush in my hand ever since. I also love to cross stitch, knit, and make candles when time allows, but my first love has always been primitive and folk art painting.

I have been in business now for 19 years.I started online in 2002, first as Simply Primitive, and then as Primgals Primitive Palette a short time later. Prior to that I did craft shows, supplied my local customers here at home, and also had booths in several craft shops.

I started out at my kitchen table with a handful of paints, and a wood washboard my husband made. I thought it need a little something, and that was the beginning. I then needed an outlet for my painted items, so I started selling at craft shows in 1992. My husband and I did shows on the weekends for several years until I discovered the Internet. I started my online business in 2002 on Ebay and then joined Etsy in 2008.

My work involves most of all planning. Finding the right design for the right surface. I enjoy painting on wood, but also love to paint on vintage pieces I come across at yard sales, estate sales etc. Prepping your surfaces is vital to turning out a quality piece, so I devote allot of time to that. Depending on the piece, it can take an hour or three days to bring it to the finished product.

My favorite is painting wood door crowns. They are hand cut, making my product truly handmade from start to finish. The design possibilities are endless, and they allow me such a creative outlet in choosing how they will turn out. I use many pattern designers such as Terrye French, Donna Atkins, and John Sliney, but all of my work has my personal interpretation of the design, so they are always a challenge, and so much fun to do.

My typical day in the studio is at least 8 hours, and sometimes more, depending on the orders that need to be filled. My day starts with answering emails, and doing promotional work in the mornings, and then I use the rest of the day for painting, packing orders, etc.I usually set the brushes aside in the evenings, and spend that time with my family and friends.

At this time my goal is to concentrate on my shop on Etsy, and to continue to supply my primitive gift shops with products. I have considered having my own website, and hope to get that accomplished in the next year or so.

Handcrafting is to me "Art from the Heart" that cannot be mass produced. Weather you paint, sew, cross stitch, or make soap and candles, a little of your heart goes into each piece. Etsy is a wonderful outlet for handmade, and I support their efforts for keeping the love of handmade available. I try to do my part in supporting handmade on my blog found at

I can be found on Etsy at
I also have a shop on Artfire at

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Handmade Spotlight - Handmade Soap on Etsy

Check out all these gorgeous soaps I found on etsy. I think I could have made an endless treasury of them if I'd had more time.

You can get a closer look at them by CLICKING HERE

Thanks for visiting!
Deena Davis

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Tuesday Tutorial - Introduction to Rag Quilting

I am going to make a bed size rag quilt and I thought it would be fun to make it a sew along with me series.   You can determine what size quilt you want to make.    It will soon be fall again and wrapping yourself up in a cozy lap quilt is wonderful on a cool fall evening.    They also make wonderful gifts and now is the time to get started for christmas gifting.

Are you an experienced rag quilter? Or would you like to learn to make a rag quilt?    Rag quilting is fast, easy and a great introduction into quilting.

I don't know who came up with this form of quilting but I was one of the first to jump on the bandwagon, quite a few years ago now. Some of my earliest pattern designs were for rag quilting.

Rag quilting isn't only for quilts though. It lends itself to all kinds of designs.
Purses and totes, mantle covers, book covers, stockings, treeskirts, valances, rugs,  just to name a few.

Rag quilting is pretty much like regular quilting only you sew your seams on the outside of the project and clip those seams into fringe that will curl up and soften with successive washings.
 It is very forgiving for the novice sewer as your seams don't show so no worrying if your seam isn't exactly straight.    It is mostly done with straight stitching so you don't have to be an experienced seamstress to try this.

Here are some of the essential supplies you will need to get started.

Lots of fabric scraps in light and dark values

A backing fabric ---Flannel is a great choice for a bed quilt.   Recycled Jeans are wonderful for rag quilts.  But any type of cotton fabric will work.     The amount of yardage you will need depends on the size quilt you want to make.   A lap quilt will take approx.  2 1/2 yards.

Batting----Warm N Natural Cotton batting,   again amount needed will depend on the size of your quilt.   Approx. 2 yards for a lap quilt.
        I am using a new batting for my quilt called Warm & Safe.   It is almost identical to the cottom batting but it is made from bamboo and is naturally fire retardant.
       Flannel also makes a wonderful batting fabric. 

Scissors ----I do a lot of rag quilting so I have a pair of rag quilting scissors.   Regular scissors will do but if you do a lot of rag quilting the special scissors will ease the strain of clipping seams.

Thread ---   Matching thread or for scrap quilting I use a neutral color like beige or gray

So that's it for this time.   Next time I will have the pattern pieces for you and the first lesson in making a rag quilted block.    I hope you will enjoy sewing along with me.

Thanks for visiting today.
Bette Shaw

Monday, July 26, 2010

Marilyn Is Back - She's Helping us Clear Clutter

A little over a month ago, we shared a Marilyn Bohn video with you about folding fabric. Today, we're bringing her back to help us with getting rid of clutter.

Take a peek at this...

If you have ideas on clearing clutter, be sure to leave us a comment, we'd love to hear them.

See ya next time!
Deena Davis

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Link Party Sunday

Today, because this blog is dedicated to the promotion of handmade and the crafters who are trying to add to the family support by the work and expression of their hands, we are offering you the opportunity to show off your handmade products you have for sale.

All sellers are welcome to participate whether you have an etsy, artfire, zibbet, etc. shop or a personal website or sales blog.

The rules are simple:

1. Follow our blog

2. Handmade items only.

3. You may list up to 3 items for sale.

4. Family friendly items only.

The success of this link party depends on the participants so spread the word to your friends, visit the shops, post about it on your blog, in a forum or on your favorite social networking site, grab the button and put it on your blog or website.

Just click on the Add Your Link button below and add your items.

And if you would like to add a link to the party you can grab this button below.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Handmade Sampler Giveaway -- Prim Country Creations DONE

Welcome to another Handmade Sampler Giveaway.    Today's giveaway is sponsored by Prim Country Creations. 

Julie makes her wonderful creations in her home and loves to make grungy primitives.  She also likes to use recycled treasures in her crafting.

Enter to win this adorable black doll,   Abby,  made by Julie.

You can earn up to three entries by doing the following...

1. Visit  and come back here and post a comment with your favorite item on the website. Be sure and leave your email address so we can contact you if you win.

2. Earn one extra entry by becoming a follower of this blog. Already a follower? Just let us know so we can give you credit.

3. Earn an extra entry by posting this giveaway on your blog along with a link to this blog. Be sure and let us know you have done this.

(USA  entries only, please)

The giveaway will start today, Saturday, July 24, and the winner will be announced on Friday, August 6. We will announce it here and contact you by the email address you have left. Final day to enter is Thursday,  August 5, 2010.

Have fun and good luck!

Would you like to sponsor a giveaway?  Are you interested in promoting your store or blog at a very reasonable cost?   If so, just email me. I would be happy to send you the details.

Friday, July 23, 2010

We Have a Winner for the Bowl Fillers

Congratulations to Niki from Arizona  on winning these wonderful bowl fillers.
Meet Niki on her blog,

The winner was picked using the true generator on We want to thank all of you who took the time to enter and for all the wonderful comments.

Be sure and come back again tomorrow as we will have a new giveaway starting that you won't want to miss.

We want to thank all our talented designers for donating their bowl fillers to this giveaway.  Be sure to visit their websites listed below to see all the wonderful things they make.

Thanks again to all of you who entered the giveaway.
Bette Shaw

Would you like to sponsor a giveaway?  Are you interested in promoting your store or blog at a very reasonable cost?   If so, just email me. I would be happy to send you the details.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Trash to Treasure --- Repurposing Old Dressers

Today's trash to treasure is about repurposing old dressers.     Sometimes you can find old dressers in good shape but you don't really need any more dressers.    Here are some great ideas on using them for other purposes.

I have seen many old dressers made into sink vanities like this one.

Here is one made into a credenza by The Inadvertent Farmer.

Wouldn't this be great in the craftroom.   This was made by In My Own Style.

Can you tell this was once a dresser?    It now graces an entryway for  Show and Tell

Here is a kitchen island made from an old dresser at Just For Rachel.

Hope this has given you some ideas on what to do with those old dressers that are too good to pass up.

Thanks for visiting.
Bette Shaw

Would you like to sponsor a giveaway?  Are you interested in promoting your store or blog at a very reasonable cost?   If so, just email me. I would be happy to send you the details.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Handmade Spotlight - Dollar Days

Short on cash? Look at all these items I found on for only $1

The items you see here were made into a Treasury on A treasury is Etsy's ever-changing, member-curated shopping gallery. You can find the items shown by CLICKING HERE

Thanks again for joining us.
Deena Davis

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Tuesday Tutorial - Felt

Felt is so versatile and so easy to work with.   It is great not having to worry about fraying and hemming.

Today there are so many beautiful things being made with it,  too.   Here are some tutorials I found around the web.

I love these penny purses from Penny Rugs and More.

Here is a beautiful flower made from felt at Yoonie At Home.

Here is a lined felt storage basket from Gingham Cherry.

Make some pretty felt roses at Mama Moontime.

And if you want to try your hand at making penny rugs,   this blog has loads of information for you along with some free penny rug patterns.    Craft Stew

I hope you have been inspired to try something new with felt today.
Thanks for visiting.
Bette Shaw

Would you like to sponsor a giveaway?  Are you interested in promoting your store or blog at a very reasonable cost?   If so, just email me. I would be happy to send you the details.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Let's Get Organized - Toolbox for Paper Crafting

As many of you know, I do a lot of paper crafting. Sometimes, I just want to throw a quick little project together, but don't want to get out all my stuff to make it. Today, I took a few minutes and put together a kit that I'll use when I make tags. I organized it all in a plastic tool box.

First, I started with one of these plastic tool boxes.

Then, I started sorting through my paper scraps. I have a lot of them. I had a lot that were like this too... a nice sized piece of paper with just one or two pieces punched out. (who did that!!) ;-)

Once, I had them sorted out, I sat down with my punches and punched out various sized scallops and circles. Now I'll have quite a few to choose from and it'll be a lot quicker to just grab one that's already punched out when I need it.

I put the rest of my bigger sized scraps in in the bottom of the toolbox. They fit quite nicely in there.

I put my paper trimmer on top of the scraps... a perfect fit!

Next, I added some things to the tray that is inside the toolbox... scissors, ink pad, punches, bone folder, glue sticks, ribbon and some string.

With this particular toolbox, there is another compartment built into the lid. I was able to add more things there. You'll see my punched pieces in there along with some buttons, embellishments and some floss.

I think these tool boxes would be great for organizing sewing notions too. I have another one and just might give that a try sometime.

Thanks for joining us as again today!

Deena Davis

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Blog Party Sunday, Christmas in July Sales

Welcome to another Blog Party Sunday. There are a lot of Christmas in July sales going on right now.
What do you have on your website or in your Etsy or Artfire shop that is on sale?

I'm having a Christmas In July Sale at - You can buy any 5 items for $7 (excluding printable feedsack logos).

So now it is your turn.   What do you have in your shop or on your website that is on sale?

Our guidelines:

1. Just click on the Add Your Link button below, and add your Etsy, Artfire, Blog, or website url  for the link.

2. Add a picture of your item.

3. If you are a blogger, please add our button to your blog and invite your readers back to join the party.

4. Family friendly items only, please.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Trash to Treasure --- Door and Door Knobs

I would like to share some ideas for using old door and door knobs with you this week.    I love this idea.   The door is sideways and a shelf has been added.   The door knob is still attached and can be used to hang things on.

Here is a smaller door made into a blackboard shopping list.   Really cute!

Here is a combination of a small door with a door knob in the middle.    There is a glass piece behind the door knob.   You might find this as part of an old lamp as it needs to have a hole in the middle.   Hooks were added to the bottom of the door so you can hang keys,  etc.

I really love how they used the glass doorknob as a tie back here.   Beautiful!

I had never seen these before.   They are using old doorknobs to make bottle stoppers.

And finally,   this is one of my favorite uses for old doorknobs.  

Thanks for visiting today.
Bette Shaw

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Today's Featured Artist - Folkart From The Heart

Today's featured artist is Kim Owens from Folkart From The Heart.


 Hi,  I’m Kim Owens.  I reside in sunny California where my very supportive husband has allowed me to create a home studio where I sculpt all of my Folk Art creations.

  I got started in my home based business about twenty years ago when I met a gal at church who shared my passion for art. 
  My friend and I took a tole painting class together and from there started our own business of doing home parties.  From there, we branched out to craft fairs.  Once the World Wide Web was born, and became an affordable option, it quickly became my venue of choice.  Of course there is still no substitute for holding a piece of art in your hands, so I do plan to get back into Art Fairs. 

  I started out painting on wood.  I would cut out my own patterns using a scroll saw and then paint each piece with acrylic paint. Soon after I discovered garden art.  So I would sculpt a piece out of clay, create a reusable mold and then cast the piece in concrete.  I still have the original pieces; they still make me smile when I look at them.  From there I discovered Polymer Clay, which I still love to use.  The colors and textures that can be created are endless.  Today however, I am working with my own handmade paper clay. It’s much lighter and more durable than Polymer Clay, and it allows me to be more artistic with my paints and chalks.  I still use Polymer Clay in conjunction with the Paper Clay, but Paper Clay is my medium of choice.

  I will always love making snowmen and Santas, they will always be near and dear to my heart.  But my creative juices are always flowing and new ideas pop into my head faster than I can create them, so the snowmen and Santas have to vie for attention.
  Now that my children are grown and starting families of their own, I get to work any time I want to.  I do make sure my house is clean and always ready for company and that I have at least a plan for dinner when my husband comes home, other than that, I’m free to create anytime my muse inspires me.   

I would love to someday own my own commercial art studio where my customers can come directly to me, anytime they want to and hold my art in their hands.  I love people and I love to share my art with those that love unique, quality, handcrafted sculptures.

  When I pick up a piece of art, and I see a unique design that is one of a kind created with care, time, love and quality  and I know that I am the only person on the planet that will own that piece of art, then I know it’s handcrafted.  That’s how I want my customers to feel when they hold a piece of my art in their hands.