Monday, May 31, 2010

Memorial Day...

Normally we feature an organizational tip or two on Mondays. But with today being Memorial Day, we felt that it would be a good to stop and think about what today really stands for.

While searching for the right words to post today, we ran across this poem and found it very suitable.

The Ultimate Sacrifice:
A Memorial Day Poem
We set aside Memorial Day
Each and every year
To honor those who gave their lives
Defending what we hold dear.

In all the dark and deadly wars,
Their graves prove and remind us,
Our brave Americans gave their all
To put danger far behind us.

They made the ultimate sacrifice
Fighting for the American way;
We admire them and respect them
On every Memorial Day.

By Joanna Fuchs
We'd like to say thank you to those that have served and to those that continue to serve our great Nation. Without you, our lives wouldn't be as they are today. 

Deena and Bette

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Blog Party Sunday, Show Us Anything Creative

What did you do lately to satisfy your creative muse? Let's throw this party way open and show us anything you made as long as it is family friendly.

Did you bake a dessert for the holiday weekend, plant something in your garden, sew, paint, weave, sculpt, make jewelry, make soap, the list could go on and on because there are so many different ways to be creative.

Here is what I made this week.   I  finally got around to making a cover for my chaise with some vintage chenille bedspreads and then made this pillow to go with it.

Show Us Yours:
So, now it’s YOUR turn for the party this week! What did you make this week?

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.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Selling Online

You've probably seen that Bette and I both talk about selling on and While those two websites are probably the most popular selling venues for handmades right now, they're not the only ones.

I ran across this awesome list of 84 places to sell your crafts online.
What a great resource! Some of them are even FREE.

If you have the time to list your things on several websites, it certainly wouldn't hurt to try it, especially if it's FREE to add your listings. The more you get your name out there, the better.

A few tips for selling handmades.

1. Keep yourself branded by using the same logo design on all sites.

2. If you have a full website and can link to it from the other selling venue, do it. Just make sure it's allowed.

3. List items frequently. No one wants to visit a shop they visited 2 months ago and see the same things. Keep things fresh and current.

4. Keep your prices and shipping priced fairly, but don't sell yourself short. Your items have worth so make sure you get what you deserve without being over priced.

5. Use great photos. Blurry, dark and out of focus photos are unappealing. If they can't see how great your stuff is, they won't want to buy it. Use several pictures from various angles.

6. Use clear and concise descriptions. Explain exactly what it is they'll receive if they buy your item. Tell them when and how it will be shipped. You have to explain IT ALL.

7. Watch for trends that are selling. If you're making pink polka dot hand knit socks because YOU like them, it doesn't mean they'll sell. Make what the consumer likes.

8. Be prompt in answering questions about your items. If the buyer is ready to buy, they'll want the info quickly.

9. Be patient (my biggest obstacle). It takes a while to get noticed.

10. Promote yourself without going overboard. Use the social networking sites to your advantage. You'll have to interact with others about other things, but throw your link out there every once in a while. After all it is a part of who you are.

Thanks for visiting today.
Deena Davis

Friday, May 28, 2010

Trash to Treasure ---- Old Windows

Today's Trash to Treasure is about old windows.

Do you have any of these vintage windows hanging around and don't know what to do with them? Maybe these ideas will spark your creativity.

Add a planter box to the front of your window.    Isn't this one pretty.

Have a room without a view? Learn how to add one like this.
Ordianary Miracle of Life blog

 I love the pictures they used with this one.

Learn how to make a chalkboard with one here,   The Shabby Chic Cottage

Use it to hang pots and pans from.

And if you have a lot of windows,  you can even make a greenhouse from them.

For many more ideas for using old windows,   check out this website.

Thanks for visiting us today.
Bette Shaw

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Handmade Spotlight

Today, I'm sharing some awesome looking handmade soaps I found on
Be sure to click the link below the image to find more great stuff from these artisans.







Thank you for visiting!
Deena Davis

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Getting Ready for a Craft Show - Part One

Today we have a guest poster, Jodi Williams of Crafts by Jodi, who is going to share some great info on doing craft shows  with you.

Hi, I'm from Western PA. I've been crafting for over 20 years now. I am married and have an 11 year old daughter.  At Crafts By Jodi, we are proud to say that everything is handmade in my country home. We make wood signs, seasonal wood decorations, fabric crafts and we also do vinyl lettering.

Getting Ready For A Craft Show --Part One

   I receive a lot of questions about getting ready for craft shows. I have been doing them for about 7 or 8 years now and I learn something new every year!
  Seriously though there is a lot to keep in mind when you decide to do a craft show. I will go over everything from the shows, how to make your display, items you won't want to forget to take, and a lot more.

This is a picture of our show we do in October.  It's our inside show and we have 2 booths

  Right now we do only 2 shows a year. One of them is a 2 day show in September and the other is a 5 day (2 weekends) show in October. I have found that the fall shows are the best for me. You need to decide which will work better with the products that you sell. For instance, if you do florals, you may do well at the Spring shows. The best thing I did was to go to the shows that I was interested in and talk to some of the vendors.
  I would go to the shows with my parents, since we do the shows together, and look at displays. You will want to keep in mind the items you sell when looking at the displays to decide what is the best way to showcase your items. Every year we think that we have the booth exactly as we want it but we still change our booth every year! My dad laughs when my mom and I start a sentence with "we were thinking"!! He knows we have big ideas to change the booth around again!
  You will also want to look at where the vendors need to park and how far you will need to carry your items to the booth. It will help to know these things so that you can plan ahead. We bought a wagon to load our things on. You will want to decide if you would be able to do an outside show or if you need to be inside. Some shows have both inside and outside booths available. Sometimes the outside booths are priced a little cheaper. Just keep in mind the weather. If you make homemade chocolates, you may not want an outside booth in the middle of summer! One of our shows is outside and we have been lucky most years as far as the weather. We did set up the year when we had the horrible floods in 2004. We were lucky and didn't lose any merchandise although others were not as lucky. Sometimes the shows will offer to let you have an electric outlet. So if you need lights, or power for your register, make sure you ask about that. I bought a battery powered cash register because we do the one show outside and there are no electric hook ups there.
   We have double booths at both shows. We needed to get tents for the show that is outside. We were able to find ours at Sam's Club. I can't remember the exact price but it was roughly around $100. They are both 10x10 tents and they do have the sides with them. We have both a velcro one and one that zips. I like the one that zips, it just seems easier to me. They are both EZ UP tents. Now our first time trying to put it up... I did not believe it was the right name for the tent!! Luckily my dad, mom and I get along great and we just laughed at each other! After we realized what we were doing, it did go up pretty easy. We get quicker every year!      
  Our walls were made by my dad. He used pegboard and framed each panel. Yes, they are heavy but they work the best with our crafts. Some people use grid wire, wood, I have even seen chicken wire. Our other show is inside so we don't need the tents for it. Keep in mind that you want to design your booth so that your customers are able to move easily through your booth, so they can see everything. Our one show is so busy that the aisles are really packed with people and sometimes the flow of people just push people right past our booth. We opened our booth up so the customers can come into our booth and take their time to look at our crafts.
  We also put our cash register at one end of the booth. We get very busy and will have a line of people at the register. We designed our booth so that when this happens, our most popular items are not blocked by the line. My mom makes yardstakes and they sell so well, we had to figure out a way for her to refill them during our busy hours. Since I run the register and my mom wraps and bags the sales, it's hard to get away to refill our booth. She would try to get around the line and get through the crowd. It was really difficult to do it quickly so we asked my dad to add a "secret" door! We place the yardstakes right beside the door and then she just walks behind the booth, opens the door and refills the yardstakes without any problems.
  A lot of what we have learned has been through trial and error. You of course want to make sure you have lots of inventory for your shows. Even though we do just the 2 shows a year, we work all year long making crafts so we won't run out. Sometimes we still do! You will also want to keep in mind where you might want to keep your extra inventory. My mom and dad bought a trailer to keep their items in and we also put items behind our booth. Although some shows you must stay within your space.

My best advice is to visit craft shows you would like to attend, and ask questions!

My next entry will cover the items that you will want to make sure you take with you to the shows.

Have a great day!

To visit Jodi's website, click on the banner below.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Organizing Embroidery Floss

All I can say is WOW when I check out these ideas for storing and organizing your embroidery floss. I certainly wish I was "half" as organized as these girls.

This first idea comes from The Twisted Stitchers' Tutorials

I think that chest full of floss is just simply beautiful. If it were mine, I'd probably just want to leave the drawers open just to admire all the pretty colors.

Next we have a really great idea using the small drawer storage containers from

She says it took her 3 days to organize it all, but again, she's WOW'd me with how it's all so organized and neat.

And last, we have this neat bag style organizing system from

How nice to be able to thumb thru and find what you need in a matter of seconds.

I use bags to store my floss (a couple gallon sized zipper bags) and what a MESS it is. I'm not a stitcher, but when I do need it, it's always a tangled mess.  I need to practice some of these ideas. I'm sure you'd agree if you saw what I have.

Thanks for dropping by!
Deena Davis

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Blog Party Sunday, Show us your Etsy or Artfire red listing

Let's continue the fun from last week and show off our "RED" listings today.   What do you have listed in your shop or even your website that is RED?

Here is a RED item, a retro clothespin dress,  from Bette's Etsy shop  Handmade By Bette.

Here is an item from Deena's ArtFire shop, featuring a lot of RED

Show Us Yours:
So, now it’s YOUR turn for the party this week! What is your favorite thing you have in your Etsy or Artfire shop that you would like to share with us.

Our guidelines:

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

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Handmade Sampler Giveaway - HUGE PATTERN GIVEAWAY---DONE

Welcome to another Handmade Sampler giveaway.
This time around we have a HUGE pattern prize pack brought to you by many talented designers. (click the images for a better view) and be sure to visit their websites listed below.

You can earn two entries by doing the following...
1... Earn one entry by becoming a follower of this blog.  Already a follower?  Just let us know so we can give you credit.
2... Earn an extra entry by posting our button on your blog and linking to us. We've made it easy... just copy and paste the html code below and add it to the side bar of your blog.

The giveaway will start today, Saturday, May 22, and the winner will be announced on Friday, June 4. We will announce it here and contact you by the email address you have left. Final day to enter is Thursday, June 3, 2010. 

(USA and Canada entries only, please)
Have fun and good luck!
Deena and Bette

Friday, May 21, 2010

We Have a Winner for the Americana Giveaway

We Have a Winner for the Americana package of goodies from Ewe N Me Printables.

Congratulations Linda Parker of Iowa on winning the Americana sampler giveaway.
You can meet Linda on her blogs.

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.  

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Today's Featured Artist - Baskets By Rose

Our featured artist this week is Rose Clawson of Baskets By Rose.

Rose is married and a proud military mom.  She has two grown sons and one daughter-in-law.  Her oldest son and daughter-in-law are in the Army and her youngest son is out of the Army and going to school.

Rose has always been busy with her hands,  sewing and painting.  She took an adult education class in basket weaving in 1992 and was hooked by the time she made her fourth basket.    She started her basket business doing craft shows in 1994.

Since then has added some other things she makes, like quilts, to go along with the baskets. She has been selling online for a couple of years now.

Basket weaving involves lots of time.  First you cut the reed, soak it, weave the bottom of the basket.  Upset it to form the bottom, then weave the side, lace the rim.  Reshape it, let it dry, then stain it, and reshape it.  A small basket can be woven in 30 minutes, and the larger one can have 5 hours in it.
Because of the soaking and forming the basket, she works on them off and on during the day.  This way she can still take care of her home, and yard.

She favors the large baskets as they are easier to work on than the small ones. She also loves to change the weaving pattern on the side for a different look.  My favorites are her colorful baskets with the unusual side like this corn basket

and these tulip baskets.

Rose’s work may be found at various places online.

On weekends you can find Rose at the local Farmers Markets and you may even catch her weaving a basket.
The Sunday Artisan Market – Ann Arbor, Michigan
Farmington Farm Market - Farmington, Michigan

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Handmade Spotlight

Each Wednesday, we'll be spotlighting some items that are made "by your hands".

Today, we're featuring some handmade checkerboards that we found on

Thanks for visiting!
Deena Davis

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Fabric Needlebook Tutorial

Last week Deena showed you how to print on fabric. This week I am going to show you how to make this fabric needlebook using a vintage printed image.

Fabric Needlebook Tutorial

1 8 ½ x 11 sheet of freezer paper
1 8 ½ x 11 sheet of muslin
5 inch x 15 inch piece of main cover fabric
5 inch x 15 inch piece of warm n natural batting
5 inch x 15 inch piece of lining fabric
2 pieces of felt, 3 ½ inches x 12 inches
Assorted embellishments

To download the free Vintage Image, Click here.


Print your image on to freezer paper backed muslin. Directions for printing on fabric are found Here. Cut it out leaving a small seam allowance.

Iron it to the fusible webbing and then cut it out along the edges of the image.
Take your main fabric for your needlebook cover and fold it in half.
Iron the image on to the fabric at a slight angle.

Now you can embellish the cover with buttons, charms, ribbon, lace, whatever you have on hand.
I used some rick rack, a tiny yoyo, buttons and a scissors charm.  

With cover and lining right sides together, lay them on the batting and pin together. With batting against the feeddogs, stitch all layers together leaving an opening for turning on the back side of the cover.

Clip the excess batting away from the seam allowance. Turn right side out and press. Slip stitch the opening closed.

Center the two pieces of felt on the inside of the needle book. Stitch the felt to the cover down the middle of the needle book.

On the back of the needlebook, handstitch a piece of cording or ribbon which will be used to tie the book closed.

On the front cover stitch a button to wind the cording around to hold your needle book closed.

Disclaimer: Printing on fabric in your printer is at your own risk.

Thanks for joining us again!
Bette Shaw

Monday, May 17, 2010

Organizing Crochet/Knitting Supplies

Do you knit or crochet? Do you have trouble keeping track of your needles, hooks and yarn? If so, we've found some great organizational ideas to help you out.

On we found this really cute Roll-Up case for storing your crochet hooks. She has step by step instructions with photos. How cute this would be made from your favorite fabrics.

Here's another similar item made to store your knitting needles from Oh... how handy it would be to have them all in one place.

We also found this one that's made similar to the others. It's from So cute and nice with the different sized pockets.

And check this out... what a great idea for organizing yarn. There's instructions with photos on how to make it. It's a work of art in itself.

Need an easy way to keep your yarn clean and organized while working on a project? Check out this upcycled oatmeal box yarn holder from A Bit of Sunshine.

All of these are such great ideas. Do you have an tip or secret to keeping your crochet/knittng supplies organized? We'd love to hear from you. Be sure to let us know by leaving a comment.

Have a great week!
Deena Davis