Thursday, December 31, 2009

New Year, Time to Get Crafty!

Every crafter's resolution: make more stuff in the new year.

To get this off to a good start, I'm inviting some friends over to felt with me on the first, tomorrow. No time to waste!

Check out these super-cute projects by Martha Stewart:

The little colored balls and beads might be just right for a single felting session as we're all newbies, however I'm really intrigued by these adorable needle-felted birds:

The video is great to watch. The guest has a site with a gallery of the incredible little critters she's made:

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Cute Last-Minute Gifts for the Neighbors

I made these packets of hot chocolate and homemade marshmallows for the neighbors as easy last-minute Christmas gifts.

I didn't do it alone, I had a little help from two able assistants.

Colin and Ethan helped me with the recipe for the marshmallows I found on Martha Stewart's website:

We had everything we needed in our cupboards to make these up. The hardest part was being patient while the thing whipped itself up to amazing volume in nine minutes.

You pour the mixture out and let it set for a couple of hours while the kids try to lick all the sticky goo that has accumulated on their bodies.

Later, you cut it up into cubes and roll it in a generous amount of powdered sugar.

The hot chocolate was even simpler. Just measure and mix up some dry ingredients. I got premium cocoa and it really tastes great!

I scooped some into some cellophane bags, arranged some marshmallows on a bit of wax paper in another, made a cute label with directions (and our Santa photo) and stapled it all together.

Super easy!

The boys and I delivered them today. Fun!

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Cancer Card Brightens a Day!

No other card I make gets me the kind of feedback that my "Hey Cancer! Take THAT!" card gets me.

If you haven't seen it before, it features the popular iconic Rosie the Riveter image... but with a twist.

Pull the tab on the right and her bent arm moves in a rude gesture, to put cancer in its proper place.

In one of my giveaways, one of my winners asked if she could substitute this card for the card that she'd won, giving me a bit of the story. I recently received this feedback from her:

Hi Molly,
I just wanted to let you know how much my mom loved the cancer card.
When she was diagnosed with cancer, our family was worried, of course, but also positive. We were fortunate in that the doctor's found the cancer by accident (if there is such a thing) and in a very early stage.
From the first night we found out, we decided we were going to kick ass and take names. Even though it was my mom's body, we were all in this together and we were strong. Luckily, surgery did the trick and now she's cancer free! We feel like we dodged a bullet and we are so, so happy. Your cancer card fit our situation perfectly. "Take That, Cancer!"
Thank you so much for making such a great card.
Take care,
Feedback like this really makes my day! This is EXACTLY why I love to send this card out so much -- making a sale is always fun, but the thought of brightening someone's day with this defiant sentiment is the real motivator for me!

Thank you, Darcy, for taking the time to let me know your story!

Friday, December 18, 2009

Tutorial: Personalized Tacks

I decided I wanted to make tacks for my coworkers for Christmas. They look soooo cute displayed on a piece of leftover bulletin board cork cut to fit inside an Altoid's tin.

The red border of the front of the tin is ready-made for holiday embellishment!

Anyone who's ever made these flattened glass fridge magnets or tacks knows how incredibly simple it is. The hardest part for me was finding nice clear flat marbles -- I used to get them from the craft store or even the dollar store, but lately all I've found there are opalescent or riddled with pock marks.

I finally found some nice ones at a local floral supply store.

My 1/2" circle punch is sure handy for punching out the photos (you can cut out with scissors but it sure does take a lot longer!)

Here you see the different stages. On the left, just a plain, flat glass marble.

Next step: add a small drop of Diamond Glaze (what a wonderful adhesive!).

Press your photograph face down into the drop, pressing down so that some gooshes out of the edges (then you know it's covered the whole photo).

Add another drop of Diamond Glaze.

Press down the tack.

That's it!

It's so simple I did them all in one quick crafty evening. What made this gift a little extra special was the presentation. I cut the cork to fit the inside of the Altoids tin. The tin would be an equally cute way to gift refrigerator magnets made with this same technique.


Tuesday, December 15, 2009

One Pretty Thing: Craft Roundup!

Ever wish that someone could take the work out of browsing the web for the good stuff?

One Pretty Thing does just that, for people who love to craft! Every day, it features one daily do-it-yourself theme, like "Crafts for Kids," "Gifts for Grandparents," "Printable Roundup" and delivers the very best online tutorials for the very best the web has to offer.

Myself, I have my eye on that cute soldered photo pendant tutorial...

Check it out! Enjoy!

Friday, December 11, 2009

Customer Spotlight: Jungle Invitations for a Baby Shower!

Oh my GOODNESS! Is that cake the cutest thing or what?

And the amazingly decorated cookies! Yow!

I had a customer who wanted to use my jungle invitations for a baby shower -- they've been used that way probably more often than for birthday parties already, a super cute theme!

Rovie was kind enough to send me photos recently of the shindig. Doesn't it look amazing?

I loved hearing this:

"The invitations were a BIG HIT! Oh, yes!! Everyone raved about them (both kids and adults alike).

I am super thrilled that you made them because it set the tone for party which, by the way, was a huge success!"

This is what went on the back of the invitations (all of my spinning wheel invitations can have overflow text go on the back easily):

I love books as a gift for a baby shower! I know that of all the wonderful items we received when the twins were born (clothes, gear, toys, etc), it's the books that we still have and still look at occasionally.

Rovie was such a fun customer! We worked together on getting these absolutely perfect -- she asked me to substitute a lion in place of the tiger as the new mom and dad are associated with a monkey and a lion.

So much fun!

Thanks so much for sending me photos, Rovie!

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Online Auction -- amazing and wonderful items!

Looking for a way to snag some amazing gifts this holiday season AND give back a little bit? Here is a great opportunity! Starting today, there will be a charity auction at BLOOM ( to benefit Claire and Benson Skinner.

Here's a helpful link to the entire list of auction items! Mine is #53.

As explained by their parents, "Benson and Claire were born with a rare genetic disease in which their liver produces too much oxalate--called primary hyperoxaluria. Claire's condition has progressed much faster than Benson's. She has been on dialysis since she was 3 months old and is on dialysis 3 hours a day, 6 days a week. She is now on the waiting list to receive a combined kidney / liver transplant. It is expected Benson will eventually need similar transplants."

Read more about the Skinners' experience.

All proceeds from the auction at BLOOM will go directly to Claire's COTA (Children's Organ Transplant Association) account to help pay for her transplant. Please head over to BLOOM now for the auction! It ends on Saturday!

Check out the auction now! (remember to click to see all 82 items!)

Monday, December 7, 2009

Featured on Etsy's home page!

Whoo hoo!

I'm so excited! My pop-up Elegant Elephant Card has been featured on Etsy's home page!


Sunday, December 6, 2009

Help for Two Adorable Children

Reading this blog post made me want to weep:

Two little kids with a terrible disease. The little girl has to be on dialysis for 15 hours a DAY (12 at night, three during the day). They need liver and kidney transplants. Sometimes I think it's hard to be a parent and then I read about something like this and I realize all that I have to be thankful about.

Anyway, the gist of the blog posting was that they were holding an online auction to raise money to help and they were seeking donations to this cause.

I picked out a bunch of cards and I'll see if this works for them -- the deadline for donations has already passed, but I hope that they can still use them.

I feel lucky to be in a position to help, even just a little bit.

When the auction goes live, I'll link to it here!

Friday, December 4, 2009

Another Grown-Up Party Invitation Order

My invitations were originally designed for kids parties, but there's nothing wrong with using them for a fun-loving adult!

The above invites were created for an adult's 30th birthday party. Adam is having his party at a place called Medieval Times, which hosts real live battles and a feast for the guests. It looks like a total fun.

Anyway, I love how Adam's face looks, peeking out from the knight's helm. So cute!

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Tualatin Country Club Craft Fair

Yesterday, my friends, Christine Thatcher and Kathy Larsen and I met at the Tualatin Country Club. Christine had heard of a Ladies' Luncheon which included a vendor area.

Since it seems clear that we need to reach an audience with deeper pockets (the better to appreciate our fine wares), this seemed like the perfect opportunity for us!

The Country Club provided tables with cloths and skirting. We were allowed one 8' table and one 5' round, which meant we were a bit squished, but, as Christine had mentioned, we could make good use of vertical space.

With complementary offerings, we artfully wove together all of our offerings, trying to find ways to use every bit of available space.

I think we did really well! Click on the photos above to enlarge any of the images. You can see how Christine's jewelry is arranged throughout, Kathy's lavender offerings are placed strategically about and my cards flank each end and get little spots here and there.

The effect we were shooting for was of a small boutique.

I have to say that after checking out some other lackluster displays that I really think ours was, hands down, really great! Most people simply laid their work out without any thought to display. In some ways, being cramped for space forced us to use our scanty area very sparingly and things ended up looking great!

One really nice thing for our customers was that, thanks to Christine and Kathy, we could accept credit cards, which was pleasing to some and really had them looking through our items thoroughly before committing a charge to their card.

Overall, sales were a bit of a disappointment. I think I gained about $35, plus I put some cards in trade towards an AMAZING cashmere shawl (which is keeping me nicely cozy now) from a really sweet vendor, Naturally Knotty Designs (check out their websites for information about their sustainable practices).

The cashmere shawl I scooped up (Kathy and I got the last two black ones) is a nice, medium-weight. The gal told me that these items were leftover from a set that Nordstrom had purchased from them last year and which retailed for $300! Mine for only $25 and a handful of pop-up cards! Whoo hoo!

We all had fun together -- it was much easier for me to "sell" Christine and Kathy's wares than my own (it seems too braggy to talk about your own stuff so much). It was a lot of fun watching people's reactions to my cards, if they were into them. While we all made little in sales, it was still good experience.

I think, all in all, though, I'm realizing that there's not much to be made off of pop-up cards on the craft fair circuit. At least for now (whether it be the recession or craft fair oversaturation).

Better to concentrate on etsy or branch further into the retail market!

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Superior Scribbler Award!

My friend, Jessica Smedley, sent me this Bloggy Award! Whoo hoo!

Jess is the scribe behind the "Have We Met" blog which has been chronicling her encounters with irritating people, her culinary exploits and, lately, some holiday angst. She lives, unwillingly, in North Carolina but someday, maybe she'll return to Portland and we can be friends outside of of the internets.

So, the rules of the award are listed below (this is a little like some crazy chain mail idea or maybe a pyramid scheme, but with lots more internet traffic involved). Like Jess, I'm going to state a few random facts about myself:

  • A doctor once told me that if my blood pressure got any lower, I'd have to get a pacemaker (but years of a high-sodium diet and sloth have happily reversed this!)
  • I started this website: for a colleague at work who had been selling stuffed animals door-to-door for orphans in Laos and Thailand.
  • Our cat, Joey, has 24 toes, seven on each front paw. It looks like her has furry slippers on all the time. Our other cat, Gus, is 18 and looking forward to voting in the next election.
  • I often have to drag my husband to the latest action flick with car chases and disaster sequences. Love them!
  • As a teen I played Dungeons and Dragons avidly and still consider myself a total nerd at heart.
And here are my nominees for the Bloggy Award:

  • This blog, written by my cyberfriend, Carol, is chock full of wonderful tutorials and inspiration for the pop-up card maker. It's a must-see!
  • Sister Diane runs this blog and also hosts a podcast, the CraftyPod. Both are wonderful and cover crafts of all kinds! She has been very supportive of this budding etsy entrepeneur!
  • Nicolette, of Singapore, was the person who first put in a a wholesale order with me last year when she was selling handmade cards at flea markets. Since then, she's got her own store, renting part of a larger store, with a partner, to sell the goodies she finds from crafters. This blog chronicles her adventures!
  • The name of the blog says it all, doesn't it? Amy keeps the creative juices flowing with a constant flow of cute and interesting craft projects, all featuring Mod Podge.
  • Want to save some serious money? Check out the constant stream of amazing deals found at this blog! Absolutely incredible bargains!
Of course, as with every Bloggy Award, there are A Few Rules. They are, forthwith:
Don't forget to add your name to the long list of links! I'm number 1325... whoo hoo!

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

DoggoneKnitting Collar Featured on City Dog Magazine!

My friend Wendy, of the etsy shop DoggoneKnitting, has been featured in City Dog Magazine!


Apparently her screams, when she discovered her Gingerbread Man Dog Collar featured on the site at last (she's known about it for months) were enough to make her long-suffering husband, Patrick, fear for her life.

Wendy started out on etsy sometime before I did, making baby booties. Inspired by her success, I jumped in as well.

Now, Wendy's famous! And selling dog collars and leashes at Doggone Knitting and super darling sewn pouches and handbags at QueenBeeHandmade.

Check it out! She's had amazing sales and terrific feedback! I think it's a matter of time before you'll see Wendy featured in an Etsy "How I Quit My Day Job" article....