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Merry Christmas!

Hope everyone had a great holiday. I just wanted to share with you real quick the cards and the ornaments that my super creative nieces made. For the past two years, I have been taking both of them and helped them make cards and gifts for their parents and grandparents. This year, my younger niece, Bella, requested to come on her own and it was much easier. SInce they are two different ages, it was easier to tailor the gifts and card making to each one’s abilities and styles. Last year they did a joint gift for their Nona and Pop-Pop, but this year I had them make separate things.

Allie wanted to do all three cards the same – one for her Mom-Mom and Pop-Pop, one for her Nona and Pop-Pop and one for her parents. I also gave her two choices of presents (leaning more towards one because, well, I kinda wanted to see how they would turn out more than the other! HAHA). Bella, however, wanted to make two completely different cards for her Nona and Pop-pop and her parents. I found the idea for her presents on Pinterest. (What would we do without Pinterest, by the way?? LOVE it!)

So, here are the things that they created. I think that they did an amazing job and I am always fascinated at the ideas they have for their gifts and cards. Great job girls!!

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Supplies used:

Penguin Ornaments – Plastic ornaments from Michael’s, Fake snow from Dollar Tree, Cricut images, Cricut Explore, Snowflake paper from Hobby Lobby, colored card stock from Michael’s, Tombow glue, Pop dots from Michael’s dollar bin

Snowman and Reindeer Ornaments – Popsicle sticks from Michael’s, acrylic paint from Michael’s, card stock from Michael’s, hot glue gun, Circle punches from Fiskar’s

Cards – Cardstock from Michael’s, Cricut images, Cricut Explore, glitter glue from Studio G, MFT Stamps and dies, Crayola crayons, embossing folder (Divine Swirls), Cuttlebug for embossing and die cutting

Thanks for stopping by! Feel free to leave comments or questions and subscribe.

Michele

YouTube – Chelebelle1120

Etsy – http://www.etsy.com/shop/scrapsecrets

Pinterest – chelebelle1120

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Christmas cards

Last year, I was crazy enough to make a different Christmas card for everyone I sent one to. This year, I decided that there was no way I could do that while keeping up with making things for Etsy and working on some custom orders that I received from the two craft shows I’ve done.

One of the women I follow on YouTube was been making card videos with the Cricut cartridge Create a Critter 2. I have the original one and wasn’t sure that I wanted to get the second one because it looked like a lot of the same critters. But oh how I was wrong! I love the second one much more than the first. The first was my go to when I made kid pages or cards because of the cuteness of the animals on there. With the second version, the animals are dressed up for any occasion you can think of – there’s Valentines, Halloween, Easter, Christmas, Hanukkah and birthdays just to name a few. And it’s not just one animals. For example, Christmas features an elf monkey, a reindeer, a mouse with a Santa hat, a dog with a Santa hat, a snowman, Ginger bread man, ginger bread house – I’m sure that there are other images that I forgot. If you make lots of cards for specific holidays or make them for kids, I’d really recommend this cartridge, even if you already have the first one!

When I was looking through the booklet, I found some images that I knew I was definitely going to use. This is the first booklet that I have seen that shows you all the features in the front and tells you what pages they’re on. You can see what is on the cartridge without having to flip through all the pages, which is nice. It gives you an idea of what you will find and shows you the image put together! (Sometimes you will only see the parts in the pages – for example, you may see a diploma and the ribbon for it, but not the whole image together. This new format changes it. Good job ProvoCraft!!)

The images that I chose to make for my cards (so far) are the mouse with the Santa hat and scarf, the dog with the Santa hat and scarf and the Reindeer. I cut them all at 3 1/2″ and then assembled them. They looked a little plain to me so for the reindeer, I used red glitter glue and made the nose sparkle. On the hats for both the mice and the dog, I used clear glitter glue on the white parts. The only cards that I have assembled completely so far are the reindeer. I used a couple of Christmas paper packs that I bought at AC Moore and Hobby Lobby that were 6×6. I cut the pages in half and then again at 4 3/4″ and used distress ink around the edges (either barn door or peeled paint). I glued that to a piece of red card stock that was cut at 3 3/4″ x 5 1/4″. The images were then placed on pop dots and attached to the card.

I am not sure how I am going to assemble the remaining cards since I did manage to pick up a 12×12 Christmas paper pack at Michael’s the other day. (They were $19.99, then 50% off and then an additional 30% off of that with the Black Friday early morning coupon! I should have picked up 2!!) I like the way the reindeer look, but I think I want to make the others a little different. I am also trying to keep in mind the weight of the card since I am going to be mailing most of these and I don’t want to have to use more than one stamp.

Here is a picture of the assembled critters:

Is anyone else out there making their own Christmas cards this year? I’d love to see what you’ve made!

Thanks for stopping by. Feel free to leave a comment!

First Show

I had my first show yesterday. It was the Woodbury, NJ Fall Arts Fest. I know that most business people wouldn’t call yesterday a success, but in my eyes it was. I did not break even (just about $10 away from it), but I am okay with that. Because I gained a wealth of knowledge, some great contacts and lots of potential customers. You can’t put a price on that!!

I started off the day alone and setup went well. I was able to get my table covered, stuff displayed and my banner hung in less than half an hour. It went really fast. There’s always room for improvement on setup and this being the first show, I did what I thought looked best. My dad and aunt had some other ideas when they came to visit, my friend Amanda also had some great ideas and even customers were offering suggestions!  My setup evolved throughout the day and I think I learned a lot from it.

Before the show even started, I made two sales. This was shocking to me and I was so grateful to have started off the day in such a positive way! It really boosted my confidence and I felt like I could really do this. Traffic was steady though out the day and I heard a lot of positive comments from people, ranging from those are so cute to you are so talented. Great things to hear!

The funniest thing I heard all day was from this adorable little boy who was being held by his mom. After saying hello to me, he stared at one of my tag lollipops and looked like he wanted to say something. When he finally did he said, is that a real lollipop or just a pretend lollipop? I told him it was pretend and that it wouldn’t taste good if you tried to eat it. His response was, then why did you put a stick on it if you can’t eat it? So innocent and so funny. His mom explained to him that it was like the ones she made as invitations for his little sister’s birthday party and then she said to me, he didn’t understand why I would do that either! He must think grown ups are so silly to make lollipops that they can’t eat!

The one thing that I think I can really take the most from is that you never know what will sell. I made this adorable (or what I thought were) gift tags and no one bought them! They were 2/$1.00, the least expensive thing I offered and they all sat. The lollipops, which were a last-minute edition, sold wonderfully! I should have made more of the Christmas ones, as they were the first to sell out. I only made 8 Christmas ones in total. I did well with my cards, selling Christmas and Birthday the most. To my surprise, no baby cards sold.

However, the one thing that I wasn’t too sure of were the gift card holders. I really wish I had more of those made because those were probably my best seller and I got the most comments on them. If I would have known I would’ve invested way more time in those than in the baby cards. And I know each show is different, so they may not sell as well at another show.

Anyway, I am glad that I did the show. It was a great experience and I had so much fun. It was great to meet other artists, especially the ones that were newbies like myself. Can’t wait to do another show – hopefully there will be one around Christmas that I can participate in!

I want to thank all the people who came up to visit me (and buy things from me – soooo sweet!!) Amanda (her blog is http://theperpetualplanner.wordpress.com/) Brian and Maddie,  Angela (her blog is http://shakebakeandparty.wordpress.com/). Jen, Pat and Allie and my family, especially my mom and dad for coming not once but twice, helping to run my booth and helping with the packing and dragging stuff around! I appreciate it so much!! Can’t thank you all enough. (Hope I didn’t miss anyone. My brain was fried!!)

Here are some pictures of the booth. Feel free to leave a comment or suggestion on improvement. Thanks for stopping by!

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Christmas already?

Even though the summer solstice was only a couple of days ago, I feel like I have moved on from summer. However, the weather lately is sure telling me differently. The reason I feel this way? I started working on Christmas projects already!

I know – way to rush the holidays right? I was in Hobby Lobby the other day and they already have a ton of Christmas stuff out. How could I NOT walk down aisle after aisle of Christmas decorations?? Then I started to panic. Are people already starting working on their projects for the holidays? Am I getting a late start? Ahhhhhhh!

So the other night, I decided to start on some holiday items for the craft fair. On Pinterest, I found a cute idea for a tag. It was in the colors of a Santa suit and cut from the Cricut. I have tags that I have made from the Cricut, but I decided to do something different this time. Hobby Lobby had Paper Studio tags 50% off and I picked up two packages.

On the Pinterest image, the tag was cut from red card stock. I decided to use Tim Holtz’s Barn Door distress ink to color the white tag. After it was colored, I took a strip of black paper and glued it to the tag to use as a belt. I used my large square punch to create the yellow part of the belt buckle and the small square punch to create the center. I then added some glitter glue for buttons. I thought it looked adorable, so I sent a picture to my brother for his opinion. His suggestion – it’s great, but wouldn’t it be even better if the belt opened up so you could write “To” and From” in there?

Never one to back down from a challenge, I took it on. I figured out a way to make the belt attach and open. But, I didn’t like the way it looked because the belt buckle was off-centered. So, I created a dummy piece, folded and refolded it as many times as it took to make it look right. I then cut another piece to the same dimensions and prayed that it would work.

I loved the way it looked! Much better and I think, a cooler idea. I have to give my brother credit. He’s creative and he’s always looking for ways to make things better. I really do have to thank him for this idea because I think it gives a unique twist to the original idea.

Here are some picture of the “work in progress”:

This is the original design, before my brother’s idea:

Original

This was the first attempt, the off-centered buckle! :

Second

Here’s the second attempt, the final one!:

Final

The interior:

Inside

Thanks for stopping by! Feel free to leave comments.

Items for Craft Fair

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I took the plunge and signed up for my first craft fair. I got my application approval last night and now all I have to do is pay for my space. It’s making me a little nervous to put out that money, but I think that it will be good exposure for my products.

It’s still awhile away, but I am starting to work on the projects now. Mostly I will have Christmas related items – cards, gift tags, scrapbook pages, maybe some decorations? I haven’t really decided on what I am going to make. I did start working on my first ever for sale 8×8 album. I am not used to working with pages this small. All of the scrapbooks I’ve done in the past have been gifts and have all been 12×12. It’s a challenge to shrink down an idea to that size! I thought it would be easier, but it really hasn’t been.

My greatest challenge is trying to incorporate more than one picture, some journaling and an embellishment into one page. On a 12×12 you can get four 4×6 pictures in one layout. I haven’t yet mastered how to accomplish this, so my layouts have mainly been combinations of the above items. I am working on some designs for other albums as well. This first one is a baby girl book and then I will work on a baby boy one. I also would like to make some wedding and Christmas related ones.

Since learning about the lack of customized cards for Mother’s Day, I think I am also going to bring some cards that can be customized for the holidays to the show. I’m hoping that cards are a big seller at the craft fair because that will probably be what I have a lot of. The gift tags are easy to replicate so I may have a lot of them as well.

My one issue is – how to you take anything but cash at the craft fair? I was thinking that I could always create a customized Etsy listing for the buyer if there was an internet connection and we could do the transaction like that. The tags and the cards will all be under $10, but the scrapbooks will all be more expensive. I don’t know how much cash people will carry to the event – I went to a craft show this past weekend and only had $20 on me. (Which is rare because I usually don’t even carry cash). Does anyone have any suggestions? Also, if you have any advice for a novice at a craft show or you can think of anything else you think might sell well at the craft fair (it’s at the end of September), feel free to leave me a comment.

Thanks for stopping by!