Archive for January, 2010

When To Decorate?

I am getting ready for the next holiday and wanted to share my decorating calendar.  Don’t be one of those people that have Easter decorations colliding with Halloween.  If you stay organized, changing your themes should be fast and simple…unless you add to your collection like I do.

Here is a schedule of when I like to put up my decorations for each holiday.  Some of these holidays I skip over so don’t think I am that crazy to have a storage tote for each of these.

Put Up

Take Down

Celebration

Notes

Feb 1 Feb 28 Valentine’s Day Feb 14
Mar 1 Mar 31 St. Patrick’s Day Mar 17
April 1 May 15 Spring / Easter I suggest removing all bunnies, eggs, and Easter themed items and leave up all spring decorations for May
June 1 Aug 31 Summer
July 1 July 7 4th of July I like to leave up all my summer decorations, and just add Red, White, and Blue decorations for the 4th.
Sept 1 Nov 28 Fall/Thanksgiving *See below for notes on Halloween
Oct 25 Nov 1 Halloween Depending on your decorations, you may need to take down you fall décor and make room for your haunted treasures.
Saturday After Thanksgiving Saturday following New Years Christmas
Jan 3 Feb 1 Winter

Links for more details and holidays:

http://www.timeanddate.com/calendar

http://www.madmanmike.com/us_holidays_dates.html

If you are new to crafting, you may want to visit the Newbies Page. Thanks for visiting!

  • Share/Bookmark

Building Your Craft Workshop

Before you begin crafting think through your space and determine where you will craft.  Don’t let a lack of space stop you from starting a project or two.  A card table, kitchen counter, or even the floor will work.  No matter how much space you have, it is important to get organized before you buy any tools or supplies.  Here are a few questions to think about as you get started:

•Where will I store supplies?  This is your first chance to get creative.  If you have one shelf in a linen closet claim the territory with decorative contact paper.  If you have a whole room to work with, divide the space into small work areas.  You can repurpose an old dresser or a desk allowing you to keep organized with multiple drawers.

•How you will stay organized?  Depending on the type of crafts you enjoy, there will always be left over supplies that can be used for your next project.  Don’t be wasteful, be organized.  You will also require some basic tools that will need to be stored.  Use plastic bags, Tupperware, baskets, plastic envelopes, or any other storage containers from around the house to keep supplies in their place.

•What type of crafts will you be doing?  The world of crafting is overwhelming.  There is scrapbooking, knitting, pottery, painting, baking, interior decorating, candles, or even jewelry.  Limit your range of crafts as you start out so you can build your inventory of tools and supplies.  Plan out your projects and build a supply list before you head to the craft list.  You will save time AND money.  Talk with friends to see what crafts they enjoy and exchange craft supplies instead of buying everything new.  It is a big disappointment to invest in a hobby that you are no good at.

Think about a builder’s workshop or a mechanic.  Their job is miserable if they are always looking for tools or they are missing parts.  Crafting is the same.  If you are always looking for glue sticks or ribbon you will get frustrated and give up.  Make a plan and get crafting.

Here is a look into my crafting world.

Key Components:

Closetmaid 9-Cube Organizer with fabric drawers to allow a variety of storage options, magazine files to keep ideas together, and a re-purposed dresser to house all my wrapping supplies.

  • Share/Bookmark

Craft Tool Box

­­Just like any other hobby, to be a crafter you have to have the right tools and equipment.  Here are a few basics to have on hand no matter what type of crafts you take on.

IMG_4172

Writing and Cutting

Acid Free Markers

Sharpies

Paper cutter

Sharp scissors

Pliers

Wire cutters

X-Acto knife

Paper punchesIMG_4173

Edging scissors

Ruler and tape measure

Sticky Stuff

Glue gun

Craft glue

Double stick tape

Tape dispenser (scrapping style)

IMG_4177

Paper and Paint

Decorative paper

Cardstock

Acrylic paints

Paintbrushes

Extras

RibbonIMG_4155

Pipe Cleaners (aka chenille stems)

Googly eyes

PomPoms

  • Share/Bookmark

Wilton Cake Class– week 3

Today was my last day of my cake decorating class.  We learned all about roses.  This week was interesting for me as it reminded me that no one is perfect at crafting on the first try.  You may see the photos and think wow, I could never do that.  YES YOU CAN!  I look at the cake and see rough frosting that wouldn’t smooth and lots of gaps.  It takes time to master the technique and then learn tricks of the trade to make a perfect cake…if that is even possible.  Today’s class inspired me to keep trying no matter what happens.  No matter what the end product of your crafting looks like, it is the process that should bring joy to your life.

I highly recommend taking a cake decorating class.  You can save a ton of money on birthday celebrations and make your cakes personalized to the recipient.  To get fun decorating ideas, visit your local cake shop or craft store.

  • Share/Bookmark

Crafty Links

Here are a few links that you have to check out.  I will add more as I find em.

http://www.bakerella.com: Ideas for cupcake pops (a Bakerella creation), cakes, pies, cupcakes, cookies, brownies and more. You may even find yourself smiling from all the sweetness.  Plus they have adorable shirts.

http://www.bhg.com: Better Homes and Gardens.  So many different ideas for all areas of live.  I love their featured projects for the upcoming holiday.  This site has great pictures for all their ideas.

http://www.blurb.com: Their free software, Blurb BookSmart, allows you to create professional books with just a few clicks of the mouse.  Templates and themes allow you creative control but keep consistency throughout your book.  Upload your finished product to print a professional book and even put it up for sale for others to enjoy.

http://www.flickr.com: the best online photo management and sharing application in the world.  They help people make their content available to the people who matter to them and help you keep your photos and video organized.

http://www.orientaltrading.com: Fun, value-priced products for every occasion.  Find value-priced party supplies novelties, toys, favors, crafts, decorations, treats, and gifts for every season and occasion.

http://picasa.google.com: free photo editing software from Google that makes your pictures look great.
Sharing your best photos with friends and family is as easy as pressing a button!  They also have a online photo album similar to Flickr.

http://wordpress.org: an Open Source project, which means there are hundreds of people all over the world working on it and it is free to you.  Wordpress is mostly used for blogs, but the options are endless.  You can find themes to change the look and feel or add widgets providing your site additional functionality.  Craftfullymade is powered by Wordpress.  Beware; you will need some IT knowledge or an IT friend

Great Stores to visit for craftspiration:

IKEA         Michaels         Pottery Barn         Pottery Barn Kids         Pier One

  • Share/Bookmark

Wilton Cake Class – Week 2

Now that my sugar high from last week’s cake is wearing off, it is time for week two of cake decorating.  I had time on Saturday to practice a few techniques from our last class, but had some trouble with my frosting.  Against the teachers recommendation I used shortening from the grocery store which lacks the fat necessary for the frosting to stick together…BIG MISTAKE.  My frosting wasn’t the creamy consistency, but I still learned a lot.  Today I learned how to do a shell border, faces, hearts (kinda look like butt cheeks), star flowers, swirl flowers, and finally a clown.

Next week will be the last and final lesson for course 1, which is all about roses.

  • Share/Bookmark

Wilton Cake Class – Week 1

Today was the first day of class.  A local Austin cake shop, All in One Bake Shop http://www.allinonebakeshop.com, offers all three levels of Wilton cake decorating classes.  I learned how to make frosting (no low-fat version), proper way to frost a cake with no crumbs, and a few borders and flowers.  In only 3 hours I made a decent looking cake.  Hope next week goes this well too.

To find a cake decorating class near you visit http://www.wilton.com/classes/local_classes.cfm.  The instructors will teach you the technique to get a Craftfully Made cake every time you bake.

  • Share/Bookmark

Cake Decorating

Growing up my mom always made our birthday cakes and decorated them herself, well most of the time.  I can still smell the sweetness of buttercream frosting.  Mom would also do cakes for friend’s special occasions and get paid for it.  I was always so impressed that she could manage to make such beautiful creations in a house with 5 kids.

Here are a few cakes from my childhood:

img568img572img573image027image028img576

The biggest challenge was when she made a wedding cake for my grandparents’ 50th anniversary…and I got to help.

image245image242

With Mom as my inspiration, I decided to sign up for a cake decorating class so I am prepared for many children’s birthdays in the future.  It starts next week and I am so excited.

  • Share/Bookmark

Why Craftfully Made

For those of you wondering how I came up with the website name, here is the story.  In all my crafting, I never seem to create anything as beautiful as nature.  We live in an amazing world that is filled with beauty and creativity.  Everywhere you look, God has created something marvelous for us to enjoy.  I am constantly reminded of this verse: Psalms 139:14 – I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made.  The God that created the universe made me and he gave us all lots of gifts.  My gift is crafting and I want to share it with you.  I hope this site inspires you to be creative and notice the beauty that surrounds you each step of the day.

Get Crafting.

  • Share/Bookmark

Welcome

Isn’t it funny that you are never happy with the gifts God has given you?  I always wanted to be artistic…in a traditional way like painting and drawing.  I have tried with no luck, and the end result wasn’t pretty.  Finally I found a creative outlet I was good at, scrapbooking.  I love the process of taking my memories and making them even more fun to look at and share with other people.  I got really ambitious and made my wedding centerpieces and then this crafting monster was born.  I am cheap and hate paying full price for stuff which has driven my desire to craft.  I see lots of great ideas around me and love the challenge of figuring out how to make it cheaper than buying it.  In my search for ideas I was bombarded with ads and mediocre ideas that was unorganized.  So, this is my attempt to help others find good ideas, get inspired, and learn to make treasures to share with the world around you.  If you ever thought that you couldn’t be creative, you have found the right place.I have a page dedicated to new crafters (Newbies).  This page will walk you through the basics and give you courage to take on a project of your own.  Feel free to browse my site and share your ideas.  If you have a project that you need help with, send me the details and I will add it to my projects.

  • Share/Bookmark