This time of year always makes me somewhat frantic. I have two big Christmas shows, The Vintage Home Market and the Holiday Craft Fair at the Fredericksburg Expo Center. At the Vintage Home Market I can bring vintage Christmas items as well as handmade items with a vintage flair. I don’t feel so stressed about stocking my booth there because I always have a lot of vintage Christmas items I bought throughout the year and squirreled away. The Holiday Craft Fair is another story. Everything in my 10 x 10 booth for this THREE day show has to be handmade! That is quite intimidating. I helped a friend do this show last year and she practically sold out on the first day!
So this is the reason I have not been able to blog as frequently as usual. Every waking hour I seem to be making stuff, thinking of stuff to make, pricing stuff I made, packing stuff I made and generally freaking out in the mess my house has become.
Here are some pictures of the chaos which has become my life.
This tote is absolutely stuffed with handmade December Dailies, Gratitude journals, altered mini compo books, junk journals and up-cycled denim and cashmere flower pins.
This is just a sampling of the arrangements I will be selling. As you can see, they are mostly finished.
These containers are patiently waiting for me to make their arrangements.
These are waiting too.
Yep, these are too.
This is where I will be spending the good part of the next two weeks. I hope to have all the container arrangements done and the totes that are full of supplies emptied, or mostly emptied.
So now you can see the glitz and glamour that is the life of a crafter! If you would like information about either of these shows, please see my upcoming events page.
It has been a couple of weeks since I last wrote a post but that doesn’t mean nothing has been going on here. In fact, it is because so much has been going on here I haven’t had a chance to blog.
Moss Cottage Vintage was supposed to participate in our very first barn sale, however, six straight days of rain changed our plans. We had a little problem with all that rain outside deciding it needed to come inside.
We have had the outside situation taken care of and now we are waiting on some bids to redo the ceiling and drywall. Like they say, “If it’s not one thing, it’s another”.
After taking all the merchandise that was supposed to go to the barn sale to our shop in Fredericksburg, that freed up some space in our sun room for
me Martin to drag out all the boxes and totes containing stuff to make my Christmas arrangements. The problem was that I boxed up the stuff as I bought it and not in any particular order. Last week I spent half a day sorting through every box and re-packing them by category so when I actually start making the arrangements everything will be easy to find. The sorting and re-packing process made quite a big mess.
I have also been working on making some cards for another YouTube challenge. These cards are going to be distributed to women who are in the hospital battling breast cancer. It took me forever to come up with these because I really am not a good card maker.
The worst part about making the cards for this challenge is that each had to have a message written inside! I came up with a pretty good message and then printed it for each card. That way I could be sure the person was able to read it. My chicken scratch writing can be a little iffy. I did personally sign each card though.
Other than that I have also been working on a few little secret Halloween crafts that I cannot show because some of the recipients read my blog.
Forgive me for not writing sooner, but this time of year is super hectic for those of us who “make”. I will try to have my camera at the ready so you can participate in my next adventures!
With Kindles, computers, tablets, IPhones, etc., good old paper books are getting the big heave-ho in many homes. Thrift shops are becoming so flooded with books that many are starting to give them away for free while others charge only 25-50 cents a piece. I for one still love to read actual paper books and it breaks my heart to see them devalued in society today.
As many of you know, I am an avid thrift shop junkie and yes, I always look at the books. And even though I am not interested in reading most of what I find, there are other criteria that will get them into my shopping basket. Do they have nice and interesting hard covers? Do they have fun vintage graphics? Are they vintage children’s books, especially Little Golden Books? Are they old accounting ledgers or logs of some sort?
Here are some (and I emphasize some) of the books I have purchased recently. Notice they don’t fit on the bookshelf so they are piled up on the floor!
So what do I do with all these old books? First of all, I deconstruct them and separate the pages from the covers. Then I pull out all kinds of other vintage ephemera I have such as flash cards, stationary, envelopes, playing cards, graph paper, scrapbook papers and the list goes on.
Next I sort the papers and ephemera into equal piles according to the number of book covers I have.
Lastly I bind the books together to make sweet vintage junk journals. Usually I bind them with binder rings so there is lots of room for the new owner to add their own treasures. I tie some ribbon on the book rings and each is given a charm to dangle from the top ring.
These junk journals function just as the others I have made. You can glue, staple, tape and clip your ticket stubs, cute packaging tags, greeting cards and all sorts of other collected ephemera onto the pages. This is a really fun way to keep and display all those little bits of paper and ephemera that you have collected and don’t know what to do with.
These journals will be packed up for some shows Mossy Cottage will be selling at this coming fall. I have many more books to give a new life to and plan of rescuing as many as I can in the months to come!
I am already making items to sell at my shows this fall. Gifts items and Christmas decorations are what I am concentrating on. Because the biggest show I am doing is a very expensive show to participate in, my theme for making items this year is, “Something out of nothing”. What this means is I am using up my stash of craft supplies and up-cycling and recycling everything I can in order to offset my expenses. I am not buying much of anything to complete my items. It does not mean, however, that I am producing anything that is not up to my standards. It just means I’m being more creative, which is actually quite fun!
Here are some pictures from one of my first show projects.
These junk journals were made only with stuff I already had on hand, so my only investment was a little time.
This is the first completed set of books I made. I will be making many more junk journal/glue books of various styles for the shows. I absolutely love making journals and can’t wait to start my next project!
Happy New Year everyone! I know it has been a long time since I last wrote a post but you know how busy the holidays are. I am betting that all of you were too busy to read blog posts anyway, right? Well, now that the holidays are over for the most part I will show you something that I made to help me remember this wonderful Christmas time. If you have read my blog for a couple of months or more you will remember seeing my December Daily in the post, “Out of the Mess”.
This is the unfinished version. The pages were all there but none of them, including the cover had been decorated. Well everyday in December I wrote down a little something I did and put aside some ephemera that corresponded with what I wrote down. Then every other day or so, I played with my December Daily and all the embellishments and ephemera I had so I could go back to it in the years to come and remember the fun times.
This is what my December Daily looks like now!
I didn’t show you all the pages but you get the idea. This is the second year I have made a December Daily and I love them. I had so much fun reading what I did at Christmas time last year I know this is a tradition I will hold on to. So now you can see how my December Daily (and my waistline) went from flat to fat over the holidays. Later this year I will post a blog when I start constructing my one for Christmas 2015 and I hope some of you will come and play along!
This is just going to be another quickie post as I am in the middle of a big two-day craft show in Fredericksburg. I just wanted to point out something interesting that happens at Christmas because I don’t want you to miss it.
Besides the black Friday madness, cyber Monday and “special” sales every day there is a phenomenon that I love. Do you know what it is? Packaging gets really cute. Even everyday items get packaged with a special Christmas flare. Here are some examples I found this past week.
These are ordinary berry flavored fruit chews but look at the Christmas box! I bought them because they are apparently endorsed not only by Rudolph, but the Bumble too!
This box front is already in my 2014 December Daily. I mean really? Sugar cookies riding in a teapot sleigh pulled by cookie reindeer. Need I say more. As you can see by the journal remark above the box, I got to tea for 99 cents because I had a coupon, but I would have bought the empty box for 99 cents because it’s so cute.
Eeeeek! Cute little Christmas tags you can cut out.
Just look at him! Needless to say I ran to get my scissors, trims and of course glitter!
Now we’re talking!
These are not packaging, but they are also darn cute.
So if you want some Christmas cuteness, take a moment and really look at the things that are passing through your life this holiday. And please don’t forget the real reason we celebrate Christmas!
Just a quick post today as I am in the frantic last days before the Vintage Home Market in Richmond. I am going to show you the dark side of crafting. Intrigued?
Anyone who knows me knows that I am a neat nick. I like things tidy, organized and generally uncluttered. Neatness helps me stay calm and think clearer. This past week I was not calm or lucid because I was working here….
I had about 12″ square of uncluttered surface to work on.
I literally had to make a path to negotiate around the floor.
In the kitchen I had my “helpers” who absolutely do not add to my calmness when I’m working! I have a few hanging wires to add to my altered bingo cards and some finishing touches to add to some of my larger pieces and I’ll be done for this weekend. Here are pictures of some of the items I finished yesterday.
So this is just a sampling of what I will have at the show this weekend. I hope these things make you smile and get you ready for a great Christmas season.
For now I have cleaned up my studio and have restored a little calm and order. I will enjoy it for as long as I can. Next week it will all be dragged out again as I get ready for a show I’m doing on December 4th. I’m not complaining, though, I love my job and I love seeing what comes out of the mess even more!
P.S. I was so verklempt by the mess I used the wrong setting on my camera when I took these pictures.