Tagged: Handmade

Better Than Target’s Dollar Spot

It seems that the latest craze at Target has become its “dollar spot”. This is where you can find all kinds of items for $1.00, $3.00 and now $5.00. Mostly these are impulse type items. Crafters, have begun to scour the “dollar spot” for items like washi tape, colored paper clips, baker’s twine and other craft supplies. 

There are many items at the “dollar spot” that some crafters buy but could very easily make themselves. I refuse to buy items that I can duplicate at home with just a little effort. It nearly killed me to cough up the $3.00 for these hum-drum store-bought tags, but I had to do it to prove my point.

Here are some of the items I’m talking about. In this case they are all packages of Valentine’s Day tags.

Printed Card Stock Tags With Baker's Twine.

Target’s Printed Card Stock Tags With Baker’s Twine.


My printed cardstock tags on the right.

My Printed Cardstock Tags On The Right.

I just picked some pretty cardstock, ran it through my die-cutting machine and added coordinating baker’s twine. It took no time at all and I was able to use up some of my paper scraps.

Target's layer tags with baker's twine.

Target’s Two Layered Tags With Baker’s Twine.


Two layered cardstock tags with mine on the right.

My Two Layered Tags On The Right.

Again, I just cut two sets of tags. One set is made from colored cardstock and the other from kraft cardstock. I ran the kraft cardstock through my die-cutting machine and then joined the two with coordinating baker’s twine. I didn’t have an arrow punch so I used some other fun dies I had. The little hearts were made using a paper punch. 

Target's Two Layer Burlap And Cardstock Tags

Target’s Two Layer Burlap And Cardstock Tags


My Two Layered Burlap And Cardstock Tags On The Right.

My Two Layered Burlap And Cardstock Tags On The Right.

I cut the burlap and cardstock hearts on my die-cutting machine. I added natural twine because it coordinated with the burlap. The Target tags have hideous stiff brown plastic ties.

Don’t worry if you don’t have a die-cutting machine to make tags. They are very easy to cut free hand.


Cut a rectangular piece of cardstock. Mark and cut off a small piece on each corner.


Next punch a hole in the center. Add some baker’s twine, ribbon or string and you’ve got a handmade tag you can be proud of!

I am a crafter and I enjoy taking the time and effort to make things uniquely my own. When I give something I made to friends or fellow crafters I don’t want them to think, “Oh, I saw that at Target.”

I had fun duplicating these items, however,  I think they still leave a lot to be desired. Stay tuned for my next post to see how I made improvements to these tags!


From Flat to Fat

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!

St. Patrick’s Day Banner

Here is a quickie little post showing a St. Patrick’s Day banner I made. I usually don’t make stuff for St. Patrick’s Day but a client asked if I would make something. I really had fun making it. Here are pictures of the banner.






If you look across the bottom of the banner pieces, they say “Luck of the Irish”. Anyway, I thought I would share this with you and if my client doesn’t want it, I will put it in Mossy Cottage.

Sorry for the short post but I am getting ready to do the Big Flea this weekend. Stay warm friends and have a great weekend!!!


Neat New Stuff

My brick and mortar shop, Mossy Cottage, in old town Fredericksburg carries all things girly. By that, I mean rosy, shabby, blingy, shiny and pretty vintage goods. Many of you may not know that I also rent a small space upstairs at that same location. Until recently it also was full of pretties. Well my friends, times have changed! Mossy Cottage Too, which is how I refer to the upstairs space, now if full of really neat and different vintage things. I want the upstairs to appeal to the more “artsy and boho” crowd. So here are just a couple pictures of my redone space, Mossy Cottage Too!

neat5Here is a big wooden box stuffed with handmade tags and envelopes. See the red and yellow milk carton holders next to the box. Do you remember having one of these? I couldn’t believe it when I found these. The memories just came flooding back. So fun! And the aqua ice bucket is cool enough to make me want a cocktail and I don’t even drink!


Here are two nice vintage train cases on the bottom shelf and on the floor. Above are a cool red tool carrier and a white wire drinking glass holder. You can see a part of a handmade fabric banner dangling down.

neat4Here’s another red tool carrier with some vintage office binders, ledger paper and two complete 1950’s bingo games.

neat2How about a vintage Girl Scout uniform?

neat1A little boy’s genuine Hawaiian shirt. I love the sea turtles on it!

neatThis cool rusty box has such a great patina. I just thought it needed a little something because, well, you know me. I can’t leave anything alone!

neat6And here’s just a picture of one wall at a distance. I really love Mossy Cottage Too because it let’s me sell neat vintage stuff that just doesn’t go well with my pretties downstairs. So now I am blessed to have the best of both worlds. Lucky me!!!

A Passionate Plea

Halloween has passed and now we face almost two months of frenzied activity and rampant commercialism. While we hold tightly to the traditions we love, there are  things about the Christmas season that we probably all would like to change. Food is pretty much all traditional at our house. I may try a new cookie recipe once in a while, however, I know better than to forgo the crack-up candy and homemade cinnamon rolls. Can anyone say Mutiny on the Bounty? There are couple parties we always look forward to attending. And of course, our family has the silly white elephant gift swap, which is always good for a ton of laughs.

My passionate plea has nothing to do with changing these things. Rather, I am focusing more on decorations and gifts. I’m not going to bore you with details on how much stuff we import from China or how full our landfills are becoming. I’m assuming most of you have at least some idea of what is going on in these areas. What I am asking is that all my readers consider buying vintage and handmade gifts and decorations instead of going to (insert big box store name here) and buying cheap junk that is only benefiting the rich owners of the manufacturing companies and box stores.

Vintage glasses, Christmas Hanky and Light Up Bells

Okay Helen, take a breath. There are craft fairs galore this time of year. Ask around and see which ones might have stuff that interests you.  Yes, I know there are craft fairs that carry crocheted pot holders and the like. However, now more than ever you will find better shows that feature handmade items like jewelry, purses, decorations, bath products and mixed media art. Not like your sainted granny’s show!

Hand Decorated Christmas Candles on Glass Stands


You are literally helping your local economy when you buy from American crafts people and artisans. Believe me, if you buy something I make, I will in turn have money to buy something from someone else. And I always try to buy local first. I would much rather give someone a handmade gift than a mass-produced item that carries little thought. Okay, so I can’t crochet an iPad, but I can find really nice handmade iPad holders at craft shows and on Etsy.

Mixed Media Stuffed Ornaments and Glittered Tree Toppers


There are also tons of cute, vintage decorations to be had at antique shops, flea markets and thrift stores. Again, these purchases support small local businesses.

Hand Made Vintage Style Bottle Brush Wreaths

I don’t care if you vote Republican or Democrat next week, one thing is for sure. Our economy is not going to get stronger if we don’t start making and buying products in the USA! This is not a shameless advertisement for Mossy Cottage, because I’m less interested in you buying your gifts and decorations from me (although that would be nice) as I am for you to buy from any small business or craftsman here in this country. And if craft shows are not your “thing”, then check out antique shops or shopping online at Etsy. There is really so much cool stuff out there, stuff I know I would enjoy getting, you just have to think outside the (big) box!!!!! See what I did there?

Vintage Style Tabletop Tree and Vintage Carolers