Friday, January 30, 2009

Why Buy Handmade??

I posted this on this blog last year, but it is so worth repeating. I found it on MySpace and do not know who wrote it, so I can't give proper credit, but here it is:

Why buy handmade?
Because once upon a time there were shoemakers who made shoes, and you bought then from the shoemaker... they lasted, and they were lovingly made... The bread was baked by a baker, who did what they loved doing, and you could taste it. It tasted like love, a nourished your body much better than the empty processed stuff of today. Because People still DO make things with love, and THEY ARE better! You can feel the love when you touch, taste, or feel, or see it!
Lets bring the humaneness back into our purchases, and buy from the makers again! Why give your money to corporations that farm out work to 3rd world countries at ridiculously low wages, exploiting the peoples, and feeding their greed. Know where your purchase was made, and by whom, and that they got a fair price for their wares, and so did you. You also get the satisfaction of knowing that you are able to talk with the maker if something is wrong with it, or if you just want to say thanks for making such a great… whatever. Not only that but buying handmade you can usually work with the artist/artisan to get the perfect product, even if that means then creating one for you.
You also know that your input sways the next or newest product in however blatant or subtle ways. So you know that your needs and desires are creating the trends, not some corporate bigwig who probably doesn’t even use/wear/get your product.
When you purchase handmade you also feel special, knowing that you are giving your money to the peoples, instead of the corporations who have nothing to do with the creating/creative process, who’s main concern is making a profit. Not that us artisans don’t want to make a profit, but we are actually making these items you/we purchase.
So do something good for your soul, for your peace of mind, for quality over quantity, and buy handmade!
You can find all things handmade at
Or shop in my

Sunday, January 25, 2009

My first sale on ArtFire!

Well, I just had my first sale on ArtFire today. I am very excited! I sold a set of my blank bottle cap pendants! I think I will list some of my collages over there today.

I also made a bunch of scrabble tile pendants last night. I am afraid that I am addicted...

Friday, January 23, 2009

Revamping my shop

After much thinking and thinking and a little peeking into other sellers' shops...I have decided to do a sort of makeover of my shop on Etsy. Instead of offering a slew of bottle cap items, I think I will offer only two or three different items plus my collages. I am going to open yet another new shop dedicated to pendants and chains/necklaces only, including my bottle caps. I am planning on offering scrabble tile, domino and glass tile pendants. I had a hard time choosing a name, I couldn't stay with the 'galore' in my shop, as someone has a website with the name already. I didn't want to steal someone else's name.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Another new project!

Well, unfortunatley the CNA class isn't working for me, so I dropped out. Yea, I know. BAK BAK! Chicken...

Anyways, I had a couple of dominoes that looked really lonely, so I decided to decorate them. I made three with some scrapbooking paper that I have. They turned out really cute, not tooting my own horn one bit. :) I am out of bails, so they are plain for now. I think these would make great magnets and maybe even keychains as well. I would have to decorate both sides of the domino though. We'll see.

I am still having problems with getting good pictues of my scrabble pendants. It's making me crazy. Anyone have any tips that they are willing to share? I thought that the picture on this post turned out well. The background is a brown paper bag. I tried it on the scrabbles, but didn't turn out too well. Ah well.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

More new scrabble tiles!

Wow, so my time is seriously limited these days. I am taking a 7 week CNA/Caregiver course and working. So any spare time I can squeeze in will be for my crafts and internet. So, here is my latest batch of scrabble tile pendants. I glued the bails on last night. I am having some difficulty with getting good clear pictures though. GRRR!

Thursday, January 8, 2009

More scrabble tiles!

I have had a little time to make some more pendants and glue on bails. I am wearing the pendant with the pink rose on it. I took my nail file and filed the corners to make them a little rounded. That turned out cute and not too much work. I also made a couple morewith initials on them that turned out cute. Just waiting for them to dry so that they can have their picture taken.

Sealed bottle cap tutorial

Okay, here it is. I have finally finished it. I hope you all enjoy it as much as I do!

Sealed Bottle Cap Tutorial

by Carol Bryce


So you want to make your own sealed bottle caps for your DIY projects, but you aren't sure how? Well, here is your chance to learn! I am far from being an expert, but I have been making sealed bottle caps and things from them for about a year now and after MUCH trial and error, I am to the point where I am comfortable enough with my technique to share it with others. I know there are tutorials out there in cyberland that you can buy, but you can get it here for free. So, here we go!
You will need the following supplies to make your sealed bottle cap:
One bottle cap. You can buy new ones on Etsy or you may reuse a clean beer bottle cap.
One one inch round image. You can use scrapbook paper or you can purchase collages inexpensively on Etsy. I would recommend printing collages commercially, like at Office Max. Most home printed ink jet prints fade and bleed when the sealer is applied. I would also recommend placing a coat of Aileene's Paper Glaze on scrapbook paper before using the 3D Crystal Lacquer. This will prevent any possible bleeding or fading. I have found that some scrapbook papers do fade or bleed, so I just place it on all scrapbook paper that I use. There is no need to use it on commercial prints.
A one inch circle punch for nice even images.
An adhesive to attach the image to the bottle cap. I have found that Crafty Chica gloss/varnish works the best. Yes, I know it's not an official adhesive, but it works great! I got mine at Michaels. If you can't find it, you can use Mod Podge.
A finish/sealer for your adhered image. I use 3D Crystal Lacquer. This is by far the best stuff I have used. Little to no bubbles and it dries to a nice mirror like shine.
A tissue or paper towel for blotting the adhesive.
A Popsicle stick-optional
A flat surface to place your finished cap on for drying.

So now that you have all of your supplies together, you are ready to create!

Determine which side of the cap that you would like to decorate. The inside and outside decorate well, the inside is easier to seal. I use recycled caps for rings.
Once you have decided which side to use (for this tutorial, I will use the outside), place a small amount (a pea size amount) of your chosen adhesive to the cap and spread it evenly, either with the tip of the bottle or with a Popsicle stick. Apply carefully from the bottle as some adhesives can be thin!
Add your chosen image and place it on the cap, making sure it is straight. Take your tissue or paper towel and press down lightly on the image to adhere it to the cap and blot any adhesive that oozes out.
Let it dry for about 15-30 mins.
Apply Aileene's Paper Glaze if you are using it and let it dry-about10-15mins.
Apply 3D Crystal Lacquer; do not shake the bottle. Using gentle squeezing pressure on the bottle, apply a thin line of lacquer in the middle, go around the edges and fill in the rest with the tip of the bottle(don't squeeze the bottle, just move the tip around. Do not use a circular motion, as this may form bubbles) making sure to cover the area evenly. If any bubbles form, just pop them with the tip of the bottle or blow on it gently.
Let dry on a flat surface for 12 hours. I would recommend waiting at least two days before shipping or packaging to allow the sealer to dry entirely.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Working on my tutorial...

I have started writing my tutorial for sealed bottle caps. I am not the best writer in the world, so I think this may take longer than I anticipated. I have a couple of hours to kill today, so I am taking advantage of some quiet free time. :)

Saturday, January 3, 2009

I did it!!

I made a couple of scrabble tile pendants last night. They are a bit tedious, esp with cutting the image, but I think with a little practice, I should be okay with it. It doesn't help that my Exacto blade is dull and wouldn't cut butter on a hot day. My local Michaels was out of the size that I use. Figures. But I did find a pretty sheet of scrapbook paper to use and I found a pack of ABC tiles similar to scrabbles, 60 in a pack for 4 bucks. Not bad. I didn't have time to glue the bails on the back, probably will next week sometime, I have to go out of town for my job for a couple of days. I took a couple of pictures. I was particularly impressed with how the music paper ones turned out and the red rose one with the greenery on it. I think that one may be mine! I made that one with the tiles I got from Michaels. They are a little bigger than scrabbles.

Friday, January 2, 2009

Nothing Special News!

I am excited! The scrabble tiles that I ordered from cheapoldcrap on Etsy arrived today and I am just about set to start my new craft. I just need to print up a couple of collages that I ordered from Majik Design and get a new blade for my Exacto knife. Hopefully I will get to start tonight or tomorrow.

I wrote out a basic outline for the sealed bottle cap tutorial that I plan to write and offer here on my blog for everyone. Hopefully I will have it done by next weekend.

I have decided to offer blank bottle cap pendants as supplies in my shop:

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Happy 09!

Well, another year has past! Here's to 2009! I am not one to make resolutions for the new year, but I did decide to tweak some things for my shops on Etsy and ArtFire.

First, I am going to blog more regularly and try to keep it as interesting as possible. I have been thinking about posting a tutorial to make sealed bottle caps, since I am now confident enough with my techinque to share it.

Second, I am going to work on a system for better record keeping. I have a couple of spreadsheets that I am going to try.

Third, I am going to try a new craft. I tried both soap making and bottle caps last year and still enjoy them, although I haven't made any soap for a few months. This year I am going to do scrabble tile pendants. I think I am a little late jumping on this bandwagon, but ah well. I think if they turn out well enough, I will place them in my ArtFire shop, since Etsy has probably close to 15,000 already. Little fish in a big sea!