Friday, June 23, 2017

Free Friday: Unicorn Magnet

Happy Friday, everyone!  It was a personal struggle, but I managed to keep my promise to post a new free pattern!  I've actually had this one sitting around for a few weeks, just haven't had the time to turn it into a pattern.  But I finally managed! 

This is a cute magnet in the style of the adorable unicorn cakes that the internet is in love with lately.  I figured, why confine that design to cakes?  This is a pretty large magnet, and I think it would make a cute little wall hanging too.

Unicorn Magnet



Skill Level:

Beginner

Materials:

  • 7-count plastic canvas
  • Red Heart yarn in colors listed in key
  • Magnetic tape
  • Hot glue
  • #16 plastic canvas needle

Instructions:

  1. Cut and stitch plastic canvas according to graph.
  2. Overcast edges using colors of nearby stitches (use the picture above as a guide)
  3. Cut several pieces of magnetic tape to fit on the back of bat magnet. Remove paper from magnets and apply glue to sticky side before attaching to rainbow. This may seem like overkill, but it makes for a very secure bond.

Click the image above to see it larger.  You may share this pattern however you please as long as you don't alter it or claim it as your own.  Please link back if you share this pattern.  You may sell items made from this pattern.  However, you may not sell this pattern.

Hope you all have a great weekend! 

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Stars and Stripes Patterns

Hey everyone!  Gee, it's been a while, hasn't it?  Does summer just take over your life like it does mine?  I feel like I'm on a really fast moving treadmill trying to catch a carrot dangled right in front of me.  I guess that was a stupid analogy, lol.  At any rate, the point is, life is full and I'm sure you all can understand that.

Despite everything, I did manage to get a pattern made for my shop!  My next project is to sit down and make a big pile of free patterns to post here on my blog for all of you!  I figure if I focus  on it maybe I can get enough patterns done to get us through the busy summer schedule.  That's tomorrow's project! 

Anyway, here's my new patterns!

Stars and Stripes Coaster Set pattern, $4 on Etsy

Stars and Stripes TBC pattern, $4 on Etsy
I realize these are a little late for the 4th of July, but it's never too late for cool  and rustic Americana decor, right?

Hope you're all having a great week, and keep an eye out for a free pattern on Friday!

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Whirlwind week!

Hi guys!  How are you all doing?  I hope you're well!  I haven't really had much of a chance to sit down and write or even read blog posts lately.  It's spring, and that's the nature of this season.  There's always something to do! 

The last week my hubs and I have been on a staycation.  Pretty cool, right?  Well, as a homemaker, it actually wasn't too much different for me.  Actually, it was more work than usual!  As a bonus, hubs now understands how much I actually work on this house and how hard and draining it can be, not just keeping it clean but keeping track of everything that needs done and planning all the meals and such.  It's easy for that stuff to go unnoticed by the people who don't do them.

Anyway, I used my staycation to get almost off of the garden things done that needed done.  I got all of the vegetables planted, flowers potted and put into the ground, cleaned up the perennials, and spread mulch on what seems like the whole neighborhood.  I'm totally beat and I don't want to ever see a bag of mulch ever again.  I'm totally grateful that it's all over though; now I can get back to working on my designs.

And that's exactly what I did today!  I got to work and finished a project that I've been playing with for a couple of weeks now.  It's another Christmas design (it'll be here before you know it!), an adorable wall hanging.

Owl Be Home For Christmas wall hanging pattern, $4 on Etsy  
I'm not sure what I'll work on next.  I feel like I should get some 4th of July patterns made, but it's getting kind of late for those!  I may just work on more Christmas things.  I really want to make sure I'm prepared this year. 

So what are you guys working on right now?  Got any craft projects in the works, or are you busy with your gardens too?  I hope you're all having a great week so far.

Thursday, May 18, 2017

Summer Plant Pokes

Hey guys!  I'm so excited to share my newest pattern with you!  I've been working on this one for a while (summer isn't even here yet and life is already crazy busy), so I'm really happy it's done.



Summer Plant Pokes, $6 on Etsy

I had a lot of fun with these designs!  But I gotta dash, there's still so much to get done!

Friday, May 12, 2017

Free Friday: Butterfly Plant Poke

Happy Friday everyone!  I hope it's as bright and beautiful where you live as it is here in New York.  It's not exactly warm, but that sunshine sure is nice!  The trees are getting so green, and the birds are singing.  Oh, spring is wonderful!

Speaking of spring, pretty soon we'll start seeing lovely butterflies in our gardens.  I love butterflies, their bright and lovely wings, their gentle fluttery nature.  If I were ever forced to be a bug, I'd definitely choose to be a butterfly.  That's why I decided to make a pretty butterfly plant poke! 

Butterfly Plant Poke

Skill Level:

Beginner

Size:

3 x 12 inches

Materials:

  • 7-count plastic canvas
  • Red Heart Yarn in colors listed in key
  • 3mm black pipe cleaner
  • 11 inch wooden skewer
  • Hot glue
  • #16 plastic canvas needle

 Instructions:

  1. Cut and stitch plastic canvas according to graph.
  2. Cut a 3 inch length of black pipe cleaner. Fold in half and curl ends down to make it look like antenna.
  3. With hot glue, attach pipe cleaner antenna to the back of butterfly, and then attach butterfly to the wooden skewer.


Click the image above to see it larger.  You may share this pattern however you please as long as you don't alter it or claim it as your own.  Please link back if you share this pattern.  You may sell items made from this pattern.  However, you may not sell this pattern.

Well, I hope you all have a great weekend.  And to all you mothers out there, happy mother's day! 

Monday, May 8, 2017

Free Friday: Summery Windsock

Happy Monday, everyone!  Yes, I do realize it's Monday and not Friday, but I've been feeling bad about not having a pattern up for you guys lately.  The truth is, I've been having issues with my cubital tunnel syndrome again (aka, pain in the elbow) that makes it very hard for me to stitch and sometimes work at my computer.  But I powered through it the last few days and got a pretty cool new pattern put together!  I hope you enjoy it :)

Summery Windsock


Skill Level:

Beginner

Size:

4 x 18 inches

Materials: 

  • 7-count plastic canvas
  • Red Heart Yarn in colors listed in key
  • Hot Glue
  • Craft Cord
  • Size #1 Barrel Swivel (found in fishing supplies)
  • ¼ inch ribbon in matching color
  • #16 plastic canvas needle

Instructions:

 
  1. Cut plastic canvas according to graphs. Leaving red section unfinished, stitch piece according to graph. Once finished, hold the two narrow ends together, overlapping red sections, and finish stitching.
  2. Overcast unfinished edges with White.
  3. Use hot glue to attach 9” lengths of ribbon to one open end of the wind sock, spacing them about 1” apart.
  4. Cut two 12” lengths of craft cord. Working on the end of the windsock without the ribbons, attach one end of the first piece of cord anywhere to the inside of the windsock. Slide the other end through the loop on the barrel swivel, and attach it directly across from the first end. Repeat with the second piece of cord so that when you're done, the four ends are attached at all four corners.




Click the image above to see it larger.  You may share this pattern however you please as long as you don't alter it or claim it as your own.  Please link back if you share this pattern.  You may sell items made from this pattern.  However, you may not sell this pattern.

I hope you all had a great weekend!  I'm looking forward to a week where I'll start feeling better. 

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Pinwheel Plant Pokes

Hi everyone!  I have a cool new pattern up on Etsy!

Pinwheel Plant Pokes pattern, $3 on Etsy
Aren't they cute?  They really make me smile, anyway, and make me start thinking about summer.  It's on the way! 

I hope you're all having a good week.  I'm working on a new pattern for this week's Free Friday already!

Monday, April 24, 2017

Gingerbread Coasters

Happy Monday, everyone!  Did you all have a good weekend?  Mine was pretty good!  It wasn't super warm or anything, but the sky was blue and it was at least warm enough to get some work done around the house, and that's always a good feeling.

I actually finished a pattern, can you believe that!  And believe it or not, it's a Christmas pattern.  I figured I'd better start doing my holiday patterns now, so everyone has time to make them long before hand.  I must admit that it was strange working on a Christmas project in April though.  I'd better get used to it though, because I plan on making more Christmas patterns soon.

Gingerbread Coasters pattern, $4 on Etsy

I'd better start thinking about a free pattern to post this week.  I don't have any ideas yet!  Anyway, have a great week everyone!

Friday, April 21, 2017

Free Friday: Pretty Spring Coaster

Hi everyone!  Happy Friday!  How has your week been?  Mine's been a struggle, to be honest.  I've been so eager to get back to my design work, but I developed a serious case of cubital tunnel syndrome.  That's like carpel tunnel, except it's in my elbow instead of my wrist.  It basically meant I couldn't bend my elbow without a lot of pain, which left me pretty much unable to do anything!  I spent the last two weeks taking lots of walks and doing a lot of cleaning around the house because those are the only things that didn't make me hurt.  Sad!  But at least I got my exercise :)

But now I'm actually feeling better which means I can get back to my designs!  And hopefully nothing else dramatic will happen to keep me from working on things.  Sheesh, it's like one thing after another!

Anyway, this week's free pattern is a pretty coaster!  The pattern itself isn't spectacular.  Instead, it's the yarn that makes this piece really special.  I love this yarn!  The colors are just so soft and springy. 


Pretty Spring Coaster



 

Skill Level:

Beginner

Size:

3 ½ x 3 ½

Materials:

  • 7-count plastic canvas
  • Red Heart Yarn in colors listed in key
  • Craft Felt
  • Hot Glue
  • #16 plastic canvas needle

Instructions: 

  1. Cut and stitch plastic canvas according to graphs.
  2. Overcast the outside edges with Soft White.
  3. Using coasters as a template, cut out four squares of white craft felt. Trim off 1/8 of an inch on all pieces. Attach to backs of coasters using hot glue.

Click the image above to see it larger.  You may share this pattern however you please as long as you don't alter it or claim it as your own.  Please link back if you share this pattern.  You may sell items made from this pattern.  However, you may not sell this pattern.

It looks like it's going to be a cool weekend here, so I'll be spending some time stuck inside yet again!  But instead of moping, I'm going to get active and get some more designs worked on!  What are you doing this weekend?  I hope it's something fun!

Friday, April 7, 2017

Free Friday: Easter Egg Clip

Happy Friday, everyone!  I hope you all had a good week.  Mine was ok.  I'm just starting to get some of my ambition back after a long cold depressing March.  But spring is starting to show up and I'm getting excited about life again! 

Speaking of spring, I can't believe that Easter is right around the corner!  It seems like we just celebrated Valentine's day.  Before you know it, we'll be having Memorial day barbecues!  That won't be such a bad thing though.  I'm so ready for warm weather!

This week's free pattern is another cute bag clip.  I like these things!  They're quick and easy to make, and I think people like getting them.  You can use them to decorate a plain brown paper bag, or you can use them to clip a bag of potato chips closed.  Sure, you could use a plain clothes pin, but this way is much more festive.

Easter Egg Clip



Skill Level:

 Beginner

Materials:

  • 7-count plastic canvas
  • Red Heart Yarn in colors listed in key
  • Wooden clothes pins
  • Hot Glue
  • #16 plastic canvas needle

Instructions: 

  1. Cut and stitch plastic canvas according to graph.
  2. Overcast edges using colors of nearby stitches (use the picture above as a guide)
  3. Use hot glue to attach egg to clothespin so that the bottom of the egg is near the opening of the clothespin. ♥
 
Click the image above to see it larger.  You may share this pattern however you please as long as you don't alter it or claim it as your own.  Please link back if you share this pattern.  You may sell items made from this pattern.  However, you may not sell this pattern.

I hope you all have a good weekend.  I'll try to get another pattern posted next week.  Hopefully this nice weather will keep me motivated to keep working!

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Easter Coasters

Hi everyone!  I'm so sorry for the very long absence.  I guess I needed a little time to myself after all my family drama in February.  I have been working on my designs, but very slowly.  The good news is, I have a new pattern up on Etsy!

Easter Coasters Pattern, $4 on Etsy

I even have some cool patterns ready to share on Free Friday!  I can't promise I'll have anything up this week, but I'll certainly try.  Hope you're having a great week!

Thursday, March 9, 2017

Question of the Day: Unobservant Customers

Hey, happy Thursday everyone!  I hope you're all doing well.  Sorry I didn't post anything for Tip Tuesday, but... and it's embarrassing to admit this, but... I bought a Nintendo Switch last Friday and I've been playing Zelda: Breath of the Wild ever since!  Lol!  Yes, I'm a video game nerd, what can I say? 

Well, I have a question for all of you.  What do you do about unobservant customers?  I sell digital patterns on Etsy, but I've been getting a lot of people buying my items and then emailing me angrily that they didn't know it was a digital pattern before they bought it.  They either thought they were buying a physical pattern which isn't too bad, because I can print and send it, or they thought they were buying the actual physical item pictured, which is much more annoying. 

I've tried to put big bold notes on my listings, I put PATTERN right in the beginning of my listing name, I list the materials used as PDF, I put PATTERN in the tags, I describe it as a pattern.  I just don't know what to do.  This is a waste of my time and energy, plus it costs me to refund them money. 

So there's the question.  What would you do in that situation? 

Friday, March 3, 2017

Free Friday: Rainbow Magnet

Happy Friday, everyone!  How did your week go?  Mine has been pretty good, very busy.  I got my first seeds of the season planted in my basement under my grow lights.  I wasn't sure if I'd be able to get my garden going this year, what with the new design business and this blog taking so much of my time, but I figured I had better make the time or I'd be really sorry come summer.  I do love my vegetable garden!

Today's pattern is a really fun rainbow magnet!  It was so strange for me to pull out these colors.  They're so much brighter than the colors that I usually use!  I hope you enjoy this as much as I do.

Rainbow Magnet



Skill Level:

 Beginner

Size: 

3 ½ x 3 inches

Materials: 

  • 7-count plastic canvas
  • Red Heart yarn in colors listed in key
  • Magnetic tape
  • Hot glue
  • #16 plastic canvas needle

Instructions: 

  1. Cut and stitch plastic canvas according to graph.
  2. Overcast edges using colors of nearby stitches (use the picture above as a guide)
  3. Cut several pieces of magnetic tape to fit on the back of bat magnet. Remove paper from magnets and apply glue to sticky side before attaching to rainbow. This may seem like overkill, but it makes for a very secure bond.
 
 
 
 
Click the image above to see it larger.  You may share this pattern however you please as long as you don't alter it or claim it as your own.  Please link back if you share this pattern.  You may sell items made from this pattern.  However, you may not sell this pattern.

I hope your weekend is a bright and cheerful as this cute magnet :) 

Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Tip Tuesday: Cleaning Plastic Canvas

Happy Tuesday, everyone!  Did you all have a good weekend?  Mine was ok, though it got cold again on Saturday so I didn't get to go outside.  I'm starting to get some cabin fever, and even though I know this early warm spell isn't good for the plants, I'm beginning to hope for 70 degree weather so I can go sit on my porch or take a long walk.

Today's tip is something you probably don't think about until you need to know.  That's certainly how I was about it, anyway.  It's about how to clean plastic canvas.  I'm sure you're thinking that cleaning plastic canvas is probably easy, but you need to take some care.  After all, you put all that work into making a piece, so you should take care of it as best as you can so it can last many long happy years.

I got the idea for this post when I noticed that one of my coasters was getting some coffee stains on it.


It's a little hard to see in the picture (it's along the upper edge there), but in person it looked pretty ugly.  My MIL once told me that to wash plastic canvas, run it under the faucet.  The problem with doing that with this piece is that it has a felt backing that's glued on with craft glue, which is of course water soluble.  If I ran it under the faucet, the back would likely come unglued.

So I did a little research and played with this coaster a little bit, and I thought I'd share with you what I found out.

How To Clean Plastic Canvas


  • If the stain is on the surface, gently dab with a damp paper towel, then with a dry paper towel.  Repeat until the stain comes out.
  • If the stain is deeper or has been sitting for a long time, dab with a paper towel dampeded with an oxygen cleaner (like Oxyclean).  Let sit for five minutes.  Dry with a dry paper towel.  Repeat as needed.
  • If the piece doesn't use craft glue, and the stain is very bad, you can fill a bowl or bucket with warm water and a small amount of oxygen cleaner and let the PC piece soak in the solution for 5-10 minutes.  Rinse thoroughly and allow to air dry.
  • DO NOT RUB!  Acrylic yarn is likely to pill or fray if you rub the piece.  Never use a brush of any kind.  If you need to do a deep cleaning, use a kitchen sprayer to blast water through it (and only if the piece doesn't use craft glue).
  • If your piece is dusty, run your vacuum hose gently across the surface to suck it up.  Don't use a brush or hand duster, as this may create pill or embed the dust into the yarn fibers.
  • And finally, clean up any stains or messes on your PC piece as soon as you notice them.  The sooner you clean them, the likelier they are to come out.

I ended up dabbing my coaster with a wet paper towel, and then a dry one.  The stain took a couple of passes, but it came out really well.



So there you have it!  I hope that list comes in handy the next time you spill coffee on one of your favorite coasters. 

Friday, February 24, 2017

Free Friday: Tiny Easter Baskets

Happy Friday everyone!  (Let's hope this posts on Friday this week!)  I hope you're all doing well this week.  I had a pretty nice one.  Gosh, it was so nice here!  Very warm and sunny, but that worries me a little.  If it stays warm for too long, the plants will start growing and blooming, and then they could all die in a cold snap.  I'm crossing my fingers that it'll either get cold again soon, or stay warm until the last frost date (which is a long way off, three months!).

Well, I really wasn't feeling up to making a pattern this week.  As I get older, the damp cold days start hurting a little more, and what hurts on me is my arms and wrists.  That makes it really difficult to stitch, since those are the muscles you're using.  Thankfully, I remembered that I've had this pattern sitting around for a long time, and it wasn't hard to make the pattern up for it.  So yay, free pattern this week!

Tiny Easter Baskets


Skill Level:

Beginner

Size: 

2x3 inches

Materials:

  • 7-count plastic canvas
  • White yarn and pastel colored yarn
  • #16 plastic canvas needle

Instructions:

  1. Cut and stitch plastic canvas according to graphs.
  2. Using a pastel colored yarn of your choice, whipstitch bottom and side pieces together. Overcast top of basket and handle with pastel.
  3. Use pastel yarn to tack handle to basket, as shown in picture.
  


Click the image above to see it larger.  You may share this pattern however you please as long as you don't alter it or claim it as your own.  Please link back if you share this pattern.  You may sell items made from this pattern.  However, you may not sell this pattern.

I have some ideas for St. Patrick's day patterns, so check back next week! 

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Tuesday Tips: Accuquilt Die Storage

Happy Tuesday, everyone!  This week's tip is about sewing.  I realize that I frame my blog around plastic canvas, but the truth is that I love to sew too!  Sewing and plastic canvas are my two crafty passions, and I don't see a reason not to share this tip!  After all, maybe you'll find it handy!

I have a nifty gadget called an Accuquilt Go! Baby fabric cutter.  It's a little machine that lets you cut fabric quick and easy with the use of a rolling device and cutting dies.  If you're into sewing at all, I'm sure you've heard of these things before.  I was a skeptic at first because I thought they would waste a lot of material, but if you use it properly, it really doesn't.  And yes, it does save a lot of time cutting fabric!

However, it takes up a lot of space in my already tiny crafting room.  The dies can be pretty large, despite the fact that I have the the smallest cutting machine they make.  I usually had them laying on cabinets or on my ironing board, but I had to keep moving them out of the way when I needed to use that space. 

Finally, I came up with a pretty simple and elegant solution.  I suddenly had an extra magazine holder, and thought, hey, why not just pop them in there for the time being?  Well, that worked so well that it's become their permanant home!



As you can see, it's getting pretty full, so I'll have to get another magazine holder soon (actually, I made that one from an old box!), but I really like this solution so I'm going to keep using it.  It takes up less space than other holders that I've seen, and it keeps them safely out of the way.  I also store some of my fabric cutting rulers in that same magazine holder when I want them out of the way, too.

I hope that little tidbit gets you to think about magazine holders a little differently!  Have you ever used them for anything other than magazines?  I'd love to hear your ideas.

Monday, February 20, 2017

Lacy Easter Baskets

Happy Monday, everyone!  I hope you're having a great day just like I am!  The sun is shining, the air is getting warm, the skies are a crystal clear blue, and I'm getting lots of good work done!  It always feels good to get a project done :)

I posted a new pattern today on Etsy!  A cute set of baskets for Easter.

Lacy Easter Baskets pattern, $4 on Etsy

Cute and lacy and perfect for filling with yummy candies for Easter (or a wedding or a baby shower!). 

Now I'm off to enjoy this beautiful day. 

Free Friday: Pretty Coaster

EDIT: For some reason, this didn't post on Friday when it was supposed to :(  Sorry!  So here's a little Monday extra for you.

Happy Friday, everyone!  Did you have a good week?  Mine was alright, not perfect, but I guess I should be grateful that it was at least quiet.  It snowed like crazy yesterday and it's so pretty outside, all white and fluffy.  This is probably winter's last hurrah before it melts back into spring!

Today's free pattern was actually meant for last week, so I'm sorry it's late!  It's a Valentine's coaster, pretty in pinks and purple.  It features a cool stitch I discovered in my new needlepoint book that I thought was quite pretty.  I hope you enjoy it!

Pretty Coaster




Skill Level:

Beginner

Size:

3 ½ x 3 ½ inches

Materials:

  • 7-count plastic canvas
  • Red Heart yarn in colors listed in key
  • White craft felt
  • Craft or hot glue

Instructions:

  1.  Cut and stitch plastic canvas according to graphs.
  2. Overcast the outside edges with Medium Purple.
  3. Using coasters as a template, cut out four squares of white craft felt. Trim off 1/8 of an inch on all pieces. Attach to backs of coasters using glue.

Click the image above to see it larger.  You may share this pattern however you please as long as you don't alter it or claim it as your own.  You may sell items made from this pattern.  However, you may not sell this pattern.

 I should probably get to work on some St. Patrick's Day patterns soon, and then Easter!  Boy, how the year flies by.  I can't believe that February is already half way over.  Before you know it, it'll be Christmas again!

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Tip Tuesday: Photo Setup

Happy Tuesday, everyone!  Today's tip probably won't be useful to everyone, but I thought I'd put it out there anyway because I thought it might help at least some people.  I'll be talking about my photo setup that I use for my Etsy shop, and what I use to get good shots of my designs.

Now I realize that I don't take the best photos.  I have trouble getting the right lighting a lot of the time because my house is very dark inside, and maybe I'm impatient with the arrangement of props and such, but I think my pictures do a good job of illustrating what I'm selling, and in the end that's important.  You need a photo that's well lit, has good color, and is nice and crisp.

I have two cameras, but I only use the one for my product pictures.  It's a Nikon D40 DSLR.


This is actually pretty old by digital camera standards.  I bought it for my hubs as a wedding present, and we got married in 2007!  Yep, 10 years this year!  It was $400 when we bought it, but if you want this camera, you can find it used for $160.  Nikon still makes entry level DSLR cameras though.  Looks like you can get a Nikon D3400 with a zoom lens for $499.  Of course, you probably already have a smart phone, and most of those are equipped with decent cameras these days. I'm a control freak though, and like to have more control over my photo than most smart phones let you have.  Not to mention I don't have a smart phone!

Since I don't have very good lighting in my home, I use a photo light box.  These are pretty simple devices, and you can actually make one yourself if you want to.  It's simply a square frame with white cloth on all but one side.  You put your item you want to photograph into the box and shine light through the cloth into the box.  This makes it so the light is soft and diffuse with few shadows. 

This is the one I have.  I got it on Amazon for $30 and it came with four different colored backgrounds (red, blue, black, and white).  I got a 32 inch one because sometimes I make a big project and I knew I would need the extra space to photograph it.  What's great about this one is that it pops open, and when you're done it just folds back up and takes up very little space.



Unfortunately it looks like it's unavailable, but here's the product page with all the info.  Maybe you can use the info to find one like it that you like.

The next thing you need for a photo light box is of course lights.  I went and bought four inexpensive clamp style work lights at Homedepot.


While there, I also bought a 4 pack of 100w equivalent of LED bulbs to go into the lamps. 


I wanted LED because A) they don't use very much electricity despite being very bright, and B) they're made of plastic so I don't have to worry about breaking any glass.  They work really well.

I attach all the lamps to a 4 outlet adapter, plug that into an extension cord, and then plug that into the wall I'm working closest to.  Pop open the photo light box and put in the white background.  Then position the lamps so that there's one on either side (I clip one to a box and one to a chair), one on top facing down, and one in the front facing in.  Here's what it looks like.


My photo light box also has a front cover with a small slit in it for your camera.  That way more light stays in the box, and you can put a light in the front too.

Here's the other side.


And here's a peek into the camera slit.


And when I'm done, it all folds back up and fits neatly into my craft room.


Of course, even with this setup, the pictures don't come out perfect.  I need to go in later and work with the photos to correct the colors and lighten the background.  What I use for my photo editing is a program I've been working with for almost 20 (!) years, Correl Paint Shop Pro.


It's usually pretty reasonably priced.  It's normally $100, but you can frequently find it for $50 or less.  If you don't want to pay for a photo editing program, there are free ones, the most popular being a program called Gimp.

Here's a picture of my latest project straight off the camera card.






And here's the edited version of the same photo.


It does take some practice to get photo editing right.  Even thought I've been a digital artist since 1999, it still took me several months of trial and error to get my photos to start looking the way I want them to. 

So there's my photo set up from start to finish!  I hope that helps someone out there with their business.  Photos of your product are the most important part of your listing, and when you're trying to represent something that you put a lot of love into, it's worth the time to put time and effort into the photos too.

Monday, February 13, 2017

Quilted Tissue Box Cover

Good Monday morning, everyone!  I know I'm probably unusual, but I love Mondays.  For me, it's a fresh new start, a clean slate to get the week right.  I definitely feel that way today.  After two weeks of being down in the dumps, I'm starting to feel normal again, and I'm actually feeling excited to work on my designs!

Speaking of designs, I have a new one posted on Etsy today!  It's a pretty quilt block pattern inspired by my new quilt book.  The block is called Around The Block, and I really like it.

Quilted Tissue Box Cover, $4 on Etsy

So keep an eye out this week for new blog posts!  I have lots of ideas for tips and patterns to share with you.

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Hiatus

Hey there, everyone.  I just wanted to post a short note to say that I'm going on hiatus for a little bit.  After all the craziness last week, my life has gotten hectic and uncertain, and my emotions aren't much better.  So I decided to take a little break for my own sanity.  I'll probably be back to posting in a couple of weeks, once life settles back into some kind of routine.  Hope to see you all soon!

Saturday, February 4, 2017

Ugh!

Sorry I didn't get around to posting the free pattern on Friday, guys.  This has just been the worst week ever..... well, ok, not EVER, but maybe the second worst week ever.  Like, mom goes to hospital and sister gets arrested kind of week.  Yeah. 

So I'm just chillin, trying to get some kind of normal back to my days.  The good news in that I'm doing lots of PC design work!  I've got two new projects in the works.  I just haven't gotten any pattern work done yet, which is kind of the important part! 

Hopefully next week will be a little better *fingers crossed*

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Spring Welcome Wall Hanging

Happy Tuesday, everyone!  It's been a crazy couple of days for me.  My mom had a serious medical scare, so I've been in the hospital and taking care of her house the last couple of days.  That means no Tuesday Tip this week :(  Sorry!  But there will be a free pattern on Friday, yay! 

And I did manage to finally finish my spring wall hanging!  It's such a cute pattern!

Spring Welcome Wall Hanging pattern, $4 on Etsy

I have some other cool patterns in the works that hopefully won't take as long as this one did!  (And to think, I want to make the other two seasons to finish this series!  What was I thinking?)

Hope you're all having a great week so far! 

Friday, January 27, 2017

Free Friday: Valentine's Heart Bag Clip

Happy Friday, everyone!  Did you have a good week?  Mine was pretty good, actually, though I didn't get as much done as I would have liked.  I suppose none of us really do though, huh? 

One thing I definitely wanted to get done this week was a Free Friday pattern because it's been weeks since I last posted one.  Truth be told, I had this one done last week, but I was so tired that I never got around to posting it.  So here you go, your belated pattern! 

This week's pattern is a cute bag clip for Valentine's.  I like dressing up simple things, like brown paper bags.  It makes wrapping easy and inexpensive, and the clips are totally reusable! 

This pattern could be altered in lots of ways.  You could make the heart a solid color, or make it gingham, or checkered, or with flowers on it.  You could change the colors to fit any season, really.  Get creative!  And if you come up with something cool, I'd love to see your creation :)

Valentine's Heart Bag Clip


 

Skill Level:

Beginner

Materials:

  • 7-count plastic canvas
  • Yarns in colors listed in key
  • Wooden clothespin
  • Hot glue
  • #16 plastic canvas needle

Instructions:

  1. Cut and stitch plastic canvas according to graph.
  2. Overcast around the whole heart with white yarn.
  3. Use hot glue to attach pumpkin to clothespin so that the bottom of the heart is near the opening of the clothespin.
Click the image above to see it larger.  You may share this pattern however you please as long as you don't alter it or claim it as your own.  You may sell items made from this pattern.  However, you may not sell this pattern.

I have another Valentine's pattern for next week, so stay tuned! 

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Wordy Wednesday

So I'm sure you've all heard of Wordless Wednesday, right?  It's the idea of posting on your blog with just pictures, without words.  I've tried that in the past (not on this blog), but you know what?  I'm too wordy for that!  So instead, today's post is Wordy Wednesday! 

It's been a hectic week, but I did make some progress on my projects, and I thought you'd all like to see how they're doing!  I have a PC pattern almost done.  It's totally stitched, but I need to get around to making the pattern now, but for some reason I just feel totally blah about doing that today (which is why I took these pictures instead, lol).  Here it is:


It's a spring version of my Fall Wall Hanging for sale up at Etsy. I plan on eventually doing one for each season, but gee whiz!  These wall hangings take forever to stitch.  I've been working at this one for two weeks now, I believe.  Of course, it probably would have taken less time if I hadn't also been busy with a quilt and taking care of a sick guy.

Speaking of my quilt, it's really coming along too.  I sewed up the first block last night, and I have to say, it's going to be one weird ass quilt, lol.  It's a lot brighter and wilder than I usually make my quilts!  But my MIL gave me a bunch of fruit and veggie fabric a while back, and I love this pattern so much, I thought I'd give it a try.  I figure if nothing else, it'll make the perfect picnic quilt.


I also wanted to share my newest toys!  I decided to buy myself some books to help me with my designing since I'm still pretty new at it and I want to become really good at it.  Here they are:


The one on the left is 501 Rotary-Cut Quilt Blocks and the one on the right is The Needlepoint Book.  Yes, I know the one is a quilt book!  However, I bought it because I've always had intentions of incorporating quilt designs into my PC designs, and this book will certainly help with that.  Especially since it's specifically rotary cut blocks, the designs should translate to PC pretty easily. 


There's lots of gorgeous designs!  I'm excited to get working on those.  Plus, I'll have it on hand for my quilting too (someday I'd like to start designing for quilts too, but that's in the future somewhere).

Did you know that Plastic Canvas is actually a form of needlepoint?  Until recently, I had no idea.  As a designer, I really want to bring something new to the PC world, and I especially want to make pieces with lots of texture and interesting techniques.  So many PC designs are super simplistic, using only the continental stitch.  That's ok for a beginner, but as you progress, you want to make something more complex and interesting, but there's very few designs out there that fit that bill. 

That's where this book comes in.  Since PC is a form of needlepoint, I'm hoping I can learn to beef up my designs with what I learn.  I have to tell you, this book is fascinating!  It has well over 300 needlepoint stitches!  I spent over an hour just flipping through pages, staring wide eyed at all the new possibilities.  This is how much of the book is just stitches:


And here's a picture of some of the cool stitches in the book.


I can't wait to try some of these out!  I'll be sure to share anything I learn, too. 

So that's what I'm up to this week.  Have any of you got any interesting projects going on?