Monday, November 28, 2011

Cyber Monday Sale...going...going....

Just a few hours left on my Cyber Monday sale!  15% off everything in the shop - ends at midnight tonight!!

Do you have all your holiday shopping done yet?  ;)

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Tutorial: Ribbon Trees

So excited to share a new tutorial with you guys!  I've seen these little ribbon trees floating around in stores here and there and knew they'd be a great, easy crafty project to try.  And I'm sure there's a variety ways of doing this project, but this is how I did it and I'm really happy with the results.

Here's your supply list:

  • Foam cone (I used a 12" x 4 7/8" one) (TIP: I found almost all of mine at estate sales and thrift stores for around $1.00 each.  Plleeeaase do not pay $5.00+ each for these things at the craft store.)
  • Ribbon (for the above-sized cone, I used the following:
    • 1 - 12' spool of 1 1/2" 
    • 2 - 9' spool of 7/8"
    • 2 - 9' spool of 3/8")
  • Pins (again, for the above-size cone, I used approx. 300 pins)
  • Glue (the all-purpose craft/tacky kind)
  • Scissors (I used pinking shears so that the ribbons don't fray and so any edges left showing always look finished)
  • Felt (a half sheet is plenty for one cone)
  • Topper of your choice
Before you get started, trace the bottom of your cone on a piece of felt, a little wider than you think you need.   It's a lot easier to do this step now than at the end when the ribbons are all along the bottom edge getting in your way.

Then, cut all of your ribbon up into 5" pieces.

Next, in small sections, lay two strips of glue on the cone about 2 1/2" apart, add a few ribbons and pin them at the bottom.  (TIP: When adding the glue, dab and spread it a bit as you go so that it gets into the porous surface of the cone and sticks nicely to your ribbons.)

Next, add another strip of glue along the top edge of the ribbon row, fold up your ribbons...

...and pin them, one-by-one.

Do this all the way around until you get almost back to the start.  Now, I know you're in a happy little ribbon frenzy, gluing right along - but slow down when you get about 3" or so from where you started so you can evaluate what ribbons will fit in the space you have left, and plan it out.

Just keep going and going, remembering to slow down to fit the last few ribbons of a row in each time.  Now...I actually ran out of ribbons on this particular tree, so I have to go pick up more to finish it.  Ugh.  (The measurements and amounts in the list above are accurate - I just didn't follow my own directions on this one.)

So that's ^ where I'm at on this one.  *sigh*

But anyway.  We'll finish the tutorial with different trees I'm working on. :)

When you finish your ribbons all the way to the top, you want to use another cut of ribbon (you can use one you've already cut, but I think it really only needs to be 4" long or so) to finish it so it looks nice and polished.  (TIP: I lightly coated both the ribbon, and around the top of the cone with glue.  Then I wrapped the ribbon around the top, pulling tighter at the bottom of the ribbon - because you're working with the slant of the cone.  Then I wrapped the ribbon with a rubber band until it was almost entirely dry.  You don't want to keep it wrapped until it's completely dry because you risk having to cut your rubber band off because it's become glued to the ribbon - and if it's still a little tacky when you take the band off, you have a chance to smooth out any wrinkles the rubber band may have made.)

This is after the rubber band is off and the glue has dried.
Now you can take your piece of felt you traced in the beginning and glue it on the bottom.  Easy peasy.

Then, trace the top of the cone on felt.  Again, be generous with it - you can always trim it smaller.  You want your top circle to be big enough to cover all your messiness on top - it should sit juuuust inside the ribbon without going over.  The neater you can get this part - the better.

Finally, you're ready to choose your topper and stick it on top!  (TIP: If you're using a simple floral pick, you can just slide it in, usually right through the felt.  But, you may find it easier to cut a small slit in your felt before gluing it on.  And depending on your topper, hot glue may be a better option for this part...)

There are a ton of options for toppers, by the way.  This time of year (and right after Christmas - oh the sales!!) there are a ton of "floral picks" in the floral section of the craft stores.  Everything from glittery stars, to snowflakes, to little presents or candies.  But you could also use fallen pinecones (glue some glitter on!), or jingle bells, or a little figurine - maybe even an old ornament or toy.

Playing with my new Hipstamatic app.  ;)
So there you have it folks!  A super easy, fun little project to try out during the holidays!  You can expect to get a little messy - a bit gluey on your fingers.  :)  But it's a lot of fun.  And I bet you could whip one of these up a lot quicker using hot glue and it would probably be just fine.  But I made some of these last year using this method, and packed them away kind of haphazardly (oops!) and they held up super solid.  So it's totally up to you!  (If anyone's done this craft using just hot glue - no pins, etc. - I'd love to hear how it worked out!)

Enjoy! <3

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Thursday, November 24, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving! AND a Black Friday - Cyber Monday Sale!

Hello to all of my wonderful bloggy friends!  I'm kinda psyched tonight because I just came home from an absolutely lovely dinner with the family (well, my adopted family - Jon's family - but they're mine now because I love them...a lot) and I'm in such an awesome mood!  I hope very much that wherever you are, that you had an equally wonderful day, whether you were enjoying your own Thanksgiving bliss, or just hanging out doing whatever it is that makes you happy.

I'm also super excited because - - - I'm having a Black Friday to Cyber Monday sale this weekend starting....NOW! :)

Everything in my Etsy shop is 15% off.  And (bonus!) anything you've seen (in the works-in-progress recently...

For example, these three critters didn't make it in the shop yet, but are definitely available!
...or maybe in the pictures from the show) that is not yet in the shop is also available at the sale price!  Just contact me for details. I've been working my lil' tookus off trying to get everything photographed and in the shop for you before the sale, but I didn't quite make it.  I will be adding more things over the next couple days too, so check back all weekend for updates.

I don't have sales often because I try to price my stuff really reasonably to begin with so I honestly don't have much wiggle room.  But I really am thankful for everyone who comes by here to comment...or favorites things in the shop...or gives me feedback...or just sends some general love my way.  Thank you.  Thank you.  Thank you.  So this is a tiny way I can try to show you some love back.  :)  I hope you enjoy the sale.  And even if you don't need anything from my shop - definitely think about supporting the handmade community this season by doing some shopping around on Etsy this weekend.  So many artists are having excellent sales!

Monday, November 21, 2011

New in the Shop! (And coming soon sneak peek!)

If you are a fan of Pooknflip on Facebook, you might have already heard - but I'm super excited about re-stocking the shop for the holidays!  So everyone, please join me in welcoming the latest plushie creations to the Etsy shop!

Here is Willoughby - a very handsome little owl, if I do say so myself...

...and Adelaide.  A pretty little girlie...

...and Hilda, named for my grandmother, whose farmhouse curtains make up her little belly... <3

All three are now available in the shop.

And a sneak peek - exclusively for you guys!!  These guys will be up and ready very soon...

Waverly - a happy little hippie owl:

Humphrey - he puts on a bit of a front sometimes - but he's not as tough or grumpy as he might look :)

Aside from these guys ^ I have a BUNCH of beavers coming.  Here's a little sneak peek from the Christmas beavers...

Look for them soon!  And if you're thinking of ordering, remember to get it in soon so I can get it shipped to you by Christmas!  (It's coming!  Eeee!)

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Santa's Craft Castle Wrap Up

I know, I know! Did you forget I even existed? It's been so long since I've been able to post anything. Sorry my friendly bloggy folks. :( I miss you too. But the show is over, and I'm back, and I want to share some pics and my thoughts!

So my first craft show was yesterday. We got up bright and early. Well, it was early anyway - the sun is not out anymore in the morning. Don't you hate that this time of the year? I like it to be shiny & happy when I get up. *sigh* I digress...

We had everything packed up and ready to go the night before so all I had to do was get up, get cleaned, dressed and in the car. Made it to the show only 15 minutes after our assigned time. (Not bad!  Me and early mornings do not mix.) Set up in about an hour (also not bad considering I tweaked my booth design a little bit last minute, and also had no idea if we'd be able to actually hang my banner as we'd not seen the booth spot to see if it'd be possible. But it was! And we did!). And we were ready to go and open for business on time!

Isn't it cute!  (Don't get me started on how I realized, after the show was over, looking at the pictures, that the tablecloths aren't even...geesh!)  But overall - cute, right?? :)

My most wonderful, supportive, awesome helper for the day in the background there. <3
Overall, I learned a lot about the process of craft shows.  I learned how it felt to be in one (I was a nervous wreck for about the first three hours - felt like I was going to be sick...couldn't eat breakfast or lunch - for no reason - I just get really anxious in new environments sometimes.  Wish I didn't, but we all have our problems, right?  But after that - I was totally in the groove.).

I loved getting the feedback from customers.  A LOT of people LOVED the owls.  Almost every single person who stopped, picked up the red guy on the end or the blue guy next to the tree. I heard the words "sooo cute!" and "very different" quite frequently.  I got very good feedback on my products and booth in general.

Alas, and I know a lot of crafters have encountered this problem, I don't think this was the venue for me.  I feel like the crowd was looking for deals.  Or were used to seeing all the other cutsie items that were in the show that had a purpose.  Plush don't have a purpose.  (Do they need to?  I guess with our economy the way it is - trying to be a plush maker right now might not be the best idea...)  A lot of people wondered if they were doorstops.  I had to say many times - "Nope.  They're just for fun and for loving.  If you can get them to hold your door for you too then I guess that's a little bonus!"

And when people asked the prices (I only had one sign with all the pricing on it...) I feel almost all of them were sticker-shocked.  :(  Ugh. Stupid big-box, mass-produced, commercial, made-in-China culture we live in!  I curse you!!!!  Not really.  But it is a bummer.  And a huge hindrance to those of us trying to do what we love and who put so much time into these things... (Crafters! Stop under-selling your work!!!  It just adds to the problem!!) *sigh*

But again, overall, it was a good time.  I ended up really enjoying myself.  I loved talking to the customers and getting real, live feedback.  So many people loved my stuff - it felt really good.  :)  I didn't do badly either.  I mean, I didn't do great - but I did make my booth fees back plus some.  So it wasn't bad for a first show.

Couple of shots of "my view" during the show:

So in summary - nothing fell over, got broken, stolen, I didn't get sick ;) , I made some decent sales, got great feedback, learned a lot and had fun.  :)

But on a personal level, I'm glad it's over because now I feel like I can finally take a breather and actually get into the holiday season.  Lately, I've been so rushed and busy, I haven't had any time for personal "for fun" crafting or felt that "warm fuzzy" that I love so much about this time of year.

And on a business level - I'm now going to be working on getting alllll my plush inventory (as well as some Christmas gift tags and some brooches) into the shop!  (If you see anything in the pictures you like - call dibs now!  Email me or leave a message in the comments and I'll contact you back with if it's still available as well as pricing, shipping, etc.)

I also decided that I'm going to be having a little giveaway for my blog readers to show my appreciation for your patience with me during these last couple weeks. <3  So stay tuned for that!

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Music I'm Diggin Right Now

Cuff the Duke - "Count on Me"