Sunday, May 31, 2009

Featured Shop: Create a Thought





CREATEaTHOUGHT is a lovely Etsy shop containing all kinds of handmade, vintage, and upcycled items. There are many unique items to choose from including great handmade journals and cards. But for I must admit to being biased toward candle items, so I picked this Vintage Wood Star Candle Holder as my favorite item.

This excerpt from CREATEaTHOUGHT's profile gives some insight into motivation behind the craft.
"CREATEaTHOUGHT's mission is to help you do just that. I provide items that fit your personal writing and recording style. If you find that you are in need of a different style I will strive to create a personalized item just for you! Each journal is created to be unique and one of a kind.

I want to be able to provide you with something that is not mass produced. You will not have to worry about someone saying 'I have that same journal!'"
Also, be sure to check out the CREATEaTHOUGHT blog at http://createathoughtetsy.blogspot.com/

I've put together a sampling of items by CREATEaTHOUGHT to create this Spotlight on ByHand.me. Please feel free to go to this Spotlight to see the whole selection and leave a comment.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Friday, May 22, 2009

Sunny Friday Finds

In honor of the gorgeous weather we're having here this week I thought I'd post some bright and sunny picks today.

These are all handmade items from some of my favorite sellers on Etsy. Just click on the pictures for more information about each one. Also feel free to check out this spotlight on byhand.me.

Enjoy! :)

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Crafting Tips: My Favorite Suppliers

When I first started making candles and soap it was a challenge to find the right suppliers. I started out as many do by getting supplies from AC Moore and Michaels. These stores have a few great things going for them. They're generally local (easy to get to), and you can get your supplies right away instead of waiting for shipping (for us impatient types).

These places are great if you're just getting started in your craft and you're looking for a few basic supplies. Most people don't want to invest in bulk supplies when they don't even know if they'll like their new craft. However, I'm not sure how they are for other crafts, but for candles and soap I quickly outgrew these stores. They are relatively expensive, sell in small volume and have very limited selection.

I was looking for great quality bulk supplies at good prices with reasonable shipping costs. So I needed to look online. It took some trial and error but I've come up with a group of online supply stores that I'm very happy with. I know how hard it is when you're just starting out, so I thought I'd share a few of my favorites.

Many of these stores sell both candle and soap/B&B making supplies. I've also included some comments for each. And don't forget to sign up for newsletters from online supply stores. They often have monthly specials for subscribers.

Peak Candle Supplies
Very good selection, quality, shipping and customer service. Many of the fragrance oils are also safe for B&B products.

Bramble Berry
Soap Making Supplies
Wonderful products! Best prices I've found for soap-making oils.

Nature's Garden
Wholesale Candle & Soap Supplies
Good selection and reasonable prices.

Wholesale Supplies Plus
Soap and Candle Making Materials
One of my favorites for candle scents.

E&M Gold
Beekeepers and Natural Honey Advocates
Local New Jersey beekeepers where I get my beeswax. They sell a lot more than bulk beeswax. Take a look!

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Taking Time


I just wanted to check in. And I want to say hi to all my new visitors. I've been rushing around lately working on a big order. I'm taking today to just do whatever the heck I feel like!

For all you out there who have your own business (as I know a lot of my blogger friends are) remember to take time off! It's so challenging managing your business and your art/craft and keeping your house together. And if you have a full time job as well or kids ... wow I can only imagine! So for all you hard workers out there, remember to take some time for yourself.

If you feel like you're so stressed and overworked that you CAN'T POSSIBLY take time ... then now's the PERFECT time! We are taking care of so many people and things that we often forget to take care of ourselves. The world will keep turning even if you take a day off. :)

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Caturday ... with matching luggage!

Here are our two gorgeous cats. Above Patch has snuggled himself into my overnight bag.

And here are the two guys (Leo and Patch) cuddling on the suitcase - one of their favorite spots.

That's all for today. I'm working on a big project that's taking a lot of my extra time. Hope you like the pics. :)

Thursday, May 14, 2009

My 1st Garden: Trouble with Squirrels

Green pepper plants
This is just a quick update on my garden. My peppers are still inside, but I think I can plant them soon. Here they are in their makeshift pots. I learned that I need to upgrade them from the starter pots (toilet paper rolls), so they went into tea boxes. I'm determined to spend as little as possible on this project.

Cherry tomato plants
The tomatoes I started inside are now in the ground. I planted five but only four remain. Some critter (I imagine a squirrel) dug up one of the tomato plants the same day I planted it. When I checked on them the next day the poor plant had been dug up and then tossed aside and left to die. I guess I'm going to have to get used to this, but as my first "casualty" it was kind of sad.

Since then, however, the rest of the plants are doing fine. My husband is looking into making cages for them.

Snap pea plant
As well as the plants I started inside, I also planted snap/snow peas and carrots. The carrots are coming up well so far but don't look great in pictures yet. I'll show you those as they get bigger.

This picture is of a snap pea plant. I'm not entirely sure if I'm going to need a pole for these. I'll look it up at some point.

And that's it for this update. I'm hoping the squirrels don't cause more issues. I really have no idea what I would do if they become a problem. I'd appreciate any advice from readers!

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Monday Madness! Etsy Specials for This Week!

Do you like buying handmade? What about buying handmade for less?? Here are some great deals from Etsy shops. These specials last all week (May 11 - 17). Check them out!

If you have a special you'd like to share, then include the details in a comment. :)

Magnet Games
20% off all items. Please leave "craftydragon" in the "Note To Seller" section at checkout." The discount will be refunded to your paypal account.

Inki Handmade
I'm having a Moving Overseas Sale: 15% off all listed prices, refund via PayPal! Just Check out and Pay!

Splendid Things
Boutique cards, baby items and home decor. Free shipping to all CraftyDragon blog readers May 11-17. Enter "Crafty Dragon" in the message to seller section at checkout and I will refund the shipping via PayPal within 24 hrs. Or convo me and I'll adjust the listing.

Lil Dab Designs
Free gift with every order plus only a dollar shipping!


Learning with Autism
New shop having a grand opening sale. b1g1free. Please have a look. Thank you!


Nutmegclick
ALL of my photo prints are $5 this week in honour of mother's day.


The Tote Trove
Free shipping to Canada and US. Also, purchase any 5 items and receive 10% off your order. Please send message before purchasing, and I'll apply your discount.

Wreathmic Creations
All items in my shop are reduced 10% for the month of May only! Also, in honor of Mother's Day, May 10th, I'm raffling off my Victorian Teacup arrangement. Just convo me with your name and email. I will contact the winner on May 31st.

Birds of a Feather
Enjoy $2 off per package of Double Ruffle and Ruffle Crepe Trims in these delicious sunny colors; CANDY, LIMEADE, LEMON CHIFFON, LILAC, TURQUOISE & PUMPKIN. See my sale section.

Handmade by Jody
Free shipping on all items to US buyers!


Yaffa Dreams
15% off jewelry in my shop! Coupon Code "ThisMommyNeedsMoney". Does not apply to PIF OR DESTASH. I can do refund via paypal or you can convo me for reserve listing. Expires May 17, 2009, 11:59 pm PST. Lots of new stuff listed! Check it out.

Vintage Petals
Free shipping in the contiguous US! Shipping costs will be refunded through paypal. Tons of fabulous vintage clothes to spruce up your wardrobe!

The Fairy Ring and The Enchanted Cupboard
May Spring Sale 20% off - contact me for information


Treasure Box Jewelry
I am having a 20% and free shipping sale! Just type "blog promo" in notes to seller and I will refund via PayPal.

Crafty Projects: Cat Pillow

Here is a simple (but rather tedious) crochet project I did for my cat (Leo). Actually it is for both of our cats, but I'll admit to a little favoritism. Leo is my cat from before getting together with my husband. Leo and I have been together about seven or eight years now. (I'm not good with remembering anniversaries or birthdays either!)

Anyway, my idea was to crochet a pillow case to turn a regular pillow into a comfy cat bed/pillow. I didn't think about it until I started measuring that pillow cases are huge!! When I was out crocheting in the dentist's waiting room someone thought it was a blanket. And my little dachshund kept trying to cuddle under it while I was working on it. :) It was an easy project though, just single crochet with stripes to make it more interesting. I did each side separately and then sewed them together.

Here he is just getting used to it. I know he might rip it up a little. He does have all his claws. But if he likes it, then it's worth it!

Friday, May 8, 2009

Friday Finds

Some favorites I found while browsing today. Enjoy!

Click here to see the full Spotlight on byhand.me.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Hug your dog today!

I saw this on the More Than Sew So blog and I just wanted to share it with my readers. Our dogs (and cats) have been such a comfort to my family in times of grief and hardship. I don't know where we'd be without them.



The Animal Rescue Site

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

EntreCard Market Listings

I just wanted all my EC friends to know I have listings they can check out for products and advertising. Considering the current cash-out rate is $1/1,000 credits, these are great deals!

Advertising

125 x 125 square ad
shown on this blog for 30 days = 1,500 EC credits
http://entrecard.com/market/listing/1103

Products


$5 credit
towards any purchase in my shop = 3,500 EC credits
http://entrecard.com/market/listing/1385

$10 credit
towards any purchase in my shop = 7,000 EC credits
http://entrecard.com/market/listing/1386

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Crafty Projects: Bag Swap

I recently got involved with a bag swap, organized by Audrey's Country Crafts. The participants were paired up by Audrey and we each sent someone a bag. These could be handmade or bought. It was great fun!

I'm not sure if the bag I made has been received yet, but I'm dying to show it off!

It's a simple crocheted purse, about 8" by 8". The closure is a loop that goes around the silver button in front.

I got this lovely tote bag from Paige at Lenox Knits. She also included a hand-knit headband and wristcuff. I love everything! Check out Paige's blog too.

So thanks again to both Audrey and Paige! I love these crafty swaps! :)

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Cards from Audrey!

I just received this lovely set of 6 handmade cards with matching envelopes! I got them from Audrey at Audrey's Country Crafts for participating in her Crafty PIF (Pay It Forward). (See more about my PIF here.)

I absolutely love these! I am such a card addict! How did you know?? These are so lovely and well made. I definitely recommend everyone check out Audrey's Etsy shop.

I have been a little slow with making the PIFs that I'm sending out, but rest assured they are coming!

So again, thank you, Audrey! You always have such great swaps and fun stuff on your blog! :)

Friday, May 1, 2009

Top EC Droppers for April

I joined EntreCard in March and I'm having a lot of fun with it. It's a great way to discover new blogs, make some friends, and increase your blog traffic.

Thank you so much to my top droppers in April! Check out these great blogs!

Alteredevents
Daisy the Curly Cat
Frugal Healthy Choices
Singapore Draws
Cinnamon Spice & Everything Nice
My gypsygoods
Split Rock Ranch
Small Town Mommy
Joyarna
The Work From Home Mother