Recycled Material Crafting

BottkecapKeychains09282014 (11)During our stays at various Florida State Parks and National Forests as volunteers I have been collecting bottlecaps to recycle or as the new saying goes “Upcycle” items I find into jewelry and accessories. So far, I have made lots of earrings and keychain charms. You can get more ideas on how to use recycled materials with your future crafting projects by looking on Pinterest, YouTube and just your regular old internet search engine. Personally, I use Google search, type in my search terms and then click on the Images button. Then I can scroll through all the photos associated with the term I entered. Sometimes the photo will even link to a tutorial on how to create various different things using the recycled material.
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Fall is Coming Soon

BeadedAnklets (3)Fall is coming soon, FINALLY! We cannot wait for the cooler temperatures and hopefully we will be able to keep our blogs updated and, maybe, even make some more craft items we can sell. We love to create our craft items but they don’t always sell. Mom and I spend quite a lot of time figuring out what we want to make, how we want it to look, the colors of each item and starting over when they don’t turn out like we want. All this time and energy spent on these items and we cannot charge for our time when computing our selling price. They would end up being too costly for our customers. Yes, they are handcrafted and, yes, we should get paid for our time; but, we have found that you have to compromise on our selling price in order to actually make sales. At the Florida Folk Festival we had one lady state that she couldn’t believe how low our prices were and how could we make a profit. Even with these low prices we only made just enough money to cover our expenses.
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Make and Give Handmade Gifts

EyeglassChains05292014-5-CopyMake and give handmade gifts this holiday season. No matter what your religious affiliation or which holidays you and your family choose to celebrate this year most of them have some element of gift giving involved. And what better way to say to your friends and family that you are thinking of them than taking the time to create something yourself. Handcrafted items are almost always unique, tends to last longer and may even be handed down to future generations. My mom works hard all through the year to create hand crocheted items for all of our family as well as to sell at craft shows, festivals and on our online stores. They are often colorful, as is her style, and generally will last through lots of wearing and washing. This is extremely handy in our family as we are generally not your “typical” department store sizes or even like the current color trends.

When we get ready to create gifts for our family again this year we try to keep in mind the people we are creating them for. Things like their favorite colors, their current sizes and measurements, and with the boys it is usually their favorite team colors. Smaller children can be harder to make things for because they are mainly concerned with toys. Well, there are some great toys that you can make yourself with full instructions on the web. You can sew, crochet and even knit dolls, puppets and other things for kids. If you are handy with tools you can build a doll house, make wooden kitchen appliances and even carve out some wooden cars and trucks. Take a look at this website article for more ideas:
http://happyhooligans.ca/70-awesome-toys-make-kids/
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How Do You Keep Your Creative Juices Flowing

BottlecapKeychains04242014-3-1024x682How Do You Keep Your Creative Juices Flowing? When and Where do you get your inspiration for crafting projects? Will varying smaller craft projects with larger and longer ones help your creative flow? These questions are more we ask ourselves all the time. Getting your creative juices flowing has a lot to do with what types of crafts you like to do. Since, I like to make bead and wire jewelry most of my projects are considered to be smaller ones that don’t take a lot of time. My mom does crochet so her’s can take anywhere from a few hours to a month or two depending on what she is working on. Of course, I also like to keep a specific person in mind when I am creating my pieces.

Sometimes I just get going making the same type of item but in different colors and using different kinds of beads. I like to make earrings and beaded key chains because they are easy to make and I can make a lot of them in a short amount of time. My mom has likes to create many different items using the same color(s) of yarn like a set such as a couple of scrunchies, a couple of wrist-warmers and a crocheted tie. She can get this set done in about 8 hours but has to take frequent breaks to give her hands and back a rest.
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Finding Time for Crafting

BeadAndWireDec2013AndJan2014 (3)Finding Time for Crafting can be very hard these days. Even though Mom and I are retired we still have busy schedules with the volunteering we do at Florida State Parks and traveling around the state with each new assignment. Our volunteer campground host volunteer assignments only last anywhere from two to 4 months a piece before we have to move again. And living and working in an RV doesn’t really leave us a lot of room for our crafting supplies let alone our finished products.

But getting back to the subject of finding time for our crafts. There is only a few things you can do to make time for your crafts. One would be to make a schedule and commit yourself to certain days and/or hours that you will do your crafts. Once you make your schedule you will have to enlist the help of the people you live with so that they will know that you will not be available for carpooling, making snacks, running errands or doing household chores during these time periods. You have to be firm and stick to it. You may have to experiment with days and times because you may not be as productive late at night as you are in the morning or vice-versa. Of course, it is also nice if your crafting space is organized so that you don’t have to spend a lot of time looking for the supplies that you want.
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