Small Business Inspired

Craftication 2013

I’ve been sharing inspiration from attending the Craftication Conference last weekend in my spare time.  I could only find time this year for 1 of the 4 days but at least it’s better than none!  One last bit to share this week if you’re thinking of starting down the “I want to be my own boss” path…or maybe it just keeps crossing my mind!

One of the great parts of attending a small business conference like this, is meeting and listening to actual small business owners.  The ones in the trenches with the day job and small business on the side, and the ones who already made the leap to independence and are growing their biz. Very inspiring and no one says it’s easy.  Everyone has a story to tell…

…the mom of a pair of 8 year olds has been making sleeping mats & pillows for her girls since they have hardwood floors. Her girls suggested starting a business, so there she was

…the woman who was just filling in when her friend’s business partner moved decided she luved making crafty bottle cap accessories and became a full business partner

…the laid off corporate employee who needed something to fill her time, so she crafted and blogged about a project daily, which turned into paid work doing what she luved

The small business who designed the swag bag “Crafty is as Crafty does”,  has grown her  business enough that now even her husband is going down his own small biz path!  You can check out her edgy small business – I say edgy since most of their saying are at least PG-13 and funny as heck!

Speaking of Swag! the awesome Crafty bag was stuffed with great things and the photo at the top only shows a small amount! Yep, there was a nice stainless steel travel mug, a real size box of organic grahams, sewing things and yummy sweet treats too.  As you create your small business, think about an item to create just to spread the word.  A local yarn shop provided 3 buttons in a bag, the caramel shop had a mini bag with 2 mini caramels and the website biz had a fun postcard with top 10 tips. The item doesn’t have to be expensive, but each one put thought into connecting the packaging and the item with their business – and don’t forget add your business contact info (someone did)!

Besides swag, business cards were a great way to identify the type of business.  Not just the usual white basic cards either! I had a small collection and luved how each one highlighted and connected the business craft.

handmade business cards

If you’re starting down the small business path, spend some time being inspired to make a great business card and give away item!

Craftication Inspiration

craftication 2013

What’s not to luv about Craftication! It’s a great group of people who either have their own small business, or are thinking of starting one or are planning on talking about all things crafty.  Besides all the great learning stuff (SEO, pricing, juried craft show tips, Etsy, WordPress etc.), they have great social events like the 80’s dance party or the wine tour, that let you network, pick up tips and get to know people.

If that’s not enough, it’s just plain eye candy and inspiration! Like color and design? How about a DIY idea for picture frames – add chicken wire to the backside of a picture frame and you get the extra design element of octagons!  Now imagine this as a piece you could put in your home – to change-up your wall art any time…kid’s school art, family photos, collection of postcards, special events or your own inspiration board.  If you need more inspiration add crafty DIY clothespins with a theme or just go abstract!

DIY ideas for picture frames

And how about the Reading Lounge table?  I thought old typewriter wouldn’t be part of my design style until I saw the turquoise one – a little mod and I’m luv’in it! Yep, I’m convinced anything that comes in turquoise is decor worthy.

Check out the embroidery hoop with the fabric and the cutout letters…what a great way to use those millions of fabric scraps to make fabulous housewarming gifts, baby shower, kids rooms or even change out with the holidays!  I know you’re thinking cutting out letters perfectly might just send you over the edge, but the imperfection in the letter size and style is what makes this extra great.  If you really hate letter cutting or just don’t have the patience, Etsy is a great source for buying precut fabric letters and numbers.

Old typewriter Embroidery hoop art

Enjoy making spare time for new inspirations!

Craftication Conference Here I Come!

Craftcation Conference - Craft Convention and Small Business Conference

It’s not your grandmother’s crafts…of course luv gran’s awesome craftiness too! Spending my spare time making a first visit. Volunteering for part of it to get behind the scenes and meet some fabulous people I’m sure.  So far I’m luving all the great design set up I’m seeing that will make for a great experience.  I’m sure it will be so inspiring I will have 3 businesses I’ll want to launch next week!

I’ll be sure to share the pics and how it’s going to change my spare time!

Dresser Rehab


Sometimes distressed and “old” just aren’t the right look. So how do you go DRAB to FAB on a laminate dresser to make it freshen enough for a tween room?

Three ingredients always make a DIY Dresser Rehab fabulous

  • Fresh paint
  • New drawer hardware
  • Drawer liner paper in a great design!

While I don’t luv laminate anything- this DIY dresser was part of a bedroom set at the Re-Store (Habitat for Humanity) what was in great shape! What I did find worked really well for painting laminate is the Krylon Fusion spray paint made especially for plastics.  I didn’t have to worry about a primer or the paint “not sticking”.

Yes I know, spray paint seems a little odd, but the finish and coverage were great! I do recommend wearing a mask, painting clothes and gloves to avoid most of the fine spray mist.

Drawer liner paper?  If you haven’t tried it, I highly recommend for a pop of color in what is usually a boring drawer. Plus, it’s just a nice finishing touch- like adding a great accessory to your outfit or a fab pillow to the couch.  I’ve used all types of paper for drawer liners. It can be as simple as kraft paper or as fun as any design you can find with wrapping paper.

Tip for drawer liner paper if you’ve never tried it…

Don’t cut the paper to exactly fit the drawer – cut it a bit bigger so you have enough to fold under each edge.  This give just the right weight to keep the paper from curling or sliding too much!

DIY Drawer liner paper


Enjoy your time on your next DIY Dresser Rehab!

Vintage Window Memo Board

Vintage window memo board


How can you go wrong with a vintage window frame? The possibilities are endless!  Luv this vintage window frame that uses a replaceable paper backing (yep you guessed it wrapping paper!) to change with the seasons or your mood!

Window markers work best but only because the color is darker and more readable. Dry erase, permanent markers or regular felt tip markers also work.  Earth friendly removable with just water and a towel.  Use a washable towel for extra earth friendliness!

For the extra touch wrap your marker in twine and tie around a hinge or staple to the back of the frame.

What else might inspire you to collect a garage full of vintage windows or to scour your neighbors barn? Vintage window chalkboard, coat hangers, photo frames, pot hangers & greenhouses and of course as artwork which I shared several posts ago!

Enjoy bringing in a bit of vintage with a window frame – each window has a story to tell!

Use chalkboard paint on the panes of an old window...great idea

Window Coat Hanger.



Bird on a Wire Newsprint Decoupage DIY Art

newspaper decoupage wall art

So you want to be an artist but your stick figures aren’t going to cut it…how about decoupage art! I luv this newsprint decoupage wall art – yep it’s another of my sister’s  creations- and you can make it any size you want, as long as you can find a board or a canvas. Its the perfect art project for that huge wall you’ve been wanting to fill!  

If you’ve never worked with decoupage it’s one of the most forgiving art mediums! Really it’s like elementary school magazine collages but stepped up a notch to make modern art.

This fab newsprint decoupage DIY wall art only uses 4 suppliers

  • Pre-streched framed canvas (you can of course also use a pre-cut board). This is a great project to upcycle a canvas you find at the thrift store or one you have tucked away because you no longer luv the art. If you’re looking for new check the local  hobby/craft store.
  • Mod Podge – decoupage glue, sealer & finish  (there are also many recipes online to make your own)
  • Black paint  – acrylic craft paint works great but you could also use enamel or latex
  • Newspaper – monochromatic with lots of the same color works best. Either all black and white with lots of text (e.g. Wall Street Journal) or something with color and picture like the comics. Yes this is one more place where you could just reuse your daily newspaper or find a neighbor’s!

Tear up your newspaper in small to medium pieces.  Pour part of the Mod Podge into a disposable or reuseable cup so when you apply you don’t ‘contaminate’ the rest of the bottle with any color your brush may pick up.  Foam brushes work great in my book for applying easily.  Apply Mod Podge in sections on your canvas smoothing on all your newspaper pieces. Make sure to smooth out any bubbles and overlap the pieces.  Some people like to put a heavy layer of Mod Podge on their fingers when they are smoothing to help the newsprint from possibly tearing.

Once you have covered the entire canvas you may want to consider if you need to go back and add a few pieces or put on another layer.  It’s completely optional and up to your “artist’s eye”.  Once dry, usually overnight, you want to either sketch out with pencil the design above or if hand sketching makes gives you visions of stick figures, find online a cutout/stencil you like.  Depending on your art topic searching for your object as a kids coloring page or outlines of “x” will give you a shape you can cutout and trace.

Once you have your lightly penciled in shapes, fill in with the black paint to keep with the monochromatic theme.  Once the paint is dry, apply Mod Podge over the entire piece to seal and finish.  You may want 2 coats.

Now that you have just launched your art career with a first edition newsprint art, do make up a great artist signature and apply to the bottom corner!

Here’s a couple more ideas if you can’t find the spare time to do it yourself or if you just luv decoupage art anything!

Be Still - Modern Newspaper Decoupage Art with Bird on a Branch - 12x12 CanvasAmy Atkins – Etsy

map on a lampshade.Drawers decoupaged with pages from a book.
Newsprint desk by Piero Fornasetti (1955). Brass and decoupage.

DIY Cabinet Silverware

DIY Silverware cabinets

Need a simple idea to give your kitchen a one-of-a-kind look? Wanted to share these fab DIY silverware cabinet handles from my sister’s home. Luv this idea that can be done with a couple simple tools. This would also be a great way to use mismatched pattern silverware you have on hand or find thrifting!

What do you need?

  • Silverware – make sure you consider the pattern to figure out how many of each kind you will need- all spoons on the bottom cabinets and forks on top or forks for drawers and spoons for cabinets.  I don’t suggest using knives since they are thicker and more difficult to bend.
  • Screws – wood screws with flat heads
  • Power hand drill -drilling holes in the handles and spoons. Of course if you have access to a drill press go for it!
  • Screwdriver
  • Vise or clamp & pliers – use the vise or clamp to hold one end of the silverware and pliers to bend the other.

If you are using forks you only need to drill the handle since you can insert the screw on the front between the fork times.

Silverware drawer pulls

silverware hardware

Over time real silver will tarnish so you can either make a habit of polishing it occassionally or let the tarnish become part of the look. I luv the tarnish since it give it that ‘aged’ – been around for 100 years look!

Here’s a few other ideas for DIY silverware in case you have extra spare time and are itching to use it…

Silverware Starburst Mirror {how to make a starburst mirror}

Not feeling very DIY…check out this link that it more of a silverware hardware kit which will take out some of the searching and guesswork!

In case you just luv cool things make from silverware check out this Etsy site.

Silver ROCK ON x PEACE x LOVE Special Salad Fork Collector set 3 Silverware Coat Hooks