That time of year again...

I know its a little early for Christmas but when the holidays are the best time for your business, I begin the holiday inventory in the summer. Its no wonder why I stopped decorating the house for the holidays. I've been making decorations since August! The picture above is a mountain of of softie ornaments I'm currently making. I've added 5 new designs to my existing ornament collection. I didn't realize I was making so many but after stuffing them all, I have well over a 100. I'll be glad to finish these up and pack them away for my upcoming shows.

Last year sales were kinda of slow. As a result of that I've tripled the amount of shows I'm doing this year. I'm looking forward to the new craft shows this holiday season. My work will be on display at the Textile Center for there annual holiday sale. I was also asked to be involved with Peggy's Holiday Boutique. This will be Peggy's 33rd year featuring the work of over 150 artists. I've never been there so it should be interesting. Lastly I'll be at HandmadeMN 1st annual holiday market. Don't you love the graphics for the event! Check show info for specific detail on all events.

Mushroom Pin Cushion Tutorial

Mushroom harvesting season is here and I thought this would be a good time to share my Mushroom Pin Cushion Tutorial. This cute pin cushion reminds me of something granny would have kept in her sewing box. Its a fairly simple project that requires a bit of sewing and a hot glue gun. I purchased all the supplies at my local craft store. Happy crafting!

Materials Required

Polka Dot Fabric
2 1/4" Diameter Wood Disc
1 1/2 " Wood Candle Cup Holder
Mini Ric Rac
Hot Glue or Craft Glue
Wool Roving for Stuffing

1. Cut out a 7 1/4" diameter circle in your favorite polka dot print.
2. Sew a gathering stitch around the edge of your circle.
3. Pull your gathering stitch to create the mushroom cap. Pack cap with wool roving. Pull gathering stitch tight, close and knot. (A polyfill will work but wool filling is much better. Wool will make a stiff cap that will hold your pins in place. A poly fill will make a squishy cap but will still work.)
4. Glue candle cup holder to wood disc to make mushroom stem.
5. Put a layer of hot glue on top of the wood disc and quickly push mushroom cap onto disc and hold into place until the glue dries. Hot glue typically dries in under a minute.
6. Glue a piece of ric rac around the edge of the wood disc for decoration.
7. Finish the mushroom with a cut felt flower and a pretty pin.

For personal use only. Commercial use prohibited.

Outdoor craft shows are sucky!

Go ahead, laugh. I did, until I realized that the collapsed tent was mine when I arrived this morning. Its not a good feeling finding your tent knocked over to the side with all your display stuff sitting outside of your tent, soaking wet. :( This is what was left of my EZ Up tent after the high winds hit and twisted the frame into a pretzel. I thought I did everything I was suppose to, as far as weighing down the tent yet this happens.

Needless to say I'm done with the outdoor craft show thing. It certainly takes a strong person to deal with the fickle weather and hawking art goods outside. Next time you see me at a craft show it will be INDOORS away from the wind, rain and heat. Buh BYE outdoor craft shows!

Please learn from my mistakes.
1. If you leave your tent over night in strong wings lower your tent roof by bringing the legs down. Not only will your tent have a lower profile but the legs will double in strength because they fit together into one solid leg reducing the chance of bending.
2. If you can't stake your legs because you are on pavement you must get the heavy weights that are placed on the feet of the tent to prevent it from sliding because of the strong winds.
3. The hanging cement PVC weights will keep your tent from lifting off like a hot air balloon but they will also pull down your tent if the legs are swept from underneath. Please follow 1. and 2. to prevent this from happening.

Free Printable Pink Paper Fawn

This pink fawn has been with me since the beginning of Fantastic Toys. One of the first plush toys I made was this darling. After posting pictures on Flickr I received so much positive feedback I knew I was on to something. Since then Fantastic Toys has grown to include many soft toys, paper toys, fabric and kits. My ideas for new toys are endless and I hope the next 5 years will be just as productive and successful.

For those of you who have always wanted a fawn from Fantastic Toys I am offering this special paper version just for you. This 3 page PDF includes fawn, two mushrooms and instructions for assembly. I recommend printing on 60 lb. or more cardstock. Thanks to all of you that have supported Fantastic Toys over the years with your kind comments and feedback. Enjoy!

Good Morning Lovlies!

A little something I'm working on. :) Happy Blossoms Jewelry will make their debut at the upcoming Centennial Lakes Arts Festival next weekend. Will post more pics of entire collection later.
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