Re-worked outdoor booth

Last time I posted here (in May!) I asked for suggestions on my outdoor booth set-up. I knew something was off, but I wasn't sure what it was. I got lots of suggestions on my Facebook fan page, and based on them I made some changes to the booth. Here is my booth from yesterday's opening day at the fall Clover Market. I think it looks so much better than last year's set-up!


Outdoor show booth

This Sunday (May 6th) will be my second show of the year. I'll be at the Clover Market from 10-5. Come by and say hi! I'll be bringing some new things, like coasters, mini clipboards and frames.

In the past, I've used walls to display my clocks and art blocks. However, for some reason, this venue can be very windy and I find myself stressing about my walls blowing over. They have almost done so a few times. Since it's only me in the booth, I would like to NOT worry about holding my walls while trying to sell my work!

Last month I reworked my display a little bit, but I'm still not happy about it. It needs something, but I'm not sure what…

Which is where you come in: Take a look at these pics from April's Clover Market and give me some ideas, please! Tell me what works and what doesn't work.


 {Back of booth.}

{I think that middle table is too small. Plus I need
a longer covering so you can't see what's underneath!}


DIY (reusable) burlap wreath for Valentine's Day

I don't usually decorate for Valentine's Day, but this year I held a (fun!) Valentine-making class for 11 children and I wanted the house to reflect the theme. I made crayon hearts (here's a link to a tutorial for them), a red heart banner for the dining room (where the class was held) and a wreath for the front door. In the spring I made a butterfly wreath, which was cute, but the butterflies faded and it needed to be recycled. So I took the butterflies off, got out my burlap and started…

The wreath is a foam one from Michaels. When I made the butterfly wreath, I had wrapped it in old book pages. I left that on, but took the butterflies off.

The best thing about this wreath is that it's reusable! You can easily remove the Valentine decorations, and you're left with a plain burlap wreath to redecorate! Read on for the supplies and directions.

You will need:

wreath (mine is 12")
hot glue gun & sticks
white and red cardstock
embroidery thread


1. Cut strips of burlap that measure about 12 inches long and 1.5 inches wide. (If you cut smaller ones, you'll just have to use more of them.) I only needed five or six total.

2. Wrap the strips around the wreath, hot-gluing it as you go. It's messy. Don't worry about it.

3. Get out your cardstock. I used red and white, but you could use any color you want. I cut 4 small hearts (1.5") and one large (4.5") from the white. Then I used Sharpies in red and black to decorate the small hearts. I printed L O V E on the small white hearts, and then doodled with red around the edge. One red heart (3.5") was cut out of the red cardstock with fancy scissors. I glued the red heart to the large white one, and then doodled around the edge with a black Sharpie.

4. Punch two small holes in each of the small white hearts. Thread a piece of embroidery thread through the holes to make a mini banner. My thread is about 18" long. I used an orange one, but you can use any color you'd like. (As you can see below, the lettering isn't really neatly done. That didn't matter to me because it's not noticeable when it's hanging on the door.)

5. Now for the thumbtacks. I used them because then the plain burlap wreath is reusable. If I used glue to adhere the mini banner and the larger heart they wouldn't be as easy to remove. You can tack each end of the mini banner to the back of the wreath, and use a red one to tack the larger heart to the front.


6. Hang it on your door! (I covered a small section of the wreath hanger with burlap because the silver was distracting to me.)



Reorganizing in the new year

Hello all and happy new year! I had a fantastic year in 2011 with milkshake. Thank you to everyone who supported me and my little biz this past year.  And by supported, I mean - kind comments, help with shows, purchasing artwork, asking me how business is going. I am thankful that I get to do what I love every day.

During the week between Christmas and the New Year, Jimmy and I reorganized a few rooms in our house. We live in a 100+-year-old house, and storage space is practically non-existent. Also, our house isn't small, but it's broken into small rooms. On our first floor we have a living room, dining room, a kitchen, a (tiny) mudroom and an extra little room between the dining room and kitchen. When we bought the house the realtor called it a breakfast nook. We originally put a table and chairs in there, but we never used it since we have a dining room right next to it. Then about 10 years ago we turned it into an office. At the time, we were both working from home a lot and needed somewhere to put our computers. Jimmy built a big L-shaped desk in the room which had lots of storage underneath. Since we only have laptops now, the room hasn't been used much in the past few years.


 {Our dining room during the transformation. Yikes!
This just made me want to keep working and get it finished.
By the way, anyone watch Hoarders?}

 {Jimmy taking the desk apart.}

Malayna's toys had been stored in the dining room - pretty much because that's the only place we could put them. Her bedroom isn't very big, and she doesn't really play in there. Since the office space wasn't being used, we decided to convert that room into a small playroom. My intention was just to create a place to store Malayna's toys, but since we converted it she's been playing in there. This is a big deal - up until now she's been loading up our dining room table with all her toys and stuff. We eat there every night, so we'd have to clear the table every day. Big pain in the neck.

 {The armoire before.}

 {After! The chalkboard will go on the wall
to the left of the armoire.}

 {And inside. Lots and lots of Polly Pockets!}

The difference in the organization of her toys is huge! Everything has a home, and it's all accessible. Before this, her games were all piled haphazardly on top of her toy storage bins, and if you weren't careful when taking one out they'd all fall. I bought an inexpensive armoire from Craigslist last year, and we now use that (after I painted it) for all her Polly Pocket toys (there are many!).

{Art supplies. I did have paper and pencils inside here, but I found
Malayna wasn't using them as much as before. So I took them out and
put them in plain sight. They're being used more now.}

 {View from the dining room. I may eventually
change the color of the bins.}

There are still a few things I'd like to change about the room. I'm not crazy about the contact paper on the doors of the craft storage, but I just wanted it done and that's what I could find locally. A few spots on the walls have to be touched up with paint. This past weekend I painted a 2x4 with black chalkboard paint, but I'd still like to build a frame for it.

{Desk in the dining room.}

Our desk is now in the dining room, and is less than half the size of the previous desk. That means less space for me to fill with papers, which is good. We reused the wood from the original desk. I have gray fabric tacked up around the edge of it, which eventually has to be sewn into "curtains" to hide all the stuff under the desk. The bulletin board above the desk is a piece of fiberboard covered with Ikea fabric. Easy and inexpensive - we already had the fiberboard and the fabric cost $16 (and I have a lot left over). You can put thumbtacks into fiberboard easily. This area still needs some work…

By the way, we donated or threw away lots and lots of stuff. Board books, baby toys (yes, we still had those lying around), things Malayna didn't play with. Facebook was a great way to get rid of things that were in good condition.

Did you tackle any home improvement projects lately? Or is there something you're planning to do?