Saturday, April 18, 2015

Using Denim and Stars Microwave Bowl Cozies
My Mom makes these quilted Microwave Cozies & they are the absolutely the greatest thing.  Heating up bowls of hot oatmeal - veggies - soup or whatever...  no more burning fingers & splilling hot food down the front of you.
Just set the bowl inside a quilted cozy - microwave the whole thing & when taking the bowl out, you lift by the corners of the cozy which is not hot at all.
  • 100% cotton (microwave safe)
  • Large size:10 inches across the top -6"X6" at the base
  • Small size: 8" across the top - 5"X5" at the base
  • Machine washable (no fabric softener)
    Great as a gift or just for yourself!

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Buy Quilt blocks for your own Quilt

Purchasing Appliqued Quilt blocks is an easy way to get started on your own quilt.  Pre cut & lightly fused so you can sew the edges in any color thread you like is a great way to personalize your quilt.

You can space the quilt blocks to make any size quilt.  Closer together for baby crib or farther apart for a full size bed.  Adding your own colors to match the room is the perfect way to keep any room looking fresh & new.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

DIY Easy Placemat Purse

Handmade in the USA

Place mats make the perfect clutch or purse. They not only come in many colors, prints, textures & shapes but the edges are already finished.

You can use bamboo, woven or quilted place mats. You can also find place mats at thrift stores & Dollar stores.

Here are the instructions for a purse...
  • 20” bamboo or fabric place mat of your choice.
  • 1” wide canvas webbing fabric for handle, 2 pieces each 30” long. Use any coordinating color to your place mat.
  • Medium size rickrack in a coordinating color.
  • ½” wide polka dot grosgrain ribbon, or other decorative ribbon.
  • Six fabric daisies or other embellishments of choice.
  • Clips or spring-type clothes pins


  1. Fold each 30” canvas handle in half. Glue handles to the inside of the place mat with the FABRI-TAC GLUE and hold in place with the clips until dry.
  2. Allow handles to dry for at least 12 hours. With FABRI-TAC, glue along the inside right and left edges of the place mat, fold over, and gentle press to form purse. Hold edges together with clips while drying.
  3. Cut lengths of polka dot ribbon and glue to front of purse as in photo. Repeat on the back if desired. Glue similar lengths of rickrack to purse, one above the ribbon and one below.
  4. Attach six fabric flowers between the ribbons. Let everything dry at least overnight before using.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Your Market Counts in Pricing day 4

Your Market Counts in Pricing

By: Maria Nerius, Resident Craft Expert

Where you are selling your goods and who you're selling them to can play a role in pricing your handmade items or creative services. If you decide to sell to gift shops and boutiques, you will have to come up with a wholesale price (which may or may not be your regular retail price!), since these shops will want to mark up the price so they can earn money as well. When selling at a church bazaar, you may not be able to get the price you might get at a large annual upscale art show, since the customer base may be different. You need to know your market (your customers) and you need to research pricing of similar items sold at retail shops, in online galleries, and through mail-order catalogs.

I’ll use the example of a hand painted glass Christmas ornament. Using the traditional pricing formula of (Cost of Goods + Labor) x Overhead, you've decided to price your ornament at $5.00. However, while browsing the web and looking through some mail-order catalogs, you see similar Christmas ornaments are selling for $20.00. It happens! Crafters tend to under price their goods. With this research, you may decide to average the prices and sell your ornament for $12.50. Or you might decide to go for it and initially price your ornament for $20.00 and see if it sells at that price. You have some playing room in your pricing and you should adjust your selling price to earn more profit if you can.

But what if you were browsing that catalog and you found many similar ornaments selling at a lower price than yours, say $4.00? In this situation, you can give your $5.00 price a trial period to see if you can sell at the $5.00 price. Or, you may find that the lower ($4.00) price is the price that the majority of your customers are comfortable paying. In that case, you might begin to look for ways to reduce your COG, Labor, or Overhead to help you earn more profit from your Christmas Ornament while you reduce the price to what the market will bear.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Cashing In On Your Creativity: Turning a Hobby into Income Day 3

Cashing In On Your Creativity: Turning a Hobby into Income

By: Maria Nerius, Resident Craft Expert

In today’s economy every little bit helps and selling your crafts might be a way for you to earn some extra income from your creative passion. The first step is deciding just how much time you have available to craft and create an inventory to sell, then you’ll need to take a few steps into turning your hobby into a business. You have many options and can create your own schedule.

Some people earn what we call pocket money from their crafts. They make 3-5 items and can easily give these crafts to friends as gifts or sell these crafts for income. If you are going to devote a quarter or less of your free time to creating crafts to sell and you plan to just sell to friends or a few community craft shows, you don’t need to take many business steps as you are still considered a hobbyist by most local, state, and federal governments.

You do need to contact your local government for any rules that cover selling handmade crafts. Your city, township, or country may or may not have regulations you need to follow. For example my city asks that you not sell out of your home if it is going to create a traffic problem for your neighbors. You also need to contact your state government to see if you need to collect state sales tax on any craft items you sell. In the state of Florida for example you are expected to collect sales tax on any item you sell.

Don’t be intimidated! It’s just a quick phone call and each government agency will have the information you need. City and state regulations vary, there is no set standard so it’s important you do your regional homework.

If you’ve decided that you want to seriously earn some income from your crafts, you’ll need to understand that you’ll need some inventory (ready to sell items) and avenues to sell these crafts. To work part time or full time as a professional crafter you will have to take your business seriously. The biggest mistake most potential professional crafters have is not making a business plan and not keeping the records needed as a business. Your hobby has become a business and needs to be treated as a business.

You need to keep records of all your expenses, time, labor, and overhead. Again, don’t be intimated by the paperwork. Keep an accounting journal and your receipts. Keep a time card. Working part or full time also means you’ll be introduced to the Schedule C when you go to do your tax return for Uncle Sam. You can pick one up at your local IRS office or download the form. Look this form over carefully and note all the records you’ll be responsible for as a small business owner.

You’ll also need to contact your local and state government to notify each of your business. Some cities and states have few rules and regulations for home businesses, but others have rather complex ones that you need to be aware of. Most hobbyist who turn their hobbies into business work as home businesses, but you do have the option to rent space for your work. This is a personal decision, but I recommend that you start as a home based business and as you grow you may wish to move your business out of the home.

I’ve given you the basics. I’m going to be honest and tell you that some of the business aspects of earning an income from your creativity can seem boring and tedious, but you must be aware of your business responsibilities to be successful. Spend some time thinking about what you want out of your creative business including time spent creating, marketing, displaying, and selling your crafts.

Write down what you want to accomplish on a weekly, monthly and yearly basis, this is your business plan. You’ll be investing your time, energy, and in the beginning you are spending your own money to purchase supplies. As your business grows, you can pay yourself back and then reinvest in your business. Write these numbers down and review them often.

I’ve successfully made a great living from my creativity for 25 years now. I started as a professional crafter selling my handmade dolls at outdoor arts and crafts shows and expanded to become a craft professional who has published articles, books, and made hundreds of TV appearances. This leads me to the discussion of all the creative options accessible to you as a passionate crafter!