Monday, September 2, 2013

(Bob) More Small Folk Style Painted Boxes . . .

I put together 7 boxes yesterday and got them ready for painting. They don't take me long to make and my new table saw really helps me get the job done quickly.  One feature I like about my saw is that I can hook the shop vac up to it and cut down on the dust flying around the garage.  I have also rigged up a makeshift way to suck up dust on my belt sander, using duck tape, as there isn't a port for a vacuum. I must confess that I'm not really a woodworker, but do put together simple stuff that I can paint up.  My daughter says I am more of a painter than a woodworker.  I think she's right. I have spent many years practicing drawing and painting and maybe I can now call myself a painter without feeling embarrassed or self-conscious.  I have been selling quite a few things I've done in the Folk Art style, and I think I will continue with that line of painting for awhile.

Here is a picture of how I painted up the first box in the batch I just made.  I still have to put the hardware on it and seal it, but it is mostly done.  It is an updated version of one that I did a few months ago.  I brightened the colors up a bit on this one.  As long as I don't put the two boxes side by side I don't think anyone will notice. --Bob

Thursday, August 22, 2013

(Bob) Small Thread Box . . .

Here is a small thread box I made yesterday.  It is for those who don't have a zillion spools of thread to store.  Of course, you could put other sewing notions in the box instead of thread.  I am not going to put this up for sale on Etsy, but take it to a craft show.  --Bob

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

(Bob) We've Changed Our Name!!!!

We have changed the name of our Etsy Shop from Cranberry Run to Cranberry Woods.  I felt that the word "Run" was a little difficult to grasp, so I changed it to "Woods".  Diana likes Cranberry Run and hated to see me change it, but I'm sure in time she'll get to like Cranberry Woods. --Bob

Sunday, August 11, 2013

(Diana) Canvas Storage Containers . . .

I started making these canvas storage containers a few days ago.  I think they are a really pretty way to store what nots in the bathroom, bedroom, vanity, or just about anyplace else in the house. I put pencils and pens in a cup and set it inside one of the ones pictured above. I am probably not going to put them for sale in our Etsy Shop, but sell them at Craft Shows. -- Diana

Monday, July 29, 2013

(Diana) Making More Business Card Holders . . .

Since retiring early this Spring, I have had time to make more Business Card Holders.  Here are a couple photos of one I just made. In addition to holding business cards, they can be used to store appointment cards, or tea bags, or sugar packs, or even bandaids. To see other designs that I made and that are available to purchase, go to our Etsy Shop and take a look.  They are listed under the classification of Multi-Use Card Holders. --Diana

Saturday, July 27, 2013

(Bob) My First Recipe Boxes . . .

Here's a couple Recipe Boxes I've been working on the last day or so.  These two are for a craft show, but I plan to make a couple to put on Etsy.  I like making Recipe Boxes and hope that people will like them. I have never painted a lemon before and don't think this one turned out too bad.  I plan to do one with cherries next, as my wife really wants me to. --Bob

Sunday, July 21, 2013

(Bob) Working on a Horse Box . . .

Here is the cover of a box that I am currently working on. My Mother doesn't like the color of the horse, but I do.  I am thinking that when I antique the box, it will darken up a bit.  Also, it is a Folk Box and the horse is not meant to be an exact rendering of one.  I am interested in hearing what my daughter has to say about it.

Friday, July 19, 2013

(Bob) My Second Attempt at a Lighthouse . . .

This is my second attempt at doing a lighthouse in the Folk Style.  I made one the other day, but it just didn't come out very good. At least, that is what my sister kept telling me.  I tried to correct it, but made so many changes in it that it became overworked, so I sanded the whole thing off and started over.  Keep in mind that this lighthouse is a Folk lighthouse and not meant to be an accurate representation of any particular one.  I would be interested in your comments. --Bob

Monday, July 15, 2013

(Bob) New Folk Art and a New Table Saw . . .

Continuing with my current passion for Folk Art, I made the box pictured above the other day and painted it up.  It is a fairly large box measuring about 8" x 11" around the top.  The design is my original creation, featuring a couple fanciful birds and some fruit. I painted a checkerboard design around the bottom edge of the outside which finishes it off, but it is not visible in the photo.  I don't think I will put this box up for sale on Etsy, but save it for a craft show.  (Click on the photo to see a larger version.)
I also painted up two small boxes with Roosters on them.  See the photo above.  One of them I made for an order I got, and the other one I am adding to my stock for Craft Shows.  I am not putting this one up for sale on Etsy either. (As I've said before, I don't have good luck selling stuff on Etsy.)
Last, but not least, I finally got a new table saw.  My old one (a Craftsman) finally gave up the ghost the other day after about 16 years of use and I sold it for scrap.  My new saw is a bit smaller (a Porter-Cable) and is portable. It is a contractor saw that is easily set up at work sites. It was $299 in cost and I bought it at Lowe's.  I find it perfect for my garage workshop. The adjustments on it are much easier to use than the Craftsman saw and I really like it. --Bob

Friday, July 5, 2013

(Bob) Etsy Sales and Current Projects . . .

A real nice lady stopped at our house last week to test my Mother for a new hearing aid.  While she was here, I showed her some of my work. She especially liked the box pictured above and ordered three versions of them.  The reason I mention this is that for some reason, my stuff doesn't sell all that well on Etsy, but it sells real well when people see it in person. I don't usually write in this blog about sales I make, but I felt I needed to say something.. I was getting discouraged because people weren't buying on Etsy. I know that this is a slow time of year, but they didn't even sell all that well on Etsy during the holidays. I think that there is so much competition on Etsy that it is hard to make a sale. At least for me anyways.

Below are pictured four of my newest creations. (Click on the photos to see enlargements of them.)  I am not going to put them on Etsy, but save them to take to a Craft or Art Show.  I am planning to develop a whole line of what I call "Gentle Folk Art" based on the style of an artist name Mary Jane Todd. I don't plan to copy her work, but just use her style in developing my own style. I don't think she would mind. --Bob

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

(Bob) No More Clogged Wood Glue Bottles . . .

This solution to preventing a clogged wood glue bottle is so simple I cannot believe I never thought of it before.  I always found the flow of my glue bottle clogged up with dried glue and it was a real pain unclogging it.  Now, after using the glue, I wipe off the tip with a rag and then just put a small piece of masking tape over the top. It doesn't get clogged up anymore.  Duh!  A solution so simple that I'm surprised it has taken me over 50 years to come up with it!!  -- Bob

Sunday, June 16, 2013

(Diana) An Upcycled Jumper Becomes a Carry-All . . .

Here's the Carry-All that I made from a recycled Jumper that I mentioned in a previous post.  I finished sewing it before going to the Free Motion Quilting Workshop my daughter taught last week.  The pockets on the inside worked out great for carrying my supplies: scissors, needle and thread, cutting ruler, and other small sewing items. I put straps on it so that I could carry it like a purse and attached two poney tail ties as closures.  I won't be putting it up for sale on Etsy.  It was an upcylcling project that I really enjoyed making. -- Diana

Saturday, June 8, 2013

(Bob) A Sewing Notion Box . . .

I thought I would try my luck at making a Sewing Notion Box and came up with this design.  The box is weathered and aged, and the Sewing Machine art is done in a very simple black line format, with a little Sepia wash added to clarify the picture.  I still have to take some good photos of the box and seal it before I put it up for sale on Etsy.  Hopefully I can get that done tomorrow. --Bob

Friday, June 7, 2013

(Diana) A Progress Pic of the Carry-All . . .

A couple blog entries back, I told you I was going to make a Carry-All out of that Jumper I took apart.  Well, here it is in progress,  I chose to accent the Jumper material with a pretty cherry print fabric that I especially like.  In the photo I am sewing the edges of the pouch designed to hold a pair of shears.  I hope to have it done tomorrow and will post a pic of the finished product for you to see.  --Diana

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

(Diana) I Thought I Got a Good Deal on This . . .

As you know, Bob and I love to go to Thrift Shops.  While we were at the Goodwill yesterday, Bob found this Brother Sewing and Quilting Machine, new in the box, tucked in a corner of the front of the store.  It was $99.00, so we bought it.  Our daughter has one just like it and says we got a good deal as they run about $190.00 at WalMart.  I really don't need another sewing machine as I have six now, but I just couldn't pass up the good deal.  I suspect many women would be afraid to buy a machine like this from Goodwill, but it seemed to be ok to me.  All the parts were there sealed in their original packaging,  so we knew it had never been plugged in and must be new.  I think we were lucky to get it.  I like the fact that it is light weight and will be easy for me to carry into the free motion quilting class my daughter is teaching this weekend. Anyways, I thought I would tell about it here in our blog. --Diana

Sunday, June 2, 2013

(Diana) A Word About My Current Project . . .

I just love this fabric.  It was a Jumper and I took it apart so I could turn it into something useful.  My daughter is teaching a free motion quilting class this weekend that I am going to attend, so,  I thought I would make a "carry all" out of the Jumper to bring my tool kit with me to the class.  I am working on it now, and hope to get it done by the time of the class.  I'll post a picture of it when I get it done.--Diana

Saturday, June 1, 2013

(Bob) Here's the Finished Box . . .

I painted and antiqued the box that I said I didn't know what to do with in my last post.  I tried to make it look old.  I didn't want the design on it to be in your face, and I think that the antiquiing helped to cut it back.   --Bob

Thursday, May 30, 2013

(Bob) I've No Clue What to Do with This One . . .

I put together the box pictured above this afternoon.  I don't quite know how I am going to finish it, though.  I am tempted to just stain it and leave it at that. Hopefully an idea will come to me in my sleep tonight and tomorrow morning I will know exactly what to do with it. --Bob

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

(Bob) The Finished Quilt Inspired Box . . .

Here's a photo of the finished  box that I was working on yesterday.  I antiqued it to give it more of an old feeling.  I will try to get it on Etsy in the next day or so. --Bob

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

(Bob) A Quilt Inspired Design for a Box . . .

Here is a box that I am currently working on.  I base coated the entire box with white, and am painting a quilt inspired design on it in a shade of blue-gray. I draw the design elements on the box with a pencil, then mask off each element with painter's tape.  I paint each element one by one.  It is a slow process, but I don't mind it.  I will post a picture of the finished box tomorrow.  It is just about done. --Bob

Saturday, May 25, 2013

(Bob) I Almost Left This Box on the Store Shelf . . .

I bought the box pictured above at a Salvation Army Thrift Store today thinking it was a handy little box that I could possibly stain or decorate in some way.  It had a sliding lid and four compartments inside filled with a kid's puzzle of some kind. I really liked it. I threw the puzzle pieces away because I really only wanted the box. Unfortunately, a child wrote all over the lid, inside and out, with a marker of some kind.  I wasn't sure if I could get it off, but the box only cost $1.99 and if I couldn't get it off I wouldn't be out much.  The first thing I tried worked like a charm.  I took a little bleach on a soft paper towel and gently wiped over a section of the marker to see if it would come off.  Much to my surprise it disappeared in a matter of minutes.  You can see where I tried it in the top picture. I then did the whole box the same way.  The pictures below show the box after I finished wiping it down. Apparently it was a water based marker, and came off quite easilty. (I don't know that this idea would work on a regular magic marker.) When I finished removing the marker lines, I wiped the areas I worked with a damp cloth. As soon as it dries, I think it will be ready for staining and decorating. I'm really glad I didn't pass this nice box up. I bet alot of people did because of the marks. --Bob

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Buy It When You See It Cause It Won't Be There Tomorrow . . .

Bob and I both like our thrift shop finds. While he is hunting for treasures, I look for fabrics to add to my fabric collection.  Last Sunday I made some great finds at the Goodwill (see the photo above). When I find fabric at a thrift store,  I feel I can relax and not worry that I am ruining expensive material.  I also find myself coming up with creative ideas much easier with thrift store fabrics, because I can just do it and see what happens.  Do you find that is true for you too?  --Diana

Monday, May 20, 2013

These Tiles Screamed at Me to Buy Them . . .

If you are like me, you probably go to Goodwill and other Thrift Shops looking for things you can use to make sellable or usable stuff.   I ran across a stack of these ceramic tiles the other day at Goodwill and could hardly pass them up they were so cheap.  They originally wanted 50 cents each, but they were on sale for half price.  On top of that I got a 10% Senior Citizen discount making the total purchase price about 22-1/2 Cents apiece. Too cheap to pass up.  I don't know for sure yet what I am going to use them for, but thought maybe I'd put some on the top of a small table or maybe make one big table to accommodate all 8 of them.  They measure 7-3/4" by 7-3/4" square and are a nice neutral color. Which reminds me . . . last Fall my son-in-law and I went to an auction and I bought a whole box of the 4" tiles for a Doller. There must have been 100 tiles in the box.  My son-in-law said to put a saying on each one, attach a ribbon to hang it up, and sell them for $1 each at craft fairs.  I tried doing that, but honestly, couldn't think of that many sayings and kind of got bored with it.  I ended up giving them away to a family member and lord knows where they are now.  I hope I don't end up doing something like that with these. --Bob

Monday, May 13, 2013

It Took Me Awhile to Value Scrap Pine Wood . . .

When I was younger I used to throw scraps of wood like this away.  Of course that almost gave my Dad a heart attack on more than one occasion.  He was the type who would sort through the garbage to make sure no one was throwing anything useable away. Not long ago I sold 20 boxes of wood scraps like this to a guy who wanted to burn them in his wood stove.  Yikes!!!   What was I thinking?  Today I am not so wasteful.  You can make all kinds of useful and sellable things from scraps like these. I read on my daughter's blog how she has a "scrappy" collection of fabric pieces and uses them to make scrappy quilts.  Well, these wood remnants are my "scrappy" wood collection. A few months ago I cut out a bunch of little butterflies out of some scraps, painted them up, and attached a loop of fishing wire to each with hot glue so you could hang them up.  I took them to a Center we belong to and sold them all out at $3.00 each.  I guess I'm a slow learner.  I shudder when I think of all the good scrappy I threw away over the years. I've had other little ideas and I'll post them when I think of them.--Bob

Thursday, May 9, 2013

What kind of pants would have Scotty Dogs on them?

You would think I spend all my time sewing crafts to sell.  Not so. My Mother-in-Law asked me to hem the legs of a pair of pajamas my daughter bought her for Christmas.  I know it has been five months since Christmas and I should have done this a long time ago, but I guess late is better than never.  If you sew then you recognize in the photo the hemming of a pair of pants.  It probably doesn't get you excited, but it shows I do other things besides crafts. lol --Diana

Another Thrift Store find I plan to fix up . . .

I know that the focus of our blog is supposed to be on crafts and stuff we make, but I just had to post a picture of these two wonderful bamboo? wicker? cabinets I found today at Salvation Army Thrift Store. They have doors at the bottom that open up storage areas.  I think they are really neat, and they were priced real cheap.  I plan to spray paint them, because they need some sprucing up a bit, I think.  We were going to do them white, but decided that was a little boring. Diana wanted to paint them Flamingo Pink and fortunately changed her mind.  We are now thinking about spraying them a honey color.  That may be a difficult color to find in a spray paint can though -- I may have to buy a quart of acrylic latex and use the spray gun.  I don't know when I will get around to working on them, as I have quite a few other projects going, but I will post a pic of the finished pieces when I get them done. --Bob

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Introducing Diana's Pillow Boxes . . .

Many years ago I created small pillow boxes kind of as a lark.  I was working as Creative Director for a Nursing Home at the time and took a few into work to sell.  To my surprise, the ladies I worked with really liked them and I sold them out.  They are made of small pillows that I sew and stuff, then fasten together into a cute little box with a lid.  It looks sweet and very feminine on a dresser or nightstand or vanity and can be used to hold tissues, cotton balls, or potpourri.  I used it in my sewing room as a pretty organizer for buttons, small sewing notions, and as a stash for small knitting supplies. I even used it as a pincusion at times.  I am thinking about putting a couple in our Etsy Shop and thought I would show one here to see if anyone had any comments on it. --Diana

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Here's an Easy to Make Artist Brush Holder . . . .

I was always having difficulty storing my artist brushes until I thought up this idea.  I took a bunch of food cans that were all similar in size and shape and hot glued them together to form this brush holder.  It works pretty well.  The hot glue may not be strong enough to hold the unit together if you drop it, but if you don't knock it around, it stays together quite well.  -- Bob

Monday, April 22, 2013

It probably isn't vintage, but who cares . . .

My wife and I were at Salvation Army Thrift Shop today not looking for anything in particular.  I scoured the shelves a number of times and really didn't see anything that caught my eye.  Then, just when I was about to give up, I saw this red box on a top shelf and thought I'd look inside.  It was a set of really nice looking Dominos.  I know that is no big deal.  It isn't a vintage set most likely, but I haven't seen a nice set of Dominos like this in a long long time. I'm not even sure I remember how to play the game.  Anyways, I thought it was a pretty good find and the price was right, so now I own the set. -Bob

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Finished Dish Towel Holder

Here's a photo of the finished dish towel holder.  I decided to put a Rooster on it in a Folk Art Style.  I hope to post it in my Etsy Shop sometime today or tomorrow, but first I really would like to hear my daughter's comments on it.  I am going to telephone her in a little while and have her take a look at it. -Bob

Saturday, February 9, 2013

New project . . .

Here is a small project I created the other day.  It is a towel holder for a single towel that can be used in the kitchen to display a nice looking dish towel.  I painted it up today and will post a photo of the finished piece tomorrow.  My daughter said I should show more photos of me making the things I make, so I stuck a  photo above of my working on this piece.  It is a beginning. -Bob