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The Crafty Coop Posts

A few things…….

The last few weeks have been full of busy family life, the end of school craziness and some behind the scenes work.  Summer will soon be upon us and so a few housekeeping matters…….

 

First off, a happy Father’s Day to all of you out there.  We’re having a little bbq later today!

Second, The shop will be going into vacation mode starting Friday, June 22 until Sunday, July 1st.  My inlaws are coming to town and we’re off to Maine for a stay on the lake.

When we get back there will be some new items coming to the shop, including some one-offs of things we had at the comic con!

As the spring show season winds up, we’re looking at a fairly quiet summer.  We’ll be trying out new items in the shop, prepping for the big 4th of July shindig and getting ready for the fall.

The kids got to attend a local Harry Potter festival in May and had so much fun!

Which brings me to my last item, we’re getting ready for 2 big shows this fall.  You’ll find us at Tattersall Farm Day September 9th and November 10th we’ll be attending the 11th Annual Christmas Fair at St Luke’s in Plaistow NH.

There will be lots more as we get closer, but in the meantime, everyone enjoy their summer vacations!

Haverhill Library Comic Con

We had so much fun attending Haverhill Public Library’s 4th Annual Comic Con.  They really put on an amazing day with a variety of activities, vendors, and visitors.  I’ll be doing a post later about some of the great vendors we got to know, but today I wanted to talk about little about the comic con and show off some of the pictures I took.

 

We got there early and got our table set up.  We had worked hard on some new items special for this event.  Including brand new Sonic Screwdriver treat tubes, comic book roses, some amazing geek-themed coasters and the trays I talked about in our last post.

They also featured some great classes and lectures during the day.  The day started off with Cosplay 101, they had a talk about LGBTQ comics, a Cosplay contest and in the afternoon they had a lecture about Dungeons and Dragons and Stranger Things.  They had activities all day for kids, including face-painting, making their own comics and a magic show!

We even brought some of our own props, including our own Yoda, droids and Darth Vader!

 

 

It was such a fun day and we love supporting local events.  Can’t wait to be a part of it next year!

Getting ready for Comic Con!

Last year at Christmas time I decorated these adorable trays with holiday paper.  I had kind of forgotten about them until Kathy and I went on an adventure to AC Moore a few weeks ago.  We happened upon the blank trays while we were wandering around and I thought….how fun would they be with some shiny paint and geeky themed paper?

 

It all starts with painting.  I actually find making these trays a pretty zen activity….the layers of painting, adding the paper and then adding the layers of modge podge.  (we love modge podge!)

Once the paint is dry, it’s time for the fun part!  We picked up this amazing “comic” themed paper from AC Moore.  (We really shouldn’t be allowed to go together.  We get up to shenanigans!)  I cut the paper into starburst circles, using the Starburst Punch from Stampin Up.  It’s one of my very favorite punches, it’s perfectly sized to use for all sorts of projects.

Once all the layers of paper are added, I add a few layers of modge podge to seal them, and then they are given a spray with sealant.

 

These particular trays were bound for our trip to the Haverhill Public Library‘s 4th Annual Comic Con.  The event was amazing and I’ll be back with a post all about it next week, including some of the amazing vendors!

 

 

 

Recycled Comic Book Projects Continued

While the Recycled Comic Book Roses were a lot of fun, there are lots of items to be made from old comic books.

I made some book marks for the upcoming fair season. We have a super hero themed fundraiser for the “Lowe Syndrome Association” and the Comic Con at Haverhill Public Library. These bookmarks were fun and straightforward. I enjoyed searching through the books to find just the right panels to use for the bookmarks.

I also took some of the mini notebooks we’ve decorated and covered them with comic book pages. I made a template of the notebook and used that to determine if an image would make a good cover. Then I cut out the cover and glued it over the notebook. I used washi tape for the spine. Everything got a healthy coating of modge podge for durability and a light sealant spray to finish the book.

Look for these items at our upcoming fairs or custom order your own. They are great party favors and will make fun stocking stuffers for the upcoming Christmas season. (Yes I know it is only May but we crafters have to plan ahead!)

Unicorns!

I have always loved unicorns. My childhood bedroom contained a vast collection of unicorn items and I had a Lisa Frank Unicorn Sticker collection that filled an entire binder. I don’t have quite as many unicorns decorating my home these days but I do have some lovely unicorn accessories and one very fun pair of unicorn leggings. My love for unicorns has tempered just slightly and I was thrilled to have the chance to make these unicorn card and giftbox sets for our upcoming fair:

Originally I was inspired by the unicorn boxes in this blog post by Crush on Color. I wanted something slightly different though and I had just finished making bunnies for Easter that can be found at the bottom of this post. With visions of unicorns floating in my head I altered the bunny design I had been using. I hand cut some concept horns and used the same ovals from my Layering Ovals to make both the bunny ears and the unicorn ears. I punched the flower crown using the now retired Blossom Bunch Punch from Stampin’ Up!

I then sat with my husband after the Easter fair feedback and we made a horn we then cut with the Silhouette. We kept the layering ovals for ears. I am still drawing on the eyes because I like the closed eye look better than the round eyes I used on the bunnies and I don’t have a better way than with a marker at the moment. I did swap the flowers for the also retired Pansy Punch from Stampin’ Up! and I added some coordinating bling to the prominent flowers.

There’s nothing better than new markers

Do you remember when you were a kid and it was time to go back to school?  Some kids got excited about new backpacks or new clothes.  Me?  I got excited about new notebooks and pens!  Yes, I have a weird fascination with office supplies.

I love watercolor painting–the colors, the delicate look of it, the creating of a new thing.  However, for crafting, watercolor paints tend to be messy and leave something to be desired.  At least for me.

 

 

Recently, there has been a whole slew of new marker sets on the market (say that three times fast!) that claim to be “watercolor” markers.  Meaning that you can color with them, but you can also easily mix colors and add some water the thin them down and create a more translucent look.  I’ve been watching reviews with fascination, hoping to find a set I would like.  After much deliberating, I decided to purchase the Kuretake Zig Clean Color Real Watercolor Brush Pens.

From all the reviews I read and watched, they blended nicely and could really be turned into beautiful watercolor-like pictures and feel.

 

After receiving them I did what I always do with new paints, and make a color chart, labeled with the colors and used a little water to see how they thinned out.  But then it was time to try them out!

You can see in some of the pictures a few of the cards I made using the new markers.  They combine and blends so beautifully and the colors stay nice and vivid.  I find coloring these card fronts really relaxing.

I also tried them out in making a few candles for our fair last week.

I loved how the colors softened on the tissue paper used for the candles and still remained bright.  Plus, they helped give the images depth.

 

 

Custom Mary Poppins Bouquet

It is spring time in Massachusetts – not that the four Noreasters we’ve gotten this March really seem to care – but that means my daughter will be performing in her high school’s spring musical very soon. It is time then for a new custom bouquet to match the musical: Mary Poppins.

I started out with half an idea based on the popularity of the Comic Book Roses I made a few weeks ago. I found a “Little Golden Book” version of Mary Poppins and proceeded to cut out all of the pages to make flowers. I used a 3×3 square for these roses because it worked more naturally with the book page’s 6 inch width.

My husband got me all propped in bed with my foot elevated and all of my tools within easy reach and I assembled roses while we binge watched Altered Carbon on Netflix. Here is the book I began with and the finished bucket of roses waiting for the next steps:

Those next steps involved inordinate amounts of hot glue and modge podge. The cover of the book was cut into a tall rectangular handle for the bouquet. The roses were all attached to floral wire stems. Once everything was suitably dry and ready for assembly, I put floral foam into the book handle. I then poked all the flower stems into the foam. Lastly, I tied the Mary Poppins Funko Pop to the handle with ribbon and the bouquet is ready to present to my daughter this weekend!

Over the Rainbow

Belatedly, last Friday I realized we should probably have a sign for our table at our first craft fair.

I took pictures as I was working on this.  I loved this spaghetti of rainbow pieces.

And here they are turning into little fledgling rainbows.

Once I glued all the pieces together (was covered in glue!) I cut the rainbows out and put them through the laminator.

Then I cut out letters for our words and attached them to clouds.

And our finished product!  Everything is clipped on with clothespins, which ended up being a big pain, so before the next fair, I need to punch some holes and make it a little easier to set up.  But I was really happy with my last minute sign!

 

Crafting while Broken

It has been almost two weeks since I broke my foot. I will spare everyone the gory details and the pictures from the emergency room. You’re welcome! But a broken foot brings a lot of logistical problems into my extremely busy life. I cannot walk, nor drive, nor shower. Even the little things require big preparation and are far more complicated and exhausting than I ever imagined.

That said, I am nothing if not determined, so I’ve been working at keeping the crafting happening even with my limitations. Instead of working in my crafting area, we have compartmentalized the various steps in each project and brought just those supplies to me.

I’ve been working on balancing a small work surface on my lap. This has presented some challenges as my broken foot needs to be elevated pretty high. I use a silicone mat to keep things from sliding whenever possible. I also balance the tray with blankets to help level the surface. I’m currently writing this blog post from my laptop on said tray. The other day I was busy making flowers:

Elevated foot makes for an interesting balancing act.

We have a fair to prepare for and that won’t wait until after my foot has healed. I’m fortunate enough to have a knee scooter for around the house. I’ve been making liberal use of the basket on the front to carry supplies around:

 

Clothesline Project

We all wear many hats in our lives. I’m a crafter and co-founder of this “Crafty Coop” business. I am a wife, mother, volunteer, survivor.

I am also the Activities Coordinator for my friend Lisa’s Modern Woodmen Fraternal Financial Chapter – 142 here in Haverhill. Last year we participated in Earth Day Cleanup, helped fund new equipment for the HHS girls swim and dive team, raised money for the Hillview Montessori School’s outdoor classroom, and we learned how college financial planning works. In partnership with our youth group we raised money for the local animal shelter.

This year our chapter is helping our local homeless shelter and our local YWCA. The YWCA is raising awareness for sexual assault through their hosting of the “Clothesline Project.” In this project survivors of sexual assault and abuse can make a Tshirt for display in various key points around the city. Our chapter is donating shirts and markers and helping with the making of shirts as well.

The Crafty Coop is donating custom thank you cards for the YWCA to use to thank those who have supported this project along the way. Here is the design we’ve made: