Archive for December, 2009

Happy New Year!

December 31, 2009

Happy New Year everyone!


Fishing Pole Bags!

December 29, 2009

As promised…post Christmas gift posts! I wish I could have posted this before christmas because it’s so hard to find crafty gift ideas for guys. Both of my brothers are into fishing so I decided to make these fishing pole bags for them.

Fishing Pole BageThe whole idea was to make some thing that will carry their fishing poles as well as all of their tackle. I made it from ripstop and kind of fashioned it after the bags that carry folding chairs.

Fishing Pole BageThere are two pockets at the top that fit either their tools or the plastic organizers I included.

The pocket for the fishing poles stops about a half-foot from the bottom of the bag and synchs shut. This pocket can accomodate either full length poles or poles that come apart.

The bottom portion of the bag zips shut and has round stacking/interlocking Tupperware to hold their worms and bait.

Fishing Pole Bage

Here is a sketch I made before I got to cutting and sewing.

The pole extends from inside the bag but holds steady because the weight of it, the handle and reel, sit at the bottom of the bag. The boys really loved this gift and have promised to give some feedback after they stuff their goods into it so I can get to making them for my etsy store before the fishing season gets going!

There are more christmas gift posts to come. The whole family is flat on the couches with a stomach bug thats being passed around so you can bet I’ll be quite attentive to the blog for the next few days!

Please feel free to share with me any great christmas crafts you gave or received with megnificent made!

Merry Christmas to all!

December 25, 2009

and to all a good night!

I’m exhausted from the festivities and I’ll be tucking in for a bit of a winter nap. Enjoy the holidays and I’ll see you on the other side!

How To (Cardboard Play Table)

December 23, 2009

This post will give you a bit of information on cardboard furniture. I recently made this adorable little cardboard play table for my niece’s tea-party christmas present. It’s really easy to do, inexpensive (especially if you’re using recycled cardboard) and far more durable than you would think!

Cardboard Play Table

The first thing you’ll want to do is collect your cardboard. I won’t give you very exact measurements because it’s really up to you what size furniture you’d like to make. This tale is about 14 inches high and 2.5 ft square. I recommend you recycle cardboard. Go to your local grocery store or electronics store and ask for their boxes. I’ve done this before and got really great heavy-duty cardboard from a local fruit stand. For this table I bought cardboard at the art store for about $3 a sheet and it took three sheets. I just didn’t have time to run around and find any. For the top of the table I used three-ply cardboard for strength and the rest was made with single ply corrugated cardboard.

You will also need a good sharp box cutter, white tissue paper, gesso, a big foam paint brush, a glue gun and paper tape. Paper tape can be found at your art store. It is generally used for water-color painting. Paper tape has an adhesive on the back that is water activated. The benefit of this tape is that it is paper and when you paint over it will absorb paint rather than bead up.

These are the pieces I cut out for the table…

How To- Cardboard Play TableHow To- Cardboard Play Table

The side of my table is scalloped but you can make that anyway you like. The picture on the right is the table leg. The table legs I made are 14 inches tall and 2in square. It’s important for the table legs that the corrugations in the cardboard runs verticle to give it strength. Where I’ve marked the dotted lines score the cardboard (don’t cut all the way through) and that will give you nice sharp corners on your table leg. The last panel is .25in wider so that it can over lap where it will glue together.

Get out your glue gun and start gluing all of your pieces together. apply glue to the edge of the table top piece and attach the table side. The next part is important for strength. Use the glue gun like a caulking gun and run it along all of the seams forcing more glue into cracks and making the seams smooth and strong. Do it on the inside seams.

Next you will use the paper tape!
Cardboard Play TableWater activate the sticky side of the tape with your foam brush and use the tape to cover any raw edges. Use it along all of the seams and press it flat. To cover round edges cut darts out of the tape and smooth it around the edges.

Next, grab your gesso, tissue paper and foam brush. Paint the table and apply sheets of tissue paper as you go. Put tissue paper down on the wet gesso and paint more white gesso over it. This will give you a good plain white base to paint on later. Make sure not to run your brush over the tissue paper too many times or it will tear.

Cardboard Play TableIn this photo you can see the glue used as caulk on the rough edges and the paper tape covering the seams on the inside of the table. This table isn’t as finished as some proper cardboard furniture pieces but it’s for kids so I didn’t go nuts. I wanted the legs of my table to be detachable so I created pockets to shove the legs into. They’re really snug so that the legs don’t fall out.

Paint the table as you like. I did a yellow wood grain on the legs and painted the top like a table-cloth. Finish the piece with a few coats of varnish, this will make it much more durable and keep it safe from water!

Don’t limit your cardboard furniture to your kids! I’ve made pieces for my apartment before and they are so unique and beautiful. Most people think it is wood until they pick it up! They’re extremely durable and sturdy. I have a chest of drawers that I can stand on. Once they’re varnished they are quite safe.

For some ideas on what cardboard furniture can look like check out this instructibles tutorial!


December 22, 2009

I don’t know that as a crafter I should share this…but I have to admit I laughed…a lot.

Have you heard of Regretsy? It’s full of some really….creative…finds from Etsy featured with comical and sometimes mean commentary. There is HEAPS of really wonderful things on Etsy and there are so many talented people on there. Perhaps it is more a question of taste….but come on, really?

Unicorn HatI am not including the details of the seller on here because I feel a little bad because someone did make it…but that is all available on

Kitty PackSome items are clearly taking the piss. It’s especially obvious by their descriptions. It’s just that it seems a lot of time, effort and expense for a gag gift! There is a person for every product though. One seller that was featured on the site actually said that it resulted in a complete sell-out. I guess any publicity is good publicity!

Check it out though, it is quite funny. It’s not only picking on peoples skills or talents but also ideas for unusual (but not bad) products, far out there art, and some careless mistakes in products (spelling and such).

Inspired by the Bean

December 19, 2009

I’ve been a barista for about 8 years and It is by far the best work Ive ever been involved with. Here are a few of my favorite coffee inspired finds on Etsy!

Coffee Cozy by lisejamison
Coffee Cozy by lisejamison

The cafe I worked for here in Rochester, The Leaf and Bean Coffee Co., used to make and sell coffee cozies in beautiful fabrics and colors. People love these customized coffee holders and they’re a greener choice to using the paper ones provided in cafes (if you can remember to bring it with you!) I like that this Etsy Seller, LiseJamison, has taken it an extra step further by recycling coffee bags into cozies!

Espresso Coffee Cups by LaMiaBottega

Espresso Coffee Cups by LaMiaBottega

When I moved to Australia…I was schooled on everything I knew about coffee! American’s aren’t by any means WRONG in the way we do coffee, but Australia certainly has very different practices. One of which is the way they drink coffee. For Americans it’s all on the go and a good 95% or more of drinks are made in paper cups. Australian coffee drinkers make their coffee an event and put a lot of weight on the presentation of their drinks. Drinks are also significantly smaller! The average american small coffee is 12 oz while the largest coffee I made in australia was 8oz. I am all too happy to be drinking American coffee again, but I really loved the time I spent working on drink presentation and serving up coffee in beautiful porceline. Thats why I love these beautiful hand painted espresso cups by LaMiaBottega.  What I reaaaally wish is that the tea pot in her icon was for sale!

Gold Mustache Mug Set by Kimay

Gold Mustache Mug Set by Kimay

Now that I am back on American soil I can enjoy a full cup of brewed coffee. The closest Aussies get to brewed coffee is espresso diluted in water. I MUCH prefer a big cup of joe you can savor on a chilly winter day. Espresso drinks are small and don’t last long. These great mugs by Kimay are perfectly humorous!

Moka Express tea towel by mengseldesign

Moka Express tea towel by mengseldesign

These tea towels by mengseldesign feature great graphic illustrations of Moka stove top espresso makers. I’ve always thought they were such a cool, vintage little contraption!

Emery Pincushion Cup of Cafe latte by dottyral

Emery Pincushion Cup of Cafe latte by dottyral

Lastly, this delicious little pin cushion by dottyral. Since I’ve become so enthralled with sewing this little latte pin cushion is perfect for me 🙂  I love the floral foam pattern on the top!


December 18, 2009
Vinyl record Necklace Hardcover

Vinyl record Necklace Hardcover by arohasilhouettes

I’ve been wanting for a while to create something from old vinyl records but I have yet to decide on what. Arohasilhouettes has made some really beautiful and creative graphic jewelry from vinyl records! My favorite is this book stack. I love her use of negative space!

She also has a lot of neat optical illusion styled jewlery available in her store. Check out her work!

Sinless Sloth

December 17, 2009

Happy Sloth Necklace

Happy Sloth Necklace by MaryMaryHandMade

How cute is this little bitty smiling sloth? I love the way he is swinging on that chain! He is one of many hand made happy jewelry pieces available at MaryMaryHandMade‘s Etsy Store.

Pinwheel Ring by MaryMaryHandMade

Pinwheel Ring by MaryMaryHandMade

She’s also made this beautiful little pinwheel ring that I really really really really really want…I love the two toned look of it but whats even better is it actually SPINS. This design comes in a necklace too.

No More Brown Eye!

December 16, 2009
Rear Gear

Rear Gear

This made me laugh right out loud! Rear Gear, a shop on etsy has created this…unusual…product to cover the unsightly rear end of your cats and dogs.

I had no idea this was a problem until today.

I have two dogs, and while they do have these body parts, staring at it has never been an issue for me. But I must admit, there are people for every product and this was indeed found in the “recently sold” section of etsy. Props to Rear Gear for finding such a unique…hole…to fill.

Rear Gear

Rear Gear

They’ve made significant sales and have a trademark pending. They’ve got free shipping and they’re only $2 a piece! Good luck to you Rear Gear!

Felt Strawberry Short Cake

December 15, 2009

Felt Christmas

As promised! A photo of the completed strawberry short-cake! A few weeks ago I posted a HOW-TO for this adorable felt play food which you can find here. You can find a tutorial on the strawberries here. I try to make lots of How-To posts so check out that whole section of the blog if you’re feeling crafty.

Felt Christmas

It took me a while to get this posted because I’ve been working so hard on all my christmas goodies. This tea party for my nieces (more of which can be seen here) has been my big project since October and I’ve poured a lot of time and love into. I absolutely cannot wait until Christmas to see the reveal.

I spent yesterday evening constructing a table for their party which is a really simple and fun project I will post more about soon. It is made of cardboard but is very very structurally sound. I’ve made cardboard furniture before and absolutely love the concept of recycled furniture that can be so creative and unique visually. I’ll be sure to post more about that soon.

Felt Christmas

I took all of these photos before the table was completed but I really love how all of the elements of their tea party together are such beautiful bright colors. It’s just so pretty to look at. I can’t help but leave it all assembled until Christmas.

Since these photos I have painted a purple lace doily on the table with their initials as well as painted the legs of the table pale yellow with faint wood grain. The scallops of the table has purple trim now too. I didn’t make them chairs for their table because, as you can see in earlier posts about the project, I had made them special embroidered and fringed pillows to sit on.

Felt Christmas

Felt Christmas The latest addition to the table are these adorable felt fruits from a pattern by UmeCraft on Etsy. The apple velcros together and slices apart. The Orange comes apart into 6 slices, and the banana peels!

Felt ChristmasTheir dessert selection is not limited to Strawberry Shortcake! These girls can also pick from four different cupcakes! This one here is their lemon merengue with orange peel and a lemon wedge. I made special cupcake wrappers with their names on them in three bright fun colors too. In my final tea party post I will show more in detail on the cupcakes.

If you’d like to see more photos of what I’ve been up to with this project, please visit the tea party post to see more about the table ware, and my flickr site to see food more in detail.

I can promise you two more posts on this subject…if you don’t mind! One on cardboard furniture with this table as the feature, and one on the final project after christmas. It’ll be a part of my slew of holiday gift ideas for 2010!