Monday, October 29, 2012

Turn Lace Scraps into Glowing Lace!



How many times have you finished a project & had leftover scraps of lace?  And usually, they are so small, there isn't much need for them, right?

Here is a quick and easy use for those scraps of lace that will easily brighten up a room!

Light up the autumn season with a collection of beautiful, lace-wrapped candles. This simple project will lend a delightfully eerie, yet elegant touch to your seasonal d├ęcor.





Glowing Lace
By Jessica Woodroof


MATERIALS
Laces in cream, white and black (can be vintage or new)
Pillar and votive candles in cream, white and black
Glue stick
Scissors
Paper towels
Scrap paper
Straight pins

Instructions

1. Select an assortment of candles, and experiment with different looks by wrapping lace lengths around candles, temporarily pinning in place with straight pins. Once you have chosen your favorite lace-and-candle combinations, trim laces to appropriate lengths and unpin from candles. NOTE: Trim lace pieces a little bit longer than needed to avoid a gap between lace ends.

2. Lay a piece of scrap paper onto a flat work surface. Place a piece of lace, wrong side up, onto paper. Use a glue stick to generously coat back side of lace with glue. 

3. Carefully lift lace off of paper; press glued side of lace onto candle, wrapping lace all the way around. Use scissors to trim away any excess lace so that cut edges meet precisely end-to-end and lie flat against candle, creating a barely-visable seam. 

4. Wrap candle in a clean, dry paper towel. Place candle on its side on a flat, hard surface, and roll candle back and forth a few times to help adhere lace to candle and remove excess glue.  

5. Carefully unwrap candle from paper towel, making sure lace does not pull away from candle. Discard paper towel. Set candle aside and allow glue to dry before handling. NOTE: Glue may take several days to dry completely.

6. Repeat process with remaining candles to create a coordinating set.

Tips & Ideas
For a spooky, Halloween appeal, I tried to use simple, “unfussy” laces without many flowers. Vintage or stained laces can also help portray a mysterious feeling. 
I would advise working near a sink, as the gluing process can make your hands very sticky.
Thrift stores, yard sales and antique stores are great places to find vintage laces. You can also find a wide selection of new cotton laces in white, cream and black at store.marthapullen.com.
Be sure to always take extra care when burning candles, and never leave them unattended.


Jessica Woodroof is an artisan jewelry designer, handcrafter and homemaker residing in Huntsville, Alabama. She loves living a simple life with her wonderful husband Brian, and adorable cat Anna, in their lovely 1930s stone cottage. She spends her days baking bread, sewing, cleaning, decorating, gardening and creating whimsical pieces of wooden jewelry. You can find more of her work at thearchitectswife.etsy.com and themissingthread.etsy.com.


Thursday, October 18, 2012

10k LIKES on Facebook!




Thank you!  Thank you!  

We love our fans, and to show you just how much, we are going to have a giveaway:


This magnifying table lamp will become your best partner when working with details. The combination of the 12w Full Spectrum Naturalight tube and the 3.5 in. lens will allow you to see details like never before. No more squinting, no more headaches, this Naturalight product will help you get the best result every time! And you will be surprised by how flexible the head is and how easy it is to position this lamp.

  • Small and powerful table lamp
  • 12w Natural light tube (energy saving)
  • 35 in. diameter lens (175X) with inset lens (4X)
  • Supplied with tube and lens cover
  • Height: 13.7 in.
  • MFG Brand Name : Daylight
  • MFG Model # : UN1040
  • MFG Part # : UN1040

You have until 11:59pm, Sunday, 10/21 to enter!  Click HERE & fill out the form.  

And remember to keep watching our Facebook page for new, interesting, & exciting material!

Go "LIKE" our Sew Beautiful Facebook page too, where there is magazine exclusive content, sneak peeks & insider tips from the pros!  

We love you and appreciate you, our FANS!


Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Book highlight: How to Price and Sell Your Crafts





Price Your Crafts Right – Sell Your Crafts Fast
Thinking about selling those crafts you've been giving away as gifts or maybe you are just running out of rooms to put them in? Sites like Etsy.com are reporting record sales of handmade items. But craft makers taking the initial leap into starting a home business share a burning question: "how much should I charge for my handmade products?"
James Dillehay, author of the new book, How to Price Crafts and Things You Make to Sell, says that the key question you need to focus on is this: "How will people pay for products like mine?"


Dillehay’s book offers a wealth of guidance into the proper pricing of crafts and unique personal creations. Here are some of his best ideas on getting it right quickly:

Know Your Production Costs:
1.Identify the material costs - know exactly what it costs you to make an item. Include all materials, even small stuff like thread, paint, accessories, and other items that may have cost you only pennies. Example: a handmade gift contains $4 worth of materials.

2.Determine the cost of labor - what your time is worth to you. If your personal minimum wage is $12 an hour, then multiply $12 times the hours it takes you to make one piece. Example: the handcrafted gift takes one hour to make for a labor cost of $12.

3.Identify all your overhead costs. Cover overhead expenses like rent, utilities, phone, etc.  Look at your monthly costs and divide it by the hours you work or the number of items you produce. Calculate a unit cost for overhead.

4.Calculate a total cost per unit. Add the material cost, cost of labor and overhead cost together. Example: $4 + $12 + $4 = $20. This is the minimum amount you must recover when you sell the item, but not necessarily your asking price.

Research the Market Price:

5. Identify similar products in the marketplace where you will be selling. Document the retail prices. Research prices for similar items online. Visit local craft fairs or retail stores. Talk to the owners and ask them what items like yours sell for and what they are willing to buy them for. Note: stores will usually double or triple their cost 5.to arrive at the retail price.


6.Decide if you can make a profit. If the average retail price of similar items is higher than your minimum recovery cost, you stand to make a profit. Go ahead and start selling.

7.Reduce your materials, labor and overhead costs so you don’t lose money. Stop and reconsider. Can you lower your costs? Can you make the item faster? If not, look at alternative products to make.

8.Improve the perceived value.  Increase the perceived value of your item by improving or enhancing any number of its core elements, packaging or the creator’s reputation. Photography, product samples, packaging, display, location, environmental qualities, media coverage, the creators’ qualifications and unique accomplishments and credentials, every and any known way to add uniqueness and quality to the product for the customer.

Don’t lower the price:
Resist lowering the price. Don’t think that you’ll sell more because you won’t. Unique handmade products command higher prices everywhere. People associate low prices with cheaply made items. In fact, you may have to raise an item’s price till you find the best selling price.



How to Price Crafts and Things You Make to Sell
James Dillehay

List $ 12.99 (trade soft cover) $4.99 (Kindle edition)
Published by Warm Snow Publishers
 Available online and from the publisher. For more information visit www.craftsu.com

About the author
James Dillehay is a professional craft artist, gallery owner, and author of nine books. He has been interviewed in The Wall Street Journal Online, Yahoo Finance, The Chicago Tribune, Bottom Line Personal, Family Circle, The Crafts Report, and many more including Entrepreneur Radio and HGTV.
James is founder of www.Craftsu.com, a social network where craft artists can buy and sell for free.

What People Are Saying 

"There's so much valuable information in here that I highly recommend it to any crafter who'd like to make a profit on her wares." ~ H. Grove, Maryland, USA


"An excellent resource . . . a well-organized book is nothing without solid information and the book delivers here."  ~ The Crafts Report
“Once I found this book I said “this is exactly what I need!” ~ Lene Randol
 “Pricing your art is an impossible task that James Dillehay has totally solved. This book covers EVERYTHING you ever needed to know about how to price your handmade crafts.” ~ CB Burton
“Well put together and very informative, every crafter can benefit from this information.” ~ Michelle T.