Category Archives: collections


Envelope Rosette.

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Cheri-I cannot believe that it is Christmas Advent already. Time to get back in the swing of ornament making.

In the last few months I have picked up another collection and this is an incredibly cheap one. I have begun to collect envelopes. Not for stamps, or anything like that, I  collect them for the inside. the envelopes have amazing graphics that are printed on the inside. They are quite beautiful, and a great source for interesting paper, and I am always looking for a craft to make with is.

This is where my ornament comes in.


Interesting paper


circle template


Start by cutting out circles from the patterned paper and cut them into four pieces. Then roll them into a cone and glue the edges together. I made 18 for the outer rosette and 13 for the inner rosette. Glue them together on the edges and form a rosette. Do the same with the smaller circles and put them on both sides. For the inner part of the rosette, I cut small strips from a different envelope and and curled it. There you go. Very easy and cost me nothing to make, but what an impact the pattern makes.

How simple can it be? Hope you like it and if you have any questions make sure to e-mail us.


Side view of wreath

2013 Christmas Advent: Paper Wreath

Happy Holidays!

Hello, and yes we are still alive. We are doing our annual Christmas Advent. This year we are covering Christmas Decorations. I decided to to do a Christmas wreath and have been playing with paper lately and thus my Christmas Paper Wreath was made.

Finished paper wreath

For supplies:

Foam wreath shape, burlap ribbon, scrapbook paper (paper cutter optional), pins, sequins, paper punch (twine and bells optional)

Supplies needed for paper wreath

The paper punch I chose cuts out a 2 1/2″ shape, so I cut my scrapbook paper into 3″ swathes. This I then ran through my paper punch and cut out my florets.

Paper punch

Once I had all my florets, I wrapped the foam wreath with the burlap ribbon. I used pins to hold the burlap in place (I was trying to keep my supplies to a minimum, but you could use hot glue here if you preferred).

Burlap wrapped foam wreath

I attached the hanger and bells at the very end, but realistically, this would have been the best time. It worked just fine adding these at the end of the project, but I could have hidden them better had I tied them around the wreath before adding the florets.

Next, I started attaching the florets. I have to tell you about my error now. I bought large head beading pins for this project and thought they would be large enough that they would hold the florets by themselves. However, once I tried to hold the florets in place with the pins I discovered that I was wrong. I needed something to go between the pinheads and the florets. You could use just about anything, I chose to use silver sequins. I imagine that small beads would also have been lovely.

Once you put the pin through the floret, use your fingers to bend the floret up into a flower cup shape. This is what gives the florets three dimensions.

Attaching florets to wreath

Just keep pinning the florets to the wreath all the way around, being sure to cover the inside and outside of the wreath.  I made sure that none of the florets were flat on the wreath. I would pull up the edges of the nearby florets so that the edges were all up and none were flat.

Here you can see the burlap ribbon under the florets, but once the wreath is complete, you cannot see the burlap from a regular distance away.

Paper Wreath Close Up with Burlap2

I love the way it turned out. It looks great hanging on my front door.

Side view of wreath

Finished paper wreath

Happy crafting!


Paper Wreath Close Up CG

Rocks rock!

Cheri-There is something mysterious about rocks. Even lowly little plain rocks can be very special. Often these are the ones that need a second look. A few months ago, I realized these rocks were telling stories that could be just as amazing and interesting as the pretty sparkly ones. All it takes is a little bit of looking and eventually they will lend their shape to something beautiful.

To begin their transformation, I draw an outline on the rock in the shape I think it resembles. Then the rock is given details and personality with a permanent black marker, and I sign the back with my “nom de plume”.

I like to leave the rocks outside at places I visit. It makes me happy to think that someone will find it, pick it up and start their own story with it.

Photo of 6 different pieces of white diner china.

White Diner China

So, the craftysisters seem to follow in each others footsteps when it comes to certain household items. Dishes seems to be a big one. I have been passed on several sets of dishes over the years when other craftysisters decide to move on to something different. (I am also called the family museum for some of the things I have been passed that I still own.

Photo of 6 different pieces of white diner china.
I bought the 2 bowls in the back, Loryn bought me the 2 round plates on the left and I got the 2 oval plates on the right from Mom.

This time though, we all seem to be following Mom (craftysister Lynne), but she isn’t moving to something different. Thankfully, over the years she has collected so much that she was actually able to cut her collection into three parts and with only $26 and some help from Loryn, I was able to complete my set (or rather, complete it as much as I wanted).

Photo of 2 different sizes of oval diner china.
These are the 2 sizes of plates I got from Mom. There are 11 of the big oval plates and 8 of the smaller oval plates.

White diner china is something that I never really figured I would get into, but it is so versatile and classic that it will never go out of style. In fact, when I wanted to complete the set, I went to Old Time Pottery and found three gigantic aisles of white and off-white diner china and was able to match the color of the plates Mom and Loryn gave me.

Photo of 2 different sizes of round diner china.
These plates were found at Goodwill by Loryn. There are 8 of each size plate. (She found more, but kept the rest.)

I am very happy with my new set and thought I would share it with you. Not all of our lives (quite clearly) are dominated by crafts, so I thought you might be interested to see what has come into my life lately. Now I will need to post some photos of the food I will be putting on these dishes in the future!

Photo of two different sizes and styles of round diner bowls.
I love both of these styles and sizes of bowls. I bought these myself from Old Time Pottery (8 of each style) for $26.
Photo of 2 different round diner bowls seen from a side view.
The bowls on the left are cereal bowls and the bowls on the right are pasta bowls.

Full Listing:

11 Large oval plates – 11 3/4″ x 7″

8 Small oval plates – 9 3/4″ x 8 1/2″

8 Large round plates – 10 1/4″

8 Small round plates – 6 3/4″

8 Cereal bowls – 6″ x 3″

8 Pasta bowls – 8 3/4″ x 2″

Happy crafting,


Christmas Ornament Countdown: It’s the Final Countdown

So we have arrived at Christmas! I hope everyone is having at wonderful holiday. For those of you who have been following along with our ornament countdown adventure, you know that Cheri and I have been showcasing our ornament creations this year. We have been alternating days which is about all we had time for with our preparations for Christmas as well. We have gathered them all together here in one post for easy viewing.

First Day: Lucky Stars

Glass ball full of origami lucky stars.
Made by Kristin

Second Day: Scrapbook Paper Balls

Spiral ornaments made from scrapbook paper.
Made by Cheri

Third Day: Beaded Glass Ball

Glass ball covered in beaded mesh.
Made by Kristin

Fourth Day: Cardboard Tube Snowflakes

Snowflakes made from paper tubes.
Made by Cheri

Fifth Day: Sequins and Pins

Stryofoam egg decorated with pins, beads and sequins.
Made by Kristin

Sixth Day: Wire-wrapped Spider

Wire wrapped spider
Made by Kristin

Seventh Day: Teeny Tiny Places

Winter scenes inside tiny toy bubbles.
Made by Cheri

Eighth Day: Buttons, Buttons Everywhere!

Styrofoam ball covered in small white buttons.
Made by Cheri

Ninth Day: Crochet Wreath

Small wreath crocheted of cotton yarn.
Made by Kristin

Tenth Day: Scrapbook Paper Origami Stars

Scrapbook paper 3D origami stars.
Made by Kristin

Eleventh Day: Chinese Fortune

Glass ball full of Chinese fortunes and glitter.
Made by Cheri

Twelfth Day: Wire-wrapped Ice Fairy

Wire-wrapped snow fairy holding a snowflake.
Made by Kristin

Thirteenth Day: Steam Punk Felt Bird

Felt bird with wire-wrapped crown, wings and tail in steam punk fashion.
Made by Cheri

Fourteenth Day: Wire Wrapped Joy

Word "Joy" wire-wrapped inside wire circle.
Made by Cheri

It has been a wonderful craft experience to work in so many mediums. Cheri and I had a great time creating all of these amazing ornaments and look forward to another showcase for next year (which will include all the Crafty Sisters, not just us two).

Happy Holidays from Kristin!

A Gallery of Handmade Christmas Trees

Chenille Pipe Cleaner Tree

Loryn:  I’ve collected handmade Christmas trees for over ten years, ever since Cheri made me one for Christmas. Since then, she’s given me one just about every year, and Kristin has contributed to my collection, too. I’m always amazed at how unique each tree is! The one above is made from chenille pipe cleaners that came from a 1950s chenille tree that was badly damaged. Cheri remade them into my tree and a wreath for Kristin.

Glass Garland Tree

This tall beauty is made from a vintage glass bead garland wrapped on a foam form, then embellished with more vintage glass ornaments.

Felt Tree

This felt tree started my whole collection. Cheri made it from an old army blanket, a brass tube, and a wood scrap. It’s so simple and cute!

Papercraft Tree

A few years ago, Cheri did a bunch of paper sculptures, and she made this little tree out of paper.

Pink Feather Boa Tree

I wore nothing but black throughout my teens and 20s, but when I got into my 30s, I fell for pink in a big way. This crazy feather boa tree is an homage to my love of pink. It’s wrapped around a felt form and decorated with small ornaments pinned into the foam. The white base is an old piece of ironstone of mine that makes a perfect stand for the tree.

Silver Tinsel Tree

This is one of my favorites. Cheri made it the year that we put together a vintage aluminum tree. It had almost a hundred branches in all different sizes, and we drove ourselves crazy assembling it. Her pipecleaner version makes me smile every time I see it.

Kristin's Beaded Tree

Kristin made me this elegant beaded tree. I love how naturalistic the branches look.

Mobile Tree

Here’s Cheri’s Alexander Calder tree. Simple and fun!

Wooden Ornament Picture Tree

I collect wooden ornaments, so Cheri made this great tree to add to my collection. I love how she paired the ornaments with that great paper.

Charlie Brown Tree

Last, but not least is this adorable Charlie Brown tree. She made it from wire, florist’s tape, and a branch from a fake tree. Just a year later, they were all over stores, but none as nice as this one!

I love my Christmas tree collection, and I hope to keep adding to it every year (hint, hint)!

King Koin

King Koin Bank

I know a lot of people are just wild over King Kong. I have never been a fan, didn’t like the first one, the second, the third and I believe there is another one in the works. That being said, I was delighted when I found a King Koin bank last week at a garage sale.

King Koin Bank

From my brief research, I was able to find that it was made by Jasco around 1977. I was drawn to the plastic and colors. I don’t usually collect banks but this one was too good to pass up and on top of everything else it worked.

King Koin

All you do is put a coin in front of the tent flap and King Kong comes out and snatches it. It doesn’t take batteries to work and all you do is wind it by the clever little clown on the side of the tent.

King Koin

When I look at this amazingly intricate plastic toy, I am again pleased that someone decided to keep this bank from 1977 and pleased that they decided to sell it in 2011 and that I was the one who happened to run across it. This bank is not really rare and it is not particularly valuable but it is a very interesting piece of kitsch and deserves an honored place right next to my Fisher Price lunch box.

Feedsacks? Floursacks? Fabric!

Loryn: Feedsacks, floursacks, just about anything that came in a sack (including flour, beans, chicken feed, and rice) was sold in bright printed fabric during the depression era. Feedsacks have to be the best marketing ploy for crafters that has ever come along! In the 1920s, manufacturers realized that lots of housewives used the sack fabric, and they would buy even more if it was a pretty print. Here in the middle of Indiana, with all of our farms, we have lots of feedsacks around even today.

So, how do you know if you have a feedsack? The first clue is a cotton fabric with a tell-tale loose weave, that looks something like this:

Loose weave in feedsack fabric
Most feedsacks are very loosely woven

Not all fabric with that weave was actually a feedsack, though, as you could buy the same fabric in yardage. The sacks were usually between 36-39″ wide and 43-46″ long. If you have the entire sack, you should be able to see the stitching holes along two sides, like this:

Feedsack stitching
If the sack has been taken apart, you can still see the stitching holes

Sometimes you’ll find a sack still stitched together. The seam was sewn with a chain stitch, so it pulled out easily. I’ve come across one with the label still intact, too. If you fabric doesn’t show the stitching holes, it may have been yardage. From a crafting viewpoint, though, the prints are just as nice!

I really enjoy sewing with feedsacks, as the prints are great and the cotton fabric is very easy to handle. I often line feedsack items because of the loose weave, to give it a little more body.

Now on to a gallery of prints!

Gorgeous red print, one of my mom’s (Lynne’s) favorites! This one is even more loosely woven than most.

Red stripe. Stripes can be challenging, because the stripe is not always on the grain of the fabric.

One of my favorite prints!

I have several sacks in this print, and you’ll see them in use soon!

I only have a few scraps of this print, which is too bad.

Yellow is one of Cheri’s favorite colors, so I’ve used this fabric in projects for her.

I love this bright gingham, but the print is slightly off register.


A fun print.

One of my favorites.

This is one of the first feedsacks I ever purchased, while antiquing in college.

Feedsacks were made into the 60s (though in more limited quantity), and I suspect this is a late print.

This is a change from the bright prints that I usually prefer.

This one has a few stains. The oxy boiling method will get rid of all of them!

Like the bright pink one above, this has a woven stripe.

I hope you’ve enjoyed seeing part of my collection! For a fun read on feedsacks (including a woman who left the part of the label that said “self rising” on her husband’s drawers!), head to For a site that is full of information, head to

Beads and More Beads!

As a beader and jeweler hobbyist, there is nothing better than more materials. More beads, wire, findings, centerpieces, doesn’t matter. Yesterday, I made a trip up to Whiteland to Beads Unlimited which is a wonderful store. Their website is still under construction, so you can’t really see just exactly how wonderful, but believe me it is well worth a trip. Their selection of seedbeads, silver, glass, natural stones and metal beads is the best I have found in Indiana so far. There are other bead stores that have more of a particular type of bead or material, but for all around purchases, don’t miss Beads Unlimited.

My favorite items to pick up from Beads Unlimited are jasper and agate drilled stones to use as pendants.

10 Jasper and Agate drilled stones to be used as pendants.
10 drilled stones I purchased Saturday

The color and striation variations that come from agate and jasper seem to be endless and now that they have started successfully dying the agate, it has broadened the uses even further (the turquoise stone above is dyed agate, isn’t it pretty?). I seem to have gone for a more Asian feel with the stones I picked up yesterday, and they are mostly of neutral shades. Some of them are drilled straight through and others have more interesting (and what may have been faulty) drill-holes.

While Loryn was here last weekend, I was showing her my stash and was talking about a pink quartz triangle donut in my collection that has two drill-holes which, as it is a transparent stone, makes it look rather odd. Loryn, the excellent visualist she is, immediately showed me how to use it in a unique fashion. Since then, I have been actively looking for stones with odd holes and found a few this trip. It is wonderful to be able to take this flaw and really make it something unique and gorgeous.

I have also had this small obsession with coral and imagine my joy when I found some blue coral. I have a ton of red coral (in so many shapes and sizes), so the blue was an excellent find.

Blue coral, black glass and pearl beads still strung.
I have yet to cut them off their strands

Blue coral is a light denim color with darker blue specks and whorls. I bought it in two shapes and cannot wait to use them. Also pictured are a strand of black glass rectangles with dimples on all the sides and two pearl strands. The blue/teal pearls are halfway between potato and spherical (I’m sure this shape actually has a name, although I don’t know it) and are absolutely beautiful. The natural, off-white pearls are dots. They are flat on one side and have a hole drilled towards the top to make them drop beads of a sort, supercute.

I also bought a bunch of glass, both strung and not in varying colors and shapes.

6 different types of glass beads

Unstrung beads already in plastic baggies.I picked up quite a few neutral to brown glass strands to go along with the pendant stones I purchased. The square green glass beads in the center of the first photo were just too cool and cute to pass up. Haven’t figured out what or how I will use them, but nothing in my stash is ever wasted.

Here is a photo of the entire haul:

All the beads purchased from Beads Unlimited on Saturday.

I did stay within my budget, only just, but until I actually sell a piece, I am trying to restrict myself, although it may not look it. I cannot wait to create some new pieces from this bead run. Hey, what am I waiting for? Talk to you later!