Mystery Quilt: Return to Avonlea

Posted on

Love Bug Studios is back with another mystery quilt a long!  This time focusing on Anne of Green Gables.

From the LoveBug Studios Site:

The quilt itself has been meticulously designed and tested, and is available in two beautiful colorways: Sweet Anne and Fiery Anne. The mix of traditional piecing, dimensional elements, and unique blocks are sure to delight and challenge quilters of all skill levels and interests.

Sweet Anne is based on the lovely & light Anne of Green Gables Collection from Riley Blake Designs:

Fiery Anne is based on the dynamic and bright Sunprint 2017 by Alison Glass for Andover Fabrics.

We’re set to begin live classes on July 19th, 2017, but you can join us at any time and work at your own pace. We have designed a quilt that will not only challenge experienced quilters, but will also provide newer quilters with the skills they need to be successful.

If you are interested in participating, pick up your fabric now!  The LoveBug Studios Mystery Quilt a Longs sell out fast!  If you participate, show us what you create!


Batiks Go Retro

Posted on

If you have been following my Twitch, Instagram, of Facebook, you may be aware that I have been making a secret quilt for Market for one of my new favorite designers, Tamarinis.  It was finally revealed yesterday!

I am SOOOOOO excited to show you the quilt and this amazing line of fabric!

The quilt I made is double sided!  The exact same design is on each side using completely different fabrics.  Tamirinis’ display is amazing here!

You can find this amazing line of fabric in your local Quilt Store soon!  Make sure you ask them to carry it!

Want to spend some time with Tamarini in person?  She is doing her own cruise!!

If you would like to register for the cruise, head over to the website!  Now back to Spring Quilt Market!’



Spring Blog Hop

Posted on

If you have been a reader for awhile you may remember my participation in Cheryl Sleboda’s Spring Blog Hop last year.

She is back with another blog hop!  I am not participating this year because of time constraints, but I wanted to share the bloggers with you to inspire you and give you ideas for your own crafty space.

May 1 – Teri Lucas –
May 2 – Tammy Silvers –
May 3 – Emily Breclaw –
May 4 – Amalia Morusiewicz –
May 5 – John Kubiniec –
May 6 – Debby Brown –
May 7 – Melissa Marie Collins –
May 8 – Delve MIY –
May 9 – Misty Cole –
May 10 – Sam Hunter –
May 11 – Dale Ashera-Davis –
May 12 – Sara Mika –
May 13 – Sarah Trumpp –
May 14 – Carma Halterman –
May 15 – Jessica Darling –
May 16 – Lisa Chin –
May 17 – Sally Johnson –
May 18 – Mandy Leins –
May 19 – Shruti Dandekar –
May 20 – Jane Davila –
May 21 – Ebony Love –
May 22 – Cheryl Sleboda –

There are some that have already blogged that you can read now.  Make sure you check out each blogger and show us your own Spring Clean photos!


Happy April Fools Day!

Posted on

Today is the day where you don’t believe anything you hear or read.  Nothing.  I wasn’t disappointed with the amazing April Fools jokes.  Even though they aren’t crafty related, here are some of my favorites.

Think Geek has some amazing April Fools items.  They even ask if you would buy it if they really made it!

The Tentacuddle Wrap

A Where’s Barb book from Stranger Things?!

A full body snake tattoo

Alexa now helps pets!

And of course the Netflix Live gag is amazing.  Will Arnett did such a good job it almost makes me want this to be a show.

That’s it for this years April Fools!  Next week I return to the regular posting.




Crafting-when inspiration doesn’t hit

Posted on

Every now and then, in the crafting and art world, you want to create, but can’t. You feel blocked, and no idea you have sounds appealing. What do you do? Here are a few tips to help get you past the cobweb feeling of being ‘craft blocked.’

  • Go for a brief, brisk walk, dance around the room, or basic stretches. Sometimes a little adrenaline can reset your brain and help you think more clearly.

  • Turn on some music, an inspiring movie or audio book.
  • Try a different creative endeavor. Bake a batch of cookies, make a pot of soup, plant some herbs or flowers.

  • Call or text a friend. Sometimes a brief chat can help relax us, allowing us to get new ideas.
  • Look to online sites for inspiration: Pinterest, Instagram and multiple crafting blogs can help you decide what to start next.

Crafting should be fun, and help you feel creative and fulfilled. Hopefully the above suggestions can help you continue on your creative path!

‘Bad Weather’ Days

Posted on

Happy Wednesday! Across many parts of the United States, we are being hit by bad weather towards the end of our winter. Trees had begun blooming, grass growing, and in rolls the storm. Suddenly you are stuck at home, with or without power, wondering what to do with your day off…

As long as I am warm and there is power, I try not to worry too much. Relaxing on my favorite chair with a book or movie and drinking some coffee or cocoa is a great day for me. Some people like to keep busy, though. This may be the perfect time to bring out some crafts or games you’ve been waiting to try.

  • If you like to crochet, this fun PDF pattern of an Octopus Scarf looks great!
  • If you like knitting, maybe some fingerless gloves!
  • If it look like there might be power issues, a candlemaking project might be a good one. Check here for a recipe!
  • Some people love to cook, especially a one pot stew or recipe. I’ve found some great ones on Epicurious, or you might open up one of your cookbooks- I have several from family members.

Whether it’s a project or a lazy day, stay warm and safe this week!


Gearing Up For Show Season, Part 2

Posted on

Happy Wednesday! This is Kim with Fantastical Menagerie. Last week I talked about the first part of deciding what shows to do. You can find that post here. This week, I wanted to go more in depth of the Jury Process.

A juried event is one where you send in photographs, slides, or digital images of your work, display, and sometimes WIP pictures with your application. It is judged by category, level of art, and whether its a good fit for the show. If your goal is to do art shows, this means that all vendors at the event should be at similar levels, with a good variety of art represented, with no Direct Sale or commercial companies there. Some other events will ask to see your work, but mostly to make sure you are a good fit for the show. If you are looking at Conventions or local Festivals, this may not be something you need to worry about.

If you are doing an art show, craft show or festival, the jury process is generally the same. Usually there is an application fee ($10-$50). They will request photos of your display, several of your art, and may ask for ‘work in progress’ pictures. Your display should focus on your art, tastefully laid out.

At an art festival, it should be uncluttered, with plain black tablecloths to the ground (many shows require black cloths, which are easily sourced from Amazon, EBay, or can be cheaply made with thick cloth). Some people use shelving or special jewelry cases. All storage should be put away. Tents should be white, preferably flame retardant (some shows have it as a requirement so its easiest to just have it), with three walls up. Some people add fabric to create a curtain or boutique look- this is up to you.

If you hang photos of your work, or any posters, you either need to crop our your business info or hang banners/photos with no identifying information. Most juries are anonymous, so your entry could be disqualified if they can see business information.

You can do a practice setup in a yard or driveway for photos. Take several different versions, in good light, and make sure to ask other artists and friends to help you decided on a photo, or what improvements to make to it. There are a number of groups on Facebook that can help- Art Reviews on Art Festivals, Jewelry Booth and Displays, or Art Fair Reviews. Try not to take the criticism personally- this about helping your art speak for itself, and improving your display so that you can not only be accepted to a show, you can make it more appealing to customers.

When offering photos of your work, they should be clean, focusing on the pieces, in focus (not blurry), and a standard size if a physical print (4 x 6, 5 x 7). Digital prints may be requested in specific files such as JPEG or PDF. Some shows use a website to process applications such as Zapplication or Call For Entry (CAFE).

Next, more on the application process…

*Photos are of Maggie J Jewelry and Morgan Harris Pottery*






Gearing Up For Show Season

Posted on

Good morning, Wednesday readers! This is Kim, from Fantastical Menagerie. I know its winter still, but show season for crafters will be here before you know it! Whether you have been participating in shows for years, or are thinking about starting out, there are always things to learn. I do a combination of Sci Fi Conventions, Art Shows and Festivals throughout the year. All have different requirements. Most have applications that need to be in at least six months before the show is scheduled. When trying to decide if a show is right for you, its important to do some research.

  • Does your product fit the show? This should be the first thing to consider. If you sell Star Wars handbags, then the Pickle Festival might not be the best fit for your merchandise.
  • How long has the show been running? Is it a first year event or have they been in business for years? Shows that are established have worked out many of the issues with hosting or holding an event, and are, for the most part, running smoothly with set guidelines, a devoted fan base and regular customers.
  • Where is the event being held? Is it downtown on the main streets of your town or city? Is it at an event center with ample parking? A pop up shop in a well curated store, with a reputation for events like these? Or is it somewhere less reliable? I haven’t personally found shows in parking lots, gyms, country parks or farms (all examples) to bring out huge crowds with spending money. There is always an event that exceeds expectations, but event location can play a huge role in your success.
  • What is the purpose of the event? If it is a charity or church event, they might be more concerned with their side of making money instead of how vendors or crafters will fare. A family friendly festival might cater to a crowd that has a lower price point, and not necessarily care about whether things are handmade. If at a convention, the celebrity guests might be expensive and cut down on what people have to spend. Its always a good idea to attend an event the year before to see if your goods will fit, how things are run, and if there is competition for what you sell.
  • Is the show Juried? A juried event is one where you send in photographs, slides, or digital images of your work, display, and sometimes WIP pictures with your application. It is judged by category, level of art, and whether its a good fit for the show. If your goal is to do art shows, this means that all vendors at the event should be at similar levels, with a good variety of art represented, with no Direct Sale or commercial companies there. Some other events will ask to see your work, but mostly to make sure you are a good fit for the show. If you are looking at Conventions or local Festivals, this may not be something you need to worry about.
  • What is the expected attendance of the event? You can ask for previous year’s ticket sales, estimated counts, or presale for the current year’s events. Check their Facebook page to see how many ‘Likes’ they have, or how much effort they put into online marketing.
  • Cost vs. Profit. How much is the booth or table fee? Do you have to donate an item for an auction or charity? Make sure to estimate or research additional costs such as gas, hotel, all meals and snacks, and if you need to pay someone to help you with your booth. If it seems to high for what you are likely to sell, it may be an event to skip.

If you have done your research, you can make an educated decision on whether on event is right for you to participate in. Next Wednesday, I will be focusing more on Juried events, and the best way to get those photos taken. *Festival picture is Orange Beach Arts Festival*

Fruit Tart Tutorial Part One

Posted on

Happy Wednesday! This is Kim, with Fantastical Menagerie. Last week we talked about keeping clay soft in winter, today I’m going to start you on how to make fruit tarts in clay.

For this project, you need the following:

  • pastry shell mold, preferably silicone. You can find them on Etsy here
  • a small dollhouse plate
  • Sculpey Bake n Bond. This can be found in the polymer clay aisle.
  • Premo clay in ecru, pomegranate, and either green pearl or jungle green. You can get it from any craft or hobby store.
  • tweezers, needle tool, and flat blade or razor.
  • Optional: pearl x powders in Macropearl, green and antique bronze.

1. Condition your clay. Leave the red until last because the color transfers.

2. Take a small piece of the ecru clay, roll it into a ball, and press it into your mold.

3. Carefully remove your clay from the mold. If there is any excess, use your razor to trim it to shape.

4. Add a small amount of Sculpey Bake & Bond to the plate. Put your tart shell in the center over the adhesive.

5. Optional- use a brush and add a little Pearl X Antique bronze on the tart shell to simulate color from baking. Add a bit of Bake & Bond to the center of the tart.

6. Make your leaves for the strawberries. Roll two small balls of green clay into a teardrop shape. Flatten them, and use your needle to run a line down the center of each. Then use the needle to draw veins into the leaves.

7. Roll out five small balls of Premo Pomegranate clay. Approx 4 mm in diameter. These will become your strawberries.

This tutorial will pick up next Wednesday, where I will show you how to form the strawberries, and then put everything together to form the piece.