Blog Posts by Handmade Spark

  • Why Your New Years Resolution Failed

    winter

    Winter Meadows | $25 | Zenz Photography

    Have you heard the saying, if you fall down one step..don't throw yourself down the entire staircase? As we approach the end of February, now is a good time to pull back up those New Years Resolutions and check in on your progress. Did you crumple up your list after one week or did you come up with an achievable (and realistic) list of goals?

    I see this trend with Handmade Sellers as well. They will have a flurry of activity the first shiny new weeks of the year and then slow down when some goals seem out of reach. Some publicized their goals, "I will have 500 new Facebook Fans this month!" I check back a few days later and their status reads, "Hello? Where are you fans? Am I invisible?" Well, maybe not invisible so much as setting the wrong goal. A much more achievable goal would have been, "I want to get to know ten other sellers through Facebook this week and learn more about them and their business." It is easy to get caught

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  • En Garde Valentine!

    luv ya ceramic handmade mug valentine red

    Valentine Red Grande Mug | $19.75 | KbOriginalsetc

    If you have ever dropped by to read the HideAHeart blog you are aware that I suffer serious Rhinoceros Principle multiplied by a factor of 1,000 so you will not be surprised by my Valentine story.

    In our 19 th year of marriage, I saw and fell in love with the film LIKE WATER FOR CHOCOLATE. My husband did not view the movie because he is not a fan of subtitles. I think it was from the book of the same title that I found the recipe for the 'aphrodisiac brew' and enthusiastically launched a plan to prepare the potion for his Valentine surprise!

    As he prepared to dress for work on Valentine's Day morning, I busied myself in the kitchen. If he had really thought about it, he would have known something mysterious was afoot since I rarely create elaborate breakfasts except for Christmas and Easter.

    Nevertheless, he blithely and trustingly sat down to a lovely breakfast accompanied by my twitterpated chatter describing

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  • How To Make A Crochet Coral Reefs-Handmade Spark

    coral reef crochet

    The Crochet Coral Reef project is so fantastic and on so many levels! It's beautiful, it's ocean creatures (which I'm fascinated by), it's craft, it's art, it's science, it's creativity and infinite possibility. I am drawn to it like a bee to honey. Perhaps the best part is that it's democratic! The Crochet Coral Reef project was contributed to by many many different crafters from all over the world, and anyone can learn how to make these beautiful shapes. All you need to provide is some yarn (a great project to use up some/all of that yarn stash!) and a crochet hook, and you'll be swimming amongst the corals in no time! (Well, it does take a little bit of time.) Here's a printable PDF with instructions for creating hyperbolic crochet from The Institute for Figuring. These are the same instructions I used to learn how to make the two forms in the picture at the top of this post:

    hyperbolic crochet

    Never heard of hyperbolic planes? I hadn't either, until my math friend and wine expert,

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  • What to Say When You Talk To Yourself

    coexistcoexist

    Coexist by Georgianne Holland

    I met the author Shad Helmstetter, Ph.D., at a business conference in San Diego. He is the author of many wonderful self-help titles on the subject of affirmation. I would like to pose one of Shad's questions to each of you, and I believe that anyone in a creative field should think about the answer as it applies to him or her.

    "Think for a moment of the dreams you know you could have accomplished in your own life, think of the talents and skills already within you which could have been developed into lasting achievements had you just had the right amount of self-belief-the belief that you could instead of the belief that you could not."

    Many authors in popular media are now talking about science of the mind kind of research and how the What we Think turns into What is Real. Our brains are such a powerful tool, and interestingly, a tool that grows with us as we age. We can continue to stimulate our mind and guide our thought process so

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  • Build a Better Etsy Shop or Homemade Business: Quick Links

    The Holiday Season has come and gone! The hustle and bustle has begun to quiet down. Now is the perfect time to take the much deserved break….. Ah - NOPE!! Now is the perfect time to reflect on the past year and think about how to do things BETTER!

    2011 cupcake wrapper2011 cupcake wrapper

    PARTY ROUNDS and CUPCAKE Wrappers - printable download pdf |$6.95| Paper & Cake

    Throughout the past couple of months we've provided you with LOTS of information on how to improve your shop and business as a whole. You guys are fabulous so we know that not only have you read all of the blog posts but also implemented all of these valuable tips, tricks and insight, right? Well, you all are still fabulous, but we know you've been extremely busy with trying to sell your items. So I've done the hard part for you!! I've collected all the articles below that you will need to read to start the New Year off right! Now take out a pen and paper and as you go through all these articles, make a list of those you have yet to implement as

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  • Trend Spotting 2011 Colors and Textiles

    In my previous post I discussed Messe Frankfurt's trend predictions for 2011/2012 and the first part of their trend theme, Sobriety. The second part of the Sobriety theme is called Serenity.

    serenityserenity

    The Serenity trend characteristic makes it clear that consumers are re-evaluating their lifestyle and are looking for products to build emotional attachment with.

    New School reinterprets the classic design of the 1950s, while Classic Modernity reflects a style, which symbolises honesty, quality and consistency, evoking nostalgia and authenticity.

    Minimal Luxury satisfies the need for pure, clean, simple designs and symbolises a charming, timeless look.

    These characteristics can be seen exhibited in the following Etsy artisans.

    pillow cushion, reverse applique, gold renaissancepillow cushion, reverse applique, gold renaissance

    Pillow Cushion, Reverse Applique | $49 | tractorgirl

    Chartreuse Green and White Blown Glass Vase Chartreuse Green and White Blown Glass Vase

    Green and White Blown Glass Vase | $200 | corporanglass

    Nocturne Chandelier Nocturne Chandelier

    Nocturne Chandelier | $280 | RelativeDesign

    10in Addison Bamboo Wall Clock 10in Addison Bamboo Wall Clock

    Addison Wall Clock | $124 | pilotdesign

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  • Hot Mulled Cider Recipe: Handmade Spark Member Nicole's Handmade Treats

    Hello! I don't know if you noticed, but it is that time of year: FALL! I love fall and everything about it (except that winter follows!). The days are warm and the nights cools (perfect sleeping weather), and APPLES!! Apples are such a wonderful and versatile fruit - you can do so much with them! My boys and I go apple picking every year and we always pick way more than we need, but we have so much fun! Do you like to pick apples? Today I am going to share a great fall drink made from, APPLES! The following recipe is non-alcoholic, so everyone can partake. ENJOY!

    hot apple cidermulled cider

    Hot Mulled Cider
    Servings: 8

    Ingredients:

    * 1 orange, washed
    * 15 whole cloves
    * 2 quarts apple cider
    * 3 whole cinnamon sticks (plus extra for garnish)

    Directions:

    1.) Peel orange and insert cloves into peel.
    2.) Combine apple cider, orange peel and cinnamon sticks in large stockpot.
    3.) Remove sections from orange and squeeze any remaining juice into cider mixture.

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  • Handmade Ornaments: Art for Your Christmas Tree

    Our newest gallery is but a small selection of the unique handmade ornaments available from our Handmade Spark members. Decorate with one ornament as a focal point, or several for a themed look. Your evergreen tree will thank you!

    Here's a peek at some of the wonderful ornaments in our latest Gallery . . .

    MyMothersGardenMyMothersGarden

    PraireCreationsPraireCreations

    TheGlassCottageTheGlassCottage

    MugzeMugze

    lesperancetileworkslesperancetileworks

    You can see the entire Handmade Ornaments Gallery here.

    Are you a Handmade Spark member with ornaments that you would like us to brag about?

    Please leave a comment below, with a link to your Handmade Spark mini-site product page - for a specific ornament that you are proud of - and we will show it off on our Facebook fan page and on Twitter.

    Thanks and Enjoy!

    Laura Kuhlmann

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  • How To Host a Killer Halloween Bash: Handmade Spark

    Halloween is my favorite holiday of the year for a few reasons. The best part is being able to (even if only for one day) dress up as your favorite character, monster, alter-ego - whatever you want! Second to that is the actual Halloween party. Whether you're hosting a kid friendly bash or adult only gathering, decorations and favors are a must have.

    DIY invitations halloweenDIY invitations halloween

    Halloween Party Invitations |$25| papergirlstudios

    The invitations will set the tone for your party. There are tons of handmade options - pre-printed or DIY.

    Vintage Inspired Halloween Party Hat | $18 |crepeconfectionary

    If you're hosting a party think of your guests' needs first. Party favors and hats are some basic staples.

    Lollipop Party Favors |$7.50| PinkyCrafts

    Don't forget the food! Everyone loves spooky food - cookies, cakes, candy - even punch.

    Heavenly Halloween Cookie Platter |$20 | StoneHouseOven

    Most importantly, have fun planning your party. For other cool Halloween

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  • Steampunk Handmade Jewelry: Holiday Gift Guide on Handmade Spark

    It's time to turn the spotlight on some of our many Handmade Spark sellers that create unique and intricate steampunk handmade jewelry. Feast your eyes on the examples below, and feel free to "accidentally" email this to your significant other for a holiday gift hint or two or three!

    MonsterKookiesMonsterKookies

    BeeisforBeetleBeeisforBeetle

    InsectArtInsectArt

    MysticPiecesMysticPieces

    Click here to see the entire Steampunk Jewelry Gallery.

    Enjoy!

    ~Laura Kuhlmann

    Laura is an editor for Handmade Spark, and self proclaimed earring addict.

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