Saturday, September 7, 2019

Gift Wrap

     It's only September, but artists and crafters have been thinking about Christmas for weeks. Ideas need to be honed into plans. Supplies have to be ordered. Hands have to get to work.  Art and handcrafted items take time as well as creativity. 

     Getting a hand crafted present at the holidays is always a treat.  But I think it's even better if the package is festive and pretty.  I love to look at gift wrap ideas on Pinterest and in magazines.  A pretty box makes the gift all that more special. 

      So this year I'm trying to improve my gift packaging. It needs to reflect my brand, Desert Dabbler, as well as look festive and fun.  Different items require different size boxes, too.  I have wildlife paper for the larger sized boxes that hold my wildlife necklaces.  But most of my packages are smaller and need a properly sized box.  I've been using gold and white boxes.

I bought labels for the tops of the boxes.  Then I began adding a pretty orchid bow.

This year I'm thinking of replacing the label with a coyote.  What do you think?

Do you like the new gift wrap?  Drop me a comment if you have a preference or idea. 

Monday, August 19, 2019

Summer is Ending???

    It's hard to believe that summer will soon be over. Here in the part of Arizona where I live we haven't even had our monsoon rains.  We've had excessive heat warnings for days and days. Our skies should have looked like this:

     Instead its been hot and dry.  For the entire year we've only had 3.70" of rain.
Whether we'll get some rain between now and September 30, the official end of the monsoon, remains to be seen.
    But while the end of September may be the official end of the monsoon, the unofficial end of summer is Labor Day.   And Labor Day is fast approaching.  It's only about 14 days away.  Schools, which used to start right after Labor Day, started here last week.  The calendar does seem to be spinning faster and faster.

     According to Etsy, Labor Day is now a big shopping event. School supplies and new shoes were always bought at our house around this time of year.  But the experts say other items are in demand today.

      To mark the occasion, Etsy is sponsoring a sale event and encouraging shops like mine to participate.  So I am. 

       Beginning August 30 I'm offering 10% off of summer items in my shop.  You'll find summery floral earrings as well as bracelets in bright colors.

     Click on the shop sign on the right to go directly into Desert Dabbler Handcrafted Jewelry.   Hope you'll find something you like!

       In the meantime, send some rain our way.

Thursday, July 18, 2019

Wildlife in Rocky Mountain National Park

Wildlife in Rocky Mountain National Park

    Last week we went to Estes Park, Colorado, where the Rocky Mountain National Park is located.  It's not a huge park, but a beautiful one.  A third of the park is above 11,000 feet.   
     We went up to the alpine visitor center a couple of times. It was nice and cool.  No wonder the elk like to hang out there in the summer.  We saw lots of elk and a family of marmots.  

One of the smaller herds of elk enjoying the sun.

An elk cooling off in one of the many snow patches in the high country.

The mountain weather was a nice treat and break from the heat of Arizona.  I hated to leave.


Sunday, July 7, 2019

Fairy Door Bracelet

     A few weeks ago I wrote a post about fairy houses. I mentioned that I was working on a bracelet that featured a fairy door. It’s finished now!

Here’s a long view

     The project was very different from the jewelry I usually make. They usually involve animals or gemstones. This features fairies and glass beads and pearls.  Plus it was based on a design by Kate McKinnon in her book “Jewelry Architect”.
      The clasp started out as a pendant that I bought from an Etsy shop in England.  The bail was cut off, and it was glued to bead embroidery backing.  The clasp was a project that involved a village - my husband and his saw and my beading friends who gave me great advice.
       The door opens!  I glued fairy scrapbook paper inside, but it could have held a little picture.
        It’s one of a kind!  Fun to make and fun to wear.

Sunday, June 16, 2019

Quail Chicks in the Courtyard

Quail Chicks Hatched

      A pair of Gambel's Quail made a nest in the blue flower pot this year.

   I couldn't get a good count, but it looked like 10 or 12 hatched.  I never could get all of them in the same photo.  They're very fast!

I hope they come back next year!

Tuesday, June 4, 2019

Fairy House Card

    I'm working on a new bracelet project that has a fairy door for the clasp.  It's a WIP that's almost done. I hope to show it here soon.  In the meantime, while trying to find what I wanted for the clasp, I found a variety of fairy doors and fairy houses.  Some were big garden ones and some, like this one, were DIY ones. Perfect for card making.

     I bought some fairy and tree paper at the local Scraps of Love paper store.

   I made a tree pattern and cut it out.  I bought plywood fairy door parts on Amazon and painted them. They came in 4 parts so it was easy to paint.

The only down side is that it costs a lot to mail the card.  The Post Office treats it (and prices it) like a small package. So far they haven't accepted fairy dust as payment either.

Are you a card maker or a DIY'er?  If you'd like free instructions and a list of where to buy the components I used, sign up to follow me.