A Store Review!
I only recommend products I use, and that also extends to stores too.
A few weeks ago, I mentioned a new (to me) store for vinyl supplies for the Scan and Cut. It was recommended to me by Wendy from My Abundant Life, and I had to wait to visit the store.
Well folks I am in love!
Happy Crafts in Pakenham, Victoria is now one of my happy places.
One of my biggest complaints/gripes/problems with the Scan and Cut was the cost of the vinyl, both permanent and HTV, available.
Spotlight is very expensive, even on sale, and that was limiting my use of the machine. And you all know I don't like having something sitting idle - that's wasted money and storage real estate.
So I had a look at the Happy Crafts website. Oh boy! What a treasure trove of crafting supplies. And the prices - I actually kept checking them because I was sure I had them wrong. No, they are well within this Cheapskate crafter's budget.
So I placed an online order, just a little one.
It arrived in just a few days, and it was beautifully packaged. The vinyl pieces I ordered were wrapped in tissue to protect them during shipping, everything was laid out neatly and packaged so it wouldn't shift around. The whole parcel arrived in perfect condition.
I was impressed!
So Hannah and I jumped in the car and went to do some in-person shopping. Now you have to understand that from home to Packenham is quite a journey - about 42 kilometres one way, so an 84 kilometre round trip. If there's no traffic it takes about 30 minutes, in traffic it can take up to 45 minutes. Ho hum - I wanted this trip to be worthwhile.
First, it is so very easy to find. Coming from Melbourne, take the Koo Wee Rup Rd exit off the freeway, turn left and then at the next roundabout turn right. Take a right turn at the second street along, then left at the end and Happy Crafts is just a couple of factories down on the left. There is onsite parking, as well as street parking.
Go through the door and you are in a vinyl crafter's wonderland. There are colours on display for HTV (heat transfer vinyl), removable and permanent vinyl - so many colours in gloss, matte, metallics, shimmer and glitter - even fluro! It is a feast for the eyes.
Happy Craft stocks the full range of Oracal vinyl (my absolute favourite to use) - something you don't get at the big craft stores. I saw colours I didn’t know existed, including two I couldn't resist that are limited editions (French Rose, and South Sea Turquoise - so, so pretty).
As soon as you walk through the door one of the very friendly (and extremely knowledgeable) staff will ask if you need help, or, if they are busy, they will politely excuse themselves to the customer they are serving to let you know they'll be available soon. So nice, you feel welcome and special.
Along with the various vinyl products, there are acrylic and wooden blanks, sashes, apron blanks and neoprene products. Oh the joy to find neoprene stubby holders, juice box holders and ice block holders in so many gorgeous colours, and at such a great price. I couldn't resist and we did buy some, and you'll see them in our store.
They also stock Cricut accessories. I did talk to the lovely owner about the Brother Scan and Cut, and I'll be watching their website for some news on that front, hopefully soon.
This is a family run business, and you can tell that their customers are very important to them.
All in all, this is a 10/10 shop. Prices, range, service are all exactly what this Cheapskate shopper and crafter wants.
Mobile: 0422 578 858 (best way to contact us for urgent enquiries)
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org (usually replies within 24hours)
Showroom is located at 49b Peet Street Pakenham Victoria 3810
Showroom Walk-in Hours
Mon 1:30pm - 4:30pm
Wed- Fri 1:30pm - 4:30pm
Sat 10:00am - 2:00pm
Click & Collect Hours
Mon 9:30pm - 4:30pm
Wed- Fri 9:30pm - 4:30pm
Sat 10:00am - 2:00pm
If you love your Brother Scan and Cut, and use lots of vinyl, I can highly recommend checking with Happy Craft, the prices, range and service are exceptional.
Make It Monday Week 3, 2023
This week was a sewing and card making week.
I cut out tea towel toppers ready to sew. I like to sew these in batches, and work production line style doing all the cutting, then all the gathering, all the sewing etc. at once. I feel like I get more done with my time when I work like this.
I took advantage of a clearance sale at Kmart and stocked up on cotton tea towels and matching pot holders. I have already planned what to do with them, and started to sort them into piles ready to start sewing.
I made some cards to practice a new (to me) stamping technique that I really like. I'm happy with how they have turned out. Some of these will be for the February birthdays and some will go to the nursing homes.
I printed off some vintage images onto photo paper and used them to cover little notebooks for the present box. I love them, they are so vintage and cute and luxurious.
I made blueberry jam using blueberries I was able to get for $1 a punnet. It is delicious.
I made tzatziki using MOO Greek yoghurt, cucumber I picked that morning and garlic I harvested a while back. I picked a lemon off the tree for the lemon juice. The only thing not home grown or made was the salt! It was delicious.
I practiced a new technique - etching using the Brother Scan and Cut and decorated the jam jars. I love how they turned out and now my mind is filling up with ideas of gifts to make.
And I have something exciting to announce - just finalising the details and I'll be sharing with you all!
What did you make, bake, sew and grow last week?
Turn Those Christmas Cards Into Something Beautiful and Useful
These were cards, the fronts cut off and they will be used as present or gift bag toppers
I know some of you have already done this, but recycling last year's Christmas card into gift tags and even little gift card holders is simple, easy and quick. It's also a good way to keep some money in your gift budget! It may only save you $2 or $3 but that money can be used to buy materials for another gift on your list, and keep you on budget.
This year we had some really pretty Christmas cards and I wanted a way to recycle them and keep the "pretty" on them.
First I cut the fronts from the backs. Actually I very carefully ripped them apart, but you could cut them if you wanted to.
Then I put them into piles:
Pile A: gift tags
Pile B: gift card holders
Pile C: present toppers
To make the gift tags I cut the card fronts down to either 3-1/2" x 2" or 3" circles, depending on the image I wanted to use. Then I just punched a hole near the top and threaded through 8" of gold cord folded in half.
These were all cut from the backs of Christmas cards. Even the back can be recycled into a tag so don't forget to look at them!
Sentiments cut from the fronts of Christmas cards and embellished with bows. They can be used as present toppers or gift tags.
These were all cut from the insides of Christmas cards and repurposed into gift tags
This was one card front cut into five gift tags - you really are limited only by your imagination
To make the gift card holders I cut the card fronts down to make a little card and folded it in half. On the inside I centred a gift card, then marked the corners. Use a scalpel or very sharp knife to cut slits at the corners to hold the gift card in place.
Present toppers were so much fun. I chose the part of the card front I wanted to feature and fussy cut around it. Then I pulled out the gel pens and glitter and ribbons and lace and flowers and started embellishing the picture. Some double sided foam tape on the back so it can be stuck to a gift or a gift bag and they were done.
This is a present or gift bag topper made by combining two different card fronts and embellished with some red ribbon
This card front is so pretty I'm not sure if I'll use it as a present topper or make a little frame for it and use it as Christmas decor
Card fronts cut with dies to trim to size. I use these as present or gift bag toppers.
So use your imagination. Don't toss those cards or shove them in a drawer to just take up space. Put them to use and extend their life. Oh, and save some money in your gift budget.
Don't forget to check in for our Make It Monday show and tell over at Cheapskates Chatter, we'd love to see what you've made.
Make It Monday Week 2 2023
Hello Lovely Crafter,
Welcome to week 2 of our Make It Monday show and tell.
Have you been busy making, baking, growing or sewing?
I had to move out of the craft room and turn it back into a bedroom as we had guests for a few days. I just spread out over the kitchen table, like I used to before Hannah moved out and I had a craft room, so I could keep working on my list.
And then it all came to a halt, and not much was done, but every little thing adds to the present box and gets me ahead with gifts and household needs.
This past week I cut some little treat boxes on the Scan and Cut, to use for little Valentine's Day treats. We don't normally make a fuss of this day on the calendar, but this year I think we all need cheering up and a little something special after the trials and struggles of the last three years. Closer to the date I'll either made some chocolates or find something on sale to put in them.
I learned a new crochet technique? pattern? while I had to just sit. It makes pot holders.
I printed off some free sentiments from Shabby Art Boutique ( one of my favourite resources for ideas and free embellishments and ephemera) and cut them out using the Scan and Cut. While I was sitting I cut some inserts for coloured card bases, ready to use during the year.
Picked lots of cucumbers and zucchini from the garden, and continued to put strawberries and raspberries in the freezer.
Worked on my lists for the next week, month and the rest of the year.
Went to a card class on Friday, but wasn't able to stay the full time. I did get some great ideas for new card layouts and practiced a stamping technique that's going to save a lot of money and extend the use of my stamps, and I met some lovely new people.
What did you make, bake, grow or sew last week?
Make It Monday Week 1 2023
Hello Lovely Crafters,
It's our first official Make It Monday.
I've always called Monday, Make It Monday in my mind and in my diary. It's the day I try to do something creative, to make something either for a gift or our home or even to sell. I think I chose Monday because when the kids were small it was the one day of the week I didn't have any extra curricular chores - no reading, or swimming or library to do, no Church business to attend to. Monday was my day for sewing and crafting and I took full advantage of it.
Last week on the Cheapskates Club live YouTube show, Planning for a Handmade Christmas, Jane asked if we could do a weekly show and tell on our Facebook group, and Make It Monday was started, even though it was a Tuesday!
So last week the craft room was very, very active.
It started with finishing off the New Year clean and organise. I finally made the labels for the cubbies in the craft room - it's only been a year!
Then I had to find space for the Cricut Easy Press No. 1 Son gave me for my birthday (and he made his mother cry!).
Of course I had to find some projects for the Easy Press so I printed some images from The Graphics Fairy and transferred them to some tea towels. It was so much easier than using the iron or the Mini Press (and I love my Mini Press). This tool will get a regular workout I'm sure; the list of iron on projects is growing.
Next on the list was working on the birthday cards for January and a few for the retirement village (they requested more). I bundled up two envelopes to send off on Monday, one to the retirement village and one to CWA.
An order came in for white daisy dishcloths, so I spent some time listening to YouTube while I crocheted them - they were a special order, I've never thought to crochet or knit white dishcloths. I love them, they look so fresh - fresh as a daisy!
I worked on tutorials and videos for both here and The Cheapskates Club (our parent site).
Before any project was started, I asked myself if I had everything needed, or would something have to be bought? If the answer was something needed to be bought, I rethought the process and came up with either a solution using what was already in the craft room, or a new idea. I'm still trying to only use what I have, and not spend any more money to make gifts. So far, so good - no out of pocket money spent.
I made trifle for dessert and it lasted three days. I love trifle, and Wayne does too, and it's great for using up stewed fruit or stale cake (not that cake gets to go stale too often in our house). The weather has been very hot and quite muggy, so I've been making jelly every morning and putting it in the fridge. Ice cold jelly with fruit has been our dessert/after dinner snack this week.
Most of our meals were cooked from scratch, here at home, using pantry ingredients. We did have a delicious Indian meal for my birthday, and instead of going out, we chose to have it delivered and eat at home. It was so good, and under $60 for five, with leftovers that are in the freezer.
The garden is finally starting to look like a garden. It has been very slow this spring/summer. The tomatoes finally have flowers and the zucchini and cucumbers are producing. The celery is growing well, and the beans have flowers at last.
I've been picking a handful of raspberries and strawberries every morning and putting them in the freezer. When there's enough they will be come jam for the family.
What have you been making, baking, growing or sewing this week?
January in the Craft Room
Well it's almost January and time to really knuckle down and get the craft list finalised so I know what's what in 2023.
I also need to get the Christmas cards finished, especially the overseas cards, and the gift list finished, although that can wait until November.
So here's my January craft room to-do list (it's not too bad considering!):
Lost Socks laundry sign
Welcome to my Craft Room sign (gift)
Blue pot holders (gift)
Tutorial for Christmas wrapped candle bundles
Tutorial for Card Kits - done
Blue milk bottles - add flower labels, add flowers
Make labels for button jar - (gift)
White wooden tray - cut sentiment (gift)
Laundry sign green
Peter Rabbit baby card (gift)
January birthday cards - done
Embroider tea towel toppers - shop
Label cubes - done
Canning mats (3 gifts)
Apron Christmas cards - shop
CWA cards - done
Nursing home general cards - done
Nursing home Christmas cards - done
Tvan hand towels - fabric top
Tvan pot holders
Tvan Tea Towels - embroider
There may be some, all, or no videos for these projects depending on time and circumstances and I may or may not get all or some of these things crossed off the list!