Saturday, October 31, 2009

October Design Challenge - Day of the Dead!

Day of the Dead (or El Dia de los Muertos) is a holiday that focuses on gatherings of family and friends to pray for and remember friends and family members who have died. Traditions include building private altars honoring the deceased, using sugar skulls, marigolds, and the favorite foods and beverages of the departed, and visiting graves with these as gifts.

This month, the ETC team was challenged to create something befitting of the Day of the Dead. We had 15 entries this month, from 11 different members. To see all the amazing entries, just click HERE.

Thanks to
some very generous members, we were able to provide some wonderful prizes to this month's top 4 finishers:

1st place & a Soldered Glass Pendant from Kym of KymVDesigns go to Anastasia of WildMoonDesign & her Dia de los Muertos Charm Necklace with Hand-painted Skulls entry...

2nd place & a Paperback Book Cover from Kelley of OwlSay go to Beth of BerryBlueCreations and her Vince Voodoo Doll Pincushion entry...

3rd place & a Skull Ornament from Shepherd of Alphabulous go to Ginger of GigisPurseCharms and her Skullkins entry...

4th place & a Set of 2 Luxury Washcloths from Laine of CradleAndAll goes to Carapace of Carapace and her Dance of the Bones entry...

Congratulations to all the winners, and thanks again to all the prize donors for their generous support of this event! Thanks, too, to everyone who voted and helped spread the word about our Challenge by Tweeting, Blogging, Posting, etc -- together, you ALL make this a successful and FUN event every month!

Next month's Design Challenge theme will be Gratitude -- ETC folks, get busy on your entries!

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Tuesday Tutorial - Pretty Little Flowers for Your Hair

Connie, of ReFabulous, is sharing another wonderful tutorial with us, this time for pretty little fabric flowers for your hair! The original tutorial appeared on her blog...

We recently spent an afternoon crafting some lovely hair bobbies. These are so simple to make! The flowers can be used in many different ways, as well -- hair clips, brooches, pins, embellishments. . . .

We used reclaimed dress linings to make these -- I had plenty left over from my deconstruction for sachets, and I never knew what to do with this type of fabric before. It's a synthetic fabric, a silky polyester.

(CAUTION: please use extreme caution when using this tutorial, as a flame is used in this process. Do NOT allow children or pets near the flame, and do not allow children to play with the flame, burn themselves or anyone/anything else. I am not responsible for any accidents or injuries resulting from this free tutorial.)

To make these little hair bobbies (or clips, brooches, pins, etc.), you will need:

* synthetic fabric, such as polyester
* scissors
* candle and matches/lighter
* glass jar, filled with water
* clothes pin
* a piece of foil
* needle
* thread
* beads, buttons or other embellishments
* hair bobby, clip, pin blank, etc.
* strong adhesive, such as E6000

1. Cut out circles (or whatever shape you like) from the polyester that are slightly larger than your desired finished flower size. We used concentric circles for ours for a fuller, layered look. Be sure to cut a few extra, to allow for experimenting and mess-ups.

2. Light your candle, and place on a sturdy surface, away from flammables, pets and children. Place your jar of water within reach.

3. Using a clothes pin, hold one fabric circle over -- not in -- the flame of the candle.

You'll want to experiment with a few extra circles, as different fabrics will act uniquely when held near the flame. Some will curl in one direction, some turn colors, some crinkle. Holding them closer to the flame or longer will also achieve different results. Once you've achieved the look you want, set the circle aside on the foil to cool.

4. Repeat on all the fabric circles. Extinguish your candle when you are finished.

5. EXTREMELY IMPORTANT: If you hold the fabric circle still for too long, or too close to the flame, it will scorch and/or catch on fire. If this happens, quickly and carefully place the burning fabric in the jar of water to extinguish the flame. Be very vigilant -- as some fabrics tend to ignite quicker than others!

6. Next, arrange and stack your fabric circles (petals) into flowers.

7. Using your needle and thread, sew a few stitches through all the layers of petals -- just a little "X" will do -- fastening all the petals together. Tie off thread in the back of the flower.

8. Now, attach your flower center. If you are using beads or buttons, stitch them in place, tying off the thread in the back of the flower. If you are using other embellishments, a strong adhesive (such as E6000) may be used to attach them to the flower.

9. Finally, attach your flower to a hair bobby, clip or pin back using your strong adhesive.

10. Set aside on the foil, and allow it to dry thoroughly, according to your adhesive's recommendation.

And that's it! So simple, and so pretty. The possibilities are endless -- imagine these flowers layered with ribbon, mesh, tulle, organza. . . or topped with an antique brooch or cameo! These would make sweet little gifts for teachers, co-workers and friends, or even lovely stocking stuffers. Have fun!

For lots more photos and a video illustrating how quickly these fabrics change and curl, please check out Connie's full tutorial on her blog.

Thanks again, Connie, for sharing another awesome project with us!

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Tuesday Tutorial - Pretty Little Gift Pouch

Angie, of AngieHallHaviland, has graciously allowed me to share her Pretty Little Gift Pouch tutorial with you. This wonderful tutorial was originally published on Paper Imagery Designs blog...

I saw an ad recently on a magazine for a new green magazine and there was a toilet tissue roll made into a gift pouch. I really really love to recycle, reuse, and repurpose everything I can. I wanted my Toilet tissue roll gift pouch to be reusable...what good is recycling if the person you give it to throws it right in the trash?? and of course I wanted it to be pretty :O)

The possibilities are endless for these Pretty Little Gift Pouches....For mine I used scraps and had a blast making it. They are a wonderful size...they will hold a necklace, charms, little goodies, a gift card or something everyone loves $. I'm thinking come Christmas time...add a ribbon for hanging and put them on the tree :)

So you will need.....
Toilet Tissue Roll
Paper and/or trim scraps
hole punch
misc. items (I even used a candy wrapper from my current favorite chocolates)
Image from Paper Imagery Designs
acrylic paint

I painted my tissue roll with an off white acrylic paint and let it dry. Then flattened my tissue roll and glued the bottom closed (put close pins on it to hold it closed while drying). I then glued on papers, pieces of foil candy wrapper, and this sweet little PID image....added a scrap of lace and a flower and button center. Then I punched holes in the top. I added the surprise gift to the inside and then strung a length of ribbon into the holes and tied a bow. That's it. FUN!!

Thanks again, Angie, for allowing me to re-post your tutorial!!!

Have a tutorial you'd like to recommend for our blog? E-mail the information (and link) to us at and you just might see it here!

Monday, October 12, 2009

What's New With ETC?

Today is our day to introduce our newest team members and to show off our newest creations. We are welcoming 40 new members today, bringing our total membership to 773 shops! So, please join us, say "Howdy!", and check out our latest goodies! You're sure to have a great time!!!

And don't forget to join us tomorrow for a great new Tuesday Tutorial!

Friday, October 9, 2009

4th Quarter Group Gift Swap for Christmas Holidays!

It's time to sign up for our final swap of the year! The 4th Quarter Group Gift swap for the Christmas/Holiday season!

This will be a group swap with about 5 people per group, depending on how many people sign up.

Deadline to sign up is Monday, October 19th!

For more information and to sign up, click HERE!

Sunday, October 4, 2009

It's time for our First Monday SALE!!!!

With 113 shops participating in this month's sales, there's bound to be something for everyone, at a price you can't resist! Click HERE for the full list of sales -- remember, sales and special offers good for Monday, 10/5, ONLY!