Craft Show Lessons Learned

My name is Jeanie and I’m a craft show failure. And I’m here to tell you about the lessons I learned regarding craft shows.
craft-show If you’ve been wanting to sell your crafts at a show, and have wondered what it’s like, read on:

This is not a craft show advice post. There’s plenty of that out there.

I’m just sharing my experience of being a craft show failure ; )

Maybe people just don’t like my stuff? Or maybe I’m asking too much? Or maybe everyone read my tutorials and have made their own!


I mean, who doesn’t want their kid or grandkid to have their own personalized Santa sack????

To be fair, the “shows” I participated in weren’t really “craft” shows.

Well, the first one was. Or should have been. There just weren’t any customers/shoppers!

And what’s up with the home party/show vendors? I thought craft shows were for crafters! Not tupperware, 31 bags, Scentsy stuff, Pampered Chef, etc.???? What is that? Is that the norm? Can you tell it’s been a while since I’ve been to a craft show????

Lesson #1: is it REALLY a craft show? or is it a VENDOR/CRAFT show? There’s a difference.

If the shoppers are there to buy handmade crafts, you’ll probably sell more!

And this show wasn’t even advertised!

Lesson #2: make sure event is advertised!

(I DID sell a Santa sack – to another stand holder – she was the only customer I had all day!) I ended up leaving early – what a waste of my day!


I’m just not sure I’m cut out for this craft show business.

But I had to give it a go! I have received tons of email requests over the years asking if I sold the projects that I’ve shown on the blog. I always had to respond “no”. But now that I’m “retired” and a full-time blogger, I thought, “hey, let’s try this selling thing”.  Where are those people now??? ; )

So, not one to give up after one attempt – I tried it again. This time it was a “country fair”.


Very well advertised. Lots of people. However.

These people were NOT there to buy handmade gifts. They were there to look at the classic and antique cars, the square dancing demos, and the AKC events.

Lesson #3: only participate in “craft only” shows. Not multi-purpose shows.

So now the question is: will I try to sell at a “real” craft show. The answer is short: ETSY

How about you? I would love to hear about your experience and/or advice regarding selling at craft shows.

My “LOVE IT” Moment

The renovation of my powder room last summer was my all-time favorite home improvement success story. It was the first time that I completely gutted a room and totally remodeled it. By myself! Did I bite off more than I could chew???


Oh, there were moments when I thought “what did I get myself into?”


Like when I installed crown moulding for the first time.


But that moment after I put in the finishing touches and then stood back and admired my new powder room was when it hit me. My “LOVE IT” moment.

You know what I’m talking about, right? You know when it happens. That feeling you get knowing you’ve finally created your dream space. Well, wants you to share that moment and get entered to win a $1,000 shopping spree!

Do you have a “Love it” moment?

Share a favorite DIY project on Twitter or Instagram with the hashtag #loveitmoment. Include before and after photos, as well as your “Love it” reaction for a chance to win $1000 shopping spree on!

For more inspiration and expertise, follow on Pinterest, Facebook, and YouTube. You’ll be sure to find future “Love it” projects!

My next big renovation project is probably going to be the full bathroom upstairs. Am I up for that challenge? Well, like I said last week, I have some studying to do. I’ll be visiting the Bathroom Learning Center at where they have inspiration, buying guides, and install guides. I’m inspired by this bathroom remodel.

my bathroom now

There is currently just an old, rusty, yucky shower stall in that bathroom. I’d like to replace it with a bathtub with a ceramic tile surround like in the video. And that means a wall demolition. And the plumbing? Yeah, I have no idea! I may have to call on the experts at for that part.

inspiration tub

Yes, now this is what I have in mind!

floor tile

With this gray ceramic floor tile.


And a new vanity of course!

I encourage you to visit the Learning Center, check out their YouTube page, and even speak to an expert to help get you started on a project you may be too nervous to begin on your own or to help you finish a project you are currently working on.

Backyard Beach Party with S’mores

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #LetsMakeSmores #CollectiveBias #sponsored

backyard-smores-party Who doesn’t love the beach, camp fires and S’mores!

I know those are three of my favorite things about summer. And I brought them all together to celebrate the beginning of the summer season with a backyard beach party for my family complete with a S’mores Bar and a camp fire all set up and ready to go to make our favorite summer treat: S’mores!

backyard beach party with smores

It’s the details that can make a family get-together or party special and memorable. And the good news is that you don’t need to spend a lot of money to include those special and unique details.

backyard beach party with smores

For my beach-inspired S’mores Bar, I bought a few inexpensive sand toys and used them to hold and display the S’mores ingredients. I even dug out and cleaned off a few sand toys that we already had. I love how the Honey Maid Graham Crackers look in the sand shovel!


Did you know that Honey Maid also makes square Graham Crackers just for S’more-making???


How cool is that! And they’re only available at Walmart.


Check out the sand bucket full of Kraft’s Jet Puffed Marshmallows. Sweet!

Backyard Beach Party with S'mores

The cute, little, colorful tin sand pails ($1 each) are displaying the Hershey’s Milk Chocolate bars, crushed graham crackers and Hershey’s Heath English Toffee Bits.


I found the $1 plastic tablecloth and matching dessert plates at my local party store and I scored the fish lights at my neighborhood yard sale for a dollar! They make a pretty and colorful backdrop for the S’mores bar along with a couple of boogie boards and beach balls. A straw mat, tiki torch, and two beach chairs – all things that we already own – complete this colorful beach S’mores bar.


It was a fun, easy, and inexpensive way to create a memorable, fun, and tasty dessert party that everyone enjoyed.


Try adding a sprinkle of Hershey’s Heath English Toffee Bits to add another flavor layer to your next S’more.

And for the “I don’t like toasted marshmallow” fans in the crowd, how about melting the Hershey’s Milk Chocolate bars and then dipping the Kraft’s Jet Puffed Marshmallow in the melted chocolate and then roll the chocolate covered marshmallow into the crushed Honey Maid Graham Cracker Squares.  Yum!!!!


Remember, that you don’t need to have a campfire to make s’mores. S’mores can be made indoors too! Follow the microwave instructions on the back of the Jet-Puffed StackerMallows bag for how to make S’mores in seconds! Make any day a S’mores day!

I have also heard the S’mores made with Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups are to die for. I’m going to have to try one. What about you? How do you make S’mores? Do you have a favorite way of making and serving up these favorite summertime treats?

DIY Wedding Gift

This is perfect timing. My niece’s wedding is this weekend and this month’s Silhouette Challenge is DIY Gifts! This is what I made for the lovely couple.


Hopefully my niece is too busy with last minute wedding details to see this post and this framed photo will be a surprise ; )

Here’s how I made it (warning: this is crazy-simple): First, I stalked my niece’s Facebook page and found an engagement photo (that I adore), saved it to my iPhone, and had an 8 x 10 print made at my local drug store.


Next, in Silhouette Studio, I drew an 8 x 10 rectangle (the size of the frame), then typed and spaced the words within the rectangle. I cut the words out of white vinyl and adhered them to the top glass of the frame using transfer tape. Then I popped the photo into the frame behind the glass. It doesn’t get much easier than that!


This wedding gift only took a few minutes to make and I think they’re going to love it. I love making gifts with my Silhouette because the gifts can be personalized for the recipient. And it’s so fast and easy! Seriously, where can you get a handmade, one-of-a-kind, personalized gift made in just minutes??? I love my Silhouette ; )

I can’t wait to give this gift to the bride and groom, and I can’t wait for this wedding! Weddings are the only time when my entire family manages to be at the same place at the same time. I have three brothers and two sisters; add in their spouses, kids and grandchildren and we total well over 20. Add in the fact that we are scattered over four states then it’s easy to see why all of us getting together is quite a feat!

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Want to Check Out More Silhouette Projects?

My Silhouette Challenge buddies and I are all sharing projects on our blogs today, so peruse the projects below for a wealth of Silhouette inspiration!

DIY Kentucky Bourbon Etched Glass Set: Perfect Gift for Dad! Silhouette Monogram Ideas - Easy Monogram Photo DAD Accordian Fold Father's Day Card Etched Oregon Swing Top Bottle  - May Silhouette Challenge Leather Bookmark DIY Wedding Gift Etched Glass Vase with a Silhouette How To Make Etched Glass Tile Coasters Simple Handmade Gifts for Under $10.00 Family Tree Frame with Vinyl Mother's Day Etched Glass Terrarium: The Perfect DIY Gift Wood Monogram Wire Bracelet The Art of the Etched Casserole Dish: Your Questions Answered! Faux Chalk Mason Jar Glass Delicious! Any More? An etched Glass plate

1. Weekend Craft // 2. Where The Smiles Have Been // 3. Confessions of an Overworked Mom // 4. Simply Kelly Designs // 5. Adventures in All Things Food // 6. Sisters, What! // 7. Create & Babble // 8. Creative Ramblings // 9. Practically Functional // 10. Briick by Briick // 11. My Paper Craze // 12. DIYJustCuz // 13. Made in a Day // 14. The Thinking Closet // 15. Architecture of a Mom // 16. Get Silvered

How I Saved My Life

Typing that title: “How I saved my life” sounds so dramatic. But the truth is, I did. By taking a test. Not taking a test, really. More of a “having a procedure” done.

If you have already turned 50 years old, you may know to which procedure I’m referring. The dreaded colonoscopy. As soon as I turned 50, my family doctor gently reminded me every year that I still needed to have that done. “Yes, yes, I’ll schedule that”, I would say. Fully meaning it, but never getting around to it.

Biking the C&O Canal Towpath

Until last month. I went to see my family doctor for a totally unrelated symptom: heartburn. She recommended that I see a gastroenterologist and have an EGD (an upper endoscopy) done. The gastro doctor noticed that I hadn’t yet had the “wellness” colonoscopy done and recommended that I have it done during the same appointment as the EGD since they do them both and I’d be under anesthesia anyway. I agreed and knew my family doctor would be happy that I was finally having it done. (Like I was doing her a favor).

The EGD and colonoscopy were done on a sunny Monday morning at the end of March. The procedures themselves were no big deal. In fact, I was asleep throughout and have no memory of them. What I do remember is waking up in the recovery area and hearing the nurse say that the doctor would be in soon to discuss the results. Hmmm. I knew right away that something was up.

I could hear cheerful conversations going on behind curtains with other patients that were entirely different than what was said to me. I overheard “everything looks great, you did wonderfully.” All I heard was: the doctor will be here shortly. No “you did great!” or other light banter.

Then the curtain was pulled back and my gastro doctor was standing there and he was not smiling. What he said was: “Thank you for having the colonoscopy done. You saved your life.” My heart sank and Dan and I looked at each other and I think we were both holding our breaths while the doctor continued to explain that he had removed 4 small polyps but that he also encountered a large mass that was too large to remove with the scope. (he did take a piece that was sent to pathology) He thinks that it had been growing there for maybe two years. I would need surgery to remove it. “Do you have a surgeon?” Do I have a surgeon??? Did he just ask me that? Yeah, he’s out playing golf right now with my attorney, my accountant, and my PR rep. No, I don’t have a surgeon. Could you recommend one?

Of course he could. They immediately made an appointment for the very next day with an oncology surgeon. I was scared. Very scared. The surgeon said he was going to treat this as if it were cancer even though they were not sure it was. Yet.  I was immediately sent across the street to the hospital for a CT scan and blood work. I would know the results of the biopsy, the CT scan, and the blood work on Friday. That was the longest week of my life. Friday finally came and I thank God there were absolutely no signs of cancer. Anywhere. However, I still needed the surgery to remove the mass. It was not a question of if the mass would become malignant, but a question of when.

I underwent an open right hemicolectomy. Sounds awful, doesn’t it? Well, it was. Surgery is no fun, but I’ll take it any day over radiation, chemotherapy, and everything else involved with colon cancer. I know of a few people going through colon cancer right now. And I thank my lucky stars, God, and my doctors for finding this growth before it was too late. I’m not going to complain about a large abdominal scar and missing a few inches of a large colon when I think about what could have been.


I wasn’t sure I would write about this since it has nothing to do with crafting, decorating and DIYing, but I thought it was too important not to share with you. After all, my family and closest friends know and I consider you all to be part of that circle, too.

Do me a favor please. (warning: this where I’m going to go all “Katie Couric” on everyone): If you (or someone you love) are age 50*+ and have not had a colonoscopy done, please schedule one today. It really is no big deal and it could very well save your life.

*I was told that if there is a history of colon polyps in your immediate family, you should have your first colonoscopy at age 40.


Do it for your kids, do it for your grandkids, do it for yourself. Just do it.

Easy Daisy Wall Art

Are you like me and pin lots of great ideas on Pinterest and never make them? I think a lot of people are like that. I’ve made a couple of things that I found on Pinterest, but not too many. I’m going to challenge myself to do more. I found this Pin last summer and asked Dan if he could draw the outline of the daisy(I have no drawing skills at all) for me on an old piece of wood, but we just never got around to it. Until now.


And I did it without Dan’s drawing skills ; )  Here’s how:


First I found some leftover boards in my wood pile and cut three lengths to 16″ long. The boards are 4″ wide. I made three pocket holes on two of the boards with my Kreg jig and attached the boards together with pocket screws.


On the front of the assembled board, I brushed on a light coat of black paint. As I said, I have no drawing skills whatsoever, so I made a petal shape and a circle shape using my Silhouette Cameo and simply traced the outlines of those shapes on the board with a small brush and white acrylic craft paint.


Next, I just “colored” in the lines using some leftover latex paint. I didn’t worry about the brush strokes.


Then I mixed some yellow and gold acrylic paint together and painted in the center of the flower. Easy peasy!


To give the flower some depth and dimension, I dry brushed on some light strokes of the black paint.


What I love most about this daisy wall art is that it didn’t cost me anything to make it, since I had everything on hand and got to use up some scrap wood.


Daisies and chickens go together, right? Dan is pleased as punch that his mother’s ceramic chicken has a place on the mantle shelf ; )

Disclosure: This most may contain affiliate links. If you make a purchase using one of these links, I may make a small commission at no additional cost to you. As always, I only recommend products and services that I use and love.

I link to these fun parties:

Making MondayMonday FundayBewitchin’ Projects Block Party / Inspire Me Monday Skip the HouseworkInspiration Monday  / Project Inspired  / Something to Talk About / Creative Spark / The Scoop / Tutorials & Tips / Hit Me With Your Best Shot/ One Project at a Time / Show & Share / Whimsy Wednesday /  Wow Us Wednesdays / This Is How We Roll / Weekend Retreat / Creativity UnleashedThe Creative CircleFreedom Fridays / Feathered Nest Friday / Link Party Palooza / Foodie Friends FridayThe Party Bunch / Furniture Feature Friday / Party Junk / Think Pink Sunday / Finding The Pretty & Delicious / Making Monday  /  That DIY Party /

Lavender Lemon Sweet Tea

Hello everyone!  I am Maureen, and I blog over at Red Cottage Chronicles where I share recipes, DIY projects, organization and decorating our small cottage home!  I am so pleased to be here at Create & Babble today. I have been a fan of Jeanie for a very long time and am thrilled she asked me to share my recipe for Lavender Lemon Sweet Tea with you.

Lavender Lemon Sweet Tea

Sometimes I think secretly I was born in the South.  There are so many things I absolutely love that the Southerner’s do so well.  Sweet tea is at the top of my list.  I discovered a classic recipe a couple of years ago and have to admit I make it every single day come summertime.


Anyone who knows me well, knows how much I love baking with lavender.  And the combination of lavender and lemon is a favorite.  These lemon and lavender squares are just one example.

One day while I was in the kitchen to bake some cookies,  I got distracted by some fresh lemons on the counter and somehow got to thinking how refreshing lavender lemon iced tea would be.  It was still snowing and -12 degrees. My mind works in mysterious ways!


As luck would have it I had Lemon Zinger teabags and some lavender buds in the pantry.  I just used the lemon tea bags instead of the regular Lipton black tea bags, and made a lavender simple syrup.  What resulted was a refreshing, slightly floral flavoured lemon tea.

While I normally would have sweetened the whole batch, serving the lavender syrup on the side allows everyone to add just the right amount of sweetness that they prefer.  Serve with some fresh slices of lemon and ice.  How fancy is that?!


Since spring is finally starting to make itself known here in Canada after a very long snowy winter, we are starting to bring our screen porch and deck back to life.  I am already dreaming of a  tall glass of iced tea, feet up, birds chirping, moss hanging from the trees….oh, wait where am I again? No chance of moss hanging from the trees around here. Sigh!

But, I do have the lavender lemon sweet tea and the birds.

A girl can dream!




Bring 1 quart of cold water to a full rolling boil.

Pour over 5 lemon tea bags, cover and steep for 5 minutes.  Remove tea bags.

Fill an 8 cup (2 quart) heat safe glass bowl with ice cubes.  Pour steeped tea over the ice and stir a bit.

Make a simple lavender syrup by adding 1 cup water, 1/2 cup granulated sugar, and 1 tablespoon dried lavender buds to a small sauce pan.  Bring to a boil and then reduce heat and simmer for about two minutes.  Remove from heat and allow to steep for 5 minutes.  Strain through a fine sieve and discard lavender.  (Syrup can be stored in the refrigerator for about 3 weeks if covered tightly)

In a large glass add some ice cups, fill with tea and add 2 to 3 tablespoons of lavender syrup.  Stir well and serve with fresh lemon slices.


Thanks Maureen, for sharing this sweet tea recipe! I’m looking forward to making this soon. I have never used lavender in cooking or baking but now I have to try it.

vanilla lavender cake

Maureen also has a recipe for Vanilla Lavender Cake that you must see.

I am such a fan of Maureen’s blog, Red Cottage Chronicles. I love to read about the latest DIY projects going on in her home. And her recipes are so different and unique. You will droll over the photos. She’s an artist when it comes to baking!

Bicycling Sweatshirt

The arrival of Spring and warmer temperatures means one thing: It’s time to ride my bike!!! Well, okay, it means more than that but that’s what I’m most excited about ; ) So in honor of bicycle riding weather, I made a bicycling sweatshirt. Well I didn’t actually make the sweatshirt, but I did decorate it.

Bicycling Sweatshirt

Believe it or not, I got the plain, white hoodie on a clearance shelf at JoAnn’s for $3.50! I should have bought all of them. Darn! Anyway, I held onto the sweatshirt for a while before the thought occurred to add some kind of vinyl decals to it. And since bike-riding weather is almost here….

Bicycling Sweatshirt

I designed this “logo” in Silhoutte Studio. I used the rhinestone bicycle shape from the online store. The rest, I made myself. Since the bicycle shape is from the online store, I can’t include it in the free cut file, but I can give you the rest of it. Feel free to down load Version 2 here, and Version 3 here. (personal use only). I curved the test to fit around the circle. If you’re unsure of how to curve text, I made a video to help you out.

Bicycling Sweatshirt

Of course I used my heat press to iron on the vinyl. I love that heat press! And I highly recommend it – no more vinyl peeling off after a few machine washes.

Bicycling Sweatshirt

I love using glitter vinyl instead of rhinestones. Besides being way easier to work with than rhinestones, you can change the size of rhinestone designs without worrying about the size of the holes since you’re not actually using rhinestones!

Bicycling Sweatshirt

Now I’m ready for a ride! The weather forecast for this weekend is sunny, but cool.  Perfect weather for our first ride of the year wearing my new sweatshirt ; )

Easy To Make Butterfly Wreath

Who else is decorating for Spring? I think we’re all ready to stow away the winter decor and get on with Spring! One quick way to welcome Spring is to hang an easy-to-make, new wreath. What says Spring more than a butterfly wreath!


As I was walking into Target the other day, the dollar section called my name. Does it call your name, too? I mean it’s right there. You HAVE to stop and look, right?


Two cute, little, white grapevine wreaths were yelling my name and said “hey! We’d make cute wreaths to hang on the doors of that armoire that you just built for your granddaughter!”


All I did to decorate them was cut out a bunch of small butterflies with my Silhouette Cameo. I cut them in three different sizes and then adhered them to the wreath using craft tape. Hot glue would work, too.


I have round up 18 more SUPER EASY Spring & Summer wreaths that I found on HomeTalk to give you lots of wreath-making ideas. Click on the photo below to get a close up of each wreath and see the instructions on how to make your favorites.


 Flip flops! I love that idea – PERFECT for a summer home. What other unusual items have you used to make a wreath? I’d love to hear!

An Easy Way to Make Lined Curtains

Hey everyone! I came up with an easy way to make lined curtains. Yes, you still have to use your sewing machine, but this is super easy. If you can thread the machine and sew a (relatively) straight stitch, then you can make these curtains.

I’m probably not the first to have thought of this way of making lined curtain panels but I’ve never seen it. I am familiar with the “usual way” of making them – you know, where you’re basically making two curtains panels. One of the curtain fabric and one of the lining fabric – lots of folding, lots of ironing and lots of straight stitching. Well with this way, you still have folding, ironing and straight stitching. Just not as much.


Basically, my method is sewing the fabric panel to the lining panel, right sides together, at the long edges and then turning it right side out. What makes this work is that I cut the lining fabric narrower than the curtain fabric. After the curtain is turned right side out and pressed, it looks just like a professionally-made curtain panel. See for yourself!


Here’s are step-by-step instructions for how I made my lined curtains:


  1. curtain fabric
  2. lining fabric
  3. pins
  4. rotary cutter
  5. cutting mat
  6. straight edge
  7. measuring tape
  8. iron
  9. ironing board
  10. sewing machine
  11. thread

Step One:

Cut two curtain panels. Determine the length of the curtain fabric by adding the desired finished curtain length with the length of the header and hem plus 2″. I am making 2 curtain panels for a narrow window in the baby’s nursery, so I cut two 84″ lengths of 44″ wide fabric to make curtains that measure 77″ long.


Cut two lining panels. Cut the lining panels 2″ narrower and 4″ shorter than the curtain panels.


Tip for cutting long lengths of fabric: keep the fabric folded lengthwise (just as it comes off the bold) fold in half twice, keeping fold edges aligned.


Line up the clear measuring grid (what is that thing called???) and use a rotary cutter with a sharp blade and cut to desired width. Well actually cut it to HALF of the desired width since it’s folded in half. I needed my lining to measure 42″ so I lined up the fabric on my cutting grid and cut at 21″.


Open up your folded lining fabric and then fold down 1″ and press on both ends of the lining fabric. Fold and press again. Now line up and pin the long edges of the curtain fabric and the lining fabric right sides together and folds facing out. Stitch both sides.


Before turning the panel right side out, press open both seam allowances.


Turn sewn panel right sides out and press.


Now you have a nice, clean (and wrinkle-free ; ) lined curtain panel. Now, what about those ends??? I’m glad you asked!


Fold and press down about an inch from the end on the curtain fabric where the lining is shorter. This is going to be your bottom hemmed edge.


Fold up again and pin. Now you can sew in the hem by hand (what!?!?) or do what I do and use the blind hem stitch on your sewing machine. Or you could sew a straight stitch.  But after going to all this trouble of making beautiful, lined curtains, you don’t really want to do that, right? Right!


I could be wrong but don’t all sewing machines have a blind hem stitch? Ever use it? I do. Ever since I learned to sew many, many … a few decades years ago ; )

Well in case you haven’t used your blind hem stitch, here’s a little picture tutorial:



With the lining side up, fold the hem to the back leaving a small amount peeking out on the right.


Make sure you’re using the designated foot (my machine just requires a zig-zag foot) and your machine settings are set up correctly. Slowly lower needle into the fabric on the right. The machine will stitch a few times there and then hop over to the left to catch for one stitch.

Once you’re done, take your curtain over to the ironing once again and press. If you did it right, you won’t see the hem stitch at all!

Now for the header end of the curtain. Once you have the curtain fabric folded and pressed, mark where you want the stitching lines for the pocket for the curtain rod.


Since I’m going to be hanging these curtains on a 1″ curtain rod, I stitched two rows 1-1/2″ apart to form the pocket.


Insert your curtain and hang your lovely, new lined curtains!

The nursery makeover will (hopefully) be done on Saturday and I can show off the entire room here on Sunday. I can’t wait! And then it will be time to move on to other projects in my house. After all, it is March and Dan is planning his out-of-town business trip. If you’ve been following me for a while, you know what that means! If not, I’ll clue you in: Every March, Dan is sent on an out-o-town business trip for about a week. I take this as my cue to start a renovation project. The first year (pre-blog), I painted the walls and vanity in the master bathroom. The next year, I painted the kitchen cabinets, and last year I made over the staircase. I think I know what this year’s project will  be, but I like to keep this a secret from Dan. He likes surprises – NOT! ; )