Friday, June 29, 2012

Friday Features - Missouri Bound

This weekend Jesse and I are headed to Missouri to see my parent's new house! I'm so excited to get away for a few days! Even though I've been informed that I'm getting put to work moving boxes, I know we'll still get time to relax :) And I'll get to spend time with my parents...what could be better than that!
So today's features are inspired by Missouri and Table Rock Lake...

 by  4YourLake

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Brick Engraving

Something I've been wanting to try for a while is brick engraving. Businesses do this a lot for dedication bricks or donor bricks. When I was in 3rd grade, they tore down my elementary school and built a new one. They engraved a photo of the old school on the bricks from the building along with the name and dates it stood. I always thought these were cool :)

I finally got to try my hand (or should I say laser) at some bricks. Before I left work, a friend gave me a brick paver he had from a landscaping job he had done. This was the first brick I tried. As most of you know I'm not a gardener, so I didn't know that pavers are just painted/stained concrete! The result was pretty good and had good contrast, but I need to find out if it's safe to laser concrete with all the little pieces flying off! If I find out it's safe to use these, I think they'll be a great idea for gardens.

The next brick I tried came from an old building that was torn down in town. I had been told that clay bricks will turn a nice black color when engraved. From what I could tell, this brick was solid clay. It had cracks in places, so I could tell it wasn't concrete. The result was a nice solid engraving, but it didn't turn black. It's more of a gray color, but it still looks good.

The last brick I tried was also one that came from an old building. A friend wanted me to engrave this brick which came from her dad's old homestead. This brick looked much like the one I had engraved before, but the results were different yet! Again, good results, just different.

I still have some research to do before I offer these on a larger scale. I've been happy with the results, but I want to get a consistent engraving. And I want to find out why they don't turn black. I'm afraid my laser might not have enough power to turn the brick black. In that case...gray will work just fine :)

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Wordless Wednesday - Harley's Haircut

Summer 'Do

Love the little bandanas he gets with his haircuts :)

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Custom Key Chain

If you saw my Wordless Wednesday post last week, you saw that we got a "new" truck. We had to get a spare set of keys made and Jesse mentioned that he wanted to buy a cool key chain for them. I said: Why buy one when I can make one :)

I love getting to make things for him :) Coming up with things for guys can be hard! So I thought these key chains would be a great gift idea!

I cut the key chain in the shape of the Chevy bow tie. Then I engraved 454 (the motor size) on one side and his last name on the other.
 I wanted him to carry it around for a while to see how it holds up. I told him to carry it in his pocket with some loose change. Put it to the test! I want to know how well they hold up before I list them in my shop. I want to have them listed by fall as I think they'll make great Christmas gifts for the guys :) And maybe even groomsman gifts!

Monday, June 25, 2012

New York City - In Zebra Fashion :)

A couple of weeks ago I posted about the largest album I'd made to date and mentioned that I was working on a fun zebra print album as well. I got it done and mailed off last week and I LOVE how it turned out! The patterns and colors are so fun!

I actually got to make two of them for a set of 11 year old girls who get to travel to New York City!

At the same time I was working on another large album. This album was purchased for a business owner by a friend. She wanted the album to reflect her friend's business and its colors. The business owner makes little girls' clothes and I love the colors she uses!

These larger albums are quite a bit more work than my smaller albums, but when they start to come together...they really make it worth the work! The impact these larger albums have is so cool!

What have you been working on lately?

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Treasury Thanks

Welcome to another edition of my Treasury Thanks! Each week I like to thank my treasury curators from the past week by featuring their treasuries as well as an item from their shop or favorites. Please help me in thanking them by clicking on their treasuries and checking out their shops :)

A big thanks goes out to Judy of JNOriginals! Not only did Judy feature my work this week, she feature it three times! Judy is always great about getting caught up when being offline for a period of time and these treasuries prove that :) Thanks Judy!

She featured my Friends Word Album in her Just Plain Cute Treasury! Speaking of cute...check out Judy's Felted bowl, wool, burgundy wine, with felted flower in dark mauve!

And last but not least, Judy featured my Engraved Wine Bottle Stopper in her Passion's Pleasures Treasury!  Her Wine Crochet Hat and Scarflette Set would make a perfect addition to this treasury!

Iryna of eteniren has featured my work in the past and was kind enough to feature it this week as well! She featured my Drink Me Wine Bottle Stopper in her I Love It!!! Treasury! And speaking of Love It!...I love this Floral Ring made of polymer clay...such detail!

Olga of TwoSadDonkeys featured my Friends Word Album in her Original Concepts Treasury! Olga knows about original concepts...just check out Jonathan - Sleepy Felt Donkey with long floppy ears. Art Toy Felted Stuffed Marionette Puppet!

 Iris of ArtIsEverything featured my To Do List Notebook (which needs relisted!) in her Naturally wood Treasury! Iris makes some of the prettiest coasters and business card holders! This Design is one of my favorites!

  Thanks again for the wonderful features! You made my week!

Saturday, June 23, 2012


I'm so excited, my friend Dave from Sawdust Explosion sold his first item on Etsy this week! Dave makes beautiful pen and pencil sets (as well as MANY other awesome wood working items)! Each set is made completely by hand!

His Bamboo Set was the first to sell and the buyer asked if he does engraving. Lucky for him, he knows someone with a laser engraver...wink, wink :)

We ran a few test pieces and decided on the best format for the turned out great! I can't wait to hear how much the buyer loves the pen and pencil set! She bought them for a friend who writes music, so we know they'll get a lot of use :)

Dave and I plan to work together on a lot more projects. He just built an awesome CNC router from the ground up! Check out the video on his blog! I already have several items on order! And I hope he continues to sell more items on Etsy as well...I love engraving new things :)

Friday, June 22, 2012

Friday Features - Destination Weddings

Here lately, I've sure had destination weddings on the brain! Not only did I create a new Destination Invitation design. But in December, Jesse and I will be heading to Cancun for his cousin's wedding! I'm SOOOO excited! What could be more beautiful than a wedding on the beach!
So today's features are for the brides getting married on the lucky gals!

 (and she's an Iowa gal!)

by  lostaloha
 (Isn't this absolutely amazing! Look at all those tiny beads!)

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Wood Wedding Invitations - New Designs

I'm so excited to be expanding my Wood Wedding Invitation line! If you read my blog on Tuesday, you saw I've already added a new Destination Wedding Invitation thanks to the BBArtisans Challenge.

I've also been inspired lately by lots of custom requests! (Have I mentioned how much I love my customers!) I don't mind creating free digital samples when people request them because they always inspire me and give me new ideas I may have never thought of!

Take this Mason Jar Invitation for example. I had seen traditional paper invitations cut into mason jars, but hadn't thought to incorporate these into my wood invitations until I got the request. What a fun idea! And the cute little dragonfly adds just the right extra touch :)

I also got a request for some different heart designs. I have used This Design for guest books and thought it would make a cute invitation as well! I'll have another floating heart design in the future as well when I get all the details worked out with the bride and groom. I figured I'd wait to engrave that one until I create their final sample.

This floral butterfly design is another design I use for guest books. I recently got a request to create an invitation to match the guest book. I love how it turned out! (Will be listed yet this week.)

And more butterflies! This was another custom design request. I'm still working out the details with the bride on this one, but wanted to go ahead and get a sample engraved. I love how the butterflies are floating across the invitation :) (Will be listed yet this week as well.)

 What do you think of the new designs? Have any fun ideas for me to make next?

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Destination Wedding Invitations

As part of the Blogging Business Artisans Team on Etsy, one of our requirements is to participate in challenges. I love that challenges help us grow and try new things! This month's theme is brought to us by Erika of Little Andalucia and her theme for us is Under the Sea. Erika says: "June begins the anticipation of warmer weather, vacations, and playing on the beach. Create with the theme Under the Sea." 

I've been wanting to create some new invitations to add to my shop for a while now. My current designs are doing very well and I want to give people options when browsing. I thought the Under the Sea theme was perfect for Destination Wedding Invitations!

I started with the Starfish Design and have other options shown in the listing. Once I started designing these, it was hard to limit the choices! There are so many fun Under the Sea graphics I could use for these!

Thank you Erika for choosing such a fun theme!
 Keep an eye out later this week for more new invitation designs!

Monday, June 18, 2012

Engraved Gun Stock

The title of this post should actually read: How to fit a 31" gun stock in a 12"x18" laser...LOL :)

I had a man contact me on Etsy recently wanting a gun stock engraved. This is something I'd wanted to try for a while, but hadn't had a chance yet, so I was excited to give it a try. When he told me it was 31" long, I wasn't quite sure how that was going to work in my laser! But I told him to go ahead and send it and I'd work my magic :)

There is a front door the opens for cleaning. I found out how to bypass the latches so the machine would run with the door open. I made a stand with pieces of scrap wood to level out the stock. I manually focused the laser and viola!

The laser has a little red light pointer that you can turn off and on. I ran the machine with just the red light and the laser beam turned off to get an idea of my alignment. I wish the image would have been bigger, but I was worried about it being too big and not fitting inside the carved out area. So I'll take small over big :)

Not too bad for my first attempt! And the owner of this gun stock is part of a gun club! There might just be more gun stocks in my laser's future :)

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Treasury Thanks

Happy Father's Day to all the wonderful dads out there today :)

Now on to our regularly scheduled Treasury Thanks! This has been another great week of treasuries! Please help me thank those that featured my work by checking out their treasuries as well as their shops :)

Deb of Story Beader featured my Drink Me Bottle Stopper in her Multi-Tasking art Treasury! Deb's Art Journals are great for get to play while you get your thoughts down on paper :)

Iryna of eteniren featured my Friends Word Album in her June #28 Treasury! I had such a hard time just choosing one item from Iryna's shop last week to feature, so I'm glad I get to feature her work again this week. I love this Multi Colour Necklace!

Rose of Random Creative featured my Friends Word Album in her Summer Whimsy Treasury! Rose loves red and turquoise and creates beautiful items in these colors, like her Button Charm Bracelet!

Nicole Daily featured my Wooden Anniversary Card in her Rustic Shabby Chic Treasury! Nicole has a buyer-only account and she's got great taste :)

LeAnn of Pasque Flower featured my Wine Bottle Table Numbers in her Bluer Than Blue Treasury! LeAnn's Blue Man-Sized Oven Mitts would make a perfect Father's Day gift!

Jennifer of PennyLn72 featured my Woodland Baby Album in her June Bug Treasury! Jennifer has such a fun shop with items made from upcycled bottle caps! She really turns these into beautiful works of art! My favorite is This Pendant :)

Anne featured my Carved Tree Guest Book in her A Midsummer Night's Wedding Treasury! Anne also has a buyer-only account...with great taste :)

 Thanks again to all of my curators! You've made my week!!!

Friday, June 15, 2012

Friday Features - Man Cave

I'm so excited, my parents recently bought a house in Southern Missouri! This means they're one step closer to retiring! And they'll be closer to home :)
With Father's Day this weekend, I thought I'd share the coolest part of the comes with a Man Cave! A separate garage where my dad can hang out, relax and work on his '50 Chevy pickup :)
So today's features are for my dad...Happy Father's Day!

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