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13 Jan

National Hobby Month: Tips on Turning Your Hobby Into A Business


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National Hobby Month.

Every year, at the beginning of the year, our nation celebrates National Hobby Month. 2017 can be a much more interesting year if you spend some of your time honing skills and pursuing special interests. Hobbies get a boost from blogs and how-to websites at this time of year.

What? You didn’t know it was National Hobby Month?

Well, you aren’t alone.

Yet  according to the U.S. Census Bureau, people in the United States spend around five to six hours per day on leisure and sports activities, their personal interests / activities, and hobbies. It takes into account that weekend days are more filled with hobby pursuits than weekdays. Still, that’s a lot of time doing something for no other reason than it interests you.

According to the U.S. Department of Labor Bureau of Statistics , watching TV was the most popular use of leisure time in 2014.

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I think we can do better than that. It is, after all, National Hobby Month!

Not So Boring Life has a list of hobbies that numbers more than 300. TV watching is number 283 (they’re listed alphabetically), but I’d drop it from the list altogether. Because, hobbies.

The list is not, obviously, all-inclusive, but it does give you some hope if you haven’t found a hobby that suits you.

Discover A Hobby.com also has a list that is more than 300 items.

With the prevalence of hobbies, crafts, and DIY posts on Pinterest, there is sure to be something you want to do with your spare time.

If you have spare time.

It’s a known fact that we all make time for the things that are really important to us, and for many, hobbies are important. Even a few minutes a day can help you start and keep a hobby.

Some of us spend so much time on our hobbies that we decide to turn it into our business. Whether it’s blogging, reading, making. or doing, there is probably a niche you can fill with the thing you love.

Here are a few tips on how to make your hobby into a dream job.

Be innovative.

The market changes, and what was once popular may wane in demand. But that doesn’t mean you have to give up doing what you love. Instead, you need to be ready and willing to make changes to your business to keep it relevant.

Stay steady.

Turning your hobby into a business takes word. Hard work. Probably more work than if you had a “normal” 9-5 job. A schedule is the best way to be sure you’re moving toward your goal. Commit to at least 15 minutes every day of doing something related to your business.

Don’t go it alone.

You have family, friends, peers and professionals who can help you succeed in making your hobby your profession. Listen to what they say, even when it’s criticism. It’s possible that you are so close to a problem that you can’t see it, and the perspective of other people can help you solve problems you might not even realize you have. Join a Facebook group or find a networking group that focuses on what you love doing.

In addition to joining groups that target your hobby, think about those that spotlight small businesses, too. There’s valuable information resident in other people.

Keep it simple.

It’s easy to go overboard with your ideas and try to focus on too many things at once. You can go really big and still keep it simple. Stick to one aspect of your hobby until you are successful with that area, and then expand. Nothing creates success like success.

Stay true to authenticity.

Your brand is unique. It is the thing that sells your product, even more than what you do. Nothing is more important than finding your voice in the public arena and staying true to it. Your vision shouldn’t waver based on what somebody else is doing. Be authentic.

So should you turn your hobby into a business?

There are some cons to going professional with your favorite pastime. Making 25,000 (fill in the blank here) may not be as satisfying as the few you make in your spare time. Maybe your hobby isn’t worthy of being a business. Just because your friends and family admire your work doesn’t really translate into market research. There may not be a market for your interest where you live. Or perhaps your hobby isn’t deep enough to sustain your interest long enough to make a business out of it.

Maybe you just need to have fun with it. And remember to celebrate National Hobby Month.

Pretty Pintastic Party




05 Jan

Faithbooking: Scrapbooking My Spiritual Journey

Faithbooking 1/2017

Have you ever tried Faithbooking?

It’s taking your spiritual journey and making scrapbooking or journaling pages about it. My only resolution this year is to let go and let God. So embarking on this new way (for me) of documenting how God is moving in my life is intriguing, to say the least.

This first page shows a picture of my grandchildren (and the boyfriend of my oldest granddaughter) sitting in front of a museum at Christmas time. It’s not all of my grandchildren (I have eleven!), but it’s the ones who were there that day. The picture was taken by my daughter-in-law, who is a fantastic photographer. (We have two photographers in our family, and they are both stupendous. I’m sure I’ll have pictures from my son-in-law during the year, too.)

Matthew 15:13 says: “May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.” That sounds like a great goal for the new year, and I want to embrace it fully.

Deuteronomy 4:9 says, “Only give heed to yourself and keep your soul diligently, so that you do not forget the things which your eyes have seen and they do not depart from your heart all the days of your life; but make them known to your sons and your grandsons.”

That’s a mandate from God, and faithbooking is a great way to obey the commandment. Keeping my faith journey alive for my grandkids is very important to me, and I am looking forward to really getting down with the whole idea.

Sometimes I’ll do it digitally, as I’ve done with this first page. Then I’ll print it out and put it in a scrapbook. And then sometimes I’ll do it traditionally, with paper, embellishments and ink. Perhaps some of the layouts will be “tradigital,” a combination of the two.

I’d love for you to come along on my journey, and for you to share yours with me!

How do you document your faith?

11 Mar

Glass Pebble Magnet Tutorial

glass pebble magnet tutorial

glass pebble magnet tutorial

MAKING GLASS PEBBLE magnets is one of the easiest crafts there are, and they make some of the nicest magnets around, perfect for giving or to put on your refrigerator. I’ve created a simple tutorial for you to follow if you’d like to make some of your own.

Gather your supplies

You’ll need:

Glass marbles
Decorative paper
1″ hole punch (not shown)
3/4″ magnets (not shown)
Glossy Accents dimensional glue
Hot glue gun and glue sticks

glass pebbles supplies

Glue paper circle to glass pebble

I’ve tried adding the glue to the glass pebble and adding the glue to the paper circle, and found the second way much more effective. Just add a swirl of Glossy Accents glue to the circle on the right side of the paper and then adhere it to the pebble. Let dry completely.

glass pebble backside

Add glue to the magnet

Using hot glue, add just a dollop of glue to the magnet.

glass pebble magnet with glue

Adhere to the back of the pebble

Add the magnet to the back of the pebble, over the back of the paper circle.

Finished magnet

When the hot glue is dried, you have completed this simple craft! Now you can hold several sheets of paper to your refrigerator, or a photo, or anything else lightweight (the magnets are not really that strong and won’t hold a lot of weight). Of course, it totally depends on how strong the magnets are that you use. I used ProMAG Flexible Magnets that I bought at Michaels, but I’m sure there are stronger versions if you look for them. An office supply store is a good place to look.

For an alternative look, draw on the backs of the glass pebbles with Sharpies and glue the magnets to them for a very colorful, one-of-a-kind look that you can customize anyway you want to. This is a great idea for kids crafts, too!

finished magnets


I’m linking to That DIY Party!

09 Mar

9 Crafting Tools for Better Projects

9 Crafting Tools for Better Projects

No one likes crafting fails, but one way to make sure they don’t happen is to use the best crafting tools. Some you can make by hand, but it’s often better to spend a little money that will make your crafting easier for years to come. Here are some of my favorites. (This post contains affiliate links, which just means if you buy something from one of the links, I get a small commission. Feel free to get your crafting tools elsewhere, though.)

1. A good sanding block for sanding down furniture, distressing wooden projects, and making all your sanding projects easier. It saves your hands, too!
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2. A hot glue gun with a stand. The stand is really important, as it keeps your gun in the right position, protects your surface that you are setting the gun on, and keeps it always at the ready.

3. An Xacto knife or craft knife to cut stencils, lift small pieces of vinyl or paper, and a variety of other purposes. (I carve tiny doors in my little wooden houses with my Xacto.) Make sure you have plenty of blades, too.
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4. A paper cutter for cutting paper, vinyl, and card stock. Paper is such a wonderful medium and so useful for so many different crafts!
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5. A metal edged ruler for drawing and cutting straight lines.
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6. Hemostats are excellent for pulling stubborn needles through thick cloth and for turning and stuffing narrow pieces.

7. A Cropodile for punching holes and setting grommets.

8. A pen-style holder for felting needles makes needle felting go faster and easier and is much easier to hold in your hand.

9. A selection of good paintbrushes. I can’t tell you how important that they be good quality is, especially for sign painting and for other projects where you need fine lines. Believe me, the extra money you spend on your brushes will make a big difference in the ease of making your project and the success of it in the long run.
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Good tools pay for themselves. Take care of them and they will last far longer than lesser quality tools and do a better job along the way.

27 Feb

Craft Room Reveal: From Chaos to Creative


titleIN CASE you didn’t see the before photos, take a look at this previous post. It shows all the chaos that was my craft room… but the after photos in this post show all the creative it is now!

The room is not large, so it’s hard to get back far enough to take a picture of the gorgeous table my husband and son made for me. (Actually, my husband designed it—with my input, of course—and my son built it for me.)

We took all the furniture out of the room and put in all new. New desk for my computer, new shelving for storage, and—how exciting is this?—my handmade, glass-top, craft table!

Did I mention I LOVE my new craft table?

It has storage in all four corner shelving units and there’s three inches between the glass top and the wood underneath. Ample space for storing my cutting mats, rulers, t-square and such.

I’m in the midst of labeling everything with chalkboard labels (chalkboard tape by Duck brand duct tape) and chalk markers from Chalkseries.

So without further ado, here’s my Craft Room Reveal!

craft tableBecause of the glass top, the windows are reflected in the glass. But you can plainly see the space between the wood and the glass… such a brilliant idea!

Glass-top craft tableAnother photo from the other side of the table, still showing reflections, but at least the windows are not showing.

desk1Here’s my computer workstation. My Curio cutter is peeking into the picture on the upper left, with it’s handmade dust cover on top. The little red and white storage unit holds tools and pens for the Silhouette.

desk2Another view of my computer desk, showing some quilled cards my husband gave me, a cross (in the little box), and a handmade cedar box crafted by my son. Notice my basket of scissors!

etagereThe etagere that holds a few items, including a birdcage given to me by my daughter, some devotionals, a basket holding some fabric, and some things you cannot see in this photo.

Kallax1We used Ikea Kallax shelving units to create storage for my many craft supplies. The labels aren’t on them yet, but they’re coming!

pigsOn top of these shelves are my three little pigs soft sculptures with paper mache heads. You can also see some needle felted animals (a horse is unfinished), my tall knitting needles, and my “Jesus knows me, this I love” sign (soon to be repainted).

Reading nookThis corner shows my reading nook, which doesn’t yet have the reading light that will be beside the chair. Two Kallax shelves hold books and lots more craft supplies. Above the chair is my inspiration board.

Kallax2The view of the Kallax shelves across my craft table.

dollsOn top of one of the Kallax shelves are a few of my prim dolls that I made.

Kallax3Beside my reading chair, this Kallax holds books, jars of thread and buttons, baskets of tape and clips, and more.

Kallax4Here’s the Kallax on the other side of the chair, holding more books and other supplies.

boxesOn top of the shelves is a collection of my handmade boxes.

memesMy craft room memes.

plastic drawersI kept this plastic drawer unit because I needed someplace to house drawings that would keep them out of dust. The middle drawer houses some miscellaneous craft supplies, too. The picnic hamper on top holds pads of lined paper and clipboards.

One piece of furniture still needs to be bought. Since this is the only room we have for a guest room, it has to do double duty. That means we have to  buy a day bed that opens out into a double for guests. We’ve not yet decided exactly what we want, so that’s on the back burner for now.

What are you doing in your craft room?


20 Feb

10 Favorite Font Combinations for Crafters & Designers

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IT’S NOT ALWAYS easy to find good font combinations for your craft or design projects. In fact, sometimes it’s downright frustrating. Do you combine serif and san serif faces, or how do you decide which roman font goes with your script font? Well, to make things a little easier, I’ve come up with ten of my favorite font combinations and put them in a graphic for you so you can see what they look like together — they’re in pairs, first the script, then the roman. Then I’ve included links to where you can find the font (just click on the font name). Most of them are free, but be very careful about the license. Some of them are okay for commercial use, but most are for personal use only, unless you buy a commercial license.

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These font combinations are ones that I’ve used in crafts and for making posters for myself. Of course, you may decide to combine them in different ways, and that’s fine, too. Because in the end, it’s what strikes your fancy that matters.

One tip, though. Don’t use script fonts for all caps, because it makes it difficult to read.

What are your favorite font combinations?

17 Feb

Simple Burlap Wreath: A Tutorial

I’VE BEEN busy today. As I sat listening to Willie Nelson singing some of Frank Sinatra’s songs, I enjoyed not only the music but some time crafting.

We went to see War Room today (which is fantastic, by the way!), and on the way home took a little trip into JoAnn’s to pick up some burlap for table runners for our Rosh Hashanah celebrating in a week. I say we because I have a husband who never minds craft shopping with me. And I love to take him ’cause he always buys more than I ever would. LOL! Although the burlap was only for table runners, he suggested that I should make a burlap wreath, too.

Now what you need to understand is that we’ve never hung a wreath on our door. He didn’t want the paint scratched from a wreath hanger, so we always hung our Christmas wreath on the brick wall beside the front door (which works, too). But husband dearest saw a burlap wreath at JoAnn’s and said, “I bet you could make one better than this one!” Which was good, because it was ON SALE for $24.99. I don’t know about you, but I have trouble buying something that could only cost a little money and labor. So I got some extra burlap and a foam ring and took a picture of the wreath (which husband dearest liked) so I could do something like it.

Here’s the picture of what we saw, including how it was made.


As you can see, it’s rather sparse and the bow is a complete disaster.
Now here are a couple of pictures of my wreath in progress.


I covered the wreath with a long strip of brown burlap and then began gluing down the burlap “fluffs” in a different manner from the store-bought one. I made squares of burlap and stuck the end of a paint brush into the center, gathering the burlap around the paint brush. Then I slipped the paint brush out and hot glued it to the wreath. Much fluffier!

Here’s a picture of it on our door. (Notice that I didn’t cover our beautiful brass dove descending on the cross, but framed it with the wreath.) I made a bow of brown burlap and looped a “ribbon” of brown burlap around the top of the wreath. Then, using flat tacks, I tacked it to the top of the door. No worries about it scratching the paint!



Have you ever made a burlap wreath? How did you hang it?

17 Feb

Sharpie Pens: 8 Tutorials for Things to Do With Them

EVERYONE HAS a Sharpie or two lying around.  At least, if you don’t, you should. These pens are like magic! Just them and a little creativity and you have a masterpiece.  Sharpies come in multiple colors and several tip thicknesses, so you can have just about anything you need for whatever craft you can think up.  I’ve scoured the internet and come up with eight tutorials that are diverse and interesting, and require more dedication than skill. None of them are very time consuming, either, so you can decide today and be done today, too! Instant results!

Tutorials for Things to Do With Sharpie Pens

From Kimmykats, Sharpies and washers tutorial.
What magic can happen when you combine a sharpie,
some muratic acid and hydrogen peroxide…

By Stephanie Lynn, Sharpies and dishes tutorial.

Once the designs were drawn, the dishes were set on a cookie sheet and baked at 350º for 30 minutes until the designs were set.
From Homespun Happenings, a Sharpies and sign tutorial.
With dark stain, the effect was perfect.
Doodle Easter Eggs from Alisaburke tutorial.
Eggs this pretty can be for any day!
Just Crafty Enough brings you Marimeko Shoes tutorial.
Give plain sneakers a whole new look!
The Thirty Sixth Avenue gives you a Christmas ornaments tutorial.
Get your Sharpies, some fun stencils, and give those ornaments a makeover!
Tye-Dye some shirts with Markers and Alcohol from Genuine Mudpie tutorial!
Pretty flowers effect with just a couple things you already have around the house!
Dear Lilly had a Christmas Project tutorial.
With fabric from your stash, some old pillows and a Sharpie, no cost pillows!

I know you have a zillion more ideas of what to do with your own pens, and I’d love to hear some of them. Leave me a comment and tell me your favorites.

What will you do with your Sharpies?

16 Feb

Christmas Wreath: Quick and Easy!

Quick and Easy Christmas Wreath

I HAD THIS wreath on my door throughout the fall, but with Christmas just around the corner, I wanted to change it up for the holiday. One of my favorite things is little, fat birds, and I found this one at Joann’s with their doorbuster sale for just $2.50. Adding a couple of holiday picks cost another $3.00, so for just $5.50 I got a brand new wreath for the holiday.

The only thing I don’t like about it is the brown bow at the top. Had I been more foresightful, I would not have hot glued the brown bow to the wreath so I could change it out. But I still think it’s a pretty Christmas wreath, anyway.

Here’s what I did. Gather two holiday picks (mine have holly leaves and little red berries) and wire them to the burlap wreath. Tuck the little bird’s wire feet firmly under the wire and there you have it! (I learned from the bow and didn’t hot glue anything to the wreath, so I can change it out for other seasons.) You could use berries, snowflakes, jingle bells, or any other Christmas trinkets you have lying around, or head on down to your favorite craft store (with coupon in hand, of course) and get yourself a few new doodads to add to your decor. With a little imagination and even less effort, you’ll have your door decked out with a Christmas wreath for the holidays in no time!

Another craft I did was this rustic joy hanger. It’s made with painted letters, a small grapevine wreath and a large jingle bell. Easy-peasy!

I love the word joy. It is a simple word with only three letters and it is full of such a huge amount of emotion. It represents the elation of the Christmas season and personifies the coming of the Christ child.

So I wanted to make a decoration that shows my joy in the season and would be simple to make and still have huge impact.

You will need:
1 six-inch grapevine wreath
1 three and a half inch rustic jingle bell
5″ letters J and Y
Acrylic paints in Brick Red and Metallic Bronze
Small paint brush
Sand paper
Hot glue gun and glue stick

What you do:

  1. Paint the letters with the Brick Red paint and allow to dry
  2. Paint over the letters with a light coat of Metallic Bronze and let dry
  3. Sand the edges of the letters
  4. Tie the jingle bell to the top of the wreath so that it hangs in the hole in the wreath
  5. Hot glue the letters to the sides of the wreath