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This month we are going to revisit the craft shop. This time however, we are going into what is known as the "crafter's mall". This is a place where local artisans can sell their wares without having to haul butt to shopping center shows or worry about the business of selling and security. This is a wonderful way to express your individuality and to use things that you haven't found a home for.
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- Shelves: Go to your local hardware store and look at some of the mouldings. Many used in cross-section make excellent shelf supports. Also, some hardware stores carry stock basswood pieces, some of which are nice and flat--perfect for a wooden shelf. If you are more of the artsy "glass and metal" type of person, you can use laboratory glass slides as shelves and colored paper clips as supports. If you would like to go with a classical look, use a wedding cake column as a stand and a round piece of glass or acrylic as a sparkly table top. How about a "twig" shelf? You can make something like this with cloth covered wire, bent into shape, glued and painted. You can also make very nice shelves from fimo. Simply roll out fimo into a uniform flat sheet, cut out shelf and supports (use pre-cut cardstock patternsto make it easier). Bake, assemble with a cyanoacrylate glue.
- Artwork: Visit a crafter's mall if you can, see what sorts of goodies are there. In mine, there are items such as candles , homey plaques, fancy birdhouses, framed prints, metal sculpture, painted rocks, pieces of furniture, egg art, clay what-nots, decorated mirrors, baskets, dollhouses, quilts and many more things too numerous to catalog here.
- Candles: toothpicks/fimo or plastic coated wire
- Plaques: craft stores often sell little cut-outs used to decorate big plaques. These can be decorated with paint/fabric or whatever. Sayings on these plaques say anything -- "home sweet home", "welcome to my garden
"Pardon the mess, I live here", "Cooking is a dirty word", etc.
- Birdhouses: look around in dollar stores. One day I found little resin birdhouses in the shapes of teahouses. This would be perfect for a crafter's mall. Or, any cube of wood can be drilled/painted and then decorated with lichens/moss/small fimo birds.
- Framed prints: Got some old magazines you don't care about anymore? Hunt through them for pictures that can be cut out and framed. Use cardstock as a backing, fimo/wood/twigs to make a frame.
- Metal Sculpture: I went into an earring store and found the most spectacular metal masks and sculptures for a very spectacular price. Also, look through jewelry from garage/carboot sales, flea markets, or bead stores. Or make sculptures out of fimo and coat them with the metallic powders available.
- Painted Rocks: This could be fun. Either go looking for some nice pebbles, score some from your aquarium or form them from fimo. Paint an undercoat of gesso, then with a small artist's brush (or hunt down a whisker from your cat) and start dabbing on paint. You would be surprised what you can do with a suggestion of color. If you don't have any ideas, scout out a rock painting book from the library.
- Furniture: Today as I went into the crafter's mall, I saw an artisan pack in a tole painted table. You can do this too. All you need is some cheap furniture (or make your own, a table is just various pieces of wood stuck together, all cut lines can be straight!) and a tole reference book. Then paint away!
- Egg Art: Scout around your craft or hobby store. Sometimes you can find plastic mini eggs. Paint them, add some jewelry findings, and you have a standing piece of art. If you want a scene inside, you could try to cut into the egg, or make one out of fimo. Shape an egg form out of something that can be made to dissolve later on, or that you can pick out without too many problems. Form fimo over that and bake. Get rid of the middle bit, and you can add small decorations, jewelry findings and such.
- Clay what-nots: Let your fingers go wild in little bits ofairdrying terra cotta colored clay. free form cats/dogs/slugs (!)/candle holders/ "I love gramma" plaques/anything else you can think of. They make great fillers and because they look so artistic you don't have to make perfect replicas!
- Decorated Mirrors: old compact mirrors decorated with fimo roses/calla lillies/ little fairy sprites?:)
- Baskets: Much fun! Get cheap baskets and cover them in fun raffia/fabric/ruffles/lace/jewelry findings and fill them with little candles or other little crafty things.
- Dollhouses: Look around for little resin models, or build a scale barbie sized/1:1 sized model out of fiber board or spare bits of wood. Or you could buy a cheap commercial doll's dollhouse and revamp it with new paint job and interior make over. For a barbie house, look around for model railway sized people. Repaint these in barbie colors and you have inhabitants for the house.
- Quilts: Look around for "cheater" cloth, or a cotton that has a suitably small print. To bulk it out, put right sides of main cloth and backing cloth together and sew together with 1/4 inch seam (if it is too big, you can always trim it down), leaving a hole to turn the work out through. Finish with a blind stitch, and quilt with teeny running stitches. Practice running stitches a bit on a piece of cloth first if you have to, it won't take long before you know what you are trying for and what size stitch you like.
- What else goes into a crafter's mall? Ours has homey signs on the walls (eg. "Unsupervised dogs and kids in our store will be sold to the circus") that are homey, pithy and tongue-in-cheek. Also, there is a little tearoom area, so you can leave your significant other parked there while you shop. Also a little child's grotto, where a t.v. lives. They also have an author's corner, where a local fellow who self-publishes books sits--perhaps a little table with your new book on it ("Confessions of a dollhouse junkie" by Minnie Atcher --say it fast...:D).
For older tips, check out the Mini
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