Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Beautiful Blueberry Handicrafts

Blueberry Plush Food - Source: Etsy

Blueberries Abound in the World of Handicrafts

Much has been written about the blueberry as a delicious and healthy fresh fruit. As a delightful food item, blueberries can be served plain in a bowl, enjoyed in fruit salads or cooked and/or baked into everything from blueberry pancakes for breakfast to pies, cheesecakes and cobblers for dessert  for a delicious, healthful taste of summer all year long. 

There is even a special month - July - designated as "National Blueberry Month."

But blueberries can be more than a fresh fruit food item. Crafters have found blueberries charming in their world too. Let's put our Blueberry Muffin down for a bit and visit a few handcrafted Blueberry items.

Blueberries in Music -- "Blueberry Hill" - by Fats Domino

The song "Blueberry Hill" was published in 1940 and is best remembered for its 1950s rock n' roll version by Fats Domino. Browse these Blueberry Crafts to this well-known Blueberry music!



Blueberry Tart in Felt


Felt Blueberry Tart by fairyfox on Etsy
A Creative Pattern by Fairy Fox on Etsy

This darling Blueberry Tart toy is an original pattern with a unique design to create a fun playfood for your child.
This felt blueberry tart is just one of a number of adorable felt toys and playfood designed by Fairy Fox on Etsy.

Blueberry Pie Candle

Blueberry Pie Candle by gelDlights
How about Blueberry Candles? This Blueberry Pie Candle smells like a fresh baked blueberry pie. It measures 3" around by 1" deep. It weighs 3- 3/4 oz. and has a burn time of approx. 35 hours.

Blueberry candle and many other delightful handmade candles can be found in the Etsy Shop of gelDlights.

Blueberry Cheesecake Soap

This slice of Blueberry Cheesecake believe it or not -- is soap! Looking good enough to eat (but don't take a bite!) this delightful, delicious looking bar of soap is topped with ripened blueberries and a sweet and tangy blueberry drizzle coating. It's even scented with blueberry cheesecake fragrance. Each soap weighs 6 ounces.
Unique handmade soaps like this blueberry cheesecake is just one of many different designs created in soap by Denise of Copiague, NY and are available in her Etsy Shop she calls AJs Sweet Soap.

Blueberry Jewelry

Blueberry  Earrings by GentleDecisions
These woodland blueberry earrings are made of clay, then painted with oil paint.  They measure 0.98 x 1.02 inches in size with a length of 1.18 inches.  These lovely earrings are just one of over 100 items in the line of romantic handcrafted jewelry & accessories in the Etsy shop called Gentle Decisions by Anna.

Blueberry Wearables


Blueberry Baby Bib 

Blueberry Baby Bib by applejax studio

Adorable hand-drawn blueberry design and lettering applied as a heat transfer iron-on to a handmade cotton bib for baby.  A clever and crafty design created by Barb of Ohio and featured in her Etsy Shop applejax studio

Knitted Blueberry Baby Booties and Hat 

Baby Booties, Hat and/or Set by gentleness on Etsy

Baby's head and feet will be toasty warm with these Blueberry Booties and matching hat. Hand-Knit in infant sizes and featured in the Etsy Shop of gentleness.

Knit your own Baby Beanie - Blueberries and more...

Baby Beanies Pattern Book
Happy Hats to Knit for Little Heads.  This 144-page pattern book has patterns to knit 25 super-cute beanies for your baby. 

The patterns are perfect projects for beginning knitters and include directions for basic stitches and techniques. Create an darling hand-knitted gift for a special new baby.

Blueberry Home Decor


Blueberry Beverage Coasters by HometownUSA

A lovely set of beverage coasters with blueberries design.  The coasters are made from plastic canvas, hand stitched with medium weight acrylic yarn. Felt is glued to the back. They measures about 4.5" square.

These drink mats are handmade by Barbara Lynn of MIchigan and featured in her Etsy Shop called HometownUSA.

Blueberry Potholders

Blueberry Potholder Set by KellettKreations

Blueberry with gingham check fabric potholders are a heart shaped pot pincher style.  This potholder hot pad set of 2 measures 9 X 7 1/2  each.

The fabric in this set is blueberries that look good enough to eat. the binding is a blue and white gingham check, as is the inner lining.   

This set is handmade by Elizabeth of Wisconsin and featured in her Etsy Shop KellettKreations

When You Are Not Crafting or Baking Your Blueberries...


Enjoy them in Other Ways!
Blueberries are very versatile... whether you grow them, bake, cook and eat them, or craft with the color of blueberries... it's a popular fruit. Enjoy your blueberries in many ways.

Don't be Blue... Be Berry Happy!

July is National Blueberry Month

Article originally published on another site.(c) 2012 by Wednesday Elf

Thursday, February 18, 2016

Coastal Crochet Crafts on Etsy

My Etsy Shop is Called Coastal Crochet Crafts!

It First Began as Mountainside Crochet
Mountainside Crochet became my online presence eight years ago when I first opened my Etsy Shop. I chose the name for my shop using two criteria - my specialty and my location. I am a crochet crafter and the shop would feature my crocheted creations, so I needed to use 'crochet' as part of my shop name. There are numerous shops on Etsy in this fiber craft, so I wanted to add something to the word 'crochet' to distinguish myself from the others. I decided to pick my location. Since we are limited to 20 characters in the name, it had to be something that fit. At the time, I was living on the 'side' of Stumphouse Mountain on the edge of the Blue Ridge mountains in western South Carolina, thereby "creating crafts while living in the mountains." Well, MountainsideCrochet was 19 characters, so that fit exactly in the length criteria, and also would tell everyone Who and What my Etsy shop was about.
Recently I moved to the Georgia Coast outside Savannah and living near the beach the name with 'Mountainside' in it was no longer apropos. Therefore, I have just changed my Etsy Shop name to Coastal Crochet Crafts. Welcome!

Look, Before you Leap!

It's Best to Learn What You're Doing First!
It is wise, before beginning a new venture, particularly one that involves doing something you've never done before, to do your research and know something about what you are about to do. Well, not only did I not know anything about opening a craft shop on Etsy - or doing anything harder than sending emails on the computer - I did NOT do any real research. Oh, I read the how-to on Etsy about setting up your shop. That seemed enough, so I began. Boy, did I have a lot to learn, and learn I did, the Hard Way!

Trials and Tribulations of a Non-Technical Person!

First, I'd never used a digital camera before, and my photography over the years had left a lot to be desired (I tended to cut off people's heads all the time). I read the instructions for the camera and took several pictures and even figured out how to transfer them to my computer. OK, so far!
After creating my shop account on Etsy, I started out to list my first item. There were 5 pages to complete, including title and description, category and tag words, price and shipping information. (Now it's a simplified form all on one page) When I came to Step 4: Upload photos. I clicked on the browse button, found my first photo on my computer, and clicked the upload button. At the time I was using 'dial-up', so expected this to take awhile, but I waited.... and waited... and nothing happened. Being unsure what I was doing, I figured I'd done something wrong, so started all over. More waiting..... nothing happened except a blank screen! After 5 or 6 attempts, I emailed Etsy Admin and asked why it wasn't working. They replied with 'what size did you resize your photos to, because if the picture is too big, it won't upload'. Resize? I have to resize?  

My next step was to learn to resize each picture in the program that came with my digital camera. Once that was accomplished, the pictures uploaded just fine! Duh!

A Guide to Selling on Etsy is Very Helpful


An Etsy Guide
It would have been most helpful if ~ before I began setting up my Etsy Shop ~ I had read a guide to the basics.  A list of hints on how to set up an Etsy shop, including writing item descriptions, taking photographs of my work, and understanding the 'ins' and 'outs' of fees, shipping, packaging, etc. would have saved me much frustration as I learned to be an Etsy seller.  This book on "Starting an Etsy Business (for Dummies)" (and 'newbies' like me) would have been the perfect guide at the start.

Plush Baby Bear in Green


Plush Baby Bear
Plush Baby Bear with Bib

Very First Shop Listing
My very first listing in my new Etsy Shop was a cute little baby teddy bear.  The fun part of crocheting stuffed animals is you can make them in any color you want. Sometimes I use a traditional color, like brown for a bear, but other times the more colorful the better. Babies, especially, like bright colors.

Over the years I've made over two dozen of these baby teddy bears for family and friends. It's a fun pattern I found in the May/June 1989 issue of Crochet World. The pattern was titled simply "Baby Bear" and was written by Sheila Leslie.

The latest 'Baby Bear with Bib' currently in my Etsy Shop is done in a pastel green.

My First Sale


Holly Hippo Ballerina
Two weeks after opening my Etsy Shop, I received an email stating I had SOLD an item. I could barely contain my excitement! The email from Etsy also stated that the customer had paid by PayPal and, according to the directions, I should now have a 2nd email confirming the PayPal payment. I waited a couple hours, but no second email arrived. Naturally I thought I had done something wrong with setting up the PayPal account, so I contacted PayPal. They researched my account, told me it was correctly set up, but that no payment had arrived. Well, I didn't know what to do next.

In the email from Etsy, we are given a mailing address for shipping the sold item, plus the customer's email for contact. I sent the customer an email about how I would ship the item as soon as I received payment and to confirm that she paid with PayPal. Nothing. No reply. The order had come in late Friday and now it was the weekend. The customer appeared to have an email address that seemed to reflect a business, so I did an online search and found her business in Colorado. This made me think that perhaps she had ordered from work and wouldn't get my follow up email until she returned to work on Monday. So I made myself relax and wait out the weekend.

It turned out the customer was new to online shopping, and didn't know how to complete a PayPal transaction. New shopkeeper + new online customer = "the blind leading the blind!" We got it all worked out and she was delighted with her hippo, as that is what she collects in all shapes and forms! The next sale went much more smoothly.

Where the Designs & Patterns Come From...


A Penguin Colony in Colorful Plush Crochet

For my Crocheted 'Critters'

I have been creating crocheted 'critters' for more than 40 years, so many of the patterns I use are now considered 'vintage'. Some came from crochet magazines I subscribed to many years ago; others from even older issues accumulated from friends and thrift stores over time. 

Today, many free crochet patterns can be found online at various crochet-related websites and blogs.

My Crochet Creating is Expanding...

I Discovered the Amigurumi Style!
The Amigurumi Style of crochet (and knitting) is the Japanese art of knitting or crocheting small stuffed animals and anthropomorphic creatures. After about a year of crocheting my standard plush animals, I began seeing many creations on Etsy called Amigurumi. At first I thought they looked 'silly' - big heads.... small bodies.... skinny arms & legs. THEN, I tried one... this little Amigurumi Bunny... and 'fell in love'. It turned out so cute! Since then I have used the basic design to create my own Amigurumi designs.

Amigurumi Animal Patterns
If you are a crochet crafter like me, you might like to try this Amigurumi-Style of crochet. My favorite Amigurumi is in the form of cute little animals and this book, Animal Amigurumi to Crochet is a fun way to begin. The book includes patterns to crochet eight animals ( a bear, bunny, cat, dog, elephant, giraffe, hippo, and a monkey). There are also instructions on how to assemble the animals and tips on crochet and Amigurumi techniques. The finished dolls range in size from 12 to 18 inches tall.

Feedback is Fun!

I love getting emails and feedback from my customers. I find it so delightful to learn why they selected my item. The stories are so interesting and have made me realize that the item I chose to create was exactly what someone was looking for. I do not usually follow a trend and only occasionally crochet something 'holiday-related'. Most of the time I make what appeals to me and when I discover why something appeals to a customer, I work around that idea to come up with more items in that theme. But most of my themes come first from my interests. 

We will expand on those interests and themes, such as the seashore, nature, and farm & zoo animals in future crochet stories. 

Many of my Crocheted Critters Have New Homes...

A Happy Customer
In the 8 years I have had my crochet shop on Etsy, my 'crocheted critters' have found new homes in a wide variety of different states.

They now reside in locations from California to New York and Wisconsin to Florida. It's such fun 'tracking' my sales! I have a map of the United States posted on my bulletin board and put colored stickers on the locations where my little creations now live.

My very first international sale was a Red Letter day, and a new learning experience filling out the international customs form! A little green baby octopus now lives in Switzerland! Then a plush tiger traveled to Canada. And this picture shows a happy little girl in Scotland with her new plush penguin. But the longest journey any of my 'critters' has made happened in August 2012, when two plush animals went to Australia!

My Crocheted Creations and I Thank You for Visiting Us

Yellow Octopus
Bright Yellow Baby Octopus

Thank you for visiting the story of my crochet shop, Coastal Crochet Crafts. Come visit anytime.  Our doors are always open.

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Plush Turtles and a Tortoise - Plush Toy Animals

Two Turtles and a Tortoise


Turtles are animals that walk slowly, have a shell on their back and can pull its head and its short legs into the shell.  Turtles live on the land or in the sea or other bodies of water. In England, a turtle is sometimes called a tortoise.

Turtles come in many sizes from the tiny speckled cape tortoise in South Africa which measures around 3 inches long, to the giant leatherback sea turtle which can grow up to 7 feet long.

Toy Turtles in Plush

Since children love turtles, and I create in crochet for kids, I wanted to make some plush toy turtles.  These cuddly stuffed turtles are soft and cute and love to live in a child's toy box or keep them company on their bed.  Currently, a couple of different sized plush turtles are waiting in my Etsy Shop, Coastal Crochet Crafts, until time for them to leave for their new home.

Rosy Pink Plush Baby Turtle

Pink Plush Baby Turtle
 First, there is the tiny baby turtle in a rosy pink and pink ombre yarn who measures just 5 inches from her head to her tail and about 4 inches from the tip of her head to her little feet. She is handmade in the Amigurumi style of crochet using acrylic yarn and is filled with soft polyfil.

This rosy pink baby turtle would make a darling baby gift or a fun plush toy for any age child. 

Green Plush Toy Turtle


Tiny Turtle in Green

This is a cute toy turtle in handmade crochet. The head and feet are done in a soft green acrylic yarn and the shell is in shades of green, orange, rust and white ombre yarn. The tiny tail and feet are green. The eyes are embroidered in orange yarn. Green turtle is the same size as the cute rosy pink turtle above.  Both baby turtles can be found in my Etsy Shop

Terrance the Tortoise in Crochet


plush tortoise
Terrance the Tortoise

Come meet Terrance, a plush stuffed toy tortoise. Terrance is an Amigurumi toy turtle handmade in crochet. You can also call him by his nickname, Terry.

Terrance the tortoise is crocheted in yellow, tan and sage green acrylic yarn and filled with soft new polyfil. He measures about 12 inches long and 11 inches wide measured across his body and his legs.

Toy tortoise has a tan body with a sage green shell. His head, legs and tail are done in yellow. His eyes are embroidered. He's soft and cuddly and safe for any age child with no removable parts.

Terrance the tortoise is a happy toy turtle waiting to be hugged by a child who loves turtles. 

Good Night Little Turtle


These baby turtles and Terry tortoise have a favorite book they like to have read to them at bedtime.  It's called 'Good Night Little Turtle' and it is a fun rhyming story all about a little turtle who has to say goodnight to his animal friends, the sheep, bird, frog, dog, rabbit and lion, before he brushes his teeth and gets his own bedtime story read to him.  Then it's time to go to sleep.

My happy plush turtles at Coastal Crochet Crafts hope you enjoyed visiting them.

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Crafty and Cuddly Mallard Ducks

Mallard Duck
Mallard Duck

Mallard Ducks are the most abundant duck species on earth.  The male Mallard is very distinctive with his green head and yellow beak.  Because they are so familiar and the easiest to identify, these ducks seem to be quite popular as decorative and useful home décor and fun plush toys.


Mallard Ducks on a Coffee Cup


Mallard Duck Mug
Early Spring Mallard Duck Mug by Plutonium Shores on Zazzle
Start your day with a Mallard duck by drinking  your morning coffee or tea in this attractive coffee mug featuring a photo of a pair of Mallards, the male and the female, entitled Early Spring Mallard Ducks.

Mallard Duck coffee mug features artwork designed by Plutonium Shores and is available in her Zazzle Store.

Handmade Mallard Duck Beverage Coasters


Mallard Duck Beverage Coasters
Mallard Duck Design Handmade Beverage Coasters
Need a coaster for your coffee mug?  This unique and pretty set of handmade beverage coasters is stitched in the colors and design of a Mallard Duck.  The set will be especially popular with the sportsman in your life or simply as a design that appeals to men.  Use them in the den or that  'man-cave'.  A perfect gift for dad for Father's Day or his birthday.

This is a set of 4 drink coasters shaped like a Mallard Duck. Each coaster measures 4 x 4 inches at their widest  and were created using plastic canvas and acrylic yarn in shades of gray, green, brown, blue, gold and white. The coaster set is available in the Etsy Shop of Coastal Crochet Crafts

Cuddly Plush Mallard Duck

Plush Toy Mallard Duck on Amazon
This plush Mallard Duck by Wild Republic will be a winner with children or any bird enthusiast.   It measures 5 x 3 x 5 inches and has details provided by the National Audubon Society, Inc.  It also features an authentic mallard call.  Plush cute Mallard Duck is available on Amazon.

Quack, quack – that's Mallard Duck talk for “hope you enjoyed this review of cuddly and crafty Mallards.”

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Lovable Ladybugs in Handmade Plush Crochet

American ladybugs are red with black spots.  Asian ladybugs are yellow or orange. Plush ladybugs handmade in crochet in red, yellow and orange are simply adorable!  Each of these plush ladybugs can be found in my Etsy Shop Coastal Crochet Crafts.

Let's take a closer look at each one.

Red Ladybug in Crochet


red ladybug in crochet
Plush Ladybug in Red
Red Lady Bug loves warm weather and garden-time, flitting and frolicking among the plants. Since she's a plushie, she's also fun to cuddle.

This Red Lady Bug measures about 6-1/2" long and 5" high and is 4" across. She's hand-crocheted in durable acrylic yarn in red and black and softly stuffed with polyfil. Her antennae are crocheted and her facial features are embroidered in red on a black face.

Pretty Yellow Ladybug in Plush


yellow lady bug plushie
Handmade Crochet Yellow Ladybug
This is my plush crocheted replica of a Yellow Lady Bug!

Yellow lady bug is bright and cheerful and loves sunshine and flitting about the garden.

Yellow Lady Bug measures about 7" long and 5" high and is 4" across. She's hand-crocheted in washable acrylic yarn in yellow and black and softly stuffed with polyfil. Her antennae are crocheted and her facial features are embroidered in yellow on a black face. 

Adorable Orange Ladybug Stuffed Toy


Orange plush ladybug
Handmade Ladybug in Orange Crochet

Orange ladybug is a fun toy ladybug who measures about 6" long and 5" high and is 4" across. Hand-crocheted in washable acrylic yarn in orange and black and softly stuffed with polyfil, orange ladybug has crocheted antennae and embroidered facial features in orange on a black face.

Ladybugs, ladybugs.... at home on Etsy


Red, Yellow and Orange Plush Ladybugs

Whether red, yellow or orange, a ladybug plushie is an adorable stuffed toy!  Come visit my plush ladybugs currently waiting for your visit at Coastal Crochet Crafts on Etsy.

Ladybug, Ladybug, Fly Away Home...


Well, what if a ladybug hasn't learned to fly?  Here's a cute storybook about a ladybug learning to fly.  In the story called "Look Out, Ladybug!" we follow a little ladybug as she bumps into all kinds of animals along the way while trying to learn to fly.  Children who are learning new things will understand the 'practice-makes-perfect' message. 

Ladybug designs for home decor
For Ladybug designs in home decor, check out these hand-crafted ideas, including ladybug coasters and kitchen refrigerator magnets and a quilted purse in a ladybug print.

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Ladybugs are a Popular Design in Handmade Crafts

Ladybug Handmade Coaster
Ladybug Coaster

Ladybugs are probably the nicest insect around.  Besides being useful in gardens, they are favorites of children.  In the United Kingdom, Ladybugs are called 'Ladybirds'. These brightly colored insects are also considered 'lucky'.

Let's look at some ladybug designs on a few lovely handmade items found on Etsy.

Quilted Handmade Ladybug Purse


Quilted Ladybug Purse
Handmade Quilted Ladybug Purse

This cute quilted purse has an adorable design of ladybugs in red with black spots on a white background.  Made with 100% cotton fabric, the top of the purse has red fabric with white polka dots and black fabric accents, along with a black bottom and handles. The inside of this quilted purse is lined with red fabric and there are 3 pockets made with the ladybug fabric.

ladybug purse
Quilted Ladybug Purse - Inside view
Quilted Ladybug Purse has a black button and loop for closure. It is a very sturdy purse and it will stand on its own.  It measures 10-1/2” tall, 13-1/2” wide, and has a 4 inch bottom.  There is a 12-1/2 inch drop on the handles.

Ladybug quilted purse is a unique and interesting design for your Spring and Summer wardrobe.  It is the creation of Kathie, an Iowa quilter, and is available in her Etsy Shop she calls CutePurseNalities.

Crafty Ladybugs Make Interesting Home Décor

Ladybug Beverage Coasters


Handmade Beverage Coasters Shaped like Ladybugs
Handmade Ladybug-Design Beverage Coasters
Coasters are always handy to protect your table tops from wet rings. For fans of Lady Bugs, these handmade beverage coasters really 'fit the bill'.

These Ladybug coasters are handmade using plastic canvas and acrylic yarn. Each coaster in this set of 4 measures approximately 4 x 4 inches. The coasters were stitched with red and black acrylic yarn.

Lady Bug design drink coasters are the perfect compliment for your home, patio or porch for a summery outdoors feel to your decor.

Handmade Ladybug Magnets


Ladybug Refrigerator Magnets
Ladybug Refrigerator Magnets
To complete your Ladybug décor, here's a set of two ladybug refrigerator magnets for your kitchen.

Ladybug 'fridgies' are handmade with care using plastic canvas and acrylic yarn. There is a magnet glued on the back of each Lady Bug magnet.  They measure 2" x 2-1/2" each.

A cute pair of little 'Lady Bugs' to brighten up your kitchen and hold your shopping lists and notes. 

Ladybug, ladybug, fly away home...for a bright spot in home decor.

The ladybug beverage coasters and matching magnets can be found in the Etsy Shop of Coastal Crochet and Crafts.