Friday, January 20, 2012

Felt Topiary

We're very excited to be celebrating the birthday of our beloved Arts and Crafts program. We decorated the store like a birthday party and have some fun activities lined up!

Today we made a topiary made out of felt. We cut 2" circles of felt using the die cut machine in the shop. Then we folded those into quarters and pinned them to a giant styrofoam ball.

This ball is GIANT! I think it was a 6" diameter ball. It took 3/4 of a yard of felt to cut out enough circles. And lots of straight pins. It took a little while to get the whole ball covered, so we enlisted help from our customers!
Once we got the ball covered we used a dowel rod to create the "tree trunk." We cut ours with the big saw in the frame shop, but that's just because we could. You can do this yourself with a craft knife or a handsaw with no problem! Half a styrofoam ball sits in the bottom of the pail to hold in place, and home dec rocks cover the ball to make it look pretty. Tie it off with a ribbon and you have a fun felt topiary ready for your Valentine's or Spring home decor!

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Happy 70th Birthday Arts and Crafts

This year (2012) Army Arts and Crafts is celebrating its 70th year of serving soldiers and family members. We are proud to be a part of such a creative community!

Monday, January 9, 2012

Glitter Shoes Tutorial

This quick and easy DIY shoe makeover will add a sparkly punch to your wardrobe this winter!
I used silver shimmer Mod Podge so that the shoes would still look sparkly if some of the glitter flaked off. I used a foam brush to paint on the glue, but feel free to use whatever kind of brush makes you happy.
 I filled the inside of the shoe with a plastic bag to attempt to keep the glitter out. It helped a little. Work over a paper plate or something to catch all the loose glitter!
Some tips:
1. Go easy on the glue. The places where I used a thinner layer of glue actually came out nicer. The thicker areas started peeling a little by the end of the day.
2. After the shoes have dried rub them gently to knock off any loose glitter. Unless of course you WANT to leave a trail of pixie dust everywhere you go, which is perfectly acceptable in my opinion, except at my house.
3. Check for missed spots and fill them in with additional glue and glitter.
4. Wait until the shoes are DRY before you try to wear them.

Overall impression:
I can't believe I made glitter shoes! It may be the first trendy fashion thing I've ever done... Because the shoes I used are a slick pleather type material the glue is peeling in high stress areas and where I got it too thick. They will have to be maintained, but there was PLENTY of glitter left over so it's ok. I bet this would work even better with canvas shoes. Hmmmm.... now to see what shoes can be made over next...

Wednesday, September 14, 2011


Show of hands: who has been here long enough that they remember when we were called "The Gussy Goose?" Anyone? Anyone? Oh, I DO! That was our store name for many years and every now and then someone still calls us that. Well we had an employee who picked us up a mascot one year! Anyone remember these?

Apparently they were all the rage one year and you bought little seasonal clothes for them! Oh yeah. So we had her sitting in the window, and then she would play hide and seek with the regular's kids (yeah Cindi, that's you!) and she even spent some time traveling the world! We played a game where our customers had to guess what famous landmark she was in front of.

Well, three years ago we opened the Patch Arts and Crafts Center. We tried to keep her as a memento but over time people just wondered why we had the big plastic goose in the window. So alas, she was banished to the storage room.

Fast forward through the years. Every time the girls turned around there was the goose, taking up space. The last straw was a few weeks ago when she was taking up a space where fabric needed to go. Katelyn and Beth went all secret squirrel on me, and the next thing I know THIS is hanging on our wall!

Isn't she awesome! Much better than the plastic goose she started out as! Well, the girls did the project very secretively just in case I wouldn't be happy. So there's no tutorial, but if you have a plastic lawn ornament you want to mount, it's pretty easy!

1. Saw the head off the animal with a little hacksaw.
2. Decorate the mount. The girls used this frame from Kaiser Craft (which we have more of at the store)

3. Glue the head to the mount. The girls ended up putting some little wood brackets on the inside of the neck, and then attached that to the mount. Sorry I don't have pictures!

So, if you're looking for something fun to do with some plastic animals, this could be a fun project! Don't have one that big? Check out this site that used little animals for coat hooks and magnets. Happy crafting!

Wednesday, April 13, 2011


Join us on 21 April from 5-9 pm, to learn how to make eco-friendly grocery bags out of your favorite fabric scraps! To sign up come by the shop, call us or register on WebTrac. See you there!

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Watercolors by Kirsten Carlson

Kirsten Carlson is one of our instructors and is an amazing artist! Mary and I went to see her work on display at an art gallery in Leonberg and were blown away! Kirsten has a degree in marine biology and her artwork is based on her real life experience under water! She even had a globe marking the places around the world she has dove. She also showed us a video and her equipment she used to draw UNDER WATER!

Kirsten will have some artwork, the children's books she has illustrated, and some postcards available at the upcoming Art and Espresso, May 19-21. She will also have a few items on display at the store when her exhibition is finished. If you want to LEARN from an amazingly talented, energetic, and just plain fun instructor, look for Kirsten's watercolor and drawing classes at the shop.