This week, we’re introducing you to our new columnists! Last week you met Tracy Porter and Chris Olsen. Today, meet Jerusalem Greer, the talented and creative craft artist and self-professed “nest fluffer” behind Jolly Goode Gal! For a sample of her unique style, check out her home featured in our July 2010 issue. As a mom, she’s perfected DIY projects on a budget, and we knew she would be a great fit for the At Home in Arkansas blog.
Jerusalem’s monthly column on crafting begins today with tips on creating your ideal craft space.
Everyone loves a great make-over story! A fun, and often inexpensive, makeover is to create a craft space in your home.
Whether you have a whole room to dedicate, a closet or perhaps a small corner of an existing room (dining room, family room, kids room,) you can achieve an adorable and inspiriting craft zone that will fit your personality and your pocket book, and bring some order to your crafty chaos.
So, how do you go about creating the perfect craft space for your needs, space and budget?
Here are a few easy steps to get you started:
1) Decide where your craft space is going to be based both on what space is available in your home, and what kind of crafting you do there. Reflect on what type of crafting you enjoy most. If you enjoy machine sewing your space will need to access to a table surface and an outlet. However, if knitting is your forte then perhaps you just need easy access to ample storage for your yarn and needles and a portable craft bag or box that can travel with you from room to room as you work.
2) Once you have decided on the type of space you need and the location, you can begin the fun task of gathering and collecting inspiration pictures. The Internet, catalogs and magazines are full of inspiring ideas. One tip: donât just look at âcraft roomsâ and storage pictures per se; look at everything that inspires you, from floor to ceiling. I have found great inspiration for craft storage in farm & feed stores, education supply catalogs and many other unlikely places.
Here are some of my all-time favorite craft areas:
Photo via here
Photo via here
Photo via here
Photo via here
3) After you’ve chosen your inspiration pictures, you can begin narrowing down the exact items you will need to purchase, re-purpose or re-store for the project, and those that even thought you love them, maybe are not the best choice for this project.
4) After you have narrowed down your choices. you can create an inspiration board (like the one above, featuring a patchwork theme) to help keep you on track as you forge ahead. Having an inspiration board can help motivate you to take the steps necessaryÂ to accomplish your project goal, such as saving those pennies, only purchasing what will fit your space,Â and staying true to your design.
So, regardless of how big or how small your craft space is, now is the perfect time to jump in and give it a make-over that both inspires and encourages you, turning your craft dreams into craft realities!
Jerusalem Greer (of Jolly Goode Gal) comes to your rescue with inexpensive, easy Christmas crafts that are a tad bit nostalgic to boot! We love the “Too Many Mittens” reference, and the sheet music. Goes to show that, when it comes to decorating for the holidays, personal is best. Use your imagination and have fun! And if you get stuck, these tips from Jerusalem are sure to get you going.
As I thought about what Christmas crafts I could share with the At Home blog readers this month, I realized that I should give the kind of gift that I love to receive: One that is personal and homespun. So for this month’s post, I thought I would share a few Christmas crafts from my own home. Not every craft I try is a winner (there was the disastrous snow globe fiasco after all), but every now and then my plan comes together, and I end up with a lovely new creation that my family and I can enjoy for many Christmasâ to come. Below are a few of these successes that are both simple (because who has time for one more complicated to-do task on their holiday list?) and lovely.
Frame Vintage Christmas Cards
To create this look, simply layer vintage Christmas cards on top of holiday themed sheet music and place in an inexpensive frame. To keep this look clean and crisp I chose a white frame, which helped set off the vintage papers without being overly fussy.
One of my favorite childhood books is titled “Too Many Mittens.” In this book, a laundry line of mittens is a prominent feature. I recreated this look for my mantle. (For the full instructions and a mitten pattern, you can visit this link to my Too Many Mittens Craft (http://www.jollygoodegal.com/2011/12/too-many-mittens-weekend-christmas.html)
Snow in a Bottle
This project is one of my all time favorites and take less than 10 Â minutes to make. Using a funnel, pour a three part mixture of fake snow, white glitter and off white glitter into an old glass bottle. Fill about â Â full. Stamp or write the words and phrases like “Snow Starter,” “White Christmas 2011,” or “Frosty R.I.P.” on a small shipping tag. Replace the string on your tag with a pipe cleaner. Fold your tag in half and place in your bottle. (If your tag doesnât pop open after you have pushed it back into your bottle, you can use a pipe cleaner to open it back up.) Next, hot glue a small to medium Christmas ball or ornament Â to the top, inverting the top of your ornament into the mouth of the bottle. Using a thin ribbon, tie a lose one knot bow around the neck of your bottle. Ta-da! A cute Christmas conversation piece.
Tiered Christmas Card Wreath
For years I was one of those people who could never find a way to display the Christmas cards our little family received that didnât look too busy or bulky. Finally, in act of desperation, I grabbed two metal wreath frames with contrasting grosgrain ribbon and went to wrapping. I wrap the ribbon around each frame. Then, using 5â flocked red ribbon, I connected the two wreaths with one simple loop. To top it all, I took another large piece of the same ribbon, ran it through the smaller wreath and knotted it, letting the tails hang down. I added a large glittered jingle bell as the final touch. To attach my holiday cards, I use stick pins and the folds of the ribbon. Maybe this year I will even add a third wreath.
Peace of Scrabble
I have made all sorts of gifts, including nameplates as teachers gift and jewelry for my sisters as Christmas gifts. Last year during the holidays, I created my own version of a peace sign, and this year I hope to add Love, Joy and Hope to the collection. If you are going to make your own Scrabble crafts this holiday, I would suggest hitting up estate sales and flea markets for great deals on used games.
However you celebrate this holiday, I wish each of you a wonderfully simple, beautiful Christmastime.
Sending happy Valentine’s Day wishes to all of our readers today! Our gift to you? These great project ideas from Jerusalem Greer of Jolly Goode Gal. Which ones will you be trying?
I have a confession of the heart that I cannot hide anymore. Can you guess what it is? Yep. I Â confess, I love and adore Valentine’s Day. Â Not because of the romance (though I never turn my nose up at romantic gestures that happen to coincide with February 14) and not because of the chocolate (although that doesnât hurt either). No, my affection for what cynics refer to as a âgreeting-card holidayâ stems from this: Valentineâs Day is simple. V-Day is a day that comes to us in the middle of winter, when there is not one colorful thing in bloom, when the skies are gray, and the temps are chilly, and brings us bear hugs, giant red foil wrapped candies and the cheerful happy colors of conversation hearts. Simple joys and small kind gestures, that is what makes Valentineâs Day lovely to me. After all, isnât L-O-V-E Â what makes the world go round?
To spread V-Day cheer, here are a few of my favorite Valentine’s Day crafts. Some I have done and some are on my still-to-do list but all are happy, vibrant and the perfect antidote to the winter blahs.
Love Around the World
I adore maps. I have a fairly large collection of vintage maps and globes. How cute and easy would this be to make using old atlas or travel maps? Make it large or small, a poster or a card, but make one and pass it on to someone who needs an extra little boost.
Youâve Won My Heart
How cute are these ribbons? Everyone is a winner with these adorable creations. Cupcake liners, paper hearts and craft ribbon combine to make adorable Valentineâs Day prize ribbons. Not just for fashion, these ribbons would be the perfect way to embellish Â a box of chocolates, a simple greeting card or a small bouquet of flowers.
Roll With It
Looking for a creative way to pass on V-Day greetings to co-workers and friends? Â Try this âRoll With Itâ candy-gram. In addition to Rollo you could also use Tootsie Rolls or Fruit Roll-Ups for kids.
Iâve Never Felt This Way Before
All you need to know is this: Felt Heart Garland. Need I say any more? Whatâs not to love?
This is a great craft that keeps on giving. Our family has done this the past few years and we all love it. Each family member has his/her own mail box. Near the mail box and all around the house there are little stacks of note paper and colorful pens. We all write each other little love notes and hide them in the mail boxes, raising the little flags when a delivery has been made. Sometimes the notes are serious, sometimes they are silly, always they are special.
Queen of Hearts
I have always loved the look of red heart playing cards mixed in with Valentine’s decor (perhaps it has something to do with Alice in Wonderland?) and have used them in a variety of ways over the years to accent my V-Day crafts. I love this garland that combines the hard straight lines of the playing cards and with the soft scrappy bits of fabrics to create an adorable accent piece.