Sunday, March 31, 2019

Gotta Love Candles


I've always loved decorating my home with candles.  I started using wax candle tapers from the Colonial Candle Company decades ago and changed the tapers on my tables for everyday use, the holidays or the various seasons.

I graduated from the Colonial  Candle Company tapers when they went out of business to Yankee Candle wax in glass containers when they came out and also changed them out for everyday use, the holidays or the seasons.

I'm sure it won't surprise you but, since I'm an avid crafter and love trying all sorts of crafts, I decided to try my hand at making my own candles.  I thought it might be fun to have a crafter weekend with my Mom so I asked her if she wanted to help me and, of course, she said yes.

I had decided ahead of time to make seasonal, holiday and everyday candles so I bought a bunch of terra-cotta pots of different sizes and painted them with different colors of  DecoArt Patio Paint that I had bought.  Then I added a bunch of rub-on stencils to represent everyday use, holiday use, and seasonal use.  I sealed the stencils and terra-cotta painted pots with a light varnish and let them dry before I started using them.


If you're interested in my step by step process for painting and stenciling terra-cotta posts please check out my "Linda's How-Do-I Series? How To Make A Painted and Stenciled Terracotta Pot Decoration" E-Book shown in the picture above.

I had printed off several articles on making candles and knew I needed to buy paraffin wax, wicks and scents. I didn't need any dyes or molds as the candles were going to be clear and contained within the terra-cotta pots.  My Mother and I read through all the articles on how to do this until we were satisfied we understood what to do.


From what I can remember making the candles was a fairly easy process and went smoothly for us.  From what my Mother and I could tell the candles came out great and we decided to give some to my sister to try out.

Well, with anything you make, sometimes things work and sometimes they don't.  This was one of those times.  The candles didn't work.  For some reason they burned way too hot and the wick flame was too high.  There was way too much smoke with the candle so my sister extinguished the candle and told me they were too dangerous to use.  I don't know what was wrong with the candles we made.  Was there a problem with the wax, the wicks, the way we made them?  Who knows.  It didn't work and as far as we were concerned that was the end of our candle making experience.

Instead of wasting the pots I decided to remove the wax from the pots.  I had read that putting the candles in the freezer for an hour would help to easily remove the wax from the container.  It worked perfectly.   Given how my candle making attempt didn't work I resorted to just using the terra-cotta pots for my indoor plants or for decorations.  Oh, well! 

Thursday, March 28, 2019

HERE'S AN IDEA -Entertain Your Birthday Doll Crafting Party Guests With E-Printable Hawk Family Standing Paper Dolls



Looking for fun crafts activities for the kids to do during your doll birthday party? Why not make  some adorable standing paper dolls? The kids can cut them out and staple them together.


If you are looking for such a fun activity you'll love our free adorable e-printable standing dolls set that contains graphics of all eleven children of the "It's Raining Doll Parties" Hawk Family.  Your guests will have a fun time making our adorable and easy to make standing paper dolls.



For more information and to download our free 2 In 1 Hawk Family Party Free E-Printable Standing Dolls Set please CLICK HERE.

They're easy to make and your guests will love taking their paper creations home with them.


Wednesday, March 13, 2019

HERE'S AN IDEA - Birthday Party Binders



Kids love to reminisce and love looking at pictures over and over. So, a special binder filled with pictures and memorabilia of their birthday party would be a wonderful way to remember their special day.

Create scrapbook pages for the binder. Add pictures, their invitation, e-printables used, e-patterns used, e-printable coloring pages, made by me tags, cut and sew doll fabric, etc. Anything used for their special party will bring back wonderful memories for years to come.

We have several to choose from in our "It's Raining Doll Parties" products gallery.  Here's a few of them:



Reminisce with birthday party binders - what a great idea!


Tuesday, March 12, 2019

Grandma Knows Best Especially When It Comes To Books





When the 7th and final book in the wildly popular Harry Potter series entitled "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows" was released in July 21, 2007 I thought it would be a good idea to introduce one of my grandsons to the series.


In thinking about books and my new "We Love Books" collection of products I thought I'd relate a story about the series and my grandson that you might enjoy.

Back in 2007 I was looking for a birthday present for my grandson. I wanted the present that his Grandfather and I gave him to be one that was "THE HOTTEST ITEM" among adolescent and teenage boys at the time.

I had read that one of the hottest and coolest items among adolescents and teenage boys was "The Harry Potter" Series of books, which then had only 3 books in the series. So, I decided we'd give him the 3 hardcover books that were in the series.

Even though this was the "hottest" ticket item it was a gamble for his Grandfather and I. You see, my grandson wasn't a reader. But, I figured peer pressure would create enthusiasm for him and maybe he'd discover a love for reading.


Well, he opened his present, smiled and said thank-you, but wasn't really thrilled. We'd bombed out. At least we thought so until the following year when "Harry Potter" really took off. Then the teenage boys and adolescents couldn't get enough of Harry Potter. Harry Potter mania had set in and all of a sudden we (that is his Grandfather and I) were just the "coolest" grandparents as our Grandson already had the first three books in the series and was "the man" among all his friends.

Even our son-in-law was enthusiastic about the books and decided to start reading them to our youngest grandson for his bedtime stories. It took awhile but they got through the first 3 books and decided to buy the 4th book in the series.

Well, not to be outdone by their younger brothers our older teenage granddaughters decide to read the series, too. So they, too read all three of the books in the set we had given their brother and then read Book 4.

After that they moved on to Book 5, then Book 6, then Book 7.  They all read all of those, too.


Monday, March 11, 2019

Gotta Love "We Love Books" Products For Grown-up Girls



I fell in love with books and reading from a very early age.  My grandmother read, my Dad read, and my mother read so, I guess, I had good role models.

I love libraries, too and could spend hours on end just browsing through all the stacks.  I usually found myself browsing through history books and craft books.  I just couldn't get enough of historical information - especially on the Victorian Era.  It always fascinated me and finding something in one book usually lead to another book, and so on.  Like solving a big jigsaw puzzle.

I was always happy when I found a good craft book as there really weren't a lot of them at the time.  Nothing like what you can find nowadays.

All of this probably explains my love of Victorian dolls, love of crafts, love of research, love of jigsaw puzzle, and love of reading.

 

So, it should come as no surprise to all of you that I decided to create some custom design "We Love Books" products for "grown-up" girls within my "It's Raining Doll Parties - We Love Books" products galleries.  Why should all the little girls have all the fun! LOL!

 

I created adorable leggings, socks, sneakers, scarves, compact mirrors, shirts, and all sorts of purses, totes and more.  It's a really fun collection.  I've got my eye on the leggings, socks, and several of the purses and totes.  I'll let you all know what I buy! Have fun shopping.


Sunday, March 10, 2019

Gotta Love Custom Electronics Accessories - Especially For Your iPhone



Several decades ago I was fortunate enough when I was working to be selected to try a new office gadget called a computer.  At the time it was a big desktop model of sorts.  I was inputting financial data of some sorts.  For what I can't remember.  What I can remember is I loved it.  It was like a big jigsaw puzzle to be explored.

That experience lead me to getting a computer science degree.  While in school I learned how to program using FORTRAN, Cobra, and Assembler programming languages.

For the Cobra and Assembler programming courses I needed to buy a computer so I bought one of the first Apple Macintosh models.  It was an all in one package containing a computer, external hard drive, printer, keyboard, mouse, padded carrying case, and several books on operating the computer.  Everything fit neatly inside the padded carrying case for easy transport.

I can remember being really impressed with the complete package. That was a long time ago and, certainly, not something you'd be able to buy today as one complete package.  Nowadays you're lucky if you get some instructions with the computer.  Most are even void of that.  I think the computer manufacturers think everyone is going to learn how to handle them through osmosis!

In any event, it should come as no surprise that my love of reading and my love of custom design products would lead me to design some "We Love Books" electronics accessories products within my "It's Raining Doll Parties - We Love Books" product galleries.

I added my books designs to USB flash drives, iPhone cases, laptop sleeves, iPad covers, Apple watch bands, two different mouse-pads and a mouse.

I'm still trying to decide which products I'll buy for myself.  I love them all but, certainly, don't need 4 different designs of all the electronic accessories products.  So, choose I must.  I let you know which ones I bought.

In the meantime, I hope you enjoy Gotta Love Electronics Accessories collection.



The good thing about all the electronics accessories is they can be used by young children and grown-ups alike.  Have fun deciding which book custom design you like best.


Wednesday, March 6, 2019

Bookstore Shopping With Mom - What Can be Better Than That


I Just Love To Go Bookstore Shopping!  For me there is nothing more relaxing than going bookstore shopping at my local bookstores.  It was especially enjoyable when I would share this experience with my Mom.  She loved to bookstore shop too.

Not only was the time spent with my Mom thoroughly enjoyable, but we both loved books. We could spend hours upon hours just walking up and down the aisles looking at the best sellers, the discount books, the magazine section, etc. My mother always went to the "cooking" section first while I always went to the "dolls and crafts" section.

Now I wonder why that is????? Couldn't be because I love "dolls and crafts?" Nah!!!!

Why am I telling you this? Because I was fortunate enough while my Mom was still alive  to go bookstore shopping with her many, many times and for that I am so grateful. They were always delightful trips and usually I came home with some new best sellers from some of my favorite "romance" authors.

The last few trips I came home with a few "doll and craft" books to add to my collection.  If you believe I just bought a "few" craft books you don't know me very well.  My Mom used to look at my shopping cart and say, "Really, Linda!" LOL LOL

Over the years, however, I started to get a little disappointed browsing through the local bookstores for "doll and craft" books. You might wonder "why" that would be as I've just told you that I love shopping at my local bookstores.

Well, I've found that in browsing through my local bookstores several years ago that they just didn't seem to be carrying a lot of "doll and craft" books in their stores anymore. As a result I found when I'm looking for "doll and craft" books that I'd much rather shop online. I discovered Amazon a long time ago and found that I loved being able to search and sort for books to my hearts content. I could easily find the categories I wanted, the authors, best sellers, etc.

At Amazon I can browse by category, look at the new releases, scan the future releases, check out the magazines, etc. I don't have to get down on my knees (which at my age is no longer fun) and crane my neck to look for the "doll and craft" books on the bottom shelf. It's so much more enjoyable to sit in my chair and let my fingers do the walking.

I could spend hours and hours doing this as well. However, the one big drawback was that in sitting at my computer browsing through my online bookstore's is that I was missing one of the ingredients that made my local bookstore shopping experience so enjoyable - my Mom. I often thought about buying another computer and another computer set-up so my Mom could sit right next to me and let her fingers do the walking.

However, I know what she would have said to that and it would have been a big resounding "ABSOLUTELY NOT!" She'll give me that look that only Mother's can that makes you feel like your 3 years old even though you're a grandmother yourself. Then she'd say," Linda, a little fresh air never hurt anyone. Besides you need the exercise!" And, more importantly, she loved getting out of the house and loved going to the local bookstores to shop.  So, we would.

So, we continued to spend some lazy afternoons at the local bookstores. I'd still check out the "dolls and crafts" section first, but I wasn't going to be disappointed anymore because I knew I'd be coming home and letting my fingers do the walking. I like to think my Mom never knew I was doing online book shopping but I'd be foolish to think so.  She always knew.  They always do.  Perhaps, it's motherly instinct.

I learned to love books not only from my Mom but my Dad and Grandma as well.  They all loved books and instilled a love of books in me.  So, none of them would be surprised that I designed a "We Love Books" collection of graphics and products for my "It's Raining Doll Parties" website and gallery.  Bookstore shopping and products displaying a love of books - what could be better than that!

I love the new 'We Love Books" products so much I decided to order the following:


I can hardly wait for it to arrive. How adorable is that? It'll be great for all the future bookstore browsing and shopping I may do!