How To: Valentine Shadow box

Valentine’s day fast approaching…
Want to create something special for your loved one?
Want it to last and not be tacked away somewhere?

Use a shadow box.
This way you are not limited to something flat and you can create something that has dimension.

Remove the back of the shadow box.
Most of the time you can just twist it to the side and it opens.
On occasion the screws are over tightened, you may need to use a screw driver.

The glass and backing are separated.
Notice the Black border around the glass, it will partially block the view of the design.
You can use part or all of the backing area for different style results.

Take a patterned paper and cut to the size of backing.
Paper can be as busy or solid color depends on results you want achieved.
In this case 7 * 9.5 inches.

Make sure it fits the backing of shadow box.
Attach to backing at this point.
Use double sided tap, Adhesive Transfer Tape or glue.

Pull out your Cricut machine.

All the designs are from Happily Ever After cartridge.

Put your paper on the cutting mat.
Silver color was selected as background color in this case.

Use the Cricut spatula to gently remove paper from cutting mat.

The Cricut spatula and Cricut Tool Kit will help prevent the paper from bending as you try to remove it from the cutting mat.

Play around with how you want to place everything on your backing.
Once you get an idea of where things will go start gluing the pieces together.
Use a Glue pen or use Create-a-Sticker Machine.

This is how it should look.
Now you have less pieces that you need to move around.

Take a Red piece of paper and cut it to a note card size.

Use Clear Choice stamp ‘I love you’ or any other stamps you would like.

Place it on a clear Acrylic stamping block.
Clear your stamp after each use.

Use different ink colors with the same stamp to create a 3D effect.
Use additional stamps, in this case the heart to create a pattern.
Add a White paper underneath it, to make it stand out more.

Add ribbons in Valentine’s theme.

Use flowers in different sizes and create a layers with different colors.

Use chipboard circles with a message as the focal point of the flower.

Use Valentine theme buttons as accent in your flowers.

Arrange all components in shadow box.
Don’t glue everything all around, this will add to 3D effect.
Hang or place shadow box with love.

Your Valentine shadow box is now complete.

Happy Valentine!
Let’s create something!

Winner Announced! – “How Much Fabric?” Reference Cards ***GIVEAWAY***!

Lets start with a round of applause to “How Much Fabric?” Reference Cards GIVEAWAY sponsor!
Thank you for making this happen!

Thank you to all Arts and Crafts Plaza & Gwyn Hug “old” and “new” fans on and off facebook!
Come back often to continue to use and enjoy the services offered on!

The winner of “How Much Fabric?” Reference Card Set of your choosing is….

Ruth R. Tillman who thinks: “Love these cards! What a great idea.”

Look for a message on your facebook account.
Please select which “How Much Fabric?” Reference Card Set you would like to receive.

To learn more about: “How Much Fabric?” Reference Cards

“How Much Fabric?” Reference Cards ***GIVEAWAY***!

Are you one of “those people” that see a fabric and think, this would be fabulous as a shirt / pants / bag etc. and only later on when you are ready to work on the project start looking for that perfect pattern?
Do you then find yourself wondering well how much fabric should I buy? You don’t want to not have enough and then try and get more of the same fabric. And you don’t want to buy too much especially when it’s a very expensive fabric.
What do you do? You use these wonderful “How Much Fabric?” Reference Cards and no more rough guessing and oops I should have later on.


Want a chance to win a “How Much Fabric?” Reference Card Set?
Like Arts And Crafts Plaza on facebook
Like Gwyn Hug on facebook
Put a comment on this post and be entered to win a “How Much Fabric?” Reference Card Set from the complete collection of your choice.
Open to everyone, Gwyn Hug will ship internationally
Winner will be randomly selected January 16th 2012!
Winner will be contacted though facebook.
Winner announced January 17th 2012.


The Original “How Much Fabric?” Reference Card Sets –

There are currently several types of cards available with more to come.
Currently Available:
Set 1: Women’s Clothes (6-22/Eur 32-48)
Set 2: Plus Sizes (18-32/Eur 44-58)
Set 3: Men’s Clothes (34-50/Eur 44-60)
Set 4: Babies and Toddlers (Newborn – 6)
Set 5: Children’s (7-16)

What you can expect to get in the mail is a plastic card, size: 3⅜” x 2⅛” same size as your credit card.
Each set comes with several cards on a ring. Each card has a specific type of clothing.
The front of the card has the minimum, average and maximum fabric requirements by clothes size and fabric width as well as the “Safety Margin” table that helps you round up.
The back of the card has designs of clothing that will help you determine the type of outfit

Gwendolyn Campbell  is the creative genius behind these cards. Gwen is an avid sewer. You can check out her blog at After the dress
Gwen and her friend Christine looked at over 2,000 patterns in order to create a single set of cards.
With the help of Beth, a graphic designer, they created the cards.
Another friend, Susan is responsible for the site.
What a creative and resourceful bunch, you go girls!

On the FAQ page you can find all the answers you need.
Some of the questions that you can find answers to are:
How do you use the “How Much Fabric?” tables?
Can I buy just one card, instead of the whole set?
Do I need a Paypal account to buy the cards?
I see you have some pages in other languages. Why not my native language?

Should you have any questions, or  ideas, have other sets of cards you would love.
Do you speak a language that hasn’t been translated yet?
You can even find a short Klingon translation.
Contact Gwen on the contact page or email directly
Gwyn Hug
P.O. Box 90576
Lakeland, Florida 33804-0576

 A look behind the curtain, how did it all start? What is involved in creating these cards?

You know those times when you unexpectedly run across a beautiful, must-have fabric, but don’t have the right sewing pattern immediately available and so you aren’t sure how much to buy? And you want to make sure that you buy enough, but you don’t want to buy too much either… Well, that used to drive me crazy!

A couple of years ago, I finally decided to come up with a solution for this problem. My day-job involves analyzing a lot of data and so I realized that  I didn’t have to guess how much fabric the “typical” skirt pattern (for example) calls for – I could actually get the data and calculate it!

I started with my own substantial stash of patterns – typing those tables on the back of each pattern envelope into a spread sheet-so that I could calculate the averages. Before I knew it, I was searching the internet and downloading the pattern envelope images from hundreds, and then thousands, of patterns…

And the result of all that data entry and analysis – The Original “How Much Fabric?” Reference Cards! These are small, sturdy plastic reference cards that slip easily into your purse. There are sets that cover clothes for women, men, babies, toddlers and children. Each set has cards for different types of garments – tops, pants, jackets, dresses etc. Each card has a table that presents the minimum, average and maximum fabric requirements broken down by fabric width and garment size. Each card also has sketches to help you visualize what type of garment could be made with the minimum, average and maximum amounts of fabric.

They are the perfect “notion” for fabric shopping! You’ll be able to shop with confidence, knowing that you are buying enough fabric, but not buying too much and wasting your money.

What can you tell me about your hobbies and favorite thing you do?

My day-job is in research – so I design experiments, analyze data and write reports. My hobby is sewing – it’s such a nice contrast to my day-job. I get to work with my hands and I’m surrounded by beautiful colors and textures and patterns. My sewing projects only take a few hours or days – not years, like my research projects. I have a concrete product when I’m done – something I can hold in my hands, show to someone else, and put into practical use right away.

I love sewing for family and friends – letting people pick a fabric that speaks to them and turning it into something that becomes a part of their lives. I originally came up with  “Gwyn Hug” as my sewing label. It has 2 meanings that make it the perfect finishing touch on the clothes that I make for the people I love. First, it brings to mind the thought that when they put on my garment, it’s like I am wrapping them up in a hug. Second, in Welsh (my ancestry), it roughly translates to “a blessed cloak.” (And by “roughly” I mean you have to refer to like the 19th possible translation/definition for each word…) Okay, it’s a stretch, but isn’t it a wonderful image?

What crafting skill do you wish you had?

So, this may seem a bit extreme – but a few years ago I bought a used floor loom and I am in the process of teaching myself how to weave! Did you know that women have been weaving in some form or another for about 10,000 years! Not only that, but the first computers were modeled after early looms! How cool is that? I love the feeling of connection to women through all of history when I weave. And I love the way weaving combines creativity and art and math (weave patterns can be defined by sequences of binary vectors). My ultimate goal is to sew garments with fabric that I have woven.

How has opening your shop affected your life?

I guess the best thing about opening up my shop is the wonderful people that I have “met” – from all around the world! One of my customers is a fashion designer from South Africa, about to launch a line of clothing. I’ve learned about a 400 year old fabric market in the Netherlands. I met an Australian “minist” – someone who owns an original Mini auto mobile – she even sent me a picture in which she is posing by her Mini panel van. I could go on and on – I’ve just met so many really wonderful people!

What was your experience of having your first sale ever?

I announced the opening of my store in a post on my blog, and my first sale came within 30 minutes of my post going up. I was so jazzed! I thought it signaled the opening of flood gates! Of course, my second sale didn’t come until several days later… 😉

Give me some insight on you personally, do you give back to your community in some way?

I have been doing volunteer tutoring of some form or another for the last 11 years. I started as a Laubach adult literacy tutor and had three wonderful students across a 6 – year span. Then I stumbled into the opportunity to (volunteer) teach sewing to some young immigrants who didn’t speak English. That was quite a challenge for all of us! (I didn’t speak any Spanish at the time.) I’m sure those first few lessons would have looked comical to an outsider – there were many times when we were all at a loss and just stared at each other helplessly… But we all persevered, they learned the basics of sewing, I learned some broken Spanish and we all became good friends.

That experience got me connected into our local immigrant community and for the last 3 years I have been (volunteer) teaching “ESL” (English as a Second Language) at a local church. Through all of this, I have met some truly amazing and inspiring people and made life – long friends. I hope that I have helped others to have a better life in some way – but I know for sure that my life has been enriched!

Where else can we find out more about you and your creations?

I have a personal (mostly sewing-related) blog
Facebook page for Gwyn Hug


Want a chance to win a “How Much Fabric?” Reference Card Set?
Like Arts And Crafts Plaza on facebook
Like Gwyn Hug on facebook
Put a comment on this post and be entered to win a “How Much Fabric?” Reference Card Set from the complete collection of your choice.
Open to everyone, Gwyn Hug will ship internationally
Winner will be randomly selected January 16th 2012!
Winner will be contacted though facebook.
Winner announced January 17th 2012.


Happy sewing everyone!

Let’s create something!

Celebration of Craftswomen San Francisco

Celebration of Craftswomen took place in November 11-13, 2011, San Francisco.
Bask in the view of San Francisco when you come to this festival.

It began in 1976 as a small crafts show.
For the past three decades, The Women’s Building Celebration of Craftswomen has allowed Bay Area residents, along with visitors of San Francisco from throughout the world, to discover the work of the nation’s best female artisans and fine artists.
Celebration of Craftswomen is the largest event celebrating the craft of women in the nation.

To follow on Facebook:
Among the contemporary and traditional handcrafted items you can fine:
Functional and decorative ceramic and glass vessels.
Sculpted wood and works of metal.
Polymer  clay, beaded, stone and precious metal jewelry.
Women, painted silk, leather clothing and wearable.
Home Furniture and accessories.
Fine art sculpture.
Watercolor and oil paintings.

Don’t miss the hidden treasures as you walk by them, such as, Greens Restaurant, Fort Mason in San Francisco for some beautiful bayside vegetarian dining.
The Oatmeal raisin cookie was to die for!

THE WOMENS BUILDING (TWB) is a multi-service community center whose mission is to provide women and girls with the tools and resources they need to achieve full and participation is society.
The Women’s Building is located at 3543 18th Street in San Francisco.
For information call 415-431-1180 or visit

Always ask the artist permission to take a picture of their booth and/or individual item.

A recap of select booths:

Rene Almon Woodworks, her inspiration comes from organic shapes and the wood itself. Building long lasting quality furniture, pleasing to the eye and inviting to touch.

Alexandra Von Burg, creating Fairy Tale imagery with soft sculptured dolls and fiber paintings
Look for her workshops to hone the art-making skills that enhance anyone’s natural talent.

Anne Klocko, produces different types of artwork, Vinyl Clay Artwork, Figurative Sculpture and Ceramic Sculpture are whimsy original works of art.

Margaret Grisz-Dow, passionate about art, her ceramic work & drawing she is integrating these by making incised drawings on the surface of her clay pieces.
Teaching  in a relaxed aesthetic environment, which is often in her own beautiful home studio.

Tess McGuire, hats are knitted on a knitting loom out of wool yarn and then felted using hot water, soap and friction to turn a loosely knitted fabric into a warm, solid, and virtually waterproof garment.

Mountain Exotics, taking the beauty, texture of wood to form our unique products.
We create heirlooms from ‘Tree to Street.

Monterey Fiber and Design by Margaret Thompson

Naoko, Creating botanically themed felt and glass Jewelry.
10% of sales are donated to humanitarian non profit organizations.

Alchemy, Fine chocolate, pastry, & baked delicacies, Savory catering, Classes.

Ruxton Designs, mixed media art, vintage buttons, metal hardware, felt all combined in a unique way by Nicky Ruxton.

Sharing a booth with Laube photography, a joyful rendition of California by Nancy Laube.

Large Leather is a beautiful store in Sonoma, California.
Choose from in house designs to custom orders, by Paul Terwilliger and Jessica Zoutendijk.

JYC Arts, Fine Arts painter, Illustrator, Fiber artist as well as Jeweler and quilter.
Working with non traditional fabrics in traditional ways.

Janice Cormier, functional and non functional ceramic art, sculptural vessels, figurative sculpture, small series of functional pottery, and Jewelry.
Sharing a booth with Judy Beebe Designs, Merino wool scarves and gloves.
Creating elegant, comfortable, neck pieces with rich texture & color.

Theresa Honeywell, provocative imagery and macho icons are rendered into delicate and beautiful pieces of art.
Her inspiration comes in the contrast between art and craft, macho and feminine.

Booths 421-422 is a collaborative mixture of a group of women, a web site is in the pipe line.

To contact the artists directly:
Wanda Fudge,
Colleen Ehle Patell, mixed media figurative art,
Suzanne Duran, artist,
Mary Porter Vaughan, fine art dolls,
Donna Perry, art dolls, mixed media artist,
Zanaib Nia, artist,
Stephanie Smith, doll maker,
Bonnie Hoover, Whimsical cloth doll creations,

Tree Stump, Master wood artisans Christine and Ron Sisco prove Fine Art can be functional.
In addition to custom furniture, their most popular pieces are spoons and bread boards.

Santa Barbara Felted Fibers, wearables fiber Art, soft and billowy, exciting and sometimes just wild and crazy.

Enchanted Burl, Burls form as an outgrowth on the trunk of a tree and/or within the root system transformed to tables, chairs, lamps, clocks, vessels and serving platters.

A close up look on this gorgeous crafted chair.
The vessels have been used as food servers, three-dimensional wall art, center conversational pieces, and even spiritual baptismal vessels.

Browse the list of the entertainment schedule that was offered at the rear stage

Zola De Firmian, Fine Art Ceramics and tile design, one-of-a-kind porcelain and stoneware pieces are hand-built, or cast, then carved, using simple molds of own design.
Project Greenheart, First, 10% of sales go to support programs that connect youth with art and nature.

Dawn Mountain LeatherArt, creating and designing original Leatherart pieces.
Decorative techniques such as trapunto, pleating, weaving, and beading are frequently used on one-of-a-kind pieces

1557- 15TH AVE.
PHONE: (650) 615-6838
FAX: (415) 731-6794

Hope you enjoyed Celebration of Craftswomen!
Didn’t make it this year? Try and make it to next year.

All pictures were taken after approval by the artist.

Let’s create something!


Free Craft and Crochet eBooks

Came across this blog post at, enjoy!
It’s a great blog with lots of ideas and information.
With the holiday season coming, you are sure to want to create something for your family and friends.

Free Craft and Crochet eBooks

I’m so glad to be able to pass along two new and free ebooks from the FaveCrafts folks!
The first one has 17 popular crochet items that are easy enough for a beginner to make, like a fun little caplet, a bottoms up hat, and a really neat 8-point ripple afghan.
You can find the free and instant download at:

The second book will start to get you in the mood for the holidays.

This ebook has 7 fun craft projects for Christmas time.
I think I’m going to give the Christmas Card Saver a try!
Also included are the Felt and Wire Angel (pg. 5), the Christmas Candy Jar Labels (pg. 11), and a Wine Cork Wreath (pg. 19).
You can get this eBook free at:

Happy Crafting!!

How To: Halloween Embroidered Greeting Card With Cat and Pumpkin

You love to Embroider as well as making your own Greeting cards? Why not combine your passions?

Start by hooping tear away or cut away stabilizer.

Using spray adhesive, such as, Sulky KK 2000.

Put a piece of colored felt on top of the stabilizer.

Take a piece of Solvy.

Using spray adhesive to put the Solvy on top of the felt.

This step is not a must but it will help achieve a better embroidery.
Add a border with wide stitches, bigger than the design you are about to stitch.
It will help prevent bunching up as well as shifting.
It is best is you use a similar color to your background.

You now have your creative license to change the colors that you are using from the suggested colors.

As it keeps embroidering it starts looking like a picture.

We changes many of the colors suggested, the cat as well as the Yellow for the light effect in the pumpkin.

Now that you are done with your embroidery design. Take it out of the embroidery machine.
For this project we used Brother PE-780 model.

We recommend using this type of scissors to cut your jump stitches.
Because they have a curve you will be better able to cut close to the design without cutting the stitches.

Take your design out of the Embroidery hoop.

We will start working on the back side of our Embroidery.
Take a seam ripper and remove the bobbin thread of the border.

Continue taking out all the stitches around.
This will give you better result then trying to take the stitches out on the front of your embroidery.

Once you have removed all the bobbin thread, the front thread will just come off as a long piece of thread.

Now that we have just our embroidery, it’s time to remove the Solvy from the top.

Tear it off as best you can, most of it should come off easily.

Since it’s water soluble, should you have any pieces left behind, a little water will take care of it.

We recommend using Pacesetter Embroidery thread.
You get great quality thread for a reasonable price.

We bought greeting cards that have a photo frame cutout pre-made.
Feel free to make your own. When you select what Embroidery you want to use, make sure it will fit the frame size.
Some machines will let you resize your designs, take advantage of that.

We start with a blank card and decorate it with several stamps.

The Words “Happy Halloween” with a stamp on top.

We chose to use Uniball silver metallic pens.

We fill the empty spaces in the letters with our Orange color pen.
You will end up with a blend of Orange and sparkling Silver.

We love to sparkle so we’re going to putt some Bo-Nash sparkles on our card.

Great shiny colors they offer.

For a more precise result we will use the Bo-Nash glue pen.

Once we have our stamps in place, we will trace a few lines with the glue Pen.

When you use the glue pen, the glue will come in Blue color.
You know it’s ready to use once it dries Clear.

Put a finger into the sparkles, they will attach to your finger because of the oils you naturally have on it.
Then just go over the glue a few times. You are done once you see all the glue has been covered.
A quick no mess easy way to add some sparkle.

Add as many stamps and decorations as you like.
Now it’s time to put your embroidery into the picture frame.
Cut your Embroidery to size and gently tuck it in.

Make sure your embroidery is straight. Secure with a few dabs of glue if needed.

Your project is now complete! enjoy.