A Little Upgrade

Finally got tired of our makeshift canopy weights we've used for the past six years. They did the job, but, as the   display slowly developed into a more art show friendly appearance, they started to look out of place. I had seen other artisans' weights made out of PVC pipe and cement, so I decided to make some myself. Went to the local home improvement store and purchased a ten foot length of 3" diameter PVC pipe (that the store associate cut into 4 pieces), 4 long (8"?) eye hooks and 2 bags of quick mix cement (not pictured; you probably know what that looks like).
I was going to get 4 end caps for them, but they were rounded, plus they were about $5.00 each! Instead, I found what are called "knock out caps" - much thinner and they fit into the ends instead of over them. Those happened to be less than a dollar apiece, which reduced the cost of the project considerably!
 I already had some PVC pipe glue and large washers (so the eye hooks would be more secure), and, of course - after casting around 1,000 pieces so far, I think I'm pretty good at mixing cement! 
Of course, even after gluing the thin caps into the ends, I knew they could be in danger of being loosened by the weight of the cement before it cured, so I made sure the pipes were secured and sitting flat before I filled them.
So here they are! I had filed the ends to level them and to remove the excess burrs from the hacksaw used to cut them. I also cleaned off the black lettering on them using nail polish remover (hey, it's what I had!), and added some glass marbles to the raw cement on top (notice they are shaped like LEAVES).

The only thing that didn't turn out as planned was the weight of each one - they weren't as heavy as I would have liked - about 20 lbs., whereas the round weights totaled about 24 lbs. each corner. I hope the shape will provide more stability, though, and offset the lighter weight. They LOOK a lot nicer, though! My total cost was under $25.00.


Dasken Designs: 10 Tips for Outdoor Craft Shows

I'm linking to this page because it's a LOT of info for setting up at craft/art shows and very informative! Wish I would have had this resource when I was a newbie!
Note: this post is a couple years old, the credit card processing info may be outdated due to the advent of the Square and the Intuit processing companies, which are incredibly easier!

Dasken Designs: 10 Tips for Outdoor Craft Shows


Bartering Our Talents

So, a new acquaintance of mine (a friend of my SIL) sews (one thing I DON'T do), and in talking with her, I discovered she makes purses / handbags. I requested one with leaves on it (oh, gosh, what a surprise, huh?), and she did a wonderful job! 

She knows the work I do, so when she was finished with the purse, she had a request: to trade for a casting of a leaf that she had found on a beach during her Florida vacation, and to add the phrase, "Florida 2012" somewhere on it. 

Well, casting a leaf wasn't a problem (since I have cast about a thousand so far!), but how do I add words to it? I didn't want to put them anywhere ON the leaf, since it wasn't very large, so I decided to cast it as a "fossil" plaque, and to use some rubber stamps I had found a while ago (but never used).

Here's the leaf itself on its sand bed. This had to work the first time, since there was only that one leaf - and even I don't know what plant it came from! 
The leaf itself had a seriously odd coloration, as well, and it was kind of a job to match that color.

BUT, here is the finished product, and I think it turned out pretty darn good! The trade was made, and we were both happy!