When life gives you hands, make handmade!

26 Oct

Right now is a financially stressful time for us. Tom decided to take a break from school, which means those awesome GI Bill benefits he received for being a full-time student went away and won’t come back until he goes back to classes. Our job as the janitorial staff at the on campus mission where we lived for 2 1/2 years ended shortly after. Add in getting a dog and my dad passing away, and, even with some financial help, we’re pinching our pennies. Fortunately, I’m a habitual saver when we have money to do it. Tom is working part time, and I’m working the arts and crafts scene. I posted on Facebook that I would be happy to do any crafty odd jobs, and got a couple of responses!

A friend said that her little boy couldn’t decide between being a dog or a cat for Halloween, so she bought a couple of headbands with ears on Etsy, and needed paws to match. After looking at photos of the ears, I created these puppies (snort) to match:



This picture was taken before I added elastic to the wrists, but this is essentially how they turned out. I put my felt, embroidery thread, and beginner sewing skills to good use. I’m pretty proud of them! It’s not often that I get to do sewing projects for anyone other than myself, and she loved them, so that makes me very happy! I hope her little boy gets lots of play time out of them beyond Halloween.

Another friend asked if I would paint a small canvas with this phrase:

Count your rainbows, not your thunderstorms

She loves the sentiment, but she wants something that looks more like handwriting, more handmade. She and her family just downsized to an apartment, and she wants this reminder by their front door. I may end up making something similar for myself when I’ve finished hers.

In addition to the odd crafts, Mom and I have been making and listing Halloween-y items for our Etsy shops, and I even set up a booth last Friday at the 13th Street Morgue/Dungeon of Doom haunt grounds. I particularly enjoyed making these skeleton hand earrings (click the image to visit our shop, JuJu Eyeball):

Plastic Skeleton Hand Earrings With Beaded Red Blood Droplets


In another attempt to pay the bills, and, obviously, as a part of the grieving process, we’re having our estate/yard sale next Saturday.


I’m currently making signs, and will spend a large part of tomorrow pricing what’s left in the garage and putting like items together. We recently bought a tent and folding tables to use at arts and crafts shows, so they’ll come in very handy! We’re also borrowing a clothing rack from our friends at the Tri C. Truth be told, I’ve enjoyed organizing yard sales in the past, so that makes this experience a little easier. I like making a “junking” experience a nice shopping experience for people by setting up the way a store would, and I love it when people get excited because they’ve found a good deal. It’s also not your traditional estate sale, since we’re having it at our own home instead of Dad’s, we’re selling some of our own things, and our neighbors will be joining us.

We’re definitely getting creative and working hard for the money, but I’ve been so grateful that Tom has had some extra time to help me with all that’s been going on, and that he’s been able to rest some after his non-stop University experience. I truly believe that everything has worked out the way it’s supposed to, and, even though things are a little stormy right now, I’m going to count my rainbows.

Gentle hugs,




4 Responses to “When life gives you hands, make handmade!”

  1. Ginger October 26, 2013 at 8:09 pm #

    Those paws are adorable! Will you be selling them in your etsy shop? They would keep my sons hands cozy this winter 🙂

    Good luck with your yard sale!

    • Chelsea October 26, 2013 at 11:22 pm #

      I hadn’t planned on selling them in either Etsy shop, only because they don’t really fit our aesthetic. I’m always happy to do custom orders, though! Thank you so much. 🙂

      • Ginger October 27, 2013 at 3:06 pm #

        Well, I’d like to order 4 pairs, if you are feeling up to it and if they wouldn’t cost too much? What would they run me, also, do you have other colors? If you are interested I would feature them on my little ones blog. I don’t get many visitors yet, but who knows what the future holds 🙂 I’d like 2 boy colored ones and 2 girls.. Let me know!

      • Chelsea October 27, 2013 at 6:24 pm #

        Wonderful, Ginger! They’re $10 a pair. Right now I have white, black, brown, and I may have enough pink if you want something non-realistic. If not, I can always get more felt. Email me at chels.pickard@gmail.com, and let me know what colors you’d like, and the sizes of your boys’ and girls’ hands. I need their wrist size (around,) the length from their wrist to the tip of their middle finger, and the length across their hand, from thumb to pinky finger, with fingers spread a little for wiggle room. Thanks!

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