Friday, December 31, 2010

Is Candle Making A Lost Art?

There is just something about candles that bring a warmth to our homes. 

Their scent tickles our nose.... 

The colors add pizazz to our living spaces. 

With so many shapes, sizes, and smells, candles are an affordable way to dress up our homes and show off our home's personality. 

So what do you think of when your see a home made candle?  One of my first memories of candle making takes me back to Silver Dollar City.  I used to love watching their candle makers dip the candles and walked around their shop to admire all the fun shapes they sold.  One of the fun shapes I recall is a Candle Sundae in a glass dish.  It really looked good enough to eat! 

I can't say I know too many people that make their own candles, but I do know at least one person.  My nephew, Caleb, started a candle making business this year and I wanted to make sure I got my hands on one of them.  My past experience with home made candles was disappointing.  I found they didn't have a strong enough scent, but I know my nephew and knew that he would not be in the business if his candles didn't smell just right.  So I decided to buy some from him hoping that I would not be disappointed.  You probably are asking, how did it turn out?  Well, I tested them.  They are perfect.  I am not a person that can handle an over powering scent.  Too strong of a scent makes my allergies flare.  These candles were exactly what I look for when buying candles.

So I decided to help my nephew out and let more people know about him and his product.

As I mentioned before, Caleb is my nephew and is 14 years old.  Caleb started his candle making business September 9, 2010 so that he could earn a little money on the side.  I always like to ask people what they have learned by doing their craft and he said that he has learned how to make votive candles and to get the scent just right.  I think that is a very important part.  No one likes buying a candle that doesn't smell when it is lit.  Caleb also mentioned the most challenging thing he had to learn was how to use the auto wick pins and putting them in just right.  He did a great job doing it.  The tops of the candles are smooth as can be and the centered just perfectly!

So how does he make them?   Here is what he said, "I use a Paraffin Soy Mix Wax, Zinc core wicks, liquid scents and dyes. I measure the wax then I melt it. As it is melting, I prepare the wicks, jars, and molds, scents, and dyes. I then add scents and dyes and stir for three minutes. Next, I pour the wax, add the wick, and let it harden."  It sounds so easy, but I know with any craft a steady hand and attention to detail is very important!

Caleb likes candle making because it is fun to do.  He even got to sell 3 jar candles in a weeks time!  Not bad for starting out!  I know how hard to get a home business going sometimes.   One can wait weeks or months or years before it takes off.  That's why it's important to let people know by word of mouth what you are doing.

I purchased Caleb's Cinnamon Apple Berry in a reddish pink color.  Cinnamon Apple is one of my favorite scents so that is what I ordered when I saw what options I had.  When I brought them home after Christmas, I decided to test it out right away. There are several things I liked about Caleb's candles. 

1.  The vibrant colors are so pretty.  
2.  The scents were strong enough and not overpowering.
3.  After burning the candle, the hot wax was not hot to the touch and would not burn little fingers that might get into them.
4.  You can mix and match your scent to the color.  You could definitely fool someone by having a vanilla scent to a green or reddish-pink color!

All three of those things were important to me and I am a very satisfied customer!

Here are some options for Caleb's Candles:

Pomegranate Cider, Mulled Cider, Vanilla Macadamia Nut Coffee, and Cinnamon Apple Berry

Reddish-pink, Apple Green, Brown, and Spiced Pumpkin

Price: {does not include shipping and handling}
14 OZ Jar with Candle= $8
2 OZ Candle= $1.30
Candle Votive Jar for 2 OZ candle= $0.75

If you or someone else would like to order a candle, you can contact Caleb by leaving a comment on his blog with your candle choice and address.   Tell them Amy sent you! 

Future Post:  Soap Making

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Hand Bags

The month of December has been a busy blur of activity.  I decided this year to make some gifts for people in my family and was very pleased in how they turned out.  While that was a lot of fun, God had been working on my heart to be more giving of my talents.  So some of the things I created are now in the hands of people I love, kids I teach in Sunday School, and various others that have come into my life.  I feel very blessed to have those people.  As a result, I started having a few people ask me to make them things which is very exciting!  You see at first my craft making was about making an income.  Now I just want to give to others when the opportunity arises.


One of the things that I made recently was a hand bag.  My sister asked me to make her one and I joyfully accepted the task.  I knew I wanted to make it bigger then the girls hand bag, so I finally decided that a 15" X 12" square would make a nice sized purse. 

Next was finding the right colors for her.  She mentioned she wanted neutral colors, rust or green or cream or yellow.  After asking my sister several questions about colors, color tones and emailing color options, I felt pretty certain I knew what she wanted.  The above fabric swatch is what we ultimately decided on.

I created an inside pocket and included a snap to close the top of the bag.

Almost done!  I emailed my sister this picture, but did not show her the final product.
Instead I emailed my nieces and showed them the final picture to make sure that it would be something my sister would like.

I squared off the end of the bag so it would sit nicely on the table.

I used 28" grosgrain ribbon for the handles and added a delicate trim to the top edge of the bag.

So what did my sister think?  She loved it.  Especially the trim.  I knew I had nailed that one because I have seen some of the things she had in her house and new that this was perfect. 

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Langley Metal Works Showcase

Recently I read an article about supporting your local businesses this year for Christmas.  While I love to do that, I usually don't find out about neat shops that not well known.  Today I wanted to give a shout out for a small business that deserves to be found.  My husband, Patrick, was recently looking for a gift idea for "someone" and found this unique shop.  Best part is... they were a local company that not too many people know about.  Or at least we didn't and some of the people Patrick works with didn't either.  I wanted to tell everyone about it because they have resonable cost items for someone that is looking for a unique gift.  They have a shop on etsy, and also a personal web-site.  We purchased the above metal sign for $30 and just got it today.  The turn around time on this item was quick!  It is fabulous!  Go ahead and visit their personal web-site at  Let me know what you think.  Here is the picture of the finished product and we are thrilled with it!

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Potato Chip Scarf in Sea Mist

If you have been out shopping for Christmas all ready, it seems that I have noticed ruffles making a come back. I have seen some really cute shirts with ruffles that are just adorable, but I wasn't for sure if it would look "oh so cute" on me. Then I found a cute pattern from Lion Brand. I have used Lion Brand for some of my patterns and I love looking for new and unique gift ideas. Plus they are FREE patterns and who doesn't love that?!

The pattern I found is a Potato Chip scarf. I have seen some and was not for sure if I would like them, but I decided to go ahead and make one with some yarn I have. Can I tell you, I adore it? They are so fun to make but so cute too! If you love to crochet, these are so easy to do and doesn't take a lot of time. Plus there are some gorgeous yarn colors out there right now and you can make one for each outfit you have.... if you have that much time...

If you are cold natured like me, I would wear a scarf at work around my neck all day.  It kept me so much warmer! What I also like about a Potato Chip Scarf is that it can dress up your shirts and sweaters.  It's not just a scarf to wear with your coat anymore!
I'm thinking about making some for my Etsy store, but I have some other things I need to do first.
Let me know if you would like one. Just tell me what color you are looking for.
Price per scarf would be around $12 each plus shipping.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Black Friday Coupon Codes

Here it is! Your coupon codes to save!

Shop Friday through Saturday and you will save 15%: November 26 and 27, 2010

Shop Sunday through Monday and you will save 10%:  November 28 and 29,2010

Enter your code as you check out at my store:

*Browse my store later this evening for new items that will be added later today.

*If you are a local customer, I will not charge you shipping
so email me at amysamazingbooks {at} to arrange payment and delivery.

*All items will be mailed out to you the following week on Tuesday or Thursday.

Thank you and have a wonderful Thanksgiving!
God is so good to us!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Princess Tote

For the little girl who is your Princess...

I was digging through some of my material I had,
and I found this Princess Fabric I had used at a book fair.

Ruffled Ribbon is securely hand stitched to bag.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Black Friday Weekend Sale

Looking for ways to save?

Check back here on Wednesday
 to see your discounts on
all products in my store!

More products to be added
later this week.
Be sure and check back!

Discount does not apply to
custom orders.

Sale Dates:
Friday through Monday,
November 26th through 29th, 2010.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Tote Bag Material Options

Below are the material options for a tote bag or reusable gift bag.

1.  Red Floral

2.  Black and White Floral

3.  Princess Pattern

Incredible Totes

Butterfly Kisses Tote

Beautiful Blue Floral Tote {Sold 11/22/10}

I can't think of a young girl who doesn't like to have a purse or bag to keep their precious items in. 
I was inspired this week to make a gift for a special little girl.   This bag is great for bringing fun things along for traveling or just use it as a reusable gift bag.  I love the idea of reusable gift bags!  It's such a neat way to give a gift to someone and they can in turn reuse it for many things.

The tote was so easy to do.  I created my own pattern by cutting a swatch 10 1/2" wide by 8 1/2" high.  I also cut the interfacing and a complimentary liner the same size.  Next, sew up the sides of the outside liner along with the interfacing.  Then, sew up your inside liner and slide it inside your outside liner.  Covering up the top unsewn edge is probably the easiest thing to do either with bias tape or a ribbon.  You can also use part of your inside liner and fold over the top edge to cover up any unsewn edges.  Decorate your bag with ribbons, flowers, bow or buttons.  I also attached 2 ribbon straps to the bag.  Then again, you can use what ever material you want to make the straps out of.  The possiblities are limitless!

If you are looking for a great gift for someone, I am offering a book, for a limited time, with the tote bags in my Etsy Store.  If you opt. out of the book purchase, I will lower the bag price to $15 each.  Shipping and handling will also be less for a tote purchase.

Will be posting upcoming fabric choices soon for my girls tote bags.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Have You Been There?

Have you ever been to a craft fair and as you are looking around you look at the competition to see how your products stack up?  This last summer I was browsing around a local craft fair and was immediately drawn to a booth that crocheted baby hats.  I was really interested in looking them over to get ideas to spark my creativity, but when I browsed through the items, I was really disappointed. 
Why was I disappointed?  I guess when I create an item, I really want to make something that is not just functional, but fashionable as well.  I want people to say, "You made that?" all the while smiling and tell them "Yes, I did."  It's not that I want to be prideful, but I want people know that I CARE what I make and what they look like.  I want people to fall in love with what they buy and continue to be satisfied months down the road.  What I found at the booth made me cringe because it made me feel like they were just knocking out another product and didn't care if it looked good or not.

So... Have you been there?  or am I the only one?  My finished product is important to me.  Call me a perfectionist, but I still believe there are others out there like me me that want things to look just so.  If it doesn't come up to my standards, then I will not sell it.  I want to sell things I would want for myself.  I always make it a policy when buying a gift to buy something I would love to have in the off chance it was given back to me.  Usually with that mind set you can't go wrong in gift giving so I apply it to my creations as well.

So how do I make sure I have products people want?
  • Browse the Internet, magazines, or stores to see what color trends there are.
  • Ask myself, 'what are people buying?'
  • Walk around craft stores to see what cool things are on the self.
  • Experiment with different things.
  • See how much people are paying for similar items you are making and price it competitively.
  • Try, Try, Try again.
  • Most importantly DO what you LOVE Doing!  Your love for it will show in your finished product.
Some of my favorite creations, but not limited to what is shown here:

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Color Options For Baby Booties

I wanted to post my color options for my bows that go on my Baby Booties/Slippers.

Top, left to right:  Light Blue, Red, Chocolate Velvet
Bottom, left to right:  Pink Velvet, White, Hot Pink

Please refer to those color names when ordering.  I can also get other color options upon request.

Rag Potholder Options

Price of Rag Pot Holder= $8.50
Approximate size will vary 9" X 7"
Discount will apply to quantity of 4 purchased.

What are the Best Color combinations?
Lighter back ground with color added through the use of larger prints.
Smaller and darker prints make it muddied looking.
See below prints for example.

Option 1.  Blue Floral Pattern
Remaining fabric is set aside for a ministry project.

 Option 2.  Red Flower Pattern 

Option 3.  Red
Cotton Fabric

Option 4.  Yellow with Red Flowers 
Cotton Fabric 

Option 5.  Blue
Cotton Fabric 

Option 6.  Pale Yellow with Delicate Blue Flowers
Cotton Fabric

Americana Rag Potholder

Gift wrap your gift. 
Tie from rag potholder is included in your purchase.

I remember not too long ago how I thought that home made pot holders were just not as good.  I was dead wrong!  My husband's grandmother has given me some of the BEST crocheted pot holders I ever had.  Plus my mother gave me some pretty ones too when I got married 7 years ago.  She made a rag quilt pot holder out of sunflower material.  It still works great even 7 years later! 

This last week or so I got to thinking that I really wanted to make some pot holders.  Who couldn't use those?  It seems like the ones I have are looking old so I looked around to see if I had any material I could use.  I only had one piece that I thought would work.  It was a deep red Americana fabric with tan stars.  Since I didn't have an accent color to go with it, I researched making pot holders on-line.  What I found was a beautiful Rag Pot Holder that was just beautiful.

Here's all you need to do:

  • Step 1.  You'll need about 3/4 yard to 1 yard of cotton material.
  • Step 2  Cut 3/4" strips of fabric.  I recommend cutting them to make the longest strip you can.  You will be sewing a lot if you don't.
  • Step 3.  Take each strip and sew them together using a bias edge so that the fabric will lay flat.
  • Step 4  Crochet!  I can definitely do that!

I did not have a pattern, but based my measurements off a potholder I have.  Once I got the length I wanted, I just crocheted away.  The fun part....  Keeping my 4 month old from grabbing it as I crocheted.  I think he just wanted to play!

But who doesn't love Americana Decorations?  Such a wonderful way to brighten your kitchen.  Good potholders that last are hard to come by.  I think most of the ones I have are homemade and they last a long time!

Great Gift idea for any Holiday, Birthday, Special Occasions, a Young Ladies Hope Chest, a teacher or for yourself!  Discounts given to customer who purchase in quantities of 4.  Email me for details!

See my store for more rag pot holders to come!  Let me know what colors your kitchen are and I will make them match!

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Peppermint Pink Hat

Last year I was the receiver of a wonderful gift.  A friend from church gave me some yarn that was given to her by another crocheter whose eye sight had gotten bad and could no longer crochet.  At the time I had no idea what I would do with some of the yarn, but this week I decided I needed to be creative and start throwing some ideas together.  White can be a challenge sometimes to work with when winter is approaching, but I decided I wanted to create a hat specifically with Christmas coming up.  {Yes, I celebrate Christmas!}  So I decided to use the white and pair it with a hot pink.  When I first started the hat, I did not realize how cute it would look when I was done.  Thus.... I have created my Peppermint Pink Hat!  It makes me think about the Christmas Candy and sparkly decorations hanging from my Christmas Tree.  I adore this hat!  Just wish I had my own little girl to put it on, but I am blessed with two boys!

See my Etsy Store for more creations for great gift ideas
for Christmas, Birthday, and Baby Showers!
Or email me, leave a comment if you would like to see
something different in my store. 
Your feed back is important to me.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Beautiful Blue Baby Hat

This beautiful hat will bring out the sparkly blue in your baby's eyes! Scalloped edge adds a dainty touch to the hat. Beautiful crocheted cream flower is attached to hat and centered in it is a velvety brown flower. What I love about this hat is the rich blue color paired with chocolate accents.

Pattern Size will fit 3 months up to 6 months, depending on baby's head size. Measurement of hat is approximately 17 3/4" around. Please measure your childs head to make sure it is the size you are looking for before purchasing.

Red Roses Designer Clutch

This beautiful designer clutch is versital for an evening out or just a designer clutch to carry a few diapers and wipes in. No one will know what you have inside!

Ribbed chocolate clutch is lined with Green flowered cloth. Red Flower is approximately 4" and is pinned to purse. Snap closure.
What I love about this clutch is it's fun red flower on the front. It adds a nice touch to the bag as well as the lining peaking through at the bottom of the flap as it is closed.

Deminsions are approximate 14" wide by 5 3/4" high.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

New at Etsy- Pretty In Pink!

Pretty pink and brown toned ballet slipper trimmed with hot pink ribbon and velvety pink bow. They are too cute!  Ballet shoe size is newborn to 2 months, approximately.  Size of actual shoe is 3 1/4" to 3 1/2" long. Bow and ribbon are stitched on shoe.

Like these ballet shoes, see

Hand wash with mild soap with cool water. Lay flat to dry.

Now taking International Orders. Please convo prior to purchase if you want priority mail. I will need to change shipping charges.
Thanks for stopping by! You can see more of my creations at

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Newborn to 6 weeks-Chocolate and Red Ribbon, listing #47827401

For my Newborn to 6 weeks ballet slippers, I can make a custom order
with a light blue flower or a white flower. 
What color combinations do you like best?

Monday, November 1, 2010

Crochet Hook Holder Giveaway

The winner to the Crochet Holder is................  
#2 Mindy.
Please contact me so that I can get your prize to you!

{results came from using}

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Girls Flapper Hat 2 to 4 Years

Flapper Hat for Girls
This hat is so lovely!  It is definitely the hat to get!
Will fit girls between the ages of 2 to 4 years of age.
See my Etsy Store for details.

Sold 1/2011, but will do custom order to fit your needs.