Blooming Sisters – A New Direction

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Blooming Sisters will be taking a new direction.

 You may have noticed that we are not posting as often and that some of the authors you have come to love are no longer posting here.
When I began this blog it was intended to be a ‘group’ blog, there were 8 of us and we were excited to begin this new venture, something some of us had never tried before.   At the same time  we were also working on developing a new venue for Artists and their handmade items, called LotusMade.  We have already discussed what the delay in that venture has been, (refer to our Archives of “The Lotus Connection”).

Working with-in a group of Women teaches you a lot, in the last year there have been many hard lessons to learn. When you are the one financially responsible, that puts you in the ‘hot seat’ or the “boss” chair, so-to-speak, and being diplomatic is not always possible.  Keeping the peace in a group of creative people, who have very different opinions on any given subject, is an incredible challenge.

We lost several members due to a  difference of opinions and hurt feelings, that was tough on all of us.    Not making promises of financial gain is easy enough, but allowing group members to voluntarily take on an unequal amount of responsibility is a BIG mistake and will lead to hard feelings in the end.  It was, by far, the hardest lesson that I had to learn.

I had always heard Oprah say never-never give away  any of your financial  or business control in your own company.  So true and advise I shuld have followed completely.  There are times when you may think these rulles don’t apply to your busines, as when  you are  working closely with others, and building  personal relationships that you believe you can trust.

There came a time when I needed to take a step back from BloomingSisters due to an increase in my personal business, an ailing parent and other family obligations.  Several members offered to step up and cover the needs of BloomingSisters, after numerous emails stating their willingness to do so, I agreed.  BIG MISTAKE!!

Once you give up control, for any length of time, it is extremely hard to get it back with out stepping on someones toes and having hard feelings.  Once you give someone else control to make decisions for your company, it seems to be hard for them to consider it ‘your’ company, they forget that they need to consult with you about decisions that will affect your company’s reputation.  Ultimately this was my biggest mistake and hurt the group the most, for that I am very sorry.

So  now our group of 8 women has separated to go in different directions.

Karen, Louise and Bridgett can be found at Indiemosaic.com, where they have begun an interesting new venue for Artists and buyers and will continue to blog there.

Charlie can be found at  her personal blog Clayspace.com.

Mary, Nancy, and Diane, have their own personal and family concerns to take care of.

I wish them all well and much happiness and success in their future endeavors, they are all very creative and talented women

Blooming Sisters will continue to celebrate and inspire creativity.

The schedule as well as the categories will change.

I, like other Women who wear more than one hat; wife, mother, daughter, business owner, and blogger, have a busy life to manage, so I will not be able to blog every day. I will do my best to maintain a 4 posts a week schedule.

The categories I will focus on are:

For the Love of it- What we do creatively, for the shear enjoyment of it.

Re-Make it –  recycling, reusing and repurposing items we have or find

The Creative Process   —  what inspires us, and how we create something new

The How and Why of it – learning new techniques or crafts

Where we Create – our creative spaces and studios

Business Tidbits –  for those who wish to turn their passion into $$, or increase their
existing business.

I will be inviting many different Artists, business owners,and the casual hobbyist  to blog here and tell us about what they do and how they do it. So keep checking in, because as informative and helpful  as this blog has been, it is only going to become even more inspiring.  Encouraging you to explore your  own creativity!

Kerry ♥

Tutorials: Light Up My Life

Home Decorating Tutorials, DIY

I’ve decided to connect you to some great freebies that will require some work on your part, but the end result, I promise, will be amazing:

Home Decorating Tutorials, DIY

[1] Photo Lanterns [2] Pinecone Camp DIY Lamp;

[3] Woven Rope Pendant Lamp; [4] Spray Painted Ikea Lamps

I hope you will enjoy lighting up YOUR life.

Charlie

Free Inspirational Printables For The Crafter In Your Life

Who couldn’t use a little extra something in their studio? Well, now it comes to you for free, with the exception of a frame. Here are some great prints that will keep you motivated while you work hard creating something beautiful. All you have to do is click on the print of your choice and it will take you to the place you need to be (which btw most of these prints have different color options or even crafts)…

Keep it Crafty <3 Charlie

DIY Cluster Necklace

DIY Cluster Necklace

I am back, with yet another jewelry tutorial. Again, I wanted to use up some extra materials, so I created a Cluster Necklace Tutorial, just with the thought of using up all those random beads.

Materials:

  • Headpins
  • Random but coordinating beads
  • Chain (preferably cable or rolo)
  • Clasp
  • Rosary Pliers
  • Flat Nose Pliers

Instructions:

  1. Gather up all your materials. Use coordinating but mismatched beads.  You could even use all the same type of beads but of different sizes. Use your imagination here.
  2. Grab a headpin and place a bead on it.
  3. Make a loop with the headpin by wrapping the wire around a rosary pliers.
  4. With the loop slightly open, add the bead to the chain.
  5. Once the bead is on the chain close the loop with a flat nose plier.  Repeat steps 2 thru 5 until your content with the necklace.
  6. Place the clasp on either end of the chain using a jumpring.  Close the jumpring with a pair of flat nose pliers.

Viola!  There it is, your own beautiful cluster necklace. 

I have some kits available for sale, just click on my signature.  Keep it crafty <3 Charlie

DIY Tutorials For Your Furry Friends

We can’t stand to leave our furry friends out of the Christmas Spirit…

DIY Gift, Gift Guide, DIY Tutorials for Pets, Pet Gifts

Adjustable Dog Collars from Ours for a Year

Dog Scarf from With a Thankful Prayer and a Grateful Heart

Recycled Bottle Birdfeeder from Centsational Girl

Collapsible Travel Dish for Your Pet from Craft Stylish

A Suitcase Pet Bed from Camille Styles

Recycled cardboard kitty pad from Design*Sponge

Pet Food Containers from Momtastic

Keep it crafty <3 Charlie

Fruit Basket Cake

I made this cake for a friend of mine, for his birthday. He is older so no numbers or silly writing is required. Just deliciousness!

Candy Cake, White Chocolate Cake

So as always I made the cake from scratch as I have been blessed with the opportunity of high altitude cooking. The cake itself came from my grandfather’s cookbook and turned out delicious with the following modifications. The high altitude modification for the cake portion of the recipe are parenthetical and in red; my sea level friends just follow the recipe without modification.

Happy Baking!

White Chocolate Fruit Basket Cake Recipe

Ingredients

Butterscotch Sundae Cake

  • 2 ¼ cups (+7 Tbsp) sifted flour
  • 3 tsp (-1.5 tsp) baking powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 3/4 cups (-3 Tbsp) packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup shortening
  • 1 cup (+4 Tbsp) milk
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 2/3 cup unbeaten eggs

Buttercream Icing

  • 3 cups confectioners’ sugar
  • 1 cup butter
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 to 2 Tbsp whipping cream

Topping

  • 11 Kit Kat Candy Bars (White Chocolate variety)
  • 2 lbs fresh strawberries
  • 1 pint fresh blueberries
  • 1 pint fresh raspberries
  • 2 Tbsp apricot preserves

Directions

Butterscotch Sundae Cake

  1. Position the rack in the center of the oven and preheat the oven to 375oF.
  2. In a bowl, whisk together, sifted flour, baking powder and salt.
  3. In a large bowl with an electric mixer, cream together the butter and sugar until well blended. Beat in the eggs, along with the vanilla, beating well to blend.
  4. On low speed, add the dry ingredients. Once all of the ingredients are mixed together, increase the speed and beat for 2 minutes.
  5. Pour batter into a greased 9 x 13 pan or 2-8″ diameter pans.
  6. Bake the cake for 30 to 33 minutes (or until the cake tester comes out clean).

Buttercream Icing

  1. In a standing mixer fitted with a whisk, mix together sugar and butter.
  2. Mix on low speed until well blended and then increase speed to medium and beat for another 3 minutes.
  3. Add vanilla and cream and continue to beat on medium speed for 1 minute more, adding more cream if needed for spreading consistency.
  4. Once the cake is cooled spread prepared frosting between layers and over top and sides of cake.

Topping

  1. Separate Kit Kat bars and lightly press into sides of cake.
  2. Arrange berries on top.
  3. Brush berries with apricot preserves.

ENJOY!

I adapted this recipe from the following sources:

Keep it Crafty <3 Charlie

Free Gift Tag Printables For Any Season

I am infatuated with packaging. What better way to spice up your packaging than with free printables? Here are nine for you to choose from.  ENJOY!

1 / 2 / 3 / 4 / 5 / 6 / 7 / 8 / 9

Have fun and enjoy.

Charlie

Cake Bunting Tutorial

It was my son’s first birthday last Saturday and of course we had a small party. I told you all about the theme I wanted to use and so I went with it, but of course rather than purchase everything I made all of it from scratch. This includes baking the cake and decorating the cake. I personally don’t like my cake writing so I instead made a bunting for the cake. Here is how you can do it too:

DIY Cake Bunting, Cake Pennants, cake decorations Tools:

  • Cardstock
  • Thread
  • Needle
  • Scissors
  • Template (You size it yourself)

Steps:

  1. Cut out the pennants using the appropriately sized template.
  2. Cut a piece of thread (longer is better) and thread it thru a needle.
  3. “Punch” holes in the triangles by placing the card stock pennants on a soft surface and poking a needle thru the corners.
  4. Using the threaded needle, start threading thru the pennants, front to back.
  5. Continue this process until all of the pennants have been placed on the thread.
  6. At this point you can decorate the pennants if you see fit. Find some bamboo skewers (paint them if you want) and tie the bunting to the skewers, trimming if desired. Carefully poke the skewers thru the cake and VOILA!

Charlie

Announcing the Winner of the Photo Contest

We made it through all 5 weeks, that means it is time to announce the winner of our photo contest and the recipient of these great prizes…

*drum roll*

Congratulations Beth you won!

Check out one of her pictures…

All that glitters, week 5, by wordygirl

Now that’s one way to get into the holiday spirit!

Keep it crafty! <3 Charlie

Create What You Dream Of

Wild Flowers in ink by Limited Lead

Wild Flowers in ink by Limited Lead

Wild Flowers in ink by Limited LeadCreation is an intensely spiritual thing. We are all blessed with a type of creativity and our spirits will drive us to produce what we are itching to create. No matter how cutesy, absurd, mellow, bizarre or out- of -the- norm, just DO it!! Don’t worry if anyone else will like it, someone, somewhere – will! Think of Picasso! Can you image the public’s first reactions to his work?? In that day and age?? Today most people are more broad minded as we have been exposed to so many different styles and interpretations now, than ever before. Picasso was considered very bizarre, but he grew on us! My Mother is a wonderful Artist, painting  is her medium. Yet she never shared this with me, never tried to teach me to draw or paint, so I never thought I could.  I never tried really, until I was in college and took a freehand drawing course, where I discovered I could and had a great talent for putting colors together. I was never encouraged to be creative, but I tried it anyway and through out the years have found many mediums I love and am very good at.Walt Disney’s father was NOT impressed when his youngest son announced he wanted to be an Artist. Walt tried anyway, and  through many failures and his bother Roy’s  life -time of encouragement, just look at what he created!!  There is a wondrous and joyous feeling the minute you step foot into one of Walt’s worlds, absorbing his creative spirit.  What an incredible imagination and vision he had! As you can see he is my biggest inspiration. Another person who inspires me is Tim Burton, who would have thought that his bizarre and sometimes creepy characters would become so endearing and appealing? They are love through-out the world.Jack & Sally by Limited Lead
If your imagination does not run to the unusual, that’s alright too. Take Lily Pulitzer for example, she made her name re-creating a basic shaped sleeveless dress and just made them in bright floral prints she designed herself, because she liked bright vibrant colors, in a time where the fashion was for muted colors. She just redesigned a basic, and it took off!
Several years ago my son announced that HE wanted to become an animation Artist. My Husband and I shared a doubtful glance, as he had never shown a particular talent for drawing or painting, but he was creative.  We just encouraged him to start practicing as he would need these skills in animation.  Not to be negative, and we would have NEVER told him so, but we just didn’t believe his talents lay in that direction, he was already 14.  We went to the library and local book stores to purchase books on drawing  at his request. With-in the next year we became amazed and impressed as we watched our son develop an ability thus far hidden away.  He had a passion deep inside and was determined to develop his talent.  Today, three years later, he is a self-taught Artist, and I do not use that term loosely. He has never had an art, drawing or painting class, he has taught himself by practicing daily as his father told him he would have to do.

Sassy by Limited Lead

The three illustrations on this post are all his, and he is just beginning!
Next is my daughter, 8 years old and very precocious, and yes, talented. She has watched her older brother and he has inspired her, she will sit for hours watching her shows and filling up sketch pads faster that I can purchase them. She MUST have the largest box of crayons, as she will not be limited by color choice! Yes she can draw and has impressed her older bother with her developing skill, yet she wants to be like Mom and create fashion, costumes, dog clothes, just to name a few. Yes, we have purchased tons of design and fashion books, and programs for her. This year she even has her own sewing machine, and we are developing her creations as we speak!!

Brianne's first Hat design

She is not afraid to try different things and explore her creativity. Even when she dresses, and we don’t always agree on her choices of what ‘goes’ together, she tells me: “Mommy, your a ‘matcher’- I am an ‘un-matcher’!” which is what she prefers to be right now, and that’s fine by me.
So don’t be afraid to try something that your spirit is driving you to do. JUST DO IT! Put it out there and play, make something – anything, and then do it again with something different and new.
I still have yet to try painting on canvas, as my Mother has done so beautifully, but I am not afraid to try and feel confident I will develop some skill at this as well. It is just a longer process than I can entertain right now, but the day is coming, and I am preparing for it as my spirit is nagging me to get to it!!

Briannes plushie creature

What is your spirit urging you to do??
Kerry ♥
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