Custom Orders – #CIJParty 2016

Contributor post by Sheila from BeadyEyedBird

Those of us who do custom orders can appreciate what a special gift a custom order can be — to the buyer or to the person the buyer is giving it to. It’s not just any old thing — something mass-produced that anybody could find or buy. Instead, it’s something that incorporates the unique spirit of the artist, perhaps even something that is designed with a particular person in mind.

We asked our friends at Christmas In July what kind of customized item/s they offer, and their experience has been with designing/producing for particular clients. Here’s what they said.

Alexandra Richards from EyeLoveKnots said:

One of the first orders for my shop was a custom order for some ceramic tile coasters in hot pink with bunnies on it. I did some digging for bunny clip art and found the cutest one! My client loved the idea, and ordered a set, and has since been back to put in several different custom orders.
It is so wonderful being able to work so closely with clients to make their visions come to life, and it’s even more wonderful when you hear from them about how they use their item, how they gifted it or what they like about it.
It takes lots of time and patience to put together custom orders, and sometimes you have to step outside your comfort area and get creative and resourceful, but in the end, I think it’s way worth it. Not only do you produce a new item for your client, but I also feel like the flood gates open up with similar ideas or different ways to approach the idea.
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Hot pink bunny ceramic tile coasters

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Dawn Whitehand from DeeDeeDeesigns said:
 I definitely do custom orders! Making a range of table wares I can custom make sets of plates or cups or bowls, in custom sizes and custom colours.

I can also custom make jewellery. I have had many custom orders for specific ring sizes, which can be tricky given the shrinkage that occurs with clay, however, I have worked out all my shrinkage rates and regularly create successful orders.

I usually make a few rings, and the spares I list in my shop!

My most recent custom order was for a set of earrings. the customer was replacing a set of broken earrings and wanted a set as close as possible to the originals. I think they turned out wonderfully!

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Blue ceramic earrings -custom order

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Dana Hamant from LilybeanzBowtique said:

 A majority of my items are custom items. I originally stocked my shop with ready to ship items. Almost all of the orders I have received since opening in February of 2015 have been custom items. I love when I get a custom request. Some customers have a very specific idea in mind and want me to produce it exactly. I find these to be the most challenging, yet rewarding. I love seeing their vision come to life in my hands. Most of my customers have an idea of what they want and tell me to “have fun with it.”

The cover picture in this listing is my most recent custom order. This was for a local customer. She wanted a fabric wreath in her local school’s colors: Red, White, & Black. I had so much fun going to the craft store and matching up the fabrics to create this piece.

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Made-to-Order Wreath, Holiday Decorations, Country Style Decor, Scrap Fabric Wreath, Rag Wreath for Door, Fabric Wall Wreath, Outdoor Wreath

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Valerie Brown from FirepanJewellery said:

I definitely do custom orders, ranging from enamel earrings (the client wanted each earring to be a different color), one of a kind silver pendants, gemstone jewellery, and of course engagement + wedding rings!

I just recently had the pleasure of making the wedding rings for my friends. I had made her engagement ring four years ago. We collaborated on the initial design which incorporated elements that were meaningful for the both of them. We used diamonds and sapphires from her Grandma’s Art Deco cocktail ring and I carved a lotus into the gold at the bottom of the ring as a very personal reminder of his Buddhist beliefs. When it came time to make their wedding rings, she just wanted a simple, plain band and he got the custom design ring. His wedding ring is a very wide band with a lotus cut out (this is meant to be on the bottom of the ring, to mirror hers). Aside from being able to incorporate very personal elements into their rings, they were able to choose different materials for their rings. Hers is 18K white gold, and his is 18K yellow gold (this was done to suit their skin tones better).

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Custom wedding ring set

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Wendy from wendysuniquecreation said:
I accept custom orders on everything I make except for upcycled glass pieces. Even with some of them I’d accept custom orders since some pieces may be customizable to an extent or if the customer wants a specific theme.

My most memorable custom order started when a Facebook game neighbor posted they had excess game resources I needed. From there we became game partners and then friends. We’d chat daily and one day I noticed her sending me lots of minion characters in Facebook chat. I proceeded to say she must love minions and she responded by saying she’s a minion nut. Well, I mentioned that I have a minion slipper pattern for ladies and when looking for that pattern, I found a minion hat pattern as well for sizes 0 – adult. She ended up buying a minion hat, minion slippers, and minion purse that I enjoyed making for her since I too love minions. My favorite part was where we would joke around and laugh, resulting in me making a blue tongue for both her slippers and hat instead of the usual pink tongue. Since then she has placed 2 more custom orders with me and she loves everything I make her.

I believe a happy customer brings repeat customers and word of mouth is the best free advertising.

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Many thanks to everyone who shared their stories with us!

Until Next Time,

Sheila

Layered Perfection – #CIJParty 2016

Contributor post by Michelle of EviesToolEmporium

The last few days I have watching for layered trends as I have been out and about. I have seen so many beautiful stacked bracelets, stacked rings, layered necklaces, layered home items and more!

Members of the Etsy ChristmasInJuly Team have many layered perfection items in their shops! Here are a few!

friedasophie from friedasophie says:

I handmade this piece for the summer time, the blue and white’s are complimenting each other in a subtle way.

friedasophie

friedasophie

Nancy Duncan from EponasCrystals says:

Purple and turquoise are two of my favorite colors. They accent each other perfectly. This necklace is a little bit boho and a little bit southwestern. Purple sugilite round beads and genuine turquoise nuggets are hand knotted with waxed cotton cord. The necklace is accented with beautiful ceramic seed beads in a turquoise hue, shiny brass beads and round antiqued verdigris beads. The closure is genuine leather cord with a spiral patterned golden brass toggle clasp.

EponasCrystals

EponasCrystals

pamela from epicetera says:

This necklace was inspired by the beautiful blend of seed bead colors.

5 strands of mixed gemstones and pearls create a warm winter blend of deep burgundy, honey gold and crisp cucumber green..

I selected gemstones that complimented the seed beads, and created a holiday necklace rich with color. One strand of honey gold freshwater pearls, a strand of red Garnet, a strand of green Aventurine, and 2 strands of mixed seed beads create a colorful necklace that can be twisted before fastening or worn by allowing the layers to fall freely. A primitive red bird dangles from the bead work.

epicetera

epicetera

Dawn Whitehand from DeeDeeDeesigns says:

This layered ring is made from four retro buttons from my personal collection I have been accruing for many years. I’m not really sure why i collect (and now make) buttons, but it certainly is a thing!

DeeDeeDeesigns

DeeDeeDeesigns

Richard and Tatiana from DesignstheLimit says:

This cutting board offers us the most flexibility for design and personalization of any of the products we have available. We can engrave the bottom of the glass cutting board, the top of the wood cutting surface, monogram the tool handles, and engrave a gift message or dedication on the bottom. The glass cutting board can be removed and used for cutting meats, the wood cutting board is food safe and perfect for slicing vegetables, and the set can be used for serving and entertaining with the cheese knife storage conveniently accessible. We add even more layers with gift wrap and gift cards available with any purchase in our shop.

We can include any of our picture frame designs on the glass, any of our monograms on the wood, and use a matching font to personalize the tool handles of the cheese tools.

DesignstheLimit

DesignstheLimit

Dana Hamant from LilybeanzBowtique says:

One of my new favorite things to make for my shop is fabric tutus. I love layers different, yet complementing fabrics together to create a unique, one-of-a-kind piece. In addition to the different prints, I also like to put different textures together for fun look.

LilybeanzBowtique

LilybeanzBowtique

Dina StyleKnits from DinaStyleKnits says:

This hand knit triangle shawl was designed by me under inspiration of boho and vintage styles. I’d like to make feminine wrap for modern lady. This shawl adds wedding, evening clothes and will be good for cold summer.
Bronze shawl pin with beige and coffee glass beads is included for shawl.

The shawl color is natural beige and it pass to any dress color.

So, this shawl is a detail, which will help you feel like a real woman.

DinaStyleKnits

DinaStyleKnits

Stock Lane Studio from StockLaneStudio says:

Here’s a layering of a different sort. Many many layers are involved in the creation of our ‘Galaxy’ art. I use several layers for text, more for the dark sky background and more for the stars. I add blurred layers and other artistic touches to stars and the ‘milky part of the Milky way to create depth. This was a fun and time-consuming process and I love the end result.

StockLaneStudio

StockLaneStudio

Vintage pickins – #CIJParty 2016

Contributor post by Alicia from AliciasFindings

Vintage sellers have a love of all things old and timeless.

The memories these items invoke are amazing.

Here at Christmas in July we want to know “How do you decide what to pick?” Are there certain items you love, that are more in demand. Why do you pick what you do?

Dawn Whitehand from DeeDeeDeesigns says while I make ceramic tableware and jewellery, I also create upcycled jewellery, which I sometimes combine with original ceramic components.

The materials I choose are wide and varied, but I love vintage buttons, and have been collecting them for many years from many sources. Some I don’t re-purpose into jewellery because I want to keep them!!

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Upcycled Gray and Blue Button Ring

Leila Valois from ValoisFelts said I too love upcycling my vintage finds. I pick things up from charity shops and fairs – buckles are one of my favourite things right now.

I’ve made a few ‘fairy windows’ with them. They have gorgeous colours and designs that inspire what I felt in them. This pearlescent one had a fantasy/scifi feel about it.

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Alien UFO Fantasy Window- Miniature Painting-Needle felted brooch

Jennifer Allison from JenniferAllsion  states I almost always post vintage goodies that I would want to keep for myself (and often do…krikey!). I like to find things that I can re-purpose…give new life to…and could spend hours just browsing antique stores and garage sales for items that remind me of warm memories and simpler times. I recently found a cardboard puzzle from the 1950’s and fell IN DEEP LOVE with the graphics…knew I had to find a way to give it new life.

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Washington state puzzle piece magnet

msmadmax from madmaxshop says fashion constantly refers to the past for inspiration. Especially today when the current forecast can be seen borrowing from a previous successful trend in fashion featured two decades ago, i.e. sequins and sparkle, romantic ruffled blouses, done up denim

Wearable fashion trends for 2016 have been inspired by the trendsetting fashions of the 70’s, 80’s and 90’s. I like to post vintage items that can easily blend in with current fashion but still evoke a trendy look and feel of yesterday…

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80s Vintage Blouse

Dana Hamant from LilybeanzBowtique said I adore the vintage look. I love to use fabrics and designs that invoke this. Recently a friend requested a planner band to adorn a notebook she had. She wanted something “vintage-looking.” I found these vintage-style wooden buttons and knew they would be perfect. After I had created her one-of-a-kind piece, my creative juices kept flowing.

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Custom Fabric Tutus and headband set

Sue from MissIvyVintage discussed I have always loved vintage linens of all sorts…Embroidered, crocheted, tatted, and prints. I find a great deal of pleasure when I find a linen that at one time brought joy to a child. I find these linens especially charming and when I list, I hope the item will bring joy to another child. I have only this one.

Vintage handmade Childs Santa Claus Pillowcase

Vintage handmade Childs Santa Claus Pillowcase

Shelly from ShellysSelectSalvage states I have loved vintage items since I was a child. Their history calls to me and I think of all the hands it has passed through and how it was cherished before. Now I feel like I save them for others to enjoy.

I like looking for unusual items and miniatures, something that will catch the eye.

I personally collect vintage linens as I love the old smell, softness, and look. I have a huge vintage pillowcase collection and love using them on all my pillows.

I love this little guy – such a funny face.

Cow Bottle Opener and Corkscrew

Cow Bottle Opener and Corkscrew

willowvalleyvintage from WillowValleyVintage says My daughter and I are fans of Marie Kondo, so we are always looking for items that “Spark Joy!”

We love the graphics and idea behind this Balloon Pump.

Gag gift Party Decor Vintage Inflato Balloon Pump

Gag gift Party Decor Vintage Inflato Balloon Pump

Kira from TrellisLaneVintage said my love of vintage is rooted by my mother, many years of looking for and living with antiques. I love the 50’s through 70’s and fill my shop with items that catch my eye. I try to focus on items that are functional and fun!

Vintage chip and dip set,Indiana glass set

Vintage chip and dip set,Indiana glass set

Jackie Irvin from JackJacksWayart discusses that my love for drawing began at a very young age. I have been enjoying creating custom design door decor for a few years now.
I also love working with pastels painting portraits, making jewelry, chalkboards and much more.

Old World Santa Door Art

Old World Santa Door Art

Catherine Caramanica from BlkBttrflyDsgns discussed that It’s in my nature to choose items that are unusual, unique, one-of-a-kind, edgy. I love to bring eclectic offerings to the table. These boots are for a confident woman. A woman who isn’t afraid or apprehensive to wear something that stands out. They’re an outstanding pair of boots.

Tony Lama Cowboy Boots-Ladies 7B

Tony Lama Cowboy Boots-Ladies 7B

Heather from ArabellaBlossoms says buttons are always popular with sewers and crafters. Vintage buttons hold a special attraction with their beauty, originality and craftsmanship from a bygone era.

I have gathered buttons for my stash for as long as I can remember. As children our Sunday afternoons were often spent playing with my mother’s button collection. She stored it in a large tartan painted biscuit tin. My stash is now much larger than that one and it is time for me to share the love-and my buttons!

4 Large Gold Black Tone Metal Shank Vintage Buttons

4 Large Gold Black Tone Metal Shank Vintage Buttons

toysfrom70s from toysfrom70s said my wife and I recently downsized and as the old saying goes you can’t take it with you, we’re selling off our childhood memories. Sharing the love of 1970s toys and collectibles. We didn’t realize how many people also loved some of the items we have sold over the year, the notes they send tell us we’re not alone in cherishing memories and it is rather humbling knowing we’re spreading smiles across the USA with our items.

Just listed maybe it may bring back a smile to you of childhood.

1974 Vintage Growing Up Skipper Doll

1974 Vintage Growing Up Skipper Doll

Alicia Holman from MemaAntiques discussed that we love vintage items. We love the history regarding each item we obtained. This item for instance came from a home in Orangeburg SC. This was a wedding gift given to the family in the 1940’s. The female in the home kept it in her china cabinet and never used it. She wanted it to always be in perfect condition.

Her son told us how she would fuss at the children and the grandchildren if they came near this dish. Reminds me so much of my grand parents and their favorite items.

It is so much fun. All items in our shop has a story behind it or we can tell you were it came from.

Fenton Green Grapes and Leaves Carnival Glass Candy Dish

Fenton Green Grapes and Leaves Carnival Glass Candy Dish

Cher Loose from LooseChipsWoodWork says when an item reflects a memory in my heart I pick it up and cherish it… we have a rule in gift giving and buying… it is if we like it ourselves then someone else will too! (and if they do not, they will return it to us and that is okay too!) example: My husband remembers the Western Electric Company in Reading PA, before it was bought out by AT&T and he even worked there for a few years, actually using a slide rule. So this is why I sell this, in hopes someone else will find someone who likes to collect slide rules or maybe put it in their pocket and show another generation how to use one for fun…. on Christmas Morning in December or in July!

Vintage Collectible Slide Ruler and Instructions

Vintage Collectible Slide Ruler and Instructions

What Makes A House A Home – #CIJParty 2016

Contributor post by Alicia from AliciasFindings

There is so much that makes a house a home…the people, the ambiance and most especially the decor. One piece can change the whole flavor of a room.

Here at Christmas in July we want to see your home decor items and a little bit about them.

Annie from DesignedbyAnneliese says when i think of house decor, I think or pictures or ornaments. These birds are a little different. I made these felt birds which originally I had as house decor at Christmas. But they could be used to decorate the house any time just by hanging them on a door handle or a hook!

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Felt bird decorations

Angara Seeds from AngsanaSeedsPhoto said when I think of home decor, I think of the decorative throw pillows that complement the rooms.

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Floral throw pillow

Richard and Tatiana from DesignstheLimit states that personalization turn a house into Your Home! We love to personalize everything and believe every home has to have a monogrammed cutting board. We offer different design options for newlyweds and families and custom orders are accepted! Make every gift you give a personal experience and Just Say No Giftcards! @Designsthelimit we offer glassware, coasters, cutting boards, picture frames, and a number of other items perfect for any recipient or gift giving occasion.

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Personalized Famly Monogram Bamboo Cutting Board

Stock Lane Studio from StockLaneStudio says for students heading off to college or young adults starting out in their first apartments, making a dorm, studio or apartment into a home can be challenging. Along with our higher priced fine art photography, we offer prints and printables that are fun and interesting, but won’t break the bank.

Our ‘Enter at your own Bliss” printable sets a welcoming tone for any home.

The photograph for this typographical art was taken while visiting the gorgeously medieval Eltz Castle (Burg Eltz), nestled in the hills above the Moselle River in Germany.

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Printable Welcome sign

Ingrida from LivePastVintage states that neutral minimalist kitchen set will make cozy each home… Linen is highly valued fabric all over the world! Vintage set in great condition – the best choice for price and value!

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Vintage Swedish Fruit print potholder and doily set

Lia Russo from Ghirlandiamo says I think each home has a particular accent, which expresses the woman’s personality living there: furniture, colors, accessories and decor, all that talks about her.

For this reason almost all my crafts are one of a kind, they are unique as each woman is.
For example, this decor, that can be used either as wreath and as centerpiece, talks about a simple woman, loving open air, nature and tiny meadow flowers. Doesn’t it?

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Daisy flowering spring wreath

Julie Siomacco from SouthernCharmWreaths states lanterns have become very popular in home decor over the past couple of years. You can use lanterns in your staging on places like fireplace mantles, kitchen counters, tables, pianos, etc. Not only can you put candles inside the lantern but try filling them with other things such as pine cones, bird’s nest, small plants, Easter eggs, etc. There are so many styles of lanterns to choose from these days and finding one to fit your decor shouldn’t be a problem. To add seasonal flair to your lantern, try attaching a lantern swag (flower arrangement made for lanterns). This adds a special touch to your home decor throughout the season or holiday.

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Spring Lantern Swag

Silvia Webel from Givemeyourphoto discussed when I think of home, I think of photos! What is a home without your memories? In “givemeyourphoto” I design personalized photo books from your travels and adventures, that will make your home really cozy!

Check them out here! And don’t forget to follow me on Instagram @givemeyourphoto_ for the latest previews and sneak peeks!

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Travel Photo Book 8×8 Hard Cover

Dawn Whitehand from DeeDeeDeesigns states that I believe a large part of making a house a home is the sharing and caring of the family members, and one of the best ways to encourage this is through food. And unique, handmade vessels can make the family meal even more special.

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Ceramic Salad or Fruit Bowl

Jessica and Bryan King from FeathandKee says you really do not want to lose your keys! This key rack was made from re-purposed oak that came from a chair past it’s prime.

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Wooden cloud key rack

Dana Hamant from LilybeanzBowtique says I think the most important part of a home is a first impression. I switch out the wreath on my front door with each season. I want my home to be welcoming to others. I love having people over and entertaining. What better way to impress them when they first walk in the door!

Made to Order Wreath- Rag Wreath

Made to Order Wreath – Rag Wreath

Michelle Emma Kay from EmmaKayInks discusses that there are many historic Art Deco buildings in my home town of Katoomba, Australia. When I get off at the train station and walk up the ramp to step out onto the street, I always feel strongly “ahhh it’s so good to be home”. I’ve only been living here for 2 years, but we used to visit a lot when I was a child.

This drawing is very much influenced by both the feeling and aesthetic of Art Deco. I think buildings with these features feel more homely because they speak of endurance and have built up an energy as people have used them over time.

In this colder climate, one can just be grateful for having a roof over your head and a fire in the corner. The light shining through the stained glass windows is a bonus!

Hand drawn Original Ink Drawing

Hand drawn Original Ink Drawing

Carola Bartz from CarolaBartz said there are many things that make a house a home, and the most important ones you can’t buy – it’s the people who live here. However, we can set up a certain atmosphere. That for me is often expressed in the wall decoration – which color is your wall, is there wall paper, wood? What hangs on the wall? I personally love to hang photographs that speak to me. That can be an old barn, a beautiful sunset, a dramatic landscape, an animal.

This 8 x 10 photo print of a sunset on the Oregon Coast is a favorite of mine. It holds a special moment and atmosphere. It can set the mood of a room. I see this in a masters bedroom or a quiet corner in a family room. A meditation room if you are lucky to have one. I even see it in a cozy breakfast nook.

Sunset Photograph, Cow Parsnip Before Setting Sun, Sunset at the Coast, Nature Fine Art Photography, 8 x 10

Sunset Photograph, Cow Parsnip Before Setting Sun, Sunset at the Coast, Nature Fine Art Photography, 8 x 10

Catherine Caramanica from BlkBttrflyDsgns said I have had these candles in my home for years. Literally. Yes, they still light. There are all colors here, sizes and beeswax too. I used to love eat dinner by candlelight with or without company. Maybe others can enjoy them the way I once did and still do!

Lot of 60 unused candles

Lot of 60 unused candles

Sue from MissIvyVintage says I think a house becomes a home when family and friends gather around the dining table, relaxed and having lots of fun! I have so many memories of these times! I imagine these gracing such a festive occasion and making memories.

Vintage 70s Set of 8 Handmade Felt Napkin Rings

Vintage 70s Set of 8 Handmade Felt Napkin Rings

willowvalleyvintage from WillowValleyVintage discusses that having vintage “treasures” around my home makes me happy!

Even if they are chipped or worn, they tell a story and remind me of days past or beloved relatives who once owned them.

This sweet teapot looks cute, even when not in use!

Cottage Teapot Vintage Pottery 40s 50s English Tudor Decor Gift Serveware

Cottage Teapot Vintage Pottery 40s 50s English Tudor Decor Gift Serveware

Welcome New Team Members for May

Contributor post by Dawn from DeeDeeDeesigns
Please join us in welcoming new members to our fantastic team! Visit their shop, fave some items, maybe even share some shops/items on your social media channels!!
And here are our some of our new members for May!

Hello, I’m Sibrina Byrd. I’ve been selling for over ten years now and have been selling on Etsy for a few years now. I make jewelry, accessories and clothing but hair bows is my speciality. I am new to joining groups and forums on Etsy. So thank you for letting me be part if this movement.

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Lil pony hair bow

Diana from joliefemmebydiana says

These are lovely matching clutches that can slip over your wrist and you can carry a bouquet too. Perfect for a small wedding!

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Matching bridesmaid clutches

Hi. I’m Stacey and I just opened my shop, Lilac House Fine Florals, in April. I decided to share this Modern Faux Succulent and Silk Floral Arrangement because it adds an element of drama and natural beauty to any room.

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Faux succulent centerrpiece

Theresa Jordaan from prettypapernz says

Good morning from New Zealand. I joined this team last week. These embellishments are pretty and the colours would compliment just about any scrapbook layout.
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Die cuts for scrapbook layout embellishment

Gabrielle Alexander from GabrielleandCo says

Hey Everyone!

I’m new to this whole Christmas in July thing, never even heard of it until recently, but it sounds really cool. Christmas is probably my favorite holiday, so having it twice a year is awesome!

These earrings were my best sellers during November and December last year and I hope to sell even more of them this year!

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Scented peppermint stick earrings

Dana Hamant from LilybeanzBowtique says

This is the first tutu dress that I made. Prior to this creation, I was making just plain tutus and headbands. I had an inspiration one day and ended up with this piece. It is still one of my most favorite pieces I have ever made.
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Watermelon or Strawberry Tutu Costume

Wow…. some FAB items here from new shops – please support them by visiting, favouriting some items, and maybe even buying!

Gardening

Contributor post by Alicia from AliciasFindings

I imagine some of us love to get our hands dirty with our gardens.

Here at Christmas in July we want to know all about what type of gardens you have,how long you have been gardening and anything else you wish to tell us that is related to the theme.

Sue and Misty from shabbyshopgirls says we have a large vegetable garden where we grow tomatoes, peppers, squash, cucumbers & a variety of melons. Gardening books are absolutely invaluable to us, which is why we keep on hand many different types. We also have many flower and garden inspired items.

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Round Vera Neumann Floral Tablecloth

Dawn Whitehand  from DeeDeeDeesigns said I am lucky enough to live on ten acres in rural Australia and we have a huge vegetable and fruit garden.

Spring/ Summer is our biggest harvest, and this year was particularly successful. I have spent the last month preserving, pickling and fermenting the rewards! This has however taken away time from managing my Etsy shop – but it has to be done while the produce is fresh!

After a big day in the kitchen I reward myself with wine!! But during the day I take the occasional coffee break and sit on the veranda and enjoy looking at the garden.

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Ceramic mug and coaster set

Melissa R from missy69 states I love gardening! I wouldn’t say I am great at it, but I am always learning. I home school my children, and one of the best ways to teach them Science is to try to grow something. My daughter and I currently have a 3 Sisters Garden, that is corn, squash and beans. This is from a History lesson on the Pilgrims and Native Americans. So far so good, lol. We live in sunny Florida, so usually by March we can start the veggie garden. I have peppers every year, and tomatoes. But, this year we tried something new. Plus the all the flowering plants, to attract hummingbirds and butterflies. BTW another great Science activity is to plant host plants for butterflies. They will lay their eggs on the host plant, and then you can watch the whole metamorphosis process. Very cool! I love to paint all the beautiful things in this world, and one of them is below. An absolute favorite, the ruby-throated hummingbird.

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Ruby throated hummingbird acrylic art painting

Carola Bartz from CarolaBartz says gardening is balm for my soul. I love it. When we moved in our home on a corner lot there was only lawn in front of the house. Using the sheet mulching technique I converted it to a garden that now, four years later, has become a real paradise for birds, butterflies and other critters. Unfortunately the deer like it, too, and treat it as their personal salad buffet. However, that doesn’t stop me to constantly work on it, weeding, cutting back, making space for new plants. I love every season in it. At the moment I’m working on my backyard to turn it into a similar sanctuary.

As a photographer I love to take pictures of the flowers – if there’s a little bug on the plants, even better!

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Ladybug in Lavender Photo Greeting Card

Jenya from Veddma discusses this week I take the first steps to start the garden, and it’s exciting as ever, since we have a new space to shape. I have met with Gavin from Edible Landscaping Ottawa to help us figure out what is feasible to do in our space, with considerations of sustainability, cost, and aesthetics, using permaculture principles wherever possible to maximize the food-growing potential. I’ve been experimenting with various garden designs, including vertical towers and spirals over the years. Quite a bit of it is documented on my blog, here is the latest post:

fingeringzen.com/get-organized/edible-landscaping-at-our-new-place

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Spring flower fine art photography gift card set

Patricia and Rebecca from northandsouthshabby states I moved into a newly built home 6 years ago. Unfortunately, the builder had stripped all the vegetation and left a pretty blank slate. I have pushed, planted and prodded little spots to come to life. Every year gets better and a little bigger. An addition of a rain barrel has helped my flowers thrive. One storm can fill the 55 gallon barrel to capacity. My trusty watering can is my constant gardening tool, bringing the sweet rainwater to thirsty flowers.

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Vintage large round floral Toleware tray

Tanya Hardman from TheWoollyTangle discusses I always loved gardening from a very young age; I even had my own patch of ground at my granddad’s allotment. Although I realize now how little I actually did!

I used to be a full-time gardener in a local stately home before we had our eldest son but couldn’t return to the profession afterwards thanks to childcare restraints. I’ve settled for making my own garden, which is finally starting to look lovely after a lot of hard work. Hoping for a lot of veggies and flowers this year.

Lots of my pieces are inspired by the colours and forms of nature. The brooch featured here is an attempt to recreate the beautiful full blooms of the peony plants which are just budding up in my garden at the moment.

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Hand knitted flower brooch

Desert Dabbler from DesertDabbler states gardening is a challenge here in the desert southwest but very rewarding. My lavender loves the dry sunny climate. My other favorite flowers are Yellow Bells, which are tubular flowers that grow on tall vines. We are also on the path for Monarch butterflies. To encourage them we grow desert milkweed, a very plain plant but one that butterflies love. I combined my love for butterflies and flowers in these dangle earrings. But these are Swarovski butterflies — also beautiful.

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Flower and Butterfly Swarovski crystal dangle earrings

Corkycrafts from Corkycrafts says spring brings wildflower season in Texas. I love to garden and sell wildflower seeds to share the love of gardening with my clients and customers. Only during the spring/summer I sell my seeds to share the color of wildflowers across the USA.

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Nasturtium flower seeds,edible flowers

Annie from DesignedbyAnneliese discusses that I have loved being in the garden and helping my dad garden from a young age. However once I moved out of home I have not had my own garden. I do have a courtyard where I love to keep plants in pots and attempt to grow herbs and vegetables. Unfortunately the possums get to the herbs, veggie leaves and strawberries before we do!
I have included this set of envelopes which feature flowers and butterflies and remind me of spring and being in the garden.

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6 flower and butterfly envelopes set

Jessica and Bryan King from FeathandKee says Bryan and I both really like to grow things. Sometimes we have success, others not so much. I always get way to ambitious in the wonderful Spring weather, then when the heat of Summer hits….  I always have good luck with Okra, Zinnias, and Marigolds. This key chain was inspired by the pretty flowers of Spring and Summer.

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May Flowers Reclaimed Wood Key chain

Dana Hamant from LilybeanzBowtique states my garden is a constant work in progress. We have lived here for 6 years, and each year we work on one piece and making it our own. In the past we have taken down bushes, rearranged bulbs, and started a herb garden. This year we are excited to start growing strawberries and tomatoes! Next year we will be tearing up our existing deck and building a brand new one, so that we can better enjoy our outdoor living space.

I absolutely love being outside and being a part of nature. This tutu dress is the epitome of what I love about being outside.

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Green Fairy Tutu Costume