Ron and Phyllis McIntyre's Profile

About

ClickityClack’s Profile

I have been crafting all of my life. My parents and all 4 of my sisters craft in one form or another. My poor husband had no idea what he was getting into when he married me! In the early 70’s I started crafting as a business because I could work at home and take my young son with me to craft shows. Soon both my son and husband got the crafting bug and we crafted as a family for many years, traveling to various craft shows throughout the summers. We did the teaching/lecture bit too. Then our son got older and moved on. After close to thirty years, higher show prices, higher traveling expenses, major health issues and burn out took its toll and we just quit. In 2001 we packed everything away and stopped cold!

We started going to auctions and buying antiques and collectibles for resale. We started an online business with Ruby…

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  • Born on January 21
  • Joined November 26, 2007

Favorite materials

hardwoods and pine, fabric and faux fur, vintage glass, china, and patterns, and anything else that strikes our fancy at the moment

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About

ClickityClack’s Profile

I have been crafting all of my life. My parents and all 4 of my sisters craft in one form or another. My poor husband had no idea what he was getting into when he married me! In the early 70’s I started crafting as a business because I could work at home and take my young son with me to craft shows. Soon both my son and husband got the crafting bug and we crafted as a family for many years, traveling to various craft shows throughout the summers. We did the teaching/lecture bit too. Then our son got older and moved on. After close to thirty years, higher show prices, higher traveling expenses, major health issues and burn out took its toll and we just quit. In 2001 we packed everything away and stopped cold!

We started going to auctions and buying antiques and collectibles for resale. We started an online business with Ruby Lane to sell our glass and china stuff, but they only handle fine art along with the antiques and collectibles, not craft/artisan work. After a few years, we found ourselves wanting to do a few craft things again as well as the antiques and collectibles. Then a friend suggested Etsy. We joined Etsy in November of 2007. By the end of the year, we knew we had come home, closed the Ruby Lane site and moved everything over to Etsy.

My husband and I work as a team. We have separate crafts, yet our talents overlap somewhat. He does woodworking, mostly children’s toys and puzzles, and I do sewing projects, mostly stuffies and quilted items. I design his puzzles and cutouts, and he makes my purse handles, stands and doll clothes hangers. Now our main line is the wooden items that I design and he cuts. The sewing and stuffies are getting harder for my "old" hands to do well so I only do a few when I have time and feel like it! Somehow I got stuck with the computer/bookkeeping end of things and he tells me how it “should” be. Totally unfair!

As I said previously, we have been in the quality craft business over 30 years. Our Internet shop on Ruby Lane opened in February of 2004 along with our Pay Pal business account. We are relatively new to this site, but not new to the business!

Wow! Reading this over, it is hard to believe we have been with Etsy since 2007! Some things have changed, some haven't but we are still having fun and I hope you are too. We do mostly wood items now with a few collectibles thrown in. You keep me too busy designing new wooden cutouts and stackers to do much sewing any more. Which is alright with me!

Phyllis
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AVATAR: We couldn’t decide on an avatar that stood for our business since we do a variety of things. Then I remembered a series of photos I took of Miss Lydia Lionheart diving in the packing peanuts. The one thing all of our crafts and collectibles have in common is fast shipping! Miss Lydia is our Shipping Supervisor. She inspects packing peanuts, crumpled newspapers and strapping tape and likes to climb in and out of boxes all at warp speed! She is now our symbol for fast shipping.
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BANNER: Our banner shows a section of our driveway and a portion of the Mulberry tree that shades the entrance. When the berries are ripe, as they are here, the neighbors all come to pick a few berries and watch the many birds that also flock to the tree. It is our welcome sign. So, Welcome, neighbor!
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A NOTE ABOUT VINTAGE: When we first started going to auctions and buying “junque”, I was worried about identifying items. Then as I started doing the research, I found I actually liked it! I now have an extensive and ever growing (but never complete) library on all kinds of vintage, collectibles and antique items. The history behind each piece can be fascinating. Research can also be frustrating with all the reproductions, selling of molds from one company to another, take overs and mergers of major and minor companies. I will always do my best to give you the manufacturer’s name and dates, and pattern names and /or numbers for each item I offer for sale. I can make mistakes and if you see one…..give me a yell!

In my descriptions, I will try to describe any flaws I find. I have been told that I “tell” too much, but I look at it this way: you cannot see or feel the item; I must be your eyes and fingertips! I want you to KNOW what you are buying. To some a small chip or crack is a deal breaker, to others a memory connected with the item means more than a minor flaw. I will provide you with the best information I can and leave the rest up to you.

Right now Etsy is only allowing 5 photos per item. For most items it is enough, but for Vintage you really need more, especially if an item has flaws that need to be shown. I like to show front, back, top and bottom (that’s four) for starters. Then on things with spouts, handles and lids where chips are most likely to occur, I like to do a close up of those. And then, of course, you need a close up of the glass pattern or porcelain design, the back stamp, and any flaws. For now I will do the best I can in 5 photos and good text, so read carefully and view each photo in as large a format as possible. Just keep in mind that, when you make something more than life size, a little flaw becomes a crater! When in doubt, convo or e-mail me with your questions and I will do my best to give you an answer. If you are looking for something special to complete a set (or a memory) please go ahead and ask, I have a pole-barn full of boxes of stuff!
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FREE PATTERN: WHATEVER BAG
Back in the 70’s sometime, I ran across this idea for a tote that I call my Whatever Bag. A Whatever Bag can hold whatever you need it to hold! I made up a bunch of these with the idea of selling them on the craft circuit, but people looked at them, said “ What a great idea!” and went home and made their own. So, I gave them away as gifts. Sigh…….Now, I will give you the idea, the “pattern”, as a gift. I can’t post photos here, so use your imagination and enjoy! At least for a while yet, you can see the photos by going to our SOLD items and scan down to June 15, 2008 and the Whatever Bag.

To make this Whatever bag you will need a sturdy fabric placemat, some grosgrain ribbon (or strapping) about an inch wide, a little Velcro or closure of your choice, and an assortment of heavy duty (as in freezer bags) re-closeable plastic bags. The slide closure bags weren’t available when I made these, but it is something to think about. They might break easier? Don’t know. Mine were Zip Lock and I am still using them all these years later.

Lay your placemat down, bottom side up. Mark the center fold line. Place your first plastic bag (I used a gallon size) on the left side, letting the bottom end of the bag go over the center line as far as it needs to to fit on your placemat. Do the same thing on the right side. Continue laying rows of bags left side, right side and adjusting the length as necessary to fit….bags will get shorter as you work to the center. I used 2 one quart size bags side by side, overlapping a bit, per layer for three layers. Don’t worry about the bottom edges; just let them over lap for now. When you have your layers done to your satisfaction, cover the center line with the grosgrain ribbon, folding under the ends for a finished look and pinning securely. Sew down both sides and across the ends of the ribbon. Now trim the excess off the bottoms of your plastic bags! Add your Velcro closure to the ends of the placemat and add grosgrain ribbon handles. Fill with whatever strikes your fancy and you are ready to go!

There are a lot of different ways to use these bags. Using different size plastic bags (a row of little ones in the top layer for tiny things?) makes the Whatever Bag very changeable to suit your special needs. Try making a larger “placemat” or even a smaller one! Have fun and enjoy!
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REVERSE EMBROIDERY, USING PEARL COTTON IN THE BOBBIN:

This is simple but very impressive. Most sewing machine manuals will tell you how to do this, so get yours out and check it out! Wind a bobbin with pearl cotton, embroidery floss, fine yarn, silk ribbon or whatever. If you have never tried this before, start out with something finer and work towards the thicker stuff to see what your machine will tolerate. Don’t wind your bobbin too close to the edge or it will “hang up”. Place your bobbin in the bobbin case and thread the pearl cotton thru the hole next to the tension. BY PASS THE BOBBIN TENSION COMPLETELY! If you have a drop in bobbin like I do, thread thru the hole, then drop in the bobbin. Next select an “open” pattern stitch. I like the herringbone stitch best, but experiment and see what works for you and your machine. Even a long straight stitch or a wide zigzag can be impressive! Tight, complicated stitches will cause the pearl cotton to wad up and make a mess.

Hold the bobbin thread firmly until you have a few stitches going so it doesn’t wad up when you start. Remember, your embroidery work is going to be on the bottom, so your fabric needs to be RIGHT SIDE DOWN! This is a simple technique and should make adding embroidery work to your project a breeze! If you use silk ribbon, use real silk ribbon not just a fine ribbon. It needs to be soft to work in the sewing machine as it twists into the pattern stitch. Your top thread should be just regular sewing thread in a matching color (or contrast for a different look). You may want to tighten your top tension a little, but again, it depends on your machine, so experiment and take notes on what works for you. And best of all……have fun!!
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CRAFT TIPS:
1. You know those “blister packs” that a lot of things are packaged in? That clear plastic is great for making quilting templates, small pattern pieces and stencils. Not bad to use as a practice pad for painting either. I buy my printer ink in the multi-packs and each pack gives me a nice 7”x10” piece of heavy, but flexible clear plastic and two smaller pieces too! It cuts easily with scissors, a stencil cutter works just as well on this as the expensive stuff, and you can see through it and write on it. And it’s Free!!
2. Drumsticks! If you happen to run across the odd drumstick at a yard sale or where ever, grab it quick! This is one of the best stuffing tools I have found for getting stuffing where you want it in a doll or critter. It has a soft pointed end, lots of handle that is easy on the hands and a larger blunt end for packing larger areas.
3. Hemostats! Get them in as many sizes as you can afford. These are the ultimate extra hand! Latch on to some stuffing, lock the hemostats, wiggle them with attached stuffing into the tiniest of places, unlock, and slowly wiggle out, packing the stuffing further in as you go. Grab a stuck sewing needle, lock on, and pull the needle out. Use for small turnings. Pick things out of cramped places (like that broken sewing machine needle that is caught in your bobbin area). Trust me, you need them!
4. Long, sharp, quilter’s pins with colorful ball tops! If you are sewing for children or sewing on fur, these are a must have item. They are easy to see, hard to lose in the seam, fabric, or fur, stay where they are put, but still slide out easily when you want them too. Don’t risk leaving a pin behind when sewing for a child. It is very easy to miss seeing a small, metal head pin in faux fur, and if you do, someone is going to get poked or even ripped!
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Painting Tips: This idea pertains to painting trees but has other applications too. First, find an assortment of sponges with varying size “holes” from fine to coarse. Cut or tear them into smaller pieces to match your painting job. Pick at least three colors to paint on your tree. For example, three shades of green from very dark to a yellowy green or for fall colors try three shades of red from deep maroon to a bright red orange or yellow from a dark ochre to pale yellow. Start by painting your tree with the darkest shade. Put a small amount of the next lighter shade of paint on a palette or waxed paper. Lightly dab your sponge (try different size holes, coarse for an airier tree, fine for a denser tree) in the paint. You may have to blot your sponge on a paper towel so keep some handy. Dab your sponge on your tree, keep it light so the background paint shows through and move around adding depth to your tree. Now pick up your lightest shade of paint on the sponge and use it to add “sunlight” here and there to your tree. A little practice can give you some amazing trees! It is easy enough for children to do too. Of course this works best for trees with leaves, but you can drag your sponge a bit to get some nice pine trees too.

Want some round fruit on your tree? Use a new pencil eraser for perfect round fruit or polka dots etc. Just dip your eraser lightly in the paint and apply to your artwork. Add a few sponge “leaves” around the edges to slide your fruit back into the tree! Use the lead end of your pencil (sharpened, of course) dipped in paint to add tiny dots of color or white eye highlights! The trick is to keep your paint light (or “dry”) and don’t overdo it. Experiment and have fun.

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