Monday, July 25, 2022

Just Like Coming Home...

Driving into the Adirondacks is like coming home after a long trip. The farther north we drive the more the stress melts away. There's something about the mountains, pine trees, lakes, and smell of campfires that makes us feel at home. While we didn't grow up in the Adirondacks we have spent enough time camping there to appreciate all that they have to offer.

Northville, NY is a quaint town nestled in the Adirondacks on Sacandaga Lake. It is the quintessential little town with a 5 & dine store, tavern, small inn, and homes. Very inviting. And Northville is where the Northville Woodworking and Fine Arts Weekend takes place every July.

This year felt just like coming home. We have become acquainted with many of the other artists there, and were greeted as if we were old friends. The banter that went on with the artists we were near gave us a strong sense of belonging. And the shoppers in Northville did not disappoint.

We are so thankful for the sales, for the camaraderie, and for our surroundings. And we are so thankful for the blasts from the past - those people we've lost touch with who unexpectedly appear at the show to say, "Hi."

So, while thank you seems like so little for all that we received recently, we want to say THANK YOU! to all who stopped by to say, "Hi." as well as those who decided to spend their hard earned money on Santa's delicious gourmet seasoned pretzels as well as my pine needle baskets, keyrings, ornaments, and fused glass trinket dishes! 

We're looking forward to seeing you at many of our other shows this craft show season.

Our next stop? Speculator, NY on August 11. Visit us and approximately 100 other artists at Routes 8 & 30 in Speculator NY. Support the Hamilton County TWIGS who raise money to help first responders and fire personnel. 

What's New?

I've been working on many new basket designs as well as many of the fan favorites. Here are a few new ones that will be available for your viewing and purchasing pleasure. Remember...it's never too early to pick up holiday gifts!










See you in Speculator!

Until Next Time...

Diane


Sunday, June 12, 2022

New Skills Continued

 Back in February I mentioned that I am learning a new craft - glass fusion. It has been the bane of my existence as well as a very enjoyable experience. The more pieces I make the more addicted I become! 

Two of the things I've had to adjust to the most are the lack of instant gratification (Once I finish a basket, it's finished. No waiting. That's not the case with glass fusion.) and relying on someone else to place and fire my designs. Yes, I can see my designs coming together as I glue pieces of glass onto a sheet of glass; however, it takes several firings to get that sheet of glass into the desired melted stage and shape. 

So, how does one make a dish or other item in glass fusion? I like to begin with a solid sheet of glass, generally clear, but other colors have also been used. I cut the pieces of the design I am making then place them on the sheet of glass. Once I'm happy with the design, I take a picture to see if there are any glaring mistakes and make any necessary adjustments. Once that is done the pieces are removed then glued in place using watered down glue. I've learned that it's important to make sure the glue is dry before putting the finished piece into the kiln. If it's not dry the pieces could shift. There goes your design!

The photos below show the beginning of the design, the pieces coming together and the finished product.






Once the design is securely glued it's time to decide how to fire it. There's tack, contour, full, and bubble. The higher the heat the more the glass will melt together. Naturally, it makes sense to start with the least amount of melting, tack, then go up if the design is not melted enough. The wave below was fired on contour. Much to my dismay it melted more than other contour pieces I had fired so I added more blue glass as well as white frit and tacked them to add more dimension. I debated on whether to slump it into a square dish, but decided against it. This wave was too big of a design for me to tackle as a beginner so it's not my best work, but it does look pretty above our kitchen cabinets. 




Other pieces have not been as involved. I tend to be a very symmetrical person. I guess that's why I liked geometry so much as a high school sophomore. Watching other club members turn out the most beautiful asymmetrical designs is challenging me to do the same. While I have not done any yet, I have purchased some gorgeous pieces of glass and am working on designing some pieces that are out of my comfort zone. Watch for more fused glass photos in the future! 

Below are a few more pieces I've made. They're in no particular order. 




Unfortunately, the clear plastic plate stands are not sturdy enough to hold these heavy plates so the black metal shows through the dragonfly design.


The round and square mosaic dishes will be available for sale at our craft shows this season. There are only a few; when they're gone, they're gone. 



So what do you think of my first fused glass creations?

Upcoming Events

We are a month away from the start of our craft show season! Join us at the Northville Rotary's Woodworking and Fine Arts Weekend 2022, July 15 - 17 in Northville, NY. You can check out many of the artists and their wares on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/groups/223659131530990

Until Next Time...

Diane



 

Tuesday, February 1, 2022

New Skills

 Every now and then something happens in life that takes us out of our comfort zone and down a new path. That happened recently when a friend asked me to sign her up for a glass fusion club in our community. I decided to sign myself up at the same time. 

One of the prerequisites of joining the club is to take a 3 hour introductory class. We took that class about a week ago. I was completely out of my element. Being a person who picks up most crafts quickly I found myself fumbling and wondering if this was a craft for me. I found the tools to be a bit tricky to operate at first and there's a whole new vocabulary to learn. The saying, "You can't teach an old dog new tricks." came to mind several times during the class.

We made soap dishes and trinket dishes during the class. This is how mine turned out. I guess you can teach an old dog some new tricks!



Since taking the class I have ordered a number of supplies and have found inspiration for several items I want to make. I'm really looking forward to that first meeting which will take place next week! 

Stay tuned for periodic updates!

New Inventory

Currently we are building new inventory for you to enjoy during our craft show season. We have many new charms for ornaments, new bases for keyrings, and always a new series of baskets for you to enjoy.

Below is a recent shipment of charms that arrived at our studio. Do you have a favorite or a suggestion for a themed ornament?









Upcoming Events

 We are in the process of setting up our 2022 craft show calendar. The most current shows will be listed at the top of our upcoming events list. 

You can always shop local and online at theschenectadytradingpost.com at 609 Union St, Schenectady, NY as well as cruisincreations.etsy.com

Until Next Time...

Diane

Tuesday, November 2, 2021

Holiday Shipping Deadlines

Each year we set clear shipping deadlines for you to receive your Cruisin' Creations in time for the holidays. With shipping demand at an all time high, it is even more imperative that we set early, firm deadlines for 2021. Please note:

Custom baskets must be ordered by Nov 10. This includes wood based monogram baskets as well as our family tree/birthstone baskets. Click the links below each photo to view details about each style.


https://www.etsy.com/listing/818099271/monogrammed-pine-needle-basket?ref=shop_home_active_2&frs=1


https://www.etsy.com/listing/982898693/design-your-own-birthstone-pine-needle?ref=shop_home_active_1&frs=1

First Class packages must be ordered by Dec 8. Remember orders over $35.00 ship free!

Priority shipped packages must be ordered by Dec 10. Priority seems to take longer around the holidays so better to be safe than sorry.

Please note: we are no longer shipping internationally. 

All of these dates plan for arrival before December 25. Please adjust accordingly should you need your purchases before December 25.

Upcoming Events

We are excited to be participating in three live events in November! Stop by one or more of these shows to pick up our most recent designs.

Nov 6, 9 am - 2 pm at O'Rourke Middle School, 173 Lakehill Rd, Burnt Hills, NY

Nov 20, 9 am - 3 pm at Colonie High School, 1 Raider Drive, Colonie, NY

Nov 27, 10 am - 4:30 pm at Saratoga City Center, 522 Broadway, Saratoga, NY. There is a $5.00 entrance fee which supports the Saratoga Center for the Family. 

Santa Snacks will also be selling at these three events. You can pick up his 4 flavors of gourmet seasoned pretzels for $5.00 each. Blitzens Bits is a savory blend of garlic and dill. Comets Crunch is a tangy blend of honey and mustard, Prancers Pieces is a sweet blend of cinnamon and sugar, and Rudolphs Red is a slightly spicy blend of southwest flavors. 

Did you know Santa Snacks are for more than snacking? Use them for pie crust, croutons, breading on chicken, fish, and pork, along with many other uses. Stop by to pick up your Santa Snacks and receive your free copy of these tasty recipes. Remember, Santa Snacks make great stocking stufffers!

You have other opportunities to pick up Cruisin' Creations! Stop by:

The Shaker Heritage Society, 25 Meeting House Rd, Albany, NY from Oct 13 - Dec 19. This Holiday Market is open Tues - Sunday from 11 am - 5 pm.

The Schenectady Trading Company, 609 Union St, Schenectady, NY. Open 7 days a week. Stop by Sundays 11 am - 4 pm, Mondays 11 am - 6 pm, Tuesdays & Wednesdays 10 am - 6 pm, Thursdays 10 am - 7 pm, Fridays 10 am - 6 pm, and Saturdays 10 am - 5 pm. 

Can't make it to any of these events? We have a selection of baskets and ornaments in our Etsy shop - cruisincreations.etsy.com

What's New?

New designs are created daily. These are the latest! What do you think?





Looking forward to seeing you soon!

Until Next Time...

Diane

Friday, October 15, 2021

Recycling

Because I was brought up in a home with two very resourceful parents, I have always had a problem with throwing away those things that still have some life in them, those things that can be put to good use. I subscribe to my father's motto, "You never know when you might need it." That motto has served me well over the years although I have adjusted the degree to which I follow it. After all, we can't store everything now, can we?

The philosophy of never knowing when you might need something has been applied to Cruisin' Creations as well. Pine needle baskets, keyrings, and ornaments can be made out of a number of things. We repurpose anything that has holes around the outside edge and will work up into a unique, one of a kind piece.

We also subscribe to that philosophy when it comes to boxes, bubble wrap, packing paper, and newpaper. Most boxes arrive at our home fully intact and ready to be used again. Those boxes are broken down and stored for shipping baskets. The same can be said of the enclosed bubble wrap and packing paper. We save all that is serviceable and reuse it when we ship out an order. 

You may have received a package from us with an Amazon arrow on the side of the box, or one with old tape removed. You may have received bubble wrap that wasn't cut straight or had duck tape on it. That's because we are doing our part to reduce waste and keep our shipping costs down.

No only does reusing boxes, bubble wrap, and packing paper save the environment, it also reduces prices. And we all like to pay lower prices for our purchases, don't we?

What's New?

We've been working away at building inventory and believe you will enjoy these new pieces and more that we have to offer. 









Upcoming Events

We are so looking forward to a new event - The LaSalle Institute Fall Fest and Craft Fair on Saturday, Oct 23 from 9:00 am - 3:00 pm! Stop by 174 Williams Rd, Troy, NY. Looking forward to seeing you there! PS Santa will be there selling his gourmet seasoned pretzels, too!

Remember you can also shop local at:
The Shaker Heritage Society, 25 Meeting House Rd, Albany, NY Open 11-5 Tuesday - Saturday, 12-5 Sunday.

The Schenectady Trading Company, 609 Union St, Schenectady, NY Open 7 days a week.

Until Next Time...

Diane

 


Monday, September 13, 2021

Repurposing

Repurposing has been all the rage for some time now. Social media is full of photos of how to reuse doors, shutters, outdated furniture, and more. It's so much fun to scan Pinterest, or watch home decorating shows to see the creative ways people turn old into new. We at Cruisin' Creations love the challenge of turning old household items into keepsakes in the form of pine needle baskets, keyrings, and ornaments.

Shopping garage sales, antique stores, and flea markets is a great way to find unique items to repurpose. While that spigot handle may have seen better days or that kitchen tool may not be suitable for use in food any longer, each may work very well as a center for one of Cruisin' Creations baskets. Old necklaces and bracelets are a great source for beads to use as accents and handles as well as using the pendants as centers for our baskets, keyrings, and ornaments. 

To date we've repurposed a number of items including potato mashers, pendants, trivets, drawer pulls, painted trays, and spigot handles. Here are photos of some of these items.

Contact us if you have an item you would like to turn into a family heirloom to be cherished by family members for years to come.










Turn your unusable keepsakes into an heirloom pine needle basket, ornament, or keyring.

Do you have an old kitchen utensil, broach, trivet, drawer pull or other item that you no longer use but can't part with? Does it have holes around the outside edge? Perhaps it would work as a repurposed basket, keyring, or ornament? 
If this is something you would like to do please contact me at dbabin731@gmail.com. Send a photo of the item along with approximate dimensions.  

Until Next Time...

Diane


Thursday, August 5, 2021

Announcing A Shop 'Til You Drop Event!

Are you looking for a place to get out and do some serious shopping? We've got you covered! You'll find exactly what you're looking for at the Hamilton County TWIGS craft fair in Speculator, NY on August 12, 2021. Shopaholics will be in Heaven as they shop the 150 handcrafted and food vendors throughout the grounds. This is a juried show so you know all of the offerings are handcrafted by local artisans and are the best quality. Pick up items for gifts or treat yourself to something special. Enjoy lunch at one of the food trucks that will be on site.

Of course, Santa will be there with his Santa Snacks. Santa Snacks are delicious gourmet seasoned pretzels that Santa and the elves make! Did you know that he is introducing a new flavor this year? Stop by to sample and let Santa know if it's a yay or a nay.



Cruisin' Creations will be selling her handcrafted pine needle coiled baskets, keyrings, and ornaments. There are many new styles that will be on display for your viewing pleasure and purchase.

Both Santa Snacks and Cruisin' Creations will be in the pavilion. 

Come on out and support the Hamilton County TWIGS! 

Who are the Hamilton County TWIGS. They are a philanthropic organization that supports the ambulance service in Speculator, Wells, and Piseco. They also fund scholarships for students interested in a career in the medical field and donate to the Oak Mountain Ski Patrol and Speculator Primary Care Center. TWIGS is a acronym for The volunteers Working to Increase funds for the Growing needs and Services of Hamilton County medical personnel.

Where do I go?

We'll see you at the Speculator, NY ball fields at routes 8 & 30 on August 12 from 9 am - 4 pm. They're adjacent to the firehouse and across the street from Lake Pleasant.

Make sure you wear your walking shoes! Also, we recommend that you bring plenty of cash since cell service is spotty in the Adirondacks and vendors' credit card readers may not work.

Here's a preview of Cruisin' Creations offerings!









Until Next Time...

Diane