Unorthodox Crafts
As a craft-artist, I often have the pleasure of making one-of-a-kind items for my customers.  I can use a special tie to make a case for your Kindle, or design origami jewelry to match any outfit.  I can even make jewelry to match your Kindle case!  Custom orders are always a treat for me.   I love the challenge of finding just the right paper for the earrings, or the perfect tie to coordinate with the one you have provided.  And there is a special satisfaction which comes from making something that already has a home.

Nevertheless, I was surprised by the request I received when I was poking around at a yard sale a few weeks ago.  The yard sale had advertised neckties, so I went out of my way to stop by.  Indeed, I found the mother-lode: bags and bags of gorgeous, unusual ties.  The owner told me about his life as a magician and collector of ties.  I told him of my life as a craft-artist and showed him my necktie purse.  His eyes lit up.  "Can you make a suit out of ties for me?"  The challenge of this project both intrigued and intimidated me.  "Hmmmm....... How about I start with a vest?"

I was pretty young when my mother taught me to sew. I loved the sense of freedom that came from choosing a pattern and fabric and making clothes that actually fit (I maxed out at just over 5 feet tall - my mother knew that knowing how to sew would come in handy).  I eventually realized that patterns were merely guidelines which I could alter to fit my needs.  Over time I learned that I could even make my own patterns from scratch.  As a result, when I started working with neckties, I was able to create my own purse designs.  And I was able to expand the product line to include e-Reader and iPad cases when these were requested.  I have even made cases for weekly planners.  As long as I have the dimensions, I can make a case.  And now, challenged with making a suit of ties, I know I can do it - though I might need to add more hours in my day and perhaps grow a few more arms to do the work!

I am looking forward to more custom orders around the holidays.  Is there any gift more meaningful than one that is specifically made to order?  A friend recently gave me 7 ties which had belonged to her husband who died this past year.  He had been a teacher and artist and his ties reflected his life and interests.  I made 7 iPad cases for his grandchildren.  They now have memories of their grandfather to carry with them. 

Here are some examples of my custom creations.  Perhaps I can help you personalize your gifts this holiday season!

Custom Nook Case
Custom iPad Case
Custom Pouch Purse
Custom Origami Necklace and Earring Set