Crooked Fence Gifts

Crooked Fence Gifts focuses on new trends in Jewelry, Home decor, Wedding, One of A kind Vintage & Holiday decor. We strive to create gifts from our own designs and to use Vintage and USA Items as often as possible.

Shop local and support your community of businesses big and small. Shopping in your own neighborhood is the most direct way you can support the area where you live.

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Local & Handmade

As we approach 2013 my mind is on new ventures and new ways to run my business.
During the Holiday Season I ran into several problems locating USA products. Some stores carry some USA, most carry very little if any. As some of you know by some of my past posts, I am a Local and Handmade Supporter. We live in a free country, and I would like to buy only things created and made by my fellow country men/women.
My husband wanted to buy me a specific item and went to two towns basically looking for it. He even went to a few antique stores thinking maybe he could find a vintage one. Even the antique store had ones that were imported.
I hope that 2013 shows us how to support our country and businesses and neighbors and friends in many ways.
I will be adding a "Local Supply" list to my blog and Facebook and Website once it is finished, that way at least if people want to shop local, they can.

I just closed my retail location the end of November. It just wasn't workable. I like to spend the majority of my time creating new items or salvaging an old one. Productivity is high on my list...
So, I closed the store and am still doing my website, etsy, facebook, ebay and I am consigning to some local/handmade locations. The next step will be wholesale. This is a good step for me.
This also leaves time for my family and my nineteen other hobbies... something like that.

Hopefully the Holidays inspired you like they inspired me to MAKE EVERYTHING ! Part of my plans for 2013 will be to take my designs to the next level by making them more unique and edgy while still focusing on the Vintage feel.
Happy New Year and don't forget to Shop Local :)

Friday, September 7, 2012

Crooked Fence Gifts: Beautiful Organza Flowers

Crooked Fence Gifts: Beautiful Organza Flowers: One of the newest crazes is Fabric Flowers ! Flowers for your hair, pinned to your jacket, clipped to your purse, hanging from a chain on a ...

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Beautiful Organza Flowers

One of the newest crazes is Fabric Flowers ! Flowers for your hair, pinned to your jacket, clipped to your purse, hanging from a chain on a necklace. There is really no limit to where you can go with fabric flowers.

My latest have been organza fabric which is fun to work with. It is heat shaped and put together very carefully.
I am a stickler for the 'vintage' style centers. Mine are new , but they have the old flair. If I find an exceptional Vintage button or some other embellishment, I like to use those too.

These are a popular item in my shop and are available in all kinds of configurations. Custom and specialty orders are always welcome.

Crooked Fence Gifts specializes in handmade gifts, home decor and jewelry. 
Visit our Etsy shop to see more:

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Crooked Fence Gifts: Grass Roots Advertising

Crooked Fence Gifts: Grass Roots Advertising: Tips to help Build your business by Vicky Watkins This weeks topic is: Grass Roots Advertising: Fliers Most of us have access to a computer ...

Grass Roots Advertising

Tips to help Build your business by Vicky Watkins
This weeks topic is: Grass Roots Advertising: Fliers
Most of us have access to a computer or a way to get to your local copy center.
One of the easiest and most cost efficient ways for you to get the word out about your business if you are on a budget is to distribute fliers ( you can also use business cards). 
I would start with a quarter page size flier which means you would get 4 to a 8.5 X 11 size sheet of paper. You will want to consider size as most companies have a limited space dedicated for community posts.
If you do not know the first thing about designing a flier, look for information online or look at other fliers (look at ads in your local news paper) to get an idea where to start. You may want to tie in seasonal decoration or an event you know is coming up, or a particular color paper to make yourself stand out.
You can add a special offer or coupon or even a free item to entice customers to come and find you. Don't forget to ad your contact information.
Weather you are an online only business or a brick and mortar or both chances are that not everyone in your area knows that you have goods or services for sale.
Before beginning to distribute them you will need to check with your local city and find out what their ordinance is on fliers. Can you paper the town with them ? Can you leave them on vehicles ? Or do you have to have permission to do anything at all with them ? Most cities have ordinances listed on their website.
You don't want to start out by getting on someone's bad side.

Below are several places to start taking your flier to. Most businesses are more than willing to help new businesses or have an area dedicated for community information. Note: Some do not, that is o.k. and do not take it personally, just go to the next place.

1) Grocery Store Bulletin Boards
2) Local Library
3) Restaurants
4) Coffee Shops
5) Spas
6) Hair Salons
7) Community Centers
8) Senior Centers
9) Post Office
10) Schools
11) Hospitals
12) Hotels
13) Senior Centers
14) Banks
15) Local Chamber or visitor center
16) Your local newspaper may have a low cost way to place your flier in their paper.

If you are a new business in your town with a retail location I would walk your whole area (or drive if it is spread out) and go meet people at all the local businesses in your area and tell them you are new and ask if you can leave fliers on their counters or bulletin board. If you are in their area I would offer to take some of their fliers or brochures to put out in your shop. 
If you can afford to take a sample of something you sell, that is a nice touch.
Candy baskets are nice too. You can purchase bulk candy or mints and take a small amount to each place as a thank you. Just put it in a small basket or some sort of decorative bag from your local craft store and tie one of your business cards to it.
You can also put a flier with a future offer in your customers bags when they make a purchase to encourage them to come back and see you again !

Even if you have a big advertising budget this form of advertising is useful. By the time you are done you will know what everyone else is selling and who the business is run by. This is good information to be able to pass along to customers.

Good luck running your business big or small !

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Organizing Your Creative Space

Along with "Creating" comes.... A big mess. Well, it's the truth. I laugh my head off when I see pictures of peoples craft areas that look like they are a store display. Any crafter who is busy and produces large amounts of inventory knows that it is almost impossible to keep your work space clean.
However you can keep it organized up to a point no matter what you are doing.
I wanted to share some organizing tips that I use and that work for me. I am not a "Craft Expert" by any means but I am a hands on full time crafter and have been for many years.

Some people are able to make only one thing. Then chances are that they may be quite a bit more organized than someone like myself...
Maybe, maybe not. Anyway's without delving too much into the why's and why not's....

Fabric storage can be a challenge. Especially when you use hundreds of different types. I like the craft carts that have wheels and at least three drawers if not six or eight for this. They are awesome. And I would suggest the "see through" type and not the colored drawer type, so you don't have to memorize or list what is in each compartment. I don't know about you, but I am definitely an "eye person". That means I can learn almost anything just by watching someone do it. And I take in everything visually first. So, see through storage is perfect for me, I use see through with almost everything. I can save my brain power for important things like: My next awesome design... instead of trying to figure out where I put my seam rippers or the blue buttons or anything else.
So, for fabric I use the see through craft carts ( Most of mine came from Lowes or Costco) that are pictured below, and from there I break it down into category: 1) One drawer for buttons/fasteners, 2) One drawer for ric rac & bias tape, 3) One drawer for Lace, and then I break the fabric down into two categories: either Color or Type. For example I use a lot of Cotton and many colors, so these I do by color, but Faux Fur, Burlap, Organza or Chenille I separate by type because I don't have as many "kinds".

Now let's talk about Bead Storage. I use the same principals for bead storage that I do for fabric. I separate them by Type or Color. I use a different type of organizer for findings:

This is good for the findings I use in bulk, and again they have see through drawers, ( I believe these came from Home Depot) some people even attach an item to the front of each drawer to show what is in the drawer. I don't like to waste ANYTHING !

Now for beads I use the smaller organizers (Most of mine have come from Michael's Crafts, they travel well and they also fit into the fabric grocery bags (which I use all the time to travel my supplies). These are also see through, and I break them down into Type: Maybe some beads are only for Jewelry, Maybe some are only for Home Decor etc..., Then I break them down into color, I also separate charms, and finding I use a lot in this type of organizer.
I have a small one I keep all of the ear wires I use in, and two more I keep the findings I use the most in, and then they are ready for travel. These are also easy to stack, which saves space.

Now let's talk about Embellishments ! I love embellishments, always have. The organizer I use is made by a company called Azar @ . They are awesome ! You can build your organizer anyway you want to. They have all kinds of different size attachments and different colors. Again I use the clear for ease in finding items.  Storage for: Tools, Tape, Glue, Glitter, Decorative Scissors, Wire, Foam Tapes, Stamp Pads, Alcohol Ink and whatever else can fit over there.

Now for Paper, Card Stock, Felt Sheets and other items like stencils I use Open storage (From Michael's) as you will see below:

For items waiting to be crafted I like to use plastic shelving (I have had these a long time, not sure where they came from) or bins. That way I can store things again according to type or what it is made out of. For example: Paper Mache or Wood.

When you have your awesome "Studio" or Craft Space all set up you are going to need one more thing. A really cool area where you can get your thoughts together and come up with all kinds of ideas and maybe put your feet up for minute.

I call this my "awesome thinking area". I have some of my favorite things here, I play guitar so I have an amplifier here and my Guardian.... Batman. I also have a stereo for music and all kinds of extra lighting for detail work. I painted this space a color called "Heart's Desire" because that is exactly what this space is to me. I also like pink.

My area is messy, and no I don't take a lot of time to clean it. I usually clean it when I can't find something.... Which happens every now and then because so many items "cross over" into other areas.
It works for me.
I will leave you with a few more pointers:

1) I organize paint brushes, foam brushes, pencils, hand tools, and other like items in cups and buckets so they are easy to grab and move to another area and are kept together for the most part.
2) I store my tacky glue with the lid on up side down in a cup (only used for crafting) so it is always ready to use.
3) I keep old towels to use under items that get spritzed with water or to keep over items when I am using my saws to keep the sawdust out.
4) I use a wire paint caddy  for paints, they seem to last longer. than being stored standing up.
5) I use a LOT  of "coated" paper plates. I use them for painting, over and over until they are totally used up then I replace them. I also use paper plates to catch glitter when I "glitter" something. I keep a stack that I always use for this, one for each color,  they never go bad, and then your colors wont get mixed together and you can easily fold your paper plate to pour your unused glitter back into its bottle. 
6) I use a sharpie to mark my tools when making parts that I want to make the same size, like wire for instance or jump rings, wire loops for jewelry. (Let your sharpie mark dry first)

Have fun making whatever it is you make !

Thursday, July 5, 2012

The almost Anything Charm

One of my latest inspirations have been Lucite Flowers. I love them. I like flowers anyway, but these are so versatile and they are made really well. 
Jewelry is one of my favorite items to make along with Home Decor. I have made necklaces, earrings, bracelets with the Lucite Flowers, but I really wanted to make something different with them. Something that was more than a jewelry item...
A purse charm ! That is what I came up with, but not just a purse charm. This is versatile enough to be almost Anything ! That is where I came up with the almost Anything Charm.
I made them long enough to be a bracelet or a purse charm or rear view mirror decoration or anything you like. You could use them as a tieback for a curtain. I have a customer who bought one and is going to use it for a decoration for her front door.
They have a lobster claw clasp, so no chance of coming undone. Each one is a little different.

Until next time... say what you mean, and do what you say...

Saturday, June 30, 2012

Fairy Green

Looking out the window
The Grass and Trees are greener than usual
A vibrant Fairy Green
that is visually inspiring
I drink it in
with my eyes

The flutter in my core
reminds me that it 
is really there...
My heart races as I continue to stare

Hand Made Cloth Flower
I am like a warmed up race car 
lurching against the brake
I cant wait to make something

Twilight Saturday June 30, 2012

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Summer is the perfect time for celebrations. One of the newest items in my store is Memo/Menu/Place Card Holders ! I love all the creative ideas I see online for wedding parties and baby showers.
Place Card/Memo holders are one of the easiest ways to add a little organization to your table. If you put a card with a guests name on it in a certain area, they will more than likely sit there. Well you can use these awesome holders for all kinds of things. For weddings you can use them to number your tables, to make a sign for each area, menu, etc. For dinner parties you can have fun with decorative tags which of course can be made to be a favor to take home. The sky is the limit !

The design you see here will be available on my etsy later today. I will be adding different sizes and different kinds of  Place Card/Menu holders later in the week. This is just the beginning of this line. There will also be a selection of cards, some simple, some very decorative. And also a mixed card collection for the hostess with the mostest ! Have a great day and don't forget to shop local ! Part of every penny you spend in your town goes back to your town !

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Crooked Fence Gifts: Weddings, Graduation & Summer Fun

Crooked Fence Gifts: Weddings, Graduation & Summer Fun: Summer is the perfect time for Weddings, Graduation and Summer parties. New trends in decorating are all about paper. Tissue poms and paper ...

Weddings, Graduation & Summer Fun

Summer is the perfect time for Weddings, Graduation and Summer parties. New trends in decorating are all about paper. Tissue poms and paper poms and up-cycled decor.
Crooked Fence Gifts now has Tissue Poms available in the store. Lots of pretty papers to chose from. If you are a Do It Your-selfer like me, you can go to or and get tips and hints on how to do this yourself.
Tissue poms are so resilient, you wouldn't think they would be because tissue is so frail. But, they are. Perfect for a splash of color in any room or setting. And talk about drama ! Instant drama anywhere. Use filament string for a floating look where the wire or string doesn't show or get fancy and use pretty bows and ribbons !

The main thing is to have fun decorating right ? As you can see from the photos above, they are very versatile and can be used in many different ways. I like the double flower hanging ones the best. People always comment on those in my store. If you use them for a room decor item they are easy to dust, just shake them or use a swiffer. Happy Decorating !

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Crooked Fence Gifts: Do Something Special For YOUR Valentine

Crooked Fence Gifts: Do Something Special For YOUR Valentine: Something Special for Your Valentine ! The one's we love put up with all of our quirky habits and funny ways. It is important to remember t...

Do Something Special For YOUR Valentine

Something Special for Your Valentine !
The one's we love put up with all of our quirky habits and funny ways. It is important to remember to appreciate our loved ones year round. A small token or handmade gift is a great idea. I can't speak for all ladies but I think most of us would appreciate just about anything.
Then there are those of us who are harder to figure out... maybe a gift certificate or dinner ?
Well I like a personal touch and something from the heart. I made these cute little silver wire and Swarovski Siam Crystal Heart rings. I wanted to make something that was affordable for anyone and also very cute. These definitely say "I love you". Find them in my store in Enumclaw or on the website:
Do something special for the one you love even if it seems silly. Sometimes the funny personal gifts are the ones we remember most.
One year for Mother's Day my husband got me a rug (just for me) for my side of the bed so that when I got out of bed my feet wouldn't be cold ! How thoughtful is that ? He is awesome but he's taken, go find your own !
Happy Valentine's Day ! Love and be loved !