Special People

One of the things you’re never really prepared for is a real connection with a stranger on this big ole world wide web. I mean a real and genuine connection without even knowing them outside of the online world or ever speaking to them on the phone. It happens – even on Etsy.

This review made me want to share this post with all of you:

S.C. said: “I have several ornaments that have been custom made by Rhonda. This time, she made an ornament to honor the loss of our beloved pet. The ornament is beautiful and comforting. I highly recommend Rhonda!”

This sweet lady found my shop on Etsy several years ago. Each year, she contacts me with a message of what has happened in her (and her family’s) life and then she gives me creative freedom to create a special ornament sort of telling the story of their year. It honestly brings me great joy to receive her message each year and to learn of all the big events going on for her, her husband and their beautiful family.

With that. there are sometimes losses as well. This year, their precious hedgehog passed. She wrote to me and asked for a special memorial ornament, making sure she gave me lots of information about his likes, special dates, homes and fun memories they’d had together. After she received the ornament, I asked her if it was okay for me to share photos and her review here on my site. She was happy for me to share them, so here are the photos of each section of the finished piece:

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This is exactly the reason I love Etsy so much. This is where real life people can meet real life artists and work with them to create something special. While I know I get paid for doing this, for if I didn’t this wouldn’t be possible, it’s so much more than that to me. I put my heart and soul in what I create and I’m so thankful and blessed to be able to do it. Especially for people like this sweet lady. She’s my kind of people and someone who makes this world a better place just by being in it. Her warmth and genuine heart shine through her words. Always.

xoxo

Rhonda

 

 

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Remodeling the Shop

When you don’t really apply yourself to focus on something that you really want, it’s most likely not going to happen. Over the last 20 years or so, I have put a lot of time and effort into painting and, in particular, painting ornaments. It has been a never ending creative task that I’ve received as a true God-given gift. And I’m grateful for it.

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Some ornaments that I painted which were ordered locally last year

There are many things that need to do in addition to the actual talent of painting and that is the marketing, photos, shop branding, accounting, etc., etc., etc. of running an online business. This part I’m not so good at, but I’ve finally realized that’s the piece that is missing from my puzzle. I need to be patient and learn how to do all those things in order to have a successful online presence.

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I painted these for an order for a group of graduating friends – so much fun!

My current project is consistency in my creations. I’m working on backgrounds, photos and camera settings. Happily I can report that I’ve finally found the one I like – it’s a simple blurred white background with the ornament front and center. Since it has no distractions, I feel like this might be a good direction. I’ll keep playing with photos and lighting but this is the current favorite:

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New ornament style that I’ve been painting and I love the white background. They are so enchanting and fairy tale reminiscent to me.

Doesn’t the above little girl look like she would get into all sorts of adorable adventures? I love their little personalities and sweet smiles. Of course, they are all hand painted and personalized. Each photo leads to my shop by clicking it if you want to see that. I’ve only updated 3 listings as of now. More ornaments have been ordered and should be in this week. Since I’m moving to the white ornaments, I have to be patient and wait. Until then, I have more than enough to do and to learn about all the other things I need to know to have an even more successful online presence.

You know, at first I was thinking…why can’t I just paint and do what I love all the time. Why do I have to learn all this online marketing and such? It seems like such a waste of time. Now, I realize in order to be successful, we must grow. We must constantly be bettering ourselves and learning more. It’s not only good to grow…it’s a necessity. 🙂

xoxo

Rhonda

Discoveries & Life

I think all of us artists – and really all humans in general – never lose some of that inner child. The child who loves exploring possibilities, feeling the rain upon our faces, wants the good guys to win, wants attention and much more. Artists, though – well we are a special kind of human child-adult for life. At least that is the case for me lol 🙂

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In my childhood years, I was lucky enough to have parents who encouraged and challenged me to be anything I wanted to be. The twist to that is that I went down an obscene number of career paths. Even within the art world, I have traveled many paths. The consistent, though, is my hand painted ornaments.

There are customers who come yearly for special hand painted creations and it warms my heart and fills my soul with incredibly joy. Is it strange to say that I feel as though I’m a part of their lives in a small yet memorable way? It means something to me. I wonder if they know how delighted and honored I am to see their name pop up with an order or message.

My biggest hope is that my customers know it’s not a “job” to me but it’s my life that I’m sharing with them. Any ornament is an extension of something very personal and very vulnerable within me. Each one is custom painted with so much love and care.

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You’ll see more of my work shared here because I want everything to be visible and memorialized on here as much as possible. Thank you for sticking with me through all the ups and downs through the years. I do plan on still having personal blog posts as well as I get so much great feedback from all the things I share. You are all so appreciated. Thank you…just for being you. 🙂

xoxo

Rhonda

Happy 2019!

Happy 2019 my Cozy friends! When the holidays begin, my orders pick up which means I’m rarely heard from unless someone is contacting me about an order. This results in a very belated Christmas and Happy New Year sentiment from me to you but I hope you know that I mean it, no matter what day I deliver. 🙂

Along with that, the very fact that I paint personalized Christmas ornaments that are mostly purchased as Christmas gifts, I can’t share those until after Christmas. This always puts me in a predicament because I’m not sure people are interested in seeing Christmas ornaments after the fact but since so much time and love are put into them, I’ll be sure to share some. I hope you enjoy them over the next several posts.

For now, though, I thought I’d share this one that I created for a local family.

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This precious family orders a family ornament every year. This year, they asked for a Santa, Mrs. Claus, their two beautiful daughters as elves and their sweet puppy on the ornament. My heart is filled with joy to be asked to create such special keepsakes. 

I truly hope your Christmas was so very merry and that your 2019 is off to a wonderful start.

Giveaway Time!

I can’t believe it’s already November – I promised you a giveaway this month and I’m doing just that! This month will be my largest value giveaway to date! It’s for 8 of my hand painted fan art ornaments – Snow White and the 7 Dwarfs!

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To enter to win, please go to my YouTube channel at  https://www.youtube.com/c/thecozyloft – subscribe to the channel and leave a comment and like on any video between now and Friday night at 8:00 pm CST.

The direct link to the video with more information about these is at: https://youtu.be/Jh9ZbSUTWpY

This – and all my giveaways – are to truly thank you for being around…for your interest, for your kind words and for you taking the time out of your own life to be a part of mine. Lots of love to all of you ❤

Here are the official rules:

No purchase is necessary and a purchase does not enhance your chance of winning. This giveaway is being hosted by Rhonda James, Artist of The Cozy Loft. Winning artwork does not transfer rights. Contest void where prohibited. 

Contest begins November 3, 2018 at 8:00 pm CST and ends on November 9, 2018 at 8:00 pm CST. After all entries are compiled on a spreadsheet and assigned a number, the random number generator will be used to determine a winner. Winner will be announced on November 9, 2018 at approximately 8:10 pm CST. 

To be eligible, you must be a subscriber of  my YouTube channel:  https://www.youtube.com/c/thecozyloft then also leave a comment and like any video during the contest times and dates as mentioned above. One entry per person per video. This contest is open worldwide to all ages 3 and up. It is your responsibility to determine if glass ornaments from Tennessee, USA are permitted in your location. If the winner is disqualified, another winner will be selected. 

November’s prize to be given away: 8 glass fan art ornaments, hand painted. One of Snow White, one of Doc, one of Grumpy, one of Happy, one of Sleepy, one of Dopey, one of Bashful and one of Sneezy for a total of 8 ornaments. 

By your entry in this contest, you are giving your consent to The Cozy Loft to use your name/user name in the same manner of which you entered the contest as well as the general country and/or state in which you reside. Otherwise, all information is kept in confidence.

Odds of winning depend upon number of entries. One winner will be chosen for the November giveaway. Once the winner is determined, it will be announced on https://www.youtube.com/c/thecozyloft and you have 24 hours to contact The Cozy Loft with your name and complete address (including country). 

Good luck and thank you for entering! Please be sure to check back often. There will be at least one more giveaway between now and the end of the year. 

Warm wishes from The Cozy Loft! 

 

DIY Christmas Farmhouse Truck Sign Decor

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The Farmhouse Christmas signs in the stores are so cute…but they are so pricey! This DIY is how to create the sign for less than $5!

If video DIYs are your preferred method, I have one for you here.

Materials we’ll need:

  • Wood plank
  • Pickup truck cutout or printable
  • Acrylic craft paints
  • Berries or other accents (optional)

Tools you’ll need:

  • Hot Glue Gun
  • Paint brushes

Now, let’s get it created! The first step it to prep your wood. If they are already primed, stained, etc., you won’t need to do this. If not, prime them white, stain them or create the background in any way you’d like. For this tutorial, I’ll be using a wood plank and a wood pickup truck cutout. The wood background is distressed white and the truck will be the traditional red and black with a green tree.

Allow both pieces to completely dry. Figure out which direction you’d like your truck to face. On the correct side, paint the truck in your desired colors, making sure to allow the paint to completely dry between coats as well as between colors. You could also add your family’s name to the truck door if you’d like it a personal touch.

Place the truck on the wood to determine what area you’d like your greeting to be in. Pencil that in so that you can paint it – or if you have vinyl letting, apply those now. For mine, I added “Merry Christmas” and then added a wreath on either side.

For the final step, we just glue the truck onto the wood. So easy, so budget friendly and so cute!

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I will have a few of these available in the shop here.

 

Please let me know if you decide to try these and feel free to tag me on Instagram @thecozyloftofficial with your creations. I can’t wait to see what you come up with!

xoxo

Rhonda

How to Make Mason Jar Lid Ornaments

I’ve been wanting a quick and simple budget friendly Christmas ornament project and I have come up with a perfect one to do! Now, I’ve not watched or followed any tutorials out there so I don’t know how other people do it. My way is so simple that I didn’t need to look into it further.

These burlap ornament projects began back when I was making lots of burlap flags and had loads of scraps. Since I don’t like wasting things, I gave many away but eventually turned my attention to them to figure out if I could use them for anything. This is one of the things I started doing and they have gone over so well!

This project would be great for kids, though they would need some adult assistance in the glue gun portions.  It would also make a great craft project for Sunday School classes or other events as well. What I love about it is that it can be individualized and custom in any way you’d like to make it!

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To make it easier, I have created this written tutorial  and I’ve also created a “how-to” video here if that works easier for you.

Materials you’ll need:

  • Mason Jar/Canning Lids & Bands
  • Burlap scrap or fabric scrap of your choice
  • Decorative ornament of your choice sized to fit on the jar lid
  • Jute, hemp, satin ribbon or other trim
  • Berries or other accents (optional)

Tools you’ll need:

  • Hot Glue Gun
  • Scissors

Let’s get started! First, take a piece of burlap scrap and cut it to a little larger than the jar band. Put the fabric over the lid and snap the band into place. Thicker fabrics will be a snugger fit and thinner fabrics might require a little glue.

After a few seconds, pull the lid and band apart and cut the fabric a little outside around the indentations of where the ring was and put it back together. This will give the finish a cleaner look but you can bypass this step entirely if you want to attach a felt or fabric backing to it.

Next, cut any hangers or tags off and attach the ornament to the front center of the burlap or fabric using hot glue.

For the berries, those are plucked from the stem. Sometimes these can have white foam showing through. A dot of red craft paint or red marker can fix that right up. Attach those using hot glue. Alternatively, you can use any accents here that you like or that you have on hand but this step is completely optional.

The last step is that we need a way to hang it on the tree. I used a bow that I made of hemp and tied extra hemp around it to use as a hanger but you can do this in a number of different ways using all sorts of different cords, ribbons or other similar materials.

That’s it! It only takes a few minutes to assemble these into a cute and unique ornament. I will have a few of these available in the shop here.

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Please let me know if you decide to try these and feel free to tag me on Instagram @thecozyloftofficial with your creations. I can’t wait to see what you come up with!

xoxo

Rhonda