Saturday, March 20, 2021

TrishasWares: Handmade with Creativity, Passion, & Craft

Expressive, carefully crafted handmade Home Decor items, from both Trish and Ron Miller, display a unique part of their personality through the works that reflect their lives' journey.

What is TrishasWares?
Inspired by love and life adventures; fueled by coffee and grandchildren; eager to report "we're not done yet."

When life asked the question "what happens after retirement?", we answered with the next chapter in our lives–handmade. By combining our natural creativity, solid work ethic, and diversified life experiences over many decades of employment, we envisioned a legacy for our children and grandchildren. That's what inspired the creation of Trisha's Wares. From a small bedroom converted to crafting studio in southern New Jersey, we began to work out what unique products were meaningful to us and could bring happiness to others. Our strengths and weaknesses may differ, but our commitment to each other for over 40 years speaks to our slow but steady drive to succeed regardless of the challenges. We are simple people with no need for glitz and glamour, and hopefully what we design, and hand-craft with care, reflects our love and passion for God, family, children, and heartfelt country charm.

East Coast winter cold and crafting

"If I only had a basement!" What a rich man I would be if I only received $1 every time I have repeated that phrase over the last 30 years. It's not like we were surprised, upon buying this house, that a basement didn't exist. No door was present that, when opened, lead to nowhere. Of course, there have been many reasons over the decades for wanting the basement. Mostly, it would have been a good place to hide miscellaneous bits and bobs that seem to accumulate from mid air on every horizontal surface that isn't already covered by other unnecessary items

These days, in the east coast setting of southern new jersey, I wish I had the basement to make using spray paint possible. Although not an ideal setting, I could perhaps rig a box that vented fumes to a window. Then the paint would actually come out of the can and settle on my projects as desired instead of hanging clueless in the frigid 30-40 degree weather. So why not just switch to brush on acrylic? If that is the look I was going for, it would be great. But in this case, I need, want, and must have the smooth finish I get from a mist of color.

Keep thinking Spring (unless you're from one of those totally unfair areas that live daily between 65 and 85 degrees). Maybe I shouldn't worry so much about how the project looks. When blemished and imperfect, I can always market it as "handcrafted in the cold of the east coast winter."

Special Projects: Proton Pack and Neutrona Wand (not for sale)

For personal use only

There is a tipping point in one's life where things can go one way or the other. For me, it was the creation of a Proton Pack and Neutrona Wand for a five-year-old fan, my grandson. I embarked on a journey that brought me back to my creative roots, and now the journey continues. I don't yet know where I'm headed, but this labor of love reminded me that: art takes many forms, and sheer passion and unconditional love can be a very powerful tool indeed.

Enjoying being a ghost hunter at a Halloween costume contest

Shown with lighting package added for more authenticity

Early stages of  proton pack creation

created by Ron

This item is not associated with any known movie franchise,
and I make no claims to any affiliations with known licensed properties.
For personal use only, not for sale.

Wednesday, March 17, 2021

Tips and Tricks: Detailed cutting, on thick craft foam, with a Cricut®–cleanly!

Ever have difficulty cutting foam cleanly on a Cricut machine? Foam poses a significant challenge, and  this is especially true when attempting to cut smaller shapes or any type of detail. 

Machine: Cricut Explore Air 2
Foam: unspecified brand
Thickness: varies
Mat: Strong Grip (purple)

The trick I found useful was to cut the foam in 2 passes. Pass 1 uses the Fine-Point blade but the setting for Craft Foam, normal pressure. When the cut is complete, and the mat is fed out (but not all the way), keep the mat in place and do not feed and remove from the machine. Replace the blade with the Deep-Point blade, and do a second pass with the cutter (press the cut button). The first pass cuts the foam without excess pulling, but it probably does not cut all the way through. The 2nd pass blade slips into the cut already started and finishes the job all the way through. Although not full-proof, I have found this to do a much cleaner job than attempting to cut with more pressure and Deep Cut blade in 1 pass. Make sure to use blades as sharp as possible and burnish foam down tightly to a Strong Grip mat.

Wednesday, March 10, 2021

Special Projects: Dinosaur park Main Gate (not for sale)

For personal use only

Not every project is something for sale. Let's just say that, long before we decided to start an Etsy shop, some projects were completed without the intent of a repeat performance. Here is a recent project I created, last Christmas 2020, for our grandson Jayden. In this case, I wanted to re-create the main entrance to the park from an original dinosaur movie. 

Stone-look pillars and swinging wood-look doors
created and scaled for dinosaur playtime

This was created using a combination of foam core, chipboard, grey, red, and yellow vinyl, hot glue, metal hinges, and wood grain contact paper. The base is foam core and indoor/outdoor carpeting. Lots of cut files are in play for all the graphics done in a vector drawing program and exported as .svg files for a Cricut® cutter.

Created by Ron

This item is not associated with any known movie franchise, 
and I make no claims to any affiliations with known licensed properties.
For personal use only, not for sale.