Thursday, December 24, 2015

Wishing All Who Celebrate

Monday, September 21, 2015

Magical Birthday Gift for a Harry Potter Fan

A handmade birthday gift for our daughter. Hufflepuff journal and box.

My daughter is a fan girl of... Well, a lot of things. Harry Potter is one of her long time favorites. It started when her grandmother brought home the first book (before any talk of a movie). Then took off from there. 

My husband and I wanted to do something handmade for her birthday this year. Some of the hardest things to find for the Harry Potter universe are items with Hufflepuff, or Ravenclaw on them. (Although, I hear that's starting to change.) And, since she found out she'd be put into Hufflepuff according to "Pottermore", and she loves to write, we thought we'd make something along those lines.

This is what we came up with, inspired by Harry Potter.

It started with the journal. This was my part of the gift.

Hand sewn pages with crest symbol.

Hand sewn pages and dyed leather. Hand carved and painted crest on the front. Two loops on the sides hold a pen and keeps the journal closed when not in use. It came out better than I imagined.

A lot of detail work here. Hand carved, painted and sealed. The detail part took the longest.

Once my husband saw the journal, he wanted to make something nice to put it in.

My husband's part of the gift. Beautiful box for the journal. 

The box is made from wood we salvaged from our favorite piano. We loved that piano, but weren't able to save it after it had been ruined by a flood. My husband thought our daughter might like knowing where the wood came from.

Brass hinges add a nice touch.

He burned in the lettering. Then stained it with ebony stain and sealed it. Adding brass hinges as a final touch. I think it came out great!

So did our daughter. She loved it. Loved it even more to know the wood was from the piano. She never knew we saved any of it. We're glad she approves.

Not sure what my next project should be, but my husband seems to be in the process of making Thor's Hammer for a Halloween prop. Oh boy!


Saturday, August 29, 2015

I'm an artist. What does that mean? Well, anything, really. I love to create. Paintings, plaster, leather, metal, fabric... You name it, I've probably tried it. If I haven't, I most likely will want to at some point. I love learning and experimenting with different mediums and techniques. When I get bored with one, I move on to another. Yet, eventually, I'll return to a previous technique, or material to start all over again.

Of course, this means I have a studio full of crafty supplies. Which in turn means I have too much supplies and too little space. It's hard to toss out even the tiniest of scraps. Hey, it happens with crafty, artsy people. I suppose you could call us hoarders, but at least we find a use for everything. Eventually.

Don't laugh, or scoff. It's true. I swear!

With some left over scraps, I made this:

Genuine Leather Handmade Purse

 I made my sister one first for her birthday. She loved it. So did family, friends, and her co-workers. The orders started coming in. It's large enough for a small wallet, keys, and a good sized cell phone (my Galaxy S4 fits well in it with ample space).

Nice, huh?

Okay. So, I mentioned I use even the tiniest scrap. Here's what I came up with for small leather pieces.

Genuine Leather and Hematite Earrings

Genuine Leather and Glass Bead Earrings      

Genuine Leather and Natural Shell earrings
The possibilities are endless! Good thing I don't seem to have an end to left over scraps. Well, it's sort of good. These things didn't put a dent into my crowded craft room. *sigh* But, I sure had fun creating them.

Like the earrings? They're for sale at my Etsy Shop at:
Or, click on the photos and they should lead you directly to the sales page. 

You can look for purse listings to show up soon too. Along with other crafty things.  

- Trace

Thursday, December 11, 2014


Save 15% off $10, or more from my Etsy shop at: Use code: HOLIDAY2014 at checkout. Offer ends 12/25/2014.

Wishing everyone a happy holiday season!


Thursday, September 18, 2014

Halloween Fabric

Halloween Candy Corny by TRGatesArt
These are some of Halloween my designs available on fabric through Spoonflower.

Excuse the wrinkles in some. Also, the colors from the camera seem muted online for some reason. Each of these designs can be printed on the many different kind of fabrics offered through Spoonflower.

In the photos:

"Halloween Candy Corny" and "Halloween Pumpkin Faces" were printed on Premium Quilting Weight Kona 100% cotton.

"Halloween Spooky Tree" was printed on Eco Canvas, 100% polyester canvas with 45% recycled content. 

"Halloween Spooky Moon" was printed on Performance Piqué. This is 100% polyester fabric with moisture-wicking, soil release finish. There is a 50% cross-grain stretch with this fabric. It's silky and somewhat shiny.

Halloween Pumpkin Faces

Halloween Spooky Moon
Halloween Spooky Tree
In order to be sure you'll get these in time for Halloween, you'll need to order at least 2 weeks ahead of time through my Spoonflower shop at:


Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Getting into the Halloween Spirit
Ghostly Earrings by TRGatesArt
Yes, I know. It's still September. We haven't reached the first day of Autumn yet, even if we are having 40°F in the morning and 70°F in the afternoon. But, don't tell that to my daughter. She's almost finished making costumes for her family with the sewing machine my husband and I bought her for her birthday.

Still, I thought I should get a jump start on my Halloween crafts before the season sweeps on by like it did last year and the year before.

I love earrings, but don't really have any Halloween ones other than a pair of black widow spiders I bought years ago. So, I got out my polymer clay and made some ghost and pumpkin earrings.

They came out so cute, I made more.
Great Pumpkin Earrings by TRGatesArt

These are made from polymer clay. Then sealed and shined with Renaissance wax. The Ghost earrings have black hooks, while the pumpkins have copper hooks. The hooks can be exchanged for silver toned, or gold toned clip-ons if preferred.

Both pairs are up for sale for $12 (plus S&H) each in my online shop at:

Look for more fall items to be listed soon. Hey, it's never too early for Halloween!

-- Trace