it may be helpful for all of us to consider what we say when we post our projects; when we are looking for tips, and constructive criticisms, i think we should specify. if its something we are new at and may not have done so well on, acknowlege that. Then if someone decides to post a comment they will have a bit of a direction to go in. but i also think that if you ask for feedback, be prepared for the insensitive people who may not have the nicest things to say. you cant get butt hurt about someone saying your project is crappy if you asked for people to tell you what they thought.
in response to all the hate for joanns and walmart.... i hear ya! i actually used to work for joanns. i worked for one of the stores that was closing, specifically for the closing. so after that one closed i applied at the one closer to my house, thinking surely, this fashion design student who has previous employment with the company would have a chance at this one.... nope. i didnt get hired because i FAILED MY PHONE INTERVIEW. yes, you read correctly, its an automated interview where you press one for yes and two for no... etc.. and i failed it. the funny thing is, i know more about fabric and crafting than all the poeple that work there do, COMBINED. no one ever knows where things are or what certain fabrics are... last week i asked if they had shrinky dink plastic... they said they didnt carry it, and three days later when i went back, i found the shrinky dink plastic in the kid craft aisle. mmm hmm.
as for walmart, i have less problems with them, but their fabric selection is sad...
ive found that one of the best places to find free crafty stuff is older crafty relatives/friends. ya know, the ones that feel they are "getting to old" to do certain crafts, or actually cant (like my grandma, who can no longer knit anymore b/c arthiritis). or just want to get rid of stuff they have been saving for too many years. (like most of us who can relate to that). I have gotten a ton of vintage patterns, fabric, yarn, knitting needles, etc. I also sign up for all of the craft store mailers just for the occasional 40% or 50% off cupons... those come in handy if there is something in particular that you just cant wait for a sale on.
how cute! I will have to remember those when I have my styrofoam balls left over from the x-mas ornaments im making
ive been making christmas ornaments the same way as beaded fruit (though with styrofoam balls) for almost a year, ive found if you use the sequins that come pre-stranded it makes it go a lot faster and a bit easier. just start in one spot and spiral around. you can also make them without a loop to hang with and use them as a bowl filler. if i get a chance ill post a picture or two.
i would take it apart and see what fun bits lie inside that you could make jewelry or something out of. i made some jewelry out of small parts from a carburetor, so I'm sure theres something in there thats useful =)
i came accross a fantastic book of magic tricks from the 50's in not so great condidtion but several of the pages were ok, so i cut out the parts i could use ( the cute little girls and boys and some of the phrases, etc.) and now i use them on greeting cards and other papery crafts.