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2024 Rathdrum Craft and Farmers Market - Kids’ Day!

Woohoo! Summer is upon us! The sun is shining, the birds are singing, and tons of fun Farmers’ Markets are in full swing. Rathdrum Craft and Farmers Market will be hosting their annual Kids’ Day Craft and Farmers Market this Saturday, July 13th, 2024. Cutoff Crafts will be there!

It is shaping up to be a wonderful time full of all kinds of neat special activities.

The local branch of the Community Library Network will be giving out free books! One of my favorite book series when I was growing up was the Owl Mage Trilogy (Owlflight, Owlknight, Owlsight) by Mercedes Lackey and Larry Dixon. That series instilled a love of owls, falcons, and corvids in me as well as a deep desire to experiment with creating my own fabric dye out of all kinds of moss and plants. My parents were less than pleased with the resulting mess I often made in the kitchen haha. I think it is wonderful that the local library is giving kids the chance to own their own books and of course teach them all about how libraries work.

There will be a face painter there! I am definitely going to get my face painted first thing in the morning. I love face painters and greatly enjoy seeing happy people at a market rocking all kinds of neat art pieces. This particular design was one I had done at Spokane’s Herbal Fair and remains one of my personal favorites.

Over 45 vendors have signed up for the Fair, including a whole bunch of kid vendors! It’s so cool to see such aspiring entrepreneurs be given the chance to learn. I love how our community helps nurture these budding crafters.

There will also be a petting zoo, pony rides, the local Fire Department, and so much more! And of course, Cutoff Crafts will be there! We will be in a slightly different location than normal, however you can still find our booth, bursting with merch, inside the Rathdrum Lion’s Club Building.

The Rathdrum Craft And Farmers’ Market - Kids’ Day

Location: Rathdrum Lions Club

Date: Sat - July 13th, 2024

Time: 9:00 A.M. - 2:00 P.M.

Cutoff Crafts' Item Spotlight

We will be bringing all kinds of toys out to the Kids’ Day Market. There will be puzzles, stuffed toys, building blocks, dice, stickers, and goodie bags!

Check out this adorable snail building block kit. He’s such a cutie! I’m not a fan of snails in my garden but this little guy could live on my desk any day of the week.

We recently got in a massive order of dice. Hands down the most impressive set was these stunning volcano dice. We only have four sets available and I do not expect them to last long. Look at those gorgeous hand polished sharp edges! Plus what an incredible smoke effect. These resin dice are beautifully balanced.

Come swing by the Rathdrum Lions Club and check out the Craft Fair and Farmers Market this Saturday. There’s plenty to see and do!

Valley Vista Fall Craft Fair Early Application Discount

Valley Vista Craft Shows is, once again, working closely with us (Cutoff Crafts) to announce their fun event! This time fans, shoppers, and vendors can look forward to their very popular September Craft Fair celebrating one of the best seasons, Fall! On September 28 and September 29, Valley Vista will be hosting their Valley Vista Fall Craft Fair!

For shoppers, this event is a party, featuring bouncy houses, tons of vendors, pony rides, hay rides, food, and so much more! This event also keeps it simple for the drivers due to their amazing volunteers helping direct traffic through the train tracks and to the parking spaces!  With all the family fun and ease of parking, Valley Vista Fall Craft Fair will make the weekend unforgettable!

For Vendors, this means it is time to apply for a booth! I know it seems early, but applying now means a booth discount! Yup, apply before July 1, 2024 and you can get a $10 discount! What is normally $100 for a booth is now, for a short time, $90!!! Saving $10 is very important in the business world and it is really epic of Jan to offer the discount to early birds.

To apply, click the image below and download the application, fill it our, and send it to Jan. If your application is accepted, Jan will then get back to you with instructions to pay.

Remember: Jan Reid is the only person taking applications and accepting money. 

Cutoff Crafts will have a booth there inside the barn, and we hope to see you there!

Making Art With Nature - Leaf Rubbings

I grew up in a land absolutely covered in trees. Many trees were deciduous trees that loose their leaves every year, like alders, birch, aspen, maples, and dogwoods. We also had a wealth of conifers and evergreen trees like firs, hemlock, cedar, spruce, and pines. The area I was raised in had a very strong tradition of making art using nature to both make something beautiful as well as to learn about the world around you. Of all the activities I used to do, leaf rubbings have always held a special place in my heart.

Max Ernst is credited with returning frottage (rubbing) as a technique to the art world in 1925 A.D. The core idea of a leaf rubbing is extremely simple. Simply sandwich a leaf in between two pieces of paper, take some drawing instrument and rub the top sheet of paper vigorously. You won’t be-leaf your eyes as a beautiful copy of your leaf is left in brilliant color.

It works best to use firm strokes that all go in one direction. I prefer diagonals and horizontals. This keeps the impression of the leaf veins clear and bold. Circular strokes cause the impressions to become muddy.

Rubbings are an extremely affordable craft requiring only the subject, paper, and any firm drawing tool. Crayons, pastels, pens, charcoal, and pencils all work wonderfully to make rubbings. I often make leaf rubbings using a spiral notebook as it is the paper I have handy and a set of crayons since they are easy to carry and I like the vibrant colors.

Flat objects make the cleanest impressions, however rounded objects like pinecones, stones, lichens, etc can also create extremely neat texture impressions. The designs distort after the paper is flattened back out, but the depiction of the texture remains very interesting.

This is a wonderful craft for kids and adults alike. Rubbings are a craft with a technique that is easy to master and produce cool art pieces. That does not limit your creativity, each piece is unique to the artist. I have seen wonderful designs that were made of layered leaves, layered colors, leaves in isolation surrounded by the rough edges of pinecones, etc. Even the humble blade of grass can lend itself to something eye-catching.

Rubbings also have a scientific use. Before cameras were invented, rubbings were a common way to exactly capture identifying characteristics of a specimen. Are the leaves on a branch alternating? Serrated? What does the vein pattern look like? Are the leaves circular or oval shape? What is the exact scale of the leaf? All of these questions were answered with a few strokes of a pencil and a sheet of paper. This is a great skill to teach kids who are looking to explore natural sciences.

Not just leaves can be the subject of your rubbings! Anything flat can make a cool impression. This includes planks of wood, slabs of stone, coins, plaster walls, tiles, fish scales, etc. Get creative! 

In modern times, forensic scientists and detectives still use the same technique to reveal words written on a sheet of paper that is no longer there. The pen that made the words on the removed sheet leaves imprints in the layers of paper underneath. These can then be highlighted and revealed through rubbing.

I was out on the trails with my sister and realized it had been a few years since the last time I had tried my hand at making some rubbings. Here are the fruits of my labors! I really like how the yellow and blue turned out. The blue crayon goes down much more dramatically than the yellow and makes striking highlights and shadows.

Have you ever done any rubbings? What were some of your favorites? If not, why not try today!

Spectacular Cosplay Creativity at Lilac Comicon 2024

Lilac City Comicon was last week and all week long here at Cutoff Crafts we have been sharing some of our favorite cosplays on Facebook and Instagram. (Give us a follow if you want to keep up with our crafting craziness!)

We thought it would be fun to do a blogpost for a more in-depth detailed review on some of these incredibly creative designs.

This drop dead gorgeous Lady Amanita cosplay was one of an entire grove of mushrooms and forest folk wandering about. I adore how the dress was dyed to provide proper shading, the use of lights in the cap, and the extremely clever choker design that mimics the hallmark collar of an Amanita mushroom. The freckling done with blush on the collarbone and across her cheeks was a very neat way to tie in the distinguishing coloration of her chosen mushroom. Similarly, the ruching of gauze under the mushroom cap headpiece did a great job of conveying the gills on the underside of an amanita cap.

Talk about a labor of love! This Wonder Woman cosplay was entirely hand-crafted from leather. The carving work is incredible, but that even dye job is just stunning! Extra bonus points for managing to capture all the pleats from the 2016 DC Rebirth design. Some liberties were taken with the belt design, but it really enhances the hoplite armor aesthetic.

Fresh in from the Grand Line, this pirate crew from One Piece heaved ashore for a bit of a supply stop. I love this shot as a wonderful example of what you can accomplish with just a few themed hats and a bit of wardrobe creativity. The honking meat plushie was a great touch. Seeing families come together like this is one of my absolute favorite things about Comicons.

The skittering Hollow Knight cosplayers did a wonderful job posing for photos. Their outfits were designed to be able to quickly deploy for picture opportunities. The helmets were, of course, removable but I was especially impressed with the cape shuffle that transformed these shoppers into iconic video game characters in less than a minute.

This duo from the Land of Oz exemplified how just a little bit of theater makeup and some well chosen accessories can go a long way. The green from Elphaba’s face paint works wonderfully with her green gloves to form a convincing illusion that her whole body is green. Meanwhile the gentleman’s suspenders pair well with the replica oil lamp to help set the whole scene. The entire cosplay is a work of art that took significant dedication to construct, but it truly is remarkable how well just a few minor context clues (like the bag from the musical “Wicked”) can help pull an entire design to the next level.

As always, Lilac City Comicon was an absolute explosion of nerdy awesomeness wrapped in a weekend of festive insanity. We had a wonderful time and look forward to Halloween X-Spo, Oct 5-6th, 2024.

The Who’s Who of Whose Coming to Lilac City Comicon 2024

The 18th Annual Lilac City Comicon is this weekend! It will once again be hosted at the Spokane Convention Center in downtown Spokane and runs June 1st and 2nd, 2024. It’s going to be an amazing time! There are so many wonderful special guests lined up for the show. Here are some of the unique and fantastic people who will be attending:

The Armorer - Photo: DiscussingFilm.net
Emily Swallow is well loved for her role as the Armorer in The Mandalorian as well as Amara in Supernatural and will be signing autographs ($60-$110) at Table SG1 in Hall B.

Tait Fletcher - Photo: Wookieepedia.com

Tait Fletcher also has creds in the Galaxy far, far away as one of the incredible stuntmen in The Mandalorian and The Book of Boba Fett. Tait has also performed stunts in John Wick, Jurassic Park, Free Guy, Transformers, Breaking Bad, and many others. He will be signing ($60-$100) and taking selfies ($30) at Table SG2 in Hall B.

Dmitrious Bistrevsky - Photo: LilacCityCon.com

Continuing the Star Wars brigade one of our very own Spokane locals, Dmitrious Bistrevsky will be there. Dmitrious is an incredible circus artist and is the suit actor for Darth Vader in Obi-Wan Kenobi. He will be signing ($40-$60) at Table SG4 in Hall B.

Erica Schroeder - Photo: PoconoRecord.com

Erica Schroeder has an incredibly rich and diverse host of characters she has voice acted. She is best known as the voice of Monkey D. Luffy from One Piece (4Kids) however her portfolio includes voicing over 150 characters over the last 15 years. Erica will be signing at Table SG7 in Hall B.

Sgt. Slaughter - Photo: Cbr.com

The number one person I am hoping to meet this year is Sgt. Slaughter! The famous wrestler turned fictional sergeant in G.I. Joe will be signing autographs ($50-$100) at Table SG3 in Hall B.

K.I.T.T. - Photo: LilacCityCon.com

Want a chance to get your photo taken next to an epic car? The replica K.I.T.T. from Knight Rider will be inside Hall A and available for all kinds of sweet photo ops. Fees for pictures are on a donation basis. While the car is not the K.I.T.T. from the original series it did get its own screen time in the movie Kickin It Old Skool.

Hela Cosplay - Photo: Downencreativestudios.com

The incredible cosplay artist Beverly of Downen Creative will be hanging out at Table 762 in Hall B. My favorite cosplay of hers remains Hela from Thor: Ragnarok although the Fantasy Armor rocking the World of Warcraft style pauldron is a close second.

Tom Cook - Photo: X.com/TomCook19448271 

Tom Cook is a superb animator whose portfolio includes everything ranging from Scooby Doo to Godzilla! Feel free to visit with him at Table 754 in Hall B.

KuroNekoCon will be hosting a Spy X Family - Agent Anya themed Escape Room available in 30 minute sessions. The cost is $15 per person or $50 for a group of 4. The escape room sign-ups are available at the KuroNekoCon booth across from 300C in the Lower Centennial Lobby.

Map to Cutoff Crafts - Booths 607-608

Of course, Ahsoka and I will be there as well! Cutoff Crafts will be at Booths 607-608 in Exhibit Hall A in Vendor Alley! This year, Lilac has expanded to be larger than ever before. The Floor Show has expanded from the 250 exhibitors last year to a record 315 exhibitors! There will be something for everyone!

If you are in costume be sure to stop by our booth! We will be taking pictures of some of our favorite cosplays and sharing them on social media (with your permission). Keep your eyes peeled on our feed to spot some incredible local creativity.

2024 Lilac City Comicon

Spokane Convention Center

Saturday June 1, 2024 - 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.

Sunday June 2, 2024 - 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

Single Day Tickets are available for sale at the door starting at 8:30 a.m.

General Admission entry starts at 10:00 a.m.

VIP Tickets allow early access starting at 9:30 a.m.

2024 Valley Vista Fall Craft Show

 Sponsored by Valley Vista

Valley Vista has announced their 2024 Fall Craft Fair!

On the heels of their Spring Craft Fair success, Jan at Valley Vista has announced that they will be hosting a Fall Event! Like the Spring Event, the 2024 Valley Vista Fall Craft Show will showcase 50+ Vendors, Music, Pony Rides, Hay Rides, Bounce House, Food, and so much more!

This two day event is fun for the whole family and a great way to start the fall season! 

Right off of Highway 95, Valley Vista is very easy to get to and features plenty of places to park!

Cutoff Crafts will once again be there featuring our newest crafts, toys, fossils, stones, crystal, jewelry, and games. Come by and say hi to us inside the barn!


Those who wish to sell their food/items at the 2024 Valley Vista Fall Craft Fair, get your applications in ASAP!  Jan Reid is the ONLY person able to accept applications and payments.

Booth spaces are 10’x10’.

The Early Bird Rate for a 10’x10’ booth is $90. Applications must be submitted, accepted, and the fee paid before June 30, 2024 in order to qualify.

Applications submitted after June 30, 2024 will be charged the full price of $100 for a 10’x10’ booth.

As always, there is an extra $20 charge for electricity.

To help all the vendors, Valley Vista will also be deploying WIFI signal boosters to help vendors achieve stable internet connections for accepting electronic payments.

Download the Application, and get started!

A Gathering of Collectors - Inland NW Toy Show Classic

Cutoff Crafts has so much cool merch available at the Inland NW Toy Show Classic here in Spokane Valley, Washington. We have three tables full of awesome puzzles, goodie bags, building blocks, plushies, dice, pins, and official extremely rare Star Wars merch.

Early Bird tickets are $10 and get you in a full hour early.

Early Bird Hours: 9:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.

Regular Admission is $5 and is good for all day.

Regular Admission Hours: 10:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.

Kids 12 and under are free!

The Inland NW Toy Show Classic is a wonderful gathering of collectors and toy enthusiasts. There are die cast trucks, rare miniatures, comics, classic board games, Funkopop, and so much more from all over the Inland Empire. This is a one day event, only May 11th, 2024.

Inland NW Toy Show Classic

Spokane County Fair and Expo Center

Building 3

404 N Havana Street

Spokane Valley, WA


Come see us at tables 147-149 in Building 3 at the Spokane County Fair and Expo Center.

Valley Vista's 75th Birthday Celebration and Spring Craft Fair

 Sponsored by Valley Vista Ranch

This weekend (May 4-5, 2024), crafters, buyers, and those looking to have a little fun will be able to head to the Valley Vista Ranch on Hwy 95 and enjoy their amazing 75th Birthday Celebration! There will be Pony Rides, a Bounce House, Vendors, and so much more! As an added bonus, to celebrate this fantastic event, there will be free raffle tickets and free cake! Simply show up, do some shopping, enjoy the music, and find the Raffle Ticket Booth and Cake up in the barn!

How the Raffle will work:
  1. Head up to the red barn and collect your free Raffle Ticket. (you can purchase more if you would like. All proceeds will go to Sandpoint Senior Center)
  2. Clearly write your name and number on the ticket. If they can't read it, you can't win.
  3. Shop the local vendors. Each vendor will have an item that is being raffled with a container to collect tickets. Select the item you wish to attempt to win and drop your raffle ticket in the container at the vendor's booth.
  4. Be present for the drawing up in the barn at around 2pm on Sunday May 5th, or wait for a phone call. If you win and you are present, you can pick up your item immediately. If you get a phone call, you will get instructions on when to pick-up the item at the Valley Vista Ranch.
  5. Good Luck!
To make the Raffle even more exciting, there will be over 80 vendors selling their crafts, art, and other items to choose from! Cutoff Crafts will be raffling a cool MYSTERY item. Yup! That means you don't know what t is until you win it! We will have the Mystery item at our booth with the collection tub for all the brave and curious shoppers. 

Of course, if you are shopping for gifts or for yourself, that also means that there will be plenty vendors and items to choose from! If you are looking for a gift (NOTE: Mother's Day is May 12) or looking to support the local community, there is no better place to shop! Find treats, geeky items, toys, games, art, decor, jewelry, fun, and more.

P.S. we are the geeky booth and will be featuring RPG Dice, fossils, stones, crystals, enamel pins, jewelry, goodie bags, and so much more.

With so many vendors to shop frim, there is something for everyone! Also...did we mention Free Cake?

Unleash the Fandoms! - Cutoff Crafts' Merch Drop

Here at Cutoff Crafts we have been hard at work getting the store in shipshape condition for the Summer Comic Con circuit. Part of the grand rework has included a brand new way to sort through the shop - by Fandoms! The new Fandom category makes it incredibly easy to quickly see related merch at a glance. Our current options are: Five Nights at Freddy’s, Harry Potter, Hello Kitty, One Piece, Pokémon, Sailor Moon, Star Wars, and Studio Ghibli.

Over in the Harry Potter category Cutoff Crafts now carries official Bitty Pop! figures made by Funko Pop! These teeny tiny mini figurines are a mystery pull in a blind bag. Our current batch of Harry Potter Bitty Pop! figures are a pre-order special. Each magical little one is just shy of 1 inch tall. Little Bitty Bellatrix Lestrange is tiny but fierce!

Amidst all the sweet metal enamel pins of the Pokémon section, we also have the limited edition Trick or Trade Booster Packs that were released only in 2022 and 2023. These are perfect if you missed out on your chance to catch them all. Each card pack comes with 3 Pokémon cards - there’s no worries of pulling a boring energy or trainer card in these packs, all 3 cards are guaranteed to be Pokémon. There’s a chance of getting a beautiful Holo/Foil TCG card, as well as a chance at drawing a Legendary, or even a Holo Legendary! MewTwo, Darkrai, and Spectrier all make their spoooky appearance. Personally I’m a huge fan of Murkrow.

The whole Sanrio crew is looking super adorable in their new keychain form! We really love mystery loot bags here and this is another wonderful set. There are twelve possible collectibles to help celebrate Hello Kitty’s 50th Anniversary! These are extremely well built keychains and a great way to show off your favorite Sanrio character.

Over the next couple of weeks, more and more of our merch will be available online. Be sure and check back regularly to join in the fun!

Legend of the Dogwood Tree - Make Your Own Flowers!

Branch of a Dogwood Tree - Photo: FloraQueen.com

The dogwood tree is a pretty amazing tree. The Cornus genus consists of 30-60 different species of dogwoods which grow all over the planet. Throughout history, humans have used dogwoods for a wide variety of things. Among the indigenous people of North America the bark of Cornus Florida, the flowering dogwood, was made into medicinal teas to treat fevers and malaria. The Kousa dogwood (Cornus Kousa) native to Asia produces an edible red fruit that is widely sought after among foragers. At a glance it might even be mistaken for the legendary Ope Ope fruit (One Piece). The wood of the dogwood is a dense hard wood and has long been used to make handles for spindles, chisels, and mallets. It is such a hard wood, however, that it dulls most saws and tools that try to work on it.

I moved houses quite a bit when I was growing up. Yet at every single house I have ever lived in, my parents would always plant the same kinds of trees. There would be at least a couple of maple trees, a redwood tree, several rhododendrons, and a dogwood. I always loved the dogwood trees because they absolutely explode in a riot of blooms every spring. Nothing will stop a dogwood from blooming.

When I was a kid I once read a story about the dogwood and why it grows positively everywhere. It was in a collection of “how and why” tales from Medieval Europe (unfortunately I can no longer recall the title of the book). Here is how the story went:

Legend of the Dogwood Tree

Dogwood Flower - Photo: Joey Williamson

The dogwood was a mighty tree as strong and straight as the oak. The wood was chosen to make Jesus' cross. The tree wept in despair at being used for such a purpose. Jesus was touched. After the Crucifixion, God promised that the tree would never again be used in such a fashion but would remind the world of Jesus' sacrifice each year. The tree grew small and its branches became twisty, no longer straight and powerful. Each flower was white, with four petals, each tip looked stabbed through and torn with a bloody nail. In the center of each flower was a golden crown of thorns. It would bloom every Easter until trees bloomed no more. In autumn, the leaves look drenched in blood before they fall to remind the world of the sacred blood shed.

Dogwood Leaves: Adrienne Legault

Crafting a Felt Dogwood Flower

With Easter right around the corner I thought I would share the tale. Today, I no longer have a dogwood tree outside the house. Spring will be here in a mere two days and I miss seeing the cascade of white blossoms dancing on the wind. So I figured, why not make at least one dogwood flower out of felt.

If you would like to join me, here is what you will need:

1 Piece of White Felt
1 Piece of Yellow Felt
1 Piece of Brown Felt
Red Marker
Black Marker
Hot Glue Gun

As this craft uses scissors and a hot glue gun, adult supervision is required.

This was a very simple craft that takes roughly 15 minutes. I used felt, however fabric, construction paper, or tissue paper could be used. My felt sheets are the same size as a piece of paper and cost $0.33 each at the local craft store. They are made of recycled plastic which I love since it is a way to make something beautiful out of old pop bottles.

First, I took my white felt sheet and folded it in half, hamburger style. Then I cut it.

 Second, I took the two cut white piece and folded them in half, hamburger style. I then cut them. I cut them one at a time as felt can be tricky to cut cleanly. This left me with four cut quarters of white felt.

 Third, I took the white felt quarter and folded it in half lengthwise. I did not cut this in half. Instead, I drew half of an oval with a black marker to make my petal pattern. I cut along my line with the felt folded. I repeated this on each of the four quarters. It is okay if the ovals are not identical. I think it gives the final dogwood flower a bit of character.

 I laid out the four petals on the brown felt piece to see how the flower was turning out. Technically, these are modified leaves called “bracts” and not true petals. But I like to think of them as petals.

 Fourth, I turned to the yellow felt piece and folded a piece about an inch wide. I did not need a bunch, just a little strip of yellow to be my crown of flowers. Just like how the white part is actually leaves, the yellow cluster in the center of the dogwood is actually a spray of teeny tiny golden flowers.

 Fifth, I took the yellow strip and cut off thin chunks. My chunks were about 1/8th inch wide. I wanted eight small pieces of yellow felt. From the strip I was cutting, I also cut out a small circle to be my center. The circle was about the size of a nickel.

Sixth, I took the white “petals” off the layout and folded them in half lengthwise, again. With the black marker I drew a tiny half circle up at the tip. Then I cut that part off. This is the torn looking notch.

 Seventh, with a red marker I gently colored the cut notch.

 Eighth, I cracked out the hot glue gun and started going to town. Each of the white bracts was glued to the brown background. It is absolutely fine that they were overlapping each other, many dogwood flowers do the same. I glued the yellow circle to the center.

 Ninth, I got out the eight little yellow rays that I had cut and started gluing them around the center circle. I wanted them to be fairly evenly spaced, so I glued them in an X to start and then filled in the in between with more rays.

 Tenth, I signed the piece with the black marker and then took it around to show everyone how it had turned out!