Featured Post

Pretty Pens: A Tutorial

Saturday, September 26, 2015

Saturday Shuffle #13


Saturday Shuffle Blog Hop
It’s Saturday!!  Time for another blog hop.
 
But first, a special announcement.
I keep on mentioning the possibility of themes for future hops.  Now the time has come, sort of.  Next month is October, and since I love Halloween I thought it would be fun for each week to have a special Halloween inspired theme.  The first themed blog hop will be next week.
 
And the Theme for next week:
 
Pumpkins!
 
Any links you have for anything related to pumpkins, please share them.  Even if they’re really old (several years old even, I want to see them.  Share orange things too, there sort of related.  And if you don’t have anything that fits, it’s okay.  Share anyway.
 
Now back to the blog hop.
 
Here’s the deal:
  • Keep all links family friendly.
  • It helps to follow me or leave a nice happy comment, but only if you want.
  • Link whatever you want and as much as you want.
  • Older links are welcome.
  • Please be as descriptive as possible about what you are sharing.
  • The “name” box is the name of your link. 
  • <-- Please grab my button and stick it somewhere, at the very least it will make it easier for you to come back.
  • My favorite links will be pinned to the Official Saturday Shuffle Pinterest Board.


Now get to it and have fun! :)

Read More »

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Special Announcement or What to Expect

What to ExpectFirst off, this week’s Five a Week craft didn’t get posted or even completed because I got a little too caught up with another project I’m taking up.  As soon as that’s all finish I’ll post it, trust me it will be worth the wait.

Work is getting busier than ever, plus I want to spend a little more time focusing on that special project as well as all the projects on my craft list.  This will mean that it will be a bit quiet around here for a while.  I will still be doing the Saturday Shuffle blog party each week though.  It’s just too much fun not to do.  And I will probably do a few things about Halloween, it will be here before you know it, can’t wait!

Just know I’m still around and I will be back shortly to share with you all.  Look forward to it.

Read More »

Saturday, September 19, 2015

Saturday Shuffle #12


Saturday Shuffle Blog Hop
It’s Saturday!!  Time for another blog hop.
 
Here’s the deal:
  • Keep all links family friendly.
  • It helps to follow me or leave a nice happy comment, but only if you want.
  • Link whatever you want and as much as you want.
  • Older links are welcome.
  • Please be as descriptive as possible about what you are sharing.
  • The “name” box is the name of your link. 
  • <-- Please grab my button and stick it somewhere, at the very least it will make it easier for you to come back.
  • My favorite links will be pinned to the Official Saturday Shuffle Pinterest Board.

And of course, in the future I may have themes for the week’s blog hop, but I will announce these ahead of time.  If that is something you are on board with then please leave a comment about it and with any ideas you might have for possible themes.


Now get to it and have fun! :)

Read More »

Thursday, September 17, 2015

My Favorite Things: Hefty Slider Bags

The latest favorite things to showcase is probably one of the strangest ones, but trust me, it’s fantastic.

My Favorite Things: Hefty Slider Bags

Baggies.  Hefty Slider bags to be exact.

I usually get them on sale with coupons, and I stock up.  I find little baggies to be fantastic around the house, especially these ones.  It’s because that little slider thing makes them open and close quickly making them easy to use, plus they are very sturdy for plastic baggies which makes them easy to reuse.  And I do just that a lot.

Using Slider Bags for Craft Supplies

My main use for them is storing craft materials.  I can sort beads, ribbons, findings, etc. and I can even use them temporarily to corral materials needed for projects in progress depending on the size of the baggie I use.  I also use them for non-crafty organizing and on sometimes, occasionally I actually use these bags for food.

Overall I find them brilliant to use, but not to say that I’m totally loyal to this brand.  I found a similar store brand version at CVS sometime ago.  Since it was on sale, I decided to try them out.  They have the same little slider thing and seem to be just as sturdy.  Let’s just see how they work in the long run.

Read More »

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Wordless Wednesday: Game Day Train

Taken on a light rail train, traveling away from the football stadium.

Empty Train Car

Empty Train Car

Empty Train Car

Read More »

Sunday, September 13, 2015

5 a Week: Crystal Pearl Bracelets

 
It’s Sunday, so it’s time for week 11 of…
 
5 a Week: Crystal Pearl Bracelets
…The Five a Week Pledge.
 
If you haven’t been around here, it’s where you pledge to do five things each week of your choice (see the first week for more info).  I pledged to make five small crafts each week.  Feel free to grab a button and join me.  If you already have, post a comment or a link to share what you accomplished.
 
This week’s craft:

5 Crystal and Pearl Beaded Bracelets

Bracelets!

I got plenty of jewelry making supplies and tools this week (see The Biggest Haul Ever) and was itching to use them.  I used some of the pink and white faux pearls from the last batch of bracelets I made (see Five a Week: Bracelets), but this time I added clear crystal-y beads for all but the last bracelet. 

The last one was just a way to use up some extra beads.  I just took the last few beads I had in those sizes, arranged them in a way I thought looked good, then added some more faux pearls until it was long enough for a bracelet.

Now for a small request, I’m having a hard time deciding what sort of project to do for this coming week.  Any ideas? Please leave a comment with any suggestions, links to tutorials are more than welcome too.  And look forward to next week.

Read More »

Saturday, September 12, 2015

Saturday Shuffle #11


Saturday Shuffle Blog Hop
It’s Saturday!!  Time for another blog hop.
Here’s the deal:
  • Keep all links family friendly.
  • It helps to follow me or leave a nice happy comment, but only if you want.
  • Link whatever you want and as much as you want.
  • Older links are welcome.
  • Please be as descriptive as possible about what you are sharing.
  • The “name” box is the name of your link. 
  • <-- Please grab my button and stick it somewhere, at the very least it will make it easier for you to come back.
  • My favorite links will be pinned to the Official Saturday Shuffle Pinterest Board.
And of course, in the future I may have themes for the week’s blog hop, but I will announce these ahead of time.  If that is something you are on board with then please leave a comment about it and with any ideas you might have for possible themes.
Now get to it and have fun! :)
Read More »

Friday, September 11, 2015

The Biggest Craft Haul Ever

This post may contain affiliate links, please check out my disclosures page for more info.  Thanks!

Over the last couple of days, I managed to pay a visit to almost all of the stores I typically shop for craft supplies.  Everywhere except Goodwill and other thrift stores and Bookman’s.  My bank account took a hit, but I’m happy with the goodies I found.  So happy that I wanted to share them all.

Craft Haul from Michael's

At Michael’s I got various jewelry findings including jumps rings, crimp beads, and ribbon clamps.  There was deal where if you bought three of them you would get 22% off, couldn’t pass that up.  I also got a chain I’ve really needed and a bottle of possibly the best glue known to mankind, Aleene’s Jewel-It

It’s an embellishing glue intended for gluing things like beads to fabric, but I use it for so much more.  It’s really useful for making hair accessories.  So many times I’ve glued flowers and bows to metal clips and combs using the glue gun only to have them pop off with use.  Never happens with the Jewel-It.  I’ve also used it to glue magnets to things, it lasts for years.

Craft Supplies from Joann Fabrics and Crafts

At Joann Fabrics and Crafts I got this jewelry making tool kit.  I was in need of a pair of pliers as well as other items for jewelry and this kit had everything I needed and more for only about $10.  Works out well.  I also got a spool of stretch cord and found a string of glass pearls that are the perfect size for making doll sized jewelry.  The best part is that I found it in their “Treasure Box”.  It’s a special area for beads and stuff where everything is only $1.99.

Pearls from Walmart

Speaking of bargain priced glass pearls, I found these beauties at Wal-Mart for 97 cents each.  I got two each of both white and off-white.  I’m hoping they will work with some pearls I already have.

Craft Haul from SAS

The bulk of the my craft shopping was at SAS.

Here’s what I got from them:

  • 1 yard purple floral print vinyl
  • 3 yards lavender poly poplin fabric
  • 2 white zippers
  • 10 yards white grosgrain ribbon
  • 10 yards white ultra thin satin ribbon
  • elastic
  • green thread
  • Pretty green flowers with pearls
  • toggle clasps
  • 4 hair clips
  • 4 yards white cotton lace
  • 16 yards of thin white lace
  • lace gloves
  • faux pearl necklace and bracelet set (it was only $1)
  • 0.19lbs of black lace from the $4/lb. remnant box

It all came to under $30, and around $60 combined.  Not too bad. Best of all, most of it is actually stuff I planned to buy.  The fabric, vinyl, zippers, elastic, ribbon and thin lace are all intended for projects on my current craft list.  And the thread, flowers, jewelry stuff, glue, hair clips, pearls,and other laces are for future projects I’m planning. 

The rest sadly are impulse buys.  It’s something I’ve come to expect when shopping for craft supplies.  It fuels creativity, mainly because some impulse items are so strange that I need to get really creative to figure out what to do with it.

Anyway, I am now very well stocked and ready to get going on my projects.  Look forward to that.

Read More »

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Wordless Wednesday: Flowers at the Bus Station

Taken at the Tempe Transportation Center in Tempe, Arizona.

Flowers at the Bus Station

Flowers at the Bus Station

Flowers at the Bus Station

Read More »

Monday, September 7, 2015

Thrift Stores and Easy Reconstruction

The second project on my craft list isn’t exactly something that I’ve been putting off making, but something I’ve put off wearing.

Black Thrifted Vest Before

Sorry about the pictures, I still haven’t figured out how to successfully photograph black colored clothes and such.  I got this vest thing at the Black Friday Bag Sale at Epic Thrift (see Bagging It on Black Friday).  Over nine months later and I still hadn’t worn it because it didn’t quite work for me as is.  Just needed a little work.

So here’s the before…

Reconstructed Black Cropped Vest

…and after.  Much better right?

First I chopped off the ruffles and the waist tie thing and then cut off a few inches.  I then carefully re-attached the tie along the new hem.  It hits me slightly below the bust which is much more flattering on me.   Then I cut two pieces from the ruffle and attached them to the arm holes to give them a slight flutter sleeve look. 

So much cuter this way and easier to wear.  I actually wore it yesterday over a black tank top with one of my plaid skirts (see Plaid and Crochet for Dummies). 

Here’s the updated list:

  • Purse
  • Bag
  • Mini-bag
  • Dress
  • Vest
  • Fleece

Two down, just four to go.  If things go well, I’ll have the next project up by Saturday.  I may need to make a few trips to some craft stores first, and I may show off some of the goodies either tomorrow or Friday.  Look forward to it.

Read More »

5 a Week: Fleece Blankets for Dolls

 
It’s time for week 10 of…
 
5 a Week: Fleece Blankets for Dolls
…The Five a Week Pledge.
 
If you haven’t been around here, it’s where you pledge to do five things each week of your choice (see the first week for more info).  I pledged to make five small crafts each week.  Feel free to grab a button and join me.  If you already have, post a comment or a link to share what you accomplished.
 
I’m afraid due to a few personal issues and what not, it’s a day late this week.  But let’s not dwell on that.
 
This week’s craft:
 
5 Doll Sized Fleece Blankets
Fleece blankets!
 
Since I got the idea to finally use that fleece blanket kit (see Fleece Blanket for Christmas?), I’ve had fleece on the brain.  I thought it would be great to make a few doll sized blankets too.
 
The pink one on top I thought would be the right size for my bjd (see Catching Up and a New Friend).  She is just under 18 inches (45cm) tall so I cut the fleece about 20 inches by 20 inches and I cut the strips about 2 inches.  The other two I made consecutively smaller and smaller, I thought they would be perfect for various other dolls and toys.  My niece and nephew have loads of them and many could use a nice blanket.
 
One of the first thing I noticed was that is was necessary to make the strips narrower as the blankets got smaller.  This was both to make them work for a smaller scale and to make it easier to actually tie them.  I also found that it’s better to go cheaper with the fleece.  Thinner fleece works better for making blankets this size, it’s less bulky and more realistic.
 
For the last two blankets, I decided to try to sew them instead of knot them together.  I’m not sure I like how they turned out.  Maybe with a different colored fleece material it would work, but like this I have the strongest urge to turn them into pot holders or something.  The problem with that is that I don’t think fleece is flame retardant. 
 
Overall I’m satisfied with how they came out.  And as soon as it finally feels like Fall around here (I’m in Arizona remember?), there will be some nice and toasty warm stuffed toys and dolls.

Now it’s 10 weeks since I’ve started this challenge, so it’s time for another recap of what I’ve accomplished.

First 5 Weeks:

Second 5 Weeks:

50 plus one bonus is 51 crafts completed in 10 weeks.  Yay!

I definitely plan to keep this up, just hopefully I’ll post them on time from now on.  Look forward to that.

Read More »

Saturday, September 5, 2015

Saturday Shuffle #10


Saturday Shuffle Blog Hop
It’s Saturday!!  Time for another blog hop.
Here’s the deal:
  • Keep all links family friendly.
  • It helps to follow me or leave a nice happy comment, but only if you want.
  • Link whatever you want and as much as you want.
  • Older links are welcome.
  • Please be as descriptive as possible about what you are sharing.
  • The “name” box is the name of your link. 
  • <-- Please grab my button and stick it somewhere, at the very least it will make it easier for you to come back.
  • My favorite links will be pinned to the Official Saturday Shuffle Pinterest Board.
And of course, in the future I may have themes for the week’s blog hop, but I will announce these ahead of time.  If that is something you are on board with then please leave a comment about it and with any ideas you might have for possible themes.
Now get to it and have fun! :)
Read More »

Friday, September 4, 2015

Fleece Blanket for Christmas?

I’ve been putting off doing any of the projects on my craft list for so long, it seems fitting that the first one is a project I meant to do months ago.

Last Christmas, I received several wonderful gifts including one in particular.

No Sew Fleece Throw Blanket Kit

This kit.

It’s one of those no sew fleece blanket kits you can find in most crafts stores.  Pretty handy.  They usually have really cute prints coupled with a solid color fleece in a coordinating color and they’re pre-measured, packaged and ready to start. 

This one came with this adorable owl print fleece and I really could have used a nice warm throw at the time.  But I put off making it, and put it off some more, and more, etc.  Now it’s the end of summer, and I finally got around to putting the darn thing together.

Instructions on Package of Fleece Blanket Kit

The instructions are super easy, here they are if you’re interested in making one yourself.  Just click the picture to enlarge it.  I didn’t actually need to look at the instructions myself.  I’ve made tons of these blankets at church, so they are a piece of cake for me, normally. 

Cutting the Fleece

The problem I had was finding a large enough place to spread out the fabric.  At church we have these great large tables to work on, I have no such luxury at home.  I had to settle for a large-ish patch of floor.  Even then I had to fold part of the fabric and basically cut and tie half the blanket at a time.

Making a Fleece Blanket with My Niece

I did have some help.  I got my niece to join in with the tying, this is a great project for kids to do after all and she needed to learn.  Maybe she can make one for herself someday now that she knows how.

No Sew Fleece Throw Blanket with Owl Print Fleece

Despite a few problems, we manage to finish the blanket in well under an hour.  Makes me feel a little silly about putting it off for so many months.  Now I need to figure out what to do with the scraps.

Here’s the updated list:

  • Purse
  • Bag
  • Mini-bag
  • Dress
  • Vest
  • Fleece

One down, just five to go.  The next one should be up by Monday, look forward to it!

Read More »

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Wordless Wednesday: June Bugs

Take near Mill Avenue in Tempe, Arizona.

June Bug Sitting on a Leaf

June Bug Climbing on a Leaf

Read More »

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Blogging: What’s the Point?

Blogging: What's the Point?Warning:  Much ranting ahead.

I’ve seen articles posted on various blogs with tips on how to do this and that with your blog to make it better.  Adding/using widgets, customizing the appearance, tracking stats, monetizing, etc.  And don’t forget about promoting your blog using Twitter, Pinterest, Facebook, Instagram, Google+, Buffer, YouTube, [insert latest social media here].  Annoyingly many of these articles seem to claim that when it comes to blog hosting, Wordpress is the only way to go.  Eye roll.  To quote one blog “if you aren’t already using Wordpress, you need to be”.  This part I always groan at because to me it matters less where you host your blog and more how you use it. 

This can be explained in two parts.  First, in the available features of the site you choose.  I’ve heard much praise on the features available to wordpress users and how well they can fully customize their blogs.  These are only great if you actually use them.  Example, I’ve seen blogs that look wonderful, super well designed.  Guess what?  They’re on blogger.  On the other hand I’ve seen blogs with colors and layouts that scream “default”.  Blogger again?  Nope, Wordpress.  Either site works well as long as you choose what works for you and put in the effort to make your blog the way you want. 

Now the second part gets us closer to my main point, using your blog.  I recently visited another wonderful looking blog.  Everything about it was perfect except for one thing, it was dead silent.  There might as well have been cobwebs hanging around from the lack of activity from the blog owner, not that I really should talk much about inactivity.  Of course I usually avoid going 2+ years without updating.  Meanwhile I know of another blog with a comparatively basic look to it, not to mention a color scheme that I personally wouldn’t go for in a million years.  It is alive with activity from both the author and her readers.  Plenty of posts as well as comments.

Yes, we have finally gotten to my point.  The point?  Blogging isn’t about pretty banners and backgrounds or having a “professional” looking site.  It’s isn’t about following others via every social media site under the sun hoping some of them will follow back.  It’s about sharing yourself with others.  What did you do this week that made you happy?  Share it.  What did you make yourself that you’re proud of?  Share it.  What do you like to do that you think others might like too?  Share it.  What can you teach others to do right now?  What has been on you mind that is just screaming to get out?  What do you want to say that will take more than a photo or 50 characters? Share it!  Share it with others and let them share back

This is why I continue to blog, even to come back to my blog after much time away.  So I can Share.  Look forward to more sharing.

Read More »