Friday, December 31, 2010

Christmas photo that I think just sums it all up

I really think this photo of the tread mill covered in the totes that held the holiday decorations really just sums it all up! It makes me laugh every time I look at it.

And here are some crafty links to make you smile and be inspired. Happy New Year!

Craftside-A behind-the-scenes peek at a crafty world
This week at a Happy New Year Craftside there are tutorials on how to paint dots with watercolors, redo a scarf with nuno felting, a video tutorial from Traci Bunkers, a fun poster idea that combines two iconic bands and using your stuff to decorate in a fun way.

Eileen - The Artful Crafter
Eileen made some lovely earrings from a kit by Tammy Powley and dubbed it "A Kit that Delivers".

Margot Potter The Impatient Crafter
Madge revisits a favorite New Year's Eve mixed media jewelry project.

Mixed Media Artist
Cyndi has finished a fun little quilt made from her hand-painted fabrics!

Carmi's Art/Life World
Carmi downloads a gorgeous set of graphics to make a 2011 calendar.

Crafty Princess Diaries
Crafting while listening to a crafty podcast is fun, but some podcasts are better than others.

Cross Stitch at
Find out the most popular free patterns from 2010. Add them to your stash and stitch one or two up to ring in the New Year!

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Happy Holidays from me and Stan, George, Jane Doe and Rorschach Amineko

Monday, December 6, 2010

Jane Doe and Rorschach Amineko Ready to go to The Craftside Free Make and Take zone at Unique LA

Jane Doe and Rorschach Amineko all set to go to The Craftside Free Make and Take zone at Unique LA this weekend December 11th and 12th, 2010. To see the full schedule of all the things you can make with a whole bunch of talented designers pop on over to this post at Craftside.

Eileen - The Artful Crafter
Calling clay and gourd crafters: do you have any suggestions to help Kathy with a cracking problem on her wonderful clay Santas?

Margot Potter The Impatient Crafter
Madge shares a Pink Ribbon Necklace project she created live on Jewel School at Jewelry Television!

Craftside-A behind-the-scenes peek at a crafty world
This week at Craftside there are tutorials on how to make a pop up gift card holding greeting card, a Steampunk style mixed media bracelet, tips on creating art everyday, and a bunch of cute pastry decorating ideas.

Mixed Media Artist
The Bead Journal Project is starting up again for its fourth year! Registration ends soon!

Stefanie Girard's Sweater Surgery
See how to make recycled sweater and zipper Christmas trees (or hats).

About Family Crafts
If you are in search of a special gift for a crafter or a wannabe crafter, check this collection of ideas and resources.

Aileen's Musings
Check out part 2 of Aileen's Pomegranate Liquor and download a freebie background while you're at it.

Carmi's Art/Life World
Carmi downloads a cute Christmas graphic to make this fabric ornament.

Crafty Princess Diaries
Ta da! The 10-inch-squares crocheted baby afghan is done!

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Recycled Sweater Christmas trees...or hats? Inspired by Nicky Epstein's Knitting Block by Block

I make a bunch of Christmas trees every year and this year's group is inspired by one of my all time favorite knitting designers-Nicky Epstein and her latest book of absolutely amazing eye candy bits in the form of knit goodness-Knitting Block by Block: 150 Blocks for Sweaters, Scarves, Bags, Toys, Afghans, and More! How you say that a book on knitted blocks do I come away with inspiration to make Christmas trees? I will tell you. The spectacular details and dimensional textures in the book make me think of all sorts of objects and with my stash of sweaters I can grab the scissors and I am off and crafting. That's not to say the knitting needles aren't going to see some action soon too.
Today I have my Recycled Sweater Christmas tree tutorial for you.
First I made some cardboard cones with some recycled shipping envelopes and cereal boxes and Duct tape.
From the sweater stash I found a sweater that had a similar rolled edge as my inspiration swirl block from Knitting Block by Block. This is where the idea came from. The circling around ruffle made me think of a Christmas tree.
All that was left to do was hot glue the sweater edge strips to the cardboard cone starting at the bottom and working up. I liked the first one so much I went back to the stash and made 2 more with more green striped sweaters. The little top curved over part just happened and I decided to leave it.

The other unintended tree came from all the cool zipper crafts that are around now, one of my sweaters had a green zipper so I seam ripped it out and popped it on a cardboard cone too.

If you like lots (150) of knitting patterns and textures along with the great concept of working modularly in blocks you will LOVE this book! I will be savoring mine!
Knitting Block by Block: 150 Blocks for Sweaters, Scarves, Bags, Toys, Afghans, and More


Nicky Epstein

More about the book from the publisher- Potter Craft:

"Create gorgeous sweaters, bags, afghans, and toys just by knitting the simplest of shapes—a square!

No one forgets the sweet victory of completing their first knitted block, but most of us quickly move on to more complex constructions, only making swatches for guage. In this comprehensive volume, celebrated designer and innovator Nicky Epstein reimagines the humble block with 150 new patterns and masterfully demonstrates how to mix, match, and easily combine them into stunning one-of-a-kind garments and accessories.

Inside you will find:
  • 150 original block patterns, from simple textures to embossed pictorials, intricate lace to cables, colorwork, double knit, and more, all with Nicky’s signature wit, verve, and style.
  • More than ten exclusive project designs that will make you say “I can’t believe that is made out of blocks!”
  • Detailed guidance for creating exciting pieces out of block knitting, without using increases or decreases.
  • Exclusive cut-and-paste project design pages. Simply cut out the printed blocks and arrange them to help create your own masterpieces.

Blocks are quick to knit, portable pieces perfect for group and charity projects, and now not limited to just afghans! Knitting Block by Block gives you the tools to unlock a world of creative possibilities and confidently build your own design “blockbusters,” one block at a time.

Beloved knitwear designer NICKY EPSTEIN is the bestselling author of numerous books, including Knitting on Top of the World, Knitting on the Edge, and Knitting a Kiss in Every Stitch. Her designs have also been featured in Vogue Knitting magazine and many other knitting publications, on television, and at art exhibitions. She currently resides in New York City and travels extensively, teaching and lecturing. "

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Hello Kitty Claw game-My favorite Toy Story movie line

I simply love the line in Toy Story, "The claw, the claw, the claw is my master!" S when I saw this entire claw game filled with my beloved Hello Kitty I just about fell off my cute high healed boots.

Mixed Media Artist
Cyndi is working away at finding more uses for expanded squares.

Craftside-A behind-the-scenes peek at a crafty world
This week at Craftside there is a tutorial on how to paint a bee and dragonfly, draw a pilgrim, Native American and English Guard, videos on how to sew a yo-yo and a preview of the new show Brew Masters and how to paint on a vintage postcard.

Margot Potter The Impatient Crafter
Madge's lovely and talented daughter Avalon whips up a super cute embellished hat and scarf this week for ILovetoCreate Teen Crafts!

Eileen - The Artful Crafter
Who couldn't use another tote bag? Here's a Koi Beach-Themed Tote from Eileen for your beach holidays or just to use when you miss the beach and warm weather.

Crafty Princess Diaries
After much feeling around, Tammy has definitely determined which baby yarn she thinks is the softest.

Carmi's Art/Life World
Carmi has a two part name tag making project highlighted this week.

Aileen's Musings
Aileen offers you Starbucks upcycled bird ornaments to create. Gather the kids and have fun making these ornaments to hang on your tree, give as a gift or use as a tag!

Stefanie Girard's Sweater Surgery
Book Review: Wild Color, Revised and Updated Edition: The Complete Guide to Making and Using Natural Dyes

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Book Review-Wild Color, Revised and Updated Edition: The Complete Guide to Making and Using Natural Dyes

Wild Color, Revised and Updated Edition: The Complete Guide to Making and Using Natural Dyes
Jenny Dean and Karen Diadick Casselman

Have a hank-erin' to learn to dye yarn or want to try all and I mean ALL sorts of things, then you will love this book. It breaks the process down step-by-step with wonderful pictures and directions. It also covers lots of color theory so the process becomes something you really can design cool (or warm..hehe color wheel joke) shade and tint variations.

With the trend toward doing things naturally, why not dye that way? You can with the help of this comprehensive how-to source book on natural dyeing.

More about the book from Watson Guptill:

"The best resource on natural dyeing is back, updated to make your colorful hobby even more beautiful and rewarding.
A practical and inspiring guide to creating and using natural dyes from plants,
Wild Color, Revised and Updated Edition, offers the latest information on current environmentally friendly dyeing techniques and more than 65 species of plants and natural dyestuffs. This comprehensive book outlines all the necessary equipment, how to select fibers and plant parts, choose the right methods for mordanting and dyeing, test color modifiers and the fastness of dyed colors, and obtain a range of gorgeous colors from every plant, from alter to woad, shown in more than 250 swatches.
Wild Color, Revised and Updated Edition, is the all-in-one resource for fiber enthusiasts, including knitters, sewers, and weavers; gardeners who are interested in new uses for traditional dye plants; and eco-conscious DIYers who want authoritative information about the natural dyeing process and the plants that are essential to it.

JENNY DEAN has worked with natural dyes for more than 30 years. She is the author of several books and numerous articles on natural dyeing, and also conducts lectures, workshops, and courses on the subject. A collection of her dyed samples is included in the collection of the Royal Institute for Cultural Heritage in Brussels, Belgium.

KAREN DIADICK CASSELMAN has taught dyeing techniques throughout the U.S. and internationally. Her dyed pieces are included in the collections of the Smithsonian Institution and other museums.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

My unintentional horizontal Chriastmas tree

Has anyone ever intentionally decorated with a horizontal Christmas tree?

We've had quite a bit of very strong winds here and my outdoor tree apparently was not strong enough to endure. I did seriously consider working with it in this position but alas succumbed and put it back upright. I am sooooo conventional!

Craftside-A behind-the-scenes peek at a crafty world
This week at Craftside there is a chance to win a copy of The Complete Photo Guide to Paper Crafts, ideas for dressing up twinkle lights with die cuts, a tutorial on how to watercolor and transfer images on old postcards, info on different types of compositions, and 3 blue-ribbon recipes.

Carmi's Art/Life World
Carmi is inspired by a magazine cover to make a cute pine cone tree.

Crafty Princess Diaries
Tammy has great news! Her new book is one step closer to being out on bookstore shelves.

Eileen - The Artful Crafter
Have you heard about Crafters Anonymous? We're tackling our stash, one step at a time!

Margot Potter The Impatient Crafter
Madge Crafts from the Couch and Shares a Retrofabulous Christmas Stocking!

Mixed Media Artist
Expanded squares are a fun way to create a repeating fabric pattern!

Stefanie Girard's Sweater Surgery
See how to make an illuminated broken windshield glass filled vase inspired by the book Eco Craft.

The Crochet Dude
Drew unveils the November purse as part of his Purse Pattern of the Month Club! It's a sexy little number with a metallic copper finish.

About Family Crafts
Are you wondering what kind of crafts to make for local craft fairs and church bazaars? Check out these ideas and share your own.

Aileen's Musings
Get ready for Thanksgiving morning by making Pumpkin Biscottis ahead of time. Aileen has a pumpkin biscotti printable recipe card ready for you!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Illuminated broken windshield glass vase inspired by the book-Eco Craft: Recycle Recraft Restyle

Today's post is so special! It is the first one that includes a home movie or as they call it now- a video. I'm not really thaaaat old but, this is one I shot myself and it makes me smile. It was inspired by a project from the book Eco Craft: Recycle Recraft Restyle.
Watch the colors change!

Here is a shot of my broken windshield glass filled shot glass on a changing light base with the lights on.
I had so much playing around with different vases, amounts of glass combos. I tried some marbles in the mix too.
In case you were wondering, because I know you were, "where does one get broken windshield glass?" Well, I am probably one step away from being a hoarder. I saved it from my very first car! I filled a bottle with it even back then (I was 16) because I thought it was pretty and I have had it ever since. The fabulous part of this story, for me anyway, was that I could FIND it! I think that's what keeps me from the official "hoarder" status, that I know what I have and can find it. Because, let's face it, I don't think everyone has a broken windshield glass from the car they drove when they were 16 department in their house.

But as the wonderful idea from Eco Craft: Recycle Recraft Restyle shows, you can use much more readily available bits of glass to make a bottom lit bowl of glass. There are such wonderful and inspiring modern recycled craft projects in this book. If you want to win a copy pop on over to Recycled Crafts at Craft and leave a comment.

More about the book from Lark:

Eco Craft: Recycle Recraft Restyle


Susan Wasinger

"Who knew taking care of the planet could look so good? Eco Craft shows how, with 30 truly beautiful home décor projects that elevate environmental consciousness to stylish new heights. Every idea is amazingly clever: who would ever have imagined that plastic six-pack can holders could become a chic Moorish-inspired filigree tri-fold screen? Or that glass baby food jars would make a charming candle chandelier? Every project features at least one beauty shot in a modern home setting, easy-to-follow instructions, and step-by-step color photos, while handy icons spotlight the key techniques, materials, and the estimated time to complete each project."

Oh and if you want to WIN a copy pop on over to Recycled Craft to leave a comment to enter!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

All my ducks in a row, if it were only that easy!

I got all my ducks in row.
Quack....or is it squeek when they are rubber?

Carmi's Art/Life World
Carmi makes a set of meaningful Remembrance Day cards with a free digital download.

Craftside-A behind-the-scenes peek at a crafty world
This week at Craftside there is a chance to win a copy of 1,000 Type Treatments and my Sizzix twist cube project it inspired, a tutorial on how to make serged thread chain and braid, a dining room mixed media assemblage and one of the quilts from the book-Journey of Hope.

Aileen's Musings
It's that time of year again to be thinking about cards and gifts. Aileen offers you a unique coffee sleeve card project to inspire you!

About Family Crafts
If you are looking for an almost instant Thanksgiving activity, check out these free, printable Thanksgiving projects.

Crafty Princess Diaries
Square time! Tammy is working on creating a simple (and hopefully fast) baby blanket pattern.

Eileen - The Artful Crafter
Here's a cute tote idea incorporating a sticker embellishment made of cardboard and coated with epoxy. Yes, just plain cardboard!

Margot Potter The Impatient Crafter
Heidi Goes Glam Necklace and Madge's Pre-Debut Debut on JTV!

Mixed Media Artist
Cyndi is giving away a copy of her new e-book on using found objects and unusual materials in your bead embroidery!

Stefanie Girard's Sweater Surgery
See how to make a recycled bottle lid broken heart charm inspired by the book Fantastic Recycled Plastic.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Recycled bottle lid into a broken heart charm inspired by the book Fantastic Recycled Plastic

We're trippin' the plastic fantastic today in the Plaidbunny test kitchen with some inspiration from the (as the title states) fantastic Fantastic Recycled Plastic:30Clever Creations to Spark Your Imagination.

That's right the little blue broken heart charm is made from the plastic bottle lid you see below:
All I did was warm up the plastic lid with a heat tool and start cuttin'! Then to make the "broken" zig zag line I put a grinding tip on ye old Dremel and etched the line on the back side of the heart. I switched out the grinding tip to a drill bit and made a hole. Oh and I did run the heart back under the heat tool to soften the cut lines smooth.
Off to the stash of recycled bits and some new findings from Blue Moon Beads and I give you my Blue, Blue Broken Heart Necklace.

If you are like me and love making things out of all the pretty colored plastic containers ( I had specifically saved that lid for the great clear blue-ness of it) you will be way-inspired (I sure was) by all the great projects and techniques in:

Fantastic Recycled Plastic:30Clever Creations to Spark Your Imagination
David Edgar and Robin A. Edgar

More about the book from Lark Books:

"Plastic is fantastic to craft with—and these imaginative, whimsical creations are out of the ordinary! From colorful canine silhouette pins and magnets and a holiday snowflake decoration to marvelous masks, they turn recycling into art.

Organized by level of difficulty, the items range from simple creations even a schoolchild can do to a fanciful, rolling biplane and a slithering, jointed serpent stuffed with lids and caps. All the necessary techniques—cutting, shaping, fastening, heat-forming, making tabs—unfold in step-by-step photos, along with clear, comprehensive instructions. Sidebars provide extra information on plastics, recycling, and more. Plus there’s a gallery of innovative international work by professional artists to inspire you.

What a great way to get creative…while saving the earth, too!

A former arts administrator and associate professor of art, DAVID EDGAR worked as a production artist on the EPCOT Center and Tokyo Disneyland projects for the Walt Disney World Company. David’s artwork is represented internationally in corporate, institutional, and private collections. Find out more about David at

ROBIN A. EDGAR writes profiles, art reviews, and features for national, regional, and local publications. She travels throughout the United States as a keynote speaker and workshops facilitator, teaching reminiscence writing techniques based on her two books, In My Mother’s Kitchen: An Introduction to the Healing Power of Reminiscence and Personal Legacies: Surviving the Great Depression. Find out more about Robin at"

Monday, November 8, 2010

Southern California Sunset or Why I live here

Yup ain't that purdy?!?
Now onto some ideas for more pretty things to make!

Craftside-A behind-the-scenes peek at a crafty world
This week at Craftside there is a chance to win a copy of Collage Lab with a tutorial on how to make a light up mixed-media mini house, a yarn necklace from the book Intertwined and step-by-step instructions for painting an olive.

Mixed Media Artist
It turns out that rust and paint can be a great combination!

Stefanie Girard's Sweater Surgery
See how to make a mini die cut leaf bracelet notebook inspired by Eco Books.

About Family Crafts
Read through these creative Thanksgiving tradition ideas and then share your own.

Aileen's Musings
Check out Aileen's scrumptious fall cookie recipe with a cool printable recipe card you can print out and include with a plate of cookies to give to your friends and family!

Carmi's Art/Life World
Carmi uses paper scraps to quilt some paper!

Crafty Princess Diaries
If you have moved over to using e-readers, such as a Kindle, then you need something pretty and hand-crafted (of course) to protect it.

Eileen - The Artful Crafter
When the going gets tough, the tough get going. Have you thought of making a bit of extra money by crafting in your spare time? Read Eileen's advice to "worried mom" Gina.

Margot Potter The Impatient Crafter
Madge shares an update from 'the busy zone.'

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Book Review-French Girl Knits: Innovative Techniques, Romantic Details, and Feminine Designs

French Girl Knits: Innovative Techniques, Romantic Details, and Feminine Designs
Kristeen Griffin-Grimes

My favorite thing about French Girl Knits is the positively amazing styling and details. Whether you like big swoopy sweaters or little sassy numbers there are patterns filled with lovely stitch patterns and design elements in French Girl Knits. There are sweaters using big chunky yarns to wafty diaphanous fine yarns, all simply scrumptious and wearable. I would say these projects are not for the beginner but with just a bit of practice you could be knitting sweaters all would envy! Want to see a bit inside? Pop on over here.

From the Publisher Interweave Press-

"Superbly fitted and fashioned in luxurious yarns, these imaginative patterns follow four thematic vignettes inspired by French daily life, film, and history. Each section features dramatically different types of yarns, colors, and stitch patterns combined with timeless, figure flattering silhouettes that are suitable for knitters of all skill levels. Using innovative seamless construction methods, the need for sewing seams has been nearly eliminated by fashioning patterns in one piece from start to finish, easily allowing for adjustments for a custom fit. A handy design workshop features in-depth tutorials that teach seamless construction methods and provide valuable technical information for both beginning and seasoned knitters. Perfect for all body types, the designs are figure flattering with curve friendly waist shaping, empire waist detailing, and stitch details such as lacing, openwork, lace edgings, and bell sleeves that highlight the silhouette."

How to make a mini die cut leaf bracelet notebook inspired by Eco Books

I posted a review of the book Eco Books: Inventive Projects from the Recycling Bin over at and the wonderful publisher Lark is graciously offering up a copy to one lucky commenter. So pop on over to this post at Recycled Crafts at and get yourself in the running. But while you are here check out these fun tiny little notebook bracelets I made with the petal remnants leftover after I made another project.
I am always writing ideas and quotes down and finding a bit of paper sometimes, try as I might to always have a notebook with me, can be a challenge. So here is a solution, make it jewelry.
When you die cut something often times there are other shapes you get in one pass on the die. Such is the case here.
When I ran the flower die through to get a three petaled shape I also got all these singles.

I just punched tiny holes and ran a hair elastic through then and then looped one end of the elastic back through the other to bind my mini petal journal. I liked it all closed and fanned out.

If you like making books and journals out of all sorts of things than I bet you will like

Eco Books: Inventive Projects from the Recycling Bin


Terry Taylor

"Here are projects for the “pages”: 40 innovative book-making ideas using recycled and green materials! More than just earth-friendly, they’re also beautiful, clever, and witty, stitched with traditional binding techniques. Egg cartons, wood, beer cans, and cassette tapes morph into covers, while brown bags, coffee filters, and discarded newspapers are transformed into pages. Create a boxed set of cereal box books, an exposed stitch sketchbook out of cardboard and remnants, and even a faux leather journal made from teabags.

In addition to how-to drawings, close-up detail photographs, and simple stitch diagrams, a gallery of eco-books from an international roster of artists provides inspiration."

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Surreal Halloween-Cow Contemplating eating a Hamburger Photo

Here is my surreal Halloween. My fellow cowgirl feeding her cow a hamburger.
Now while you are contemplating this conundrum (let's not even go to the whole boy/cow thing) graze on these links to what my crafty chicks are up to:

Craftside-A behind-the-scenes peek at a crafty world
This week at Craftside there is a chance to win a copy of Illustration School: Let's Draw Plants and Small Creatures with an inside peek that contains info on how to add illustrations to photos, there is 4 of the 1,000 greeting cards from the book 1,000 More Greetings, a bunch of beading tutorials and some organizing tips.

Aileen's Musings
There's no place like Aileen's Musings to get your very own freebie ruby slipper postcards to email to friends or family!

Carmi's Art/Life World
Carmi samples some new "print your own" decoupage sheets featuring Peter Rabbit.

Crafty Princess Diaries
Tammy shares a link to a survey conducted by the National Needlearts Association and wonders about how balanced the results are.

Eileen - The Artful Crafter
Have you considered designing and selling your own paper goods like cards, cupcakes toppers or party favors? Then you need to know a few things about incorporating the work of other graphic designers.

Mixed Media Artist
Cyndi never knew you could have so much fun with some rusty nails...

Stefanie Girard's Sweater Surgery
As promised, see how to crochet a spider web skirt.

About Family Crafts
For some reason, kids and kitchens go together, so why not invite your kids into the kitchen with you to craft? Sherri shares creative recipes to help you make your own homemade clay, colorful paint, bath and beauty products, and even creative snacks.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Vote for your favorite Christmas card

Are you getting in a voting kind of mood?
Are you getting in a Christmas kind of mood?
Do you have a wacky sense of humor?
Do you appreciate a good spoof on a famous person or bit of iconic art?
Looking for a bit of inspiration for your Holiday Greeting this year?

If you answered "Yes" to any of the questions pop on over to:
The Finest Christmas Cards on Earth or (in the world) and giggle, get inspired, and vote!

If you do like spoofs on people, art and enjoy a twisted trip down memory lane (these go back 25 years) I bet you will get quite a kick of these!

I can't tell you which ones I voted for but I am eagerly awaiting the results to see what others liked!

I should also note, if you didn't realize it, that a lot of them were done old school cut and paste style since Photoshop hadn't been invented yet. That was fun to type. Hehe

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

How to crochet a spider web skirt pattern

I shall hook you up with a spider web skirt!
I shared the beginnings of this skirt inspired by some of the designs in Crochet It. Love It. Wear It! . Well it's not quite finished but I wanted to post the pattern as I promised before Halloween. Ya, it's just a few days before but if you are a pretty quick crocheter you could whip this up in time! I only have a few rows to go.

This is really I suppose more of a formula or guide rather than a full-on pattern for a spider web skirt.
1. Chain the length you want your skirt to be (from waist to hem)
2. Chain the width of the bottom space between each "spoke" (the vertical sections) Essentially follow the pattern above (the path the arrows take you)

When the path is on a vertical spoke single crochet to attach.(pink area highlighted on drawing)
Then single crochet the next loop area and attach to the spoke with a single crochet.

I just guessed at the number of stitches based on how it looked.

A few tips:

I worked with the project flat on a table or pillow on my lap.

I used the space from the previous row to make my next row. I would lay the length of chain stitches over the space I was duplicating to see if it was the same size and adjust as needed.

I wasn't going for perfection, this is a costume and a bit of irregularity was A-OK with me.

I am quite sure you could count exact numbers but I am more of a free form crocheter and like enjoying rather than counting.

If you make one leave a comment or link, I would love to see!

Jane Doe and Rorschach Amineko watch the moon come up over the Airstream

Jane Doe and Rorschach Amineko cuddled and watched to moon rise over Superfly (The Airstream)
Happy Halloween Stan and George Amineko back in Boston and to you all too!

Now onto some crafty links:

The Crochet Dude
Big reveal over at Drew's blog - his super cute strappy clutch purse design! Just in time for the holiday party season!

Craftside-A behind-the-scenes peek at a crafty world
This week at Craftside there is a chance to win a copy of 101 Ways to Do More With Your Dog, a tutorial on how to make an abstract painting from a photo and a vintage photo to try it out with and a 5-ingredient recipe for Frosted Flakes Bars.

Stefanie Girard's Sweater Surgery
See how to make Halloween knit cuffs embellished with vintage pins inspired by the book Warm Knits, Cool Gifts.

Mixed Media Artist
Sometimes you just need to think about how to reuse items that you've made...

Margot Potter The Impatient Crafter
Madge shares a new project for Jewel School and muses about The Big Move.

Eileen - The Artful Crafter
There are various options for printing greeting cards onto glossy photo paper. Here are some money-saving tips from Eileen.

Crafty Princess Diaries
Having hand trouble due to carpel tunnel? This tip might help you out so you can get back to crafting.

Carmi's Art/Life World
Carmi discovers an amazing new stamp company in her own backyard.

Aileen's Musings
Aileen's cooked up some delicious pumpkin scones just in time for fall; stop by to get the recipe!

About Family Crafts
Sherri will be carving pumpkins soon. If you will be too, check out these free pumpkin carving designs to download.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Halloween kint cuffs embellished with vintage pins inspired by the book- Warm Knits, Cool Gifts

I simply LOVE knit cuffs. If you were around me when we were in production on Knitty Gritty you know this for a fact since I was cranking cuffs out daily, well for that matter all of us were! And so when I turned the page of Warm Knits, Cool Gifts: Celebrate the Love of Knitting and Family with more than 35 Charming Designs and saw this cool argyle cuff watch band I was simply tickled that it was cool enough to get the stash out and wear them. But I was also inspired by Warm Knits, Cool Gifts to kick them up a notch. I wasn't currently in need of a watch band but what I am always doing is looking for ways to incorporate my collection of vintage pins into accessories I will actually wear. I don't seem to ever wear a pin normally. I don't know why that is, but it is.

These two embellished cuffs were what I came up with. Each cuff is knit in stockinette stitch out of a fairly thin yarn that has metallic strands within it. So I get great sparkle to coordinate with the metal pins.

A few tips on popping pins onto knit cuffs:

1. On the cat pin I poked the hardware parts of the pin back through the knitting so that the pin was flush to the knitted surface of the cuff.

2. On the spiderweb cuff I rolled the ends up so that the spider web pin didn't flop around.

Next up on my list to make is a sweater inspired by the one featured on the cover, oh and some of the wonderful mini ornaments that the patterns look so wonderful!

If it sounds like I'm a bit all over, I am. This book combines super cute patterns and projects with amazing style.

More about it from the publisher Potter Craft:
Warm Knits, Cool Gifts: Celebrate the Love of Knitting and Family with more than 35 Charming Designs
Sally Melville and Caddy Melville Ledbetter

"Warm hearts this winter with handcrafted gifts designed by knitting’s favorite mother-daughter duo.

With shawls to wrap up in, hats to pull over our ears, wool sweaters to keep us warm, and ornaments for the tree, autumn and winter lend themselves to knitting in a way like no other time of the year—and no one knows that better than knitting superstars Sally Melville and Caddy Melville Ledbetter. In Warm Knits, Cool Gifts, Sally and Caddy share 30 of their most inspired patterns for the seasons that are perfect for gifting.

Filled with patterns from modern designs to heirloom pieces, Warm Knits, Cool Gifts offers gift inspiration for everyone on your list. The luminous photography and clear and thorough instructions make each project an irresistible must-knit, and the options for adding personal touches are endless. As you read delightful stories from Sally and Caddy’s own knitting experience and their expert gifting advice, you’ll feel as if they are knitting right beside you. Plus their signature Fit & Flatter tips and special Techniques callouts break down instructions step-by-step, making you a more informed, thoughtful, and intuitive knitter year-round.

SALLY MELVILLE is a widely published and highly sought after knitwear designer who teaches a dozen different workshops at over 20 venues across North America every year. Her work has appeared in magazines from Vogue Knitting to Interweave Knits, and she is the author of several books, including the best-selling Knitting Experience series. Visit Sally online at

CADDY MELVILLE LEDBETTER is Sally Melville's only daughter. She currently designs knitwear and teaches knitting classes.

Both women reside in Ottawa, Canada. "

Monday, October 18, 2010

It doesn't call the Bat Cave it calls the Burbank Fire Department

In inamongst all the super high tech stuff at The Burbank Airport EOC (that I was lucky enough to be able to tour with The Auxiliary Communications Service branch of the Burbank Fire Corps) there is still this hard line vintage phone to the Fire Department. Do kids these days even know this is a phone? We all did joke it called the Bat Cave, which incidentally is just up the road in Griffith Park.

On to crafty goodness!

Mixed Media Artist
Cyndi has a really fun book to give away this week: Create Colorful Aluminum Jewelry.

Craftside-A behind-the-scenes peek at a crafty world
This week at Craftside there is a chance to win the new big and beautiful book Quilts Around The World by Spike Gillespie, a knit boxed eyelet pattern, a bunch of ways to get a "handle" on your books and journals and tips on painting realistic blood just in time for Halloween.

Stefanie Girard's Sweater Surgery
See how to make paper pom pom pumpkins inspired by the book Page Maps 2.

About Family Crafts
Sherri is hosting a Make-It-Over crafts challenge and is calling for people to submit their Halloween crafts made using recyclables!

Aileen's Musings
Aileen invites you to jump in the Wayback Machine and revisit a past Halloween Card tutorial.

Carmi's Art/Life World
Carmi figures out how to use paper to decorate an apron.

Crafty Princess Diaries
There is a call out for professional crocheters, scrapbookers, and quilters.

Eileen - The Artful Crafter
Calling all totes! Eileen is looking for tote bag decorating examples. If you need some inspiration first, watch the video on how to make a recycled tote bag.

Margot Potter The Impatient Crafter
Madge muses about choices, consequences, regrets and living out loud.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

How to make paper pom pom pumpkins inspired by the book Page Maps 2

If I can't get my real pumpkins to grow because some critter insists on eating them before their time I will just have to make some myself! Here are some cute paper pom pom ones made using a spin on a tutorial in Scrapbook Page Maps 2: More Sketches for Creative Layouts and Cards.

Let me explain. I have three beautiful pumpkin plants in my yard and I had finally got a baby pumpkin that was about 2 inches in diameter. Then one day I went to water it and someone literally had taken a bite out my pumpkin! Another baby appeared and before it was even an inch someone was already chowing down on it! So yesterday I built a literal fortress of wire and screening around the next batch of baby pumpkins. Fingers crossed!
In the mean time I need some pumpkins to decorate with so I made some....just call me mother nature...uh maybe mother crafter???

OK here's how I made the paper pumpkins:

I die cut the circles out of some sparkly orange card stock with my Sizzix die cutter.
Then I cut a little bit off each circle so that the pumpkins would sit flat and not roll around.
Each circle was then folded in half and glued back to back.
A tiny bit of curled pipe cleaner was poked into the center space of each.

Let me just say that this book is simply packed full of great little details that I can't wait to put my spin on and use as decorating elements. embellishments to my crafts and as intended in my scrapbook and altered book pages. I bet you will love it too!
Scrapbook Page Maps 2: More Sketches for Creative Layouts and Cards
Becky Fleck

More about the book from Memory Maker Books:

More PageMaps to Kick-Start Your Creativity!

Even the most imaginative people get stumped sometimes. Author and artist Becky Fleck’s easy-to-use sketches will help get you over the hurdle with 92 brand new sketches for traditional and digital layouts, greeting cards, mini albums and home décor items. In addition, you’ll find new artwork for over 140 incredible layouts and projects in a variety of sizes that will inspire your own artistic creations.

- Discover new layout sketches and artwork from the author of Scrapbook PageMaps, including a full chapter devoted to greeting cards.

- Learn to use sketches to focus and coordinate your ideas whenever you’re feeling overwhelmed by materials, photos and journaling.

- Take your favorite sketches along with you! Included are 64 travel-size sketch cards for easy planning wherever you get inspired.

- Learn new techniques and methods with easy to follow step-by-step instructions.

- Find “Eye Spy” tips from the author that point out the unique, unusual and unexpected elements you can use to make any page even more special.

If you’re feeling stumped with how to use that special photo, or if you just can’t decide how to use those beautiful supplies, Scrapbook Page Maps 2 will help you tell your story!

About the Author

Becky is the owner of the PageMaps web site, which provides scrapbook layout and greeting card sketches to over 20,000 readers each month. She is also the author of the highly successful book Scrapbook PageMaps. Becky is a professional graphic illustrator, freelancing for several scrapbook and stamp manufacturers. She teaches extensively throughout the U.S. and internationally at expos, scrapbook stores and conventions.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Don't bug me I'm crafting

I really feel that this big bug was thinking "don't bug me" with that look on his face. He was visiting my back yard and I spotted him while working on my Halloween decorations. He stuck around for quite some time.

Carmi's Art/Life World
Carmi experiments with her own images to make a 3D card embellishment.

Craftside-A behind-the-scenes peek at a crafty world
This week at Craftside there is a chance to win a copy of the new book Creating Glamorous Jewelry with Swarovski Elements, info about getting involved with conservation work with your dog and the upcoming ReuseConex event, and a recipe for cognac Cherries.

Crafty Princess Diaries
Tammy gives you the low-down and her favorite picks from Drew Emborksy's new crochet book.

Eileen - The Artful Crafter
If you've been hesitant to try decoupage on wood, check out Eileen's tips for beginners.

Margot Potter The Impatient Crafter
It's 'fallish' and Madge has created a fabulous fashion friendly fall jewelry set for Jewel School.

Mixed Media Artist
Cyndi finished up her series on altered books with a flourish! ;-)

Stefanie Girard's Sweater Surgery
See how to crochet a bead and Soft Flex bracelet inspired by Heidi Boyd's new book Wired Beautiful.

About Family Crafts
What is the most unique Halloween costume you have ever worn or seen someone else wear? Share your ideas and read about others.

Aileen's Musings
Aileen shares this year's Herm and Ethel Freebie Halloween Postcards with you!

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Bead and Soft Flex crochet bracelet inspired by Heidi Boyd's new book- Wired Beautiful

I simply love Heidi Boyd's style and her new book Wired Beautiful exemplifies her wonderful design sensibility. Not only are the designs all pieces I'd like to wear, there are some really cool techniques she shows you how to do. Me being me, I had to mix them up.
She did some really cool crocheting with wire and knitting with Soft Flex designs. I thought I'd try crocheting with Soft Flex. This bracelet is what I came up with. It kind of reminds me of the weird sculptures you can make with those magnetic marbles or atomic structures.

This is how I made my Soft Flex and bead crochet bracelet.
-I gathered up some old necklaces that had a wide variety of sizes black beads, .019 Medium Stainless Steel/ Nylon Coated Soft Flex, and some crochet hooks.

(Yes those are another pair of ping pong eyeballs I made in last week's post hangin' out watching)

-I cut the necklaces apart and strung the beads onto the Soft Flex (about 35) in a random order of sizes.
To keep the beads and the the stitches from coming undone I put a small piece of Scotch tape on the end.
-Then I simply did a chain stitch sliding one bead up within each stitch. This is what it looked like with the stitches very loose. I ended up liking it when I pulled the stitches really snug and used a smaller hook(I/9). All that was left to do was secure the ends together and I can slip it over my hand because there is a nice bit of stretch and give.

Want to see an inside peek into her book? Pop on over to this post at her blog for a double loop earring project.

So if you in the mood for a new book packed full of all sorts of wiring inspiration and tutorials grab yourself a copy of:
Wired Beautiful:
30+projects to hammer, coil, spiral and twist
Heidi Boyd

More about the book from North Light Books:
"Wired Beautiful features 30+ projects that will get you excited about the many ways you can use wire in your jewelry projects. Best-selling author Heidi Boyd takes you through the ins and outs of working with wire for your jewelry designs. You’ll learn how to make wire do your bidding in four detailed chapters: Spiraled & Coiled, Linked & Hammered, Wrapped & Bundled and Knotted & Stitched. Each project includes clear step-by-step photos and detailed instructions.

With Wired Beautiful, you’ll discover:

Unique techniques. Introduces traditional wire techniques, but also new methods not typically found in wire-jewelry books, such as using a knitting spool, creating cages and flower shaping.

Fresh designs and great basics. In addition to the 30+ projects—including bracelets, earrings, necklaces pendants and rings—you’ll learn basic jewelry-making techniques you can use in your own designs.

Easy-to-find materials. You’ll be introduced to a range of materials you can easily find at your favorite online and local craft supply retailers.

Let Wired Beautiful wrap you up in great jewelry!

About the Author

Heidi Boyd is the author of eleven North Light books, most notably the Simply Beautiful series. She has a degree in fine art, and her goal is to make sophisticated design approachable and easy for all. Her work has been featured most recently in Stitch magazine, in Better Homes and Gardens Holiday Crafts, and in Amos Crafts n Things. "

Monday, October 4, 2010

Cathi Milligan opens "The Glass Studio" and crafty links

My super talented glass artist friend Cathi Milligan has opened up a "bricks and mortar" studio called what else? The Glass Studio

You can take classes, buy beads, and glass art.

5052 York Blvd. in Highland Park, CA 90042!
323- 257-0764

She had an opening party that included glass make and takes (that's what I'm sporting on my wrist made in the colors of her logo.)

If you are in Los Angeles check it out!

Now on to craftastic links especially the first one if you are interested in winning a sewing machine.

Craftside-A behind-the-scenes peek at a crafty world
At Craftside this week you can enter to win a new Singer sewing machine and a copy of 1,000 Clever Sewing Shortcuts and Tips, see how to draw 12 facial expressions, use and clean a kneaded eraser, make a silk lotus flower and a bunch of fun fashion sketch poses.

About Family Crafts
If you are thinking of having a Halloween party this year, Sherri has some great ideas and resources for you.

Aileen's Musings
Aileen offers a little fall inspiration with her Day of the Dead Fiber Necklace.

Carmi's Art/Life World
Carmi's latest art cards feature an accidental colour palette.

Crafty Princess Diaries
Tammy talks about crafting for charity and the simple "thank you" concept.

Eileen - The Artful Crafter
The Artful Crafter receives lots of questions about whether different media can be used together. Here are some tips for sorting out the issues yourself.

Mixed Media Artist
Foil lettering adds a nice touch to your altered books or collage projects!

Stefanie Girard's Sweater Surgery
Check out a cute origami penguin in Plaid from the new book Origami World by Didier Boursin.

The Crochet Dude
Drew throws a wrap tour to celebrate his whirlwind blog tour! Check out his list of stops along the way and discover "new to you" crafty bloggers!

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Origami Penguin in Plaid from the new book-Origami World By Didier Boursin

1. I love origami
2. The first few tries at new origami project make my head hurt
3. This penguin from the new book Origami World was so worth it!

Really, it's true. I don't know about you but you see the lovely photo of the finished little bit of folded paper goodness so you know it can be done, and you know the author and the publisher are accomplished in their field so that the directions are not lying to you! So it has to be operator error. Kind of like when some piece of electronics isn't behaving and 9 times out of 10 it's not behaving because you haven't plugged it in or turned it on or clicked the "OK" button.

If you have been there too, you know what I mean.

I decided to include with my adorable plaid penguin his "peeps" that he evolved from. They are some very worn bits of recycled copy paper that there are parts of that the paper is worn completely through. I should point out this was a level 3 (the hardest) in the book, I had to start with a hard project but hey....

In the end the wonderful photos and directions synced with my brain and I had a cute plaid penguin. My goal was to make a whole little flock of them in different sizes for a Christmas decoration. I have a feeling I will "fly" through making his brothers and sisters, ironic since penguins can't fly :)

If you like super cute origami and pretty origami paper (this book includes 112 pieces) I bet you will like:
Origami World: 40 Fun Paper-Folding Projects
Didier Boursin

From North Light Books
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