Card Making · Craftroom

From The Craft Room: What Can I Make?

Last year my focus in the craft room was to find tools that I wanted to use to create cards. I found several sets of edge dies that checked that box.

Step One: Play A Bit

As you can see, I started with the card stock base, folded into an easel, and added the edge die to allow for a border at the bottom. I then took my leaf punches to add interest. The matching leaf stamps were added inside the punches and then along the bottom edge of the card.

Step Two: Play with color and placement.

The great thing about edge dies is that you have complete control over where to place them. This particular one was used on a set of 6 cards and each card came out with a different amount of space at the bottom. I used the same papers, inks, punches, and stamps on all of the cards and envelopes.

I do have to say that the recipients of the cards were very impressed with the results. Something that made me smile.

If you are looking to try new things, I suggest you go back to your stash and see what you have in hand. Can you use them to make something different? What have you tucked back into a corner or a drawer and haven’t played with yet?

I’ll be doing more playing in the craft room this year so keep an eye out to see what I come up with.

Happy Crafting!

Around the House · Crafting · Musings · YouTube

Starting The New Year

Happy First Wednesday of 2022!

Among all the get fit, healthy, slim, organized, up to date, etc., etc., videos and blog posts out there, I’ve found a couple that actually speaks to me and are relevant to my crafting/crafter’s journey.
You might find them useful, too.

On YouTube:

Just Get It Done Quilts is doing a 21 day de-clutter challenge. Now before you panic, these are easy 30 minute things you can do each day – with a time limit – so you can reclaim your sewing space.
They are practical ways to get back to doing what you love: quilting. Check it out.

Sew Becca is embarking on her 2022 get healthier journey by incorporating a quilt that will journal her journey. She is building upon an idea she learned from Scrap Fabric Love. Check out Becca’s videos for the explanation.
The beauty of this process is that it can apply to pretty much everything. So, if you want to track your water intake, the number of steps you make, the weight loss or gain, this could apply to you. Also (and the thing I find most amazing) is that the process does not limit itself to quilting. If you are a knitter, crocheter, quilter, painter, paper crafter, or whatever your jam, this process can be accommodated to you.

Sometimes it is the little thing that help us get back to what the life we want. Whether de-cluttering or tracking is needed, these are easy things you can do to get you where you want to be.

Crafting

Craft Room Adventures

I’ve been playing a bit in the craft room lately. Some to make cards. Some to clear out items that are no longer usable or I simply don’t want anymore. Why? To make room for more craft supplies, of course!

This year has been devoted to updating core supplies. I replaced all my Stampin Up stamp pads and added a full array of colors using the sampler pack collections. I’ve added a few stamp sets and dies while discovering that I needed new ones for certain times of the year. That was a surprise!

Having spent a lot of time watching Call Me Crafty Al over on YouTube, I’ve collected a lot of sheetload card templates. Some I’ve tried, some not yet. They are printed and put into my Idea Book.

Speaking of my Idea Book, I’ve added card recipes and ideas from Jackie Bolhuis, Lisa Curcio, and Connie Stewart. All of these Stampin Up demonstrators have some great ideas that I want to try. Connie is great for tips and tricks, too.

I’ve also spent a lot of time with Cathy Zielske over on YouTube and have learned a lot, chuckled a bit, and gained the courage to try some new techniques. Which sort of explains why I needed to clear out part of my craft room. 🙂

To up the ante, so to speak, I managed to pick up a few items from Missouri Star Quilt Company, too. In addition to a mini iron that I can use with my piecing, I’ve collected some beautiful batik prints that will eventually become a wall sampler for my bedroom and a June Taylor kit to make a sewing machine cover.

I’m planning on devoting time to these projects and to bring you along with me, or at least share the end results.

Wish me luck!

Around the House · Crafting · Food · Media · Musings

When Was The Last Time You

Thanks to a comment by Jackie Bolhuis recently, I replaced my stamp pads which brought me up to date and allowed me to get rid of old, well used pads. This got me to thinking about all the other things that tend to get put off until ‘later’.

Quilters / Sewers
  • Changed the needle in your machine
  • Gathered all your notions and put them in their assigned spots.
  • Sharpened scissors
  • Replaced blades on rotary cutters
  • Checked your UFOs and decided which to work on and which to discard
Cooks
  • Updated your inventory
    • What needs to be used in the freezer or fridge?
    • What needs to be replaced?
  • Checked the expiration dates on your spices
  • Reviewed those recipes you’ve saved ‘until later’
Media Review
  • Reset your modem
  • Reviewed the streaming channels you subscribe to
  • Checked those subscriptions you have but might not keep up with
  • Reviewed your calendar(s). What needs to be changed or removed and what can be added?
Holiday Preparation

Hard as it might be to imagine, now is the time to start thinking and planning for the Winter Holidays. Some projects that a lot of time while others might be managed at the last minute. Things to think about:

  • Sewing or Quilting Projects
    • Gather patterns, fabrics and notions
  • Paper Crafting
    • Holiday papers and inks are starting to appear
  • Homemade Gifts
    • Collect the recipes and put together a shopping list
    • Start collecting the necessary dry goods now
    • If you are planning on making fruitcakes, now might be a good time to start them.
Have I missed anything?

Let me know!

If this has been helpful, please let me know by clicking on the “Like” button! Thanks!

Around the House · Cooking · Crafting

Getting Creative With What You Have Part Two

Cathy Hay – How To Finish What You Start

This might seem to be a bit of a side track to being creative with what you have, but I think Cathy’s comments about getting the job(s) done make sense no matter what the job might be.

How many of us take on a new hobby or a project only to feel overwhelmed and defeated but not knowing exactly why? As Cathy stated about her embroidery project and her cookery issues, it came down to tools.

You might be surprised to learn that sometimes the apparent roadblocks to success can be overcome with some very simple solutions.

I mentioned that I am often slow to jump into some projects but once I’ve made up my mind on what I want, in I go not always certain of how it will turn out. For me, the idea of failure (it isn’t perfect) is not an issue. I can fix it to suit myself and, should I be creating a gift, as long as the issue isn’t excruciatingly obvious, I’m okay with that. That mindset provides a lot of freedom.

As Maymay says: “It’s only paper!” The point is simply to be happy with the end result or start over. There is no Quilt Police, Card Police or whatever. And, as someone has said, if recipient is going to be picky about a handmade gift, they won’t be getting one from me anytime soon.

All that being said, we often find ourselves creating our own speed bumps. Check out Cathy’s video:

Sometimes solutions are as simple as taking a moment to look at what the problem really is and then working to correct it. Sometimes the solution might be that you are so intimidated by the project that you are not ready to tackle it. As one who has taken years to resolve certain projects, I think that is fine. I will also go further and say that if you have taken on something that doesn’t work for you don’t be afraid to leave it behind.

I can not knit to save my life. However, I do enjoy crocheting, but I do it so infrequently <cough> I end up re-learning it every time. I have a particular liquid embroidery project that I started years ago but put it down because, frankly, I’d painted a portion of the design that intimidated me and I ended up not picking it up for a year or two later. In the end, it is a beautiful wall hanging but it was not a quick and easy project because of me.

There is no shame in deciding that you are no longer interested in doing something, but there is also no shame in taking the time you need to find out how to overcome completing something you do want to do.

What do you think?

Around the House · Cooking · Crafting

Getting Creative With What You Have Part One

Rachel’s Basement Project

I’m always interested in seeing how other people make use of their space. Some do it well while others seem to struggle. And, to be clear, I get the struggle. I really do. As friends will tell you, I can take my merry time (years at times) to make up my mind and continue on a particular project.

For me, it is a matter of being certain of what I want and how I want it to be without having to redo a lot. I am basically a lazy person so the idea of putting in extra work where more thought and less actual work is necessary appeals to me. I’m also the person who, once the mind is made up, jumps in with both feet not always being certain that where I’m jumping actually has a ‘floor’ if you will.

Rachel Maksy’s Basement Makeover is an interesting experience of knowing what needs to be done, having ideas (plans) for changes, gaining the courage and the where-with-it-all to actually jump in and – Voila! – enjoying the end of project thrill of it being better than anticipated, happy with how it turned out and, more importantly, learning new skills while gaining trust that you really can do it. Check it out:

Rachel has done a great job and learned a lot about herself in the process. She also has a great workspace that will cost her a lot less than the original plan. Added bonus? Without the need to leave the house to get to a studio, she’s removed a hurdle that could keep her from creating her amazing creations. Sounds like a win/win to me!

What do you think?

Check back next week for Part 2 of this Getting Creative series.

If you like what you’ve read, please let me know.

Crafting

Thinking About Journaling?

I know lots of folks think journals, diaries and such are formal affairs where a specific book needs to be purchased. Many would never consider actually making a journal of their own.

Why not?

Let’s be clear here. Journals can be for a wide variety of things:

  • Gratitude Journals
  • Diaries
  • Food Journals
  • Wish Lists
  • Dream books
  • Recipe books
  • Projects (sewing, quilting, home decor)

You can literally have, or make, a book for any reason you desire. Got a project you want to document? Why not journal it? Collecting recipes you are testing? Why not journal that, too?

While a formal book might be a way to go – and some are quite amazing – sometimes it is difficult to find Just The Right Book for the project you are working on. (Been there.)

So, why not create your own?

You don’t have to be an experienced crafter to create a journal. You don’t need lots of fancy tools or spend a lot of money, either. Check out Maymay’s tutorial on her Gratitude Journal to see how she does it and then see if her methods will work for you.

You have unlimited options for paper packs. The Mintay papers that Maymay used are beautiful (the entire line is delicious) but you can choose papers that are in different colors, themes and designs.

Basic Tools Needed

At the very least you will need a ruler, glue, scissors, a pencil and the paper you choose. If you already have the trimmer and different adhesives, fine, but they aren’t necessary, just useful.

Don’t be afraid to try your hand at making a journal that fits your needs. It really is only paper, right? 🙂

Crafting

Trying Something New

Or “Never Have I Ever”

A while back I caught the weekly live crafter show that Maymay Made It puts out on YouTube. This was a bit different from the usual papercrafting projects as she was trying a totally new craft for her. Check it out:

I have to applaud Maymay for not only stepping outside her comfort zone but for doing it live. I also have to chuckle at her reaction. 🙂

There is a great benefit to stepping outside your comfort zone and trying something new. It doesn’t even matter if the end project is “perfect” or not. And, really, “perfect” is really in the eye of the beholder. How many parents look lovingly at a project one of their offspring created and thought it belonged in a museum when the rest of us weren’t quite so convinced?

A few years ago adult coloring books were all the rage. Honestly, I get it. I’ve owned a set of Crayons for decades – bought new long after I left college. The simplicity of sitting with color and paper and just making marks on the page can be relaxing and therapeutic.

The same could be said for cutting fabric into small pieces and then sewing them into other shapes. Papercrafting is another example of pretty much the same thing, but using glue instead of thread.

The truth is we need a bit of time and space away from all The Stuff of Adulting to reclaim our inner child. To reclaim ourselves.

If you end up creating something for someone else, even better.

Never underestimate the power of play in all its forms and varieties.

Around the House · Crafting

Upping Your Home Decor Game – The Easy Way

Many of us struggle to find ideas that we want to incorporate into our homes. Some focus on the latest Pinterest ideas, others on what shows up in design magazines or shows. The rest look to friends and family for ideas.

What do you do when all those options come up empty?

I’ve gotten some of my best ideas watching shows on YouTube. Yeah, YouTube.

A few years ago I discovered the Australian version of Better Homes and Garden by watching their weekly show. It has all the usual features; food, home decor, DIY, gardening, and travel, along with some great local color. What caught my eye, however, were the fresh ideas for DIYers and folks looking to upgrade their homes without spending a lot of cash.

You can find the show’s YouTube presence by looking for “Great Home Ideas”. The full hour shows have been broken down into focused episodes and there are curated playlists.

“Alexandra Gater”, “Hermione Chantal” and “Mr. Carrington” each produce shows that focus on home decor and DIY projects for those who are either renting or purchasing their first homes. Money is tight, and folks are looking for affordable, easy to do options.

Hermione has been working on renovating her 1900 circa home for the past couple of years and the evolution of that project is quite interesting.

Alexandra has worked with “DIY Dani” Gater to produce some well thought out and reasonably easy DIY projects that can be done to upgrade any living space – no matter if you rent or own.

Mr. Carrington loves to thrift shop and upgrade things he’s found during his trips around London. I have to tell you that I’ve been inspired by many of his projects – and have fallen in love with his rooftop container garden.

One show that has totally surprised me in the ‘inspiration’ department is “Escape To The Country”. This U.K. based show’s focus is finding new homes from people who want to move to the country. What I’ve found interesting is the different design esthetic that can be found in many homes in the U.K., Scotland and Wales.

While here in the States we tend to use tiles of one color (predominately white), I’ve seen many homes that utilize many different colors when tile is used in kitchens or bathrooms. That simple alteration changes what is a basic tiled wall into a focal point and provides a bit of warmth.

I’ve long been a fan of “This Old House” and similar shows, but one thing that I’ve noticed over time is the tendency to stick with the latest trends. When those seem to be colorless and little or no texture or woodwork, this is pretty dull. Now if you like that sort of look, great. If you don’t it can be very frustrating.

This leads me to another YouTuber, “Farmhouse Vernacular”, where a young couple is sympathetically renovating a 1900 era Kentucky farmhouse. Watching them work on each room and talk about the how and why they are doing what they are doing gives the viewer a lot of information and perspective on the process. It also provides a bit of, shall we say ‘permission’, to not do the latest thing.

If you are looking at your space and wanting to make some changes, but not really sure how or where to start, I suggest you check these folks out and see what they have to offer in the way of ideas and inspiration.

Don’t be afraid to take your time, either. Sometimes time is the one thing you need to create a beautiful space.

Enjoy the journey!

By The Way

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