Holiday Crafting

Oh My!

Crafters prepare for the holidays well before the holidays. This means we start thinking about what we will be making before June and we start gathering our materials as early as June depending on the craft and the availability of supplies.

I recently watched MaymayMadeIt on YouTube reveal the holiday craft supplies they had purchased just so they could do their Christmas In July projects. Two hours (!!!!!) of papers, stencils, dies, and a host of other things – and that is just the start.

I recently posted about not diving into any big purchase items for my craft room. Watching the reveal on Maymay’s channel reminded me of the little ticket items I already have in my craft room. Stencils, dies, stamps, papers, inks… Items I purchased because they caught my attention and I wanted to use them to make holiday cards.

Granted, there are quite a few items that I would like to purchase, and I might, but I find the holiday product reveals to be a great time to jog my memory about things I already have.

Budget friendly? Yep! And I won’t be waiting for delivery, either.

What’s in your craft room waiting to be used?


Are You A Dabbler?

Hobbies – The Sanity Saver

I’ve told the story before, my mother was a lover of crafting. She tried loads of things and enjoyed most of them. I give her credit for sharing that love of ‘what if and why not’ with me.

I think many times people get stuck with the idea that there are not many crafts to be done or that some are more cumbersome than others or the mess or the expense or the time… You get the drift.

The thing is, there are hundreds of options that can evolve into thousands of projects.

Off the top of my head
  • Sewing
  • Clothes
  • Quilting
  • Home Decor (pillows, curtains, etc.)
  • Cookery
  • Food preservation (canning, drying)
  • Specialty vinegars and oils
  • Baking (breads and pastries)
  • Candle Making
  • Soap Making
  • Basket Weaving
  • Paper Crafting
  • Mixed Media
  • Furniture Refinishing
  • Wood Working
  • Whittling
  • Upholstering
  • Painting (Oil or watercolor or pastels)
  • Painting (Furniture, rooms, decor pieces)
  • Pottery


One of the things I enjoy about watching others practice or teach their craft is learning about the process. I might never venture to do it myself, but I do learn a bit.

I watch Antiques Road Trip not only for the armchair traveler in me, but I learn a lot about things and history. Quilting shows teach me ideas and patterns. Cookery shows open my eyes to possibilities that might be found lurking in my local market waiting for me to bring it home and play in my kitchen. A trip to my local hobby shop or hardware store opens loads of possibilities as there are often classes that help me decide if I want to dive in or just dabble.

The thing is, the dabbling can create a space in your life where you can let go of the day to day grind and wander through the project at hand. I have a friend who loves her garden not only for the beauty in it but the peace it provides as she cares for her plants. She loves it so much I’ve told her she might consider doing it as a sideline. I doubt that will happen because that would cross the line between pleasure and work, but it is an option for some.

There are some folks who are good at a hobby craft and love to share it. Some of those will sell their arts and others who teach their arts.

For me, I love to observe, learn, get my hands dirty a bit and find things that I can do in my own time.

What do you love to do that lets you relax and unwind?


The Newest and the Greatest … Stuff

Or I will pass, thanks.

There is something about a new release of craft materials (any kind of craft you please) that can be exciting, stressful and depressing at the same time.

It doesn’t matter if it is a new catalog or a new sale or a new monthly subscription box or a new tool or a new [ fill in the blank ], once you get past the initial interest and excitement you come face to face with that touch of painful reality…

There is the limited release frustration.

If you are a quilter or a card maker you know the frustration of the limited release for fabric lines, paper lines, holiday or seasonal lines. The biggest is the June/July Christmas hurdle. That’s when all the holiday themed stuff hits the shelves so you can get an early start on your holiday crafting.

This stuff isn’t around long so if you don’t get in quick enough or don’t purchase enough you run the risk of a partially done project or two or three…

There’s the new gadget, tool, ink, what-not frustration.

That’s when the new stuff arrives and your creative juices start flowing before you check your bank balance.

Now, I love my toys but I have come to realize that there just isn’t enough space in my home, let alone cash in my bank account to accommodate some of this stuff. And then there is the reality that some of this stuff will just sit tucked away and ignored until ‘later’ which never seems to come along.

I love unboxing videos as much as anyone else but I have often seen folks who do those videos tuck the stuff aside or gift it. I have rarely ever seen them actually do the projects. Time limitations are real things. Sad, but true.

Sometimes we need to take a step back and look at what we already have. Is it something we want to use? If not, why not send it to a new home? The one thing about ‘stuff’ is the more you have of it, the less your creativity. Once you start making room for the things you want to use or projects you want to do, the more you will do them.

And if the new stuff still intrigues you and you have the room and the budget to bring them home, go for it! You might find that you love stencils or hand work or whatever and do more of it than you ever thought you would. The trick is to be sure you are not stressing out over the acquisition of these new items so you can enjoy the creative process.


Card Making · Crafting · Craftroom

Watercolor Pencils

Finally a decent tutorial!

I’m a long time fan of Pootles Papercrafting on YouTube and I am also one of those folks who really isn’t good at coloring on cards. I’ve had a set of Stampin Up watercolor pencils that have languished in my drawer. I am so glad I saw this video showing how to use them!

Everything I Wish I Had Known A Long Time Ago

I’m inclined to add the latest set of pencils to my wishlist.

Crafting · Craftroom

From The Craft Room: Updates

There has been a little activity in the craft room recently. Some is better than none, right?

I’ve begun the process of pulling out stamp sets I don’t use. I will be donating them with papers I no longer want later. This culling process has given way to engaging the creative side of my brain. You know what they say, out with the old and in with the new! New ideas, that is.

The new Stampin Up catalog will jump start my creativity…I hope. I love seeing new products no matter whose they are, but sometimes that doesn’t make me want to dive in to my craft room. Surely I’m not the only one …

The Idea Book Has Grown

A few years ago I took an old 3 inch 3 ring binder and some dividers and created my first paper crafting Idea Book. I set up sections for the monthly Crafty Al Sheetload of Cards as well as the weekly card projects from other card makers.

Believe it or not, I have had to split that book because it was getting too full!

Crafty Al has her own book now. What I did is get a set of numbered dividers to use as the months (1, 2, 3 etc.) and punch some color paper to use as dividers in between the printed card sketches. This last bit is not necessary but does help me when I flip through each month.

The second book has a collection of basics (color wheel, tips and tricks, etc.) in addition to sections devoted to a collection of card recipes from various designers. I love how some are getting on the bandwagon and making free downloads of their card projects and I especially love it when they get really good at creating these helpful tools.

Each book has lots of room for growth and the ability to clear out and change when necessary. If you have collected similar materials, why not make your own Idea Book?

I’ve also been checking my supplies to see if anything needs to be replaced or updated. Blades get dull, ink pads dry out and often those most used items seem to have found a way to hide when you need them most, right?

Are you getting your craft room (space) ready for more adventures, too?

Crafting · Quilting

My Friday Quilt Fix

If you haven’t been rediscovering some favorites from the Missouri Star Quilt Company’s 15 year celebration, put it on your Must Do List now!

What an amazing project!

It doesn’t make me sad that this fabric is one of my favorites by one of my favorite designers. 🙂


Card Making · Crafting · Craftroom · Musings · Quilting · Scrapbooking · YouTube

Craft Room Infusion

Or, I really need to find inspiration

This made my day!

Great ideas, and a way to not only shop our stash, but discover what is in our stash!

Speaking of our stash, if you don’t have a way of getting rid of items you no longer want or need, the link in the video should be helpful. I don’t have anyone near me who takes on craft items for reuse and I will be investigating that link for myself.