Thursday, May 29, 2014

Listen to the Floss Lady--Making Your Own Floss Cards

There are so many great ways to store your embroidery floss. I have a huge DMC Stitchbow organizer - which I plan to blog about soon - and I always have a cute basket of clothespins (click here to see that blog) with floss wrapped around them. But when I was doing a reorganization of my Stitchbow binder and had some extra skeins I didn't need to go onto the Stitchbow floss holders, I decided to card them up. And, if you know me, I always have to do things a little differently--I found a cute free download on Pinterest for a floss holder (just search, there are many) and I printed it, glued them onto a heavy black cardstock and cut them out.

Then, I started doodling on the black cardstock! That was fun. A good creamy white gel pen makes it easy. You can doodle little sayings - your initials - or the floss numbers. I'm also using these little cards for miniature cross-stitching kits that fit into my bag so I always have something to do! It would make a cute gift for your stitching friend too.

I don't know if I like the back or the front more!
Eat, Write, Dream, Stitch, Floss Daily

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

WOYWW 260 - Happy and Thankful

Creating something every day just makes me happy and thankful. Stopping in the middle of a project, snapping a photo, and sharing that unique moment with creative types around the world lets me know, week after week, I'm not alone in that feeling! So Happy What's-On-Your-Workdesk Wednesday lovelies! If you haven't already, link in your worktable and join the mid-week party.
 Our UK deskers had a lovely crop this weekend--there are photos and it looked like a blast! I hope they know I was there in spirit. Besides all the fun, it looked like a lot of creativity going on! In the meantime, I snapped this photo in the middle of making some floss cards from a free downloaded image on Pinterest, and I backed them with a black cardstock. Then I started doodling on the black cardstock - so I'll definitely have to do a special blog about them, they are so much fun.
Homemade floss cards for my travel kits.
49-cent stamps on clearance - I'm mounting the foam clings onto blocks
Starting a "bliss flag" stitching project - more about that later
To my fellow "Call the Midwife" watchers - that season finale was amazing...heartbreaking...and a little worrisome for a minute there about the show's future, but they are coming back so whew! I won't say anything else in case you haven't caught up on it yet.

Today I got to craft with my little nephew--he made a shell bracelet! Have a wonderful week!

Eat, Write, Dream, Stitch, Enjoy

Saturday, May 24, 2014

A Crafty Spring Cleanout

Here in the crafty blogaverse (a very happy place to be by the way) I have seen everything from huge dedicated craft rooms - to closet craft rooms - to a simple armoire containing someone's entire craft universe. I have to say, craft armoires are really cute too because you can close the doors on the whole mess!

Where's my Mod Podge? Oh no, all my tags disappeared! When did my stack of felt become a cat bed? I laid my earring hooks right there - where did they go! (these are actual quotes)

This is what we call Craft Cluttermania. Things can easily hide in a cluttered crafty space! Glue sticks love to roll behind stamping pads, and favorite markers can just disappear into thin air.

A spring cleanout/reorganization is a great time to freshen up your craft space and know where everything is. Cleaning and organizing your crafty space weekly or monthly is an even better idea, and here's why:
1. Crafty spaces are by nature, messy spaces! We can't help it. One project is all it takes to make a huge mess and create the dreaded Craft Cluttermania. Organizing keeps your creative area ready to work, open and inviting.
2. A good cleanout can save you some craft bucks. It helps you inventory your craft supplies - so you're not duplicating your purchases and ending up with five bottles of Mod Podge. And, you're identifying what you do need so you can watch for it to go on sale.
3. A cleanout helps you identify the things you use the most, the least, and not at all! Hmm...maybe it's time to sell what you never use to earn some crafty spending money on what you use all the time.
4. Being an organized crafter helps you make the most of your actual crafting time because you're more steamlined and not spending an hour looking for your glue gun!
5. A crafty cleanout can inspire you to create! The next time you are stuck for ideas, just start cleaning out and organizing - as you're going through your supplies, stacking your pretty papers, sorting your new embroidery flosses, the ideas start flowing again and you're back on your creative cloud nine. does all this crafty cleanout stuff get started? Just spell the word S-P-R-I-N-G.

S - Sort! It all begins with your craft inventory. Put like items together and you will start to notice the storage solutions you might need.
Pare down - As much as possible, get rid of what you don't use at all. You're not running a craft storage warehouse. You need the space for the things you use and enjoy the most.
My upcycled art journal
Recycle, reuse and upcycle! As you are cleaning out and paring down, notice items that instead of throwing away, might actually be upcycled. One time I came across some ancient nasty green file dividers with ugly black metal tabs. I ended up cutting and painting them to make an art journal and lots of art tags. 
Invent new storage - whether it's some cool plastic baskets you found at the dollar store, or those pretty boxes at Michaels that go on sale all the time, or the unusual things. For example, when my husband bought a nice tool bag at the hardware store that was marked way down from twenty dollars to four, I bought one for my craft storage! I use a hanging jewelry organizer on the wall for my small tags and craft punches. 
Last weekend Paper Studio items were 50% off at Hobby Lobby, and I found an organizer meant for embellishments. It is full of zippered pockets with five pages of various size pockets that open out. I am using it for a variety of craft supplies, especially ones I might take on the go. But I can keep the whole thing handy, and it's easy to see what I have. Now I wish I would have bought two!
Notice Stuff - It's like Christmas when you find things you forgot you had or thought you lost! Now that you've found it, put it with like items, or put it in some kind of organizer to keep it very visible. This is important for me with special needles - I use embroidery needles, a needle for sewing my knitting, and smaller needles - but I need to find them all!
Get it all put away and get on with your creativity. Don't get too caught up in your organizing or it will become piddling, and your energy will be used up and you won't make anything! This has definitely happened to me.

See? You can get really creative with this organizing stuff. You don't have to have a craft library with everything on a perfect shelf. Use a variety of containers. Use labels if you need to. And most importantly, get in there and use your supplies, and create! Oh, and do remember to be thankful for these craft supplies - we live in a rich era of amazing craft supplies available to us that didn't exist ten years ago! When you value what you have and value your time and energy, you will make the most of it and be happy!
Eat, Write, Dream, Stitch, Organize

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

WOYWW 259--Busy Bee Back in Business

Good morning to all the lovely deskers of the world. If you don't know what a desker is - visit the lovely Julia right here. She is host of What's-On-Your-Workdesk-Wednesday.

I took this photo, mid-creative-flow. Things were moving fast. My back is back in business. Woo hoo! A week of ice packs and rest and exercise did the trick. So now I'm catching up on tag and card making - so fun. I found a cross-stitch tag I designed last year, and I want to make another one and chart it. I'm playing with stamps, and proud of myself for finding some acrylic blocks marked down at JoAnns for fifty cents. I bought several, they are so handy to have. Over on a chair is my knitting - still knitting hearts.

DD and I loved the season finale of Mr. Selfridge. Now it's time to catch up on Call the Midwife while I color some bees. other desk is the garden. I have to share my lettuce crib with you. Hubby built it, and it's doing great. Have a wonderful week!

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Bee Happy - It's Tag Tuesday!

I love doodling and stitching - and this week's theme STRIPES & SPOTS  is the perfect doodling and stitching theme. With some craft paper, leftover diecuts, my Unity bee stamp, markers, gelatos, and the handle cut from an old shower poof - I made my tag. Too fun. Visit all the lovely tags today on Tag Tuesday's blog right here. Then go out in your garden - and notice all of nature's stripes and spots!

Eat, Write, Dream, Stitch, Doodle

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

WOYWW 258 - Back Out - Crafter In

Happy What's-On-Your-Workdesk-Wednesday! Link your desk here and join crafty ones all over the planet. Last Saturday I pulled my back - what a trauma. I couldn't even move until we put some ice on it. I've been recovering more and more each day, thank goodness! At this point I can sit at my crafty table, a little. Playing with beads and wire made me quite happy.
Making bliss rings and bubble wands.
After a while, the spot I pulled starts hurting, so it's back to the ice pack, relaxing and watching last Sunday's episodes of Call the Midwife and Once Upon a Time. I was thrilled about Chummy's new story line - Julia, you were right! And the season finale of Once Upon a Time was thrilling, daughter and I both screamed out.
There's diecutting to do!
I really want to get over there to Violet - my sewing machine. But back hurts a little too much for that. On Mother's Day, my family was waiting on me hand and foot, gave me presents and took me out to eat, and I really needed it! Other than missing my own mommy terribly, and the back issue, it was a wonderful Mother's Day.
My favorite gift was from DD - Honey perfume!

Now to soldier on through the week, exercising, resting the back injury, ice and heat on it, and then more rest! Because Friday night I must make it to a Cardinals baseball game where my nephews get to walk out on the field to be recognized with their hockey team as the state champions! Woo hoo! And then I've got a garden to plant--already a week late because of a hot water heater disaster, the same day my back went out! Hope my plants can hang in there.

Have a wonderful rest of the week lovelies.

Eat, Write, Dream, Stitch, Relax

Thursday, May 8, 2014

A Little Early May Garden Gossip

Growing leek starts
I don't know why, but I love the idea of garden gossip. We do not think of our gardens as a drama filled place, at all. The garden is so calm and peaceful and refreshing to us. But if we pulled back nature's curtains, we'd see a lot of crazy drama and hustle going on behind the scenes to give us this beautiful, serene place to look at, enjoy, and harvest. 

I have a lot of little pots of plant starts right now--they are hardening off outside. I'm sure they were mad at me at first, putting them in the harsh glare of straight sunshine, at the mercy of the wind. But if they survive, they get stronger and ready to go in the big garden for a chance at full bloom. (it's just like people)

I've started a lot of seeds--speed up the camera on a seed being born..very dramatic. Here are two pots of leeks I've started. I tend to just throw them all together and let them fight for a spot in the sun. Later, I'll do the painstaking work of separating out each start and planting it in one of my raised beds. Later, I'll have delicious leeks to put in soups, stirfrys, and wraps for months!

Mesclun mix seeds growing

We created something special for our baby mesclun lettuces--a salad crib! My husband built it out of a wooden pallet and now it's a great weed-free bunny-free zone! Sorry bunnies. I still think you're cute.
Salad crib

Joseph loves to go out to the garden with me.

Tomatoes grown from seed, getting ready for the garden.

A pot of lettuce I bought for a dollar! It's cut and come again!

Gorgeous plants I bought from the agriculture department at our local university.
This time of year it's easy to find the basic plant starts at lots of stores and little greenhouses. But if you want some of the more unusual varieties, maybe your area has one of those year-round established greenhouse businesses, or check your local university. Ours has an agriculture program, and every May, for two days only, they sell all the extra plants that the professors and students have been growing. Our agriculture building has an awesome greenhouse on the top floor--it's really fun to go up there and shop for plants. And they have lots of unique and hard-to-find varieties. This year I bought some pineapple tomatoes--they will have red and yellow stripes and are very sweet. I can't wait!
A little ole basket of impatients I over-wintered on the sunporch

A tiny old tree waiting for a yarn bombing
So if we can get a lot of our plants into the big gardens this weekend, we'll be right on our schedule. The starts--both the ones I've started and the ones I bought--are doing great. We will have a thunderstorm to get through later this week (my little plant starts are scared!), and I've got hoses to hook up. Right now I'm carting out watering cans and babying all the starts in their pots. It adds to my workout! And of course, it's still not too late to buy more starts if I need them. I'll plant several spaghetti squash seeds--they always are heartier from seed--and of course I scatter basil seeds all around the tomato plants...they're companions. Then I throw in some marigold seeds here and there to diversify and marigolds protect everyone...they are naturally full of antioxidants! (they are in some cat and dog foods for health protection) Oh, and I have a little dead cherry tree right by the garden that is just waiting for me to yarn bomb it! Now that will be dramatic.

Eat, Write, Dream, Stitch, Grow

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

WOYWW 257--New Stamps to Play With!

What a big mess on my desk. Happy What's-On-Your-Workdesk-Wednesday lovely deskers! Link your desk up right here and join this fun world wide desk hopping party!

As for me and my workdesk...I've been playing in my art journal with my new stamps from Unity. That's about it! I've never really been into stamping, honestly, so I am toying with the idea of doing a monthly club for a while to get some cuteness in my stamp stash--I think it's what I need for my cards, scrapbooking and journaling! My knitting has been going everywhere with me--even my eye checkup, try knitting while your eyes are dilated, and I've been running around getting my plants ready for the garden. I'll have an early-May garden gossip on Thursday. Other than that, I'm tired! Sometimes I act like I'm 30 and forget I'm in my fifties. That's why I get tired!
New Itty Bitty stamps from Unity Stamp Co.
I had to do a Hobby Lobby run this week--all their Yarnology brand goodies were 30% off. I found the cutest knitting needles, and then I couldn't pass up these owl buttons for DD. I'm still knitting hearts which is my favorite thing to do when I am catching up on Call the Midwife and Mr. Selfridge. I miss the main character girl on Call the Midwife--they've sent her off to recover (I won't say why in case you haven't caught up) but I like the new girl (love her backstory just revealed), and as always, I want more Chummy!! Enjoy your Wednesday!

Eat, Write, Dream, Stitch, Stamp