Our Floor Is Going Down

Blogged under My Crafty News by Tammy on Saturday 31 January 2009 at 9:35 am

Here’s a look at the new floor my DH is putting down in our family room. The baseboards will go up after he’s done, so that’s why you see some white paint around the edges. So far, we are loving it with the turquoise paint. He’s hoping to have it finished in time to chill and watch the Super Bowl on Sunday. If his knees don’t give out on him, it should be possible.

The dogs are so funny as he works. Rocky, the lab, is all about helping him. He has to sniff and stick is black nose into everything DH does. He just needs a tool belt and a little Home Depot cap, and he’s ready to go to work. Jasper, on the other hand, is totally freaked out. He stands as far away as possible with one ear back and a look of terror on his face. Every time I walk in there, he walks directly over to me and leans on me, all 95 lbs of him.

Of course, now we have a super cool TV and a soon to be awesome floor, but we tossed out a bunch of the crappy old furniture we had in there, so we are down to two funky chairs, one of which will also be tossed when we get some new furniture. We haven’t had a lot of luck in the furniture area yet. Most sectionals are larger than I’d like to get or they are leather, which is basically a big ol’ dog snack waiting to be eaten in this house. We plan another furniture trip soon, so hopefully, we’ll find something.

Craft Bloggers Unite 01/30/09

Blogged under Around the Web by Tammy on Friday 30 January 2009 at 7:17 pm

We are about to say good-bye to January and hello to February! That means 2009 is well under way. Along with some great craft projects ideas, this week’s list of links also includes some inside info on the recent CHA get together.

About Family Crafts
You can make your own cards, party invitations, favors bags, place cards, napkin rings, gift tags, and much more using these free templates.

Aileen’s Musings
Aileen’s posted an easy peasy funky bottle cap pin/pendant tutorial you won’t want to miss!

Cathie Filian
It is time to paper and protect! Check out Cathie Filian’s ideas for homemade lip balm, sugar and salt scrubs and easy melt and pour soaps.

Craftside-A behind-the-scenes peek at a crafty world
This week at Craftside there is a cool perspective drawing how-to and tons of photos from CHA of the Quayside authors, their designs oh, and Paris Hilton!

Crafty Princess Diaries
What do you do with all that left over yarn from your yarn crafting? How about making some young animals safe and secure?

Cross Stitch at About.com
Check out a new free pattern from Connie based on a vintage Valentine postcard.

Layers Upon Layers
Wrapping up a month of focus on art education, Cyndi posts links to all the tutorials available on her own blog!

The Impatient Crafter
Margot tells us about her trip and teaching experiences at CHA.

The Crochet Dude
Drew also has a look inside CHA and tells us about some of the nice crafters he met.

Alice Walker’s Everyday Use for Quilt Lovers

Blogged under Good Books by Tammy on Thursday 29 January 2009 at 8:09 pm


Four of the five classes I’m teaching this semester are Composition II classes. This class is the follow up from Comp I, of course, and expands on the ideas learned in the prerequisite class with the added dose of literature for students to read and analyze. Reading is how I turned to writing to begin with. I love a good story, and so when I pick stories for this class, I always select stories I like while at the same time trying to think of the average student as well who will be reading many of these for the first time.

One story I’ve had a lot of luck with so far has been “Everyday Use” by Alice Walker. I like it, and my students seem to like it as well. There’s lots to discuss and analyze, but it isn’t so complicated that students feel they can’t figure out at least the general ideas in the text. For me, I love the story on its own, but the connection to crafting via the quilts that are woven into the storyline is an added bonus.

I titled this post for “Quilt Lovers,” but of course, anyone who appreciates craftsmanship and beautiful colors and shapes can appreciate a hand-made quilt. So if you are looking for a good crafty-related read sometime and haven’t had someone like me make you read this story, do so when you get the chance. I’m sure it will be one of your favorites too.

Digging Up My Old Book-Art Goodies

Blogged under Book-Art by Tammy on Wednesday 28 January 2009 at 8:09 pm

I sort of got roped into doing a brief presentation on Emily Dickinson. It’s not for a few more months, but I’m already stressing about it. If were just students, that wouldn’t be a big deal. However, this will be with peers of mine, so of course, that means I have to start worrying now. A friend of mine who will be there suggested I bring some of my little booklets, like the one pictured here.

I’m thinking about it, but I’m not 100% convinced yet that I’ll bring them. I’ve been looking them over, and of course, I wish I had time to make some more. So many fun crafts - so little time!

If you can’t read the text (yes, images aren’t clear), here’s the whole poem:

I HELD a jewel in my fingers

And went to sleep.

The day was warm, and winds were prosy;

I said: “T will keep.”

I woke and chid my honest fingers, –

The gem was gone;

And now an amethyst remembrance

Is all I own.

Yarn Scrap Design Ideas - Nests for Nature

Blogged under Charity Crafting by Tammy on Tuesday 27 January 2009 at 5:18 pm

Like those into sewing, if you are into yarn crafting at all, you’ll soon find yourself with a lot of little bits and pieces of left over yarn. While you could make a blanket with them, using itty bit after itty bit, the colors may or may not look that great together. However, young animals who are need of rescue nests don’t give a hoot about the color scheme you end up with when you use yarn scraps to make these tiny little nests.

You can find out about how to make these and who needs them at Bev’s Country Cottage. If you do decide to make and donate some nests, make sure you read the requirements they have such as the fact they need to be very tightly woven so that the animals little limps (such as bird’s legs) don’t poke through.

I think this is a great way to use up small amounts of yarn and help out baby birds, bunnies, and other young wildlife.

Crafting, Is It Talent or Skill?

Blogged under Crafting a Career by Tammy on Monday 26 January 2009 at 4:09 pm

Beth Peterson over at the About.com Pottery site was blogging about skill versus talent recently, and I thought this was an interesting topic to ponder. Sure, you will never be good at anything, including most arts and crafts, if you don’t take the time to practice, but is it all simply a matter of skills that you acquire? Is talent in that mix, and if so how much of how you develop as a designer is related to talent?

I tend to think it is a mixture of both, with skills being the more important of the two. You can be talented and brilliant, but if you don’t apply yourself, you’ll never achieve the same level of craft work you could if you put the time into practice. I also think most people are creative and talented; they just may not have given themselves a chance to investigate that side of their brains so to speak. I just don’t believe it when I hear people say things like, “Oh, I could never make that or do that particular craft (jewelry, crochet, knitting, mixed-media, fill-in-the-blank).” I always want to ask back, “Have you even tried?”

Scrappy Fabric Basket

Blogged under Fiber Fun, Free Craft Projects by Tammy on Sunday 25 January 2009 at 9:25 am

Crafting and recycling go together. This is even more the case these days now that the “go green” movement has become so popular. I saw this very cool fabric basket project over at Craftivity and thought it really fit in well the craft/recycling movement. The tutorial was written by Linda Permann, and I have to say this is a wonderful project, even if you aren’t big into sewing. Most crafters who sew will have tons of scraps, but you can also buy scrap remnants at fabric stores or you could also use old clothing that may be ready for the Goodwill pile. She shows how to make this using a sewing machine, but I’m wondering if you could make something similar using fabric or tacky glue..hmm….

Craft Bloggers Unite 01/24/09

Blogged under Around the Web by Tammy on Saturday 24 January 2009 at 10:08 am

I’m a day late on my normal Friday links. I had a major allergy attack yesterday, probably due to all this cold weather we are having down here lately. My nose just couldn’t handle it! But, it looks like it’s warming up a little today and my head is feeling a little less foggy. Hopefully, I will have some energy to craft later today, but for now, I’m just surfing around the craft blogosphere.

Layers Upon Layers
Every day, new information on classes and educational opportunities are being added to Layers Upon Layers!

Stefanie Girard’s Sweater Surgery
See some wacky photos of fabulously fun knit hats with ears, horns and alien eyes from PolarKnit with links to the free downloadable patterns!

The Impatient Crafter
Copycats got you down? Read Miss Madge’s recent post on Internet Etiquette.

About Family Crafts
Why not give your Valentine a special, home-made card this year. You can get spectacular results using these easy techniques.

Aileen’s Musings
Aileen’s posted the winners of her blog giveaway! Come stop by and see if you’re a winner!

Cathie Filian
Cathie Filian is sewing and re-crafting and old T-shirt and skirt into a new fashion with a few simple steps.

Craftside-A behind-the-scenes peek at a crafty world
This week at Craftside there is Fabulous Funky Fill-In Lettering with Lisa Engelbrecht, Floral Clump Mini Mirror and Bird’s Nest out of polymer clay and mixed media with Christi Friesen, needle felted flowers from recycled wool sweaters with Stefanie Girard and an Ultra-mini pocket booklet from Lisa Sonora Beam.

Cross Stitch at About.com
Stitch a chart fit for Royalty - Or at least a Pharaoh. Connie shares her new Egyptian Cat Welcome pattern this week.

Crochet Dude
Win a cruise with the Crochet Dude. That’s right - crochet and cruising!

Lion Brand YarnCraft Podcasts
I’ve really been enjoying the podcasts over at the Lion Brand site. It’s a nice way to learn and craft at the same time. I just wish they had them more often.

Crafting to Stay Warm!

Blogged under Fiber Fun by Tammy on Thursday 22 January 2009 at 7:24 pm

We have had a major cold snap down here in the south this week. I am part of a few knit and crochet related lists, and people on there are always talking about how these crafts are so perfect for the winter when you are stuck inside. Plus, they can make items to keep warm like scarves and sweaters.

Normally I have had the opposite problem: I try to find small projects because it can just get too hot to work with large craft items made of yarn. Working on a full-sized afghan when it’s 90 degrees out, well, it’s just not fun!

But, this week I totally get it, at least the part about making cold weather clothing because I don’t have much of that. I did manage to dig up a very old scarf I crocheted about 15 years ago. It’s looking pretty sad but did the trick at least for a few days. However, now I’m working on a new scarf and plan to make some fingerless gloves too.

Of course, by the time I get all these made to protect myself from the cold, I’m sure the cold spell will have moved on, but next time, I will be so ready!

Flooring Decisions Now as We Craft Our New Room

Blogged under Yada, Yada, Yada by Tammy on Tuesday 20 January 2009 at 7:39 am

We have finally picked out a floor brand, but now we have to pick out a specific type. It’s called “engineered wood” by Legend Flooring, which basically means it is layers of wood with the nicer wood layer on the top. We are now trying to decided between bamboo or mahogany. The bamboo is a little more of a neutral color, but the mahogany looks really dramatic against our turquoise walls.

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