Craft Bloggers Unite 02/28/09

Blogged under Around the Web by Tammy on Saturday 28 February 2009 at 11:01 am

Craftside-A behind-the-scenes peek at a crafty world
Craftside has a how-to on using a doming cube from the new book The Jeweler’s Studio Handbook, handwriting ideas from Creative Paint Workshop, some wild “hand” art, and a “going green” ATC made with free downloadable art from Altered Art Circus.

Crafty Princess Diaries
Still trying to get your studio organized? Tammy is too! Maybe this resource she discovered will help you out!

Cross Stitch at About.com
A flock of free Fairy patterns have flitted in and landed at About.com Cross Stitch. Use the charts for frilly, flirty, fun projects.

Layers Upon Layers
Making monoprint background papers is an addictive activity…
Naughty Secretary Club
Jen delves into the world of paper crafts and plays Ms. Manners making personalized thank you cards.

Stefanie Girard’s Sweater Surgery
See how I made a recycled sweater cuff with a cross stitched reindeer from the cool reproduction of the 1929 book “The Sew-It Book”.

The Impatient Crafter
Madge shares another free fab project from her co-authored new book along with another prize giveaway!

About Family Crafts
If you are planning a party for an upcoming birthday or other occasion you have to check out some of these creative resources!

Aileen’s Musings
Aileen’s looking quite regal in her faux metal crown! Check out her tutorial and make your own crown or two and join her in Queendom!

Alexa Westerfield a.k.a. Swelldesigner
Check out the cool pin-up shrine that Swelldesigner made with her Crafty Chica Love Shrine kit!

Cathie Filian
Cathie Filian has an easy idea to revamp $1 store candles with a little cha cha cha flair.

Best Excuse for Crafting - Exercise Your Brain

Blogged under Around the Web by Tammy on Thursday 26 February 2009 at 7:13 am



A fellow craft-o-holic sent me this URL from BBC News Health, “Knitting ‘can delay’ memory loss,” and it has some great news for those of us who enjoy crafting:

Engaging in a hobby like reading a book, making a patchwork quilt or even playing computer games can delay the onset of dementia, a US study suggests.

Watching TV however does not count - and indeed spending significant periods of time in front of the box may speed up memory loss, researchers found.

Nearly 200 people aged 70 to 89 with mild memory problems were compared with a group who had no impairment.

The findings are to be presented to an American Academy of Neurology meeting.

The researchers from the Mayo Clinic in Minnesota asked the volunteers about their daily activities within the past year and how mentally active they had been between the age of 50 to 65.

Those who had during middle age been busy reading, playing games or engaging in craft hobbies like patchworking or knitting were found to have a 40% reduced risk of memory impairment.

In later life, those same activities reduced the risk by between 30 and 50%.

Those who watched TV for less than 7 hours a day were also 50% less likely to develop memory loss than those who spent longer than that staring at the screen.

“This study is exciting because it demonstrates that ageing does not need to be a passive process,” said study author and neuroscientist Dr Yonas Geda.

“By simply engaging in cognitive exercise, you can protect against future memory loss. Of course, the challenge with this type of research is that we are relying on past memories of the participants, therefore we need to confirm these findings with additional research.”

Sarah Day, head of public health at the Alzheimer’s Society said: “One million people will develop dementia in the next 10 years so there is a desperate need to find ways to prevent dementia.

“Exercising and challenging your brain - by learning new skills, doing puzzles such as crosswords, and even learning a new language - can be fun.

“However, more research, where people are followed up over time, is needed to understand whether these sorts of activities can reduce the risk of dementia.”

If that doesn’t give you a good excuse for crafting, I don’t know what else you need. So when friends or family suggest that maybe you are spending a little too much time in the studio, tell them you are exercising your brain, and hey, maybe they should try it too!

More New Furniture as We Craft Our Room

Blogged under Yada, Yada, Yada by Tammy on Tuesday 24 February 2009 at 7:30 am

We continue to work on renovating our family room. The latest edition includes this bistro set from Target. We bought it on-line, though had seen the version in black in the store. We are very impressed with this little set. It’s made of real wood, not veneer, and was only about $200. Plus they had a sale going recently where you gout 15% off on-line purchases as well as free shipping.

We arranged the couch around the TV to create a sort of island of furniture, and the table and chairs are placed behind it and against the wall so we have a place to surf with our laptops or whatever. I could even do a little beading over there if I wanted to, though we have a desk we plan to put in for that soon.

We also bought a few lamps, this time at the actual Target in our town, for $30 each. They are the touch-type, and we plan to pick up another. It’s so nice to finally have some light! There are no lighting fixtures, so it’s always felt like such a cave in there.

Organizing That Craft Studio, a Possible Resource I Hope!

Blogged under Design Ideas by Tammy on Sunday 22 February 2009 at 10:07 am

I just ordered this special issue from the Interweave magazine, Cloth Paper Scissors. According to the blurb on its web site, “Cloth Paper Scissors brings you a special issue dedicated to creating beautiful, inviting, unique, and functional studios for making collages, quilts, handmade books, and other types of fiber and mixed-media art.”

Here is what looks like the Table of Contents for this issue, again from the web site:

CLUTTER OUT, CREATIVITY IN
With less stuff, you’ll find more inspiration
By Lesley Riley

SPRING CLEANING Tips and products to give your studio a fresh look

FEATURED STUDIOS
Melissa Averinos
Margie Woods Brown
Tim Holtz
Tracie Lyn Huskamp
Yvonne Porcella
Helga Strauss
Carol Taylor

STUDIO VIGNETTES
Featuring the studios of 15 artists

STUDIO ART PROJECTS
Three beautiful ways to contain clutter

ROOM WITH A VIEW
Essay by Leilani Pierson

With shipping, it came to $13, so even if I get just a few good ideas, I think that’s worth the price. It doesn’t come out until Summer 2009, so that means it’s pre-orders only right now. Considering the pace I’m at getting this studio in shape, I think I can wait.

Travel and Yarn Crafting Go Together

Blogged under Around the Web, Fiber Fun by Tammy on Saturday 21 February 2009 at 2:16 pm

Needless to say, someone had a heck of a lot of extra time on his/her hands to accomplish this massive yarn crafting tasks! Yoza! Actually, this bus was covered with the help of a team of knitters, and the practice of covering items in knitted or crocheted material is called Yarnbombing, according to an article from the Telegraph, which is the source of this photo.

I was intrigued with the term and concept, so did some quick web surfing to find out more and found, of course, a blog called Yarnbombing, and the bloggers also have a book out under the same title. I think this artwork is amazing and beautiful, but at the same time, the practical side of me (who also lives in Florida where the sun cooks everything outside) can’t help but wonder how these pieces look after, say, a week or two in the elements. Of course, you could do your yarnbombing inside.

Craft Bloggers Unite 02/20/09

Blogged under Around the Web by Tammy on Friday 20 February 2009 at 11:33 am


We have some busy blogging crafters this week, so I’ve loaded up with some wonderful links!

Layers Upon Layers
Layers Upon Layers continues to explore lot of different snow-themed art works.

Naughty Secretary Club
It’s Stencil 101 at the Naughty Secretary Club. Learn how to make your own Headphone Hotties Skirt and enter to win free fabric paint!

Stefanie Girard’s Sweater Surgery
The amazing detail packed book Boutique Knits by Laura Irwin provides the inspiration for a half felted/ half non felted bag Sweater Surgery Style.

The Impatient Crafter
Madge shares another fab free jewelry project from her new co-authored book Bead and Wire Jewelry Exposed. Leave a comment for a chance to win a free book while you’re there!

About Family Crafts
Are you up for a crafty challenge? Design your own simple Mardi Gras mask.

Aileen’s Musings
Aileen crafts a whimsical birthday banner from rock salt, watercolors and fun embellishments! Let yourself be inspired and create your very own banner!
Craftside-A behind-the-scenes peek at a crafty world
A sneak peek into Angela Cartwright and Sarah Fishburns’ new book: In This Garden, as well as Robert Vetica’s: Good to Great Hair, a watercolor Maneki Neko (Lucky Cat) greeting card and two fun uses for vintage garter clips.

Crafty Princess Diaries
Tammy and her DH show off their donation to a local Humane Society event. The piece is call “I Heart Animals Necklace” and combines her metal clay skills and his chain making skills.

Cross Stitch at About.com
“Let the Good Times Roll” with Connie’s free Mardi Gras Cross Stitch patterns.

Necklace Ready for Humane Society Fur Ball Auction!

Blogged under Charity Crafting, Design Ideas by Tammy on Wednesday 18 February 2009 at 5:57 am


Finally, my husband and I got our act together and finished our collaborate jewelry piece, which I call the “I Heart Animals Necklace.” I made the pendant out of metal clay. You can find a tutorial for it on my About.com Jewelry Making site, of course. My DH made the chain using sterling silver jump rings, a combination of twisted rings and doubled half-round wire rings, all of which he made and assembled into the approximately 18 inch chain. I made the hook (tutorial to come) using sterling half-hard round wire, and I also added a small metal clay heart charm and stamped a “P” for Powley on it as a way to add a signature to the piece.

To make a complete package, I put it in a velvet jewelry box (re-purposed from my mom who is a QVC jewelry fan) and also put together a one page flyer with information about how the piece was made, a few pictures of the process, and of course, a picture of our fabulous doggies who are Humane Society alumni.

Hopefully, an animal and jewelry lover (or two or three or four) will bid on this puppy and make our local Humane Society some much needed mulla!

Not Loving the Large Yarn Trainer

Blogged under Crafty Products by Tammy on Tuesday 17 February 2009 at 7:04 am


Not that long ago, I raved about a product called a yarn trainer that I had purchased. Basically, it is a plastic tube with a top on it and handle which allows you to insert your skein of yarn and carry it around. It keeps my pets out of my yarn when I’m trying to work and helps prevent knots as well, so I thought I’d double my pleasure and purchase another one, or actually I got two, one regular sized and one extra large.

I have been wanting to do some projects that require doubling up the yarn, so that’s why I wanted to have two trainers of the same size. In addition, I purchased the extra large (supposedly 10.75 x 6 inches) trainer with the idea that I could use if for a pound size skein of yarn. I measured one skein I had, and it was about the same size as the supposed extra larger trainer.

Alas, there is a major design flaw with the larger yarn trainers! Yes, the body of the trainer is the right size for the pound size skein, but the top is not. The top is the same size as the medium sized trainer (5 inches wide at the top). Therefore, there is no way to get that pound of skein into the trainer, nada, not going to happen. Trust me. I tried cramming it in there because obviously once in, it will work.

I decided not to send it back since by the time I pay shipping and considering the cost of the item ($10) it really isn’t worth my time. I’m using it to store some of my smaller leftover yarn balls, but I’m really bummed. So, that’s why I’m passing this information on to my readers. The medium trainer is still great, but stop your fascination there because in this case bigger does not mean better.

Comfy Couch Time, Finally!

Blogged under Yada, Yada, Yada by Tammy on Sunday 15 February 2009 at 6:03 pm

The couch finally arrived this weekend, and the dogs and I have found it very comfortable. As you can see, it’s a pretty neutral color, sort of a camel color (looks darker in person than in the picture). If I didn’t have to worry about my dogs’ foam fetish, I would throw some colorful pillows on it and maybe a bright afghan as well. However, the bright walls and soon to be trim (that’s on the long to do list) look great with the couch (I think at least).

DH and I plan at some point to hit a few local galleries for some paintings. If we can swing it in the budget, we’d love to get some small Highwaymen paintings, which are full of color and very popular in our area of Florida.

Craft Bloggers Unite and Happy Valentines Day!

Blogged under Around the Web by Tammy on Saturday 14 February 2009 at 11:29 am

Since today is Valentine’s Day, I thought it appropriate to show off one of my most recent Valentine’s inspired jewelry pieces before I introduce my weekly crafting links.

This is my Harlequin Wire, Onyx, Mother of Pearl, and Crystal Necklace, which I posted both on Etsy for sale as well as the tutorial for those interested in making one on my About.com Jewelry Making site. Okay, now onto the crafty links!

Cross Stitch at About.com
Do you ever find yourself in a stitching slump? Vote in the poll and read (and discuss in) the comments on Connie’s blog

Layers Upon Layers
Cyndi explores making small quilts from rusted fabric.

About Family Crafts
Find out how you can get your creative ideas, tips, reviews, and photos published!

Aileen’s Musings
Aileen gives a magnetic twist to her paper towel background technique!

Naughty Secretary Club
This week Jen is wishing Abraham Lincoln a sparkly birthday with 10 tips on creating wearable glitter portraits from Hot Pink Pistol.

Stefanie Girard’s Sweater Surgery
The four letter words are flying this week with a fun altered glove project using Wrights Iron-ons.

The Impatient Crafter
Madge’s new book Beyond the Bead has hit the shelves! Check out this sneak peek free project and leave a comment to win a free copy and a special prize!

Alexa Westerfield a.k.a. Swelldesigner
Make sand heart Valentines or mix it up with a variation on the idea. Swelldesigner shows you how!

Cathie Filian
Baby slings are all the rage and can cost a fortune in retail stores. Cathie Filian has a simple pattern that only requires 2.5 yards of fabric.

Craftside-A behind-the-scenes peek at a crafty world
Craftside is sharing the love with free knitted and crocheted flower patterns from Margaret Hubert’s new book, Rejuvenated Jewels from the new book by the same name by Amy Hanna, a Valentine heart envelope how-to and an ATC from a box of Goldfish.

Crafty Princess Diaries
The Crafty Princess has caught up on a little Etsy work, which means more star charms and a few finished piece.

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