Get Your Crafting On

Blogged under Around the Web by Tammy on Sunday 31 October 2010 at 11:20 am

About Family Crafts
For some reason, kids and kitchens go together so why not invite your kids into the kitchen with you to craft. Sherri shares creative recipes to help you make your own home-made clay, colorful paint, bath and beauty products, and even creative snacks.

Aileen’s Musings
There’s no place like Aileen’s Musings to get your very own freebie ruby slipper postcards to email to friends or family!

Carmi’s Art/Life World
Carmi samples some new “print your own” decoupage sheets featuring Peter Rabbit.

Craftside-A behind-the-scenes peek at a crafty world
This week at Craftside there is a chance to win a copy of Illustration School: Let’s Draw Plants and Small Creatures with an inside peek that contains info on how to add illustrations to photos, there is 4 of the 1,000 greeting cards from the book 1,000 More Greetings, a bunch of beading tutorials and some organizing tips.

Eileen - The Artful Crafter
Have you considered designing and selling your own paper goods like cards, cupcakes toppers or party favors? Then you need to know a few things about incorporating the work of other graphic designers.

Stefanie Girard’s Sweater Surgery
As promised, see how to crochet a spider web skirt.

Mixed Media Artist
Cyndi never knew you could have so much fun with some rusty nails…

When Crafts Cross Over

Blogged under Projects in Progress by Tammy on Saturday 30 October 2010 at 11:15 am

I constantly find that my crafting skills will cross over into other unrelated areas of my life. A most recent example is my promotional package for teaching. Along with teaching classes, my job involves a lot of other tasks such as attending meetings, participating in committees, and publishing and presenting scholarly work. The college also likes to see its employees somehow involved in the local community, which isn’t always that easy to do when you add up everything else we are supposed to do. However, between donating money and items I make, I have that covered as well.

It is also our responsibility to be able to document all of this, and one way we do that is by collecting related documentation and assembling it into a big notebook, aka a promotions package. Basically, it is really like a scrapbook. I have letters from students and colleagues, photos of me presenting papers at conferences, thank you letters, my CV, and lots more slipped into clear plastic page protectors and assembled into three 3-inch notebooks (since three copies are required).

The idea is to not only provide evidence of my work but also present it in a visually appealing way so that a committee can review and evaluate it. Of course, me being me, I had to make sure these looked pretty. I even went so far as to to break out the glue sticks and fancy paper.

I’m just about finished with them, and boy, talk about a lot of work! In fact, I could see how this could just go on and on because there is always some new event to get involved in around here. My deadline is early December, and so far, I’m on track (knock on wood). This is way too important to become a craft UFO! Hopefully, when I turn them in, those who review them will be equally impressed with the content and aesthetics of each notebook.

Needlearts Survey

Blogged under Around the Web, Fiber Fun by Tammy on Wednesday 27 October 2010 at 6:37 am

Someone sent me a link to a new survey published by the National Needlearts Association. If you knit, crochet, embroider, or cross stitch, you might find the results interesting. One item of note to me was how knitting seems to far out-pace crochet in popularity. Now the stats are kind of skewed because there were way more knitters taking part in the survey, but that’s sort of my point. Why is that?

2 Good Books So Far…

Blogged under Good Books by Tammy on Monday 25 October 2010 at 6:33 am

On the up side of having to cut back a little on my crafting time, though the hand brace does seem to help a little, I have been reading for pleasure a little more lately. I feel I have to qualify this statement with “for pleasure” because I read all the time, every day, but most often it is for school, which means students’ essays or textbooks.

Though I tend to be a one book at a time reader because I don’t read very fast and worry that I will put too much on myself, right now I’m going back and forth between two books, a biography and a novel.

The biography is a whooper, around 700 pages, which is why I finally picked up another novel. Though I am finding this biography really interesting, My Wars Are Laid Away in Books: The Life of Emily Dickinson (Modern Library Paperbacks), my favorite genre is fiction, so I decided to allow myself the indulgence of reading fiction now and then as a break from biography.




The other book, The Help, has got my “thumbs up” so far, which is saying a lot for contemporary fiction. So much of it I can barely get through after reading the first few pages or first chapter. I guess it must be in vogue now because it seems a lot of novels recently are tackling the multiple point of view where more than one character narrates. This is really hard to do well, but so far, I think the author is pulling it off.

Crafting Links…Just Under the Wire

Blogged under Around the Web by Tammy on Sunday 24 October 2010 at 6:16 pm

About Family Crafts
Sherri will be carving pumpkins soon. If you will be too, check out these free pumpkin carving designs to download.

Aileen’s Musings
Aileen’s cooked up some delicious pumpkin scones just in time for fall, stop by to get the recipe!

Carmi’s Art/Life World
Carmi discovers an amazing new stamp company in her own backyard.

Craftside-A behind-the-scenes peek at a crafty world
This week at Craftside there is a chance to win a copy of 101 Ways to Do More With Your Dog, a tutorial on how to make an abstract painting from a photo and a vintage photo to try it out with, and a 5-ingredient recipe for Frosted Flakes Bars.

Eileen - The Artful Crafter
There are various options for printing greeting cards onto glossy photo paper. Here are some money-saving tips from Eileen.

Margot Potter The Impatient Crafter
Madge shares a new project for Jewel School and muses about The Big Move.

Mixed Media Artist

Sometimes you just need to think about how to reuse items that you’ve made…

Stefanie Girard’s Sweater Surgery
See how to make Halloween kint cuffs embellished with vintage pins inspired by the book- Warm Knits, Cool Gifts.

The Crochet Dude
Big reveal over at Drew’s blog - his super cute strappy clutch purse design! Just in time for the holiday party season!

Carpel Tunnel Help for Crocheters

Blogged under Yada, Yada, Yada by Tammy on Tuesday 19 October 2010 at 6:36 am


I guess I should really title this “Carpel Tunnel Help for Crocheters, Jewelry Makers, and Other Crafters,” but that is kind of long. I have had more than the usual issues lately with my hands. My right hand, in particular, tends to tingle a lot, and generally speaking I don’t have the strength I used to have in either hand. But, it is the tingling that was really bugging me.

I finally asked my general practitioner about it figuring she’s try to pawn me off an another doctor, but instead, she suggested I try using a wrist brace at night. I’ve been using it for a few weeks now with the occasional night or two of forgetting to wear it, but for the most part, I have been pretty good about wearing it on my right hand, which is the worst of the two.

Now, it is not 100% back to normal, whatever that was, but I have noticed a significant difference. The result has allowed me to crochet again and make more jewelry, yeah!

I know many people who craft have hand issues, and while there is an operation to help with carpel tunnel, I know of a few who have had it only to end up years later with the same problem. I’m picturing one here from Amazon, but you can find these all over the place. I picked mine up for about $16 in a local drug store. A brace is definitely worth trying for a little while for anyone who fights the battle of carpel tunnel and crafting!

Billy Collins, the Word Crafter

Blogged under writing by Tammy on Monday 18 October 2010 at 10:54 am


Last week, I went away for a few days to a conference for English teachers. I rarely travel, and while I was only away for a few days, it felt like I’d been away forever, as if I’d gone to another planet almost. Some of that is probably due to my lack of travel abilities. I’m just not that keen on it generally. However, some of this “other worldly feeling” was because I was literally in a world of English teachers, people of like mind who enjoy and appreciate word crafting. We were all together on a college campus, attending lectures, listening to panels, and networking with one another.

You wouldn’t think this is that big of a deal, but a teacher’s life tends to be surprisingly solitary when it comes to contact with other teachers. We go to class where there’s a room full of students, go back to our office and do our office hours, grade papers, create and prepare our curriculum, grade more papers, and that’s pretty much how the work day goes. If I happen to see another teacher, it is either a quick “hello” in a hallway or maybe (if I’m lucky) a 15 minute chat in one of our offices or we are at some boring meeting that doesn’t really allow us to chit-chat. We each have our own schedules to keep to, and so it’s pretty rare for all of us to “be” together even though we do work together.

At the conference, though, I actually got to hang out with six colleagues I work with as well as meet many others. I tend to prefer the “fly on the wall” routine when it comes to social mixes, so that part of the conference, admittedly, was the usual awkwardness for me, but even given that, I came away with an improved appreciation for my professional work.

A major highlight of the trip was an hour-long reading from the poet Billy Collins. I teach a few of his poems during the poetry section of my ENC1102 class. In fact, I start with his “Introduction to Poetry,” which students always enjoy. They “get” him, and this makes them feel less intimidated by poetry and more open to it during this section of the class.

One poem he read that evening was a particular favorite of mine. It is entitled “Schoolsville”, and if you know an English teacher, you should send him or her the link! He was exactly as I thought he would be too: funny, laid back, and (totally) charming!

Poets are very much like crafters in that they construct pleasant things. Instead of glitter, beads, or yarn, they craft with words. They play and create prototypes with these intangible items and then offer them up for us the enjoy.

The trip has not really changed my thoughts on traveling, but it did remind me of how rejuvenating it can be to spend real time (as in not virtual Internet time!) with 3-D people who enjoy what I enjoy and think similarly to the way I think.

Sunday Craft Links

Blogged under My Crafty News by Tammy on Sunday 17 October 2010 at 10:13 am

Eileen - The Artful Crafter
Calling all totes! Eileen is looking for tote bag decorating examples. If you need some inspiration first, watch the video on how to make a recycled tote bag.

Margot Potter The Impatient Crafter
Madge muses about choices, consequences, regrets and living out loud.

Mixed Media Artist

Cyndi has a really fun book to give away this week: Create Colorful Aluminum Jewelry.

Stefanie Girard’s Sweater Surgery
See how to make paper pom pom pumpkins inspired by the book Page Maps 2.

About Family Crafts
Sherri is hosting a Make-It-Over crafts challenge and is calling for people to submit their Halloween crafts made using recyclables!

Aileen’s Musings
Aileen invites you to jump in the Wayback Machine and revisit a past Halloween Card tutorial.

Carmi’s Art/Life World
Carmi figures out how to use paper to decorate an apron.

Craftside-A behind-the-scenes peek at a crafty world
This week at Craftside there is a chance to win the new big and beautiful book Quilts Around The World by Spike Gillespie, a knit boxed eyelet pattern, a bunch of ways to get a “handle” on your books and journals and tips on painting realistic blood just in time for Halloween.

Free Shipping from Lion Brand Yarn

Blogged under Crafty Products by Tammy on Saturday 16 October 2010 at 8:46 am

Lion Brand Yarn is offering free shipping through October 22, 2010 on orders that are over $45. To use this offer, you need to use the promotion code fall4yarn. If you are like me and don’t have a lot of good yarn suppliers close by, then ordering on-line is a good alternative, and heck, it doesn’t take long to rack up the total in your shopping cart so you may as well get some freebie out of it!

Hobby Lobby Offers Fabric on the Web

Blogged under Sew Simple by Tammy on Tuesday 12 October 2010 at 5:06 pm

If you get the Hobby Lobby newsletter, you already know that it is now offering fabric through its on-line web site. I have not be able to get back to my sewing and don’t see that happening any time soon, maybe this Christmas vacation I hope, but I have often wondered about buying fabric on-line. There is not one place in my entire county that I can buy fabric. I have to go to the county north or south of me. Round trip, that’s about 40 miles. I can’t even buy any thread around here!

While I know that where I live generally is not known for shopping, I know that I’m not the only one who has seen more and more sewing-related stores go out of business. I really thinking sewing is making a little bit of a comeback, so I have to wonder what’s going on or if we are all going to someday have to be fabric and our other sewing notions all on the web.

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