Christmas Break on the Horizon

Blogged under Yada, Yada, Yada by Tammy on Wednesday 15 December 2010 at 9:23 am

I see it. I almost see it! In a few days, I will officially be on my holiday school break. I have a little over two weeks, so as I sit here crunching numbers to fill in those final grades and think about what I need to haul home from my school office, I am also thinking of how I will spend my time off. As usual, the list is usually way longer than I will ever have time to complete:

  • I plan to pull out my sewing machine, which will require digging through the craziness that is the spare bedroom, and get some curtains made for the house. Every window needs new ones, but I’m going to start with one room and see how it goes from there. It’s been awhile since I have done any sewing.
  • Read on my new Kindle Wireless Reading Device, Wi-Fi, Graphite, 6″ Display with New E Ink Pearl Technology. I have a ton of classics I downloaded for free plus a free first chapter from a book I plan to buy if I like the first chapter.
  • Clean the house…nuff said.
  • Work on syllabi for spring and set up all my web class stuff…again nuff said.
  • Work on a number of jewelry projects (have some great ideas) and book reviews for my About.com Jewelry Making site.
  • Crochet…maybe a new hat for moi and some baby items for Healthy Start.

Told you the list was way too long. Even if I get a little done from each bullet, I’ll feel good about my time away from school. It has been a pretty busy semester for me, so I am really looking forward to a break.

Hot Crafting Links

Blogged under Around the Web by Tammy on Monday 13 December 2010 at 6:04 am

This cold weather is perfect for a hot bowl of garbanzo bean soup with a side of corn bread! Stay warm; stay inside; and take some time to cruise through these great craft links.

The Crochet Dude
Drew takes a walk down memory lane and shares why crochet and the holidays are forever fused together for him.

About.com Family Crafts
For your amusement, Sherri shares a fun spin on the classic 12 Days of Christmas song with gifts to go along with each verse!

Mixed Media Artist
Have you heard of kirigami? Come and see how much fun this paper-cutting technique is!

Aileen’s Musings
Aileen’s going Christmas green and created a recycled Christmas card banner out of old cards she’s saved. Check out her easy tutorial and make one yourself!

Margot Potter The Impatient Crafter
Margot’s daughter Avalon whips up another FAB project for ILoveToCreate teen crafts! Check out her Blue Christmas card!

Carmi’s Art/Life World
Carmi celebrates the 50th Anniversary of a British soap opera with a new set of fridge magnets.

Eileen – The Artful Crafter
Not all projects run smoothly from start to finish. Read about Eileen’s experience with a tote bag made from a kit.

Craftside-A behind-the-scenes peek at a crafty world
This week at Craftside we have a mega giveaway of tons of Westcott Scissors and books, tutorials on sewing recycled book page ornaments, stamping and sewing die cut fabric coasters, 9 techniques for working with pastels and a honey, banana, nut snack recipe.

Cross Stitch at About.com
Need some quick and easy ornaments or gift tags? Stitch up back stitch motifs in white floss on red fabric – simple and holiday-rific.

Craftside Craft Give-a-Ways

Blogged under Around the Web,CFEs/Contests by Tammy on Sunday 12 December 2010 at 2:57 pm

The Craftside weblog has tons of freebies and give-a-ways going on right now. For example, you can win some Westcott scissors if you enter soon. The deadline is December 15, 2010.

There are also some free crafts project posted as well as a number of book give-a-ways going on.

Another Awesome Craft Meeting

Blogged under My College Craft Club by Tammy on Wednesday 8 December 2010 at 7:32 am

The college craft club met again the other day, and it was another successful meeting. I was curious as to how many students would return, especially so soon after our first meeting. We have two more meetings before the school closes for the holiday break. I’m calling these our Crochet Boot Camp because, other than making plans for the spring, that is mainly what we are working on now: teaching members to crochet. We had about half a dozen return, and a few students happened by curious about what we are doing. At least, I think one of them, plans to come to the next meeting.

As we all sat around in a classroom sipping hot cocoa and stitching away with our hooks and yarn, every time someone entered the room (late members or just the curious) all remarked about how peaceful and cozy it was in the room. And it was. We weren’t totally silent, chit chatting about our future plans and brainstorming on crafting ideas, but when you do something like crochet or even beading, it is very relaxing, so it is easy to fall into a feeling of calm. Considering how it is otherwise very hectic right now with tons of papers to grade and final exams coming up for everyone, it was a much appreciate break.

Weekend Craft Links

Blogged under Around the Web by Tammy on Saturday 4 December 2010 at 11:44 am

Margot Potter The Impatient Crafter
Madge shares a Pink Ribbon Necklace project she created live on Jewel School at Jewelry Television!

Mixed Media Artist
The Bead Journal Project is starting up again for its fourth year! Registration ends soon…

Stefanie Girard’s Sweater Surgery
See how to make recycled sweater and zipper Christmas trees (or hats).

About Family Crafts

If you are in search of a special gift for a crafter or a wannabe crafter, check this collection of ideas and resources.

Aileen’s Musings
Check out part 2 of Aileen’s Pomegranate Liquor and download a freebie background while your at it.

Carmi’s Art/Life World
Carmi downloads a cute Christmas graphic to make this fabric ornament.

Craftside-A behind-the-scenes peek at a crafty world

This week at Craftside there are tutorials on how to make a pop up gift card holding greeting card, a Steampunk style mixed media bracelet, tips on creating art everyday, and a bunch of cute pastry decorating ideas.

Eileen – The Artful Crafter
Calling clay and gourd crafters: do you have any suggestions to help Kathy with a cracking problem on her wonderful her clay Santas?

Started a College Crafting Club

Blogged under Charity Crafting,My College Craft Club by Tammy on Thursday 2 December 2010 at 6:58 pm

I have held off posting about this because I wasn’t sure if it would be a success or a failure, but I recently started a crafting club at the college where I work. The main goal of the club is to make items and donate them to charity. I have had the idea for a good while but was hoping to find a fellow faculty person or a staff member at the school to co-sponsor the club with me. Finally, this semester I decided to just go for it and crossed my fingers.

I filled out the paperwork, got the okay from TPTB, posted signs, and announced it to all my classes. I also asked other faculty friends to spread the word for me too. I had about 20 people tell me either in person or via email that they wanted to participate, but as it got closer to the date of our first meeting, those 20 people got pretty quiet! So I was starting to freak out that it might just be me and 2 other people who had bothered to reply to me emails.

Well, today was the day. I had bottled water, hot chocolate, hot tea, cookies, yarn, and hooks (H and G) ready to go. I had resolved myself to just try to restart the club during spring semester if our first meeting was a failure.

To my relief, 12 eager students showed up! Plus we had a little cold snap down here in Florida, so it was a perfect day to sip hot chocolate and play with yarn. We only were scheduled to meet for an hour, but they probably would have stayed two! We elected officers, made plans for spring (including making and selling Valentine’s Day cards and other paper crafts as a way to earn some much needed cash for more crafting supplies), and spent the rest of the time learning to crochet.

Luckily, two people besides myself knew how, so the three of us taught the rest of the group. All of them left with some scrap yarn and a hook, and we will be meeting again next week. These folks even want to meet two times a week! I’m not sure how I will manage to swing that, but I’m so glad that we had such a great first meeting.

While we don’t have expert yarn crafters as yet, I have to say that I was pretty impressed how in less than an hour, most of them had caught on to doing chain stitch and were attempting single crochet. Sure, their work was a little uneven, but they were “getting it,” and they were having a good time too. In fact, it was funny because most at first were freaking out: “How did you do that? Oh, I can’t get this. Boy, this is hard!” But then as they did more and more chains, they started to relax and were so pleased with themselves and surprised that they were able to do it. This is one of the benefits to learning a craft too, self-esteem! When you can make something with your hands, it is just an awesome feeling.

The club’s first charity project is to make baby afghans for Healthy Start. Members will make 10 inch crocheted squares and then we’ll stitch them together to make the blankets. If that works, then I hope we can also make some baby hats, but I thought the 10 inch squares were an easy first project for beginners. Instead of making the customary pot holder, they will make squares.

Now I need to figure out how to get some more yarn and hooks for these folks and try to get another college employee to help me out, yikes! Both are good problems to have, but I am just feeling a tad overwhelmed right now. I’ll definitely keep posting about our progress over here.

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