Fabric Fun, Mail Art, Jewelry, and Power

Blogged under My Crafty News by Tammy on Sunday 31 March 2013 at 8:57 am

One thing leads to another… how creating an art doll led June to creating a necklace.

Bag Lady in Training
Tammy documents her training as a new recruit for Thirty-One Gifts, a company who sells bags and organizational products.

Craftside-A behind-the-scenes peek at our crafty world
This week at Craftside there are tutorials on how to measure a book for a slipcover, make a raw edge applique, draw a dramatic portrait and form a caramelle (candy) shaped pasta.

Fabric Photo Magnets
Discover how easy it is to make personalized magnets using a photo and some fabric.

Mail Art Inspires One’s Art
Have you tried mail art? Mail art inspires creativity in both sender and recipient.

Mixed Media Artist
Finding the right background fabric for an art quilt can sometimes be a challenge!

Stefanie Girard’s Sweater Surgery
How to make a pom pom Easter bunny

Cherie talks about strength and art.

Laundry Room Organized, Check!

Blogged under Yada, Yada, Yada by Tammy on Saturday 30 March 2013 at 11:25 am

Admittedly, our laundry room is the smallest room in the house; in fact, I hesitate to call it a “room” because it is really kind of a hallway in between the garage and kitchen. There is just enough space to open the dryer door, and above the washer and dryer is a shelf that had turned into a catch all for rags and sundry items vaguely related to cleaning.

One mantra of Thirty-One Gifts is finding solutions, and after getting my kit when I joined as an independent consultant, I realized that I could use the Large Utility Tote included in the kit as a place to start with getting that shelf organized. The tote is one of the company’s most popular items, and now I know why: You can use it for all kinds of storage.

The tote pictured is in the Party Punch pattern. Without monogramming, it retails for $35. It measures 11.75 inches high, 21.5 inches wide, and 10 inches deep and has a metal frame around the top so you can collapse it down and flatten it in case you want to store it some place. It also has handles on each side, and mine came monogrammed with “Family Fun” on one side. I thought that was kind of a funny saying because I ended up storing all the dogs’ towels in there for when they get baths, some fun huh?

On the opposite end of the shelf, I have a few baskets, that were buried in the piles of stuff, filled with cleaning products and dog leashes.

It is just one tiny room, but I feel so good that it is organized now, and of course, this has got my mind thinking about my next organization goal. I ended up ordering another Large Utility Tote in the Woodblock Floral pattern without any monogramming for our bedroom, and I may get a second one for that room. My husband has a ton of shirts that need ironing, and they tend to pile up on one of our dressers…ummm…yeah because I do iron but not every dang day! Plus even if I got myself in gear and ironed every shirt he owns, there is no room in his closet, which he needs to purge some stuff from. I’m not waiting on that to happen any time soon.

If you are looking for organizing solutions, you can view the Thirty-One Gifts catalog on my shop site. Along with the large utility tote, they have a number of other products that can be used to organize your studio, home, or office.

Crocheted Wash Cloths for a Change

Blogged under crochet and knitting by Tammy on Wednesday 27 March 2013 at 4:48 pm

I have been on the amigurumi kick lately. It started out with the idea that I wanted to give some toys to charity, but I have to admit that it just became addicting at some point. I have worked on other projects a little. I have a shawl that I need to crochet about another foot on and it will be finished. It’s all double crochet for the most part so tends to be my “no brainer” project. I have also started another shawl project, but that on requires paying attention to the pattern a lot. Still, the amigurumi just kept calling me back: “Don’t you want to make another teddy bear?”

Yesterday, however, I set down the bear and picked up some Sugar N Cream cotton yarn and started on some wash cloths for my mother. She is difficult to make anything for, so at Christmas, I gave her an IOU with a list of items she could check off. She picked wash cloths. I will be making a trip to visit her soon, and I needed to get these done.

I used a pattern from a nice little book from designer Drew Emborsky called All Washed Up (Leisure Arts #75272). It has 9 dish or wash cloth patterns in it. I made two using the Finished with a Flourish pattern. Because I was short on time, I opted not to do the trim in the pattern and just finished them off with single crochet around the edges.

I like the texture these have, and this is definitely a pattern that I could see becoming a staple for me because once you get going, it’s pretty fast. These were a nice break from amigurumi and gave me some instant gratification.

Becoming a Bag Lady

Blogged under My Crafty News by Tammy on Tuesday 26 March 2013 at 5:43 pm

After traveling down and then back up the east coast of Florida, my Thirty-One Gift kit finally arrived today. I was getting a little jealous that the box was doing more traveling than I was during spring break. It arrived in Orlando, then passed me by and visited Miami, and then turned around and headed back up north to West Palm Beach before it finally made it to my doorstep.

I have to admit that when I first ordered the kit that my thoughts were leaning more towards the idea of getting the kit, maybe buying a few more items at a discount, and then retiring. I am sure I am not the only one with this thought, and it is not usual for people to do this.

For example, when I first became interested in rubber stamping, a friend of mine suggested doing pretty much the same thing with Stamp It Up. I can’t remember how much that kit was, probably something around $100, but I got a ton of great stamping supplies, and I am still using a lot of them today.

I never did anything else with Stamp It Up as far as selling its products though. The idea is that by buying the kit, you get a lot of merchandise at a discounted rate. If you decided to move on and actually try to sell products that’s fine, but there is no contract requiring that you do so.

While I have been waiting for my kit, I have been doing some bag lady training. (Before I keep going, let me add this old disclaimer: These are my own ramblings and do not reflect the notions of Thirty-One Gifts, which I am an independent consultant for.)

Okay…so back to my training….there is actually a lot to learn with this new venture. They give you a web site that is full of training material in both pdf form and as videos, and consultants also have a web site that includes a virtual office as well as an area for customers to shop.

I feel like when I do something I have to study it so that I understand what I am doing. However, I realized pretty quickly that one way to learn how to do this was to, well, just do it. Plus there is a great deal going on right now that ends April 1st (see the video posted at the end of this blog entry), and I wanted in on it!

I ended up jumping in and having my first virtual party. It was just a small group who participated, friends and family, and I closed the party only after a few days because I wanted everyone to get their goods ASAP, and again, I wanted to understand how to do all of this before I attempted a second virtual party.

There were a few hiccups on my end, but I had a lot of great help through my director and also through a group on Facebook. They allowed me to ask lots of stupid questions too. I still feel a little green, but I have been very impressed with the amount of training and support the company provides.

While I do not know how long I am in this for, I’ve decided not to retire the day after getting my kit like I did with rubber stamping. I don’t see me becoming a director any time soon, but I am going to give it a shot for three to six months and just see how it goes. If I crash and burn out, at least I will have lots of wonderful bags to use for my crafting and organizing needs. If I can keep it afloat, who knows?

On that note, below is the video I mentioned earlier. It shows some of the totes that are on special right now until April 1st. With a purchase of $31, you can get one of seven tote bags for half the retail price. You can either shop through my Thirty-One web store, or if you want to get some free merchandise, contact me about how I can set up a virtual party for you to host: tammypowley @ yahoo dot com.

Spring Break has Sprung!

Blogged under Yada, Yada, Yada by Tammy on Monday 25 March 2013 at 9:10 am

Spring Break officially starts for me today! As usual, I have a long list of stuff to do, most of which I won’t manage to complete:

  • Meet up with friends and family. During the semester, I don’t have a lot of time to socialize!
  • Read a little each day. Right now, I’m reading a book now called Chasing Sunsets: A Cedar Key Novel by Eva Maria Everson.
  • Crochet, of course! I am hoping to get at least part of the Crochet Beyond the Rectangle class done.
  • More crochet, I’m still making amigurumi toys for the shelter. I’m banging out a lot of Buddy Bears right now. I also have to make some wash cloths I promised to make for my mom.
  • Get some spring cleaning down around the house. I feel the urge to purge and reorganize.
  • Spin, spin, spin! Now that all my spinning supplies have a pretty new home, I feel even more like making some yarn.
  • Bead up some jewelry – I have a few designs that have been floating around in my head. I just have to decide which to tackle first.

Weekend Crafting Links

Blogged under Around the Web by Tammy on Saturday 23 March 2013 at 8:44 am

There’s been a birth, and June’s created a “chalk board art” style birth announcement to mark the event!

Adding Faithful Words
Cherie adds favorite Bible phrases to her art.

Craft Bag Giveaway!
I fell down the rabbit hole, but it’s a good thing because you get a chance to win a cool craft project bag.

Craftside-A behind-the-scenes peek at our crafty world
This week at Craftside there is a no-sew Easter Bunny fabric decoration, a Zentangled Easter egg with tutorials for 3 Zentangles, a crochet loopy leaf pattern, and a recipe for creme fraiche.

Cuteness overload giveaway
Watch out for the cuteness…it will smack you right between the eyes when you see the book that Cyndi has for giveaway!

How to Decorate an Egg
Sherri shares many creative ways you can dye or decorate your eggs for Easter.

Springtime Butterfly Theme Handmade Cards
Kick your digital cards up a notch with 3D embellishments.

Stefanie Girard’s Sweater Surgery
Three necklaces made with a bit of old and new parts

Spindle Home in My Thirty-One Tote!

Blogged under spinning by Tammy on Friday 22 March 2013 at 3:41 pm

I finally have a home for my spinning supplies!

Since adding spinning with a spindle to my long list of crafting endeavors, my roving, spindle, and various other tools have not really had a “home,” other than a cheesy card board box.

When I saw a friend’s Super Organizing Tote from Thirty-One Gifts, I immediately thought of my spinning supplies. This is a huge bag, measuring 14”H x 19.5”W x 7.5”D, and it has a zipper on the top.

Of course, I do not have nearly the amount of craft supplies for spinning as I do for jewelry or yarn crafting, but I have a fair amount, enough that it was starting to be a problem. And, awesome sauce, everything fits great! Plus there’s room to spare.

I’m pretty impressed with the quality of this bag. It’s made of a thick canvas-like material with a lining that feels like vinyl. There are large pockets all around the outside, three on one side, two on the other, and then mesh pockets on either end.

There are grommets on both sides too. These are in case you want to connect another bag to the inside and use it as an inside pocket.

This is a huge, huge bag, so at least for me, it would be too big to use as a book bag or tote that I’d carry around all day; however, as home storage and yet something I can easily move around the house (because of the straps) – or heck if I ever get brave enough to spin in public – then this is perfect.

Along with this big hunking huge tote, I also got a very cool Cinch Sac. Now until April 1st, Thirty-One Gifts has a deal where if you spend $31, you can select from seven different totes and get one of them half off. Normally, this tote sells for $20 retail, but I got it for $10 because of buying the Super Organizing Tote, which retails for $50.

I’ve heard these called “day sacks” too because they are great for tossing a few items in and heading off for a day trip. It is a pretty good size, but not overly large, 18.5”H x 14.5”W, and like all the other products from Thirty-One Gifts, it comes in different colors and patterns and can also be personalized.

I thought this would make a good craft project bag because I like drawstring bags for storing projects. Plus it has a zipper pocket on the outside where you can store tools or notions.

In fact, this bag is available as one of my giveaways this month. You can find out how you can enter to win by going to this page on my blog.

I am genuinely impressed with the quality of both bags, and have to admit to being a tad excited now about becoming an independent consultant for the company. I am in the middle of running a virtual Thirty-One Gift party right now, and once I get my land legs, I hope to be able to do at least one or two web parties every few months. For anyone interested in either learning more about the company’s products or finding out about hosting a virtual party, email me at tammypowley @ yahoo dot com.

A Break from Red Heart Super Saver

Blogged under amigurumi,Charity Crafting,crochet and knitting by Tammy on Friday 22 March 2013 at 6:02 am

Before I get started, let me clarify that I have nothing against Red Heart Super Saver yarn. For many purposes, such as amigurumi toys, it works great. It washes up wonderfully, and it is just about indestructible. However, I am just plain old tired of it! I have been using it to make donated toys for months now. Some of it I purchases and some was donated to my craft club. I feel compelled to use it for all these reasons.

That said….I can tell such a difference when I use something other than RHSS, and my hands really appreciate the difference. So the other day when I straightening up my office and discovered some Lion Brand Baby Wool, I was giddy with excitement. Yeah! Donated yarn that is not RHSS.

I’m picturing a pink and a blue teddy bear. There might even be enough here for a few in each color. There was another bag with some purple and some yellow baby wool, so perhaps I can manage another giraffe.

When you get donated yarn this is clean and does not smell like smoke and your club is on a limited budget, you have to take it, and if you take it, that means you need to use it. I wish I just didn’t know the difference between RHSS, well, many other types of acrylic yarn!

More Buddy the Bear

Blogged under amigurumi,Charity Crafting by Tammy on Thursday 21 March 2013 at 2:53 pm

After making numerous teddy bears, I have noticed that my brown yarn stash is dwindling. Between this full skein of Loops and Threads and some other odds and ends of various shades of brown, I’m hoping I have enough yarn to squeeze out two more Buddy the Bears.

This is one of my favorite (and free yeah!) patterns from Lion Brand. I love how he has a little tummy on him, and the is not too hard to make. I think the legs and arms a little more fiddly than the other bear pattern I’ve made a few times, but it isn’t fiddly to the point that I don’t enjoy making them.

Craft Bag Giveaway

Blogged under CFEs/Contests by Tammy on Wednesday 20 March 2013 at 6:46 pm

I have to admit to a problem I have. I’m addicted to bags. Totes, purses, sacks, small, medium, large, I cannot get enough of them. And, seriously, I do use them. So when a friend of mine showed me some products from a company called Thirty-One Gifts, well, I fell down the rabbit hole! I am now an official Thirty-One independent consultant, and I plan to talk about my new experiences as a “bag lady” now and then on this blog.

After signing up, one of the first thoughts that came to mind (other than I really want the Cindy Tote) was that I have to do a giveaway….now!

Why now? Why not wait until next month and start it at the beginning of the month like I normally do with my giveaways? Because now through April 1st, Thirty-One Gifts is having a wonderful special. If you spend $31, you can purchase a selected tote for 1/2 off. This just seems too perfect because you can buy a gift for someone and then also buy a gift for yourself.

All that said, you do not have to purchase anything from my independent consultant Thirty-One web site to enter the giveaway, but if you do, you get more chances to win. This is how this giveaway will work:

  • To receive one chance to win, go over to my independent consultant Thirty-One web site, browse the catalog, and then come back and post a comment telling me the name of a product you like, and if you feel chatty, tell me why you think it looks interesting. Do not post more than one comment.
  • To receive two additional chances to win, order at least one item from my independent consultant Thirty-One web site. For each item you order, you’ll receive two chances to win.
  • So if you post a comment and order one item, your name would go in the pot three times. If you post a comment and order two items, your name would go in the pot five times.

Okay, so what am I giving away? You can get a chance to win a Cinch Sac (pictured above), which normally retails for $20. This drawstring bag is a perfect knitting or crochet project bag, but it really has an infinite number of uses. It is about 18 1/2 inches high and 14 1/2 inches wide. It also has a zipper pocket on the front, so you can put notions in there.

Now here is some more info and disclaimer stuff:

  • I am an independent Thirty-One Consultant and the views expressed on this blog are mine alone and don’t represent the company’s views.
  • This is open to Continental US residents only. (I’m sorry, but shipping is way to high otherwise.)
  • Purchases of Thirty-One products from other consultant’s web sites or any place other than my own will not count towards entries.
  • Do not order through any parties I have set up because they are local to me, and more than likely you are too far away for me to deliver your products. If you want to find out about hosting a virtual or catalog party, contact me at tammypowley @ yahoo dot com.
  • The deadline for entry is April 19th, 2013 midnight ET. (Note that the 1/2 off deal from Thirty-One ends April 1st.)
  • During the few days after the deadline, I will randomly pick one winner. Make sure to include your email address when commenting. I will email the winner who will have two days after the drawing to reply back with a mailing address. Anyone who does not reply after two days will no longer be eligible to win, and I will draw a new winner.

For a look at the totes on special, I found an awesome YoutTube video here.

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