Transformations and Travel Journals

Blogged under Around the Web by Tammy on Sunday 28 July 2013 at 9:19 am

June’s turned a couple of pairs of jeans into a couple of skirts.

Clear Glass Sculpture
Cherie uses clear glass to create a garden sculpture.

Craftside-A behind-the-scenes peek at our crafty world
This week at Cratside there is a video tutorial on how to make a mixed-media travel journal with a pop up Turkish map fold and how to make a rebus necklace with a book and bead giveaway along with a recipe for lemon sorbet with prosecco.

Don’t throw out cool boxes. Imagine the possibilities!
Eileen has some inspiration for you, plus one completed upcycled cool box project to share.

Mixed Media Artist
Despite some summertime traveling, Cyndi managed to make a little progress on her latest quilt.

Crochet Off the Hook & Almost Off

Blogged under Craft Classes Online,crochet and knitting by Tammy on Thursday 25 July 2013 at 1:17 pm

My yarn crafting has gone down considerably lately due to other projects that have taken my time. I often crochet at night still, but then sometimes I’m too pooped to do much. However, I am hooking a little here and there. One project I finished recently is a beanie style hat for my husband to wear camping when it’s super cold out. I used a free pattern called Beanies for Bravery, which you can download from Ravelry.

This hat is extra huge because he kept telling me to make it longer so that it would cover part of his neck. I tried to explain to him that it will start to roll at some point and that I could make him a scarf or cowl for his neck, but he was insistent, so this is probably the longest beanie hat known to man. The yarn I used is City Tweed in Cobalt from Knitpicks, and I love, love, love working with it. I have some leftover, so he’s getting a scarf made with the leftovers anyway.

My second yarn project I’ve been working on that is almost off the hook is a baby sweater I’m making while taking the Crochet: Beyond the Rectangle class. I have to weave in some ends and add buttons. Of course, I have tons of buttons in my craft stash, but do I have any that are the right size and color for this sweater? Of course, I don’t! Is there anywhere within a 15 mile radius that I can get 7/16 inch baby buttons? Heck, no! However, I lucked out today and got an email from for 25 cent flat rate shipping on any order. It’s only good for 7/25/13, and I have some buttons on the way so I can finish up this little sweater and finish the class.

I have no idea why I cut off one end of the arm when I took this photo, but you can get an idea of where I’m at on it. If I had thought ahead and gotten the buttons when I started, this dude would be done. Alas! But, it is turning out pretty cute, and I’m learning a lot in the class. I hope it will still fit the baby I have in mind for it by the time I finish.

Modern Calligraphy

Blogged under Book-Art,Good Books,paper arts by Tammy on Monday 22 July 2013 at 6:05 am

Is calligraphy making a comeback? I have always envied those with beautiful handwriting, and calligraphy to me always looks like someone drew the letters. It is so beautiful and makes a nice touch for invitations, card making, and other paper arts. St. Martins has a new book out for those who want to learn the art of calligraphy. It is written by Molly Suber Thorpe and it’s titled Modern Calligraphy: Everything You Need to Know to Get Started in Script Calligraphy. Here’s some info from the press release:

“Calligraphy is about creating something uniquely beautiful, and if Tumblr tags or pinboards have anything to say about it, the time-honored craft is experiencing a resurgence in popularity. Now you can master a fresh take on the lettering style with the help of award-winning designer Molly Suber Thorpe’s MODERN CALLIGRAPHY (St. Martin’s Griffin; September 24, 2013; $24.99).

The first book to teach this bold new style, MODERN CALLIGRAPHY breaks the process down into simple steps so that anyone can learn to create their own stunning wedding invitations, thank-you cards, gift tags, and more. Starting with an overview of supplies—from paper to ink to pens—you will learn how to form letters, words, then phrases by following Molly’s clear instructions and practicing with her provided templates. After mastering letterforms using a pointed pen and ink, you can take it to the next level by learning how to write with watercolor and gouache, or how to digitize your calligraphy for printed use on business cards, menus, and stamps. The book’s twenty projects provide inspiration for weddings, entertainment, and personal stationery. Finally, a handy troubleshooting section solves problems like how to conquer large-batch projects and offers helpful instructions for left-handed calligraphers.

With loads of ideas, practice exercises, and helpful tips, you’ll soon be turning out gorgeous script calligraphy pieces like the ones featured in wedding magazines and on popular websites like Etsy and Pinterest!

MOLLY SUBER THORPE is the award-winning designer and calligrapher behind Plurabelle Calligraphy. She is known for her original, contemporary lettering styles, combined with modern layouts and bold color palettes. Molly’s calligraphy has appeared in such publications as Martha Stewart Weddings, Country Living Magazine, C Magazine, The Guardian, and I Heart Stationery, as well on hundreds of blogs and in over 80 weddings. She lives in Los Angeles. For more information, visit her website: “

Butterflies, Decoupage, Cards, & Collage

Blogged under Around the Web by Tammy on Sunday 21 July 2013 at 11:05 am

An oldie but a goodie!
Cyndi was able to unleash her inner child by making googly-eyed butterflies with her granddaughter!

Craftside-A behind-the-scenes peek at our crafty world
This week at Craftside there are tutorials on how to make Rowlux votive covers, how to draw an imaginary animal, make a recycled wood block decoupaged sign, draw 8 types of fabric and a recipe for lip-plumping moisture gloss.

Make Someone Feel Special with a Unique Hand Made Card
How to make a cute country-look gatefold card.

The Big B
Cherie uses an alphabet letter to make a photo collage.

Adorable Picture Book Crafters Will Love

Blogged under Good Books by Tammy on Friday 19 July 2013 at 4:58 pm

A publicist sent me some information about an unusual children’s book that will appeal in a way to crafters since the images in the book are physically crafted by the author. The author/crafter is Rebbecca Dudley, and the title of the book Hank Finds an Egg. Here’s a trailer, and I’ve pasted the press release information below it.


“[a] rare picture-book pleasure: a wholly original take on storytelling.”

– Pamela Paul from The New York Times

(July 17, 2013) Peter Pauper Press, Inc. ( kicks off its expansion into children’s literature with the charming, wordless picture bookHank Finds an Egg by Rebecca Dudley (June 2013, $16.99, Ages 3-8).

Dudley, an accomplished builder, photographer, and artist, weaves a heartwarming tale not with words, but with meticulously detailed dioramas, all designed, created, and photographed by her. When Hank walks in the woods and comes across an egg lying on the forest floor, he immediately gets to work trying to return the egg to its nest, getting increasingly more creative to accomplish the task. As the story unfolds, readers young and old will delight in the richness of detail in each picture—the shape of each leaf, the ripples on each tree trunk, the emotions displayed through Hank’s gentle and kind demeanor. Hank Finds an Egg is a wonderful tale that will inspire readers of all ages to believe in themselves and the goodness of others.

Mara Conlon, Senior Editor, explains, “It was love at first sight when we were introduced to the adorable character Hank, and we couldn’t be more excited that he’s launching our children’s picture book program.” And the launch is off to a strong start indeed, with Hank Finds an Egg having already received two starred reviews (Publishers Weekly and Booklist), as well as other numerous glowing reviews from The New York Times and School Library Journal.

Peter Pauper Press has two more picture books scheduled for Fall 2013 and four in the works for 2014. Conlon gives more details regarding the publisher’s commitment to children’s literature, “Children’s books can instill a sense of exploration, wonder, creativity, kindness, and self-confidence. All of our upcoming titles do exactly that—each in their own way. Through their inspiring work, the talented authors and illustrators that we have on our roster are creating books that provide a strong foundation from which young children can learn, grow, and flourish.”

Hank Finds an Egg will be available in stores nationwide as well as through online retail outlets.

About the author: Rebecca Dudley is a builder, creator, photographer, and artist. She makes everything that appears in her diorama illustrations—the trees, leaves, ponds, skies and the creatures themselves. She has a small architectural practice, and lives in Evanston, Illinois with her husband John, dog Josephine and her many magical Storywoods characters, Hank included. This is her debut children’s picture book. Please visit her blog at for more Storywoods adventure featuring Hank and his friends.

About Peter Pauper Press: Founded in 1928, Peter Pauper Press is one of America’s leading publishers of fine gift books, humor books, compact references, travel guides, journals, quality stationery, holiday cards, and innovative children’s activity books. The company publishes approximately 100 books and ancillary products per year.

Amiercan Craft Council Show

Blogged under Shows by Tammy on Friday 19 July 2013 at 4:26 pm

I received the 411 on the American Craft Council Show that is coming up in San Francisco in early August:

This August 2-4, the ever-popular American Craft Council Show is returning to San Francisco’s Fort Mason Center, where it will feature work by over 230 artists from across the country. As the largest juried craft show west of the Rockies, the American Craft Council Show showcases handcrafted jewelry, apparel, furniture, and home décor at its absolute finest. Nine shopping categories designed to help attendees navigate the show include:

Handmade under $100 – affordable pieces for budding craft lovers
Greencraft – upcycled objects of art created with eco-friendly processes
Local – work by local makers
Foodieware – fabulous utilitarian objects
Men’s Dept. – cool handmade merchandise for men
Bride-To-Be – built-to-last, one-of-a-kind wedding jewelry and gifts
NEW!  Holiday – one-off treasures for every special occasion
NEW!  The Great Outdoors – fresh, hardy finds to deck out favorite outdoor spaces
NEW!  Upscale – stunning objects of desire valued at $5k+

The one new twist this year is the American Craft Council’s collaboration with 9 local interior designers and architects to create 8 spectacular room settings on the showroom floor inspired by a piece of fine craft designed by one of the 230-plus artists. Designers include: Lisa Bakamis , Lisa Bakamis Design; Mimi I. Chen , Three Legged Pig Design; Lauren Geremia , Geremia Design; Nicole Hollis , Nicole Hollis Design; Steven Miller , The NWBLK; E.B. Min and Jeffrey L. Day , Min | Day; Melina Raissnia , Peace Industry; Nicole Socia, Socia Design.

Outlet Sale – Project Bags, Totes, & more

Blogged under My Crafty News by Tammy on Wednesday 17 July 2013 at 6:02 pm

I’m an independent Thirty-One Gifts consultant, and I have some great news! The outlet sale starts tomorrow (7/18) at 9am eastern time. To access head over to my Thirty-One Gifts web site here:

Get up to 70% off discontinued merchandise. All sales are final, cannot be personalize, and do not have the usual 90 day warranty. However, I just went over and took a look (since they allowed consultant to shop early), and I saw lots of great values on potential notions and craft project bags.

The sale ends at 3am eastern time on 7/20.

Handmade Books, Decorative Towels, Solar Lights

Blogged under Around the Web by Tammy on Sunday 14 July 2013 at 10:17 am

An easy handmade book to make with a child
Cyndi shows how to help children make a special book of their own!

Cool Cards
Learn to make some cool and uncommon greeting cards with this new book.

Remember These Handy Dandy Hanging Towels?
How to sew a handy towel to hang securely near any sink.

Solar Light Glass Sculptures
Cherie makes some small glass sculptures with solar lights.

Crochet Purse Handles
The Crochet Dude talks about his inspiration for designing the perfect handle for crocheted purses.

Where Did Summer Go?
Tapping Flamingo looks back on summer through her photographs.

Working, Working, Working on the Book

Blogged under My Crafty News,writing by Tammy on Sunday 14 July 2013 at 9:17 am

This blog has not had as much attention as it should recently. As usual, I have been juggling many task on  my ever-lengthening to-do list, but one main tasks has been the update of my last jewelry making book The Complete Photo Guide to Jewelry Making (which by the way has a call for entries out). This is an “update” as apposed to an entirely new book, but it is a pretty substantial one. I’m adding fifteen new projects. Three of the fifteen I have contracted out, but even those require my time when it comes to writing up the how-to steps and organizing and labeling all the art work.

This post is not meant to be a complaint. As usual, I enjoy this type of process, but I just has reminded me how much work there is to putting together a book like this. I have to design the projects. This means maybe making multiple versions until I get the “one” that is just right for the book. Then I have to take photographs of how to make each project, and then write copy to go with the photos. After that, I have to label and log each photo, which includes labels added in the manuscript plus a separate art log plus a visual photo list of images that include number, pixel size, and MB size. Plus sending these all away. Oh, and of course, making the finished jewelry pieces that needs to also be logged and then mailed to the publisher for beauty shots.

There are just so many little steps involved. And the, of course, I have to stress a little about what my editors think of the finished pieces. Do they like them? Are they going to come back and tell me something like “we don’t like this color” or “this technique seems dated.” Argh!

So if you wonder where I’m at and why Crafty Princess Diaries is not seeing a lot of love lately, I’m working, working, working on the book!

Book Review: Uncommon Cards

Blogged under Good Books by Tammy on Thursday 11 July 2013 at 4:59 pm

Uncommon Cards: Stationery Made with Found Treasures, Recycled Objects, and a Little Imagination by Jeanne Williamson is a new title that came out last month (June 2013) published by Running Press. It retails in the US for $20 and in Canada for $23, and Amazon is selling it for $15. Whatever the price, one of the cool things about this book is that you are not just paying for a book. You are also receive materials to make projects in the book. It has eight sheets of card stock in the back of the book that is perforated in the middle so you fold them into cards.

Another element that make this book unique, or “uncommon” as it says in the title, is that the techniques used require stitching on the card stock. You literally take the paper and stitch on it with a sewing machine using 52 designs provided in the book. Then other techniques like stamping and gluing are used in combination with the stitching. These are really hand-made cards that turn into miniature works of art.

If you enjoy paper-arts and also have sewn a few straight lines, then you will enjoy the projects in this book. Because the stitch is so basic, you do not need a great deal of sewing skill to handle the techniques. It also says you could sew by hand, but honestly, I personally think that would turn these projects into more of a pain than pleasure to make.

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