Monday, February 25, 2013

Changing Back

I changed back to my previous blog name.  I've been doing a lot of thinking about this blog and decided that I wanted to follow though with why I actually started this blog in the first place.  I still want to document all the creative things that I make, butI want to talk about my belief in living a more natural life all while trying to balance the pressures of everyday life.

As much as I have certain beliefs, the different pressures of everyday life sometimes get in the way and do not let me follow through as much as I would like.  right now, I am dealing with a herniated disc and treatment for that.  Over the weekend, I was trying to plan dinner and ended up just getting Chinese food from my local Chinese restaurant.  I was just in too much pain to cook.  As much as I want to cook my own food, sometimes there are good reasons why I can't or don't.

I love the idea of making my kids clothing and trying to up cycle.  I have 3 kids (all who are 4 right now), a job, a house, a husband, which makes it difficult trying to make things from scratch.  I still try to not buy brand new things so that we can hopefully re-use clothing that is still in good condition and not spend money unnecessarily.  My goal is to try to get better at making things from scratch and even up-cycling material from other things rather than just going to the store and buying new.

I am also thinking about trying to buy plain material/yarn/paper, and dye my own.  I'm thinking that it is going to be more creative and less processed than if I buy it at the store.  I will also have more control over the type of process being used.

I am looking forward to our garden this year.  It's time to start planning what we are going to grow, what we are going to grow from seed vs from already started plants, when to start planting, etc.  I am hoping that the kids being a little older this year, means that we are going to have a better year with them not running off.

I'm trying to get better at eating healthy and exercising.  My goal with exercise if to get outside and exercise vs being in a gym.  I don't want to spend the money on a gym membership and I get so bored exercising inside.  I am so much happier walking and running and hiking as well as playing with my kids!

So, my old blog name is back and what I write about is back on track.  I am very much looking forward to writing about my beliefs, hopes and dreams, and projects that I am working on.

Here's just a few things I have been working on lately:

An afghan that I should have finished when the twins were babies (I had to rip out and start over since I couldn't figure out the pattern)

My tenderloin steak dinner cooked like a restaurant (locally bought cooked at home).  So delicious!  My husband wants to have it once a month.

Homemade bread pudding.  So yummy!

Wire wrapped ring, quick and easy project!


Friday, February 15, 2013

My Latest Projects

I have been trying to make a point to create more often.  I had a period where I was just too tired to complete anything.  I know how much better I feel better I feel when I make a point to create.

My recent projects have included a mug rug swap, embroidery for my daughter's room, some English paper piecing, some Valentine's day projects, and most recently a Japanese stab binding book.  I am really trying to do something create every day!

Fairy Embroidery for my daughter's room

2nd Fairy (not yet complete)

English paper pieced flower hexagon

English paper pieced flower

Valentine's Day fabric card

Inside of Valentine's day fabric card

Valentine's Day post card

Glued English paper pieced shaped

English paper pieced solar system star

All the Valentine's day projects I worked on

Japanese stab binding book (I've been wanting to learn more about book binding.  I already have a tool case with book binding supplies!)

Some quilt history reading

Some fabric painting reading

Some fabric dyeing reading

Mug rug I made for my swap

Not only have I been actually making things, I have been reading about how to color my own fabric and learning about the history of quilt making.  I am hoping to buy some fabric dyes and paints and start creating my own fabric.  

I have been having a great time being creative and can't wait to continue!

Happy Creating,

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Handmade Valentines

I decided to make handmade Valentines this year!  I still need to make ones for Michael's specialists and I just got more classmates for Michael.  I also have to make another one for my husband.  Our budget isn't going to afford us to be able to get each other expensive gifts, but I can certainly make something from the heart and hopes that he likes it (I'm sure that he will).

For Michael's classmates, I just cut out 2 paper hearts and sewed them together and added pencils.

This happens to be for my daughter's teacher, but Michael's Valentines are the same

For his teachers, I made a fabric book that I will have Michael help me decorate and add things to the pockets.

Outside covers

Inside pages with pockets that I think we will add bookmarks to(there are 2 other blank pages to decorate)

For the specialists and my daughter's speech teacher, I am going to make fabric postcards like these.  I need to make 3 more.

Front side

Back side with Eva Rose tracing her name and rubber stamping decorations

I have really enjoyed making these different projects the last couple of days.  I just wish it didn't hurt my sciatica so much/.  I can't wait to feel better so I can handle creating more things!

I love my new sewing machine.  It's amazing how good a good quality sewing machine is.  Too bad I had to spend the money on it, but I have really enjoyed having it!

Happy Valentine's Day!!!  What are you crafting?

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Wishcasting Wednesdays

Every so often, I join in with Jamie at for Wishcasting Wednesday.  This helps me to focus on where I want my life to go and what dreams, goals, and passions I have.  This week Jamie asks: "What do you wish to work on?".

I could answer this in so many ways.  The way I am going to answer this week is: I want to work on making time to do the things I love to do!

I want to try to continue to get more organized to be able to have more free time to do the things I love to do.   I want to feel free to go fun places with my kids.  I want to budget my money better so that I have money to do things with the kids.  I want to make time to work on the different creative things that I want to do; sew, embroider, knit, paper crafts, jewelry, learning new crafts, etc.  I want to work on making time to spend more special time with my husband like having a date night more often (hopefully the warmer weather will help with what to do).  I want to work on making things to sell.  I want to work on getting healthy and staying healthy.  I have a herniated disc that pretty much makes me not want to do anything for the last couple of months. I miss running, even though I never really ran a lot.  Now that I can't run, it's all I want to do.  I'm hoping that after my back gets better, I can work on my running and get to enjoy it again like I was before I stopped!

I guess there are a lot of things that I want to work on, but unless I work on making more time and getting organized, none of it will happen.

I just read a couple of fellow wishcasting posts and it reminded me of another goal that I guess I should put down in writing.  I want to work on utilizing my love of creativity in my social work profession and  I want to work on figuring out how to have a brick and mortar studio and gallery for my community.  I want to have a gallery that people can show off what they create and not worry about it being good enough; the fact that they created it makes it good enough!

What do you wish to work on?


Tuesday, February 5, 2013

At My Sewing Machine Again

Finally, I took the plunge at attempted to sit at my sewing machine after a couple of months of sciatica.  I was able to get a couple of small projects sewn, but it was tough.

I get e-mails every time Crafty Gemini has a new post.  This was was a giveaway for a slice cutting machine.  I would love a cutting machine and if I won this, I would be ecstatic!  The project that she showed in the video for the slice cutter was for a fabric Valentine's Day Card.  I thought this would be a nice easy way for me to get back at my sewing machine and it was, except I did get a little sore.  I made 2 fabric cards and would love to make 1 maybe 2 more.  you can check out the project and the giveaway at

Here are my attempts at the project.  I still need to embellish them and am hoping to have the kids help me.

Here are the outside covers of the 2 that I made today.  One is planned for My daughter's speech teacher, and one is planned for one of my oldest son's teachers.  I still need to make one more for his other teacher. 

Outside again

Inside of card

Close up of the outside of the first card

Inside of the first card (close up)

This project was a lot of fun and I will definitely be making again for many other holidays, not just Valentine's Day!

Hope you all check out Crafty Gemini as she has a bunch of fun tutorials,

Monday, February 4, 2013


If you can't tell, I love to create!  I also love to know the history behind things I create!  I have friends/acquaintances, more friends/acquaintances than I realized, who like to make hand made items too.  The funny thing is, I don't know if any of them are as interested in the history of the things they create as I am.  I am also more of a traditionalist when it comes to creating things.  I can certainly appreciate more modern patterns, but when it comes to things that I love, I am much more traditional and classic in my taste.

I would love to teach the history of hand crafted items.  I've already read a little about civil war quilting, but no where near enough to know really anything.  I recently started looking at english paper piecing and the history behind it.  It's actually kind of funny how little info I am finding on the history.  The one fun fact that I found is; early on, women would use old letters or newspapers as the paper pieces and use old scraps of material to make their paper pieced quilts.  The other fun fact is that this allowed people to date these quilts, as women would often leave the paper pieces in the quilts for extra warmth.

I'm looking forward to reading more about quilting history, and can't wait to learn more about the history of other crafts that I enjoy.  I'm going to start reading and see what kind of information I can learn.  Personally, I can't wait to the how the things I enjoy came about.  Maybe I can, in time, become someone who teaches the history as well as someone who can teach how to make traditional projects.

I have a ton on my plate right now, with the kids, work, husband, and household stuff.  I am contemplating not putting my twins in preschool and doing some homeschool stuff with them and use the money that I would spend on preschool on other types of learning activities that will hopefully teach them and allow them to have fun and learn at the same time.  I am also hoping to add in some learning about hands on activities not just phonics, spelling, math (all of which are important, but I believe there needs to be a balance of hands on learning too).

Too much to think about right now.  I just want to keep learning about the things that I create and teach my children to appreciate handmade things.


Friday, February 1, 2013

Trying to Find My Niche

So, I've changed the name of my handcrafting blog with the hopes of starting to sell.  At this point, I haven't actually made anything that I can post on an page.  I am trying to figure out what I want my first piece to be.  I've been trying to figure out my niche.  I can't say that I like a certain type of handcrafting.  I love sewing, knitting, paper crafts, jewelry, clay, etc.  Pretty much anything I can make, I love!

If there is one thing that I would say is my niche, it would be creating small, simple items.  Partly because I love to be able to finish something fairly quickly.  I love the sense of completion and satisfaction I have when I complete a project I have been working on.  What I don't like is a project that takes forever to complete.  Some people have no problem working on a large complex project.  I, on the other hand, don't have the patience or the attention span to work on projects that are large and complex.

The other niche I have been thinking about is making sure that each piece I create has something more handmade than just supplies bought at a craft store.  I've been thinking that all the things that I am interested in can help play a role in this.  For example, I want to learn to make my own glass beads.  I can put some handmade beads into a jewelry creation along with beads that I have bought at a store.  I can see my own fabric and add that to a project that uses both store bought fabric and fabric that I have dyed myself.  These are just some of the things that I have been thinking about.  There are many different things that I can make to add to store bought supplies.  I can potentially dye yarn, make clay pendants, make handmade paper, and I'm sure many other things.

These are just some of my thoughts.  We'll see how it goes. Right now, I'm off to collect things to make  thank you cards for my twins birthday.  While I make the cards, I plan to let the kids rubber stamp their own pictures.  Maybe I'll even create my own paper with the kids.

Happy Creating,