Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Happy New Year!!!!!

Happy New Year to all!!!! Feel free to take copies of these cute calendars for the kids to color. They are 4.75 x 5 and look super cute mounted on cardstock, created by yours truly! (For a more grownup version check my Etsy store!)

Sunday, December 28, 2008

It's a Craft Explosion!

So in the last three days I have discovered two fun, simple, and oh so cute crafts that anyone and everyone should do- baby legwarmers and covered button hair bands!!

The legwarmers are easy enough that since I don't yet have a sewing machine I just sewed them by hand and they still look super cute. The tutorial that I found on Flickr does a great job of explaining the process and helped me with the initial directions. Just go buy yourself some cute knee high socks at Target and in about 20 mins (by hand) you should have a great pair of legwarmers for your little one! The tutorial is here.

And next we have a very cute, banish those bad hair days away, craft- Covered button hair bands and bobby pins! First go get the kit from Jo-Ann's- super cheap. Then gather some of your scrap fabric. Follow the directions on the back of the kit and voila! Then either tie a rubber band onto the finished button or add a blank bobby pin. Here is the tutorial for these and other cute ideas for what to do with covered buttons.

Where do I get all my supplies to make all these fun things you ask? Etsy sellers for the most part (unless I am feeling impatient, then I go to Jo-Ann's). Here is a list of some of my suppliers:

Wunderkind - kokeshi dolls to paint
Gemmielou - Tons of Kokeshi dolls and families- SUPER cheapo!
Uberstitch - fabric galore, I love their fat quarter sets
BigFish - buttons galore and other sewing materials
Beads2u - my alligator clips for making cute hair clippies
SupplyRiot - all kinds of fabric, covered button supplies, art supplies
Tobysmom - covered button blanks and kits- VERY cheap prices!!
ReductionNation - blank bobby pins, perfect for covered buttons!
SunandMoonCraftKits - everything you need to make scrabble tile pendants, glass magnets, bottle cap crafts, and tons more. Browse but beware that there is a good chance you will leave with your wallet a little lighter!

I am sure that there are more, but these sellers have been the best! Try them out and make some fun things for your and your little ones!

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Things to do when it is 67 degrees in the middle of Cleveland, OH

First of all turn off the heaters, heated blankets, and bed warmers.... then...
1. Find a pair of shorts, capris, a bikini- whatever! As long as it isn't winter weather attire.
2. Wash the car off for the first time in 2 months
3. Take the dog for a walk that is longer than 5 minutes... in shorts!
4. Drive with the heat off and the sunroof open
5. Watch the weather channel to see when the snow will be back!

Friday, December 26, 2008

Kokeshi Mania

Somedays I really think that I was of Asian decent in a former life, there are just too many things that I am drawn to about the various cultures for it to be a coincidence. Aside from turning our lunches into a contest of art and taste through my overworked Bento, I just discovered a kind of doll that appeals to both my natural nature and my artistic spirit- the Kokeshi doll!! This unique doll is very simple, a plain trunk with a larger head, painted with a few lines to indicate facial features, and then the body is painted in a variety of ways. One thing that all Kokeshi have in common is no arms or legs.

Of course I discovered these on Etsy thanks to a search for gifts for my husband so here are some shops that sell finished Kokeshi as well as a great shop that sells the plain wood for you to paint your own Kokeshi dolls (at a VERY cheap price). Just click on the pic and it will take you to the shop.

Whether one believes in a religion or not,
and whether one believes in rebirth or not,
there isn't anyone who doesn't appreciate kindness and compassion.
~Dalai Lama

Monday, December 22, 2008

Giving Back to the Cats

Well tonight Gabby, AJ, and I went and delivered our gifts to this year's charity- the Berea Animal Shelter. We made tons of catnip birdies for the cats and baked peanut butter treats for all the dogs. Before we went to the shelter I made it very clear to Gabby that we were just there to give presents to the animals and that they were waiting for their families to come get them since whenever we enter a shelter we come out with a pet, Spooky being the last find about 2 1/2 months ago. (Gabby agreed with me that if we brought home another kitty Daddy would scream and run away!)

The volunteers who were taking care of the cat were so nice and helped Gabby distribute the birds to different cats. I just wish that we could have made birds for all the cats... there were so many there. One of the things that I really like about this shelter is that if the cats get along with each other they can roam free of the cages. Gabby got to let a couple of the kitties out, helped fill a few waterbowls and just had fun chatting with the other helpers. I know that it made her feel really good when the cats were playing with the birds she helped stuff and even AJ had fun petting different cats.
The volunteers are going to pass the dog treats to the dogs later and I know that they will enjoy them as much as Spooky does. If anyone out there in the Cleveland area is looking for a pet please consider adopting from this wonderful shelter. Some of those cats have been there for almost 2 years. Even if you can't adopt, the shelter is always in need of supplies like cat little, canned food, hand soap, and leashes.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Craft of the day: Pin Cushion Bracelet

Now that I am dabbling in sewing I have discovered a few things that I need for the process to go smoothly, like a pin cushion. Of course me being me it can't be just any pin cushion! So I looked around and came up with this to aid me with my couch sewing. Now I don't have to use one of my little stuffed birds for the job!!

Snapple bottle Cap or cap of similar size
3x3 square of fabric
glue gun
needle and thread
elastic cut to fit around your wrist comfortably but snug enough to not slide.

How To:
1. Using a running stitch gather the fabric into a ball leaving enough room to stuff the ball with poly-fil.
2. Close the ball tight and roll it to shape it.
3. Using a glue gun attach ribbon to the outside rim of the bottle cap.
4. Attach a button to the place where the ribbon overlaps.
5. Use a generous amount of hot glue in the inside of the bottle cap, making sure to also get the inside rim.
6. Press your fabric ball firmly in the bottle cap, hold for a few seconds
7. Using the glue gun attach the elastic to the top of the bottle cap, creating a bracelet.

Voila! An instant pin cushion that even protects your wrist from pokes with the bottle cap, and you are doing a bit of good for the environment by recycling!!

You can even make a pin cushion ring using a smaller bottle cap like this found on Etsy and the source of my inspiration!!

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Sunnynole's Nest

I am loving all the gifts that have arrived and are due to arrive from Etsians. Gabby's Nightmare Snatcher just came (after a bit of worry that it was lost) and AJ's custom package will be arriving shortly. I really appreciate everyone's hard work and love that they put into their crafts and I am going to share my newest crafty friend, who I met by chance on Etsy- Sunnynole's Nest (aka Jessica).

We are doing a trade that is turning into a lovely friendship full of craftiness and generosity. Jessica just completed a cool Owl pillow for AJ's crib and also a fun little flock of birdies for me to match that I will put together in a pretty little mobile. In return I am doing a business package for her including business cards and some fun little extras I am going to throw in because I love working with people who are skilled and sweet. =)

If you are interested in anything custom made and sewn I would highly recommend Jessica's skill. Her store is still under construction but her photo stream on Flickr speaks for itself. Take a look around and I am sure you will be as impressed as I am!

Friday, December 19, 2008

New Light Box and New Products

I love learning how to make something that would normally cost a ton out of things just laying about, it makes me giddy. Especially when those things help me sell my crafts. Thanks to a fellow Etsian I learned how to make a light box out of a gallon milk jug instead of having to buy one just to sell my hair clips. "How do I make one?", you ask? Go here to Larsphotography and check out the pic. Even the most simple crafter should be able to see how Lars made it. And I can vouch that it works... here is my light box as well as a pair of clips I am about to list:

I am also excited that my great friend Hana is going to join me on Etsy and add her beautiful fleece blankets to my store, I can't wait to work with her on a lot of new projects. Hana and I go back farther than any other friend I have and she knows more about me than all. She is a really talented web developer who also coaches volleyball and visits whenever she can. Go check out her portfolio here!

Thursday, December 18, 2008

My little Dancers!

About 2 weeks ago my dance studio had two performances, one at the Middleburg Heighs Rec Center and the other at the North Olmstead mall. Both went really well and I am so proud of all my little dancers! (Doesn't Gabby look cute in her fur vest?!)

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Save Handmade Toys

I love featuring handmade toys on here, toys made with love by people who care deeply about what they are making. But come February 10, 2009 all that is going to dissapear. Once again legislation has been passed out of fear, not education, and this effects everyone reading this. While we are all for making sure that toys that are toxic do not make their way into our homes, Congress passed a very ignorant law that will wipe out every small toy maker, crafter, and artisan who pours their hearts and souls into creating wonderful things for our children.

The Consumer Products Safety Improvement Act was created to prevent more situations like the mass lead recalls, but fails the public in so many other ways. There is no way that me or you can afford the thousands of dollars that it takes for all of our products to be third party tested and labled, let alone the small toy companies, the Etsy crafters, or the grandfathers who carve cars for craftshows. Thinking about the people impacted by this makes me sick as a crafters, an Etsian, and a mom who adores handmade toys.

Please please please click the picture above and take action. Maybe we can get Congress to recind this mindless act and reform it so that is does more good than harm.

Cleveland Handmade Last Minute Market

8 7 1 C a n t e r b u r y . W e s t l a k e . O h i o . 4 4 1 4 5
Cleveland Handmade is enabling, maybe even encouraging, holiday shopping procrastination with a LAST MINUTE handmade market. Many of the sellers presenting will be offering special deals and pricing, just for the show!

Come support your local artists and craftspeople while you enjoy wine, refreshments and a fun, friendly and relaxed atmosphere. There will be something (handmade!) for just about everyone on your list.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Charity Project

Teaching our kids to give to others is really important, not only does it benefit others but it makes them feel like they are making a difference in the world. This Christmas we are going to make some homeless kitties very happy by making some catnip filled birdies using the awesome pattern by Spool Sewing found here. While I am pretty inept at using a sewing machine, this pattern is super easy to do by hand and is quick enough that I can make a few during naptime or while relaxing before bed. I sew the birds and then Gabby helps me stuff them with poly-fil and catnip (Cosmic Catnip is the best!) then AJ puts them in the basket. We are going to take them to the Berea Animal Shelter where we adopted Tuck (the cat of my heart). What are you doing this holiday season for others?

Saturday, December 13, 2008

My First Craft Show

.....was a flop, but luckily not because of anything I did. I actually made quite a bit since there was all of 5 customers there, but it was definitely a dissapointment. This was the first show at the dance studio and I think that it was a learning experience for the owner. I am very proud of myself though for making my table look fun and getting tons of hair clippies done for sale though (now if anyone knows what I can do with about 200 pairs of hair clips I am open to all ideas!!!)
A couple of people suggested adding them to my Etsy store, but the thought of taking pics and listing all those clips makes me a bit dizzy, plus every pair is different. Sooooo..... what next? =)

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Wordless Wednesday

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Things I love

Top 10 Things that I Cannot Live Without!!!
(feel free to share the things you love!!)
10. My tap shoes by Bloch- I have had them for over 8 years and LOVE them!!

9. Curvy Hailey Dark Vintage Jean by Aeropostale- the only brand where the "short" is actually short enough for my 4'10" frame!

8. Music fragrance by Harajuku Lovers- a very citusy and fun scent

7. My Lucky Bamboo necklace by, this necklace never comes off and my luck continues to grow!

6. Wondertime Magazine- I can't get enough of this magazine, full of crafts, good parent tips, and a very cool layout.

5. Woodwick Candle in Snowflake- a sweet and minty scent, plus a wonderful crackling sound that makes you think you are sitting by a fire!

4. The Notebook starring Ryan Gosling and Rachel McAdams- a classic love story, my favorite!

3. My iPod Touch- my life is on this thing.... loooooove it!

2. Any book by Nora Roberts. I re-read them all the time and they never let me down. I am currently revisiting the Three Sisters trilogy. Click here for her awesome website!

1. My laptop!!! A refurbished IBM Thinkpad that is my lifeline to the outside world, my enjoyment, extra income, and the one material thing that I would run into a burning house to get! =)

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Happy Anniversary!!!

Yesterday, Dec 6th, was our 5 year anniversary! Yay for making it though 5 years of wonderful, scary, hard, and amazing. We started out a couple of rogue Greeks, fresh out of college, who decided to elope to another country, lived in a closet of an apartment, and got ourselves a baby as a honeymoon souvenier. Now we are living in the burbs with a mortgage, two lil girls, bills, pets, and still going strong.

Klint and I like to tell each other that our marriage is an adventure, always keeping us on our toes and never dull. (How life can be dull with two girls, 4 cats, and one nutty dog plus a slew of dysfunctional family members is beyond me!!) I like to tease him that in my day I kissed a lot of frogs, but I needed to in order to find my prince. No matter what, we are living happily ever after. =)

Here are some pics of our past and present: Enjoy!!!

We eloped to Niagara Falls, Canada
Last day of college at Baldwin-Wallace

Decided to elope in November

Preggo with Gabby Rae, still had 3 months to go!!

Gabby at 8 months

Klint and Gabby when she was almost 2

Gabby at 3 years

Preggo with AJ, still had 1 1/2 months to go!!

In the NICU with AJ on the day she got to come home!

AJ at 7 months
AJ playing in the pumpkin field, she just turned 1 =)
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