A Hoppy Occassion

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Happy Sunday and happy Easter to everyone that celebrates!

When I was a child, we spent much of Easter with family (and we have a rather large one) and that meant that us kids had to keep ourselves entertained. There was plenty of excitement over the goodies in our baskets but eventually that would wane and we’d find some other mischief to get into. Two of my aunts were very artsy-craftsy, so once that point hit, the kids craft supplies would make their way out! There are some great tutorials out there for some cute crafts for your own swarm of littles if need be and I’ve (of course) pulled a list of my favorites, starting with these adorable chicks made out of the egg cartons from all those yummy deviled eggs:

A super cheap cheap way to keep them busy!

Or maybe use some time to make salt dough eggs that the kiddos can paint/glitter/mark-up:

An egg-cellent chance to show their creativity.

If the younglings are a bit older and craft inclined, they could try their hands at these stinkin’ cute Shaun the Sheep figures:

Maybe while watching some Wallace and Gromit episodes!

And I do hope you wouldn’t think I could get through a DIY Easter list without bunnies, did you? Of course not! These sock bunnies are just the thing:

And…this could include some recycling.

I hope everyone has a wonderful holiday and next week we’ll be at C2E2 here in Chicago! More adventures to come!

Stay crafty!

~Laura

 


Egging it Up

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Happy Sunday, all!

It’s only a week until Easter and besides the bunnies, eggs also come to mind at this time of year. Eggs, the best symbol for potential life and growing things. They are used the world over for a fantastic pop of protein and as a comfort food. We’ve actually covered my topic of choice today a couple of times (Not Your Regular Egg Dyeing Kit and Decorating Easter Eggs: Hard Mode) but the various designs and craftsmanship still continue to capture my imagination. The topic I am referring to is pysanky, the Ukrainian or Polish method of using wax to create amazing designs on eggs.

Just look at all the intricate designs!

This ancient and beautiful tradition has continued through the ages via the hands of some very talented artists. Their patience, dedication, and vision have created some truly inspiring décor.

This particular design by artist So Jeo is so gorgeous! It’s also for sale in their Etsy shop.

In case you were wondering, yes, there are plenty of sites out there with more information on the history of pysanky, Etsy shops filled with absolutely amazing designs, and even a few with instructions on how to effectively make your own (the two I like best can be found here and here).

Plus, imagine the geeky designs to be incorporated. One ring eggs, maybe?

Whichever you choose (bought or made), I hope you enjoy the journey into these stunning examples and it inspires you to further artistic heights – I know it has for me!

Stay crafty!

~Laura

 


Bunnies Galore

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Happy Sunday, all!

Easter is a couple of weeks away and I’ve already been having bunny sightings! Spring has definitely sprung, so let’s get festive and add a few more buns to the mix. If you are the crochet type, you could use all kinds of colors to create these little cuties:

They don’t take that much yarn so the stash could be raided!

Or maybe you’ve already been itching to start a quick/portable hand sewing project? These cute bun buns would do the trick:

I love those widdle whiskers!

Or maybe you’ve still got the old sewing machine out to work on through some of those scrap projects? How about adding a quick bunny basket to the mix:

Just in time to fill with chocolate goodies, too.

Speaking of goodies, I just can’t pass up the opportunity to mention these deliciously cute looking bunny butt cupcakes:

I mean, look at that adorbs tail!

I seem to have become the queen of project lists in the last few months but never fear, I have some tutorials and product testimonials up my sleeve, yet. More to come!

Stay crafty!

~Laura

 


An Abundance of Blooms

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Happy Sunday, all!

Supposedly tomorrow is the first day of Spring here and while the temperature may not reflect that, the amount of sun has definitely improved! It makes me think of green grass, warm breezes, and flowers. Fragrant blossoms arching toward the bright light, full of color and beauty. It’s a bit early for them, though, so what’s a girl to do? How about we make some of our own? I’ve always admired the colors and realism achieved when creating coffee filter flowers:

With a little swipe of essential oil around the sides, these could also give off a delightful scent!

During my spring cleaning, I found an awful lot of stray buttons. We could always make some button flowers:

Perhaps to be made into badges or hair clips?

Or maybe you still have some fabric scraps laying around from other projects and rather than the roses in our Spring Cleaning tutorial, you want some cute little flowers for embellishment:

These would also be great for hair ornaments!

Of course, there is always room for a little bit of crochet so why not some pretty petals of yarn:

These could be placed on a bag or blanket or whatever catches your fancy.

Oh it just makes me think about all of the warm days to come! I sure hope they show up soon.

Stay crafty!

~Laura


Making Your Own Luck

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Happy Sunday, all!

This coming week includes a very special day of the year for me – St. Patrick’s Day! I have a rather large affinity for my Irish heritage, always having been obsessed with stories and images of the island, it’s music, and the knot work that is often incorporated into Irish art. One of the most prevalent symbols of the particular day, though, has been the shamrock. This humble little plant, found in grassy knolls across the world is a symbol of pride and tradition to those of Irish origin and descent. It’s considered lucky to find a four-leafed clover but the three-leafed shamrock (origin of the word in Irish Gaelic simply means “little clover”) is also a source of luck, inspiration, and spirit, especially on St. Patrick’s Day. It’s usually a bit too cold yet here in the Midwest to find a field of clover so we’ve been forced to make symbols of our own. I’ve found some great ideas all over the web for “greening up” the place!

First up is for those with a rather large stash of washi tape:

If this inspires you to start a washi tape stash, I am so sorry.

Or how about something for that big tin of buttons (or maybe raid grandma’s?):

Everyone still plays the cookies or buttons in the tin game, right?

Do you perhaps have some Scrabble tiles from other projects? Then this may be the project for you:

Or maybe just a game of Scrabble that happens to be missing some pieces?

I’m a rather large fan of this burlap and felt wreath, especially for the little rainbow that’s included:

Those super cute shamrocks could be used for other things as well.

Lastly, to adorn yourself in a bit of greenery, there is always a bit of crochet to be had:

Cute and easy with a little safety pin on the back!

I wish you luck and light this week and all the rest of the year. We’ll see you next week wherein I’ll start digging up some spring inspired projects!

Stay crafty!

~Laura


A Bit of Spring Cleaning

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Happy Sunday, all!

The up and down weather has continued here but the warm temps have definitely outweighed the cold ones! As it stays brighter longer and the breeze is full of the smell of growing things, my mind inevitably turns to…cleaning! Purging! Out with the old! Seriously, I’ve been putting some real effort into using/recycling/pitching many of those things that have been cluttering up my space. What I’ve found should be no surprise as I am a self confessed fabric and yarn hoarder but I’ve also found a lot of scraps. I *know* I’ll use them but the question is when? Right now, I say! Easter/May Day/Mother’s Day and other celebrations are afoot and what better way to bust some scraps than to make things, especially useful things like this earbud pouch:

This looks like the perfect way to keep them untangled and easy to find.

You could definitely experiment with different pattern and zipper combinations. Along with that pouch, I am always fighting with my various device charging cords so you could also use scraps to make a cord keeper:

Keeping those cords organized in a stylish way!

Now we don’t have to JUST make useful things, there are plenty of pretty projects to use up those fabulous colorful or fancy scraps like this bracelet:

Which could include more than one fabric type for more texture.

Or these bobby pins:

Imagine what I could do with all of my character fabric!

Or even these fabric flowers:

They will last a lot longer than their regular counterparts and you could put some potpourri in the planter so that they still smell lovely.

Now doesn’t that feel good? Even if I didn’t offer something you may want to try, I assure you that there are dozens of other scrap project lists out there. We’d love to see some of yours, too! I’m off to sort through another mountain of stash fabric in the meantime.

Stay crafty!

~Laura


Sweet Smells of Success

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Happy Sunday!

This week has been all ups and downs as far as weather is concerned here in the Midwest U.S. The beautiful amount of sun and pleasant temperatures have got me thinking about all of the activities I enjoy in the Spring/Summer, one in particular being my trips to the local Renaissance Faire. I love the fun and frolic to be had at Faire but as I’ve also mentioned before, I love the vendors as well. There are certain vendors that I patronize every year but I always look forward to finding new ones (or at least new to me)! One I was very pleased to stumble across last summer was Beeswyck Chandlery/Scenter Square body products. A note for the “non-Rennies” (those that don’t attend Faire), when you are a merchant at a Ren Faire, you are often expected to create a period appropriate character, name, and ambiance for your shop. So at Faire, Shannon’s (the proprietor) shop is known as Beeswyck while online she runs Scenter Square. I have fallen head over heels for her soap. It’s light, airy, doesn’t strip my skin of all moisture and comes in a wide array of scents/colors. It’s all vegan, natural and, of course, handmade!

   

Her formulas are safe for my sensitive skin and her often whimsical (and geeky!) scent blends evoke their namesakes. Two of my absolute favorites are the Honey Meade and the Scottish Heather but the Princess Bride themed As You Wish soap was sweet/light and definitely made me think of “twoo wuv”. This is not to say that we are limited to just the soaps. I have not personally used any of the other products YET but from the reviews, it appears I absolutely need to get my hands on some of her natural deodorant, solid shampoo/conditioner, and lip butters.

   

Coming from someone that cannot use most commercial deodorant sticks, I think a further future product review is in order. After all of these lovely items, I can’t very well forget her Faire shop’s focus, either. The candles come in most of the same scents (some additional ones, too) in beeswax pillars or tapers or in soy tins or even wax melts! The whimsy is here as well with names like Pixie Dust and Unicorn Farts (I seriously laughed out loud at that one).

 

I highly recommend a look through her wares and if you find yourself at the Bristol Renaissance Faire in Wisconsin this summer, stop by for a sniff! Shannon is very willing to work with you for the best in customer service, online and in person. Scenter Square can be found on their website and on Etsy.

Unfortunately, my Renn Faire dreams have to stay just dreams for a few months yet but at least I have the scents to keep me going.

Stay crafty!

~Laura


Cute in the Kitchen

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Happy Sunday, all!

The unseasonable warmth continues here in the midwest US but that does not mean that I’m not spending time with a warm oven on! I do spend a great deal of time in my kitchen as I have an especial passion for baking. Creating comfort foods is one of my favorite activities for stress release. If you’ve followed the Sunday posts for a while, you may have also grasped that I love all things cute. So imagine my surprise and delight to come across many of the adorable Studio Ghibli oriented kitchen utensils in Zeniba’s Attic:

No Face, Catbus, and Totoro spoons for that geeky chef in your life!

Joanne, the artist, burns the images into the very functional pieces to create these wonderful and adorable items.

Some soot sprites to help scoop with the spatula?

I think many of them would make fantastic gifts for any Ghibli enthusiast.

Like this Totoro cutting/cheese/serving board!

She not only creates cute kitchen utensils but also paints ceramic items to match!

Maybe you shouldn’t have a Calcifer oil burner near your bacon, though.

Since she makes her items to order and they are shipping from the UK, it may take a while to receive your lovely pieces but it looks like all are well worth it! Zeniba’s Attic can be found on Etsy and Facebook.

Have a wonderful week, everyone – I’m off to bake!

Stay crafty!

~Laura


Sweet Messages

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Happy Sunday, all!

Only 2 more days until V-day and perhaps you or the child in your life still hasn’t made up their mind about cards to give their friends. I’ve found some great, quick ideas for DIY Valentine cards that leaves a lot of room for personalizing and creativity. First up is a throwback to one of my other posts dealing with peg dolls:

Make them as nerdy as you want!

I could just imagine making some Lord of the Rings or Harry Potter peg doll Valentines with sayings like “Be my precious” accompanying a Gollum or “I’m mad about you” with a Mad-eye Moody (find the tutorial here). No? Just me? Ok, then. How about something slightly simpler that could help you reduce your fiber stash? The saying could also be adjusted to the situation:

Perhaps you could go with “Why knot be my Valentine?’ or for closer friends “You make me feel knotty.”

These are definitely customizable to favorite colors and appropriate puns, tutorial found here. Or maybe you already had a little bit of a splurge and find yourself with a bunch of chocolates that would be better off going to new homes PLUS it could help reduce a stash of scrapbooking materials:

It’s like a mini piñata!

Small toys or (if you are actually sending an anti-Valentine) glitter would also fit well into it, tutorial found here. Finally, if you find yourself with a lot of time or want to make a really big impression, I highly recommend taking a look at the hexagon explosion box:

Adding quotes, pictures, and rose petals is highly recommended. Glitter is not.

These beautiful three dimensional cards are simply amazing! When you do peruse the tutorial, make sure to scroll down to examples of what others have made because there are some that create a tower when you pull on the center! Again, the geek in me is super excited to turn this into a Tower of Sauron with hearts and pictures of the ring all around it. I know, not for everyone. Well I hope I am leaving you with some great ideas to send to your friends/sweeties/worst enemy (that glitter thing I mentioned, seriously). Have a great week!

Stay crafty!

~Laura


Some Heartfelt Decor

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Happy Sunday, all!

There’s less than two weeks until Valentine’s Day and I’ve been feeling quite crafty lately (not that there isn’t truly a time when I don’t feel it) so why not dig up some cute V-day DIY décor ideas? I found a few that seem easy and look great, including, of course, one that helps with a little recycling. On that note, first up is this very tasteful cork heart:

Classy and an excuse to drink a little more wine!

The tutorial (found here) is pretty straight forward – use some corks, hot glue, paint, and cardboard backing to give your place a bit of flair! Next up, I was never really a big fan of those little conversation hearts as they all tasted pretty much the same…like chalk. But they are cute to look at! So why not personalize some super sized ones for your wall:

Even if you don’t want to include names, you could make these naughty hearts as well!

Again, this tutorial (found here) seemed straight forward and simple – find the heart shaped wood (I’ve found them at local craft shops), add some paint and ribbon and voila! A sweet little decoration for the home. What about personalizing things a bit further? Do you have some pictures of family sitting around? This next one I simply love and don’t think it should be relegated to JUST Valentine’s décor:

I simply adore the idea of including pics of grandma and grandpa or mom and dad with the kids.

Truly a beautiful expression of how V-day doesn’t have to be about romantic love but love of family, as well. The tutorial (found here) does recommend using high quality paper and a laser printer simply so the images come out crisp and don’t smear but if you wanted to give them a dated, antique feel, I’m fairly certain regular will do just fine. The last tutorial I discovered actually introduced me to a new paper folding technique that I fully plan to put into use in the future, iris folding:

Just like the iris in a camera, these folds draw your eye to the center!

Named after the iris of a camera, this folding technique purposely pulls the eye towards the center of the piece. The tutorial and many others on the technique can be found here. You could make a whole series of these out of different color schemes, frame them, and then arrange them on the walls! I hope you are all feeling the love right now. Next week I’ll have some follow-up ideas on creating some of your own unique Valentine’s greetings.

Stay crafty!

~Laura