Breaking Down My Goals – Social/Blog

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Out of all the goals I made this year, the most challenging will be in this area – Social/Blog.

At the beginning of the year, I wrote out and put out for the whole world to see my Year of Twelves – meaning twelve goals of twelve things each.

I’ve gone over eight goals so far in the areas of Intellectual, Physical, Spiritual and Family.

For the Social/Blog area of my life, I intend on completing the following goals for the year:

  • Publish 12 blog posts a month.

  • Tackle 12 crocheting projects, either started or new.

  • Create 12 handmade gifts.

Notes on Posting My Blog Posts

  • Probably the most difficult and time consuming thing I will do this year is post twelve blog posts a month.  I posted a total of seventeen blog posts for the entire year in 2015, with four drafted but not completed.  This is a big change from the previous year.
  • Much of my projected posts for the year will be on events on my life, as I repeat once again, that I write this blog for my children, that they are able to remember how awesome their lives were.
  • I really want to throw in more photos and links of crocheting projects I’m both working on and have completed.

    This is a coffee cozy for a co-worker. The last thing to do for this gift is add his name.

    This is a coffee cozy for a co-worker. The last thing to do for this gift is add his name.

  • I’m going to focus on shortening my posts and writing more of them, rather than try to squeeze in so many ideas into one post.
  • And lastly, I’m not going to concern myself with the advertising as much as I have been in the past.  If I write a blog post and don’t get to include an advertisement at the bottom or within the text, I’m still going to push “schedule.”  (And potentially update it later if I have time. 😉 )

Tackling Twelve Crocheting Projects

The best thing about this goal is that I have a reason to crochet.

I would love to be able to use the excuse to people who see me crocheting something, “Oh, yes. I’m crocheting because it’s a resolution to get this project done.”

Here’s just a few things of what I have in the works right now:

  • A coffee cozy for a patient co-worker.  (I promised him I would make him one last year.)
  • A tiger for my youngest son out of the book “Edward’s Menagerie” by Kerry Lord. Edward's Menagerie Book
  • And an Elsa-hair hat (Frozen inspired) for my daughter.  There is this great pattern from Hopeful Honey that I hope to complete very soon.

This doesn’t even get into the stand-by projects that I have laying around.  There’s still three different afghans I haven’t completed that are sitting in bags in the garage.

Oh and I really wanted to get a “temperature scarf” started for 2016.  You know, because of how cool that would be.  I found a great chart through Pinterest, which led me to Cindy Kuo Designs in Ravelry.  She has a knitting pattern, but I would just do a single crochet line for each day.

As I write this, I’m starting to realize that I might have a problem….

Bah – Everyone needs a hobby right? 😉

Create Twelve Handmade Gifts

There may be some cross-over between the crocheting goal of 12-things and this goal.

I’m also going to include gifts to my children, or at least projects that I’ve declared I wanted to do for them for a while now.

This is most of the small toys collected over the past year or so. I'm hoping to get them and some yarn pompoms on wreaths for my kiddos.

This is most of the small toys collected over the past year or so. I’m hoping to get them and some yarn pompoms on wreaths for my kiddos.

I know I pinned a project a while back ago that I have all the materials for and just haven’t done – creating wreaths out of old, small toys they don’t play with anymore.  If I can accomplish this, that’s three things down and more “stuff” moved around or even gone through and gotten rid of for the home.

Win, win, win.

There’s also this really great project I’ve been putting off for years for my grandmother-in-law.  Once again, I have the majority of the components to make it, but the time consuming part of going through photos hasn’t been completed yet.  Hopefully this is the year I get that picture wreath done.

If there’s anything I’ve learned for the past thirty-nine years of my life, it’s that I have way to many projects to do and not enough time.  I’m hoping by writing out my intentions for many of these projects, I’ll be able to finish them, not only to give things away, but to get rid of so much stuff just waiting to be let go of in my home.

May you have a crafty rest-of-the-week!

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Breaking Down My Goals – Family, Part II

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Part II of my ‘Family’ area of goal-tackling is to cover my who, what, when, how, where and why of a, a-hem, ~ frightening ~ goal:

  • Complete 12 Home Improvement Projects of Any Kind

I’m almost positive this goal would not ‘frighten’ most people.

Let me tell you why I’m scared of this:

Last year, I spent the better part of two months painting my craft room and my husband installed DIY shelves after the painting portion was complete.

The results were glorious.Before & After of my craft room

Facebook and Instagram were my choices of writing “notes to my children” instead of this blog last year, thus the process of both painting the room and making the shelves didn’t get documented much.

What I do remember is how awful it was to paint a room by myself.

And on top of that, it forced me to organize my own junk.

Ugh.

I know, I know.  Don’t judge me for having so.many.things.  You would too if you’ve lived 39-years on this planet and was a craft hoarder.

The painting and shelf making happened in the months of May and June.

In October, my husband and I decided to stop putting off a home-improvement project we’ve put off long enough – replacing the carpet in our home.

If you’ve ever changed carpet in your home, then you may be able to relate to what a frickin’ nightmare it is to pack everything up as if you’re moving.

I have no idea how we got through my husband’s office.  He had dust off those shelves from years and years of dusting-neglect.

But – things were boxed up, the carpet guys came in, put the carpet into the house over the course of four days and moved a bunch of boxes back into the rooms they started in.

For the most part, that’s where the boxes stayed until January 1, 2016.  (Okay, maybe December 31st.)

I wish I could write that I threw up my hands in disgust and said “Today’s the day!  I’m going to get through these boxes no matter if the house is on fire!”

But, I never said that.  ….And don’t even have a tiny-bit of issues with it either.

The times I have written in this blog go over the time and time again where I have neglected housework to get the important things done.

Like having babies… and doing crafts with my children… and hanging out with my mom when she was alive.

You know, important stuff like that.

My house is a complete mess right now, and I’m okay with it.

It won’t stay that way and it won’t be because I wrote that this year I’m going to clean it and get through all my stuff.

No….  Papers to Go Through-Area Things to Go Through

It won’t stay that way Papers to Go Through on Counterbecause eventually, year after year, my children grow up, we get closer by getting them to help me do things around the house, and I’m able to get through the years of pile up of stuff, papers, and craft supplies that cover the floors, sit in boxes and basically take over certain areas of the house.

So this year, my goal is to tackle 12 home improvement projects of any kind.

I have a list that my husband and I started, and I’m sure we will add to it throughout the year.

Here’s a few items for you to feel better about yourselves and your probable cleaner-than-me house status.

  • Clean-up and find a better way to organize my youngest son’s closet.
  • Take down, clean and rearrange the stuff above the stove and counters in the kitchen.
  • Get through the past several years of paperwork piled up on counters, bags, and in boxes.  I would estimate that about 90-percent of these piles are children’s artwork and things brought home from school.  I actually have a really good way to organize it now, but there was a time when I didn’t have a good way to organize it, and these piles are just carried over year after year.  I know some can relate….
  • Complete the projects and find homes for the stuff in the boxes in my craft room.
  • Organize the boxes in our bedroom.
  • Get the garage organized more to be able to put one vehicle in it.

And if all that get’s accomplished, my husband wants to consider painting the interior walls of the house.  As much as I’m reluctant to do this, I think the reluctance comes from having to pack up things again.  After the craft room nightmare of not knowing how long the prep was going to take a full-time working mom, we are both on board with hiring someone this time.  I do know that if we do this, I want to start in the kitchen/dining area.

Some of the things I listed may only take anywhere from 15-minutes to a few hours.

That’s not the point.

The point is that I DON’T WANT TO DO IT.  I don’t just want to throw it out either, but it’s so hard to convince myself that I’m spending time on something important.  Yeah, yeah, yeah.  I know it is.

Oh boo-hoo-hoo, right?  Be upset with me or don’t understand me if you will, but hey, at least I’m honest about it.

As always, thanks for reading.

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What’s on My Hook – Accidental Spiral Slouch Pattern Hat

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Accidental Spiral Slouch Hat with Pom PomIt’s Wednesday.

One of the ways I plan on tackling my goal of posting twelve blog posts a month, AND sharing what I have completed or will complete for crocheting projects throughout the year is on Wednesday’s, I hope to post “What’s on My Hook” posts.

Much like the “Hookin’ on Hump Day” trend that Moogly and Petals to Picots started, I hope to highlight my crocheted projects, whether completed or not, on a regular basis – primarily on Wednesday’s!  (Hence the catchy title….)

This week I’m showing off my latest hat using the Accidental Spiral Slouch Pattern.  (The link takes you to Ravelry.)

My pattern notes/changes:

  • Overall, the pattern is written very well.
  • I know I didn’t follow the pattern she wrote exactly, and I modified the body of the hat by doing a fptc working on the row below, not on two rows below as described in her pattern.
  • I didn’t make the hat as slouchy as described in her pattern.
  • I also did six rows of hdc’s (half double crochet’s) for the brim.
  • I used an acrylic yarn I had in my stash, and oh do I think I’ll be doing this pattern again. yarn used for my accidental spiral hat
  • It probably took me about 4 hours to complete this hat, and as you can see, I added a pom pom to brighten up the top of the hat.

Thanks for checking this crocheted item out! Accidental Spiral Hat with Pom pom

I found the link itself on Ravelry, after searching for things with the word ‘spiral’ in them.

Please feel free to follow me on Pinterest for more crocheted projects and things I do/want to accomplish with my crafting!

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DIY Mosaic Pendants

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DIY Mosaic Pendant

 A couple weeks ago, I posted about week twenty-eight of fun and crazy.  In that post, I shared that one of the things I did that week was have a great time with my girlfriends making Mosaic Pendants.

Crafting with my friends in my newly finished craft room.

Crafting with my friends in my newly finished craft room.

This was a very enjoyable project to do with many people in a matter of a couple hours.

This was a very enjoyable project to do with many people in a matter of a couple hours.

As promised, here is the tutorial so you can make your own, and I saved an idea sheet at the very bottom of the post of many of the pendants made that evening.

Materials & Tools Used (all links take you to Amazon.com to view costs):

Glass pieces to cut into shapes to fit into pendant were used.

You’ll need glass tile pieces to cut into shapes.

Tile Cutters

Tile Cutters

Pendant & Necklace

Pendant & Necklace

Tweezers

Tweezers can be used to place the tile pieces into the pendant if needed.

E6000 glue sets up pretty fast and adheres the tile to the metal pendant.

E6000 glue sets up pretty fast and adheres the tile to the metal pendant.

Regular tape.

Regular tape.

We used a pre-mixed grout in Delorean grey.

We used a pre-mixed grout in Delorean grey.

 

One of my friends brought her tile-pieces the evening of the party.  (She’s the real mosaic queen.)

I picked out pieces that evening to work on my pendant when I got the chance, as I created pendants for my friends who couldn’t make it to the party.

The tutorial you see here is of my personal pendant.

My friend, who co-hosted the party with me, purchased four lots of 10-pendants from Amazon.  We had twelve ladies make at least two each, and some made three pendants.  I made a total of four.

The links for the pendants and necklaces are:

10 Square Pendant Trays – Shimmering Silver Color – 1 3/16 Inch – 30mm – Pendant Blanks Base Cameo Bezel Settings Photo Jewelry

Wadoy 10Pcs Black Leather Necklace Cord String with Lobster Clasp

The links for the glue, tile cutters and grout:

E6000® Craft Adhesive 3.7 oz

Goldblatt G02007 Glass Tile Nippers With Pro-Grip Handle

Custom PMG165QT 1-Quart Simple Premium Grout, Delorean Gray

As you can imagine, the basic premise was to cut the tile into small pieces into a pattern that you either planned in your head or just *knew* that was going to be the way you wanted it.

These were the original pieces of tile I had.

These were the original pieces of tile I had.

What you don’t realize when you start a project like this, is how hard it is to get smaller pieces from big pieces of tile.  It’s obviously possible, but it takes patience and time.

I knew I wanted a checker board look to this piece.

I knew I wanted a checker board look to this piece.

1Cut pieces1

1Cut pieces 1st (2)

This was the design in my head, and here it is unglued.

This was the design in my head, and here it is unglued.

Place two pieces of tape together, slightly overlapped, wide enough to cover the pendant.

Place two pieces of tape together, slightly overlapped, wide enough to cover the pendant.

Place the tape over the design to keep it in place.  This works great for small pieces!

Place the tape over the design to keep it in place. This works great for small pieces!

Peel off the tape so the glue can be placed on the pendant.

Peel off the tape so the glue can be placed on the pendant.

The next step is to glue the pieces down.

I used tweezers to realign the pieces to make them even.

Place glue on pendant base.

Place glue on pendant base.

Tweezers can make the placement of small pieces easier to move around if needed.

Tweezers can make the placement of small pieces easier to move around if needed.

We waited about 20-minutes for the glue to dry during the party, and had snacks and talked, or just got another pendant done while waiting.

When I did this by myself (for this tutorial, I waited about an hour for the glue to dry.

Contrary to popular belief, if the glue isn’t dry, the grout will not keep the pieces in place.  It’s all about the glue.  Just a hint!

Once the pieces are dried, it's time to grout!

Once the pieces are dried, it’s time to grout!

I’ve done mosaic pieces before, and given many tips along the way in my tutorials.

See my Instructable for a Mixed Media Mosaic for more mosaic tidbits!

 The most basic key to grouting is to have the time to do it.

Don’t pick it up thinking that you can be done in 10-minutes, unless you’ve done it before.

You’ll need a wet towel, a dry towel, and I used paper plates to keep my work space clear.  My mother-in-love posed for me in some of these photos where you see a different pendant.

One cloth was wet down and then the water was squeezed out, and the other cloth is dry.

One cloth was wet down and then the water was squeezed out, and the other cloth is dry.

My mother-in-love and neighbor came over to grout their pieces with me.

My mother-in-love and neighbor came over to grout their pieces with me.

We used tape to tape the top part of the pendant so it wouldn't get grout in it.

We used tape to tape the top part of the pendant so it wouldn’t get grout in it.

2No GroutOne of the things we did to keep our pendant hole clean from any grout residue was to tape it up.  When the grouting was complete and dried, about a day later, we removed the tape.

Because these pieces are so small, it takes a matter of minutes to grout them, but the key to getting them really beautiful is cleaning them after the grout is placed.

Add a couple fingers-full of grout to the top of the piece.

Add a couple fingers-full of grout to the top of the piece.

Press the grout into the holes in between your tiles, using your finger.

Press the grout into the holes in between your tiles, using your finger.

Let the grout sit for a minute, and continue pressing if your spaces are small.

Let the grout sit for a minute, and continue pressing if your spaces are small.

After about a minute, initially wipe the grout off the tile pieces using your finger.

After about a minute, initially wipe the grout off the tile pieces using your finger.

 

I placed the excess grout on the plate. Now it needs to be cleaned.

I placed the excess grout on the plate. Now it needs to be cleaned.

Using your moist cloth, rub the pendant in big sweeping motions to get the grout off the top of the tile.

Using your moist cloth, rub the pendant in big sweeping motions to get the grout off the top of the tile.

Continue to wipe the pendant until the majority of the tile is clean on the surface.

Continue to wipe the pendant until the majority of the tile is clean on the surface.

You may need to place additional grout in a spot or two if the first placement didn't get into the small nooks and crannies.

You may need to place additional grout in a spot or two if the first placement didn’t get into the small nooks and crannies.

After wiping the grout off the top of the tile, take the dry cloth and continue to wipe the tile.

After wiping the grout off the top of the tile, take the dry cloth and continue to wipe the tile.

 You may have to repeat the wet-towel, dry towel process to get the top of the tile pieces completely cleaned. At some point, hopefully you will be satisfied with the cleanliness of the tile and let it sit to dry for at least a day.

2Make Pendant-End

My finished pendant without the embellishments.

 2Grout Pendant1

My pendant seems pretty plain so I added some bling.

My pendant seems pretty plain so I added some bling.

One of the last things I did was add some scrapbooking jewels to the tops of the black squares for extra depth and sparkle.  I liked the sparkle of the pink tiles and I think the jewels add flair!

I hope this tutorial sparks your interest in both making mosaics and possibly making these little gems.  They would make personalized Birthday/Christmas gifts or anytime gifts for that matter.  My mother-in-love gave two away, just because!

Here’s the finished products of our Pinterest Party Mosaic Pendants in PDF form.  Thanks for reading!

Mosaic Designs


How We Made Our Fairy Garden

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DIY Fairy Garden for moms & daughtersOn my best days, I do crafts with my children.

Some crafts, as we all know, require patience, time, and a certain amount of creativity – but this is especially true when working with children.

My daughter is five years old as I write this blog post.  She and I spent some time together planning, finding pieces for and putting together the Fairy Garden pictured in this blog post.

As with most things, she had asked me weeks ago to create a fairy garden with her and in my kind-of “oh I hope she forgets about it” attitude, she continued to ask me to make one with her and in a slow work week, it finally happened.

My first stop (as with most projects) is Pinterest.

I think on a Wednesday evening, I sat her down at my computer and typed in “fairy garden.”

I ended up pinning a link from Homedit: Magical Fairy Garden Designs.

On Thursday we went to the craft store and picked out various odds and ends for the fairies to have as part of the little garden area.  The store I took her too had a huge clearance on Spring items, so the most expensive thing was the birdhouse she picked out for the fairies to live in.

She painted the birdhouse with her favorite colors and of course, “colors that the fairies like” as she told me.  I have glitter paint from a previous project, and she added that over the dried colors over the next couple days.

Painting the fairy house At some point in the week I took my daughter to the local garden/hardware store and purchased a small six-pack of Scottish Moss.  I re-used an 12-inch diameter pot that I had been keeping around and we already had the soil.

Moss & Pot

We started the process by adding the painted fairy house to the dirt area first.

place the large objects

Next we placed the moss around the house.

remove the mossplace moss

My daughter used her fingers to dig up a spot for the moss prior to placing it.

The next step was to place the odds and ends we found at the craft store.

The fence was placed first, around the house.

The fence was placed first, around the house.

My daughter placed the other accessories for the fairy garden in various places, including an ice chest (my favorite) and a lantern.

My daughter placed the other accessories for the fairy garden in various places, including an ice chest (my favorite) and a lantern.

I think the best thing about my daughter placing all the accessories was that her idea of what a home would look like came shining through.  She didn’t want bugs or butterflies per-Se, but she liked the ladybugs on the teeter-totter. She also liked the ice chest and picked out a ceramic fairy so that the “real fairies” know it’s safe to go in there.

I needed to do this with her.

~~~ I just didn’t know I needed to do this with her until after it was complete. ~~~

Fairy House Close-UpWe added the sign that fairies were welcome into the moss so it could stand up on it’s own.

I am so thankful that I took the time to create the garden with her.  She’s five.  It’s a hard thing for me to remember in my late 30’s what it’s like to be with my mom, let alone remember when I was five what it was like to be told “No, sorry honey. We can’t afford to do that” or “I don’t have the time.”

I made the time to do this with her and I’m so glad I did.

Blessings to those who read this.  I hope you can make your own. 😉


Week One Round-Up of Fun & Crazy

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Round Up Week 1

Our #scarfie photo only took four tries to get right! I made the kids scarves and am wearing one I made for myself too.

Week one for me “ends” on Saturday, January 3, 2015.

And it has been a really rough start to the new year.

My mom went to the hospital on the first day of the new year with pain in her legs and was unable to walk around herself.  She needed an extra dialysis, which is becoming a more frequent need in her ability to function.

My father, her estranged husband who is a better grandfather than he ever was as a father, has been helping me out while I take care of my children and try to continue to keep a job and be a wife/mom/daughter/sister, etc. and this is during his own recovery from open heart surgery in November.

Some could say “crazy” is my middle name.  This week proved that I can tackle crazy like a boss.

Here’s the weekly round up of fun and crazy in the life of DeAndrasCrafts.com:

Monday - December 29 - Thank you!

Monday – December 29 – Thank you!

On Monday, I went to work and didn’t notice until almost 1015 AM that I had the “Thank You” sticker my youngest son put on me from the local supermarket.

I sent the photo to the left to my husband and told him I felt like a true mommy today!

He told me to own the sticker like a boss and continue to wear it.  I did for a while, but chickened out around lunch and took it off.

Tuesday and Wednesday (December 30 & 31) were great.  I worked out in the field on those days, something I didn’t think I was going to be doing much since going back into the office a couple of weeks ago.

I took off part of the day on the 31st so my husband could go to the doctor.  He was diagnosed with a slew of ailments, one of which was bronchitis, and was put on antibiotics with icky side-effects.  He also took it like a boss.

img_5821

My daughter's Hello Kitty head is finished - direction are from the Book Hello Kitty Crochet by Mei Li Lee

My daughter’s Hello Kitty head is finished – direction are from the Book Hello Kitty Crochet by Mei Li Lee

In the afternoon of the 31st, I began working on my daughter’s Hello Kitty crocheted stuffed animal from the Hello Kitty crochet book I got for Christmas.  The pattern is definitely for a seasoned crochet-er and I’m going to have to purchase pink brads for the cheeks and some pink tulle.  I almost can’t believe I don’t have any pink tulle (for the ballerina dress, page 16) lying around….

We stayed up with the two oldest until 9 PM on the 31st, and I rang in the new year in tired mommy and daddy fashion of staying up until about 10 PM and going to bed.  My husband was in bed before I was and the only reason I stayed up was to read a chapter of Dave Ramsey and Rachel Cruze’s book, “Smart Money Smart Kids.”

I’m trying to read twelve (12) books this year as part of my goals, and I chose this one as the first one to complete because I’ve had it for a while and it is SO IMPORTANT!

Thursday was the day my mom went into the hospital.  She ended up getting additional dialysis, and that made her feel much better.  My father was instrumental in getting her over there, and helping me out on Friday evening when she got out.

The first of the new year wasn’t fun in our house as we are still dealing with pink eye that my youngest son brought home with him last week around Christmas.  It’s been difficult to say what the worst thing has been about the experience of pink eye – it’s either the giving-your-child-eye-drops or the fact that it doesn’t seem to go away!  Ugh.

This is my "Do Over" plan for the next 10 days.  I am planning on reconnecting with my family through writing, journaling and blogging.  #DoOverBook by Jon Acuff

This is my “Do Over” plan for the next 10 days. I am planning on reconnecting with my family through writing, journaling and blogging. #DoOverBook by Jon Acuff

The evening of Thursday, January 1, 2015 I began a 10-day challenge from the author Jon Acuff.

You can read more about this here: 10-day Do Over Challenge

So far, so good in my “Doing Over.” As I write this post I am three days into the challenge and I’ve got a game plan for blogging about our family’s weekly events, good or bad.  I’ve also started an enormous list of “To Do’s” that I plan on organizing and separating by month, by need, by want and by importance.  My Type A brain is so excited about getting organized and hopefully in the process a little more simplified (hitting those 2015 goals!)

On Friday, the two oldest and I learned how to finger knit.  I think the hardest part for me was watching and listening to my 3 (almost 4-year old) complain that he wasn’t doing it.  After working with my five year old daughter, I’ve determined that finger knitting is definitely for children ages (mature) 5 years old and up (at least in my family.)

We used Lion Brand Homespun yarn. – Click on the link to look at it on Amazon.

RUW1-Finger KnittingThe 9-year old was able to catch onto the pattern of wrapping the yarn around the fingers easily, something the 5-year old wasn’t able to grasp as easily and I had to watch her wrap the yarn around her fingers so she wouldn’t miss a loop.  We watch a video by Fiber Flux on You Tube, and although the oldest admitted it was cool to learn, he was done after about 15-minutes or so.  The five year old spent a little more time with it, but she too was done after 20-minutes.  We were all trying to keep our hands to ourselves (so the pink eye could stop being spread around) and I was hoping this was going to take more time up during the day.

Oh well.

I was blessed Saturday morning by my children not getting out of bed until 7 AM.  My coffee was hot and I turned on the fireplace to blog by the fire.  It was a day of taking down the Christmas tree and putting all the Christmas stuff away.  It seems bittersweet but like we tell our children, it’s all about making Christmas a special time of year.

For next week: I am hoping and praying for normalcy to resume in our household once again next week.  It was a productive week though, despite the unfortunate interruptions of having to get my mom from the hospital and dealing with a sick husband and pink-eyed kiddos. I’m hoping to start my goal board this week and get the kids excited about doing life together.


Word of the Year – 2015

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Word of the YearAbout the same time last year, I posted my word of the year (it was pro-active.)

The year went well with that as my “focus” word or the word that I wanted to use to remind myself what my purpose was and what I was trying to accomplish for the year, up until I hurt my knee in June.  That incident threw my whole world out of control.

And I’m all about control.

This year I’m changing my focus seemingly completely.  I prayed about my “purpose word” for this year and one word seemed to stick out of all the rest that were swimming around in my head.

I wanted to take the control out of the word for this year.  I want it to be about what the Lord wants for me.

I want it to be what the Lord has blessed me with and how I can use those blessings, aka gifts, to glorify him and to serve him better.

I also want to bless others with gifts.  Not just the physical kind, but the “presence” kind.

My time is very valuable to me.  I want to be intentional about giving it as a gift, even when I don’t think I can squeeze it into my busy schedule.

I hope to blog about my giving.  It’s all about being blessed and being able to bless others.

I picked Proverbs 18:16 as my verse of the year. Word-year-verse(NIV version)

Have you picked a verse or word of the year?

What do you want to accomplish next year?  What kind of purpose do you feel compelled or lead to do for the year?  Can you sum it up in one word?

I hope you try to pick one word too and please, feel free to share it with me!


Yoda Purse – An upcycled story

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Yoda Purse w-VansMy love for Star Wars has come to the point where I made myself a Yoda purse.

If you came to find this blog because of this purse, let me assure you that I absolutely love this purse and use it.  And no, it is not for sale.

Showing off my Yoda purses.

My own husband photo-bombed my special moment of posing with the two purses I created.

I hand drew this purse, based off of an image I found on the net.  I made this one for myself (instructions below) and then one for my friend.  Her purse is pleather (or fake leather) and I used the same process here with a couple more steps.  You can see those instructions here: Yoda Purse – Upcycled It Is

I found the Fossil brand name purse at the Flea Market with the specific purpose to draw Master Yoda on it.  I paid $5 for mine (real leather) and it was really clean on the inside. The Fossil purse I found at the Flea Market.

I used drawing items similar to the following:

Pitt Artist Pens – Wallet Set of All 4 Pen Styles in Black

Sanford Sharpie Permanent MarkersPilot

Gold and Silver Metallic Permanent Markers

I also copied and pasted this drawing to have a copy of.   The copy of the Yoda image I found off the net.

First of all, I simply cleaned the purse using a dry paper towel to wipe up any loose particles of dirt or grime. I didn’t rub the paper towel too hard either, as I didn’t want the leather to get anymore scratched than it already was. img_4576

As this was a previously used purse, you can see from the photos that the corners of the purse were already discolored from use. img_4574

I tried using a pencil to sketch the lines out for the Yoda, but it didn’t work. I ended up free-hand sketching the lines with the black art pens. img_4585 img_4587 img_4588I started at the top of the head again and drew the ears, forehead details, eyes, nose, mouth and chin/jawline, in that order.

Next I colored in the details of the hair and eyes with the silver and gold permanent markers. img_4592 img_4594 img_4596

I highlighted his facial features in a green permanent marker, to give some depth to the black lines. img_4601

I colored in the robe with a brown sharpie marker. img_4603 img_4606 img_4610

Lastly, I gave some additional highlights to the face and robe using a wide-tipped gold scrapbooking marker I’ve had for years. img_4615

I DID NOT spray the purse with any acrylic spray, although I will admit I tried it on the bottom of the purse to see what would happen. Just as I suspected, the spray turned the purse a darker color.

The permanent marker has not smudged (yet) on the purse and I don’t expect that it will.

Overall, I love it. I have gotten photos taken of it by complete strangers, I have been asked more times than I can count if I hand drew the pattern and where I got it, the list of questions goes on and on.

0Both Purses

Thanks for reading this! I hope you try to upcycle a purse in the near future too!



The DeAndrasCrafts Contest on Instructables – Results

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I can’t believe I haven’t shared with you the results from my DeAndras Crafts Instructables Contest.

Wait no further!

I couldn’t have been more pleased with the entries and the winners.  There was a total of forty-six (46) entries and it was difficult to narrow down the list to the 10 winners you see below.  That was one of the things I had to do!

Prizes were listed in the previous post about the contest if you would like to see what they’ve won.

Grand Prize

Mixed Media Festoon Pendent by watchmeflyy
Mixed Media Festoon Pendent by watchmeflyy

Judges Prize – The best charitable project entry in my opinion.  I got to pick the winner!

First Prize Winners (3)

My notes: The hat is amazing as it uses a chain stitch glued onto a hat.  What a simple yet effective idea.  I also love the flowers in the kusudama and may make those for other reasons!

 

Crochet Kusudama by ChrysN

Crochet Kusudama
by ChrysN

Runner Up (5)

Out of the five patterns below, I think the crocheted whale is the cutest!  I love how the author incorporated little felt pieces as part of the face.

Crocheted Whale by Little Dragon and Company

Crocheted Whale
by Little Dragon and Company

  Embroidered Vintage Wall Clock by lindarose92

Embroidered Vintage Wall Clock
by lindarose92

 I hope you get to check out some of the Instructables above.  My passion for opening up the conversation about using your talents to serve others is ongoing.

Please let me know if you have a yarn-craft pattern that you would like to feature here on this site that you can share with others to give away for charity.  Have a blessed day!

 


Playing with Magic Nuudles

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Review of Magic Nuudles So what are Magic Nuudles?

It’s an interesting toy that sparks imagination.

We took them on a trip to Yosemite because I knew I wasn’t going to keep these kids entertained without electronic devices for more than an hour.  But that’s just me.

I bought them at JoAnn’s Craft Store for I think $8 or so, and they are also sold on Amazon for a similar price. They were a bigger hit for my 8-year old and 4-year old, more so than with my 3-year old.

Anyway, the kids enjoyed them and I give them a two-thumbs up for the following reasons.

Use a sponge to wet the nuudle(1) Simple to use.  A wet sponge or a wet paper towel is practically all you need to create and use your imagination.

Bio-degradable product - Magic Nuudles(2) They are somehow, amazingly biodegradable under water.  That’s a pretty cool aspect that I appreciated considering I think a squirrel took off with one thinking it was a snack.

(3) There’s no limits to a child’s creativity when given colorful building blocks (or in this case, building pieces of biodegradable nuudles.)

Here is a 1-minute plus video of my children using, creating and making up a “diddy” with these Magic Nuudles.  It’s just for fun!

You can also check out their website at www.magicnuudles.com.

Craftsy