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Viewing: Blog Posts Tagged with: Crafts, Most Recent at Top [Help]
Results 1 - 25 of 355
1. Craft Fair again????

Oh, dear friends (and Friends), the Lehigh Valley Friends Meeting Craft Fair approaches. (Oct. 18th) I should be planning the arrangements of all the tables, setting out yard signs, contacting the crafters and making sure they all show up, sending emails to all the bake sale donors and volunteers.  But instead I want to:
- read
- play the accordion, or the piano, or the kazoo
- bake muffins for me and mine and NOT for strangers
- write another adventure of the Advent Avenger, or the Halloween Hero, or the Thanksgiving Titan; (Titan?? where did that come from?)
- doodle
- do 6 or 10 or 15 sudoku puzzles and a few crosswords
- take down the wash
- make supper

ANYTHING!!!  ANYTHING but what I should be doing.  It is an affliction - this tendency of mine to ignore my responsibilities and just fritter.    Puttering is guilt-free.  Frittering is fraught...just totally fraught.

Anyway, if you are in Bethlehem, PA on October 18th - stop by the Lehigh Valley Friends Meeting and spend money.  I will be the heavyset flustered woman in the weird hat.  You will have fun.

10 am to 3 pm. 4116 Bath Pike, Bethlehem, PA 18017  And there will be homemade soup and bread, fresh pressed cider and music, sweet, sweet music.


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2. Low-Sew Halloween

It’s time for the yearly round-up of costumes, in case you need some ideas. What are you dressing up as? Last year, I was the Prancercise Lady, but it’s going to be hard to top that one. The kids want to be a diva (10 year old) and a bald eagle (7 year old). We’ll probably get started on costumes this week. This always starts with a trip to the thrift store. Our costumes are of the slapdash variety—-altered rather than sewn from scratch, with not too much (okay, almost no) emphasis on perfection.

Here are a few from years past:

Fireman Costume

Fireman

Turtle Costume Front

Turtle Costume

Green Ninjago Costume

Ninja (Ninjago)

Anastasia costume

Anastasia Romanov (Russian princess)

Knight Costume

Knight Tunic and Helmet

DSC_0125

Princess

DSC_0399-002

Marco Polo

So glad to get my copy of the Budget Bytes cookbook the other day. If you haven’t yet discovered the Budget Bytes blog, you’re in for a treat. The recipes are on the simple side—weeknight friendly, for the most part, but not boring in the least. As the title suggests, the recipes are wallet-wise, but beyond that, they’re just appealing, and in many cases, less-meatarian, which I love. Also many are gluten-free or easily adaptable to GF. I checked the book out from the library and liked it so much I had to buy my own.

Discovered another new-to-me podcast for children’s and YA lit enthusiasts. It’s called First Draft, and it’s interviews Sarah Enni conducted with authors during a cross-country road trip. Good stuff, food for thought.

What about you? Discover anything good lately?


1 Comments on Low-Sew Halloween, last added: 9/26/2014
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3. Read, Create, Dance: Crafterina's New Video!

Today's a special day for our friend Vanessa Salgado -- dancer, dance educator, visual artist, and creator extraordinaire. Vanessa is the mastermind behind a unique character and children's book called Crafterina, which is more or less a storybook, craft book, and dance lesson all rolled into one. Today is special because it marks the launch of Crafterina's first YouTube video about the book. Take a look!


I had the pleasure of interviewing Vanessa last year to talk about how Crafterina came to be and how crafts and dance go hand in hand. You can read that interview here. And, to supplement the book, Vanessa has created an Etsy site where you can purchase a wide range of additional dance-themed crafts. Her back-to-school paper dolls and pumpkin Halloween mask are popular ones for this time of year. Congratulations, Vanessa, on all your success!

0 Comments on Read, Create, Dance: Crafterina's New Video! as of 9/22/2014 12:16:00 PM
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4. Hello Kitty Crochet

Hello Kitty CrochetHello Kitty Crochet: Supercute Amigurimi Patterns for Sanrio Friends

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5. A Year in the Secret Garden: CoAuthor Marilyn Scott-Waters Interview

Marilyn Scott-Waters loves making things out of paper.

toymakerMisterBunny91-300x231

 

Her popular website, www.thetoymaker.com, receives 2,000 to 7,000 visitors each day, who have downloaded more than six million of her easy-to-make paper toys. Her goal is to help parents and children spend time together making things. She is the creator of a paper toy craft book series The Toymakers Christmas: Paper Toys You Can Make Yourself (Sterling), and The Toymakers Workshop: Paper Toys You Can Make Yourself (Sterling). She is also the co-creator with J. H. Everett of the middle grade nonfiction series, Haunted Histories, (Christy Ottaviano Books / Henry Holt Books for Young Readers).

 

Marilyn Scott-Waters

On top all of this…..Marilyn is also my co-author and co-creator of the upcoming children’s book A Year in the Secret Garden.

I have known Marilyn for almost years now and these last three years have been a delight. It started in September of 2011 when I went to St. Paul Minnesota to attend The Creative Connection Conference. I was sitting in a hotel lounge writing in my notebook when this very cheerful woman came up to me and said, “Oh you have a moleskin. Can I pull up a chair and sit down?”  Never would I say no to such a request. As she sat down she said,” Hi I’m Marilyn from California.”  

And that’s when it all made sense. ” Are you Marilyn Scott Waters The Toymaker?” I asked. After she confirmed she was I admitted I had been buying and downloading her paper toys for years. Small world!
For the next four days we, the toymaker and I, had ample time to become friends and I even got to make toys with her. Over the course of our ongoing friendship we have mentioned to each other that we need to creatively collaborate on something. A book, a project….something. Then last fall we both had a flash of brilliance and the A Year in the Secret Garden book project was born.
SecretGardenCoverLeft-e1407422792456
Marilyn and I both agree that the process of creating this amazing children’s book filled with over 120 pages of activities, crafts, recipes, gardening fun and also education opportunities along with 150 original color illustrations. There is a total of 48 activities for families and friends to enjoy, learn, discover and play with together. Marilyn and I have a mission of offering A Year In the Secret Garden as an opportunity to introduce new generations of families to the magic of this classic tale in a modern and innovative way that creates special learning and play times outside in nature.
This book encourages families to step away from technology and into the kitchen, garden, reading nook and craft room.
Marilyn shared with me that creating this book for families almost felt like a calling, and I wholeheartedly agree. We both have put 110% into making A Year in The Secret Garden a unique and enchanting experience that encourages families to push away from the “i-devices” and create some memories together. Marilyn is a former art director and design guru and this is sooooo evident in her breathtaking creations within this book.
A Year in the Secret Garden
As we pieced this unique books together that is inspired by the classic children’s tale The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett, we both knew we wanted this to be a book for all ages to enjoy, and also a reason for parents to spend time outside with their kids enjoying and discovering the beauty of nature, just like young Mary did in the original book.
Our physical A Year in the Secret Garden book is now available in PDF download form HERE. If you’d like more  in-depth look at the magical fun inside the pages of A Year in the Secret Garden, or order your special pre-sell copy of the physical book,  go HERE to view a list of activities, recipes and learning opportunities connected to the book.
Thank you!

The post A Year in the Secret Garden: CoAuthor Marilyn Scott-Waters Interview appeared first on Jump Into A Book.

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6. Once upon a Time...

... I had a life.

Source

Now I spend much of my time working and working and working, and while I'm not doing that I'm writing.

Source

However, I have done some crafty things.

I made a this:
Ignore my fat hand. Haha

I drew a this:
Ronan Lynch - The Raven Boys

I did a this at my flower job:
That's a wreath, folks



I have to go back to work tomorrow and I'm not really looking forward to it.  I don't feel like I've been "off" for awhile, which is really terrible of me.  I mean, I had a LOOOOONG time off in April-May.  I'm just a vacation person.  Work doesn't suit me.  Hahahahahahahaa!

Anyway, this is my super short blog post that I felt I simply HAD to do, since it's been something like 1-1/2 months since I last blogged.

Oops

So now I'll love you and leave you.  God bless.  Byeeeee!!!!

Cat

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7. Sticky Fingers: DIY Duct Tape Projects Summer Blog Tour

Sticky Fingers: DIY Duct Tape Projects: easy to pick up, hard to put down Sophie Maletsky Zest Books. 2014 ISBN: 9781936976546 The publisher sent me a copy of the book to review. All ages. We are pleased to take part in the  Sticky Fingers: DIY Duct Tape Projects  summer blog tour.  Teens + duct tape = fun Whenever the Teen Advisory Board at my library hosts events, duct tape

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8. Float Your Boat…20 Different Ways.

One of my favorite summer activities is being out on the water in a boat, enjoying the afternoon sunshine as the boat – any boat – glides through the water.  Even if you can’t take a ride in a people-sized boat, you and your kids can make an amazing flotilla of boats using all kinds of recycled materials.  And, best of all, they all float!  So save your egg cartons, margarine tubs, seashells, and sponges and get ready to have a boat race in your pool or even in the bathtub.  Don’t forget to take a video of the event and who knows, it may become an annual tradition.

Check out the model boats at: http://www.redtedart/2013/06/08/boat-craft-ideas-for-summer

Many of the boats have video instructions and cost little in terms of materials. Happy sailing!             origami boats 4


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9. SPONSORED POST The Art of Duck Tape

The Art of Duck Tapethese crafts

! for a necklace or bracelet.
  • Or cover your textbooks
  •  with amazing Duck Tape®patterns!
  • Then take the personality quiz
  • and find out what kind of Duck Tape® crafter you are.

    Do you have your own idea for a Duck Tape® craft? Share it in the Comments below!

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    10. Scrap Quilting with a Seven-Year-Old

    Scrap Quilt

    I actually have three patchwork projects going now. Yes, three. Yes, I have a problem.

    Hopefully more about the others soon. But this one started in the most irresistible way. I was making a bed cover for my daughter (10) when my son (7) declared he wanted a quilt, too. I told him he could look at some of my quilting books for inspiration, and he sat down and thumbed through them. He liked the Gee’s Bend book the best (is this kid good at getting brownie points or what? Gee’s Bend is my inspiration for all things quilty). Then he set about arranging my scraps into patterns.

    Scrap Quilt 2

    It’s been so fun to see what he comes up with. He’s very particular. Also fun to see what surprises come together as the patchwork grows. The way the deep orange pops, the way the blues and greens begin to blend together, the way the prints dance and change character according to their placement and size.

    Scrap Quilt

    All of these fabrics have a story. They’re bits from friends and family or pieces of other projects, some reeeeeally old.

    Scrap Quilt

    He seems to want it to be a lap quilt. For more of my patchwork projects, click here.

    Finished Call the Midwife (the book). It was very good. I especially love the stories about the nuns. Fascinating people.

     


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    11. Tangle Stitches for Quilters and Fabric Artists

    This is a great book for the quilter looking to bring something new to their craft. Zentangle is a style of doodling taken to an art form, and its practitioners are passionate about their repetitive pattern drawing. Tangle Stitches combines this art with quilting, a perfect fit as the doodles are very similar to common [...]

    0 Comments on Tangle Stitches for Quilters and Fabric Artists as of 8/5/2014 9:04:00 PM
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    12. Weeds into Toys

    Arrowhead Weed toy

    Hi again folks. What have you been up to? I hope it’s getting warm and green wherever you are.

    Here in Charlotte it’s very warm now, too warm, but it’s been exciting to see all the flowers make an appearance, and inevitably, there are lots of weeds popping up, too. Lately I’ve been thinking about the things my friends and I used to do with various weeds when we were kids.

    • There was the weeds-into-pop-guns trick, pictured above (arrowhead weeds, I just learned they’re called).
    • Clover chains
    • Trying to make a grass blade whistle (okay, not weeds, but still counts)
    • Of course making a wish on dandelion heads

    Know any others?

    I’ve been so focused on my writing goals that I haven’t been doing a lot of crafts and (interesting) cooking, though I do have a few things l’d like to share in the coming weeks. Our last day of school is today, which means my schedule will be quite a bit different from here until the end of August.

    I’ll try to be here as much as I can, but you may find me more frequently on Twitter and Instagram, since those are easy for quick snippets. My Twitter handle is @emilysmithpearc and I’m on Instagram as Emily Smith Pearce.

    Good news! I reached the goals I set for myself with both my nonfiction and YA novel manuscripts. This is big. So much writing done this year, though it’s easy to wish I had gotten even more done.

    Currently reading: The Divorce Papers by Susan Rieger and The Great Green Heist by Varian Johnson (both purchased at Park Road Books). Currently watching: Game of Thrones and Orange is the New Black.

     


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    13. Author Event in Milford, NH

    Bring the kids for a fun-filled story time!

    Saturday June 7th at 2:00 pm
    Toadstool Bookshop, Milford NH

    Award winning children’s book author and illustrator, Jennifer E. Morris will be reading and signing, “The Ice Cream Shop,” the first book in her silly new Scholastic Reader series featuring Steve the opossum and Wessley the rabbit (approx. age 3-8).  Then join us while we make our very own rabbit or opossum ears, complete with face paint whiskers! 

    Jennifer is the author and illustrator of several children’s books including the best-selling, “May I Please Have a Cookie?” also published by Scholastic. Visit her on the web at www.jemorris.com.

    If you are in the area please stop by and say hi!  If you know anyone else who might be interested, please pass on the information.
     

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    14. Bring on the Red, White and Blue…Buttons to Make This Bracelet.

    Here’s an easy craft for kids to make to celebrate Memorial Day or the 4th of July.  All you need is a piece of stretchy elastic used for jewelry and an assortment of buttons in red, white and blue.  You can find these at any craft store such as A C Moore, Michael’s, or Hobby Lobby.  buttons

    Cut a piece of elastic about two -three inches longer than your wrist.

    Thread the buttons onto the elastic one at a time, alternating colors as you go.  Don’t be afraid to push the buttons on top of one another.  The elastic will stretch when you wear it, so the buttons will separate then.

    You can also add beads in between the buttons if you wish for a different look.  Add buttons until you reach the desired length for a comfortable fit on your wrist.  Then tie off the ends using a double knot as shown below.

    braceletCut off the extra elastic close to the knot and you are finished!  For other bracelets and 40 more ideas for Memorial Day crafts and beyond, visit www,redtedart.com/2014/04/22/button-craft-ideas/

    Why not try some red, white and blue food at the picnic as well to get into the patriotic spirit?  Blueberries and strawberries are in season and taste great over vanilla ice cream or yogurt.

    Give the bracelets away as prizes for anyone wearing the most red, white and blue clothing.

    Happy Memorial Day, and remember all those who gave their lives for our freedom.  Check out this short video that so thoughtfully reminds us of sacrifice.

    http://moments.org/thank-you-for-your-service/

    How do you celebrate Memorial Day?   I’d love to hear from you.  button braceletTo Veterans past and those presently serving our country, Thank You For Your Service.


    0 Comments on Bring on the Red, White and Blue…Buttons to Make This Bracelet. as of 5/23/2014 4:48:00 AM
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    15. Make This Beautiful Book For Someone You Love.

    Make this simple paper book and enclose some of your favorite pictures and mementos.  Or use it to highlight your poems, stories or other worthy endeavors.  You can add extra pages by inserting plain card stock between each page.  It makes a great home-made gift for mom, grandparents or teachers as well.

    1. Cut one piece of 12 x 12 cardstock in half. Fold each piece in half.  book aFor a book with more pages, use TWO pieces of cardstock and proceed as directed.

    2. Place each folded half on top of one another and punch two holes through the folded side. Approximately 1 ½” down from the top and 1 ½” up from the bottom.

    3. Bed over the folded side about ½” so it creases all four pages together.

    4. From the bottom or back side, bring up each end of a ribbon cut 18” long, through each punched hole. Tie it together on front.

    This is your book. Continue to decorate in your own personalized way
    or follow the guidelines below to make it look like mine.

    Front Cover- cut a piece of decorative paper 4 ½” x 5 ½”. Glue on.   book pic 1

    Inside front cover- cut a piece of decorative paper 1 ¾” x 4 ¼”. Glue on.

    Page 3: -cut a piece of paper 4 ½” x 5 ½”. Notch the top like a file folder. Fold in half. Wrap a 12” piece of colored string around the right side of page, tie, and glue folded paper down.
    Additionally, cut a small strip of paper ¾” x 4 ½” and glue.    See photo.  book pic 2

    Page 4- Cut two, 2 x 2 “ squares. Cutting on a diagonal, cut each square in half forming four triangles. Place one triangle in each corner of the page.

    Page 5- Notch out the right side of page 5 like a file folder. Cut a strip of paper ¾” x 2” to glue inside the file folder notch. With a hole punch, punch three small holes along the right edge and string ribbon through each hole.

    book photo 3

    Page 6- Cut a small 2” x 2 ½” tag. Punch a hole and run a ribbon through it. Attach a paper clip to the top of the page. Attach another ribbon or bow, to that.

    Inside Back Cover- Cut a piece of paper 4 ½” x 5”. Glue on.

    Your mini book is complete.bookcover completed

    All of the supplies used to make this darling book are from Close To My Heart. The paper products are exclusive and are only available through the month of May 2014.

    Visit Shiela’s  website: http://www.shielafuller.ctmh.com   If you have any questions, please email her at : scraphappy007@aol.com.

    How to win a prize from Shiela:

    Sign up to receive updates from Darlene’s blog AND send an email to me telling me you are a new subscriber: scraphappy007@aol.com You will be entered into a drawing to win the My Reflections Free to be Me paper packet. Winner will be announced June 2, 2014. Contact me for any questions. I periodically send scrapbook workshop emails and a newsletter.

     


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    16. Horse Pinata

    Horse Pinata

    My daughter wanted a horse piñata* for her party, and I decided I wasn’t spending $25 for a tiny unfilled horse-shaped one from Party City. I thought I was making things simple by making a balloon-shaped pinata with a horse on it, but of course it all ended up taking a lot more effort than I realized.

    Still, though, I loved the thing while it lasted. I started with the instructions here, but somewhere along the way I went off script and in the end, the mechanics didn’t really work. It was too heavy, and there was no way to hang it, so I wedged it into the v-shaped crux of our neighbor’s tree trunk. It worked, what can I say?

    Drawing the horse on the balloon shape turned out to be the hardest part since I couldn’t see the whole animal at once and had to keep rolling it back and forth to look at the different parts. I followed the drawing guidelines in Sachiko Umoto’s Let’s Draw Cute Animals. Such a fun drawing book, btw, for kids or adults.

    Speaking of drawing and painting, my new neighbor came over for the party with all her polish paraphernalia and painted nails for any of the girls who wanted it. Wow! There was also a round of Pass-the-Parcel and Tap-the-Pot. Lots o’ prizes.

    My boy (6) has recently gotten turned on to reading via sister’s recommendation of early reader versions of The Boxcar Children. Mind you, not fabulous literature, but boy is it fun to see those “I love this book!” sparks fly. I always loved the Boxcar children myself.

    Proud moment: he read while walking home from school. No injuries—I was right there with him and it was really just a moment until he finished the book he’d already started. I just ordered him several used Boxcar easy readers as an end-of-the-school-year present. And I’ll figure out some version of a similar gift for my daughter. We go to the public library a lot in the summer, but it’s always handy to have a large stash of used paperbacks for travels. Goodwill and the used bookstore are great for that. Anything to keep them feeling excited about reading, really. The school is doing a book exchange, too, so I’m hoping especially Little Miss will trade out some of her old fairy books or whatnot for some new-to-her stuff.

    I’m still enjoying Gary Shteyngart’s Little Failure and just bought a copy of The Divorce Papers, which I’ve been told is in the vein of Where’d You Go, Bernadette? (which I love love loved). What’s on your summer reading list?

    *Sorry, folks, neither WordPress nor my keyboard will let me type a proper ñ in my title text box.

     

     

     


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    17. Why May Is Like December

    Tree Costume

    Well hello again! I’m sorry I’ve been away so long. It’s been a very busy month with not much promise of getting less busy anytime soon. Is it the same for you? I’m betting yes.

    I’ve decided that the end of April through May is really just December all over again, with better weather. All the end-of-year events, school testing, gift-buying obligations opportunities, etc. etc. etc. General nuttiness. With that in mind, I’m trying to give myself permission to buy some ready-to-eat meals, to not bargain-shop every last little thing, to split infinitives, and to volunteer at the school only sometimes and not for every single event.

    That said, I do love the weather, the flowers coming up, the outdoor meals, and time with extended family. Our daughter also (10) had her theatrical debut in a full-length play at our church, which was so, so fun to see. My most recent sewing project was tree costumes for the play. In the rush I forgot to take a photo of the finished costumes, but the photo above gives you an idea of the look.

    Meanwhile, I’ve been very serious about moving forward my nonfiction book and my YA novel. Nose still to grindstone! Both are going well, but I’ve got a few more goals to reach before school lets out. Wish me luck.

    Currently reading Little Failure by Gary Shteyngart. Such an interesting and funny read with a quirky, wry voice that I love. It’s a memoir detailing the author’s move from the Soviet Union to the U.S. in 1978, when he was a child. Thanks, Christina, for the loan!

    Also, listening to Pop Culture Happy Hour podcasts and now All Songs Considered and Tiny Desk Concerts.

    If you’re a kidlit person, maybe you followed the uproar over the lack of diversity at BookCon and the #WeNeedDiverseBooks campaign that followed on Twitter and Tumblr. One of the coolest things to come out of it was a lot of buzz for a forthcoming book by Varian Johnson, The Great Greene Heist. Billed as Ocean’s Eleven meets middle grade, it sounds like such a fun read and *bonus* has a diverse cast of characters. So excited for Varian, who is a fellow Florence, SC native (though we’ve never met in person, only virtually). I’ve read one of his previous books (My Life as a Rhombus) and was very impressed. If you want to diversify your shelves, join the #greatgreenechallenge and pre-order Varian’s book from your local bookstore.

    Hope to see you here again soon before long.

     

     

     


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    18. Get Crafty For Easter.

    With spring finally here, and Easter and Passover right around the corner, there are lots of ways to celebrate the season with crafts and egg decorating. Some of the easiest and festive kids crafts can be found on the RED TED ART sight.  There are 40 Easter crafts using eggs, pompom balls, and readily available materials.  http://www.redtedart.com

    When I was a kid, we died eggs by dipping them into cups of colored water.  You can still  do that, but now there are many other ways to decorate eggs for the holiday. You can use non-toxic water color paints to create works of art.  Try paint daubers to make dots, Crayola or other non-toxic markers to draw designs. The Red TED sight has many other ideas for egg decorating.  If you wish to try the Polish art of PISANKY egg dying, you can order your own kit from: http://www.chinaberry.com

    I decorated this egg at a workshop on how to do PISANKY.

    I decorated this egg at a workshop on how to do PISANKY.

    Here’s a unique way to give out chocolate treats for the holiday:  Create egg-shaped baskets out of balloons and dazzle family and friends with your talent.  Check out the how-tos for MAGIC BALLOON TREATS  at: http://www.thewhoot.com.au

    Happy Easter and Happy crafting!


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    19. Embroidered Wedding Portrait

    1-IMG_0516

    This is the story of a wedding gift (my contribution to it, anyway) for a dear friend. I thought you might like to see the process. The picture is of my friend Jamie and her husband, who got married last June. As a surprise to the couple, her mother asked friends and family each to complete a design on a muslin square. She collected the squares and then had them made into a patchwork quilt as a gift to Jamie and her husband.

    1789o

    Jamie and I go way back, and a big part of our friendship has been about shared words. Books, movies, music, poetry, television. We have a lot of inside jokes about obscure quotes. So I sifted through our collective “library” of shared references, looking for the perfect quote to decorate the wedding square. Nothing seemed quite right.

    When I saw the bride and groom, though, I knew nothing could be more Jamie and Jon than their fabulous wedding outfits.

    I decided to make an embroidered picture and started with the best photo I had of the event. It’s blurry but gave me a good pose to work with. I used Picasa to play with the colors and then used the “posterize” effect to get the lines of the image to show up more clearly.

    1-IMG_0516-003

    I printed the picture, traced over the lines with a Sharpie, and then transferred these to the fabric with a temporary fabric marking pen.

    Embroidery

    I like the back almost as well as the front:

    Embroidery backside

    Here’s the final:

    Embroidered Wedding Portrait

    If you’re interested in seeing more of Jamie and Jon’s wedding, click here.

    Meanwhile, I’m hard at work on my nonfiction project and just got some excellent notes on my novel from an old friend. A little sewing going on, which hopefully I can show you soon. Back to writing now!


    8 Comments on Embroidered Wedding Portrait, last added: 1/23/2014
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    20. Girl’s Waffle Knit Tunic

    Thermal Knit Tunic

    My girl loves knits. She’s nine now, but ever since I can remember, comfort has been her style priority. More often than not, this means knit fabrics. I really hesitate to buy her anything that’s made of wovens.

    Occasionally, though, I have trouble finding as much variety as we want. (okay, there’s Mini Boden, which I love, but I’m not in love with their prices). This tunic was an experiment that started out as a dress in my mind. Until I ran out of fabric. Actually, I think if the pattern sizing was anywhere near the mark it probably would’ve made a dress, no problem.

    I thought I’d try making a raglan T-shirt into a dress by lengthening the bottom, since raglan sleeves can be easier to deal with than the standard set-in kind. I used See & Sew B4322, which is really a pajama pattern, but that was the closest thing to what I wanted that I could find in the fabric store.

    The directions are nice and straightforward, but like I said, the pattern sizing is off by a mile. I know my daughter is slim, but she’s not far off normal store-bought sizing. We ended up with, like, six inches of ease on the sides and a Flashdance neck.

    But anyway, I made it work. I hacked off the sides, took in the shoulders, and gathered the neck (this was pre-finishing). I added a wide waistband what I had leftover, and I’m actually pretty happy with how it turned out. It’s long enough that she can wear it with leggings, which was the goal in the first place.

    I realize I could’ve done a better job with the bow pattern (I’m pretty unexperienced with patterned fabric) but Little Miss doesn’t seem to care, so I don’t, either. Next time, I think I’ll just trace clothes she already has, rather than use that pattern (though the directions are still helpful).

    The fabric came from Girl Charlee. I’ve been enjoying sewing with their fabrics. They are good quality and very reasonably priced, cute selection. If you’re a beginner with knits, I’d recommend going with medium weights. They are easier to work with. I do love these bows!

    For more of my sewing adventure, click here. Hope you have a great weekend!


    0 Comments on Girl’s Waffle Knit Tunic as of 1/24/2014 1:56:00 PM
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    21. Marco Polo and the Explorer Book

    DSC_0410-001

    At the recommendation of a friend (thanks, Catherine!) I bought Into the Unknown: How Great Explorers Found Their Way by Land, Sea, and Air for my six-year-old boy for Christmas. It’s a beauty of a book, written by Stewart Ross and illustrated by Stephen Biesty (of Incredible Cross-Sections fame). Each chapter follows a different explorer and includes a gorgeous fold out map and diagram of the explorer’s route and travel style.

    DSC_0413-001

     I highly, highly recommend it. Reading it straight through from beginning to end isn’t something my son is ready for (the text is geared toward a slightly older audience), but he likes to pick a small section for me to read at a time, and he always chooses a fold-out to study. He wants to read every label for all the parts (not unlike his fascination with Richard Scarry’s books).

    I love that feeling of just sort of soaking in the book, meandering through and getting to know it bit by bit, landing on favorite parts and coming back to them again and again on a nonlinear journey. It reminds me of my own love for the Oxford University Press story collections as a kid. Beautifully illustrated by Victor Ambrus, they were these great kid-friendly versions of the Canterbury Tales, the great ballets, and King Arthur’s tales, among others. Sadly, they look to be out of print now, but I think I’ll have to chase down some copies to have as our own. Click here for a few cover images from Victor Abrus’s website.

    I didn’t understand everything about those tales at the time, but when I re-encountered them later in school, it was thrilling to realize I already had a framework in place. The stories were familiar and felt like they were already mine. I’m always hoping to give my kids some experiences like that, and I hope Into the Unknown will be one of them.

    The elementary school had its book character parade last week, and my son wanted to dress like Marco Polo. We didn’t find a picture of him in the book, but we found an 18th century illustration online:

     We found a silk jacket at the thrift store (100% real! reversible!), along with a faux fur shrug we could use for the hat. I made the hat (two U-shaped pieces sewn along the curve) from an old T-shirt with a double-thickness of sweatshirt underneath for body. I tacked the fur band around the bottom.

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    Marco Polo costume

    Since I’m working on a nonfiction children’s book myself, I have a new appreciation for just how much research goes into something like this. I can’t imagine how long it must’ve taken Mr. Ross and Mr. Biesty to create this handsome book. Bravo!

    Speaking of nonfiction for children, I just ordered a couple from my favorite local indie, Park Road Books. Amy Karol of angry chicken recommended two comic-type books, one about the presidents and another about the Greek myths: Amazing Greek Myths of Wonder and Blunder, and Where Do Presidents Come From? They sounded so good that I called up Park Road right away. I’ll be there tonight for the spring author line up, sponsored by the local chapter of the Women’s National Book Association.

    For more posts about books, click here. For more posts about costumes, click here. (Boy! I seem to make/ assemble a lot!)

    P.S. Family: I’d like to get this book (Into the Unknown) for the oldest nephews, so I’m calling dibs now. Sorry!


    3 Comments on Marco Polo and the Explorer Book, last added: 3/11/2014
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    22. Crafty Chloe: Dress-Up Mess-Up - Picture Book Review


    Crafty Chloe: Dress-Up Mess-Up (Crafty Chloe #2) 
    by Kelly DiPucchio, illustrated by Heather Ross
    Publication date: 13 August 2013 by Simon and Schuster
    ISBN 13: 9781442421240
    Goodreads | Amazon | B&N | Book Depository

    Category: Children's Picture Book
    Keywords: Picture book, crafting, art
    Format: Hardcover
    Source: Library


    Synopsis:

    The Parade of Books has arrived, and it’s Chloe’s chance to showcase her crafty costume talents. Leo wants Chloe to be the Frankenstein to his Dracula, and Chloe can’t wait to dress like a monster. But when Emma wants to wear Fairy Club costumes instead, Chloe is torn like a scrap of fabric. She doesn’t want to disappoint her friends—but how can she possibly please them both? Luckily, a little glitter and a lot of imagination just might give Chloe the answer!

    Thuy's Review:

    The annual book parade is around the corner and Chloe and her friends must prepare costumes based on their favorite book characters. But trouble arises when Chloe promises to be a monster with her friend Leo and then promises to be a fairy with her friend Emma. Chloe doesn't want to disappoint either friend, so what is she going to do?

    First of all, what a great premise. We never had anything like a book costume parade when I was Chloe's age but I think I would have loved it. This is a really cute book and I loved that Chloe was so crafty and creative when it came to her costumes. I like that the book encourages kids to use their imaginations and make things. The story itself wasn't super original or exciting but it was cute and I think kids will like it. It was a bit predictable but I think that kids will like it.

    As a crafty person myself, I think Crafty Chloe: Dress-Up Mess-Up is an adorable book to read to kids and get them in the crafting spirit. It would be fun to read this with a child and do some crafts to go with it. Definitely worth a read if you have children in your life.
     


    Visit the author online at www.kellydipucchio.com, Twitter and follow her on Twitter Facebook


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    0 Comments on Crafty Chloe: Dress-Up Mess-Up - Picture Book Review as of 3/11/2014 7:10:00 AM
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    23. Brazilian Bracelets

    Brazilian Bracelets
    Author: Florence Bellot
    Publisher: Schiffer Books
    Genre: Crafts
    ISBN: 978-0-7643-4557-9
    Pages: 64
    Price: $24.99

    Buy it at Amazon

    Friendship bracelets are fun to create, and there are so many interesting patterns. Knowing the technique makes it easy. In this book, Florence Bellot provides helpful instructions and colorful pictures as a guide to getting started.

    Beginning with the basics, she shows us how to make the traditional knots along with several variations. Colorful wraps are explained, as well as how to add charms and beads to the bracelet. A 5-thread starter pack is included.

    I have some familiarity with making these bracelets, and I found it easy to follow the designs presented. But if you’ve never tried this fun craft, it might be helpful to have an experienced friend show you the basics. Once you’ve mastered the technique, you can have lots of fun following these patterns.

    Reviewer: Alice Berger


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    24. Mixed Pattern Playdress

    Mixed Pattern Playdress

    This is one of my favorite sewing projects ever. It’s simple, was really fun to sew, and my daughter’s face just glowed when she put it on the first time. It’s just so her, but I love it, too.

    As I’ve mentioned before, she pretty much refuses to wear anything but knits. I’m always trying to find knit play dresses, and I fell in love with some from a certain British catalog that rhymes with Odin. I’m sure they would rather me write “catalogue,” am I right? Their prices are pretty steep for such simple dresses, though, and I thought, hey, I could make that! I’m kind of famous for saying that, but in this case, I actually did it.

    From the catalog, we borrowed the idea of mixing patterns (which is also a big part of my daughter’s style) and went to the half-yard clearance section on Girl Charlee. Little Miss picked out the fabrics. I tried to get her to go with a contrasting color mix, but that was a non-starter. She specified no sleeves and a higher waistline with a full skirt.

    For the bodice I traced another dress’s bodice. The skirt part is just a gathered rectangle. I used to be so scared of sewing with knits, but really, it’s not so bad once you get the hang of it. I definitely do better with slightly weightier knits. I used a regular machine (not a serger) and used zig zag, serger-ish-like, and triple stitches, depending on the seam/ application.

    For some great tutorials on knit finishes, check this and this out.

    This time, there are no booty issues (like here).

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    For more of my sewing adventures, click here.


    4 Comments on Mixed Pattern Playdress, last added: 3/19/2014
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    25. Mixed Pattern Tank Top

    Mixed Pattern Tank Top

    This was another little experiment playing around with pattern mashups. I traced a favorite T-shirt to make a pattern, then played around with the shoulder width (the original shirt had sleeves) until it felt right. I finished the arm and neck holes with a banded treatment. I especially like the floral edging with the stripey part.

    I’m pretty happy with the results, though there are plenty of imperfections. I’d like to try another using a walking foot on my machine. I think I can get a smoother finish that way.

    Unfortunately the color didn’t come out so great on these photos, so I don’t think they quite do it justice, but what can I say? There are only so many hours in a day a girl can spend on modeling, am I right?

    My nine-year-old wants to steal this shirt, so that makes me feel pretty successful. The fabrics are once again from Girl Charlee, and I love their softness and fun prints, but I’d also love to see more fabrics that are over 90% natural fibers and am willing to pay. It gets too hot so quickly around here to be wearing fabrics with a fair amount of poly. My two cents.

    Okay, back to work. I have to prepare a presentation I’m doing with some fifth graders next week about writing an early reader.

    Hope you have a great weekend. I finally have plans to see The Grand Budapest Hotel. Yippeee!

    If you want to see more of my sewing adventures/ experiments, click here.

    Colorblock Tank Top


    2 Comments on Mixed Pattern Tank Top, last added: 4/7/2014
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