I have been feeling like I’m running behind and I can’t seem to get caught up.  Add in kids going back to school, an out of town guest, and a husband going back to work and I am exhausted AND running around in circles!
I have been making tons of progress with the clutter and I am getting so much more organized (BTW, I am completely in LOVE with my new planner), but the craftiness has been slacking.  organizer and knitting A lot of my projects are just getting slapped together and some of them aren’t even getting finished before I move on to the next thing.  I’m not really as proud or as excited about some of these projects and that is just not me.  I have decided the best way to fix this it to take a couple of weeks off from blogging.  I want to keep going with the de-cluttering and organizing mission that I have been on and I also want to get back on track creatively, so I’ll have fun and exciting new projects to share here.  Now would be the perfect time to check out the tutorial or favorite tabs, there is also pinterest to inspire your craftiness while I’m away. I’ll be checking in on Twitter and posting a few updates on the Facebook page too.  If that’s not enough you can always send me an email :D
See you back here in a couple of weeks!



We have had a busy week, it was the first full week of school (wow, 2nd. graders have a lot of homework!), we’ve had several random but necessary appointments, and we’ve had a houseguest all week.  Whew, I’m tired!
As a remembrance of his trip I knitted our guest this washcloth.exfoliate! Yes, he is a Dr. Who fan.  Head over to Ravelry to get a copy of the free Dalek pattern.
Have a super crafty weekend!


Final Batch of Swap Goodies

I received the final set of inchies, rinchies, and twinchies.  These are from DizzerSpinninRound, I’m loving all the owls and who doesn’t love glitter?  inchies, rinchies, and twinchies from dizzerspinninround
She picked two of my themes: owls and cupcakes.  My favorites are the “nude” cupcake inchie (I know I have that image pinned somewhere) and the cupcake and owl inchie.

Here are the ones I sent her:inchies, rinchies, and twinchies for dizzerspinninroundObviously, I picked a steampunk theme.  Lots and lots of gears.  I really love the effect of using a glaze pen over a watercolor background and then washing over it with black. I am also really excited that the inexpensive, metallic watercolors I bought turned out so wonderful! inchies, rinchies, and twinchies for dizzerspinninround inside I also experimented with Mod Podge Dimensional Magic on the inside of the heart twinchie and the inchie on the bottom right.  It left a hard, glossy (difficult to photograph or scan) coating that embedded the gears and mimics resin without the fumes and dry time.
There were a lot of great inchies, rinchies, and twinchies sent, you should check out the gallery, it’s awesome!


Simple Planner Pages

I have spent a lot of time looking for just the right planner and let me tell you if it’s out there I haven’t found it.  I did find a planner I liked, but with a $30 price tag, it just wasn’t perfect enough.  I knew exactly what I wanted, I wanted simple with lots of space to write everything down and maybe some room for doodles around the edge :)  I decide to make my own calendar and lists and then add some of my favorite printables to make my own.  I have to have lots of list room, I love making lists and checking things off.
Click Image to Download
There are four pages in the free download: 2 calendar pages (one you see above) and another will three date columns and a list column.  Fill in your own month, year and numbers!, one page divided into fourths labeled to go, to do, to call, to e-mail, and one page divided into fourths to be used for shopping lists for different stores.  This is exactly what I needed (maybe you too?).
I am also using a few other free printables from several different sites:
The weekly meal planner from Vertex42  I liked this planner because it has lines to write on instead of little boxes and there are spaces for sides (I can also write snacks in those spots)  I chronically forget to shop for sides(and snacks), hoping this will help.  I also use the annual calendar checklist, for keeping track of, ahem, menstrual cycles and other such things.
My plans for the week fromThe Household Planner  I like the clean look and there is plenty of room to fit everything in, plus room for notes (or doodles).  I also use the monthly activity calendar (can't find a link, but I think I got it by signing up for the email list), six color coded lines to help keep everyone's appointments straight.
The blog post planner from Productive Flourishing  I like how you could sort your posts out by topic and that there are places to "check off" posts you have done.
I sorted all my sheets into the order I wanted them in and headed off to the copy store to copy and collate everything.  Don't forget to make some fun covers for you new planner.  My local OfficeMax has several different binding styles: coil, spiral, and comb.  I made my copies (a lot of copies) and left them to be bound (I'm picking them up this afternoon, they were super busy), they will also be laminating the covers.  The final cost is going to be less than $10 for a 12 month, letter sized, coil bound, custom planner.  I can't wait to pick it up,  I wish I had been more creative with the covers (I was in a BIG rush to get this done) I might make a fabric cover to make it look extra special.
Look for photos later today on the Facebook page of my shiny new planner! and try not to laugh too much at the simplicity of my calendar templates.


Finished Backpacks

I finished these up Monday night, just in time for school to start on Tuesday.  They were a big hit and they should hold up for the whole school year!  Special details include a super reinforced hanging loop, tabs instead of eyelets for the strings, boxed bottom corners to make the bags look better when full, and bead embellishments.string backpacks finishedThey look like they been lined up to be shot in a small swarm of half finished man eating ladybugs.  The first day of school shots were a complete failure.  I don’t know what it is about trying to have a nice picture of them that brings out the worst faces, sad they are trying to look cute, needless to say I won’t be sharing any of those shots. BTW, any suggestions on photographing children so they look natural would be great and let me know if you’d like a tutorial for these bags, I might need to make one for Little Man too!


Custom Backpack Design

So, school starts tomorrow and I decided to wait until Sunday night to start making new backpacks for Little Miss and Little Sir.  Little Sir’s backpack is going to have a Star Wars stencil.  I found this image by googling and I don’t have a direct link because, while the picture showed up in the results, it was not on the page listed anymore.  I did a copy and paste (ahem, I’m claiming personal use).
clone stencil beforeHere it is all cut out of freezer paper and ironed on.  I really like stenciling nice smooth fabric, so much easier than a pre-sewn item.clone stencil afterAll finished, I did have to do two layers of white paint and the edges did bleed a little in places, they always do when you have to go back over it.  I love the results and I can wait to start sewing (it needed to dry completely before I start sewing, no smudges).
I am making simple string backpacks for both of them, but I am adding a few extra details to make them a bit nicer than the store bought ones.  Come back Wednesday and see the finished backpacks! 


More Organizing in Progress

I know that I’ve already talked about cleaning and organizing this week, but this is all I have been working on.  When I get in the de-cluttering mood I have to go with it and so this is what I’ve been working on for days.
In all the clutter there was a lot more organization than you would expect, it’s kind of weird in a way that makes me wonder if I should be seeing a therapist.81011craftroom1The shelves will need to be worked over in the near future, but stuff is somewhat organized and easy to find.  Done is better than perfect and in this case getting things sorted and onto the shelves is much better than spending all night organizing one or two totes.
In the middle of the cleaning I found 4 pairs of knee socks to make leg warmers for Little Miss.
81011craftroom2The sewing area was so neat and tidy it only took me 10 minutes to sew them up.  One less pile to take up space.  That pile and bag on the lower right is recycling, so it will be gone soon.
There is only one problem area left…
81011craftroom3 It’s not as bad as it looks, really, it’s been partially sorted.  I expect to finish this up tonight.  One of the reasons cleaning has gone so well this time is I have a new plan.  Upstairs we had an unused room that has become my photo studio.  I can leave my light box and backgrounds up all the time, making it easier to take product photos.  It is also where I am storing all my finished pieces, my craft show displays, and shipping supplies.  Removing all of that stuff from the craft room really cleared a lot of space.
Next I need to tackle the basement.  My husband has been working really hard to get his stuff in order down there, so it’s already half finished.  My reward will be finding all the fabric that I KNOW is down there, just waited to be sewn.


Organized – Labeling Boxes

I spent some time yesterday doing some long overdue cleaning.  Mostly I sorted and filed away all of my patterns.  I had plenty of boxes, I just needed to take the time to sort them out by company and put them in numerical order. 
Today I want to share how I label my boxes.  I used to use a marker to label them, when I got a little more organized I would type up label and stick them on, now I number them.  It is very hard to see in this picture, but there are numbers in the upper right corners of every box.pattern storage boxesOn the bottom left is my master list, each number is labeled with what is in the corresponding box.  My favorite part of labeling boxes this way is if you change what’s in the boxes you don’t need to re-label them, you just edit your master list!  Another bonus is that, if your list is put away, no one knows what is in you boxes, perfect for hiding presents!
I also made some back to school stuff for the kids, the big project was these graffiti style shoes.back to school painted shoesThey are both excited to wear them and I am delighted that they came out so cute.  I followed the Graffiti Shoe tutorial from LilBlueBoo.  When I randomly painted the bright colors on over the white I have to admit I thought I had ruined two perfectly good pairs of plain shoes, but they came out great in the end.
I have several more projects that I want to work on, but if I’m still in cleaning mode I’m definitely going to go with that!  One week until school starts, oh my!


Friday Favorites

Upcycled African Friendship Bracelets Custom Medieval Fantasy Gown Sterling Silver Stacking Rings
Scarf Dress Linocut Card Assortment Burlesque Steampunk Circus 4 piece set
Evil Eye Pendant Halloween Banner Apple Wood Fairy House
Here are some of my current favorites, click on the pictures to be taken directly to the etsy listing.
I realized this week that summer vacation is almost over, it has gone by fast and it seems like all of my big plans were wasted and left undone.  I am madly crafting for back to school, I have big dreams of painted shoes, new back packs, and unique cloths.  We’ll see how productive I can really be.

 Have a super crafty weekend!!!


It’s Hot

Yeah, I know it’s August, but really it seems like it’s hotter than usual.  I have been working on this project all weekend, but I can only stand to be outside about 30 minutes and then I have to come in and cool off.  I’m glad I don’t HAVE to be out in this weather, I don’t do well with hot (but who does?).  Anyway, one down…bowling ball ladybug