Friday, May 17, 2013

Through the Hobbit Hole

I have so many wonderful opportunities to craft for awesome strangers because I join up for swaps on craftster. This is one of the embroideries I have done this year.

I tend to browse peoples pinterest pages, looking for inspiration, once I am partnered with them. This is an example of the fun I have because of it.

This was just a black and white drawing that was pinned to one of my swap partners pinterest boards. But I decided that I needed to give it life by embroidering it.  I was able to use a few different stitches to give it the depth and texture I wanted. The grass is full of purple glass beads that I was hoping would resemble flowers or berries, I was able to use my punch needle to give the grass a bushy effect. I used a fill stitch for the sky and mountain and hillside and a satin stitch for the walkway. I used a split stitch on the trees and french knots for the hobbit holes in the distance.

It reads, "The road goes ever on and on, down from the door where it began... Now far ahead the road has gone, and I must follow, if I can."

I had so much fun making this for my swap partner and I was so happy to know that it is loved in it's new home!

Monday, May 13, 2013

Hand Embroidered Cuckoo Clock

I recently had the opportunity to craft a unique hand embroidered piece that I probably would have never done, if not for some outside inspiration.

I have become slightly addicted to embroidering this past year. And I will take any opportunity to put needle to fabric.

I decided to make a working cuckoo clock for an online craft swap. I bought a wood craft board at my local craft store near the clock work supplies. I picked up some generic clock hands and clock innards as well. I painted the sides of the wood board in a calypso blue.  My husband drilled a hole where I told him I needed it to be. He is awesome like that.

I embroidered on a piece of white cotton fabric, which I then sewed onto a piece of felt for support. My hubby helped me get the clock work screwed down properly through the wood and fabric. I also made a polymer clay cuckoo bird which I added to the window.

I sent it to it's recipient a few weeks ago and it is loved in it's new home. I am really happy with how it turned out. It was easier than I thought it would be, which is always a nice surprise!

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Whovian doesn't even begin to describe it.

Last year I made a simple mistake; listening to a friend who recommended a British television show to me. It was on Netflix, so it was free and she told me to at least watch a few of the episodes (in order, of course) before making any judgments.

Here I am in the 7th season (having crammed 6 seasons all within a few month period) waiting for each episode to show up on my husband's xbox account.  It's been painful. Sweet, painful bliss. 

With any fan of any genre of geekery, it seems like it's almost always a requirement to be 100% committed to your love of that show. I hope I never disappoint when it comes to Doctor Who. I have loved each regeneration of The Doctor more than the last. (Even though I am only on 3 as I have yet to watch the earlier seasons of the awesomesauce that is Doctor Who.)

I have been signing up for swaps on craftster and it has given me an outlet for my love of Doctor Who.  I wanted to share a few.

I am an embroidery addict and I have had the wonderful opportunity to send my creative work all over the world. I made this hoop back in August 2012 and it now resides in France. She swapped a cute little french knot bunny that now hangs in my stairwell.

This is a holiday tree ornament that I made this past December 2012. This wasn't for a swap, but I did make it as a potential option for the ornament swap. I ended up swapping amigurumi snowmen. It's painted on stretch canvas and has a glow in the dark bead on top. I loved adding a TARDIS to my tree, and my girls loved it too!

This hoop was really fun to stitch up. I love how the Dalek turned out and I even gave him a TARDIS blue mug for his coffee. It was inspired by one of my swap partner's favorite quotes.

This one was just shipped off to New England. It's all satin, split and back stitching. I added beads to accent it as well. I used a blue satin floss in the same color for the whole thing.
It was really hard to part with. In fact, all my Doctor Who crafts have been tough to let go of, but each time I get a Whovian for a swap partner, I know that I am going to truly enjoy crafting for them.

Thanks for reading!

Monday, April 8, 2013

Big Bounce New Castle

Being new to a state and region of the country makes it tough for families to find things to do. Thank the stars for groupon because it has helped me immensely.We have purchased a few groupons over the course of the past 4 years and it has given us the opportunity to not only find fun places that we may otherwise have not known about, but if we didn't end up liking the place, we weren't out too much money.

We recently went to Big Bounce in New Castle. I was afraid that it would be one bounce house in someone's garage, because that's just how I think. But I was pleasantly surprised. They have 5 bounce houses set up in a large warehouse type room and one is only for children 4 and under. The entire area is matted and there is a place for parents to sit. Just outside the berm, but in the same room, they have tables and a small arcade.

While we were there, they popped some free popcorn and we purchased $1 juice pouches for the kids. Our girls played for two straight hours! They had a bunch of fun. I got to sit and embroider and my husband played around on his phone. I would have worn socks if I had known that parents are welcome in the bounce houses as well.

We had an afternoon of fun and my children have asked to go back already.  Make sure you bring socks and be prepared for thirsty children!

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Desperate times call for crafty measures

When we first arrived in Indiana, I quickly realized how alone we were in this new place. We knew absolutely no one. I had moved across country once before, but it was before I had children, so it wasn't as scary.

As a stay at home mom, I found myself slowly going crazy. I had no friends, no family and two young children who were in the process of potty training and being weened off their pacifiers. I found myself alone in this new place.

After a while, I found myself crafting. I made dresses for my two daughters, I crocheted hats, I made them curtains for their bedroom. I made them piggy banks, I made a wood block calendar. Before long, I was spending a lot of my free time crafting.

After my husband lost his job in 2010, I was the first of the two of us to find employment. And as anyone with an office job can attest, I found myself with some free time on occasion. And during one of my lulls, I hopped online to search for some geeky craft ideas. That is when I happened across a wonderful website known as And my small craft habit turned into a full blown addiction.

Since joining craftster a little over a year ago, I have learned new crafts, I have improved my crocheting abilities and I have made a few friends, here in the states and abroad. I have received wonderfully crafted art items, and I have sent so many items that have been made with love to new homes.

Crafting has become a part of who I am. And I know that would never have happened without moving here.  I know that would have never happened without my girls and I know it wouldn't have had a chance in Hades of happening without my very supportive husband.

Now I spend my free time making wonderfully fun crafts for others, and I get to teach my two young daughters how to work with polymer clay, and shrinky dinks, and paint, and they even help me sew.  They love seeing what I come up with and they have benefited from it.

My grandma spent hours in front of her sewing machine and the dresses she made me were always my favorite. My children do not have any grandparents, so it makes me feel all warm and fuzzy being able to share the feeling my grandmother gave me with my daughters.
Amigurumi Piggies by me

Thursday, March 22, 2012

An Adventure to Metamora, Indiana.

There's a small town in Southern Indiana that is so sweet and quaint. It's an 1800's town called Metamora and we had a chance to go there for Mother's Day a few years back.

We started our adventure in Connersville, Indiana. We decided to take a scenic train ride down on the Whitewater Valley Railroad. It was a chilly day, but they had a cute store and museum areas for us to wait for the train.  Since it was a Mother's Day trip, we splurged and spent the extra money to ride in the caboose.
The girls climbed up to look out of the higher windows. It was nice because we shared the caboose with the Railroad employee and an older couple. My only regret was that we couldn't hear the 'tour' on the way down. It sounded like the conductor was pointing out places of interest during the trip, but the sound connection wasn't the greatest. Which was nice on the way home, because my youngest was able to nap in silence. ;)

We ate lunch in the sweetest little place, owned by the sweetest couple. The town has a few different places to eat, shop and explore.
My girls loved running across bridges, looking at the ducks and sitting on all the cute benches.

There is a Grist Mill to explore, which is powered by a waterwheel.

Part of the charm of going to Metamora is that pieces of the 1800's canal are still intact. You can see remnants on the train trip down, and a large intact section is still used today for horse pulled boat rides. The horses were so sweet.

We visited a few antique shops, a few candy shops and had so much fun. We brought home hand made fudge and a few items that I had to have. It was a wonderful Mother's Day excursion and I recommend it to anyone who is looking for a fun day trip. Metamora has festivals and holiday events. Whitewater Valley Railroad also puts on special train events throughout the year.

We will be going again soon!

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Adventures in Perler Beads


Pixel Hair Bow

Pixel Hair Bow with clip hot glued to back.

The girls used glow in the dark Perler Beads too!

I have to admit that this was a craft that was a little tough for my little ones, it takes concentration, time and nimble fingers. The girls, 4 & 5, used preformed shapes to make their frog and dog. And I had to help finish them. I, on the other hand, used a grid to make my own designs, which was really fun.

Feel free to 'steal' the 'patterns' and have your own fun! Remember to iron both sides and never let a child handle an iron. (Common sense, I know.)

I hot glued a hair clip to the back of the bow and it's held up well. I hot glued magnets to the back of the 1up and Goomba to put on the fridge to hold up art. I want to try to make Rainbow Dash from My Little Ponies and if I ever get around to it, I'll post a pic!