Monday, July 27, 2015

July Pinterest Project

For my July Pinterest-inspired project, I chose to do some beading.  I currently have 217 beading project pinned, which is the most pins I have on any of my boards.  So my choice was based on that bit of data, along with the fact that I needed to make a small ornament for a gift.

I found this cute little beaded star that I made in one afternoon.  It's called Starlight and it was designed by Deborah Roberti at  Once again, I found everything I needed in my bead stash and you know how happy that makes me. 

All that this project needed were:  Superduo beads, 11/0 seed beads, some 3mm round beads, and some 4mm beads for the center.  I chose the combination of silver, crystal and seed beads in purple, blue and green.  All I had to do was add some silver ribbon for a hanger and I was done! 

This is a good beginner/intermediate beading project.  Around The Beading Table has such good illustrated instructions that someone who has minimal beading experience could make this pretty star.  Check them out.  They have lots of different free tutorials for all kinds of things - bracelets, necklaces, earrings and more.  Have some fun looking through all they have to offer!

Imagine all of the different color combinations you could do!  I will definitely make more of these.  I declare this Pinterest-inspired project a success!

Monday, July 20, 2015

An Ornament Finish

I finished this cute little chart, "Be Merry" by Little House Needleworks, a few months ago.  And now it's a completely finished ornament!  Everything used in this finish was from my stash.  I really like when it works out like that.

For the front, I cut a piece of heavier cardboard to the correct size and centered the stitched piece on it.  The excess fabric was folded in the back making an effort to have as little bulkiness as possible.  Everything was taped up with double-sided tape. 

Taking a look through my fabric stash I found a good coordinating fabric.  I did the same folding and taping technique to the back and used a lighter weight cardboard.  I have some comic book backing boards that are perfect for this.  I found this idea somewhere on Facebook and was happy to find a good, inexpensive board that's easy to cut to size.  Who knew?
Then I took the back and front and applied some Alene's Tacky Glue.  Carefully aligning both pieces, I stuck them together and gave them a few hours to dry.  I put two heavy boxes on top of them during their drying time.  More rummaging through my ribbon and cord box proved successful when I found some red and gold twisted cord and some sheer ribbon for a little bow.  I used some more Alene's to apply the cording.  Yes, you can also stitch this on, but I've had lots of luck using glue without too much slopppiness.  A cute little bow on top and a teeny gold snowflake are the perfect finishing touch!

When I have a successful finish like this, it makes me want to make more ornaments!  It's so satisfying to complete a project in a relatively short time.  This little ornament will be a gift even though it is so tempting to make it mine!

Saturday, July 11, 2015

Where Bloggers Create 2015

Welcome to my creative space, which I simply refer to as my craft room.  I'm happy to be taking part in the Where Bloggers Create 2015 party again this year.  I've enjoyed joining in during the past couple of years.  It's so much fun to see other peoples' studios and crafting spaces.  This event is hosted by Karen at My Desert Cottage.
 I consider myself very lucky to have a dedicated space to call my craft room.  I didn't have one in my last house, and when we bought this house 6 years ago, I called dibs on this small bedroom.
I just made the window valance.  I'm glad I chose colorful fabric.
Almost all of the furniture in it is second-hand from used furniture places, online garage sales, or just stuff I re-purposed from my own house.  The only thing I splurged on was my craft table, which I love.
I like to cross stitch, make jewelry, do beadwork, and sew, but also do other crafts.  Storage is really important to me as I've amassed quite the collection of cross stitch charts and beads over the years.  A pine bookcase that belonged to my son is now a good place to store and organize my charts, magazines and books.  It also serves as a display case for cute things.
I recently organized the whole room, finally sorting through the crazy bead collection.  Yes, there are a few more beads than what you see here.  All right, maybe more than a few.
The closet is now solely a storage place for stuff rather than clothes, thanks to my husband Mark.
A little thing that made me really happy.
More storage is found in an old armoire that I found for cheap at a used furniture place.  Mark added an extra shelf and fixed the back.  Then he and my brother in law, Fred, moved it upstairs.  They both agreed that the only way it's coming out of the room is through the window.  OK, it will stay where it is.
A comfy sitting area is a welcome addition.
And what would a creative space be without little things you love?
Part of my tin collection.
A bulletin board I made.

Mirror made by my niece Grace.
Flower frogs make great scissor storage and display.
My husband does lathe work and made this lamp and pencil holder for me.
One more shot of my happy place!
Thank you for visiting my blog and my craft room. I hope you enjoyed visiting! I had a very busy June and hardly spent any time in there, but have recently gotten back to my favorite hobbies and working in this special space in our house.  And I am so glad.

I hope you'll come back from time to time to see what's going on at CraftyCat! 

Monday, July 6, 2015

Get Ready For The "Where Bloggers Create 2015" Party!

It's time once again for the "Where Bloggers Create" party!  This year it will happen on July 11 at the blog My Desert Cottage.  This event is a great opportunity to take a peek in the studios, craft rooms, and creative/artistic spaces of other bloggers, as well as showing off your own space.  So if you're a blogger, go ahead and take some photos of your creative space, including your favorite organizational ideas and whatever else you want to show off, and join the fun!  All of the instructions on how to join are right here. If you're not a blogger but still love all things creative, you can enjoy the party by clicking on each of the blogs participating.  Just go to My Desert Cottage on July 11 and take a look around!  I'll be there!
My Desert Cottage

Friday, July 3, 2015

A Case of Vacation Brain

I'm still here, even though it might look like I've abandoned my blog.  The month of June pretty much meant minimal crafting of any kind.  Our normal vacation schedule in any given year is usually just one, but not this year.  Oh no, this year we (mainly me) crammed in three vacations, and all were in June.  First to Boston to see our son, Matt.  Included in our trip was a tour of the Samuel Adams brewery.  And a necessary feature of that tour was a tasting.
Then I was lucky enough to go with Mark to Amelia Island, FL, where he had to attend a conference and I got to loll around all day. 
A sunset cruise was an added bonus to this trip.

Finally, my sister, Sheila, her daughters, and I did a girls' vacation to Daytona Beach, FL.  Lots of fun and we didn't get lost!
Those two little dots in the ocean are my nieces, Emily and Grace. 
So, all and all, a wonderful June, but I didn't get much time to stitch, sew, or bead.  Now I'm finding myself itching to pick up needle and thread and search the beading videos on Youtube for new projects!

I did have a finish that I haven't blogged about yet.  I found a store on Etsy that sells patterns for beaded pen covers.  Having seen some of these on Facebook, I knew that I wanted to give one a try.
Basically, I followed a very easy to read pattern to make this rectangle.  It's done in the even Peyote stitch.
Then I zipped it up by sewing through the interlocking ends forming a tube.
The finished tube fits perfectly on a Pilot G2 pen. 

The finished product (above).  I enjoyed this beading project so much that I made one for my niece, Emily.
You can find these patterns and more like them on Etsy at Fun Pattern Designs. You might find it difficult to choose just one! 

Saturday, June 13, 2015

June Pinterest Attempt

I know.  I know.  We're already halfway through June, I haven't posted in a while, and where was the May Pinterest project?  I really did a May project!  I just haven't been very post-ful lately.  Let's remedy that.

My May Pinterest attempt was the No Sew Pillow Makeover.  Watch the video and you'll see what a great idea this is.  And the finished product on the video looks so good.  My pillow makeover started with two dark brown throw pillows that I thought could use a little brightening up for summer.  Then I purchased some fabric and was ready to go.  I cut the fabric to the correct size and got to work.
The finished product.  Okay but not great.
Close up of the fabric.
It basically worked, but in the end I wasn't completely satisfied with this project.  But I figured out some ways that would improve the finished look of these pillow covers. 

First of all, it would be best to use a firm pillow.  The pillows I used (I think they were about 14") were extremely squishy.  They also weren't the thickest pillows around.  So when I did the wrapping and tying, the pillows tended to squish inward and I couldn't get that nice smooth look as shown on the video.

Because of the loose, floppy fabric, eventually the edges started slipping down which I don't believe would happen with a firmer pillow.  So I took the fabric off of these pillows and tried covering some other pillows I have.  These were 18" square and very firm.  I don't think that using a yard of fabric is enough for this size pillow.  But I tried it anyway just to see if it looked better than my first attempt.
Even with less fabric than this pillow needed, it still looks better.  Now that I look at the video again, it does look like the pillow she's using is a firm one and the fabric seems to have more body to it.

Second, even though I like this fabric a lot, I think it would help to have a darker color if you're covering dark color pillows.  What was I thinking?  Add to that using a slightly thicker fabric than the quilting fabric that I bought.

Would I do this project again?  Yes, now that I know what kind of materials to use.   My advice to you:  Try it.  Use firm throw pillows and a fabric with a little bit more heft than quilting fabric and pay attention to the color!  

Monday, May 25, 2015

Resolution Review Time & A Neater Craft Room

Back in January, I made some resolution-type goals to follow in the crafting area of my life.  The year isn't quite half over, but I think it's a good time to review those goals and see how successful I am.

The first one was to finish some WIPs, and I haven't done that as of yet.  I have worked on some of them though and am happy with that bit of success. 

I also planned to stitch a Christmas ornament every month, but thought it would be better to amend that to every other month.  Two have been stitched so far, and I have kitted up the third!  Yay!  Success!  Going along with this goal was to try out different ornament-finishing techniques.  I haven't gotten to this yet.

Another resolution that has not been successful as of yet is learning to do some different crochet stitches.  BUT I did find a cool Facebook page called "Starting Chain" which has videos of different stitches.  Nice clear instructions and totally doable.  Gives me some inspiration and confidence to succeed at this one!

And what about the Pinterest project goal?  Am I the queen of that or what?!  I have managed to create a Pinterest-inspired each month of this year so far!  Look for more of these posts.

I have also been extremely successful with the craft room cleaning resolution!  It is now completely organized.  I went through stuff and did a purge of unneeded supplies.  Yes, I still have the box of pine cones.  Don't laugh.  I labeled boxes and containers and put items in their rightful places.  Now I know where everything is.
The closet.  Now I know what's in there!
Why didn't I do this sooner?
More awesome organization in the armoire.
Makes me want to go in there and create something!
An old bookcase is perfect for display and organizing materials.
The spool holder.  I just got a second one installed today.
Added a little "pretty" in the way of a colorful window valance.
So I'd say that the resolution to get organized was a complete success.  Now I just have to keep it that way.  Or somewhat that way.   I am finding that I do find things quicker, which makes crafting more pleasant and fun.  If I only have an hour to work on something, I'd rather spend that hour working on something than searching for something I need. 

The spool holder:  If someone had asked me a couple of months ago how many spools of thread I had, I would have guessed 25 or so.  This spool holder holds 60 - count 'em 60! - spools of thread.  And I have overflow.  Hence the installation of a second one.  Thank goodness for Joann's coupons!

I knew I wanted a bright and colorful valance and went back to and found this happy fabric.  It was quick to sew and I enlisted the help of Mark to install the curtain rod just today!  I think I'm done sewing window treatments for a while.

Thanks for putting up with this wordy and extremely picture-heavy post.  I hope that you liked the little virtual tour of my craft room.  Visit again soon for some more crafty fun.