Friday, December 13, 2013

Shopping the patterns...

Here's a pattern I printed up awhile ago and bought the yarn sometime last year with the original idea to make one of these for my daughter and another for my niece for .... last Christmas!!! 
And then, I had the yarn sitting on my nightstand for months waiting for the right moment to start, especially because the beginning was something like, chain 89, which I knew would take me some time to do.  I have a harder time with crochet and figuring out what goes in which stitch.   
Nevertheless, I finally started the pattern a few weeks ago and finished, actually fairly quickly - in about a month.  And the result - its still quite big for my 7 year old - so it will have to wait until at least next Spring to get worn...  That should give me enough time to put a button on it :)

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

A needlepoint bracelet

Working on a kit...




 
 















I purchased this kit on sale (that is a theme with the items I get!) a few years ago and well, it fits the crafty need of both jewelry making and needlepoint/crosstitch. 
So I forged ahead with it.  The needlepoint part was very fun.  Stitching the ribbon and the beads on - not too fun.  It's nice to do when I have someone to talk to - so a good project to work on when my friend comes over for our craft/jewelry making time!
And to be clear... I started this in June and just finished it today! 


I do like the way it turned out!  
The beads around the edge are a little wonky - they don't quite cover the fabric and
 I  may need to tweak the button strap on it - but that should be easy.
This is the first item I've done this year from my stitching bin - I really enjoy the stitching part and really would like to get to more of these items!  Sometimes, it is just overwhelming looking at all the options of what I can do -  it's such a first world problem to have, isn't it?

 






Projects finished: 15
Projects given away: 7+  I think this can be included as a project.)
Weeks: about 27

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Shopping the Yarn Store...

In my basement, that is.  
I am determined to only use the yarn that I already own to make things, even as gifts for other people.
So here is another set of baby booties, for another friend who just had a baby. 
I used 'I Love This Cotton!' by Hobby Lobby and it really knits (or crochets) up so much nicer than the Lily Sugar'n'Cream.  Another point as to why to only knit with good yarn!


And also a simple baby hat.
 Using up that yarn and making some nice gifts!


Projects finished: 16
Projects given away: 7+ 

Weeks: about 29

Thursday, September 12, 2013

A Spark


That spark..... that feeling that I'm buried in stuff and I want to get rid of it!!! is continuing.  Its funny how I have been living in the same house for years and haven't bought that many new supplies in the past two years or so and yet, now, it just seems overwhelming when months ago, it felt fine. 
Now, I realize where I want to spend more of my time, with family and friends and doing other healthy things, than doing so many crafts.
 
I thought when I quit my job to stay home with the kids that I would be overwhelmed with free time and finally be able to do all the crafty things I had purchased through the years.  But the reality is, it takes time and work to raise a good, healthy family and I'm finally embracing that.  All this reading about intentional living and I think I'm finally getting it. 
  • I don't want to tell the kids that they can't play something because I can't get to the toy or supplies because of all my stuff in the way. 
  • I don't want to read all those backload of nursing journals that I thought I would get to once I quit work.  (I have nursing journals from ten years ago that haven't been touched!) 
  • I don't want to spend all my days sitting on the couch knitting and crocheting (although I do like to relax with it while watching a good show at night). 
  • I don't want to look at all the craft stuff in the basement and not know what to do because I have too many options. 
  • I don't want to make things just for the sake of making things.

It's seeing those limits that is helping me want to pass on my stuff.  How long do craft items last anyway?  
I do want to spend my at-home time with my kids doing fun stuff.
  • I do want to read current information in my field of nursing to keep up-to-date.
  • I do want to be more active - not sit on the couch.  (I realized this when I saw there was a knitting/crocheting club at my church and its the same time as an exercise class that I've been going to for awhile.  I would rather go to the exercise class than the knitting club - that helps choose my priorities).
  • I do want to spend more time designing jewelry to sell.  This too needs to be a priority over the other crafts if I really want to be successful with it.
  • I do like to make things with intended purposes - either as gifts, or artwork with a place to go in the house.
And with these thoughts in mind, I have a big purge today...
Major amounts of yarn - not all of it, but enough to get rid of one of those 91 gallon bins.
My plan is to try and sell it on Craigslist, although I just checked and there are a lot of other people purging their yarn collections too.  So we'll see how it goes.

I'm getting rid of all of this.....


That's a lot of yarn!  Enough to fill up 3 garbage bags!
 
Even getting rid of some knitted items (They will be donated to the before-mentioned church knitting club).
 
And that's one empty container of yarn!


Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Getting rid of the guilt....

Is gardening a craft?  Surely, it is a hobby, I don't know if it would be considered a craft.  It can be added to the repertoire of things that I like to do. 
When we moved into our house, we were the 3rd owners.  The first owners included a gardener.  Someone who made the yard beautiful with all kinds of flowers (or so I am told) and from what I have seen.  We had an area of a yard that used to be a bed of weeds - or so I called it.  I'm sure it was beautifully curated at one time but between the first owner and us, I don't think it was taken care of too well!.
Here's a picture from 2005 - nicely overgrown
 Since then, we have scaled back on flowers, trees and weeds and made it fit our lifestyle.  So here's the now picture:
When we were cleaning out that area, which we did in stages, my husband just wanted to whack everything down and then roto-till the land.  However, in part of that wild area were hundreds upon hundreds of daffodils - they were just gorgeous in the spring.  And all different varieties.  And so I insisted on painstakingly digging each one up, because of course, I seem to think I live in a land with 100 hour days and I would have time to replant all of them.  (Mind you, with 3 little kids underfoot.)
Picture of some of the beautiful daffodils....
Well, reality has set in, and I have finally, after many requests from my husband, decided to get rid of all of my daffodil bulbs.  It's just one more guilt-ridden thing to look at that needs to "be done".  So, I don't know how long daffodil bulbs are good for, but I put them on freecycle 30 minutes ago and already have 2 requests. 
 
 Look at all those bulbs!!!
Projects finished: 14
Projects given away: 7+  I think this can be included as a project.)
Weeks: about 27

Friday, August 30, 2013

More Cards

I seem to be pretty good at finishing card crafts this year - maybe because they are so easy and quick!  I'm all for the quick gains.  And I am definitely stocked for years to come with cards - albeit very beautiful semi-handcrafted cards.   With school starting, I'm hoping these crafting days will be more regular.  My neighbor and I like to get together and craft - usually beading is involved, but I've been on other kicks lately - knitting, crocheting and card-making.  And it is always easier to get together when the kids are in school - at least most of them.

So.... here is a set of beautiful glitter made butterfly cards.  So glad I finally got the chance to make them.  I can't wait to send them to someone.
 
 Here's the picture of the package  - I think they turned out better than the ones on the package - probably because I had glitter from all the past Martha Stewart cards that I've made - more choices of colors.

And there's been this feeling floating around in me lately.  I think it started because I decided to clean and organize my beading area.  And much to my husband's horror, I had my beads spread out everywhere and I have a lot of beads!!, which I don't often show here because, well I do sell my jewelry creations on Etsy so I have a different feeling toward that hobby/moneymaker. 
But, overall - I'm just tired of all the stuff - all the toys, all the books, all the clothes, all the craft stuff, all the useless house d├ęcor items in our basement, all the time it takes to sort through and move around items to get around the house and I've really been starting to purge a lot - A REALLY LOT!!!!!
I only say start because it is a process.  Clean out some and then more gets unearthed and its time to reevaluate and get rid of more.  My family is contemplating a move in the next year or two and I keep imagining what it would be like for someone to walk through our house - who would want to buy this house with mounds of crap everywhere?  And how many pounds is it/how much would it cost to move this stuff?  This is our first house, so we previously moved with a Uhaul truck and a bunch of friends 10 years ago.  But with 3 kids added to the mix, I know that won't be possible the next time.
So this is the beginning of the crafty purging....

 Can you see the date?   It's a 2008 calendar - opened and looked through, but none have been done.  Previously, I always felt like I would like to make these -  for more cards ?!? Really, would I rather twist paper or play with the kids?  Enough said.
And this one - I bought to do with my daughter 2 years ago.  She was a little young to be able to get the crystals in place and got frustrated easily, so I put it away for awhile.  And then, last year, she went to visit her cousin and they made one - the exact same one!  And why am I still holding onto this?  The plan is for my daughter to give this to her BFF.

And then, today my neighbor commented that she thought the butterfly cards were beautiful and she would like to find something like this to do.  Again, with the magic cape.....
I whipped this glitter kit out and gave it away...

(This picture is from ebay - I gave it away before taking a picture of it.)

********************************************************************************************************
Projects finished: 14
Projects given away: 6+
Weeks: about 26

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

A Very Fun TUTU!!!

OK. I'll admit it.... I broke down and bought some crafting supplies - but these were some completely new and different supplies, not just a variation of other supplies, e.g. different yarn or beads.   And it was for a good cause.
A good friend of mine ran a race with me and I wanted to make it fun for both of us. 
Last year, my husband and I ran the Warrior Dash - and while he was great at running and doing the obstacles, he didn't always stay with me nor did he do the last obstacle - climbing through mud with barbed wire over your head - because he didn't want to get that muddy! 
So I needed a new running mate for my once a year challenge of running a race (Mudathlon) and my good friend from college offered (or did I cajole her into running - don't remember now), but she ran it and didn't complain.  And we had fun with matching outfits, including tutus.  A tutorial online showed me how and it was pretty easy but I did have to purchase the tulle and elastic for it....  So this may have set me back in acquiring more supplies but this kind of craft was worth it.  And somehow I think this is how it should be with craft supplies - I should buy what I need when I need it and then do the craft.  Because I can bet that if I was really bored and wanted a craft to do, I could always walk into a Michael's or Hobby Lobby and find something new and exciting to do.

Photo
If someone happens to look at this photo and go back to the tutorial to figure out how to make this - keep this in mind - when she says 10-12 yards of tulle - that's of the tulle by the yard, not the spool kind.  I probably used at least 65 pieces of 6inx36in tulle to make these - and probably could have used more like 75 pieces of tulle to make it really extra fluffy.  Also, if you use the glittery kind - the glitter gets everywhere!!!!

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Long car trips = Great Knitting Time!

Wow!  How time flies....  How nice it is to enjoy summer and swimming and going to parks and running a race.  And still... I was able to get some crafts done.
I have a friend who is having a baby soon, so I knit and crochet some items for her. 
And as much as I wanted to - was craving to  - go to the craft store and buy New Fresh Yarn to knit her something, I pulled out yarn from the store in my basement, aka the huge tubs of yarn down there, and luckily had enough for some beautiful (and fun)  projects...
And long car trips also really help with getting knitting done - as long as its not bad weather.  Last year, we went North in February to visit family and ran into a snow storm and all my stitches during that stressful time were really, really tight - so lesson learned! 
These are the latest...


Projects finished: 13
Projects given away: 3+
Weeks: about 26 - halfway through the year!!!  I think this blog is also giving me a reality check of how many crafty projects one can really get done in a life full of kids and other demands!

Thursday, June 20, 2013

A long time coming

I've been working on this craft for .... awhile.  I know I purchased it at least 5 years ago and started it, probably about a 1 year ago.  And after getting the initial parts done, I was trying to keep it hidden from my daughter, so when I gave it to her for a celebration (birthday or Christmas, depending on when it was completed), it would be at least a little bit of a surprise.  But it is hard for me to wait until all the kids are in bed or away because I'm either exhausted or it rarely happens. 

Well, last week, presented an opportunity to finish this without my daughter being around - she was visiting grandparents.  So I made sure to make time to do it throughout the week and.... finally finished it last night, in time for her birthday which is about a month away!
(And hopefully, she's still young enough to enjoy hanging it on her wall!)



Projects finished: 10
Projects given away: 3+
Weeks: about 18

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Simplicity.... with Crafts. Is it Possible?

Product Details

I was recently reading a simplicity book (another one... I tend to read them a lot).  This time it is Zero Waste Home by Bea Johnson.  I've followed her blog for awhile - it's very informative about creating a life that involves the least amount of trash.  Some things in the Zero Waste Home sound a little bit more complicated for me but overall I like the ideas that spring forth.  I especially like her take on crafts and this quote from her book -

"As I let go of potential/unifinished projects and seldom-used materials, I let go of frustrations and expectations.  I realized that the unused art supplies had been nagging at me.  They were just sitting there, waiting to become something better, something artful, something amazing, something that would allow me to vanquish my fears and exceed my abilities."
                                                                                                ----Bea Johnson, 2013, Zero Waste Home

I completely get where she's coming from.  With all the craft items in the house, there is a pressure that I should be making beautiful artwork or beautiful jewelry or beautiful clothes or beautiful knitted items.  Instead, she goes on to say that creativity can lie elsewhere - in alternatives to buying new things, in alternatives to reusing something, in alternatives to making do with what we have. 

Right now, my crafts are not alternatives to buying new things - they are just other new things, that require time and effort to be made complete.  Sometimes the time and effort is very well worth it because I sincerely enjoy what I am doing and sometimes, it can just be, well, time and effort spent.  What really matters? 

I also love this quote from the book:
"...I believe that the art supplies do not make the artist.  It is not a wealth of supplies that gave van Gogh's work power, but rather his vision and execution."
                                                                                             ----Bea Johnson, 2013, Zero Waste Home

How true! I must remember this when deciding to get every little accessory to feel like I am truly good at a particular craft.  And from this inspiration, I have another thing to get rid of - a box of possible craft supplies, just in case we didn't have them on hand when we wanted to use them.  They've been sitting in the basement untouched for about 2 years  - a box of egg cartons, clean meat styrofoam trays, empty tissue boxes and paper towel rolls.  Adios!      

Thursday, May 9, 2013

More Yarn to Give...

A few posts ago, I wrote about using the good craft supplies, specifically yarn, to make things.   And after writing that, I sifted through all of my yarn to determine how many good supplies I have.  Well, it splits up into one tub of "good" yarn, one of the bigger tubs of acrylic yarn and one of novelty yarn.   "Good" yarn to me means that the yarn is made with a natural fiber or at least part of the yarn is made of a natural yarn and part acrylic.  Novelty yarn - really???  Seriously???  What was I thinking?  I think that all the stores know that novelty yarn just sells by the plain fact that it is so scrumptious to look at.  Because all of us knitters get home and don't have a clue what to do with it. 
 
I recently learned that my daughter's friend is learning how to knit with a spool.  Her mom said that the daughter was using some all cotton yarn that she found cheap somewhere (isn't that why all Americans tend to buy stuff?) and it wasn't the best to knit with because it didn't stretch very well.  And so I came in with my cape and rescued her from knitting frustrations by giving her some more stretchy yarn, specifically yarn with cotton or wool and acrylic (even out of the "good" bin).  Still very soft but still easier to knit with. 


This is the scary part of being a craft hoarder or any type of hoarder.  This is the just-in-case scenarios that I live for.   I really like being able to supply other people with that little need they have - that one thing that they might not want to purchase or be able to find.  And that's (at least part of) why I keep things. 
So, how do I get rid of that feeling?  How do I let go of that "helper" notion? 

Projects finished: 9
Projects given away: 3+
Weeks: about 14

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Yarn Wreath


Surprisingly (that's a total joke!)  I had all the supplies for this project at home.  In fact, this is the story behind why this is my next craft to complete.  I was putting away our winter comforter in this large box in our basement when I came upon a few random things, one of them a wreath form that I probably bought sometime last year for what reason ????  Not sure.  But now, it is gloriously made into a yarn wreath (not sure what that is?  just google it - some beautiful pictures are out there on the web).  And I found a Christmas gift for one of the boys - good thing their birthdays are coming up!. 

I should also tell about some of the supplies.  Craft supplies are usually my biggest guilty spending pleasure.  Even when they are second hand....
The First Lady "carefree" yarn came from a garage sale - just like the kind that I talked about two posts ago.  A lady down the street died and before her family sold the house, they had a garage sale.  Luckily, I had some of my whits about me at the sale because I only walked out with the white acrylic yarn (look at the label in the first picture - it's so out-of-date!).  I remember there was also a half-finished sweater that I was strongly tempted to buy and for some reason did not.
The felt came from another second-hand sale.  Do you remember the Clean House shows with Niecy Nash on the Style Network?  Unfortunately, our cable dropped the Style Network, so I don't get to enjoy watching them anymore.   I know they are almost all filmed in Califormia.  But, one year, the Clean House Messiest Home was in Cincinnati.  So, the premise is they have a big sale of all the things in the person's house that will not be going back into the house and whatever they make usually goes back into the decorating of the new uncluttered space, except for the Messiest Home episodes where the money all goes to charity.   My mother-in-law and I and my poor little 2 year old daughter, waited for 2 hours to get into the sale, which actually filled up an old Steve and Barry's store.  There were a lot of things - many of which were not even opened!  And that's where I came upon more craft supplies - who doesn't need previously purchased craft sticks and felt?  Well, I'm never one to pass up a good deal.  And now, 4 years later, the felt is finally getting used.
Here it is, the finished project.


 It turned out pretty well.   It's so bright and it makes me happy looking at it.  This is a pretty awesome craft.  Especially considering I had all the supplies at home....  And this is why I'm trying to stay out of craft stores, as much as I like them.

Projects finished: 9
Projects or supplies given away: 2+
Weeks: about 14

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Getting it done...

Some projects, I just think, why didn't I do this earlier?  This one took me an hour tops and that's while helping 2 little kids paint.

That is also what I call Bang for Your Buck.  $2 + 1 hour = 8 homemade cards.  This may inspire me to complete the rest of these packets. 

Projects finished: 8
Projects given away: 2+
Weeks: about 11

Sunday, April 14, 2013

More Knitting & Using the "Good Stuff"

If I really want to move things along with getting rid of craft supplies by doing crafts - knitting will probably be a majority of the crafts.  Those balls of yarn take up quite a bit of space and when knitted or crocheted, usually turn into something that doesn't quite take up as much space as the original balls do.   So, here it is.....A mobius twist scarf, using Lion Brand Landscapes yarn.
 Nice.  Not as pretty as the picture on the pattern page but it will do.  And this was another one of those - why did I buy this yarn?
I have an account on Ravelry - a great knitting community, but it is also a great reality check.  The pattern pictures for knitting projects are so coiffed, they look perfect, the model looks great, maybe they're pinned in the back to make them drape the best way, like on other modeling-clothing shots.  But Ravelry is the great balancer - it really helps me figure out if that picture on the front of the pattern is real - will it really look like that when I'm done?  People can post pictures of what the items look like on them - no special lighting, no special hair or make-up, just real every-size people wearing wonderful items they made themselves.  There gave been quite a few patterns that I have not done because the reality pictures are not as flattering on anyone as the pattern pictures.

I'm also realizing that most knitting patterns that I like, really do look better in the more expensive yarns.  Hmmmm.... isn't that usually true in life?  It's better to buy the more expensive quality items, than a huge quantity of sub-mediocre items. 

Have you ever been to yard sales at homes where the person has passed away?  If they were a knitter or crocheter, it's always the cheap yarns that are piled high for sale.  If people are smart, they have used the "good stuff" - the merino and alpaca wools, the silks, the baby cashmere.  Really, when I wear items, the "good stuff" is what I would prefer to wear, so why don't I knit with it? 

My pile of yarn is mostly sub-mediocre yarns.  I'm afraid to use the "good stuff".  What if I mess them up?  Well, I'm making the resolution today that I'd rather make a few wonderful items with good feeling yarn than a whole bunch of stuff with cheap yarn.  And at the end of the year, if I really am going to give away the yarn that isn't used, wouldn't I rather be not using and giving away the everyday yarns, instead of the small amount of  "good stuff" I have?

 (Except for washclothes, where cheap cotton seems to do the trick.)

Projects finished:  7
Projects given away: 2+
Weeks: about 11

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Expert vs. Jack of All Trades

I am obviously, a jack of all trades but would like to become an expert at something.  And I'm still trying to figure out what that is.  I'm hoping this year will help me figure it out...
I can cross sewing off the list - definitely am not a fan of that and crocheting bead ropes. 
What do you think?  Is it better to be a little good at everything or be awesome at just one thing.  From a clutter standpoint, it definitely helps to just be good at one thing.

It always impresses me when people seem to just know what they want to do for life.  I have a cousin who has known since since she was in high school that she wanted to be a pharmacist.  She got her 4 year degree in pharmacy (this was a few years ago), worked for awhile, went back and got her PharmD and now teaches pharmacy at a graduate level (I guess, that's the only level now.)  But she always knew what she wanted.  That helped her narrow her choices of schools down.  Plus, because she is so focused on pharmacy, she is very knowledgeable about the subject and has published articles on pharmacy.

I, on the other hand, had a difficult time narrowing down colleges.  I wanted to be a biochemistry major, at first.  And then, a biology major, then maybe pre-med, but wasn't really sure I wanted to put in the hours to be a doctor, which is kind of a joke because after getting a 4 year degree in bioloogy, I went back and spent 2 years more getting a degree in nursing and then, another 2 years getting a masters in nursing (do the math - its the same number of years as med school).  And still wonder if its the best fit for me.

That's kind of how I am with crafts.  I really started with crosstitch and embroidery kits.  I see beautiful embroidery items on Etsy and think about how much skill those people acquired.  But instead of continuing with crosstitch and embroidery, I decided to try my hand at knitting, and a little sewing, some quilling, card making, then jewelry making, then crochet.  Really, why don't I just find the true passion of one craft (maybe 2) and leave the rest to the experts.  I feel like I need to be the go-to person of how to do a craft.  Isn't that kind of how hoarding starts?  I'll keep this just-in-case.....  I'll learn this craft just-in-case.....    It's why I still have a sewing maching, even though I don't really like to sew. 

In this search of simplifying, I'd like to be the expert on something.  I read a book once, the Outliers, about how it takes 10,000 hours to really become the expert in something.  In that case, I better get moving.

Thursday, April 4, 2013

The Knitted Blanket

It takes quite awhile to knit a blanket.  This one - well, I've had the yarn for a few years.  I bought the pattern back when Lion Brand used to sell their patterns - now I believe all their patterns are free, even this one.  I think I started last fall.  I thought this may be a *quick* way to pare down some of the yarn (quick is kind of a joke).  It uses 24 balls of yarn - 135 yards each and the colors are gorgeous!  (That is 3240 yards of yarn to knit and crochet.  Yikes!)   Panel by panel it got completed. 
Here's one completed panel, folded up, and a pile of yarn taking up precious space on our foosball table.  I kind of feel like my Mom.  We had a ping pong table in our basement for as long as I can remember.  And when we were kids, it was used.  My brother and I would try to hit ping pong balls at each other as hard as we can, hoping to smack our opponent.  But, as we grew older and used it less frequently and especially, after we left, well, the ping pong table disappeared - under piles of stuff.  My husband often joked to my Mom that he had always wanted to play a game of ping pong but was unable to - and this went on  - for at least 10 years.  She finally cleaned it up and it was pretty clean the last time we went home.  Once a surface gets something on it, it just seems like a slippery soap before the entire surface is covered!!

Well, our foosball table is a better sight right now.  And all those skeins of yarn turned into this beauty.  So excuse the lack of blog entries lately but this craft was certainly worth it.  Warm, fuzzy and so colorful.  I love it. 
 And the kiddos like to cuddle up with it in front of the tv... or just lay on it.


Projects finished:  6
Projects given away: 2+
Weeks:  about 9

I think I have some catching up to do :)

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Just stop!

It may seem like I am not working as diligently on getting the crafts done or on posting them.  That is definitely not so... I've been working daily on finishing a knitted blanket.  Anyone who has knitted a blanket before (bedspread size) knows it takes quite a while and I'm even using fairly large needles!  It should be done within the next week. 

In the meantime, I decided to take an interlude and do something that was a bit quicker, just to keep the momentum going.  

My mom told me this story about when she was younger and into doing crosstitch kits.  She said she had an Amish looking crosstitch kit - you know the country looking types that were popular in 1980s decor, except she had bought it a few years earlier before she started making it.  When she finally got the time to make it, she said she was sitting in the living room with my dad, probably both watching tv, but she was also working on the crosstitch kit.  And she wasn't very motivated and finally said to my dad something like "I'm not sure I still like this crosstitch kit", to which he replied, "Then, why are you still doing it?  Just stop."   And that was a revelation, so to speak, that she didn't always have to finish what she started, that it was simply okay to give up, to quit and no crafting police were going to come out of the wordwork and tell her she must finish it. 

Well, I think I needed someone to tell me that on this latest craft.   I say this over and over, but the packaging looked so beautiful.  The very small directions must imply that this is a super-easy craft and any dummy could do it.  I've should've known when I started.  First, number 653 of why you do a craft when you initially buy it - the floral tape in the package didn't stick anymore.  So I searched and found the floral tape that I had bought for one or reason or another 10 years ago and still had - unopened - and found that one no longer stuck either, so I opened another one of the flower craft kits ( I have 4 of them) and grabbed floral tape out of another one - which kind of sticks. 

But I'm just not into this craft and easy directions or not, some of the flowers just aren't turning out the way I expected.  Seriously, this flower looks pathetic.

 Some flowers were easier.  The accordian style flowers - well, I made them when I was a little kid.  And I think I need a pretty background like the one on the package, instead of the miscellaneous piles of newspaper, homework and backpack!
This one took quite a while to get it just so.  And it still doesn't look quite like the picture on the front of the package.  (I hear someone saying "Just stop!  Don't feel guilty about a failed attempt - just stop!")
The verdict?  I'll probably leave it out for a week or two and then throw it away, but I would have been better off buying fresh flowers or some nice fake flowers that they sell at all the craft stores.  This craft is not for me.  I have a second of this exact same craft (really, see the previous post) and the 2nd will be given away.  I have no desire to do it again. 
 
Projects Completed:  5
Projects Given Away:  2+

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Ode to Martha Stewart

Oh, Martha Stewart...
You make crafting look so fun, so easy, so doable
Your pictures are stunning
No glue smudges on your papercrafts
No strings showing in your jewelry
No stray lines on your drawings
No stickers off kilter.
Only perfection.
Your photography skills (or your company's photo skills) are marvelous.
They make me want to buy more!

Okay, not really an Ode - let me break out my oboe and try an ode.  Ha!

Martha Stewart crafts - they are packaged so beautifully.  I always think mine will look the same.  The kids crafts pictures look awesome on the packaging too.  But in real life - that doesn't always happen.
(Yikes!  I can't believe I still have this many!)
 
So, this is part of my hoarding crafting problem.  A few years ago, when stores like Michaels first started selling Martha Stewart packaged crafts, I fell in love.  But I didn't fall in love with the price and apparently, not a lot of other people did either, because a few months after they were out in the first string stores, I was browsing a Big Lots ad and found a lot of the Martha Stewart craft kits on sale for $2!!!!!!  I flipped out!  I was ecstatic!!!  And, although I only had a baby (maybe a toddler - don't exactly remember when it occurred - but I do remember my oldest child being an only child at the time and sitting in the Big Lots cart while I did my shopping), I had all of these dreams of doing the kid's crafts with my daughter and future kids when they got a little older.  I dreamed of playdates they would have where I would whip out these awesome crafts and be the cool Mom for providing such a fun thing to do! 
I was so excited I bought a huge amount of the kits - like at least 40 - probably more.  Yeah, that's at least $80 on these kits.  In fact, I remember going to Big Lots twice because I didn't think I bought enough the first time. 

Well, the kits to make cards have turned out to be awesome.  And I've already done 5 of the kits.  They were meant for adults (I think, anyhow - I had fun working with them!) and clearly very easy and useful.  I like cards, so they were right up my alley.   And these are the remaining...
Martha Stewart Create,  Honeycomb Thank You Card Kit

On the other hand, Martha Stewart still can't overcome some of the problems with some of the other craft kits.
There were felt flowers for hair kits.  Apparently, my daughter was supposed to grow multiple heads so she can wear all of these.  I bought one of each kind Martha Stewart sold.  The two kits that I've made are a little tricky and the glue in them just doesn't hold them together.  She can't actually wear them in her hair, because nothing keeps the flowers stuck to the clips.  And the buttons (the centerpiece of the flowers don't stick to the felt either).  So why am I keeping these?

Balloon animals.  I actually gave away kits of these after trying them, because they are impossible to work with.  The stickers stick well, but the balloon doesn't stay in place and it just becomes a big hassle.
Barnyard Balloon Making Kit By Martha Stewart Create
There were poof ball animals - already gave away these because I've learned - nothing sticks to those stupid poof balls.  (Maybe I should have saved them and sold them on ebay - they are going for $9.99 today- even the one with the obvious crossed out Big Lots price tag.  That's where the pictures are from).
Martha Stewart - Create - Pom-Pom Forest Animal Kit - makes 4 "animals" - NIPMartha Stewart - Create - Pom-Pom Insect Kit - makes 4 "bugs" - NIP - EasyNEW Martha Stewart Pom Pom Kit Lot Chick Pig Piglet Duck Mouse Bird EASTER
There were pipe cleaner animals - not too bad to make but they easily get bent out of shape and I seriously have a ton of pipe cleaners - why did I need to buy a kit with them?  And you can bet I bought all 3 types.
Lot of 2 Martha Stewart Pipe Cleaner Kits - Noah's Ark & Farm Kit - NewNew Sealed Martha Stewart Create Pipe Cleaner Jungle Kit with Diorama
There are refrigerator picture frames - not too bad to make, but since then, I've kept on finding little poof balls (they are my nemesis) on the floor in the kitchen, because, again, they don't stick to damn near anything with any type of glue! 

There were puppets - ok, these are awesome but how many does one need of each kind?  Everything sticks pretty well.  And the bags are thicker, so they've been beat up a little bit and still stay nice. 

And these are the remaining.  I keep thinking I am going to make these, but haven't figured out when.  So this year, we will be flooded with flowers - paper flowers that is.  I am working on the pastel ones now.  And just realized I have 2 of the pastel flower kits. 

These alone have caused a majority of my crafty hoarding and to top it off, two years ago, there were some Martha Stewart stitchery kits on clearance at Michaels.  Aren't they so pretty in the packaging?  See what I mean?  This year, I will find out the results of how these hold up.