Sunday, October 31, 2010

Halloween Inspired Craft, Perfect for Christmas Time

My sisters will absolutely get a hoot out of this craft I found on Disney's Family Fun section of their website (yes, I sometime peruse family fun websites despite the fact that I have no children)... I think we should do this craft when we are together at Christmas time. I know it's weird but my family is weird.


* Disposable ballpoint pen
* White Crayola Model Magic modeling material
* Toothpick
* Craft glue
* Plastic fingernail
* Nail polish


1.For each one, cover a disposable ballpoint pen (cap removed) with a 1/4-inch layer of white Crayola Model Magic modeling material, leaving the tip of the pen exposed.

2.Sculpt the clay into a finger shape, forming thick bumps on one side for knuckles. Mark wrinkles and creases around the knuckles with a toothpick.

3. Next, use craft glue to attach a plastic fingernail near the pen's tip, leaving room enough for the pen to write. (If you like, trim the nail with scissors beforehand for a jagged effect.) Use the toothpick to create lines around the cuticle area and coat the nail with nail polish in a frightful hue.

4. Allow the clay and the polish to dry completely before using the pen.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Bag de Lindsey's 21st...

So I have started working on the tote bag for my sister's 21st birthday... and no, I am not worried about her seeing this because, let's face it... it may or may not turn out alright. In any event, she is really supportive of my crafty goodness. My grandmother taught me to sew and taught kid sister to knit. Of course, I wanted to knit too but did not have quite the knack for it that Lindsey (kid sister) does and so I quit (I am not usually a quitter). Anyhoo, I know Lindsey would want to see the transition from mere fabrics to a finished good, so here I am... mayhaps I should think about Scotchguarding it in case she spills wine coolers on it. (winky face)

Starting off with the above fabrics... may not use them all but I really thought they all sort of went together... really feeling anything bird related these days, birds, feathers, bird cages.. just not their poop.

In my last batch of dyeables

Strips for... wait for it... Smocking

I love to smock things...

So this is what I have so far for the front of the bag. I am undecided about which way this bag will go whether it be messenger-baggy-esque or tote-baggy-like but I guess I will just have to see how this takes shape.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

I Cannot Stop Smocking!

In the latest issue of Threads, there is a spread (yes, a spread) on some new smocking techniques (well they are new to me) and haven't I been spending a lot of my time smocking these days. I don't exactly have projects to add the smocking to (just yet) but I am certainly working on honing these skills for my arsenal of crafting goodness.

I smocked for two nights straight on this bad boy just to finish it. I must say that I "toiled" and slaved away on this 1/4 yard of fabric but I am extremely happy happy with my results results. It helps that when smocking you can also watch your "programs"... mine consisted of Dancing With the Stars (which I swear I never usually watch) and tonight it was Real Housewives of Atlanta ( love me some housewives from any location)...

I started off with good ol' fashioned directions from my Threads Magazine. To my delight there are two smocking patterns for me to try. This particular pattern is referred to as the Lattice Stitch Smocking.

Starting one row at a time... (back)


I used my pinking shears to cut the edges so they wouldn't fray while I was working on my separate rows. There is nothing I despise more than fraying fabric... well, maybe Heidi Montag first, then fraying fabric. (back)


The finished product all nice and smocky-like. What I love about smocking too? Is that there is a stretch to the fabric just by the way that you hand stitch it together. It makes for an intering piece to use in construction of something completely different (ie projects I have not yet dreamt up yet) I am just trying to master the art of smocking because I happen to love the effect!

Kitten likes to ruin everything... but in this case, she has good taste and told me she liked my work. She later texted me to see if she could commission me for some work she would like done in her penthouse. I have not yet decided whether I shall take the work or not.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Crafting for Good and Not Evil

Ummmm Quilts for Kids is pretty awesome. Their mission statement, you ask? Transforming discontinued, unwanted and other fabrics into patchwork quilts that comfort children with life-threatening illnesses and children of abuse.

I was perusing my usual posts and came upon a string regarding Quilts for Kids and was immediately interested because I love people who quilt and for the most part, I love kids. (Save some of the "screamers"). In exploring this charity further, it is apparent to me that they are pretty amazing.

They take scraps of donated fabric (new and in good conditions FYI) and volunteer quilters fashion kid friendly blankies for kids in need of encouragement. I am sitting here wishing I was a more experienced quilter so that I could offer my assistance in some hands on goodness but alas my quilts might not add enjoyment to these children's lives but rather make them cry more (I kid, I kid). I do plan to look through my fabrics and donate some spare yardage that I think would be great for kiddies. I encourage my crafting friends to do the same. I know many pals who are collectors of fabric they may or may not ever use.

Check out this letter from one of the hospitals that Quilts for Kids has helped in it's endeavors.... And there are many more where this one came from.

Quilts For Kids is in need of fabric, funding and quilters. Quilts For Kids, Inc. welcomes volunteer involvement in their desire to comfort children in need. Check out their site and see if there is anything you can offer or do to help them out. You can also check out their community calendar for any events near you. Participation in any form will help and that is true with any cause close to your heart. Get out there and do something for your community or favorite organization.

Monday, October 25, 2010

"To Craft" or "To Game", that is the question....

With the release of Fable III upon us, I have to be very honest with myself about how much crafting and creating that I will be able to get done while also giving Fable III the attention that it deserves. Now I occasionally will play some Super Mario Galaxy or the occasional Lego Harry Potter but Fable... now Fable is something special. A friend let me borrow Fable 2 long ago and I could not get it out of my mind. Once I started playing, I could not wait to hurry home from work and play for HOURS on end until I had finally completed all of my quests and finished the game (pssst, this probably took upwards of 30- 40 hours). I was a gaming mess!

Now it is very different. I spend my spare evenings working on pet projects, bags, artwork, little bobbles that I can work on while watching my programs.... how am I supposed to find the time in my busy hobby schedule for Fable III and all that it will do to me (basically take over my life)?? Manfriend has already given me permission to do nothing but play the game in exchange for me allowing him to do the same with another game (I don't know if I like this deal)... I don't know what will happen but I do know I am EXCITED!

I don't  think I shall worry about it. To game or to craft? Either will be just fine with me.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Really, Really Looking Forward to This...

I am totally participating in The Artist's House's " A Crafty Holiday Blog Hop" starting in November. As of right now, my date to blog is November 11th, 2010. I will be highlighting some of my favorite handmade items for this Holiday season as well as some tips and tricks in buy handmade for your loved ones. Please get excited because I sure am. You have been forwarned... November 11th, I will be bugging you to read my blog... who am I kidding, I do that anyways!

Friday, October 22, 2010

Vintage Makes Me Happy

As someone with very eclectic tastes, I find it hard to just be influenced by the latest fashions, prints and designs. One morning, I will wake up and want to wear skinny jeans tucked into boots with a modern jacket and scarf and another morning I have to wear a reconstructed dress aquired at a boutique. There is no one way that I like to be influenced... modern or vintage, I embrace it thing is for certain though, that vintage anything makes me happy and I just don't know why.

Preserving the past isn't just for museums and history books. Vintage shops across the country are keeping it real with styles from the past. From brick and morter joints to ebay shops to online presences, I can get my fix all over the place. Scarf here, clutch there, dress me up in vintage duds.

One of my friends ( I can call you a friend now, Kara) co-owns a Vintage clothes shop in Carrboro, NC called Roulette Vintage. It's adorable and ecclectic, mixing vintage pieces with local designers and a dash of Kara and Rebecca's creations. You can shop in store, you can shop online... what more could you ask for? There is just something so special about previously loved and interesting items. They are almost one of a kind in most cases. Love love love.

One of my favorite online Vintage clothiers is Twitch Vintage; she has an ebay store but also an ajoining blog which is kind of fun. Even if I don't intend to buy, I always browse because you never know what will inspire you.

Speaking of inspiration, have you ever heard of Well if you haven't please take a gander because it's basically peeps like you and me from all of the world showcasing their own personal style. It's really rad and I like to check in once in awhile. Fashion inspiration is nothing short of a lot of fun. Check out some of the members below, the ones that caught my eye on my recent stop by.

All photo credits to
I take my inspiration where I can get it... and I gladly let others lay their ideas on me. Sharing is caring, so let me know if you have a great Vintage clothes shop you just love to shop at!

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Exploring the Fingah Lakes

This past weekend, manfriend and I took a wine getaway with his best friend and his wifey... we ventured off to the Finger Lakes region of upstate NY. This was along the same lines as the trip with my family to the outer banks of NC. We just wanted to see things that we don't normally see.... and of course, taste wines that we don't normally taste. (wink wink) We came home with 27 bottles of wine (not all for us and of course, some to share with others) and could have come home with more but we practiced a little restraint. (Yeeeeeeah, right)

View of Keuka Lake from Bully Hill Vineyards
 It truly was a getaway and being that I carry that camera with me everywhere, I took pictures of anything and everything that I wanted to remember. The beautiful sites, the awesome vineyards, the people and the random doll that had been tied to a tree for what looked like years. I kid you not, see below.

We could not decide if this poor child was wearing a Patriots or a Giants jersey (we thought more likely the latter) but one thing we did know is that this doll could have never been really lovable with that expression stuck on its face.

Thankfully Jessica (manfriend's best friend's wifey) was all about the photo shoots as well so I did not feel like such a nag when I asked manfriend to man the camera for what seemed like a million pictures (it only ended up being about 150 but who is counting anyways?)

Oh yes, we frolicked in the vines
I stealthily caught the woman below at one of the vineyards we went to. Her entire group had draped themselves in fake grapes, wine corks, vines, leaves, twigs, berries... you name it, they were wearing it. While I thought they were fun loving, they were also a VERY large group and made me a little claustrophobic... good thing there was wine there.

Just looking I can see leaves, a cork, what looks to be a gourd and a fake hair braid running along the backside of her hat. Gotta love the creativity!
 It was a fantastic trip with good friends, good wine, good food and good fun. We are talking about hitting up another lake next year, perhaps the one with the cheese trail? Mmmmmm Cheese, a girl can dream!

We look all romantical but I think I was giving him a hard time here...

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

My New Header ala "Stuff in a Martini Glass"

A good friend of mine, Miss Kristin, agreed to help me design a header/ logo for my blog being that she does some design work on her own through She agreed to do it pro bono to beef up her portfolio and also because I firmly believe she wanted to help a sistah out. So I gave her the below rough sketch based on an idea that I had for "Prim and Propah" tanks, as a sort of play on being girly but also kicking butt and taking names, whilst crafting.

She came up with an absolutely adorable tank theme with browns, yellows and pinks and incorporated buttons and threads (for obvious reasons) but also shook it up with some martinis and cupcakes (Mmmmm, sounds like a perfect night in). She not only did this very professionally for me (asking all the right questions and tailoring it to my tastes) but she did it pretty darn efficiently/quickly... so I had no time to get impatient!

Check out her header for moi and also the button that she did for the blog as well. I am elated because I am starting to feel like this little bloggie of mine is coming together into something that I can be proud of and spend time on, while not feeling like I am wasting away without a creative outlet.

New Blog Header, Holla!

Blog Button, Holla!

Check out some of Kristin's made to order Martini's that are pretty fun if you ask little ol' me. All you have to do is share an idea and she can work with you to make your ideas/dreams/wishes a reality. Was that a smidge over the top?? Wellp, I am pretty happy with my blog header if you haven't noticed yet.

Send ideas to

The Green-tini

The Zombie-tini

The TKO-tini

Martini Music


Sunday, October 17, 2010

Working towards a cure

Being that it is October, National Breast Cancer Awareness month, I am starting to think about my plans for the next year and my volunteering with Susan G. Komen for the Cure. I have done the Breast Cancer 3-day in the past and LOVED it. Would want to do it again but not all by my lonesome.  I lucked out the last time around by meeting some great gals along the way, but wouldn't want to chance it not happening like that again.

I am setting out right now, to enlist at least one more person to raise sweet moola for a great cause and experience something wonderful. We shall see if I can work some magic. Somewhere in the world, every 69 seconds, a woman dies from Breast Cancer. This statistic makes me sad but so many women are also inspirations. Check out some of their stories... I am sure there are a million more like it out there.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Coordinating is Half the Fun

Some fabrics that I am going to put together. I am working on a bag for my sister for her 21st birthday. I think this will turn out quite nice if I can pull this biz togetha!

Friday, October 15, 2010

Exploring the Outah Banks, NC

Wright Brothers National Memorial, Kitty Hawk, NC- We don't normally see that

See Things That You Don't Normally See... that was my family's motto after we went to the Outer Banks for my sister's birthday weekend. We have the tendency to want to relax when we are together, especially when we are getting away from our normal, hectic day to day lives. But this trip, we powered through some sight seeing and were certainly better for it. I think that I will take that little motto on my daily excursions and might have a better attitude about getting lost or being detoured on a country road. I don't normally see it; I should try to enjoy it.

The boulder signified where these dudes actually took off for the first time. There were the old rails and everything there. Certainly was pretty cool to imagine being there that day...

Believe it or not, it took us quite a bit of maneuvering to shimmy up on top of this massive metal structure all so my mother could have her picture.

Climbing to the top of this lighthouse certainly helped work off the seafood dinner we had the night before... but the view was quite worth it.

A family trip to remember... and we didn't even fight once ;-)

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Oooh Ooooh Turban!

One of my vintage twitter acquaintances, Twitch Vintage, posted a blog tutorial on a really fun turban like headband. So Obvi, I decided to do my own, with a twist. I spent awhile on this tonight but am happy I did. Love me some crafty productivity just for the heck of it!

I started by wrapping some jersey cotton that I needed to discard in twine until I was satisfied with the coverage. There was no method to my madness just madness to my method... 

Obvi, I couldn't just keep the white as it was, so I chose the Golden Yellow for tonight's fun with fabrics...

Like a gross soup made with dye, string and fabric... I stewed my goodies in a bucket in the bathroom while we watched our DVR'd Jersey Shore, occasionally pausing to give 'er and ol' stir...

After a good ol' washing, I have some pretty run of the mill tie dye effects but better than plain, that is for sure...

After following the tutorial once, I created my own version with two extra loops to make a thicker band.

Thankfully, I have a live in photographer. Thanks Manfriend.

I love it when I am inspired by other like-minded peeps. Now I have a quick and easy project that I can do at the drop of a hat.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Tis the Season...

... for baking and yummy smells of Fall. Manfriend benefited from a spontaneous urge to be "Autumny"... I baked a Trader Joe's Pumpkin bread, we enjoyed Topsfield fair Kettle corn, he warmed up some apple cider and to top the gluttony off, apple cinnamon donuts were dipped in said hot cider. Gluttons for Fall, that's what we are... but mmmm did it taste good.

My next project will surely be our family's Pumpkin Crumb Cake, the recipe which I am sure came from a magazine or something yeeeeeears ago but we love it just the same. It's pretty easy and oh so yummy. I copied and pasted (see below) exactly how my mother sends this recipe around. Try it if you dare... to be delicious!

Pumpkin Crumb Cake

1 box of yellow cake mix (can be extra moist)
1 can of pumpkin
Brown sugar
Cinnamon or pumpkin pie spice
Bisquick or jiffy mix

Heat oven to 400 degrees.

Follow the directions on the yellow cake mix. Add the can of pumpkin and beat together. Add ¼ cup of jiffy mix and beat til creamy.

Put the mixture in your pan of choice.

Crumb topping:

1 softened stick of butter
1cup of brown sugar
1 and 1/2 cups of bisquick

Mix all these ingredients together with a whisk or your fingers (clean fingers, remember hand hygiene). Spread over your cake mix and bake.

Make sure the cake is finished cooking in the middle because it bubbles up and can fool you.