Monday, December 16, 2013

Tricky Gift Diy

 I recently became involved with Secret Sisters at my church and I have been wracking my brain to come up with a neat way to trick my sister into thinkin my stuff is store bought instead of handmade since I do most of the handmade stuff in our group. Enter the back of a cardboard sleeve from my daughter's long johns


I cut it to size, added a saying and things that looked professional such as the small "1 pc" in the corner and the 'X' sticker (which is my subtle omage to my camp name), added Tim Holtz Distress Stain in antique linen, and used a hole punch to poke out the space for where it would hang in the store. I also covered the whole thing in packing tape to give it that laminated look, and I had saved the little plastic covered twist ties from some jewelry making supplies. I used a needle to poke holes for the twist ties and then used the ties to hold on the keychain. 


Voila! I know I am being sneaky, but that is half the fun. 


And check it out paired with the little notebooks I made the other day! 

I'm pretty excited to give this to my secret sister! She's a 90 year old woman in our church and just an absolute sweetheart. I can't wait to find more 'throwback' and 'vintage' style things for her. This is definitely stretching my creative muscles! 

Oh, and I found a way to get around the fact that if I were to make anything they would automatically know it was from me! I am making a ton of cards for all the secret sisters to share. That way, everyone gets homemade cards and no one can guess who they're from! Mwhahahahaha! 

If you are involved in secret sisters at your church, check out Pinterest! There are tons of great ideas there too! Have fun!

Saturday, December 14, 2013

DIY notebook

A quick tutorial on my little books I make for the staff. 

Get a pack of 3 mini-composition notebooks at Family Dollar or any of the dollar stores. 

Get great papers to cover them. 

Cut them to size and glue with mod podge. It's ok to have some overhanging the edge as you can cleanly trim with scissors. 

Use 1" wide Gorilla brand duct tape and tape to the binding. Again you can trim the edges. 

Add a sticker to the front for a name or title plate, or leave it blank.

 I love the way these old fashioned style ones turned out. They're for a dear older lady in my church and I hope she'll really enjoy them. I hope you enjoy making these too. 

Thursday, November 21, 2013


Ba Da da! Ba Da Da Da Da Da Da Daaaaaa! (trumpet sounds)

I have just opened an etsy shop! Yes, it's true! Anything my crafty heart desires i will make and in turn sell. So far it is mostly cards but I hope to keep it running with lots of different crafty ventures. Will you follow me? CraftyStx I hope you will at least go check it out! Thanks so much! 

You may now return to your regularly scheduled programming.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

DIY couch recover

My love seat looks pretty threadbare. Why? Well, there is a fun story behind this couch. It used to belong to the men's lounge at the college my husband and I attended. It was circulated through the men's dorm from room to room as they replaced the lounge furniture. It eventually made it's way to my husband and his roommates who took a house locally. When we got married, it became ours. Fun fact, the couch is as old as I am! I found a label on the bottom that has it's manufacture date. But when we got it, it was looking sad. The cushions were getting frayed and ripped. They were the same material as the rest of the rest of the couch. So I took action and recovered the cushions. 


My first effort was an ivory. Enter baby number one with sharpie markers! Hmm... Bad choice. So my next choice was a dark brown corduroy. This was easier to maintain. Harder to stain too. So I have recovered it in the brown corduroy twice. Now it is several years later and it just hasn't held up to college students visiting and the kids abuse. (Mostly the kids!) so, we stopped at Joann's the other day and I looked at more brown corduroy. It was $12.99 a yard on sale for 40% off. Hmm... I need about 5-6 yards of this stuff... So I looked at the red rage fabric. Low and behold, upholstery fabric! And half off all red tag fabric too! Score! It was originally $29.99 a yard, (yikes!) red tag for $21.99 a yard, (ok, that's a little better) and all red tag was half off so I scored at $10.50 a yard! This fabric was so perfect.

It was the brown I needed, the upholstery fabric that holds up longer, and it even has little flecks of purple and gold all through it! So matched my stuff! 

But, at the cutting counter, there was only 3 yards left, I took a risk, I know, but it turned out perfect! There was just enough to do the whole couch! Even my hubby said it looked sharp! I started by taking my cut pieces and folding them right side down over my cushions and pinned them in place then sewed two seems up the sides like pillow case. Once I turned them right side out it was a mattering stuffing the cushion back into them and hand sewing the seem in the back.

I really like the way this turned out! It looks better and it should hold up longer. I think I want to try my hand at recovering the rest of the couch at some point. Hmmm... Another project to ponder...

Sunday, October 13, 2013

DIY stool

I found this guy in a little antique/thrift shop in my hometown for $5. It has a hinged lid and had a plastic storage tray on the inside. For $5, I could totally redo that sucker and make it my own and that's exactly what I did! 


I took all the pieces apart. Hinges off (in the little plastic bag there) and unscrewed the legs. I got out my spray paint selection from my stash and started with that brown satin finish I have.

Well, a quick stop at Joann's yielded a lovely piece of outdoor fabric in the remnant bin. I also grabbed some bating for a crib size blanket to it and fold and cushion the seat a bit. I started with a stripe evenly stapled across one side, then stapled the stripe evenly across the opposite. The front and back basically. Then I went to work on the sides and stapled them in place. Tucking in the corners was a little tricky but with patience and even some fabric glue you can do it! 

This is the end result. Yep, I spray painted black instead. Not just any black, the black for the plastic furniture! I like the effect. It's not too shiny and it even crackled a bit here and there. Once I screwed all the pieces back on and brought it inside, I decided this is the piece that will sit by our front door for putting on shoes and for storing hats and gloves! Now that was fun!! What's next? 

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Audrey Says...

Welcome to another fave of mine. Audrey Hepburn. Fantastic actress! Beautiful lady. Such poise and grace! Well, she said some fun things too. This one is one of my faves. 

I got out my supplies, canvas board, paint pens, washi tape, wall art from dollar tree....

And now I was off. I spray painted the background black. I cut up my wall art stickers and placed them where I wanted. Heated it all up with a heat gun to be sure the stickers stuck. Then I got out my Art Deco silver paint fine line pen and went to work. I'm pretty happy wth the end result. Now to find a place for display.... Hmmmm....

Saturday, September 28, 2013

For the love of Austen

Yet again I must craft. It always seems to hit me when I least expect it. I see a craft, think of something to do with it, and before you know it I have found myself in the middle of the craft. Well, this one came about because I have been crocheting a lot lately, and as a result I have a cramp in my shoulder. I have had to take a break from my crochet and while searching around the house for something to distract me from my housework, I stumbled across an idea I had put away for another day. 

I have always loved Jane Austen. I love the stories and the quotes from her books are priceless! I had asked my husband a while ago if he wouldn't mind if we used a quote from Jane Austen for a picture I have wanted to put over our bed. I finnally sat down to make this. The quote comes from Mr Knightly in the book Emma, and describes my husband and I perfectly. (At least it seemd a more appropriate quote than Mr Darcy's, "You have bewitched me body and soul." Talk about people asking awkward questions about a picture hanging over your bed...) 

To begin I used a thin sporatic layer of Jade satin spray paint. I then took a few branches from a nearby pine tree outside and layered on some brown lightly. After waiting for these layers to dry, I got out my paint pens and drew out on a separate piece of paper what I wanted to do as far as the layout, first to see how it would look but also to re-familiarize myself with the way a paint pen handles. The style of lettering is all my own. I layered several times with the white pen. I wanted the white to stand out well. I then shadowed with the fine point black pen. I went over again with the white to cover up any mistakes with the black. When I was satisfied with the result I used the pen to splatter white around the painting. For an added touch i used a gold fine line paint pen to add some gilt to the design by drawing in the pine leaves and branches. I am quite pleased with the result. It not only looks earthy, which will satisfy my hubby, but the lettering also turned out better than I thought, satisfying the critic within me. 

Yes, a simple canvas became a favorite piece today. I am happpy to have a favorite quote and author above my bed but I especially love that feeling you get from a craft well executed. 

So, what have you been crafting lately? I hope you find as much joy, satisfaction, and stress relief in it as I do! 

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Another Little Pattern

This pattern is for a little 18" doll purse done three different ways. I couldn't decide which to use so as I played with the ideas I wrote what I did down. Hopefully someone out there will enjoy. Ps, this little purse was done with that little ball of leftover yarn from my skirt and other projects. Happy Hooking!

Purse 3 Ways for 18" Doll

H Hook

sl st = slip stitch
ch = chain
sc = single crochet
hdc = half double crochet
dc = double crochet 
tr cr = treble crochet

For this Bag I work in both top loops of stitches like so:

ch 13. sc in 2nd chain from hook and in next 10 ch. 2 sc in last. turn. (counter clockwise for lefthanders, clockwise for right handers) sc in next 11. 

sc in top of first sc and in each around for 9 rounds building upwards to form bag.

1st Way) Scallop Bag:

sl st in next sc. *skip next sc. 3 dc in next. skip next sc. sl st in next.   Repeat from * around to form a total of 6 scallops. 
sl st in last space. Ch 22. join with sl st to opposite side. finish off. tuck in tale.

2nd Way) Flap Closure Bag

flap: stitches worked in sc across one side. 
sl st, sc, hdc, dc, 4 tr cr, dc, hdc, sc, sl st, across. turn work.
sl st in top of each st of flap. 
ch 22, join with sl st to opposite side of bag. tuck in tales. 
attach a button for your flap closure.

3rd Way) Double Stap Open Bag

Add one more row around of sc. 
ch 22 and join with sl st to opposite side of bag, ch 22 and join back to original ch 1 of previous ch 22. finish off. tuck in tales.
embellish with buttons or beads.


Thoroughly Addicted

Hello Again. Since I have been playing with crochet so much lately I figured I would share aanother pattern I had made. Enjoy! 

Flower coin Purse Or Doll Purse

H hook
remnant yarn

sc = single crochet
sl st = slip stitch
ch = chain
4 TR TOG = 4 trebles together

ch 13. sc in second chain from hook and in next 10 ch space. 2 sc in last ch space. turn work (clockwise for righthanders, counter clockwise for left handers) 
sc in each of next 12 ch space. 
sc in top of first ch space and in each sc around building continuously upward until 11 rounds have been completed or bag reaches desired depth. 

to make flap, turn work so wrong side facing, 
ch 1, sc in next 11 sc, ch1 turn
sc in next 11 sc, turn
sl st in first sc, ch 1, sc in next 10 sc, ch 1, turn
sc in next 10 sc, ch 1 turn, 
sl st in top of each sc around flap and top of bag. Finish off. 

Make flower:

begin with 7 ch, 1 sl st in first ch made,
Rd 1) ch 114 sc inside ring. sl st in first ch of round
Rd 2) ch 4, *4 TR TOG, inserting hook twice in next sc and twice in following sc, ch 3, 1 sc in next sc, ch 3, repeat from * 3 more times. 4 TR TOG, inserting hook as before, ch 3, sl st in first ch of round. fasten off. 

Using tales sew flower overlaping flap. Sew on a button that fits the flower center for your closure. 

If you would like to make this a bag for an 18" doll: using your tale chain 22 from one side of bag and sl st chain in other side. 

Sunday, September 22, 2013

DIY Doll Clothes

Recently my husband's Aunt and my mother in law told me all about an 18" doll they had found for my daughter for Christmas and had begun to make clothes for. Naturally, I was enthralled! This sounded like the coolest thing ever! My mother in law and Aunt had gotten together to make clothes by hand for my daughter's doll. You just don't see awesome stuff like that anymore! People have lost this art. We go to the store and look for what we can find on sale and baring the sale spend $10 or more on one outfit that is made for a doll. My goodness! Well, I just won't do that if I don't have to. Enter the crafty ladies. I am so blessed to have the women in my life that I do. I grew up with a mom who crafted many things and instilled this love for the homemade in me. I married into a family with many ladies that are blessed this way as well! I am surrounded by it! Awesome! 

Well, this could be a fantastically long post all about the amazing women in my life but I think I will make it a long post all about my first crochet pattern I wrote myself! I know! I wrote one all by myself! How cool! 

The Story:

Well, these ladies inspired me with their amazing sewing abilities. I wanted to contribute too. Enter Stx with her handy dandy yarn stash! With the cold weather brewing I have been crocheting more and more. These little doll clothes are so fun and they are coming out so awesome! They are quick to make up so I am never bored and I am using up alot of my remnant yarn. First I embarked upon what I already knew: hats and scarves, down to doll size. I am so glad that I am a part of because they have all these patterns to search and find and do! Well, I did! 4 hats, a scarf, and a poncho later and I am officially addicted. Yep. So I searched ravelry for another pattern to pique my interest. I found a wonderful pattern for a 5 piece set for the doll and a matching 3 piece set for my little girl. I can't wait to get started on these! But I have never made a sweater before and I want to try this out. Makes sense right? I had started with a hat and added fun fur to the trim and it just went on from there. Before I knew it I was making the jacket with fur trim, some boots, and mittens, and even pants for the doll! (Look for Cobblers Cabin on Ravelry)

Here is where my skirt comes in. I had made the Poncho, Butterfly hat and Butterfly hat for my daughter. I could't find a pattern I liked to make a skirt. So, I borrowed some ideas here and there and this is my result! It consists of 8 swirls or panels. Whichever way you choose to look at it. 

So cute! I really can't wait to see my daughter's face when she opens all this up at Christmas. Until then, I believe I will keep crocheting. 

Here is the pattern! Enjoy!

Swirls Skirt For 18" Doll

Supplies Needed: H hook, 6.5" of 1/4" elastic sewn to form ring

sl st = slip stitch
sc = single crochet
hdc = half double crochet
dc = double crochet
fphdc = front post half double crochet
ch = chain

Rd 1: 40 sc around elastic. join with sl st. (40 stitches)

Rd 2: ch 2, hdc in next 4 sc. fphdc around 5th sc, *5 hdc in next 5 sc, 1 fphdc around 5th sc* repeat        from * around, join with sl st. in ch 2 space. (48 stitches) 

Rd 3: ch 2. hdc in next 4 hdc. fphdc in next fphdc. * 5 hdc in next 5 hdc, fphdc around next fphdc.* repeat from * around. join with sl st in ch 2 space. (48 stitches)

Rd 4-16: repeat Round 3 (48 stitches)

Rd 17: Increasing by 16 stitches, you will add 2 stitches in between each set of posts. 

           ch 2 , 2 hdc in next hdc, 1 hdc in next hdc, 2 hdc in next hdc, 1 hdc in next hdc, fphdc around post of next fphdc. *1 hdc in next hdc, 2 hdc in next hdc, 1 hdc in next hdc, 2 hdc in next hdc, 1 hdc in next hdc, fphdc in next fphdc. [1hdc, 2hdc, 1hdc, 2hdc, 1hdc, 1fphdc] * repeat from * around. join with sl st in ch 2 space.  (64 stitches)

Rd 18: ch 2, 6 hdc in next 6 hdc, fphdc around next fphdc, * 7 hdc in next 7 hdc, fphdc around next fphdc. * repeat from * around. join with sl st in ch 2 space. (64 stitches)

Rd 19: Increase 8 stitches evenly by adding 1 hdc to each section

           ch 2, 6 hdc in next 6 hdc, add 1 hdc in top of fphdc, fphdc around fphdc. * 7 hdc in next  hdc, add 1 hdc in top of fphdc, fphdc around fphdc* repeat from * around. join with sl st in ch 2 space. (72 stitches)

Rd 20: Scalloped edging to finish. Consists of a pattern of sl st, sc, hdc, dc, dc, hdc, sc, sl st, sl st 
          * sl st in next hdc, sc in next hdc, hdc in next hdc, 2 dc in next 2 hdc, hdc in next hdc, sc in next hdc, sl st in next hdc and in top of fphdc. *  repeat from * around. ending sl st will finish. tuck in tails and you are done! (72 stitches)

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