Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Snow Day? Time to Rearrange!

Several snow days in a row, and I begin to go a little stir crazy.

Sure, I crochet and craft.

I drink coffee, relax and listen to music.

I blog and help The First Grader into and out of his winter gear.

I make hot chocolate.

I also get the itch to straighten up the house.  Not a deep clean mind you, but enough that I won't hear the Jaws-esque duh-dun... duh-dun of any dust bunnies that most definitely are might be lurking in the corners.

Last weekend after two snow days in a row,  I spied the aforementioned dust bunnies and stepped on four legos while putting the valentine decor away downstairs which is how the family room ended up being completely rearranged.

Got that?  And if so, has it happened to you?


Here's where I started:


Vacuum, vacuum, vacuum...


Roll the rug and vacuum some more:


 Reposition the carpet and move bookcase number one:


... followed by the television:


... and the second bookcase.  It was at this point that I 1) began imagining what built-ins would look like (FABULOUS!) and 2) started wondering where I had last put the ibuprofin bottle (OUCH). 


Hello rug.


Let's see how the couch would look as a couch AND a loveseat:


Not bad, not bad.  But we need some more red:


Now get rid of the last few cobwebs, annnnnnndddddddd voila:


Do you know what you do after two snow days and an afternoon of rearranging the family room?

You nap.

Oh yes, you nap.



Friday, February 22, 2013

Crochet on a Snow Day

School has been cancelled for the second day, which means I no longer have to postpone a much-needed stint of crocheting on the couch while watching movies.

Life is good.


Here's a link to my Colorful Crochet board on Pinterest~

*****

What's your favorite go-to craft on snowy weather days?

*****

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Work in Progress: Bunny Bunting

Aren't you hoppy spring is on its way?

Heh heh heh, hoppy.

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I've used cardstock, glitter paper, ribbon, buttons and embroidery floss, but still need to add some tulle ties.


Or not.

How do you prefer your bunting, plain or *~foo-foo~*?



(found on Pinterest)

*****

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Spring Bunting...

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...three years in the making.  Just the apple green pennants and pastel pink ribbon were assembled, almost three years ago in our last military issued home.  Carefully packed, moved, unpacked, and hung over my bunting bars in the crafty nook, they've waited.

Until yesterday.

The extra day off from work was like a mini-vacation for me, and I couldn't wait to get to playing with paper.

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Look at them.  Poor things.  Neglected.  But saved for three years.

I thought maybe a mini-pennant punch with some matching paper might cheer them up, but then opted for a mismatched floral:

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Couldn't forget the tulle, oh no:

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Aw, just springy enough to see us through this last cold snap.

*****

M.

Monday, February 18, 2013

Order from Chaos: Scrap Paper Clean Up

I use a lot of paper punches when I'm playing downstairs in the crafty nook.  Depending on the project, I'll punch out a green glittered tree from cardstock here, some pink watercolor hearts for bunting there...

I always put my paper back into whatever drawer it came from, but over time the scraps become a bit unruly, bunching up when I open and close the drawer, tearing or creating non-helpful creases across prints and patterns that look much nicer ~without~ the folds.

The three day weekend gave me extra time to solve this problem, using my trusty papercutter, a clear shoebox, and some old drawer dividers:



I trimmed each page, and sorted into ROY G BIV (ish) piles.  After separating each pattern with a divider, voila: I now have manageable scraps for future projects.




What an improvement!

How do you keep your fabric, paper, and embellishment scraps in order?

M.



Sunday, February 17, 2013

Contained

I'm a sorter, a classifier, an organizer.  I need objects and materials to be with like objects and materials, paper with paper, hole punches with hole punches, ribbon with ribbon.

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Christmas decor tubs are separate from Valentine's Day decor tubs.  Turkeys and Pilgrims do not share space with jack-o-lanterns and witches.  Summer accents are red, white, and blue.  Pastel items will never infiltrate our 4th of July focus.

I promise I'm not Type A nor am I OCD.  I just tend to lose things if I haven't put them back in their place.  I like my work area nice and clean in the beginning, and nice and clean at the end, but during the creative process, it can be as messy as it needs to be.  I can build piles, drop things, and spread everything out.  I can walk away and later return to the mix.

Visiting other crafters' blogs and websites, I've noticed a difference.  Their creative processes spill, no... pour into everything, to include their physical and virtual spaces, while my adventures stay (relatively) neatly contained within the walls of my crafty nook and my blog template.  Of course we've only lived in this home for a year and a half, so it hasn't nearly had the time to be at the whim of whatever mood inspiration has lit within me. I update my blog space only once or twice a year.  My professional life has its own agenda and responsibilities that completely separate me from my creative space as the school year ebbs and flows, which is perhaps why I often feel like part of myself has been put on hold, the pause button pressed the moment I walk through the door of my crafty nook to tend to the rest of my life.  I often wonder what it would be like to fill my days with a different kind of learning and sharing, less dictated by politics and the veiled abuses that we allow education "reform" to inflict upon our children.  Harsh reality makes me long for a more beautiful one.

Compromise and containment.  I love glitter and so do my students.  I love creative projects and learning new techniques.  So do my students.  But public school classrooms aren't really about freedom, and my crafty nook, though in order, isn't about limitations.  And here I'm torn.

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I'd enjoy hearing from other people who have been or are in a similar situation: part time crafters with full time creative souls.  Do you feel the need to try to balance your interests and inclinations with the daily grind or do you have another solution?

Deep thoughts on a Sunday.

Michaele

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

The Love Shack is a Little Ol' Place Where...

... we can get together!

After creating a template for a shack-shaped house, I had so much fun selecting mismatched paper, stickers, buttons and holiday fringe to create my ornament for this year's Heart to Heart swap!

With the B-52's singing in the background, I cut out and assembled each shack, making sure to add a ribbon through the roof for hanging before gluing on the final piece.  The red garland trim reminded me of a grass hut (hula skirt?) and made the house not end quite so abruptly.


A button for the doorknob...


...and button and ribbon detail with my information on the back.


Happy Valentine's Day!

*****

Are you doing something special with your sweetie for Valentine's Day?

I'm taking mine to a meet and greet for the stars of The Walking Dead.

That's right: I am a Zombie-Cool Valentine Wife.

*****





Sunday, February 10, 2013

Heart to Heart Swap 2013

When I first began blogging, I had no idea what linky parties, guest blogging, or participating in crafty swaps were all about.  A full summer of blog discovery later, and I was hooked.

After a bit of blog stalking and finally commenting, I signed up to participate in my first swap, Sarah's Heart to Heart at Makin' Projiks.  I made aqua blue bunting with colorful hearts, sent them off, and by Valentine's Day, had a box full of handcrafted goodies from the other participants.  I was in swap HEAVEN.

I've made it a point to sign up for Sarah's swaps each year, and with a few more under my belt, I'm seriously considering hosting my own swap this summer, with a patriotic/4th of July theme.

Last week, the highly-anticipated Heart to Heart box arrived, and look at what was inside:


Hair pins, a scrunchy paper vintage-y valentine card, a sweet foam heart, seeded paper hearts (can't wait to drop these into the garden!) and a handmade card with layers of paper...


A sweet pendant, heart magnets, a matchbox with chocolate, a bottlecap and spool flower (that's Sarah's beautiful creation!), a glittered "key to my heart," a fabulous Mademoiselle tinsel and crepe paper heart ornament and a vibrant Love U card...


...and two sweet valentine garlands, one with crocheted hearts and the other with quilled paper on felt and ribbon.

Thank you to all of the creative participants in this year's swap! Link my readers up to your blogs by leaving a comment- we'd all love to visit you!

 My treasures are adorning my dining room buffet so I can see them every day.  At the end of the month, they'll be stored away in a treasure box, to be opened, enjoyed and displayed again next February.

*****

What did I make for the swap?

I made Love Shacks.

I'll show them to you tomorrow!




Friday, February 8, 2013

Think It...Wear It...

... but for goodness sakes, if you're a kindergarten teacher hosting parent/teacher conferences, don't say it out loud (never fear, I wore it with the charm flipped to the backside).

All it needs is a touch of leather.  THAT would give it even more 'tude.


Tellingly, I can wear the necklace anywhere ~other~ than school, and it's fine.

T-shirts, tattoos, verbal outbursts.  Not for me.

Give me a charm with some sparkle to it though, and I'm sold.

But I'll probably add leather.