The Journey

How vague, right? A lot has been going on but it is mostly revolving around two things: my Etsy shop and my hair. Both are a journey.

All of the crafty things done lately have revolved around my Etsy shop NimbleNimble. I’ve sold a couple of things, thus having to add a couple new!

I cut out five animals this morning, including some bunnies and cats of all colors!

I cut out five animals this morning, including some bunnies and cats of all colors!

 

Today I worked on a “Climbing Buddy” for a coworker who is very into rock climbing. The animal gets a D ring sewn onto its back, so it can then be attached to the harness. I absolutely loved this idea and ran with it. 

The beginning of the cat. You can see the head with the ears attached.

The beginning of the cat. You can see the head with the ears attached.

The half sewn/ half pinned body.

The half sewn/ half pinned body.

 

Because of the smaller scale I found it difficult to put in some of the sewing detail on the body. To make up for it I did some special embroidery for the face. She said she wanted a cat, so I went with a mountain lion.

The finished body with a cute little nose.

The finished body with a cute little nose.

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I was very happy with the outcome! I plan on exploring more embroidery detail on my next pieces.

I was very happy with the outcome! I plan on exploring more embroidery detail on my next pieces.

 

 

 

On a side note: Since I haven’t been exploring different tracks of craft-dom, I’ve noticed myself getting a bit restless. One of those restless bouts that make you do something drastic to your hair. I just cut it and I’ve really been liking my natural color lately so those things were out of the running. I’ve been annoyed with my hair lately because it seems very lack luster. Boring. Not as wavy as it could be and just plain thin.

To combat all of this I’ve ventured into the land of No-‘Poo. As in no shampoo. As in washing your hair with diluted baking soda and apple cider vinegar. I should just make an entire post on this, but since this is not a beauty blog, I shall refrain. If you’re wondering why the hell I would choose to do such a thing check out this girls blog. She has tons of information on the subject and it makes me feel less insane.

I will let you know that my hair is pretty greasy for now, which is normal. It should calm down and I will turn from a caterpillar into a beautiful butterfly. That is my hope, at least.

Until then, I will continue to craft my butt off for my new store.

Enjoy!

 

Feng Shui Attack: A Before and After Story

It’s one thing to have a craft table and a whole ‘nother thing to have a craft spaceI am on the verge of beginning a huge project but I find myself to be stuck. Very stuck. A few months ago I worked on beautifying my craft space, and it helped for a little while. But I still need more of a division between dining area and crafting nirvana. I know that with the space I have available to me, nirvana is far from being reached, but I am determined to get just a step closer.

Step 1: A hot mess.

Step 1: A hot mess.

I began with this. Clutter everywhere because I hate putting stuff away, a bookshelf in the corner that wasn’t serving much of a purpose because the shelves are a quarter of a circle, and a round table sitting in the middle of the space, thus wasting the area around it. Just, a mess.

Step 2: Getting rid of the little things.

Step 2: Getting rid of the little things.

I cleared off the table, got that big bookshelf out of the corner and swapped it with an existing nightstand that I had in my bedroom. This shelving is perfectly functional, as it holds my baskets and mini totes full of crafty odds-and-ends perfectly.

Step 3: Make the area.

Step 3: Shape the area.

Luckily, the eaves of my round table drop down to make a cute little rectangular table. Scooched that all the way over to one side of the nook so I had a raw space to work with. I used my cutting mat and ruler to determine what size of table I could work with. Thankfully, we had an existing make-shift table in our apartment that fit perfectly. (Unfortunately for the Boy, I stole his computer desk so he had to go find a new one.) I also vacuumed.

Step 5: Finishing.

Step 5: Finishing.

Once I put the table in, it all came together. Now that the table isn’t taking up the entire area, the space looks huge. I think I am as close to crafting nirvana that I can be in this space. The only thing that would make it better is if I had a comfier chair. I need to suck it up and get one.

I am tickled to start my new project in my new crafting area which is… a surprise that I will be sharing with you in the next couple blog posts.

Enjoy, everyone!

5 Favorite Household DIYs

Making common household items yourself is very satisfying. Not only do you know what is going inside of your products, giving you better control of scents, but it is often much cheaper and last longer. The key to making these things smell great is essential oil. A little goes a long way, so it is definitely worth the initial cost.

5 Favorite Household DIYs

1. Bathroom and Kitchen Cleaner

Vinegar and baking soda combine as a powerhouse cleanser for any grime. Mix the ingredients in a spray bottle or old soap bottle to easily dispense the cleaner. To some, vinegar has that “ah, so clean” scent, but if that isn’t for you, feel free to add a couple of drops of essential oil into the mix.

bathroom cleaner

2. Lotion Bars

Lotion bars are a must have during this wintery time of year. It is portable, not messy and intensely moisturizing, which is something your itchy, cracked hands will thank you for. Keep it in a drawer by your desk whenever you need quick relief.

lotion bars

3. Pore Strips/Face Peel

Hands down this is my favorite face peel and you only need two inexpensive ingredients to give your face this pick-me-up. Afterwards it feels like someone took a mini vacuum and sucked out all of the gunk in your pores and shrunk them all at once. It is amazing. Plus, what girl doesn’t love peeling that nastiness off of her face? Just me? I certainly hope not because it is a very rewarding feeling.

face peel

4. Scented Stick Air Freshener 

Not only will your abode smell wonderful, but you will have a nice decoration as well. These scents can be customized to your exact preferences and lasts up to a month! Play around with different combinations to find your favorite fragrance.

air freshene

5. Laundry Detergent

I only made half a batch of this stuff, and it gave me an entire gallon of detergent for only $10. Also, it is going to last me for months and months since I only need to use 2 Tbs per load. I’m probably never going to buy conventional laundry detergent again. Bonus: the clothes smell light and fresh, not like you soaked your favorite shirt in a nasty air freshener.

laundry

These items are a gateway to getting you interested about diy household products. Whatever can get me excited about doing laundry can’t be a bad thing, right?

Enjoy!

 

 

Weaving With Leftovers

A few weeks ago I celebrated a mini early Christmas. My sister brought me a large tote filled to the brim with yarn of all kinds. Bamboo, alpaca, wool and even a bit of angora. Some of the most fine yarns came in small spools, not nearly enough to make into any large project.

Whats the best thing to do with such odds and ends?

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Weave.

I used flat bamboo coffee stirrers and yarn to create a small mat. You could also use round skewers to create the same effect.

To create a makeshift loom, I used  the large cardboard flat of a cereal box and cut slits at the top and bottom for the yarn to be strung though.

To create a makeshift loom, I used the large cardboard flat of a cereal box and cut slits at the top and bottom for the yarn to be strung though.

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It's important to keep the yarn as taught as possible without bending the cardboard.

It’s important to keep the yarn as taught as possible without bending the cardboard.

The loom before the skewers have been woven through.

The loom before the skewers have been woven through.

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The skewers being woven through the yarn.

The skewers being woven through the yarn.

As they are woven in, I pushed them close together.

As they are woven in, I pushed them close together.

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The finished product still on the loom. At this point, I used glue to fix the yarn to the bamboo skewers.

The finished product still on the loom. At this point, I used glue to fix the yarn to the bamboo skewers.

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Once the glue has dried overnight, I cut the mat from the loom using an exacto knife.

Once the glue has dried overnight, I cut the mat from the loom using an exacto knife.

At this point the mat is ready to be edged and finished!

At this point the mat is ready to be edged and finished!

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If you don’t have any skewers, you could do this with other scraps of yarn, or even t-shirt yarn to make a thicker trivet.

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Enjoy!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Old Things, New Wall

After moving into my downtown Kansas City apartment, I finally gave in to decorating.

You know, the real kind of decorating where you try to make things match and nails are pounded into the walls because the landlord allows it. Maybe not even that. It is the fact that there is no expiration date on this apartment yet, unlike the last five years of my college life. It is a new start, with new walls.

I’ve always been a big fan of collages. The organized chaos is attractive. What is fun about one wall with one piece of art on it?

I have many walls in my apartment, and my favorite one is in this little nook where the dining room/craft table is. It is a quaint little space, and it deserves to have an equally quaint wall. The nook first had a triptych of Moulin Rouge dance posters from France, and it was OK. Not the best, but OK.

Nook Before (Forgive me for the photo quality.)

Nook Before
(Forgive me for the photo quality.)

I’ve been collecting hanging pieces for the past couple of months, and I can safely say that each piece in my collage means something special to me. Here are all of my treasures in their final glory.

Nook After

Nook After

How about a closer look?

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Top: A portrait of Mary Lynn, my cat, done by my lovely friend MacKenzie Bottom: A needlepoint of a hummingbird and my most recent craft project completion

Top: A portrait of Mary Lynn, my cat, done by my lovely friend MacKenzie
Bottom: A needlepoint of a hummingbird and my most recent craft project completion

A half-completed paining done by my late Grandma Wright. She was a very talented lady, and I love this.

A half-completed paining done by my late Grandma Wright. She was a very talented lady.

This group of pears was painted by my Grandma Beisker. And I just happen to love pears. I'm lucky to have two very talented women as my grandmothers.

This group of pears was painted by my Grandma Beisker. And I just happen to love pears. I’m lucky to have two very talented women as my grandmothers.

Top Left: A watercolor of imaginary wild flowers. Top Right: An embroidery project of a diatom done by my dear friend Erica. Bottom Left: A cross stitch that reads 'Be Calm', which is something that needs to be remembered. Bottom Right: Various embroidery stitches.

Top Left: A watercolor of imaginary wild flowers.
Top Right: An embroidery project of a diatom done by my dear friend Erica.
Bottom Left: A cross stitch that reads ‘Be Calm’, which is something I that needs to be remembered.
Bottom Right: Various embroidery stitches.

A soft crochet sculpture that I recently finished. I found my inspiration from Cornflower Blue Studios- check them out!

A soft crochet sculpture that I recently finished. I found my inspiration from Cornflower Blue Studios- check them out!

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Now, go put some stuff on your walls and decorate! It will feel good.

A Little Extra Cushion

I recently inherited a sewing machine from my Mom, which really opened up my options as far as crafting goes. Alas, once I got the sewing machine propped up on my little kitchen table I realized that I possessed none of the materials needed to actually create stuff. My Mom’s entire sewing room always overflowed with sewing materials, and it never occurred to me that I’d someday have to buy my own stuff. It never occurred to me how expensive it would be either- Yikes!

On my trek to Hobby Lobby I picked up the very basics: pins, thread, rotary cutter, cloth measuring tape and a seam ripper. A pin cushion was one thing that I desperately wanted to make for myself and there are a ton of cute options out there. I did a search on Pinterest and discovered a no-sew pin cushion. I realize how silly this is since I now HAVE a sewing machine, but it still appealed to me because the cushion is meant to go in a cute little tea cup for the base.

No-Sew Teacup Pin Cushion

You can see the outline around the green hoop. I just took a small plate used it as a template. I hate measuring, so this method was the best for me. I chose some blue material that I had in my stash, but it was a little bland for me.

 

hoop1

I decided to dress it up with some embroidery.

hoop2

Actually, it kind of looks like the embroidery monster threw up on it.

hoop4

 

hoop3

I like it, though.

It was very important to iron it out after it got out of the hoop. I didn’t want a weird, wrinkled pin cushion.
hoop5

I followed my guide and cut the circle out. Then, I took a sharp needle and some thread and followed the edge of the circle, weaving the needle in and out as I went. I kept the stitches far apart from one another, so I could easily pull the string to gather the material and make a little poof.

hoop6

I filled the cushion with standard poly-fiber stuffing, then closed it up for good.

hoop7

The only step left was finding a little cup to put it in! Really, very simple.

hoop8

 

This entire project made me excited to use my sewing machine! I can’t wait to find a new project to work with.

hoop9

Enjoy!

 

 

Work in Progress

I swear I’m not being lazy. I know I kind of promised last time that I would write more blog posts, and it is true. I’m working on it.

In fact, I’ve been working on a new crocheting project. The unfortunate thing is that it is taking me awhile because it is an actual garment. The first one that I’v ever attempted to make.

It is a cute little shrug that I found on Lion Brand Yarn’s website.

shrug

It is appealing to me because there are only two major parts to the pattern, and they are basically rectangles. A lot of repetition. I have the first part done completely, and I’m about halfway done with the second. As long as I am diligent I figure I can get it done within a week.

Top portion

Top Portion

Bottom Portion

Bottom Portion

I’m still not sure how it is going to come together, even with the pattern in front of my face. However, I am confident that it will work out somehow. Also, I ran out of white yarn, so I switched to the blue for the back of the shrug. I will also probably run out of this color of blue and will switch to a lighter shade. I have so much yarn it makes no sense to go buy more just to finish one beginner project.

Cool thing about the Lion Brand Yarn website, if you create a free account you get all of these free patterns, which include cute little stuffed animal patterns! I made this little octopus years and years ago, but I still keep him around.

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Dye Lot

Sorry for such a long hiatus! I’ve been very busy with moving to a new city, beginning my externship and generally living.

I’ve been working on a lot of crafty projects lately, but one that I am the most excited about is natural onion dyes. I originally found a tutorial for it at Folk Fibers Blog. First I used all yellow skins, luckily I work at a restaurant and a pot full of skins was not difficult to find.

I chose to dye Sugar & Cream 100% cotton white yarn and I had enough onion skins to dye two skeins.

Yellow Onion Skins

I was expecting it to be very yellow, but it turned out to be this soft pink hue, which I love!

Let’s make some dye.

1. a

Get all of your onion skins and put them into a large pot. Red onion skins were everywhere, so I just rolled with it. Fill the pot up until the skins are completely submerged. Bring the pot to a boil, then simmer for an hour. I let the onion skins cool in the water for a couple of hours or overnight if you have the time. The longer they sit, the stronger the dye.

2. b

Once you’ve let the skins sit, drain the liquid into another pot. Make sure you squeeze all the liquid out of the onion skins that you can. While you are draining the skins out, take your yarn or whatever material you are dyeing and soak them for a few minutes in hot water.

3.

c

Put the yarn into the dye bath and bring to a boil, then to a simmer for an hour. Here is the yarn right after I put it in the bath.

d

And here it is after I let it sit overnight. You can actually let it sit for a few days. Once again, the longer it sits, the stronger it is. At this point I was getting really excited because the color was such a deep purple/red color.

4.

e

Then, I rinsed it. You need to rinse out all of the dye, until the water runs clear. The yarn begins to change color a lot. I’m not totally thrilled with the red onion skin dye. I thought the color would be a darker red color, and it turned more into a weird brown.

5. f

I dry the yarn on a clothes rack in my bathtub. I put a small fan on it to help it along because by this time by patience was killing me.

6. brown

 

The yarn definitely looks very natural, but not at all red. Pretty tan, actually.

It is nice, but not what I thought would come out of it. However, that is the joy of crafting. Surprises.

Hopefully I can make blogging more of a weekly occurrence, so stay tuned!

 

Veggin’ Out

I’ve had packing on the brain. School ending. Two days left. Moving. Food.

Especially food.

It is difficult grocery shopping when you are about to move. What do you buy? Do you buy anything?
No one wants to have excess food go to waste, and no one especially wants to have to lug any more crap with them when they go.

So, what is a girl to do? Make veggie pasta salad. That’s what.
The go-to salad involves any fresh vegetables, rotini pasta, and italian salad dressing.

veggge

Cook the noodles, and run cool water on them. Cut up the vegetables. Add dressing to taste. That’s it.

vegggsaladde

It is the perfect salad because it is tasty, cheap, and lasts for a while, so it is there for you to munch on as you run frantically around your apartment (a.k.a. packing).

And once you’ve lost your motivation, it is coffee time.

My favorite coffee cup has been looking a little lonely lately, so I decided to make it a little jacket.

cozy fronte

The v-stitch from This blog.

cozy backe

I quite like it.

And then, once you get on a caffeine kick, and get distracted by your craft bin, you start doodling.

beetit fulle

 

I don’t like the taste of beets, but they sure are pretty.

beetite

 

I hope everyone is being productive! Enjoy!

Foodie Sculptures

We learned how to make fancy things out of food today. It gave me a chance to break out my arty background, which really got me excited!

Tomato Rose

Tomato Rose

We started with the tomato rose, using a roma tomato. You use the base of the tomato for the base of the flower, then peel off the rest of the tomato skin in one long strip, then roll it to create the interior petals. Simple and quick.

radish flowerse

The cut is called the “wolf’s tooth”, clearly because of the sharp edges. These happen to be radishes, with the interior cored out with a melon baller, then replaced with a carrot ball.

The next is a flower made from a rutabaga, or it can be made from any other hard root vegetable. It starts with a 1/2 inch cross section, then using tools similar to wood carving tools, you cut into it. You first create the sections of where the petals will be, then eventually cut the flower out of the solid veggie.

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d2e

d3e

 

 

 

Then we practiced with a potato. First making a cube, then begin carving out the inside of it- forming a ball. My chef called this “Da Vinci’s Cube”.

sphere closee

sphere3e

 

 

You end up with a potato ball inside of a cage. The ball is not in any way connected to the outside cage, it just rattles around in there. It took awhile, but I really liked doing the intricate knife work.

We ended with melon carving. The real show stopper. I think it has a lot to do with the contrast you can get from the skin and the flesh of the melons.

cantae

canta closee

 

It is not the most perfect carving, but I was really proud of my first carving! It is definitely something I want to keep pursuing  Maybe someday I could be a professional fruit and vegetable carver…