Friday, July 30, 2010


Massive pretty sunflower I saw at the blueberry patch yesterday...

Blueberry Picking 2010

Have I mentioned lately how much I LOVE living in the country? Well, not that I didn't go blueberry picking when I lived in the city...but the blueberry farm I went to yesterday is right down the road from where I live.

I went with my friend Amy and her 4 kids. I also brought Emily, the 11-year-old girl I've been watching for the summer while her dad is at work.

I just got that straw sunhat a few weeks ago. (every country girl needs a straw hat for when she does out in the garden!) CJ says I look like a movie star when I have the hat and sunglasses on. The bells & beads necklace was courtesy of Emily. She made it for me earlier in the day and wanted me to wear it.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Red Gingham Drawstring Pouch

Look what I made!

A lady I know from my parents' church was cleaning out her craft supplies and since she knows I'm a crafty girl, she offered to give me what she was getting rid of. My mom came over last night to deliver the load of fabric and craft supplies. Included in the haul was different colors of gingham patterned fabric. Last night before I went to bed, I pulled out some red gingham, red cotton, and muslin and whipped up this drawstring pouch.

The Nubbin design is stamped on... thanks to a custom, hand-carved rubber stamp made by JackBear Stamps. (a fellow RNESTer!)

I used a cheap "Ink It Up" ink pad for this one, so I'm not sure about the design's staying power. But I'll be getting some "Staz-on" ink pads this weekend (or maybe some fabric paint and a brayer).

I even lined it!

I'm hoping to make more of these and offer them in the Etsy shop.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010


I've been working on a logo for a craft community I'm a part of called RNEST (Rochester NY Etsy Street Team). At the last team meeting (which I actually made it to!), we talked about designing a logo for the team, and having a contest among the members to determine what logo we would end up with. I am a graphic designer (it's what I actually went to school for) so I got all excited and have been working on my submissions. I have one central "RNEST" design...

And I have 2 more elaborate designs that include the basic design. My main goal was to encapsulate as many craft types as I could, since the team has members who work in many different crafts and mediums. It's challenging to come up with a way to say "handmade" visually without sticking with one particular sewing or knitting.

(I used Adobe Illustrator for these and "drew" most of the aspects freehand. I'm a big fan of the "fude" brushstroke. The only non-brushstroke aspects are the R and the main part of the E...where I used a font for the text. And obviously, the "Rochester NY Etsy Street Team" part is a font.)

I'm leaning toward liking the "hand" one better (the first one). We'll just have to see which one my fellow RNESTers like...If any! Another artist might make a logo better than either of mine. Which do YOU like better? (tell me in the comments!)

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Sterling Renaissance Festival 2010

Anyone who knows me knows that I was kind of born in the wrong century. I'm all about swords, corsets and all that medieval kind of stuff. (extra points for Celtic stuff!) So going to a Renaissance Faire is a field day for me!

My family all went to the Sterling Renaissance Festival on Saturday. It's an hour from where my parents live (and 2 hours from where I live). My brother and his girlfriend were coming into town from Staten Island and it was something fun and special we could all do together. Since I've been married, I've tried to go to a Ren Fest at least once a year. Last year we didn't go to one because we bought a house and were trying to conserve money (it's usually at least $25 per ticket, plus money you pay for food and souvenirs). Two years ago, we went to the Great Lakes Medieval Faire in Ohio with my husband's family instead of going to Sterling. So I was glad we had a good excuse to go to Sterling this year. It was the very first Ren Fest I went to, in 1993 when I was 11 years old and we lived near Sterling, and holds a special place in my heart. And this year was the first time since '93 that my family has all been there together.

I love the cast and performers there! We had our pictures taken with Don Juan and Miguel, who have been doing the Festival for 27 years. They are great performers and funny guys, but they are also the sweetest and most humble guys as well and are always appreciative of their fans. When you see their shows every year, you practically know the routines by heart, but they are always still funny!

A downfall of the Sterling Ren Fest is that it is usually SO HOT (due to it being held during the summer months). I knew it was going to be hot, so I didn't wear my green velvet cloak (that CJ bought me on our honeymoon). If you go, make sure to bring adequate drinking water, or you'll end up having to pay $2.50 for small 8 oz bottle of water that you guzzle down in 5 minutes! My family brought water and soda in from the cooler that was in Dad's truck, and we still ended up having to buy a few bottles.

There are Renaissance/Medieval Faires all over the country at all different times of the year. At one point, CJ and I wanted to try to go to a different one each year. We went to one in Pennsylvania for our honeymoon, one in Virginia for our first anniversary, and one in Ohio for our 2nd anniversary. These have all been summer Faires...but I'd like to try to find one somewhere that is scheduled in the fall so we can enjoy the faire in a cooler temperature.

Monday, July 19, 2010


I've been harvesting the bounty of my backyard garden!

These 7 cucumbers are an addition to the 6 or so I've already harvested!

Not bad for my first year of having my own garden! :)

Monday, July 12, 2010

Crochet Butterflies!

I've been making butterflies like crazy lately!
I like to crochet during church. It actually helps me pay attention and keeps my hands busy while I'm listening to the conversation. I usually crochet flowers to make into pins to sell at my craft shows, but I recently came across a tutorial for making crochet butterflies...

The "pattern" I used to make these isn't quite the same as the one in the tutorial, but the tutorial was my jump-off point. Once I figured out the basics of how to make them, I make my own little tweaks...

  • Chain 4. slip stitch into first chain to form a ring.
  • First Upper Wing: Work 3 dtr (double treble stitch: yarn over 3 times) into ring. Ch 5, sl st into ring.
  • Second Upper Wing: Chain 5, work 3 dtr into ring, slip stitch into ring
  • First Lower Wing: Work 3 tr (treble stitch: yarn over 2 times) into ring. slip stitch into ring
  • Second Lower Wing: Repeat previous step. Fasten off.
  • Wrap a contrasting piece of yarn around the middle 2-3 times and tie off to to create abdomen and antennae.
(in case you're curious, I used a size USH8/5.00mm hook and Red Heart Super Saver yarn)

I'm not that super of a crocheter, but I can whip these out pretty fast! They really are so easy! The hardest part is sewing the pin onto the back. I'd like to make some hair barrettes/clips using these as well. I might also try making them with embroidery thread as the original tutorial suggested.

What a cute summer accessory! You know you want one! (or two...or six!) If you do want one, and are not interested in crocheting one yourself, I have a set of 6 for sale in my Etsy shop.

Sleepy Kitty

Check out who I found snoozing in my craft room on my chair...

My craft room has recently been Terra's favorite place to hang out during the day. But usually she's hanging out in front of the window, looking at the birds outside. I was surprised when I walked in to do some crafting, and she was in my chair! (it must be because of that cozy handmade throw my grandma gave me!) And how could I bear to disturb such sleepy kitty cuteness? So, naturally, instead of moving her, I took pictures!

Don't worry though, I did get some crafting in. I'll try to take some pictures of what I did and post them later.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

A Good Dog...

My parents had to put their dog, King, to sleep today. I don't know about all the details yet, but it had something to do with internal bleeding. I don't know if it had to do with the cancer he was recently diagnosed with or not.
He was such a good dog. A happy, laid-back, loving dog. The poster-dog for blowing the "vicious Rottweiler" stereotype out of the water. He was the most social, lovable dog you could ever meet. He attracted people wherever he went and loved every minute of the attention he would get. And once you started petting him, he'd lean into you and would eventually flop over onto his side or back so you could rub his belly.

He would have been 5 years old on July 21st. I last saw him July 4th at my parents' house. I took these pictures of him last Friday, July 2nd. Unless my mom took some of him, I believe these are the last pictures ever taken of him.
He loved chewing on those big knuckle bones...
My parents' previous dog was a Rottweiler named Zeus. Mom wrote in her Facebook status tonight: "Zeus I'm sure is having a good chat with King right now. Zeus says to King... "You got a couch of your own and everything?". King says to Zeus "You just didn't now how to suck up to them like I did". My family always does know how to cope with our grief with humor! King had "his own" couch that he was allowed to get up on. My parents have 2 couches in their living room...the "good" couch and "the dog's couch" (a curbside find).

I've been really broken up about it ever since my dad called me tonight to tell me the news. I can't tell if I'm more sad because King is gone or because I know just how sad this makes my parents. They love their pets very much, and King was very special to them. He was special to me too. He wasn't really my dog, but I feel like he was. I keep wondering how poor Luna will react the next time we visit my parents' house and King isn't there. (is it ridiculous that that thought gets me crying again?)

A friend of mine encouraged me in an email with these Bible verses that he shared with his father in law when they had to put their cat down...

"Rom 8:19 For the earnest expectation of the creature waiteth for the manifestation of the sons of God.
Rom 8:20 For the creature was made subject to vanity, not willingly, but by reason of him who hath subjected [the same] in hope,
Rom 8:21 Because the creature itself also shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God."

"So basically the animals are waiting for us to get glorified so they won't be subjected to death and disease anymore! Pretty cool thought. I used to be one of those "it's just an animal, they don't have souls" but it's passages like this that show that God has subject creation in the hope of its eventual glorification and restoration to what He intended it to be. "

An interesting and encouraging thought.

Rest in peace King. You were a good dog... a very good dog.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Raspberry + Rosemary = Yummy!

I came across a recipe on the blog Maya*Made yesterday for Raspberry Rosemary Coolers (click the link for the recipe). I was intrigued and just had to make it! CJ and I were going shopping anyway, so while we were out, we picked up some frozen raspberries (the store didn't have fresh berries yet) and seltzer water. I picked the rosemary fresh from my garden!

I took a handful of berries and put some in each glass over some ice, then put the glasses in the fridge while I made the raspberry-rosemary syrup with the rest of the berries.

Combine the syrup and seltzer and voila!...

It was absolutely delicious! I was surprised at how much the rosemary added...and just how good it combined witht he raspberry. I may just have to consider planting some raspberry bushes next year. ;)

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Moustached Monster

I had a funny idea a few weeks ago to make an owl with a moustache (since both owls and moustaches seem to be big in the craft blogosphere lately), but I couldn't get it to look right. If I put the moustache underneath the orange triangle beak of the owl, it looked more like a guy with a carrot nose and didn't look like an owl anymore. So I just abandoned the idea and made this little moustached monster instead.

I originally thought I was going to make him look like an English gentleman with a bowler hat and attach/embroider a string going from the bigger eye to make it look like a monocle, but the hat turned out wrong and now I think he looks more like a circus ringmaster.

I think I'll call him Big Topp.