Monday, January 30, 2012

New Monster Monday: Xeniba the Sweater Monster

I made a batch of Sweater Monsters the other day in an attempt to build up my inventory for my next craft show on February 5th.  Plus, it's been awhile since I made anything new!

I made this monster out of a sweater my grandma gave me.  Don't be alarmed, she got it at her church rummage sale and gave it to me with the intent that I make monsters out of it!  I think this is my new favorite monster (you know...the one I secretly hope no one buys because I'd like to keep it!)

I as watching "Spirited Away" when I was working on the machine sewing part of her construction, so I decided to name her Xeniba. (the movie character's name is spelled "Zeniba", but I felt like spelling it with an X instead!)

Sunday, January 29, 2012


We've had a weird, warm winter around here.  Hardly any snow this season, which is very unusual in western New York.  Whenever we've had snow this season, it only lasts for a day or two, then the temperature goes up again, and it rains, and all the snow melts away.  I suppose I shouldn't complain, since snow is a bear to drive in, and my husband commutes to work 2-3 times a week.  But everything is so much prettier with snow on the ground.  I've been sick of seeing brown grass and leafless trees.  It's felt like a perpetual November.
But...we had a crazy amount of snowfall today.  And I think (hope?) this snow may last awhile.  Are you staying this time, Winter?  You're only a couple months late! ;)
*EDIT*: And now I'm hearing that it's going back up into the 40's and is going to rain this week.  Blah.

Today was my mom's birthday, so we drove in to Rochester to have lunch with my parents and their friends.  We had a lot of snow in Lyndonville, and visibility on the parkway was so bad that we weren't sure if we would have to spend the night at my parents' house.  But when we got to Rochester, there was NO snow at all!...not in the sky, not on the ground!  Amusing, since we drove through a blizzard to get there!
On the way home, though, the drive was less nerve-wracking.  It was snowing, but it was a pleasant snow this time...gently falling...not blowing like it had been on the drive out. 

There's a spot on the Lake Ontario Parkway where there is a little pulloff and a tree that I used to photograph almost every Sunday when we used to drive out there for church, before we moved to be closer to our church.  I don't get to photograph it that often anymore, since it's usually dark when we are coming home from Rochester.
We stopped there on our way home today to let Luna run around a little, for us to look at the lake, and for me to get a winter picture of the tree.

We also took a walk in our backyard when we got home.  That fence and lights are from the sewage treatment station that's behind our house (My mom commented on Facebook that it looks like a "military installation" in our backyard!). Those small trees mark the edge of our property line (the large pine and apple tree are just a few feet beyond our property).
The gently falling snow was so lovely and peaceful, and Luna has such fun bounding through the snow!

Sunday, January 22, 2012

"Pin It To Win It" Contest from Sunshyne Silverwear

One of my friends and fellow RNEST member, Erin of SunshyneSilverwear, is having a "Pin It To Win It" contest!

The prize is a $25 gift certificate good towards any of the beautiful, handmade, recycled spoon pendants in her shop!

To enter the contest, all you have to do is create an imaginative Pinterest board using any product image found on Then post a link to your boards either on the SunshyneSilverwear blog, or on the SunshyneSilverwear Facebook Fanpage.*  Be sure to check her blog post for additional details.

*(Please don't post contest entry links on this blog post.  You must post them on SunshyneSilverwear's blog/Facebook page in order for your entry to be valid)

Haven't heard of Pinterest? Really?  I know I must have mentioned it before.  Anyway, it's awesome!  (and, for the record, I  have been sponsored to say that!) Pinterest is a virtual pinboard where you can "pin" your favorite items, links, and images from the web. It sounds simple enough, but it can be addicting, so you I'll give you fair warning!  But it is a wonderful way to collect all the cool stuff you like from the web into one place.  You can also follow other people's pinboards and other people can follow yours.  People use pin boards for their home decorating, style/fashion, recipes they want to try, products they like, and wedding planning.  I, personally, have created my own Pinterest boards for fun craft projectskids' crafts for the homeschool art class I teach, and handmade gift ideas, just to name a few.  The possibilities are endless!

 To read a little more about Pinterest's possibilities, read their official 'About' page here.

One last thing...As of right now, creating Pinterest accounts are by invitation only. If you do not currently have a Pinterest account, e-mail Erin at sunshyne_silverwear(at)hotmail(dot)com and she will send you an invite so you can take part in the contest!  Happy Pinning!

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Art Lesson: Watercolor Paper Dolls

I have a friend I met at one of my early craft shows that made paper art dolls out of scraps of her watercolor paintings.  I wrote about her on the blog a couple years ago when I reviewed the Second Storie Indie Craft Show.
Anyway, I have been inspired by her work and have always wanted to try it myself (even if mine didn't turn out as beautifully abstract as hers).  And since teaching the art class, I have wanted to do it as a project with the kids.  So a few weeks ago on art class day, I got out some watercolor paper, paints, and mini brads and  had the kids make some.

(The big one on the left side is mine.) :)

Big Kids' class...

First I had them use the watercolor paints on the paper, telling them to "scribble" abstract designs with the paint.  Then I had them cut the pieces out to make the arms, legs, head, and body...then attach them with the brads.  I used a large needle to poke holes for them to more easily attach the brads, since it's difficult to poke the brads through the thicker watercolor paper.

Then the next week we did the project in the Little Kids' class... 

The kids all had a lot of fun with this project, and I think they liked making something they could play with later.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

End Piracy, Not Liberty...Protect Creativity and Innovation: Say "No!" to PIPA & SOPA

*found in the Etsy treasury "Blackout"

"Two bills before Congress, known as the Protect IP Act (PIPA) in the Senate and the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) in the House, would censor the Web and impose harmful regulations on American business. Millions of Internet users and entrepreneurs already oppose SOPA and PIPA. The Senate will begin voting on January 24th. Please let them know how you feel. Sign this petition urging Congress to vote NO on PIPA and SOPA before it is too late."- Google

Google - "End Piracy, Not Liberty"
(please take a moment to sign the petition!)

Etsy's Message - Protect Creativiy and Innovation!

Many websites have "Gone Dark" for 24 hours today in protest of these acts, including one of my favorite blogs CRAFT: (Craftzine), its parent site MAKE:

"The bills are allegedly designed to combat commercial piracy, but as we've seen in previous efforts to fight illegal content, the pirates always figure out an end-around and it's the everyday users (and in this case, likely every internet concern besides the big media companies) that would bear the brunt of these poorly crafted and overreaching bills." - MAKE:

(Huh..."poorly crafted and overreaching"...what does that sound like?  Oh I remember!...The CPSIA!  These lawmakers need to look more carefully at the laws they write and think about how they will really effect the American public)

Many other websites like Wikipedia and Reddit have "gone dark" today as well.  As Wikipedia's Blackout message reads... "Imagine a world with no free knowledge".

Monday, January 16, 2012

Ingrid has "Eye Surgery"

A friend of mine wanted to purchase one of my sweater monsters for her niece for her birthday.  She wanted a colorful, stripey monster that was "not a cyclops".  She was taken with Ingrid, but Ingrid did not meet the non-cyclops criteria.  So...I went all "monster doctor" and gave Ingrid "eye surgery" to give her 2 eyes!




Ingrid really is one of my favorite sweater monsters.  That sweater I made her from served me well.  It was a turtleneck I got in the girls' section of the thrift store.  I got about 5 monsters from it...and...alas!...there is no more of it now!  I have lots of solid color sweaters right now, but I must say my favorites are the stripey ones!  Another trip to the thrift store may be in order!  The question is...Will I be able to get my hands on some good stripey sweaters?  The current cold weather may either help or hinder my search.  Either there are lots of sweaters, since the store knows that is what people want and puts out a lot of them...or there are not a lot of sweaters because it is cold and everyone is buying them up.  I guess we'll see!

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Treasury Tuesday: Four Years of Pantone

There's a lot of buzz on the blogosphere and Pinterest about "Tangerine Tango", Pantone's Color of the Year for 2012.  I've seen pin boards on Pinterest, like this one, dedicated to pinning images with the color, including the tag #PinPantone.  Honestly, I'm not super jazzed about Tangerine Tango (nor was I about 2011's "Honeysuckle")  I guess I'm still really stuck on 2010's Turquoise.  I must be sooooo behind the times! (not really, I just really like turquoise!)  I guess I could take Tangerine Tango paired with Turquoise (I like orange and turquoise together) . It just is a bit too bright for me on its own.  
Anyway, I had the inspiration to make an Etsy Treasury of the Pantone Colors of the Year for the past 4 years (one color for each row).  This treasury includes 6 RNEST members as well!

2009 - Mimosa 
2010 - Turquoise 
2011 - Honeysuckle 
2012 - Tangerine Tango

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Crafty Pinterest Christmas Gifts

My husband and I went to visit his family for Christmas, so we had "Christmas" with my parents on New Year's Eve (they had spent Christmas in Staten Island with my brother and his fiance`).  And thanks to creating a "Wish List" board on Pinterest, I was pleasantly surprised and got just what I wanted!  This doesn't happen often, since I don't like telling people what I want for Christmas, because I hate to make anyone feel like I have an expectation. I am always content and happy with whatever gifts I am given.  I really didn't expect anyone to pay attention to my silly Pinterest wish list, but my mom and sister-in-law-to-be follow my boards and they were both paying attention! 

 My mom is always asking me what I want for Christmas, even though I'm super easy to shop she showed the wish list to my dad and he went to town shopping online!

These are 2 of my favorite Alphabet Rolling Stamp (from my parents), and a Button Punch (from Nicole). Everything I wanted was either craft or music oriented.  I also got the "Doctor Who: Series 5" soundtrack from my parents, and the album "Invisible Empires" by Sarah Groves from Nicole.  I was also pleasantly surprised when I opened the box from my brother with these hand-strengtheners inside that look like rubber donuts.  It wasn't something I'd thought of, but I was touched that he had remembered that last time he saw me I was having hand/wrist pain from having marathon sewing sessions to prepare for craft shows.

I had fun punching buttons out from random paper, including the punch's packaging (the turquoise buttons) and a Pottery Barn catalog I've been saving for cutting up for collage work (because I have the crafter's curse of feeling the need to save everything!)

I've been wanting the rolling stamp because I think it will be so much more portable and convenient to use for making price tag signs at craft shows than the alphabet stamps sets I currently have.  I'll probably still use my alphabet stamp sets on occasion, since I like the font, but this stamp is so fast and can stamp entire words/phrases instead of painstakingly stamping each letter.  I actually made tags the other day for presents for the families in my church (I gave each family a mason jar filled with homemade Hidden Valley Ranch Oyster Crackers...a Christmas tradition I do that my friends all love!)

One thing is that I do have to remember to "think backwards" when spelling words on the rolling stamp!