Not bad for a fat girl


Getting My Craft On

Today I had the opportunity to get a little crafty, and I went for it. The fantastic folks at Made By 2 Sisters organized a fund raising event unlike any other I’ve heard of. They created a giant drop-in pallet party to benefit a fellow school district employee who’s been undergoing cancer treatments.

What is a pallet party?

Good question. It’s an opportunity to make a unique sign for your home using easy techniques that guarantee even a novice will produce a great looking sign. Trust me, I’m no craft queen, but I’m pretty happy with my signs.

I’ve been watching this company from the start, and I’m pleased to have several of their signs. Some I’ve done myself, and others I purchased already made. The parties are so much fun, and the fundraising aspect is just further proof of how wonderful this company is.

Made this one today. I'll distress it more and add some twine and jingle bells to the bottom, I think.

Made this one today. I’ll distress it more and add some twine and jingle bells to the bottom, I think.

This one is also from today. It will look great with my Chanukah decorations.

This one is also from today. It will look great with my Hanukkah decorations.

This one marks my conversation to glitter (the word bonfires).

This one marks my conversation to glitter (the word bonfires).

I purchased this one as a fundraiser.

I purchased this one as a fundraiser for a different colleague a while back.

This was also a purchase. It hangs above my fireplace.

This was also a purchase. It hangs above my fireplace.

These sweet little ones sit on a bookshelf.

These sweet little ones sit on a bookshelf.

This one was custom made for me for Chanukah.

This one was custom made for me for Hanukkah.

I did this one last summer. It looks great in my kitchen.

I did this one last summer. It looks great in my kitchen.

I have a few others, but they’re packed away with the Halloween and Christmas decorations. These signs are so much fun, and I really love the look. I’m glad I had a chance to make more today, and to spend the time with friends. I hope the event raised a large sum to donate to our colleague’s cause.


The Pinterest Vortex

imagesI have sort of an on-again, off-again relationship with Pinterest. I mostly love it, but if I’m not careful it can easily get out of hand. Here are my Pinterest pros and cons, in no particular order.


1. It’s a delight for the eyes. Most of the images are beautifully photographed and just looking at them is a treat.

2. I learn things. Mostly things that I may never ever use, but if someday I need them, I’ll know where to search for the information. It will be on my “clean it, fix it, do it” board, of course. Either that or the “I ought to” board, but that one’s mainly health and fitness.

3. I actually use ideas from Pinterest in my classroom. I especially like the anchor charts that so many teachers labor over for hours and graciously share. I replicate them in my own, streamlined fashion, and use them to teach and reinforce concepts. Thank you Pinterest teachers!

4. I get inspired. After seeing 800 excellent ideas for decorating a yard for Halloween, I’m more likely to get off my duff and actually put out my lights. It may not be Pinterest worthy, but it’s done.

5. I armchair travel. I like that my feed is full of all sorts of things chosen for me by others (with my input). I love seeing beautiful gardens, stunning wild animals, and interesting architecture from around the world. It’s like flipping through a magazine of all my favorite things and never getting to the last page.

6. The quilts! I love quilts but I find myself making fewer of them, as other things have gotten in the way, and there are still only 24 hours to each day. By admiring others quilts I still feel connected to what is going on in the quilting world, without the expense of dozens of magazine subscriptions or regular shopping trips to all the wonderful quilt shops.

7. The blogs! I have found so many excellent blogs as a result of following pins to their origin. This is both a blessing and a curse. Which brings me to…

The cons

1. The blogs! There are too many and I could spend hours and hours reading them. I love them! Well, a lot of them anyway. Too bad I don’t have unlimited free time, or I would devour far more of them than I already do.

2. I get hungry. So many pins are of delicious looking food, so my tummy starts to rumble and my brain tells me I’m hungry, even if I’m not.

3. Pin envy. I try not to do it, but sometimes it happens anyway. Kitchens and bathrooms seem to be the worst offenders for me, but other things can trigger it too. At first my negativity was directed to the crazy PinLadies, who apparently had nothing but unlimited time and budgets on their hands to make everything, then gush about how their perfect family so appreciated their efforts. Really? Screw you. Then I woke up and realized that anyone posting that kind of stuff was either delusional or lying to herself or living the dream and should be congratulated, not envied. Now I just envy pretty rooms that are already done and therefore no longer involve contractors, mess, or money.

4. The time suck factor. It feels like just five minutes have gone by, but really it’s fifty-five. Then it’s hard to stop. I usually tell myself that I’ll just pin 5 more items, then I have to move on. It mostly works.

5. Virtual hoarding. That’s what I’ve heard it called, and I believe it’s true. If anyone were to ask me WHY I gather all those pins, what would I say? So I can make an anchor chart? Well, no, I can search that information in just a few seconds, I don’t need to pin it. So I can cook? As if I actually use the recipes I pin. For all the housekeeping tips? Hardly. I’m happy when I get around to running the vacuum. So why? I don’t know, and I don’t care. I just like them. Spoken like a true hoarder.

Still, I stand by my earlier claim. I mostly love Pinterest, and it mostly loves me back. Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m off to search up some dessert pins.



Throwback Thursday – Stitchery

I’ve loved to work with fibers and textiles for as long as I can remember. When I was in second grade I made a challah cover out of purple felt. I think my mother may still have that project, somewhere. Over the years I’ve tried my hand at lots of different types of stitchery projects, and some I’ve truly loved. Here’s a trip down memory lane via needle and thread (or yarn or floss or something)

1. Crewel embroidery. I was a child of the seventies and one year for my birthday I received a crewel embroidery kit full of burnt orange and avocado green threads along with a giant embroidery needle. I think I made a mushroom or something.

2. Needlepoint. At summer camp we would make our own designs on the canvas, then tape up the raw edges with masking tape and go to town. I remember one particular bargello (zig-zag) pattern that I especially enjoyed.

3. Macrame. So maybe this doesn’t really belong in this category, but it is made with fibers. I made dozens of tiny twisted bracelets at summer camp over the years.

4. Stamped Cross Stitch. You just follow the lines printed on the fabric. What could be easier? Still, I wasn’t super impressed with the finished products. My mom still has her stamped cross stitch challah cover, though.

5. Counted Cross Stitch. Now this was a pastime I loved. I stitched on linen, I stitched on cotton, and I stitched on baby clothes. I found it soothing and I liked the end product, especially old fashioned looking samplers.

6. Garment Sewing. I learned to sew in seventh grade Home Economics class. Next to typing and junior year English,  it was the most useful class in school. I made two prom dresses, a velvet and tafetta gown for a ball, children’s clothing for my little cousin, and numerous other items.

7. Rug hooking. Again I’m not sure this really counts, but I did it. I did one project, and I found it tedious. Of course it was an ugly pattern with ugly yarn, not the type of beautiful project that crafters make these days.

8. Knitting. I tried. Really, I did. So not my thing.

9. Quilting. My love. I don’t do nearly as much of it as I would like, but I have made hundreds of quilts over the last couple of decades, and I adore my fabrics, patterns, and volumes of quilting books and magazines. By the way, I designed the Bubble Fish pattern in the photo above. It ran in Quiltmaker Magazine in 1995, and they made it into the kit you see above. I never actually sewed that quilt, I just drew it out on graph paper and mailed it in (remember mailing?). It won their ongoing design contest, and the rest is history.