Friday, August 22, 2014

Another quote to share

Tales from a happy house.: About Me: ..."learning from my mistakes and trying my best as I go"
I hope that I remember this from Gillian, as I embrace the challenges and celebrations of life.

I love reading these quotes. So true.

GraceLinBlog: fortune cookie friday: "Three things cannot be long hidden: the sun, the moon, and the truth." - Buddha

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Mandala update

I've continued to use up my yarn by crocheting mandalas, discovering different patterns and color combinations.  My next step is to find a layout to display them.

I've been waiting to see how Lucy at Attic24 will be displaying all the mandalas she has received (as of today, she has loaded photos of 1,190 on her pinterest board. Wow!) at Yarndale 2014.  Will she hang them?  Will she attach them to the wall(s)?  Will the cover the workshop tables?  Will they be part of the outdoor yarn bombing?

For now, I am planning to attach my mandalas to this artist's canvas and fill in the extra spaces with some sort of crocheted flowers.  Do you have any suggestions?

I hope you are happily crafting too!

Monday, August 18, 2014

On my Wall

"On my Wall" for today is by another of my favorite artists, my Aunt Donna.  She painted this when she found out I was engaged, so I would have something to hang in my new home.  This is the third house it has hung in.  I love the colors and her mixture of watercolors and pastels.

Aunt Donna was a wonderful artist, crafter, mom, and listener.  We had lovely discussions about my hopes for my daughter and understanding how to raise my son (She had four sons and I came from a family of daughters).  She frequently told me, "Find what you think and feel.  You're smart and can make the right decision."  This is in my thoughts for many aspects of my life ... marriage, parenthood, careers, where to live, how to find something to enjoy.  Missing you Auntie Donna.   Thanks for all the inspiration.

Monday, August 11, 2014

On My Wall 8/11/14

This is another piece by my daughter.  She made this in her high school ceramics class.  She was inspired by Spring and chose a photograph of cherry blossoms by a lake.  This piece inspires me to use unusual color choices.

Friday, August 8, 2014

upcycling for my garden

In the spirit of Finish-it-Friday,  I completed a project for my garden.  I wanted to make a few shiny accents to place along my garden path, to add some interest and distract from my transitioning plants and plants thinning at the end of their season.  I saw a bunch of upcycling projects on pinterest.  I like the mosaic gazing balls, the glass totems and the colorful hanging pendants and chandeliers.  You can see my inspirations here 

I decided to use an old ceramic vase, some spray paint, heavy duty glue and pennies.  Simple materials, simple project.  Hahaha!  You may have seen the below photo in Sunday Snippets post, months ago.  I used E6000 glue to adhere the pennies to my painted vase.  That went so slowly that I only completed a few rows and stopped working on the project.

I had used the liquid glue, thinking that it would be able to stand up to all the moisture in the garden.  I switched to using my glue gun, to speed the process along and finish.  Let's hope it holds!

I'm glad that this one is completed.  I have a couple of other ceramic vases that need to be recycled and a bunch of leftover pennies, so I hope to make more of these.  

I guess the lesson for today is do what it takes to get the project done.  What projects have you recently completed?  Please share your ideas with me.

Happy crafting and have a wonderful weekend.

Thursday, August 7, 2014


I'm a follower of the blog Attic24.  Last year, Lucy was one of the hosts of Yarndale, a wonderful gathering of vendors, artists, crafters and fans of the fiber world.  Her big project was yarn bombing the neighborhood, with beautiful buntings, coverings and hanging decorations.  This year, she is decorating for the event with mandalas.  I was inspired by her project, and am making mandalas to use my leftover yarns.

I started by using Lucy's tutorial for her mandala wheel.  You can find the pattern at

Lucy also linked to some of her favorite patterns.  I loved the little spring mandala, found here

I made some other mandalas, without a pattern.  You can find a lot of ideas on pinterest, or you can just start crocheting rounds and see where the patterns and colors take you.

I'm using up the acrylics and cottons from my yarn stash, dreaming of making some sort of colorful wall hanging.  For now, the completed mandalas are resting in a basket.  I would love for you to leave me any suggestions in the comment section.  And, please check back for my mandala updates.

Happy crafting!

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

using up yarn

One of my challenges in my office is organizing all of the stuff from my crafting.  While I enjoy corralling the items into pretty boxes and neatly displayed, the real reason for having the stuff is to craft.  So, I am trying to pare down my stash by getting rid of what I don't see myself using in the immediate future (my son sold most of the items at his yard sale and the rest was donated to local schools and thrift shops) and by making myself actually craft.

First on my list was tackling my yarn.  I have a bunch of yarn leftover from young children's projects (parts of costumes/holiday decorations, weaving, pompoms etc) and yarn given to me when my mom was helping friends clean out their stashes.  I'm looking forward to using the cottons, wools and mohairs, but the acrylic is really bright and scratchy.  I was planning to give the acrylics to the preschool my kids attended, but my hoarding inclinations kicked in and I pulled the yarns from the donation piles.

So, I had to find some way to justify keeping those bright, scratchy yarns.  I decided to start making Christmas ornaments.  Yes, it's ridiculous to be thinking of wintery projects while enjoying the heat of summer.  But, I had to get that yarn out of my office and I seem to have a lot of down-time while waiting to pick my kids up from their summer activities and while I'm sitting at day-long swim meets (I've logged 7 so far this summer).

I wanted to create stuffed ornaments, so I used the body section of this pattern:
This pattern is quite easy to follow.   I think I want to try the whole pattern for Easter decorations.

I also made some coasters, for my office and my daughter's desk.  They were free form, not symmetrical but colorful and functional.

So, I made a dent in my yarn stash.  I saw mandala patterns on and on pinterest.  I hope to carve out time to try those and create something for my wall.  Maybe that will make an even bigger dent in the stash.

Happy crafting!

Monday, August 4, 2014

On My Wall

I start my week by reading Grace Lin's on my desk monday posts.  I like to see what she's reading, projects she working on, what inspires her, and what products she's using.

My intention for On My Wall is to show what I see, while I'm sitting at my desk.  I sit at my desk for a variety of activities..working at home, bill paying, catching up on TV shows on the internet, and of course, crafting.  I am trying to rotate what I have hanging (my office is small and I have very little wall space) and what I keep on my horizontal surfaces.

Today's piece is by one of my favorite artists, my daughter.  She made this line drawing in her middle school art class.  Actually, this is a photocopy of the original (my wall faces a window and I didn't want to fade the original).  I really like that she used different shapes and patterns for the background.

I hope you enjoy seeing what I see.

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

More tricks to get me to blog

I've signed up for another blog challenge/party, in an attempt to more regularly blog post.  I have no trouble reading my favorite blogs, nor do I have any problem starting new projects.  But, finishing the projects and sharing the ideas isn't happening as regularly or frequently as I would like.  So, let's see how this blog party influences me.

The party is named 2014 Ultimate Blog Party.  This is the 8th annual event and it sounds like a fun one.  The party is a week long (sounds much more doable than the usual month long challenges). You can read about it at

Cross your fingers for my participation.  Do you have any tricks for motivating yourself?

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Appreciation 2/25/14

I appreciate Lauren's patience, Chris' strategy and Mitchell's work ethic.

Monday, February 24, 2014

Appreciation 2/24/14

I appreciate Chris' laugh, Lauren's frankness, and the life Mitchell has provided for us.

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Appreciation 2/23/14

I appreciate Christopher's laugh, Lauren's love of reading, Mitchell's goofiness, and blogging parties.

Monday, February 17, 2014

Appreciation 2/17/14

I appreciate all the driving Mitchell did this weekend, Christopher tagging along during REALLY long days, Lauren overcoming some really big challenges.

Saturday, February 15, 2014

Appreciation 2/15/14

I appreciate how fun other parents can make a volunteering experience.

Friday, February 14, 2014

Appreciation 2/14/14

I appreciate Lauren's dedication to her sport, Chris' attention to his studies, Mitchell's commitment to our family, and lovely conversations with our friends.

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Appreciation 2/4/14

I appreciate Chris's determination, Lauren's scholarship, Mitchell's persistence, and bloggers' recipes.

Monday, February 3, 2014

Appreciation 2/3/14

I appreciate Chris trying to improve his behavior, Lauren taking care of herself, Mitchell supervising my car repairs.

Sunday, February 2, 2014

Appreciation 2/2/14

I appreciate Chris learning to cook, Lauren loving to read and Mitchell helping others to develop themselves.

Saturday, February 1, 2014

Appreciation 2/1/14

I appreciate Chris's commitment, Lauren's helping, Mitchell's humor, the little boy's integrity, a neighbor's honesty, and the woman's fairness and patience.

Noting Apprciation

Last year, I kept a journal of daily appreciations and I decided to try it again this month.  It reminded me of the petal and thorn exercise my kids did in kindergarten.  Would any of you like to join me?

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Lady Bug Invitation

In the spirit of Throwback Thursday,  I'm sharing an invitation I made for my daughter's fourth birthday party.

I had seen a tutorial on Martha Stewart's television show (yes, I've been crafting that long) and I had to incorporate it in my party planning. I searched the web to find the video, but I think the tutorial is so old that it's buried too deep for my patience. 

Here's what I remember:  MS showed how to make a continuous, concentric pattern and cut the lacy pattern using an exacto knife.  She attached a string to the middle of the lacy design and glued the outer edge to a card front.

So, here's my card front.

You can sort of see circles cut into the red paper with the polka dots.  Those are the lacy design I cut with my exacto knife.  I attached a lady bug sticker, so the invitees would pull the string.  A couple of them didn't pull the string, but after a couple of days sitting upright, the weight of the sticker gave a tug at the paper cuts and revealed the "little LADY"..

The inside had the party details

This invitation was really fun to make.  I'm glad that I attached a photo of the "little LADY", as it's a great memory of her at the tender age of four.  I miss those cheeks.

Happy Thursday!  Thanks for stopping by.