Category Archives: Crafting

Multi-tasking and paper making

I Knit this sweater from re-cycled yarn. The yarn is a denim-ish man’s sweater that I un-knit and reknit into a pullover. I washed it and hung it on the line to “block” it. While I was doing that I….Was cooking dinner and cutting up veggies to store in the freezer for future meals. This saves tons of time. These are 2 of my hardest working “maids” and time savers. Not only do they save time, they save money, and to be honest what is better that a hot soup and warm fresh bread??? Next, while I was working in the kitchen I had an egg carton that I was re-purposing…… into homemade card-stock for more business cards.I first tore it up into small pieces, soaked it in water then with my food processor I  added more water and made a pulpy mix. (make it more soupy than in this photo) Then I poured and formed it into home made screens (mesh fabric in an embroidery hoop) to create homemade paper.Yucky looking isn’t it. I had enough to make two screens and one shortbread form.

I put them outside in the sun to dry…along with my sweater and lovely clothes pin holder….more sheets and towels on the line. Back upstairs to another 6 dozen chef coats to be altered and embroidered….. and (two days later) home made paper is ready…. With my sizzix and die cut I have these ready to make into my next batch of business cards…. Look how cool the shortbread mold turned out as paper…. I plan on cutting the pieces and stamping the other side and have triangular cards… Here’s a close-up

So, this weekend I have to tie in ends of yarn on  my husband birthday socks….and make two more birthday hats, bake valentines cookies for my son’s school, Boys Scouts pancake breakfast, date night and….. Wow what a week! phew!

Have a great weekend! Stay warm

Business cards

I was on a roll, I had all the paper and supplies out while making cards, so I just made these too.

On the computer I created a logo like the stamp I want to have made someday…I printed it out on several different sheets of colored card stock.I cut them into 3.5″ strips and added a decorative stitch to the bottom edge.Last step.. cut them again to make them measure 2″.

Here are my two styles…

Valentines Cards

I have some cards to make and mail out today and while I was at it I started making some valentines cards. I had scraps of lace given to me because Janice couldn’t throw the scraps out and knew I would do something with them. And… I did!

Cut Card stock to a card size. Sew strips of lace to the end of card. Gather a length of lace and pull into a circle, glue on the card and add a button to the center… I’m not a fan of glue… ick.. I always make a mess, so I sew on my gathered lace and button.

Zero Waste re-purposing Knit scraps

I had an entire Suitcase full of knit scraps leftover from my T-Shirt workshops this fall. I needed the suitcase for this week so I had to  clean it out.First quick and easy project was to cut a yard of fabric into 4 towel sizes, so approximately any scrap that was about 18×23″ (mine were actually about 20×30″) because I was just using pieces not full yards. I added strip of about 3″ of another knit for decoration.

Then I made a stack of wash cloths and plan on hand stitching two colors together around the edges using a decorative stitch of some sort. These are cut approximately 9” square, a another stack were cut 6″ squares.  I am using up all these scraps up and look at all these colorful new washclothes I’ll have!!

All the tiny scraps I cut a bit smaller and am storing in a bag until I have enough scraps to stuff the insides of  a new quilted dog bed. I needed some stuffing to finish the sample for my class on Saturday so in they went…

But my favorite and the one I can’t get back to photograph is the dog bone I made of strips of random sizes and knotted once.

She was even taking her nap with it..

I was reading the Natalie Chanin Blog this weekend and she has a post on her companies “Zero waste plan.” She also has a wonderful offer on a box of her glorious organic knit scraps… just in case you don’t have a suitcase full of them.

Felted Garland

So I went on a date last night with my Husband and we were strolling around Market Commons which is a lovely outside mall-ish quaint shops area. Anyway, there is an Anthropology store, so  naturally I have to investigate all the wonderful items! One item I liked was a felted garland made of circles in various colors of felt and pretty pricey.

Today… out came a pile of sweater pieces and my Sizzix!I have a star shape die and how wonderful is that???

At my sewing machine I stitched one star after another in no particular order….

Since I haven’t put the tree up yet, my keylime tree is getting decorated.

I think I might add a few of the flat sequins to add a bit of sparkle…. I just wished the Keylime tree could be Christmas tree this year….

Is it a pillow??

You may think this a pillow…..Looks, like a pillow…..could it be something else… possibly another place to store your stash of … say…rolled up sweatshirt fabric…. 🙂

Supplies I used:

fabric for base: 25″ square

50″ of trim to go down each side

I embroidered”Silent Night” in a pretty script font, centered on the base fabric. Stitch the trim down each side leaving @ 5″ for the ends and small casing. Sew the long seam into a tube. On each end sew a small-ish casing about 1/2 ” and leave and opening to thread a ribbon through to pull the roll together.Close one side/end then,I rolled up the stash fabric into a tube to fit the pillow and stuffed it in. Pull closed the open end and tuck in the ribbon ends…

Shhh… don’t tell!;_)


It’s that time of year and there is a crispness in the air….

Fall decorations!

I love fall and pumpkins and this is a simple sweater to Pumpkin craft tutorial.

1. Thrift around for a wool orange sweater to felt. I happen to find a dream 100% cashmere, albeit small moth holes, for a $1!!!Sew up the sides to the neckline

Cut off sleeves

With a hand needle and some yarn or floss or beading twine in my case, sew  a running stitch to pull the bottom closed. I have a hefty bottom seam because I found two moth holes near the bottom and I want to hide them.

Cinch the bottom closed, turn inside out and stuff . I used lots of the left over wool scraps and serger shreds from my serger catch-it bag. I did use some poly fill to “fill in” and smooth out the lumps.

I found the only green wool/felt scraps I had and made two leaves and added a running stitch up the middle to create a vein. I wish I had a darker green for the leaves, but I haven’t found a green wool sweater that I can felt. Oh well!

I rolled up a scrap of black sweater felt left over from another project to make a stem.

I cinched up the neck opening like the bottom and added the stem to the center attaching it with needle and thread. Then I added the leaves.

My cluster of fabric pumpkins. Please note the pumpkin with the face.  Two years ago my youngest son digitized the face and sewed the pumpkin together on my treadle machine. He stuffed it with the plastic grocery bags and did not close the opening, so you could use the bags or store more in it!                                    Pretty clever kid!


I’m not a huge fan of burlap, I’ve always loved Linen way way better. This summer my sister, Peggy pushed me into to buying some that was on super sale in Indiana. I have to admit burlap is way way cheaper than linen, and has lots of good crafting qualities…

These are two of the pillows I screen-printed. The burlap is more open weave so the screen printing isn’t as sharp.. but I like it.

When I was at the French Flea market I saw a lot of burlap bags/fabric used in decorating. Chair cushions slipcovers, drapes, pillows… and my stool

I even saw curtains made with Burlap… hummm…. anyway

Here is a few more ways I’m using Burlap around my home…

Instead of buying more of the wire-basket planting stuff, I reused the oyster bag just wash the oyster bag first and leave it out on the clothes line for a week or two to make sure the smell is gone….



Screenprinting part 2

After attempting to teaching myself screenprinting, I needed to remind myself of the above advice. ( I saw this on a poster downtown and laughed… I sort of copied the look of the lettering with fonts I had on my computer.)

I have learned a lot of YuDu Do’s and Don’ts, which I will share:

Go ahead and order from the screen coating kit. This is the cheapest way to use emulsion. The two per-pack sheets even with the 40% off coupon is a waste. You will get screen fails and coating your own screens at about .25 versus the coupon cost of $6.oo per screen is huge savings.

Second go to a teachers supply store or and order a 100 sheet pack of the blank transfer sheets.***The Blank Transparency has to work in an injet printer.*** Go to:

This is also a savings on making your artwork. The Yudu 5 pack with coupon was about $8.00 and the 100 pack with shipping was under $36.00

With the savings of just the above I feel I am more creative and don’t worry about trying something and possibly failing. Which I have. I wanted to print an “old-timey” calendar dish cloth. I wanted to embroider over the printed floral border and add a crocheted edging… I can see what I want, but I  failed on the first try making the screen. I’m not giving up, just re-thinking…..I have to get the numbers and black lines bolder. The emulsion didn’t take. I have been reading and the 110 mesh yudu screens are sort of the lower end of screen mesh. There is a 220 mesh screen made for the Yudu, and I will save my pennies for that, but until then I need to figure out how to ‘darken” my transfer. The above photo is the paper print out so you could see.

I am right now working on a very “Paris” design to put on a pillow. The screen is in the machine drying right now. We live in a very humid climate and drying time is essential and has taken quite awhile. So I am practicing patience…

In the mean time I am monogramming all the back-to school items for kids. I have a few teams with sports bags and hoodies, lunch-boxes and backpacks non-stop all week long all needing identification of some sort. Busy Busy week and this weekend I have had several calls already with last minute monogramming emergencies. So I can wait for my screen to dry properly.


For my birthday I was given (and picked it out too) a YuDo screen-print package set . It was on sale for $99.00 at Michaels. I have looked at these machines for some time now and it was too pricey at 299.00 so I never got one.

Anyway, I have one now. There are pros and cons to the Yudo and for what I want to do the YuDo package was the cleanest,cheapest and easiest for screen-printing. With the kit I got everything for making two screens.

This is my first screen. I wanted something clean and simple for my first try. Yesterday was perfect as it was a dark and raining day, and I didn’t want to go anywhere. Plus, my teenage Daughter was already at the mall (without me…yippeee!) so my youngest and I played with my new toy.

I wanted to try this out on scrap fabric… and I think I made things a bit harder for us on our first try, because this fabric had seams and it wasn’t actually perfectly flat on the platen board. so …

so my first try … a few boo-boos

Here’s what I learned.

Set the Yudo machine on a lower table (mine was on the kitchen counter top) and I sort of had to tippy-toe to reach and I think I jiggled the machine, thus the blobs of ink .

Don’t be afraid to push the screen all the way down onto the fabric. I was trying not to push or maybe stretch the screen? I thought using a lighter hand… wrong!

STILL not perfect and I learned a few more things:

The lower table or counter you set the YuDo onto should not roll…..

The fabric should be flat without seams

And there is a paper backing on the platen board which I did not see… pull that off and the platen will now have a sticky surface which holds the fabric firm. I replaced the paper backing so as too keep that surface clean and reusable.

 Perfect this time….

Oh the possibilities.

Now, that I have the basic idea on how to do the screen-printing I will investigate how to make the screens cheaper. I will save my Michaels coupons, but the emulsion sheets are expensive and so are the mesh boards so I may have to figure out how to make a screen for this machine  it looks like the liquid emulsion maybe the way to go. All in all I am super happy with my little kit. I can’t wait to start on my idea for Christmas gifts. I’ll post more on that at a later date.