Big Summer Potluck Spreads

Back in August 2010 I attended the Big Summer Potluck. The event was mere days after I learned of my pregnancy. So soon, in fact, that I hadn’t yet told my family (aside from my husband) and the morning sickness wasn’t in full swing. Both of those things changed within a week.

The “morning” sickness lasted all day and night, and for basically the entire autumn I felt ill and weak. I actually lost weight in the beginning of my pregnancy (oh, how that has changed). My husband and I decided to be very frugal and thrifty, preferring to buy used baby things when we could, rather than register for a bunch of brand new stuff and have our friends and family spend a lot of money. So I spent my sickly autumn scouring craigslist and driving all over the Philadelphia area to purchase lightly used furniture and other baby goods. It’s nice to be thrifty, and it’s even nicer to save things from a landfill and help prevent new products from being produced. More about our baby thrifting to come in a future post.

So between the mad dash to gather all of our necessary baby supplies and

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My Craft Station

10 days ago I took this picture. I was in my crafting/storage/laundry room, working on some necklaces for my Etsy store. I made myself a lunch of blackberries, cherries, and grapes, and a huge cup of coffee. I was listening to NPR while I worked, I was content, and I thought I should snap a shot of the gorgeous colors. That blue surface is my cutting mat. My nice, clean, devoid of clutter cutting mat.

The next day I decided that my crafting/storage/laundry room just had too much stuff in it for me to continue to be productive. So I set out to solve the problem. I removed everything that was in the room, threw away half, and resolved to put the rest back in a more organized and accessible manner.

I spent the better part of last week trying to accomplish that goal. I assembled furniture, unpacked and repacked tons of stuff, threw away a mountain of papers and boxes, and sneezed 2,000 times from all of the dust.

The room I live in is complete, but my craft station looks like this:

I don’t yet know what to do with the water pump, I don’t have anywhere useful

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Old Into New

My mother-in-law gave me a gift card to JoAnn, along with a coupon for 40% off an item. I decided it was the perfect opportunity to get some jewelry making supplies.

For years I’ve been collecting odds and ends that I’ve intended to make into necklaces, bracelets, hair clips, and such. Today I went through my jewelry box, and took out everything that had been saved for that purpose. I also took old jewelry that I don’t really wear anymore, so that I may turn that into new things as well.

I’ll need to get some more tools, and I certainly need some wire. Today, though, was a day of cleaning out, organizing, and taking apart. I broke down a lot of pieces into their individual parts, and next week I’ll set to the task of putting things together in new ways.

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More Felted Handbags

It’s Mother’s Day!

This bag is for my mother-in-law, Paula. She is hands-down the coolest lady you could ever have as an in-law. She is smart, hilarious, crafty, talented, creative, and her cooking blows mine out of the water.

I consider myself extremely lucky to have Paula as a part of my life.

This bag is for my mom, Kathie. She’s witty, intelligent, funny, caring, responsible, beautiful, and incredibly generous.

The button is special, because she’s married to a sailor.

This bag is for my sister. She’s not a mom, thankfully, she’s only 23. I could hang on to it for 6 weeks until her birthday, but If I see her before then I’ll probably just give it to her.

I’m very impatient, you see, when it comes to gift giving. I don’t think my husband and I have successfully waited for Christmas or a birthday once since we met 8 years ago. This past year we didn’t even wait until “Christmas Eve Eve” as we usually do. I think we gave our gifts to each other on December 7th.

I don’t know who this one is for. I might give my sister a choice as to which one she

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Creating Gifts

I’ve been busy making bags, fixing bags, embellishing bags, and working on my sewing skills. Mother’s day is tomorrow and I have gifts for my mom and my mother-in-law. I’ve always believed that giving something handmade is far better than giving something purchased.

When I was a kid I would draw on tissues with washable marker, then either splash them with or quickly dunk them in water. The ink would run all over the place, the colors would mix, and I’d end up with a multicolored tissue that could double as abstract art. I called these things “gleeches” (Why? Because I was 7.) and I’d use them to wrap gifts or stuff into gift bags. In case you were wondering, tissues don’t make good wrapping paper, even if they’re beautiful. And by beautiful, I mean beautiful through the eyes of a 7-year-old child, which could actually mean ugly.

As a pre-teen, I would make and give friendship bracelets to everyone I knew. That evolved into anklets, necklaces, headbands, chokers, rings – basically knotted string or gimp for every appendage possible. Keychains, too. I loved making keychains. I would take apart jewelry that I got from a kiosk my aunt owned

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