Confessions of a Craftaholic

Tag: DMC Corp.

Day 240: Make an Embroidered Card


“It is better to conquer yourself than to win a thousand battles. Then the victory is yours. It cannot be taken from you, not by angels or by demons, heaven or hell.” -The Buddha

Woah, man. Seriously, what does it mean to conquer yourself? If I think of conquering myself, I think of my “wrongdoings” or things I’d like to fix. You know? Like my being a spender instead of a saver, or my messy tendencies. Or my slight bossiness. You know? I’m talking about those things that just get in the way of you being….a better you. You know?

It is a HARD, HARD job. It is so difficult to conquer yourself. Maybe it would be easier if I lived in the hills of Montezuma, just me and my art supplies and an electric outlet. Right? Then it would be so easy to just conquer yourself. But not really. You are still you, no matter how far you run away. You are still going to hear the doubt unless you kill that voice, and you will still be tempted to overspend, no matter how far away you are, unless you work through the reason behind the overspending.

I have no answers. What I do know is that we can remove the excess garbage from our lives, if we do want to get to the road of self discovery, to the road of conquering your self.

Today, I have a fun and free pattern, for a cool embroidered card I made! Embroidering is so much fun with DMC Threads and some great cardstock from Papertrey ink. And it’s easy peasy! Here’s the pattern:

And here’s what I did with it:

You like it? Oh, this is just the beginning. I am working on another one at the moment.  Embroidering on paper is really not that much different than embroidering on fabric, really.

I love love love this so much! It was so much fun!

Day 232: Fairy Wish Book & Stitch-A-Long Update


“If one assumes a humble attitude, one’s own good qualities will increase.”

-The Dalai Lama

Humility is not a very common  thing here in New York City. In fact, it almost seems as if one must be arrogant, just to survive in this wretched city. But…if we all strive to just be who were are, and not try to live up to other people’s expectations, we can find ourselves with a humility that doesn’t mean people walk all over us. It means you know who you are, and you are secure in that. There is no need to inflate yourself. It only makes you look unattractive, and unappealing. With a humble attitude, others can see who you really are, who you strive to be.

Today, I made another book. I know, I know. As a designer for DMC Threads, I should be stitching like mad. But I can’t help it, I am on a roll with these books.

Cool, right? I used my sizzix die cut to make the chipboard pages, and a prima flower on the cover, with some butterflies cut from a vintage stack of playing cards. The paper doll fairy is also vintage. The letters are from Thickers, and they are hand glittered.

I have said to people before that I love making these books, although I don’t keep pictures in them too much. Number one because I keep my pics in a regular album, and Number two because I don’t want to take away from the photo. So I’m trying different things. This book is a mini sketch book. It has little blank spaces for drawing or sketching your wishes, or things you are in need or want of, like a new job, bigger apartment, or a better wardrobe.

The fairies inside bring you inspiration, and help your wishes come true.

More butterflies. I really have been on a butterfly kick.

Anyway, so that’s that. I forgot to mention that I used my Bind it all machine also. I love that thing.

Here’s a photo update on the “Count Your Blessings” stitch a long:

The Lion’s Den is a club where I met my husband for the first time. He played there, with a band he was in at the time.

The womyn symbol is because I am blessed to live in a country where womyn have reproductive rights, and the right to speak out.

I knit to keep myself sane. ‘

I am blessed by Art, and it blesses me back. And I love New York City, most of the time anyway. I know the square came out crooked. Ohwell. I don’t think it matters, do you?

So that’s all, so far. I’m plugging away. As always, I used DMC Threads.

I’m also starting a cool project today that I am so excited about. More on that tomorow. Suffice to say that it involves bingo chipboard cards,  unstretched canvas, embroidery thread, and paint.

The Craftaholic

Day 229: A Bird in a Cage


“The way is not in the sky. The way is in the heart.” -The Buddha

My husband is always telling me that I’ve got my head in the clouds. I have an aquarius rising, so he’s probably right. It’ nice to dream and to be positive, and happy go lucky at times. It’s nice to not worry. But we must keep our head above water, earth grounded, and centered, so we can listen to our hearts. Listening comes from being quiet and still, not from chattering on and on and on. So be quiet and listen to your heart, and do as it instructs.

Today, I finished a project I have been working on for a while. It’s another chunky book, but this one is a book that encases a poem I wrote years ago, entitled “Little Bird”.

So this book is entitled after the poem, “Beautiful bird”.

Here is the bird that sits inside. It’s embroidered felt, using DMC Threads. The Branch is from a sizzix die that is painted with copic markers. And the paper is from a friend, from a store here in NYC, although the friend who gave me the paper went nuts (litterally) so I have no idea how to find this beautiful paper again. Oh and I forgot to mention that the felt flowers are from K & Co. and the Chipboard album is from Maya Road.

Like it? Oh yeah, here’s the poem:
Beautiful Bird
Little Bird, lift up your eyes
and your heart to me
sadness lingers only a minute
Little bird, take your wings
and fly
Happiness is the song you sing
your song
lifts my spirits
my pain, it soothes
sing a song for me
Beautiful little bird
Beautiful bird
stick your head in the water
dorwn yoruself in pain
the sun still shines and
the flowers still bloom
Beautiful Bird
now missing from your tree
fly to me
sing to me
a song of
Beautiful Bird
my heart bled once, in pain
Beautiful Birds sang to me a song that healed my soul
Well, what do you think? I’m still working on the stitch a long, and also a little photo album. Every year my husband and I go to Coney Island and get our pictures taken in those little old fashioned booths. So I’m making an album for them.
The Craftaholic

Day 218: Embroidered Skull Pin Cushion


“True enlightenment is nothing but the nature of one’s own self being fully realized.”

-The Dalai Lama

So what does this mean? It’s what I’m always telling you-you must listen to yourself. Listen to who you are on the inside.

Being enlightened is when you have state of Nirvana. What is Nirvana? It means the state of absolute peace and happiness. How can you reach this state, but by searching within yourself, and discovering who you are? This doesn’t mean finding out that you actually like to knit or draw or whatever. Your true self goes beyond likes and dislikes. Your true self, speaking as an artist (to me) is the feeling you get when you are creating in a frenzy, and are super inspired, creating, and almost feel one with what you’re doing. That’s what it is. That amazing feeling that nothing else matters. That amazing feeling of happiness and peace. How do you reach for it, but by removing the negative things in your life?

Sometimes removing the things that are negative can be a hard first step. I have to confess I actually deleted someone from my facebook friends. Now, before you start wondering why, I have to tell you. This person, I knew for almost three years, and I know more about Emma from DMC than I do her, and I haven’t known Emma for more than a few months, at best, via email.

I don’t like feeling like I have to work to be someone’s friend. I want to just sit down with you, and act crazy, and hope that you will understand and listen. I’m not looking for marriage. But it seems like some people just look for different levels of friendship. And this person, truly was looking for  a shallow friend who had nothing to say but nice chirpy things all the time, and attempted to be June Cleaver. That, and she never really pursued me. I always was the one to call, to see how she was…months would pass and I’d see her little status updates and pictures with her other friends.

While I love being a mom and staying home, I do not subscribe to being  June Cleaver. I want to be a mixture of Frida Khalo, Sylvia Plath, Julia Child, and Janis Joplin. So I realized that this person truly did not want to be bothered with me. So what should I do, keep her on my FB friends so her little status updates can bother and annoy me? I just deleted her. I mean, if you don’t want to be my friend you don’t have to.

You know? If you read my blog enough, you know that friendship is something that bothers me. So that’s why I have had to remove the things that bring me negative feelings. Not that I’m going to remove subway trains, shitty customer service people, and telemarkerters out of my life. Those are things we must deal with in life with compassion.

I mean that I don’t need to expect the world to bring me happiness. I did that for too long-thought that the world had to shift in it’s conditions in order to make me feel at peace and happy. But no. I can make my own happiness and my own success. So that’s what I’m going to do.

Today’s crafty thing is a cute pin cushion! A very cute skull pin cushion.

Cute, right? This is from a rubber stamp by Stampin Up, called “Just Jawing”.  It’s easy. I used a pigment ink pad, to stamp onto the felt fabric itself, thus creating a stitch pattern. I love this method alot, because you can get really complex if you want to.

Anyway, I realize that Suzy-Skeleton does not have a nose. I just plain forgot, that’s all. But this little thing is easy peasy! As always, I used DMC Threads for embroidery.

What else? I don’t mean to brag, but does my daughter not look super cute?

We went out today, because it was a beautiful day in Brooklyn, NY today.

I forgot I also made this little garland, with a die cut that I got recently for my big shot. I don’t know what I’ll use this for. The Thread is this fun sparkling thread by DMC Threads. It’s sparkling embroidery thread! Cool, right?

What else? Not much more to say. I hope you like my little pin cushion! Tomorow, I’m digging up an old stamp my husband made.

Day 217: A Felt Embroidered Cupcake

“Even death is not to be feared by one who has lived wisely.” -The Buddha

I have decided that I want to continue the quotes every day for a year, but mix it up a bit. I normally just use the quotes from the Dalai Lama, but you know what….I’m starting to come up dry lately, after using a different one of his quotes every day for over 200 days. So from now on, it’ll be The Buddha and the Dalai Lama every day.

So this that the Buddha is talking about , just means we must live our lives to the fullest. Right? I mean, it doesn’t mean you have to be UBER impulsive, spending all your money on art supplies and traveling the world (although really, that does sound grand). When you’ve lived a good positive life, you have nothing to fear. You have no death to fear, no judgement. Because you know that you’ve lived the best life you can, for yourself and the world around you.

Live a positive life. Be happy. Don’t poo poo on another person’s happiness.  Choose today to go beyond the comfort of your own little circle, and go beyond that. Go beyond yourself. That’s what enlightment is, really. The whole idea of reaching Nirvana, to me, means going beyond yourself and your ego and all the things that you THINK make up you.

What you are is pure spirit, and nothing else. The whole point of buddhism, is for you to get in touch with that side of you. So…maybe if you remove the negative distractions in your life, you will be able to see the good things in your life, you will be able to create your happiness. And then this perhaps, will make your life a little bit better.

Today, there is a fun crafty how to.

I made a half a dozen little cupcakes. They are so cute!  I made them out of the Eco-Fi felt, with DMC Embroidery Threads and Tapestry Wool.

If you don’t know how to draw very well, or normally draw strange and abstract things, never fear.

All you need to make your template is white watercolor paper, a good sized rubber stamp, a black ink pad and scissors.

I used the stamp, “Simple Birthday Thanks” by Stampin up, because it’s a good sized rubber stamp, and it’s a cute cupcake. But someone needs to tell those stampin up people to take the lettering off the stamp. I think the cupcake is just fine without it. Don’t you?

Anyhow, stamp the image onto watercolor paper. I did this so that when you use it as a template, it can be nice and sturdy, as watercolor paper is.

Anyway, cut out all the pieces, and then cut out the pieces with felt.

You get something like this. Although it is kinda cool all by itself, I wanted a little embroidery into it.

It’s cool, right? I used DMC Embroidery threads on this beautiful…aplique, I guess? I wanted to make it a luggage tag, but then I realized I don’t really travel much. So I’m keeping it as an applique for the future jean jacket that I’m getting my daughter this year. It’s either that, or an applique for a tote bag. Either way, I like this little cup cake a lot.

And it’s so easy to just use stamps as a template! Choose a rubber stamp that is easy enough to cut out. The possibilities with this technique are endless! You can make little embroidered flower clippies! This is a fun thing to do for those of you who want to make cool embroidery, but don’t necessarily draw all that well. Or, maybe you have a lot of rubber stamps, and you’re just bored like we all get sometimes.

What else? I have tried to clean my desk to no avail. I try, I do. But then I end up starting a project, and then it gets messy again.

The Craftaholic

Day 216: Embroidered Felt Clutch Purse/Wallet


“If you help and serve others, you will ultimately gain.”

Basically, we need to not be so selfish. In our race to accomplish our goals and reach our dreams, we must realize that we are not the only ones out there in the world, scrambling towards our goals. That’s all.

Think of others first, sometimes. Make others first sometimes. Maybe then you’ll be able to see the blessings in your life. You know?

Today, I made myself a purse! Cool, right? Well, it’s more of a clutch or a wallet.

I made it so I could put my money, credit cards, id, coins and keys all in one place. This is made with recycled plastic bottle felt sheets from a wonderful store in midtown, called Daytona. It’s called “Eco-Fi”. Cool, right?

Here’s a few close ups:

Yes, I even put a zipper on it. I used DMC Embroidery thread for this project, and hand sewed the entire thing.

You like it?

The Craftaholic

Day 215: Make a Yarn Flower


“There is nothing to trust seeking happiness from outside, you will only become exhausted with suffering, with is without satisfaction and without end.”

Why do we insist on doing this, actually? We live our lives trying so hard to find happiness in things.  But everything on the outside eventually lets you down. Why?

The bottom line is this: nothing in this world will make you happy exept you. Nothing in this world has the ability to heal you, help you, make you happy or at peace but you. Only you. You can choose to be happy, and enjoy life, or you can choose to hate life and be miserable. It’s your choice.

Today’s crafty thing for the day, is a cool yarn flower!

Cool looking, right?

Take two strands of DMC brand tapestry wool. Lay it out flat.

Then wrap it around your hand, leaving about three inches or so free. Then, take the free strand, and wrap it around the center and tie a knot. Then, fluff it out like so:

Then, cut a circle out of a matching piece of felt, like so:

The next thing, is to pick out a pretty button for the center, and then sew the felt piece and the button all together. I happen to have an embroidery needle that is extra long, so I just sewed them all together.

Like so. Here’s the back, so you can see:

Cool, right? This is fun to make as a brooch, or to use in your altered art. I’m going to make another version of this flower too, perhaps.

What else? No much to tell. I have a new piece I’m working on. I’m really excited about it. But more on that another day.

The Craftaholic

Day 213: A Pretty Pink Bird, Amended


“We need to give more attention to our inner values.”

Our inner values will reflect what we will have around us, and what we see in the world. That’s why. It’s about listening to yourself. If you don’t take the time to listen to your self and your body and your spirit, how do you expect to get what you want in life, and live a happy life? You can’t go through life listening to what other people want for you.

You must pay attention to what you want, and what you value and good and true. Only then can you live effectively, and have a happy life.

Today’s craft endeavor is a continuation of the project from yesterday. I ammended it.

What I did was take him out of the box. I made some little embroidered star thingies, and attached them to the bottom of the nest. Also, I tied some DMC Color Infusions Sparklers thread to the top on the wire. This adds a really nice element to the piece.

Here’s what the little circle star thingies look like.

What do you think? I’m taking this with me tonight to the Art Opera with DMC Threads, to showcase how I used their product. Cool, right?

Day 212: A Pretty Little Bird


“A mind that is characterized by unrest will not be tranquil even in the presence of great calm.”

This is a recycled one. But I love it.

The thing is, we must remove the things in our lives that create unhappiness in our life. Think about the things that create friction in your life, and remove them. Delete them from your life. You don’t need more stress, life is hard enough as it is.

Today’s craft endeavor is a fun art piece. I was in a light sort of mood, so here’s what I made.

It’s a bird in a cage. I used some wire and DMC brand Embroidery thread, for the cage part. Foil glitter around the edges, and the crocheted garland in the nest. Cool, right?  I got the bird and the nest from Tinsel Trading.

There’s a tutorial that I posted for DMC for this project. So I’ll let you know when it’s up on their site. I actually made this for the Art Opera that Lisa Kettell is hosting.

What else? Oh! As promised, below is the recipe for the cake I made the other day.

Dark Chocolate Cake with Hazelnuts & Chocolate Ganache Frosting

for the cake:

mix together

1/2 c vegetable oil

2 tsp. vanilla extract

2 eggs

2 c sugar

then stir in:

1 1/2 tsp. baking soda

1 tsp. salt

1 1/2 tsp. baking powder

3/4 c Hershey’s Dark Cocoa Powder

1 c milk (or actually, you can use some flavored non dairy creamer)

1 3/4 cake flour

1 c boiling water

Pour into a pair of greased and floured round baking pans, and bake at 350 for about 30 minutes, or until your fork comes out clean.

For the Chocolate Ganache:

I should mention that I don’t use a recipe at all. I actually eyeball it. But here’s a recipe for you, if you click here.

You can use the hazelnuts in between the two layers, and as garnish on the sides.

What do you think?

The Craftaholic

Day 200: Glittery Cat Bookmarks


“The rationale for loving others is the recognition that every living being has the same right to and desire for happiness and not suffering.”

We ALL have the right to be happy, and live a positive life. Just because you don’t agree with someone’s choices in life, doesn’t mean that their misfortune is their fault. This is a major misconception among the religious folks that I grew up with. Some religions preach that if your life is not going in a positive way, if things are not going the way you planned it to be, that it is because of your lack of faith in their personal god, or belief system. My parents and cousins actually believe this way. Who cares what other people think? I could care less. I have cousins that live in suburbia, and think that I must be sad because I live in an apartment in Brooklyn. One cousin came to my apartment for the first time and said, “Oh I’m suprised that this is such a nice area, and it’s brooklyn.” Meanwhile, some of the hippest and richest people in the United States live here in brooklyn.

I am happy where I’m at. I don’t need fixing. I don’t need any salvation. I AM my own salvation. My happiness lies within me, with my joy of being a mother and an artist.

Anyway, today’s crafty endeavor is a set of 6 bookmark tags. I use bookmarks A LOT. This is mostly because I have a lot of books that I read simultaneously. Right now, I’m reading the books: Che, Frida, The Dhamapadama, and the Motorcycle Diaries. And then the craft books, Wooh! I could use up the whole set just marking up the pages of “The Big Ass Book of Crafts” by Mark Montano. Seriously.

Anyway, here’s the set I made:

Awesomness, don’t you think? The paper is from Junebug. The stamp set is called Cool Cat, I think. It’s a retired Stampin Up set. I put some glitter on the edges. It’s foil glitter. Then I sprayed it with a spray glaze thing, so that the glitter won’t go all over the place. Nothing worst than craft herpes.

Anyway, the paper is cut from a die cut with my big shot. I used to have a cricut, but that thing is just annoying. Why the heck would I want to spend over $60 on some cartridge when all I want is one or two of the whole set? I’m cheap. What can I say. I’d rather buy more fancy papers than buy a cartridge. That, and I can use my big shot with my little one, and not fear that she’ll get her hand caught, or break the machinery. Plus, I just like it and I couldn’t figure that thing out for the life of me. I don’t like it when I have to buy extra parts for expensive gadgets. You know?

Anyway, here’s a close up shot:

I love these! Oh yeah, I embossed the cat, so he’d stand out a bit more. And then the tassel is of generic purple yarn, and DMC Threads. I love that they have such pretty sparkly threads!

What else?

Oh, I got the parts for my I-Top Brad maker. So I made a set of jumbo brads.

Now, what the heck do I do with them?

The Craftaholic