Confessions of a Craftaholic

Tag: fiber art

Fabric Beads

I do some volunteer work here and there for an organization called “BCAL” which stands for “Brooklyn College Arts Lab”, where middle school and high school age kids come to learn art of all mediums.

Recently, I taught them how to make fabric beads. Here’s a couple shots of the finished work.

If you want to know how to make them, here’s a good tutorial. They are so much fun to make. Also, do you remember these earrings:

Well, I’ve got a pair of them for sale, in my shop.

That’s all for now. I’ve got two workshops to teach today. One is crocheting jewelry, and another is making wire/beaded jewelry. And I’ve got to clean up my apartment, since my niece is coming to stay with me for a little while.

I’ve been having the most bizarre dreams lately. Very odd.

That’s all for now.

The Craftaholic

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Canvas Zippered Pouch

I just finished sewing up a quick little project for a sewing class. We’re going to be making zippered pouches, like for storing makeup or paint brushes, etc.

Afterward, we will be embellishing them with some of my lino blocks. Here’s a quick sample I made:

Admittedly, I should have ironed it before I photographed it. But you don’t mind, do you?

Hmmm. Oh yes, and I’m making red velvet cookies tonite. They serve them at starbucks, and are so good. I can’t wait.


The Craftaholic

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Animal Wisdom Stuffies

Here’s an owl that I made back in March. He’s cute, eh?

This weekend, I’m going to be giving a workshop at Spacecraft Brooklyn. We’re going to be learning about native animal totems (or medicine). In native cultures, animals are said to be guardians. Each of us have a guardian animal spirit that guides and protects us.

In this workshop, we’ll be learning more about that, and then making a stuffie based on an animal we feel is ours.

For me, it of course the Owl.

If you want to learn more about this, and learn some embroidery and hand sewing basics, come out and play with us.

Day 363: Simply Screened Tote Bags


“At the moment when strong feelings of anger arise, no matter how hard one tries to adopt a dignified pose, one’s face looks rather ugly.”

-The Dalai Lama

Oh my goodness. This actually sort of made me laugh out loud. It’s true, right? It’s like when your loved one made you a really nice dinner, and the poor thing didn’t make it to your liking, or something. And try as you may to hide it, you just can’t. You can’t help it.

It’s a good thing to find a dignified way of being honest with a person. It’s also nice to be able to not take things too harshly. It doesn’t always have to be a blow to the ego. Right?

Today, I played around with some new Plaid Crafts products. I’m still getting acquainted with it, so forgive me if the finished product does not look that amazing.

So the product I played with today, is called “Simply Screen” and is so totally cool! It’s the process of silk screening, but instead of meddling with, or having to make your own screens, you can use their already designed screens to create art with it! It’s cool.

They have so many different paint colors, and it really is easy. Today, I was just getting aquainted with it, as my husband has the weekend off, and those weekends are saved for baking, and family time.

This is one tote bag I made.

It’s so easy! What I want to do with this one, is dye it, after I heat set it. I didn’t have a chance to, since I got home to bake cookies, and go out with my family, to visit my in-laws.

Here’s another one.

Nice, right? They actually have a lot of designs, so it makes it easy to find one that works with your personality.

I’m excited to see what other cool things I can do with it!

I’ll post a tutorial on it, one of these days soon. I’m really busy lately with a few projects I have going on, but I will. I have a whole bunch of jewelry swaps, so I have a fun project coming up that involves lots and lots of newspapers and Mod Podge. I also have another one that involves apple juice bottle caps and magnet backs. So fun! And recycling.

Anyway, that’s that. I’ll be announcing the contest winner soon! You’ve only got a couple more days! It’s my one year search for my creative force, and it’s almost over! I’ve found it, of course. I’ve been with this blog a lot longer than that. Since 2007, actually.

I’m eternally grateful to whichever muse lies in my home, spreading inspiration to me to move forward, and keep it going. I’ll be honest. Sometimes I felt like giving up. When I’d go to an event, and no one would show. Or, when I’d try a new medium, and felt like I failed.

The truth is, there is no failure, just times when things haven’t gone the way you planned it. Everything in life happens for a reason, and life is not always what you think it is. Instead of allowing something to consume you into a negative place, allow the harships to become your strength. Let the difficult places in your life teach you, and fuel your creativity. It’s from the deepest hell on earth that I’ve written some of my best poems.

That’s life. And life keeps going and going, and the world keeps turning. The sun comes up and the moon goes down. Life moves on. So move with it. The animals grow, plants grow, nature grows…so grow with it. Go with it. That’s what I’ve learned so far.

The Craftaholic

Day 343: Wool Felt Beads


“It is very wrong for people to feel deeply sad when they lose money, yet when they waste the precious moments of their lives they do not.”

-The Dalai Lama

For the first time in a long time, I don’t know what to say. It’s true tho, for all of us.

Anyway, I have been REALLY busy lately. I have lately started designing for Plaid Crafts, and I also have some workshops coming up that I have to design prototypes for. On top of that, my daughter has the sniffles and is totally OFF schedule! She stays up so late that it’s hard for me to get much work done! I’m working on getting her back on though, so I can finish my work!

Whoever said that working from home is easy, was not a work at home parent. It’s tough! Your work follows you, because you don’t have an “office” to commute to, so when you wake up earlier than the kiddies, it’s work time. Then when they are asleep or taking a nap, it’s catch up on email time. Then when they are watching tv, it’s dinner and cooking time. Then, scarf down some food, watch dishes, and get the kiddies ready for bed. Then, relax in front of the TV while you do some (of course) work.

It’s tough! But I love it, and I am glad that I can see my daughter grow up, and develop a close relationship with her by choosing to stay home. I love it. Life is so short and before you know it, you’ll have a teenager who doesn’t always want to hang out with you.

Anyway, so today I made some more felt beads for a workshop I’ve got on sunday.

It’s a simple wool bead bracelet with buttons as separators. I am actually REALLY busy these days. On top of designing for Plaid Crafts, from September to December I will also be a guest designer for Art Institute Glitter! Cool, right? I also have swaps, and workshops to create for. Holy moly.

I’m busy, yes, but I love every minute of it. It’s fun to be busy.

Tomorow I have a soap making workshop that will prove to be lots of fun indeed! We’re going to be making hot process soap. I also have a couple of fun projects up my sleeve. Hopefully next week it’ll rain ALL WEEK so I can stay indoors and just make lots of art. Tee hee.

The Craftaholic

Day 323: A Wool Felt Bead Bracelet


“What irritates us in the first place is that our wishes are not fulfilled. But remaining upset does nothing to help fulfill our wishes.”

-The Dalai Lama

I had a dream

a long long time ago

I dreamt that I saw a bird

perched on a ledge

and he gave me

the secret to happiness

and I

sat there, deaf and dumb

hoping to pursue

the thought of a dream

and yet, I

I wilted

like a flower with too much sun and

not enough water

i wilted.



all of the sudden

the rain fell

and the sun came out

and I


to pursue

my heart’s desire

(so as to set an example for my offspring)

Today, I made a wool felt bead bracelet, for a workshop that I’m teaching in August.

This is a two strand bracelet, because I mostly wear bracelets and earrings.

You like it? This is for a workshop at the Brooklyn Bead Box, in August. Sign up, if you’re in the area!

Anyway, that’s all for now. Today we’re off to governors island. I’ve never been there, so this should be fun! Will post pics tomorrow.

The Craftaholic

Day 322: An Embroidered Hamsa Talisman


“In other words, if someone remains in a peaceful and tranquil state of mind, external surroundings can cause them limited disturbance.”

-The Dalai Lama

A verse for the the man I see, frenzied and hurried:

I wish you peace

and when I see you speak loudly on your expensive telephone

I wish you peace


wish you peace when you worry about everything

when you worry about things that are

out of your control

because you see,

peace comes not from a happy situation

but in your ability to be


even through the storm

like the trees

they move

they waiver

but they stay


Even if their branches break

they stay


So, my frienzied friend,

stay rooted

in whatever it is you believe in

and if you believe in nothing

start believing

in something

because life is bigger

and grander

and better

than we could ever imagine

with our human senses and our

small brains

Today, I did some embroidery work. I actually really love doing embroidery. It’s so much fun, and so easy for me!

I made an embroidered Hamsa talisman. Click here to find out what a hamsa is. Anyway, here it is:

Do you like it?

I used DMC Thread Colors: 930, 3722 and 932. The pendant in the middle is a millifiore pendant from Fire Mountain Gems.

I did post a template for the hamsa, to my scribd account, and here it is. You’ll excuse the raw sharpie drawing.

What else? Oh, here’s a couple cheesy pictures of my daughter dancing. This time we were dancing to Lou Reed’s “Walk on the Wild Side”. What a good song.

Yes, she has no pants on. It’s better that way.

Here’s one in action.

haha, she’s so funny. The TV was on, and she insisted on leaving it on, tho I did mute it so we can hear Mr. Lou Reed properly.

I hope you liked my thing for today!

The Craftaholic

Day 233: A Calavera Charm Bracelet


“There is nothing more dreadful than the habit of doubt. Doubt separates people. It is a poison that disintegrates friendships and breaks up pleasant relations. It is a thorn that irritates and hurts; it is a sword that kills.” -The Buddha

Let me explain something that took me years to realize: doubt brings poverty. In every sense of the word, doubt is just evil. I don’t really even believe in “good and evil” so for me to say that, takes a lot. Doubt. For years I doubted my talent. As both a writer and an artist. As soon as I started to believe in myself and my talent, doors began to open for me. Things started happening. I may not be at my goal right now, but I’m on my way there. I don’t sit online and compare myself to artists younger than me, who perhaps went to college, or just started earlier than me. That’s for people who want to lose. I want to win. I want to “go for the gold” as corny as it sounds. I do. I want to succeed, in MY defenition of what success is. You know? And doing that, means believing in my talent, and believing in myself.

Let’s make a promise to each other. Repeat after me:

“I promise never to doubt myself as an artist, mother, wife, spouse, and friend”. Say it! Mean it! Believe in yourself, and your talent! Don’t doubt. Life gets you no where with doubt and worry. Those are things that will only bring you more things to doubt and worry about. So feel what you want more of. Be what you want more of.

Today, I made a charm bracelet. I am hosting a charm bracelet swap on Swap-Bot, and much to my chagrin, my partner likes gothic things. I sent her a friendly message letting her know that in fact, I have nothing gothic! It’s not really my thing, you know? But, yippee for me, she does like calaveras, and that I have plenty of! So, here’s what I made her:

These cute calaveras are stone, I think. I got them at the Whole Bead Show here in New York. Here’s another glance:

What do you think? You think she’ll like it?

On another note, I started a new project. An embroidered fabric book. I have wanted to make a fabric “art” collage book in a long time. I finally decided I’m going to do it with embroidery.

Here’s a preview:

That’s the front. There are about 5 pages. This is just unstretched canvas fabric, from Dick Blick, which I cut and sewed down the side. Then the back ground is painted with fabric paint sticks, and then sprayed with acrylic.

That’s all for now. Beans and rice for dinner today, but I really am craving a good pizza from Sunset Park. Yum.

The Craftaholic