Confessions of a Craftaholic

Tag: vintage fabric

A Hand Sewn Tote, Made Just for ME

So this year I decided I am also going to be making more items JUST FOR ME and not for swaps as much. This is mostly because at least I know how I want something to turn out, you know? In swaps you can sometimes be sadly dissapointed. Anyway, here’s a totebag I made with vintage fabrics.

Granted, I should have probably ironed the fabric before taking the picture. But have I told you lately how much I can’t stand ironing?

Here’s the inside:

I lined it and added a pocket for my cell phone.

You like it?

The Craftaholic

Visit my NEW Online Shop!

Visit my Etsy Shop!


Day 254: Embellished Canvas Bag


“If you have too much expectation, you may come away disappointed.” -The Dalai Lama

Let’s get this straight: expectations are different than goals. Goals are things you strive for, expectations are the way you want things to go. It’s one thing to plan for the future, and have a 401K, and put some money away. Those are good things. But it is another thing completely to then say, “this boyfriend better buy me flowers, and remember my birthday”. Those, are expectations. Expectations are always sadly forlorn. Truly.

The truth is, what I always say: who cares. Life is so short. Too short. We live such a short life on earth to be preoccupied with ideas that we and the media and our community put on us. You know?  It’s like SARK says in one of her books: when going out some place, instead of saying, “I’m going out, and I’m going to have a GREAT time! Just say, “I’m going out to have a time”. Or something like that. You know what I’m trying to say?

Most of our disappointments in people and things have to do with what we expect from the said people or things. It’s not about raising or lowering your expectations. It’s about not having expectations in the first place.

Today, I worked with Adela, my sewing machine. I named her that because when I work with fiber art, it reminds me of my grandmother, who was an amazing crochet queen, and original domestic goddess. I miss her a lot.

I made this bag, from these AWESOME blank canvas bags from DMC Threads! Very cool.

I love this fabric. I got it from a swap I had recently!

Does this not look awesome as heck? The nice thing about the DMC Canvas bags is that they are quite sturdy, and roomy! I had bought some a while back, and they were not sturdy at all, although they were rather cheap. AND the DMC Canvas bags have the embroidery canvas in the front middle, for those of you who do cross stitch. Cool, right? Enough commercials, though.

Something weird happened the other day. I was on the train, waiting for the eternal A train, to go uptown, when I saw one of my old bosses walking the other way. He had what I call a very “generic white boy” look, which just means blond with blue eyes. So I had to do a double take to be sure it was him. And then, he must have thought I was peeking at his (non exsistent) cuteness! He not only did NOT remember me, but also looked at me like he thought I’m cute! It was a weird moment one because I’ve gained a little weight, and my daughter was with me, also. Normally men don’t look at me so much when she’s with me. I mean, you know. I’m married. You know? But one thing about New York City, is that men here could care less. Wedding ring or no wedding ring, they still love those archaic cat calls.

The Craftaholic

Day 239: Old Jeans turned into a Jean Skirt


“Your work is to discover your world and then with all your heart give yourself to it.” – The Buddha

Well, what is your world? How do you discover it, and what does that really mean?

The road to self discovery is like the song by the beatles-a “long and winding road”. It’s a life long journey into self discovery that can be quite rewarding.

The point is to actually get on the road to self discovery, to the road of …YOU.  Being aware helps. Being in the moment helps. Just be in the moment. Practice it.

When you’re making art, don’t think about anything else but being there. Be aware of WHY you do things, why you make the choices you do. Think about it.

My husband is off this week, and we are taking the time to spend time as a family since we works so damned much. So the problem is that I have less time to make art, and blog about it because he says I am “always at my desk” and that it gets boring. So there’s less time, sorry.

Today though, I did make a skirt out of a pair of jeans. I couldn’t find my jean skirt and happened to have a pair of tattered jeans, so I just went to work turning them into a skirt. I realize it would have been nice to have a before and after. But I forgot to snap a picture of them before. So you’ll just have to trust that I did indeed, turn my pants into a skirt.

What do you think? I am fortunate that I had my husband around to snap the picture of me, while my daughter crept in there with me.

I’m working on a couple of things. I have to get back to my needlepoint, and then I have some fun buttons to make. I am UBER excited.

The Craftaholic

Day 236: Batiked Fabric Banner


If you propose to speak, always ask yourself, is it true, is it necessary, is it kind” ~Buddha

Think about it. If you were to apply this to your life, at least as a wife, husband, partner or friend, imagine how much more peaceful your life would be. Right? I mean, who cares who is right and who is wrong, right?

I mean, today for example, I got into a “tiff” with my mother. I decided that rather than tell her to go fuck herself and leave me the hell alone with her drama and crap, that I would just keep quiet and tell her that I had to finish bathing my little one. Because I did. In my life, the one person that makes me want to curse and say un lady like things (beside my husband whom I love dearly), is my mother.

We all have the one person that makes you want to spit nails, don’t we? Arg. But we should stop ourselves. Not just because we want to set an example to our children, or whatever. But because….it’s just…tacky. You know? Then we remind ourselves of the teenage girls at the laundromat, cursing because their parents aren’t around. Silliness. Anger is just silly. Why bother. It doesn’t do anything positive, and it sure doesn’t open positive doors in your life, at all.

In this 236 day journey, i have learned this: the true path to prosperity begins with yourself. Until you create peace within you, you cannot have prosperity in your life.

Today, I used my sewing machine. In honor of my husband’s forthcoming birthday, I wanted to do something like make a fun banner for him. But you know. He’s not a banner kind of guy. He’s an old spice kind of guy. You know? So I thought  I would make a fun fabric banner, that I could then use to decorate our bedroom with or something.

You like it? I made it from this pretty batiked fabric that I had in my stash. I like it. It reminds me of something I’d see in an indian themed bedroom spread or something. Right? I don’t know. Maybe I’ll add sequins or something to it later. But for now, I like it plain. It’s more elegant that way, don’t you think?

What else? Not much. Cleaning up. I did order some thingamajigs so make my own buttons, so that will be fun! I figured I could make some neat embroidered buttons.

Oh! But a friend and fellow crafter is having a fun giveaway to celebrate her 100 blog posts. So hop over there, and enter to win. She’s giving away all this:

I actually would love to win, because I rarely win contests. And I like that red and blue container thingie.

The Craftaholic

Day 235: A No Sew Fabric Headband & Pumpkin Muffins


“To conquer oneself is a greater task than conquering others” -The Buddha

Again, I’m posting this as a lesson to myself. It’s funny that I talked about doubting yourself, and today that is what is trying to creep in. The biggest hurdle in life, is the hurdles you put in front, yourself. Conquering oneself is so hard. Because we doubt too much. We don’t try, we just melt. And give in. Right?

Conquering yourself, means to me, that you conquer your inner battel, that part of you that battles between saving and spending, or whatever your bad habit is. We all have something. But the key to conquering yourself, is going at it, little by little and not giving up. For me, buying art supplies is a major habit. I always love to try new things, and what better way to feel inspired, than with some new shiny art supplies, right?

I am trying now, to find creativity in the little things. It actually has inspired me to write a book.

So today, I made a simple project. Very simple. I’ve been really tired lately, so today was lacking in motivation, due to my lack of energy.

I made a fun little no sew headband. I also made some pumpkin muffins today, they are so delish. I was inspired by one of my daughter’s favorite cartoons, Maggie Beast. One of the characters is a little big who loves to cook. That’s me. So he is always making pumpkin muffins because the ferocious beast loves them. And he’s right, they are delish. Really.

So here’s the headband I made:

Is the picture alright? I tried. I wish I had full makeup and someone to photograph me with it, but not today. Maybe this weekend, since it’s supposed to be hot out this weekend.

To make this, all you need is fabric glue, a plain headband, and some fabric, of course. Simply wrap the fabric around the headband, and glue it. That’s all! I used my little styrofoam head to place it on, while the glue was drying.

Oh, and here’s the muffins I made:

I’m telling you, they are awesome.

Here’s the recipe:

Pumpkin Muffins

mix together:

8 oz. canned pumpkin

1 egg

then add:

almost 1 cup of sugar

mix and add

1/3 cup of oil

1 teaspoon vanilla

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon baking powder

mix, blend and add in

1 3/4 cup of flour

I added a few tablespoons of apple juice by mistake. But you can repeat my mistake if you wish.

1/4 cup of powdered vanilla non dairy coffee creamer. yes, really.

Then, pour the mix into baking cups into your muffin tin, and bake at 350 until they are golden brown.

And voila. C’est fini.

The Craftaholic

Day 230: Embroidered Buttons by Creative Kismet


“Work out your own salvation. Do not depend on others.” The Buddha

Now, perhaps the Buddha was talking about spirituality, but personally, I feel like this is true on all levels of life. You know? Too often we lean on others for things, for help, and in life in general. At work, our frustrated bosses are always telling us, “figure it out for yourself!” And it’s true in our life. Don’t form opinions on life, or base your life creed on what other people in your life or congregation or family think or say or do. Listen to your heart. Listen to yourself, and your heart will guide you as to where to go. You know?

Today, I was excited to come across the blog, Creative Kismet. Check out these beautiful hand embroidered buttons!

Cute, right? You can go to her blog, and check out the wonderful little step by step photos, and a link to the original blog, where she got the oh so cool idea of making embroidered buttons. Seriously, I am going to make these. Aren’t you? Aren’t these fabulous?

What else? Oh, I was in the mood for Five Guys Burgers and Fries, so we are making our own tonite. Yum…

Also, I got together with my craft group today! We went to Central Park. It was such lovely weather! You should have really been there. Too bad I forgot my camera.

The Craftaholic

Day 225: A New Vintage Journal & Hello Kitty GIVEAWAY!


“Human potential is the same for all. Your feeling, “I am of no value”, is wrong. Absolutely wrong. You are deceiving yourself. We all have the power of thought – so what are you lacking? If you have willpower, then you can change anything. It is usually said that you are your own master.” -The Dalai Lama

I think I’ve used this one already, but oh well. I was reading Andrea Shroeder’s blog, and then I realized she’s right. The minute that we convince ourselves of our true creative potential, doors start opening, things begin to happen. Self doubt happens, especially when you are an artist. It is something that needs to be stopped right at the beginning. You must stop. It’s normal yes, to have a nagging thought of self doubt. But then…don’t accept it as normal. Don’t accept that as a normal and natural thought process in your mind. Accept that positive things are what is normal. Change the way you think about your art, your creativity and yourself. And then things will change.

I finished the book I was working on.

The symbol in the middle is called a Triquetra and is a celtic symbol. I printed out the symbol, and mounted it on heavy chipboard and painted it with Copic markers. I used E-6000 glue to adhere the frame to the book. You think she’ll like it?

Actually, if you want, you can make a book like this. It’s easy. Just buy a blank bound journal, and cover the front and back with vintage fabric from your stash, using Aleen’s Craft Glue.

Then, when it’s dry, use E-6000 glue to adhere a nice vintage frame to the cover. And then, embellish it with a picture or even your name or something.  Easy, right?

I also made these:

little kitty hair clippies. Cute, eh? I am going to make some for my etsy shop, tonite. I need some more glue though. You want this pair? Leave me some comment love, and next week, one of you will be randomly picked! Leave your email address, so I can contact you.

Day 224: Art Swap & A Vintage Work in Progress

Quote: -*

Holding on to anger is like grasping a hot coal with the intent of throwing it at someone else; 0.are the one who gets burned.”  -The Buddha

I hate the feeling of being angry. Don’t you? I’m the type of person that if you offend me, I will just forget about it after a little while. Some people aren’t like that. They want to punish you by being angry.

For the longest time I was angry at someone. For years, in fact. It got to the point where my anger only did damage to myself. The person I was angry at, went through life, had a great marriage, and prospered in her life. So what did I do by being angry at her? I only brought negative things to my life. Negative choices, and a domino effect of things that occured because of my stupidity in thinking that I actually was punishing her. I wasn’t. I only punished myself. Anger pays nothing but anger.

Today, I had an art supply swap. Unfortunately some of my craft group members are notorius flakers. In fact the people who came, drove all the way from NJ! Cool, eh?

Anyway, here’s a shot of the goods we had to swap:

Lots of stuff.

Here’s what I ended up with. Vintage fabrics, crayons, paper bags, and acrylic paint. AWESOME. Here’s a sneak peak on a work in progress. I didn’t have time to finish it all.This is for a swap on swap-bot. It’s a vintage themed book of shadows. A Book of Shadows is like a journal, with stories, superstitions and rituals that a person wants to preserve for others in their family. It’s cool, and anyway I like making books. I am using a frame as the cover, with some vintage fabric from my stash.  You’ll see the finished work tomorow. I promise.

The Craftaholic

Day 209: A Poem About America, and a few random goodies


“The true test of honoring Buddha or God is the love one extends to fellow humans.”

Another poem today. Blame it on the fullness of the moon.

My Fellow Humans

My fellow humans, what is love, really?

what does it mean to be “in love” or to love one another

my fellow humans, I don’t want to love you, I just want to spread my shit everywhere

my fellow humans, I’m getting older by the minute

The Buddha passed by me the other day, he

rubbed my belly for good luck


My fellow humans, I wonder what it means to really love

My fellow humans, I think that love happens even when you don’t really feel like it

I wonder

I wonder often, in between cigarettes and chocolates, why it is that animals love better than we


my daughter loves better than me


think it’s the humanness


think I just

let the complications of life and subway trains and dirty streets and opposite side of the street parking

get to me

it gets to me, the crowded streets, the slow walking tourists, the dirty hot dogs and fake mickey mouses….

I get teary eyed when I see crowded department stores and unemployment offices


lines wrapped around the corner to the

welfare office

My fellow humans I’m borrowing inspiration from mister Ginsberg today, I

don’t think he’ll mind, do you?

My fellow humans, my fellow


if only we could focus on our humanness in each other

instead of how much more you have than me, or

where you live, or what you do

that is better

somehow than my gravesend apartment, with mandarin neighbors and the occasional nutjob and the

man who lives next door that argues with himself and

russian club music blaring on sunday afternoons, it

must be time for passover,  judging by the lack of parking spots


don’t know, maybe I’m just an alien

since I don’t so much care for the competitive nature that

humans have

I don’t want to stick out, I want to blend in

I don’t want to care, I want to walk away and just

focus on me, and just focus on me,


not really

not me

not life, but a daydream

I cling to the daydreams, I do


keep me alive somehow


makes me



and the thing is

we seek it

we look for it

my fellow humans we

live lifetimes seeking something

that we create within us.

am I alone, or am I the only one that doesn’t expect anything from you?

I don’t really

want you to

live up to expectations, as if you are applying for a job, or something silly

just listen to me

just be my friend

just be there for me

My fellow humans, I think we don’t always love we

go thru obsessions like

little points of madness that eventually die out when we find our sanity

somewhere in the gutter, forlorned and neglected

My fellow humans, why don’t we just



at others and just

fix ourselves

and just go beyond

and just


to love

love is



you know?

Here’s the fun crafty things I did today:

That second one is a tote bag made from an old curtain that I saved. It’s vintage, of course. Fun, right?

I’m prepping for the Brooklyn Indie Market tomorow, and I hope to see you New Yorkers there. Bring me iced coffee and donuts, please. And some chips because you know, I can’t have something sweet without something salty.

The Craftaholic

Day 206: An Owl named Harold


“The greatest obstacles to inner peace are disturbing emotions such as anger, attachment, fear and suspicion, while love and compassion and a sense of universal responsibility are the sources of peace and happiness.”

Again, as I said a few days ago: we are our own worst enemy. I am now over 200 days into my quest for Nirvana through art. I’ve learned some things about myself. I’ve also grown artistically, I think. Practice makes perfect, they say.

Often times when I take the Dalai Lama’s quote, I have to apply it personally to my life. I mean, that is what I always do. But sometimes it comes from a deep place in my life. Today is no different. This quote speaks to me, from my personal experience in my past.

I realize that I think we focus so much on the past, on past hurts, and on people who have wronged us, that it clouds our mind, as when we get drunk or high on drugs and alcohol. Think about it. Your mind gets so full of these emotions….you almost forget who you are, who you truly are, because you are so intoxicated with anger and resentment. You lose yourself. You lose your identity. It’s sad, to wake up and realize you wasted your life feeding anger and resentment. I grew up being taught to not entertain these emotions too much. I don’t suppress them as I used to. Now, what I do is DEAL with the issues. Life sucks sometimes. It’s not perfect, nor does life ever fit our “expectations”. Ever.  It just is what is, and is what we make it out to be. If you continue to make your life a misery, than that ‘s what you will always have. So choose to be happy, or choose to be angry.

Today’s crafty endeavor is…….

This is Harold. He was intentionally made for the Brooklyn Indie Market this saturday, but my daughter, dude. She fell in love. So how could I deny my offspring?

I made a little family.

You like it? Can you believe, she took ownership of them ALL. ohwell. The fabric is vintage fabric, so I’m glad she treats her toys well.

The Craftaholic