Tuesday, September 17, 2013

My Favorite Crafts

List It Tuesday

I thought I would start with my favorite crafts. I love crafts. I always have. It is really hard not to go crazy at the craft store or office supply store. In no particular order:

  • Re-purpose-ing, now also known as up-cycling. I love jars, especially. Empty jars, especially big ones from Costco nuts or Mayonnaise. I usually remove the old label and sometimes, if I use it to contain a gift or something, I will glue on a new label I cut out of scrapbooking paper. I use decoupage glue so that it becomes waterproof, then I can write on it with a a permanent marker. Kids love getting a jar full of random things for their birthdays. I love repurposing other things too. I totally want to make my daughter a play kitchen out of an old night stand or something soon, but I don't think we have the room for it right now.
  • Sewing. Again, I especially love to sew gifts. There is nothing that says "I really put thought into your gift" like a home-sewn craft. Of course you have to get really creative, but with Pinterest, these days, there are lots of free patterns and ideas. Lately I have made hand-sewn cards in a kind of applique style.
Mother's Day Cards, machine sewn applique
Baby Shower Gift
One for Big Sis and one for Baby Sis
  • Cross stitch. I don't know why, but I like counted cross stitch. I love how the pixels you put on a canvas eventually meld to reveal the big picture. I don't have a lot of time to cross stitch but it saved my sanity when I used to work and had a lot of downtime and after my surgery two years ago I couldn't do anything and cross stitch helped me pass the time, plus I made everyone's Christmas gifts by hand that year.
Geeky Cross-Stitch I made for my husband on Father's Day
It means "there's no place like home"
  • Scrapbooking. I have NO time to scrapbook, nor do I have the budget, but I love to do it. I am still working on my wedding album (we have been married seven years) but I did finish my daughter's baby book. After I finish my son's baby book I will probably just do digital scrapbooking. I have an album for every year saved on my iPhoto, ready to order when we have the money to order it. I have some scrapbooking supplies but I use them for card-making, repurposing and random projects more than I do for scrapbooking.

  • Cake Decorating. I always make my children's birthday cakes, and sometimes my nieces' cakes, but I really love adult birthday cakes too, which tend to have a "flavor theme" instead of a cartoon character. I like making desserts  or my husband's work too because they are always very appreciated. I make gluten-free and regular cakes. I took a cake decorating class on a whim back in college and it has paid for itself many times over.
"Boots" Cake

"Thomas" Cake
  • Organizing. (Is that a craft? sure it is!) You can't tell by looking at my house but I am in a constant state of "getting organized" so it must be a craft! I love bins and those cute little photo-organizing boxes. I love dollar store plastic bins too, especially if they are different colors. I love binders and lists, so I keep my lists organized... in binders. Apparently I have a type of ADD (without hyperactivity) which I have compensated for by making lots of lists and keeping obsessively organized, but it works, so I'm embracing it. 
  • Cooking. My addiction to office supplies is only overshadowed by my love for cooking tools. I sold Pampered Chef for a while, mostly to get all the discounted stuff. They have the best quality kitchen tools, many of the ones I have I got before I got married and they are still in great condition. My kitchen would not be complete without my Kitchenaid Mixer, however, which is indispensable if doing any gluten-free cooking.
  • Photoshop Elements. I recently discovered Elements. It was given to me as a gift but it took me a year to really sit down and figure it out. It really takes a project to inspire you to learn a new program, otherwise the skills are all just theoretical. I'm still playing with it but is really handy for making business cards, logos and cute
  • Homeschooling or Kids Crafts. I love preparing and organizing crafts for kids to do. Luckily my kids (and their friends and cousins) love to do "projects"--as we call them-- and I get to do this for get-togethers and birthday parties. I used to do daycare and this was the funnest part. Now I'm homeschooling and my precocious 3 1/2 year old loves to paint, craft and cook too. Eventually I will teach her to sew and decorate cakes if she wants to learn, but these days we do a lot of theme crafts to make learning fun instead of a chore. Right now I enjoy designing my own curriculum around her interests. Some people call it "unschooling" but that sounds so unstructured compared to what we do, I like to call it Intentional Learning. 
Painting with Pudding

Mixing together the Play Rice we dyed with food color.

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