Jun 212012

In recognition of record high temperatures we reached today, here’s  a great recipe to beat the summer heat.  They’re even better than I remember fudgesicles being as a kid.  This recipe is gluten free, sugar free, dairy free and low on the glycemic index. …it’s also Yummy!


Cocoa-Coco Pops

2 T. cocoa powder, dutch process is richer
2 T. agave nectar
½ tsp vanilla
1 can coconut milk (13.5 oz or so)
¼ cup shredded unsweetened coconut

In a small bowl mix together ¼ cup coconut milk, cocoa, agave nectar and vanilla.  It will make a thin paste.

In a saucepan heat remaining coconut milk to a boil.  Remove from heat and whisk in cocoa mixture.  Let cool for 15 minutes.  Divide coconut among popsicle molds.  Pour cocoa mixture into popsicle molds. Freeze for 3-6 hours.  Overnight will give you pops that don’t melt as quickly.

Depending on the size of your mold, this makes 4 – 6 popsicles. Be sure to use a napkin!

Jun 182012

Tim’s May tag of 2012 with its sewing room theme was right up my alley.  In fact, the only supplies I didn’t already own were the little Hanger Clips.  Aren’t they the cutest things?


I happened to make this tag on my 46th birthday, so it seemed appropriate to use that particular section of the Ruler Ribbon.

The Seamless Experience Stamp Set has a great aged feel, and the zigzag border almost looks like real stitching until you get up close.


The little tag hanging off the hanger was done by gluing a bit of the Crowded Attic Paper Stash to the back of one of the Idea-Ology Fragments.

I save the extra bits of pattern tissue from my sewing patterns, they’re perfect for this type of collage.  After gluing them down to the tag (with wrinkles on purpose) the wrinkles and edges were highlighted with Vintage Photo and Frayed Burlap Distress Inks.


The most fun part of making this tag was Tim’s technique for using the Ranger Melt Art Melting Pot to melt UTEE Ultra Thick Embossing Enamel and then dipping little flowers into it.  Faux porcelain, very cool.  Now it’s got me thinking… what else could one dip into UTEE?  Hmmmm…


Usually instead of making Tim’s tags exactly as depicted, I take the techniques and run with my own ideas.  However, since I pretty much had everything I needed, this was a fun project that worked up quickly.

Whatever you do, may you have some fun time for creative play!




Jun 142012

Have you ever used a wire jig? Maybe you thought it looked scary or complicated?  Actually, it’s a fun tool and a great way to get creative with wire with consistent results.

In the video below I show you how quick and easy it is to make these cute earrings.


For tool and materials you’ll need:

    • 2 ear wires
    • 2 jump rings
    • 2 head pins
    • 2 small/medium beads
    • 2 4-inch pieces 20 gauge wire
    • 2 pair chain nose pliers
    • Round nose pliers
    • Wire cutters
    • Wire jig tool such as the Thing A Ma Jig or the Beadalon Jewelry Jig


If  you want to make a matching bracelet or necklace, just make more loopy components.  Instead of putting the beads on head pins, put them on eye pins so you have a loop at each end to connect. Add clasps and you have a set.


Happy Creating!

Jun 132012

Hi All!  My What’s on Your Workdesk Wednesday post is going up late today because I just got back from a rather harrowing trip into Boston to consult with a student at Boston University School of Dentistry about getting a root canal.  Oh yeah, fun stuff.


I can think of so many other things I’d rather spend the money on (YOU know what, like fabric and craft supplies) but at least it’s half the money at the school than at a regular dentist.  I just hope I can find a parking spot next week when I go back.  It only took three trips around the block today.  8-\

Anyhow, this week’s workdesk is a complete an utter mess, giving testimony to the fact that I spent a good deal of this past week on happy la-la pills for the pain.

Click on the photo for a closer look, if you dare.


I won’t go into detail about everything on the desk.  Suffice it to say there are about 40 different projects represented.

The blue fabric is for a peasant style blouse.  I dug up an old pattern (dated 1994!) and it immediately reminded me a a favorite top I had way back when.  More on that story another time, but I am looking forward to recreating it.

Well, the tooth is aching again since she poked around at it today, so I’m off to take some codeine and play a video game.  I sure hope to get back to crafting very soon.

May your week be crafty and creative.  🙂



Jun 072012

Today is not going to be a very productive day for me.  I just got back from the dentist, found out I am in need of a root canal and am on antibiotics plus Vicoden for some rather serious pain.  Happy, la-la pills I call ’em.

So, while I head off to floaty land, I will leave you with this rather entertaining video.

Now, THAT’S what I call creative.

Jun 042012

Below is a jewelry video tutorial I made  for you all, showing how to make this caged beads bracelet.  All you’ll need are beads, a few eye pins and some wire.

Keep in mind that  you could wrap just two beads and attach to ear wires for a pair of earrings, or wrap more beads and make more connectors for a necklace.


Doing a little wire work in your jewelry making is not only a great way to easily dress up your beads, but it also can save you money.  Making your own connectors and clasps is way easier than you might think.

I hope this video encourages and inspires you to give it a try!


I also made a bracelet with red beads and gold wire.  This shot gives you a good view of the figure eight connectors.  (And, apparently, a cat hair.  Hope you aren’t allergic.)

For the spiral I used a much shorter piece of wire (four or five inches, instead of nine) which gives a different look than in the pink bracelet.


Here’s a close up of the finished clasp.

Here’s hoping for a creative week!

May 302012

My What’s on Your Workdesk Wednesday post is going up quite late today.  Usually Tuesday is my day for errands, but it got pushed to today due to the holiday on Monday.


Not only is today Wednesday, but it’s also my birthday, which made shopping kinda fun.  It’s the one day I let myself grab most anything that catches my fancy.  Not $200 items, more like $2 items, lol.

Anyhow, today’s desk show the results of some playing I’ve been doing with polymer clay lately.  No, those are not squares of cheese; I’m developing a product for my Etsy shop that I think many of you will love.  More on that when I’ve got the details figured out.

At Joann’s I got the red knit fabric on the left.  That’s to make another dress from this pattern.  The muslin came out quite nice, but I think it will be amazing in red.  🙂

I love the little leopard print container from Michaels; that was the $2 item I grabbed just cuz I loved it.

There are also some Tim Holtz items that were on clearance, a few cookie cutters  that will be used for polymer clay projects, plus beads and wire for an upcoming jewelry video.

The poly clay flowers are the result of a rather interesting Skinner blend.  I haven’t a clue what I’m going to do with them, but they did come out rather nice.


I made this little gal this week; isn’t she cute?  She wans’t even completely cool from the oven when I stuck her on the computer monitor to keep me company.  Gotta love that big smile.

I’ve got to run now and get ready for dh and #1 son to take me out to dinner.

I hope you all have a blessed and creative week!



May 262012


Finished up this one yesterday and plan to wear it tomorrow.  🙂  I usually go for solid fabrics, but this was kind of a fun, funky print for a change.


Here’s my pattern review:

Pattern Description: Dress has fitted bias front bodice with cowl neckline, single layer overlay (wrong side of fabric shows) with tucks, invisible back zipper and baby narrow hems.

Pattern Sizing: 6-14, According to the pattern measurements I needed a 16, so ended up making some adjustments.

Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it? Yes, it’s very cute.

Were the instructions easy to follow? Yes, they were easy enough. Other reviewers mentioned that it was difficult to sew the waistline seam without catching the front drape tucks. To avoid this problem I sewed only the two bottom tucks before doing the waistline seam, then sewed as much as possible of the top tuck.

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern? It doesn’t seem like the front overlay was well thought out, as it really is impossible to completely sew the top tuck once the waistband seam is completed. Next time I may try gathering that section, rather than doing tucks.

I’m so glad another reviewer mentioned that even though the back is low, you can wear a regular bra with this dress. (I had been prepared to redraft the back and make it a little higher.)

I also like the draped neckline, it’s pretty and easy to wear.

It’s also nice that this pattern walks you through how to make clean finished seams on the inside. An inexperienced seamstress can learn a lot by following these steps. However, since I have a serger, I opted for that quicker method of clean finishing.

Fabric Used: A rayon challis from Jo-Ann’s.

Pattern alterations or any design changes you made: I added 3 inches to the length of the skirt as I’m tall and the proportions just seemed like they’d be off for my height.

After looking at the finished garment measurements and comparing them to my actual measurements, I added half an inch to each of the bodice side seams and the top of the skirt side seams.

Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others? I don’t know how many dresses I need in this style, but if the right fabric came along I might be persuaded to make it again. 🙂


Conclusion: A demure, yet flirty dress that works up quickly. The only tricky area is the front overlay with its tucks.

May 242012


I finished this skirt last week.  My default styling is to pair a print like this with black, but after thinking about it, it would look great with red or turquoise, too.  The waist band just fits, so there’s incentive to keep those pound off, lol.

The interesting thing about this leopard print fabric is that you actually have to treat it like a stripe.  The skirt consists of six panels, center front, center back, two side fronts and two side backs.  You have to be careful to center the stripe on the centers, and make sure the stripes match on the side pieces, otherwise it would just look off. (And, why, oh, why, is the crease in the center front so apparent in the photo, when I didn’t notice it at all irl?)


I’m looking forward to making the shorter version, too, as I think the flare will be more apparent and kinda flirty.

Here’s my pattern review:

Pattern Description: Women’s skirt in two lengths with individual pieces given for slim, average and curvy fit. Includes customized fitting instructions.

Pattern Sizing: 10-18, I made the 16 in curvy, but probably could have done the average.

Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it? Yes, it’s very flattering.

Were the instructions easy to follow? Yes, it’s a fairly straightforward pattern.

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern? I liked that fitting instructions were part of the pattern, especially because this no-waistband style needs to fit well in order to look good.

Fabric Used: A rayon challis from Jo-Ann’s.

Pattern alterations or any design changes you made: I definitely recommend using an invisible zipper as the zipper is placed in the side seam.

Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others? I do plan to make it again, perhaps in the shorter length.

Conclusion: This skirt works up quickly and is a great wardrobe staple.

May 232012

Is it really Wednesday again?  Wasn’t it just Wednesday a day or so ago?

Oh, you’re telling me it’s been a week already?  Seriously?


This week’s desk bears a remarkable resemblance to last week’s.  All the polymer clay supplies are still shoved to the top of the table.  However, the pile of leopard fabric has been made into a skirt, (thanks for all your votes!) which, yes, was worn to church this Sunday, so there.  (Review of the pattern and photos of it on coming soon.)


You’ll find directions for how to make your own faux leather sketchbook here, but right now I’m working on one as a commission.  That’s all the blue-green stuff.

I have a few butterfly punches, but no steel rule butterfly dies, which seemed like a serious deficiency that had to be corrected, so I got me the new Tim Holtz Alterations Die, Butterflight. I also picked up the latest Polymer Cafe Magazine. Gotta love those 40% off A.C. Moore coupons.

Other than that, nothing much has changed since last week. If you have the time, you really should spend a few minutes checking out the desks of other creative people from all over the world.  It’s this little thing we call What’s on Your Workdesk Wednesday.  It’s loads of fun and very inspiring.

Hope you all have a wonderful and creative week!