Subversive Cross Stitching

Cross Stitching is an extremely easy craft to learn and offers immediate gratification. That is why I am never found without a project in my purse and on my nightstand. Unfortunately, however, this craft has become rather typical…I always feel like I’m seeing the same sampler or flower display. That is what makes subversive cross stitching so special…

It is always nice to see a touch of humor and updating brought to a time tested tradition. It brightens it up and makes it more accessible for everyone. Instead of blabbering on for awhile about it, I rather just show you a few pieces. These pieces really speak for themselves…haha!

-C

PS: I tried to not use any too vulgar…but they can get quite funny ;)

Sources:

http://www.casasugar.com/Do-You-Have-Any-Cross-Stitching-Your-Home-3644710

http://thingshelenlikes.wordpress.com/2011/02/13/subversive-cross-stitch/

http://www.flickriver.com/groups/scs/pool/interesting/

http://www.flickr.com/photos/12688864@N03/3019526330/

http://indulgy.com/post/oD1Qpo7qK1/jeremiah-junction-counted-cross-stitch-patterns

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Regret

My post today is going to be a bit more personal than what A and I normally post, but it should be nonetheless interesting (because, let’s face it, we all enjoy glimpses into personal unrest). I’m not really sure if this is a public apology or just a venting session, but regardless, it is a sentiment of regret.

Regret is an emotion that is probably one of the most common – whether we want to admit it or not. We always wonder what we could have done differently in any situation or whether we could change some outcome. Scientifically, regret is actually linked to the orbitofrontal cortex…making it an actual physical phenomenon.

More often than not, regret will lead to guilt. This guilt can be expressed in sadness, shame, embarrassment, sorrow, and remorse.

Personal actions committed of wrongdoing render an unconditional eating of the soul. Nothing is more painful – I would rather saw off my own arm. The worst of any type of regret is when you are unsure of what you regret; knowing only that there was some wrongdoing. Another is knowing you have wronged someone, you know they know, but you both ignore it. And finally, where you both know and are open to it …probably the easiest but no less painful.

So to the people this is specifically meant for (and there are quite a few of you) know I am so sorry for how I have wronged you. All I can do is wish and pray for your forgiveness. For everyone else, take this as a lesson. Always be the best you can be so that you can live without the burden of regret and guilt.

-C

PS: On a happier note, this week A gave me a brilliant idea for a future post on hat-making! This will take me a few weeks to work on so that I can craft a few examples, but it should be pretty spectacular and I am truly looking forward to getting to share it with you all!

Credits:

http://www.dreamstime.com/stock-images-stock-images-black-white-abstract-art-background-image12315234

http://kochis.net/wp/?tag=black-and-white

Everyday Art

Some of my earliest memories consist of me sitting at the kitchen counter and making tin-foil animals. Mostly swans (is they could even be called swans), which I thought were the cat’s meow. I would put them on display in every room in the house because I loved the way the sun would reflect off of them.

With most people, tin-foil art ends at wrapping up a sandwich. For others, it goes on to incorporate dinosaurs and dresses. In all honesty, I find it quite surprising that tin-foil is not a more popular medium. It is malleable, durable, and a hypnotizing reflective surface. The endless possibilities that it holds are unimaginable.

Since I’m on the topic right now, I’m going to give the directions for one of my all-time favorite crafts. I taught myself how to do this last Christmas, and right now is the best time to start in order to have a forest of tin-foil trees by the holidays (actually, they come together extremely quick…)

You will need:

  • A roll of tin-foil
  • About 6 oz. of clay that hardens when baked
  • A small sheet of felt
  • A wooden skewer
  • Scissors
  • Stickers for decoration
  • glue

Steps:

1. Take your clay and make a mound that is about 2” in diameter at the bottom and is rounded to the top. Poke a hole in it big enough for the skewer to it in, and then bake the clay until hardened.

2. While the clay is baking, cut the tin foil into squares. You will need the 40 each of the following sizes (keep them separated in piles)

4”x4”

3 ½” x 3 ½”

3”x3”

2 ½” x 2 ½”

2”x2”

1 ½” x 1 ½”

1”x 1”

½” x ½”

3. When the clay comes out of the oven, cut the felt to fit the bottom of it. Glue this on.

4. Put the skewer into the clay (pointy side up)

5. Place tin-foil squares onto skewer (biggest ones first, and continue to get smaller)

6. When finished take 2 of the same sticker (I like to use stars) and put them together at the top to cover the point.

7. You can decorate the rest of the tree with various other stickers or leave plain.

(I found a similar craft on Martha Stewart’s website, so I used her picture – just substitute the newspaper for tin-foil)

Have fun tin-foiling!!!

-C

Thanks to:

http://serious-insanity.blogspot.com/2012/02/cool-stuff-tin-foil-art.html

http://www.artcar.blogspot.com/

http://www.marthastewart.com/268174/shimmering-stacked-trees

Is Your Family Cookbook a Hellacious Dump?

Well, I’m here to rescue your poor imploding binder. Because of the nature of this post, I don’t have that many pictures that are perfectly related to organisation (unless you want me to upload 10 pictures of my lovely tabs), so I’ll provide you a sneak-peak to future recipes that are hidden in the binder as I go about explaining familial organisational tools. So, here we go: How to Make an Organised Family Cookbook out of your Mess.

Recipe

Step 1: Remove Everything. This is one of my family recipes (a custard) that has been removed, so delicately, from an old binder stuffed with napkin edges full of recipes. Some of them had huge stains, some were ripped in two, some had four duplicates. So when you’re taking apart what is probably, at this point, a binder falling apart or a notebook with 3 recipes on each page, be mindful that you might be handling the only recorded version of that cake or casserole. Put them in a pile, or several piles if they are already organised in some fashion, and clean out the entire old cookbook.
Banana Bread

Step 2: Purchase Replacements. Get yourself 2 2′ binders that feel sturdy and strong. Nothing that will fall apart in a month — a year — even four years. You don’t want to have to do this every blue moon. You want this to be the version you hand your grandchildren. Whether that means you have to reinforce it with steel. You want 2 because, you will probably need 2, despite what you think. If you don’t use it, you can use the other binder to store recipes you want to try, contacts, important documents, etc.

Also purchase a 100 pack of clear paper protectors. Invest in stronger ones that won’t tear at the creases and sides. Then, purchase either a stack of computer paper or coloured mounting paper (scrapbooking will do), because it will give your cookbook a much more elegant and personal feeling. Finally, get some double sided acid-free mounting tape from an office or crafts store. You can find it in the scrapbooking section.

Step 3: Rethink Your Categories. If you didn’t have categories before, or if you’re using old categories from a premade cookbook, it’s time to take charge and divvy up your recipes. Personalise. For example, I broke up breads into “breakfast” and “savoury” because my family actually  has several dozen in each section. I’ll provide you with the categories I settled with:

  • Sauces and Appetizers
  • Savoury Breads
  • Soups, Salads, Pizzas, Sandwiches, etc.
  • Beverages
  • Breads and Breakfast Items
  • Casseroles
  • Meats and Poultry
  • Fish and Seafood
  • Vegetables
  • Holiday
  • Desserts
  • Miscellaneous

Pan Seared Salmon
Step 4: Mount and Sort. I hope you bought enough double sided tape, because now it’s time to sit down with an army of family members and just go through those recipes. Put them into the categories you came up with, toss out the ones you haven’t done in 20 years (and don’t plan on doing) that have little memory value, and, if you have the man power, assign a person or two to start mounting. Double side the papers, putting recipes on both sides. Make sure that the recipes on both sides belong in the same category, and do this for as many hours as you can stand. It will go faster and faster. Mount a recipe or two on each side, slide it into a page protector, and stack them up again.

Sauteed ApplesStep 5: Snap Them In and Enjoy! It’s time to take pictures of those lovely new recipe binders sitting on your pretty shelf. This means no more sifting through for lost recipes, no more using the same ones in the front, finding those great family recipes that make you laugh (Sock-It-To-Em Cake, anyone?) and finally getting them all sorted, set, and protected. The paper protectors will make sure that no more spatters ruin your grandmother’s handwriting, and the binder will let you snap them out and carry them around the kitchen as you stir and whisk up family tradition.

But wait! There’s more! Another bonus is that it is now easy for your children or pesky relatives to come and make copies. Send them to the nearest copy machine and they can unsnap and press page-by-page the recipes that they want. Now you don’t have to worry about sitting down and typing them up another copy of the illegible scrawl your German great-aunt-in-law wrote on the back of your tax returns when she visited you twelve years ago. Instead, now it’s easy and breezy.

Hopefully you’ll get inspired to clear your cluttery kitchen and start with your cookbook too!

-A.
Photos Courtesty Of:

Billions of Bracelets!

So, over the past week or so, I decided to try out making bracelets I found online to inspire me for summer. I found lots of styles and how-to’s, and I’ve included a couple of photographs of the ones that I did. I didn’t do all of them, but I’ll link you to the best ones that I found so that you can decide for yourself what you want to try. Bracelets are a fun, summery trend that last just long enough before they go out of style when the weather gets cold — tailor them to boys or girls, everyone appreciates this easy gift. Let’s start off with one that I fell in love with and made 3 of — in 2 days.

Simple Wrap Bracelet

 Image and video hosting by TinyPic

Okay, so as it turns out, I am absolutely in love with these bracelets. I have oodles of old buttons that I have no idea what to do with (unless I want to start the huge project of ripping off other buttons and putting these ones on things). Plus, I’m always doing beading things, so the amount of glass beads in my beading box is endless. Plus, I have these strings of leather and twine that turned out perfect for this project! I followed the directions exactly as the lovely lady in the video instructed, and, attaching it with ropes of tape to the back of a Tupperware lid, I was able to get one of these done in an hour and a half by the third time I did it. I bet, with practice, I could get it down to an hour with the a bit of practice.

Image and video hosting by TinyPic

Ok, the next bracelet, I have not tried, so I’m providing you with another image of the Wrap Bracelet.

Summer Zipper-Style Bracelet

http://pm-betweenthelines.blogspot.com/2010/06/summer-bracelets-diy.html

Okay, so these aren’t called Zipper-style bracelets, but they really remind me of zippers. Is that just me? Maybe that’s just me.

Image and video hosting by TinyPicFashion Forward Bracelets

http://www.rtroncampus.com/2011/09/15/diy-fashion-forward-bracelets/

There are two bracelets on this blog post, one of which involves knuts and bolts, the other of which involves a gold chain. I thought they both looked interesting, but my arms are really starting to get cluttered. I’ll let you decide if they’re worth making!

Beaded Bracelet

http://blogalacart.com/2011/07/beaded-bracelet/

A beaded bracelet that will give you a similar look to the wrapped bracelet.

Friendship Bracelet

http://honestlywtf.com/diy/diy-friendship-bracelet/

Sailor’s Knot Bracelet

http://www.moredesignplease.com/moredesignplease/2010/8/4/diy-sailors-knot-bracelet.html

I’m going to comment on these at the same time, because they have a joint picture since they are both fastened tightly to my wrist. Don’t mind the scrabby little blue string. It’s a charity bracelet from Cotton On.

Image and video hosting by TinyPic

Now, some of the more astute-minded might be wondering why my friendship bracelet is only half-length. That’s because I thought that I might be a smart-arse and do a shortcut. As it turns out, you can’t do that shortcut because it keeps you from making an entire bracelet.

So I won’t even tell you what I did wrong. But I do like the bracelet, and the smaller size keeps my wrists from being completely cluttered. This Sailor’s Knot Bracelet (also called a Turk’s Head Bracelet) has become one of my favourites, especially since lots of people I know go to Nantucket and the Vineyard, where I’ve heard you can get them.

In other words, it makes me feel cool.

All of these were rather simple and easy to do! Tada! With a lazy summer afternoon and some bored friends, you could really churn out some new fashion. I hope you pick out one or two of these ideas and decide to make Billions of Bracelets of your own! Cheers!

-A