Thursday, August 16

Me on Babble: My Top 12 Crafts of All Time

Recently on a trip to the big apple for BlogHer, I ran into a fellow craft blogger I met very briefly at CHA Summer in July.
I'm not gonna lie, it was so nice to see a somewhat familiar face in the giant sea of women and get a chance to actual talk to her and ask the questions I had been dying to know.
"How did you get so many Pinterest followers?"
"What's the reason behind the Handmade Charlotte name?"
"How the heck do you do what you do with all those kids?!?!"
Rachel and I were instant friends.
Within the first 5 minutes of talking, we were already planning our day together.
And the next thing I knew I was in a cab, galavanting through NYC in search of all the best craft spots.

First stop was the Lion Brand Studio.
Wow, what a cool place that can easily inspire a person to buy a bunch of yarn she doesn't need nor have the room for in her tiny work area.

Then it was off to one of my most favorite corners of New York, M&J Trimmings.
Holy Sparkles Batman!
This place is a DIYers dream come true.
Need a button, they only have like a million.

Then we stuck to 6th street because it is the mecca of beads.
We ducked into a couple shops and fondled all the gems.
(Yes, I said fondled.)
Let me tell ya, if you want to talk craft with a crafter, just do it in crafty stores.
It will inspire not only your next three projects but keep the conversation exciting.
"So, on Twitter, I like to...ooohhh look, shiney!"

And thus, an article on Babble was born.


I was so excited when Rachel asked little 'ol me if I wanted to be the center of an article and share my favorite crafts.
How could I refuse?
And I was so happy to read she thought we were instant friends too.

Be sure to check out my Top 12 All Time Favorite Crafts, they are some of the best I have ever seen.

Monday, June 27

100+ Handmade Flower Tutorials

Do you?...

This is the hottest way to keep track of all the coolest stuff you find on the web.
It's also a great way to waste a lot of time.
Warning: You will get sucked in and spend hours looking at pages of awesomeness all in one spot.
I save great craft ideas, recipes, and clothes all in this one spot.
And the best part is that it is total eye candy.
So, if you want to track all those sites and ideas in one spot, hop on over.
If you need an invite, let me know.
And you can find me there as spazzgirl, naturally.

On Pinterest and in my daily internet surfing, I've found tons of great tutorials for making flowers.
Every kind you can imagine.
And now you can find them all in one spot!
Just click to follow my Flower Tutorials board and you can get all those great links too.
Over 100 and the list grows every week!

Happy Pinning!

Friday, June 24

Hero Arts - Thanks for All You Do Card

Very simple card to share with you today.
I love the bright colors on the kraft cardstock for this lively card.
Flowers are stamped with StazOn ink and then colored with a water brush and dye ink pads for a watercolor look.
I also used a White Signo Gel Pen to add a little pop.
For that main flower, I stamped with StazOn on to white watercolor paper and then colored similarly.
I made sure to make those shades darker so that it stood out more.
Stamped greeting on kraft and matted on black.
Hope you like it.

And now back to my testing of the Silhouette machine for Craft Critique.
My review of the Teresa Collins Stampmaker is now up though and you won't want to miss my cool photo stamps.
Like the one I used to make this neat card for my nephew's graduation.

Have a nice weekend!

Thursday, June 2

Lawn Fawn - Say Cheese! Mini Album Class

Trying to get back into the swing of things over here on my poor little blog.
It's so neglected with all my time spent on Craft Critique.
I'm a writing and editing crazy person over there.
Did you see all those articles last week on Crafty Businesses?
I'm also getting back into the craft game in another way, teaching.
It's always been one of the things I love most about crafting is meeting other crafters and sharing.
So, I'm back!

I've made some cards and I'm all set up to teach a mini album class, June 11th at Stampology Chicago.
The class uses the new Lawn Fawn Stamps, Say Cheese! and Say Cheese, Too!
If you are in the Chicagoland area and want something fun to do on a Saturday and make a little keepsake for all your fun photos, join me for this stamp class.

And if that wasn't enough to feast you little eyeballs on, here's a bunch of cards also made with the Lawn Fawn stamps.

Enjoy your Thursday and do something creative!

Monday, May 23

Yeah, I met Martha Stewart

I know this post is loooonnnngggg overdue.
My friends have been sorely disappointed in my ability to get things done in a timely manner.
But they know me, so they should expect this. No?
And there was a great write-up of our Martha Adventure on Craft Critique, so I figured that bought me a little time.
Granted, not a couple months.
Plus, I never did a write up about my Caribbean Adventure with the craft editor of Martha Stewart, so they are rightly upset with me.

So, I'm making up for it right now with a feast for the eyes of tons of photos from my super awesome NYC adventure to meet the queen herself.

We were literally invited to this special Craft Hour show about 2 weeks before the show was scheduled to be taped.
Even with the short notice, we didn't even hesitate for a milli-second when we were emailed, you don't stammer when Martha's people call.
We made immediate plans to stay with one of our reporters, Morgan, in Jersey because let's face it NYC is big money.
(Plus, I would get to see the Jersey sites and hopefully a little fist pumping)

We arrived in Jersey on Tuesday and Morgan took us to her favorite pub for burgers and brews, which was a perfect carbo-loading pre-taping meal.
Since we were going to be taking public transportation to get into NYC, we mapped out a scheduled and determined we would need to be up at about 5am and out the door at 6:15am.
Now, maybe that doesn't seem THAT early to you but when you are on CST and you are now suddenly on EST with an early wake up like that, it is mighty early.
The excitement of the experience was enough to make me pop out of bed bright and early.
It even fueled me enough to put on makeup and cute clothes.

Our trip to NYC on public transportation was actually delightful.
Jersey folks are super nice and helpful.
I actually thought it was easier to maneuver than it is here in Chicago (and people were way friendlier).
We arrived totally on time, totally shocking for me, with a line of people outside the studio waiting to get in.

Once inside, we checked our coats and headed into the waiting room.
There are photos of magazine covers and Martha everywhere plus, they are playing clips of the show to keep everyone entertained.

I met Grace from Design Sponge in the waiting room.
But didn't see very many bloggers waiting.
We were invited to live blog the whole show and little did we know it was going to be LIVE.
I totally assumed it would be like the Blog Show Martha did, where the whole audience was filled of just bloggers.
But alas, it wasn't.
There was just a handful of us.
And they led us in first.
The studio is so cool in person and there is a lot going on before the show starts.

When we were led into the studio, I about died when I saw where our seats were.
Right in front.
Like the front row.
Like 8 feet from all the action.
And when I saw the names on the seats, mine was dead center.
Right next to Grace from Design Sponge.
When I spoke to her in the waiting room, she said someone was doing a craft from her site on the show which is why she was there.
So I knew the camera would be on her at some point in the show.
Which meant chance were that I would also be on camera.
Talk about instant panic.
I quickly used my iPhone to check my hair and makeup.
And got all set up for the liveblogging during the show.
Joey came around while we were snapping away while he was getting the audience all riled up.

Then a photographer came over and took our picture.
Can you see all that nervous energy on my face?

And then Martha entered.
Cool as a cucumber.

The show started and literally it was right in front of me.
In fact one of the prompter screens was at my feet, so occasionally Martha and the guest would look directly at my feet.
The first project segment was with the Design Sponge girl and again, I knew they would be going to Grace.
I typed away, liveblogging like a crazy person.
In fact, I didn't even see most of the show since my nose was in the computer the entire time.
But then...after Martha made her paper log...the camera went to Grace.
And me.
For that split second I thought to myself, "Hurry, look up. Smile. The entire world can see you and you make faces when you type."
So, I did.
And there I was on TV.
My mom should be happy with all that money she spent on braces now.

Then they went to a commercial break and Martha just kept on crafting.
Seriously, that lady loves to craft.
It was like she just had to finish every project she started.
And then the director would come over and nudge her so they could set up the next project.
It was all very calm and organized.
There's Hannah Milman, the crafter extraordinaire I got to spend a whole vacation with.
She's the sweetest person and just a fountain of information about craft.

In between each segment, a photographer would come out and snap photos of Martha and each guest.
There was a total rhythm to the entire process.

And Martha would crack jokes and say the funniest stuff.
If there was one thing I didn't know about Martha, it's that she is one funny lady.
Then it happened.
Before Hannah's segment, she walked up and hugged Sarah and I.
And just by chance, we asked, "Can we meet Martha? Is it possible?"
Of course Hannah was like, "I'm on it."
And during one of the segment breaks, the director comes out and is like, "All of you, on set with Martha."
Now, you know everyone was instantly up and headed to the right of that table to get close to Martha.
Sarah and I went left.
It was one of the smartest decisions we've ever made.
I should screen print myself a Tshirt that says, "I went left and met Martha."
Well, since we were the only two on her left, she turned and talked to us.
What did I say?
Not sure really besides my name, I know I said that.
But we talked.
And then this photo was snapped.

And Martha turned the other way and quickly met the rest of the bloggers.
And the show went on.
At the very end of the show, before the end, the director came to us and quickly said, "Everyone get ready Martha is going to you next."
Martha was going to introduce us, on camera.
And she did.
I was all clumsy and awkward because I had a laptop in my lap and had to stand suddenly.
And I know I said Craft Critique but totally didn't say my name...duh.
But it was like I instantly became a moron.
After the show, we were allowed on set to take photos.
It was a total privilege since the audience is not allowed on set.

Sarah Moore, Hannah Milman, Hosanna Houser
It was all like a dream.
Like I said, I felt like I missed the entire show.
When I watched it later, I felt like I was seeing it for the first time and that I looked like a total dork.

And if that wasn't enough, we then headed over to the MSLO offices for a private tour with Jodi Levine, the other editor I got to vacation with.

We saw it all!
Every nook and spot in the joint.
Martha's office, where all that cooking happens, the craft room...oh it was just jaw dropping.
And the prop room, where they get all there stuff for shoots and the set.
That was amazing, talk about owning everything.

And we got to pick the brains of the MSLO big shots.
Oh and see new product while still in the testing phases.
So amazing.
It definitely confirmed that it would be a dream come true to get to work there.

Then it was off to find a slice of pizza.
I had to compare to our delicious Chicago variety.
And I wanted to see the Statue of Liberty, if only from a very far distance.

And Time Square.

Dana Vitek, Sarah Moore and Me...The Craft Critique Editors
By 2pm, we were exhausted and headed by to Jersey.
Yeah, like I said it was all amazing.
And any time I think to myself, "Why does so much crap come my way?"
I just remind myself...Uh, You met Martha.