Friday, August 12, 2011

Another Steal of a Deal!

Groupon is trying to take LivingSocial out in a match to the death! Today's deal, for 50+ sheets of designer paper, 15 ft. of boutique-style ribbon, and Vintage-inspired buttons, fabric & netting flowers from Webster's Pages, is a mere $25. At a 75% savings, I'm afraid Living Social is taking a left hook to the jaw. (However, it has a good stance--two very fun craft classes--to keep it balanced.) Who is the winner in your book?

Thursday, August 11, 2011

LivingSocial is After my Heart

Wow! LivingSocial is really singing my tune, lately! First, the awesome class at happymess Art Studio, and now fused glass? Could it get any better?
Make sure you check out today's deal! I would love some company!
Oh, and here's the schedule, for you busy folks.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Graffiti-style Stencil Workshop

I had the great pleasure of attending a workshop at happymess art studio in Durham this week.

It was so much fun! Tarish was great as he helped us create fun stencils in a style that, to be honest, would not have been my first choice. And isn't that what Jack's Crafts is about? Learning something new, and having fun doing it?

So, first thing we did was go through a bunch of magazines, looking for pictures.

Tarish helped us chose pictures without too much detail, with a high contrast, and a great image. Here is the ad that I chose to work from.

Next, we placed carbon paper over a regular "For Sale" sign and traced over the picture. Once again, we relied on Tarish to help us see the shadows we could add, as well as the spaces our eyes would fill in (so we didn't need to cut them out.) We carefully cut out the spaces we wanted to be painted. I'm a slow worker, so it took me a couple of hours. Another guy in our class was done in forty-five minutes.

me and felicia, hard at work!

my stencil before I started cutting on it

Once they were cut out, we placed our stencils over paper and rolled acrylic paint over top. They turned out great!

I've got some mixed media plans for her.

Have you taken any fun classes lately?

Sunday, July 31, 2011

Mmm... Cabbage!

Variations of this recipe can be found on dozens of websites. I love this cabbage salad recipe because it's so flexible--you can use whatever veggies you have on hand, and it gets better with age. It was actually requested for a recent potluck, so I thought I'd celebrate by posting the recipe!

1 medium head of cabbage, chopped (but I used two small--one red and one green)
1 red, green, or orange bell pepper, also chopped
2 bunches of broccoli, chopped
handful of green beans
1/2 cup almonds, sliced
1 cup dried cranberries
3 packages ramen noodles (I use oriental because it's the only vegetarian one they have--and only one brand is vegetarian so read the labels!)
8 oz extra firm tofu chunks
1 cup olive oil
6 Tbsn seasoned rice vinegar
1 tsp sugar
optional: 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1/2 tsp pepper

Chop and combine all your veggies. break up and add the noodles (not the seasonings.)
In a separate bowl, combine the oil, vinegar, seasoning packets, sugar, and salt and pepper. Mix up. Add tofu and marinade overnight. Pour dressing over veggies and serve chilled.

Marinading the tofu overnight really makes it pop with flavor. Folks won't realize they are eating tofu, and with all the toppings, they won't realize they're eating cabbage, either!

What's your favorite pot luck dish?

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Happymess Art Studio on Living Social

When it comes to deal websites like livingsocial and groupon, I usually lurk. But today's livingsocial deal just sounds so fun! $17 for an art class for one, or $30 for two, at Happymess Studio.
First selling point: it's called happymess studio! Second selling point: ARTini nights.
Anyone care to join me? :)

Monday, July 25, 2011


I love Craft: magazine. I have since the first time I saw it. They recently posted an article about the photos that inspire them.

I've been watching for a way to spotlight some of my favorite photo blogs.

I've known Sarah since we were in college. I always adored her. She has a fondness for pyrex, fresh foods, thrift store shopping, and photography. What's not to love? So, I present, anonymous was a woman.

anonymous was a woman.

Punam Bean is one of my other favorite photo blogs. She has such a great style. I love how she frames her photos. Obviously, I'm not the only one who adores her. But whenever I need inspiration, I turn to her blog.

And, more technically-oriented, is Strobist. This blog is a must-have for photographers, whether they use natural light or strobes. It's an amazing resource.

What photo blogs inspire you?

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Our First Meetup!

Today was our first meetup! It was so much fun to meet everyone. This group is full of great ideas! So, today's Sunday Shout Out goes to the people who came today, making Jack's Crafts a reality. (Unfortunately, we didn't think to take a picture before several people left. Sorry, folks!)

Looking forward to our next meetup!

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Hurry and Enter!

I love a good giveaway and this one from Bursts of Creativity looks awesome!

It ends tonight so you'll have to enter right away! So fun!

Wednesday Wish List... on Thursday

Aack! I missed posting yesterday, and here is why:

Hangin' at the beach, with lots of family around, and constant fun activities... it's hard to think of anything I could put on my Wednesday Wish list. However, CRAFT magazine has kept me well informed of what I am missing elsewhere.

by I Love to Create

by Lisa Nicholson

*dreamy sigh*

There's another one in January. Anyone want to go with me?

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Womancraft: handmade gifts

I have to admit that I have not been to Womancraft. I get off work a little too late to make it home and back out again before 7:00. However, we walk past this store all the time and my pace slows to a crawl (if not a stop.) And I have received many gifts from here (namely this and a whole set of these), which I enjoy every day. Knowing that Womancraft supports local artists, and is run as a cooperative gallery makes me love it all the more! So, for today’s Sunday Shout Out, I present Womancraft handmade gifts. Check them out and I’m sure you’ll find something you love.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Mason Jars + Solar Lights = Win

Is there anyone who doesn’t have an emotional reaction to mason jars? For a long time, they made me think of peeling peaches or tomatoes. As an adult, though, I want to surround myself with them. I can’t help it! So, in my imaginary garden (you know the one that looks like it’s right out of a fairy tale) these adorable solar lights are accented by fireflies while illuminating the moonflowers.

It’s been a busy week, as evidenced by my lack of posts! I’ll do better in the future--I promise!

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Wednesday Wish List

Holy cow. Rug braiding is not something I’ve tried, but definitely something I want to try. And Greenatheart, over at Etsy, has really convinced me that I must! Check out this amazing sun rug! *want*

(Found through

What's on your Wednesday wish list?

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Rope Bracelet DIY

I will be the first to admit that I have plenty of reasons to hate the ‘80s. Bad hair, bad jeans, blue eyeshadow, middle school... need I say more?

One fond memory I do have of the ‘80s is the rope friendship bracelets you could buy out of the vending machines for a quarter. So, when I saw this tutorial from Honestly... WTF, how could I resist?

The tutorial calls for 2mm rope, but all I could find at my local REI was 3mm and 4mm. I also wanted to go beyond the S-ring they used. I love the grungy look it provides, but to me--with all the camping and backpacking we did as kids--I needed something more nature-inspired. I had the perfect toggle that I’d picked up at Michael’s a while back. The tutorial was very easy to follow--way to go Honestly... WTF!

I love my new bracelet and it took me fewer than five minutes to put together. I do wish I had the smaller rope, as the 4mm is a bit thick for me. But there’s such a homey feel about the colors and the pattern--I love it!

Let me know how your bracelets turn out!

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Painted Chair Auction

For a few years, my better half and I were involved in animal rescue work. We volunteered with Independent Animal Rescue, an organization that finds homes for hundreds of animals every year. It’s a group that I feed deserves a huge shout-out. It is a non-profit run completely by volunteers who really care about their animals. And coming up is a way to help them out.

Though IAR has many fundraisers throughout the year, my favorite by far is the Painted Chair Auction. The gem of the evening is the live auction. Emily Weinstein, Kathryn DeMarco, and Paula MacLeod lead workshops, in which participants create fabulous furniture that is auctioned off. The auction itself is lively and entertaining. The part of the PCA that I enjoy most is the silent auction. Volunteers spend months gathering hand-crafted items, often culling from premiere Etsy sellers and other truly amazing local artists. There is always really great food, good wine, and very nice people--an event that is very deserving of my first Sunday Shout Out!

We plan to be there to support IAR, and I hope you will be, too!

Monday, June 27, 2011

Launching Jack's Crafts!

I've scheduled the Launch Party!

I thought our first meeting would be a great opportunity to get to know one another, exchange our favorite resources (so I can add them to the blog), and learn about each others' interests. Location will depend on the number of RSVPs, which is why it is TBD at the moment. Because I want Jack's Crafts to be educational, we'll do a quick workshop on taking better product photography, too. So, bring your digital camera for one-on-one assistance. After this meetup, you'll be able to take fabulous product photos in any location or situation.

Hope to see you there!

Welcome to Jack's Crafts!

My goal in starting this group is to fill a gap for crafters who can’t or won’t stick to just one craft. I hope we’ll learn from each other while enriching our creative lives and making new friends. Jack’s Crafts will be a place where participants can relax, learn new techniques or new uses for old techniques, and most importantly--have fun, all through monthly workshops run by members just like you.

Workshop ideas include (but are by no means limited to): paper crafts--cards, stamping, intro to scrapbooking, leather stamping, beading, wire wrapping, metal stamping, book binding, gardening, cooking, stained glass, sewing basics, microscope slide jewelry, photography, chain mail, embroidery, crochet, knitting, modifying books, felting, painting, ATCs (artist trading cards), glass etching... you name it!

We all know that it can be advantageous to share supplies, especially before someone has committed to a craft. Supplies are too often the biggest roadblock in learning a new crafting technique. Some supplies (scissors, glue, soldering irons) may be shared without any real cost to the organizer, while others (needle nose pliers, jump rings, beads, or specialty paper) will need to be brought by the participant. With supplies that are more expensive, that each participant does not need to own individually (like solder and flux), the workshop organizer will provide the bulk item and there will be a charge for attending the workshop. (We're all friends here, so these charges will be fair.) RSVPs will be REQUIRED when there is a charge for a workshop. We can’t bring enough supplies if we don’t know how many people will be attending. Workshops will be planned at least a month in advance, and a supply list and prototype will be presented at the meeting before.

So follow along on the blog, suggest meetups (or, better yet--offer to organize a workshop!), and most importantly, come out and meet new, crafty people!