CraftGossip and EK Success Brands Super Swag!

I know, SWAG craziness!

I ♥ CraftGossip.com.  Every day around 6:00 a.m. an email pops up filled to the brim with all things craftsy.   A few weeks ago I applied and received this invite:

Saturday morning found me taking that long drive to Little Rock to meet and craft with four amazing CraftGossip editors and 19 other sweet, crafty bloggers.   Honestly, I’ve never been one to buy craft kits except for maybe the kiddies, but EK Success Brands®, who sponsored the event (and provided the delish food, awesome crafts and yes, the SWAG, oh the SWAG!), makes craft kits that are downright amazing!  I had no idea kits like these existed.  Where have I been?

If you think you have never seen EK Success Brands® products, think again.  You know those nation-wide craft stores, that big box store?  That’s where you’ll find them.  Want to preserve your memories?  Visit the scrapbook section and you’ll spot K&Company.  Want to be the next Martha Stewart?  How about Martha Stewart Crafts?  If you have an earring (or jewelry) fetish like me, you’ll swoon over Laliberi.  I think you see my point; EK Success has products for scrapbooking, stamping and paper crafting to jewelry making, needlecrafts and kids’ crafts.  Their products will totally inspire you.

CraftGossip; what can I say?  I love you guys.  Your Arkansas editors are the most down-to-earth, sweet, inspiring ladies.  Thank you for allowing me an opportunity of a lifetime to spend an afternoon with them and EK Success Brands®.  I’m ready for the next fun event!

CraftGossip's rockin' Arkansas Editors!

Now, the SWAG. . . .   Can you believe the above items EK Success Brands gave us?  It came in two ginormous bags and honestly, we were shocked and in awe!  I would estimate the cost of each person’s SWAG to be around $350+.  I still have mine laid out in our family room because I can’t stop looking at it!  I’ve already created items and can’t wait to see the kiddies so I can create more!  Thank you, thank you!

Dream. Make. Celebrate.

Tooth Fairy Pillows

Now they need to lose teeth….

During our amazing family get-together, my DIL mentioned she had been thinking of making Tooth Fairy pillows for the girls.   She’s a busy gal, between keeping track of 4 and 6 year-old girls and their Japanese lessons, swim lessons, social lives, etc., in addition to her new part-time career as a nurse practitioner (we’re so proud of her), where would she find time?   Oh, a project for Super Grammy!

I found two iron-on initial monograms, sweet pink chenille and other fabrics and decided to give the pillows a whirl.   They were so quick and easy.   I reinforced all the fabric with iron-on interfacing, and used washable stuffing.  I used a dinner plate to make T’s pillow and based K’s pillow on a simple square.  I cut out small pieces of the chenille, reinforced with interfacing, ironed on the monograms, and embroidered them on to the chenille side of the pillow to make a small pocket for the tooth and, of course, the $$ that comes after the pain!  The back sides of the pillows coordinate with the shape of the pillow and, ironically, the fabrics kind of match the girls’ personalities!  The pillows are super soft on one side so they should be perfect to snuggle up with while the girls await the Tooth Fairy’s appearance.

Sweet dreams little ones. . . .

Krazy Knitters

A work in progress.

I stink at math, but I’m pretty creative.  One of my more recent loves is knitting.   I was always intrigued by knitting, so about seven years ago a co-worker taught me and R the very basics of knitting, and we each made a felted bag.  Then life (and cancer) took over and knitting was put on the back burner.  About two years ago I picked it back up and haven’t looked back!  I’m still a beginner teaching myself how to knit but am really enjoying the new challenges.  I knit downstairs.  I knit on the porch swing.  I knit in the car.  I knit at doctors’ offices.

Finally, I knitted something that slightly resembles an article of clothing (other than the scarves, socks, and shawls I’ve knitted).  I’m pretty proud of it, so I thought I would show it off.  I posted it on the fiber lovers’ website of choice, Ravelry.

The next best thing is that I met another friend (B) who loves to knit, and we started a knitting group!  We combined it with another new knitting group and are now holding two night sessions and one day session per month.  The women are crazy-fun.  Seriously, CRAZY fun.  I can’t get any knitting accomplished because I’m always laughing.  Make new friends, but keep the old.  One is silver and the other gold.  I’m really digging my new silver friends, the Ozarks Twisted Stitchers.  We have a couple of charities we are now knitting for, one being near and dear to my heart (and chest):  Knit-A-Tit (more on that later!).

I knit, therefore I am.

Upcycled Garden Trellis

Got wood?

Better Half and I love nature and natural looking surroundings.  That doesn’t mean we don’t have the odd man-made sculptural piece or two scattered throughout our gardens, but it does mean we try our darndest to use and reuse what nature has provided.   We’ve picked up and reused more rocks than anyone on the planet, and since we have a plethora of trees, we love to use the different wood for projects.  Who can improve on Mother Nature?

This 6′ garden trellis is last week’s project.  We used cedar trees we were thinning for the three legs and support beams.  Cedar was a natural choice since it’s basically rot resistant.  Instead of burn piles, why not use honor the trees and give them a second life?  We also have tons of grape vines and honeysuckle vines; those we used to wrap around the trellis.  Basically, we cut the three legs from the cedars to a height of about 6.5′.  We “teepee’d” the three legs and made support beams out of the remaining cedar pieces which we secured with wood screws we had on hand.  Then we had fun wrapping the vines all over the trellis.  From start to finish it took less than 2 hours, and we think our free trellis looks great.  (We even made another one that’s slightly different–I’ll show you another time!)

We will be planting cardinal vine on the trellis for the hummingbirds, and we think they too will appreciate the beauty of this natural, upcycled garden trellis!  Walking around the woods and thinking outside the box was a great way to spend the afternoon with Better Half!

Unraveling. . . .

Yarn—not life!

Recently Better Half and I took off on some little jaunts to different parts of Missouri, one of our favorite states.  In a particularly nice little town deep in the heart of wine country (What-you’re unaware of Missouri’s history of wineries?  They were on to luscious grapes before Napa knew what hit ‘em!) while strolling about a charming brick-lined street, I stopped in a second-hand store.  There it was:  an extra-large 100% bulky-cotton Gap sweater.  I’ve been wanting to try my hand at unraveling sweaters and recycling the yarn.  The sweater looked like it had never been worn.  I paid a whopping $1.50 and by the next day I had five HUGE balls of yarn.

Earlier this past year, my dear friend J had given me a pattern for a slouchy beret and while my recycled yarn was quite a bit thicker than the yarn required, I decided to give it a whirl.  Wowza, I had such fun.  I took my project with me while we traveled to the other side of Missouri to visit relatives and friends (J again!) and stare at our latest purchase: our new farm.  While knitting during the travels, BH and I talked about our dreams for our new farm and how we want to spend the remaining time we have together.  It was fun.  It was relaxing.  We took windy country roads.  We weren’t in a hurry to get anywhere.  We stopped and took cool pictures.

We unraveled. . . .

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