Not afraid to fail

You know when you see someone who has been working on their craft for years? And what they make is amazing. And they are fast at it? It seems to come so naturally.

This is not that. I am not a painter. What I am is laughing. And having a good time. And trying something new.


I made one more. And without the comparison of what I was trying to do get, I’m actually pretty pleased with my efforts.


Have you failed spectacularly and still enjoyed it?


A little stitchin’


I’m really enjoying some embroidery lately. The lightbox helps and takes some of the pain out of transferring fun patterns on to fabric. And this all one color flower display sits so well with me.

Even got my sister in on the action and she made a little, happy book. I’m thinking she needs to turn it in to a pillow or the pocket of a bag.


Clothespin Ocean Puppets

You’re into Pinterest, right? I mean, you’re a crafter. And flipping through Pinterest is basically just a treasure trove of ideas. Since I volunteer in my kid’s 1st grade classroom, and the teacher has been awesome about letting me improve hand-eye-coordination and concentration with CRAFT! I look at Pinterest a bit.

We’re moving in to field trips and studying the earth and, specifically, tide pools (thank you, coast of California). So I pinned a few cute clothespin puppets. But I couldn’t find the one that I wanted in a pdf file that I could download! Add to that, the internet at home went down so I couldn’t have printed it if I did find it.

So I did what any craft minded individual did. I drew my own. I’m no artist, but I can copy decently. So here’s what I came up with.

clothespin ocean puppetsclothespinoceanpuppets

Here’s the file:

clothespin ocean puppets

Crafting with & for family

I’m a lucky lady who lives only 3 miles from my sister. Add to that, her craft skills are different than my own, and we’re a mighty team!

So when our ballet instructor (we both have preschool girls) requested crafting help for the “Nutcracker Sweet” production, we stepped up. The instructor wanted a corsage. At first she suggested knitting…but seriously, 16 knit corsages in under a month? I’m crazy, but not that crazy!

We started with some random color test pieces, though I love the penguin background and the stark contrast of the two colors.


And our beautiful finished corsages.


There are a lot of really great kumihimo tutorials and videos on-line. Unfortunately, as my husband says, Pinterest has ruined the internet. And I sort of agree with him. As much as I like my digital boards, trying to run a Google search and getting hit after hit on Pinterest instead of the actual page is annoying.

So, here’s a quick reference on the kumihimo boards I made for the kids. I’ve been keeping one of the basic ones in my purse for my kids or bored kids I run across.


The basic board is a circle (of any size, but kids tend to like them about 5″ diameter) with eight slits. My husband used a compass and a protractor and got the slits exact. I started with 4 at each of the 90 degree angles, and then roughly cut another four in between them. You use 7 strands, leaving a blank slot.

  1. Hold the blank slot at your belly button.
  2. Count strands counter clockwise from the blank slot – 1,2,3. Move that third strand in to the blank slot.
  3. Turn the board counter clockwise so the blank slot is at your belly button.
  4. Repeat step 2.

Ta Da! I’ve had kids as young as 3-1/2 grasp this and make some headway.

Our second attempt stepped up the game.


This one requires a cheat sheet for a bit until you get the hang of it. And initial set-up requires the two pink (or whatever color you choose) be at slots d & k (where I put the hearts).


Then you go to town!


If they kids love this, I may look up a few more, but right now, this is complicated enough for our busy lives!

Kumi-what now

Kumihimo has become quite the thing round these parts. And now that we’re all stuck inside thanks to the Thomas Fire┬áhere in Santa Barbara, we’ve been upping the game.

We’ve moved from the basic circle of cardboard with 8 slots and 7 strings to a square with 12 slots and 8 strings. This makes a half round braid with a “heart” in the center. Maybe next time we’ll add beads!

So glad my sister loves doing these, too! Next year I’m dragging her to the Griffin Dyeworks Fiber Frolic!