Saturday, January 17, 2015

Domesticraft Loves . . .Saturday Shout-Out! [ Episode #3 ]

This blog post is about my friend, Dana.  We've known each other for about 4 months.  Really??  Even I don't believe that!  We are total kindred spirits and were bff's from the get go! Kinda like Besties at first sight!  Cue the glitter and mod podge, right? 

She is one of those people that just exude goodness and brightness and joy and humor.  I could hang out with her forever and never be bored!  She brings out my sense of wonder and my creativity and my corny goofiness.  She would give you the shirt off her back and help you out in any situation at a drop of a hat, (even moving and everyone hates that!) and she will do it cheerfully with a beautiful smile and genuine heart.  I adore her. 

She is a Nanny by trade and an amazing crafter/artist/maker, and a loving wife with 4 kiddos.  Her blog name, Dapoppins, is a take on Mary Poppins.  Dana, to me, makes Mary seem like the Wicked Witch of the West . . .yes, she is all that & a bag of Crispy Baked Chickpeas Snackitty Snack Mix!  (I am making some of these tomorrow if anyone wants the recipe!  They are the bomb, as long as you don't burn them, word to the wise and all that!)  

Dana has a Nanny Bag, not unlike Mary.  I do sometimes wonder what is in that bag, like for reals . . . how is she just so flippin' nice all the time??  Did I mention, I adore her?  

Dana and I are working on a collaboration in February, so I am going to try and sneak a peek in her "happy bag".  I'll let you know if it's the least bit interesting.

I am also going to bring it to her attention in a few years, that she will want to double up on whatever it is, that is in that bag, when menopause hits.  Just sayin'  :)
This photo is stunning and beyond cute!  She so has the eye for cute!
Dana just recently got a gorgeous new haircut, hence the awesome "Look at me, I'm so pretty" selfie  She's workin' it.
(Hey, Dana!  Hubs thinks you look like Sandra Bullock in the far left photo!  I  think you're cuter! :P)

The above collage of wonderful photos are so neat! I look at them and smile. :)

Dana's turn to chat a little now.  Okay, Dana . . . take it away!!
My blog is about telling stories.  Telling the stories of my life, my career, my passions, and encouraging others to tell stories.  With a more than 20 years of "Umbrella Magic"  and Nanny wisdom thrown in. 
My  Point of View: which is occasionally inspiring and entertaining.

Nanny life and loves -things like books, kid-items, and crafts that I do with kids.

Kid book reviews.

Some paper-craftiness thrown in, because it is one of my passions that I love to share.

That's Dana's word for the year.  Fearless.  I love it?  It's going to be even cooler hanging out with her now, being all fearless and stuff. :)  There is nothing about the photo above that I don't love! 

Dana is on the Craft Warehouse Design Team.  I think her gig goes from August 2014-August 2015.  She has a blog post that just went live today and then she is having a feature on the where where she is going to create and make something amazing!  I don't even know what!!  I can't wait!!  Dana, when is it??  Sorry, I forgot!  I got distracted by your Sandra Bullock cuteness! ;)
 photo DesignTeam_250px_zpsa5be8d3c.jpg
Craft Warehouse is an awesome and local (Pacific Northwest USA) craft haven!  Word just came out that they are opening up a store on my end of town now.  In March!  I just moved from that  end of town last September, where there was a Craft Warehouse and a Craft Warehouse WAREHOUSE!  I know, it was awesome!  I spent some good bucks there and I think they must miss me!  However I am on a no spend, craft and/or thrift hiatus for 2015.  I'll even be giving some online classes on some amazing projects for busting your craft stash!  And I'll be having lots of free tutorials on my blog as well!

Here is a little tidbit about the inner workings of Dana's creative mind:

"I was working on something else when this guy just appeared...
It was the start of a sweet whimsy face, but this little lost fellow came out of no where.  When I plot a story I usually start with one scene, one idea.  When I work on a page that will go into my art journal, I do the same.  The idea was to practice making cute, adorable girl faces, but what I ended up with reminds my boys a little too much of this character called Slenderman.  He's some freaky guy from a video game they are not allowed to play but still know all about."

He looks like a bit like a skeleton to me.  Or a forgotten harlequin doll lost in the attic, or the Moon Man looking for a friend.  So what do you think.  Want to play?

The below photo is one of my favorite pieces!  It rains a lot here in Portland and it makes for some particularly gloomy days.  Today seemed pretty much night time . . . all day long!  I usually love the rain, but sometimes I crave the sunshine more than I love the rain.  This mixed-media framed art is just so cheerful and makes me not sweat the need for a sunny day . . . as much.  Isn't it cute?  I'm pretty sure she sells these too.  If she doesn't, she will be, cause I want one!!

That's it for another Saturday Shout-Out!  I hope you enjoyed reading it as much as I have enjoyed writing it.  It certainly reinforced in my heart, what a good and true friend I have in Dana!

So let me know, what do you think is is her "Nanny Bag" and should I force her to share?? ;)

Please check her blog out and give her some comment love over there too!


Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Domesticraft Washi Tape Organization Wall of Wonder!

READY . . . SET . . . SWOON!
I'm going to change my career path again and fly all over the world making Washi Tape Organization Wall of Wonders for all the blah walls everywhere!  I know, I know . . . keep my "day job".  ;)  How fun would that be though, who would be my assistant, any takers?
I LOVE how it turned out & I am sooooo happy with it!  Let me tell you a little about it, although the photos really say it all. 

It has 36 squares, of which I used 4" x 4" squares cut from 12" x 12" designer scrapbook paper and a sheet of dsp with some cute journaling cards ready to cut.  So cut I did!  I used a total of 3 sheets, which is like a grain of sand in my paper "collection".    Now I know a month has less than 36 days and more than 6 days in a week.  The extra month squares are just that.  Extras that I can do whatever I want with or nothing at all.  They can be like filler cards in a Project Life album! ;)
I was determined not to let this fugly plugly deter me from my mission.  It had to stay, as the the kitchen is only outfitted with two outlets and they are both crucial to my crafting and cooking adventures!! 

The missing day of the week is Sunday and it's really not missing.  It's a "free" day.  (Yay, free day!)  Nothing work-like scheduled.  This can be my "play day" and when the shop takes off from all my hard work and the help of all my online and offline friends (and you really are helpful & I thank you!), I'll take more "play days" (hubs says . . . Yay, play days!)  Aren't those scrabble tiles cute?  I hot glued those puppies right on the painter's tape!

Oops,  I forgot to tell you that I used painter's tape in the project.  The blue grid is painter's tape. Yep, I kinda cheated, but whatever, it's still cute!  I figured it was more durable and would stick probably forever, or until I change it.  But I don't think I will.  I'll change the whole look of it with different folders and designer paper choices or dsp as we shall now refer to it as.  I know it will evolve too.  Oh, and that's a little chalkboard I got at a thrift shop a

long time ago and cuted up with washi tape too!  The clock is a retro knock-off but it's red, nuff said. ;)  You'll notice that I have 7 clipboards.  I thought 7 days of the week, hmmmm . . . but nope, too "everyone would do that".   I think I will use them for giveaways/challenges & freebies, craft/diy projects & tutorials, photography projects, collaborations, classes/courses (giving & taking), designer gigs and marketing and promotion ideas Yep, that's seven, 7! 

Okay, I've got a handle on this part of my NEW YEAR organization makeover! A big check mark in my planner for this!  WAIT!  I don't have my planner done yet!  Well, Super Cara to the rescue!!  I've accepted her challenge to attend her "Practically Perfect Planner" class. Here's what she has to say,  'If you find yourself not using your pretty journals, planners and books, it's not because you aren't a journaller or planner. It's because the book is not set up the way you journal or plan. So go ahead and alter it!'  I'm very excited and would totally encourage you to do the same!  In case you have forgotten, Cara is the blogger aka super crafty designer paper lover friend and younger twin of mine.  Way younger. :)  Read this blogpost to refresh your your memory!  Go find her at The Hooting Pirate to sign up for this free class RIGHT NOW!  It's starts on Friday and it's FREE!!  Go . . .go. . .go . . go!!!

So, that planner is going to be ready to roll and do a blog post about in the next two weeks (ISH)!!  I'll keep you posted on that post! hahaha  

That's all, my friend!  I can't wait to hear what you think of it! Got any tips for me?  This wall is so flexible and easy to change! 

Thanks for visiting!  Oh yeah, don't forget Domesticraft loves . . . SATURDAY SHOUT-OUT this coming Saturday!  Are you enjoying this new feature?  I am having so much fun with it!  I do so hope you are too!



Saturday, January 10, 2015

Domesticraft Loves . . . Saturday Shout-Out! #2



I'd like to introduce you to my friend, Jenny!  She is a master crocheter ( there is probably a fancier name for that, but being a non-crocheter, I don't know it.  And even though I don't crochet, I own a boatload of yarn and every size of crochet hook imaginable, that I can imagine anyway since, again, I don't know how to crochet.

I first met Jenny when I had commented on a post she had written and then wrote my own blog post (click here to visit) about it.  We had watched a Creative Live course (given by Kari Chapin and it was awesome) and were in a Facebook group together that was a bonus of the course if you wanted to join.  We did!

It was my first favorite blog post.  It pretty much opened up a whole new world for me, of experiences and knowledge and mostly, of friends.  That was 7 months ago as of tomorrow!  Happy Anniversary, Jen!!  I adore this young woman and admire her so much.  She has what my Grandma would have called, "moxie".  My Grandma was a wicked crocheter and did teach me and alas, I have forgotten how.  My Grandma would have so loved to have Jenny teach me again.  So, I'm kinda gonna let Jenny to the talking now cause she wrote a bunch of notes for me and they are way better that what I had! :) Take it a away Jenny!

(Isn't she adorable?  She told me how to make this little stop motion thingy and I forgot.  Jen, will you tell me again, please!!)

I learned to craft from my mom when I was just a little kid.  She loved cross-stitch, sewing, and especially crochet.  She's left-handed, but she learned to crochet right-handed so she could teach me.  Thanks,  mom!  I crocheted berets for my friend's My Little Ponies, and after working my way through her entire collection, I was hooked (ha ha!)  (See, I told you she was funny!)  Here is a link to a lovely blogpost she wrote about her crafty mama!  

I now write crochet patterns, including instructions for crochet letters, numbers, punctuation marks, and banners.  I work to create things with as few ends to weave in as possible (my least favorite part of any project) and let makers use their own creativity to embellish their projects.  There is nothing better than seeing a finished project from one of my patterns on Ravelry or Instagram or in my inbox.  I sell on Etsy and Ravelry  and am nearing 1,000 patterns sold(Woot!)

I'm also interested in helping folks who have never crocheted (That's kinda me!) learn the skills they need without feeling judged or frustrated, and that will be a reoccurring theme on my blog this year.  I'm so lucky to do this kind of work and meet so many wonderful crafters! (That's kinda me, again!)


Hi, Jenny Brown would be nowhere without my wonderful photographer and best friend, Erin Markan.  

You can find her on Instagram at fcollected.  She's the reason we won the Crochet Concupiscence's 2014 Awesome Blog Award for Best Crochet Blog Photos.  We live together in Northern New Jersey with her husband, her two kids (Mr. A and the Babes), and my husband (AKA "Craft Husband").  It's a fun modern commune with lots of crafting.  Erin and I went to college together, our husbands were in the Marines together, and we all consider ourselves lucky to have met each other. 

Bonus for me - her kiddos are excellent crochet models and work for M&Ms or quarters (a fair wage for the under-6 set). Tips I would give to folks who want to use their kiddos in photos: plan ahead!  There are plenty of times where we've done spontaneous photos, but those shots don't always turn out.  

Have a general concept for the photos (including picking outfits for the kids, making sure their hands are clean, having all your props ready at the location, and cleaning their hands again).  Explain why you're taking these pictures - Mr. A and Babes love the idea that other people are going to make what they're modeling.  Get a few shots of them doing what you had planned, then let them play.  

I do a lot of wincing because I'm convinced they're about to ruin something I worked so hard on, but I let it go because I know from experience that those are usually the best photos. OK, I don't completely let it go.  If these pictures had audio, it would be me repeating the word "Gentle!" over and over. 

I love things that are a little weird, quirky, funny, odd - however you want to say it. I think that's why I fell for yarnbombing (that and having a 6'3" architect husband who could reach tall places and take accurate measurements). 

I've done small projects by myself and been a member of larger installations, like Knit the Bridge.  When I lived in West Virginia, I led a crew in decorating a then-vacant historic building in downtown Wheeling, and that helped catch the eye of its current owner.  We were so glad he took on the rehabilitation that we went back to decorate it for a second time. 


Moving forward, I plan to release a lot more patterns, do a lot more yarn bombing, and teach more adults and kids about yarn crafts (especially crochet).  I'm also hoping to do more with crochet charity - my recent series "Hooking for Good" was an amazing opportunity to connect with organizations that use handmade items to help those in need.  It was one of the best things I ever did.
This title cracks me up too!

Jenny :)

Okay, Jen's done, but she didn't mention my favorite post!  This one I would love to see go viral!!  If you are ANY kind of crafty person, you will be able to relate to this post and will be rolling on the floor laughing!  The look on her face is exactly what I've felt many, many times over my crafty career!  I like to think I hid "the look", but probably not.  You'll find out in the post that those people wouldn't get "the look" anyway!  The following photo is now going to be referred to as "the look".  Pin it, share it, post it . . .  social media the crap  craft out of it!!  Wouldn't that be so cool if it went viral?  Wow!  Here's the link to that Hi-larious post! You know what you should make?

Okay, one more!  I mean seriously!  I had no idea how witty crocheters were!  I mean my Grandma was funny, but I never saw her do anything like this!  Hahahahahahhahah! :)  Now I'm done.


The above photo I dedicate to a lovely reader having a rough time of it and I would just say to her, "Stop, collaborate and listen"  and I would add, smile. :) Sending you lots of good thoughts and prayers.

Thanks for stopping by.  Send Jen some love in the comments below and go visit her website and shops!  Thanks Jen, for helping me spread the happy!  Think viral guys and the not the stupid flu kind!!