Plant a Sharing Garden

Gardening is a craft and one that often gets overlooked, especially in urban and suburban areas. With the economy doing as badly as it is, and spring rapidly approaching it is time for all of us to consider putting in some vegetable plants this year. I’d like nothing better than to start a gardening movement all over the United States in urban and suburban neighborhoods.
Here is the idea. You all have that small strip of land between the sidewalk and the street in your front yards. It is a hard spot to landscape, either because of the trees, or neighborhood rules. But… what a perfect place for a small crop of vegetables. I am challenging everyone to plant that strip into vegetables this spring. Not just for yourself, but for anyone that happens to walk by. Think of what a blessing this could be to your neighbors. When the crop is ready for harvest, just put up a small sign that invites passers by to help themselves, but to leave some for others.
In addition, find a small sunny spot in your side or back yard, or in some containers on your deck or balcony and plant some of your favorites just for you and your family. You would be surprised how much you can save on your grocery bills by planting a garden and canning or freezing your own produce. In addition, you can produce an organic crop and be sure your family has all the fresh produce without any fear of pesticides or disease.
If you read this, and decide to plant a sharing garden, please encourage all your friends and family to plant one as well. Share this idea with your neighbors, your city officials, and in your blogs. If enough people in enough neighborhoods plant a small sharing garden, then all of us will benefit. Think how nice it would be to take a walk around your block and select a tomato from one garden, some greens from another… perhaps a cucumber… you get the picture. No one needs a lot of acreage to have a community garden.
I hope many of you will take up this challenge, and then share photos of your garden as it grows. All of us can do something to help our neighbors and ourselves through these tough economic times. It is just about getting started and encouraging others to do the same.

Note Pad Cover Tutorial

This tutorial was done by a dear friend.  Maria is a Native American and is an extremely talented paper artist.  This is her first tutorial, and she was kind enough to share it with us.  She has used wallpaper scraps to make this, but you could also use almost any other type of paper if you backed it with card stock to make it sturdy enough.  If you make one, Maria has asked that you share it here so she can see your work.  Mother’s Day is just around the corner.  This would make a really cute gift for all the moms on your list.

The first picture is of the Template, which is 8 1/2″ X 3 3/4″.
You’ll make the 1st fold @ 3 1/2″ the 2nd fold @ 4″ the 3rd fold @ 4 1/2″. On the 2nd fold is where you’ll cut your notches out.

Next find the wallpaper sample that you have chosen for your top cover. And lay your template on the back side of the wallpaper and trace around the template and cut out. Be sure to mark your fold lines onto the back side of the wallpaper.

I highlighted the fold lines just transfer them to your wall paper on the back side then use your bone folder to mark them with or a pen.

At this point use your bone folder and crease your fold lines then cut your notches out too.

Then run your top cover of the wallpaper through your xyron machine or put some double sided tape on the back of the piece. Its just easier for me to run the piece through my xyron machine.

Next find your second piece of wallpaper that will be your inside of your cover piece.

Take your first piece and lay it onto the backside of your second piece and press down. Then cut out around the pieces close to your first piece nice and neat.

Next find your fold lines (look close at your top piece) then take your bone folder and crease your lines real good and cut out your notches again.

Once you cut your notches out you’ll be able to see the folds and where they should fold down into the cover so that only your middle fold is sticking up for your pen or pencil.

Next i take a stapler (you dont have to do this part) but it just keeps my folds on the inside of the cover down and out of the way. I staple up to the fold line.

I take some red double sided tape and put them on the 2 little pieces i just stapled and tape them down.

I then put some double sided tape on the back side of the memo pad so that it stays in place.

I then take my corner punch and punch out all 4 corners but you dont have to do this part.

I then cut out some letters or words on my cricut machine and put them on the bottom or side of the memo pad cover and Wah-La your done. Of course you keep adding embellies to the cover.

No Sew Fleece Hat With Lots of Attitude

This sassy little fleece hat is ultra warm, and lots of fun to wear.  Best of all, it can be made from scraps of fleece and there is no sewing involved.  You can make it to fit any size head.

finished hat

You need to start with two pieces of fleece.  Measure around the head then add 4.5 inches.  This is the width or circumference of the hat.  For the height, you will need 7 inches plus the length of the tassel.  I made mine about 5 inches.   My rectangle was 26.5 x 12 inches.  The photo I’m showing here is more square looking because I made a similar hat with a longer tassel on the top.

You will want to cut two rectangles.  I wanted a multi color hat, so used two different colors.  Place your two pieces of fabric together and pin in a few places to secure.  Make sure you place the pins at least 3 inches away from all edges.  I used straight pins, but you may want to use safety pins.  I poked myself several times during the tying process.

Now, measure and mark for the strips you will be cutting.  I used a permanent marker here so you could easily see the marks in the photos.  When the hat was completed, the marks didn’t show, but I would recommend a washable marker or tailors chalk.  You will want to measure 2 inches in on the bottom and front of the hat, and as many inches in on the top edge as the length of the tassel.  Then, make a mark every 1/2 inch.

mark cuts

Next, you will cut strips all the way around, making sure to cut evenly and through both layers.


When you get to the corners, cut out the entire corner.  This should happen naturally, as the cuts come together.

cut out corners

Your cut out pieces will look a bit like this.

all cut

Now, you will begin to tie the bottom of the hat together.  Find the bottom, and begin tying the outer and lining pieces together.  I chose a “granny” knot because I wanted a ruffly look.  Tie every strip all along the bottom.

begin tying

When done it should look like this

tie bottom

Now, fold the hat in half with the right side out.

tie front

Pin the 4 layers together, matching the strips as closely as possible.  Now you will begin to tie the two sides together.  Each tie should have two strips of each color that you tie together.  Again, I used a simple knot.

tying front

When you have tied the front of the hat, remove all your pins.  You are almost done.  Cut another 1/2 inch piece of fleece, or you can use yarn or a ribbon.  You will need a piece about 7 or 8 inches long.  Gather the top of the hat just under the strips and tie tightly with the strip of fleece (or yarn/ribbon)


These hats are super warm because of the double thickness of fleece.  If you make your top strips longer, you will have the look of a pony tail, and shorter makes a cute little tassel.  My photo is of a medium length.

This design is my own and the pattern and design is copyrighted.  You may make these for your own use and gifts, but not for commercial gain.

A Fun Easy Craft For Girls of All Ages

These paperclip earrings are just as fun to wear as they are easy to make.  I used some striped paperclips for these, but you can use silver, solid color, or multi-color for variety.  Paperclips are never very expensive, but you can get great buys during the back to school sales in July and August.

You’ll need a small piece of plastic canvas (I used #7) and a box of colored paperclips.  Also two jump rings and earring French hooks, posts, or clips.

Style one:  Cut a small square of plastic canvas with 4 holes in each direction.  Make sure all sides are complete.  Turn the canvas on the diagonal, and  hang a paperclip in each hole.  You can fill the center by adding stitching with coordinating fibers, making a swirl shape with another paperclip, or gluing on a little jewel or some beads.  Add a jump ring in the top square and attach an earring hook.

Style two.  Cut a small square with 4 or 5 holes in each side.  Turn on the diagonal, then cut down each diagonal to make a V shape with just one hole, making sure all sides are left on the canvas.  Hang a paper clip in each hole.  On the two end holes, add a second paper clip.  These end clips will be pulled up and joined with a jump ring.  Add an earring hook to the jump ring.

You can make a matching necklace by cutting the canvas into a slightly larger square or V and adding more clips.  Then, just thread a ribbon or chain through the jump ring.

These are so much fun.  Tweens and teens love them, and they are easy enough they can make new color combinations and styles any time they want.  This is also a great project idea for a girl’s party.  They can keep busy making them, then take them home as a party favor!

Have some fun making your own, and please share your variations when you complete them.

A Bit About Me and This Site

I’ve been a painter and crafter for as long as I can remember.  I’ve tried almost every kind of art and craft over the years.  Some I’m quite good at and others, well – not so much.  My real love has always been drawing and painting, and I have sold quite a bit of my work.  I’ve also had a floral and craft business and did everything from weddings to home decor.  I love to cook, and have cooked for crowds and have developed many of my own recipes.  Sewing has also been a passion of mine, and I’ve made clothing from leggings to prom dresses.  I’ve also made lots of men’s and boy’s clothing including Sports jackets and slacks.

In the past, whenever our family needed to save money or make more money, I have turned to crafting.  I know that if you have found this site, you are probably a lot like me.  You have a love of creating beautiful things, want to save or make money, and are always on the lookout for something new or different to try.

It is my hope on this web site to introduce you to many extremely talented crafters who are either selling their crafts, teaching crafting, or just crafting for the sheer enjoyment it brings.  I will try to offer lots of tutorials in different mediums, and offer links to great sites that I find.

I also hope to offer business advice and tips for those of you that want to take your crafting to the next level. My business experience covers a wide range of skills.  I have been a buyer and Regional manager for a chain of gift stores, and have started up and then sold several businesses of my own.

You can see that I have a lot of ambition for this site.  You’ll need to be patient with me, as I have spent so much time crafting I’m pretty lousy with my computer skills.  I expect it will take at least a few weeks for me to begin building enough content here to make it worth your while, but if this is the sort of site you are looking for, bookmark us now, and come along for the ride.

I’d also LOVE it if this became an interactive site.  Please feel free to leave comments, offer suggestions, and share your crafts.