Monday, October 15, 2012

Craft-A-Thon

The last couple of months at work have been hectic. I know I've mentioned this once or a hundred times, but they have. I had the good fortune to escape for a couple of days this week for a little stay-cation. My intent was to relax, which I did a little of, but also to get some much-needed crafting out of my system.

I surpassed my own expectations.

The need to create for me is a necessity. I am lucky to have the craftiest woman I know as a mother, and the trait did not pass me over. Like my mom, this can be both a blessing and a burden.

Few moments pass when I don't see something and automatically think "I can make that!" instead of just purchasing it on the spot and saving myself the time and hassle. Truly though, I love the art of quality crafts. Coupled with my OCD / perfectionist tendencies, it usually makes for an interesting experience. However, I had a fabulous two-day craft binge.

Thursday morning, I poured a big cup of coffee and put the finishing touches on my donation for the Sydney Claire Wagner Benefit to be held in Brenham at the end of this month. My donation will consist of this little knit pumpkin hat and Ugg-inspired booties. Hope these sell!



Then, it was prep time. I woke up and immediately headed to the craft store to purchase a yard or two of fabric for my first beginner sewing project (eek!). I then hit up Home Depot for a cart full of lush green plantables for my next project. After re-potting some patio plants and cleaning up around the house, re-organizing the pantry and craft closet, I was ready to get to work.



I kicked it off by using my new Babycakes Cake Pop Maker (which is incredible, btw) for some fall-themed treats. I used a spice cake mix, can of pumpkin, and a teaspoon of vanilla (that's it!) to create the base for these cake balls. Once they cooled, I injected them with a cream cheese frosting center, and dipped each one into vanilla flavored orange candy melts. I used a stick pretzel for a stem, and piped green leaves around the stem and topped with green sugar for a little sparkle. I had the most fun making these!
Side note: If you've never made the muffin version of these cake pops, you must give it a try this fall! Low in fat and super healthy... just combine a box of cake mix (doesn't have to be spice... can be whichever flavor you prefer!) with a can of pure pumpkin puree (NOT pumpkin pie filling), and a teaspoon of vanilla (optional). Spoon into muffin tins and bake according to package directions. Easy!




I topped off the day with some knitting time and picking up another completed project... my painted ceramic soup mug. Last weekend, I went with my friend Christin to paint-your-own ceramic pottery place. We had a great time! She finished two projects in the time it took me to complete one giant mug, and I still could have easily spent another hour on it. I am pleased with how it turned out and would really like to go back and make another!



Friday, I dedicated the majority of the day to getting up close and personal with my brand spanking new sewing machine. I got this snazzy Christmas gift early and could not be more excited about it! After learning a few buzz words (like "bobbin" and "presser foot"--seriously didn't know what these were) I started on the first project in my new beginner sewing book, Stitch by Stitch. I absolutely adore this book. It is chock full of modern sewing projects for the beginning stitcher. A great recommendation to me that I am happy to pass on to you! Anyway... I started with the first project in the book, which is a napkin. I made a few and had fun playing with the different types of decorative stitches. I was instantly hooked on sewing and have spent the better part of the weekend scouring Pinterest for creative sewing patterns.






Friday afternoon, I spent a little more time knitting and finally made it to the short row section of my shawl. Woo! Small victories.



I also spent some time planting the gorgeous array of greenery I purchased from Home Depot the day before. I was lucky enough to score three shipping pallets from a construction site last week, and instantly knew what I wanted to do with them. With two of the pallets, I will be constructing a vertical garden like so and so and with the third, I want to do something similar to this pallet wood sign. My hope was to complete this project this weekend, but boyfriend was sick and I needed his help with a few parts. This one remains in pieces on our patio, but I'll post pictures of the finished product! :)



All in all, it was a wonderful couple of days of crafting and spending some much needed "off" time. I even managed to stop answering work e-mails after Thursday. Saturday and Sunday were the usual routine, and we even managed to make time for a maiden voyage to Costco to try out the new membership. Costco on a Sunday afternoon is undeniably the same as IKEA on a Saturday. Best advice: don't do it.

It's back to the real world today. But before I go, just wanted to share this sweet picture of my dearest friend's little ONE year old! Happy Birthday, Sweet Liam!








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