Archive for Crafts - page 2

Entering the Austin craft world

When we moved to Austin from Seattle, we moved into a smaller house by about 250 sq ft. Downsizing is AWESOME! But, the bad part of all that great downsizing is that I had to give up my craft space that occupied the third room of our house. Now, because we’re living in a strict two bedroom with no office or extra space, I no longer have a space to spread out and do my thang.

WIP embroidery

I don’t love that I don’t have that space anymore. It makes it hard for me to spend much time getting creative, because now my creative time also includes the setup and breakdown time of all my materials and crafting apparatus. But, I’m figuring it out as I go, sewing at the kitchen table and embroidering by lamplight in the living room.

My husband has been very supportive of my efforts to get involved in the Austin crafting scene, as I was pretty heavily involved in the Etsy team in Seattle. I just joined the Etsy Austin team, and we’re super busy with preparing for Etsy’s involvement in SXSW! There is gonna be a Wall of Wonder, a huge photo prop, some guerrilla marketing and much more! I can’t wait.

I also got invited to have a small booth at a little craft show that at Medici during SXSW. I still have never done a craft show, so I’m excited and nervous at the same time. Even if I sell one thing and give out cards, I think it’s worth it. Wish me luck, and come out to see me if you’re in Austin!

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Tempting Tutorials: simple decor DIY

My style would not be considered minimalistic. The concept of that sounds grand, but when it comes down to it my dream abode would be chock full of kitschy wonder, granny afghans, crayon box color and a teensy bit of glitter. A place where homey meets retro, where my collection of beer koozies can be displayed prominently on a floating wood shelf and my oodles of weird collections have homes.

Likewise, I’m drawn to these fun and simple DIY tutorials that can add a little panache to your space and your life.

{ click on the images to go to tutorial }

Book Page Fabric

Paper Garland

Chalkboard Globe

Lace Stenciled Frames

My husband, the science and map geek, would adore this chalkboard globe in particular! And I am a lover of lace and spray paint, so I’m certain that project will get attention from the Spangler household in the near future!

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BBQ Bonanza

Black'sSince moving down from Seattle to Austin, the gastro-nerd hubs of mine has wanted to take a mini field trip out to Elgin or Lockhart to taste some of that world famous BBQ some swear by. This weekend the craving hit hard and we high-tailed it to Lockhart early in the day to partake in some BBQ sampling.

Unfortunately, one of the three big BBQ landmarks in the little old town, Kreuz, was closed on Sundays (what BBQ joint isn’t open on Sundays? Blasphemy.), so we couldn’t eat there. We began our taste test with Black’s BBQ, a homey shack of a restaurant that serves buffet style sides, and your choice of protein from the guy standing behind the register in a meaty apron hacking away at different cuts on a heavy chopping block. The jalapeno cheese sausage was a bit bland and not even approaching spicy, and the brisket burnt ends had a good bark on them but had obviously been sitting out a bit too long. My husband had a monster rib, which turned out to be more about shock value and less about taste. The mac and cheese was appropriately gooey, and an unhealthy shade of yellow orange, but was pretty tasty.

Homemade wienersOur second destination on our mini weekend BBQ field trip was to Smitty’s, which had more of a long saloon hall vibe with an impressive smoker in the back part of the building. You walk all the way to the back to order your meat, and you WILL NOT come out of that smoker room smelling of anything other than rich meaty smoke. You order your sides at the pay counter and saddle up to one of the long benches that span the room. The “hot ring” sausage we had was greasy but chock full of flavor. White bread was a perfect vehicle for the piping hot goodness. The fatty brisket that the hubs ordered had the fat cap cut off (boo!) and wasn’t really that impressive. My BBQin’ hubs’ brisket is better than both of the options we had today. Overall we preferred Smitty’s in just about every category.

Patchwork fabric and rosette fabric artOh… AND I got a little wacky with some fabric scraps, hot glue and a pretty button and made something. I got inspired by a piece of patchwork wall art I saw while browsing Etsy and decided to wing it and try my own. In hindsight, perhaps I should have left it as just the sewn-together pieces of patchwork fabric, and not put on the rosettes or button. But perhaps not. Either way, it felt good to get crafty today after all the moving/job madness of the last few weeks!

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Thing-A-Day February

So I recently heard about this idea called Thing-A-Day. Not a very catchy name, but a very challenging and fulfilling concept: create ONE new thing every single day of February and post it on a collective blog for everyone to see. It sounds deceptively simple, something I’d like to try but will probably keep from doing so because the fear of not accomplishing the task is enough reason to not to even try. Ahh, self-doubt.

Thing-A-Day is just another one of those “light the fire under your ass” movements like NANOWRIMO. But just like NANOWRIMO, Thing-A-Day is a positive thing and actually a really awesome idea. Oh, the knitting, folding, embroidering, sewing, drawing, nailing I could do! The handmade shrine to awesomeness my house would become! In truth, there would probably be a lot of unskilled scribbles, some mangled embroidery and a wonky zipper bag or two hanging around the house mucking it up for a whole month.

But who knows? Maybe I’ll give it a shot. I’ve got just about two weeks to decide… and I’m hoping the strong-willed competitive streak inside of me will flare up and mean business!

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A VERY Christmas Story

“A Christmas Story” is a favorite in our household… and not just during the holidays. It’s humorous, playful and just downright knee-slappin’, whether you’re a grandma or a wee one. There’s just something irresistible about the bunny suit, the leg lamp, Ralphie’s little brother who “can’t put his arms down”.

Kris from 1 Inch Minis created a mini version of the famed leg lamp, and the details are simply incredible. She twisted embroidery floss into each strand of fringe? Amazing.

So that kind of got me on a “A Christmas Story” kick. I was curious how many Etsy sellers created “A Christmas Story” themed items for their shops. A LOT. Below is some of the rad-ness I found.

Triple Dog Dare necklaceRalphie Paper Doll magnetChristmas Story house printYule Shoot Your Eye Out cross stitchThe Pink Nightmare ornament

I REALLY want to go watch “A Christmas Story” right this second!

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It’s unusually chilly here in the northwest. Today the high is a whopping 23 degrees, and this morning on my adventurous bus transit adventure to work, it was 17 degrees. YES, 17. For a native Texan, that’s a little too cold. We’re trying to embrace it for what it is though, walking to the bars in our neighborhood for toasty happy hours, and throwing snowballs at the dogs.


In crafting news, there are several new items in my shop, including a sweet piece of embroidered artwork, a Texas and a Washington laser cut wooden pendant necklaces, and a wreath embroidered ornament! I’m working, working, working away on making handmade holiday gifts for my family and friends, trying to survive this SNOWPOCALYPSE 2010, and readying my inventory (and myself!) for my first craft show. Whew!

AND my parents are coming to visit next week! So that means the Spangler household needs to get it’s butt in high gear and clean. Because the hizzy is a total mess. I’m excited to see the Dallas Cowboys play their traditional Thanksgiving day game, my husband’s extremely stellar (like the best I’ve ever had) mashed potatoes, roasted turkey, cornbread & chorizo dressing, cranberry relish, roasted brussel sprouts and praline cheesecake… not to mention the dishes that our participating neighbors are bringing as well! That’s a lot of tasty food, eh?

Hungry yet?!

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Rollin’ rollin’ rollin’ into the holiday season

Just a few bits o’ news for you to chew on… my new feature, “Scrapbustin’ Holiday DIYs” is up at! I love doing tutorial roundups. There are so many great DIY projects out there, and with the holidays rolling around, I’m hoping these ideas get a few people rollin’ in the DIY direction.

I created a very fall-like “Gift of Autumn” Etsy treasury to feature some of my favorite Etsy artists. My cupcake wall art was featured in Blue Owl Vintage’s Cupacupacupa Cupcakes! treasury (thanks Amie!). One of my pin cushion listings was featured in a “Sew what do you want for Christmas” treasury, my super geeky Floppy Drive necklace was nabbed for the “Gift for the Geek” treasury AND my super bee-utiful Coral Hawk tote bag was featured in the “Oh the Beauty” treasury as well. Whew! That’s a lot of schtuff.

Oh! And I’m spending a long week in Denver this weekend to visit my very best friend Jamie and her new baby Jasmine! It will be my first time seeing Jasmine, and the Taylor family as a party of three. I’m very excited, and kinda nervous… I feel like this will be the baby litmus test. Do I wanna? Or do I not wanna?

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I haven’t felt like blogging. A crime? No. Unfortunate? Yes… especially when you’re trying to be all crafty and bloggy and make stuff and sell it, and get people to read about your life on the blog YOU DON’T FEEL LIKE UPDATING. Awesome.

So instead I’m just going to run through what’s been going on! I was a Price Is Right contestant for Halloween. I made my props at my job (sign shop) so it was fairly easy to put together, and not much is more comfy than jeans and a tshirt. Don’t ask what my husband is going as, I don’t know and he wears this every year. So.. yeah.

Im a Price Is Right contestant!

I’ve been gettin’ crafty lately (or trying to). I signed up for my first real craft show and I’m pretty nervous that I’m not going to have enough stuff, or GOOD enough stuff. I am, however, trudging on and doing what feels right. I love making pillows, and this new one in a gray menswear-type fabric is no exception. The picture doesn’t do it justice, and the felt strips look floppy. In person it’s pretty darn cute though. The backing fabric is a delicate Alexander Henry print that is really sweet.

Holiday appliqued throw pillow

Again, with the pillows. I appliqued these trees and the moon shapes on this fabric, which is a sturdy, slightly rough burlap like material. I’m not good at knowing exactly what fabrics I’m working with. DOH! (i’m sorry this pic is so blurry, product of a camera phone) I really like this creation though, and can’t wait to take real photos of it so I can list it in my Etsy shop!

I also made a pretty adorable new bag with an appliqued graphic and a pocket inside. The inside fabric is a supremely bright blue that I’m loving. Plushies aren’t for me, I don’t think. I royally screwed this one up.. it’s all misshapen but somehow still cute! And last, but not least… the disco cupcake wall art. Simple. Fun. Rad (i hope!?).

Disco cupcake wall art

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New items and internships

I have some new items up in ye olde Etsy shop! I’ve really loved playing with the laser cut acrylic and hope to learn more as I experiment. In the meantime, aren’t these fun (and super affordable)?

Spooky Bob the Bat Necklace


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Arrows as decor

I keep noticing arrows… vintage ones, crafted ones, arrows as decor. Apparently they’re a design trend! And why not? They’re small and colorful, a little funky and easy to hang or place around the home. They even make great kiddo room decor. Even Nicole, over at Making It Lovely, has added them to her husband’s office and I think it’s a “lovely” addition!

Verlaivans on Etsy


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Tempting Tutorials: tea towels, zippered bags and storage books

My heart and brain is screaming for some sit-down crafty autumn time. Now that the weather is slowly changing and football season is in full swing my eyes have been turning towards DIYs and little projects and crafts I can do at home on the lazy weekend days. Now if only I had time to complete all these amazing tutorials I find!

Brenna’s Secret Storage Books are inconspicuous, stylish and upcycled!

Good for more than just pencils, this zippered case tutorial is flexible enough that you can alter the overall size of the bag to accommodate your needs!

This Fat Quarter Baby Blanket is so sweet, and uses minimal yardage!

It’s no secret I love bunting. I love bunting… my husband loves to cook.. I think this bunting tea towel is right up our alley!

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EtsyRAIN Pre-Holiday Craft Show

I’m really super duper excited about this October, for several reasons.

1: HALLOWEEN! And that means crafty awesomeness all-around.
2. Football! My fantasy football team is teetering on the edge of a win today, so I’m hoping Monday Night Football will treat me right!
3. EtsyRAIN’s Pre-Holiday Craft Show at the Intiman Theatre!

This year I’m interning for the EtsyRAIN group, which I’m already a member of, helping them get the word out about the Pre-Holiday Craft Show. The show will feature only local EtsyRAIN members, and the chosen charity to support is Please check the link out. They’re a fab place doing great things in schools with kiddos.

I’m handling some of the PR, graphics and marketing leading up to the big event and it feels great to be involved! For all your EtsyRAINers out there, I’ll have a blog badge graphic ready for you to handy-dandily place on your blog so you can give the fest a shout out to all your readers!

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New Creations!

I’ve mentioned it about a jillion times so far… but I FINALLY got to take some photos of some new items. My friend and aspiring burlesque performer, Kiara, graciously donated her body (and soul! bwahahahah….) for my crafting cause.

First up, Ahoy Anchor Necklace
I really love this pendant. It’s delicate, but sizeable, and I’m really enjoying the white color of it. Snazzy!


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Custom Embroidery

I’ve wanted to do a bit of custom keepsake embroidery for a while now. My best friend had a baby a little over a month ago, so I really wanted to create something for them that was special, handmade and super cute! I think this speaks for itself… I can’t wait to do more!

I designed it in Illustrator, printed it on paper, traced it with a Sulky pen (which, by the way, I am NOT a drawer or artist so tracing the image accurately proved to be quite difficult) and then iron-transfered it to the fabric. Then I just had to embroider it and NOT mess it up! There is a tiny mistake, but I think it’s minimal. And in the grand scheme of things, it’s part of the handmade charm in my opinion.

This weekend I’ll be attending the Bumbershoot Music Festival and covering it for Another Rainy Saturday. Fun times in the sunshine! I’ll post links to my coverage when it all goes live.

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Doily Projects

I mentioned my granny-love of doilies before, and when I saw this round up of doily projects from How About Orange I squeed my pants!

I just happened to have scored a small string of vintage doilies from a yard sale last weekend… so my wittle brain is conniving a project. I’m thinking the drawstring bag is right up my alley. Maybe a shoe bag? Maybe a take-out craft bag?

Geez… I really need to get some pics up here of some awesome crafty items I’ve made recently! Stop slacking Shrie! Have you made anything with doilies? Do tell!

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My Etsy goings-on

Just a quick note to update all TWO of my readers about what’s going on in my Etsy storefront. I haven’t had much time to create lately, but have started a couple of experimental projects. I also recently finished a very handsome reinforced tote bag made out of vintage fabrics that will be going up shortly… I can’t wait to share it!

Also, I just curated a gorgeous “Splash of Summer Color” Etsy treasury… browse away! A few crafty friend’s products are featured, as well as some new finds. I feel like summer might be trying to slip away and I want to hold onto it just a bit longer! (more…)

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Works in Progress: totes, embroidery and pendants

Whew! I have a lot going on ladies and gents. For starters, I joined a swap and will be sending off my bunting garland to the lucky recipient on Monday. I’e really enjoyed my swaps in the past… a mixtape, a vintage thrift store find, a self-portrait swap. I nabbed this bunting garland swap because I just LURV making them. My tutorials have been featured on and I even have a couple in my Etsy shop for sale. (more…)

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