Let’s get crafty – for under $200 dollars!

So, I haven’t posted in what seems like forever.  But, I have a totally legitimate excuse!  We have a teenie little sun room right off of our bedroom that we had no clue what to do with, so we’ve been using it as a storage space.  We went antique shopping last weekend (my wife has been looking high and low for a hope chest that will meet both of our demands), and while at one particular store, I saw the cutest craft table buried under a bunch of gardening supplies.  I just had to have it!  We quickly excavated the area and found that the craft table was in almost perfect condition, so we bought it (there went our hope chest plans).  We touched it up with a bit of paint and it was good as new.  The problem was, where would we put the thing???  So I came up with the genius idea (my wife didn’t think so) that we should turn the storage/sun room into a craft room!  Being the wonderful woman she is, she agreed.. and we got to work!

Before the Makeover   Before the Makeover   Before the Makeover

As you can see from the pictures above, we had all sorts of odds and ends in there.  From an old bookshelf, to our daughter’s old bed frame.   We cleared everything out and put a fresh coat of paint on the walls.  The largest wall we painted a bright lime green!

Some of the things in there were reused, such as that big black bookshelf.  We recolored it with a couple of cans of spray paint and lined the shelves in fabric (using spray adhesive and wrapping them as you would a gift):

revamped bookshelf 2          revamped bookshelf

We also spray painted an old black TV stand we had.  For that piece, we used a bright turquoise.  So many colors!  We also lined those shelves in fabric.  I purchased a few baskets at our local dollar store and covered them in fabric.  I was going to do some fancy sewing, but at the suggestion of my wife, used hot glue instead.  The insides weren’t perfect, but they’ll be filled anyway:

Baskets 1        Baskets 2

I took an old lamp we had laying around, spray painted it white then added a few pops of color with acrylic paint.  We purchased a lamp shade for $20 and it was as good as new:

Lamp Before        Lamp After

I took an old fabric shower curtain we had, cut it up and added a strip of white fabric in the middle to break up the design, added a few tabs in the back and sewed up some pretty half curtains.  I also purchased some temporary blinds for about $4 a piece and my craft room was complete:

Craft Room 1       Craft Room 2

Craft Room 3       Craft Room 4

The entire room cost us less than $200 to rehab.  Our most expensive purchase being the craft table at $45.  I am so happy with the outcome, it’s like a little slice of crafting heaven.  My wife and kids have to practically pry me out of there every day!  I am planning on yarn bombing the legs of the craft table.. I just have to get motivated to do it.  We are exhausted!!  So I’ll leave you with a couple more pictures.  Our cat Turtle has made herself at home and I even caught her this morning, contemplating making a fancy dress for herself!


photo 2 (3)

Craft Room 5

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Country Lace Afghan

All has been quiet on the homefront this week.  I’ve just completed the first of 4 Christmas presents.  I’m starting early this year so I’ll be sure to finish by December – hopefully.


I had lots of fun making this one… once I got it right.  I must have stopped and started this one ten times.  By the time I stopped frogging and started crocheting, my yarn looked like curly fries.  But I used it anyway!  I found my original inspiration for this pattern here.  HOWEVER, the instructions are bad!  When it gets time to join, the instructions are nearly impossible to follow.  This is the reason I had such a hard time with it.  So, I simplified them and added a few of my own touches.  Here ya go:


Materials: 4 Skeins Off White, 2 skeins Seafoam, 3 Skeins Light Grey

                         Size I Hook

Gauge: 1 square = 5.5 inches


First square only: Start with a magic ring

R1: Ch3, 15 dc in ring.  Join with sl st in top of ch3

R2: Ch1, sc in same st as joining. (Ch3, sc in next dc) 15 times.  Hdc in first sc to join and form last space

R3: Ch1, sc over hdc. (ch4, sc in next ch3 space) 15 times.  Ch1, hdc in first sc to join and form last space

R4: Ch1, sc over hdc. *7dc in next space, sc in next space^ (ch2, sc in next space) twice*.  Repeat from * to * until last space, end at ^.    Ch2, sc in last space, ch2, join with sl st to first sc.

R5: Ch1, (sc, ch2, sc) all in first sc.  *Ch2, skip 2dc (sc, ch2, sc) in next dc, (sc, ch4, sc) in next dc, (sc, ch2, sc) in next dc, ch2, skip 2dc, (sc, ch2, sc) in next sc, sc in next ch2 space, ch2, sc in next ch2 space ^, (sc, ch2, sc) in next sc*.  Repeat from * to * around, end at ^, join in first sc.  Fasten off

From this point on, you will join as you go.  Joining takes place in round 5

Corner Joining: Ch2, drop loop from hook, insert hook into corresponding ch4 loop of completed square and back into dropped loop, draw loop through, ch2, sc in same dc

Ch2 Space Joining:  Ch1, drop loop from hook, insert hook into corresponding ch2 of completed sqaure and back into dropped loop, draw loop through, ch1, sc in same st.

Center Ch2 Space Joining: Ch1, drop loop from hook, insert hook into corresponding ch2 of completed square and back into dropped loop,draw loop through, ch1

Squares 2-99:  Follow the steps above for rd1-4

Rd5: Ch1, (sc, ch2, sc) in first sc, ch2, skip 2 dc, (sc, ch2, sc) in next dc, sc in next dc, join corner.  *SC in next dc, join ch2 space.  Ch2, skip 2 dc, sc in next sc, join ch2 space.  Sc in next ch2 space, join center ch2 space.  Sc in next ch2 space, sc in next sc, join ch2 space.  Ch2, skip 2 dc, sc in next dc, join ch2 space.  Sc in next dc, join center*. ONE SIDE JOINED

(continue from * to * in order to join an additional side – otherwise skip to step below)

*(sc, ch2, sc) in next dc, ch2, skip 2 dc, (sc, ch2, sc) in next sc, sc in next ch2 space, ch2, sc in next ch2 space ^, (sc, ch2, sc) in next sc, ch2, skip 2 dc, (sc, ch2, sc) in next dc, (sc, ch4, sc) in next dc*.  Repeat from * to *, ending at ^.  Join, fasten off.

Use this GRAPH  to help you along.  The graph lays out how you should join the squares. Start with 1 and work your way to 100.. so you work them in columns. You can also use the graph to chart out how your finished piece will look if you add different colors or a different pattern.. color or shade in the squares to give you a visual representation before starting your piece.    Happy Hooking!

This afghan is available for sale here.  In the color and pattern of your choosing.


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Mother’s Day

I hope all of you had a spectacular day yesterday.  My wife and I had a very pleasant, relaxes mother’s day.  We received lovely handmade gifts from our girls.  I’m always partial to handmade gifts, mostly because of the time and effort they put into a project.. it means so much more than a store bought gift.

photo (3)


I received this amazing wreath from my oldest daughter.  It’s made of paper flowers, and each flower is hand made.  I was talking for a long while about making a wreath for our door, but just never got around to it.  And she surprised me with this beauty.  I was in awe. It is gorgeous.. and I promised her that she can post a blog on how to make one yourself.  She even took step-by-step pictures, the craft gene doesn’t fall far from the tree!  So be on the lookout for this tutorial in the upcoming days.



My youngest gave me a beautiful little plant for my garden and they both gave my wife a coupon booklet for non-chore items!  For example, a coupon entitling her to an hour of uninterrupted silence!  I have a feeling that one is going to be cashed in sooner than later.

photo (1)              photo

I’m versatile!

I received a nod for another award this week.. many thanks to the lovely  Jenna over at the The Crafty Cripple.  Check out her blog, she’s funny, she’s crafty and she has awesome blue hair, seriously.. awesome.


So.. here are the rules:

If you are nominated, you’ve been awarded the Versatile Blogger award.

  •  Thank the person who gave you this award. That’s common courtesy.
  •  Include a link to their blog. That’s also common courtesy — if you can figure out how to do it.
  •  Next, select 15 blogs/bloggers that you’ve recently discovered or follow regularly. ( I would add, pick blogs or bloggers that are excellent!)
  •  Nominate those 15 bloggers for the Versatile Blogger Award — you might include a link to this site.
  •  Finally, tell the person who nominated you 7 things about yourself.

So.. I don’t really know 15 blogs that haven’t already been nominated.. so here’s what I have:

  • Crochet with Passion – I love this blog, she has excellent tutorials and she introduced me to Annie’s Hook and Needle Club!
  • Organize & Craft – Great projects, including sewing ones which I’m trying to learn.  Plus, Di is quite a lovely lady.

Every other blogger I follow already has the award.. so I’m stopping at 2.. forgive me! But if during my browsing, I come across another worthy blog, I will post it here.

And finally, 7 things… hmmm.. let’s see:

  1. I have 2 girls .. 14 and 10.. and my wife and I are in the process of trying to have another child  (which is not so easy, considering…)
  2. I am a Social Worker.. which means I tend to see the good people and I’m usually the one people turn to when they need a bit of counseling
  3. I hail originally from New York City.. Manhattan to be exact.  For the longest time I was considered the black sheep for leaving my family (which I never understood, since all I did was move to other side of the state).  However, I think they have gotten used to me being away and have finally forgiven me.  I don’t hear the complaints quite as often  anymore.  Plus, I always have a place to stay every time I go home, which is great considering the exorbitant hotel prices in NYC
  4. I’m trying to learn how to sew.  Sadly, It’s not coming very easily to me.
  5. I collect refrigerator magnets… but they are very specific magnets!  Every time I go away, I need to find a cute rubber magnet with the name of the city/state I am visiting.  And they don’t count if someone else gives it to me, I have to actually have been there.
  6. My wife and I go an annual trip to Provincetown, MA.. also known as P-Town.  Since our wedding last year, it has become our anniversary  vacation (we went there on our honeymoon).  We stay at the same little Inn.. and have become very close to the owner.  We love him and tend to bring him little gifts, and we always get him a bouquet of flowers the hour before we leave.
  7. I am an AWFUL driver!  I only learned how to drive in my late 20’s.  It’s not an art one needs to know when living in NYC, but once I realized I was never going back, I buckled down and learned.  However, getting in a car with me can be quite hazardous to your health.  Therefore, my wife drives us everywhere.

And there you have it!  Some more facts about me.  Check out the post for my Liebster award if you would like to more.

Handmade Mother’s Day Bouquet

Once again, my crafty wife came up with a brilliant idea… and this time, I got to sit and watch (and take pics) while her and the kids completed this one on their own.  In lieu of giving my mother-in-law real flowers that will wilt and die faster than you can blink, she came up with the idea that the girls should give them a handmade paper flower bouquet.  They turned out so lovely I just had to share.


Scrapbook paper was used for the petals and leaves. Skewers were used for  the stems, we purchased them at our local grocery store.  You’ll also need a hot glue gun and scissors.  To top it off, we placed them in one of the lovely stained glass mason jars we previously made (tutorial found here) with some clear and white glass pebbles.

bouquet2  bouquet3  bouquet4  bouquet5  bouquet6  bouquet7  bouquet9  bouquet8

We found a great tutorial for these flowers here.  Instead of printing out her colored patterns, we printed the white ones found here and made them into templates which we traced onto the scrapbook paper.  The finished products were quite lovely

            bouquet10      bouquet11 


The Impossible Bag

After weeks of sewing machine intimidation, I finally buckled down and completed my first ever crocheted bag!  I am so very proud of myself for doing this.  It’s not perfect, but I love it! My bag has been completed for a while now, the crocheting part anyway.  I had everything I needed to get it fully done, but my fear of my sewing machine has kept me away.  I finally decided to just get over it and after a few trials (and more than a few ruined pieces of fabric), it’s done.

My wife and I went to Michael’s over the weekend and they had a ton of fat quarters on sale for $1.  I went a little crazy while my wife was down another aisle and I stocked up on the lovely array of fabric they had.  The pic below shows a few of the ones I was considering for the bag lining.  I purchased the handles online from superbuzzy.com  They have great fabric and accessories.


I chose the cute plaid patterned fabric for my lining since the green stripes matched the handles the most.  And, after hours spent searching for tutorials on lining a bag, and watching endless videos that only left me more confused than when I started, I found this little gem!!  She should have labeled her post, Sewing a Bag Lining for Dummies.. it was that easy to follow.  Thank you Futuregirl for an amazingly easy tutorial!


And this is what the final piece looks like:bag3Yay Me!