a REAL look at my craft room (and a proud aunt!)

I love it when I'm online checking out blogs or browsing Pinterest, and I find photos that people post of their crafting spaces.  Their beautiful, perfect crafting spaces that could be (and sometimes are!) found on the pages of a magazine.

As much as I love drooling over their expertly organized storage, I also wonder....is that what their room always looks like?  I could be wrong, but I imagine 90% of the crafters out there create in total chaos (or is that just what I want to believe, since it often applies to me?)

So I decided to take spur-of-the moment photos of my craft room.  No tidying up.  No re-organizing.  No throwing out the stray paper that landed on the floor a week ago, and for some reason is still there.  

Here's the REAL look at my craft room.  I wish I could say that this was some kind of "before" picture, leading you to an amazing "after" photo.  But nope, what you see is what you get.  A lot of people have left comments or sent emails about my space, so I've labeled some things for ya:

(honestly, this isn't that bad.  It's usually worse. WAY worse) 

  1. A box that is bursting from the seams with prizes.  I need to host a giveaway stat!  
  2. Packing materials, blank canvases, and paper storage.  The only way I like organizing is by color.  The paper in these drawers (and my thread, ribbon, markers, colored pencils, embroidery floss, etc) are in rainbow-order.
  3. Sewing stuff.  I've got the thread, embroidery hoops, my sewing machine (with the cover on), and my exploding bin of fabric is in rolling bins under the black table.
  4. This is the miscellaneous storage.  I have my watercolor supplies (paints, pens, paper, brushes, etc), acrylic painting stuff, polymer clay, markers, crafting magazines/books, sewing notions, yarn, crochet hooks and knitting needles, and other random things.
  5. My photo studio.  I leave the light tent set up all the time under the table.  Clamped underneath the table on either side of the tent are 2 lights from the hardware store, with daylight bulbs.  When I take pictures of projects, I lay on the floor and take them here.
  6. Paper crafting stuff.  Stamps, inks, embossing folders, dies, embellishments, etc.
  7. Electronic Die Cutter.  I bought the Pazzles Inspiration back when it was the most inexpensive non-cartridge die cutter.  I would love to upgrade to the Silhouette one day, but I'm cheap and this thing still works.  

The other side of the room

  1. Since technically this is the "office" in our apartment, it's only fitting to have some actual office items in here.  Computer, printer, scanner, and more.  ("more" includes a bin of sheet music and the guitar amp that is laying down on top of it)
  2. Comics.  Because we're cool like that (ps. cool=dorky).  You can also find my viola, violin, flute, and electric guitar next to it.
  3. Jessica just gave me this to display the handmade cards I've received.  I didn't realize until now that I put all the cards on the same side. Hope it doesn't fall over!
  4. Sewing rotary cutting mat and ruler.  This is right next to my door-of-purses.  You can kind of see 2 of the bags sneaking in from out of the frame.
  5. Top shelf has copies of some of the magazines I've been published in, and 3D paper crafts that I don't know what to do with.  Do you have stuff like that too?
  6. I'm embarrassed to admit that this iron has been out for over a week.  I was working on a sewing project.
...which brings me to photos of my sewing project!  My sister-in-law gave birth a few weeks ago to my first niece, Emily!  Dave and I visited her and my brother last weekend, and it was so much fun!

I made her these cute little shoes and a stuffed elephant:

...and I can't end this post without showing you some sweet pictures of my husband Dave and I with Emily:

I'm a proud aunt :) 

after I told Dave "you need to look happier in the pictures!" he made this face, lol


a rare combination

Hey everyone! Have you heard about the new stamp release? Join us on September 2nd when MTE releases some awesome (and spooky!) stamps. I've got a little sneak for you today, using my new goodies :)

I LOVE these poison bottles. They are cute, and deadly (a rare combination).

Before you leave, I wanted to share a new painting inspired by Jessica, a very cute fashion blogger (who probably has about a gazillion followers).  I emailed it to her, and was so excited when I saw that she put it on her facebook page!

Thanks for stopping by!



Today I want to introduce you to a special "project" going on right now.  You might already know about it, if you're cool like that.  My buddy Wida has started a card chain...sort of like the game Telephone, but for crafters.  It started with a CASE of a CASE (it was a CASE of my CASE of Laura's card!  Does that make sense? it will soon...)

It was a CASE and an idea...hence "casadia."

Wida wrote an amazing post about it, and has the sweetest things to say about each card maker involved.  What she DIDN'T mention is how incredibly sweet she is.  The chain isn't done yet, so please check out Wida's blog for more information on how you can be a part of this! (also, read it if you were confused by this post- she does a great job of explaining the whole thing)

I'll be back tomorrow with a fun card for My Thoughts Exactly!



Today there's a very trendy challenge going on at Young Crafters Unite:

Yep- hot trends.  I decided to incorporate a few trends on my card: woodgrain, chevron, and neon:

The fuchsia, green, and yellow on the card are all neon- it was difficult to capture its vibrancy on camera.

My focal point (the flower) is the only thing that is neon, and it is the only thing that is 3D on the card, which draws your attention right towards it (even though the sentiment takes up more space, I find the flower is still the focus).  Because of this, I'm linking this card to the Moxie Fab World "Focal Point Challenge."

You may now get even more inspiration:


catching up....

Well, grad school and homework and projects are finally over for the year.  Mini-vacations are done (with the exception of visiting my sweet infant niece Emily in NY this weekend).  I'm headed back to work next Monday, so this week I was hoping to catch up on stuff.  Crafting stuff, cleaning, blog visiting, posting, etc.

On yesterday's post, I forgot to mention the hilarious way that I was able to line up the multi-step flower stamping.  I'm a total spaz even with clear blocks when it comes to lining up stamps, so I often rely on my Stamp-a-ma-jig.   Well, I was crafting at Jessica's that day, and she doesn't have one. (BTW, after my generous birthday gift she does now!! I really just got it for her so I can use it at her place, lol).

Suzanne is a smarty and knew we could probably make one.  Brace yourselves for the most ghetto stamp-a-ma-jig ever.  It's made from 2 acrylic blocks taped together with scotch tape, and an old sheet of plastic from who-knows-what:

Oh yea- it takes 2 people to operate:

But you know what? It worked!

Speaking of Jessica and Suzanne (I sure do talk a lot about them now, don't I?  I just love having some amazing crafty friends nearby!), we went to a hilariously awesome event at our LSS 2 weekends ago: The 60 second crafty dash.  Jessica did a great post on it the other day, so if you want to read the details check it out.  We didn't win, but we had a great time:

(Jessica, Suzanne, and myself)

If you made it this far, your reward is a card.  Sorry for the long post ;)

I repeated the pots, but of course, one had a little accident :(  The fallen container leads your eye to the sentiment.  I'm submitting this card to the Moxie Fab World's Repetition Challenge.  I love the Card Design challenges Cath has posted so far!

Below are the Clear and Simple Stamps products I used on this card:



Good morning!

Today there is a new Runway Inspired Challenge, sponsored by one of my favorite companies, WPlus9!  The very sweet Dawn sent us stamps to work with, and I was sent one from the newest release, Happy Harvest.

I picked out the inspiration image before I knew what stamp set I was getting, so I was a bit challenged when I had to use a distressed set with a very clean and structured outfit:

source: style.com

I love the blue, white and green floral in her top, so I stamped the sunflowers in those unconventional colors:

I kept the bottom of the card black because she has on black pants (yep, I'm getting literal again), and the orange band across matches her bag.

We have some great contributions from the design team:
Wida (August Guest)
Tasnim (August Guest)

If you play along, you just might win the $25 gift card to WPlus9!

Before I go, I want to tell you about my amazing weekend!  Two of my close friends, my mom, and one of her friends threw me a bachelorette party at Mohegan Sun, a casino not too far from where I live.  No, I'm not getting re-married...I was sick the week before my wedding (6 years ago!!) so I never had a bachelorette party.  We went down on Thursday morning, stayed overnight in a suite, and left Friday afternoon.   It was fun to gamble, drink, and stay up late ;)  I even came home with more money than when I left! I  was a pro at the craps table, hehe.

Then I went home with my mom (my husband Dave met us on Long Island on Saturday), we spent time with the family, and then went to my grandfather's 90th birthday party on Sunday.

On the way back home yesterday, we stopped at a shoe store in NY.  Not just any shoe store- I sold the owner some large watercolor paintings last year- and it was awesome seeing my work up in the real world! (they looked a lot more glamorous then when I was painting them on my living room floor....)

Cool, right?
(btw, you can find prints and a small original of those paintings in my etsy shop)



News from MTE (and a card!)

Before I get to my card, I wanted to let you know that there are some stamps back in stock at My Thoughts Exactly!  These are my favorite sets, and I'm so happy that if you were waiting to purchase them, you can!

Also, don't forget to get out your MTE stamps if you have them to play along with the August Challenge.

Now my card.   It's my friend Jessica's birthday today, and she LOVES cute cards, and she LOVES Paper Smooches.  So, it only seemed natural that I make her a cute card using their images.

(I am entering this in the sparks challenge)

I hope you can see the embossed banner- I picked up the folder on Sunday, and was excited to use it on a card!

My sentiments are from MTE, of course- I had to add a little line to the "o" in "Hoppy" to make it "Happy."  The 2 sets I used are linked below.  Thanks for visiting!

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