Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Christmas Lace Ornaments

It's been so long! The Christmas Holidays are keeping everyone, including me, so busy!! Here's a quick tutorial for some fun Free Standing Lace ornaments.

Glittered Free Standing Lace Christmas Ornaments are fun and easy to make. For the most part you let the embroidery machine do all the work. Then, you just rinse away the stabilizer and glitter!

To begin with, take the Husqvarna Viking Christmas Lace, embroidery design pack and choose any of the designs. I stuck with the snowflakes for my tree, but there’s many different designs in the collection. Choose the correct sized hoop for your design and you’re ready for the stabilizer.

Water Soluble stabilizer is the best choice for these designs, I chose two. One very heavy weight Inspira Dissolve-A-Way Max layer, and another Inspira Aqua Magic. Hoop these two together and make sure that it’s a nice tight taught hooping.

If you have the option, lower your embroidery speed to about half of what you would normally embroider at. Metallic threads are a special kind of thread and require extra care. For the bobbin, wind it with matching metallic thread, at a lower speed than you would normally wind your bobbin at, if you have that option.

Stitch out the design, and rinse away the stabilizer, warm water does a better job of rinsing away the stabilizer than cold. Once you’ve rinsed all the stabilizer away, put the ornaments on a wire rack to dry out flat overnight

The next day, take some clear permanent adhesive spray, and spray a light coating of glue on the top of your ornament. Glitter with your desired glitter, I chose Martha Stewart White Gold Glitter, and let sit to dry for a few minutes. Shake away any excess glitter and hang on your tree!

Friday, September 16, 2011

Filming Today

I'm really excited to be working with some new crafty sites! FaveCrafts and FaveQuilts have graciously asked me to make videos for their sites! Of course I said yes, and today I'm filming.

The early morning where it all comes together, the part that no one sees. Cleaning up, getting the props together, lighting the room, blocking out the interfering sunlight, what am I going to wear, and the list goes on. Believe it or not, I enjoy the entire process, it's very fulfilling to be the full driving force behind what content you produce, and how that content is created.

This morning I had the pleasure of picking flowers for the set. I'm using a new prop, a new owl vase. I do love owls, and am always happy to pick up a new owly friend. I had wondered how the vase itself would work out, as I feel like the flowers arrangement would need to be quite large otherwise the whole thing might look awkward. I was pleasantly surprised that a smaller arrangement actually looked, to me at least, like a little pillbox hat for the owl. What do you think?

Wednesday, September 14, 2011


Well another Masquerade has come and gone. The 2nd Annual CTC Masquerade was actually the first one I stayed after helping to attend. It was a great night, and I wish I had been at the first.

My duties this year were the same as the last, make some tasty treats and help do whatever else is needed. Simple enough, although the better part of the day of Masquerade was spent on my baked goods. In the past I've had the pleasure of being in charge of doing opening receptions for the first night of some of the CTC's new shows. And as time has passed, some of the things I've made have been "retired" as many of the reception guests are some of our long standing supporters, so I try to keep some things changing, and I always try to make it so that any new supporters would still be very impressed.

So for Masquerade I decided on doing a little tasting of everything I had done in the past. Well almost everything I had done in the past, for allergy reasons the peanut butter cookies were retired forever. Not because of any accidents, but we all agreed it better just not to risk it in future receptions. (Although they were and still are quite tasty cookies when I decide to make them) But the menu was as follows: Open faced Apple Pies with a drizzle of Creme Caramel sauce (from scratch, of course!), Mini Vanilla Bean Cheesecakes (Some were decorated with sliced strawberries, and some weren't), Lemon Squares, Chocolate and Vanilla Cupcakes (Both topped with Swiss Meringue Buttercream), Chocolate Chip Cookies (These have made it to all of my CTC shows), and my very special Gingerbread recipe (The one cookie recipe I made while in baking and pastry school).

I love my Gingerbread recipe, when I went to school at Johnson and Wales, I wanted to learn of all things, a recipe for bread that was just like Wonder Bread, and a recipe for Gingerbread that would rival my beloved tubes of Pillsbury Gingerbread, that unfortunately only come out once a year. Well Pain De Mie (almost certain that's what it's called) was the bread that I fell in love with and it does indeed have that deliciously soft texture and crust of Wonder Bread. And in Baking and Pastry Formula Technology, was where I learned the rhymes and reasons of all the different flours and sugars, and leaveners and chemical reactions, in such a way that I was able to devise my own recipe for Gingerbread that I feel does in fact rival Pillsbury's Gingerbread Dough. It's a recipe I keep closely guarded until the day I get to film my segment and am able to share it with everyone. It's coming soon, but until then I hope you enjoy these pictures from Masquerade, I must give all photography credit to: Anne Marie Spatharakis, I hope she doesn't mind I "borrowed" these!!

Thursday, September 8, 2011

What a whirlwind of a day!

And it's not over yet! I work third shift baking Bagels at a place called Bagelz. It's a fun job, but it does mean that on most nights I'm up and baking all through the night and into the early morning.

Today during the day though, I was busy baking as well. Tomorrow is the Contemporary Theater Company's "Masquerade" fundraiser. It's where people come all dressed up, masks optional, and get together for an auction to raise money for the CTC's upcoming season. Last year was quite a success, and this year we've raised the bar, and aim to do even better. I'm so excited to be making cupcakes and other sweets to be enjoyed by any and all who come!

I also got around to editing together one of the videos from the other days filming! Hope you enjoy it!

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

A Great Wednesday!

A perfect and very productive day! For reasons I'd rather not bore you about... I had to put off filming, AGAIN, yesterday. Luckily today I was able to film both the clips I had in mind and I really think they are going to come out great.

Yesterday was my Uncle's birthday, and I was pleasantly surprised to get a call from my Aunt asking me to make him a birthday cake. A Spice Cake with Cream Cheese frosting. The cake was simple enough, a two layer butter based cake, but I cut the two layers into four and decided to use a cake stencil to decorate the top. Because this was a special occasion,I pulled out my Waterford Crystal cake stand from it's safe hiding space and got those long skinny birthday candles. I was pretty satisfied with the outcome, I hadn't decorated a cake in a while and everyone seemed to enjoy it!

Here's some pictures of the cake, and also a little sneak peek from my filming today, a look into the making of one of my videos, today's video actually!

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

A Rainy Tuesday!

Ahh I do love the rainy days, especially when I'm filming. Not having any light coming in through the windows makes for great taping days. I love the way the colors look on screen when there isn't much, or any, interfering light from outside.

An early dentist appointment today, which I'm actually looking forward to, I love going to the dentist. Crazy I know. I like it because everyone there is nice, and it's so close, if it wasn't raining outside I could ride my bike!

I do have a bad habit of cracking my knuckles and neck and whatever else there is to "pop". Nasty little habit, I picked up from my sisters, as I grew up amazed by their own ability to pop their knuckles and neck. My one sister Dobie even used to ask me, when I was just a little tiny thing. to walk on her back to crack it for her, and she herself also was the first person I ever saw "pop" her wrist. My mom hated it, and I still remember the first time I cracked my neck in front of her, she let out a most disgusted sound and told me not to do that again. Well all these years later this morning I cracked my neck to a most satisfying sound, and low and behold it's gone stiff on me! I can't really turn my head to the left very easily. So it looks like I'm going to head to Shaw's and grab some Tylenol. I don't think my filming will be effected by it.

Which by the way, I'm so excited to be filming a little video on fixing rips and tears the easy way with embroidery, and another on utilizing the 4D software pack that comes with any new Husqvarna Viking Designer embroidery machine. I got mine with my Ruby, and really love the applique text stitch option. So a fast tutorial and keeping right in sync with National Sewing Month!

Here's my first ever, Quilting Video!

Monday, September 5, 2011

Monday, Monday!

I actually like all of the days of the week, Monday's especially because it's my first day off from my string of baking days. In the professional world I'm a bagel baker, and all of my videos and blogging are my attempts to professionally break into the crafting industry.

Last week, I was working on a method for turning Cricut Cutouts into Applique's and I'm so pleased that so many of the people I was trying to help have eagerly jumped into appliqueing with the technique I used in my video! I don't think anyone person ever owns a technique, so I don't really ever call them "my" techniques.

Monday is an important day for filming, Monday and Tuesday are my busiest days, and this Monday is no exception, I've got two videos planned for today, possibly more if I get motivated and inspired with an idea for one.

Filming the videos actually take the least amount of time, it's all the prep work leading up to the filming and then editing all the video together. So time consuming but it is rewarding to see people watching my videos, and using the techniques in them.

My set is usually decorated with whatever flowering plants I have, either in my house or in the garden. Last night as I walked to my car I noticed some of the Dahlia's were going to be in excellent shape for picking. I couldn't wait to put them in vases and use them on my set!

Update: Change of plans, unfortunately because I am not yet a professional crafter and work out of my home I occasionally have to deal with problems like when the people upstairs want to come and do laundry. So annoying. No filming today, tomorrow will be better because the people who live upstairs and their noisy kids won't be around. Little miffed, not going to lie.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Thinking about Christmas again!

Christmas is one of my favorite times of the year, mostly in part because you get to go through Halloween and Thanksgiving to get to it! I love the months leading up to Christmas, it's always exciting for me to think of my annual Christmas trip home to Huntertown, Indiana and seeing my family.

Today I'm trying to figure out some ideas for my Christmas tree, I like switching it up a little bit every year. Last years Wedgwood Christmas tree was alright, but it could have used some more Wedgwood ornaments to really make the tree more lavish and pretty. I know some year in the future I will re-visit the Wedgwood Christmas tree, so I am still actively collecting the ornaments, and I love that right now they're all on sale! It's true I get weak in the knees for those four letters, all printed in red, and reducing the price of whatever it is, that's caught my fancy. My sister says I'm like a little bird, who likes shiny things.

But another project I am actively working on, are my Velvet Christmas stockings. I want to make customized stockings for everyone in my family this Christmas. I've already done a lot of trial and error with sewing and embroidering on Velvet. Embroidering on Velvet actually became the topic of one of my videos recently.

So much to think about and even though it's August I feel like Christmas is right around the corner! I hope I get all my stockings done!!

Friday, September 2, 2011

Busy Day!

Today was quite a busy day, I got to meet up with one of my favorite sewing friends, Sandra. Together we planned out my first "Rag Quilt". I had purchased fabric for a quilt weeks before, and I think that the colors I chose will work very nicely for a little childrens sized quilt.

Sandra and I went to Joanns because I wanted to show her the fabrics I had chosen. Luckily I was able to find one of the prints, but the others were gone. Probably all sold out. (What can I say, I have excellent taste, haha just kidding) I only wish I had bought just a little extra fabric, but I'm sure I'll make it work.

One thing I'm particularly excited about is that Rag Quilts don't need to be bound. As a beginning quilter, myself, I find binding to be a chore! While I do know that in order to move into a more advanced sewing arena I do need to learn how to correctly bind quilts and especially need to learn how to bind a quilt with a mitered border. But for now, I can look past all of that and just get right down to the fun part of sewing. I'm also going to be using Sandra's Accuquilt Die Cutting Machine, which will make the whole process even easier and faster!

Here's a picture of the fabric I found at Joanns, and then at home I rounded up the three fabrics I want to use for the quilt, but yet as I sit here and look, this blue just doesn't seem to be fitting. I think I'm going to have to go back and find another pink print to make it all work. What do you think?

Thursday, September 1, 2011

National Sewing Month begins TODAY!

I am so excited that National Sewing Month has began, it was just two short years ago I took up sewing again, since learning at middleschool.

I've always been surrounded by talented sewers, one in particular, My Aunt Rosemary. Who I would have to say is responsible for my love of the high end sewing things. I still remember hearing about her first embroidery machine, and whenever I look for sewing notions I always look first for the ones I know she has. Inspiration comes from everywhere, and I'm happy to say on my sewing journey I've met more than just a few good friends!

I've got so many sewing projects planned, and I'm really excited to say that I have more than a few sewing videos planned to help celebrate the month!

Here's the first one, and it's all thanks to my good friend, Faye!

So much has gone on! I'm excited to have some first hand footage of my experience with Hurricane Katrina, which I will say, luckily just barely brushed us.

Figuring out how to make those applique's with my Cricut and the Futura wasn't as easy as I had initally thought. I spent a good portion of this morning trying, unsuccessfully, different methods of making appliques. I also have another applique video planned using my Designer Ruby as the star, and hopefully I'll be filming that in the very next few days! Until then Happy Sewing! Maybe I'll see you at Joanns!!

Monday, May 23, 2011

Not enough hours in a day, or days in a week!

Yes this past week has been very hectic, but also very satisfying. I'm running full gear ahead, helping out one of my friends with her wedding. Now of course, we came up with grand ideas that in order to stay under budget we need to make ourselves, so I apologize for the infrequency of my posting lately! Not to fear, I will be flooding this blog with all sorts of pictures and things to keep you all in the know.

I have been sewing up a storm lately, and am so glad that my Designer Ruby is able to sew things up beautifully and FAST! 1,100 stitches a minute is what I think I heard Ruby sews. Compared to the usual 600 stitches a minute most home sewing machines do, I'm sewing twice as fast as usual and still find that I could even go for a machine that sews faster!

Right in the middle it was decided to do a surprise dinner party/bachelor/bachelorette party. A Maple glazed Salmon dinner for twelve. Now I did break a cardinal entertaining rule, I tried not just one but two new dishes for this little get together, and am lucky they were both successes! I made Quinoa for the first time, and believe it or not, Salmon! I pulled the best of all my serveware for the event, and even dared to bring out my treasured Wedgwood Cream soup bowls. Luckily I have been collecting: dishes, flatware, linens, and serveware since I was 16 and the time finally came where it all paid off. Whilst the preparations for the day lasted since early in the morning the actual "dining" part took all of about an hour. Even so, it was my first official dinner type party and I hope that I can track down some pictures to show you! I was so busy running around, I forgot to take a picture, but here's an idea of how my events and buffets go. I did this little number for the opening of Adorment, a fine jewelry store in Newport, RI. Definitely want to thank my friend Nick O'Brien for snapping this picture!

Monday, May 16, 2011


Funny how all at once it seems you have so much to do! Recently I went into the hive and extracted some honey, and I've been having a lot of fun bottling all of it and also creating some extra things that go along with my new honey business endeavor.

I used a couple of my crafting tools to create a package custom created just for my honey, by me! (Can you tell I'm a control freak?) I used my YUDU screen printer to create logos of a honey bee that I drew for the outside of the box and also for the top piece of fabric. I felt the piece of fabric underneath the lid gave my bottles an old fashioned feel, while the crisp white fabric with the golden bee added a modern touch.

Now funny enough, while I have this big powerful Husqvarna Viking Designer Ruby, I don't have the software that goes with it to create my own embroideries. Luckily I found a way to work around this with the first sewing machine I ever bought myself, the Futura SES-1000. I got it from HSN and it came with editing software that I was able to use to take the same little bee I drew for the tops of the bottles, and turn it into an embroidery file. The embroidery file seemed too perfect to not make tote bags, and since I designed the image myself, I don't need to worry about being sued down the road for copyright infringement (no really I think, AND worry about these things)

A peak at the tote bag making process, I always end up crafting on the floor.... (also the printed fabric is for the inside lining :-)

It's pretty exciting for me, considering last year I just gave all the honey I collected away, and this year I've already sold two jars! (May not seem like a lot, but it makes me happy, and keeps me wanting to make a better product) The first three customers I get are recieving tote bags for free as an added bonus to their purchase as a token of my true appreciation. As of right now, that leaves room for one more person to get a tote. I must say, it is pretty satisfying to be able to say that you: collected, processed, and bottled all the honey, and on top of that, designed the packaging, created the packaging, and then packaged it all together to be sent away to any of my much appreciated customers :-) Here's some of the photos I used for my Etsy Store.

Thursday, May 12, 2011

The one worded txt message...

Ahh yes one of my pet peeves. The one worded text message reply. I absolutely hate them, and research has shown that one worded text messages are subliminally agressive. When I get a one worded text message, I don't reply. Which is actually where the psychology comes in. The one worded text is meant to give information and also let the person on the receiving end know, that a reply to the message is not wanted or needed. There's a few people in my family notorious for sending out these message of "joy". I recently decided to put my frustrations into a comic form and hopefully the message translates well.

Do you see the anger? Do you see the frustration!!

I created some embroidery files with these cartoons and I hope to be able to put them on tote bags for my etsy store. Until then hope you enjoy the cartoon!

Funny enough, due to personal inspiration I was able to draw more than one image for the last frame, I can't really decide which one I like more. The one above is the one I drew in succession with all the other ones. About two minutes after I finished all those, I drew this last one as an alternative. Which one do you like more?

Back Again!

I must admit, when my sister said "If I go to look at your blog one more time and I see that same Gladiolus post, I am going to punch you in the face!" I realized it had been too long since my last post!

So much has happened in the last week! I can't wait to tell you all about it. While I get those posts ready here is the video of planting Gladiolus I was telling you about last week.

I had to film this clip twice. In the video when I talk about planting some gladiolus a couple of days ago, that is actually the first time I shot the video. I thought everything went fine, but when I went to watch the footage I realized my microphone must have been knocked loose and the sound was scratchy and unusable. So out again into my garden I went, and I'm so happy the second time went off without a hitch! I hope you enjoy it!

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Planting Gladiolus

Bulb planting is one of my favorite parts of gardening. I never tire of putting corms, tubers, bulbs and anything else you can put in the ground to get a beautiful flower.

Today was mainly focused on Gladiolus, tall beautiful stalks of flowers, as I was filming a little clip for my youtube page. Gladiolus are easily acquired at any home garden store, and if you want a variety that is a little more special there are many web based bulb stores where you can get amazing and exotic bulbs. I really like Dutch Bulbs. There's so many fine bulb distributors out there, I'm sure you'll find one that you like and will be planting bulbs in no time!

Here are some pictures from my morning:

The difference between the top and bottom of a Gladiolus bulb

Me using my long handled bulb planter

All planted! now... patience....

Remember if you plant Gladiolus every two weeks you will have a wonderful succession of blooms in your garden all summer long!

Saturday, April 30, 2011

Back in Action

It's been so long! So many wonderful things have happened! Over 60 videos on youtube and more than 100,000 views! The last year has been amazing and I can't wait for what this year brings! Currently I'm a staff reporter for www.CraftCritique.com and am in talks with other blogs to keep more content coming!

Today I bought some glass jars for Honey, hopefully next week I'll be able to extract about 80 or so (guess-timated) pounds of honey from the bee hive in my back yard. I'm also in full swing preparation mode for my next cupcake event to celebrate the opening of the newest location of Adornment, a fine jewelry company, in Newport, RI. You could say, that I'm as busy as a bee!

Here's a link to my latest video on youtube, a fun card for Mother's Day! Enjoy!