For the Love of Shopping

Isn’t it great to visit a brand new store?

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The merchandise is fresh and sparkling, not dog-eared and shopworn. The shelves are organized and there’s plenty of stock, so it’s usually a breeze to find your size, or favorite color, or preferred brand!

Whether it’s a new supermarket, bookshop, or clothing store – there’s something exciting and just plain fun about being among the first shoppers to stroll the aisles.

Now, if the store has items that you are particularly fond of (in my case, craft supplies!), the party factor goes up another notch.

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balloonsRecently, a new craft supplies store opened here. (Up until now, Michael’s was our only choice.)

After hearing about the new store, I started to watch the newspapers for an opening day announcement. When it arrived, I clipped a few coupons and off I went to explore. Sir Beads, sweet guy that he is, patiently came along – even though shopping for craft supplies is not very high on his list of fun things to do. He prefers a hardware store. I guess you could say that craft supplies are to Crystal as building supplies/tools are to Sir Beads.

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Well, I can report that the new store had an interesting selection, including things I hadn’t been able to find anywhere else! Some of them were on sale that day – so I was a happy camper!

Sir Beads, however, seemed much more excited about the lunch we had afterwards. 😉

lunch

Hugs,

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I’d love to hear your thoughts!

Click the envelope to leave a comment or to read what the other kids are saying! 😀

Anything But Grey

Here in New England, our frosty winter days are usually accompanied by clear blue skies and lots of bright sunshine.

This year, however, has been remarkably cloudy – not rainy, just CLOUDY!
And the combination of grey skies and short winter days gets old pretty quickly.

What to do? Well, I like to grab some colorful yarn and ignore the bleak weather.

Winter Crochet Bright

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Here’s my idea of an afternoon break.

Winter Crochet2

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I’ve just begun this blanket. Generally, I wait until I’m finished making all the squares (or other motifs) before sewing them together. This time though, I’m joining them as I go – which means the blanket will already be in one piece by the time I make the last square! 😀

Winter Crochet3

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Have you had a cloudy 2014, so far?

What do you like to do on a dreary day? C’mon, please tell us!

Hugs,

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I’d love to hear your thoughts!

Click the envelope to leave a comment or to read what the other kids are saying! 😀

The Beat Goes On . . . with Bracelets

While thinking of a topic for this week’s Make somethin’ Monday, I was reminded how quickly a cute idea can turn into a fad!

I suppose in today’s jargon, the word “fad” would translate into “go viral”.

When I was in my early teens, these “gum wrapper” bracelets were the rage.

I swear we put our future dental health in jeopardy by trying to chew as much gum as possible in order to have a steady supply of wrappers!

When my own kids entered the “tween” stage, it was friendship bracelets made of embroidery floss that were the “in” accessory.

Currently, I’m neither teen nor tween – Ok, stop laughing! – but I definitely know a cute idea when I see one. 😉 These bracelets are popping up everywhere, lately!

There are countless versions of them in fashion magazines, on blogs, Pinterest, and other online craft venues. You know me. I love a quick TV Time project, so I just had to make a few . . .

The materials are fairly inexpensive: crochet hook, embroidery floss, beads, and a clasp.

This is one of those projects that leaves a lot of room for experimenting with various sizes of yarns, threads, and beads. You can try to use up stuff that’s already in your stash – and that’s always a good thing! (Call me “Martha”.) 😉

Fair warning though . . . they’re a bit like Lay’s Potato Chips . . .

“Bet you can’t eat make just one”! (I couldn’t.)

Picture a couple of these mixed and matched with some metal bracelets in your wardrobe.

Très chic, n’est-ce pas? 😀

Wanna make your own? Pattern, here.

Sending smiles!

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Ever Seen a UFO?

Welcome to week 2 of Make somethin’ Monday.

I have to start by thanking you for your sweet comments last week!” 😀

It was wonderful to read each and every one of them. Your enthusiasm has sent me merrily searching through my supplies and project ideas to plan the next few weeks of items to show you . . .

Ever Seen a UFO?

No, not that kind! 😉

Many of you know that “UFO” is an abbreviation used by crafters to refer to projects started with great gusto and good intentions but, somewhere along the way, relegated to the back burner. I must confess I have several UFOsUnFinished Objects.

So, in addition to the new things I’ll be making, I may sometimes pick up one of my UFOs to work on and feature on Make somethin’ Monday.

For example, a while back (Yikes, it was in 2010!), I began making this crocheted pillow. I talked about it in a blog post, and mentioned that it would eventually be round!

Fast forward to this week… I picked it up again and now I’m well on the way to finishing it.

With a just little more sewing, I can slip it over the pillow form, it will be complete.

I may add a decorative button to the center, or a maybe a flower (either fabric or crocheted).

Or should I just leave the center plain?

Hugs,

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Make somethin’ Monday

New feature beginning today!
It was inspired by a little daydream I had this week . . .

I was remembering how years ago (when I was a new bride and then a new mother), it was very tough to find time to work on a craft project with any regularity. One day, a neighbor suggested I sign up for a Fall class on Floral Décor. She had gone the previous year and was excited to return. The class met one evening a week for 6-weeks. Sir Beads cheerfully offered to baby-sit.

Each week, we completed a project designed to be finished in a couple of hours. When the series ended I had six beautiful decorations. That class was truly a revelation to me. I realized that the secret to being creative in the midst of a very busy life was to “schedule” something – on the calendar!

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In the years that followed, my friends (who were also busy mothers) and I came up with the idea of holding a weekly “craft night” in our homes. We would take turns hosting the group and providing the refreshments. Sometimes we all worked on the same project. Other times we did our own thing, which was actually even better. It was amazing how enthused and inspired we became as we shared our designs and ideas.

Lately, I’m feeling the creative time crunch as much as I ever have. Why would that be? I mean the kids are grown and I’m no longer a new bride . . .

Of course, I do have a bead shop to run and then there’s a certain retired husband with whom I like to spend some quality time. The thing is, if I’m not creative – I begin to miss it quite a lot. So, the other day, during a light bulb moment, I remembered the “schedule” method and figured the blog could help me out!

“Yikes, Crystal, that was a pretty long-winded explanation to introduce the new feature: “Make somethin’ Monday

What can I say? You’re right. 😉

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To begin the series, I have a pair of earrings – just finished them!

Now, you’re probably saying,

“Who are you and what have you done with Crystal!?!? Those earrings are more earthy and organic than Crystal usually makes – and they’re not even purple!”

They definitely are a departure… and I love them!

Maybe this scheduling thing is inspiring me already.

(The pear-shaped stones are vintage, made in Czechoslovakia. In order to make the earrings, I found suitable settings and then “set” the stones, myself. Fun! I will soon be carrying the vintage stones, in several colors, in my etsy shop.

Hugs,

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