weaving and macrame love

by maryann moodie

by cold picnic

by emily katz

It took me awhile to try loom weaving (I wanted to make sure I really liked the looks of it and not because it was trendy), but once I did, I fell in love. I started doing macrame a few months ago, and fell in love with that too. Yep, they are both big trends in the craft world right now, but I love the texture in them and the different patterns that could be created. Plus, the process of both is so relaxing. It’s kind of like painting with yarn or cotton cording (I’ve used this one).

I want to make a large wall hanging for our home. I’m thinking something about 4′ by 3′ (or larger) and I’ll make a loom from a large canvas. I’ve made small looms from canvases I have picked up from Michaels, so I think I’ll try to see if one of their large ones will work as a frame. I’d love something large for our entry way or the big girls’ room. Once all this house renovation stuff is done, I can’t wait to move forward and get started on some creative projects.

What craft trends are you into right now?

This post is part of the Michaels Makers series. From tie-dyeing to lettering to tassels, pom poms and even unicorns, Michaels has everything you need for the latest and hottest DIY trends!

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fourth of july crafts with family fun magazine

I did some craft styling a couple months ago for this month’s issue of Family Fun Magazine. If you still need some craft and decoration ideas for July 4th, I suggest picking up a copy of the magazine. A lot of the ideas are pretty simple with things you already have lying around the house. Use some Christmas tinsel to make supersize stars (I get my tinsel from Christmas Central), make a giant flag from fabric scraps, throw a lip sync contest with these glitter microphones, and pass out these playful trophies. If those aren’t enough to keep you busy, bust out some macaroni and have the kids make some Yankee Doodle necklaces.

The girls and I made a fun July 4th crown, but my studio is upside down and I can’t find them to get a proper picture. I’m hoping to share them with you on Friday (after I go digging through all my misplaced things due to our renovation). It’s been so chaotic here with our house stuff that my plans for July 4th involve a whole lot of chilling in bed and watching movies. We will get to celebrate the holiday the day before with my family for our annual seafood feast. My tummy is eagerly anticipating that celebration.

photography, sabrina helas. wardrobe styling, heather rome. craft styling, rubyellen bratcher. prop styling, amy lipnis.


grey linen dress

I love this dress and I finally got around to making my own version of it with some grey linen fabric. It has a V-neck in the front and then a deeper V in the back. I’m thinking about making the sleeves shorter, but I’m not sure. I also want to take some length off my hair, but I’m not sure about that either. One thing I am sure of is that I love sewing my own clothes. :)   Also, if I get tired of this style, I can make the dress into a top and use the rest of the fabric to sew something for the girls. I’m all about re-purposing things I’ve sewn in the past and turning them into something else.

on me: dress, home sewn (similar here, just sew shorter sleeves). round basket, french baskets (tassel DIY here). shoes, gap (similar here).


gilded bead necklace

Gilded Bead Necklace

Various beads (similar here and here)
Leather cording
Gilding adhesive
Gilding sheets
Bristle brush

1. Paint adhesive on various spots on each bead and allow each one to dry until surface is tacky.
2. Rub gilded sheet gently onto adhesive and allow to dry completely.
3. With bristle brush, brush over to remove excess gilding.
4. Cut 36″ long piece of leather cording and string beads onto the leather cording.
5. Create a sliding knot with the ends.

I still had some gilding sheets and adhesive from this project and I put it to good use with this craft. While doing online window shopping, I came across some beaded necklaces with bits of gold on it and thought that would be simple to make, and it was indeed. If you don’t want to make a new necklace, take an old beaded one (or pick one up at the thrift store) and spruce it up with a little gilding.

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See other photos and videos by Christian and Reinna here.


fluffy cotton tassel

Fluffy Cotton Tassel

Twisted cotton rope (I purchased mine from Michaels in the jewelry section)
1. Cut about thirty 8″ strands of cotton rope. Unravel each strand and comb through strands with the needle.

2. Bundle all the strands together and tightly tie a 10″ long bunch of unraveled strands around the center and knot.

3. Cut another 10″ long bunch of unraveled strands, wrap a couple times around (about 1/2″ from the top) the tassel neck. Knot to secure.

4. Turn the tassel upside down so the tassel neck is covered. Trim tassel ends. Use the tie-off threads to attach it to your project.

I wanted to add a big fluffy tassel to my round market basket after pinning this bag. I think the fluffy tassel definitely adds some pizazz to my basket. It would also be fun to dip dye this into a bright pink or yellow. There will probably be a few more tassels made in my future.

basket from french baskets.


making our comic strip

Take home Marvel’s Captain America: Civil War with toys, gear & more at Target.

After the girls created their superhero characters, we put those characters into a story, along with some familiar ones. Armed with some Captain America action figures (and Iron Man and his crew), we used those to further develop the plot with some good and bad guys. We created little scenes with the action figures and took pictures of them on top of a white poster board. The girls dressed up in their costumes too and we would place the action figures in the picture along with them, but playing with the placement to make it look like they were similar sizes, and I would snap a picture. If you look closely, I used my (very basic) Photoshop skills and put some of the action figures into the picture with them too. From these images, we picked the order to lay out the story. I added black frames around each picture to give it a comic book look (we consulted their many comic books to try to make it as authentic as possible) and put everything into one large poster. I took it to a local print shop to get printed onto poster paper (their comic strip is quite large).

Once we had our comic strip poster, the big girls and I went frame by frame inputting their story. The girls did everything in pencil first, and once everything was just right, they went over all the pencil writing and bubble drawings with a black illustration marker. True and Brave took turns creating each box. When they first started doing the speech bubbles, they were amazed, and commented at how real it looked. They said, “Mommy, it looks like a real comic!”

Our story focused on three main parts … the context, conflict, and resolution. The girls had their Avengers team, with made up characters Ziggy Strong and Forcer Stripes, and they named the bad guys Black Shadows. The story took place at the good guys’ warehouse/hideout and the Black Shadows found them and wanted to get rid of them to take over the city. The main job of the good guys is to protect the city, so of course they couldn’t let that happen and a fight ensued. Seeing how the good guys were winning (they have good hearts and great combat skills), and the Black shadows were outnumbered, so they had no choice but to retreat and leave the city.

The girls were able to use this project to further their imagination and story writing skills. We were all very satisfied with how their comic strip and story turned out. It’s exciting for me to see their faces light up when working on creative projects. The girls love this kind of stuff. I have to resist the urge to assert what I want to do (I like working on stuff like this too) and allow them freedom to develop their own ideas. Usually though, their ideas are always way better than anything I come up with.

We will be doing a little bit of redecorating their rooms over the summer and we will need to give this poster a special place on the wall. If you want to read their comic, click here.

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