My Paper Crane the life & art of Heidi Kenney Sun, 31 Aug 2014 10:00:58 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Everyday is a Holiday Jenny & Aaron Sun, 31 Aug 2014 10:00:58 +0000 Continue reading ]]>
photo credit Jenny @ Everyday is a Holiday
Incase you missed it on instagram a few weeks ago, Jenny & Aaron from Everyday is a Holiday posted a really fun free DIY print out. Jenny found these adorable play food boxes and had the brilliant idea of stringing them up to make a really cute garland. When I saw it on instagram I persuaded her send me scans of the box fronts so I could turn them into printable PDFs. Isn’t it awesome how they were willing to share!!
While you are over on their website, be sure to check out their gorgeous artwork. I have three pieces in my home and I love them all so very much!

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Kewpie Sun, 31 Aug 2014 01:35:29 +0000 Continue reading ]]>

I bought this adorable kewpie coloring book from the 60′s a few weeks ago. It is in perfect condition! I thought the illustrations would make some really adorable embroidery patterns when traced. I’ve started knitting & crocheting in the evening instead of needlework, but I know I’ll go back to it soon. I always switch back and forth between projects to keep myself interested.

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sewing Wed, 27 Aug 2014 10:00:38 +0000 Continue reading ]]>

I thought I would share a few of the bags I made this Summer that were gifts for other people. I created the first little bag to hold white elephant gifts for a crafternoon, and the second was made using the sew together bag pattern. I can’t wait to make another one!
You can find my sewing fabric collection over on Spoonflower, and if you’ve ever made something with one of my fabrics, wallpapers, or decals I would love to see!

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Mister Eds Tue, 26 Aug 2014 10:00:43 +0000 Continue reading ]]>

During our last road trip of the Summer we decided to stop in Mister Ed’s on our way to Lake Tobias. Shari had never been and there was no way we could just drive by without sharing the fun that is Mister Ed’s.
Part candy shop & part free elephant museum Mister Ed’s has something for everyone. There is a fun outdoor garden area and woods you can walk through. The elephant museum is bigger and better then ever, and they have a really fun selection of candy. Located in Orrtanna, PA (this is between Chambersburg & Gettysburg PA) they are open every day, and worth a stop in your ever find yourself in the area!

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Halloween Shopping Bag Mon, 25 Aug 2014 10:00:52 +0000 Continue reading ]]>
You might recall a few years ago when I was looking for a good Halloween puzzle with gorgeous old fashion images, and didn’t have much luck that I decided to make one of my own. Well soon after I uploaded the puzzle image to Spoonflower (not to make any sort of seamless repeat) but just to print out so i could use it on some personal projects. Well I made myself a Halloween shopping bag, and hope to use the last of the fabric to make myself a Halloween purse. I actually have lofty plans to make myself 2-3 different Halloween purses that I can rotate during the month of September & October but we shall see how that goes! For now I am happy to have finished this shopping bag with plenty of time to spare!

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Lake Tobias Sun, 24 Aug 2014 10:00:47 +0000 Continue reading ]]>

Last weekend was the last Saturday that Kurt would be with us before he moved back to State College for school, so we decided to do something fun. We took a little PA Adventure, both boys and Kurt’s girlfriend Shari. I have wanted to visit Lake Tobias Wildlife Park ever since my friend Molly went.
The day had been calling for scattered rain showers so we weren’t sure what to expect, but it turned into a beautiful clear day.
Lake Tobias was started in 1965 by JR Tobias, and his wife still lives in a farmhouse on the property. Our favorite part of the trip was the safari tour. You ride in an open top bus across 150 acres of beautiful hills on a one hour tour. There are all kinds of animals that greet you from alpaca, emu, bison, to water buffalo.
There is also a petting zoo, reptile house, and a section of the park set up like a more typical zoo. It was a nice way to wrap us to wrap up the Summer with one last road trip.

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Sucker for books Sat, 23 Aug 2014 10:00:22 +0000 Continue reading ]]>

I recently spent some time at Wonderbook, a great used bookshop where I spent a lot of time when I was younger. We moved to Maryland when I was in the 5th grade and I have so many memories of afternoons spent at Wonderbook with my sisters and Dad. Both my parents have always been avid readers, but I always remember my Dad taking us to the store and telling us we could each buy $1 worth of books. He must of been pretty clever because this kept us busy. Most of the books were priced around 75¢ but if you really searched you could usually find books for 50¢. I actually seem to remember them being an odd price like 55¢, but it was close enough we knew we could get away with getting two books this way.
While most of my trips to Wonderbook these days usually include the boys. I absolutely love going there alone. I could easily spend hours and hours searching through the books. I always start off in kids, then check the classics, spend some quality time with the cookbooks, and end in the adult fiction. On one on my last trips there the children’s books were buy2get1free, and I found this gem.
The illustrations are so such and vibrant. Illustrated by Hilda Miloche and Wilma Kane and published by Whitman Publishing 1945. They also illustrated a bunch of other books including paper dolls. You can find so many amazing reproduction paper doll books on this website that came up when I was searching for their other books.

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Brick Fair 2014 Fri, 22 Aug 2014 10:00:37 +0000 Continue reading ]]>

A few weekends ago Katie and I took the boys to BrickFair in Chantilly VA. We went on a Sunday like we did last year, but this year it was even more crowded. They said that on Saturday people actually had to wait over an hour to get in because the building was at max capacity! B loved that there was so much Dr. Who stuff, one of his new interests this year. I brought home a few tiny treasures of my own which you can see in the top photo. Crying baby and lego pringles? yes please!

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Spin to Knit Thu, 21 Aug 2014 10:00:26 +0000

Still doing a bit of spinning for myself every now and again. I love knitting with handspun yarn and I always make sure to spin it up all crazy, I like to be constantly surprised while I knit.

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DIY simple star garland Wed, 20 Aug 2014 10:00:56 +0000 Continue reading ]]>
Basically a super simple DIY. You need a heavy weight thread (I used quilting thread), some paper stars (mine are punched but you can just cut them out too) and Coffee Stirrer straws (I cut mine into thirds). I was inspired to make some garlands to decorate after making the strands for my pajaki. This was one of my favorite parts. I doubled my thread up so it would be extra sturdy, tie a double knot and alternate star, straw, star, straw. Then tie off at a star once you are at a length you like.

Please note that the Amazon link above is an Amazon affiliate link and if you purchase something using it I will receive a small Amazon credit.

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The Mary Frances Books Tue, 19 Aug 2014 10:00:45 +0000 Continue reading ]]>
I first heard of Mary Frances books when my friend Crystal gave me one of their reproduction copies. I believe it was The Mary Frances Sewing Book . She said she was finished with it and wanted to pass it on to someone else who would enjoy it. I was immediately charmed by the illustrations inside and set to work finding out more information.

I quickly found out there are many Mary Frances books, seven total, and the old editions sell for a lot of money. Jane Eayre Fryer a school teacher wrote and illustrated the books starting in 1912. The books are not only charming little stories, but contain lessons, how-to’s and recipes.
Of course being the book nerd I am, I passed along the reproduction to another friend and set to work finding some of the older editions for myself. I have had the best luck finding copies around $20 each by keeping an eye on Ebay, Amazon’s used books, and Alibris. A lot of time the listings on Alibris will not have photos so you have to read the description carefully to make sure you are indeed getting an original and not reproduction copy.
So far I have been able to collect The Mary Frances Cookbook, The Mary Frances Garden Book, and The Mary Frances Sewing Book. Now I am just keeping my eyes peeled for a bargain on the others.
So back to my original friend who introduced me to the books, she recently had a birthday and while looking for something unrelated I stumbled across these Mary France embroidery patterns by Acme Notions. I knew I had to get a set for Crystal to go with her gifts, and of course I needed a set of my own. I wish they had patterns for each of the books, the garden book has such cute illustrations inside.
if you’d like to learn even more about Jane Eayre Fryer, this website has a blog and information about all of the books.
Please note that the Amazon link above is an Amazon affiliate link and if you purchase something using it I will receive a small Amazon credit.

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Garden Report: Tomatoes Mon, 18 Aug 2014 10:00:10 +0000 Continue reading ]]>

The garden is simply out of control at this point, it no longer looks pretty. Our lawn mower is being difficult and the pumpkins are spread all over making it impossible to mow the grass anywhere near the garden, for fear I’ll run one over. So the garden has over grown grass all over it, cucumbers growing all crazy town. But besides looking ugly the garden is giving me gorgeous tomatoes day after day! I planted five different varieties and all but one of them have been ripening up really nicely. The other day I made two loaded tomato quiche, and have been using lots for sandwiches, but at this rate it is time for me to start checking for recipes. I am thinking a nice tomato soup or chili would use up a bunch. Do you have a garden? If so I’d love to see photos so please link any you have. I’ve already signed up for a bunch of seed catalogs to begin arriving this winter so I can plan next years garden.

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Toy Cabinet Makeover Sun, 17 Aug 2014 10:00:47 +0000 Continue reading ]]>

For the last year I have been on the lookout for a child sized wooden cabinet. I have a collection of vintage tin doll dishes (most of them being cute little tin cups) and I wanted to add hooks and hang them in a cute little cabinet. My search had not been going well because most cute vintage ones I was finding were pricey little things, and I am just too cheap. I knew if I held out for something that it would eventually come along. I was super excited when I spotted this one a few weeks ago for $8.00. It was covered in stickers and pretty dirty, but it cleaned up well!
These photos are actually more of a “in progress” then finished, but you get the idea. I still plan to add some cute decals to the front of the doors, and I need to screw in all my hooks to hang the cups. Meanwhile though it sure does look a lot cuter then it did!

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Plush Of The Month…. Sat, 16 Aug 2014 10:00:08 +0000 Continue reading ]]>

Since all of August’s plush of the month club boxes have been delivered, I thought I’d post some behind the scenes photos from July when I was getting everything for those first boxes made. The plush was grilled cheese, and 30 grilled cheese are more like making 60 plush items because each one gets two slices of bread. While they are time consuming little guys, I wanted to start the club off strong with a plush I thought people would be excited about. You can see some more photos under the POM Club tab on my website.

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my pajaki Fri, 15 Aug 2014 10:00:40 +0000 Continue reading ]]>

I didn’t get any finished photos of my chandelier during crafternoon, but took a few photos the next day. I love how cheerful and festive they are! I am going to move mine up to the studio and hang it over my workspace. I am very tempted to make another even larger one some time soon.

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August Crafternoon Thu, 14 Aug 2014 10:00:28 +0000 Continue reading ]]>

For August’s crafternoon we made pajaki paper chandeliers. You can find some interesting history on the pajaki here, as well as links to instructions. I didn’t get photos of everyone’s creation, but it was so much fun to see how very different they all turned out! We used food color dyed coffee filters (these were so much fun to make ahead of time!), tissue paper, coffee stirrers, quilting thread, wire and paper.
We did white elephant as always, but this time there was just four of us with gifts so it went by very quickly!

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Thrifted House Wed, 13 Aug 2014 10:00:12 +0000 Continue reading ]]>

I bought this little Fisher Price house at the thrift shop, because that face was too cute to leave behind. The thing is, it is pretty dirty and I am at a loss on how to clean it. Most of the things that make it so adorable are basically paper stickers, so I am wary about using cleaners or anything that might get it wet. Any tips? I’d love to hear what you do to clean up vintage toys.

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around the studio Wed, 13 Aug 2014 00:08:06 +0000

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Mug Rugs Mon, 11 Aug 2014 10:00:05 +0000 Continue reading ]]>

Recently I decided to sew myself some new mug rugs. I like using these under a cup of coffee, or as potholders. I just sandwich a few squares of felt between two fabrics I love and quilt it. This time I made sure to sew mitered corners, though I’m still learning, so you can see the strawberry one is a bit messed up. I find when I stitch the back side down by hand rather then machine I do a much better job. I even made myself a few Halloween ones because it’s never too early.

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Thrifted Chairs Sun, 10 Aug 2014 10:00:58 +0000 Continue reading ]]>
When B and I went on our PA Adventure to pick up the auction goodies we happened upon these beautiful chairs at a thrift shop. We hadn’t even planned to stop in the thrift shop, but I noticed it when we pulled over to get gas, and we still had half an hour to kill before we could go to the auction house. The chairs were only $5 each and in such dreamy colors. Now we have 4 different old school chairs around our dining room table.

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Lucketts Sat, 09 Aug 2014 10:00:57 +0000 Continue reading ]]>

Thomas and I had a nice Thursday in Leesburg & Lucketts VA recently. We found this adorable pie shop when we were searching for coffee, and of course we had to stop in for some pie! Then we had to stop in The Old Lucketts Store, to peruse the vintage treasure. We found an amazing glass front cabinet that would of been perfect for a space in our house, but it ended up that it was double sided. With glass front doors on both sides. It seemed such a shame to buy it and push it up against a wall, so we left it behind for someone who needed a double sided cabinet to find.

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Cute Insects & Bugs Fri, 08 Aug 2014 10:00:34 +0000

As you can see I was serious when I said I am really into adorable anthropomorphic bugs & insects. This vintage puzzle is just over the top! I can’t wait to frame it and hang it in the studio.

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Embroidery & Bugs Thu, 07 Aug 2014 10:00:36 +0000 Continue reading ]]>

I’ve been spending some of my down time in the evenings working on some embroidery. I have had the Aunt Martha Busy Bee iron-on patterns for quite awhile, and it felt great to finally use them! I’ve had a little bit of an obsession with cute bugs & insects with little faces lately. Once I finished my favorite bees I felt like I needed to draw a little bug to join them. I tried the red iron on pencil first, and felt it didn’t really leave a great pattern on my fabric, so in the end I traced it with a washable embroidery pen instead. I hope to get stitching on her soon.
Please be aware that link amazon link above is an affiliate link, which means if you purchase through the link I will receive a small amazon credit.

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Kawaii Box Giveaway Wed, 06 Aug 2014 11:00:13 +0000 Continue reading ]]>
Kawaii Box is the cutest monthly subscription service. Subscribe Now and receive a box filled with hand-picked kawaii items from Japan and Korea directly to your home every month. Your box will be shipped in the beginning of each month and the shipping is absolutely free, anywhere on the planet! Each box includes 10-12 cute, original and licensed kawaii items.
Enter below for a chance to win a box of your own!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Family Meal Tue, 05 Aug 2014 10:00:58 +0000 Continue reading ]]>
We have now been to Volt’s Family Meal in Frederick twice. It’s such a cute place, but as you can see ordering coffee & getting the little metal cream milk box charms me every time. Bryan Voltaggio is the co-owner and executive chef of four restaurants including VOLT, Lunchbox, Family Meal and RANGE. We ate at Volt for my husband’s work Christmas dinner and while that was lovely and fancy, I enjoy the laid back atmosphere at Family Meal. Last time we were there with a bunch of Tom’s co-workers and the chef sent out complimentary bourbon sticky buns with walnut praline. At that point I was too full to even try them, but they looked amazing. Can’t wait to go back again!

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Halloween Fabric Mon, 04 Aug 2014 10:00:54 +0000 Continue reading ]]>

With Halloween being one of my most favorite holidays, I needed to spend some time working on some festive fabrics. I decided to draw up a bunch of old vintage style cardboard cats, and cannot wait for the proofs to arrive. I even made a Halloween quilt cheater fabric (and am working on a second one) I’ll be sure to post more once I have the fabric samples in hand.

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spun cotton Sun, 03 Aug 2014 10:00:41 +0000

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Adventures in Pennsylvania & Auctions Sat, 02 Aug 2014 10:00:05 +0000 Continue reading ]]>

A few weeks ago B and I had an adventurous day exploring our way through Pennsylvania. It may be the state we live in, but its a big one and that means there is always a lot to explore!
Our adventure actually started because on instagram someone had tagged Molly & I in an online auction that looked like it had a bunch of cotton spun cupcake picks. I was curious so I looked for the auction online and saw it was just outside of Lancaster. We decided to take a chance and bid on the auction, which was currently at $12. We bid $15 and waited. We were actually out to dinner together when the auction ended and I cannot tell you how excited we were to win it for $15! I actually bid on a few more items from the auction since there was a lot of craft supplies, and I knew I’d be making the trip regardless.
So the day for auction pick-up arrived and you needed to show up between 5 and 7pm. B and I headed out in the morning and slowly made our way toward Lancaster. Some of the places we stopped along the way were…
Holey Joes – for coffee & donuts. You choose your donut flavors and they make them hot and fresh for you.
the Haine shoe house – they even have a little shoe shaped dog house!
The PA Fabric outlet – Where they had a bunch of older Lizzy House fabrics for under $5 a yard!
Weaver Nut Co. – which is a huge candy store, we got lots of fun stuff
and a used book shop, thrift shop, and antique store…
Then at 5pm we arrived at the auction house. This was my very first time doing an auction besides ebay, and was quite exciting. You go inside and pay for your lots, then they had flyers up explaining where each numbered lot was located. So many people were there picking up their stuff, it was crazy. B and I headed to the basement and I was so excited when I saw the lot of cupcake toppers was even better then I thought. The online photo was very hard to see, kind of far away, and there were many more toppers then appeared. Once I got back into town I drove over to Molly’s house so we could sort and split it all. I took some better photos of the toppers by themselves and I’ll post those tomorrow.

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Kawaii Box review Fri, 01 Aug 2014 23:46:57 +0000 Continue reading ]]>
I love a good surprise of the month club. The whole exciting concept of getting surprises in the mail each month is what prompted me to make the Plush Of The Month club (1st month boxes shipped out today!) So last month when my friend Molly said she had signed up for a Kawaii box of the month, I was intrigued. I actually signed myself up, but unknowingly signed up to a different club. I was pretty disappointed with that other club’s first box, as it only contained a few items and it cost me more.
However the lovely folks at Kawaii Box sent me a June box to review (and I’m sold! I signed up for a subscription) Each month for $18.90 you get a surprise box of 10-12 hand picked cute items. Take a look at the goodies that were in this month’s box…

I love the little squishy bear bread the best. I also loved that you could bag all the items in that cute bag, and voila you’d have a really nice gift. Do you belong to any subscription based clubs? I love nothing more then a surprise in the mail each month. I also have a membership to Ipsy, but that will require a whole post of it’s own someday soon!

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The Old Sled Works Sun, 27 Jul 2014 10:00:25 +0000 Continue reading ]]>

Earlier this month I talked about a little adventure we took into Pennsylvania. One of our stops was a place in Duncannon PA Called The Old Sled Works. It’s a antique shop, a vintage arcade, a soda shop, and more! They have a little yarn store tucked inside, an area that sells handmade crafts, and a little mini museum about the Sled Works, it was a lot of fun!

Our favorite area was clearly the working arcade. Not only was it fun to play the games, there was so many beautiful old graphics and logos to look at.
We found some treasure to bring home from the antique part. Not this vintage doll sized changing table, but it was too cute not to take a photo.

We had such a good time that I cannot wait to go back. The only disappointment was the soda shop portion was closed. When I asked about it out front they said it’s only open on weekends, but just a head’s up, a friend of mine went on a Saturday at 4:10pm and the soda shop was closed. They told her at the front that is closes at 4 even though the store is open later. So if your going for ice cream (and you should be-look how freaking cute that area is!!) then maybe give them a call to make sure that part will be open. Their website doesn’t list anything about the soda shop having different hours, so a call will be the best bet. Otherwise, I highly recommend it as a stop if you’re going to be anywhere in the area.

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Kittyloaf Sun, 27 Jul 2014 04:31:57 +0000 Continue reading ]]>

You know those hair brained ideas that just come to you, in the middle of the night, or while you’re driving you car on a long winding road? Well that is exactly how these kitty loaf cozies were born. One morning around 4am I woke up and the idea just came to me for a sewn bread cozy that looked like a cat…a kittyloaf.
The cat position referred to when a cat lays down with with all four paws tucked underneath the body; the position that resembles a loaf of bread.
My husband woke up a little too as I was rolling over in bed with this new idea rattling around and I made sure to tell him so I wouldn’t forget (I do this all the time). Then soon after I got to work using measurements I found online for bread, and voila my kittyloaf cozies are done!
The mama cat fits nicely over a loaf of bread, and the kittens work well for small leftover bags of bread, or homemade mini loaves. I think it would make a lovely gift to bake a mini loaf in a pan you want to give (around the holidays Michael’s Craft has cute mini loaf pans for $1 each) then cover your bread with some plastic wrap, pop a kitten over it and tie a bow around his stomach up onto his back! I’ve actually been thinking of creating a whole new fabric with just kittens for this very purpose, and then I could fit a few more colors too. Thoughts?
I’m finishing up a little tutorial on how to sew them up, I used a iron on interfacing inside my cats and lining to make them very nice and sturdy indeed.

]]> 16 Fri, 25 Jul 2014 12:00:36 +0000 Continue reading ]]> So what is the Plush Of The Month Club?
For $30 a month ($35 outside the USA) you will get a surprise box each month with a special handmade plush. Most months this will just be one intricate or more advanced plush, but some months this may mean a few plush items. These plush will be limited to the club only, and will only be sold otherwise if I have extra back subscriptions to sell. These may be plush items I’ve made in the past, but were a bit more limited due to the time it takes to make each one.
Your first month’s box will also include a welcome kit with membership card, and every month the box will contain a few small surprises. Little goodies like special pin backs, postcards, stickers, little comic/zines and always some candy.
welcome kitsurprise boxpon2

Can I cancel at any time?
Yes! You can cancel your membership at any time. Log in to your PayPal account. Click Profile near the top of the page. Click My money. Click “Update” in the My preapproved payments section. Click Cancel, Cancel automatic billing, or Cancel subscription and follow the instructions. If your payment has been made it can only be refunded if your box has not yet shipped. All boxes mail on the 1st of the month (unless it falls on a Sunday or a holiday that the post office is closed, then it will be shipped the following day)

I paid for a membership on July 25th, when will my box ship?
If you pay for a subscription in July, your first box will be shipped August 1st.

Will you be offering more subscription spots?
Yes! Since all items are handmade by me, I cannot let unlimited people sign up for the club. To begin with the club was open to 30 members. In August membership will open for 20 more subscribers (so 50 total) I hope to keep adding more subscriptions each month. Also keep in mind if anyone cancels that provides an open spot as well. To be one of the first to know about open subscriptions sign up for the email list below.

Be the first to know about open slots

* indicates required

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around the house Sat, 19 Jul 2014 10:00:33 +0000 Continue reading ]]>

Just a few photos from around the house. I realized there has been a lot switched around since the last time I posted house photos. I decided to try and take a few houses photos every month. One thing I wish I had photos of was all of the houses we grew up in. My Dad was in the military so we did our fair share of moving. I’d love to look at the details like toys we had in our room, the bed spread, what our couch looked like.

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Halloween Quilt Fri, 18 Jul 2014 10:00:30 +0000 Continue reading ]]>

I dug out this crazy hodge podge Halloween quilt I started last year. I originally made the Halloween collage so we could have a crazy Halloween puzzle to put together. Then I printed it on some fabric so I could make a quilt & halloween bag. I know its currently Summer, but if I want these things done in time for Fall, I’ve found that Summer is the time to work on them.

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July Crafternoon Thu, 17 Jul 2014 10:00:11 +0000 Continue reading ]]>

Julay crafternoon snuck up real quick since June’s crafternoon was so close to the end of the month. It worked out well since we were doing knitting & crochet lessons using the yarn we dyed last time. First everyone turned their skeins of yarn into center pull yarn cakes using the ball winder & swift. You can see adorable Molly in the bottom photo with her yarn cakes.
Then instead of sitting around a table like we normally do, we all headed to the living room to make ourselves comfy for the lessons. Not everyone ended up loving either knitting or crochet, and thats ok! I think no matter how people end up feeling about their creations or the craft, we have a good time.
We did the White Elephant swap as we usually do. I decided to wash out a vintage looking Fluff container and it cleaned up perfectly inside the dishwasher without loosing any paint. I filled it with vintage trinkets and bobbles from my own personal collection.
I recently received some gorgeous Knitter’s Pride needles and crochet hooks to try out and I am blown away! I have always used cheaper needles that I’ve found at thrift shops and the chain craft stores. To be honest I never really thought there could be a huge difference. Boy was I wrong! I am currently using the Nova interchangeables and I love them, but my new favorite needles are the Knitter’s Pride Dreamz circular needles. I started doing some two at a time sock knitting, and these needles knit so smoothly, I have never experienced knitting like this with the needles I’ve used in the past. The wood is so smooth that the stitches just glide over the needles. I’ve always gravitated toward wooden needles because I don’t like how slippery metal feels to me. However with these needles I feel I get the smooth glide of the metal, but without the slippery feeling the metal needles have given me. Have you tried any knitter’s pride needles you’d recommend? I’m totally hooked!

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Plush Of The Month Club! Wed, 16 Jul 2014 10:00:39 +0000 Continue reading ]]>
I’m very excited to announce the launch of my Plush Of The Month Club! Subscriptions for August’s “soft opening” will open on Friday July 25th.
For the first month I am only opening 30 subscriptions. 15 available at 8am EST and 15 more at 8pm EST.
For September I will open up 20 more spots, so the club will be able to have 50 subscribers, and we shall see how it goes from there!

So what is the Plush Of The Month Club?
For $30 a month($35 outside the USA) you will get a surprise box each month with a special handmade plush, most months this will just be one intricate/more advanced plush, but some months this may mean a few plush items. These plush will be limited to the club only, and will only be sold otherwise if I have extra back subscriptions to sell.
Your first month’s box will also include a welcome kit with membership card, and every month the box will contain a few small surprises like special pin backs, stickers, little comic/zines or candy, all things specially made especially for the plush of the month club!

Subscriptions will be through paypal and automatically re-bill on the 25th of each month. Boxes will always ship out on the 1st of the following month. For example: You are billed September 25th for a box shipped October 1st. Subscriptions for month one will be available here on the blog since Bigcartel doesn’t have a way to use paypal subscriptions at this time.

You’ll be able to cancel your subscription at any time via paypal. If your account has already been billed you can get a refund if your box has not shipped, once the box is shipped you will not be able to have a refund for that month.
If you have any questions please leave them as a comment and I’ll create an FAQ for the club :)

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Summer Adventures Sun, 13 Jul 2014 10:00:25 +0000 Continue reading ]]>

On one of our past Thursdays we took a little day trip up to the Harrisburg PA area. Our first stop was a really cool antique shop called Old Sled Works in Duncannon PA (that needs a whole post of its own!) We had lots of fun even though we were a little disappointed to find out the soda fountain inside is only open on weekends. Especially because the day we went the air conditioner was being repaired and it was hot hot hot!
After we left there we headed toward Harrisburg to check out The National Civil War Museum. Thats where the photo of that view comes in! It was very interesting and of course perfect for our little civil war buff.
We ended our day with our very first visit to The Melting Pot, an “all fondue” restaurant. It was so much fun! You start off with a cheese fondue with veggies, apples, and breads to dip. The next course is a fondue broth and we went with the vegetarian dinner option. It included things like veggies, ravioli, and tofu. Then they also set out all of these various little dips to pair with your cooked vegetables. Of course you finish off with a chocolate fondue. We went for the s’mores variety and they flambé the marshmallow topping, its all quite exciting. Its a long experience too, I think we were there just over two hours but it was the perfect way to end our fun day. I can’t wait for an excuse to go back.

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from an update Sat, 12 Jul 2014 10:00:11 +0000

Just some peeks from the last update. Taking the photos & editing them all is always my very least favorite part, but it has to be done!

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Alpaca Babypalooza Fri, 11 Jul 2014 12:00:40 +0000 Continue reading ]]>

A few weekends ago I happened to see a notice for an event called Alpaca Babypalooza. The Sugarloaf Alpaca Company was inviting everyone to come out to Adamstown MD and see the baby alpacas. How could anyone resist the idea of two dozen baby alpaca? The whole event was free, which I thought was really lovely. First we fed the alpacas with food that was provided. Then we took a tour of the spinning mill, which was so interesting! I wish I had taken photos. After the tour we came out side just in time to watch see an alpaca giving birth. Neither of us had seen an animal born before and it was such an astounding experience.
Before leaving we made sure to pick up some treats from the gift shop. I bought a couple of amazingly soft alpaca batts for spinning, and B decided on a needle felting kit. I am saving my batts for a special Halloween yarn I am planning to spin myself. I want to knit a pair of arm warmers for the Fall with a Halloween vibe to them. I am still looking for the perfect pattern.

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Halloween Cookies Thu, 10 Jul 2014 12:00:44 +0000

It may be Summer, but that of course means it is time for me to get all my Halloween projects going! Working on some cookies that I’ve been thinking about. I thought a Halloween cookie fabric would be kind of fun and different. Still experimenting with it for now.

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Shop Update! Wed, 09 Jul 2014 12:00:33 +0000

Shop update today at 3pm EST!

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Garden Report Tue, 08 Jul 2014 12:00:53 +0000 Continue reading ]]>
Time for an update on the garden! Take a look back first at this photo just a few weeks ago, holy moly things have changed! The photo above shows the garden with out one weeks worth of growth between photo #1 and #2.
And here is the garden today! You can barely see the box frames or the mulch in the front area. The tomato plants are huge, most of them coming up to my chest. All of the squash, watermelon, and cucumbers are spilling out with crazy vines going everywhere! Its all pretty exciting!
All of the sad-cart perennials I bought on clearance are looking amazing, $3 very well spent.

So far I have been able to harvest a few zucchini, yellow squash, and cucumbers. But of course I am most excited for the tomato & pumpkins. I hope to be able to post again in a few weeks with some watermelons and maybe some pumpkins taking shape.

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Update! Mon, 07 Jul 2014 12:00:11 +0000
The shop will be updated on Wednesday July 9th at 3pm EST. I’ll have terrariums, terrarium necklaces, plush hot chocolate, plush tea, rain clouds, burnt toast, moldy bread, ice cream, donuts, and more!

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June Crafternoon – Yarn Dyeing Sun, 06 Jul 2014 17:49:36 +0000 Continue reading ]]>

Last month’s crafternoon was all about dyeing wool yarn. Using similar techniques as the time I dyed yarn before. I had everyone bring 100% white/off white yarn. We used my niddy noddy to wind the yarn into skeins from the balls they came in. Then everyone used a disposable roasting pan for the dyeing. We used a combination of hot water, kool-aid, food coloring, and vinegar. I was supposed to provide gloves for everyone but when I went to get them out they were not there. Luckily everyone was a good sport about dyed fingers and I found Dr. Bronners soap removed most of it.
It was also a pie potluck and the pies varied from whoopee pies to a plantain meat pie! I decided to “invent” a pie the like movie Waitress. I began with a crushed plain animal cracker and melted butter crust, then a layer of marshmallow fluff. That was then topped with a dark chocolate pudding, whipped cream and iced animal crackers. It was an interesting combination.
July’s crafternoon will be all about learning to knit & crochet, and we will be using our hand dyed yarns! I’m pretty excited about it!

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Blogs I Love Sat, 05 Jul 2014 12:00:48 +0000 Continue reading ]]> It’s been awhile since I’ve shared some blogs I really enjoy reading. Part of me always wonders what the collective thought on blogs is nowadays. Are people still actively looking for new ones? Do people feel they don’t have time to keep up with blogs and prefer the quick look on instagram or twitter instead? Obviously I still read blogs (though a lot less then I used to) and if you are here reading this, well then hello fellow blog reader! Here are two blogs I’ve been loving, and hope you might enjoy too!
Dinosaur Dracula
First up there is Dinosaur Dracula, I think I found Matt’s blog around Halloween of last year. He is a collector of amazing things that range from childhood toys to novelty food. Here is a blurb from his about section that I think sums up his blog perfectly: This site celebrates the sheer joy of trivial things, from Halloween decorations, to Ninja Turtles, to the pewter dolphin pendants sold in every aquarium’s gift shop. Dinosaur Dracula is, if nothing else, my perpetual excuse to enjoy things I’m no longer “supposed” to enjoy. The best part is not only does he post cool things, but he is a really funny writer. I think one of my favorite posts was about his 1993 Christmas Tiki Hut.

I used to keep up with Nina and her beautiful work in some other way (maybe through Flickr? Livejournal? I really am not sure) but then somehow lost her, and then found her blog recently and was really excited. She creates beautiful ceramics, and her blog features her home, her children/life, and her work. Its a beautiful space and I’m so glad to have re-discovered her in blog form.

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Flash Sale! Tue, 01 Jul 2014 09:00:59 +0000
I’m currently working on some new projects for to add to A Very Merry Advent (and once you buy it you get all the updates each year for free!) so we are having a one day flash sale 50% off with code XMASJULY

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Helen Haywood Mon, 30 Jun 2014 12:00:08 +0000 Continue reading ]]>

On Sunday Molly and her husband had tattoo appointments with Thomas for the end of the night. I thought I’d tag along with them, get tattooed after them and then we could all go out to dinner. I have wanted these little mushroom people for quite awhile since Rae first posted about the puzzle she bought. I asked her to email me a photo and I have saved it for reference ever since.
Helen Haywood was a writer and illustrator from England whose books were published in the 50′s & 60′s. Of course after learning about her work through the puzzle I have been slowly buying a small collection through places like Amazon used books, and All of the books I have purchased so far have come from England, so I don’t think my chances of stumbling upon her books at a used bookshop in the states is very good. I am still searching for the book that the mushroom illustrations might of come from and if anyone knows, I would love that info!
I was going to get both mushroom people but it started to get really late and we were all pretty hungry, so I picked the largest for now and will add more of the other characters at a later time. Of course every time I get tattooed I wonder why I don’t do it more often!

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Civil War Sat, 28 Jun 2014 12:00:09 +0000 Continue reading ]]>

For the last couple of months B has been really interested in the history of The Civil War. We live fairly close to Gettysburg PA, and his class had a field trip to Gettysburg during the final month of school. After the field trip they received flyers about a free one day program called A Day In The Life Of A Civil War Soldier, and he was eager to sign up. I asked Katie about signing her son up too since I figured they’d have even more fun together.
The event was at the Blue Ridge Summit library, which is housed in what was a train station of the Western Maryland Railroad built in 1911. It’s a really beautiful building, and the whole area of Blue Ridge Summit and Pen Mar has such an interesting history. The Western Maryland Railroad constructed Pen Mar Park as a tourist destination in 1877. There was a an amusement park that included a scenic lookout, roller coaster, movie theater, dance pavilion, picnic shelter, miniature train, photo studio, concession stand, carousel with a penny arcade, dining hall and children’s playground. The park was a huge success with thousands of visitors taking the trip from Baltimore to Pen Mar by train. But by the late 1920′s people stopped traveling to the park by train and it stopped making a profit for the railroad. The area apparently had lots of beautiful hotels, and over 100 boarding houses.
You’d never know it was such a huge tourist destination today, the area still has the scenic overlook and pavilion, and there is a small playground but that’s about it. There are apparently two dvds about the area that I’d love to see, one called The Grand Hotels Of Blue Ridge and Greetings From Penn Mar. The whole area must of really been something to see in it’s hey-day.
The Civil War Soldier event was on the first day of Summer and it was unseasonably cool in the 60′s. Luckily we live close enough that I was able to make a quick run home to grab sweatshirts and brew Katie and I some hot coffee. The program was four hours long, and the kids both loved it. They learned about marching in formation, flag drills, each job needed for loading a cannon, uniforms, and supplies. We were having trouble judging how they felt about it just by watching. Four hours is a long time, and they spent an hour and a half of it each taking turns doing the various jobs to load a cannon for firing, so we were really happy when we talked to them afterwards. They said it wasn’t too long, wasn’t ever boring, and they loved it.

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Spoonflower Contest Thu, 26 Jun 2014 22:39:35 +0000 Continue reading ]]>

This week’s Spoonflower contest was to create a set of four coordinating fabrics based on sewing notions. I had so much fun working on these fabrics! If you’d like to vote for your favorites you can find all the entries here.
And if your interested in making something with my fabrics you can find them here.

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Father’s Day Wrapping Paper DIY Mon, 23 Jun 2014 12:00:48 +0000 Continue reading ]]>

Although Father’s Day has come and gone I thought I’d share the wrapping paper the boys and I made for Tom. While you can of course create your own roll of amazing wrapping paper from Spoonflower, some times you just need a small sheet or two and you’d like to have it right away.
On school mornings when we had extra time B and I would make silly little drawings on post-it notes, and I try to save them all. One morning I drew a silly drawing of Tom and then B did one too. His has Tom wearing his brown sweatshirt pull over with the little hood drawstrings. I was looking at the drawings again before Father’s Day and thought they would be great turned into wrapping paper. I asked Kurt to draw his own version of Tom and then I used a light box to trace the post-it note drawings (so they wouldn’t have the striped lines and yellow paper) After scanning them in and coloring them in photoshop I added some common words for Dad, and then sent it over to Staples. I had them print it on their 11×14 paper and it was about $1 a sheet. If you don’t have a program like photoshop you could use a light box or window to trace the drawings all over a large piece of paper. Then color them or have the kids color them in. Then you could save the original and have color copies made for the paper.
It’s a fun way to customize wrapping paper & have your kid’s draw photos of the people the gift is for. It would be kind of fun to do it every year to see how the kid’s drawings change.
We cut out some the extra paper to make little gift tags for the top, but you could also use some on a card, or cut them out and save them in your scrapbook.

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