My Paper Crane the life & art of Heidi Kenney Sun, 27 Jul 2014 10:00:25 +0000 en-US hourly 1 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.

]]> 0 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 box

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

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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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Studio Revamp Sun, 22 Jun 2014 01:01:45 +0000

I’ve been working for the past couple of weeks on revamping the entire studio. I’m still not 100% finished but when I am I will take better photos with my real camera, but I thought I’d share some in progress phone photos with you.

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Another Purse Thu, 19 Jun 2014 12:00:11 +0000 Continue reading ]]>

I’ve been trying to create all sorts of things out of the fabric I have been designing, but I always seem to want a new purse. When I was trying to decide if I wanted to find a pattern to use or not, nothing really stood out to me. So I decided to just wing it and make up a purse pattern of my own. My ideal purse always has at least one front pocket for tossing in my keys and cell phone. Otherwise I am forever rooting around in the big pocket trying to find them.
You can see all the coordinating fabrics in this collection here.

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Garden Report Mon, 16 Jun 2014 12:00:11 +0000 Continue reading ]]>
I am super proud of this year’s garden & the back yard really. Our previous dog Muffin would dig up anything and everything you tried to plant in the yard and run around with it like it was great fun. He even did it with rose bushes. Before he passed away we ended up putting in a little metal fenced garden to keep him out of the fruits and veggies at least, but didn’t plant much in the back besides a magnolia tree.
Sirius on the other hand could care less about plants, so this year I decided to take down the fenced garden and start something new.
One Thursday Tom and I went to Lowes so we could get a ceiling fan for him to install and lumber for me to build my raised garden beds. I already knew in my mind what I wanted to do, and it seemed like it would be quick but it took me the same amount of time to make a box as it did for him to install the fan. Now you’ll have to picture this but originally I built the box so it was “two boxes high”. Just invasion the boxes you see above stacked on top of one another. Once I started going out and getting garden soil to fill the thing (and thinking about how much nicer two big garden boxes might be) I took our handy Christmas tree saw out into the yard and sawed the whole thing in half. I was really just sawing those little pieces of wood in the four corners, but oh my gosh it was quite the workout. Now that I had two boxes I could spread out the soil between them, and I was very happy that I wasn’t going to need to make yet another trip out to get more. Besides the garden beds I moved some cement blocks we already had again the wall and filled them with a mix of herbs and sunflowers. I am hoping these being up against the wall will help cut down on weeds growing in there. I still need to get a few more cement blocks to go the whole way across.
I had been super eager to get all of our seedlings into the ground. We had so many pumpkins so I planted a few along each edge and the rest went into the yard along the fence line.
One day when I was picking up mulch to go around the garden I noticed Lowes had all these sad looking perennials on the discount cart for $3 each. The same ones that they were selling for $12.99. Some of them didn’t even look so bad! I bought nine of them and planted them along an ugly cement wall. Most of our yard is fence we had installed, but one portion of the back/side area meets up with a neighbors building. They’ve only been planted for a week or so, but they are doing wonderfully! Also I realized you can see my pathetic bruised toe that I knocked over a plastic shelf onto last winter. Who needs nail polish?
Besides the garden we have also planted this year wisteria along the back fence, two lilac bushes, a butterfly bush, and a little maple tree that we relocated as it was growing up by the fence. I’ll do a garden update in a few weeks to let you know how very over crowded the boxes are becoming and a check in on the sad-cart flowers.

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Spinning Yarn Sat, 14 Jun 2014 12:00:10 +0000 Continue reading ]]>
I finally spun up some yarn a few weeks ago. I used to spin all the time, but its been so very long since I made the time to sit down at the spinning wheel and mess around with fibers. It felt great, though I would say I am pretty rusty! I spun the blue & pink yarns and the next day once the blue was dry I turned it into a yarn cake and started knitting with it. Sheesh, I forgot just how much fun knitting with handspun is!! I am already plotting a spooky Halloween themed yarn that I want to spin and then turn into some arm warmers for this fall.
Meanwhile in case you are new to my blog, here is a trip down memory lane to some of the kooky yarns I have spun in the past…

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Summer “I’m Bored” List Thu, 12 Jun 2014 12:00:40 +0000 Continue reading ]]>
Today is our first official day of Summer vacation, and so I thought it would be fun to share our “I’m bored” Summer list. I’ve added links where appropriate (and if its an amazon link its an affiliate program link), but feel free to ask me any questions, and I hope you have an exciting boredom free Summer!
1. Go Letterboxing
2. Plan a picnic lunch
3. Play in the sprinkler
4. Make shaved ice (we ordered this machine because we wanted something that makes shaved ice like snow, not ice pellets)
5. Check garden and pull weeds (you can make this a game like who can pull the most weeds, or pay 5¢ a weed etc.)
6. Play games in backyard at night with patio lights on
7. Ride a bike
8. Learn origami
9. Play a board game
10. Use air popper to pop popcorn & watch a movie
11. Write a story
12. Go do “Paint Your Own Pottery”
13. Learn to make friendship bracelets
14. Make butterbeer
15. Read a book
16. Tie dye t-shirts
17. Play with water marbles & food colored water
18. Make a cardboard box city
19. Make homemade rock candy
20. Dye paper with shaving cream and food coloring
21. Make kool-aid ice cubes to drink in Sprite to make a magic potion like drink
22. Make outdoor waterbed
23. Play Jenga with cut up sponges as the Jenga pieces add water to make it interesting and play outside
24. Decorate a pair of white shoes with fabric markers
25. Take a trip to the used bookshop
26. Go to a new park and feed the ducks
27. Wash the car
28. Make one inch buttons (we have a button maker and I forgot how much fun it is to make buttons out of little drawings)
29. Make a toothpick marshmallow house
30. Go see a movie
31. Check newspaper for festivals and carnivals
32. Clean a tiled floor with dish soap and sponges like Pippi
33. Go bowling
34. Play Bingo
35. Make gummy bear popsicles
36. Shaving cream filled water balloons
37. Make smokes
38. Make rainbow bubble snakes
39. Fill a mini pool with water and bubble bath
40. Make window clings
41. Make scented kool-aid rice for playing in (don’t let all the stuff about toddlers fool you, my son is eleven and loves playing with his action figures and lego people in rice, bags of pearler beads etc. its perfect quick sand etc)
42. Make pressed flowers and leaves
43. Make a yarn maze
44. Watercolor paint in the rain
45. Make a sheet fort with old sheets and clothespins
46. Microwave a bar of soap
47. Make ice cream in a bag
48. Drawing scavenger hunt, give kid’s a list of household items to find and draw
49. Sparklers & snaps
50. Go on a hike
51. Try geocaching
52. Listen to a classic novel on “tape” (there are many online for free at
53. Write letters and cards
54. Make acrylic sun prints
55. Take photos with a disposable or underwater camera
56. Visit the animal shelter to pet cats & dogs
57. Make a batch of jello worms
58. With rain ponchos go on a walk in the woods during a rainstorm to spot frogs
59. Grow pots of grass for our cat
60. Build a fort from a big cardboard box
61. Do a puzzle
62. Create a scrap book with photos, drawings, writing and stickers
63. Wash the dog
64. Visit the zoo
65. Go swimming

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Heidi Braids Wed, 11 Jun 2014 12:00:43 +0000 Continue reading ]]>

I found this haggard insulated bag thrift shopping with my sister. I thought it had a great shape and was a nice roomy size for packing picnics. It even has a little plastic trash can like insert which helps keep its shape and prevent spills from wrecking the bag. It was falling apart though and I wasn’t a huge fan of the colors, so I bought it with the idea I’d re-cover the whole thing.
I decided to use some fabric I designed called Heidi Braids. It’s an homage to my namesake Heidi. Little mountain girls with goats, wildflowers, butterflies, and mushrooms. Seemed perfect for a picnic. You can check out the coordinating fabrics here.

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Ice cream sundae Mon, 09 Jun 2014 12:00:36 +0000 Continue reading ]]>

On the day Molly and I hit the cake topper mother load, we did do a little more exploring around Cumberland and back up into Pennsylvania. We have this thing for sundaes with wacky names. It all started when we saw an ice cream shop inside The Craft And Flower marketplace. They had a little ice cream shop inside that was closed but the menu board advertised a “piggy back sundae” Of course ever since we have been thinking up crazy things as to what it could be. I think it could be two smaller sundaes of your choice-one on top of another, but who knows.
Okay so I decided to do a google search for the sundae before I typed anymore of this blog entry and only two things come up, but they say the same thing. It seems a piggy back sundae is a milkshake topped with an ice cream sundae! I can’t even imagine how that is possible, but I am glad to have the mystery solved.
Anyhow, we wanted to stop for wacky ice cream sundaes on our drive home and The Igloo in Everett PA happened to be on our route. Giant ice cream sundae topped building and kooky sundae flavors, we were sold. Molly had the dirt sundae and I went for the ice cream cake sundae which seemed to have a cake flavored topping, caramel, and crumbled chocolate cake.
We also hit a few antique/flea market type places. I wanted to buy the creepy strawberry but it was $18. We did however talk ourselves into each buying a $1 goodie bag. They were decorated so nicely and we had lots of laughs joking that they might have used underwear, dirty dishes that some one just didn’t want to wash, or some other garbage. We figured $1 was worth the risk. The cashier joked that they would be bricks wrapped in tinfoil. We were so excited when we got back to the car that we opened them right away. Dirty dishes might have been better then what we did get, at least there might have been cute dishes we could of scrubbed the mold off of (I really wish I could insert a laughing until I cry emoji here).
Mine had gems like a used wallet filled with receipts, a pair of prescription glasses, some keys. There was also a few pamphlets (basically junk mail). And Molly’s wasn’t any better. We dropped off all the contents at the next thrift shop. Still it certainly was exciting!! Made me wonder though if someone had a break up and packed up the ex’s things into goodie bags to sell in their antique shop booth. I hope there isn’t a little lady named Judy hunting for her glasses and keys!

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Yummy Fri, 06 Jun 2014 12:00:14 +0000 Continue reading ]]>
yummy art

Look what I stumbled across on instagram! Kid’s making art based on my Yummy’s at Abrakadoodle art studio…could anything be cuter??

And then there are these adorable drawings by a little gal nicknamed Banana, also on instagram :) if you have any fan art, I’d love to see it and feature it here on my blog!

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Weekend Adventures Thu, 05 Jun 2014 00:14:15 +0000 Continue reading ]]>

Last weekend Molly and I took a little day-trip to Cumberland MD. Our friend Jessee had posted a photo on instagram of some cake toppers she bought at a little craft supply shop in Cumberland. We decided to go and see what we could find, and maybe check out some antique shops in the area. Molly had been to the crafty supply shop before and remembered that a Hallmark in the same shopping plaza had cake toppers too.
First we went to Plaza Crafts and spent way too much time sifting through the bins. There is no order to anything, its such a hodge podge. Then the gal had to count everything to ring us up, and then we ventured over to the Hallmark…where we hit the mother load.
We knew we wanted to just buy them all, since they were beautiful old stock cake toppers. The bins were all different prices ranging from 10-18¢ per topper (at Plaza Crafts they were just 10¢ each) So we took the bins to the front and waited while the sales lady finished up with customers and then told her we would like to buy them all, and instead of counting them if she could give us a flat price. She told us to make an offer and we froze up, not quite sure what to say. Finally I blurted out $30 and the lady said “SOLD!” right away.
Once we got back to my house we sat sorting all the toppers and splitting them up. Molly is going to make all sorts of awesome things for her shop, and plan of using mine for cakes & future crafternoons. In the end we ended up with over 800 cake toppers and about 20 spent each) I’ve not run across a lot of old stock items so it was quite the thrill!

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records Thu, 29 May 2014 12:00:42 +0000
Working on some illustrations inspired by vintage children’s records.

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Dyeing Yarn Mon, 26 May 2014 12:00:29 +0000 Continue reading ]]>

I’ve been thinking more and more about doing some crafternoon projects that center on yarn. I know a lot of the ladies are interested in learning to knit or crochet. I thought I’d take it one step further and have everyone dye their own yarn first.
I wanted to try out dyeing yarn before crafternoon to get a good feel of it. I plan to make a few more test trials with some changes to see if the results are different, but here is what I did.
I took 100% wool yarn in a hank, tied off in a few places. I soaked my yarn in warm water, then gently squeezed most of it out. I then placed it down inside a cardboard box (outside) and sprayed the yarn with some vinegar. I flipped it over several times while spraying. Then I used a mixture of unsweetened kool-aid, and food coloring. I just would squeeze some in a color at a time, and then go back and add more. I flipped my yarn a few times, but tried not to mess with it too much for fear of the colors really running together.
Once I was satisfied with the coverage, I gently rinsed my yarn until the water was clear. I was so happy with how it turned out, even though it knitted up with a bit more brown then I expected. It was so much fun to knit with. I can’t wait to see what sort of results I can get with my next skien.

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Let’s all go to the movies! Sat, 24 May 2014 12:00:20 +0000 Continue reading ]]>
Today I just wanted to share a few movies with you. A couple I have seen, or just can’t wait to see. First up a movie based on one of my most favorite books, Invisible Sign. I found this one accidentally when browsing Netflix for something to watch on instant. It actually came out back in 2009, and I was wary of Jessica Alba playing Mona. I had just seen her as the main character in Spy Kids 4, and I think she’s had too many roles where she plays something completely opposite of Mona to make this work. That being said, I still actually really enjoyed the movie. I’m glad that Mr. Jones and his wax numbers did not disappoint me, and I thought Lisa and Ann were spot on. It felt a little rushed like most books to film, but overall I liked it.
The next film is Trap For Cinderella, which I have not yet seen (was in theaters in Dec, but not around here) The first book of Sébastien Japrisot that I read was A Very Long Engagement (highly recommend the book & film both so very good) Of course after reading that I became a bit obsessed seeing what else I could find of his work that had been translated. I’ve only been able to find and read 6 of his books, but I loved them all. I’m not usually one to go for murder mystery novels, but something about the way Sébastien Japrisot could craft a story really hooked me, and kept me guessing. The film has a lot of bad reviews, but I’ll still give it a try with an open mind.
I saw Finding Vivian Maier on Mother’s Day, and really enjoyed it. When I first saw the trailer it reminded me a little of Henry Darger and the documentary In The Realms Of The Unreal (watch it, its amazing!) Henry was an amazing artist and novelist in secret, spending his time working as a janitor and then spending his free time working on his own creative world. Thats very much simplifying everything so I encourage you to check out the documentary, which is really one of the most beautifully put together documentaries I have ever seen. Ok back to Vivian Maier, she was an unknown street photographer who spent her time working as a Nanny. Her photographs and undeveloped film were discovered by John Maloof, a man in Chicago who was writing a book on the history of the city. He had been going to flea markets looking for old photos for his book…and went on to direct Finding Vivian Maier. Its a really interesting story. I was just left wanting to see more, hear more of her recordings, but I realize there would of not been a way to put all that in there. It’s very much a documentary about her as well as the John Maloof and the events that went on after he found the photos.
The last film The Lunch Box is something I keep seeing previews for on other films, and it looks so sweet and charming. If I don’t get a chance to go back to The Majestic Theater in Gettysburg and see it while it’s there, I’ll keep an eye out on Netflix for it.
Besides all these gems we also saw (and loved, but its no surprise) Wes Anderson’s Grand Budapest Hotel. I cannot wait for it to release to dvd so I can watch it again. I think we would need to whip up some Mendl’s Courtesan au Chocolat for the occasion!

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Letterboxing Thu, 22 May 2014 12:00:30 +0000 Continue reading ]]>

On Sunday B and I decided it was high time we did some more letterboxing! It’s been over a year, and we decided to make new stamps for the occasion. If you’re unfamiliar with letterboxing here is a little blurb from LETTERBOXING is an intriguing pastime combining navigational skills and rubber stamp artistry in a charming “treasure hunt” style outdoor quest. A wide variety of adventures can be found to suit all ages and experience levels
You can read about the first time we went out back in 2009 here.
We went in search of six different letterboxes and unfortunately we were only able to find two. It looked like the rest were missing in action. But we can’t wait to get back out there and try a different area next time.

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in the sewing basket Mon, 19 May 2014 12:00:07 +0000

I’ve been having a blast working on some sewing related fabrics for Spoonflower. These illustrations are a bit different from what I normally make, but again-really fun to work on none the less.

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Dolls Sat, 17 May 2014 12:00:37 +0000

I found photos on my phone of the bunka dolls during sewing and thought I’d share. They sewed up pretty quickly assembly line. The arms and legs just take the most time because they are so small.

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Exploring Pennsylvania Thu, 15 May 2014 12:00:34 +0000 Continue reading ]]>

Back at the beginning of May, Molly took off a Friday so we could do some adventuring. We decided to make our way toward Lancaster, with a few stops along the way.
First up we stopped into the Salvation Army fabric sale so she could see if there was anything left she could use on items for her shop. She ended up loading up a box, so it was great.
Then we headed to Gettysburg so we could stop into a thrift shop there (we didn’t find anything) but then I made sure to stop at the abandoned mini golf so Molly could have a look. I was so sad to see that my favorite pink mini house had been knocked down. The whole place has been pretty destroyed. It was in a lot worse shape then the last time I walked through it. The baseball batting cage area is filled with water and looks like the saddest lake. Most of the houses look like people have been trying to destroy them and there was lots of trash everywhere.
After that we made our way to Lititz for lunch at The Tomato Pie cafe. This is the same place we ate on our last Pennsylvania adventure. Their food is always so good, we both had the tomato soup and agreed it was perfection. I also had the cold brew with milk & honey, goodness it was delicious.
We walked across the street to check out the Wilbur Chocolate company. They have a shop but also a bit of a museum along the walls behind glass, lots of rurally cute chocolate molds.
Last on our trip was the Lancaster area for a few antique shops and to stop in the Craft and Flower marketplace (used to be Craft and Flower Warehouse) It was interesting and we each found some fun things, but I kind of missed the old place even though I had only been there once. Then we made the long drive back home, which of course always seems to feel like it takes forever when you are not making fun stops along the way.

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May Crafternoon Tue, 13 May 2014 12:00:49 +0000

May’s Crafternoon was all about English Paper Piecing, just like I did in my paper piecing necklace, but larger sizes. I love paper piecing and I should of been working on my “five year quilt”, which at this point should probably be finished considering I started in back in 2009! But instead of hexes I wanted to try out diamonds, so I have basically started a second quilt. You can see some photos of my hex quilt here and here.
Jessee was nice enough to use her Silhouette to cut out the paper pieces ahead of time. She really makes me want to buy one with all the fun things you can do with it!
I made a pan of these snickers bar brownies for crafternoon (the perfect excuse to make crazy indulgent sweets because there will be lots of people over to eat them up) The only changes I made were I did not add hot fudge to the mix and I didn’t add any peanuts. I keep the finished brownies in the fridge before cutting them, and that was great, but you can see in the photo above that once they sat out cut for about ten minutes they melted down into piles of brownie mess. They tasted really good, and someone said they were more like cadbury egg brownies. I agree, especially with out the nuts, the nougat was very much like a cadbury egg. So, very delicious, very messy, and very time consuming to make so one time is plenty.

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Legos in Virginia Sun, 11 May 2014 12:00:45 +0000 Continue reading ]]>

Last weekend B and I drove to Katie’s house in Harpersferry WV. We got to check out her garden, say hello to their chickens and then we all headed out in her car to Leesburg VA. A boy scout troop was putting on a lego event called Scouting For Bricks. It was lots of fun, like a smaller version of brickfair, but way less crowded.
There was lots of exhibitors with fun lego creations to look at, and lego vendors selling all sorts of fun goodies. The boys loved it. They didn’t get to attend brick fair together since we went on different days, so it was nice for them to get to talk to each other about everything as they saw it. They took some photos of the stuff they really loved, and things they might like to recreate for playing.
Afterwards we headed to Purcellville VA and had lunch at The Magnolia Mill. It was such a cute little town so we walked around after lunch checking out all the little shops. It was such a nice day out, sunny but still cool enough to feel comfortable in a sweatshirt, my favorite kind of weather.

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Thrift Fri, 09 May 2014 12:00:27 +0000 Continue reading ]]>

Since it’s been awhile since I shared any thrifted finds on here I thought I’d make a post. My sister and I have stopped the weekly thrift shopping for awhile because the stores were just having a lot of the same stuff. We still pop in now and again, but do not go every week like we used to. So the stuff you see here is from the last three months.
The top photo is most recent. Thomas and I took a trip up to Penn State to help Kurt pack up his dorm room, put most of it in storage up there, and bring him back home for the Summer. Since next year he will be in an apartment in State College this could be the last Summer we have him home. It’s really so strange to think about. The drive to State College is a little under three hours, so we made a stop when we saw a billboard for a big antique mall right off the highway. I found the bunka doll first and she was $15 but came with a doll stand. I justified buying her since I have never seen an actual bunka doll in real life, and they seem rather unusual to stumble upon here in the states. Then in another booth I found the kewpie doll for $3 and the bunny planter for $2. The whole booth was filled with items marked down really low. I am kicking myself for not buying the beautiful vintage umbrella quilt that was only $30. That one can live in my mental list of “ones that got away” along with the beautifully decorated metal tree stand covered in smiling snowmen. I had decided not to buy it at the time even though it was only fifty cents.
The set of doll dishes I bought on a day thrifting with my sister. It was the only thing I found that day, but totally worth the $5 it set me back.
The egg salt and pepper shakers were $2 and I found them the day Thomas and I went on an adventure.
The record and book were quite awhile ago, before Easter even-so I don’t remember the details, but they had to be cheap. I don’t like to pay more then $1 for books and $2 for records.
The next photo was from a really good day with my sister, again before Easter so I’m not sure about price details. Again I am cheap when it comes to cutesy knick-knacks so I am sure they could not of cost me too much.
And some final photos from the last couple months. More fun kids books, really cute atomic bowls, and a glass jar for iced coffee. I do remember the jar was only 25 cents because I figured you can buy them knew for about $1 so that was a wonderful price.
Besides buying up fun knew things I have done some cleaning out over the last 3 months. The first time I took 8 bags of goods to donate, and the last time I had ten. I like to think of it as a lovely cycle of always sending items off to be enjoyed by others, but still being able to find cute things to bring home.

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Phone cases Wed, 07 May 2014 13:38:23 +0000 Continue reading ]]>

I’ve ordered two phone cases from Society6 so far, and I am pretty impressed with the quality! Next I think I’m going to try ordering one of the rugs they now have available. Through May 11th you can get free shipping using this link. I’ve ordered mugs as well, and those are great too. If you have any photos of things you’ve ordered from Society6 I’d love to see photos!!

Promotion expires May 11, 2014 at Midnight Pacific Time. *Offer excludes Framed Art Prints, Stretched Canvases, Throw Pillows with inserts and Rugs.

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Salvation Army Fabric Sale Mon, 05 May 2014 12:00:09 +0000 Continue reading ]]>

Wednesday was the kick off of the annual Salvation Army Fabric Sale here in PA. I kind of debated going on opening day, but then the night before I realized I would really regret it if I didn’t. So Wednesday morning I got up at 6am and my friend Crystal and I headed to stand in line (with lots and lots of other people) for a chance at some crafty supplies!
It was so much fun as always, and I was really restrained this year. I only filled two bags for myself, and one for my friend Molly who wasn’t able to get off work. She just opened a online shop selling the really cute things she makes using vintage supplies, check it out here!
I’ll take some detail photos to share of all the goodies I got, not much fabric this time-but goodness knows my fabric stash is not lacking.

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The Flower Garden Girl Sat, 03 May 2014 12:00:01 +0000

Sometimes all I want to do is sit and work on repeating patterns. You can find these coordinating fabrics on my spoonflower account.

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DIY Tooth Fairy Pouch Thu, 01 May 2014 12:00:17 +0000

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Bunka Fabric Tue, 29 Apr 2014 12:00:49 +0000

Here is my finished fabric, and a few items I made from it.

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Pennsylvania Sun, 27 Apr 2014 13:00:28 +0000 Continue reading ]]>

On Wednesday our son went away with school to camp for a few days (which he declared the best 3 days of his life when he returned) Since he was away, on Thursday Tom and I decided to spend the day driving around Pennsylvania.
We slept in, and ate breakfast at a place here in town. Stuffed french toast and roasted potatoes. The only plans we had made were for the movie in Gettysburg that evening, so we knew we wanted to stay in PA. We decided to check out some antique malls in the York area. One boasted four floors and was in a crazy old building, there wasn’t a lot of great stuff, but the building was cool to wander around in.
We made an ice cream break stop mid day, and had dinner in Gettysburg before seeing Grand Budapest Hotel (which was perfection of course!) If you’ve never been to The Majestic Theater in Gettysburg, its a real treat. They have two small theaters for movies, and one big theater for performances.
It was such a fun day, with really beautiful weather.
I’m excited for Summer, so we can get out and take day trips more often.

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more Bunka dolls Fri, 25 Apr 2014 12:00:31 +0000

Of course with bunka dolls on the brain I had to make a fabric repeat! Available over at Spoonflower now!

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Easter Wed, 23 Apr 2014 13:58:23 +0000 Continue reading ]]>

Easter Sunday we had a great day at home. Tom had the day off of course. We slept in, then had brunch with liege waffles. Then we spent the afternoon outside cleaning up the yard and garden for planting. We also planted some new lilac bushes, it was perfect yard work weather. We tried to teach Sirius to play fetch with a frisbee. He didn’t care about the frisbee no matter how hard we tried, he just likes big sticks.
Of course there were also Easter baskets, too much candy, and some lazy movie watching on the couch in the evening. We didn’t make a big traditional Easter meal either, in fact we made a big cheesy pizza pie instead. It was perfect! I hope you had a wonderful Sunday too!

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working Mon, 21 Apr 2014 15:30:56 +0000 Continue reading ]]>

I’ve been working on some new really big terrarium scenes. Here is a little peek, I am almost out of green felts, so I’ve had to order more before I can get back to working on them.
My terrariums are completely hand sewn, so its the best time for catching up on movies and shows. It’s sometimes hard to watch stuff when I’m sewing on my machine, even with headphones. For machine sewing I like listening to podcasts or music best. I’ll do a post soon on movies and shows I’ve been into lately, and would love to hear any recommendations that you love.

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Dyeing Eggs Sat, 19 Apr 2014 12:00:40 +0000 Continue reading ]]>

We dyed Easter eggs on Thursday. B had a half day to start off his Spring break (which is just one day-Friday, because of all the snow days they’ve had)
This year we tried a few different things. We all really hate the smell of vinegar so in place of that acid I used lime juice I had on hand with the food dyes, and it worked great. Smelled really lovely too!
We used Paas Egg Color Snaps for the first time. They are really fun to snap, and can make interesting tie dye effect on eggs that are still wet from dyeing, but if you want to draw on your eggs with them the color comes out a little too fast and thick for that. I did draw the swirls on the egg above, but it did run a little as it dried. I found these sticks at the grocery store.
We used this Dudley’s Spin an Egg egg spinner and that was a big hit, I picked it up on a whim at Target. It comes with a gel that works really well, but we liked using plain food coloring in it. Thats how we got those radiant red eggs above.
The last new thing we tried this year was Dyable Craft Eggs which I stumbled upon at Walmart, and thought were kind of genius! They’d be great for anyone who had an egg allergy that prevented them from handling real eggs, someone who was vegan and didn’t want to use real eggs, or someone who wants to dye eggs to keep but doesn’t want to go through the trouble of blowing out the shells. They worked pretty well with the dyes but come out slightly more pastel. You do have to hold them down in the cups of dye because they want to float, but the texture of the egg feels really cool because whatever coating they have on them feels like a real shell.
This post is not sponsored in any way, just real things we bought and I thought I’d share. However the links I used above are amazon affiliate links, so if you buy something through my link I will get a small Amazon credit.

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