New Projects – Floss, Remodeling, and Old Photos

Some big new projects have kept me incredibly busy lately!

dmc variegated floss 4210First and foremost, my variegated floss sales on Etsy have been picking up considerably, which is great news. People are discovering that my pricing is very competitive, so I’ve spent some time filling orders. The most popular colors thus far are DMC 4210 (Radiant Ruby) and 4255 (Orchid).

 

 

dmc variegated floss 4255The Ruby floss (above) is gorgeous, so I understand why it’s popular. And Pantone declared “Radiant Orchid” to be their 2014 Color of the Year, which may help explain why DMC’s lovely Orchid variegated floss is selling well.

With the increased sales, in the last week I’ve created a few more metrics and tools to help me keep track of inventory. These take some time to set up, but once that is done, it’s a matter of maintenance.

ancora crafts projects bathroom remodelAside from Ancora Crafts, I’ve got two big projects underway. First, one of our two bathrooms is being remodeled. A corner shower stall is going away and making way for the whole end of the room to be tiled and a glass wall and door installed. The room is pretty small, so it’s not an enormous project, but it’s substantial enough that we have a contractor doing the work. My husband and I have been running around for a couple of weeks picking out new tile and plumbing fixtures. Much fun but much time consumed!

 

 

ancora crafts projects photo organizationRemember non-digital photographs? Like many of you, I have a ton of ’em, and I’ve just started the process of putting them in chronological order, tossing out 75% of them (how many photos of a graduation or a family picnic do you really need to keep?), and then scanning the photos that remain.

I’m also going to dismantle nearly all of my scrapbooks (you can see a few of them in the photo at top left). I really don’t look at them very often, they’re heavy and take up a lot of space, and most of them use those sticky sheets that just aren’t good for the photos. The photos reside in an earthquake and tsunami zone, so if the big one were to hit, they would be destroyed. At least if I have them digitally, I can put them in the cloud and I know I won’t lose them forever to become part of a huge Pacific floating trash island.

ancora crafts projects first stitching projectA benefit of digging out all my old photos is that I found a few of my old stitching projects from years ago. Someday I’ll make a proper post about my old projects, but for now I’ll just share a couple highlights. At right is the first stitching project I ever made, with a ton of help from my Mom. I’m sure she threaded the needle and started and stopped the threads for me. She sewed on the cute trim and put the bell at the bottom. This thing hung on the door of my bedroom for years.

 

 

ancora crafts projects plastic canvas boxesNext are a couple of boxes made from plastic canvas and yarn, made when I was in my tweens and early teens. I made oodles of these little boxes but these are the only two that I still have. They’re cute, and I like the diagonal pattern I created on the box on the left.

 

As usual, I have more commercial ventures underway, including my compass rose needlepoint project and a series of fun cross stitched sayings that will appear on the blog and on Etsy soon. Staying busy is a happy place to be!

BeMores Set 3 – Healthy and Moderate Now Available!

Set 3 of BeMores are now up for sale on my Etsy shop! The words in this set are “Healthy” and “Moderate” (for those of you new to BeMores, there’s some more information on the whole concept on this page).cross stitch on paper BeMores Set 3 healthy and moderate

The grassy paper for “Healthy” is fun, and although it looked good with the red floss only, it really popped with the yellow floss outline!

The kits, of course, include all the materials you will need to create these two projects, including papers, flosses, a needle, and a complete set of instructions.

cross stitch on paper BeMores Set 2 patient and trustworthy kit contents

To help demonstrate ways to be more healthy, this week I’ll start a series, similar to my hexagon series, on crafty health-promoting ideas! Considering that humans are 70% water, as is the surface of the Earth, I’ll concentrate first on water – crafts that encourage us to drink more water and that help us appreciate clean rivers and oceans.

I’ve found “water crafts” spanning almost 40 different types of crafts, from knitting to candlemaking, polymer clay to gardening, scrapbooking to woodworking and everything in between. I hope you’ll follow the series, and I hope you might participate with this BeMores Set 3!

Set 1 – Grateful and Organized and Set 2 – Trustworthy and Patient are also available – check ’em out!

My Top 5 Posts of 2013 Thus Far

I’m following the lead of Diane (of CraftyPod fame) today and posting my top 5 posts of 2013 thus far.

#1 Most Popular: Part two of my series on hexagons (HEXIE MADNESS, really), that covered crochet, felt, lace and tatting, polymer clay, origami, and last but not least, popsicle sticks. The hexie origami boxes are proving to be the most popular outgoing links, but my sentimental favorite has to be this colorful and fun popsicle stick hexagonal basket.

ACrafty Interview - Katie Kutthroat ain't nobody got time for that cross stitch#2 Most Popular: The ACrafty Interview with Katie Kutthroat. Katie was one of the first people I ever contacted on Twitter. Katie’s cross stitch has always cracked me up, and it has been seen on the set of the HBO show Girls. It was very interesting to get a glimpse into her crafty process and to see how she benefits from stitching.

#3 Most Popular: My book review of Crochet Saved My Life by Kathryn Vercillo of CrochetConcupiscience. Her book explains the benefits of crochet for a variety mental conditions including depression, anxiety, OCD and addiction, for physical conditions such as chronic pain, fibromyalgia, and multiple sclerosis, and as a tool in occupational therapy.

Her book also has a curious physical effect! Read the review for more info about Kathryn’s fantastic world of crochet.

 

Nicey Jane hexies#4 Most Popular: Part one of my hexagon series, this one covering quilting (featuring a link or two to CraftyPod), leatherwork, scrapbooking, weaving, and jewelry. Of all the links, I think the most popular is probably these bordered hexies, although the Diane von Furstenburg box clutch gets a lot of attention as well.

acrafty interview craftypod quilting happiness book cover#5 Most Popular: I’m very pleased to say that it’s my ACrafty Interview with Diane of CraftyPod! Diane was so gracious to give some of her valuable time to my fledgling blog. I have to say that CraftyPod is a wonderful resource of crafts and craft blog information, and I highly recommend anyone in a creative field to follow her adventures (and best of luck with the new book launch this week, Diane!).

 

 

Hexagon Crafts – Part 1

Welcome to this series on hexagon crafts, which should really be titled HEXIE MADNESS! Hexagon crafts are incredibly popular, and have been for years. It’s a trend I think and hope will be around for a long time. This is the first of four posts covering hexagon crafts ranging from crochet to cakes, pottery to popsicle sticks, and everything in between.
Hexagons

[Photo: Detail of a giant kite by Gerald Keller via Flickr]

Before I get into the specific projects, I’d like to share this story by Megan of SewingInCircles. While she was traveling, crafting hexies had a huge anxiety and stress-relieving effect for her:

“…we were stranded, flights were cancelled, next available flights were two days later….clearly a time when either alcohol or chemistry would be needed to calm the nerves.

“But never fear, the hexies are here!! (and a large glass of wine)

“By the time we actually boarded a flight, I was frazzled, I was like frazzle rock, or frazzle wrecked. But I pulled out my hexies and started to sew. The hexies were with me because I had no other handwork that was in a state to travel. But once again, handwork saved me on the flight from shaking the whole way.”

This is a great example of how crafts can benefit us all. So take a look at these great hexie projects, get inspired, and get crafting!

Hexagon Crafts in Quilting

Spoonflower-placemat-finished-2Diane of CraftyPod created this tutorial for Spoonflower for making these modern and bright quilted hexie placemats.

 

 

 

Nicey Jane hexiesThrough this link love post from also from Diane, I saw this tutorial for bordered hexies that, like Diane says, makes me “want to chuck my whole To-Do list out the window and spend my day making these things.” The colors and fabrics in this photo by Silly Lil’ Doe! are so attractive!

 

hexy mug rug tutorial 17Here’s a great tutorial from SewHappyGeek on how to sew a mug rug made of all hexies:

 

 

 

 

hexagon crafts - scrappy quiltAnd I love the vintage and scrappy feel of this quilt pattern available from BrigitteGiblin. This is a great way to show off some feature fabrics and get your hexie fix at the same time!

 

 

 

 

jeni baker color hex quilt patternIf you don’t feel like making a zillion tiny hexies, PinkChalkFabrics offers this Color Hex Quilt Pattern by Jeni Baker. Very fun!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hexagon NecklaceWild Olive takes the quilted hexie to the next level with this tutorial to make one into a necklace,

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

and MicheleMadeMe has this tutorial available on making this adorable fabric hexie headband!

 

 

 

Hexagon Crafts in Leather

POUF - leatherI found these two products that certainly could be used for some crafty inspiration! The first is this very fun leather hexie pouf by KSIA-Berlin.

 

 

 

 

Diane Von Furstenberg Tonda Hexagon Patchwork Leather Box Clutch in Orange (blush) - LystSecond is this elegant and colorful box clutch by Diane Von Furstenberg via Lyst.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hexagon Crafts in Scrapbooking

hexagon crafts - scrapbook paper wall art by itsalwaysautumnI knew this tutorial by Autumn at itsalwaysautumn was a keeper as soon as I saw it. It’s simple, inexpensive, gorgeous, and a great way to use and display some of your favorite scrapbook papers!

 

 

 

 

Hex4Kelly Purkey on her It’s Me, KP blog has this very useful Photoshop tutorial on how to make hexagon photos without using a punch.

 

 

 

open hexagon explosion boxI had never really heard of an “explosion box” before I saw this hexagon box project by Karen on CraftsForAllSeasons. I imagine it would be a great present for someone who already has everything! Very clever…

 

 

When it comes to hexagons in real-live full-on-scrapbook pages, I’m going to direct you to this article by the GetItScrapped crew at DebbieHodge.com. The article covers using hexagon shapes, creating visual interest with hexies, using hexagon embellishments… covering just about every way hexies can be used in scrapbooking layouts. An excellent resource!

 

Hexagon Crafts in Weaving

hexagon crafts - woven hexagon by noreen crone findlayNoreen Crone-Findlay has a video tutorial on how to weave a hexagon using a Lily Speed-O Weave Loom. I can only imagine how warm a blanket made from these woven hexies must be…

 

 

 

Hexagon Crafts in Jewelry

Beadweaving Tutorial No 27 - Hexagon PendantHere’s a tutorial from Lynn Davy available on Etsy on how to make this fun, colorful, and sparkly crystal hexagon pendant,

 

 

 

 

and I found instructions to make these basic hexagon stitch beaded earrings from Chris Franchetti Michaels on About.com.

 

 

 

 

Honeycomb Necklace, Geometric hexagon jewelryYou might find some inspiration in this simple and elegant geometric honeycomb necklace by HyJewelry on Etsy,

 

 

 

Neon Statement Necklace, Honey Comb Hexagons, Modern Molecules Geometric Jewelryand with this bright and gorgeous neon statement necklace made of leather by BooandBooFactory. BooandBooFactory features a lot of hexagons throughout their shop – check ’em out!

 

 

 

Green Hexagon mosaic shell cuff (cuff button cuff links).For the sharp dressers, I spotted these beautiful mother-of-pearl hexagon cufflinks from CuffCuff.

 

 

 

 

hexagon crafts - hexagon earrings by india hicksAnd finally, once again not a tutorial, but I just ADORE these earrings by India Hicks that were available at Bloomingdale’s. They’re beautiful, and with the right outfit, they would be absolutely stunning!

 

 

 

 

 

That gorgeous note concludes this, the first of four articles on hexagon crafts. Is there anything else in these five crafty categories (quilting, leatherwork, scrapbooking, weaving, and jewelry) that you would like to add in the comments?

Stay tuned for hexie crochet, pottery, painting, needlework, stained glass, gardening and much much more!

[Update: here’s links to Part 2 (crochet, felt, lace and tatting, polymer clay, origami, popsicle sticks), Part 3 (sewing, pottery, knitting, quilling, woodworking, plastic and stained glass), and Part 4 (paint, cross stitch, embroidery, baking, lamp making, and gardening)]

BeMores Set 2 – Patient and Trustworthy now available

Set 2 of BeMores are now up for sale on my Etsy shop! The words this time are “Patient” and “Trustworthy” (for those of you new to BeMores, there’s some more information on the whole concept on this page).cross stitch on paper BeMores Set 2 patient and trustworthy

I really adore the paper for “Trustworthy” – I had to dig deep on the internets to get my supply of it. And I’m so happy with how the script font on “Patient” turned out. My husband helped me get the crossing of the “T” to look right (it took some doing).

The BeMore Patient and Trustworthy finished projects

Patience comes easily to me when it comes to craft work. My Ancora Imparo project that I posted about previously is proof of that! My Mom and I are also working sporadically on a quilting project that we started about 20 years ago. All of the fabrics are old ties, sorted into groups of three to five with similar colors. We haven’t gotten far, but I think we’ll get there someday.

For me, mutual trust, built over time, is one of the things that differentiate a friend from an acquaintance. The “Trustworthy” project strikes me as a good one for younger folks. I remember some behavior of my youth that I really regret. A lot of that was due to me breaking trust with my friends. Although I’m much improved in that area, the “Trustworthy” project has been a really good reminder of ways to build and maintain trust.