When I first picked up Homemade: The Heart and Science of Handcrafts, I was skeptical that a 773-page craft book with a retro cover and no color photographs would be worth my time. Then I started reading it. I’m happy to report that I was wrong.
Homemade is an illustrated encyclopedia of handcrafts written by Carol Endler Sterbenz, whose unique voice, lifetime of experience, and passion for crafting infuse every page of this book.
In the introduction, which is a charming read, by the way, we discover that Carol learned to love crafting at a young age. She was tutored by a carpenter father and a mother who was such an accomplished handcrafter she makes Martha Stewart look like an amateur. Read more »
X-Acto sent me a few of their latest craft knives, which I love. Especially the fat pink Designer Series #11 craft knife in the photo above. In exchange, they asked me to show you how I use X-Acto around my home. Considering that crafting is mostly what happens in my home, I decided to share three of my top craft uses for X-Acto knives.
The first time I ever picked up an X-Acto knife was in junior high (grade 7). I took a stained glass class. We started out etching mirrors with our own drawings, which we made into stencils with Con-Tact paper and an X-Acto knife. I was hooked. I made more than a dozen etched mirrors. (I still have some of them. I’ll show you someday.)
First, two editors of Bust magazine included my craft-stick snowflakes in their new book called The Bust DIY Guide to Life: Making Your Way Through Every Day. My tutorial appears on page 66 of a 368-page-thick hardcover volume of DIY advice from hundreds of contributors. Laurie Henzel and Debbie Stoller include everything from home decorating and beauty to health and money. I’m honored to have been included in such an ambitious compilation.
Crafty Nest also appeared in the August 2011 issue of Singapore’s Home & Decor magazine. It’s a small blurb about me and Crafty Nest. While I’m flattered to be mentioned in such a great magazine, I humbly suggest they hire a fact-checker. They wrote that I was a designer at O, The Oprah Magazine. However, the reality is that I only interned there one summer. I was a designer for Real Simple and Sunset though.
I had never heard of Home & Decor magazine before they contacted me. It’s a glossy decorating magazine with a young, hip design. It almost has a Design*Sponge feel to it. If you can get your hands on a copy, I’d recommend a browse. If you do peek inside, you’ll notice that H&D and I have an affinity for the same fonts.
I’ve always been a fan of BH&G’s Do-It-Yourself magazine, so when I heard about two of their new books, I couldn’t wait to get my hands on them. Do It Yourself Kitchens: Stunning Spaces on a Shoestring Budget and Do It Yourself: 100+ Paint Projects didn’t disappoint.
I’ll start with DIY Kitchens. It’s a handy—and beautiful—resource if you are contemplating a kitchen remodel, large or small. With big pictures of gorgeous kitchens for nearly every budget, I had fun picking my favorite one (pictured above). Even the kitchens that I didn’t like had great storage and decorating ideas I can steal. Read more »
These jewelry holders were the one original camp craft idea I had this year. When I discovered the different types of hardware cloth and chicken wire stacked in the back of The Home Depot, my mind started churning out all kinds of projects I could make with them. Baskets and suncatchers were my first notions, but jewelry holders were more economical, practical, and fun for teenage girls.
I tried to make the project as easy as I could for the girls by pre-cutting the hardware cloth into squares and providing templates for the heart shape, but it was still a challenging craft. They stuck with it, though. And I’m happy to report that although working with wire has the potential for injury, no one got hurt. Except for me.
FYI: I’m planning four more projects using hardware mesh: a decorative light fixture (excited about this one!), a Christmas ornament, a basket, and a dispenser.
Tutorial and photos after the jump! Read more »
Apologies for my long absence. A month ago I landed a full-time job (gotta pay the bills) along with a 3-hour round-trip commute. Ugh. It’s left little time for crafting. Not to worry, I’m still going to keep blogging, but it might be on an infrequent basis until I adjust to my new schedule. For now, it feels good to be back! I’ve missed you. I have three more camp crafts to show you, and I’m excited to share this year’s Christmas crafts, plus much more, so don’t give up on me yet.
Anyway, these bamboo orb pendant lights were inspired by the Cassiopeia chandelier from Ironware International that I saw on the cover of the April 2011 issue of House Beautiful. And I noticed today in the latest Restoration Hardware catalog a similar one called Foucault’s Iron Orb Chandelier. While both of these are gorgeous lamps, their price tag is out of my reach.
So, I made my own version using bamboo strips instead of wrought iron and a single CFL bulb instead of five candelabras. You might be surprised where I got the bamboo (click the read more link below to find out). And you’ll have plenty of bamboo strips left over to make those paper lanterns that I blogged about last spring. I know I still owe you a tutorial. Coming soon!
Two more things: I found that fabulous shabby-chic trunk on the side of the road with a “free” sign taped to it! And, yes, I will be watermarking my photos from now on. The plethora of plagiarizers on the web drove me to it. Not happy about it, but there it is.
Tutorial and photos after the jump! Read more »
I learned my lesson last year at girls camp. I spent the entire week teaching step-by-step instructions for most of the crafts, which left me exhausted and sick of my own voice. So this year I chose a few crafts that didn’t require constant instruction from me. Birdhouses was one easy solution. And I even had time to paint my own birdhouse (above) at camp.
The essentials for this project were paint, creativity, and unfinished wooden birdhouses. Then I let the girls loose. And boy did they let loose. I’ve never seen so many bright-colored, creative, and unique birdhouses.
More photos after the jump! Read more »