This year for my crafty biz challenge my goal was to create 52 giant pennants (one for each week of the year) with different phrases in as many fonts as I could cut. The 52 (in alphabetical order): These were so fun to make, especially since I could include a lot more letters than my normal sized pennants. My favorites are the ones with more calligraphy-looking fonts, “merci beaucoup” being my absolute favorite. Some of these pennants are available for purchase at select shops in the Bay Area; some ended up in surprise packs. I haven’t decided on a 2018 challenge yet, but here’s to new crafty adventures in 2018! Happy Almost New Year!
Hubs and I finally opened our watercolor brushes and paints! I picked these up from the Scrapbook Expo…two summers ago (whoops). We’ve been taking our painting on the road to local cafes. We pack our brushes, paints, paper, boards, paper towels, water, and a jar for our watercolor excursions. It’s been really nice to sit and peacefully paint next to each other. I for one do better when I paint what I can see in front of me, so sitting in new environments is inspiring. Here’s a look at our first couple of watercolor studies. Coffee Shop, Walnut Creek / Greenery + Still Life Allegro Coffee Roasters, Berkeley / Pattern Play + Painting with Leftover Coffee Here’s to more watercolor wanderings in 2018! Not sure where we’ll end up next, but I’m excited for it! What’s on your creative development list for the New Year? Share below!
Happy day after Christmas! Family crafting has become a regular activity whenever I visit home. Everyone gets in on it, even if it means just sitting in the same room and watching others create. It’s nice to be in the space together. This year, our Christmas weekend crafting schedule included three projects: Wood Bead and Animal Keychains Fuzzy Ball Gift Tags Mini Grapevine Wreaths My niece and nephews had a collection of plastic animal figurines to contribute to the keychain craft — upcycling idea! We painted and drew on wooden beads, attached an eyelet screw onto the animals, and strung the beads onto a lobster clasp. Excited for how these turned out! For the fuzzy ball gift tags, we attached tiny fuzzy balls onto reindeer- and tree-shaped tags using glue dots. My nephew made all of Santa’s reindeer. And lastly, we busted out with the hot glue, mini bottle brush trees, jingle bells, and mini reindeer figurines to decorate mini grapevine wreaths. Up close! Hope you had a crafty holiday weekend, too!
Earlier this week my coworker buddies and I decided to have a crafty happy hour. We recently spotted Oh Joy’s Pretty Pearl Sweater DIY and were inspired to pearl cabochon all the things! We gathered multicolored flat back pearl cabochons, gem glue, bead tweezers, cotton swabs, toothpicks, scrap paper, and materials to decorate. Twas a beautiful space to create a colorful mess – the bar keeps didn’t seem to mind. We fancied up Christmas stockings, a denim skirt, photo frames, a tiny hat… And I found this old cardigan to bring back to life. I added a collar and a little something to the back. I’m ready for holiday festivities! This was a super fun craft with super fun people, and is a super easy way to renew some items hiding deep in your closet. 🙂 We all agree we need to bedazzle many more things! What would you bedazzle? Share below!
I finally ventured to Black Squirrel in Berkeley after hearting so many things on their Instagram. What a lovely sight! There are walls and baskets of colorful yarn in all the textures, weights, and materials. They have an extensive collection of hand-dyed and locally sourced yarns, too. Super impressive! There’s also a fabric section. I love prints (another one of my dreams is to be a textile/pattern designer) so you can always find me drooling in the fabric section. Black Squirrel is truly a destination for every crafter, and they’ve got some great gifts for the maker in your life, too. I don’t knit or crochet, but the tools they carry are first class and make me want to pick up some new hobbies. There’s also a selection of other giftables like these miniature nature scenes (so tiny!). And since it’s Christmas time, there are ornament cross stitch kits (I snagged one!), letters to Santa embroidery kits, greeting cards, and lots more. Bonus – the owner is super friendly and awesome and …
Here’s a super fun last minute handmade and super useful gift idea: a felt ball trivet. West Elm hosted a workshop in store. They partnered with a fair trade organization in Nepal to get their felt balls for the craft. What a lovely color palette! First, we sorted and laid out the felt balls into our preferred 7×7 grid. (Joy’s crafty hands below!) We used this super tough upholstery thread to sew the felt balls together. Working in a zig zag pattern, we first sewed the rows in one direction (i.e., left to right and right to left), and then in the other direction (up and down). Then tied and trimmed off excess thread. The secret is to sew the felt balls at the edges at a diagonal so that the rows and columns stay tightly in place. My trivet making skills will need some work, but I’m off to an ok start (mine is the one on the right). These were much easier to make than I thought; they just take some time. Imagine …
Had to, had to visit the Brit & co Holiday House this year. What a cutie! The venue is small and homey but packed with tons of colorful fun. At the front and headlining the welcoming committee are the featured local makers. On my visit it was Marley & Alfie and An Astrid Endeavor, super talented ladies with lovingly made goods. I snagged a lucky horseshoe from Marley & Alfie! Ahhh! The coolest! There was hot cocoa for all, free make and takes, and lots of backdrops and decorated nooks for all the photo taking. Everyone got to decorate a postcard and take home shimmer frame. There was a snow globe jar making station and a pom pom station, and for extra credit you can make pom pom earrings or a snowman. I made earrings! There’s a candy wall, a silver corner, a washi tape city, a white texture wall, a tassel /fiber wall, disco ball wall, a colorful geometric shape wall, a gold wall, an ugly sweater room, and a peppermint room – it …
I loved all the opportunities to pose with iconic street art and various murals all over New York City. Even the floors were fun to snap. Until we meet again, New York! Filter by #erinbelledoesnewyork for all my NYC adventures!
Five days and four nights in a city that never sleeps with one of my favorite people! We logged more than 26 miles by foot, ate everything we saw, and soaked in all the sites. Here are some highlights from our New York adventure! Eee, can’t wait to go back and explore more! Filter by #erinbelledoesnewyork for all my NYC adventures!
You may remember previous posts about me popping up with craft workshops at Local Take (Clips! Terroriums!). Now it’s time for a peek into Local Take the store! Owner Jenn carries over 140 local artists in her stores, including me (spot my felt garlands above). Jenn knows everyone. On this visit I recognized a few of my crafty friends’ goods, but it was exciting to learn of other makers in the area. I love the selection of art prints and colorful goods. You can shop Local Take in the Castro and the Inner Sunset neighborhoods of San Francisco. The Castro location also participates in the now monthly Castro Art Walk on first Thursdays, and the Inner Sunset location hosts the annual Vagabond craft show in the backyard. Stop in for a handmade gift this holiday season!