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crafty ladies reunite.

My meet ups with my crafty lady crew have been on hiatus since Galentine’s Day, but we recently reunited on the interwebs. One of us got a laser cutter so she created and shipped wood initial painting kits to all the crafty ladies. Yes, she even picked paint palettes and filled tiny paint pots for us, and made instructions! (We fancy.)

I looked forward to the meet up all week and was excited to spend some creative time together with my friends, but then I was extra surprised and excited to find that our crafty ladies reunion turned into a surprise crafty bebe shower for me! So sweet! They even got Hubby in on it and he sneakily picked up snacks and presents that my friends prepared for the night in.

We played games (guess the baby and a very creative scavenger hunt – we had to find some handmade items and the oldest thing in our fridge), chatted, snacked, and I loved seeing everyone’s decorated space. I spy some Feed the Fish co goodies!

To wrap up the festivities we painted together. Such a fun way to kick off the weekend!

Here are some completed works.

Thank you to my crafty lady crew for showering Bebe with all the love and good vibes. He is so lucky to be welcomed into the world by all his Crafty Aunties!

macaron night.

Macarons by Natalie and Yelp East Bay hosted a macaron decorating night. OMG so fun! Natalie created macaron kits for Yelp Elites and we spent the evening together apart decorating our macarons to look like dumplings and boba.

Our kits came with everything we needed to fill and decorate a dozen macarons. Plus, a bonus Yelp macaron that you could have eaten right away if you just couldn’t wait! But in true Yelp Elite form, I resisted so it could be part of the photoshoot. 🙂

Before we got started, Natalie shared her dessert biz story and goals for the future. She’s already a published cookbook author, and has dreams to open her own dessert shop! Then, Natalie demoed how to fill macarons and decorate them in the cutest ways.

She provided us with buttercream fillings in Cookies n Cream and Fruity Pebbles flavors, a trio of icing colors, and a food coloring pen, and encouraged us to get creative with our designs.

My favorite techniques were the kawaii eyes (with the ‘sparkles’) and creating boba balls. I also tried to get in some hearts.

There was a contest, too — best decorated as judged by macaron expert Natalie won a $30 gift certificate to her shop! People got so creative!

Here are mine! (I might have eaten 4 before taking these photos…)

Thank you to Natalie and Yelp East Bay for putting together this super kawaii and delicious virtual event! Do you enjoy a cute character macaron? Share below!

art deco.

I recently discovered that Michaels hosts free online craft workshops and demos. I signed up for a few jewelry classes that caught my eye. The first was this art deco necklace taught by Danielle Wickes of John Bead.

The workshops come with handouts and access to the recording afterwards; you just need to to supply your own materials. In each jewelry class, the instructor features a product that Michaels carries, so their suggested materials list has all the items that you can buy at Michaels (but you can purchase from other places, too, of course). This class featured John Bead Superduo Two-Hole Czech Glass Beads.

I’ve always been curious about “weaving” with beads and working with beads with two holes. This project involved both. Danielle went thru the steps pretty quickly for this project. It’s definitely worth it to watch the demo first and then attempt the project later with the recording. I tried to keep up as much as I could and then finished the rest after the class.

Not only did I learn bead weaving and how to use two-holed beads, this was also my first time working with bead string and actually feeling confident that the piece was secure. And, it was also my first time using hard beading needles – big fan! For this project I ran out of one of my beads for the ‘strap’ so I ended up swapping colors for the other strap. Can you tell? Not bad for a first try.

I definitely want to create more pieces like this. There’s an earring workshop, too, with the same instructor and a similar design that I’d like to attempt. Stay tuned. Have you dabbled in bead weaving? Share some of your favorite projects!

fall pop-up.

I teamed up with Craft + Work to put on a virtual fall pop-up! We showcased 28 makers (including myself), and all weekend we hosted 22 creative demos, workshops, and meet the maker sessions, plus we had a huge giveaway. Check out this line up!

And peep our giveaway prize packs! Two lucky fans were chosen to win. These prize packs were mega – worth over $250 each – thanks to our generous makers!

I was mainly focused on helping produce the show, but I managed to also release a few fall and Halloween goodies including Hey Boo pennants and candy corn clips, plus a felt flower garland in my current favorite color palette, and these tiny Feed the Fish co pins!

I also hosted a live pennant demo where I created custom pennants on the spot. I took suggestions from the audience and cut them live. Plus I answered all the felt and cutting questions.

My cohost Roberta of Craft + Work and RENNIEGoods taught a leather tassel workshop. I got to join! I’ve made leather tassels in the past, but I wanted to learn the proper way from a professional leather worker. Lookie looks! I used leather glue for the first time and Roberta taught us how to create fancy loops. You can make leather tassels like a pro, too, with Roberta’s new kit.

I definitely miss seeing all my crafty friends in real life, but hosting events like these are still so fun! And equally as tiring. Ha! Hope everyone had a great time during our virtual craft show weekend! And a big thank you to Roberta for inviting me along on this craft show producing journey!

home.

Do you ever have those projects that you tuck away and then put off finishing for…forever? My seashell project was one of those projects. I started in 2014 and finally finished over the long weekend. So excited to share!

During my last trip to the Philippines in 2009, I collected seashells on all the beaches with my Mom. I had no intention of using them to create an art piece; I just wanted to collect them because pretty.

Then in 2014 I ended up designing a project for Darby Smart, which at the time was craft supply company and DIY resource page. My project was a wooden letter covered in seashells and pearl beads. I found the letters at Michaels, and used hot glue to attach the shells and beads. I wanted to spell the word “HOME” but I didn’t have enough seashells. So the tutorial was just an H, and my project was stored away until the next time I could collect more seashells.

I haven’t been back to the Philippines since 2009 but my parents have, and so I put my Mom on a seashell collecting mission. She brought back a bag which didn’t seem like enough seashells to complete the project so it got stashed away for a few years until I recently unearthed it from storage. To my surprise, I had more than enough seashells to cover the whole word. So now I don’t need to wait for another trip to compete my project.

I chose “HOME” as the word to decorate because my parents call the Philippines home even though they have lived in the States for more than 40 years. It must be like how I still call my parents house in So Cal home even though I haven’t lived there for the last 18 years.

Where is home for you? Share below.

paint markers.

I attended the Jenny Lemons virtual craft night on Friday with Dan Garzi, SF artist and designer. Such a fun activity to kick off the weekend!

Jenny Lemons sent participants supplies (if you needed them). The craft night supplies included watercolor cards, envelopes, and a set of four paint markers. I had never worked with paint markers before so I was excited to learn.

First, we sketched out smaller versions of the evening’s designs: a cactus, a parrot, and a family of pineapple cactus creatures. Dan shared tips on how to achieve proportions and dimension. Here are my sketches:

Then, we transferred our designs to the watercolor paper cards.

Time to color! Dan shared tips for layering and blending colors with paint markers. I love how the colors are so bold, and you can hide the marker streaks with additional layers.

This color combo is so fun, and the black outline is so good.

Yay us! Progress so far during class. Spot me!

After class I continued on.

Here are my final pieces!

Thank you Dan and Jenny Lemons! I’m so ready for next month’s craft night! Have you experimented with paint markers before? Share your tips or woes below.

summer craft camp.

As a kid, I don’t recall going to summer camp, so I created my own! This week I hosted my first Summer Craft Camp via my craft biz. We focused on macramĂ© and created three projects: feathers, trivets, and plant hangers. I also made limited edition Summer Craft Camp pennants (as seen in the cover photo). So excite!

First up was macramĂ© feathers! I saw these trending on the interwebs a while back and was determined to figure out the perfect recipe to create the fluffy feathered look. This has been on my teaching wishlist for a while now, and I’m happy I finally got to share! Why it brings so much delight, I’m not quite sure, but they make for lovely wall hangings. You can find my complete macramĂ© feathers tutorial here.

Then, macramĂ© trivets! I wanted to create a project that was beautiful but also functional and came up with this trivet design, made completely of square knots. I love them so much they might end up in all my Christmas gift bags this year. I’m sharing the full how-to below. Keep on scrollin’.

And lastly: macramĂ© plant hangers! This was definitely the most popular workshop of the three, especially since plants are always in style. This project built upon skills learned in the first two workshops with the added knotting in 3D to create the planter holder section. I’m on the schedule to teach this class again at two craft studios (in September and October) and I cannot wait!

And now a lesson in macramé trivets!

For this project you will need:

  • 40 feet 5mm rope
  • 1 foot non-stretchy cord
  • Scissors
  • Ruler or tape measure
  • Tape to hold your project down

Cut eight strands of rope 5 feet each.

Set up your anchor string. Pull your non-stretchy cord taut and tape down with appropriate tape. You will occasionally need to adjust the cord so it remains straight (so your knots will align).

Lark’s head knots. Create eight Lark’s head knots using the eight pieces of rope. Fold one strand in half. Place the midpoint under the anchor string in a U fashion. Bring the top loose strands over the anchor string and through the U until you form a secure knot.

I also call this the luggage tag knot. Continue all the way across. Adjust anchor string as needed to keep the project aligned.

Square knots. For the remainder of the project we will work in groups of four rope strings to create square knots. The first row will have four square knots in total.

Using the first four rope strings, place rope string 1 over strings 2 and 3. Place rope string 4 over rope string 1, under rope strings 3 and 2, and through the loop made by rope string 1. Pull up to create the first half of the square knot. Leave about 3 inches of space between the bottom of the Lark’s head knot and the top of your square knot.

To complete the square knot, perform a similar but opposite pattern. Place the now rope string 4 over strings 3 and 2. Place rope string 1 over rope string 4, under rope strings 2 and 3, and through the loop made by rope string 4. Pull up to create the second half of the square knot. Repeat using adjacent groups of four rope strings until you have four square knots all the way across.

For the second row, repeat the steps above to create three square knots. This time you will skip the first two rope strings. In other words, begin with rope strings 3, 4, 5 and 6 for this row.

Continue the pattern:

  • Row 3: Four square knots
  • Row 4: Three square knots
  • Row 5: Four square knots
  • Row 6: Three square knots
  • Row 7: Four square knots

Cut the trivet loose. You can also slip the anchor cord off instead of cutting the loops.

Cut the loose ends so that they are even on both sides. You can decide how long or short you’d like the loose ends to be. You can also unravel the rope so it’s a bit more fluffy on the ends, too. I like doing this because it helps secure the end square knots.

Trim the loose ends as needed and get ready for all your fancy meals!

It’s so fun to create different macramĂ© designs; you can do so much with just a few knots. Are you a macra-maker? Share some of your favorite projects.

matcha.

Earlier in the summer I attended a virtual spa night with Yelp Indy and Saidah of Shea Body Works. Saidah taught us how to create body scrubs and face masks out of common kitchen basics. As you can see from the screenshot, I didn’t participate live, but I was fully excited to learn all the things! Sharing my face mask experience today…

All you need for a quick spa is:

  • 1 tsp matcha (get the good stuff!)
  • 1/2 tsp honey
  • 1/2 tbs hot water
  • a mug or small bowl
  • cotton round/ball or mask brush
  • spoon or small whisk

Mix all of the ingredients. It will look a little soupy.

Apply to face (and neck!) with cotton round/ball or mask brush, rub it in, and allow to sit for ten minutes. Rinse off with lukewarm water and allow to air dry or pat dry with a facecloth.

Not so fun fact: The neck ages faster than the face. Protip: Anything you do to care for your face, you should also do to your neck!

Saidah recommends using this face mask two or three times a week for two weeks before a big event if you want your skin to glow. But I can get used to this routine on the regular. After using this mask my face was so smooth. It was even hydrated – I didn’t have to add moisturizer after washing it off. Bonus: It smelled sooo good.

I used to use face masks more regularly, mostly when I would travel for work. Having a few on hand at the hotel made for a relaxing stay and recharge before my presentations. But since I don’t travel these days I haven’t done a face mask in so long. Here’s to taking some me time at home! Have you made your own face masks before? Share your homemade beauty tips!

flower garden crowns.

I taught an expanded version of my felt flower crown workshop earlier this month. It was a special class because it was the first time in Feed the Fish co history that my Mommy and Niece were able to attend one of my events. They live in Southern California and all of my events so far have been in Northern California. Yay for virtual crafting!

For this class I picked out a Boho Garden color palette from Benzie Design. It is by far my favorite color palette of felt. If you haven’t already discovered Benzie Design, here is your introduction. It’s like the butter of felt in all the dreamy colors. This was the sample I made for class, as modeled by Panda.

See all these floral beauties in their floral beauties! Plus some sweet sentiments. I’m so happy everyone enjoyed class!

My friend was inspired to create local flowers for her crown!

If I could, I would make grand flower crowns all day. Felt flower crowns for all!

fluffy door thing.

I made a fluffy thing! Ever since my Pom Pom Along last month, I’ve been busy creating lots of poms for a fluffy wall art piece.

For this craft I gathered:

Tassel and pom pom tool. I use the Loome XL Model tool for most of my tassel and pom pom projects. Alternatively, you can use a sturdy piece of cardboard in the same fashion.

Yarn for pom poms. I used 5 rolls of medium weight yarn. How much you’ll need will depend on how many pom poms you want to make, how puffy they will be, and how much surface area you need to cover. A general rule of thumb is to have between 40-60 yards of yarn per pom pom. You can obviously use less/more depending how full you want your pom poms to be.

Yarn for tassels . This can be a different yarn. I used hand-dyed yarn that I got on one of my yarn adventures. Again, the amount will vary on how many tassels you want to make and how fluffy you make them.

Non stretchy cord. Use this cord to hold poms and tassels together, and to create a hanging cord. You will need at least 3 feet of cord for each pom pom (2 feet for assembly and 1 foot for attaching to the base) and 1 foot for each tassel. You will need an additional 30-35 feet to include a hanging mechanism.

Plastic mesh sheet. I purchased sheets that were 19.6″ x 13″, but ended up cutting it in half for my project.

Fabric scissors. Get a good pair. I like to use Westcott brand scissors.

Tapestry needle. The tapestry needle will help with attaching tassels and pom poms to the base. It will also help sew on the hanging string.

Tray. Catch all your yarn scraps in a tray for easy clean up.

Dowel. I used a 12 inch wooden dowel with a 1/2 inch diameter for this project. You may need a different size depending on the width of your piece.

Sturdy backing. Depending on the shape and size of your piece you may need a sturdy backing to keep the piece flat against a wall. I opted out for my project, but you might need one for a larger piece.

How to:

Make lots of pom poms. I made as many pom poms as I could with the 5 rolls of yarn I gathered for this project. I was thinking I’d be able to make 60+ pom poms, but ended up making 35 because I went for FLUFF. Check out the Loome orb pom pom tutorial for the how to. For my pom poms I used between 180 and 240 revolutions.

Make lots of tassels. Similarly, I made as many wild tassels as I could with the yarn I had for tassels. I ended up with 10 tassels. Check out the Loome tassel tutorial for the how to. For my tassels I wound the yarn until I liked the fluff factor. Are you noticing a theme? 🙂

Cut your plastic mesh sheet to your desired shape. I stuck with a rectangle, but I’m thinking hearts or cloud shapes would be so cute! After attaching all of my pom poms I cut the top of the mesh to follow the outline of the pom poms.

Attach tassels and pom poms by tying onto the mesh sheet. Use the hanging cord from each tassel to tie onto the mesh base. For pom poms, use your tapestry needle to find the center cord and sew a 1 foot piece of non-stretchy cord underneath the center cord. Use this cord to tie the pom pom onto the mesh base. You can decide how close or far apart you want your tassels and pom poms to sit. I like when they look squished to each other. This may take some trial and error. I found that sewing them closer than you think they need to be helped with spacing. You can also connect two pom poms together first, then attach to the base. Additional cords may be used to anchor pom poms even more. Trim all the loose cords after securing to the mesh base, or sew the loose cords back into the pom poms and trim.

Sew on the dowel. After cutting the backing to the outline of the pom poms, I attached the dowel. I experimented a little with this first and found that I need to have multiple points of hanging for this piece to not warp too much while hanging. I decided on “sewing” my dowel on by creating loops all the way across my piece.

Add backing. If your piece still warps when hung, reinforce the mesh with something sturdy like a thin piece of wood, acrylic, or cardboard.

Hang and enjoy. This would make a fun addition to a gallery wall, a reading nook, or on a door.

Tahdah!

Are you into all the fluff? Share your fluffiest craft project below!