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make it pretty.

On my last visit home my Mommy set aside some broken jewelry to be fixed. She usually packs them all in a baggy with a note that says broken or Can you fix these? It’s basically become tradition for me to take a container of broken jewelry home for fixing.

I use my the Bead Smith tray to keep all the beads in place as I create pieces. Sometimes I can fix the pieces to look like the original jewelry; sometimes she let’s me get creative and I add some beads from my current stash. Here’s what I’ve been working on.

I love creating long necklaces to showcase beads. I’m not super confident in working with stretchy jewelry (I feel like I can’t get the knots right to be secure.), so I prefer working with beading wire. My current favorite is Soft Flex brand which I use in all my necklaces.

For all of these necklaces I’ve combined some of my Mommy’s jewelry with my bead stash. She has a broad collection of jewelry so I enjoy working with beads I normally wouldn’t have in my stash.

Shh, I might end up keeping this orange/blue one, but I’m sure my Mommy will be ok with that. 🙂

I still need to finish these necklaces with crimps and clasps, and I have a lot more jewelry pieces to work through, but I’d say I’m off to a good start.

What do you do with broken jewelry? Toss it, fix it, or bring it new life? Or give it to your crafty kid to fix?

cafe and chill.

My fave thing to do on a day off is to explore and hang out in cafes to try the local flavors and relax. In grad school I remember dreaming about going to hang out in cafes instead of going to study in cafes. It’s everything I imagined. 🙂 Here are a couple of my recent finds, pre-shelter in place. I can’t wait until this is all over to do some more exploring! Add these to your list, too!

fig and poe.

I enjoyed a lovely breakfast here before a conference in Oakland, and when I accidentally combined a waffle and toast order, I loved it! For the win: jalapeño and cheddar liege waffle with goat cheese, plus a turmeric oat milk latte. The staff are fun, the decor simple and inviting, and you feel like a regular even if it’s your first time.

farm and flour.

Hubby and I ventured here just to hang. We arrived just in time because we snagged the last pieces of bread. I had the avocado toast and an oat milk chai; Hubby had a pastrami sandwich and a cold brew. The last pieces of toast were gluten free bread, and I wasn’t mad about it. This is a great space for enjoying each other’s company and watercoloring. I love the handmade and plant decor, too.

So cute, right? More cafes here and here. Share your favorite cafe spots below.

egg hunt: succulents.

I’m sticking with a plant theme for this year’s egg hunt (Did you catch the first one?). Egg #2 for 2020 is a succulent Easter egg! You might remember my cactus eggs from last year; this one is a total felt upgrade!

For this craft you will need:

  • Plastic eggs
  • Felt in succulent colors, plus flower colors of choice
  • Fabric scissors
  • Hot glue

Cut out succulent leaves. I like to cut out rectangles and cut the shape out two at a time. Succulent leaves can take on any shape; I went with teardrops in different sizes. You will need between 18-30 leaves for each egg, depending on how many rows of leaves you want, and how far apart you space each leaf. For a fuller succulent, use more leaves.

Begin glueing on the smaller leaves to the top of the egg, and work your way to the larger leaves. Add hot glue to the bottom of a leaf and attach to the egg. Create one row of leaves around the egg by overlapping leaves. Add a second row, and an optional third row, making sure to only attach leaves to the top half of the egg.

Do the same for the bottom half of the egg, making sure not to get glue on the last row of leaves on the top half of the egg. That way, you can still use the egg as an Easter egg!

I was going for succulent, but the eggs started looking more like artichokes at this point, so I added a felt flower. Cut fringe into a small rectangular piece of felt, roll, and glue sealed. Cut petals with the same technique as above; I went with a heart shape. Glue petals around the fringed center.

Glue flowers to the top of the eggs. Add treats and enjoy!

Are you busy prepping for Easter celebrations? Share your Easter craft stories below! And find more Easter egg ideas here.

punch.

Ok, don’t laugh. I attempted punch needle on my own and this is all I could come up with. Ha! Here’s my experience plus some lessons learned.

I purchased a supply kit from Jenny Lemons. It came with yarn and monks cloth. I also purchased a #10 Oxford punch needle. I thought I could use a basic embroidery hoop for this project – it worked, but the monks cloth kept slipping. Lesson 1: I must learn to stretch monks cloth like an artist canvas so the monks cloth will stay in place as I punch.

Lesson 2: It helps if you have a pattern in mind. I didn’t. I just punched! The punching itself is pretty satisfying and the technique can be easily mastered with practice. The Oxford punch comes with helpful tips, too, so take a look at the manual. Given my yarn color combo I was going for something Earth-y / planet-y. Perhaps it was achieved, but next time I would definitely pick a pattern or draw a design on the monks cloth before starting.

Once I finished my design, I trimmed the monks cloth, hot glued the edges down, and hot glued on a felt backing.

What do you think? Have you experimented with punch needle? Share below!

plant friends.

Happy Spring! I completed my first full week of working from home, and it’s Day 5 of the mandatory shelter in place in the Bay Area. Luckily, I do have some company – my Hubby (who is off from work at least through the end of the month) and my plant bebes! Here’s a little plant update from my indoor plant friends. There are 18 total; 23 if you count the ones that I’m trying to revive/propagate.

One. Sansevieria laurentii (snake plant). This one came from my parents’ backyard. I named him Green Mamba. He’s fairly tall now; showing off some of the lil sprouts.

Two-Ten. In the kitchen/living area I have Calethea roseopicta, Zamioculcas zamiifolia (ZZ plant), Calethea lancifolia (rattlesnake plant), Calethea ornata, bamboo, sweet potato leaves (rooting them!), marimo (moss balls), Peperomia obtusifolia, and Hoya carnosa variegata.

Eleven. Next to the TV I have a Ficus lyrata (fiddle leaf fig). I recently gave him a trim because I wanted to propagate him, but I’m not sure if I did it correctly. Also, his name is Fiddy Cent. Twelve. Mystery baby plant that is thriving in this Pony People kitten planter.

Thirteen – seventeen. In my crafting corner I have a Peperomia argyreia (watermelon peperomia), an itty bitty succulent I’m trying to nurse back to life, mystery cutting from my coworkers plant, Ficus elastica tineke, and a mystery succulent that my Daddy potted for me.

Eighteen – twenty-three. And on my bedside table I have a Scindapsus pictus Argyraeus, Chlorophytum comosum (spiderettes courtesy of my friend Roberta, but not too sure if they are rooting), Pilea peperomioides, Peperomia caperata, a cutting from my office pothos, and a cutting from my fiddle leaf plant.

I might have an addiction. Do you keep house plants, too? Share some of your faves!

egg hunt: roses.

Yay! You found the first of my hidden Easter egg crafts! For this Easter egg, I was going for tulips, but couldn’t get the petals to sit right on the shape of egg, so I went with more of a rose look, sans thorns.

For this craft you will need:

  • Plastic eggs
  • Felt in rose colors of choice plus green
  • Floral wire
  • Fabric scissors
  • Hot glue
  • Pliers x2 (optional)

Cut rose petal shapes; you’ll need between 12-18 petals for each egg, depending on the size of the egg and how far apart you decide to space your petals. Petals for each egg should be about the height of your eggs; they don’t need to be exactly the same size.

Begin gluing petals to the top half of the egg with a little petal overhang onto the bottom half of the egg. Add a line of glue to the petal and attach to the egg. Make sure glue only touches the top half of the egg or else the egg will get glued shut. Keep adding a row petals around the egg, slightly overlapping the petals.

Add a second row of petals to the bottom half of the egg. Similarly, make sure the glue only touches the egg, and not the first row of petals, or else you will glue the egg shut.

Next, since I used wire strips I folded them in half and twisted the halves together to create a sturdier stem. Use the pliers to assist. Cut strips of green felt and wrap around the wire, sealing ends with hot glue. Bend one end; this will be glued to the bottom of the egg flower.

Cut circles out of green felt and cut a slit in the middle. After glueing the stem to the egg flower, secure the green circle to the base of the egg with hot glue. This will give extra support for the stem and it will cover up the egg base.

And there you have it – a bouquet of Easer egg flowers. Now all that’s left to do is fill with your favorite treats! More Easter eggs ideas here.

sashiko.

Oh yay! My friend Laura gifted me a sashiko kit. I was so excited to get started!

The kit included fabric with a pattern, sashiko yarn, a needle, plus instructions.

But the instructions were in Japanese, so I had to watch a few YouTube videos to figure out some basic techniques. The drawings helped though!

I also attended a sashiko meet up earlier this month to learn more. Thanks to my Craftcation friend Emily for inviting me! I learned a few tricks, like how to cut your sashiko thread into manageable lengths, and how to secure loose ends.

The monthly event is held at the Kimono Momo Studio in Alameda. It was fun to browse the fabrics and sashiko supplies while taking sashiko breaks. Also, they carry Maito brand yarn! Eeee!

I enjoyed the sashiko company and seeing all the projects everyone was working on. I snagged a few goodies to continue my sashiko practice, too, including longer needs, a pattern, and thread.

The sashiko process is slow, but I find it super satisfying. I don’t usually work well with patterns, but this I can do. Thank you to my crafty maker community for always inspiring me! Have you picked up any new crafty hobbies lately? Share below!