Aug 2

I recently participated in a Star Wars swap on Here’s the big thing I made for my partner: a Chewbacca bandolier bag. I used a leather skirt I got at a thrift store to make the bag, and Altoids tins for the cartridges on the bandolier (I spray painted them after this photo). The rings are just from a jumbo bag of keychain findings from the craft store. I love how it turned out! I also made a smaller version of the bag for the recipient’s 3 year-old son. So cute.

I also crocheted this teeny Chewbacca out of embroidery floss. Check my other site, Dollar Store Crafts, for instructions on how to crochet a Chewbacca zipper pull.

My partner sent me these Princess Leia bun earmuffs.

Some bookends that look like the trash compactor scene (with real Star Wars figurines!)

These Star Wars peg dolls, and a few other goodies.

Additional Star Wars Crafts:

Sep 8

I’ve made almost all the USA quilt blocks I have to make for the Craftster swap. This one is Arizona, and I love how it turned out. My original idea was inspired from the time I’ve spent in Arizona, and the houses and sights of Tucson (I was gonna go with purple, sage, and cream or red-rock orange). Then when I was hunting for fabric, I found some sort of Grand Canyony fabric that didn’t go with anything (bright purple, orange, yellow). I haven’t gone to the Grand Canyon yet, so that’s not MY Arizona. So instead of my original idea or the Grand Canyon, I chose this main fabric by Moda because of the Native American inspiration and the turquoise.  so yeah, I guess it’s the colors.

North Dakota: Done
Wyoming: Done
Arizona: Done
Oregon: Done
Missouri: Have 3 fabrics, all cut out
Colorado: Done

Just Missouri left to go!

I made two versions of the Colorado block (excuse the shoddy photos) because I didn’t have enough of corner fabric (in photo #1) — I got it and the white fabric with grey trees on it at my favorite craft thrift store in Portland, OR, Knittn’ Kitten. I chose the blue fabric (it has something like dandelions on it) because it reminded me of all the wildflowers in Colorado plus it also reminded me of snowflakes. The white has grey trees on it, which reminded me of winter in CO, and the purple reminds me of the Rockies.

I also had a CraftFail or three while sewing up some of the Colorado blocks:


Here’s the Oregon block. The main fabric really looks a lot like Oregon (reminds me of Crater Lake). The 2nd fabric is green because when I think of Oregon, I think of GREEN! And the 3rd fabric is kind of funny but I guess a lot of people in Oregon hunt (and it coordinated w/the other fabrics)… altogether the block is a little more rural than I wanted since I’m so much a Portland girl, but it was so hard to pick fabrics for my home state!!

Aug 10

I’m participating in a Craftster swap where 8 of us are making blocks themed after each of the states in the USA. I have six states, and I have to make 8 of each block (for a total of 48 blocks – a couple people are making extra states).

This is my Wyoming fabric. I sewed it up (photo at top) today. I love how it turned out!!

It takes me about 2.5-3 hours to sew 8 blocks up (not including cutting – I do that separately). That’s not TOO much time, but with two little boys, it seems like a huge chunk of time!

Here’s my main Arizona fabric. It’s not at all what I envisioned when I planned my AZ blocks (I have spent quite a bit of time in AZ and I was going to go for a Tucson-inspired palette: sage green, dusty purple, and rusty red-rock orange).

Here’s my North Dakota block. I got the sunflower fabric at Knittn Kitten – my Portland, Oregon craft thrift store. I associate farming (especially sunflower farms!) with ND, so I wanted to do a farming theme. I like the green farm fabric I ended up with.

Here are my Missouri fabrics (Got them all at Knittn Kitten!!) – I’m using apples on my MO block because I just got done reading Laura Ingalls Wilder’s biography and she spent most of her adult life on her farm in Missouri, and she called Missouri “the Land of the Big Red Apple.” I’m also using a print with two boys on it that resemble Tom Sawyer & Huck Finn (Mark Twain was born in Missouri)… so I guess my Missouri block is sort of literary!

Jul 25

I hosted a Little House on the Prairie/Pioneer swap on Craftster, and everyone was a good swapper and sent packages and posted pictures (no flakes!)

Rules for the swap were that they could send anything inspired by Little House on the Prairie (any iteration), the Oregon Trail, or pioneers in general, and a restriction on money spent for materials: “Because Pioneers had to be resourceful, please do not spend more than $10 on new supplies for this swap, instead, drawing on your stash to make things if possible.”

Here are some of my favorite items that were swapped. Click here to see the whole craftster gallery.

Pioneer doll by ysmeine.

Pine needle gourd bowl by pinokeeo

LOTS MORE cool photos, so click “MORE” for more.
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Mar 27

I participated in an Arrested Development (TV Show) theme swap on Craftster, and here is what I sent: a black t-shirt with a velcro strip on it and letters you can use to make it spell different AD-related stuff. The idea behind the shirt was from GOB’s Segway pouch that says “GOB” on it (and P/Resident in one episode, I think). I didn’t include all the letters, sadly, because I didn’t have them all…

I made this mug with a silhouette of GOB on his Segway (I wasn’t exactly aiming to focus on GOB & his Segway as a theme – ha ha!). I cut a stencil, spray-glued it on (that was a little much, by the way! I had to use Goo Gone to remove some of the adhesive!), and then used a Pebeo Porceleaine 150 Paint marker. You use the marker just like a regular marker, but then you bake the ceramic to fix the design.

Then, this is funky… it’s a needlefelted Buster finger puppet… Kinda creepy, but kinda funny!

Mar 23

I made my first sock monkey a couple weeks ago, and modeled him after Jemaine Clement from Flight of the Conchords. The red heel sock monkey making instructions were hilariously 70s (instructions like “cut ear shapes for ears”), but I managed to make one that looks basically like a sock monkey! I definitely love that he looks like Jemaine.

His body is a little wonky, but I love his face and hair. The hair took about three hours!

I sent this guy to his new home in the UK!

Feb 26

I made a few necklaces for a Craftster swap, and I just LOVE the way this one turned out! My swap partner also liked it. She said: “I love it!!  It is amazing and looks so cool on, I can’t even tell you!”

The shape of it is inspired by a necklace Enora wears in the movie “Serenity” (watched while working on this project – ha ha! love it when inspiration strikes like that!). The point of the swap was to make a necklace or bracelet with stuff you have laying around your house. I had a lot of vintage jewelry that I used for a project awhile back, plus some broken jewelry.

I got a lot of this stuff at Katherine’s house when I was doing a zine reading at the library with a make and take craft project. I made packets of random goodies to glue to magnets, thumbtacks, and pin backs. So the project is long over, and I still have a decent amount of random (mostly broken) jewelry.

What’s Katherine’s house? Katherine is a friend of mine who collects bins of jewelry from Goodwill and separates, cleans, and matches it all up. This is her hobby and she loves to do it. Her house is FULL of jewelry, and she sells earrings for $1 a pair, so I’ve gone over to her house a few times and purchased stuff, either for projects, or just to wear. A lot of the components of this necklace were gotten from trips to Katherine’s.

1. The star is from some 80s-looking star earrings. I used it for a link in the necklace, repeated two or three other spots on the necklace (near #10 and past #16). The bead cluster was found in my mom’s bead box. I had attached it to a stitch marker, but I removed it to use for this project.

2. The apple is from a necklace I got for my bday from Erika from Texas Haute Sauce. It broke, so I cannibalized it for this project.

3. The green bead cluster is from a necklace I got from

4. Wrapped pearl is from some earrings I got from Katherine’s. Net-covered pearl (on #11) is from same pair, and little pearls on #7 and #15 are also.

5. A rhinestone button I wired to a jumpring so it would face forward (not down)

6. Black charm from a pair of (vintage?) earrings from Katherine’s.

7. Pearl, from #4 earrings. Wooden glittery heart I wired to a link, also from Katherine’s. Gold diamondy-shaped thing from Katherine’s, too. I added the other one on the opposite side (#11) to keep the feel of the necklace symmetrical.

8. I love this one! Rhinestone cluster from a vintage clip-on earring. I wired it to an oval-shaped chain loop – I think it’s cool!

9. From a pair of earrings, also from Katherine’s. The red bead is from the necklace mentioned in #2. The button is combined with a small piece of these cool art deco earrings I got (yep, at Katherine’s… I’m telling you, her house is amazing!)

10. Another star link (#1) and a bead cluster from same necklace as #3

11. Other half of diamondy earrings in #7, pearl/net bead from #4 earrings. Random gold/pearl at the top is from Katherine’s.

12. Cool telephone from a pair of clip-ons from Katherine’s.

13. Green freshwater pearl from same necklace as #2.

14. Petit point from a pair of clip on earrings – I bent it when trying to remove the pokey part that was sticking out of the back of it! Oops! I still like it, so I used it.

15. A button + pearl combo. Simple, but I like the look!

16. The butterfly is from a barrette I got in the late 90s that never quite worked for me, ’cause it closed in the opposite direction I part my hair in = it would always be upside-down the way I would naturally use it!

Jan 29

I have been swapping quite a bit lately, and I just received a swap package yesterday for the Craftster Fill-A-Mug swap. My swap partner, ellen-j, did WAY more than fill a mug… wow! She made so much nice stuff for me and included a cute flower pot shaped mug. She made a big mouse stuffy, an owl, a coffee cup, three pretty crocheted flowers, and some scrabble tile pendants. And some chamomile tea!

She crocheted so many cute things for me, including this little pirate owl with a sparkly gold eyepatch.The owl had this note enclosed with him:

This is Petey. He is very confused. Raised by parrots, he expected to spend his life ona pirate ship: sailing, looting, and providing companionship to some lonely pirate. He only recently discovered that he was, in fact, an owl, and is now searching for his biological family. Not wanting to bother with a hiding place for his gold, he had it spun into an eye patch. Learning to fly with just one eye is quite a challenge.

This crocheted mug is so cute! It is filled with a ball (that comes out). Adorable! Made me want to crochet a bunch of play kitchen stuff.

She also gave me these fab scrabble tile pendants. They look like a lot of fun to make!

Jan 5

I’ve been swapping up a small storm to get over the post-holiday crafting doldrums. I made these pirate-themed crafts for a person on Craftster who was flaked on in a pirate swap. Since I love all things pirate, I stepped up to send her an “angel” package.

Sister Diane
‘s salt dough struck again for this ocean-y garland. I was kind of thinking Davy Jones (Pirates of the Caribbean version) and his heart/key thing, plus the sealife that takes over the undead pirates on the Flying Dutchman. But in a subtle way! This garland says “beach house” to me a lot more than “pirate.”

I love how the starfish turned out! The salt dough texture is perfect for starfish skin!

I stamped these notecards from a hand-carved stamp I made awhile back.

I made a calendar out of a CD case (I designed all the pages, too). You can download and print the calendar here and make your own!

And I crocheted a quick pirate choker with a fun skull & crossbones button from the dollar store:

The thing I most loved about what I made was that I used what I had to make it! I get a buzz from stashbusting!

Dec 18

I received these adorable altered hoodies from MacesMeMe on the Craftster kid hoodie swap, and they are so adorable! They’re really perfect for each boy.

Lewis got the tractor hoodie and this is what he said when he saw it: “Is that dirt? Is that a backhoe loader? With tires? And more dirt?” It’s obvious he was looking the whole thing over. He loves it. He has been wearing it backward all day so he can see the tractor on it.

The tractor is stenciled on (great stencil – 2 color!), with appliqued dirt and wheels, and a stud in each wheel.

Evander’s has a big E on it, and a super cute elephant squirting water and a free-waving ear and tail. Sooo cute. His also has an elephant applique on the front, coming out of the front pocket. So cute! The elephant is stenciled, with button eye, appliqued ear, and string tail.

These are so cute, and perfect for my little guys! Thanks MacesMeMe!