Interview with Erin @ Erin’s Creative Energy

1.Tell us a little about you and your blog.

Hi, I’m Erin from Erin’s Creative Energy.  I am the mother of two rambunctious little boys and the wife to former Army man turned project manager.  Life is never dull being surrounded by so much testosterone.  Even both of the dogs are male.  It’s a good fit for me since I love power tools so much.  I’ve even been voted as President of my local woodworking chapter.  My blog is all about what inspires me and my creativity.  I do everything from photography, to woodworking, to crafting and so much more.

2.How and when did you start crafting?

I would spend my summers with my grandparents from the time I was 5 all the way through highschool.  My grandmother loved to crochet (how is it that is one of the things I haven’t been able to do?), as well as plastic canvas and sewing.  My grandfather did wood working and would build model sized gas and steam engines where he would machine most of the parts himself.  Between the two of them, they never told me NO to a single creative whim that I had.  It’s because of them that I developed a love of expressing myself through arts and crafts.  I can’t thank them enough for that.  From that love of creating, it was the perfect fit for me to pursue it in college and I have a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree.

3.How often do you craft?

I typically work on my creative endeavors when the kids are sleeping, unless I find something fun that I would love their help on.  As they get older, the more helpful they are and less destructive.

4.Where do you get your inspiration?

Everywhere!  Art school did teach me that you can draw inspiration from anywhere and everywhere.  If you are in a creative rut, go out and explore something you have never seen or try something new.  It gets the brain fired up!

5.What is your favorite medium to work in?

Wood or watercolor.  But, stained glass is getting pretty high on the list.  I will do and try practically anything, but have found I am not good when it comes to knitting or crocheting.

6.What is your guilty pleasure?

Watching far too much TV.  I am a sucker for reality competitions where the contestants have talent.  I am having a lot of fun watching American Ninja Warrior and So You Think You Can Dance right now.

7.What makes you smile?
My children, my ridiculously goofy husband and finding grammatical errors on public signs.  (Hoping I haven’t misspelled anything in this post now).  I also love people who don’t take themselves too seriously.

8.What is your favorite thing to do (other than crafting)?

Exploring.  I LOVE to go for walks or drive through a new section of town, or just drive and figure out my way home, all without GPS.  You can ask my husband, I probably know 10 different ways to get to the same place and don’t always take the same route.  I also love seeing what other people in the crafting and art world are up to.  I like museums, art shows and the blogosphere.  It’s so easy to draw creativity from other creative people.  They are the best people to surround yourself with because we don’t believe things are impossible.  If there is the inspiration to do, it gets done!

Congrats again on your win Erin!  And here is what she won…

A $25 gift card to Sassy Steals, 4 eBooks from Whimsy Couture, a $50 gift card to Lisa Leonard Designs, a $30 gift card to Poppy Tree Frames & a $25 gift card to Shoeology.

Sassy Steals is home for GREAT deals on homemade treasures and the PERFECT solution for small shops to sell their inventory fast…AND there’s even more! Every Friday one lucky winner will win a few of the handmade items featured the week before.
One weekend each month, they host an online Sassy Steals Boutique. This event features several vendors and over 100 items at amazing prices for the entire weekend!  CRAZINESS, right!!!  I told you that you were going to be TOTALLY loving this site!!!  Here are a few ways to keep in touch with Sassy StealsFacebookTwitter,PinterestNewsletter!!!

 

Whimsy Couture makes some of the cutest patterns for little girl clothes I’ve ever seen – and some ready made stuff too!  Not only are the patterns adorable, but you can sell any garments made using the patterns in your own shops.  They have 66 patterns available so you’re sure to find something you’ll love.  I’m loving the little romper. Be sure to follow the Whimsy Facebook page for great updates and such :)

Hi I’m Lisa Leonard, my desire is to create simple, lovely pieces that can add meaning to the everyday. I love to touch my necklace throughout the day and reflect on my husband and my sweet boys. Whether it’s a special bracelet or fun piece of décor we want to make sure that each item is a work of art.

At Poppy Tree Frames we fully understand that the best memories are ones that are captured, and our delight is framing those treasured snapshots in frames that are bold enough to make a real statement yet remain elegant so as to not distract from the subject.  Poppy Tree Frames are a small crew of artisans, wood-smiths and lovers of the brilliance of the old world and the pervasive whimsical and artistic aesthetic of today. Offering 18 customizable frames styles in 42 colors and 49 prints we are excited about what we are pouring ourselves and like a father proud of his son, indeed we are proud of what we have begotten and want to share our craft.

Stay Connected:
Poppy Tree Frames on Facebook 
Poppy Tree Frames on Twitter 
Poppy Tree Frames on Pinterest

I design baby, kids, and women’s shoes over at www.shoeology.etsy.com and www.sweetpeapattern.etsy.com.  I create beautifully illustrated tutorials to teach people how to make shoes just like they see in my pictures.  I sell them as PDF patterns so people have the convenience of downloading them in a very short amount of time.  That way they can get started right away.  Please visit my Facebook page to get regular updates on new patterns!

Arts and Crafts Mirror Tutorial

*Tutorial by Erin @ Erin’s Creative Energy for her win of Season 12*

I am very honored to be sharing my Arts and Crafts Style Mirror tutorial for everyone.

This is going to be a VERY LONG tutorial.  Even though it only took me 4 days to complete, in all reality, this should have taken at least two weeks.  So don’t get discouraged with time, the end result is completely worth it.

Also, before attempting any of this tutorial, please know how to properly use all the tools and equipment to avoid injury.  There is nothing more important than your safety.

The first thing I did was cut my FREE mirror.  Gotta love friends that inform you of trash on the side of the road.  The mirror was broken (a very large broken mirror) that was put out for trash.  I used it and cut it down to size…twice.  The first time it broke, so I had to adjust my entire design plan.

You will need a glass scoring tool, cutting oil and running pliers.  All shown above. [Read more...]

Interview with Chrissy of There are UFO’s Under My Stairs

1.Tell us a little about you and your blog.

I am a pretty typical SAHM. I have three kids that keep me busy and crafting is what keeps me sane. I started my craft blog so I wouldn’t flood the family blog with my projects and my blog roll with all the crafting blogs that I love to read.

2.How and when did you start crafting?

I remember being a small girl and playing in my grandmother’s yarn box, spending hours making pom-poms and long strands of finger crochet strings to hang them off of and make necklaces. I begged my mother to show me how to sew, but she had no interest in it and so I taught myself. To her credit she signed me up for sewing classes and after a few years of home ec. when I had far surpassed her skill level she happily turned over her sewing machine to me as well as all responsibility for the family’s mending.

3.How often do you craft?

Every day. If I am sitting still for more than 30 seconds I will have something in my hands, usually knitting. I knit in waiting rooms, in lines, getting my hair done, during school programs and while visiting friends and family. I once spent two hours happily waiting in line at the DMV working on a sock for my husband…

4.Where do you get your inspiration?

Everywhere! Books, movies, blogs, Pinterest, stores… I confess I have followed more than one person around the grocery store trying to work out how something they are wearing was made.

5.What is your favorite medium to work in?

Yarn. Knitting is my passion. I love the creativity and versatility that comes with creating the fabric at the same time that you are making the piece of clothing. I still love sewing, and I turn to fabric when I need a “quick” crafting fix.

6.What is your guilty pleasure?

Um… yarn. It’s an addiction. I have more than I could knit up in a year (or two) but get me in yarn store that’s having a sale and I am powerless to stop myself from adding to the stash. I’ve also recently started to learn spinning so I can make my own yarn.

7.What makes you smile?

My kids. They are hilarious. (And that’s not just the proud mama talking, you can ask anyone.) My husband is pretty great too.

8.What is your favorite thing to do (other than crafting)?

Reading, I love going to the library and loading up on new books. I can be lost for hours in a good book, plus it’s pretty much the only thing I do that I haven’t figured out how to combine with knitting….

Hand Turned Wood Bracelet Tutorial

*Tutorial by Erin for the DIY Jewelry challenge of season 12*

I am very excited to share with you how to hand turn a wood bracelet.  I understand that not everyone will have the tools to do this, but maybe some of you do or know someone who does.

You will need a lathe or midi-lathe in order to do this project.  My husband and I purchased ours off of a local shop teacher that was laid off.  So many high schools are closing down their wood shops (insert super sad face here), and many of the teachers are given the tools to do with what they please.  Yay for Craigslist!  We also took a class on pen turning and bowl turning at our local Woodcraft store to get the basics skills needed to use our midi-lathe.

Please do NOT attempt wood turning without taking a basic class and reading the instruction manual for your lathe.  Please wear your protective safety gear when wood turning.  I do NOT want anyone to hurt themselves.  As with any power tools, there are risks associated with it’s use. [Read more...]

Season 12 Finale!

How was your weekend everyone? I spent some time last week with some of my favorite people in the world at a girls camp in New Hampshire.  One night while we did skits in the ampatheater on the lake shore the sunset was especially beautiful. I wish my phone had been able to capture it a little better.

But anyway, the seasons of SYTYC always go by so fast don’t they?  I can’t believe we’ve already been through the 9 weeks of the challenge and we’re down to the final two!

This week the challenge isn’t anonymous.  I figure you have already figured out who is who by now so there isn’t much point in not telling you anymore :)

Like always the poll is in the sidebar and will be open  until Thursday night.  Make sure you vote early and let others know they need to head on over, too! [Read more...]

DIY Jewelry {week 9}

At my church I’m the leader in charge of all the girls ages 12-18 in our congregation. Our annual summer girls camp starts tomorrow so this weekend was spend frantically making sure all their health and permission forms were in and that we had enough rides and gear for all of them.  I’ll be so relived with this week is over and done with  :)

 *Note – this picture is from a family camping trip from earlier this summer.  The girls will be staying in cabins for the week.  So not fair.*

We’re down to the top 3 this week.  That means that no matter what, these three ladies will be going home with a fantastic prize package from our sponsors. Yay!!

As a reminder the top three are:

ChiWei @ One Dog Woof
Erin @ Erin’s Creative Energy
Chrissy @  There are UFO’s under my stairs

This week’s theme is one that we’ve never done before, but had a few requests for.  And it’s a fun one.  So enjoy DIY Jewelry that’s been linked up this week!

Remember the poll is in the sidebar and will be open until Thursday night. [Read more...]

Crochet Rug Tutorial

*Tutorial by ChiWei @ One Dog Woof for her win of the Thrift Store challenge of Season 12*
I’ve seen a lot of crocheted and woven and braided rugs out on the internet; it was even one of the first things I pinned to Pinterest, but I never got around to trying one of my own until now.  I always thought it was going to be difficult, but actually, it’s really quite easy, and no fancy instructions needed!
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Step 1.  Acquire fabric.  In this case, I used XXL men’s t-shirts from Goodwill.  Choose t-shirts that are mostly or 100% cotton, and have no or very little print on them, preferably, only above the arm line.  You’ll also want the fabric weight to be fairly consistent, so don’t try to pair up a Hanes t-shirt with a paper thin cotton shirt from BR.
Step 2. Create your yarn.  There are oodles of t-shirt yarn tutorials out on the internet.  Feel free to choose any one of them, or try this one on for size.  The basic idea is that the shirt is already in the round, so you’re cutting a continuous strip from the bottom hem up to the armpit.  Actually, remove the hem before cutting – it doesn’t curl well (or, at all). Once you have the big strip, stretch the strip and allow the knit in the t-shirt to curl in on itself, thus creating the yarn.
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Step 3. Ball up your yarn.  This is actually pretty important, but once I started to crochet, I realized I twisted the yarn as I balled it, so there was a lot of tension.  I ended up unraveling the whole darn thing before crocheting, which kind of defeats the purpose of balling it up in the first place.  C’est la vie.
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Step 4. Crochet.  I used a single crochet here for a [Read more...]