Category Archives: Crafts

FREE for Earth Day: My Pouch Upcycling Book!

Planet Pouch

My little craft book is FREE today!

If you’re looking for green ideas this Earth Day, look no further. I’m making my Kindle craft book Planet Pouch: Simple Juice Pouch Bags Anyone Can Make FREE through Monday, April 22. So now’s the perfect time to grab this book and start turning those leftover juice pouches into something stylish!

No Kindle? No problem. You can read this book using the free Kindle Cloud Reader on any PC (or Mac). And if you like the book, please rate and review it on Amazon and Goodreads–I’ll be eternally grateful, and it’ll help others who like to make things find the book.

Happy Earth Day!

FREE Through March 17: Saoirse Friendship Bracelet Pattern

Saoirse Friendship Bracelet Design

Saoirse Friendship Bracelet Design

Wear your own luck o’ the Irish this year: try your hand at friendship bracelet making with my FREE (through 3/17/13) pattern. Pronounced ‘seer-sha,’ this design was inspired by twisty Celtic cables in knitting. Exclusively available (for now) on Craftsy, Saoirse is a straightforward two-color design, perfect for St. Patrick’s Day or any day! What are ye waitin’ for? Go grab your own today, before the free promotion is over!

Guest Blog at The Digital Media Diet

Library Card

The Amazing Library Card

A while back, Carisa over at Digital Storytime asked me to guest blog for her at The Digital Media Diet. I finally came through, and she posted it today! It’s a look at what I’ve been working on lately, and why. I’d be honored if you’d check it out and let me know what you think.


New Celtic Friendship Bracelet Pattern: Liriel

I’ve been obsessed with friendship bracelet patterns lately, and my latest creation is Liriel, a design inspired by Celtic twists and knots. This one is available on Craftsy, Etsy and Scribd just in time for making to wear on St. Patrick’s Day. I hope you like it–let me know what you think. Erin go bragh!

Finished Object: Plunder by Emily

EmilysPlunderI got a wonderful New Year’s surprise in my email box the other day: Emily (one of my customers) finished work on my Plunder friendship bracelet pattern and shared a triumphant photo of her Finished Object! Didn’t it turn out great? I love the colors she picked, and the knots used for the top loop and bottom ties. Nicely done!

A huge thank-you to Emily for sending along this photo. I love seeing how other people improve on my designs.

This pattern is available on both the Etsy website and at Craftsy. If you make it, send along a photo of your Finished Object too–I’d love to see how yours turns out!

Peacee Hats: Made From Pipe Cleaners!

I come from a creative family. We all make stuff. Some of it useful, and some of it just plain fun. Today I want to showcase the work of my cousin Nathan. We grew up together playing with Legos, Play-Doh, Shrinky-Dinks and origami. Apparently these days Nate has a little too much free time, because he started making funky hats by twisting pipe cleaners around each other while watching episodes of Glee and Project Runway.

After fine-tuning his construction methods because first hats were a bit too heavy, he’s come up with a collection of distinct hat styles for people to choose from. That’s right: my cousin Nate will custom-make a hat for you, too!

Of course, because I’m family, everyone in my house got their own custom-made hat. Here’s how we look in our Peacee Hats:

Peacee Hats

Happy in our funky, custom-made Peacee Hats!

Run on over to Nate’s website and pick out yer own!

Home Craft Project: Fun Shaped Crayons

A project I’ve been seeing around the net lately is: making new crayons from all your broken ones by melting them into a silicon baking mold. Of course, I had to give it a try. Basically, you:

Star-Shaped Crayons Pre-Bake

Here’s what ours looked like before we placed the mold in the oven.

  1. Gather all your old broken crayons, and break them into smaller pieces if needed
  2. Place them (in any combination you wish) into a silicon mold (the ones made for baking, not the ice cube trays)
  3. Bake at low temperature (less than 300° F) until the crayons are melted
  4. Let the mold cool completely before attempting to remove new, funky-shaped crayons
  5. Color, and enjoy!
Star-Shaped Crayons Done

Here’s how some of ours turned out. They look like little Reese’s cups, in wild colors!

My kids absolutely loved this project. There’s something irresistible about combining colors and wondering with high anticipation how they’ll turn out. And I’m crazy about any fun activity that takes something basically useless (broken crayons) and turns them into something cool.

I intend to do some more experimentation to find out if I get better results with lower temperatures and less time in the oven. I probably left ours in a little too long, since the intense colors sank to the bottom. But we were happy with the results anyhow.

Happy baking!

Planet Pouch is FREE Today!

Planet Pouch

My little craft book is FREE today!

Today is my birthday, and to celebrate, I decided to make Planet Pouch FREE today. So please: if you are reading this, go straight to and get yourself a copy, post a review and help me spread the word.

Planet Pouch: Simple Juice Pouch Bags Anyone Can Make is a craft how-to book that shows you how to turn those shiny juice pouches into fun bags and totes using a simple sewing machine. Tons of full-color photos and step-by-step instructions make the process easy.

And if you don’t have a Kindle, no problem. You can use the free Kindle Cloud Reader and read this (and thousands of other) ebooks on your computer.

Thank you, and have a wonderful Father’s Day!

Upcycled Crafts and Knitting Patterns Now at Etsy

Make It Today Etsy Shop

I’ve been writing knitting patterns for quite a while, but I’ve recently been making bags from juice pouches and writing instructions for those too. Many of my knitting patterns are available at Ravelry (some free!), but I’ve just opened up an Etsy shop to offer other crafty patterns and supplies. I’d be honored if you’d take a look!

An Open Letter to Kraft Foods, Makers of CapriSun

CapriSun New Pouch Design

To the CapriSun Customer Satisfaction Team:

I’ve been a fan of your product since I was a kid myself, and I now regularly buy CapriSun juice drinks for my children to enjoy. We drink at least one carton of your product each week, which adds up to a lot of juice.

In fact, I’m currently working on a craft book which shows people how to create their own bags and totes from used (and rinsed) juice pouches, especially the rectangular pouch you hold the patent on and use for CapriSun, Kool-Aid Jammers and others. I’ve not only been saving these pouches for over a year, but I’ve asked my kids to bring home the pouches that their friends drink at lunch which would otherwise go into the trash. So you can imagine: I’m building up quite a collection of your product pouches.

In the past when you’ve updated your pouch graphics, the changes haven’t bothered me. However, I’m noticing a subtle change lately that I’m not OK with: that of dropping the white ink from the regular CapriSun package. As you can see from the comparison photo above, the old style (with the flood of white ink behind the other colors) is much more visually appealing than the new style, which looks metallic and washed-out.

I understand that this is a cost-saving move; in fact, given the challenging economy, I appreciate you making this decision instead of providing a smaller package for the same price. However, I’m sure you could find other ways to cut printing costs–bring back the white and drop another spot color in a new design, move to four-color process (plus white!) instead of using spot colors, or drop one or more of the flavors that aren’t selling as well as the others (does anybody drink Orange, for instance?).

And one more thing: have you ever considered putting out a Variety Pack, with 10 (or 5) different flavors in a single carton? This would make for much more interesting bags for the low-volume users, and less-bored kids for the high-volume users. Just a thought.

Thank you for listening.