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Today we are talking about all things Japanese masking tape!!  Have you seen the wonder and beauty of this product??  The patterns are amazing and the colors…..anyhoo I’m going to post to some crafty links using this fantastic product and where YOU can get it and start having fun!

Over at The Red Thread, there is an awesome tutorial showing you how to make a mini bunting.  I had just as much fun reading the tutorial as I did looking at the pictures of all the tape stacked up!

Lacy Easter egg

Even though Easter is over, Family Circle posted a whole tutorial on how to decorate easter eggs in different ways.  One of those was this lovely creation using the tape!  Even though Easter has passed, these would be great for breakfast in bed for your sweets or your mom (hint hint).  I think any time of the year, this would be a gorgeous idea to spruce up any day.

Japanese Washi Tape and EntertainingElizabeth over at To Be Charmed has really outdone herself!  She has multiple pages of pictures and directions on how to use the washi tape in different ways.  There’s cupcake flags, how to cover plates, vases, serving dishes, the list goes on and on.  You will be lost in the sea of awesome ideas she has on this tape (and a lot of other things I might add-you could get lost on her blog in general!)

So!  Intrigued?  Loving this washi tape?  Here are some links on where you can get it so you can start making away!

Pretty Tape : the title pretty much says it all but there are other great supplies to check out here!

Nothing Elegant : lots of cute kawaii stuff too!

Downtown Fabrics : there’s a sale going on right now on lots of things and they ship from the USA if you’re worried about postage (and you can’t wait that long to play with your tape!)

Washimatta : ok, seriously, they have Hello Kitty! Liberty of Japan fabric…what?!

Cute Tape : has a ton of other things besides tape that you will want to spend ALL of your money on.  Don’t say I didn’t warn you!

Well, I hope these links will get you inspired to try something new and create something fun with tape of all things!

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Today I’m going to talk about one of the first books that I read when I first got into embroidery. Doodle Stitching by Aimee Ray is a really great book and resource for those who are just getting into embroidery and for those who love embroidery but would love to work on some ridiculously adorable patterns and projects.
The page layouts are fun and colorful and I like how they have little bits of embroidery scattered throughout the book. There is a good section to me on the transfer process, I was always unsure the best way to go about doing it and she explains a couple processes great! She explains a lot of the beginner stitches very well. There is an illustration showing you how to do the stitch and then a picture next to it showing you how it should look on your fabric. I found this to be really helpful because it’s always nice to know what it’s supposed to look like on your work. There are also some fun little decorative stitches you can look forward to like the star, lazy daisy, and fly!

Hill Man embroidery pattern PDF
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The projects themselves are fantastic! She not only gives you embroidery patterns and ideas but there are also patterns for bags, ornaments, and the like that you apply your embroidery to! I love that about this book. I like seeing where my work can go and you can easily mix n match the patterns and projects to your liking. The projects range from stuffed animals, to skirts, to lampshades! This book will keep you interested and occupied with all the great projects that she’s given you!

Forest embroidery pattern PDF
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I suppose the only downside to this book, for me, was that A. there weren’t more projects! and B. I wish there was more insight into how she comes up with her designs. The book wasn’t very personal, it seemed to me, even though you can tell all these patterns came straight from her sketches. I like to hear a little bit more of the crafter’s voice throughout, but you know I’m really splittin’ hairs here because I love the book! So, if you are a first time embroiderer I would highly recommend checking out this book and even if you have been doing this embroidery thing for a little while you’ll find really cute patterns and projects to work on too!

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Hello all!  Just popping in to give a little sneak peek at something that I have been toying with for the past couple of days!  I’m starting to realize that my focus has been mainly geared towards things for kids and I’m liking the focus!  I’m just running with it right now and brainstorming away.  When did you finally come to the light at the end of the tunnel and realized where your work fit?  This isn’t to say that I’m not always learning and trying new things for myself, and I still would like to work on things for weddings and the home, but right now it feels good!  Anyhoo, hope everyone is having a great day!

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For me, it is really hard to decide what I like better: making things or buying the supplies to make the things.  Both are rewarding, enjoyable, and I get a rush out of both!  Who’s with me on this?  Since embroidery is one of my tip top favorite crafts, I love every aspect of it.  That includes hoops!  I have so many different kinds, sizes, colors, etc-I have them coming out my ears it seems.  When I first started doing embroidery I was a little lost about where to find the best hoops at the best deals.  Some places online charge waaay more than they should and I don’t always have a lot of money to spend on supplies.  So here are just a few tips and sites that I buy hoops from.  They are the best prices that I have found so far but if you have another site to contribute by all means leave a comment-I love a deal!

For starters, this may seem like a no-brainer, thrift stores are an excellent place to find hoops.  I most often find interesting colors and shapes at thrift stores that I had no idea I would even want until I find them!  It’s nice sometimes, too, to have a one of a kind hoop for a special project that you can send out into the world.  Besides the colors I have in the photo above, I’ve found yellow and orange ones and I’ve also happened upon the awesome metal ones that I love.  Also, keep your eyes peeled for kits that contain hoops because they won’t be as obvious.  I have found some really nice hoops this way too!

Consumer Crafts is a great place for hoops.  I have found the best deal so far here.  They have hoops that range in size from 3in to 12 in and they range in price from .50 to $1.17.  Pretty nice price if you ask me!  They have fast shipping and I have never had a problem with missing parts of orders or damaged goods and I’ve gotten an orange reusable consumer crafts tote with my order every time (but don’t quote me on this as the norm….I have no idea if it was a special promo thing or just what they do)!  Anyhoo…they also have oval shapes in two sizes which is nice when you just feel like breaking out of the circle.

Bates Hoop-La™ Embroidery Hoop & Frame 7" Large Image

Create For Less is the other site that I use for hoops.  They are slightly higher in price than Consumer Crafts, but!  look at those colors!  It’s nice to be able to have such a wide array of colors to choose from because the frame is just as important as the work inside of it.  I have also used Create For Less to buy stretcher bars.  They are a great way to display your embroidery in a more traditional “piece of art” kind of way.  They come together really easy by just joining the pieces and hammering with a rubber mallet.  They are ready to stretch any kind of fabric over it and staple.  As a note, though, you need 4 obviously to make a frame and they come in packs of 2 so make sure to order enough for your work!

Boy, this just makes me want to add to my collection of hoops……must….resist…..do you have any sites or places that you go for great deals and steals on hoops?  What about other craft supplies?

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I don’t know about you but I LOVE to find new products and things to play around with.  I have been thinking lately about doing cupcake and cake toppers but wanted something that lasts forever and is a little bit easier to work with than polymer clay.  Now, don’t get me wrong, I love using polymer clay but sometimes I can have difficulties with kneading it and getting it ready to use.  Honestly, I don’t always have the patience so I’m really excited that I found this new product called ClayCraft by DECO clay!  It’s soft, it’s pliable, it dries on its own without an oven and just look above at the gorgeous final product.  The possibilities seem endless and I can’t wait to get some to try it out!  Check out their site for product information, ordering, and galleries of all the amazing things you can do with this stuff!

You can also follow the link here to a video and tutorial on Martha Stewart!  Happy crafting everyone!

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