Category Archives: General Blabbery

Goodbye Picnik, Hello Picasa!


Even though Picasa is not new to the world, its new to me.  When Picnik emailed everyone telling them that they were closing up shop, I was a bit depressed.  I grew fond of Picnik and I really like its features.  So, I had to move on and dabble in Picasa.  Here is my first collage creation.  Please enjoy and feel free to add your constructive comments below.  Is it too busy?  Is it hard to process what these photos are?  Does your eye travel around the collage or stay at a fixed point?  I’d like to know what you think so I can improve.  Overall, I want to make a collage that presents my product professionally and clearly to anyone who is looking at it.

If YOU are a Picasa expert and have some tips to share, I’d love to hear about what you’ve learned in using this free online tool.  My first question, “Is there an upgrade option like Picnik where I can pay a fee and get more features?”

Dye2Spin on Etsy: Hand-dyed and Hand-spun Fibers for the Fiber Artist


Craft Masters, by Michael’s Craft Store


Hey craft friends! I wanted to let you guys in on the news that I was selected to compete in Craft Masters by Michael’s Craft Store.

I submitted a 30 second video about my favorite craft project about dyeing my own fiber, spinning it into yarn, then knitting it into a baby cardigan.

I’ll be competing against two other local crafters in what I’m calling “Iron Chef for the Creative Types.” There’s going to be mystery items we are mandated to use in our project as well as a time limit. In the end, our work will be judged (by whom I don’t know yet) and then someone will be declared a winner.

Its all very surreal at the moment and I’m really excited to be able to do this. Should be lots and lots of fun!

The taping is on Friday the 13th.

Wish me luck. And, since you’re here, please tell me what some of the most important items in a craft store are that I should remember to pick up on my shopping spree (they allow us time to gather materials from Michael’s before the competition the day of the shoot). Also, if you have links to any really cool craft project ideas, please include those as well. I’ve been scouring Pinterest and the internet in general to try to expose myself to as much as possible. I have no idea what I’m in store for. Something tells me that I’m not going to just be able to knit a hat and win this thing! Plus! I’m not allowed my spinning wheel!!!! GASP!

Green Polka Dot Box

The Green Polka Dot Box is the first of its kind.

I’ve been waiting for months now, and its finally happening!  The Green Polka Dot Box is open for business to Founding Trust Members!  This is my opportunity to tell you about the Reward and Basic Club Membership you can have with the Green Polka Dot Box.

The GPDB is an online buying club for groceries, household, and personal care products.  Basic Club members get the discount all other members receive, with free shipping on orders over $150.  There is even talk of fresh, local produce becoming available through GPDB in the near future.
Reward Members earn rewards points based on customer referals.   These reward points traslate into cash to be spent on GPDB orders.
If you are interested in any more information about the Green Polka Dot Box, don’t hesitate to ask.  Click the banner above to be taken directly to the website and start browsing their amazing selection of products you already see in the store!

When creation heals


Ashford Traditional Bobbin with Electrifying YarnFellow crafting friends and creatives alike,

Please allow me to express my gratitude to creation.  In particularly tough times in the family or workplace, I know I can count on the productivity and silence of my type of creative process.  These processes include knitting, dyeing yarn and spinning yarn.  I love each of these with passion I cannot describe. 

I think about doing each of these things while I’m at my day job.  I talk to people everywhere about these crafts.  I listen to people tell me, “That’s a lost art” as I’m spinning up some animal fiber.  You know what I tell them?  I tell them how fiber arts is making a come-back!  And I’m so happy to say that with confidence.  Arts and crafting in general is making a come-back, at least in my life it is.

So, when I have a tough day in the classroom and I’ve worked out at the gym but I still don’t feel at ease, I just pick up the knitting needles, pull out the wheel, or pre-soak some wool roving so I can put myself in that zone where I don’t have to talk to anyone but myself.  And, nine times out of ten, when I talk to myself, I’m right!

Farm to Bobbin Complete!


Hand-spun Alpaca Yarn  Here is the final count of 2-ply alpaca yarn that I lovingly picked, washed, carded (well, some of it), spun, plied, and set into the yarn before you.

Thanks to Julie Wier from Wier World Alpaca Farm in Maine, I got to learn and experience something very new and different.  This was the first time I had EVER worked with raw alpaca, straight off the backs of the lovely animals that work hard all year to provide us with such wonderful fiber.  It was an adventure in fiber, if you know what I mean!

Now these hanks of handspun goodness are off to their original owner in a different form, of course.  I hope she’s excited to see them as well as satisfied with my beginner ways of handling raw fleece.

Twitter: @CraftCafeDFW

Ravelry group: Craft Cafe DFW

Farm to Bobbin


Here’s a peek into my off-of-school-for-the-holiday lifestyle. As you can see, clearly, I lead two separate and creative lives. I teach during the day and then, in my off-time, I create. I’m sure so many of you can relate.


As you can see in the background, I HAVE to include Harry Potter. Usually, I time my projects in Harry Potter movies. For instance, I know that I can start and finish one fingerless mitten in the timespan of Deathly Hallows Part 1.

I received a whole shearing of two alpaca. One, the white, has already been washed and has been 80% spun into a 2-ply skein of yarn. The other bag, a lovely camel color, is sitting in my fiber room, waiting to become yarn.


Hopefully I’ll get that drum carder for Christmas so I can get these types of projects finished even faster.

Please visit Craft Cafe’s FB page to help us reach our first 100 Likes by New Years!! Also, follow our tweets on Twitter @CraftCafeDFW

Craft Cafe T-Shirts


T-Shirts for Craft Cafe Mobile

I’d like to propose a t-shirt design contest for CC. In particular, the portion of our business that is the essence of how we stand at the moment, Craft Cafe Mobile.
Since I’m not a t-shirt, or anything, designer I’d like to see the ideas of others!
Please send your ideas to

Being Creative.


This wonderful Saturday morning (and the rest of the day, hopefully) is dedicated to creativity.  Creating wearable art is interesting because, really, can’t anything be art?  Art is in the eye of the beholder, right?

One of my most favorite things to do is spin my own yarn.  Seldom do I actually get to use it in a knitting project.  The process of dyeing and spinning certainly is wonderful.  Seeing someone else’s creation using my creation is a gratifying experience.  Below is an example of one of my most popular colorways, Panorama.  First, as roving, then as yarn.  Just gorgeous, isn’t it.  You can find it at my fiber-dedicated Etsy shop, Dye2Spin

After this beautiful Merino 64s Roving is given a whirl throught the old Ashford Traditional, it looks like the hand-spun goodness below.