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January, 2012

  1. Things I Didn’t Buy

    January 24, 2012 by Hobbylobbyist

    I’m lucky to have a good group of friends in Dallas. Even better, my friends all have nice significant others and cool pets. (Because there’s nothing worse than a friend with a douchebag parakeet, ammaright?)

    This is Rod.

    Rod belongs to my friends A and Z and he is the coolest dachshund I’ve ever known. He’s just a sweet, chill doggie. He also has the best wardrobe of any animal I’ve ever seen.


    Snappy dresser

    Snappy dresser

    Friend to small children

    Friend to small children










    Here’s my point: Am I a fan of the noble dachshund breed? Yes. Do I need a figurine of three dachshunds stacked on top of each other? No. Thanks anyway Hobby Lobby.
    Not even with a 40% off coupon.

    Formatting note: I’m still figuring out how to edit pictures. Last week it was rounding corners, this week it’s framing. Maybe next week it’ll be sepia. Oooooo!

  2. Injured Reserve

    January 23, 2012 by Hobbylobbyist

    The Mr. stayed home today because he sprained his neck during a workout. He’ll be okay but is in a lot of pain and will need muscle relaxants for the next few days. He’s been using disposable heating pads on his neck which seem to help some. Plus, they look just like maxipads so they’re practical and entertaining.


    Umm, honey? I don't think that's how they work.


  3. The Wire

    January 22, 2012 by Hobbylobbyist

    final product

    It’s been a busy but exciting week here. The Mr. and I just signed a lease on a new place and we’ll be moving at the end of the month. Like an idiot I forgot to take pictures but I’ll be sure to post them as soon as we get the keys. The best part is that it’s kind of a dump so I’ll get to fix it up. I never understood people who like move-in ready homes.Where’s the fun in that?

    My lucky aisles this week were 56 and 67: Beading accessories and canvas.

    It’s a strange mix because canvas is so open-ended and beading accessories are… not. After wandering up and down the aisle a few times, I decided to experiment with spooled copper wire.  I picked out the smallest canvas I could find (more on that later)  and headed home.

    Most bloggers would try a craft a few times to work out the kinks and then show you a beautiful finished product. I’m too ADD for that, so you’ll have to settle for my imperfect final product. The good news is that I made lots of mistakes along the way that I can tell you all about.


    22 gauge copper wire (available in other thicknesses and colors)

    6 x 6 inch canvas

    Large pin

    I picked a fleur-de-lis for this project design but the sky’s the limit for your design choice. I sketched my pattern out on the back as a guide but you can do it on the front. It will covered up by wire but I’d still mark it out lightly just in case. Also, think about your design when you pick out your canvas size (unlike me).  I didn’t take the wood frame into account so my design is a bit smaller on the canvas than I would have liked. A good blogger would have done it over on a bigger canvas, but it’s hard to craft and eat homemade meatballs with your hands at the same time. A girl’s gotta prioritize.

    Using the pin to make a hole for you, weave the wire through the canvas and twist along the back to secure. Repeat 1000 times.

    Okay, there’s a bit more to it than that. When I began the project, I was worried about weaving the wire too close to each other and creating big holes in the canvas. I made three passes through the middle section to get the fill that I wanted. For the side pieces of the fleur de lis, I kept my stitches very close from the beginning.

    Also, on the first section I would start the next line of wire on the same side instead of wrapping it through the back. It’s easy to see in the picture below.

    The upside of this method is that you use a lot less wire. The downside is that the wire kinks when you try to make tight turns which results in bursts of anger and frustration. Take it from me, it’s worth spending an extra $3 for wire to weave it all the way along the back.

    (Despite my ringing endorsement, I did think the resulting loops on the back of the pattern were pretty cool and I may try this again on a future project with the loops on the front side. )

    I also chose to make only horizontal stitches but it would be cool to do one playing around with stitch direction. Well, maybe not cool but interesting in a nerdy way.

    As much as I enjoyed this project, I’d like to try something similar using metallic embroidery floss instead of wire. It would be faster and would probably give a smoother final product, but the wire does give an interesting dimensionality to the look.

  4. Earn That Puppy

    January 19, 2012 by Hobbylobbyist

    Are you watching Dance Moms? If not, go watch the entire first season and come back so we can talk about it.

    I was never in dance growing up. Well, not real dance. I did take ballet as a kid but my skill was the same as this little girl:

    YouTube Preview Image

    It’s hard to have a career in dance when you can’t master first position.

    Without any real background in dance, I don’t know if “Dance Moms” was an accurate reflection of how things worked, or just another group of crazies who found each other and now fight over dance props. For those of you who did take dance, tell me if it’s normal for a teacher to say,

    “Save the tears for when you’re home alone and crying into a pillow.”

    Or my personal favorite,

    “Dance like you want a puppy. Earn that puppy!”

    As you go out into the world today, I hope you carry that message in your heart.

  5. Things I Didn’t Buy

    January 18, 2012 by Hobbylobbyist

    It’s hard not to buy everything at Hobby Lobby when I go. Well, almost everything.

    Here is something I was NOT tempted to buy at Hobby Lobby:

    Dinosaur-themed wedding cake topper

    Some people have accused moi of somehow doctoring the cake topper. I will neither confirm or deny, but I will say this: If you don’t want people to shove plastic creatures on top of wedding décor, you should tape the boxes shut better. That is all.

  6. Faux is just a fancy way to say Fake

    January 16, 2012 by Hobbylobbyist

    Finished wreath

    Happy Monday, I hope you had a great weekend. The weather has been great and I discovered a new favorite song. I later realized was just a Target ad for grapes, but I’m still loving it.

    This week was a great example of the highs and lows of this experiment. At the high end, I put together a very cool piece of art that I would never have come up with (more to come on this later in the week). On the low end, fake flowers.

    People, I hate fake flowers. You can call them “faux” if it makes you feel better, but it’s the same thing. And Hobby Lobby has rows and rows and rows of Fake Flowers. My two mandatory aisles based on the mean-spirited random number generator involved fake flower garlands and drafting materials.

    I was too depressed to start with the flowers, so I wandered down the drafting aisle. In addition to T-squares and protractors, this aisle has stencils, lino-plates, and adhesive letters. I decided I wanted to use the adhesive letters for some sort of Valentine’s Day decoration.

    I grabbed a garland of peach roses, a wicker hanging basket, and coordinating ribbon and headed home.

    Lately the song “Home” has been the anthem for my relationship with my boyfriend. We both sing it around the house and get all googly-eyed when we hear it on a commercial. It’s pretty nauseating. I decided to incorporate some of the lyrics into this project.

    Fake flower garland
    Drafting adhesive 1/4″ letters

    I used a pair of tweezers to help place the letters. The pack cam with a ton of letters (unlike scrapbooking stickers which come with a lot fewer at the same price) but they weren’t all well-cut so it was tough to peel them out. You can see in the pictures of the final product where I ran out of lowercase Ys and had to use capital letters.

    Feel good about myself and wanting to still ignore the fake flowers, I told my boyfriend that I was going to stuff the fake flowers in the basket, wrap the ribbon around it, and call it a day.

    “Hmm, I thought you were going to do more with it.”

    Crap. He was right. Shoving plastic flowers into a basket wasn’t exactly transforming these materials, so I had to re-think my plan.

    After trimming off the plastic leaves, I wrapped the floral garland into a circle and tightened the flowers to the ring. I then shaped it into a heart. I added a bow and the lyrical ribbons and hung it up.

    At the end of the day, it’s still fake flowers. But I’m happy with the final version and I have many more aisles of plastic flowers to get more creative.

  7. The Rules

    January 14, 2012 by Hobbylobbyist

    Okay folks, it’s time to put rules to this crazy challenge I’ve set up for myself. I put these together to keep myself honest and accountable. Assuming all goes right, by the end of 2012 I will have stretched myself creatively and mastered every aisle of my local Hobby Lobby. So, here are the details:

    By December 31 2012, I will have completed projects using at least one item from every single aisle of my local Hobby Lobby. After several trips and lots of creepy lurking, I have counted up 129 total aisles and wall displays of crafting materials. Yikes.I’m a masochist because I decided working my way through 129 aisles in less than a year isn’t hard enough. Using a random number selector, I’ll let fate pick two mandatory aisles that must be included in that week’s craft.

    What is included:
    All aisles on the perimeter of the store and wall displays of crafting materials.

    What isn’t:
    Furniture aisles. This includes the section of storage furniture and easels.

    What is, sorta:
    Hobby Lobby has a large selection of home and seasonal décor items. I didn’t want to exclude them entirely, but these sections consist of higher-priced items that don’t lend themselves to crafting. So I have decided that these sections must be utilized as inspiration for my projects. Also, since the merchandise rotates regularly in these sections, I won’t number the aisle but I also won’t cross them off once I’ve done one project inspired by the section.

    I’m going to post the full list of aisles on a link to keep track of my progress.

    So there it is. And now that it’s on the internet it must be so. Have suggested changes? Let me know. Hate the idea entirely? Go start your own blog.

  8. Awards for the everyday

    January 6, 2012 by Hobbylobbyist

    My daily interactions with people usually leave me feeling stabby so I think it’s important to praise people who don’t make me want to punch them in the face. I often think nice things about others but never go the extra step to tell them. (Unless it’s about shoes, and then I’ll say something because I want to know where you bought them.)

    Sometimes it’s hard to find the right words to say thank you or show appreciation, so that’s where this week’s craft comes in. Make these in advance and leave some blank so you can write in the details when the opportunity arises.

    Complimentary ribbons

    I used paper, but you could easily make these out of fabric or ribbon. If you do, send me a picture and I’ll post it.

    Supplies needed:
    Paper strips, 12″ long and 2″ wide
    Paper circles (cut with a paper punch if you’re feeling fancy)
    Glue gun
    Happy thoughts

    Step one:
    Start folding you paper strips every quarter inch in an accordion pattern. In metric, that would be three doubloons long. Fold two strips.

    Step two:
    Take your two strips and glue them together so you have one, super long strip.

    Step three:
    Glue the ends together so you have an accordion-folded tube. It may look like a bottomless cupcake liner. Mmm…. Bottomless cupcakes…

    Step four:
    Eat a cupcake.

    Step five:
    Push out one end to create a circle. The accordion folds in the center of the circle will be very close together and the outside should be stretched out, but not to the point of tearing. I noticed that depending on the size of my pleats two strips worked perfectly for this. You may need more/less to get the look you want.

    Once you have it pushed down, grab a scrap of paper and glue it to the back of your circle to hold it flat.

    Step six:
    Glue on two paper strips to the back as your ribbons. Flip it over and glue on the front circle.

    Step seven:
    Think warm fuzzy thoughts about someone and then write it down. I used stick-on letters for one example and stamp letters for another as you can see in the pictures below. These are so easy to make and will bring a smile to the face of any recipient. To vary the size of the circle, just use wider strips of paper. Make a bunch and keep them in your glove box or desk drawer and hand them out freely.

  9. Because the world needs another blog

    January 5, 2012 by Hobbylobbyist

    I’m avoiding specific New Year’s resolutions (mostly because I usually last about a week) but this year I am taking a different approach. Instead of focusing on forcing myself to do things I don’t like to do, I am going to focus on doing things I love to do. And I love to craft.

    Sewing. Knitting. Gluing shiny things to other shiny things– I love it all. And for years I’ve amassed project ideas but never set aside the time to tackle them.

    Part of the problem of a New Year’s resolution is that is can easily become too vague. The key to success (according to me– the chick sitting on her couch watching her man play video games) is to put some parameters around the afore-mentioned goal. So, here goes:

    In the next year I will tackle a craft that involves products from every single aisle of Hobby Lobby.

    AKA Crafter's crack
    My local Hobby Lobby has over 50 aisles and that includes one of just creepy doll heads. (Who is buying these? Seriously, those people should be on a list somewhere.) So I must make something from each and every single aisle — both sides, no loopholes here– in the coming year. Including the scary doll head aisle.

    From the Etsy site "IDConnection." Also from your nightmares.

    I hope you stop in once in a while to see my progress. Along the way you get to learn more about me, the guy sitting on my couch, and how I really feel about the whole Brad vs. Rachel Zoe debacle. (Here’s a hint: I am CONFLICTED, folks.)