Friday, April 26, 2013


Where do you create?  In your studio?  In your bedroom?  In your dining room?

I have a craft/studio room.  It used to be just for me, or at least it was for the first 18 months we lived here.  Then Mr. E came along and he needed a place to sleep so a pack and play was added to the space.  When he outgrew the pack and play last summer a day bed went up and my sewing table table came down.  Since then the room has become a dumping ground for craft supplies.  This is how it looks this morning:
This is the worst it has ever been.  Next week a friend is coming over to help me deep clean and organize it.  My plan is to get a full-size bed, get rid of the kitchen island and move our current bedroom dressers in there for storage.  At least that's what I'm hoping to do in the next two months.

I have two main places I craft now.  One is the dining room table.  It could hardly be called a dining room table since the only time we use it for eating is for Thanksgiving and Christmas.  Last night I was cutting papers for journals on it.
 This morning I'm inking journal covers.
When I am crocheting, needlepointing or hand work I sit in my "nest" (that's our nickname for my end of the couch).  If we ever get rid of the couch I'm in trouble!  I love the fold down table in the middle!

Show me where you craft!

Sweet P

Thursday, April 25, 2013


What does a coffee mug have to do with Vanilla?  Well, let me tell you.

I love coffee.  I love strong, dark coffee.  I don't love strong, dark coffee flavored 15 ways from Sunday with extra sugar, whip cream and a cherry on top.

I love strong, dark coffee with touch of homemade vanilla milk (or is it half and half?).  Anyway I mix two cups of fresh whole milk, one can of sweetened condensed milk and a teaspoon of real vanilla extract.  I add a splash of this milk to my coffee and it makes my coffee heavenly.

Sweet P
(who is enjoying a cuppa right now)

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Upcycle versus Recycle

I live in a crafty world (I suppose you already knew that).  I hate throwing away stuff.  I recycle.  Yet, sometimes, I feel guilty recycling.  And, thanks to working with many crafty people and discovering Pinterest, I'm bombarded with ideas for re-using items that would normally be sent on their merry way.

In choosing today's word - Upcycling - I wondered what the difference is between upcycling and recycling.  A quick Google search led me to Hubpages and this good article by Jamie Brock on the difference.  In essence, upcycling is using something that would normally be thrown away or recycled and using it for a better purpose.  Recycling is breaking down a product and making a new product out of it, like making recycled paper products.

I'm happy to report I have upcycled a few items for my crafting.  Many of our products come in PDQs, cardboard boxes for displaying products.  Last Christmas I took home a few of those boxes thinking they would come in handy for storing items.  I've been cleaning and saving glass food jars for some time as well.  This morning, those items came together to make my work area cleaner and more organized.

In a larger box I filled glass jars with my various writing and coloring tools.  There was enough space on one side to fit my journals and a few pieces of scrap papers.
A smaller box holds cutting tools, and embellishments and an upcycled leather gift box that holds specialty scissors and glues.
This is my organized work space.  What is cool about using these boxes is I can move them to my craft storage room when I'm not playing with papers.
Have you upcycled anything lately?

Sweet P


I love tools and gadgets.  Who doesn't love a good set of tools for whatever you choice of creating happens to be in your life?  After all how can you create if you don't have the proper tools?

Tools make my job interesting.  On one hand, I don't want to lose sales for the store.  On the other hand, there is nothing more irritating than watching a customer buy more tools and gadgets than she needs.

For example, I have two paper cutters.
One I bought a few years ago and one that came in my Cricut Accessory kit.
 But, you know what I use for cutting and trimming my papers?  My Olfa rotary cutter, self-healing mat and quilting rulers.  I know there are quilters who are screaming, "Don't use your rotary cutter on paper!"  I have two cutters, one for fabric and one for paper.
Don't get me started on "quilting notions".  Nearly every quilt notion in our quilt notion department can be found in the notions department, usually cheaper and on sale more often.

So, if you come to visit me in the store, I'm going to help you find the most economical options for working on your craft.  It may not be in the department you're shopping in, but it will be a good choice.

Sweet P

Stitching and Shopping

I love to stitch!  That shouldn't be a surprise given my blog name.

This past week I finished stitching a few items for dear friends who recently had a baby girl.
I made her this adorable sundress.
With a matching sweater and hat.

These are first items I've made for a little girl in a long time.  I love them.  I hope friends have more baby girls so I can stitch more girly stuff.

I'm not a total shopaholic.  I don't like shopping for clothes and shoes.  I do like grocery shopping.  But my self-admitted downfall is shopping where I work.  After all, where else does one get stitching and art supplies?

Anyway, our store is being remodeled in a few weeks and we did a huge price markdown in paper crafting and children's art supplies this past weekend. Just what this budding paper crafter, journaler and grandmother needed to take money out of the bank!  After all, I have plans to make three Disney journals for our upcoming Disney vacation.

I bought two Smash journals and coordinating products, two Basic Gray journals and a few other miscellaneous paper crafting items.  I also went to Staples to buy a heavy duty binder and inserts for Mr. E's journal, plus a quick trip to B&N for Disney books.
For Mr. E I found the Crayola Dry-Erase Activity Center Zany Play edition.  He had fun playing with it the other night.
Now, other than buying a few sponge brushes for Gesso, I'm done shopping for awhile.

Resisting and Recipes

I've been resisting keeping up on the alphabet blogging.  Not for lack of topics, but my Creative Muse has kept me busy creating, rather than writing.  I'm going to ignore her for a little while and get caught up with my alphabet challenge

I love to cook.  We love to eat.  With the advent of the Internet it's been difficult to print out recipes and keep them handy when I'm working in the kitchen.  My computer sits only a few feet away from the counter, but it's hard to read a recipe even with the screen print made large.

That's where this gadget comes in handy.  I found this recipe stand at the Container Store in January and I love it!  I print out a recipe, slip it under the Plexiglas and cook away!  If the recipe turns out OK, it stays there.  If it flops, the paper goes into the recycle bin.

This is how I used to keep the recipes on my counter.  It's a wire cookbook stand I bought years ago in Las Vegas.  I bought a small chalkboard and had a friend cut it to fit the stand.  I still keep in the kitchen, but he has been retired from recipe holding.

Let's take a quick look through some of the recipes I currently have on the board:
  • Fruit Salsa and Baked Cinnamon Chips - Yum!  I made this for Mr. E's birthday party.  It was a big hit.  The baked cinnamon chips are addicting and make a good snack on their own!
  • Banana Bread Muffins - Mr. E adores making these muffins with me.  He would eat every single one if I let him!
  • I love Cinnamon & Spice's blog. I have several of her recipes on my stand.  I recommend all of them: Chocolate Peanut Butter Magic in the Middles cookies, Oven Fried Swiss Cheese Chicken with Egg Noddles in a Creamy Sauce and Italian Meatloaf
What are some of your favorite recipes?

Sweet P

Friday, April 19, 2013


I live an hour north of Boston.  All is quiet here and there is nothing to say this morning.

Sweet P

Thursday, April 18, 2013


I love to play!

I play with threads. This is a Celtic Knot stand I stitched for a co-worker.
I play with yarn.  I crocheted these baubles during our February blizzard.
I play with my drawing supplies.

I just love to play!  I play all the time.  Life is all about playing and having fun!

Do you play?

Sweet P


October is my favorite month.  Why?

First, it's my birthday month!  You have to love your birthday month.

Second, I love the fall colors.

This is the view I see out my kitchen sliders every fall:
October brings cooler days and reasons to make pots of chili and stew.

October means the National Football League is in full swing - my favorite sport.

What more could a girl want in her birthday month?

What is your favorite month?

Sweet P


I have learned to say, "I will never . . ."

For example, when I started at my current job I said, "I will never scrapbook or do paper crafts."  Guest what?  I'm doing paper crafting now.  I have quite a collection of papers, pens, paints, glues, embellishments, etc.  I'm even in the process of designing three different Disney journals for our trip this summer.  One for me, one for Mr. E and one for his mommy.

I bought these fabric samples on clearance and will use them as the covers.
 I have enough paper for individual pages.
And several Pins on my Disney Journal Pinterest board.

What have you said "never" to only to eventually start doing it?

Sweet P