Today I try to draw a bird.

I’m going to toot my own horn for a second and just flat out say that I’m a pretty good crafter. I have some  basic artistic skills and the ability to take whatever you put in my hands and figure out what it wants to be or be part of.

What I am not is a good artist. I’m not even passable when it comes to drawing, but I want to change that. While you can put something in front of me and I can sometimes produce a decent version if you give me enough time, for the life of me I can not sketch out something in my head. That’s ok though, there is always room for improvement and certainly learning.

To work on this, I have a board on Pinterest called Do a doodle doodle dumb doddle do where I pin examples and tutorials. Every day or so I try a few of them and thought I’d share today’s attempt with you:

Today’s pin How to draw a bird.

Doesn’t look to hard!

Here’s how it turned out.
Um, yeah. It’s a start? I know it’s not bad, but it felt very forced. Perhaps with practice I can make it a little cuter and less stickinthemudd like.

Are you learning how to do something new? How’s it going?

Friday Five – Resources

I’m not working on anything specific today (in the office alllll day) but I thought I’d pop in and share some resources that I use on a regular basis (after Google. Google is my first stop if I don’t know where to start with something). Some might not be new to you, but you might be surprised about what information is out there for crafting.

  1. Pinterest. I think this is a given for all of us, but if you’re not on yet, check it out. I pin all sorts of things so if you want a little of everything, you can follow me here. (Heads up, I go through phases of posting so you might get a bunch on doodles, then a bunch of color pallets, then a bunch of baking then more doodles etc. I pin based on what I’m looking for at the time.)
  2. ColourLovers. This site is amazing for color pallets, patterns, hex/RGB codes etc. I spend a lot of time on this site.
  3. Taylor Made. Not only does she do some fun DIY, but she does a lot about organization – which I think most of us can use a little help with when it comes to supplies and space
  4. Ravelry. This is an insanely good resource for knitting (which I don’t do) and crocheting (which I do all the time). Lots of great finds here!
  5. Lil Blue Boo. Ashley is amazing. I don’t even know where to start. I only wish I had the inspiration she does sometimes!
  6. BONUS! Pinster. Holy crap this girl is funny, while she often can’t get the pins to work, I actually sit and think about what might be wrong with it and in my head figure out how to fix it. This helps me sort out what might not be going right with some of my crafting.

Do you have a crafting website or resource you refer to often? I’ve started a list over on the Helpful Sites page.

Crafty idea – Sending Mail

Hi Friends! For our first project we’re going to talk about mail. I’m talking the kind that requires a stamp (or several) and takes a few days to arrive at someone elses house. Oh, you want to know what there is possibly to say about it? How about you can basically send any sort of paper or object (subject to the rules here) through the mail? Yes that’s right. You can send Easter eggs, scraps of paper, cardboard etc.

A friend of mine is going through a rough mental spot so I thought getting real mail would be a nice treat for her. What to send her though? I mean I have an endless supply of greeting cards and can make others, but I thought I’d send her something special today.

Somethings to note for this project: The minimum size for mail is 3 1/2″ x 5″ and the maximum size is 6 1/8″ x 11 1/2″  (here is the info on sizes and shapes of mail that you might find useful) And you can use anything! For today, I’m using a page from Yes and Yes’s 2012 calendar and going to make a simple trifold mailing.

Ready? Here we go!mail1.1 You’ll need:

  • A ruler (to make sure your mailing piece isn’t smaller or bigger than it should be AND to get your folds nice and sharply creased)
  • Scissors
  • Transparent Tape
  • Pen or Sharpie
  • What you want to make something from.

First things first. Trim the edge off the top and if you want the rest of the edges too. I trimmed the fringe and only the bottom off for this project and it ended up folding in thirds nicely. Next you want to add a little bit of yourself to it. I know my friend would love the color scheme and the design, but there were already some suggestions of what to do on certain days. I added notes to that. mail1.2 If you can’t see the notes, in the upper left, I changed “have a beer with a crazy label” to have ice cream with a crazy label”.

Then I saw that the 18th said to write an inappropriate haiku. Well friends, I LOVE a good haiku, so I think that EVERY 18th should be write an inappropriate haiku day. (I’ll have to come up with one later! I’ll share it on the Court is Crafty facebook page later.)

Then the last outside note I made was that “Every day should be Thanksgiving. Give thanks and eat pie!” I know what I added would make my friend smile and then I turned it over and wrote a more personal note on the inside. I didn’t photo that part because it’s personal.

Next I folded it up and measured to make sure I was within the necessary requirements. (Remember the address should be parallel to the long side to avoid extra charges!) Here’s what the front and back ended up looking like: mail1.3Last thing left to do is to put a little tape on the edges so sneaky eyes can’t pry (Also so it goes through the machines with less chance of incident. I used 3 pieces of tape about an inch in a half long), address it, and put a stamp on it! There you have it, use something cool to send someone a surprise in the mail.

(Photos are all my own. Any brands referenced are purely by chance of what I have on hand. If you have any questions you can leave a comment below or email me here. You can also email me if you’d like to detail a project you’re stoked about doing.)

Crafty Packing

If you’re anything like me, vacation sounds lovely and well not as lovely at the same time. The idea of getting away and having few commitments sounds divine to me, but too much down time and my hands get itchy and my pants get twitchy.

What is a crafter to do when she’s leaving town for an extended trip? Especially when she knows that there will be plenty of “down time” that can translate nicely into “crocheting by the pool” or “digitally crafting” while it rains.  Granted, I have a couple of books I have to read but neither will take me all that long to read.

Enter what I like to call “Crafty Packing”.

If you know you’re going to want (or like me, need) to have activities while you’re away, why not pack a few items to help with that? You can make postcards or notes to send people, work on portable projects and even build stock while you’re away! (If you’d like.)

Today let’s talk about making something to mail your friends/family to let them know you’re thinking about them while away. You don’t have to buy post cards while you’re out (you can and I do) and you don’t have to pick up stationary if you’re left wanting to send someone an actual letter. You can actually make your own if you’re so inclined.

While you can pop into any drug store or Walmart etc for any of these items, I find that my best crafting is done late at night and it’s generally not the best time to go out to pick up such things. I generally have a stash of the following in my carry on backpack with my laptop and crochet supplies:

  • Ruler
  • Small scissors
  • Glue stick
  • Postage Stamps
  • Scrap Paper/Note paper/Index cards/Sheets of Card Stock
  • A few markers and pens (I love Sharpie’s Pen for their colors and usability.)
  • Random stickers

(Okay so that list looks slightly like what you’d pack for a five year old, but that’s just fine.)

Not that bad of a list, huh? My backpack or other carry on bag has spots for all of it and if yours doesn’t, you can put the small items in a plastic bag and the papers in a manilla envelope. It doesn’t take up that much space and when the mood strikes, you’ll be able to make something fun. Why should kids get all the fun?

Come back later this week and we’ll talk about specifics to make something to send in the mail.

(Please note that any specific products mentioned are just ones I like and not sponsored in any way. If they were, I’d tell you and the opinions would still be my own.)