Watch The Guilty Crafter videos!







I cook poorly, I craft obsessively and I love the look of a retro cocktail. When I am feeling guilty about taking time away from my family with my obsessions, I make videos about my guilt as "The Guilty Crafter" or I blog here. Thanks for stopping by!

Entries in Guilty Crafter (14)


Make Greeting Cards from Last Year's Calendar (Portland's AM Northwest Appearance)


Come Create With Me This Weekend!

Of all the many, many crafting events I participate in every year, Maker Faire tops my list of favorites. There really is something for everyone- high end inventions, fire, woodworking, metal, crafts, upcycling. You name it- if it's innovative and from the mind of passionate, creative people, it's at Maker Faire.  Never been?  Jump in your hovercraft and join me. I'll be showing you how to use Rit Dye to makeover clothes you didn't think you'd ever wear again. Bring a bag of your clothing donations and join the fun!


Guilty Crafter's April Fools Day Roundup

Over the past few years, I have really embraced April Fool's Day lunches. My kids are not fooled at all at this point but they do love to see what I come up with. If you search "April Fool's Day" in the search bar on this blog (to the left), you'll get more details on each individual food. Filling a banana peel with lemon jello, was a bit tricky, for example and you might need some tips on opening cans from the bottom to empty them out to add other foods. but since a picture is worth a thousand words, I thought I'd gather all the final photos I have so far for one quick, easy look. Click on the thumbnails for bigger images. Questions? Ask in the comments sections below:



DIY Friends and Fur Chairs

I am working SO unbelievably hard at finishing one project before starting another lately. I thought I'd give myself a pat on the back by blogging about what I'm working on here at our new home. Also, if I work on my blog, it falls under the category of "productive." Sort of. I am the master of procrastination through productivity. Avoid one task while doing another.  It's part of how I handle my guilt. It also helps me accomplish a bunch of random stuff while I avoid a whole bunch of other random stuff.

First off, after moving to a new state, my first order of business is always to identify fellow DIY enablers. I look for: paint on hands, a panicked look when someone thinks you might drop by their house unexpectedly and someone with a large van or truck whose eyes light up when you say you like going to thrift stores. I have found the best in my friend Shelllie here in the Portland area. She loves to treasure hunt at thrift stores, she is constantly creating things and she's generous with her ideas. So generous in fact, she's been texting me photos of random chairs from thrift stores lately because I *need* weird, random chairs. I just do. Here's the first one that has captured my heart so far:

Shellie not only found it, bought it for me, she even kept it over the weekend so Mr. Guilty Crafter wouldn't have to see it in it's natural state. I love the man but he has zero ability to spot a diamond in the rough (except me!). I have no sympathy for him having to be married to me. Very early on in our dating, even before he was my Boyfriend, capital "B," I bought a dresser at a thrift store and immediately realized I had over estimated my little car's capacity to hold it. I called him and asked if he could swing by and squeeze it in his car and bring it to me. It barely fit in his car either. He almost left it at the store because he, as he put it at the time, couldn't believe someone would really want something so ugly. P.S. We still have that dresser, completely re-done and well used these past 20 years.

Anway, another sweet things Shellie did was to loan me a book written by a blogger I hadn't previously discovered at The Nester's new book is definitely worth picking up but I'll spoil the main point because we all know this, we just need a push sometimes: when it comes to decorating, just do it. I am very often paralized by decorating decisions. I'm not even sure why. I trust my instincts on balance and color but it's a LOT of effort to repaint and hang things and maybe not get it pefect right out of the gate. I am trying to embrace the book's concept and not worry too much about perfection (which I never acheive anyway, worry or not). For this chair, I knew I wouldn't attempt real upholstery. I haven't got the skills or patience. Instead, I thought I could glue on some fur, inspired by some chairs I've seen on One King's Lane. Wanna know what I found when I googled this idea? The Nester! For reals, it's the first entry that pops up. How's that for fate? So, I more or less  followed the Nester's idea of hot gluing some fake fur to my $14 chair. I also relied heavily on my elementary school days when I could make pretty awesome frustrations pencils. Cost of fur was about $40 so the whole chair came in at about $55.

If you got down on your hands and knees and really inspected my work on this chair, you'd have a right to be appalled by my craftsmanship (or lack thereof)  but you know what, who is really going to do that besides me? Even Mr. Guilty Crafter thinks the chair looks okay... "if you're into fur chairs and weird things like that." Good enough for me.

Next up: The TV Wall Project (currently in progress):


DIY Succulent Birdhouse Garden







Yesterday, I had the pleasure of being a returning guest to Portland's KATU AM Northwest morning show. Last time I was on, I did a really simple, tried-and-true project. This time I decided to get a little more complicated. For the past few weeks, I've been admiring these beautiful succulent planter birdhouses being sold at our fancy grocery store. I linger over them but they are so expensive! Every crafter knows the ever-present thought: "I can make that!" and so I started planning. First, I Googled- I found a great tutorial on how to make the birdhouses from scratch at the Lowes Home Improvement website (here). Since I'm not a woodworker, I wanted to challenge myself to make an even easier version- and Lowes was nice enough to provide me with a special project account so I could go on a mini shopping spree. Score. Even then, my favorite item was Lowes' 98 cent wooden yardstick in the paint section- love the retro look and feel of them. I am definitely going back for more soon.

Anyway, a quick shopping trip to Lowes, a few side trips down the plumbing aisle and the hardware aisle for unusual embellishments and I had enough supplies to make 5 versions of the succulent garden birdhouses I have been admiring for well under 1/2 the cost of what my grocery stores (and some of the local nurseries are charging). Here's my video from AM Northwest:


 Just a few notes: I truly am brand new to gardening. When Dave asked me about keeping succulents inside, I should have dazzled him with amazing facts about succulents and how they thrive in full sun. Instead, I said the opposite and suggested shade. I should have also made sure to double and triple emphasize that the hot glue gun was ONLY to hold the rulers in place while the REAL wood glue dried. I used Gorilla Glue which is fantastic wood glue but it does take time to dry and with such a narrow edge (the ruler) to stick to the birdhouse, the hot glue served as a great way to tack it in place while the Gorilla Glue had time to work it's magic. But hey, I only claim to be a crafter- not a gardener or a woodworker so there you go. If you want to read about the behind the scenes chaos that proceeded the live taping of this craft segment, you can read: "DIY Succulent Birdhouse On Live TV: What Really Happened." In the meantime, another big thanks to Lowes- I appreciate your support... and maybe you shouldn't read the What Really Happened follow-up post... ;)


Making a Move Official


Can you believe I STILL don't have my crafting supplies out of storage?! What's a crafty gal to do when I KNOW the only real way to make an address change official is to send out adorable, handmade change-of-address announcement cards that take 4 hours each to create and are comprised of at least $20 dollars of embellishments per card? Luckily, having my craft supplies in lockdown meant I could (for once) BUY announcements, guilt-free. Yippee! More time to watch the Real Housewives of New Jersey unpack and organize my new home.

I simply zipped on over to one of my favorite time-suckers, and browsed all the change of address announcements. Once I found a style I liked, I endlessly badgered the extremely patient and talented designer (you can find her shop here)  to make little tiny tweaks and changes so I could have some sense of having "co-created" the cards "we" ended up with. Which is to say, I basically had the designer add a heart where the star on her designs were but I also had her move text up down and sideways a few times. That practically qualifies me as a graphic designer, right?

I sent the final digital file over to my local FedEx Office Stores (who are not sponsoring this blog post this time- I actually for reals like to use their services) and I was ready to smack on a stamp and send my cards out. Total time (including Etsy shop designer badgering) was about 2 days. That's how long I have been known to spend on ONE handmade card that might never even make it to the mailbox.

So it's now official. We have moved to a new state. I'm getting settled and it's nearly time to break out all of the tricks I learned in my former 1950's time-warp neighborhood and get my neighbors sharing cocktails and crafting with me a.s.a.p. Stay tuned for updates on my attempts!


How I Became "The Hardest Working Crafter at CHA"


DIY Chocolate Bar Note Pad Set

(subtitle: How I Bought a Candy Bar as a Gift for a Child, Ate it Myself and Still Managed to Look Thoughtful)

Here's a typical morning at the Guilty Crafter house. No lunches have been made, kids have crazy bed head and I'm convincing everyone that cold cereal is a delicious alternative to their prefered eggs and oatmeal. And what am I doing in all this chaos? Making a spur of the moment craft, of course. Out of trash and a little guilt.

Here's the backstory: my little crafter woke up sad this morning because she realizes winter break means not seeing her best friend "Peach" every day (don't worry, Peach has a beautiful classic name she can use when she becomes president of the United States later).  That reminds me of the really cool gourmet candy bar I bought for Peach recently. I bought it because the packaging was so cute and said, you guessed it, "Peach" really big on the front. The problem is, I realized AFTER I bought the chocolate bar that it contained ingredients Peach is allergic to. I really had little choice but to eat the candy bar myself (because I care so deeply about The Children). Got all that?

So this morning, I am hugging my sad little girl and I realize we should make Peach a little gift so she can write notes to my little crafter during winter break. As luck would have it (or I guess we can blame the natural hoarding tendencies of crafters), I had saved the candy bar box. With a few sheets of peach colored craft paper, an overly sharpened pencil (really, my little girl sharpened and sharpened it until it was short enough to fit in the box), a bit of ribbon and a hole punch, I whipped out a quick little note set. My little girl's mood was lifted, I salvaged the special chocolate bar purchase, Peach will get a little giftie and I got to eat a pretty tasty candy bar for breakfast- almost guilt-free. It was a success all the way around.

Oh and the lunches? A banana, a juice box and a really unimaginative sandwich. But it all got done in time for the kids to catch their bus. Crafty mom for the win!


Tonight I'm On Craft Wars!

OH MY JELLY BEANS. I'm scared. Hold me. Tonight is "my" episode of Craft Wars!

 I'll be posting a very mini recap tonight after the show airs and a more full-blown recap tomorrow so please check back. In the meantime, you can read the interview I gave to FaveCrafts here: I also participated in an online radio interview this morning with FaveCrafts Radio. You can listen to a recording of the show here: I gotta love the photo TLC released to Fave Crafts- sporting a crazy, exagerrated expression that is VERY me. HA HA HA. Love it.


Retro Jello Mold Dessert

I am interrupting my usual Craft Wars coverage for an important update: retro Jello molds are awesome.

I have one from Tupperware which I bought mainly because I was able to score a retro pale blue one which looks super vintage and cute. Yesterday, I decided to actually use it. It's tough making fun lunches every day for the kiddos in the summer, amirite? One box of orange jello and a can of mandrin oranges later and they were singing my praises. Add a few cupcake ballerinas that dance and jiggle on to the top of the Jello and you too can achieve the coveted "Mom of the Day" award. The ballerinas really are hilarious- don't skimp. You can find them on Etsy by searching "Cupcake Ballerinas." For example I love these because I don't have some of these colors (the seller handpainted these- cute idea!).