Clearing the Craft Room For Clarity

Apparently, I have a big butt-ache about perfection. I often won’t even attempt stuff unless it’ll be worth the effort ie. perfect. Currently, my blog’s newsletter, so long in the making, seems to have reached colossal importance and isn’t possibly impressive enough to send out as I haven’t reached any answers to world peace. Perfectionists unite. The nice craftroom picture from

But recently, I noticed I’ve found a way around myself. I’ve begun to not make lists and just do the stuff anyway. Say what? And with this method, I tackled a huge old To Do today. I mean a whomping hangover To Do from 6 months ago that I’d given up on myself for. And found such solace and clarity in doing so.Goals wall in my creaftroon on Shalavee.comI cleaned up my craft room. Because I know I can not create well with even the underlayer of chaos unattended to from long ago. Something about combing through and reacquainting myself with my former chaos that helps to move me forward amd gain clarity. And moving forward looks like me talking Etsy shop. Creating stuff and taking pictures that feel impressive to me doesn’t happen in a space that has layers of abandoned unattended unorganized stuff at my feet. Bad mogambo you know.clothespins on

All that effort was a choice. I had a blog post to write. I could have gotten a head start on Sunday dinner. But I stayed the course. I sorted through and thought about and re-boxed everything that was there. And I did it all in silence. Half because the baby was sleeping across the hall, and half because the time seems to slip by more slowly when there’s silence.

Homemade chandelires fom

I feel super. The random work assignment payed off. The job was pretty well done. The Fiona chandelier was finished. And for the unplanned scrubbing circles I made today, I feel like I actually cleaned a substantial part of the floor. Yay Me.

Paper Chandeliers

I was asked by the Reverend Sue Browning at the Unitarian Universalist Church in Easton, Maryland to spruce up the sanctuary with the idea of celebrating the new Fall season. After a quick perusal of Pinterest, I gathered some images together and made a design plan. Ish. I decided to create circle “chandeliers” which would hang underneath three of the existing candle chandeliers in the space. These were a few of the images I began to obsess over recreating to festoon my hanging circles.

map circle garland from

Map circle garlands

tissue tassel garland on

Tissue tassles

flower vertical garlands from

Vertical Flowers Garlands

And this is what I ended up with.

My paper chandeliers on

I used pieces of a grapevine wreath for the circle base and only spent a few dollars required to buy paint to spray them white.

The rest of the supplies like tissue paper, crêpe paper, maps from old road atlases, and the brown/kraft paper flowers, plus assorted scraps of paper (recognize Amazon wrapping paper?) were all in my possession. I just knew I’d need them someday.

My paper chandeliers on

Yes, I have lots of old ribbons too. So I began to produce quantities of the garlands and the poms to use. If I never made another tissue paper pom, it would still never make up for the quantity of pom making I can’t erase from my memory for this project.

My paper chandeliers on

My paper chandeliers on

After mostly pre-assembling the paper chandeliers and wrapping them up in sheets to go, the installation consisted of a giant ladder called a ‘Little Giant’, and an assist from my gal Alyssa Bennett, and about three and a half hours on a Friday night.

My paper chandeliers on

My paper chandeliers on

They make me so very happy.

My paper chandeliers on

And they made Rev Sue and a bunch of other folks happy too. Aesthetics win. Yay !!!

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And, as always, Thanks to you for your visit.

Ball Jars


I am amused, tickled, and sometimes irked at the resurgence in popularity of the Ball jar. I have always had a ‘thing’ for these glass canning containers. As a shop owner of a gift and antiques store, they were a staple. I always scarfed up box loads full of ball jars when I came across them at flea markets or estate sales. And I’d refuse to pay more than a couple bucks for a box full. As we come to find out, their uses are many.

Ball jars Ball jars blue ball jars

Personally, I did the sand/candle/jar combo on my cocktail tables at my wedding 11 years ago. And had hanging versions on a horse harness thinger on my porch like a chandelier. You have to put lids on them to keep out the rain though. I love the hanging votive versions and the jar of wedding flowers attached to a ceremony aisle chair. I’m especially drawn to flowers arrangements in the blue ones. And the light fixtures with lids in tact and bottoms gone are coolio.

We Love Ball Jars!

Jo Anne Fabrics’ ad for Ball Jar crafts

I’d say I am almost pretty much done with the recipe in a jar however. But the exception would be my friend’s “Brains” in a jar favor for Halloween. It was both yummy and really cool looking too. Raspberry brains, my favorite.

Jar of yummy brains

I also kinda like the drink with a straw and a lemon twist in the jar on a hot day. The pre-made jars of drinks in the washtub is nice too. The hose-clamp holders to hold them up on the wall is clever. Especially as planters, scissor, or pencil holders. Always about the sculpture with a practical twist. Same with the garden gate.

The glamor of the Mason Jar continues with pre-made Cocktails. No need for pesky bartender then. Ball Jars BALL JARS ball jars 3 ball jars

So the Joanne’s advertisement didn’t surprise me. The craft they used for the picture is a nice picture mixing scrap-booking with the jar.  And I created a self-esteem booster jar with a Ball jar for another post and of course, I think that was just fabulous.

So here’s to all the other uses of ball jars besides its official canning purpose. Because you know I’m terrified of the process of canning. What with the possibility of Botulism and all. Happy crafty time.



PS  All opinions welcome on this and any other subject you’ve found me pontificating on.

Self Esteem Booster Jar

I followed through an idea today that I want to share.

Sometimes people talk about artist’s dates. Or a day-cation. The initial idea is that you need a break, even a 15 minute respite, from the slave driving critical parent that’s usually at the helm.  The trick, of course, is to decide your worthy of halting the protestant work ethic record to listen to your heart. Because your heart needs to play or dream or do something else other than focus on production constantly.

My idea was a jar where I could put papers with happy tasks on them  to draw from when I needed  a jolt to my esteem or a change of perspective. I had thought this up a week ago. And nearly forgot about it until I was talking to a friend. When my husband and I were dating, we had a date jar like this. We’d put in places to go and things to do that we considered an adventure..

I made the jar today. And made up a few papers to draw from it. And when I think of more, I will run upstairs and put them in. And then I spent the afternoon pulling out my clippings and making a new scrapbook for the redecoration of my house. The hallway, boy’s room, my bedroom, and the dining room are all slated for overhauls. Not to mention  the unfinished projects everywhere.

This all means I have a reason to keep living. And hoping for change. What do you have installed as a safety for sanity? A regular therapy session or lunch with a friend? A dog walk or run at theY scheduled for tomorrow. Why the hell not?

Recipe for jar :

Mason jar,  horizontal card  or postcard,ribbon, paper and pen.

Add thoughts on what would make you happy for at least 15 minutes if you had it. Then add permission and you have yourself a beautiful jar of hope.

She’s Crafty

As promised, I brought the crafty. Wanted to give my friend’s sister something to celebrate her newborn. I love the keepsake box idea. Joanne’s had photo-boxes on sale. So I grabbed two, as I decided to make another for a pregnant woman at church. Grabbed ribbons and coordinating fabric and some batting.

Supplies included scissors, exacto knife, roller knife, ruler, spray glue, hot glue, iron, and the cardboard backing off a used up paper tablet. And the screwdriver to pry off the metal box label thinger.



 The trick was to figure out the design and then in what order to assemble it so you hide edges. The cardboard got wrapped and inserted it inside the top and bottom. I padded the inside bottom and the top of the box.

The ribbons tie in the front but if you turn it around, those bows act as hinges to get in and out quickly.


And so you have it, two very different yet unique memento boxes to save all that stuff you didn’t  know what to do with but you knew it was too important to throw out. Like the cape he wore in the parade. And the cards from the baby shower. That’s what I have in my box at least. And sadly. mine isn’t as kickin;’ as these two.





Happy Crafting and to all a good time.


























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