It’s been a long time, a VERY long time since I last posted. I had abandoned this blog like I tend to do with a lot of my projects. I’ll get in over my head and instead of standing tall and facing the challenges I’m confronted with, I buckle under the pressure. This is a major flaw of mine. I had relegated this project to join the league of half-finished projects I’ve left lurking around. But here I am, back again. Confronting some of those personal demons of mine. I was presented with an offer to share a booth at a local street festival and although I held some reserve about trying to sell my art and crafts, I jumped at the opportunity to at least rid myself of some of the fear I have about putting myself out there. I didn’t have too much time to prepare, but I’ve managed to make a few different things. I wanted to create a variety, so I can get a better gauge of what people might like, and not. I don’t know where this will lead me, but I’m willing to see what it may bring. If all goes well I might try to make more things to sell at future craft fairs, Etsy, or at local shops. Regardless, I look forward to this experience and the things it will teach me.

I wanted to share some of the things I’ve made, but I’d like to apologize in advance for the awful pictures.




Knit dishtowels I made by taking 100% cotton t-shirts and using them to make my own yarn.


Some hair clips and headband I made using old t-shirts.


I recently started doing lino-cuts, and this is one is my favorite so far.


I made these knit purses a long time ago to try and sell, but of course I still have them because I haven’t really tried to sell any of my crafts until now.



Wisconsin state nail and thread art.

I made this following the wonderful tutorial I found at cookquiltmakeandbake. You can find the tutorial here, if you’d like to make your own, and if not you should still check out the blog because there’s a lot of great stuff to check out.


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Art Project from Dyed Coffee Filters

I promised on my last post, Using Leftover Egg Dye to Make Colorful Bunting, that I was going to show you another project you can make with dyed coffee filters. With this project you can make a simple art piece.

You’ll need:

-16″x20″ canvas

-dyed coffee filters (you can see how to dye the coffee filters with egg dye on my previous post)

-Modge Podge


Start by laying out the coffee filters on the canvas in an arrangement that you like. I made sure to use enough coffee filters so none of the canvas would be exposed.

Take one coffee filter at a time and paint Modge Podge on one side.

Then place the coffee filter where you would like it to go on the canvas.

Flip the canvas and fold the coffee filter around the edges.

Continue gluing all your coffee filters.

Once you have all the filters glued down, paint the entire surface of the canvas with a layer of Modge Podge to seal and protect your creation. Let the Modge Podge dry, and you’re done! Such a quick, and easy art project to enliven your home.

You can leave the art just like this, or you can use it as an interesting background to paint an image over. I think silhouettes of any sort look really good with this.


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Using Leftover Egg Dye to Make Colorful Bunting

I’m sorry it’s been so long since I’ve posted anything on my blog. Excuse after excuse fueled my procrastination. I won’t bore you with the details, but I’m back with a wonderful tutorial just in time for Easter! It’s a project that uses leftover egg dye and coffee filters. Today I’m featuring the dyed coffee filter bunting tutorial, but make sure to dye extra coffee filters, because I’m going to feature an art project you can make using those dyed filters, which you can now find here.

My dyed eggs.

After I finished dying my eggs (no matter how old I get, I’m going to keep doing this tradition because I enjoy it so much) I felt bad about just throwing away all those beautiful colors. I came up with the idea of dying coffee filters, because I had those sitting around but no longer use them since I switched to a permanent coffee filter. Then I had all these lovely colored coffee filters, but no idea what I could use them for until I came up with this project!

Dyed coffee filter bunting:

You’ll need:

-leftover egg dye

-coffee filters (I used 10-12 cup coffee filters.

-string (I used cotton string, but you really could use anything, like yarn or embroidery thread. Whatever you have on hand.)

-glue (I used a glue stick which makes it really easy and quick. But again, you could use any adhesive you have lying around.)

-rubber gloves (not essential, but if you don’t want your hands stained, I highly recommend using them. I had to learn this the hard way.)

After dying your eggs (I just used food coloring for mine) save the dye. Crumple up individual coffee filters and throw them in the dye. Dye as many filters as you want. Think about how long you’ll want your bunting to be, and how many filters it will take to be able to do that. My bunting used 18 filters. Again, make a few extras to save for my future tutorial, which will need approximately 10 filters (depending on the size coffee filters you’re using).

You can achieve different effects by experimenting with your dying techniques, such as leaving little bits of the filter sticking out of the dye for a tie dye sort of look. Or for simplicity, just completely submerge filters in the dye. For a vibrant color, leave the filters in the dye for longer periods of time (5 minutes or more) for a more muted color, leave it in for less time. When I was making mine, I wanted a wide variety of colors, so after making some filters a vibrant color, I wanted really pastel, muted colors as well. I did this by doubling the amount of water in each cup and dying the filters.

Take the filters out of the dye and flatten the filter out (this is the part where you’ll want to be wearing gloves). You’ll then want to dry the filters. You can lay them out on paper towels or newspaper, hang them on a clothesline, or however you want to do this.

This foosball table worked quite well.

Dried filters all the colors of the rainbow.

Once the filters are completely dry, you can either flatten them out just a little with your hands, keeping a crumpled look, or you can iron them on a low setting. I like the look of both, so I did a strand of bunting of each.

The filter on the left was ironed, while the one on the right, was not.

Fold, or iron, each coffee filter in half.

Next, you’re ready to attach the filters to your string. Leave enough string at the end to allow you to tie up your bunting (I left 2 1/2 feet to be on the safe side). Place a line of glue on the inside fold of the filter.

I discovered that using the glue stick was a really simple way of gluing. I had previously used modge podge, which took quite a bit longer.

Once you’ve applied the glue, place your string on the center crease.

Now you’re going to fold the filter in half again, sandwiching the string in between.  Rub your finger along the outside of the filter to make sure the string is properly secured to the glue.

Continue this same process of gluing to attach more filters. I placed them side by side, but you could also leave a gap in between each filter. Continue until the bunting is your desired length. Again, leave enough string at the end to be able to tie up your bunting, and cut.

That’s it! Hang up your bunting and enjoy. Now aren’t you happy you didn’t just throw away all of that pretty dye after you finished dying eggs?

Don’t forget to check out the other project you can make with these dyed coffee filters.

As always, I’d love to see any project you create using this tutorial. And if you have any questions feel free to ask.

Sorry I have to say this but…

–This tutorial is for personal use only. It may not be copied, reproduced or distributed without permission. This tutorial should not be used to sell the finished product without permission.-

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Yarn Bombing in an Urban Woods

Recently I walked along the river path that I haven’t taken in a while. I was thrilled to discover some yarn bombing that had been done. I only had my phone with me, so I took pictures with that.

These are pictures of a bench that had a cozy on each of its armrests.

Besides the yarn bombing, I came across some other interesting things I wanted to photograph.

I like when I see everyday items taken out of their context. It’s delightfully bizarre to see a roadblock amongst branches and trees.

The picture I took of this pothole cover doesn’t do any justice to the wide array of colors of the rust on it.

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Some Stitching and Drawings

I wanted to share the artwork I’ve created in my moleskine this week. The first piece is one of my favorites. It’s quite an appropriate combination of art and craft that I love so much.

This one is entitled “Kunsthandwerk” which means arts and crafts in German. This past fall, I had found some books being thrown away that I couldn’t resist rescuing. Amongst the books, was a German course translation book. I had no practical use for this and wasn’t sure what I was going to do with it. I made up my mind that I’d use some of the pages in art projects because it’s fascinating subject matter. I found these perfect pages that include art and craft course translations. I first crumpled up the paper and dyed it in coffee to give it an aged look. I then glued these pages into my moleskine. The piece is a combination of fabric, colored pencils, markers, pens, and stitching on this paper.


This is the backside of one of the pages. I like how this looks just on its own.


I did this piece after I had yet another dream where I encountered a tornado. It’s a collage from magazine paper and an ink drawing.

This drawing was inspired after I had just walked to work in the pouring rain. Unfortunately, I didn’t have an umbrella like this drawing has. It’s been snowing the past couple of days, so instead I’d happily take that rain again.

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Kitchen Accessories: Tutorials and favorite Etsy finds

I don’t have any of my own crafts to share today. It’s so easy for me to procrastinate! But even better, I rounded up some amazing links to kitchen craft tutorials as well as some homemade kitchen items you can purchase. I’m going to start with the beautiful, kitchen creations you can purchase to get your creativity flowing and to inspire you. And if you see anything you like, you should definitely buy it from these talented crafters.

Squid Linen Tea Towel by SquidInkKollective (I love squids, so I am infatuated with this dishtowel. This is added to my purchase wish list for my next paycheck)

Lime and Gray Wool Felt Coasters by fuzzylogicfelt

Fox on a Bike Cork Trivet by darkcycleclothing

2 hand printed bike pint glasses orange bicycle by vital

Wire Bird Tablecloth by studio35

Diana Camera Potholders set of 2 by happyfamily

Vintage Map Coasters North Carolina by JonathonWayneDesign

Do you want some unique, homemade kitchen items, but don’t have enough money to buy all of them? Well, you can just make some of your own! Some links I discovered for kitchen craft tutorials:

How to Make Tree Limb Coasters

What rustic yet elegant coasters you can easily make yourself (as long as you have a power saw, if you did this with a hand sew I don’t think it would be easy at all). I know what I’m going to do the next time I visit my parents, take advantage of my dad’s miter saw! This how-to was offered by ModHomeEcTeacher on Curbly.

Map Coasters

Did you love those map coasters, but prefer to make your own? Kelly Wilkinson offers a map coaster tutorial, along with some other neat projects, in her “Do-it-yourself craft projects as holiday gifts” article.

DIY Felt Coasters

You could also make these felt coasters featured on Design*Sponge by Derek&Lauren.

Alright, enough coasters.

Embroidered Mitered Napkins

This mitered napkin tutorial is another from Design*Sponge, but this one is by Brett Bara. This is a nice, basic tutorial that you could personalize however you choose.

Wool Felt Pot Holders

Brett Bara on Design*Sponge is on a roll, with this being another tutorial from her.

Patchwork Kitchen Mat

This patchwork kitchen mat tutorial is from SewMamaSew. Be warned about venturing around this site, it will suck you in for hours with all the great tutorials and fabrics for sale.

How-To Tab top Kitchen Towels

This how-to is from the always enjoyable, Craft: site. As much as I miss receiving their publication in the mail, I still check out what’s new on their blog everyday.

I wanted to give a big thumbs-up to all the etsy sellers I featured and also a very big thanks to all of those that shared their tutorials.

Bring some homemade touches into your own kitchen.

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Turning a Purse into a Camera Bag

For the past few months I’ve been checking out camera bags, but I haven’t been willing to fork over the cash for one. Anyways, I’m a cheap skate and the ones in my price range weren’t very attractive. But now my wishes have been fulfilled with this wonderful post I found on turning a purse into a camera bag! The tutorial was featured on Tatertots and Jello and you can find it here. I can’t wait to make this project!

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St. Patrick’s Day Robot

I thought I’d give you a little something to celebrate St. Patrick’s day. It’s a drawing I did entitled “Where’s the gold, little man?!” (you may have been wondering where are those robots, and what are they attacking? well here you go!) Enjoy your St. Patrick’s day.


Where's the gold little man?!

I colored this image with colored pencils, markers and a silver paint marker (hence why the robot looks a little funny from the scan)




The same drawing before it was colored.


©Leah Kyser 2011

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A Green Bracelet to Celebrate St. Patrick’s Day

I was so disappointed that I was missing another deadline, so I buckled down and finally created something! I brought kelly green felt with me to work today to make something to celebrate St. Patrick’s day. I had no idea what I was going to make, just that I wanted to make something out of that green felt. I looked through my bookmarks for a project, when I came across this The Chrysi Pin, from the Living with Punks blog. I love this large pin and felt it was the perfect project for the day. As I was a ways into the project, I realized the felt I had wasn’t going to work for it. It must be a lot thinner than the felt she used because mine was way too floppy and had no form. I ditched that project and felt like giving up on doing any project. Then I had the idea of making a ruffled felt bracelet! I came up with this idea myself, and thought I’d share it.

This is all I’ve done so far with the bracelet, and I might keep it this way, but I am considering adding a green felt flower decoration to it. I really like how comfortable this bracelet is. It was a quick and simple project that I enjoyed making. It’s going to be a good accessory to wear for St. Patty’s day!

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Delicious Food

I’m not very good at meeting deadlines. I was supposed to have a craft project to share with you today, but I’m empty handed. I had started a project last week that I had in mind to share today, but I didn’t get it finished in time. Instead of finishing it last night, I chose to cook a feast. Considering this month’s theme, that seems appropriate. It was a delicious meal consisting of baked macaroni and cheese, oven baked salmon, sauteed mustard greens and lemon bars. I’m definitely on a streak of running into problems. I tried to take pictures of the food, but my camera decided not to work.  I took some pictures with my phone, but they didn’t turn out very well because it was too dark.

It's a terrible picture, but that food was truly delicious!

I’ll share the recipes I used to cook this meal in case you’re interested in making any of them.

I found the macaroni and cheese recipe here, it’s from America’s Test Kitchen which is my favorite!

I found the simple salmon recipe from the Food Network.

And I found the sauteed mustard greens at Simply Recipes.

For the lemon bars, I was lazy, I used a box of Krusteaz lemon bar mix to make them. I’ve had good luck with Krusteaz brand products in the past and these were no different.

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