Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Finished 20 Cat Quilt Blocks

I finished the first 20 cat quilt blocks. There are five of each blocks shown. I'll make the two quilt tops from these as soon as I have time. My goal is to have these completed by the end of June. They should be small lap quilts so they can be quilted quickly.

Have a nice day!

Monday, April 17, 2017

Cat Quilt Tops in Progress

I spent three weekends cutting these 380 (mostly) tiny pieces to make 40 cat quilt blocks. I finally got to start piecing the quilt blocks this past weekend. Piecing those ears is a pain in the rear! But after messing up five of these sections and starting over, I was finally able to get about half of 20 blocks finished for two quilt tops. Since, it will probably be June or so before I finish these, I used some of my Christmas fabric to create these tops, which I will sale on Etsy. That way, you ladies will have time to quilt these tops for Christmas.

380 pieces

Block layout

Half of 20 cat quilt blocks are completed

Have a nice day!

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

How Crafting Affects Your Brain

I have always been aware of how crafting helps me relax, unwind, mentally focus and stay mentally alert. Crafting psychologically benefits me in many ways. I became curious about whether crafting does or can help others in the same way. Below is what I found out.

Research is discovering that crafting helps many people in the ways I mentioned above and that crafting may also delay or eliminate dementia. Science has discovered that the brain is active instead of static as originally believed. That means the brain can adapt as we age and not lose power and flexibility after we reach our 20s as was the common belief for so long. Crafting and other leisure activities such as reading, working crossword puzzles and cooking also help with this age adaptation.

Crafting allows us to meditate, which naturally reduces stress and fights inflammation. Since crafting is pleasurable, it also releases a neurotransmitter known as dopamine, the body's natural anti-depressant. The brain can only concentrate on one thing at a time. So, while concentrating on crafting, your brain won't think about things such as pain or hunger.  However, you use many parts of your brain while concentrating on that one thing. Crafting requires the use of your memory, attention span, visuospatial processing, creative and problem-solving abilities which helps fight that aging process and memory loss as mentioned earlier.

Finishing a craft improves your self-efficacy so your brain can be prepared for the many other challenges life throws at you. You'll feel capable of handling difficult situations, in other words. You believe in yourself.

It's no wonder I feel so great! Regardless of what you may have heard, crafting isn't a silly waste of time. Crafting actually builds brain awareness, reduces painful inflammation and is a natural anti-depressant among so many other positive attributes crafting offers. Get started right away so you can feel better soon! It's the best therapy you'll ever receive.

Have a nice day!

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Crafting to Overcome Bad Habits and Addictions

Bad habits and addictions can be difficult to overcome even if you're under the supervision of a professional. Hobbies, such as crafting, can help you win the battle. Sewing, quilting, tatting, cross stitching, plastic canvas projects, latch hooking, doll making, crewel embroidery, knitting, crocheting, beading, looming, woodworking, jewelry making, paint and pencil by number and so many more crafts keep your mind occupied and your hands busy. A few great places to find kits and supplies are,,,,, Search for "Craft Supplies" in your favorite search engine for all the possibilities. For a more specific search, such as quilting, search for something like "Quilting Supplies",  "Quilting Craft Supplies" or "Quilt Kits".

Begin with small projects and work your way up to larger projects. Keep finished projects for yourself, give them as gifts or sell them!

Kits are usually the easiest projects especially if you're trying to learn a new craft or are strapped for time. They have everything you need to complete the project including the instructions. You can usually contact the manufacturer, as well, if you don't understand any part of the instructions or if you find that some of the pieces are missing from the kit.

Whether you're trying to stop biting your nails, quit smoking, lose weight or overcome something much worse, I think you'll find that crafting is a great way to help you win your personal fight against bad habits and addictions. I hope you'll at least give it a try. I have provided lots of free lessons and tips on this blog and my sister blog at Keep watching for more craft lessons and tips.

Have a nice day!

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

ECC Website Update

Hi everyone!

I just dropped by to let you know that the ECC website has been taken down. I have redirected to the blog, so don't be surprised that you have arrived at the blog instead of the website. There are going to be many broken links for a while until I make all the modifications from the website to the blog. I operated the website for seven years so this may take quite some time to complete the link updating/removal process. Thanks so much for your patience. In the meantime, if there's some information you're anxious to have updated, just leave me a comment in that particular post and I'll make that change for you as soon as possible.

Have a nice day!

Thursday, February 16, 2017

Project Review of Finished Riolis Beaded Heart Embroidery

I started this project one Saturday afternoon and finished it the following Wednesday afternoon. It probably took less than 10 hours total to complete. There were only two colors of metallic floss and two colors of beads, so it's definitely a must-have if you're looking for a quick and simple project. This kit came with everything needed to complete the project. Again, more than enough floss and beads than you'll need to finish the project. I bought this kit at Hobby Lobby. You may be able to find it online by typing in Riolis Embroidery Kit 1354.

I didn't have time to press it before taking the picture. Sorry about that. I will press it eventually for a project I want to make with all of my small finished embroidery and cross stitch projects.

Have a nice day!

Thursday, February 9, 2017

Nativity Cross Stitch Project

I started this cross stitch project after Thanksgiving and forgot to post it! I found the photos and thought I'd go ahead and share them with you. This is a huge project and may take me a couple of years to finish but I'll keep working on it until it is. One thing you'll learn from me is to never give up. I may stop to work on another project but I'll eventually come back to work on it again.

A glimpse of the project before I began

All the floss after separating it.

The first progress picture I took. I did more after this picture was taken.

This is the section I was working on in the picture above.

Have a nice day!