Monday, October 16, 2017

Paint by Number Tips

Since I have brought back out one of my paint by number projects, I thought I would share a few tips that help me move along better with a large project.

"Morning Run" by Plaid, shown below, is 16" x 20". So, there's a lot of area to paint. This is a lovely painting to work on during these beautiful southern fall days we've been having lately. I have probably worked on this painting for about four months total, and I usually only work on it a few hours each weekend.

I found that it's easier to:

*Paint sections instead trying to find one color to paint all over the board. Concentrating on one section gives you a sense of accomplishment. In this case, I have finished the barn and surrounding greenery, the tractor, both deer and the tree limbs above the deer.

*Paint dark colors before painting a small, intermingled section white, such as the white sky showing between the leaves on the limbs above the deer. The white matches the board color and you might accidentally paint over the white with one of the dark colors you're working with. By not painting the white section first, you will see the number - usually 1 - which reminds you that spot should be painted white. And it will be easy to locate after the dark sections are painted. ; )

* Regardless of what you're painting, paint over the number of any spot last. That will help you stay on track better. If the number is covered first, you will lose your place more easily. I also like to put my finger near the spot I'm working on when I have to look away to rinse or dip my brush so I won't lose my place. Working in one section, as I mentioned in my first tip, also helps you find your place more easily when you have to look away for a few seconds.

I hope these tips help you with your next paint by number project.

Have a nice day!

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

New How to Make a Fabric Yo-Yo Video

Hi everyone! I hope you enjoy this video tutorial about making fabric yo-yos. This is a very relaxing way to pass the time. Contact us at our Etsy link below if you would like us to custom-cut some fabric circles for you.

Have a nice day!

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!