Did you know?

I recently found out that rubbing alcohol will release hot glue from practically anything!

I recently found this out while prepping for the last craft show I did. I used an insane amount of hot glue on a few of my projects and of course it got everywhere! After taking way too long pulling off hot glue off some glass, I decided to clean off the glass with some rubbing alcohol. Lo and behold, the remaining little bits simply released!

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Since then I’ve used it to easily remove hot glue from everything, including porous items like fabric.
I mainly use 91% isopropyl, so weaker ones may not work.

Rubbing alcohol is one of my favorite things, and now I have one more reason to keep it around!

so stinkin’ excited! (and other news)

Remember a while back when I said I was finally going to design my first fabric line? Well, I’ve had the designs for a while now, but I kept futzing around with it. I found myself stuck in perfection mode…couldn’t decide on colors, etc. I also took a few detours, did a few home projects and hand printed some things, in the mean time.

Until last night, when I finally pulled the trigger. I did it. I ordered a yard. Ofmyownfabricdesign. From Spoonflower. Yay, Me! Okay, it’s not a whole collection yet (baby steps), but it’s a start that I’m pretty excited about. I cannot wait till it arrives so I can make something with it. Which means you all have to wait to see it too, hehe!

I waited so long because of sticker-shock. Spoonflower is great, but it’s not cheap. The DIYer in me kept thinking I could do it myself. I am absolutely in love with fabric stamping and screen printing, but after a few days of printing and sewing, I realize that those media are a little limited for what I want, which is yardage. And Color. Lots of it. So I bit the bullet and ordered the durn yard of fabric and got on with it.

Here is a long bolster pillow I made using my hand-printed fabric… I just love it, but the printing took the better part of my day, while the sewing took me less than an hour.

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I am looking forward to listing something I made with my own design.  I do still plan on hand printing some items, but for the most part I will leave the printing to Spoonflower.

Speaking of the shop, I have been cranking out some new earrings. Apparently I won’t be able to leave them behind as I thought. It seems they are quite popular.  Everywhere I go people ask for the earrings. I have shops who want to sell them, so like they say, ‘give the people what they want!’ So here’s a shot of what my work table looks like currently…

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Here are some more pillows I made for my living room. Isn’t the one in the forefront just gorgeous?! The fabric is is a lovely Batik with gold embroidery. Yes, I think they are both gorgeous, but I’m partial to shiny things…The fabric in the background was one I fell in love with while thrifting.

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Let me just say, I am just simply in love with India. I love all things Indian. The people, the food, and the décor, oh my! Attending an authentic Indian wedding is on my bucket list.  I recently discovered a lovely blog about Indian Interior Décor. I have been inhaling everything on this site, taking in the visual feast that it is. Needless to say, it is really informing a lot of my design direction. In the future I see my work melding my African background with other ethnic influences to create a very rich look.  So excited!

long overdue

Yes, it’s been a while since I gave up some décor/crafting goods.  Sorry ‘bout that.  The sweatshop has consumed me of late.

Anywhoo, here are a couple of projects I did a while ago as part of my ‘bringing in the charm’ project for my family/craft room.  The room tends to be dark since it is situated in the back of the house under shade trees. It also had a lot of warm wood tones. In my attempt to work with the warm wood tones that came with the house, I had previously chosen this unfortunate shade of orangey-yellow (when will I learn that me and orange just don’t get along when it comes to décor??)

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A few months after the orangey-yellow mess, I went with a greyish-white wall, and ultra pure white trim.  I LOVE it.  Now the room feels light and airy, and almost scandinavian, thanks to all the Ikea in there. The white background is also the perfect backdrop for all my colorful crafty stuff.  I love color, but apparently not in large blocks.

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Since the family room doubles as my creative space (yes, it IS that big!), I decided to I add interest by hanging my large DIY word/wall art.  I  fashioned this art out of a $5 Ikea cabinet door  (gotta love the as-is room!) and some Amy Butler cardstock paper left over from another project. Lucky for me there were enough panes on this door to spell out the word “C.R.E.A.T.E.”  For this project, I simply used my handy-dandy silhouette cutter to cut out the word in various fonts.  I then attached the letters to the glass using glue-dots. Easy peasy!

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I also made some embroidery hoop wall-art to cover up some ugliness… Now you know my secret shame. My house is not perfect. Sometimes things have to be jerry-rigged to make things work, like this shameful randomly punched hole that connects our modem to Mr. AfroMartha’s home office.

So, behind this:

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Is this.

Just shameful.

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To make this project, I simply stretched some cute fabric that I had on hand over some embroidery hoops and hung them on the wall. Now when Mr. AfroMartha is not working, the cords are neatly tucked into the wall and the art covers the hole. Yeah, that’s what’s supposed to happen…

OOhhh, gorgeous! Etsy find

Is this simply not THE most gorgeous scarf you’ve ever seen?! I found this while ogling around on Etsy. The depth of human creativity and skill never ceases to amaze me. I don’t even have the kind of patience it must take to make something this intricate. Support the handmade movement, SHOP HANDMADE!

    Crochet Paprika / Dark Orange / Terra Cotta rustic scarf scarflette neckwarmer lace wool spring

    From VitalTemptation

    Crochet Paprika / Dark Orange / Terra Cotta rustic  scarf scarflette neckwarmer lace wool spring

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    Crochet Paprika / Dark Orange / Terra Cotta rustic  scarf scarflette neckwarmer lace wool spring Crochet Paprika / Dark Orange / Terra Cotta rustic  scarf scarflette neckwarmer lace wool spring Crochet Paprika / Dark Orange / Terra Cotta rustic  scarf scarflette neckwarmer lace wool spring Crochet Paprika / Dark Orange / Terra Cotta rustic  scarf scarflette neckwarmer lace wool spring

    This beautiful scarf was featured in numerous treasuries and blogs.

    Crochet Paprika / Dark Orange / Terra Cotta by VitalTemptation

    Mommy Guilt

    Dear Daughter,
    I know you really, really, really, really want me to make you that Pettiskirt for picture day on friday, but I just don’t think I can. I should have said so when you first asked me, but I really, really, really, really wanted to make it for you.

    You see, I do everything I can to get you what you want and what you need. The fact that I had no mother to show me the ropes leads me to bending over backwards, twisting, contorting, and yes, making promises that I shouldn’t just do make you happy. It is killing me softly.

    I am exhausted, bleary eyed, and still have a show to prepare for this weekend. I simply don’t have the time this week to make that skirt , show you how to knit, answer random philosophical questions, and anything else you may come up with for me this week. I need sleep, and help, not another project.

    So I am sorry. You will not have that skirt for friday. I hope this doesn’t send you to the therapist when you’re 30. Trust me, the world will not end, and you will still look lovely no matter what you wear in the picture.

    Love,
    Mommy

    O-M-G

    I just about hyperventilated when I saw THIS at my favorite thrift store today!

    This knitting machine is a toy I had when I was about 8 years old in Nigeria! I remember playing with it trying to figure out how to use it to make all those fabulous projects in the manual. It’s actually not a toy but an actual craft machine used to make granny-circles which can then be used to make a bunch of projects. I would often tell my daughter (who’s just a little older than I was then) all about this machine.  I don’t think I ever really made any projects with it, but I remember it fondly.

    Now that I have this machine in my possession I understand a little better my attachment to it. This machine reminds me of my mother who passed away when I was 9 years old . She used to sew and knit and do all these projects with me, and this is one of the machines we played with together. After her death and the chaos that ensued, I lost track of the machine. I have no idea what ever became of it.

    Fast forward to today.  I was browsing my favorite junky-pile Goodwill outlet.  Let me just say how much I LOVE this thrift store. I find the most obscure, usable, bargain-riffic items there! So there I was doing my usual browsing when this box jumped out at me.  It came with the original box (with the 1970’s pictures) and the original instruction manual! There was no question that I would buy it, especially since it cost me a whopping $1. All my memories came rushing back, and I couldn’t wait to show it to my daughter.

    I know that my Mother is not present in the machine. I know I don’t need it to remember her, but it feels like I found a connection to her, and also a connection that I can now share with my daughter. I look forward to sharing my memories and experiences with her while teaching her to use it.