How to Make Pretty Much Anything

How to Make Anything With Craftsy

So, I’m not usually so excited about a website that I feel compelled to write about it but I kind of can’t help myself. Mostly because I mess up a ton of crafts, most of my sewing projects, and I take the worst pictures on the face of the earth. Sometimes I wonder how I manged to get this far in the blog world. Think I’m exaggerating? Anyone remember my Christmas photos from 2013?

christmas portrait fail

Yup. I took that.

And this one, too.

Why I need to take a photography course at Craftsy. Right there, that's why.

This fall I actually invested in a Nikon DSLR and I thought that would solve everything. Umm….no. Because this…

Why I need to take a photography course at Craftsy. Right there, that's why.

Now I have an expensive camera taking expensive blurry pictures. Instead of the regular cheap blurry pictures. Yay, me.

And can I just talk about my super expensive Silhouette? I’ve used it maybe 4 times with varying degrees of success. Mostly, I can’t work the dang machine and if I magically get it going, it gorges on vinyl like a binge eater at an all you can eat buffet. I packed it away about a year ago after it hacked up some vinyl that would have been perfect at Halloween with all the jagged edges. I just wanted a cute little”hello” decal on the front door. I got this. In March.

Why I need to take a photography course at Craftsy. Right there, that's why.

Nothing says “Welcome to the Bates Motel” quite like a Silhouette fail. We have a nice wreath now. Wreaths, I can do. Because we want people to think we’re a nice normal family and all.

And do we even need to talk about my sewing skills? Or lack there of. I don’t know what it is about sewing but it freaks me out. I have a sewing machine and I’m terrified of it. For good reason. It eats up fabric and twists the thread so completely that it looks like a fur ball landed on the back of my fabric. Not as gross but just as messy. Every time. Good thing I take blurry photos so you can’t actually see the puckers and threads everywhere.

So one fine day, I’m working hard at….Fine. I’m procrastinating and I decide to look up online photography classes and I stumbled my way into Craftsy.

Craftsy Digital Photography Course
Craftsy

Three hours later, I lifted my head to realize I had 13 classes on my wishlist and 11 in my cart. Not. Even. Joking. I get a little crazy like that. Some would call it “obsessive”, I prefer the term “dedicated life long learner”. More purposeful and less crazy sounding. Pretty much I wanted to learn all the things all at the same time.

I don’t know where I’ve been and how I didn’t learn about Craftsy earlier. Maybe it’s good that I didn’t know this existed back when I had the full time day job or I would have called in sick a lot more. They have over 1000 courses and the most reasonable pricing I’ve seen anywhere. Which is why I have 22 more courses lined up. Maybe more. Don’t judge.

Want to learn to draw? Make jewelry? Sew, knit, crochet, or embroider? They’ve got that. How about cooking? Gardening?  Craftsy has that, too. You can even learn to build things like cabinets or built-ins. Where have these guys been all my life?

Craftsy teaches just about anything you want to learn.
Learn To Make Built-Ins

And then it got even more fun. I stumbled into courses that seemed perfect for bloggers. Like this Product Photography class. Yes, please. This hit my shopping cart so fast the instructor probably has whiplash. Because my close up shots just plain suck. If there’s a photography gene, I don’t have it.

product photography
Product Photography

Just when I thought I could settle down and actually start the classes I bought, I found the supplies page. I feel like I hit the mother load that day. Fabric, yarns, tools, notions, and pretty much anything else I needed without having to put on pants and drive to the craft store.

Craftsy Sewing Kits
Supplies

They even have full kits if you find a project you like. No more measuring and miscalculating. Because I’m a kind of a fail at the best of times. Ask me how much fabric I had leftover from my dining room windows….7 yards. I used 1 yard for three windows. Just a small miscalculation there.

Craftsy kits take the guess work out of measuring and calculating supplies.
Crochet Kits

There are patterns, too, that you can buy on Craftsy from independent designers. You don’t need to know how many patterns I’ve downloaded. Which is pretty silly since I can’t really sew. Yet.

I’m halfway through my photography course and I love it! I like that you can stop the course, go at  your own pace (for me that would be sloooooowwww because I literally know nothing about my camera), and can come back to lessons any time I need them. Once I’m finished, I’m going to work on learning to sew the right way. I’ve already figured out how to do it wrong so this will be refreshing. I’ll even be able to take pictures when I’m done 😉

Craftsy is insanely addictive so it’s a good thing the prices are reasonable and go on sale regularly. While we’re on the subject, Craftsy is having a couple of sales in the next few weeks:

Dates: January 16-18
Offer: Select new Craftsy classes will be on sale

Dates: January 29-31
Offer: Craftsy supplies will be on sale

Sign up for the newsletter when you visit the site and you’ll be able to keep an eye on courses and supplies to grab them when they go on sale. Because we like sales around here and saving money and all that good stuff.

 

Craftsy

 

I liked Craftsy so much that I became an affiliate which does not mean that I’m stalking them. Okay…I’m sort of stalking but it also means that I receive a small commission if you purchase something. This allows me to feed my impossibly picky eaters and learn to work my camera and sewing machine so that things actually work out. 

Learn How to Do Pretty Much Anything With Craftsy

 

 

 

 

Super Easy DIY Faux Roman Shades

Before I start telling y’all about this project, I should share how much I hate sewing.  HATE IT!  A few years ago I acknowledged defeat and gave my machine away vowing never to sew again.  Well, I caved and bought a cheap-o sewing machine from Walmart over the labor day weekend.  As usual, it was all about being thrifty.  I’d been prowling local stores Etsy looking for new throw pillows and I can’t bring myself to cough up $40 and up for a pillow.  So (sew?) here I go again with the darn sewing machine.  And here’s the latest project at Cottonwood Drive…….

We moved to our new house at the end of June and the new dining room and landing windows have been bare since then.

Not a big deal since they let in some nice light and that side of the house is pretty private but I’ve been obsessing over adding some kind of window treatment to cute them up. I had a ton of extra fabric I from re-covering my dining room chairs.  (Read all about that adventure here).  I didn’t really know how to calculate yardage so I bought way too much and it’s just been sitting in the basement since then.  I also bought an iron along with my sewing machine since I thought I lost them in the move.  Found the irons the day after I bought the new one.  I now have three irons.  Yay, me and my fabulous organization skills.

I had very little idea of what I was doing and my sewing skills are pretty basic so I thought I would just measure the windows on the inside of the frames and sew a basic square the size of the windows.  And that’s exactly what I did.

I measured 21×21 inches and ironed down the sides where I would sew the seams.  After a few miscalculations….(ummm, I may have forgotten to calculate extra measuring to accommodate the curtain rod!), I had three small squares for the dining room windows and a big one for the landing.  I sewed the hems in a (mostly) straight line on all four sides and they were ready. Easier than I thought.  If you really hate sewing as much as I do and don’t want to attempt it, iron in hemming tape would have worked just fine, too.
I used tension rods that I already had on hand.  I was planning to use them to store ribbons in my craft room at one point but I don’t’ have a craft room any longer.  Really.  They were just sitting there begging for my attention.

Pushed the rods through the fabric and mounted them on the insides of the windows.

Cute, right?
Except they bugged me a little bit.  Until I dug out a few more rods and mounted them as well and draped the fabric over them.

Perfect!  Little faux Roman shade window treatments.  Since they don’t need to close for privacy, I figured this was the perfect solution.  I used two rods for draping the large window and one for the little ones. 
Love!  Cuteness factor went way up.