Pull Up A Chair…Let’s Talk Crafts!

I complained to my husband this morning that I had writer’s block, and desperately needed inspiration for this week’s post.

Two things to note here:

1. It’s not that I’m not crafting. I actually have more projects in the works than ever before, it’s just that none are really ready to make an appearance yet here on the blog. (You should see my work table!)

2. I’m also very distracted these days (you know…with a new baby set to arrive in T-5 weeks!), so sitting down to concentrate on writing isn’t the easiest thing to do.

Well, leave it to my sweet husband to give me the kick in the behind I needed with his response of “Nikki, there’s no such thing as writer’s block! You’ve never had talker’s block, have you? If your readers were sitting right here at this table drinking coffee with you, you ‘d be able to chat crafts for days.”

And, he’s right.

We’d laugh and share stories.

We’d exchange ideas, techniques, and favorites places to find inspiration.

We’d tell tales of crafts gone wrong.

And the entire time we wouldn’t be searching for topics to discuss…it would just come naturally!

So, let’s do it!

Today I’m throwing out three short ideas, call them “mini-blog-posts” if you will, providing inspiration for our crafty talk, and feel free to comment away!

Throw in your own two cents!

Agree or disagree…say whatever you feel!

Reply to other people’s comments and ideas!

Let’s just chat!

And who knows?

Maybe this will turn into a regular event!


Nikki, In Stitches

Note: I know there are a lot of you that read this through your inbox. To make it easier to comment, just click here, and you’ll be taken right to this exact post on the Nikki, In Stitches site! From there, comment away!

 1. I thought I hated the color purple.

I was asked to make a few custom cuffs for a boutique that carries my accessory line..all of which needed to be purple. So, of course, I looked to my fabric stash that literally contains hundreds and hundreds of prints in all colors of the rainbow…only to find 4 (yes, just FOUR!) purple fabrics, none of which I liked enough to make work.

Then I went online to search for fabrics (See “mini-blog-post” #3 below) and found two. Yup, I could only find TWO that I liked.

I was convinced it was my hatred for the color purple that was blocking me from finding fabric that worked.

Fast forward a few days, the fabric arrived, I got to work on the cuffs…and I fell in love!

I absolutely love how they turned out (that’s them in the picture above!), and have even made myself one…in purple!

What colors are missing from your stash? Which ones do you have to force yourself to work with? Is there a color you steer clear of?

2. Pinterest Problems.

I am in a love/hate relationship with Pinterest.

Sometimes (when I can put in a search term and get hundreds of great ideas that I love in return) I love it.

However, when I can’t find anything there that I like, I get frustrated…fast.

And to make matters worse, I get so upset when people don’t pin the link that accompanies the project. You end up just at an uploaded picture page, and then have to search the site for the project you’re looking for.

Please pin appropriately, people!

Do you pin? How much time do you spend pinning? Be honest! We promise not to judge!

3. I want to be addicted to online shopping. 

Online shopping is so hard for me.

I’m more of a “touch and feel, compare tones, get a good idea of scale” kind of person…all of which is hard to do just by looking at a tiny picture on my computer screen.

And it’s not just fabric that is my issue.

I’m making wedding invitations for my sister-in-law right now, and I couldn’t even order the paper online without seeing it first.

I’m that annoying person that always requests samples first.

Yes, it slows the entire process down, makes no financial sense, and is frustrating for the company I’m contacting, but I just can’t do it.

I need to actually see, feel, and compare before buying.

Can you shop online for fabrics, papers, etc. that you haven’t yet seen in person? Is this really something I should be complaining about? I mean…my wallet is probably thankful that I have this issue, right?

PS…This gently push in the right direction from my husband apparently was inspired by this post he read of Seth Godin’s. Although I’d like to thank my hubby for inspiring this post, I can’t give him all the credit. ♥


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52 Responses to Pull Up A Chair…Let’s Talk Crafts!

  1. Patty Wing says:

    I absolutely don’t like the colors orange, olive green and yellow and I also don’t have alot of purple in my stash. I only use those colors when requested by someone else.

    • Nikki says:

      Patty, now that you say that (and I turn around to look at my stash behind me in my craft room) I, too, am low on oranges and yellows!
      However, if you need any pink print…I’m your girl!

    • Kathy says:

      I love all colors and have them covered, just not in certain tones of the color. Oranges – burnt orange, rust, etc.. not clown, neon, etc.. Yellows are pastels, or ambers. Purple is pale lavender or jewel tones. Green is emerald, kelly or mint all others nah don’t like them. So it is more the tones of each color that is a turn off for me.

  2. Donna O'Neil says:

    What a great idea! I have perpetual writer’s block….and I also don’t have much time. I work full time as a catering manager and have a 5 year old and a 7 month old. I finally blogged about my daughter’s 5th b-day party that happened back in February. Anyway….I saw your post on Facebook the other day about hating purple. Purple is my absolute favorite color and I was nervous. Glad you found shades that work and that you made one for yourself. I love the way they turned out.

    • Nikki says:

      Donna! You ARE busy!!
      I think I made A LOT of people nervous last week with that post! (Afterwards I was worried I had offended some of you!)
      I don’t have anything against purple, and up until that point I hadn’t ever really consciously thought I disliked it…but it was sooooo very hard for me to find prints that worked, and I was beyond frustrated by the time I put that post up.
      Thanks so much for your sweet words about how the cuffs turned out. Like I said in the post above, I love them, too…and have also fallen in love with purple!

  3. kimba says:

    OK.. so I have been looking on pinterest all weekend at craft room idea’s, i would love a desk that looks like the link below.. i live in Michigan and i have no clue where to find one.. That desk is $915 bucks way too much.. so im stuck not wanting to craft until i find a desk like this one.. hmmmm


    • Nikki says:

      Oh, Kimba! That is beautiful!
      Have you thought about painting an old desk to look like that?
      I’m no “refinishing furniture pro” but I do dabble in it.
      I’ve used Annie Sloan’s chalk paint to redo a few pieces in my house and it’s really easy to use. (It can be pricey, but a little bit goes a really long way! I bought ONE quart over a year ago, and am still using it on projects!)
      Maybe you could find something on Craig’s List or at a yard sale and do it yourself???

    • Nancy says:

      Hi Kimba, I don’t know if you have a HOBBY LOBBY where you live, because I have seen something like this at that store. Also, have you tried looking at second hand stores, where they have higher end items. Might be worth a look and wouldn’t cost $915.

      • Nikki says:

        Nancy, Hobby Lobby sells furniture?!?!?!
        I have to admit, I have never been to one. The closest one is still at least an hour and a half away from me, but if they have anything like that desk Kimba posted, I’ll go!!

    • Lori says:

      Kimba, even if you find the top of a desk you like, saw off the legs, you can buy railing spindles that you love (cheap) at home depot or lowes.

      • Nikki says:

        That is so smart!
        OK, now I am on the hunt for a new desk, too!!!

        • Crafty grandma says:

          would you believe I saw it on-line at all of all places Walmart! for $759 Sure isn’t available at our Walmart!! LOL!! now I find it here!! It’s gorgeous but not at that price!

          • Nikki says:

            $759 is better, but not that much better!
            I still think with some yard sale hunting, a few coats of chalk paint, and some sanding, we could recreate that same look…at a lot lower price!

    • Genia says:

      Kimba, try looking to freecycle as well. There are a lot of things that people are “shedding” on freecycle mailing lists. You can usually put in an “ISO” and people will respond. I’ve given lots of things away that way, frees up my house and the landfills. Good luck!

      • Nikki says:

        Another great idea, Genia!
        I’ve used freecyle to get corks for my cork wreaths!
        See, Kimba? We’re going to get you that desk one way or another!!!

  4. Kim says:

    I don’t like yellow. Can’t stand it. If you look at my beads, my drawer for yellow probably has 3 things in it. On the other hand, my blue drawer is overflowing 🙂

    I don’t use pinterest much, mainly because when I do, the time sucking fairy jumps on my shoulder and does a little happy dance while she sucks hours from my day.

    I can buy some things online, but I really prefer to select my paper, beads etc in person. If I buy those items online, it’s usually stuff I’ve bought before.

    • Nikki says:

      I’m the same way with pink. I can’t get enough!
      You are totally right about the time suck that is Pinterest. But sometimes I just can’t resist!! 😉
      Sounds like you are mainly a bead lover, and I could NEVER buy them online. Maybe basics like crystals and findings, but anything other than that, I’d have to see and compare!

  5. Jerrie H. says:

    This is something that I might do…..Very much my style!
    What is the craziest craft thing you have ever done?
    In today’s post..I’ve commented on what was mine….

    • Nikki says:

      Jerrie…how much time do you have???
      I’ve done A LOT of crazy craft things!
      Some people say it’s putting knitted and crocheted blankets through my sewing machine, as well as card stock, newspaper, and torn pages from my phone book!
      Others would tell you draft and build bunk beds from scratch for my kids. (My neighbors thought I was a complete lunatic when I did that!)

  6. Lauren says:

    1) I have several skeins of yarn in my stash that were passed on to me by a knitter who was downsizing. the texture is gorgeous, but the colors not so much. one is a mustard yellow which is very hot right now, but not a color i like. the other is an olive green that just looks drab by itself. if I ever find the right yarn to pair it with … what i should do is just bring them to the next yarn swap in my area right?

    2) As far as pinning, I tend to repin more than pin from webpages. now that we’re deep in decorate the new house/ get the baby’s nursery figured out mode(s) i’m doing more independent pinning. hope i’m doing it right.

    3) i’m right there with you Nikki. i have a hard time buying clothes or shoes online, much less yarn or fabric. i’m going to have to bite the bullet though, I can only find cute Doctor Who fabrics online. wish me luck!

    • Nikki says:

      I know it sounds terrible, but I often cringe when people “gift” me yarn. First of all, it’s rare that they give you enough to actually complete a project. And second, like you said, it’s so hard to find a coordinating yarn. I do the same thing…bring it with me to a swap and continue to “pay it forward” or hoard it in my craft room 😉

      I’m a total repinner, as well!

      Clothes??? Shoes??? I could never!! 😉

      • Kathy says:

        I love when people gift me their yarn. I use it to make scarves, hats, cowls for the homeless. The goal is to keep them warm. If it is nicer looking I make a blanket for Project Linus. I’m on disability so too much time on my hands for the money I can spend to fill it. So any yarn given to me helps others that need more help than I do.

        • Nikki says:

          I did an event with Project Linus last year, and now that you say that, I think I will donate a lot of my yarn to them! I think they’ll get much more use out of it than I will!
          Thanks for the idea!!!

  7. kimba says:

    I loveeeee love purple its also my favorite color!! i have a hard time mixing and matching as well.. it takes me a long time to find something that looks well, i do better looking at others creation, and doing it in my own way to make it my own.

    • Nikki says:

      You should see me in my fabric shop when I’m hunting for quilt fabric…especially if I’m starting from scratch and not using any fabrics from my stash.
      I literally will swap our fabrics over, and over, and over again until I think I have it right!

  8. This is so me, too. It isn’t so much writer’s block as being unwilling to, to paraphrase Seth Godin, “write something every day, even if it’s bad”. Love you, love Joe, love Seth Godin. But mostly you. Also I really don’t like Pinterest. 🙂

    • Nikki says:

      I totally thought of you as I was writing this post, wondering if the writer in you would either love it or hate it!
      PS…Love you, too!

  9. Catherine says:

    3. I want to be addicted to online shopping. This one is a no brainer for me. I was just like you for the longest time. I had to go touch and feel before I bought. But then it happened, Wham I get first a Nasty lung disease (never smoked) that put me down and in bed. So if I wanted anything I had to shop online. And I did. But then I got better and I was back to shopping, touch and feel always better. Well 10 months ago Wham number 2, I am hit with a horrid bladder disease for which there is no cure. No more shopping, great I have at least 6 baby afghans to crochet and I can’t go out and buy yarn. What am I to do. Two of the 6 babies are a twin boys, my oldest son says mom make one of the afghans in Michigan colors (blue and gold), I sheepishly told him I don’t have yarn in those colors. He volunteers to buy the yarn for me, YIPEE! Of course while he was getting that I had him get extra yarn so I could have some for later. I sent him to Joann’s and told him what to get. He came back with the softest blue and gold he could find. Plus he picked out colors for another afghan for the twins. Good two down 4 left. I had to turn to the Internet and so far so good with finding just what I want. I have found Knit Picks and I love that place. I have a very special baby girl afghan to make and so getting the yarn for her is most important that I find the perfect yarn. What I do is find what I think is good,order one skein of each of the 4 colors and I pay an extra $10.00 and it is here in 2 days. Then if that’s not exactly what I want I do it again. I will use the yarn but in something else. For yarn I would prefer to touch and see but that is not possible. I am totally confined, I only can get out to see a doctor.
    Now besides yarn I get all kinds of fun stuff online. And so far only had to send one product back, but it was because of wrong advertisement. If I can’t sleep I usually shop!

    • Nikki says:

      First, I’m so sorry! I hope you’re feeling as good as can be expected!
      And second, maybe that’s what I need to do. Just force myself to do it, and then maybe I’ll at least find a few brands/sites that I can be confident in.
      Yarn I’ve actually done a few times…not often. I stick to the brands I love, and really just experiment with color.
      Fabric is what really scares me!

  10. Chrissy says:

    PURPLE: I think purple might be one of the hardest colors of fabric to deal with. Either the color is too harsh or too subtle, it drives me crazy. I don’t think it’s a hatred of purple (well at least not in general ha, ha).

    PINTEREST: I am maybe the one who is most addicted to pinning. I could spend every waking hour on that site I swear. I think my husband might be a little jealous hehehe. I will 100% agree with you that it is a love/hate relationship and that pictures with no link attached is the worst. What bothers me on top of that is you can’t post things from certain sites like Facebook. I do love love love how a lot of people are posting their own Pinterest failures. I think I have failed more than I have succeeded some days it seems…especially when it involves my sewing machine…we don’t see eye to eye sometimes haha!!! I’m currently working on baby clothes, quilts, and blankets for my niece’s baby girl due in September. Between my sewing machine and my silhouette, I might need a few extra prayers sent my way 🙂

    ONLINE SHOPPING: I am an impulse buyer to a T. If it’s on “sale” its probably in my cart. I have often regretted not getting a sample beforehand, but being the procrastinator/impatient person I am, it’s usually not an option for me. 🙂

    • Nikki says:

      Whew! At least there’s one other person out there that can feel my pain when it comes to the color purple!

      What can I do to help with both your sewing machine and your Silhouette???? Send your questions my way and I’ll send you a few prayers!!

  11. Nancy says:

    I love the color purple and have lots of fabrics and yarns in all the different shades. I love the bracelets and am glad you made yourself one.
    I don’t like to work with the color orange, if a project uses this color I have a hard time working on it. I also have never really liked the color yellow, but have 2 granddaughters who just love it so I have come to like it too, since I make them lots of things.

    • Nikki says:

      Oh! Thank you! I’m so happy you like them!
      A few of us here have also said orange and yellow are hard for us, too. Hmmmm…
      I wonder what it is about them.
      Is it that they’re harder to combine with other colors, maybe???

  12. Lori says:

    I love the color purple!!!! my fav actually my first leather sofa was eggplant color lol sorry I love purple.
    Pinterest I am addicted I could loose my day on the site it is the reason I craft also the reason my craft table is full of unfinished crafts.
    Now Nikki you know I am a on line shopper (shamefull) but I went to buy paper for the same sister in laws wedding you speak of and I understand you fear of buying that on line I couldn’t believe the difference in the feel of paper. All that being said if you need a personal shopper I am your girl 🙂

    • Nikki says:

      HaHa, Lori! I knew you’d have something to say about me not liking purple! 😉

      Paper is so hard, right? Just like fabric! I’m at the point where I have a favorite brand at least…the one I’m using for the invitations…so now I just worry about color, and how different combinations will work together. I’m making progress!

      PS…I want to come hang out in your craft room one day. You’ve got lots of goodies over there you’re hiding!

  13. JoJo says:

    Niki, I was so thrilled to find another person who would admit to disliking the color purple. I have such an aversion to the color and have a customer who loves it. She contacts me every few months with another request for matching pillow, quilt, wall hanging…you name it, she want it in purple.

    Finding nice purple prints in high-end textiles is an excruciating exercise for me. My creativity is suck right out of me by the little purple menehoonies. I’ve even tried convincing her to use more green, her other favorite color.

    Pinterest! What can I say, I’m addicted and proud to be! I don’t watch TV, don’t smoke or drink, am a vegetarian and I think one addiction is healthy! Pinterest is mine! OK, I have another; fabric. People (i.e. the owner of a fabric store) just keep giving me remnants and trims and I can’t turn them down. What to do when two guest rooms have been turned into fabric storage? I’m becoming a fabric hoarder. I’ve heard of hoarders, but until recently, never thought of myself as one. Everything is very neatly organized and guess what, only a few little pieces of purple.

    Have a very creative day and great reading all your posts,

    • Nikki says:

      And that’s exactly how I felt.
      My creativity was zapped out of me because I was struggling so much to find purples that worked!
      And HaHa! YES! You can have one addiction, and if the worst thing you’re addicted to is Pinterest, I think you’re ok!!

  14. Terrie says:

    I love how your purple cuffs turned out! I really like purple, although I haven’t tried using purple fabric yet 🙂

    I don’t use Pinterest very often because of the time-suck 🙂 It does frustrate me when I see something I like on Pinterest and after clicking on it, all I get is an image. Otherwise, I love all the inspiration/tutorials I find there!

    I don’t mind shopping online, but it’s easier when I already know the brand, or have seen the fabric in person and know I’ll like it.

    • Nikki says:

      Thanks, Terrie!
      And to be honest, I’m “almost” in that same place for some products.
      I have brands I like, that I trust to buy online. Most of the time, it’s the coloring that worries me.
      Are the swatches shown really true to color?
      What is the scale?
      How does it work with other prints?
      But like I said…at least I’m making progress! 😉

  15. Diana says:

    Hi, I’m another purple lover, and I hate orange, and (people are going to hate me for this) tan,and beige. My fabrics and beads are mostly blues and purples, although I do have some reds and greens. My yarn is mostly baby colors since I have done half a dozen or more baby blankets. I have three more to do. One in purple, by request. One that I have not decided yet, and one in brown and pink (as requested by the mother). I have bought beads online and have not been disappointed. You have to pay attention to the size of the beads. I bought fabric online once because I needed Tinkerbell and the other fairies for a special gift. I was very happy with the fabric I received. My crazy craft project ever, well I don’t know if this counts. We lived in a Townhouse that had a very tiny half bath under the stairs, and I felt claustrophobic in it. So I covered the sink area with broken tile to make it look like rocks, painted the walls green and glued artificial greenery and flower, and a few butterflies around the mirror. That way I was no longer in a tiny bathroom but a huge tropical forest. My family thought I was crazy while I was doing it.

    • Nikki says:

      Diana! We don’t hate you for saying that! Tan and beige really aren’t the most fun to work with, right? 😉
      I love the idea you had for your bathroom! I’m sure your family loved it once it was finished, too!
      PS…LOVE the brown and pink combo you mentioned! What type of blanket are you making? Knit? Crochet???

  16. Crafty grandma says:

    Since my gr-daughter loves pink and purple, I have learned to tolerate it. My daughter (at 15) once had her room painted fluorescent pink!! Maybe that’s why I don’t like ti so much. I am definitely a Pinner on Pinterest and I hate it when there are only pictures after pictures pinned – obviously the person doesn’t make much of an effort to find the site! I also hate it when you pin something which leads to a blog but a week later it’s a different blog! Aaarg!! I don’t shop on-line for the simple reason that I cannot justify spending $30 only to be charged $20-$25 shipping + money exchange (I am Canadian) and duty charges + tax. Hmmmm!! all that for $20? or filling out all the info only to be told US customers only! Aaaarg!!

    • Nikki says:

      Oh! What we do for our children and grandchildren, right?? 😉
      I’ve had that same experience on Pinterest before, too. It kind of defeats the purpose, no?
      And I do always feel bad for people out of the US when it comes to shipping and giveaways. It seems like in both cases, all of you are at a disadvantage!

  17. Amy says:

    I pretty much love all colors except for pastels. My favorite color is red, but I really don’t have much red. My stash is more of I buy what I like in the moment.

    I love Pinterest, but I hate when I have to search for the actual site that has the directions. I tend to now pin my own from sites I like vs other people’s pins.

    I have a love hate relationship with online shopping. I love what is available but I hate that I can’t see and touch what I’m actually getting!

    • Nikki says:

      Amy, you’ve brought up something I wanted to talk about.
      How many of you buy (whether it be fabric, yarn, paper, etc.) whenever you get the urge, compared to how many of you buy only when you have a project in mind?
      I “try” to restrict myself to only buying when I’m in need of fabric for a project. I let myself get a extra little bit to add to my stash for after the project is finished.
      I’m afraid if I just started going to the fabric store without a project in mind, I’d walk out with yardage of every print in the shop!

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