Arts & Crafts

New Satin Ribbon


We are finally getting our vast ribbon collection up into the shop!  Years ago, we'd dreamed and planned to introduce line of art and craft supplies to coincide with the quickly growing craft movement, and bit by bit we've been growing our inventory.  I'm happy to say we are now starting to release our offerings!


One of the first things we've added is a beautiful double-faced satin ribbon in some rich solid colors.  To begin with, we have 1/4 inch, 1/2 inch, and 3/4 inch widths.  It is sold by the yard, so you can order as much or as little as you want!


This ribbon is perfect for sewing, crafts, making hair bows, tying favor bags or bouquets, decorating for weddings, showers, birthdays, or holidays.


Shown here are several of the colors we have available so far, but keep checking the website, as I'm adding new items each week, sometimes even daily!  And if there is something you are looking for, just let us know! :)


See all our ribbons here!

Painting Al Fresco

Well, "al fresco" means eating outdoors, not painting outdoors, but This Girl's artistic process always involves the passion of a good feast, so I guess it works anyway.


Apparently, here in Washingon State, it is almost summer.  Sort of.  I recall last year that we never really had a spring, it just went from winter right into summer.  Last Saturday, the kids bought lemonade from a children's lemonade stand down the street, and had Popsicles in the afternoon.  In March!


I had forgotten how wonderful a babysitter a warm sunny day can be.  Being work at home parents, it is always a challenge to balance our workload while caring for our 3-year-old - to work and also give her attention.  Happily, this weather has tipped the balance a bit!


This girl is a PAINTER.  Throw her in some grub clothes and set her outside, and she'll happily go to town for hours.  While she does have a set of washable watercolors, she typically prefers craft acrylics.  I bring her over to my drawer of paints, and she selects her own colors - 10 of them, one for each cup in her plastic palette.


When The Boy was young, I bought a set of tempura paints, but neither of us were all that happy with them.  They definitely have their purpose, and I do still have them on hand.  But so many wonderful paints are made these days - they are inexpensive, easy to clean up (while still wet), readily available in an enormous variety of color options, and these days they'll stick to almost anything - paper, wood, cardboard, metal, rocks, flower pots, glass, and more.


She only started painting about two months ago, and I had no idea she'd take to it so quickly.  I have a lot of projects in mind, which I'll be sharing here over the coming weeks as we complete them.  I encourage you to try them yourself, in collaboration with your children!  Kids are like creativity steroids - they bring out the artist in you that you never even knew was there!


(These cards were painted by The Girl, and will be part of a future collaborative project...)

Shopping (From JaneneRenee)

Janene is finally starting to blog again on her personal blog! YAY! Check it out!

Venturing out today, we travelled up to Smokey Point to visit The Plant Farm.  We have a small list of local nurseries that are our favorites, each with its own unique strong points.  The Plant Farm has fish.  Dozens and dozens of gorgeous Koi.  Armed with a pocket of quarters, Ben keeps himself busy buying fish food to feed the hungry buggers while daddy shops.  There is something incredibly adorable about old fashioned vending machines a child with a fistful of change.  Amazingly, we did not leave with any plants this time, just temporary pots for our blueberries until they have a permanent home in the ground next year.


Full Post:

The Budding Artist!

Simple Chicken Stir Fry from The Weed Patch

Art is - or at least used to be - a major focal point in our home.  Janene is an artist of immense natural talent, although she hasn't had the opportunity over the last couple of years to pursue her passion.  So it was with no small amount of joy the other day that we piled into the car to take a drive, and ended up at Ben Franklin in Monroe - where we all decided that Ben should pick out some art supplies, as he has been showing a lot of interest in doing some art projects.

Simple Chicken Stir Fry from The Weed Patch Simple Chicken Stir Fry from The Weed Patch

This is a VERY good thing.  Because he has to sit still, if nothing else.  Plus, it's fantastic mom and son time!  

So, we explored the store for a while, and came away with several new art supplies.  We piled back into the car and headed for home, with Ben jabbering a mile a minute about both his new purple balloon and his new art supplies.  He was literally begging us to let him play with them in the car... 

Simple Chicken Stir Fry from The Weed Patch Simple Chicken Stir Fry from The Weed Patch

He knows his colors and his shapes (at not quite four, it's amazing how many trapezoids he sees, followed closely by parallelgrams - this boy KNOWS his shapes!), and he was so excited to be able to paint a rainbow.  Followed by random acts of color.  And some glitter.  And a beautiful masterpiece was born....

Simple Chicken Stir Fry from The Weed Patch

Simple Chicken Stir Fry from The Weed Patch


What are some of your favorite activities to do with your kids?  
What kinds of arts are you passionate about?

Crochet Popcorn Striped Bag


  • Cascade 100% wool yarn, 1 skein (100g) each of 3 colors (or similar weight yarn) I used #4129 (the light pink), #8834 (the darker pink), and #8914 (the lime green)
  • Crochet needle size #8H (or needle required to achieve gauge)
  • ½ yd Cotton fabric to match yarn colors (for lining & handle)
  • Interfacing, iron-on, lightweight and medium
  • Misc tools & supplies: thread, sewing machine, large-eye yarn needle, scissors, iron, pins, measuring tape.


Make the crochet bag:
Foundation: With color #1, chain 50.

  • Row 1: sc in 2nd ch from hk, and in each ch across. Ch 1, turn.
  • Row 2: sc in next 4 st, [(yo, pull up a loop) 3 times in next sc, yo and draw hook through all 7 loops (1 popcorn st made), 1 sc in next 3 st] repeat to end of row. You’ll end with three sc on this row. Ch 1 & turn.
  • Row 3: Switch to color #2. 1 sc in each st across to end of row. Ch 1 & turn.
  • Row 4: Sc in next 2 st, [popcorn st in 3rd st, 1 sc in next 3 st] repeat until end. You’ll end with 1 sc on this row. Ch 1 & turn.
  • Row 5 & 6: Switch to color #3. Repeat rows 2 & 3.
  • Row 7 & 8: Switch to color #1. Repeat rows 4 & 5.
  • Continue to repeat pattern, alternating the three colors, until work measures 11”.
  1. 1. This will make one side of the bag. Repeat process to make another side, making sure you follow the same order of stripes so that both sides match up. Final pieces were approximately 12” x 11”
  2. Lay the pieces right sides together, attach by crocheting together using a single crochet stitch starting at one side, along the bottom, then up the other side. Use the lightest of your three colors.
  3. Crochet a nice shell edge along the top: Turn bag right side out. Starting at one seam, make one sc. [Skip 1 sc, make a shell (make 5 dc in the same st), skip 1 sc, 1 sc], repeat all the way around. Try to place the shells so that they are centered above a popcorn stitch.
  4. Make the gusset: Turn bag inside out. Thread a large-eye yarn needle with your lightest colored yarn, and stitch across one corner, creating a triangle about 2 ½” from the point. Repeat for the other side. Now, when you turn your bag right side out again, it will have a flat rectangular bottom. Optional: tack the corners to the bottom or sides of the bag inside with some thread to make the corners lay smoothly.

Make the lining:

  1. Prepare fabric by washing, drying, and ironing, as appropriate for the fabric.
  2. Length: Measure the length of the crochet bag, then add approximately 2”, plus a ½” seam allowance. Cut the lining piece by folding the fabric over itself (right sides together) to the right length, then cut. This way you’ll only have to sew one side to create a tube.
  3. Height: Measure the height of the crochet bag, then add approximately 2,” plus a ¾” seam allowance. Trim the lining to this height, or better yet just leave it as is in case you need more length than you thought. Better to have too much that you can trim off than too little.
  4. Pin the raw edges together on the one open side, then machine stitch with a ½” seam allowance. This will create a fabric tube. Press seam open.
  5. Pin the raw edges together along bottom edge and machine stitch with ½” seam. Press seam open.
  6. Repeat previous step #4 above to create a gusset, as you did with the crochet bag, except use the sewing machine and thread. Press all edges and sides, then go ahead and pop the lining inside the crochet bag just to see how it fits. Note: The lining should be a bit bigger than the crochet bag, to accommodate the stretching and give of the crochet.
  7. Finish the edge of bag opening: with the lining still inside out (but removed from the crochet, of course), fold under ¼” of the opening all around the top, right side over to the wrong side. Press well. Fold an additional ¾” over, or whatever is needed to make the lining tuck up nicely under the shell edging of the crochet (If you had opted in step #3 to leave the lining as is, then just trip as necessary so that after you fold the ¼”, then the ¾”, the edge of the lining ends up in the desired spot). Pin it, then place inside crochet bag again to see how it fits, again making sure it has plenty of give. When satisfied, remove the lining again and press well. Machine stitch along the bottom folded edge, as close to the edge as possible.

Make the handles:

  1. Decide how long you’d like your handles to be, then cut a 2 ½” wide piece of fabric to that length. Be sure to include an extra 1 ½ to 2” for overlapping and attaching to the lining. Cut another piece for the other handle. Be sure to cut parallel to the bias edge so that the fabric is sturdy and won’t stretch. My pieces measured 2 ½” by 19”.
  2. Cut a piece of lightweight interfacing 2” wide by the length of the piece. Position on the wrong side of one handle piece so that there is a ¼” of extra fabric on each side, then press following manufacturer’s instructions on interfacing package. Repeat with the other handle.
  3. Fold the ¼” edge over onto the interfacing and press. Fold the whole piece in half lengthwise, pin and pres well. Machine stitch together, as close to the edge as possible. Repeat with other handle piece.
  4. Attach to the lining: With the lining still inside out, position the handle where you’d like it best on the bag. Pin in place to the wrong side of the lining fabric, and stitch – sew along all edges of handle overlapping onto the lining, like in a box shape, then sew an “X” in the box. This will make the handle nice and sturdy, less likely to come apart from the bag.

Assemble the bag:

  1. Reinforce the bottom: Cut 1 piece of heavyweight interfacing in a rectangle the size of the bottom inside of your bag. Cut one piece of lining fabric of the same size. Sandwich the interfacing between the wrong side of the fabric piece, and the wrong side of the bottom of the lining. Follow manufacturer’s instructions to fuse together. You now have a nice sturdy bottom for the bag to sit on!
  2. Turn lining right side out and place inside the crochet bag. Tack the lining to the bag with a needle and thread, using small, neat stitches all around the edge. Your bag is now complete! You have a few options for further embellishment, if you so desire:
    1. Sew a yoyo out of your lining fabric. Attach a favorite vintage button to the center, and a small circle of felt to the back for stability. Sew on a pin back and attach to your bag. This can be a fun embellishment to tie all the colors together, plus you can remove it to attach to your jacket, if you’d like!
    2. Use leftover pieces of yarn to crochet a few matching flowers or rosettes. has some easy patterns if you’ve never made them before. Attach to the side of the bag, or make removable by sewing a pin back as above.


  • Cascade (or other nice) yarns: Ben Franklin in Monroe, Main Street Yarn in Mill Creek Towne Center. You can get crochet hooks at any of these places too.
  • Interfacing, and other sewing supplies: Any fabric/ craft store, like Joann’s
  • Nice fabrics: mine came from Keepsake Cottage Fabrics in Country Village. They have tons of new
    springy fabrics in, it was hard to choose.

Copyright 2006 by Janene Tindall. Pattern and instructions for personal use only. You may not reproduce, make project for sale, submission to publications, or anything else other than personal use without written permission of Janene Tindall.

A New Spin on Floral Arrangements

Just in time for Easter, Janene brings us a simple "how to" on how to create interesting and unique floral arrangements that are sure to brighten your table, desk, or counter top!

For a new spin on floral arrangements, considering unusual containers as "vases" to display your farmer’s market finds in all their glory. Most any vessel can be turned into a container for your bouquet with just a little work. Scour flea markets, thrift stores, country shops, or even your own cupboards or recycle bin for objects that catch your eye. Some possibilities include tea cups and pots, old shoes, your childhood lunchbox, tarnished silver creamers/sugars, wire baskets lined with moss, glass light fixtures turned upside down, old tins or toy cars.

First, set a block of florist’s foam (for fresh flowers, not dried arrangements) to soak while you’re prepping the rest of your materials, so that it is fully saturated by the time you’re ready to use it. Next, simply line the inside of your container with plastic from a plain black trash bag, trim off the excess so it doesn’t show. For the flowers, I like to purchase a dozen stems of some sort of large showy flower, like roses or daisies, then I also pick up a bouquet of mixed flowers in colors that I like from a local farmer’s market to use as filler flowers. You could also purchase some likely looking smaller flowers like baby’s breath, greenery, little bachelor buttons or mums.

When you’re ready to begin, place your floral foam into the container, trimming and sculpting with a knife until it fits. If you’re using a bowllike shape, such as a teapot or urn, place a large chunk of foam inside, then trim the top so that it gives a nice rounded shape sticking a few inches out of the top of the vessel. If you’re using a box-like shape like a tin, cut pieces of foam to fit inside, then cut strips of waterproof floral tape to make a grid along the top. You may also use torn strips of masking tape like I did, if you don’t have the floral tape - you’ll just have to be sure to place your flowers so they hide the tape.

Now comes the fun part! Starting with your large showy flowers, trim the stems to about 3-6 inches below the blossom (depending on the size of your container), then begin placing them evenly into the foam. By placing the flowers closer to the base so that they are more horizontal, and the flowers closer to the top more vertical, you will end up with a nice rounded shape that shows off its pretty flowers from all angles. If using flowers such as roses, you may have to trim off some of the lower leaves so that they’ll fit into the foam, and watch out for those thorns! Next, start selecting some of your filler flowers from your bouquet, trimming them down, and filling in around the larger flowers. 

This is where you get to be artful - choose the colors you like, which compliment each other, and place them evenly around the bouquet. If it doesn’t look right, pull them out and move them around - the foam is rather forgiving. Be sure to make use of the leaves - they are great for filling in gaps, hiding bits of tape, and making the arrangement more full. Voila, that’s it! You now have a nice arrangement that should last for a week or more if you keep the foam moistened, depending on the age of your flowers.