Got some mis-matched glasses? Recycle as you ring in the new year with these cool tall glass tea light holders from Instructables and laxap.

 More goodness from Instructables Best of 2009 lists....

Top Rated
Most Commented
Most Viewed
Best of Category

The most popular projects at Cut out and Keep

Current Hottest New Topics on Craftster

Me and my tribe (sister Norah and daughter Holly) are volunteering to run the Pictures with Santa booth at the Petsmart on Craig & MLK this Sunday 12/20 from 10AM to 4PM. Bring your furry buddy out for a holiday memory and support the best animal rescue group in the city. HCWS works on the principal that "an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure." The majority of their funds are spent on spay and neuter programs to ultimately lower the number of pets needlessly put down every year in the Las Vegas valley.

From the HCWS website:
Heaven Can Wait Animal Society, a non-profit 501 (c)(3) animal humane organization,  was formed in 2000 by a group of 5 concerned citizens with the lofty goal of building a beautiful 20 acre sanctuary to house all of the unwanted animals in our community.  In the meantime, animals were and still are dying at rate of around 30,000 per year in our local shelters while many more simply die on streets.  Therefore, we decided to refocus our efforts away from rescue and more into promoting spay/neuter as the solution to our pet overpopulation problem here in Las Vegas.
We learned early on that spay/neuter was one of the prominent common denominators that other successful cities and states have used to reduce euthanasia in their shelters and since have focused heavily in this area. Through simple spay and neuter surgeries, thousands of unwanted litters are prevented each year in our community. 
During the past 7 years we have spay/neutered close to 40,000 cats and dogs.  Last year, because of the Nevada Community Foundation’s assistance, we were able to sterilize an unbelievable 7,745 animals! We also placed close to 900 cats and dogs through our adoption programs.  Amazingly, we do all of these great things without even having a public facility!

Heaven Can Wait - Feral Cat Clinic

The latest and greatest news is that we will be opening a spay/neuter clinic location in the City of Las Vegas this June.  This clinic will serve as a much-needed resource for those who aren’t able to afford sterilization services at regular veterinary prices.  We are also working on securing a permanent clinic location in the City of Henderson.  On April 19th a resolution was introduced to award Heaven Can Wait a 2.4 acre parcel of land adjacent to their shelter for the purpose of building an even larger spay/neuter clinic and office facility.  If passed on May 19th we will then sign a 50-year lease at $39 a year and will have 6 years to plan and begin construction on our future.
In addition to focusing on animal spay and neuter programs, Heaven Can Wait successfully operates several additional programs aimed at reducing animal suffering and euthanizations through educational and rehabilitation programs throughout the community.

I think after reading that you'll agree that their approach makes sense for both people and animals. Come out out and give them a few bucks!

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]

Sew, Mama, Sew has once again posted their Handmade Holidays series for 2009. You can also access the master lists for 2007 and 2008. All of the projects on these lists are fairly easy to sew and none of them are large investments of time or materials.

REMEMBER: These projects are most likely PERSONAL USE ONLY.  Do pay attention to the maker's copyright/terms of use and respect them. 

All images are copyright the respective authors.

Here's a few of my favorites from 2010:

Image from Threadsmagazine. com

In the sewing and especially the quilting world, there's always some great new gadget that is supposed to save you time or money. Most often, they hardly get used once you get them home or they don't work as advertised. This rotary cutter sharpener I bought about 10 years ago is a different story entirely. I was just sharpening the blade - probably for the 50th time in the last 10 years .... and I was thinking what a good investment this sharpener was. New blades are a whopping $5-10 each ... but I haven't bought one in over 10 years. Yes, you read that right, Ive been resharpening the same two blades for 10 years. I have one I use for paper and one for fabric. Now, I used to spend over $100 a year on blades. Since I bought this sharpener,  I've bought a new sanding disc once or twice at about $8 each time. The sharpener was about $15 to begin with. Let's do the math ... over $1,000 in those 10 years compared to $31. That's over $900 I can spend on something better ... like fabric!

All in all, a GREAT money saving investment for anyone who uses a rotary cutter.

Here's an article on how to use the sharpener.

Here's one of the many sharpeners on the market.
Reblog this post [with Zemanta]

Here's my next two classes at UNLV educational Outreach.

       Curves (when used with adjustment layers and masks) are the most powerful and flexible, but least understood, editing feature in Photoshop. By the end of this workshop, you will understand exactly what the lines mean and how to analyze a photo to create a curve to fix common photos issues such as underexposure, color casts, dull color, washed out skies, faces in shadow, and a myriad of other problems in a few clicks. This workshop is not held in a computer lab.  Students may bring their personal laptops with Photoshop CS4 to the workshop if they wish to follow the topics that are being presented. .3 CEU
       Prerequisite: Basic knowledge and experience in using Photoshop.  Adobe Photoshop - Level I completion is recommended for those students without prior background.        

Krystal Hosmer
Wed. 5:45-8:45pm, Jan. 13
UNLV Paradise Campus (PAR) Room 107
$69 Includes parking permit and CEU    

        Everyone is "tweeting" about Twitter, but what is it good for? Discover how this social media application can become a powerful and free tool to grow your business and customer base by keeping your customers informed and by spreading your brand's message virally. Open another avenue to build relationships with targeted audiences while you explore how other companies are using Twitter. Learn what your business should and should not tweet, and learn how to build a following of users that want to hear from you and your organization. This class is not held in a computer lab. .3 CEU
       Prerequisite: Basic knowledge of the Internet is required. Experience with online chat and other social media applications is helpful.
Krystal Hosmer

Wed. 5:45-8:45pm, Jan. 20
UNLV Paradise Campus (PAR) Room 107

$69 Includes parking permit and CEU (1 session)

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]

This ring was going to be THE Christmas present for someone in my life. That person decided to remove himself from the scene before the ring was done. Since it wasn't a small amount of money, I went back to the ring's creators - the very wonderful Minter and Richter Designs and asked politely if I could get a partial refund on the custom order.

It's based on their King's Ring design, but I asked to have it made with a red and blue inlay bands, so the result would be an elegant, patriotic ring for a former Navy man. As you can see, their talent is astonishing, but more importantly their service and manner is both professional and fair. Minter replied that although they could not offer a refund as the ring was 3/4 complete and their store policies clearly state that there are no refunds on custom orders, given the situation, they would give me half the cost as a store credit. I feel this is a more-than-fair compromise in a situation no one is happy with.

Please see her email below for a great example of customer service that we can all learn from:

Hello! Sorry, I didn't get back to you yesterday. I am afraid that we cannot refund custom work. Please see our policies. We have already almost finished the ring and it is not just the materials but our labor as well. This is a very difficult ring to make as well since it has a cross cut inlay. On top of this, we made it a rush order so that you would have it in time for Christmas.

I do, however, understand your predicament and can offer you a $100.00 gift certificate (or the cost of one ring under $100.00). See below. You could use it towards a ring for yourself instead or for a friend. It will not expire and is valid as long as we are alive and making rings. Or, I can go ahead and mail you the ring when it is finished.

I am truly sorry. Break ups are hard enough without having to lose money on top of it. If we had not already made 3/4's of the ring by the time I heard from you, I absolutely would have made an exception and refunded your money.

Warm regards,


Things happen and life changes on you. Remember that it can change on your customers, too. I think it's always a good policy to try to find a win-win answer when dealing with a customer issue.

Please feel free to share your customer service stories, both positive and negative, below. 
Reblog this post [with Zemanta]

image courtesy of

Punched out Font by Tobias Summer: a 3d pixel font you print and assemble for personal use. It would make a fun garland or party banner.

Image courtesy of

The Threadknits contest at Threadless encourges you to bend your knitting or crocheting skills to re-imagining one of their T-shirt designs into crochet/knitting.

Image courtesy of
The Easy Christmas Craft Guide at Instructables probably has something to keep the kids busy over winter break.

You could probably pick up a few yummy treats as well in the Homemade Holidays Food contest.

Show off your Gingerbread creation in the Gingerbread Slideshow Contest, also at Instructables. In this entry, they blow them up on New Year's Eve! More Gingerbread house fun at Crafster as well as endless inspiration in the holidays and occassions:Winter holidays forum.

Making a retro silver tinsel tree with Threadbanger's DecoritYourself.

image from

Last year's favorite make-it-to-suit gift is the fingertip mitts from Savvy Seams. These easy to whip up micro-mitts are the PERFECT office gift as everyone has scorched their fingers on bowls or cups coming out of the microwave. You can make them in any fabric to match the office or tastes of the person.

Another super quick gift for any girl/lady is the Buttercup Bag from Made by Rae. Shown is the Samia bag I made last year for my friend Debbie. This little bag zips together in an hour, only requires basic sewing skills and uses just TWO fat quarters. This version is free for personal use. If you want to make these to sell, you need this version. I've got two of these for sale right now if you want to take a look.

Another super quick and very personalize-it friendly bag is the Dotted Dream Denim bag from Ottobre Designs. It is also very light on fabric use and super easy construction.  I made this version last year in one evening.

Please share your favorites places for holiday craft inspiration or links to any tutorials/patterns that make for good last minute gifts below.

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]

Some years ago I made a fall applique leaf quilt that hangs in my sister Sarah's front hall. She's been asking me for a little Christmas wall quilt since just about a week after I gave her the first one, which was.. gasp! ... probably 5 years ago. So this weekend, I FINALLY made her up one. Just a simple freehand cut raw edge applique that was quilted on the sewing machine. These will not be washed much so the edges probably won't even fray much.

Each little quilt is about 8" x 10". There is a hidden ribbon hanger on the top one and a set of ribbons hold them together. All made from scraps, too! They are both self-bound. Total time was about an hour from start to finish.

Right now, I am making up one of my micro-messenger bags for my other sister, Kim and one for my Nana as well, plus two Christmas stockings and several sets of oven mitts and microwave mitts. I guess the sewing damn is good and broken!

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]

It's been months since I've had time to create anything for sale, but I finally finished a new bag this week! Borneo is a fold over flap bag with some heavy beading and embellishment. It doesn't have a velcro or a snap ... just the weight of the bag makes it flop over ... so you could put taller stuff in it. I went just a little nuts (I think from pent up creative juices) so this bag features 3 other artisans. Karen from Ruby Mountain Dyeworks contributed that smashing lime green hand dyed base fabric, Beadfreaky made the ceramic turtle button and Midnight Coiler made the other small ceramic charm located on the front panel. It also uses this neat flat yarn with multi-color squares I picked up on clearance. The edges of the bag opening are raw edge patchwork and are designed to fray with use. I've had that teal flower print on the inside for quite a few years so I am glad it told me it wanted to live in this bag instead of on my shelf. The whole look kinda speaks to me of beachy sailboat cruises where you really do get away from it all, so I gave it an exotic locale for a name. It's over here in my Artfire shop if you want to see more pics.

Related Posts Widget for Blogs by LinkWithin