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Author Archive | Cassandra Darwin

Books | The Brushstroke Handbook by Maureen McNaughton

One of the reasons I was excited to review “The Brushstroke Handbook” was because I know nothing about fancy brushstroke painting. I can paint walls and furniture, and I can even use stencils. But I wanted to give my skills a little boost.

The Brushstroke HandbookIt turns out this is a great book for beginners because the author, Maureen McNaughton, is noted for her clear and concise directions. She also goes into detail on the supplies that she used for the book and why they work well for the techniques described. I used a different brand of acrylic paint and brushes (because it is what I had on hand) and I was missing the paint “extender” that she mixed with each color to change the paint’s consistency a bit. I will have to get this before I start any serious projects. Continue Reading →

Review | Tulip Spray Dye Kit for Tie Dye

The Tulip Spray Dye Kit was exciting for me to try out for two reasons: I love to make homemade gifts and I love doing crafts with my daughter. I started this project by gathering a new white shirt in my daughter’s size, three bibs for a baby gift, and a big piece of flannel to make a blanket.

Tulip One Step Spray Dye KitAfter reading the instructions, I learned that you need to use the dye in the spray bottles within 45 minutes after adding water. So I knew we didn’t have enough pieces to dye in order to use all the colors. My daughter (very predictably) picked purple and pink for this dying session. The powdered dye is already measured and in the spray bottles when you buy the kit. All you need to do is just remove the lid, add water, and shake! Continue Reading →

Review | Clover Wonder Clips

I would describe myself as a lazy seamstress (less lazy for quilting, but still looking for shortcuts). So if there is something that can make sewing easier and have less projects end with the seam ripper and frustration…then I am all ears! Enter the Clover Wonder Clips.

These little wonders are a sewing notion offered by Clover as an alternative for pins when you need to hold fabric together.  The clips are small, but open wide for working with lots of layers and thicker fabrics.

Clover Wonder ClipsThe clips are strong and stay in place really well – exactly like they are supposed to. So I pulled out some minky fabric that had been giving me trouble. It kept puckering when I pinned it. Continue Reading →

Review | Kinkajou Bottle Cutter

With the holiday gifting season upon us, I am needing to think of DIY gifts for family, friends, neighbors, and everyone else on the list.  I jumped at the chance to review the Kinkajou Bottle Cutter because I had seen so many great gift giving ideas with bottles on Pinterest.  The package said it would have everything I needed to get started bottle cutting!

Kinkajou Bottle CutterThe main piece in the package is a tool to score your bottles – it scores a line rather than cuts the bottle.  More on that in a bit. Continue Reading →