Announcing- Clever Nesting!

I have to break the news. Recycling at its Cutest is down for the count. I’ve been collaborating with a friend of mine, Colleen Penn, and another eclectic crafter to create Clever Nesting. clevernesting-tools-sidebar

Clever Nesting is an information home-base for people who love to craft. We’ll be posting on Akron area craft events, craft blogs from around the web, our own crafts and techniques, as well as a weekly photo tutorial. We also have a Facebook Page for the blog which you can join if you’d like to have an internet community to share your own crafts, either Clever Nesting crafts you’ve made or your own crafts to share with Colleen and me.

I am sad to see this blog go as I have been able to be both creative and share about my family here. Clever Nesting will not be as personal and I’ll miss that, but this a perfect opportunity to take my hobby and treat in a more professional manner and hopefully grow as a crafter, blogger, and artist. Besides, for those of you who really only want to read about my cute kids and tolerate the craftiness to get to the adorableness, you can always keep up with the Braziers at Love and Blunder.

I plan to keep this site posted for a while. Especially since there are some awesome stories and tutorials here that I want to check back on. Don’t get mad at me if you notice that I’ve swiped my own old tutorials some day and put them up on Clever Nesting. I might have to do that since I’ve got a crazy busy life and out of this world expectations for myself that I never live up to. Instead of saying, “Oh my GOSH! I know that she posted that a year ago!” say, “I am SO in the loop. I’ve been reading Devona for so long. We’re so tight.” Cause we will be.

I’ve had a lot of fun here, and hope you are interested in following me along to my next adventure. We’ll have fun there too.

A Vintage Repair

I got out all my maternity clothes to see if there were any gaps that I need to fill for colder weather. Apparently you start to need maternity clothes a lot earlier in the third pregnancy!

lace collar

While digging I found this knit tunic that is really comfy and a good in between shirt since it is longer and has an elastic gather at the waist. Unfortunately it had a big tear right in the front near the collar. After I mended it there was an unsightly scar that really made this cute top look messy. In order to camouflage the scar I sewed a vintage crochet lace around the collar. This lace was hand made by my husband’s late Grandmother and was given to me from her estate, very thoughtfully, because Rob’s family knows that I sew.

I am honored to reuse these vintage heirloom pieces in something I will wear everyday. I hope that was what Grandmother Brazier had intended when she crochet them so long ago.

Knitting- That thing I never finish

One of the reasons I’m a crafter as opposed to a heirloom style seamstress (though I’d love to someday be both) is my limited attention span. This shortfall also manages to prohibit me from making any great strides as a knitter. Even though I am able to do most of the knitting things I’d like to do, I lack the basic skills of seeing a project through to the end and end up with 8 inches of beautiful and intricate knitting on needles stuffed into my closet.

Apart from hats and wool diaper covers I have not finished anything that I’ve cast on. That’s pretty pathetic.

But I’m pregnant now (hurray!) and so I have this urge to make baby things, and in my mind baby things are delicate wool knits. I’m hoping that switching to bamboo needles and knitting something more interesting that a huge rectangle (sweater front/ baby blanket) will help me reach the finish line. I’ve gotten better at perserverance post-marathon (talk about a long project! They say the 26.2 is the short part, and they’re right!) and I’m ready to cast on.

I’m knitting an adorable hooded sleeper that will hopefully come out right since I’ve had to change a few small pattern aspects to fit the yarn that I wanted to use. It’s an alpaca/sheep-wool blend in navy heather and sky blue stripes.

Wish me luck. I hope I don’t end up with half of a front and then give up. Or worse! What if I knit it all up and then when I go to finish it I find that the front and back don’t match up?! See, this is why I never knit.

Akron Area Artists!

My sister emailed this to me, and unfortunately I’ll be on a plane at this time going to visit my Dad, but I had to pass on the information! If you heard about it from me and get some great stuff, think of me, maybe grab me something?

ZeroLandfill Akron – 2 More Opportunities for Free Art Supplies

Hello Akron Area Artist,

I wanted to let you know about free art materials available to area artist, art students and arts educators. Saturday, Feb. 21st and 28th from Noon to 4pm at 30 N. High St. next to “City Art on High.” Sponsored by Mocha Maiden Coffee House, Harris/Day Architects and the ZEROLandfill Akron Team.

The award winning ZeroLandfill program provides local artist and arts educators with quality manufactures samples like textiles, carpet & tile flooring, and wallpaper while reducing pressure on local landfill capacity.

The ZeroLandfill Akron Team is reaching out to the Akron area arts community to participate in the pilot project to help determine the feasibility of a longer running program later this year.

See below for more links to more information. I’ve attached parking information just in case you’re not that familiar with downtown parking. Bring boxes and bags and please feel free to forward this email to friends and associates.

Hope to see you there.

Thank you,

Lisa Bostwick
Greater Akron Partnership for Sustainability
140 N. Highland Ave.
Akron, Ohio 44303
330-338-1243

Today is the Bad Day

Now is the official day I sit around and wonder what happens next. Apparently the law was not postponed, and CPSIA went into effect as originally planned.

crafty-devil

Read this article from Real Clear Politics my husband sent me. It was written by Jim Demint, US Senator from South Carolina. He has taken a more interested approach than Sherrod Brown, who basically said, “we don’t want kids to die from lead, it might be a difficult burden for Small Business, too bad I voted for it.” I will keep that in mind, Sherrod Brown.

Edited to add this link:

The What’s New page has some uplifting information in regards to my dresses, but it doesn’t exempt my baby slings since I use fleece and aluminum when I make them.

Postponed for a year?

I’ve been following the CPSIA law as the dreaded Feb 10th date approaches. There’s always gossip, and it sends me the law’s website to see what’s up. It seems that maybe someone has grown a little sense and has decided to postpone the effective date of the law while they further review it.

Here is the “what’s new” page for the law. If only I knew legalese I could confidently read this stuff!

Why make toys for your kids?

There are so many reasons to buy handmade toys. From quality craftsmanship, to supporting small business, to not supporting mega-toymakers and buying lead-ridden toys (see Save Handmade). But when you make a toy for your child you are doing something even greater than anything that I mentioned above.

When you make a toy for your child, or better yet, when you make a toy with you child you are teaching them the fine art of making wealth out of what you already have. You are opening up your children’s eyes to the possibilities of all they can make and do by themselves. When your child tells you that she wants to dress up as a fairy or a bow hunter, and you dig into your fabric stash and find the fabric to sew up a simple costume you are teaching your child ingenuity. As opposed the consumerism you’d be teaching them if you just went to the store and bought a fairy costume or bow and arrow.

Do I make all of my children’s toys? Of course not. And when there are so many other things that need to be done in a day it’s not feasible to try. With all of my children’s variety of interests it’s not possible to keep up. We own handmade, homemade, and store bought dress-up clothes. We own handmade, homemade, and store bought puzzles.

But if Elise says she wants to do a puzzle of a lion and we don’t have a lion puzzle there are 3 options:

  1. Say, “We don’t have a lion puzzle, Honey. Sorry.”
  2. Go buy a lion puzzle the next time we’re at the store.
  3. Print out a picture of a lion, color it together, glue it to cardboard and cut it into a puzzle. If you really want to get cool about it you can cover it with Mod Modge and it will last forever.

All of those options are the right option at times, but if you do take the time to choose option 3, you will soon find your children asking you if you can make them a robot or dragon. You might even find them cutting a robot, or a dragon, or a doll, or a car out of a magazine or scraps of paper and making their own toys. You will have a family that does more with less, saves money but spends time, and learns to use what they have to get what they need and want.


Creating unique fashion from fortunate thrift store discoveries. And otherwise making our house a home, on the cheap.

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