Archive for the 'Uncategorized' Category

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.


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

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.


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!

I want to try this!

I saw this on the “Recycled Crafts- trash to treasure” blog. What a really awesome idea. This would make a great gift for a house warming. It could be a bathroom or entryway mirror. You could cover a  paper mache box with it and put recipes or business cards in it…

Endless possiblities!

Things to save from secondhand clothing

The Native Americans and other cultures that had to do more with less didn’t waste anything. Bones became needles and beads, bladders became balloons. I admire that. I am always trying to find ways to use up every last bit of towels with holes, old sheets. and packing materials from when we order books on Amazon. That’s one of the reasons why my craft room so often looks like the asteroid belt orbiting a trash heap.

There are plenty of things we donate to Goodwill that have just been outgrown and would be a terrible tragedy to cut apart when someone who needs the bargain would love to find that article of clothing for $2 at the thrift store. But there are so many things that have holes, stains, missing parts, etc. that they just wouldn’t work as a complete article any more. These are the things that I cut up and save in bits and peices.

When you’ve butchered something keep the notions. Elastic can be saved and used again. Likewise, velcro, buttons, snaps, zippers, felt appliques. Those are obvious things, it seems, but so often end up in the trash. And keep in mind that not everything needs to be used as it’s original purpose. I made a quilted busy book for Elise’s second birthday out of fabric scraps and notions. There are zippers to pull, buttons to unfasten, buckles from overalls to work, laces to tie and belt buckles to fasten. She really likes to work on it, actually even Olivia really likes to work on it, and I didn’t pay for anything except the thread to stitch it together.


Like I mentioned above, these are obvious things to save. But there are things that I use all the time that are less obvious repurposings. The batting for this busy book is a cheap and uncomfortable comforter that Rob and I got when we were married. It was such poor quality that it faded in the sun through our window after one summer. Lame.

But the polyester batting inside is just as good as any that you’d buy in the craft store, and I’ve washed it clean so why not use it? I’ve used that polyfil for this busy book, raggy flat dolls, fabric ball stuffing, toy fabric blocks, and many other small projects. That’s at least 10 toys made from one comforter and I still have half of it left. So it is worth it to buy an ugly comforter at the thrift store for 3 bucks just to use the polyester fiberfil on the inside for crafting.

So the moral of the story is,  don’t throw anything away until you’ve decided it can’t be used in any other way. Maybe you’ll be living in a cluttered mess but you’ll never have to shell out 8 bucks for 4o oz of polyfil at JoAnn’s, and that nasty comforter (once washed) will be all manner of awesome play things for your kids and friends’ kids. Maybe someday I’ll even find a way to keep it all organized and when I do I’ll write a post about that, too. Then we’ll really be living!

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

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