Jibbly Hints: Stylish Swatch Holder

Jaunt off to the fabric store with a colorful reminder of what you need to buy! It’s easy to say “Oh, I’ll remember!” when buying supplies, but everyone’s felt the impotent rage of standing in the fabric aisles and having no clue why you are there. Or, you need “blue”– blue what?!

When you purchase fabric, cut off a little square before you start and stow it somewhere. Even better, staple it to a little piece of paper with the type of fabric and where you go it. I cut a little notch in the fabric and attach it to a metal ring, like for flashcards.


If you’ve got a second ring lying around, transfer swatches you need to that so you only get what you came for.

Sidenote– the colors you buy in December may not be the same in a few months, so make sure to get what you need for a project in one go. I’ve learned that dye lots of ribbon or fleece can change enough time to time. I once spent 4 hours trying to find a specific shade of ball fringe, only to find it just didn’t exist anymore until the whims of the dyer thousands of miles away decided to feel that “kind of green” again.


No, I didn’t make that wonderful brooch. Got it on Etsy years back and can’t find the seller anymore! I did, however, make my purse.

Not only does my swatch ring hold onto my sanity, it looks cute and colorful on my purse. So there you go, one  more  accomplishment in the sordid, harrowing journey toward an organized life. Good luck!

*for more awesome sewing tips, check out Colette Patterns “Snippets“*


What We’re Making Today: Spaghetti Art!

I got this idea from the folks over at Busy Bee Kids Crafts.  The idea is ever so simple: cook spaghetti, mix it with equal parts paint and glue, make a sculpture!  I always test crafts before I go to work, and I’ve been having a blast with this one.

What you need:

  • Glue (I used Modge-Podge)
  • Cooked spaghetti (let it cool, ok?)
  • Wax paper
  • Various colors of paint

Mix equal parts paint and glue.  I just plopped a small pile of spaghetti straight into it and mixed with my hands, because it feels great!  I tried to use poster paints first, since they are washable, but I didn’t get vivid colors.  I used acrylics, and everything popped (also stained my new dress).

Lay the noodles on one by one, and make sure every noodle touches another one, and there aren’t too many stray noodles that gravity won’t be able to hold up.  Let everything dry overnight on a flat and safe surface, and hang it in a window.  The wax paper should peel off easily.

It's a spaghetti sculpture made of spaghetti. So.. it's spaghetti.

Another good thing about this craft is that if the child gets bored or isn’t interested in making the shapes, she can skip the glue and use the noodles as paint brushes.  Here’s my Jackson Pollack rip-off:

Make sure you have plenty of plates to mix the noodles and paint on, and lots of paper towels handy.  This is a craft that absolutely hinges on the ability to get messy, so don’t fight it.

Now THAT is what I call nail art.

Plastic Animal Art

I’ve been researching some uses for my giant animal collection.  Here’s a great list of the things I wish I’d thought of first!

Image from Shift.jp.org

Felieke Van Der Leest is an artist from Holland who incidentally grew up next to a zoo.  Her work doesn’t technically fall into my “wish I’d thought of it first” (WITOIF) category since she is also does miniature knitting and metalwork.  She is a true artist, and you owe it to yourself to check out her other work.

Crazy Couture on Etsy

By now this design is being copied all over, and I’m not sure if this was the original creator or not.  Yeah, I’ve copied it too, but just for meeee!

Image from The Sweetest Occasion

Everyone in my family owns one of these birthday candles now, thanks to The Sweetest Occasion.  She put a fantastic tutorial up, and I had a lot of fun making them.


Image from Design Boom

Wine stoppers that look like drunk animals.  Yes.

Image from House to Home

I’m obsessed with the fashion of organization (I have box collection) so I love these animal-topped jars from House to Home.

Now I need to go make something!