Meet and Make: Tiffany Windsor

This week’s Meet and Make designer is Tiffany Windsor.  Born into an artistic, entrepreneurial family, it is no surprise that Tiffany has found success expressing her talents in many different arenas. As the daughter of Aleene Jackson, America’s beloved “Mother of Crafting” and inventor of Aleene’s Tacky Glue, Tiffany’s first love is expressing herself creatively. As a child, Tiffany expressed her crafty talents utilizing all of the supplies available at her mother’s store. Whether it was simply gluing Popsicle sticks together, bejeweling cigar boxes or designing elaborate chenille stem treasures, crafting has been an everyday part of her life.

A self-professed hard-core crafter, Tiffany’s passion is expressing her creative talents with all types of crafting materials. She is best known in the creative community as the founder of the Cool2Craft Community featuring the popular on-line Cool2Craft TV show. Tiffany has made regular appearances on QVC and HSN and has authored numerous hard-cover and soft-cover books. As producer/host of Aleene’s Creative Living Television show, Tiffany and her creative team also produced over 2,000 daily episodes of top-rated, award winning craft programming which aired on TNN. Her extensive consulting experience covers all facets of the craft industry including design, product development, manufacturing, retail, publishing, packaging, consumer education and more.


Want to know more? Keep reading and learn about Tiffany!

  1. I’m a raw foodie. My sister EcoHeidi says I’m boring to eat out with.
  2. My first word was “horsie”. I started showing horses when I was nine.
  3. I owned a retail store that sold everything angels.
  4. I am a Reiki Master.
  5. I haven’t taken a vacation in 10+ years but I’m working on it 🙂
  6. I never planned on being a computer geek.
  7. I thought my lifetime career would be as a professional organizer.
  8. I love to study quantum physics.
  9. If I were a color, I would be aqua.
  10. There was a time in my life when I thought I never wanted to see or make another craft again. I’m over that!


Here’s Tiffany’s project:

Decorative Pasta Art Box


  • Aleene’s Fast Grab Tacky Glue
  • Wood box with lid
  • Spray paint – gold
  • Swarovski Crystals
  • Glass mosaic tiles and tile cutter
  • Silver stamping ink
  • Rubber stamps



  1. It’s so cool to glue pasta shapes onto all sorts of surfaces. Just decide what pasta shapes you want to glue onto what surface! I like to use the Aleene’s Fast Grab Tacky Glue because it is thick and it grabs really fast. Lay out your design pattern and glue in place. I just dip the pasta shape into the glue, dab off any excess globs of glue and set in place. Let glue dry completely.
  2. In a well ventilated area, spray the entire surface of your project with the desired color of spray paint. (On this frame I used white, on the art box, I used gold. Let spray paint dry completely.
  3.  That’s it! Just glue and spray and you have an intriguing frame design!
  4.  Here are some close up views of my art box top. As you can see, I glued 4 layers of pasta wheels to create a pyramid design.
  5.  Here’s a view from the top.
  6.  After I glued my pasta shapes in place on the box top, I spray painted the entire box inside and out and the lid inside and out with the gold spray paint. Let dry completely. Next I stamped the outside of the box and lid with silver ink. I glued mirrored mosaic tiles along the outside edge of the lid (over the stamped area).
  7.  On the sides of the box, I cut the mosaic tiles into 8 tiny pieces and glued them over the stamped image.
  8.  For the box feet, I painted wood beads with the silver ink and glued them to the bottom of the box. Let glue dry completely and then enjoy your work of art!

Meet and Make: Meggan Maravich

This week’s Meet and Make designer is Meggan Maravich. Meggan is the creator of Megpie Designs and a full-time wife and mother of four. Her first original painted design was published in the January 2000 issue of Crafts ‘n’ Things Magazine and since then, her work has been featured in publications such as Pack o’ Fun, Painting Magazine, and Creative Home Arts.

Her projects tend to be quick and easy crafts for the beginner. She designs projects for the more advanced painter, as well.


Want to know more? Keep reading and learn about Meggan!

  1. I LOVE to paint!!!
  2. I “can” cook.  A few things.  If they’re simple.
  3. I listened to nothing but children’s music for twelve years.
  4. The clothes in my closets are grouped by color.
  5. I have a “touch” of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder.  (Okay … a slap or a punch, then).
  6. My studio is an atomic mess.
  7. I’d rather paint it than cook it, tie it, or change it.  (think Dinner, a Bow, or a Light Bulb).
  8. Sometimes an M&M is waaay too much chocolate for me.  I’m not a fan, is all I’m saying.\
  9. Most days I need an energy drink just to stay vertical.  Some days, I need three.
  10. I could be considered a hoarder.  If you count glue guns, pencils, paintbrushes, and wood.  All wood.  Like lumber, and plywood sheets, and even wood cut-outs.  I LOVE wood!!


Here’s Meggan’s project:

Ruler Snowmen


  • Ruler (look for a ruler without pre-drilled holes)
  • Acrylic paint in white, black, red, and gold
  • Extreme Glitter in Black
  • Plaid Dimensional Paint in orange
  • Mini craft sticks for hat brims
  • Wooden birds for the school mascot
  • Red ribbons for hanging
  • Permanent black marker for outlining


  1. Use the Midwest Products Easy Cutter Ultimate to trim each ruler into four 3″ lengths, and trim the mini craft sticks to just a hair wider than the ruler, so the hat brim hangs over just a bit on either side of the snowman’s head.
  2. Use Aleene’s Tacky Glue to adhere hat brims to each ruler segment. I attached my hat brims towards the top of the segments, rather than directly in the center. However, I’ve made many of these types of ornaments, and attaching the brim a little lower makes for a totally different look:a really tall hat and a small face,versus the small top hat and the larger face. I wanted to date these ornaments, so I made the hats smaller.
  3. Paint the craft stick and the top half of the ruler segments with black acrylic paint.
  4. Brush Plaid’s Extreme Glitter Black over the hats for extra shine.
  5. Paint the bottoms of the ruler segments with white acrylic paint.
  6. Leave the backs unpainted; to keep the “School Room” feel of these ruler ornaments.
  7. I use a cotton swab and pink powder blush to blush the cheeks of each snowman’s face.
  8. Use a stylus dipped in black paint to dot the eyes and the mouths.
  9. Dip the stylus before each dot for same-sized dots … dotting two or three times before re-dipping into the paint gives you descending-sized dots.
  10. I used my Crop-o-Dile to make a hole in the top center of each snowman’s hat, so I could thread some ribbon through for hanging.
  11. NOTE: For step-by-step photos of how to paint dots and carrot noses, please click here.
  12. Because I am making these ornaments for the classmates of my children, I want to add our school mascot, the cardinal.
  13. Here is a quick tip I found for painting small wooden pieces, such as these bird cut-outs: Spread out a piece of GLAD Press’n Seal sealing wrap, sticky side up, and press the birds onto the paper.
  14. This holds them in place while you use a paint roller dipped in red acrylic paint to base coat the birds quickly and easily.
  15. A quick way to make the triangle shape on the cardinal’s head, is to use a small flat brush dipped in black paint; lightly press the brush diagonally across the bird’s head.
  16. Allow to dry before dotting the eyes first with white paint, and then with black paint.
  17. Brush on a coat of Plaid Extreme Glitter in Red for extra shine.
  18. Use a detail brush dipped in gold or yellow paint to highlight the bird’s beaks. I threaded the ribbon through each hole in the hat before I attached the birds … I thought it was easier than waiting to thread the ribbons and possibly running into a hat whose hole was covered by a bird.
  19. As a final touch, I used a black permanent marker to outline the snowman faces, define each bird’s wing, and add the year to the bottom.



Meet and Make: Nicole Snow

This week’s Meet and Make designer is Nicole Snow of Darn Good Yarn.

In 2008, Nicole Snow created “Darn Good Yarn” by combining her two passions in life—art and helping others. The idea was simple: created high-quality, beautiful yarn without using child labor… all while helping the women of India and Nepal support their families.

Within a short period of time, Snow and Darn Good Yarn had a passionate following. “To our customers, it isn’t just about high quality fibers,” Snow explains. “It really is about helping people. That’s what separates Darn Good Yarn from the other companies.”

As it turns out, however, helping the women of India and Nepal and their families isn’t the only thing Darn Good Yarn has put its sights. Mother Nature is getting support as well.

About a year ago, Snow was being interviewed for a magazine article and an interesting question came up—“How much waste, if any, has Darn Good Yarn saved?” She pulled out a calculator, ran a few numbers, and came to the conclusion that in 2010, they had removed roughly 4,000 pounds of waste from landfills through their recycled yarns—the equivalent of 106,667 water bottles!

“Our recycled yarns have always been extremely popular,” laughs Snow. “But, in all sincerity, I had never realized exactly how big of an impact the sale of those yarns made! Seeing that impact gave me another goal—in 2012, I wanted to get rid of even more waste.”

A week ago, after running the final numbers, she knew she had reached her goal. In 2011, Darn Good Yarn removed a whopping 6,000 pounds of waste from landfills, or the equivalent of 160,000 water bottles.

Let’s meet Nicole!

10 Fun Facts about Nicole:

1- I’ve moved my house and Darn Good Yarn 10 times in 5 years (I’m finally in Maine)
2- I was an officer in the Air Force
3- I love red wine (until my knitting starts to suffer)
4- I can still do a pretty mean cartwheel
5- I’ve met Josh from the Fabulous Beekman Boys (Yes! He’s totally fab!)
6- I have an almost unhealthy love for the show Absolutely Fabulous…sweetie darling
7- I love to cook humungous meals (like Thanksgiving!)
8- I wanted to be an astronaut when I was little
9- I knew I was going to marry my husband after our first date–we’ve been married for 6 years!
10- I had a dream last week and everything in my dream was yarn bombed!


Here’s Nicole’s Project:

An Obi Belt



WYIF= with yarn in front
WYIB=with yarn in back
CO=Cast on
RS= Right Side


  • 1 skein of Darn Good Yarn’s Recycled Silk Sari Ribbon in “At the Bahamas”
  • 1 skein of Darn Good Yarn’s Banana Glama(If you ever have questions just email me
  • Size 15 needles
  • Optional: Crochet Hook (Q/15mm)


With your size 15 needles and At the Bahamas Reclaimed

Silk Ribbon, CO 11 stitches.

Row 1 (RS): k1, *sl1 wyif, k1; rep from *
Row 2: k1, p1, *sl1 wyib, p1; rep from *, end k1
Repeat row 1 and 2 until your piece measures 26 “.
Bind off. With your crochet hook (or you can use your fingers as well) use both Banana Glama and the remaining at the Bahamas and chain the two lengths of 32” each. Alternately, you can braid two lengths as well. Secure the ends and tie each length to each side of your obi belt as pictured. Weave in ends.

Meet and Make: Heather Valentine

Today’s Meet and Make designer is Heather Valentine.  Heather’s mission is to inspire others to think outside of the box with projects that keep the 3 R’s in mind: Reduce, Reclaim, And Recraft.  That’s one motto I can stand behind!  On Heather’s blog, The Sewing Loft, you’ll find eco felt, upcycled, and repurposed fabric crafts that are easy to do and earth-friendly!

Ready to meet Heather?


10 Fun Facts About Heather Valentine

  1. I always wear crazy colored or patterned socks.
  2. My favorite color is blue.
  3. Vintage finds are my downfall.  I have too many to count!
  4. I was born with 4 skewed freckles on my nose.
  5. My 1st industry job was mixing gouache paints and matching colors for leather handbags.
  6. I am a jeans and Tee shirt kinda gal.
  7. An art teacher once told me I would never make it as an artist.
  8. I styled makeovers for the Ricki Lake Show.
  9. I have seen the Rocky Horror Picture Show too many times to count.
  10. I love to build sand castles.


Here’s Heather’s Project:

No More Wire Hangers


  • Old wire hangers
  • Tape
  • Felt or polar fleece
  • Needle & thread


  1. Starting with two wire hangers, tape them together in a couple of places. This is just to keep them stable while you are covering them later.
  2. Then cut a strip of felt 1″ wide by the length of your hanger. *Be sure to measure all along the outside of your hanger and around the curve. Mine measured 42″ but yours might be different.
  3. Starting at the inside edge, wrap the felt around and blanket stitch in place. Continue to pinch and stitch all the way around. Clip end into a point, fold back and stitch the end in place. Bury your knot.

  4. To create flowers, I cut circles from the felt. Then, I cute in a spiral pattern; leaving a round circle as the base.
  5. Starting at the long end of spiral, wrap the strip around a pencil and hot glued in place.
  6. Attach flower to hanger. You can attach with needle and thread or glue gun. Your choice.

Meet and Make: Bea Vonk

This week’s Meet and Make designer is Bea Vonk. Bea is the creator of Modern Country Lady, a blog devoted to frugal countryside-related crafts. Bea has also started her own small quirky product line this year, called My Aunt Agatha inspired by Miss Marple, Agatha Christie  and vintage embroidery.

Bea comes from a long line of creative people who have inspired her to be frugal and be creative, rather than buy. Most of all, Bea enjoys sharing her creative projects and tutorials to infuse other people’s lives with a little more creative fulfillment.

Want to know more?  Keep reading and learn about Bea!

  1. I LOVE cardboard – the possibilities are endless.
  2. In case of extreme happiness, I drink tea – and lots of it.
  3. I love looking in skips ( dumpsters) for discarded furniture that I can do up.
  4. My garage is overflowing with bits and bobs  that ” may come in handy one day”.
  5. My four “furbabies” have all been either the inspiration for craft projects or very “helpful” during them.
  6. I get my best ideas when walking my two dogs, Maud and Millie.
  7. I love reading flower seed catalogs in winter.
  8. I can’t live without my camera.
  9. In case of extreme disaster I eat chocolate.
  10. I have my own power drill and glue gun, which I don’t let anyone use!


Here is Bea’s Featured Project:

Spring Wreath with Moveable Bunnies



  • Cardboard box
  • Pen
  • Sheet of silhouettes of bunnies, printed off the internet.
  • Scissors
  • Glue gun
  • Pins with two ” legs” that you can stick though paper and then fold over to hold paper together.
  • Ribbon
  • Painted hollow eggs or painted or decoupaged Styrofoam eggs.
  • Twigs or small branches from tree
  • String


  1. Find a silhouette for a bunny shape- you can use a non-copyrighted silhouette which you can print off the internet.Decide which silhouette you want to go with, then enlarge by hand or on the photocopier. Draw or trace the enlarged silhouette on a piece of paper and cut out with scissors so you have a template.
  2. Split the bunny up in moveable bits, like back legs, front paws, etc. Make sure the bunny looks like it makes sense- just use your judgement.Just fiddle around till it looks right.Use these separate and move-able bits of the bunny and trace them on sturdy cardboard from a card-board box from a grocery store.
  3. Use these separate and moveable bits of the bunny and trace them on sturdy cardboard from a card-board box from a grocery store.
  4. Then trace on the cardboard and cut out and put together so it looks right … then attach the legs and paws and tail to the main body using those pins you can get in a stationary store. You need to look for a pin with a head, which splits in two with two legs, so you can fold one leg through the hole, then to the left, and one to the right, so you attach the one piece of card board to the other. Make a few of these bunnies, say 6.
  5. You can either buy a ready- made wreath, or you can make your own as follows: make a long garland of some flexible branches or twigs from a tree. Tie the garland together with string, at intervals, then fashion this into a circle and attach the end to the beginning. This will give you your basic wreath.
  6. Give the bunnies some cheerful colored ribbon around their necks, and attach the bunnies to the wreath with a glue gun- if you want, you can combine them with some cheerfully colored eggs you have painted or decoupaged or some Styrofoam eggs instead …

Meet and Make: Divya N.

Divya N.
Today’s Meet and Make designer is Divya N. who is a freelance fashion apparel & jewellery designer from Chennai, India. She creates and sells jewelry & gifts under the brand name‘Sayuri’ – and you can find her frequently blogging at Jewels of Sayuri.




Let’s meet Divya!

10 Fun Facts about Divya:

  1. My jewelry brand Sayuri means a small lily in Japanese.
  2. I am a photo junkie and love taking pictures.
  3. I do a lot of trend research and write regularly for Fashion columns.
  4. Though my working style is very kitsch (I like mixing a lot of things together) my personal style is very classy…I wear plain boring clothes!!
  5. I love to read – mostly fiction and I love to write too.
  6. I hate girly colours like light pink and blue.
  7. I watch a lot of TV…I mean a lot!
  8. I get completely lost in a craft/fabric stores.
  9. I hate routines.
  10. I am home bird, I prefer to hang around at home rather than heading out into the city.

Here’s Divya’s Project:

Repurposed Jewelry – Gold Spiral Pendant

India’s love of gold is legendary and every Indian woman longs for a special piece of gold jewelry that is distinctly hers… For me it is a coiled pendant. Ever since I saw one in the D’damas ad in the mid nineties, I fell in love with it. So when I finally learned how to make jewelry I decided to make my own design of a Spiral-coiled pendant with lengths of shiny chain. This project is perfect to utilize all the bits of chain that you have leftover from your other projects.


Gold Spiral Pendant Tutorial


  • A long gold chain(those cabled – close looped ones are good- the size of your pendant will depend on the length of your chain – so choose accordingly)
  • Clear glue (I use fevibond – it sticks fast and the bond is really good)
  • A piece of  fabric felt – in flesh/skin colour
  • Some jump rings (I used 3 apart from the one that was already attached to the chain)
  • Any other matching chain or cord to string the pendant on
  1. It is an effectively simple process. Fold the chain in two and lay it out after removing the clasp(leave the jump ring on) to make sure it is flat without any turns and knots.
    Gold Spiral Pendant Tutorial
  2. Now lay it as is on a piece of felt. (I prefer to cut the felt only after sticking down the chain..its much easier that way). Make sure that the strands are always parallel to each other.
  3. Apply a dab of glue in the centre, hold the chain in place (with  pliers or your hand) and start twirling the chain in the glue. Now you have got the centre of the pendant.
    Gold Spiral Pendant Tutorial
  4. Apply a concentric trail of glue and continue to twirl the strands strictly one at a time. If you turn both strands together, you’ll lose the shape and there will be gap in the middle.
  5. Keep twirling till you come to the end of the chain where there is (or you have pre-attached) a jump ring.
    Golden Spiral Necklace Tutorial
  6. Let it dry for at least an hour.
  7. Cut off the extra felt around the pendant as carefully as possible (the glue would have hardened your pendant by now) and set it aside for some time. Then add as many jump rings as your want (I added 3) to make a good bail.
    Golden Spiral Necklace Tutorial
  8. For all purposes you pendant is ready.
  9. Now you can string it to a piece of heavy braided cord or multiple cords or like me on another chain and you can keep changing it as per your mood 🙂

Have fun making it
Divya N

For more of Divya’s projects on check out her designer profile!

Meet and Make: Anastacia Zittel

Today’s Meet and Make designer is Anastacia Zittel. Anastacia is a knit and crochet designer who regularly posts patterns on her site,

Let’s meet Anastacia!



10 Fun Facts about Anastacia Zittel:

  1. I’m an only child.
  2. Even though my name & website is called Anastacia Knits, I started crocheting way before I started knitting, & crochet much more then I knit.
  3. I’m addicted to purses of any sort, especially ones with lots of pockets!
  4. I’m a big animal lover, I’m definitely a cat person.
  5. I am a morning person.
  6. I passionately dreamed about being a published writer as a teen, & I think it’s neat as an adult I come close by publishing my own patterns.
  7. I wanted to be an astronaut when I was a kid, & still vividly remember the space ship Challenger blowing up.
  8. I love to watch cartoons, yup I’m a big kid!
  9. I collect crochet & knitting needles, along with vintage patterns, craft kits, sewing supplies (even though I don’t really know how to sew), & have more patterns then a library!
  10. I’m allergic to apples, chicken, eggs, & lots of other things most people aren’t allergic to!

Here’s Anastacia’s Project:


  • 7, (14, 28) ounces Red Heart Super Saver yarn, 7 ounces of 100% acrylic yarn, or any worsted weight yarn
  • Size G / 4.5 mm crochet hook

Gauge: 10 dc = 3”. Gauge does not matter, make a fabric that you like

Measurements: 18” by 21” (pet shelter or small baby blanket), 36” by 36” (small lapghan), 60” by 60” (regular sized throw)


  • ch: chain
  • beg: beginning
  • rep: repeat
  • sk: skip
  • ea: each
  • sl st: slip stitch
  • dc: double crochet
  • V st: (dc, ch 1, dc) all in same stitch
  • group: (7 dc) all in same ch 1 sp


  1. Ch 63 (123, 203).
  2. Row 1: Dc in 4th ch from hook (turning ch counts as 1st dc now & throughout pattern), * sk 3 ch, ch 2, V st in next ch, sk 3 ch, ch 2, dc in next 3 ch. Rep from * across row 4 (10, 18) more times, sk 3 ch, ch 2, V st in next ch, sk 3 ch, ch 2, dc in last 2 ch.
  3. Row 2: Ch 3, turn. Dc in next dc, * group in next V st, dc in next 3 dc. Rep from * across row 4 (10, 18) more times, group in next V st, dc in last 2 dc.
  4. Row 3: Ch 3, turn. Dc in next dc, * ch 2, sk 3 dc, V st in next dc, ch 2, sk 3 dc, dc in next 3 dc. Rep from * across row 4 (10, 18) more times, ch 2, sk 3 dc, V st in next dc, sk 3 dc, ch 2, dc in next 2.
  5. Row 4: Ch 3, turn. Dc in ea dc & ch across row: 61 (121, 201) dc.
  6. Row 5: Rep row 3.
  7. Rep rows 2-5 7 (14, 22) times. Work rows 2 & 3 once more, then begin edging.
  8. Edging: Ch 3, turn. Dc in ea dc & ch across row, working (2 dc, ch 2, 2 dc) in ea corner, along all 4 sides of blanket. Join with a sl st in 3rd ch of beg ch 3.
  9. End off. Weave in ends, and enjoy!

Pattern note: Afghan is written for three sizes: numbers for the first size appear first, followed by the next two sizes in parenthesis. Stitch pattern is a multiple of 10 stitches plus 3.


Meet and Make: Ann Butler

Today’s Meet and Make designer is Ann Butler!

Ann is a Mixed Media Artist, Designer and Instructor for Manufacturers and the Creative Industries. Her work has appeared in numerous magazines, books, manufacturer trade show booths, on-line and web TV. She has taught classes of every kind for the past 20 years at trade shows, stores, private parties and on-line. Her blog is

Let’s meet Ann!

10 Fun Facts About Ann Butler:

  • I am a mother to 5 grown children and have 4 precious grandbabies.
  • I am most creative at about 2am so it is a good thing I need very little sleep, I am usually good with 3 – 5 hours.
  • I went to school for Fashion Design and have created everything from wedding dresses to home décor.
  • I love teaching workshops; it is so much fun sharing new ideas and creativity with others.
  • I love old movies from the 30’s, 40’s and 50’s; I especially love the clothing from those days.
  • My husband often cooks dinner and does the dishes, yup he’s a keeper!
  • I designed and sewed my first pair of pj’s at the age of 8 without a pattern.
  • I am left handed but use a scissors, play tennis and bowl with my right hand.
  • I love going to auctions and bargain shopping.
  • I have always loved Game Night with the kids, even now that they are grown up we still play board games when we get together.

Make one of Ann’s Projects: Glitter Up Those Pumpkins!

Make some fun and easy Glitter Pumpkins that will look great for Halloween!






The supplies you will need are:

  • Pumpkin
  • Glitter in colors of choice
  • Tacky Glue
  • Popsicle Stick or Toothpick


Spread the glue on one section, sprinkle glitter on top of glue. Work over a sheet of paper to tap off excess glitter…

This is what the first section will look like:

Continue adding glitter around pumpkin alternating color as desired.

Add glitter until completely covered.

Don’t forget to add glitter to the bottom.

I chose to use orange for the bottom.

That’s it – oh so easy. Make one or make a bunch!

Place these little guys all over the house for added Halloween decoration!

Meet and Make: Mark Montano & GIVEAWAY

Today’s Meet and Make designer is Mark Montano. Mark is a designer, crafter, television personality, author, DIY pro and all around cool guy. Mark was on several television shows like “While You Were Out” and “10 Years Younger.” In his books, Mark shares crafts that cover almost every craft genre. His latest title, The Big-Ass Book of Crafts 2, includes over 150 projects with step-by-step instructions for each one. Mark also has a few projects on our site as well and you won’t want to miss those!

 Let’s meet Mark!


10 Fun Facts about Mark Montano:

  1. I am a trained American Indian dancer and can do traditional Navajo, Sioux and Kiowa dances including the rain dance.
  2. I once got caught in an elevator with Vanessa Williams and she was more freaked out about my excitement than possibly dying in the elevator.
  3. I have about 300 pairs of shoes.  It’s almost my biggest extravagance.
  4. Green is my favorite color but I almost always wear blue.
  5. I can’t sew while wearing shoes ever.
  6. I’m still friends with people from 1st grade and they all (across the board) think we still look the same as we did in high school which is really scary because I think they look terrible!
  7. My parents gave up on telling me what to do when I was about 8 because I thought being grounded was awesome.  I had a sewing machine in my room and I loved to read.  I also have 5 younger brothers and it was a nice break from the chaos.
  8. It scares me how much I enjoy eating and watching TV.
  9. My grandmother was only a little over 3 feet tall and I thought I was a super hero because I was so tall at such a young age……compared to her.  Now everyone is taller than me including my 12 year old niece.
  10. I want a pet skunk.

Here’s Mark’s Project: Virgin Mary Suitcase

I grew up with images of the Virgin Mary all over my house and I felt this was the perfect way to honor that part of my upbringing. My grandmother is either going to slap me silly for making this or she is going to insist I send it to her immediately, but one way or another I know she’s going to have something to say about it.  (By the way, she won’t even utter the name of my book.  That woman is bound for sainthood, I’m sure of it!)


  • 1 hard suitcase (check your local thrift stores)
  • Damp cloth and dry towel
  • Newspaper
  • Masking tape
  • Red Krylon Fusion spray paint
  • Scissors
  • Fabric with a couple of large images that you like
  • Fabric with small matching flowers that match your images
  • Elmer’s Spray Adhesive
  • Minwax Polycrylic Clear Coat
  • 1” wide paintbrush



Thoroughly clean your suitcase to get off all of the dirt and grime, and towel it dry.

Cover the parts of your case that you don’t want painted  with newspaper, and tape the paper in place.

Take the case outside and spray it red.  Let the paint dry.

Cut out the fabric images that you want to put on the suitcase, and lay them on the case to figure out where you want them to go.

Spray the back of each cutout fabric piece with the Elmer’s Spray Adhesive, and stick them to the suitcase.
When the entire case is decorated, generously coat it with Minwax Polycrylic Clear Coat and let it dry.

Coat the case a second time to make sure that it has a nice protective finish.

Mark was so gracious to give us two copies of his new book, The Big-Ass Book of Crafts 2, to give away to two lucky blog readers! To enter to win a copy of the book just answer this question in the comments once in the section right below this post:

What is your best DIY project or idea you would like to try?

We can’t wait to hear from you on this one! This will give you one entry. But wait, there’s more…

Optional Bonus Entries

Earn additional entries for each of the following:
■ Tweet about the giveaway using the share button below or writing your own tweet to tell all our friends! (example): I entered the @MarkMontano #giveaway from @FaveCrafts and you can too!

■ Link to the this giveaway on Facebook! Here’s the link for ya – or click the Share Link at the bottom of this post.

■ Blog about our Mark Montano interview and giveaway.

Contest closes Monday, October 17th at midnight CST. 



Meet and Make: Wanda Epps

Wanda EppsToday’s Meet and Make designer is Wanda Epps!

With a love of crafting that shows no signs of stopping, Wanda Epps is the publisher of Making Beaded, a website dedicated to showing others how to make jewelry the easy way.

Her love of crafts can be traced backed to childhood when she used to embroider a favorite jean jacket until it fell apart.

Let’s meet Wanda!

10 Fun Facts About Wanda Epps:

  • I grew up in a great small town called Louisa, VA where not much newsworthy happens but it was recently the epicenter of a 5.8 earthquake.
  • My favorite decade is the 70’s, so I loved watching That 70’s Show. I also love the biggest seventies disco group The Bee Gees. I loved them in the eighties too even though some thought they were no longer cool.
  • Besides jewelry making, I’ve had a few other hobbies – flower arranging, painting floor cloths and crocheting. My next crafting adventure will be quilting.
  • My favorite color is red and when I make jewelry for myself I try to incorporate red beads.
  • Robert De Niro is my all time favorite actor.
  • I have a ton of craft books and beads…You could say that I’m addicted. Okay, I admit it, I am!
  • In high school I was student council president and a member of the Honor Society.
  • My favorite classes in junior high and high school were art class and home economics – loved those macrame plant hangers.
  • I do not have a nick name and cannot swim.
  • I have lived in three different states – Virginia, South Carolina and California.

Wanda’s Project: Simple Bead Earrings

Have fun with this quick and easy beading project. Make these simple bead earrings in less than ten minutes!

How to Make Simple Bead Earrings

Jewelry Making Supplies

  • two 8mm round beads in your favorite color (I used dyed red bamboo coral)
  • two 1 1/4 inch (3.2 cm) lengths of small link chain
  • two 1 1/2 inch (3.8 cm) head pins
  • two earwire jewelry findings (I used two Sheppard’s hook earwires)

Jewelry Making Tools

  • wire cutters
  • round nose pliers
  • chain nose pliers

Simple Bead Earrings Jewelry Making Instructions

1. Using wire cutters, cut two 1 1/4 inch (3.2 cm) lengths of small link chain. Set aside for use in Step 3.


2. Sting one 8mm bead onto a head pin. Using the chain nose and round nose pliers, make the first half of a wrapped wire loop.

3. Slide the first link of one of the lengths of chain into the half wrapped wire loop.


4. Using the chain nose and round nose pliers, complete the wrapped wire loop.


5. Using the chain nose pliers, open the loop on of one earwire. Slide the last link of chain onto the loop.


6. Using the chain nose pliers, close the loop.

How to make a simple bead earring


7. Repeat Steps 2 through 6 to make a second earring.


Enjoy wearing your new quick and simple bead earrings!