Saturday, March 16, 2024

Time flies by...

 Just an update that I'm still here..  the geckos keep me busy, but I'm hoping to be back up to full capacity dyeing and fiber art classes by fall.   Still doing shows as I am able to...  will be in West Virginia this month finally!

handspun yarn
art journal entry, sunrise in a valley
For those who don't know me, my health is the anchor around my neck, but there's a lot of potential improvement happening this year! So I can't plan ahead enough to get back into fiber festivals this year, but I hope to be back at it full swing in 2025.
handspun yarn on a bobbin
a derpy gecko smiling on a crocheted bridge

Saturday, January 29, 2022

I'm on YouTube now!

 My YouTube channel is under "me" as Lauren and the Yarn, since I may do videos or promotions that are not directly related to my business, though creative hauls and demonstrations are the primary content currently planned.

So please check out my first couple of videos, like, subscribe, and share!

 Thanks so much!



Monday, May 31, 2021

Making all sorts of things...


Do you feel stuck or just feel you need something new? 

I spent a couple months between printers, so I didn't want to scrapbook..... and oh boy it was a wonderful "pause" to discover I could stretch out in other directions!

From making art cards by repurposing playing cards, to making an entire book of tags -- to mixed media art to use further in future projects, using a travelers notebook, repurposing old things...  there are so many options!

Just try something new!
It's only paper!

Monday, May 3, 2021

Paper Glazes


This is my first foray into using paper glazes, so when I couldn't resist the siren call of some of the unique stencils that Picket Fence Studio carries -- I decided to try out a "compliment" set I picked out by screen alone.

I'm not a fan of yellow for my personal items, so I went with the richer Golden Rose, which does slant the colors I can blend from the set.  The lighter green was not used in the blending example here.

I am a fan now and glad I took the plunge into getting these!  Below are some cards I made for the Full Deck Challenge group using a Ranger Dylusion's stencil using the Golden Rose color.

Picket Fence Studios:

Full Deck Challenge Group:

Other items used on the cards include Washi Tape from Hitchock Paper Co.  , free printables from, butterfly stamp and floral die cut from various magazine kits from Craftstash, and even more stencils in various brands.

Important to note -- as I only found out by accident this week -- embossing glazes from Ranger / Tim Holtz Distress line are embossing powder. They are not this thick paste / paint at all!

Disclaimer: as of this post's original publication date none of these are affiliate links, nothing written at the request of any company.  Just my honest babbling about new toys!

$20 at Five Below

 So in an art journaling group, I saw someone else gush about the fatter set of markers so I poked at the site a few days later and found some more things perfect for a crafter's desk!  

  •   square large dual tip marker set
  •   finer dual tip marker set
  •   2 decks of cards
  •   2 small plastic baskets
  •   fiberboard coated desk organizer in a lovely floral design. 
  •   glass sprayer

I'm not sure whether it's broken or user error already after two nice sprays.  I will attempt to diagnose the problem or apply hot glue to it tomorrow.  But all the items were $20!*

I took a couple pics below so you could see how the 12" desk organizer fits items..  The right most section is approx 2.5 decks of card wide... the wide sections are less than 2 decks deep, while easily fitting  6x8" paper pad or heidi swapp planner insert in either way.  It also fits the fatter markers easily, 2 deep.

Neither package of markers say they are alcohol based so I tested them. Both after left to dry for hours and  writing freshly did not react noticeably to a wet paintbrush -- the larger markers do not bleed at all on this cover stock.  The finer tip set  had a little bit of creep in the freshly applied test from getting the paper wet, but there was no color spreading in the surface water at all, and no reaction in the dry sample when water was applied.  All the colors tested bleed thru the cardstock easily though- so def not something to use in your planner unless you only use page fronts and use a mop page between your active sheets. 

This budget was only held to so easily because Five Below does not currently have the stickers I was used to in stores in 2019 listed on their website. I do not know if this is because they stopped carrying so many or just simply don't list them online yet.

Hope you found this helpful and please share if you made projects with finds at Five Below!

*Now this is before tax and shipping (which is a super reasonable flat rate) and I did order a few other household items to divide that cost out between.

Liquid Embellishment Comparison


I wanted to do a quick swatch comparison for myself of some of these new toys.  

The new Pops of Color from  have the thickest tip, and the thickest liquid. The dots are not self leveling so you if you leave them pointed, they dry that way.  It is a nice shimmering paint that dilutes with water well too!
Opening these is more complicated as well -- there's a stopper in the tip, but it also means you can unscrew the tip so if these clog they will be easier to remedy later.
The Ranger Liquid Pearls has the cleanest and thinnest tip for writing, smoothest liquid of the opaque types. (the grey L)   The two Nuvo types, have the medium sized tip of the three --   the Crystal is opaque and slightly more self leveling than the Ranger.  The Jewel is very self leveling, but it also means your writing or drawing widens out as it dries.  The translucent nature of it still makes it very versatile though!

I did test out a 2nd color of each and didn't find any difference in behavior from these examples in the photograph. Some pigments can make products behave slightly differently between colors but I haven't seen it yet in these products.

I recommend all four types for different uses -- so have fun embellishing your projects with each!   And when you eventually smudge it while wet -- have no fear -- you can wipe it as flat as possible, allow to dry. Then cover with a different embellishment or my favorite is a scrap of washi tape that matches the project.  Then you can add your dots on top again.

I don't have affiliate links at this time but you should be able to find all these and more between,,, and!

Happy crafting to you all!

Friday, July 24, 2020

We're moving!

I hope you have some good books to read this summer and plenty of fiber and yarn to entertain you!

Our current landlord wants to sell the house, so we are in the process of moving to a new place! 

Be back as soon as we can with a brand new website! 


Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Halloween Potion Bottle Labels

I'm taking a short break from yarn work this afternoon to make the house a little more spooky. I've been collecting bead containers, button bottles, and vitamin bottles all year for this.... and decided to make up my own labels.

So here's a free page of printables to make your own laboratory shelf full of cauldron ingredients.

Right click - download or view image then save as to get the full 8.5"x11" size.

Please only share these with a link to my blog! 

Friday, September 23, 2016

Friday Update

It was a busy week!  I completed another cowl for a swap partner from handspun that's only been marinating in stash for 3 years. LOL

I actually received the batts that become the yarn from a different swapper in the same group, but I still have almost 200 yards to make something else for me later.

Changed out our summer wreath on the door for a brand new Fall one too!  It's my only nod to fall decorating this year and cost a mere $5 in materials and some old fabric from stash. The rest of the house is going full Halloween next week!

Which brings me to today's shop update!  Three spooky new colorways of batts, just in time to order for Spinzilla next month!

Thursday, August 18, 2016

Copyright for baby racoons & pizza lovers

 Now honestly we all love Google Image Search.  It's a very useful tool, and who doesn't need to see 400 photos of baby raccoons at least once a year?

Now doesn't this easy access mean I can use those images for anything I want to?     In a nutshell... no.  Keep your paws off them.
But to explain copyright of images... let's pretend that photo of a baby racoon is a pizza.

Pizza?  Yes - just play along with me for a few minutes... 

You see a piping hot pizza on the break room table at work.  You are hungry and that pizza looks delicious.  BUT....  with no further knowledge of the source of the pizza, taking it is theft, right?  It's right there in front of you, and for anyone else walking by to see it.  If Carl in the office next to you takes a slice - does that make it okay for you to take one too?  NO.. Carl is a thief…   ...don’t be Carl. Or maybe Carl bought the pizza.

Who owns the pizza?    Whoever made the pizza owned it, then whoever purchased it (the rights) now owns it.  Or maybe some coworkers are splitting the pizza and they all own part of it?  None of them would appreciate you stealing a slice!
So the pizza joint is the creator of the pizza and the original owner. They can sell ownership of the pizza to whomever they choose.  You could compare the coworkers who jointly own the pizza to license holders who pay for permission to use the same image or copyrighted material. Or collaborators who equally hold ownership of a finished item.

Now without anymore knowledge of the true ownership of the pizza - what can you morally/ethically/creepily do with the pizza?    You could snap a photo of the pizza for personal use, to cry on social media about the salad you packed for lunch that day instead….   But you can’t go yell at Carl for stealing the pizza and make him pay you for it.  It’s not your pizza!

There is more to this diabolical saga of pizza ownership and melty cheese at your fingertips… but in the mean time, think twice the next time you are about to click “save image”.

Check back for the next post soon!

Disclaimer: I am not a lawyer - please do not take my advice as if I were one. The raccoon photo credit in this blog post belongs to this photographer, where it is posted free for commercial use.  The oogy gooey pizza slice is my own original creation and property.

Thursday, July 7, 2016

TdF Day 3-5

 I finished spinning the first two batts and started on some gradient dyed bfl/silk from Kim Dyes Yarn. I bailed on spinning yesterday after a full day of zoo keeping..... and went last minute shoe shopping with a friend so I have some cute new casual flats to wear on vacation instead of just tennis shoes (bonus, they are also easier to take on and off to spin!).

 Today's job will be figuring out what to pack to spin while away. I'm bringing the Aura since it folds and we have a small car...... so the gradient spin will have to wait it's turn for when I get back next week.

Time flies by...

 Just an update that I'm still here..  the geckos keep me busy, but I'm hoping to be back up to full capacity dyeing and fiber art c...