Sunday, January 22, 2012

Conversation with Confessions of a Barefoot Housewife

One of the greatest pleasures of starting this Etsy and blog venture has been meeting so many wonderful people along the way. When I first started on Etsy my sales were pretty low so I decided to ask people if they would like to trade with me for items in my shop. In doing so I met Vanessa, one of the craftiest people I have ever met. She has made me bookends, letter magnets and craft bins made from thrifted fabrics and denim. These are all wonderful treasures in our house now and really make our home feel so cozy.
Vanessa of Confessions of a Barefoot Housewife

She has started a new blog called “Confessions of a Barefoot Housewife” where she writes about repurposing, thrifting, canning, raising toddlers, motherhood, and of course crafting!  Go check it out and give her some love!!! I’ve asked her over here today to ask her what I can do with all those little scrappy pieces of yarn I’ve been collected in jars from all the various projects over the months. You know, the teency little 2 to 3 inch little guys that you can’t even use for granny squares.

Here’s our interview:
Please tell us a little bit about yourself?
Well, I grew up in a little island in Washington where I met my now husband. My mother didn’t let my sister and I watch TV so we had to be creative. I think that’s where my passion for making things really started. My husband and I have had quite a whirlwind of a life, including a 6 month backpacking trip through Europe and 8 months teaching in the Dominican Republic. We now call a little mountain town in Northern California home but we average 2 moves a year so who knows where our next adventure will take us. I have no idea how I find the time to craft between going to school, watching my 15 month old, cleaning the house, and making dinner. But I tend to have at least 4 projects I’m working on in any given week.
When did crafting become an obsession for you?
I have always loved creating, building, and exploring. My sister and I used pretend we had our own craft show. We would make anything from cornhusk dolls to bird houses. It was a lot of fun. But I think that my “obsession” really got started when I found out I was pregnant. We were living in the Dominican Republic at the time and I was having crafting withdrawals. So I gathered up all the different glass bottles I could find (which, sadly, were a lot!) and made a mosaic. By the time we moved back to the US I was so craft deprived that I spent all my waking hours making toys for my daughter. I even knit a blanket throughout our road trip from Washington to California, via Wisconsin. I have since filled my house with toys, canned and dehydrated food, lots of cloth boxes, and many other crafty things.
What inspires you?
What inspires me? Well frankly, trash. I look at an empty milk jug and think“that could totally become a bird feeder!” My husband is so understanding when it comes to sorting our trash. I have about ten bins in my garage for trash and only one of them ever makes it to the dump. Not sure if any of you have read Christina Katerina and the Box by Patricia Lee Gauch but if you haven’t I suggest you find a copy yourself a copy. It’s really cute and describes me perfectly. My parents were also a huge inspiration. We had very little money growing up my sister and I had no idea because my parents were so creative. My mom would make us toys, help us use our imaginations and let us play in the dirt (a must for every child’s development). My dad would make us jungle gyms, forts, and even a puppet stage in our house. They were truly amazing. And lastly, my daughter inspires me. I see something that she might like in a photo or at the store and I want to try to make it for her.
Okay crafty woman! Tell us, what can we do with those teeny tiny pieces of yarn?
Oh the endless possibilities. I love lists and they are easier to follow. So here are 10 ideas using yarn scraps:
1. Use it as batting instead of polyfil
2. Make pom pom garland. People tend to make pom poms by cutting a long piece of yarn up. Why not just use the scraps and skip the cutting?
3. Fill an old milk carton and fruit tray with yarn and put it out as a nester for birds. Check out funinthemaking for a visual.

home-style bird nester

4. Make balls for a necklace out of them. Use lots of clear drying glue to make the balls hold together.
5. Have your child glue pieces of yarn on paper for artwork (makes a great family portrait). Check out almostunschoolers to seewhat I mean.


6. Make a bowl (yes, I said a bowl) elisabethandree made awonderful one.


7. I did this craft once with my mom; we took a petri size dish and filled it with melted wax (melted so it’s not a liquid but not truly a solid). We pushed pieces of yarn into it to create different designs. My mom glued a piece of yarn on the back and hung them on our windows with suction cups. They looked really cool when the sun shone through them.
8. Fill a clear plastic water bottle with water and throw a handful of yarn scraps in (optional: glitter and tinsel). Glue the cap on and hang it to your toddler. He can make the yarn “dance.”
9. Yarn is wonderful because it will keep its shape if you glue it to something. Back when I taught preschool we did something similar to what kinskandykreations did here with Christmas lights and molded yarn.

10. Get a flat rate box from the post office. Stuff as much yarn scraps as you can in it and mail it to me so I can come up with some more ideas! (Feel free to add other crafts supplies as well).

And there you have it!  Thanks so much Vanessa for stopping by.  You never cease to amaze me with your creativity!


  1. You are so talented! You are an Inspiration, thank you

  2. I love the bowl. What an inspiration you are. Your interview made me smile.


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