Gencon2019 with Brother Crafts

As I always disclose I am a paid consultant and work with Brother, but all ideas and opinions are my own. Well today that is extra fun because I am back from GenCon and have some photos and notes to share with you!

Each day I wore a different semi-homemade outfit that both my sewing machine and ScanNCut helped me create! During the day, I demonstrated how much fun both the ScanNCut and the sewing machines by Brother can be for all kinds of crafting!

So many of the features and functions make it so easy to create, and are so user friendly. I love that about Brother machines and am so happy to share my passion for creating any chance I get!

Here is a mask I worked on during GenCon – the thermoplastic is cut from ScanNcut and soon it will be finished (and a video shared!). The abilities of the ScanNCutDX to cut through thick materials and do so with an auto blade really are priceless!

This outfit was my most intricate – and favorite! I’ve really become obsessed with character inspired aprons and accessories. I plan on sharing some how-tos as Halloween approaches and simple costume tricks become a must!

This is such a great example of how a ScanNCut + Sewing and Embroidery Machine can come together for awesome results! Each of my outfits combines these machines and functions and the results are fun – and easier to make than you might think!

Working an event like this is a lot of hard work – but also so special and fun! I was able to speak to so many crafters of so many genres and share with them not just what I do, but how these great machines can help them with their projects. We got everything from making gaming tokens to cutting out cards for games, cosplay to custom embroidery for clothing. And that’s just the beginning!

Visiting with Joe Rotella in the craft classroom! Brother had machines up in open craft for use as well which is so cool!

We got to showcase two new (coming soon!) special sewing & embroidery machines (the picture above gives you a pretty good hint at the one! Look closely at my photos in this post and you might get MARVELous clues as to the other theme!) – and I will be sharing some looks at that very soon.

For now I’m back to some repair and handmade crafting here at home while prepping for the first day of school this week. Wild times! I can’t thank Brother enough for sending me on such a great trip and letting me share my passion for crafting with so many folks! I got a lot of ideas for new YouTube videos and posts while at GenCon so do stay tuned!

While this burger looks insane… trust me it was so good I can’t stop thinking about it! One of the best things about GenCon? All the crazy ideas that work and are celebrated!

ScanNCutDX: For Costume!

So I’m off to GenCon with Brother (the usual disclaimer here that I work with them as a paid consultant, but all ideas and opinions shared by me are my own) and I’ve been using my ScanNCut to help me craft fun outfits!

As you can see above – my desk is one big mess! Today I want to share the ways that I’m using my SNCDX to help me craft my costume pieces, and hopefully give you some ideas to expand your craft supply use!

  1. Cutting around embroidered designs (this one above purchased at
  2. Cutting paper templates and stencils to see if my crazy ideas work.
  3. Cutting out felt, fabric, vinyl, and more for shaped pieces for my aprons
  4. Scanning in customized designs to then cut out of another material for use on my outfits
  5. Creating small scale paper versions of ideas to prove concept and if my wild ideas work

My daughter Rebecca has been helping with art and ideas for me – above you see an idea we have with playing cards on my apron – concept will include machine embroidery on the jacket combining the power of my sewing machine plus my ScanNCut. A few tips for DIY clothes and costumes:

  1. Sketch *even if badly* and mock up your ideas before you cut into pricey material. Better to be sure things should work before you hack into something expensive!
  2. Test cut on paper – I like to use notebook paper, scrap, and used journal pages for this. When done I recycle them
  3. Measure 3x! Whether it is being sure of a width or checking that you have space – always be sure!
  4. Don’t be afraid to go partial with your DIY. In my case I’m adding details to pre-made clothing items in some instances, or topping an outfit with a homemade or semi-homemade apron. It doesn’t always make sense to start from scratch.

When I am back from GenCon I’ll share some tutorials, photos, and how-to for the outfits and accessories I created for this huge event. If you’ll be there stop by and see me at the Brother booth! I’m excited to demo both embroidery and the ScanNCut. When I’m combining them the limit really is just my imagination!

If you use your ScanNCut or other craft supplies to help with clothes or costumes I’d love to hear your tips, ideas, and tricks!

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The Busy July Part 1

We’ll dig into things like the Met (MY #1 FAVE MUSEUM SO FAR IN MY LIFE!) and why Becca and I ran to NYC for 2 days (Be More Chill Musical is short version) – and where the heck I’m off to in 1 hour and why I can’t be at home this month another time. Ha!

For the moment I’m unplugged a LOT. In fact I’m only on the computer this morning to clear my phone of pics/order some up as the most hectic month of my life rolls on. No, really. I’ve never ever been gone this much or done this much in such a few short weeks.

The day before (yes you read that right) I left for NYC Elizabeth took place in her first horse show. It was 4 days of sun, sweat, and a lot of fun with our amazing barn family. I could gush on those folks forever – so much kindness and support! Really great life lessons too…

It took me a decade to earn my first buckle – she won with “Goober” on her first show. Way to go, kiddo! And more proof of awesome barn family? Goober here came out of retirement and was loaned to Elizabeth so she could have this special experience. She’ll show him again next week. (yes, the summer is crazy have i mentioned that?!)

Scrappy says… time for a nap! I hope you’re having a great summer. I’ll be checking back in as soon as I’m back from camping, but before I leave for a week in Indianapolis (GenCon).

What are you up to? Is your summer slow paced and relaxed? Busy? Craft time galore? What are you working on? Do share!

Craft Supply Shopping: A Do & Don’t list

We’ve all been there: there’s a project going and you over shop. Or purchase things you didn’t need. Or over purchase. Well in craft supplies this can lead to a cluttered work space, money wasted, and eventually things thrown away. So how do you shop smarter? Spend less?

For the last two years I’ve carefully scaled back, honed in, and limited my craft supply shopping. There are a few key rules I stick to, and so far my stash has continued to shrink where it should – and I’ve been averaging about one shopping trip about every 2 months!


I can buy as many basics as I would like. If it’s cardstock, thread, black pens… you get the idea. If I am on the fence about a basic that gets used across my crafting spectrum, it can come home!

Project Specific

I am not allowed to buy anything that I don’t have a specific and immediate need for. Example: yes that fabric is cool, but why do I “NEED” it today? If answer isn’t there, product doesn’t come home!

Plan & List

I always work out sketches and plans on bigger scale projects (planning a party to making a new sewing project) and then I’m sure to make a list and sketch out what I believe I’ll need so I don’t over buy or get the wrong things.

“next time” on borderline purchases

With the internet, most of the time I can find multiple sources for things. So when I am shopping and am on the fence about it, I’ll look it up and see if I can find it elsewhere, and otherwise put it on hold. I also let myself know if I still need it “next time” I can get it when I’m back. I’ve yet to regret something I didn’t get – in fact most of the time that sticker sheet or embellishment is forgotten before I return!

One more time: how will I use it?

“OH this is a cute die cut!” Ok, but how will you use it? Can you name 5 projects that it’ll work on? “This sticker sheet is so perfect for that vacation!” Ok, but do you use sticker sheets? Will you actually put those stickers onto your projects?

It is so important to shop how you craft – NOT what you think is cute. I know that sounds silly, but trust the lady who has gifted way too many things she shouldn’t have purchased in the past! Now it doesn’t mean no fun- it means just make sure you’re buying what you’ll really use!

I’d love to hear your thoughts and tips on more mindful craft shopping – do share!