Author Archives | Haley

About Haley

Brooklyn-based DIY from a Gal in Granny Glasses! When not at CTD, I write The Zen of Making (http://www.thezenofmaking.com), a DIY blog featuring craft tutorials, handmade geekery, and all things domestic. (Okay, and a few cat photos.)

Craft Tool Review: AccuQuilt GO! Baby Fabric Cutter

November 25, 2013

7 Comments

Guys, something wonderful happened to me last week in the craft studio: I fell absolutely head over heels in love with my new AccuQuilt GO! Baby fabric cutter. Now, I wouldn’t generally get so worked up about a die cutter, but the GO! Baby made cutting fabric so easy that I never, ever want to […]

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Craft Tool Review: Clover Weaving Sticks

September 17, 2013

12 Comments

In the mood for a quick stash-busting yarn craft? The new Weaving Sticks from Clover USA definitely fit the bill! Super-easy and way faster than knitting or crochet, these portable weaving sticks are a fun alternative to more complex yarn crafts, and are a great option for whipping up accessories and simple projects. Clover USA […]

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CHA Summer 2013: Tools for Custom Fiber and Fabric Projects

August 14, 2013

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One of the things I love most about DIY is the opportunity for each maker to customize new projects in a way that incorporates her/his own personal style. And, since I’m a fabric and fiber crafter who’s pretty particular about shapes, color, and design, I always keep a special eye out for fun fabric and […]

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CHA Summer 2013 Booth Love – Haley’s Favorite: Bottle Cutting Inc.

August 3, 2013

5 Comments

When picking out favorite booths on the show floor, I’m often drawn to over-the-top displays, vintage throwbacks, or eye-catching colors, but not this year. At CHA Summer 2013, I only had eyes for Bottle Cutting Inc. Nestled among the new exhibitors, Bottle Cutting Inc. wasn’t the flashiest or biggest booth at the show, but the […]

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CHA Summer 2013 Fabric and Fiber Trends: Back to the Basics

July 26, 2013

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At CHA Summer 2013, one thing is clear in the world of fabric and fiber: time-honored and traditional methods of making are making a big comeback. It seems like everywhere I look, it’s back to the basics…but with a twist! First off, I am absolutely in love with the colorful Janome SewMini sewing machines that […]

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Craft Book Review: Crochet One-Skein Wonders

June 18, 2013

5 Comments

One of my favorite things about crochet is how quickly a project can take shape—especially if you’re using taller stitches. Because crochet projects can be much closer to instant-gratification than knitting, you’ll often find me with a hook in my hand instead of needles. The only problem is, since crochet projects generally require more yarn […]

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Craft Tool Review: Clover USA Pin ‘n Stow

April 23, 2013

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Since winter CHA, I’ve been working my way through the list of new products from Clover USA, and I’ve finally arrived at the simple, handy Pin ‘n Stow. The Pin ‘n Stow is exactly what it looks like: an adjustable magnetic bracelet that’s made to hold pins while you’re sewing, quilting, or doing appliqué work. […]

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Craft Tool Review: Nancy’s Hobo Tote Collection Trace ‘n Create Bag Templates from Clover USA

March 26, 2013

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At CHA this winter, Clover USA had a ton of exciting new products, but Nancy’s Hobo Tote Collection Trace ‘n Create Bag Template was definitely one of my favorites. For me, working on this review couldn’t have come at a better time. My current handbags were all starting to look pretty rough, and I really […]

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Craft Product Review: Boye Artisan Tools CrochetMaster Plus Crochet Hook Set

February 18, 2013

9 Comments

I’m pretty handy with a crochet hook, and Tunisian crochet (also known as afghan crochet) has been at the top of my must-try list for months. So, when I spotted the Boye Artisan Tools CrochetMaster Plus Crochet Hook Set in the Simplicity booth at both CHA and VOGUEknitting LIVE, it was love at first (and […]

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CHA Winter 2013: Getting Groovy in the iLoveToCreate Booth

January 22, 2013

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The iLoveToCreate booth is always one of my favorites at CHA, and the CHA Winter 2013 was definitely no exception. The booth was bursting with so much color and joy that I couldn’t resist taking a little break from walking the show floor to snap some photos to share with you guys. Get ready to […]

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CHA Winter 2013: Haley’s Clover USA Sewing and Notions Picks

January 14, 2013

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On Sunday morning, I attended the Clover USA media breakfast at CHA Winter 2013. Much to my excitement, I saw a ton of great sewing-related products that made my fabric-loving heart very happy indeed! Here are a few items that caught my eye: Remember the slap bracelets from the 90s? Well, the Pin ‘n Stow […]

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Craft Product Review: Christmas Woolens Ornament Kit from Rachel’s of Greenfield

December 13, 2012

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‘Tis the season to be crafting, so in the spirit of celebrating the holidays with handmade goodness, I tried out Christmas Woolens, a lovely traditional felt ornament kit from Rachel’s of Greenfield! I came across this kit while browsing booths at CHA last winter, and the muted colors and thoughtful details stopped me in my […]

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Craft Product Review: Self-Finishing Needlepoint Coaster Kit from Jenny Henry Designs

November 19, 2012

4 Comments

For this review, I tried out a fun and surprisingly modern Self-Finishing Needlepoint Coaster Kit in the knotwork pattern from Jenny Henry Designs. Consider yourself warned: this is definitely NOT the kind of plastic canvas project that your grandma gave you as a kid! According to the Jenny Henry Designs Etsy Shop: This kit contains […]

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Craft Product Review: Neenah EPC™ Film Cuttable Heat Transfer Film

October 17, 2012

3 Comments

Today, I’m reviewing Neenah EPC™ Film – Environmentally Preferable Cuttable Film. Neenah EPC™ Film is marketed as a greener alternative to more traditional vinyl heat transfer sheets, and it can be used as a substitute for vinyl heat transfer film in just about any project. It’s available in both multi and single color packs, and […]

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Craft Product Review: Kwik Sew Organizer Patterns

September 21, 2012

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I definitely know a thing or two about keeping a craft room neat and tidy, so these Kwik Sew organizer patterns are right up my alley. And, since September is National Sewing Month, it’s the perfect time for a sewing pattern review! The fine folks at Kwik Sew gave me several organizer patterns to try […]

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Craft Product Review: Martha Stewart Crafts Pierce and Stitch Starter Kit

August 23, 2012

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Sewing has always been my craft of choice, and I incorporate stitching into everything from clothing and home décor to paper projects. So, when I got the opportunity to review the Martha Stewart Crafts Pierce and Stitch Starter Kit from EK Success Brands, I couldn’t wait to try out the specialized tools—especially the piercing mat […]

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CHA Summer 2012: Fabric and Yarn Craft Highlights

July 31, 2012

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As many of you know, I specialize in fabric and yarn crafts here at Craft Test Dummies. So, while I was walking the show floor at CHA Summer 2012 last week, I kept a special eye out for new and exciting products for the pins, needles, and hooks crowd. Here’s what I saw: Knitting, Crochet, […]

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CHA Summer 2012: HandBEHG Felts Booth Love

July 24, 2012

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At any trade show, hundreds of booths compete for attention, but only a few really have what it takes to draw you in. At CHA Summer 2012, the booth that most caught my eye was definitely HandBEHG Felts! Even in the harsh show floor lighting, the rich, vibrant colors stopped me in my tracks, and […]

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CHA Summer 2012: The iLoveToCreate Creativity Lounge

July 19, 2012

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Yesterday, I got to spend a little time hanging out as a guest host in the iLoveToCreate Creativity Lounge on the CHA Summer 2012 show floor, chatting with fellow crafters and making fun flower brooch accessories. The vibe in the lounge was fun and easygoing, giving weary CHA attendees a chance to grab a sip […]

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Craft Product Review: Sullivans Embroidery Floss

June 20, 2012

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Today, I’m reviewing a selection of Sullivans embroidery flosses, including standard embroidery floss, pearl cotton, and metallic floss. While Sullivans might not be as well known as some other embroidery floss brands on the market, I was immediately drawn to the rich color, consistent texture, and lustrous appearance of the skeins—especially the pearl cotton. I […]

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Craft Tool Review: ImpressArt Metal Stamps

May 22, 2012

4 Comments

I’ve wanted to try out a set of metal stamps from the first moment I saw what they could do. Luckily, the fine folks at ImpressArt shared my enthusiasm, and when I ran into them at CHA, they generously provided a full set of letters and numbers for me to review. In case you’re not […]

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Craft Product Review: Babyville Boutique Sewing Line from Prym Consumer USA

April 11, 2012

5 Comments

Even though it’s technically designed with diapers in mind, and I definitely don’t have any rugrats of my own running around, I couldn’t wait to review the Babyville Boutiqueâ„¢ line from Prym Consumer USA! I may not be a mom, but the promise of breathable, waterproof fabric still sets my heart all aflutter, and polka […]

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Craft Product Review: LED Sewing Kit from Sternlab.org

March 20, 2012

2 Comments

If you’re looking to add a little extra shine to your needlework and sewing projects, you’ll definitely want to check out this LED Sewing Kit from Becky at Sternlab.org. Even if you don’t have previous experience with creating circuits, don’t worry—the kits are easy to use and yield great results. Before I started this review, […]

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CHA Winter 2012: Haley’s Fabric and Fiber Craft Favorites

February 13, 2012

1 Comment

I’m a fabric and fiber crafter at heart, and CHA Winter 2012 certainly did not disappoint. Between demos and events, I hit the aisles to check out what was new in the crafting world, keeping an eye out for exciting developments in the fabric, needle, and yarn arts. Per usual, I saw way more great […]

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CHA Winter 2012: Lion Brand Yarn Fashion Show

February 2, 2012

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On Monday, I attended the Lion Brand Yarn Winter 2012 CHA Fashion Show, and it rocked my fiber-loving socks off! Not only did I get to have a catwalk photo op with the lovely Vanna White, I also scored a prime seat right near the action, and was completely blown away by the talent of […]

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Craft Product Review: Lion Brand Yarn LB Collection Wool Stainless Steel Yarn

January 19, 2012

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When I received a sample of the LB Collection® Wool Stainless Steel Yarn from Lion Brand Yarn, I immediately fell in love with the packaging and presentation. Plus, with such an odd name, I couldn’t wait to try it out and see what it could do (and how it would treat my hands). After testing […]

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Craft Tool Review: Martha Stewart Crafts and Lion Brand Yarn Knit and Weave Loom Kit

December 22, 2011

4 Comments

When the lovely folks at Lion Brand Yarn sent me the Martha Stewart Craftsâ„¢ and Lion Brand Yarn® Knit & Weave Loom Kit—and a giant box of yarn to use while I was trying it out—I was both very excited and completely overwhelmed. With more than thirty configurations for creating square, rectangle, circle, and oval […]

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Craft Product Review: Clover Seams Right and Clover 5-in-1 Sliding Gauge (Stocking Stuffers!)

December 9, 2011

4 Comments

If you have a sewing enthusiast or fabric crafter on your holiday gift list, you’ll definitely want to stick around! For this review, I tested the Clover 5-in-1 Sliding Gauge and the Clover Seams Right, which are both products from their partnership with Nancy Zieman. I loved trying out both of these tools, and think […]

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Craft Product Review: Neo Stitch Cross-Stitch iPhone Case by Leese Design

November 30, 2011

8 Comments

When I first saw the Leese Design Neo Stitch Cross-Stitch iPhone Case, I was absolutely giddy with excitement. The idea of being able to cross-stitch a custom case for my phone was almost too much for my little embroidery-loving heart. But, before I got too excited, I knew that I would need to create a […]

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Craft Book Review: Crafting with Cat Hair by Kaori Tsutaya

November 17, 2011

5 Comments

Reviewing the book Crafting With Cat Hair: Cute Handicrafts to Make with Your Cat resulted in, hands down, two of the most bizarre projects that I’ve ever made. Strangely enough, they also ended up being two of the cutest. Keep on reading and you’ll see what I mean! Crafting With Cat Hair: Cute Handicrafts to […]

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