Tagged with fabri-kate

Fabri-Kate: Easy, quick, and uniquely yours – DIY earring holder

DSCF2595By Kathleen Neafsey

February is nearly over!  Short month, so short project — this is, by far, the easiest project that I’ve done!  The supply list is also super-short … two items, to be precise! Here’s the background on how this came to be: I’ve had this earring holder; I don’t know where it came from or how it ever made it into my house, but I have it.

Neither of my daughters claims to have ever owned it, but one day I came across it and I needed one, so I started to use it. As you can see by the photo, it’s pretty juvenile, but it served a purpose, sadly, I went with it.  For years I’ve been saying that I’m going to replace it, but haven’t found anything that I liked enough. I’m finally at the point where I just can’t stand looking at it anymore, and have been on the hunt for something new, so I’ve been scouring DIY blogs for inspiration.  Who knew there could be so many variations of earring holders?! Here’s the one I chose because it looked simple, and can be easily adapted to match your style and decor.

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Fabri-Kate: Kisses and hugs for Valentine’s Day, plus a bit of trivia too!

By Kathleen Neafsey

Baby, it’s cold outside!  January is nearly over, and February is fast-approaching!  With that in mind, I wanted to make something new for Valentine’s Day. The idea for the craft came easily to me, but when writing this post, I got curious about the history of Valentine’s Day. Why do we exchange Valentines? And why do we use X’s and O’s as hugs and kisses? Overthink things much, Kath?

Although I went to Catholic school, and was taught by nuns, I don’t recall St. Valentine being one of the saints that we learned a lot about — of course, I went to grade school back when dinosaurs roamed the earth so it’s quite possible I’ve forgotten much of what I learned. Hence, the Google search — I won’t bore you with the minutiae of it all, but here is a sample of what I found – things that I never knew (or knew and forgot):

One story suggests that Valentine may have been killed for trying to help prisoners escape from harsh Roman prisons, where he had becomee a prisoner himself. History.com says: according to one legend, an imprisoned Valentine actually sent the first “valentine” greeting himself after he fell in love with a young girl–possibly his jailor’s daughter–who visited him during his confinement. Before his death, it is alleged that he wrote her a letter signed “From your Valentine,” an expression that is still in use today.  Whichever legend you choose to believe, Valentine is seen as a heroic, romantic figure. According to the Greeting Card Association, an estimated one billion Valentine’s Day cards are sent each year, making it the 2nd most popular card-sending holiday after Christmas!

As for the X’s and O’s – nearly all of the explanations I read agree that the X symbol refers to a Christian cross and dates back to the days of a less literate society, where marking an “X” on a document served as a signature.  The “X” was then sealed with a kiss as a sign of good faith.  It seems that the most agreed upon explanation for the “O” represents arms encircling another as an embrace.  There you have it, trivia you didn’t bargain for in a craft post!

Let’s go!  On to the easy-peasy wreath I’ve created. Let’s start with the supplies you’ll need:

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Fabri-Kate: A time for thanks and giving

By Kathleen Neafsey

How can November be nearly over? It’s hard to believe that Thanksgiving is just two days away! This past month has certainly been a roller coaster of activities and emotions. There was no Fabri-Kate on November 6 due to Hurricane Sandy. I had no power or phone service or internet; minor inconveniences, really, in comparison to the devastating losses suffered by so many. You may have heard of my hometown, Tottenville, in the news over the past few weeks — it’s a small town in the “forgotten borough” of Staten Island. Just a few short blocks away from me there were homes swept away, lives lost, and families shattered. I could post photos that were taken the next day – of empty foundations where loving homes once stood – I can qualify them as loving homes because I know the people that lived there, friends, former students and co-workers. Photos, however, couldn’t possibly express the heartbreak and disbelief that I felt that day, and today. If nothing else, I hope that hurricane Sandy taught us perspective: focus on the things in our lives that aren’t “things” at all — our families, our relationships and friendships — at the end of the day, those are what matter.

All that being said, here are some quick and easy things I’m using to set my Thanksgiving table.  I know it’s short notice, but I promise they’re simple enough to do overnight.  Instead of a lovely, traditional, Autumn-hued tablecloth I’m using a white paper tablecloth.

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Fabri-Kate: Makeup and magnets = genius!

By Kathleen Neafsey

When moving my daughter into her dorm room earlier this month, I was astonished at the amount of “stuff” teenagers consider to be essential.  Everything had to go with her.  However, dorm rooms were not made to accommodate all the “essentials” of two teenage girls.  Although, I admit they have made it work for them, and that’s what counts!  Hence, this week’s project is born:  a hanging makeup organizer! I’ve seen similar ideas on other craft blogs, and decided to try my hand at one or two of my own. It’s a great way to make use of the vertical space in the room, and alleviate some of the clutter on top of the dresser – I only wish I had done one while she was still living at home!

You can express yourself so uniquely through this project so I’ll tell you the necessary supplies.  The rest will be up to you, and how you choose to modify it to make it your own.

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Fabri-Kate: Magazines, mirrors and glue … oh my!

By Kathleen Neafsey

I’m learning to  let go … of my magazines.  The majority of the magazines that I read are cooking related; my problem is that I save them because I’ll see a great recipe and think that I’m going to make it one day.  Rarely, if ever, does that happen.

I’ve learned to tear out the recipes that I’m interested in, and toss the rest of the ‘zine.  I’m definitely a fan of passing them on to someone else to read or donating them to anywhere that will take them and, of course, repurposing them.

We’ve all seen those Urban Outfitters recycled magazine picture frames and vases.  Those, however, come with a hefty price tag.  Yours can be made for the price of a mirror, a magazine, and a glue stick.  You’d think that it would take 400, 525,600 pages to achieve … but actually it just took 35 rolled up magazine pages to frame this mirror.

Here’s what you’ll need:

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Fabri-Kate: A fun way to display your favorite photos!

By Kathleen Neafsey

I have to start off by saying: FINALLY! I thought this weekend would never get here!  My niece’s bridal shower was this past Saturday – and while I’m sorry that the shower is over, I’m relieved that I can talk to her and not worry about letting the cat out of the bag. And I no longer have to hide all the projects that I hav going on every time she walks into my house!  That being said, I wanted to make a Scrabble board like the one I posted in this column in June.  I started by asking the bridal party for words or phrases that would be meaningful to the bride and groom, and I also asked for some photos of the happy couple.  I received so many great photos, but knew they wouldn’t all fit on the Scrabble board; hence, another idea is born: A Megan and Joe – through theyears – photo board.

Here’s all you need:

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Fabri-Kate: Show off your magnetic personality

By Kathleen Neafsey

If you watched the season premiere of Breaking Bad, then you know where my inspiration came from for this week’s project.  To make the epic “Magnets” quote my tagline would probably seem crass, so I will refrain.  As always, I wanted to share with you something affordable, easy and useful. And, if you’ve read this column before, you know how I enjoy making things personal and one-of-a-kind.

The running theme in my house these past few months has been getting my eldest daughter, Deirdre, ready for college — I’ve been trying to pick up all those little things for her that you don’t realize you need until you go to use them and they’re not there:  sewing kit, flashlight, safety pins, magnets for the dorm fridge, etc. The other big to-do in our family is my niece, Megan’s, wedding — again, new home, new fridge, magnets!  Okay, enough, you get the picture.

The short list of must-have supplies should include:

  • Clear glass gems. I found mine in the dollar store – 25 in a bag for, you guessed it, $1.
  • Alene’s Clear Gel Tacky Glue
  • Magnets
  • Scissors. A circle punch or craft knife will also work.
  • Gorilla Glue. Or an equally strong adhesive
  • Toothpicks. For spreading the Clear Gel glue smoothly and evenly.

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Kate of the Week: Kathleen Neafsey, our fearless Fabri-Kate crafter

There are so many fascinating Kates out there. And every week, Kate-book.com is resolving to introduce you to a new one. This week, I would like you to meet Kathleen Neafsey, 51, of Staten Island, New York—who you already know a bit from her column Fabri-Kate, where so far, she has given you six fantastic crafting projects to try at home. Without further ado, 13 questions with Kate.

Hey Kate, what do you do?

At the moment, I’m transitioning. I had been a teacher’s assistant in a Pre-K class for nine years, then for the past four years I worked with a child with special needs.  Although I was thinking of going in a completely different direction now, I interviewed at a special needs school this week and fell in love with the class that I was able to observe – so who knows!?

How did you get started in your line of work?

Quite by accident, really, but I love it.

What’s something you wish people knew or understood better about what you do?

That children are really amazing, some just require more patience than others. I’ve been fortunate enough to work with three and four-year olds, the age when they’re so innocent and honest in how they see things.  They’re like little sponges and they take in everything, so it’s really important to teach them patience and kindness from an early age.  Most kids want the same thing; they want to be loved and accepted for who they are.

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