Like A Hole In My Head

11

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

I've always admired mosaic and glass work but felt like it was a craft that was out of reach because of all the fancy supplies and skills it required. Fortunately, I found a great place in our neighborhood, Seattle Mosaic Arts, that offers classes for newbies like me!

I need another hobby like I need a hole in my head but I can't help but be hooked on this craft!


I made a trivet but the studio also offers garden stones and wall hangings. There were endless jars of glass in every color you can imagine and we didn't have to do any of the messy work! We created the design on contact paper and the studio did the cement and grout work (in the color of our choice). Putting all of the pieces together felt like doing a real-life Tetris puzzle!


It's, by no means, perfect but I had such a great time making it. I'm excited to go back to apply what I learned to another project! I may even try the messy stuff next time!



Anyone else recently discovered a new craft obsession??

Good Grief - It's Peanuts Peanuts

1

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Between starting a new job, finishing construction on our home addition and a fun (but busy) social calendar, I haven't had much time for crafting lately.  I did manage to carve out a few hours to participate in the annual Craftster April Fool's Day prank though! Every year, on April 1st, Craftster is transformed into a new site to prank members. Catster, failed project features and craft compound plans have all taken over the home page in past years.

This year, Craftster went NUTS, highlighting nut and squirrel themed projects, changing moderator names and giving every member a new legume-themed avatar. This silly project was my contribution to the fun. 

These are peanuts painted in the likeness of Charles Shulz Peanuts cartoons!

I painted them with skin tones and the colors of their usual outfits. Once that had dried, I used a micron pen to add the details. 

I hot glued them to buttons so that they could stand up on their own. 

To help make the characters feel at home, I painted a background scene on watercolor paper - complete with Snoopy's dog house!



I'm glad I was able to join in the Fool's day fun this year. Who knows, maybe I'll continue adding to my Peanuts Peanuts... great pumpkins, sad Christmas trees or even a psychiatric booth for Lucy! 

Spring Shawl and Sunny Socks

4

Sunday, March 30, 2014

My knitting mojo kicked in late this year. Usually I'm busy with projects in the winter months but get tired of stitching once Spring rolls around.

This year, I didn't do much knitting until March. When I did pull out the yarn and needles, I was inspired by the changing seasons and was drawn to bright yarns and a leafy pattern. This shawl and pair of socks are the result!


I used Malabrigo worsted weight yarn in the lettuce colorway. I adore the subtle color variation of Malabrigo yarns and it doesn't hurt that it's soft and squishy and wonderful to work with.

The pattern is called Saroyan and it's available for free on Ravelry.



I organized a Box of Sunshine swap on Craftster recently. I made these sunny inspired mismatched stripey socks for my partner. The yarn is Cascade 220 and the pattern is just a simple worsted weight bootie.




I'm not ready to put the needles away yet so I'm on the hunt for some good spring and summer knit patterns now! Know of any good ones? 

Nesting Mat for Spoiled Doxies with Tutorial

7

Sunday, January 12, 2014

We have a couple of spoiled wiener dogs who love burrowing and scratching, biting, chewing and rolling around in blankets. They seem to enjoy this process so much that I decided they needed to have their very own nest making bed. This is the result!



It's really just an envelope pillow case with blankets attached on each side. This allows them to dig and pull and scratch and bury until their little hearts are content! They seem to be enjoying it so far so I thought I'd share the instructions for other owners of spoiled beasties.

Supplies
- 2"x15"x17" piece of foam (you could use any size or even just an old pillow)
- 1/2 yard heavy duty fabric such as upholstery or canvas
- 1 yard of fleece or other cozy fabric
- Scissors
- Sewing machine
- Thread
- Iron



Step 1 - Cut your fabrics
Cut your fabrics to the specs below. If you're using a different size piece of foam or pillow, adjust the other measurements, as needed.

From your heavy weight fabric cut:
Cushion top - 1 17" x 19" piece
Cushion bottoms - 2 17" x 13" pieces

From your fleece cut:
Top/bottom - 2 18" x 17" pieces
Sides - 2 15" x 18" pieces



Step 2 - Top stitch cushion bottom seams
Fold over one 17" side of both cushion bottom pieces and press. Fold over and press one more time and then top stitch along the right side fold.



Do this on both of your cushion bottom pieces and then set them aside.

Step 3 - Finish fleece edges
Stitch around three sides of your top/bottom fleece pieces - the 18" side, then the 17" width and back down the next 18" side leaving the last 17" side edge raw. Do this on both of these fleece pieces and then set them aside.

Stitch around three sides of your side fleece pieces - the 18" side, then the 15" and back down the next 18" side leaving the last 15" side edge raw. Do this on both of these fleece pieces and then set them aside.

I tried both a zig-zag stitch and also a blanket stitch on my sewing machine. The blanket stitch ended up looking cleaner and causing less stretching and curling of the fabric. Of course, if you had a serger you could use that. You could even leave all of the edges raw if you wanted - your dog probably won't care :).

blanket stitch on the grey, zig-zag on the green



Step 4 - Make a pillow sandwich
In this step, you'll be putting all of your fabrics together into a big layered sandwich!

Layer 1 - Cushion top piece, right side up



Layer 2 - Top/bottom fleece pieces
For this layer, align the raw 17" sides of each top/bottom fleece piece with the top and bottom edges of your cushion top piece, respectively. Fold over the top of each fleece piece so the bulk is in the middle of your sandwich and out of the way of later stitching.



Layer 3 - Side fleece pieces
Do the same thing for the side fleece pieces aligning the raw 15" edges with the 15" side edges of your cushion top piece. Fold the bulk into the middle so that it's out of the way.



Layer 4 - Cushion bottom pieces
Put the cushion bottom pieces, right side down and finished edges towards the middle, on top of all of the fleece layers.


It's important to be precise with this layering so that you avoid stitching the wrong fleece edge or getting tangled up in the bulk once you're back at the sewing machine.

Once you have everything aligned, pin like mad!!



As you're pinning, double-check that you're not grabbing extraneous fleece pieces in your seam. Each edge should be made up of a layer of your cushion top fabric, one layer of fleece only and your layer of cushion bottom fabrics.



Step 5 - Sew it up
Stitch around the outside of the entire sandwich with a ~1/2 seam. It isn't necessary to leave a gap in the stitching for turning as you'll be able to turn the cushion inside-out through the envelope you made with the cushion bottom fabrics.



Step 6 - Turn it inside out and stuff it
Turn the entire mat inside out through the opening in the cushion bottom. Gently push out the corners with a chopstick and cram your foam in! This might require some folding and squishing and maneuvering but just keep at it until everything fits properly.

Voila!




Beatrice photo-bombed the final pictures I was attempting to take. I think that's a sign that she likes it! .


In classic doxie style, her ear needs turning right side out :).



The doxies immediately got the idea of this nesting mat and are now taking turns digging, tugging and rooting around in it. I think I'll need to make another one!

If you have questions about this project, or anything else, just holler!! 

Mid-Century Modern Holiday Pillow

7

Friday, January 10, 2014

First and foremost, HAPPY 2014!! I hope you had a marvelous holiday season and I truly wish you only good things for the year to come.

I have to admit, on the morning of the 26th, our Christmas ornaments were packed up, our Santa decorations went back in their boxes, the wreath was crammed into the yard waste bin and the pine scented candles were retired for another year. I love celebrating the season but once it's over, I'm done.

For those that feel the same way that I do about the holiday hoopla, let me apologize for sharing an Xmas'ish project in January. I promise to delay any further Christmas posting until December 2014.

This is a pillow I made for a swap partner who shares an appreciation with mid-century modern designs.



The design was inspired by an art print I found on Pinterest. I painted the white trees and rocks onto a piece of linen and then stitched on the pine trees using felt and embroidery floss.


I framed the linen piece with black fabric and then added the red circle fabric to make it a little more Christmas'ey feeling :).



This was a fun project to work on and I like the way it turned out. It was a little hard to send off because it happened to match our living room chairs quite well! It eventually made it to it's new home and was well received and that's what Christmas is all about!

Birthday Book

8

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Thank you to to everyone that provided ideas and suggestions for what to do with the paintings I made for my neighbor's birthday!

With your help, I managed to finish the birthday book for my neighbor's son just in time for the celebration!



I turned the paintings into a little accordion book! For the covers, I glued dictionary pages to cardboard and painted a watercolor and acrylic background to look bubbly. I added a number 2 to celebrate Jordan's second birthday!




I mounted each of the paintings onto the card stock that I had painted a black checked border on. I mounted that on a bright colored construction paper for an extra pop and glued them to the accordion pages.




Based on your tips, I decided to make the book in a way that it could also be displayed on a shelf. The accordion style works perfectly for that!





I got some nice reviews from Jordan's Mom this week and that makes me very happy :).

I've been so enjoying painting and paper crafting lately. My craft room is a disaster but I think that's a good sign!

Found

3

Monday, September 30, 2013

When I posted my ATC folio tutorial last week, a Crafter friend mentioned how it was similar to a leaf collection journal she had once received and really enjoyed. I thought the idea of a folio where you could keep fall treasures was too sweet of an idea not to try!



I made this the same way that I created the art folio. The only difference is that instead of brown packing paper, I used parchment baking paper - perfect for leaf pressing and storage!



I also added some miniature vellum envelopes for tiny finds. I love the crisp feel and sound of vellum. It makes me so happy!



I'm thinking of making a stack of these to this year's Cider Press Party. They could be used for a fun scavenger hunt game for the kids.  

Fall Felt Leaves Tutorial

5

Thursday, September 26, 2013

When I was working on my Second Spring embroidery, I remembered a tutorial I had put together last year for Leslie's lovely blog, Leslie's Art and Sew. Since the autumn season has rolled around again, I thought I'd repost it here in case anyone missed it the first time!


Inspired by the warm colors of the season, I created these felt leaf wall hangings. They come together quickly, make a unique decoration for fall and are really fun to stitch! Here's a tutorial for how I made them.


















Step 1: Gather your supplies! 

- Scraps of felt (I like to use wool or wool blend felt but craft felt would work as well)
- Embroidery floss
- Dowel for hanging (I used pieces of drift wood for a natural look)
- Buttons or beads for embellishing
- Leaf template
- Fabric glue stick (optional) 


















Step 2: Cut your felt

Use your leaf template to cut out as many leaf shapes as you'd like. Cut your background felt pieces in corresponding sizes. 

















Step 3: Stitch and Embellish

This is the fun part! Use your imagination to stitch designs or sew bits and bobs to your leaves. Go outside and be inspired by all of the designs you'll find in nature.

When embellishing with felt, I use a fabric glue stick to hold the felt pieces firmly in place while I stitch.


















Step 4: Attach Leaf to Background

Once you've decorated your leaf to your liking, attach it to your background fabric. Try various stitches such as back, running, whip or blanket to attach it. Use this as another opportunity to add more decoration to your design! I added another piece of felt backing to make a nice border around the entire design.































Step 5: Attach Loops for Hanging

When your leaf (or leaves) are all stitched up and ready to hang, your next step will be to attach loops to feed your hanging dowel through.

Cut a narrow piece of felt and measure around your dowel to get the length of the loop and cut the felt accordingly. To attach the loops, you can stitch them directly to the background felt or just glue them onto the back.



Step 6: Hang and Admire

You're done! Enjoy your new autumn decorations.

















ATC Folio Tutorial

6

Sunday, September 22, 2013

I've long admired the mini masterpieces I've seen done on Artist's Trading Cards (ATCs). They prove that good things can come in small packages, 2.5" x 3.5" to be exact! To date, I haven't made any myself but since I've been having so much fun with other paper crafts and painting lately, I figure it's time to take the plunge.

If I'm going to create, collect and trade ATCs, I'll need a place to keep them! That's where this folio comes in. It was so quick and easy to make, I want to craft up a dozen more! I'm actually a little afraid that I'm going to have hundreds of ATC folios and no cards to fill them with :)!



Step 1: Gather up your supplies 

- Brown packaging paper
- 2 postcards or pieces of card stock (these will be your covers)
- Glue
- Scissors
- Ruler
- Ribbon
- Sewing machine (optional)



Step 2: Cut 

Trim both post cards (or whatever you'll be using for your covers) to 3.5" x 4.5" and set them aside.

Cut a piece of brown packing paper 5"x25". This size will give you 6 pockets in your folio. If you want more than that, add 8" to the length. For example, if you want 8 pockets, cut a piece of paper 5"x33".



Step 3: Score and Fold

Score the length of the paper in two places - the first at 1/2" in and the second at 2" in from the right side.

Fold the 1/2" side under at the scored edge and then the 2" scored edge. Make sure your folds are as crisp as possible!



Step 4: Secure the 1/2" fold

Secure the 1/2" fold down by either gluing it or using a sewing machine for an extra detail. This is just like hiding a raw edge when sewing!

Remember, you're making a pocket so don't accidentally sew or glue the 1/2" seam to the other side of the paper strip.



Step 5: Score and Fold - Accordion Style

To make the pages of the folio, you'll need to score and fold your paper at regular intervals.

Score and fold each end (the short sides) 1/2" under. This will just give you a nice edge on the first and last page.

Starting from the first 1/2" fold, measure a distance of 4" and score. From that score mark, measure another 4" and score again. Repeat this a total of 5 times (more if you added length for additional pockets).

Once all marks are scored, fold the paper accordion style.



Step 6: Glue the First and Last Pages to the Covers

Before gluing, double-check that your cover pages are facing the direction you want them. I had to rip and re-glue my back page because I wasn't paying attention :).

Glue the backs of the first and last pages to the inside of your cover pages. I used a quick drying craft glue but glue dots or double-sided tape would also work well.




Step 6: Fill it

You're nearly done! Now you just have to fill it with miniature art! The pages of my folio are currently filled with blank canvases but I hope to have some colorful ATCs in it soon.




Step 7: Wrap it Up

To keep your folio secure and compact, you can simply tie a ribbon or piece of twine around it like you're wrapping up a present.

You can also make a simple band to slide over it, like this one! If you do make a band, be sure to measure it a bit longer than what's needed to cover an empty folio. You'll want to leave a little extra room so the band will still fit once your folio is crammed with ATCs!




If I subtract the time I spent working out the measurements and the time I spent running around the house trying to find decent light for photography on a rainy Seattle day, this folio only took about 30 minutes to make. With different measurements, I could see these being used for business cards, photos, travel memorabilia or even inchie artwork. Oh my gosh, I totally need to make an inchie folio now! Stay tuned for that :).

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