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

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

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 :).

...With a Little Help From my Friends

I need some help, friends!

Our neighbors have a sweet boy, Jordan, who is turning 2 in a few weeks. For his birthday present I painted 4"x4" squares with a sea creature corresponding to each letter in his name. I had originally thought that I'd bind them into a book (somehow??) but now I'm not sure.

Do you think I should try to figure out a way to mount them together? What about an accordion style book that could also be used as a display?

You are all so clever! I would love to hear your thoughts or ideas for the best way to finish these mini paintings because I'm STUCK!

J for Jellyfish

O for Octopus

R for Ray

D for Dolphin

A for Anemone

N for Narwhal

Thank you in advance for what I'm certain will be wonderful suggestions!!

Second Spring

Some of my craft projects find their inspiration in famous words spoken by clever humans. This hoop is  one such project!

I had a recent swap partner who was interested in receiving some fall inspired decor. I wasn't coming up with any great ideas of my own so I went to the Google machine! A quick search for autumn quotes resulted in this wonderful gem by Albert Camus, "Autumn is a second spring when every leaf is a flower."

Isn't that a nice representation of the season? I knew it had to be crafted!

I printed the words "second spring" onto a piece of linen and stitched felt leaves around it. I wanted the design to be reminiscent of a flower to align with the quote.

Ordinarily this is my absolute favorite season, particularly early fall when we get those crispy Seattle days. But this year, nothing is my favorite!! Okay, I'm just being a bit dramatic but we're in the midst of a home addition that's making all the inhabitants here (human & canine) lose their minds.

It will soon be a wonderful outdoor space but for now, it's a muddy expensive hole in the ground. I'm keeping track of the project on another blog I started, The Twenty Percent, in case you want to scope out the mess.