adventures in creativity.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Happy Friday

Just a little post to wish everyone a great weekend. Here is some eye candy to keep us all inspired. ;)

This is always the time of year when I start obsessing over fall and winter clothes. It is hotter than blazes in my little corner of the world right now, but there are many weeks in winter when the temperature plummets to -40 degrees. That is right, forty degrees below zero. Ouch. But, I have a feeling this lovely little number would keep Jack Frost away.


That sweater is lovely, but I really need to stay in the clearance section at Anthroplogie. I spied this little frock there; it would be perfect for my "ice cream social" themed family reunion that we will be hosting at our house next summer.

Eat drink Chic

Eat drink Chic posted the most beautiful free downloads for a d.i.y. ice cream parlour buffet; they are the inspiration for my party. Swoon.

I recently ordered Anna Maria Horner's Handmade Beginnings and am very impatiently waiting for it to arrive. Very impatiently. Grrr.

I have also been searching for the perfect fabric for new curtains for our living room and have had no luck. I really would like it to have blues, aquas, and maybe even a shot of pink. Perhaps I am being too picky.

Any suggestions? I would love to hear your opinion!

Have a great weekend!

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Coloring on Fabric

My mother was quite crafty, and because her mother was very frugal most of the crafty things that I remember doing as a child made use of things that we already had, or could find in nature. We would sandwich crayon scrapings between two pieces of waxed paper and make "stained glass." We would make etchings of leaves on paper with crayons. My mother had the most beautiful flower gardens in the summer, and I remember folding flowers in waxed paper and pressing them in the pages of heavy books. About a week later, Mom would carefully take them out and seal them into the paper with an iron.
Simple pleasures...... :)

I may be older now, but I am still a kid at heart. I love to color. I love coloring books and coloring pages. After I finished printing out my monogram yesterday I decided that it needed some color; and here is how I did it!

You will need:
  • Fabric
  • Crayons-plain old crayons
  • Iron and ironing board
  • 2 sheets of paper

Let's get started!

First, color your fabric. Duh, right?
I like to layer my colors. Just have fun with it!

Now that I have finished coloring, I am going set the color with some heat. As you all know, crayons are made of wax, and wax melts. So, when you apply heat the color will kind of melt into the fabric. This is where the two sheets of paper come in: you are going to want to put a piece of paper under your fabric to protect your ironing board, and one on top of your fabric to keep the crayon wax off of your iron.

(Note to self: turn off the flash when taking close-ups.)


I am not done yet, but the rest will have to wait for another post!

Have a great night!

Monday, August 23, 2010

More Stuff That I've Made

A friend asked me to post more of the things that I have made, so here you go!

This is a whole-cloth quilt made with Amy Butler fabric. I sent it away to be quilted, but I cut and sewed the binding myself.

Not too shabby, not too shabby at all. ;)

Here are a couple of tea towels that I embroidered. They are a gift for a friend, but I have yet to mail them. Woopsie-oopsie!

Naughty Kitty and Snooty Poodle.

Doesn't she just look full of mischief?

Naughty; very, very, naughty.

Now, would you just look at this pampered pooch?

Quite snooty, I say, with that nose up in the air.

Both embroidery patterns are from Jenny Hart's Stitch-It Kit.
I love you, Jenny Hart. :)

Now, what have you made lately? I am dying to see! Please, please, leave a comment with a link!

How to Print Anything onto Fabric

Today I am going to show you how to prepare a piece of fabric to run through a regular old inkjet printer. This is not a new technique, but it is so very handy for many different types of crafty goodness.

Here is what you will need:

  • Fabric (solid, light colored works best.)
  • Freezer paper (found in wax paper aisle.)
  • Iron and ironing board
  • Printer
  • Printer paper
  • Computer
  • Pen
  • Ruler
  • Scissors
Let's get started! First, iron your fabric. You will need a piece that is just a bit larger than your printer paper. Once your fabric is ironed, cut a piece of freezer paper just larger than your fabric. Place the freezer paper over the fabric and run a warm, dry iron over it. You may have to play with the temp a bit, the idea is to get the freezer paper to stick to your fabric.

Now, take a piece of printer paper and lie it on top of the freezer paper that you have bonded to your fabric. Use your ruler to make sure you have straight edges and trace the printer paper onto the freezer paper
as so:

Then, cut it to the size of the printer paper.

Now for the fun part! Choose an image to print; a picture, clip art, anything really! Just make sure to respect copyrighted work. I found a beautiful wreath border, and speaking of copyrighted work, I can not remember where I found it. If you recognize it please tell me where it came from so I can credit the artist and link back to their blog!
I have been wanting to make a monogram for a long time, so I uploaded the wreath to Picnik and added an "S" to the center. I also played with the color a bit. Anyway....when you are ready to print, simply place your freezer paper-bonded fabric (fabric side up) into your printer, start printing, and voila!

Perfectly printed right onto the fabric!

Now, peel it off the freezer paper and embroider, embellish, or do whatever you would like with it!

Have a fantastic day!

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Lotta Jansdotter Snuggler

I first started sewing in January. I was about 6 months pregnant and nesting big time. Probably the first ten or fifteen sewing projects that I took on were free patterns that I found on craft blogs; here is one of them!

It's like a little cocoon for a little snuggle bug.


How To Embroider On Paper

I love to embroider. It is a great way to add something special to so many handmade items; plus it is very relaxing! This is a quick little tutorial to show you an easy way to add stitching to paper. I will be using a paper doily today, but this method also works really well with paper that is opaque.

Let's get started!

First, choose your design and trace it on your paper. (If your paper is opaque you will need to use a light box, or you can tape it to a bright window to help see the pattern.) This one is from Jenny Hart's book Sublime Stitching. If you have not checked out Jenny's designs you need to; they are edgy, fun and fresh. No cutesy-teddy bears or country-bonnet girls to be found. You can find her patterns here.

Next, take your needle and poke little holes on the lines of the pattern.

Try to keep the holes spaced evenly. You are basically making hole where your stitches will be. If there is a corner or a point in your pattern, you will need a hole there.

Time to stitch! The pre-punched holes will keep your stitches on the line, even when you are coming in from the back side of the paper.

All done!

Piece of cake!

This is such lovely way to add a personal touch to note cards, scrapbook pages and so much more!

Have a great day!


Between the Lines

Monday, August 16, 2010

Doodle Expressions

Just a quick post to let you know that I had the privilege of being a guest blogger over at my friend Rachael's blog! I did a fun little tutorial that shows a couple of different ways to turn vintage clip-on earrings into photo clips. You can find it here.

I have been so busy today working on the kids' toy kitchen. It is really starting to come together, and I can't wait to share it with all of you!


Saturday, August 14, 2010

I Made a Purse for My Sister.....Finally (Plus a Book Review)

The book review is not for my sister; it's for all of you. She can read it too, I guess.

Way back in March, I purchased a copy of the book One Yard Wonders by Rebecca Yaker of Hazel and Melvin's Room, and Patricia Hoskins of Crafty Planet. (Crafty Planet is in Minneapolis: I must go there on my next trip to the Twin Cities.) As the title implies this book is a collection of sewing patterns that use no more than one yard of fabric. It offers a great variety of things to create: clothing for women, children, and even your pooch. There are home decor projects, organization projects, and, of course, bags and purses. In the front of the book, there is a pocket to hold all of the patterns. The directions seem to all be pretty straight forward, but there are errors in quite a few of them; the corrections can be found here.

My oldest sister's birthday was in April. I told her to pick out anything in the book, and I would make it for her. She chose the Flouncy Bag found on page 156. I had just made one for my "secret pal" at my son's elementary school, so I knew there were errors in the measurements. I went online and made the changes. Unfortunately, not all of the errors had been published yet, and I did not bother to check back before I got around to making the bag for her just this week. (I know it is August, but I have a 3 1/2 month old; cut me some slack! ;) ) It all worked out in the end, and the bag is quite fabulous. Have a look for yourself:

The Fabric is called Pebbles and is from Erin McMorris' Park Slope Collection.

I was kind of afraid of piping when I first started to sew
but quickly found out that it is a piece of cake.

The inside has a ribbon that is used to hold all of your larger treasures in place.

Nice little ribbon detail.
You can see where I had to make a couple of tiny tucks on the side
because of incorrect measurements.

All in all I am very happy with this book. It is great to have around to find projects to use up leftover fabric. Just make sure to check online for errors before you start cutting. ;)

That's all I have for you until Monday. Have a wonderful weekend!


Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Budget Friendly Fabric Covered Corkboard

It all started with a little KISS...

If my son knows that I am taking pictures he will do just about anything to be in them.

I picked up this lovely original piece of art at a thrift shop. Fun fact: a kid who lived next door to me as a child painted this and it hung in his house. Weird. Anyway...I took out the painting and set it aside. (And no, you can't have it; it is mine.) I spray primed and painted the frame white. The frame is 18x24 inches and I didn't have any backing for it, so it sat in my basement until I spied some Elmer's foam board at Target for $2.49. I know this project has been done one thousand times over, but here is my version anyway.

For this project you will need:

  • hot glue gun
  • a frame without glass
  • foam board or cardboard for backing (if the frame does not have any)
  • cork tiles
  • Exacto or utility knife
  • pen
  • fabric

First, I placed the frame on the foam board and traced inside the frame with a pen where I would need to cut. Then, I cut the board to size with a utility knife.

Next, I placed the cork tiles on the board. As you can see in the picture, I marked and then cut one of the tiles in half in order to properly fit my backing. You will want to leave about 1/4" of space around the outside so that it will fit inside your frame.

I then used my glue gun to secure them to my backing.

Next, I cut my fabric a little larger than my backing(this is half of a pillow case that I found at a thrift store.) I still had some trimming to do on the right hand side!

Time to glue the fabric to the backing. Start at one of the short ends and when you move to the opposite end pull the fabric tight as you glue.

Place your fabric covered board into your frame. I used my glue gun to close any visible gaps around the edge.

All done!
Here is my budget breakdown:
Frame: $3
Foam Board: $2.49
Cork Tiles: 4 for $5 (on sale)
Fabric: $.50
All Other Supplies: On Hand

That is a grand total of $11.99 (before tax.)

Have a great day!

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

How My Life Would Be Better With a New Serger

Not just any serger, this one that the lovely people over at Sew, Mama, Sew! are giving away. That's right; they are GIVING AWAY a machine that is worth $1,100. Bless their hearts.

As a little girl I would watch my mother sew. She made clothes and curtains. She would repair and mend store bought items that had been "loved" a little too much. She made a bedspread for the bed that I share with my sister. I can still see the fabric in my mind; little red roses on a light pink background. Sewing was comfortable for her; it was home.

Time marched on. All of her babies grew up, got married, and started having babies of their own. She had a great little craft room in her basement that she would escape to now and then, but the need for sewing every day had left with us kids.

My mother passed away suddenly in August of 2004. She died the day that I was going to tell her that I was pregnant. I was getting ready to have my first baby, but I wasn't anyone's baby anymore.

In the months to come my brother, sisters and I had the daunting task of dividing up all of Mom's things. We promised one another that we would not fight over her "stuff" because we knew that it would have broken her heart. I got the Kirby; at the time it was all that I really wanted. One of my sisters took her sewing machine and serger, and later gave the serger to me. We sold Mom's house in the summer of 2005 and time marched on once again.

One of my favorite photos:

Simon, Fall of 2006

In the summer of 2007 my husband took a job in a very rural area. I gave up cutting hair when we moved. I didn't just miss working, I missed the creative outlet that being a hair stylist had given me. So I began to craft. It started with knitting. And then I learned to embroider. For my 33rd birthday my mother-in-law gave me my very first sewing machine; I was instantly hooked. I love taking yards of flat fabric and molding, crafting, and sewing them into something of use. Sewing is like therapy to me. It feels like home; it feels like Mom.

I am on a mission to recreate my home. I will be making curtains, pillows, and all of the other things that make a house a home. The most ambitious task that I will be tackling will be a slipcover for my L-shaped sectional. Winning a new serger would not only make all of these projects much, much easier, it would make the end result more durable. This is a must since I have two little munchkins who will be "loving" all of the finished projects in the years to come.

How would my life be better with a new serger? I believe that a new serger would encourage me to keep challenging myself with more difficult projects. It would allow me to spread my wings by taking on sewing jobs for some extra spending money. But the biggest benefit of all will most certainly be the time spent instilling a love of sewing in my kids, just like my mom did for me all those years ago.

Sophie, watching Mama sew.