Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Trying My Hand At Needle-Felting

This is another project from last winter. For Christmas, Santa brought me this needle-felting kit. If there's one thing I'm good at, it's following detailed instructions - especially when the instructions are accompanied by color photos! I think my little bird turned out pretty darn cute. Last year I had him hanging inside a wreath in my house. This year he resides near the top of my Christmas tree, with his other birdie friends.

Instead of a Headboard

Last winter I made these four paintings to hang above my bed, instead of a headboard. We just have a simple bed frame without a head/foot board, but it bugged me that there was so much wall space above the bed. It just made the bed feel unanchored somehow.

I went to the UW Bookstore and found these 20" square canvases on sale for like, $4 each. I picked up some black and silver acrylic paint, and went home to get to work. I wanted to make one canvas for each season, so I settled on a snowflake, a bird, a fern frond, and an oak leave/acorn tableaux. I will admit that I used google images to get some ideas about how things should look, but then I sketched freehand onto the canvases and painted each one in my monochromatic color scheme.

I usually go for super bright colors, but because my bedroom walls are a sherbet orange already, I wanted to go with more neutral colors that would help make the room feel more serene.

Robot Cheer

I found the idea from this on Etsy, and I wanted to try making my own little robot friend for the Christmas tree. It was so simple. All I needed was a little wooden body (which I found easily at a craft store), a hex nut, and three eye screws. I painted the body silver and glued on the hex nut, the screwed in the eye screws. Last, I used a Sharpie to add the stoic little face.


Monday, December 28, 2009

Admittedly a Little Early

I realize that December 28 is a tad early to be thinking about Valentine's Day, but what can I say? When inspiration calls, you pick up the phone.

I saw these on Martha Stewart's website.

I think that I'd make them slightly smaller next time (I used a cd as a template), because these are a little unwieldy. Plus, I have a bowl that is perfect to display them in, and smaller ones would be easier to arrange.

These would make really cute classroom Mother's Day gifts. Students could write little notes or poems to their moms on strips of paper, then tuck them inside these. And this project is definitely kid-doable! I mean, if I managed it...

I Heart Martha

Oh, that Martha. She is so stinking cute!

Whilst wandering Michael's today I found this Martha Stewart Crafts kit for making glitter transfer prints. Well you know that I hear glitter and I'm sold, so I picked it up. Unlike some other kits that I could mention, this one did not disappoint. It's super easy to use - basically you put a temporary tattoo on your paper and shake some glitter on it. I made my Christmas thank-you cards with it tonight, and a birthday card for a certain someone too.

My one wish is that either the tattoo glue would be stickier, or the glitter would be finer, because with some colors the glitter coverage is a little spotty. But a second glitter-dip seems to do it, so that's just a baby wish.

Upcycling Christmas Cards

I'm sure I'm not the first person to have this idea, but since I haven't heard of anyone else doing it I'm claiming credit now. I invented this idea.

I always keep my Christmas cards, because it seems so lame to throw them out. At the same time, I'm a whatever-the-opposite-of-a-pack-rat-is (an unpack cat?), so it really bugs me to just store them.

So here's my solution. I went to Michael's and got the biggest round craft punch I could find. Then I punched the best part from each card. Voila! Next year's gift tags, all ready to go. I'll pack them away now, and next year I'll have totally cute, unique, free, eco-friendly gift tags!

Meet Sophie

I've been working on this doll for awhile now, and I just finished her last night! I named her Sophie for now, but... meh. Her name will probably change. The design and pattern come from Mimi Kirchner, by way of Purl Bee, a very fun blog with lots of inspiration.

Fabulously detailed instructions here. Believe me, if I can do it, you can do it!

^Posing on the mantle.

^Bored now! Off to explore.

^This Christmas tree is lovely, but it scratches my bum.

^Ahh... much better!

Stocking Stuffer

Here was another project I did on my new-old sewing machine!

I made this to put in my mom's stocking (even Santa appreciates help around the holidays!). She's a first/second grade teacher, and I know she eats in her classroom a lot of the time. My idea was that she could still enjoy a fine dining experience with this little roll-out place setting.

It was really fun to make, because it was a total puzzle to figure out. I didn't use a pattern or really do much measuring, so there was a lot of trial-and-error.

Plus, this fabric just kills me. I want to buy a whole bolt and make everything with it.

Lunch... is served.

Rolled up and ready to travel!

Poppy Pillow Covers

I was inspired by some beautiful pillowcases I saw on Etsy, which were tragically overpriced. But because I'm a plucky girl I thought, "I could make those!"

I tweaked a few things. The originals were on a white field, and I liked the blue much better. They look fabulous on my couch!

The one regret I have was that I sewed the pillow forms in, so now if I want to get them cleaned I have to cut them open and resew them after cleaning. Oh well - since then I've learned to do an envelope closure.


I made an unfortunate impulse buy at Barnes and Noble a few days ago - one of those little gift kits. Sometimes those kits are worth it, but this one was pretty lame. I've always wanted to try cut-paper silhouettes, so I was lured in by the idea of a quick, easy way to do it.

Sadly, the kit turned out to be nothing more than an unhelpful booklet, some (pretty cute) background papers, and a bunch of black paper squares. I could have put that together.

Anyway, I gave it a try, and here are my first attempts below. I do have to say that I like the way they turned out!

New Sewing Machine!

My wonderful Aunt Jeannie gave me her old sewing machine, and I am going to learn how to use it well. This was my first project with it: Christmas napkins. I saw this vintage-inspired fabric at Pacific Fabrics not too long ago, and bought a couple of yards figuring that I'd find something to do with it.

They're double-sided, which I have heard is even easier than single-sided. Basically, you just make a pillowcase, then sew around the border to encourage it to lay flat.

I took this picture on my kitchen floor, because I'm fancy.