Monday, January 31, 2011

Subway Art Gift Envelopes and Small Boxes

I wanted to do something special for a friend's birthday and so I purchased and made a few small gifts.  I really wanted to do something creative with the packaging. 

I ended up using different fonts to make subway art- using words that describe her.  I printed out a bunch of sheets of cardstock and then I looked at online templates for envelopes and small boxes.  For the first box I traced a pattern- After that I came up with my own pattern to make what I needed. 

I glued the edges and used paperclips to hold everything in place while the glue dried.

I finished up by printing a few sayings on Avery large shipping labels #48165.  These are basically large pieces of sticker paper.  I punched out the stickers with a 1" scrapbook punch- while I was at it I printed stickers for another project I'm working on....

then I just stuck the stickers here and there on the boxes and envelopes and tied it all up with jute.  I hope she likes it.

There is a link for the free subway art on the sidebar under the freebies heading-

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Friday, January 28, 2011

Free Valentine Hugs and Kisses Cross Stitch Pattern

Here is a simple free Valentine Cross Stitch Pattern- I think it would look cute in pink and red too.

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Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Free Sewing and Craft Patterns

If you are a computer surfer you may have stumbled upon Allcrafts  - scroll down their home page to find a  comprehensive list of free patterns for many types of crafts-  I have used a few of their crochet patterns and found them very handy!

I recently found another list of free sewing patterns called all free sewing- they have a bunch of patterns.

If you don't mind paying a few bucks (watch for sales and coupons or it will be more then a few!) Butterick has started carrying a line of patterns that are called Two Peas in a pod- as pictured above-adorable- very crafty looking patterns.  Check out their bags and their kids clothes patterns- nice!

Now you can add a hundred and ten projects to your to-do list- something we all need- right?!

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Monday, January 24, 2011

Make a Vintage Style Rose Ring

I just came home from Michaels where they had these cool porcelain looking roses.  They are called Boutique Fleur made by Recollections, $4.99  and were near the scrapbook stuff at my local store.

I purchased a pack and stuck one onto a ring base from Hobby Lobby (the metal shoppe brand)- $1.50- use a strong jewelry glue like E6000.

and ta-dah- instant ring!  I LOVE fast projects!

F.Y.I.  The adorable fabric in the photographs is from the Anthropologie apron my daughter gave me for my birthday- so cute!...  and the rose embellishments also come in bright neon colors.

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Friday, January 21, 2011

Crafty Daughter

At four this morning my 11 year old woke me up to help her make a bracelet and a hair flower for her teacher that is getting married this weekend.  It was my fault for putting it off until the last minute and she did have my permission to get up early- but 4 AM?!  Yikes!

The flower was made we just had to attach a clip to the back.  Then she picked out beads and made a bracelet and I added a simple silver chain with a birdie charm.  So little one had a thoughtful gift for her teacher- as my daughter says, " 'cause making a gift is better."

Sorry for not taking a picture of the jewelry before it was wrapped- but I was a bit groggy this morning.

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Thursday, January 20, 2011

What's Your Love Language?

What's your love language?- and I don't mean Italian, French, or Southern drawl.  I think most everyone has heard about the five love languages.  If not you can learn about Gary Chapman's book here.  He believes that we feel loved by acts in one of five basic areas.  Relationships can become strained when the love language you express yourself with is not the same one that your spouse needs.  You can also take a test to find out which love language you speak- hey,  you might be bilingual!  There are five basic love languages:  words of affirmation, quality time, acts of service, gifts, and physical touch.  My love language is acts of service- and my husband is fluent!  

He noticed that I like to do my hair while sitting on the floor- that I was always looking around for a magazine or book to set my hot curling iron on so that it wouldn't melt the carpet- he made me this little parking garage for my curling iron and hair dryer.  Yep, I leave it tucked next to the wall (and large mirror that is leaning against said wall) all the time- it's so convenient and safer for the kiddos that dance around me while I'm trying to straighten my frizz head.

Over Christmas break he made these really deep, wrap- around- two- sides -of- the- garage shelves for our home- love them!  Can't wait for the paint to completely dry so that we can start filling them up with camping gear, etc.

And dear husband, thanks for learning my language and for showering me with your love!

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Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Activity Day sewing project & What I've been up to

As you know I've been assigned to lead a church group of girls ages 8-11 in a bi-weekly midweek activity (love it!).  This week we are sewing fleece hats and making no sew scarfs- just in time too- as a cold front hit town yesterday... brrr.

Since it's more then a tad bit chilly out it is the perfect excuse to stay home and snuggle under the covers reading a book.  I'm a bit embarrassed to admit it, but I enjoy old fashioned Christian romances.  The ones I read will probably never win great literature awards, (English teachers probably tremble at the thought)- but it's fun entertainment.  My rationalization is that I watch very little TV, go to the movie theater about once a year- or less--- so this is my guilty pleasure.  Last week at the library I found A Tailor-Made Bride by Karen Witemeyer and really enjoyed it.  Amazon has this one used starting at $3.50

Did I mention covers?  Don't you hate getting into a cold bed?!  One night while preparing for bed I took a heating pad (the kind you get at Walgreens for a bad back) and placed it between the sheets- turning it on high.  By the time I've brushed my teeth and said my prayers my bed is toasty warm.  I shut off the pad, toss it out of the bed and snuggle down for a warm winter's nap.  Works for me.

Another book that looks delightful is Cath Kidston's Stitch- maybe I can talk my librarian in to getting a copy?!

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Sunday, January 9, 2011

Making a Piano Book Bag

The kids just switched to a new piano teacher and to jazz things up I decided to have them help make a bag to carry their piano books in.

I didn't use a pattern- just used a piano book to see how wide and tall the bag needed to be.  I added about three inches to the top so that I could make the tuck seams on the bottom.   If you're not sure how to do this check out this blog and scroll down to instruction number six (make a flat bottom).  I chose to use duck cloth which is basically a heavy canvas and something that I had on hand-

After I sewed the bag I let the kids decorate them with Crayola fabric markers (easy to use) and Pentel fabric fun pastel dye sticks (make a very vivid color).  Then I added the handles.

The little people seemed to have fun- now if I could just get them to be enthusiastic about practicing!

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Friday, January 7, 2011

Ruche Necklaces

I love almost all of the jewelry at Ruche (inexpensive- necklaces start at $12).  Since I just gave them a plug and a link I'm going to swipe a few of their photos:

I did send them an email to see if they object to photo "sharing".... 

If you'd like to personalize your jewelry by making your own  individual fashion statement- read on.....yes, not only do I offer you inspiration- but sources- you gotta have a good deal on the bits and baubles!  Check out diyparadise on etsy.  They have cute & cheap charms, cabochons, and settings.  I can't vouch for their service but I do have an order in....

Wouldn't it be fun to order a bunch of stuff and have a jewelry making night with a few girlfriends???  Each necklace would only be a dollar or two....

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Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Making Charming Charms for your Jewelry

Yes, I do love alliteration. Here are a few more charms that I made on my Monday jewelry making kick...
(and blogger is driving me nuts- pictures won't move, cursor won't move- icky yuck!

The above charms were made using jewelry blanks, buttons, sculpey (rose), scrapbook paper and dimensional glaze. 
I found the above brass hook at Hobby Lobby- I love it because you can turn anything into a charm by just gluing it onto the back...

Some of the charms I made by printing a picture onto vellum, cutting it out and decoupaging the picture onto a ceramic disc (that I bought at a yard sale).  I wanted to try Mod Podge dimensional glaze but our store didn't have it- so I just used what I had in the craft box.

 After decoupaging the picture onto the ceramic disc I glued the disc onto a button and then glued one of those cool brass hooks onto the back and it ended up looking like a vintage charm.... kinda fun.

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Tuesday, January 4, 2011

How to make a Jute and chain necklace

Well, we survived and enjoyed Christmas with all nine kids, two son-in-laws, one grandbaby and one almost-maybe-he'll-propose-to-our-daughter-soon-friend.  Actually, the two married kids live close so they went home at bedtime- but we had a fun and festive holiday.  I have boxed Christmas stuff lined up in the hallway and a few more things to pack up before all the holiday stuff can be put back into the attic- but instead I'm making necklaces- I know you're shocked-Ha!-

To make the necklace you'll need some fairly thin jute, brass chain, large brass jump rings, a variety of charms and a small crochet hook- 2.55 mm

Determine how long you want your necklace. I highly recommend wearing it on top of your clothes or you'll end up with a very scratched up, itchy, red neck- and none of us wants to be a redneck -not attractive.

Using the jute, crochet a simple chain stitch about six inches long- make sure both ends are tied off well. Using large jump rings attach chain to each end- since this will be long you don't need clasps, etc. You can just pull the necklace on over your head.

Gently tug down on the necklace to determine where the bottom center will be and attach your heaviest charm- then randomly attach more charms using a large jump ring (large goes through the thick jute so much easier then the little dinky ones) or sew on each charm with a few stitches- using a thread that matches the jute.... or use dark brown thread because you spent all day making charms and you are sick of this project and then realize how bad it looks and photoshop the evidence out of your picture..... and do it right later.

Wear and enjoy.

Here are some close ups of charms I made using buttons, scrapbook stuff, sculpey and bits from Hobby Lobby, Michaels and yard sales:

Have fun!!


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