Sunday, February 27, 2011

A Rainbow of Flowers

I love these rainbow heart cards over at Childmade.  Since I don't have a heart punch I improvised with my flower punch.  And I love how it turned out!

Then I tried putting my flowers in vases & bouquets.  Also fun!

While I was punching out coloured flowers from an old magazine a lot of black/white/gray bits caught my eye so I tried some black & white cards.  As much as I love rainbow I love these too!

My favourite thing about these cards?  They are made from an old magazine & recycled card stock so they're green as well as rainbow.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Plaid + Pintucks = Shirt!

I didn't mean to mislead you into thinking I was making a skirt when I posted that other picture.  But the pintucks were the most interesting thing happening at that time.  This is what the pintucking turned into:

A cozy tunic (inspired by one I saw a 2-year-old wearing).  I drafted the pattern myself and am generally quite happy with how it turned out, although if I sew it again there are some changes I'll make.  The worst part of sewing this was the collar.  I tried many variations & techniques before finding this method of binding a neck edge which worked, if not perfectly, at least passably!  When I was finally ready to cut the collar of the plaid cloth, and not the old bedsheet I'd made a test pattern with, I decided to cut it off the front of the shirt as it was hanging down 4 inches past the bottom of the back.  You know that adage measure twice, cut once?  Well you should also check what you're cutting from twice!  Yes, I cut my collar piece off the perfectly lengthed back.  So then I had to cut some off the front and attach it to the back to make the tunic the length I wanted.  I figured a seam a couple inches from the back hem is less noticeable then a shirt that is clearly too short. 

This was the first time I'd done pintucks, they take a while to do well but are actually pretty easy as it's all sewing in a straight line.  It was also the first time I've made a garment with buttonholes!  Until my first sewing lesson when we tried doing buttonholes I was a little scared of them!  But now it's rather fun to see the sewing machine zipping along doing it's own thing to create a buttonhole.  

With spring coming up I'm thinking of trying this pattern in a lightweight fabric, what do you think?

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Kirigami Challenge - Week 3

Yesterday's holiday (Family Day) had me a bit mixed up so I'm a day late with my week 3 post.  I did a lot of star shapes this week, once one turned out well I figured why mess with a good thing!

Day 14:
Lots of angles and lines.  A little discoloured from the iron when I flattened it.  Oops.

Day 15:
Pretty much a variation on the first one, with less open space in the middle.

Day 16:
Tried cutting out shapes, like paper snowflakes I did as a kid.

Day 17:
Wasn't really planning on this turning out to be square!  Looks nice though, see how those hearts keep appearing?

Day 18:
Busy day so I took this design from my book. I love the thick and thin lines and the two overlapping shapes!

Day 19:

Sort of a flower?  I was aiming for circles!

Day 20:
Raindrops.  Because we had some warm weather!

I've been having fun cutting away but I will admit I won't be sorry to see this daily challenge end!

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Plaid & Pintucks

What is that? you may be asking.  Well, it's pintucks and plaid.  Is this clearer?

Want to know what it will become?  Stay tuned! (Read: I still need to finish it!)

Monday, February 14, 2011

Kirigami Challenge - Week 2

Ready for week 2 of my kirigami challenge?  Here we go!

Day 7:
My attempts at being abstract in roundish & angular ways.

Day 8:
A small cut out copied from the booklet (busy day!)

Day 9:
This one turned out better then I thought it would before unfolding it.  I like how the symmetrical-ness is really apparent.

Day 10:
Something that was meant to be sailboats but turned out like a flower.

Day 11:
Random cut-outs.  Reminds me of playing cards.

Day 12:
Something maple leaf-ish to commemorate the one year anniversary of the Olympic games opening in Vancouver.

Day 13:
Pine trees.  This is my favourite one so far.  Have to stash this idea away for next Christmas - cards perhaps?

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Giveaway Winner!

The True Random Number Generator generated number 1 for the winner.

Congratulations to Erika who said:

I just found your blog but I'm having a lot of fun reading it. These cards are really neat and I like the envelopes that go with them. 

And to answer Katherine's questions (which I couldn't comment on before because then I'd be entering my own giveaway!) the envelopes are made by tracing around a store bought envelope that I've unfolded.  There are envelope templates you can buy that have holes to score the fold lines as well as the envelope shape if you wanted something more sturdy.  The story of how I came up with Betula`Loo was my very first post.

Thanks for all your comments and happy Sunday!

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Circles & a Giveaway

Maybe you had guessed already but in case you hadn't, the circles I was punching on the weekend became designs on greeting cards.  It was fun playing with different colour combinations and making rainbow designs.

A little hard to see but I thought a craft paper envelope complimented the rainbow nicely.  Especially with rainbow semi circles down the side.

Then I branched out a bit (pun intended!) and made some flower designs.

And since Betula`Loo turns 2 today I'm giving away this set of cards & envelopes to one reader!

The cards & envelopes are 100% recycled, from magazines and art paper made from recycled fibres.

If you'd like to enter please leave a comment on this post by Saturday February 12.  I'll draw a random winner on Sunday.  I'm happy to ship internationally so everyone is welcome to enter!

Monday, February 7, 2011

Kirigami Challenge - Week One

I have been keeping up with my February challenge of cutting one kirigami pattern a day but had to wait for the weekend to take some decent photos (if these count as decent).  So here's a round-up of week one (minus today because by the time I get something cut it will be dark).

Day 1 - flower designs inspired, but not actually copied, from a pattern in my book.

Day 2 - lots of hearts, because I love them & it's February so they're rather appropriate!

Day 3 - something that was supposed to be more snowflake like and six armed.  I'm still figuring out when to cut on the fold and when to cut in the middle!

And another heart inspired design.

Day 4 - back to flowers, the one on the right is a pattern copied from the book, the one on the left is my own variation on the pattern.

Day 5 - a leafy cut, think I should try same sized leaves next time.

Day 6 - a different take on hearts with help from a hole punch.  I like how the points come together like pieces of pie!

I can see by the end of the month I'm going to have a lot of designs cut out, so perhaps my March project will be to figure out something to do with them all!

On another note check back tomorrow for a giveaway!

Sunday, February 6, 2011

On my Needles

I like having a knitting project on the go: I rarely just sit and watch TV, usually I am also working on something and knitting fits the bill pretty well.  It's easy to pick it up and knit for a few minutes, doesn't require too much thought and I can keep half an eye on any important on-screen action.  Since I finished my Fiddlehead Mittens I've cast on for a scarf. 

It's fun to decide the pattern as I go.  I think it's going to be like a sampler, with different sizes of colour blocks and stripes in no particular pattern.  And it's work towards my goal of decreasing yarn stash.  This yarn has only been in the collection for 4 months so that's not too bad.

On my Desk - Circles Again

Back around Christmas, or rather the long Christmas crafting window leading up to the big day, I was having fun with paper circles.  Well, I'm at it again, in a non-Christmas kind of way. This time everything is sorted by colour.

It's fun to guess what the tiny pictures were once a part of.

I was looking at magazines in a whole new way, for colour, rather then content.

I'll be back soon to show you what these become!

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Needle Case Tutorial

A couple weekends ago the local sewing store had a 50% off sale so I ran out and bought a bunch of needles for my sewing machine.  After going to sewing class and listening to the importance of using a needle meant for the type of fabric you are sewing and changing them often I knew the only way I'd do this is if I actually had these needles on hand.  So I stocked up.  And then realized I needed somewhere to put all these needles, enter the needle case!  Just what I like in a project - all materials were on hand and it's quick enough to complete in a day/few hours.  And in case you want to make one too I've put together a tutorial.

What you need:
  • Two pieces of fabric, 6 x 5 1/2 inches
  • One piece of interfacing, slightly smaller then the fabric
  • Thin elastic
  • A snap (or other closure)
  • Thread to match elastic and fabric
  • Fabric marker (I use the purple disappearing ink kind)

Step 1:
Iron your interfacing to the backside of one piece of fabric.

Step 2:
Layout your needle cases and use them as a guideline when figuring out where to sew the elastic.  Mark these places with your fabric marker. Using 6 Schmetz cases I marked dots at 5/8", 2", 3 3/8", 4 7/8" across the fabric at 1.25" & 3.5" from the bottom edge.  The second picture shows (with ugly blue dots) where I had marked the sewing spots.

Step 3:
Sew the elastic on the dots you've marked leaving a little ease in each section of elastic so it bubbles up.

So when you're done it should look like this.

Step 4:
Take your two pieces of fabric and sandwich them right sides together.  The ends of the elastic should stick out the sides.  I wanted the top of my case to have curvy corners so I drew those on with my marker before sewing. 

Sew around the edges leaving space for turning at the bottom.  (After taking this picture I realized I hadn't left enough room and ripped some stitches out).  Trim the seam allowances, including elastic, and clip the curves & corners.

Step 5:
Turn everything right side out and edge stitch the whole way round to close up the bottom seam and make it look nice.  Here I am edge stitching the newly learned cheater way with a blind hem foot to guide my fabric.

This is how it should look now.

And when you slot your needle cases in:

Step 6:
Attach your snap according to the package directions and fold up your case.  I pressed mine a bit to help make the folds