Thursday, December 30, 2010

Merry Christmas to Me!

Guess what I found under my Christmas tree?  Yes!  A sewing machine!  It was a complete surprise and I'm so happy to have a sewing machine of my own.  Now I can stop kidnapping my mother's!  It's computerized and much fancier then what I'm used to so it will take a while to learn all of what it can do. But for now, I've figured out how to wind a bobbin, thread it and sew in a straight line.  Fortunately the store it came from offers free classes to new machine owners.  I'm looking forward to learning a lot.


The machine also came with a lot of accessories that will require even more learning.  I mean what exactly do all these feet do?

Hopefully the classes will cover crazy feet as well.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Learn About Pockets

One of my favourite bloggers, LiEr at ikatbag, recently did a series on how to sew 25 different pockets.  More kinds of pockets then I knew existed!  25 pockets that were made into an amazing learning quilt which is LiEr's latest giveaway.  And even if you don't win you get to learn how to make 25 pockets, so really it's a win-win situation!  Go and check it out - this post lists all the pocket learning links.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Decorating for Christmas

For my last post before Christmas I thought I'd show you my Christmas decorations.  First up, trees!

Normally I love traditional red, green & gold for Christmas but this multicolour tree is awesome too!

Then there are a couple of little trees, the green one has working lights!

More trees march along the top of a closet.  They are made from old magazines and this pattern.

My JOY embroidery and garland from IKEA add a festive touch to a picture display.

When I ran out of room to hang ornaments I stuffed them in bowls.  Rather effective I think!

Wishing you all a Merry Christmas!

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Christmas Embroidery

I don't remember where the inspiration for this Christmas embroidery came from - maybe a card in a store - but I am so happy with how it turned out!  At first I thought I would put loops of ribbon in the top to make them into ornaments but I forgot to on the first one and in the end I like them better this way.  Nice to decorate something other then the tree and easier to keep the letters in order (really, how was I planning to hang letters in a row on a tree?).  After I finished "JOY" I liked it so much I made "NOEL" as well!


Would you like to make a set too?  Or maybe put it on your to do list for next year? Here are the patterns I used.  Print on 8 1/2 x 11 it will make letters just under 4 inches tall.

I'm not an embroiderer usually so I think I went about this the wrong way by cutting the letters out of felt first and then embroidering them.  I'm not going to give specific instructions, just some guidelines on what I did which you can follow or not!
  • I used white wool felt for the letters, cut two of each letter you are making
  • Embroider the leaves and berries on each letter, I just did it on one side but you could do both.
  • I used green thread for the lazy daisy/backstitched leaves, red thread for the french knot berries and white thread to whipstitch or blanketstitch the pieces together
  • Add a little stuffing to the letters as you go (much easier then trying to get in all those nooks and crannies at the end)
So you can see how I did the embroider I took a picture of the "O" up close.

Happy stitching!

    Thursday, December 16, 2010

    Star Ornament Tutorial

    This is one of the projects I came up with to use all the lovely chiyogami paper I got at the Paper Place.  I think it would look great with scrapbooking patterned paper, gift wrap or coloured foil so no worries if you don't have any chiyogami on hand!

    What you need:
    1. Paper (I'm using chiyogami here but use what you have)
    2. Gold thread
    3. Seed beads to compliment your paper (these are size 8/0 seed beads)
    4. Star punch (or use scissors and cut your own)
    5. Glue stick (not pictured, I use UHU)

    Step 1:
    Cut a piece of gold thread about 14" long.  Fold in half and tie a knot around the 3 1/2" mark.

    Step 2: 
    Thread 5 beads onto the doubled thread, slide up to the knot and tie another at the other end of the beads.  A little finicky but it doesn't need to be too tight to the beads.  Snip off the excess thread and set aside.

    Step 3:
    Punch (or cut) 5 stars from your paper and fold them all in half.

    Step 4:
    Glue the stars, wrong side together, to join them.  Stop before you join the final halves.  Hopefully the pictures makes sense.

    Step 5:
    Before gluing the last halves together lay the gold thread in the creases of the paper.  The fold in the thread will be the top of the ornament and the beads will be the bottom.  Line the knot up to be at the bottom of the star.  Then glue the last bit together and you're done!

    Hang and enjoy!

    Sunday, December 12, 2010

    Christmas Garland Again

    I got a picture of my wish star garland in it's current home and thought I'd pop in to share it.  If you'd like to make your own take a look at the tutorial over at Folding Trees.

    I had a couple days off this week and got shopping, baking, wrapping and card sending checked off the list!  After baking day I was definitely feeling overloaded on butter and sugar (you have to sample as you go... quality control and all that!) but now I'm good to go again.  Good thing too because there are boxes and boxes of treats to eat!  Wish I could share some with you all!  Since I haven't figured out how to send food via the internet I thought I'd share a couple tutorials instead.  Check back later this week!

    Saturday, December 11, 2010

    Great Katazome (Paper) Giveaway!

    The Paper Place blog is holding a giveaway where you could win 169 pieces of gorgeous katazome paper.  Wouldn't this be a great present under your tree?

    To enter comment on their post before December 12.  Good luck!

    Monday, November 29, 2010

    Paper Christmas Projects

    Have you seen the Make a Gift Bow from a Magazine Page tutorial over at How About Orange?  I saw it last year but ran out of time to try it out.  This year I started early and love how they turned out.  Next I'm going to try making some smaller ones for tiny gifts.  They're fun to make and you likely have all the supplies needed.  I highly suggest you try it out! (They make a very good "while watching TV" craft.)

    These glitter stars come from the paper I bought back in October.  Dozens of wish stars later I have a garland!  I'm hoping to get a picture of it hanging up for you but it's been difficult to capture the glitter at a distance.  Any tips?

    Thursday, November 11, 2010

    Christmas Cards - Quick Idea

    I think this qualifies as a quick idea - mainly because you get 4 cards made at once!  And if I say so myself, they look pretty good!

    What you need:
    • tissue paper in red and green
    • heavy white paper or cardstock
    • gold paint pen (this isn't the one I have but very similar)
    • watercolour paints and paint brush (optional)
    What you do:
    • Cut out flower shapes from the red tissue
    • Cut out leaf shapes from the green tissue (make it faster by cutting 3 or 4 layers at once!)
    • Glue shapes to white paper
    • Outline all shapes and add detail (vein on leaf, dots on flowers) with gold paint pen
    • Fill in the background with a light watercolour wash (optional)

    Then cut your work of art into smaller rectangles to glue on blank cards, outline in gold pen and you're done!

    I used a light green watercolour wash on these, mainly because I felt like painting, but I think I prefer the crispness of the plain white, unpainted background.  

    Tuesday, November 2, 2010

    Christmas Cards

    I thought I'd share a couple of my latest card designs.  The one on the left was super simple to make: cut out a section of scrapbooking paper, stick it on a card and add little strips of fabric-ribbon-sticker to the top and bottom.  I'd made the fabric-ribbon-sticker beforehand by sticking a length of double sided tape to the backside of fabric and cutting the width in half with my rotary cutter.  The card on the right was made by cutting a tree shape out of glitter card stock (any guesses where I got my tree design from?) and adding some stick on red rhinestones.  I love using the blank value pack cards from Michael's.  It makes card making a lot more enjoyable (and faster) to have pre-cut cards with envelopes to match!

    Tuesday, October 26, 2010

    Design from a Doodle

    Remember my Christmas doodles?  Here is something I made based on my doodle designs - a little felt ornament/hanger.  It was pretty quick to make: a little wool felt, some embroidery thread and beads to help put it all together.  I'm not sure if it'll go on a tree (it might be a bit long?), I may hang it on a doorknob or in a window somewhere.

    Sunday, October 24, 2010

    Christmas Doodles

    I love having time to sit down and craft but sometimes I find myself beginning an hour or two of crafting and not knowing where to start!  So one day I did some doodling while I was watching TV (and not knitting as is usual when the TV is on).  It was fun to get out the coloured markers without a particular aim in mind.  Some of these doodles have inspired craft projects, come by tomorrow and I'll be showing off the first one!

    P.S.  How do you organize your craft time?

    Friday, October 22, 2010

    Christmas Circles

    Before I get going on projects with my new paper I thought I'd show you some of the other paper things I've been working on.  A few weekends ago I started work on Christmas cards.  This year I wanted to get away from my standard stamped-image-on-square-on-coloured-square-on-card style so I started by punching out circles in two sizes.  Most of this paper is scrapbooking paper but there is also some used gift wrap in there.

    After doing all the punching I felt I had to organize things.

    And then I got down to glueing.  These are some of the designs I came up with.

    How about you, are you a start Christmas early person or a wait a minute, Halloween isn't even over yet type?  As you have probably guessed I fall in the first category!

    Tuesday, October 19, 2010

    I (heart) Paper!

    The second part of my Paper Place experience - the goodies I brought home!  Expect to see these papers cropping up again when I blog about Christmas crafts.

    This marbled paper is from Brazil - very beautiful and very expensive.  I bought little 5x7 sheets because it cost less and I could take home four different designs.  I love the colours on the teal one (bottom right) but the shapes in the purple one (bottom left) are great.

    A lot of my purchases were heavy on the red, green and gold.  Christmas crafting anyone?

    This glitter paper doesn't show up very well in the photo - just imagine a sheet of glitter and that's pretty much it.  It's fairly light weight so I'm hoping it folds easily (wouldn't wish stars look great in glitter?).

    These textured papers are fun.  The white one makes me think of snowballs.  I'd love to wrap a present in it!

    There were some non-Christmas purchases like this floral/paisley pattern. So detailed and ornate!  I think a little will go a long way.

    I picked up a few non-paper goodies too - washi tape and paper string.

    I get excited just thinking about all the great paper I have to use - I plan to set aside some time in the upcoming week to play with it and see what happens.  Stay tuned!

    Monday, October 18, 2010

    Paper Heaven

    Yesterday was my birthday and part of my day was going in to Toronto where I visited The Paper Place.

    It was my first visit there and absolutely as amazing as it looks on the website!  I thought I did really well to spend less then an hour in there and go through the whole store (I would have been longer but they were closing).  I spent all my birthday money, and then some, but I came home with so many gorgeous papers - I can't wait to get crafting!  I'll be back in the next day or two to show you what I bought but for now enjoy a few shots of the store.

    Do you see those things that look like bolts of fabric on the right?  On the green shelf?  They are "bolts" of chiyogami paper - I'm sure there were over 100 patterns there, all arranged by colour.  If you find yourself in the Toronto area I highly recommend you visit the store to see all the loveliness for yourself.

    Monday, October 11, 2010

    A Little Sewing

    My latest sewing project has been these little "taggies" blankets for some moms-to-be at work.  I wanted to make them a little something and these were simple and fun.  The little "tags" all came from my ribbon drawer (I did think of buying some ribbon but clearly that was unnecessary!).  For the front of the blanket I made a little quilt square with cotton prints.  The back is striped flannel.  Next time I think I'll do flannel on both sides - it's so soft and without the quilt bit they'll be so much faster to sew, making them easier for those last minute gifts!

    (On an unrelated note does anyone know why I have both "fabric" and "sew" as labels for my posts?  When did I use one and not the other?)