Friday, December 30, 2011

Bead Weaving - Twisted Bracelet

I was wearing this bracelet today and I realized I haven't shared some of my beading projects.  
So I thought I would show off this one.

This bracelet pattern is from Bead and Button Magazine, April 2010.  The designer is Jimmie Boatright and it is a combo of Brick Stitch/Twisted Tubular Herringbone stitch.

I used a beautiful vintage crystal button as the clasp.

I think I made it last year and it is definitely one of my go to bracelets.  It is very comfortable to wear.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Etched Copper Journal Book Necklace

I made this necklace this week as a little experiment in metal etching.  Actually, it turns out that the  etching was the simple part and getting the book assembled was the challenge.

I loved how it turned out. I actually made a tiny scrapbook for the inside pages.  There are pictures of my family and other ephemera with personal meaning.

I think I'll try another one with really nice blank tea stained paper or crisp linen.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Silhouette Projects!

Here's what I've been doing with my new Silhouette Cameo electronic cutting machine.

Fabric Stencil Material

Our kitty cat named Ike got a new dish.  
It was done with the stencil that came with the fabric kit 
and I used Etch All for the etching.

I created a couple altered bottles.  Just something to look pretty.
These had Believe stenciled on them the same as kitty's dish.

You can't see the Believe too well on this one, 
but it turned out gorgeous.

I really had trouble getting a clear shot of this ornament/box. 
It's pretty but fairly delicate.

A new removable decoration for the bathroom wall.
I'm thinking of changing it out for seasons and holidays!

Some vinyl wall art that we started cutting before I remembered to take a picture.

Print and Cut
 Image printed on normal HP T-shirt heat transfer and cut with Cameo.

Heat Transfer Vinyl
Here's the story, my sister calls my son (the goofy one on the right) "Weedwhip" as a nickname. So his shirt is easy to understand.  Her's is a better story, he is constantly asking questions, and when he gets a answer he often queries deeper to ask specifically how you know the answers.  Trust him to question you to death.  My sister learned quickly to simply answer with a "I know things".  She's been using that response for years.  He believes it too!

Stencil and fabric paint

I actually think I like the fabric paint better than the heat transfer.  I've asked the recipients of my gifts to let me know how each stand up to washing, etch.

Whew!  That's it.  I did four other bags but gave them away before remembering to take a picture.  I've also been downloading free fonts and images from the web.  Good thing I'm on vacation!

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Someone opened their Christmas gift early!

Oh, the weather outside is gorgeous!
Seriously, it hit 40 degrees here in Minnesota.  No snow.
I can live with that.

Although my hubby didn't know what it was, he bought me a Silhouette Cameo!
I spent all day Friday (day off for the holidays!) and most of Saturday making Christmas gifts on it.
I made vinyl wall verses, iron-on T-shirts, ornaments, ornate boxes...
I am in LOVE!

And, it didn't involve a bb gun, leg lamp, or shooting my eye out...a perfect Christmas Story.

Zipper Flowers

Oh what fun I am having growing my own zipper flowers!

I got a shoebox full of metal zippers from the 40s - 60s at a garage sale for $.75.  Dozens of them were pale pastel colors of the era and still in the packaging.  Perfect!

Several of the instructions posted on other people's blogs suggested that you gather the zipper with a basting stitch and sew the petals.  I made the one above with that method.  

But really, that was simply too slow and tedious.  The versions below were made with my trusty glue gun.  The petals are assembled on a circle of felt.  I cut a slit in another circle and slipped in the pin back.  Then I simply glued the two circles together to get a nice clean finish.

I wore the red scarf to my company  Christmas part and slipped a few more of these into my purse to give away if anyone liked it.  I ran out way too fast with my little Santa gifts.  Time to go hunt for more metal zippers.  (Tip: the plastic zippers just don't cut it.  The beauty is all in the contrast of the metal with the fabric)

Knit Light-Weight Fleece Swirl Scarf

Thanks to Pinterest I found directions to make this beautiful 
girly scarf on the The Pink Peony of Le Jardin blog.  
Don't tell my daughter, but this might just be one of her Christmas presents.  Oops. The secret is out.

The original posting used t-shirt material, but I happened to have this super light-weight fleece on hand that worked wonderfully and feels much softer than a t-shirt. 

The trick is to simply cut around a paper plate and then cut a swirl out of the circle.  The thinner you cut the longer the strands.  Once cut, simply pull to stretch and let the material do it's ruffly thing.

One of my zipper flowers attached.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Martha Stewart Inspired Book Pages tree

Martha Steward has the instructions for this tree posted on her website.  
I made mine out of old book pages instead of the newsprint she used and added a glittered star. 

Then I went rogue and experimented on my own.  Using a small styrofoam tree I curled a corner of  leftover 1 1/2 inch squares and hot glued them to the foam.  I finished off by adding a big pearl to the top.  I restrained myself from adding glitter to the edges just because I'm trying to maintain some discipline.  Oh heck with it, I'm adding glitter to the next one I make!

Salt Dough Christmas Ornaments

We have a new kitty in our house.  Meet Ike.

Ike likes to climb Christmas trees!

SO.... I decided not to put any breakable ornaments on the tree this year in case the fishing line my husband used to secure the tree doesn't actually work and the entire thing comes toppling down.  Tell me this hasn't happened to some of you out there!

I decided to try some salt dough ornaments.  At garage sales, I always pick up cookie cutters and I even still have some of my grandmother's and mother's, so I have a bin full of cool shapes.
Had to try glittering one!

I found numerous recipes on the Internet.  Here's the one I used.
4 cups flour 
1 cup table salt
1 1/2 cups warm water

Mix it together and roll it out. Realistically, I think you have about 15 minutes or so to roll the dough without having to add some water to your hands and kneed it in to soften.

I put them in the oven at 250 degrees for a couple of hours and added a dish of water to keep the shapes from curling or bubbling.  I read if you don't use self-rising flour you have less puffing.  I found that if I used a higher temp I got more puffing and curling.

Of course, I added glitter immediately just to see how they looked.  I also painted a few with gesso to lessen the cracks and make them look crisper.  

I brought the batch of ornaments and paint pens to our Christmas gatherings.  Everyone decorated one for Grandma's tree and added their name and the year on the back.   Below are a few of the hard working elves.

Sparkly glitter clothespins

I saw these on and had to give them a try.  I simply brushed on glue and sprinkled glitter on a clothespin.  I also attached magnets to the back and provided tacks and string in the packages.  I thought these would be a great way to hang up Christmas cards!

So far I've given a set out for Secret Santa at work and as a housewarming gift at Thanksgiving.  I think they'll be great for my son's teacher, bus driver and the girl at my favorite coffee house!

Wine Cork Keychains

I make a lot of cut off wine bottle soy candles and in the spirit of being green I also use the tops for candlesticks and screw off tops for magnets.  The corks I do a number of things with, but I think this just might be my favorite use.

Take one cork, stack descending size washers of different colored metals to the top and bottom, and screw in an eye screw.  They also look great if you simply use a screw on the bottom instead of dangling the bead.  Then attach a keychain and you're done.  If you want a bit of extra strength glue the washers together.

Within just a few minutes you have some great stocking stuffers!

Anthropology Inspired Snowglobes

My daughter sent me a text with pictures from Anthropology of their snow globes and commented for the first time in her life, "I can make that".  
She grew up hearing me say it.  Ha.  I might have rubbed off on her just a bit.

Anthropology had plain old mason jars like below, but I also like the more vintage apothecary look of the other two.  

Walmart has plan and sparkly trees that are just perfect for $.75 a piece.  Tip of the day....Menards had a package of a couple dozen for 1/3 of the cost of JoAnn Fabrics for exactly the same thing.  The most expensive thing is the glitter unless you can get it with one of JoAnn's 1/2 off coupons.  Total for the mason jar ones....$3.00.

Re-purposed China Pin Cushions

I can't get enough pin cushions.  At garage sales I buy pin cushions every time I see them.  I have a beautiful collection that includes figurines, shoes, sterling tins. And, while I have a dozen vintage red tomato pin cushions in all different sizes, I buy another when I see it to add to the collection.  To me, vintage pin cushions are rich in history and the memories of the woman who owned them.  Each one represents the dreams and potential of  beautiful things or simple the practicalities of day to day mending and sensible clothes.

The pictured pin cushions are made from repurposing old china.  Simply cut a circle from fabric, stuff it with batting, and use a rubber band to close up the ball.  Tuck it into an old sugar or creamer and add a few extra buttons or ribbon.  And that's it. An almost instant pin cushion.