Tuesday, January 31, 2012

jewelry boards

I have found that if I can't actually see my necklaces and bracelets, I forget to wear them. I have one of those ubiquitous tall jewelry boxes with drawers and cabinets, but everything is so hard to get to that I rarely bother to dig through it. So I recently nailed up these corkboards and hung all the pieces I wear on straight pins. I remember seeing a cuter fabric brooch board by Jhoanna a while back and this idea has been simmering in the back of my head.

Of course I would have preferred to take a delicate twisting tree branch and artfully hang choice pieces from it so that they catch the light, like I've seen around the web. But. I am a costume jewelry hoarder and lots of my pieces are heavy natural stone, so that was clearly impractical. This is less about pretty and more about practical. But I do actually enjoy the display made by the jewelry. Can you tell I like turquoise?

The two larger seagrass boards are from Joann and are made by Board Dudes. There was an ugly white logo on the fronts (why, Board Dudes? why?) but thankfully that scraped off just with my fingernail. If you have a 40% off coupon, even better. I just noticed the price on the BD website. As if! I don't think I payed even half of that at Joann.

The other two smaller boards are 8x10 inch picture frames I had laying just around. I took out the glass and added a layer of cardboard with cork glued on it. I had the rolled cork still leftover from a project done years ago, so that nicely reinforced my scrap keeping dysfunction.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

kitchen curtain follow up...

...with not very great photographs, but here they are all the same. I was just glad to see some actual sun today, but it might have been the wrong time of day to snap the shots. At my house I have to get while the gettin' is good. The table was clean, the sun was shining. The getting, as they say, was good.


The fabrics I used are this cheerful AMH LouLouThi and a band of grey chambray at the bottoms. These curtains came together really quickly because:
  1. I didn't line them this time. They are on the back of my house, so I didn't have to adhere to the white lining rule in my neighborhood.
  2. For each curtain I just used the entire width from selvedge to selvedge and then measured the length I wanted plus 3.5 inches at the top and 5.5 at the bottom for hems. The sides were hemmed 1/2 inch over, then 1 inch over again. The tops and bottoms were hemmed 1/2 over then another 3 inches over at the top, and another 5 inches over at the bottoms.
  3. I ripped the fabric to length instead of cutting with scissors. First I snipped near the end of the yardage and ripped off the cut edge to square it up, then just measured the lengths by holding the fabric selvedge against my cutting mat (for example, measured twice to 35 inches for a total of 70 inches for the LouLouThi) and then while pinching it at the spot, snipped it with scissors through the selvedge and ripped it across instead of cutting. So much quicker and easier.

The curtain rings are those clip-on kind that I picked up a long time ago at IKEA. I love those things. I used this method to attach them, so it created the look of pleats without actually have to sew the pleats.

Easiest curtains I've made by far. My next kitchen sewing project needs to be some cushions for the chairs. I bought yellow piping a few months ago but that's as far as it got.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

what I'm up to.

 Sewing kitchen curtains.

 Putting together IKEA shelving and organizing stuff in them.

 Framing pretty art that's been laying around for months.

 Rehanging stuff.

Making pillow covers.

Nothing like having a bunch of people to your house to light a fire under your unfinished projects.

Monday, January 16, 2012

I forgot to show and tell

I forgot to show you the pretty round crochet pillow that my wonderful friend made for me for Christmas. It goes perfectly in my bedroom. How does she do that? I have (quite reasonably) requested that she make me another one to go in my living room, but she acts like moving to Brazil is taking up all her time. What about my pillow needs? 

This pillow came wrapped up with all kinds of thoughtful presents for me and my whole family, and as if that were not enough, there were also generous bags of homemade Christmas Crack Corn (think Moose Munch only ten times better), Piggy Corn (caramel popcorn with bacon in it. Yes, BACON.), and some really delicious chocolate popcorn for the girls.

Man, I need to take another swing at crochet. I got a started a while back (ok, two years ago) but got confused about how to turn corners and then lost interest. Typical. Then I see all the cool possibilities like this pillow and I get all excited about it again. I really ought to do a retrospective post on all the beautiful things Robyn has crocheted for me. Might be more of the motivation I need to pick up the hook and yarn and try again.

(Late note: Hey, crochet lovers. Robyn used this pattern.)

Thursday, January 12, 2012

my felty valentine: a deal and a contest!

You guys know I love wool felt. Perhaps that is not a strong enough word. I'm mad-crazy for it. So this post is especially for my fellow wool felt enthusiasts. Wonderful Janet, mmmcrafts sponsor and owner of top notch etsy shop, Felt On The Fly, is offering my readers a BOGO deal featuring this pretty wool felt die-cut set with hearts and keys.

Here's the deal: When you purchase any gorgeous, five-piece Color Story ($15 US) from her shop, be sure to mention "mmmcrafts" in the note to seller box. When you do that, Janet will include a free Felt Hearts die cut set with your purchase! The set includes all that you see in the photo above. That's a $7.50 value. (This BOGO offer ends Feb 10th)

 Just a few of the Color Stories available.

I speak from personal experience when I say that Felt On The Fly's 100% wool felt is a joy to use for any craft. It has a substantial, smooth hand and the colors are so bright and rich. Here's a great description from Janet:
My 100% merino wool felt fabric is made from natural, renewable, dyed wool fiber from merino sheep, pressed together using a needle felt/steam process to produce a fabric specifically created for the handwork and fine craft marketplace. It is color fast and fade-resistant. It is very soft, cuts cleanly, does not fray and holds stitches beautifully. It has a nice ‘body’ and holds up very well with use and handling.
Enter the Felty Heart Challenge: Take a great deal one step further. Get creative with the Felty Hearts set! Use it to make something cool. Use all of it or just part of it. Then upload a photo of your creation by February 17th to Janet's Felty Hearts Challenge flickr group.

Here's what you can win: Janet and I will put our heads together and choose a winner from the flickr pool. The lucky winner's creation will be featured on my blog and the winner will receive a free five-piece set of Felt On The Fly's 100% wool felt. The winner can choose a Color Story or create a custom mix from Janet's amazing set of 96 colors. That's five 8 x 12 inch pieces of soft, richly colored 100% merino wool felt to add to your stash.

Go check out her shop, and we will look forward to seeing your beautiful creations!

Monday, January 9, 2012

valentiney things, a retrospective

 My Valentine Schmalentine free printable from 2011. A very minimal effort card for cynics.

My Wood You free printable from back in 2009. For you foresty types.

My smoochie printable Mwah card and tags from 2010.

Love You bookmarks tutorial with printable template from 2009. Makes a nice handmade gift for those bookworms in your life.

And finally just a little old fashioned papercut card inspiration for you from 2010. No template for these, but if you'd like to try it here are the basic steps: 
  1. Freehand sketch a largish heart lightly in pencil. Slightly wonky is charming. Lightly sketch initials and hearts inside. Or you can use your computer to draw it/type it, but print it backwards on your paper since you won't be able to erase your sketch lines.
  2. Use Xacto blade to cut out letterforms and hearts. Keep any counters you cut out (like those pieces in the middles of Os and As).
  3. Erase your sketch lines if you did it in pencil.
  4. Use hole punches to add interest. I used 1/4 and 1/8 inch in clusters.
  5. Cut out large heart with scallop scissors and glue to a colored piece of cardstock. Glue on the missing counters, or leave them off for a more Rob Ryan feel.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

back to real life.

Anticlimactic. All the sparkle and magic has been put away in the attic. The lawn has been denuded of lights. School books have reappeared. Suitcases have been put away. The flabby reckoning is here. The January calendar page is filling with appointments and classes. Clementines and a good book are helping to cushion the bump.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

handmade gifts 2011: french hen for Shari

Another sparkly french hen ornament, this time for Robyn's sweet mom, who happens to like chickens.

Monday, January 2, 2012

handmade gifts 2011: french hen and colly bird ornaments

***Note: the French Hen ornament pattern is now available in my Etsy shop and Craftsy shop! Colly Bird will be coming in early 2015.***

Happy new year, everybody! My new year's resolution: More cowbell.

Continuing on with the parade of handmade, I present days three and four in the Twelve Days of Christmas ornament series for Robyn. (Here are days one and two.)

I went ahead and made two ornaments this year because I figure twelve years is a long ever lovin' time to wait for the complete set.

*No, that's not a typo up there in the title. It really and truly is colly bird.