Thursday, May 6, 2010

clothesline dish towel

I thought this was the sweetest thing when I saw it, but far too expensive for something so easy to make. I used fabric glue for a lot of the stitching (I was in a rush) but a running stitch instead would look really sweet (and would be even sturdier). Click on tutorial to save/enlarge.

Friday, April 2, 2010

monsieur jambon

Our healthy pig here is modeling his tasty loins. Mmm he looks good enough to eat for Easter dinner. In all seriousness, he's made from only one sock, and there is very little wasted. So now you can feel good when the dryer eats your socks!

growing food

Last year when I had more money than time, I spent $30 on two tomato plants. Yes they were lovely tomato plants, purchased at the local farmer's market, and the tomatoes themselves were lovely. However this year I decided to grow my own. Partially because my situation is reversed, and partially since I've been following my friend's blog "100 Mile Mel". Now you may think this is part of a healthy competition we started in grade five, but sadly there is no way I can compete with 35 acres of land! Here I am with 19 tomato plants (one succumbed to too much love/ watering) and 8 dill weeds. Still to do are the green onions. I just hope the weather gets warm soon so I can save on my electrical bill (I wonder what the neighbors think I'm doing in my basement).
I'm actually looking forward to next fall, this is when Miss Melly promised me she would do a tutorial on canning. Until then you can enjoy her adventures in growing and eating locally produced food.

enamel flower pins

I purposely choose a simple safety pin- I think it looks fresh, but you can group a few of these flowers together for more impact. They also would look great on a barrette. For this craft you will need:
  • pine cones
  • wood glue
  • nail polish
  • glue gun
  • safety pin
  • optional are: scissors and a wet wipe

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

apron pattern

Simple apron pattern. Click on the images to enlarge/save. Because this is hand written, please let me know in the comments if you have a hard time interpreting my scratches.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Pauline Pattern

Since I've been doing a lot of cooking and crafting I finally treated myself to making an apron. I decided I wanted a large pocket in the front, onto which I would embroider my drawing of Pauline from Der Struwwelpeter. I'm a novice embroiderer so it took me a couple of hours- I just would remind myself that all of her ribbons is what makes the image so horribly funny. I will post the rough pattern for the actual apron (hopefully) soon.

To transfer the (or any) pattern from paper to fabric, I found two methods online. The first, was to get an embroidery transfer pencil, available at fine fabric and craft stores everywhere except where I live. The second, more painful, but doable, way is to trace the pattern on to tracing paper (tissue paper would work just as well). Pin the paper to the fabric, place the paper and fabric combo in the embroidery hoop and start sewing through both the paper and the fabric. When you are completely done embroidering the design , gently tear away the paper and carefully remove any little bits that are stuck with a needle- as soon as this goes through the wash any last remaining bits would be removed anyways.

faux porcelain bird

Another basement find was a leftover spray can of "Killz" - it's paint you use to cover water damage on walls. Since it was years since the last dishwasher accident, I used the rest of the spray (it comes in spray can and regular paint can at home depot) on some Styrofoam birds. Normally painting these styrofoam birds doesn't work with acrylic paint, but with the killz it sure does- not only that the killz is gooey, so the resulting bird looks like porcelain. After the spray dries you can apply any paint colour you like- I left mine white and hot glued the fellow to the top of a shadow box.

painted floor mat

I got the idea browsing Martha's site, I think she calls them canvas mats, but she lost me at gesso, since I'm not paying for canvas and gesso to make a floor mat. But the idea sprang back in my head as I was de cluttering- I had some old scraps of fabric (sewn together) and some left over wall paint in the basement- and I needed a mat for my front hall. This one ended up being 7 feet long and cost zero dollars.

March Update

I've been staring at this page for far too long, so I'll just dive right in. The beginning of the month was strange, an hour after toasting the official/legal birth of our company with delicious sparkling wine, we learned of the sudden death of the husband's aunt due to cancer. I mean it was just a few weeks ago we learned she was sick- added to our guilt that we didn't take the time to visit her, is the fact she was such a nice lady. sigh.
As we were leaving the funeral, her husband (my husband's uncle) gave us the flowers right off her coffin- they were really beautiful, but after a day I couldn't stand looking at the arrangement (you know the bridge-like shape that goes over the coffin) so I pulled the arrangement apart and sorted like with like flowers into different jars and spread the new arrangements all over the house- now the house felt like spring was coming.
Other than that I've been keeping busy working (well not getting paid for anything yet), de- cluttered the entire house for charity, started a vegetable garden from seedlings, and I'm learning french cooking from my new best virtual friend Laura. Oh yeah and crafts. Speaking of which, I'm going to be posting a few tutorials with hand written text and we'll see how that works. Although not as nice, I'm finding it harder and harder to find the chunk of time to ink and type etc etc.
If you can't read the writing, just post a comment -oh yeah I'm a terrible speller, so mea culpa in advance.

still to do this month:
  • apply for EI
  • re pot seedlings
  • go see the snakes of Narcisse- well this may be next month since it just snowed again

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

glove frog

Small, cute and really quick to make. My husband says he looks angry- but most frogs do ;)
I admit that I hesitated to post this, because there is a small amount of wasted material (see step 12)- but you can felt this and save it for a small separate project. I used a non-stretchy glove that was wrist length- so you may have to adjust step one for your glove (and most likely you'll have less waste!) supplies:
  • one glove
  • needle and matching thread
  • 2 pipe cleaners
  • fiberfill/ stuffing
  • beads/ buttons for eyes
click on the tutorial to print/ save, as usual it fits on a 8.5 x 11" sheet

Monday, February 22, 2010

catching up

I've been away visiting lawyers and accountants with my husband and our business partners so I have a few things to catch up on. First, as usual, a big thanks to everyone for the encouraging words. I try and read/ respond as much and as fast as I can- but this week I dropped the ball (if only you knew how backed up in craft tutorials I am!) - I apologize to Rachel who asked me a question, and it took a while for me to respond. I will edit the about me section to include that it's okay to link to any of the posts.

Tomorrow I will try and post/play this beautiful blogger game Amy recommended. There are so many great sites out there that I regularly visit - and not just the "big ones" either- I'm a bit of a Luddite, so it may take longer(!) to figure out.

Last but not least, a big thanks to Heather of Dollar Store Crafts for posting the Owl Oven Mitt tutorial

Sunday, February 14, 2010

dachshund pillow

The inspiration came from admiring Charley Harper prints (and a dog in an old blueprint magazine). I used 2 pieces of T-shirt transfer paper and a piece of canvas. Once I had cut out the separate pieces from the transfer paper I arranged them on the canvas like a puzzle (upside down in my case) and began to iron. Please be sure to not overlap the pattern pieces ( I assume it could mess you iron up). If you don't like the small gaps created by the seam, fill them in with embroidery, acrylic paint or a permanent marker.
The only issue I had was that the area you need to iron is huge and can make it difficult to peel off the backing. If this happens to you do the following: after you have ironed down the whole pattern according to the instructions, place the iron on one corner, wait 5 seconds, take off the iron and peel back that corner as much as you can. When you get resistance, place the iron over top that section for 5 seconds, and repeat this process as needed, making your way across the pattern. Once the iron on was set (and cooled) I cut an approximate 1" border, sewed it to a backing fabric, and added a little stuffing (mmm it's so soft). Click on the images below to save/ print

Happy Valentine's Day

With a lot of hurry up and wait company wise, and even more snow on the driveway, we broke down and decided to celebrate Valentine's day early this year and went on a inexpensive vacation to Mexico (we were supposed to be going to Asia this year) . Despite the sunburns, we had an awesome time. Now it's back to business.
Happy Valentine's Day everyone! ( and Happy Louis Riel Day while I'm at it)

Monday, January 25, 2010

Circus Mouse Door Stop

This guy takes less than 1/2 hr to make and he's pretty strong for his size ;)
Click on the images to save/ print - as usual it will fit on an 8.5x11" piece of paper.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

hoo loves you baby!

Inspired by an old ink well I picked up in Jerusalem a couple of years ago - This valentine owl's head flips up so you can put candy or a rolled up letter in him! Click on the image to save/ enlarge - tutorial and pattern should fit on an 8.5x11" paper.
you will need:
  • inner tube/ roll from a used roll of paper towels
  • scissors
  • glue stick (or tape)
  • printer

Thursday, January 7, 2010

bling necklaces

I was admiring the necklaces on the anthropologie website, and lucky for me there's not a store for hundreds of miles- so I went through my craft supplies.
Felt can be substituted for foam on these projects (and yes this will the last mention of craft foam for a while, I promise). Also the tutorial patterns are general placements- you can see in the photos that i had to modify the pattern slightly based on what I actually got in the "rhinestone grab bag", I suspect you would have to do the same.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Luggage Tags

More craft foam! I used the plane and technique from the silhouette tutorial for this design, but feel free to freehand your own - I've seen some awesome cherry and daisy designs on expensive leather tags! Click/save the below tutorial for tag assembly instructions.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

travel gnome

Now you too can play Amelie, without having to dig through the snow! This would make a great gift post trip (because you have to include him in the photos) to that special person who just doesn't get out enough.

Although it's not likely that I'm going on a trip in the near future, I couldn't help myself when I picked up my old copy of Gnomes with drawings by Rein Poortvliet. My Gnome is less grizzled, but it brought me back to my childhood when I used to try and draw pictures from the book.

This pocket has a handy zipper on the side so it can be used for loose change or reading style glasses. The print out and directions are on the same page- they should fit on to a 8.5x11" piece of paper. Remember that you will need an additional 1/2 inch or so seam allowance of fabric all around the "cut out" area.

silhouette necklaces

Ah, my newest fascination: craft foam, courtesy of my local dollar store. You can freehand the designs on to the foam with a ball point pen, or use my tutorial for transferring a more complex pattern. Sharp scissors and an x-acto knife (for the fine detail) will be required. I also purchased this jewelry kit from the dollar store that had chains, clasps and jump rings (great deal!). I attached at least 2 jump rings and 2 clasps to each silhouette so that I can mix and match the pieces.

New Year Clean Slate

Happy New Year to all who follow the gregorian calender! A lot has gone on since I was last able to post anything, so I will just start with thanking everyone for all of their positive comments and feedback - truly, it means the world to me.

The saddest news is that the brother in law is back in the hospital (he managed to get out for Christmas). The nurses say it's still extremely serious, but they tell us he's a fighter (we already knew this ;) . It's amazing to think that I really didn't comprehend how serious pneumonia was to someone in their mid 30's. Tough stuff.

On a happier note, the company is coming along, the business plan is in full swing, and even some of the team got interviewed by local media. Well the interview was about work done pre layoff, but it's good if we stay in the public eye.

It's new year, and a clean slate! Having this new found time on my hands means I have a few new crafts that will be posted over the next few days: jewelry, travel and LOST are the themes