Summer Green Knick Knack Box

   "Creative people are curious, flexible, persistent, and independent with a tremendous spirit of adventure and a love of play."  -- Henri Matisse


"Creative people are curious, flexible, persistent, and independent with a tremendous spirit of adventure and a love of play."  -- Henri Matisse

I am addicted to making "knick knack" boxes.  These boxes holding everything from paper napkins in my kichen  to assorted sewing supplies in my studio.  They are also the perfect way to explore different crafting supplies.  

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MATERIALS:

Kool Tak™ 1 Layer Perfect Tool (Use it for centering, piercing, and edge stitching) 

Kool Tak™ 10 Shiny Transfer Foil Sheets (Earth Tones)

Kool Tak™ 1 pack of Clear Foam pads - ¼ x ¼ x 1/32” thick

Kool Tak™ 1 pack of Clear Foam tape - 3/16 x 1/16 thick by 1.6 yards

Kool Tak™ 1 Premium EXTREME tape - 2 ½ x 27 yards

Wood box - 7" x 7" x  3"

Craft Acrylic Paint (to match cardstock)

Sponge Brush

Fine Glitter

Scalloped Circle Punch 1"

Assorted Patterned Cardstock 12" x 12" (to match paint)

Paper Lace or Paper Trim (I used a product from Martin Meyer Imports.) 

Paper Trimmer

2" circle of wood

Piercing Tool (or in my case, my high school biology probe!)

Embroidery Needle

Perle Cotton 5/2 Embroidery Thread

Phillip head screwdriver 

Sandpaper

Scissors

Pencil / Ruler optional

Let's Create:
Take off the hinges and the closure on the box with the screwdriver.  Set these parts to the side.   HINT:  I put them in an envelope to prevent losing them.  Tiny screws have way of disappearing in one's studio.

Lightly sand the wood, removing any rough bits.  Don't sand it so much that you end up with rounded edges!

Paint the entire box with the craft acrylic paint using the sponge brush.  Do two coats allowing the paint to dry in between layer of paint.

Measure the top of your lid.  My box (from Darice) has a 6.5" interior.

Cut your paper into 4 squares using your paper trimmer (or use a ruler and pencil to measure and mark on the back and then use scissors).  You need a 6.5", 5.5",  4.5" and 3.5" square.  I used two papers, alternating between them.  

If you haven't used the Kool Tak™ Layer Perfect Tool, checkout this great video before proceeding!

Using your Kool Tak™ Layer Perfect Tool, mark the stitch holes on the 5.5" paper piercing as you go.  HINT: I put a piece of old cardboard underneath as I pierced to protect my worktable.

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Cut a 24" piece of the perle cotton embroidery thread and thread your needle.   Embroider a running stitch around the edge of your 5.5" paper.  Finish off with a knot on the back.

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Use your Kool Tak™ Layer Perfect Tool to center the 3.5" square onto the 4.5" square.  Tear off a piece of the Kool Tak™ Premium EXTREME tape - 2 ½ x 27 yards and place it on the back of the 3.5" square.  Peel off the paper backing and stick the smaller square to the larger square.  

Proceed to center and tape the 4.5" square onto the 5.5" square.  (Note: I centered and taped my 4.5" square to the 5.5" square prior to the stitching, hence why you see it in my photos.)

Center the 5.5" square within the 6.5" square.  Place 4 squares of Kool Tak™  Clear Foam pads in each corner of the 5.5" square, remove the backing and stick to the 6.5" square.

Place your layered squares to the side.

Next tear off a piece of the Kool Tak™ Premium EXTREME tape that is approximately 2" x 2" and place it on your 2" wood circle.  Trim excess with scissors.  Peel off the paper backing and place a copper colored sheet of the Kool Tak™ Shiny Transfer Foil Sheets onto the sticky surface, pressing it in place as you go.  (HINT: Press from the center to the edges of the circle to prevent any ripples in the foil.)

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Carefully peel off the foil.  Use your finger nail to distress the surface a bit and shake some glitter on top.  It will stick to the distressed areas.  Brush off any excess. 

Center the circle within the the top square (the 3.5" one) using the Kool Tak™ Layer Perfect Tool   Add some Kool Tak™ Premium EXTREME tape to the back of the circle, remove the paper backing and firmly press int place.  Set the layers to the side.

Using the Kool Tak™ Layer Perfect Tool, place ten squares of Kool Tak™ Clear Foam pads - ¼ x ¼ x 1/32” thick along the top edge of your lid spacing them evenly as you go.  HINT: It is easiest to place the squares at the corners and center and then the others to insure that they are evenly spaced apart. Proceed to add squares on the remaining 3 sides of the lid.

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Remove the backing of the squares and sprinkle fine glitter along them.  Brush off any excess glitter. (I removed the paper featured in the above photo from the lid before I shook on my glitter.)  I love how the glitter on the foam squares looks like mini pieces of glass mosaic!

Press a line of the Kool Tak™ Clear Foam tape - 3/16 x 1/16 thick by 1.6 yards along the lower rim of the lid.  Don't cover the holes for the closure or the area for the hinges! Remove the backing and sprinkle the same glitter you just used.  

Proceed to now put your layered squares  / wood circle onto the lid.  The Kool Tak™ Premium EXTREME tape is fabuously sticky, yet easy to tear.  I tore off large pieces, removed the paper backings and then tore off smaller bits to get into the corners.  

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Place your layered squares /wood circle onto the lid and press firmly.  I have to admit, having never used Kool Tak™ Premium EXTREME tape until making this project, I love how it sticks to both paper AND wood. 

Measure two 6.5" x 1/2" pieces of paper lace or trim.  Cut two 6.5" pieces of the Kool Tak™ Clear Foam tape - 3/16 x 1/16 thick by 1.6 yards and press along the lower edge of the trim.  Remove the backing and press firmly into place along the top and lower edge of the 6.5" square.

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To make stickers to embellish the sides of your box  take one of your papers and add rows of the Kool Tak™ Premium EXTREME tape to back.

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Punch 12 scalloped circles out of the paper with the Kool Tak™ Premium EXTREME tape backing using your 1" scalloped circle paper punch.

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Turn your box to the side. Using the Kool Tak™ Layer Perfect Tool center three of the scalloped circles.  Remove the paper backing from the punches and firmly press into place.

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Proceed to do the same on the other three sides.

Screw the hinges and closure back into place.

For the final touch, punch 7 scalloped circles from assorted matching papers. Layer the scalloped circles ontop of each other, sticking them in place with small bits of the Kool Tak™ Premium EXTREME tape

Cut small notches into the circle at each scallop edge.

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Fold each petal forward.  Add a small bit of Kool Tak™ Premium EXTREME tape to the center of the back, remove the backing and place it on your copper circle.  Use the Kool Tak™ Layer Perfect Tool to center it.

And voila!  You have a new box, all glittery and beautiful, to store your favorite treasures.

Kool Tak supplied the materials used in this project.

Collagraphy with file folders

©2012Lindsay-Obermeyer-collagraphy.jpg

Collagraphy is a printmaking process.  There are a variety of ways to do it, but I love using the simple material of an old file folder for the print plate.  The image is from a art class I taught one summer and was made by a 9 year old. The results can be spectacular.

To get started you will need:
–   an old file folder
–   liquid glue (such as Elmer’s)
–   scissors
–   water-soluble printing ink
–   printing brayer
–   old plastic tray
–   paper for printing (Black construction paper was used in the example.)
–   paper for sketching
–   pencil
–   paper (brown paper, newspaper) to cover work table
–   apron

 

Let’s create!

1.   Prepare your work surface.
Cover your table with newspaper or brown paper to protect it. This process is slightly messy, so it’s always better to err on the side of caution.  Don’t forget to put on your apron!

2.  Sketch out your idea.
Sketch out your idea on a sheet of paper the size of your file folder.  Do you want to create a clown? A landscape?  The trick to a great collagraph is to make the image with plenty of negative space.  To make this clown, each distinct feature of the face and costume were drawn, but not the base of the head.  There is space between the lips and the bow tie, the nose and the lips etc.  The second trick is to make your image big, bold and simplistic.  A tiny clown face with lots of details just won’t print as well.

3.  Make your printing plate.
Cut the file folder in half along the fold line.  Use one side as print base and the other to cut out your shapes.  Draw your shapes, cut them out and arrange them on the print base.  Once you have an image you like, glue the pieces into place. Make sure you get the edges of each piece!  You don’t want any to curl up when the glue has dried.  Allow the glue to thoroughly dry before proceeding.

4.   Ink your tray.
Squeeze a small amount of ink onto the center of the plastic tray.  Smooth out the ink with a brayer.  Don’t have too much fun squishing it around!  The ink dries quickly.

5.   Ink your printing plate.
Roll the ink across the surface of your printing plate.  Move your brayer in different directions to get the best coverage possible.

6.   Make the print.
Center your paper over the printing plate and press into place.  Run your hands across the surface of the paper adding pressure.  If you have another brayer you can roll it over the surface or use the back of an old wooden spoon. Once you’ve pressed the paper all across the printing plate, peel it back to see your print.

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7.  Make several prints.
Use a paper towel to wipe off any globs of ink that remains on your print plate. You will be able to make 4-5 prints before the plate is worn out.  Let your prints dry and arrange them in a collage like this example or use them to make cards, posters or covers for your journal.

8.   Clean up.
Place your art aside to dry.  Use warm, sudsy water to wash your tray and brayer. Allow to air dry.  Recycle the newsprint.

Rubber Stamp Pointilism

 The purpose of art is washing the dust of daily life off our souls. -- Pablo Picasso  

The purpose of art is washing the dust of daily life off our souls. -- Pablo Picasso
 

Pointillism is a way of creating an image by building up dots of color.  George Seurat is perhaps the most famous of painters to use this technique.  Rather than use oil paint, I like to teach the concept with rubber stamp pads in assorted colors and some brand new pencils.  The eraser tips make beautiful dots and little fingers stay clean!

To get started you will need:
–   rubber stamp pads (Many companies are making them with three colors to a pad.)
–   brand new pencils, one for each color to be used
–   a sharpened pencil for sketching
–   white paper (Computer paper is fine.)

Let’s create!
1.   
Sketch out your idea.
With a sharpened pencil, sketch out your idea.  Do you want to make a picture of your house or your garden?  You decide.  Draw lightly.  You don’t want your pencil marks to be obvious in your finished illustration.

2.  Fill in you first layer of colors.
Press your eraser into the stamp pad and make a mark on your paper.  To achieve a clear, perfect dot press firmly while holding the pencil perpendicular to the paper.  If you hold the pencil at an angle  you are likely to make a half moon shape.  You will notice that you will need to reink your eraser often if you want darker dots.  If you want lighter dots, keep stamping until the ink runs out before reinking your eraser.

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3.  Add your second and third layers of color.
Your image may be too faint, so you need to add another layer.  Experiment.  What happens when you add dark blue dots on top of green dots?  Keep adding dots and switching colors until you achieve an image you like.  Remember to not mix your colors!  Use a separate pencil eraser for each color.  Allow your image to dry.

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Polka Dot Bead Necklace

 f I'm not feeling super confident about an outfit or a little insecure - I'll probably accessorize my outfit with some jewelry. - Amber LeBon

f I'm not feeling super confident about an outfit or a little insecure - I'll probably accessorize my outfit with some jewelry. - Amber LeBon

 

Custom-make your own polka dot beads with mini Smoothfoam balls. They are super easy and loads of fun to do!

I was inspired by the colors of a cloudless spring sky and fresh shoots of grass, but you could make your beads in any color you wish.

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Supplies:

Five 1″ Smoothfoam balls
Acrylic paint – turquoise, spring green
3′ length of 1/2″ organza ribbon – spring green
1″ foam brush
Paintbrush
Toothpicks
Scissors
Tapestry needle
Ruler or tape measure
Scrap corrugated cardboard

 

1.   Poke a toothpick into each ball and set in onto the cardboard.  This makes the balls easier to paint.

2.   Paint two coats of paint on each ball (3 green and 2 blue).  Allow the paint to dry between coats.

3.   Paint polka dots in the opposite color on each ball. To make nice neat dots, dab the back end of your paint brush into the paint to make the dot; allow to dry.

4.   Poke a hole all the way through the center of each ball with the needle.

5.   Thread the ribbon through the needle, then thread one of the green balls onto the ribbon and push it to the center of the ribbon. Make overhand knots on each side of the ball. Add a blue ball, make an overhand knot, add a green ball, and make an overhand knot.  Remove your needle, then thread the other half of the ribbon through it. Alternate the colored balls and knots on the other side in the same way.

6.   Cut the ends of the ribbon on an angle and make overhand knots at each end. To wear your necklace, tie the ends into a bow at the back.

 

*** Please note I was given supplies by Smoothfoam to make this project.

DIY Slide Bracelet Components from Cousin

 Jewelry takes people's minds off your wrinkles.  - Sonja Henie

Jewelry takes people's minds off your wrinkles.  - Sonja Henie

I love my bling and Cousin makes it so easy!  Their new slide bracelet components are gorgeous and simple to use.  I had to keep my daughter out of the studio as I worked.  She kept trying to sneak off with the finished bracelets before I had a chance to photograph them!  For each bracelet I was able to coordinate and add as I wanted. The slide beads come in pre-coordinated sets for all tastes from rock-n-roll to girly romantic.  I rarely wear bracelets as they are generally too big
for my skinny wrists, so I especially love that I can cut the leather bands to size. 

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 To make one of these leather bracelets, you will need:

  • Cousin slide bracelet components and leather band
  • e6000 glue
  • scissors if you choose to size down the leather band
  • tape measure  

Let's create!

  1. Use the tape measure to measure your wrist.  You decide how tight a fit you want and then cut (or not) the band to size.  Each band also comes with rubber stoppers.
  2. Arrange the various slide components in an order you like and then slide them onto the leather band.  Add the rubber stoppers if you don't want the components to slide.
  3. Add glue inside the cup of each end piece and add to the end of the leather band. Be sure to allow your new creation to dry overnight!

Yep, it's that simple!

 

 

*** Please note that I received the materials from Cousin to test out for free.

Transferring a drawing to a piece of fabric or wood

 “Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once we grow up.” - Pablo Picasso

“Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once we grow up.” - Pablo Picasso

Do you have a particular image of your child’s that you love and think would be fabulous as an embroidered pillow or as part of that newly refinished kitchen table?  The process couldn’t be simpler!

To get started you will need:
– your child’s drawing
– a knitting needle or chopstick
– carbon paper
– masking tape (painter’s version as it is less sticky and won’t leave a residue)

Let’s create!
If you are working with cloth, iron out all the wrinkles.  Tape it to a hard surface.  Place the carbon paper, ink side facing the cloth, table or whatever your project surface may be.  Position your child’s drawing on top of the carbon paper and tape it in place.  Trace the lines with a knitting needle or chopstick.  You could use a blunt pencil, but you will end up leaving a mark on your child’s drawing.  Remove drawing and carbon paper.

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This project isn’t of course limited to children’s drawings.  It is a great way to transfer your own images too.

Free Pattern :: KAL (Knit Along) Afghan Part Two

 As I frequently tell new knitters, a mistake is simply a new stitch. I was knitting up the traditional Ridge Rib.  I didn't realize until I took the photograph that I forgot one row. Uh, oops.  And hence a new stitch is born! It isn't reversible. 

As I frequently tell new knitters, a mistake is simply a new stitch. I was knitting up the traditional Ridge Rib.  I didn't realize until I took the photograph that I forgot one row. Uh, oops.  And hence a new stitch is born! It isn't reversible. 

So here we are on week two of the KAL afghan. I know it seems slow going. The knitting is actually quick.  I am just slow at all the photography, graphics and typing up of instructions.  If you have a burning desire to just get going, then by all means you have now 8 different stitches to try out in a variety of colors.  They will look slightly different with each color. But if you are patient and have a zillion other interruptions in your life like I do, there is definitely more stitching fun to come.

 This stitch makes a dressy, reversible fabric.  A nice option for blankets and scarves. Personally I am working it up into a vest.

This stitch makes a dressy, reversible fabric.  A nice option for blankets and scarves. Personally I am working it up into a vest.

To learn more of how this KAL works please refer to the first post for a supply list and such. So the way this will work is each Sunday evening at 8pm I will be live streaming on Periscope as @lbostudio. Tune in to watch me.  I will be answering knit questions.  When you see *K1,P1* that means work the K1,P1 across the row. 

 This stitch is fun to do with its easy 4 row repeat.  You need to mark the front with a stitch marker otherwise you can lose track while watching Netflix.

This stitch is fun to do with its easy 4 row repeat.  You need to mark the front with a stitch marker otherwise you can lose track while watching Netflix.

Remember the original project was to make a 49 x 63 inch afghan in wool from 7X7 inch squares.  But if you want to make this for a charity like Warm Up America, they request squares/ rectangles be knit 7"x9" in acrylic or machine washable wool.

 The checkerboard is another reversible stitch.  I redesigned this one with an 8 stitch repeat rather than the more common 10. Why?  I wanted it to fit the 4 stitch gauge for the width of out squares. 

The checkerboard is another reversible stitch.  I redesigned this one with an 8 stitch repeat rather than the more common 10. Why?  I wanted it to fit the 4 stitch gauge for the width of out squares. 

I chose Cascade 220 for this project as it is an easy to obtain basic high quality wool in a large color range.  One viewer mentioned the expense of wool.  Well, this is true. Wool is more expensive than acrylic.  Sign up for online shops like Webs and for the newsletter of your local yarn store to get notice of when certain wool yarns are on sale.  You could also just use up your stash, making sure that you stay on gauge for a 7 x7 inch square.  And you can set up an alert on Craigs List for yarn and trust me, many folks get into knitting and get in deep and then lose interest and want to sell or give away their stash!  Worth taking a look. And don't forget to let all your friends know that you knit.  I can't tell you how much yarn has come my way through friends and friends of friends.

Free Pattern :: (KAL) Knit along, Knit an afghan one square at a time.

 This stitch lays flat. It is reversible. Great for scarves and edges on garments, like a cuff or collar.  The trick to this stitch is  to knit the purl stitches of the previous row and purl the knit stitches of the previous row. This is a great one for learning to read your stitches.

This stitch lays flat. It is reversible. Great for scarves and edges on garments, like a cuff or collar.  The trick to this stitch is  to knit the purl stitches of the previous row and purl the knit stitches of the previous row. This is a great one for learning to read your stitches.

This is it!  Squee! I am so excited to share a Knit along project with you. I was at Vogue Knitting Live, Chicago 2018 and while listening to a speaker suggest that you buy an extra skein to make a larger swatch than the typical 4"x4". I thought brilliant! Yes, I should do that too, if only to get a better sense of the fabrics drape. So I am setting out to review the basic library of knit purl stitch combinations in a 7"x7" format.  Each square will be collected to make a blanket.  I wanted a project that could be created in small bits as dragging around giant knit projects to the local coffee shop is a tad annoying.  Smaller is also good for summer.  Start now and you could have a 49" x 63" blanket ready to go for next winter.  How cool is that!  

So the way this will work is each Sunday evening at 8pm I will be live streaming on Periscope as @lbostudio. Tune in to watch me.  I will be answering knit questions. Sharing with you what I've learned from 45(!) years of knitting  and working in the industry in various capacities. I've owned a yarn store, was on the board of the yarn trade association, and design for books and magazines.  

I am sorry that the video is cut off.  YouTube gives me  a time limit of 14 minutes of a 23 minute broadcast that I am allowed to upload. You may watch the full replay on Periscope. I will also upload what I can onto YouTube.

I am keeping my palette simple. I am working with just three colors, french blue, cream and camel.  I am using Cascade 220. A nice sturdy basic wool in a worsted weight. To do this for charity, Warm Up America is my charity target.  They ask the rectangles be 7" x 9" and knit in acrylic. So make it in wool for yourself or acrylic for charity, make it in pastels for a baby blanket or two. The project is truly flexible. You could also work with a washable wool.

This is challenging me to think about the basics in groups so that they make sense and you build skills.  Photography is my other challenge.  Not my strength. I prefer to photograph in natural light and there has been rain in my hometown for nearly two weeks solid.  So hopefully as time goes, my photos will improve.  

Let's Knit:

You will need approximately 2000 yards of worsted (#4) yarn. As I am working with Cascade 220  with 220 yards a skein.....  

Basic math:  3 colors 2000/220= approx 9.0909 skeins of yarn. As I am working with 3 colors, that is 3 skeins  of each color.  

Basically you want a worsted yarn that works up to 4 stitches to the inch on an 8 needle.  If you want to destash and mix up yarns, that's fine but stay on gauge.

Afghan / Blanket Size: 49" x 63".  So if you are knitting 7" x 7" squares that will be 63 squares.   Multiply by only 4 squares a week - 16 weeks to complete. Start now to be done by Fall 2018.

If you are knitting 7"x9" rectangles for Warm Up America. that will be 49 rectangles. 4 patterns a week, , 13 weeks to complete. Again Start now to be done by Fall 2018.

10 skeins of Cascade 220. 3 each of French Blue and Camel, 4 of cream
#8 knitting needles
tapestry needle
scissors
measuring tape
Blocking mat
t-pins
Spray bottle with water to block.

Start with the basic Seed Stitch.  When you see *K1,P1* that means work the K1,P1 across the row. 

Work the stitches in order as presented.  They build upon each other.

Have questions? Leave me a comment or reach out on Periscope or Facebook

 The texture is more subtle than seed with the addition of the knit row every other row.  Pin a safety pin to the wrong side of the fabric so you always know which side you are on at a glance.   l presonally love this stitch. It is quick and subtle. Great for jackets and vests. It is not fully reversible.

The texture is more subtle than seed with the addition of the knit row every other row.  Pin a safety pin to the wrong side of the fabric so you always know which side you are on at a glance.   l presonally love this stitch. It is quick and subtle. Great for jackets and vests. It is not fully reversible.

  It sort of looks like Sand.  It doesn't curl. The texture is more subtle.  A great one to work into a fisherman style  or  Guernsey  sweater. 

 It sort of looks like Sand.  It doesn't curl. The texture is more subtle.  A great one to work into a fisherman style  or Guernsey sweater. 

 This one is also called Double Seed stitch.  You can see why as it works up just like seed but everything is doubled.  Another sturdy one that lays flat and is reversible another good choice for a scarf.  I love it in cardigans along the lower 2 inches before I move into stockinette.

This one is also called Double Seed stitch.  You can see why as it works up just like seed but everything is doubled.  Another sturdy one that lays flat and is reversible another good choice for a scarf.  I love it in cardigans along the lower 2 inches before I move into stockinette.

Declutter :: Etchall Tea Cannister

 "You can't get a cup of tea big enough or a book long enough to suit me." -- C.S. Lewis

"You can't get a cup of tea big enough or a book long enough to suit me." -- C.S. Lewis

I like to end my days with a bit of ritual.  At 4pm I tend to have tea with a savory treat.  It holds me over until dinner and is an excellent way of winding down my day.  But after living in England a few years, I developed a preference for loose tea and make myself a fresh cuppa with either English Breakfast, Earl Grey, Apricot or Apple / Cinnamon pending on my mood.  I needed to tidy up my collection of teas. They were in little bags tucked into a drawer. I bought a selection of jars with clamp lids that fit on my spice rack.  I used Etchall crème to etch the ingredients onto the jar.  As English Breakfast was too long for the jar, so I went by TEA.  Earl Grey is just EARL.  Apricot is AAA.  You get the idea.  These jars are perfect for anything you may purchase in bulk and are easy to mark with Etchall.  

You will Need:

Etchall creme
mini roll of Duck Tape
Vinyl letters
Plastic spoon
Plastic Knife or small squeegee
Alcohol
cotton balls
paper towels
plastic trash bag
Xacto knife

Let's Create:

Clean the surface of the glass with alcohol. This removes fingerprints and other oils from the surface of the glass. 

Mask off the rectangle using DuckTape. Use the back of a spoon to push the tape securely into place.  Reclean the interior of the rectangle with alcohol.  Apply the letters. Push them firmly into place with the back of the spoon.

©2018Lindsay-Obermeyer-ethcall-diy-tea-cannister.jpg

Lay the jar down.  Mine are rectangular, so they don't roll around. Apply a small scoop of the crème over the surface of the masked area.  Run the squeegee or plastic knife over the surface to make it even and in each tight angle.  You want the letters fully covered with a thick layer.

Wait 15 minutes for the magic to work.  Use the squeegee to scoop up the excess and return to the jar. It can be reused! Waste not, want not! Wipe off what remains with a paper towel. Try not smear any onto the rest of the glass. 

Use the Xacto knife to help remove the letters.  Remove the tape. And rinse off the jar.  I had no tape residue. If you have some, use nail polish remover to take it off. Hand wash and allow to air dry. This is due to the metal clamp and plastic ring aren't really dishwasher safe. 

Check out the Etchall website for my project ideas, be sure to sign up for their newsletter! 

 

A few tips and tricks:

I obtained my letters from an office supply store. The craft stores tend to carry paper letters, which won't block the crème.  The bottles were obtained at Michaels. The letters at Office Depot.  I also tested the lettering and blocking on an upcycled test jar to perfect my technique.  It's now my sugar container. 🙂

** I received free supplies from Etchall to create this post.  

 

 

 

 

Spring Inspired Scratchboard Card

   "Every child is an artist.  The problem is how to remain   an artist once we grow up."   -- Pablo Picasso


"Every child is an artist.  The problem is how to remain
an artist once we grow up." -- Pablo Picasso

I love school supplies.  I still get a rush every August when school supply sales are announced.  New paper waiting to be filled with ideas. Pencils begging to be sharpened.  And the best -  a new box of crayons.  Nothing fancy, just a basic box of 24 with primary colors, secondary colors and a few tertiary thrown in for good measure.  Oh, yeah!

MATERIALS

  1. Card (folded) - I chose a light blue-grey card, 5" x 5"
  2. Glue Stick
  3. White card stock
  4. Green card stock
  5. Crayons
  6. Dull pencil
  7. Fiskars® Lever Punch - small butterfly
  8. Fiskars® Lever Punch - medium scalloped circle
  9. Scissors (I used my Wescott Titanium Bonded® pair.)

DIRECTIONS

Select a range of light colors.  Mine were on the warm side, so yellows, pinks, oranges, and reds. Color in a section of the white card stock.  I chose to color randomly, but you can do stripes if you wish.

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 Once you have colored a section of the paper, go over it with a darker tone. I chose a deep blue-violet.

Once you have colored a section of the paper, go over it with a darker tone. I chose a deep blue-violet.

 I liked letting a little color peak through the surface.

I liked letting a little color peak through the surface.

 Punch out a series of scalloped circles and butterflies from your new colorful paper.  I punched 5 circles, but only used 4, and 2 butterflies.

Punch out a series of scalloped circles and butterflies from your new colorful paper.  I punched 5 circles, but only used 4, and 2 butterflies.

 Using a dull pencil, scratch away the dark surface to let the colors below be seen.

Using a dull pencil, scratch away the dark surface to let the colors below be seen.

 With a yellow or light green, color a portion of the green card stock.  When finished, color over it with a dark green.  Cut out stems and leaves with your scissors.

With a yellow or light green, color a portion of the green card stock.  When finished, color over it with a dark green.  Cut out stems and leaves with your scissors.


Arrange the stems, leaves and flower heads on the paper.  Once you have settled on the placement, glue them into place using your gluestick.  

A charming card reminiscent of encaustic painting with nearly limitless color possibilites!

Free pattern :: Rainbow Crochet Collar

 “Life throws challenges and every challenge comes with rainbows and lights to conquer it.” -- Amit Ray

“Life throws challenges and every challenge comes with rainbows and lights to conquer it.” -- Amit Ray

Aren't you the gold at the end of the rainbow?   As swing into craft gear for St. Patrick's Day, I tend to think leprechauns and rainbows rather than a suit of green. With that in mind and dead tired of winter and in desperate need of a spring. I crocheted a warm rainbow collar. Not quite cowl.  Not quite jewelry, but something comfortably in the middle.

You will Need:

1 package of Lion Brand BonBon's the acrylic collection in the Crayon color way
1 skein of Lion Brand Vanna's Choice in white
1 H Crochet hook
Scissors
Tapestry needle
button
Sewing Thread
Sewing needle
 

Gauge:
4 DC to the inch

Let's Create:

  1. Using White, chain 65.
  2. Break yarn and switch to yellow Bonbon, 1 DC in each chain.
  3. Break Yarn and switch to green Bonbon, 1 DC in each stitch.
  4. Break yarn and switch to Turquoise Bonbon, 1 DC in each stitch.
  5. Break yarn and switch to Royal Blue Bonbon, 1 DC in each stitch.
  6. Break yarn and switch to Pink Bonbon, 1 DC in each stitch.
  7. Break yarn and switch to Red Bonbon, 1 DC in each stitch.
  8. Sew in all tails.
  9. With White, 9sc along edge of collar at corner 2sc and then 1sc in each stitch, at corner 2 sc and 9 sc along the edge.
  10. Turn and work a 7DC scallop along the white sc. When  get the end  chain 11 and make a ring by slip stitch to the collar.
  11. Sew in all tails.
  12. Sew on a button on the side opposite from the loop. 

An Irish Blessing!

May the road rise to meet you. 
May the wind be always at your back. 
May the sun shine warm upon your face. 
And rains fall soft upon your fields. 
And until we meet again, 
May God hold you in the hollow of His hand.

How to block your knit and crochet.

If you have time to knit, if you've taken up knitting, it means you're not worried about the essential stuff.  --- Stephanie Pearl-Mcphee

This video was recorded during a live stream on Periscope. You may hear me talking to someone.  I am able to read peoples comments as I stream.  Part two is below.

The things you will need to properly block a granny square.

A craft blocking board. (They are available at Michaels, Amazon as well as your local yarn store.)
T-pins
Spray bottle
lavender essential oil is optional

I like to add two drops of lavender essential oil to my spray bottle, so when I spray the granny squares, they are lightly protected by moths.  My great grandmother always did this and then redid after every washing.  She never used moth balls and I still have all her crochet work.  I store her zillions of doilies in acid free paper in a cedar chest.  It helps to keep the yarn from yellowing and being eaten by pesky moths.

Granny Square blocking

  • Line up one corner to the edge of one grid.  
  • Pin it on an angle.
  • Line up the edge along the line of the grid.
  • Pin the next corner. 
  • Continue all the way around and then when all 4 corners are secure. Mist the fabric lightly with cool water.  Allow to dry overnight.  Then unpin to easy sew together into a blanket or jacket.

Knit garment pieces work the same way.  And yes it is worth the time to block all your pieces before sewing them together.  

Free Pattern :: Beginner Two Color Cowl

 " Knitting not only relaxes me, it also brings a feeling of being at home. -- "Magdalena Neuner

" Knitting not only relaxes me, it also brings a feeling of being at home. -- "Magdalena Neuner

I loved making this simple slip stitch cowl. It's a great way use up little bits of yarn from previous projects, though in this case I had a couple of packages of Lion Brands BonBons which are 28yd balls of yarn, little fuzzy bits of colorful yumminess. This cowl is knit in the round, but there is no decreasing or switching to double pointed needles. If you are a beginning knitter give this pattern a go for learning to knit in the round and to learn how to work two colors across the fabric.  

Think of the designer fun. Instead of color, work a monochromatic palette from black to light grey.  Or go for a rainbow. Or switch the main color from white to black and add jewel tones for  a semi-stained glass affect. Don't want to sew in ends. Then just use one background color and a variegated yarn. The possibilities for fun are really endless.

This pattern is 27" in circumference. Just big enough to comfortably slide over an adult head and tuck into a coat.  For a child size make it 25".  I tend to add 6" to a an average child's hat circumference of 19" to get  my cowl size.  So adjust accordingly to your needs.

For the 27" circumference you will need:

1 skein of Lion Brand Vanna's Choice in white1 package of Lion Brand Bonbon (I used two packages to get this color shift, but you could use just one.) Or if using up your stash, you 5 colors of 28yds each
26" #9 circular needle
stitch marker
row counter
scissors
tape measure
tapestry needle

Gauge" 16st and 22rows to 4" or 4sts and 5.5rows to 1" in stockinette

Cast on 108 stitches in white. Place stitch marker, join round. Mark each round as completed by counting it on your row/round counter to make it easy to keep track of where you are in the pattern.

©2018Lindsay-Obermeyer-Cowl-Detail.jpg

To read more about slip stitch knitting.

Round 1: Knit one round with the white.
Round 2: With Yellow, *Knit1, Bring yarn to back, Slip next stitch* Repeat from * to *
Round 3: With Yellow, *Purl the yellow knit Stitch, bring yarn to the back, slip the next stitch.*  Repeat from * to *. 
Round 4: Knit one round with white.
Round 6: With Yellow, *Knit1, Bring yarn to back, Slip next stitch* Repeat from * to *
Round 7: With Yellow, *Purl the yellow knit Stitch, bring yarn to the back, slip the next stitch.*  Repeat from * to *. 
Round 8: With Yellow, *Knit1, Bring yarn to back, Slip next stitch* Repeat from * to *
Round 9: With Yellow, *Purl the yellow knit Stitch, bring yarn to the back, slip the next stitch.*  Repeat from * to *.
Round 10: Knit one round with the white.
Round 11: With Light Green, *Knit1, Bring yarn to back, Slip next stitch* Repeat from * to *
Round 12: With Light Green , *Purl the Light green knit Stitch, bring yarn to the back, slip the next stitch.*  Repeat from * to *. 
Round 13: Knit one round with the white.
Round 14: With Light Green, *Knit1, Bring yarn to back, Slip next stitch* Repeat from * to *
Round 15: With Light Green , *Purl the Light green knit Stitch, bring yarn to the back, slip the next stitch.*  Repeat from * to *. 
Round 16: Knit one round with the white.
Round 17: With Light Green, *Knit1, Bring yarn to back, Slip next stitch* Repeat from * to *
Round 18: With Light Green , *Purl the Light green knit Stitch, bring yarn to the back, slip the next stitch.*  Repeat from * to *. 
Round 19: Knit one round with the white.
Round 20: With Light Green, *Knit1, Bring yarn to back, Slip next stitch* Repeat from * to *
Round 21: With Light Green , *Purl the Light green knit Stitch, bring yarn to the back, slip the next stitch.*  Repeat from * to *.
Round 22: Knit one round with the white.
Round 23: With Light Green, *Knit1, Bring yarn to back, Slip next stitch* Repeat from * to *
Round 24: With Light Green , *Purl the Light green knit Stitch, bring yarn to the back, slip the next stitch.*  Repeat from * to *. 
Round 25: Knit one round with the white.
Round 26: With Turquoise, *Knit1, Bring yarn to back, Slip next stitch* Repeat from * to *
Round 27: With Turquoise , *Purl the Turquoise knit Stitch, bring yarn to the back, slip the next stitch.*  Repeat from * to *. 
Round 28: Knit one round with the white.
Round 29: With Turquoise, *Knit1, Bring yarn to back, Slip next stitch* Repeat from * to *
Round 30: With Turquoise , *Purl the Turquoise knit Stitch, bring yarn to the back, slip the next stitch.*  Repeat from * to *. 
Round 31: Knit one round with the white.
Round 32: With Turquoise, *Knit1, Bring yarn to back, Slip next stitch* Repeat from * to *
Round 33: With Turquoise , *Purl the Turquoise knit Stitch, bring yarn to the back, slip the next stitch.*  Repeat from * to *. 
Round 34: Knit one round with the white.
Round 35: With French Blue, *Knit1, Bring yarn to back, Slip next stitch* Repeat from * to *
Round 36: With French Blue, *Purl the French Blue knit Stitch, bring yarn to the back, slip the next stitch.*  Repeat from * to *. 
Round 37: Knit one round with the white.
Round 38: With French Blue, *Knit1, Bring yarn to back, Slip next stitch* Repeat from * to *
Round 39: With French Blue, *Purl the French Blue knit Stitch, bring yarn to the back, slip the next stitch.*  Repeat from * to *. 
Round 40: Knit one round with the white.
Round 41: With French Blue, *Knit1, Bring yarn to back, Slip next stitch* Repeat from * to *
Round 42: With French Blue, *Purl the French Blue knit Stitch, bring yarn to the back, slip the next stitch.*  Repeat from * to *. 
Round 43: Knit one round with the white.
Round 44: With Sky Blue, *Knit1, Bring yarn to back, Slip next stitch* Repeat from * to *
Round 45: With Sky Blue, *Purl the Sky Blue knit Stitch, bring yarn to the back, slip the next stitch.*  Repeat from * to *. 
Round 46: Knit one round with the white.

Bind off all stitches loosely. Sew in all ends.

For another of my patterns using two color slip stitch knitting, take a look at this hat pattern.

Please note that Lion Brand and Clover USA provided me with my materials.

Craft A Terrarium!

   "The greatest gift of the garden is the restoration of the five senses." --  Hanna Rion

 "The greatest gift of the garden is the restoration of the five senses."
--  Hanna Rion

I moved south to get away from long cold winters, but ever further south I find the winters cold and dreary, though thankfully not as long.  After a few days of gray, I need a bit of outdoor sunshine, so I mad a terrarium, complete with whimsical additions. They are charming and a great project to do with children. They will loved the planting aspect and making little clay or lego figures to set in the landscape.

You will need:
horticultural charcoal
gravel, pepples or marbles
potting soil
fishbowl or glass jar of any size and style
plants of your choice (African violets, ferns, ivy, coleuses, small palms, baby tears, moss or lichens)
decorative pebbles
miniature figurines
small hand trowel
kitchen gloves
scissors
newsprint or brown paper 

Let's create!

1.     Protect your work surface.  Cover your table or counter with paper.  This will not only protect the surface, but make for easier clean up.  While you are at it, protect your hands and put on your gloves.

2.    Clean your jar or bowl in hot, sudsy water and air dry.  I supported my local charity shop by making container purchases there, but you could just as easily raid your recylcle bin.  Mason jars are also a cute touch.

3.   Add a one inch layer of gravel for drainage.  I used glass pebbles, but you could also use small rocks you've collected or even chips of broken crockery.

4.   Add a 1/2 inch layer of horticultural charcoal.  The charcoal pulls the impurities out of the soil and improves drainage.

©2012Lindsay-Obermyer-craft-a-terrrarium.jpg

5.   Add a 3-4 inch layer of potting soil.  Start fresh with a new bag of potting soil.  Have fun with it.  Make small hills for different viewpoints within your terrarium.  

6.  Planting time!  Arrange your plants in the terrarium until you have a composition you like.  Dig holes in the soil with the trowel (or fingers if your trowel is too large).  Snip off any dead leaves on the plants and then carefully remove them from their pots.  I bought a selection of miniature violets I couldn't resist!  

Book Love :: Book covers with an Embroidery or Knitting Theme!

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times. -- Charles Dickens

 

Every Christmas my Aunt Diane sends me a book, which I then promptly consume along with copious amounts of cookies and tea between.  For the sake of variety, this year she sent an Amazon gift card.

Too many choices can be overwhelming.  I've narrowed my selection to a classic title I've not read. Scrolling through the eye candy of  the new Penguin Classics Clothbound editions, I was completely taken by these covers.  Not only do they feature a repeat of scarves mid-knit, but this is the only Dickens I've not read and one which Mom frequently quoted.  Fate! A must purchase!

Of course, one can't stop with just one book.  I've read this classic several times over, but the new cover is too sweet.

The paperback version is equally delicious. I may have to get this edition if only to read the introduction by Jane Smiley, another favorite author.  I wish these books were as sumptuously illustrated as the covers. Aren't they amazing?! Embroidered illustrations.

Blog Love :: Mini Eco

  A hundred hearts would be too few   To carry all my love for you.   -- Author Unknown

A hundred hearts would be too few
To carry all my love for you.   -- Author Unknown

I recently came across Mini-eco's website and have fallen in love.  Kate's design esthetic is whimsical, urban chic.  Her tutorials are fantastic, such as this one for 3D paper hearts.

I love her printable cross stitch pattern for wrapping paper.  Stitch a single motif for a key chain or ornament and then wrap it in matching paper! 

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Free Pattern: Beyond Beginner Baby Beanie

 Children are the bridge to heaven. -- Persian Proverb

Children are the bridge to heaven. -- Persian Proverb

I continue my series of Patterns for the American Heart Association's charity call "Little Hats, Big Hearts."  This is another beginner basic with a twist.  The beanie is knit in the round using circular needles, but what gives it the twist is the window pane brim knit from a series of slip stitches. If you've been wanting to try fair isle knitting, this is a pattern to get your toes wet.  Once you try this pattern, like a potato chip you will want to make more as the color variations are limitless.  This is sized for a newborn at 14" circumference, but it could be scaled up. 

The brim is a variation of Barbara Walker's Window Pane Stripe pattern.

You will need:

 I used Lion Brand Yarn Vanna's Choice in Red and White
16" #8 circular knitting needles
#8 double point needles
stitch markers
Tapestry needle
tape measure
Scissors

Gauge: 4 stitches and 6 rows per inch.
in Stockinette n the round
Always do a gauge check.

A=Red
B=White

14" (16") hat sizes. 

Round 1: With A, Cast on 56 (64) stitches. Place stitch marker. Join ring.
Round2: Knit all stitches. 
Round 3: Purl all stitches.
Round 4: Repeat Round 2.
Round 5: Repeat Round 3.
Round 6: With B, *Knit1, Bring yarn to back, Slip next stitch* Repeat from * to *
Round 7: With B, *Purl the White knit Stitch, bring yarn to the back, slip the next stitch.*  Repeat from * to *. Switch to A. Carry the non working color on the inside of the hat. Don't pull the tension tight.
Repeat Rounds 2-7 two times.  You should have the stripes of red with white dots.
Repeat Rounds 2-5 with A.
Repeat Round 2-3 with B.
Repeat Rounds 6-7 reversing the colors. 
Repeat Round 2-3 with B.   

Your brim will be 3".

©2018Lindsay-Obermeyer –Window-pane-beanie-little-hats-big-hearts-detail.jpg

 

Cut B.  Leave a 6" tail. Switch to A.

Knit another inch in A. On the last round, place stitch marker  every 7 (8) stitch.  

Begin decreases.
Round 1: knit to stitch marker.Slip stitch marker, K2tog next two stitches. 
Round 2: Knit all stitches.
Repeat Rounds 1 & 2 until only 7(8) stitches remain.  Switch to double point needles when necessary.
Cut a 6" tail. Thread tapestry needle and run the tail through the final 7(8) stitches. Draw it closed.  Weave in all tails.

Now that you've made one for the American Heart Association, try a few colorful variations. Instead of white, try a variegated yarn to see the color flicker around the brim. Or do it in team color so your newborn is Super Bowl ready.

Download the PDF of this pattern.

Free Pattern :: Baby Beanie with a Diagonal Rib

©2018Lindsay-Obermeyer-baby-beanie-little-hate-big-heart.jpg

Sometimes you need a little change.  You've done the basic rib at least a zillion times. So let's shake things up.  This rib travels on the diagonal and is as easy as the basic rib. It has a lovely heavy texture that dresses up any beanie with ease.  This pattern is part of my ongoing series for the American Heart Association project Little Hats Big Hearts. Make one for  the newest member of your family and then make one to donate.

You will need:

 I used  Red Heart Soft in Cherry Red and a variegated for the PomPom.
16" #8 circular knitting needles
#8 double point needles
stitch markers
Tapestry needle
tape measure
Scissors
pompom maker (I use on from Clover).

This one was designed for a baby at 16" in diameter.

Gauge: 4 stitches and 6 rows per inch.
in Stockinette n the round
Always do a gauge check.

Stitches: 3x3  Diagonal Rib in the round.
Round 1:  *P3,K3*; Rep from * to *.  End with a  1K stitch past the stitch marker.
Round 2: *P3,k3,*  Rep from *to*. End with  2K stitches past the stitch marker
.
Round 3: *P3,k3,*  Rep from *to*. End with  3K stitches past the stitch marker.
Repeat Rounds 1-3 for desired length.
This creates a diagonal shifting of the rib.  This rib will add some lovely texture at the brim.

©Lindsay-Obemeyer-baby-beanie-little-hats-beig-hearts.jpg

 

Let's Knit

Cast on 65 stitches.
Place a stitch marker. Join circle.

  1. Start knitting the 3x3 Rib.  Continue in this pattern for 2 inches ending with round 3.  
  2. Switch to Stockinette. Work in Stockinette (which in the round is just knitting) for 2.5 inches.
  3. When you have knit 4.5 inches from the beginning, K2Tog before the stitch marker, for a total of 64 stitches. Place a stitch marker after every 8 stitches.
  4. Begin decreases. 
  5. Round 1 Decreases: K2Tog before every stitch marker.
  6. Round 2 Decreases: Knit.
  7. Repeat this round sequence (5 and 6) until only 8 stitches remain. Switch to double point needles when necessary.
  8. Cut yarn leaving a 6 " tail.  Thread tapestry needle an run the tail through the final 8 stitches. Draw it closed.  Weave in all tails.
  9. Make a PomPom and sew it to the top of the beanie.

Download this patttern.

Mushroom Risotto in a Pressure Cooker or Instant

 "The belly rules the mind." --  Spanish Proverb

"The belly rules the mind." --  Spanish Proverb

I 've been busy in the studio.  And when I get this busy, the necessity for good food is even more important. Eating a homecooked meal allows me to slow down a moment, destress and catch up on the news with my daughter.  I love certain dishes, but they can take an age to prepare, such as risotto. Several weeks ago I purchased a pressure cooker / slow cooker which is now branded as Instapot.  I swear, this gadget ranks up there with my favorite iron skillet.  Risotto in just 15 minutes from prep to eating.  Unbelievable!

Here is my recipe, adapted from the book Great Vegetarian Cooking Under Pressure by Lorna J. Sass:

Ingredients

8oz of sliced portabello mushrooms
3 leeks, thinly slicked
1 t of minced garlic
2.5 cups of mushroom stock (a low salt variety is best)
1 cups of boiling water
1 T of extra virgin olive oil
1/2 cup of dry white wine (or better yet - dry cooking sherry)
1.5 cups of arborio rice
1/4 cup of grated Parmesan cheese (not that nasty cardboard stuff from a green canister!) 

Directions

Add the olive oil to the pan.  (I have an electric pressure cooker with a browning setting.)  Add leeks and sautee until wilted.  Add mushrooms and garlic and sautee until the mushrooms have wilted and are slightly smaller.

Add the arborio rice and sautee, stirring to coat the rice with the oil. The rice will turn slightly transparent along the edges.

Add the stock, water and wine. Stir.

Put the lid on and lock into place

Set to high pressure.  Once it has reached high pressure, cook for 5 minutes.

Open the quick release valve.  Careful!  Don't scald yourself!

Open the lid, check the rice.  If not to right consistency, add a little more stock and cook on browning until you achieve what you desire.  I like mine creamy and with my cooker, I get it perfect without trouble.   In case you don't achieve the same results on the first go, add the stock for more creaminess.

Stir in the Parmesan cheese. 

Enjoy!

For more about arborio rice, check out this website.

Thank You Sachets

 "Praise the bridge that carried you over." --  George Colman

"Praise the bridge that carried you over." --  George Colman

These sachets are quick to make and a great way to say "Thank you!"  The size of a business card, one will sway nicely from a car's review mirror or tucked on a hanger in the coat closet.  The lavender scent is refreshing and better yet, a natural alternative to moth balls!

Materials (for one sachet):
12" x 12" patterned paper
business card enevelope die (2 3/16"w x 3 11/16"h - assembled) 
die cutter (I used my AccuCut GrandeMARK.) 
glue stick
1/2" round sticker
hole punch (1/16")
8" of 1/4"  double-faced satin ribbon
1 T dried lavender  

Directions:

6a00d83451d4c869e2017ee4bf1542970d-320wi.jpg

Center the paper on the die and run through your die cutter.  (Don't have a die cutter?  Use a store bought envelope of the same size and embellish with rubber stamps!) 

Fold the edges of the envelope.  Seal 3 of the 4 sides with glue stick.  

Fill the envelope with a tablespoon of dried lavender.

Use a 1/2" round sticker to seal the envelope.

6a00d83451d4c869e2017ee4bf17de970d-320wi.jpg

Punch a hole toward the top envelope with your hole puncher.  

Fold the ribbon in half.  Thread the folded edge through the hole and pull the two ends through the loop.

Knot the ends togehter.

That's it!  You've made a sachet.   For a lovely twist, mix dried rosemary, thyme and lemon balm. 

Present your gift with a handmade card or tie one to a bottle of wine.