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!

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.  

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!  

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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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:

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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.

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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.  

 

Declutter :: Desktop Caddy

 I'm at my best in a messy, middle-of-the-road muddle. -- Harold Wilson

I'm at my best in a messy, middle-of-the-road muddle. -- Harold Wilson

As anyone who knows me will attest, my desk looks like an archeological site. It’s time to get organized and this mail caddy is a perfect start.

Supplies:

Smoothfoam 12″ x 12″ sheet
Smoothfoam 3/4″ balls (4)
Aleene’s Decoupage
Aleene’s Paper Glaze
Aleene’s Original Tacky Glue
DecoArt Americana acrylic paint – Antique Gold
23″ length of 1/2″ wide ribbon
Buttons
Newspaper (I used a vintage Farmer’s Almanac)
Sponge brush
Hot glue gun and glue sticks
Ruler
Craft knife
Scissors
toothpicks

1.  Measure and cut 5 pieces of Smoothfoam – 3 pieces at 4″ x 6″ (base and two sides of the caddy) and 2 pieces at 4″ x 5-1/4″ (two opposite sides)

2.  To assemble the caddy box, add a line of hot glue along the 6″ side of the base piece and press the 6″ inch side of another 4″ x 6″ piece at right angle to the base.  Do the same on the opposite side of the box.  Add a line of hot glue to all three sides of one open end and press one of the 4″ x 5-1/4″ pieces into place.  Do the same on the opposite side.  You should have an open box.

3.  Decoupage newspaper or book paper across the surface of the box, inside and out, using the decoupage glue and a sponge brush.  I poured a little of the glue into an old plastic container to make it easy to use.  My caddy was decoupaged with pages from a 150 year-old Farmer’s Almanac I had picked up at a flea market. Allow to dry.

4.  With a clean sponge brush, brush on a layer of the paper glaze across the entire surface of the box (except not the bottom). Allow to dry thoroughly.

5.  Stick a toothpick into each ball to use as a handle for painting the ball. Use a scrap of the Smoothfoam sheet to stick the toothpicks into, to allow the balls to dry.  Apply 2 coats of paint, allowing it to dry thoroughly between each coat.

6.  To add the balls to the bottom of the box as feet, measure 1/2″ in on each corner of the bottom and make a little mark.  Add a dot of hot glue at each X and adhere the feet into place.

7.  Cut the ends of your ribbon at an angle to prevent fraying.  Use Tacky Glue along the top rim of your caddy and adhere the ribbon into place. Allow to dry.

8.  Use hot glue to embellish the rim of the caddy with buttons.

Note: I received payment in cash and materials from Smoothfoam to create this post.

Free Pattern :: Kidney bean trivet

 I always had a fantasy of being a chef, because I like kitchen life.  -- Geoffrey Rush  

I always had a fantasy of being a chef, because I like kitchen life.  -- Geoffrey Rush
 

moothfoam is great for using as a trivet. The insulating properties of Smoothfoam will protect your kitchen counters from being marked by hot platters of delectables you’ve just fixed.

Supplies:

Smoothfoam 8″ disc
Smoothfoam 1.5″ balls
Aleene’s Turbo Tacky Glue
Dry kidney beans
Foam brush
Dark brown acrylic paint
Golden yellow acrylic paint
Toothpicks
Scrap cardboard
Parchment paper
Hot glue gun

1.  Paint the Smoothfoam disc on all sides with 2 coats of dark brown – use the parchment as a palette. Allow first coat to dry before applying the second.

2.  After the paint is completely dry, glue the kidney beans on one side (the top) of the disc in concentric circles, working from the outer edge toward the center. For variety, I changed the direction of the beans every 3rd row from vertical to horizontal. Allow to dry thoroughly.

3.  Glue rows of beans around the edge of the disc, use the parchment paper as a non-stick work surface. Allow to dry thoroughly.

4.  To create the legs for your trivet, stick a toothpick into each of four Smoothfoam balls to use as a handle while painting them with 3 coats of yellow, allowing each coat to dry thoroughly before proceeding to the next. Poke the balls on toothpicks into a piece of cardboard to dry.

5.  Use hot glue to adhere the four balls onto the back of the disc about 1/2″ in from the edge, at equal distance from each other.

Note: I received payment from Smoothfoam for creating this post.

Finger Knit a Valentine's Day Wreath

 All you need is love. But a little chocolate now and then doesn't hurt. -- Charles M. Schulz  

All you need is love. But a little chocolate now and then doesn't hurt. -- Charles M. Schulz
 

You've taken down the Christmas tree and the house is looking a bit sparse.  Well don't fret.  Make a Valentines Day wreath for your front door. This one is  simple.  It requires minimal tools or skills and is kid friendly.

This is essentially a wreath made from one very long strand of finger knit cord. Yes, finger knitting.  Remember doing it in camp or elementary school?  If not check out this video for a refresher.

The tools required are minimal. 

  • yarn - I used one entire skein of Red Heart yarn in a variegated color way. Though a solid hot pink or flame red would be cute too!
  • scissors
  • Smoothfoam 1O" culled wreath
  • ball-head pins
  • pipe cleaner

 

Let's craft.

  1. Begin finger knitting. Finger knit the entire skein into one long rope.
  2. HINT: Or wind off the yarn into smaller balls and have your children finger knit lengths.  Cast off each length. Tie them together.
  3. Tie knots at each end of the rope.  Clip the tail short. Wind the rope into a ball so it stays neat and tangle free.
  4. Pin the end of the tail onto the wreath form. Wind the rope around the wreath. Pinning it in place on the back.
  5. Cover the entire wreath. Pin the other end into place on the back.

 

 

 

    For the knit bow:

    #8 knitting needles
    White worsted acrylic. 
    scissors
    tapestry needle
    Smoothfoam 1O" culled wreath
    ball-head pins
    pipe cleaner

      Knit the Bow.

      Cast on 28 stitches. Proceed to knit in Seed Stitch for 3".


      Seed stitch
      Row 1: * K1, p1; rep from * to end of row.
      Row 2: * P1, k1; rep from * to end of row.
      Repeat Rows 1 and 2 for pattern.

      Bind off all stitches.   Weave in tails using tapestry needle.

      Cut a 12" length of yarn and wrap it around the center of the knit rectangle to cinch it into a bow. Knot the ends on the back and clip the ends short.

      Pin the bow onto the wreath using matching ball-head pins.

      Slide a pipecleaner under the rope on the back. Pull through and twist ends to form a small loop hanger.

      HINT: If you don't want to knit a bow, just add a large satin ribbon one for a luxurious look. 

       

       

      Free Patterns :: New Projects Using Smoothfoam for Valentine's Day

       Gravitation is not responsible for people falling in love. ~Albert Einstein

      Gravitation is not responsible for people falling in love. ~Albert Einstein

      I love Valentine's Day.  It is my favorite holiday.  What's not to love about pink, red, lace, chocolate and smooches???
      Here are a small selection of fun Valentine Crafts from the design team for Smoothfoam.  

       

       

      1.    Valentine's Day plaque by Beth Watson.

      2.   Hugs and Kisses Tabletop Decoration by Michelle Frae Cummings.

      3.   Carved Sweetheart Valentine by Carmen Flores Tanis

      4.   Stenciled Heart with Crackle Past by Lisa Fulmer.

      5.   Conversation Heart Statement by Jennifer Priest.

      6.  Love Blooms by Kristi Parker Van Doren.

      7. Silk Rose Topiary Ball by Angela Holt.

       

      Valentine’s Day Desk Cube

       Oh, if it be to choose and call thee mine, love, thou art every day my Valentine! -- Thomas Hood  

      Oh, if it be to choose and call thee mine, love, thou art every day my Valentine! -- Thomas Hood
       

      Valentine’s Day is my favorite holiday of the year – all that pink, red and sparkly with liberal doses of chocolate. I mean what’s not to love about the holiday of love? My desk is a giant mess, so to keep certain papers in order (and also to honor the holiday), I made a desk paperweight. Smoothfoam is lightweight, but all the straight pins used to tack in the sequins gives the cube some heft. You can decorate the sides any way you want – try adding photos inside the hearts and flowers.

      You will need:

      3″ Smoothfoam cube
      Red acrylic paint
      100+ silver sequins
      75+ fuchsia/pink sequins
      1 tube red seed beads (size 11/0; silver-lined)
      1 tube pink seed beads (size 11/0 )
      Washi tapes – red and pink patterns
      Valentine-themed scrapbook paper
      Card stock – pink, yellow, fuchsia, hot pink
      4 pink head pins
      2 packs silk steel pins
      Scalloped circle punch
      Felt heart stickers
      Red craft felt
      Craft glue
      Sponge brush, scissors, pencil, ruler

      ObermeyerValentineCube.jpg

      1.  Paint the cube with two coats of red. Allow to dry in between coats.

      2.  Cut a 3″ square from the Valentine-themed paper. Fold it in half, draw half of a heart shape and cut it out.

      3.  Glue the paper heart to the top of the cube, let dry, then glue a felt heart to the center. With a pin, pick up a red bead and then a pink sequin (with the cup side facing up) and push it into place along the edge of the heart. With a pin, a pale pink bead and a silver sequin, edge the square with sequins.

      4.  Cut four 3″ pieces of washi tape. Pin a row of silver sequins with red bead on the edge of one side of the cube. Lay down one strip of wash tape. Pin 2 rows of silver sequins with red beads,  lay down another strip of washi tape. Continue in the same pattern until the side is covered. Add more silver sequins/red beads to the top and bottom edges of the cube face.

      5.  On the next side of the cube, glue another paper heart to the center. Pin an outline of silver sequins with cup side facing up.  Stick a felt heart to the center.

      ObermeyerValentineCube.jpg

      8.  Push pink ball head pins into each corner of the bottom of the cube for feet.

      ObermeyerValentineCube.jpg

      Christmas Card Photo Cube

       Christmas gives us the opportunity to pause and reflect on the important things around us - a time when we can look back on the year that has passed and prepare for the year ahead. David Cameron

      Christmas gives us the opportunity to pause and reflect on the important things around us - a time when we can look back on the year that has passed and prepare for the year ahead.
      David Cameron

      The holidays have come and gone and now it is time to tidy up after the festivities. I never know what to do with all the Christmas cards, especially those with photos of family and friends. It just doesn’t seem right to toss or even recycle the photos. A Smoothfoam photo cube is the perfect solution. This way I can see the images year ’round on the bookshelves within my office.

      You will need:
      Christmas card photos of family and friends
      3″ Smoothfoam cube
      Washi tape
      Paper trimmer, ruler
      Scissors (look for non-stick blades)
      Tacky glue
      Sequins and sequin pins
      Ball head pins

      Obermeyerphotocube-1024x679.jpg

      Trim your stash of holiday photo cards to 2.75″ squares. Choose your favorite five (no photo for the bottom).

      Center and glue each photo to one side and the top of the cube; allow to dry.

      Frame the photos on each side with 3″ lengths of washi tape, folded over the edges of the cube.

      Pick up a sequin cup, face up, with a sequin pin and push one into each corner of the cube.

      On the bottom of the cube, push a ball-head pin into each corner, angled slightly toward the center of the cube, to act as feet for the photo cube.

      Costumes :: Snow Queen

       Springtime is the land awakening.  The March winds are the morning yawn.  -- Lewis Grizzard 

      Springtime is the land awakening.  The March winds are the morning yawn. 
      -- Lewis Grizzard 

      Last summer during a blistering heat wave, I made a garment inspired by Hans Christian Anderson's story "The Snow Queen."  The top is knit from Lion Brand's Vanna's Glamour®.  It's a lovely yarn to work with and adds this gorgeous shimmer that shifts with the light - perfect for my Snow Queen Dress. Having recently invested in a large die cutter, I decided to put it to the test.  I cut a 100+ cardboard snowflakes which I then embellished.  Naturally, no two snowflakes are the same.  I painted, rubber stamped and colored with pencil and pen. I glued on sequins, wrapped threads and added small sparkling stickers.  The skirt (originally the underskirt to a bridal dress) became an experiment in how far I could push a mixed media approach.  

      ©2013Lindsay-Obermeyer-Snow-Queen.jpg

      I finally got around to getting the work professionally photographed.  Larry Sanders is a genius at photography. He knows exactly how to light my work to capture it at the best possible vantage.  It was a big photo shoot lasting nearly 8 hours as I had so much work to be photographed.  I love being able to step back and take a more neutral look at what I've created.  

      ©2013Lindsay-Obermeyer-Larry-Sanders.jpg

      These same snowflakes would make a great garland for the mantel or as ornaments to decorate a Christmas tree. 

      Wedding Inspiration :: Paper Wedding Cake

       "Love one another and you will be happy. It's as simple and as difficult as that." --  Michael Leunig 

      "Love one another and you will be happy. It's as simple and as difficult as that." --  Michael Leunig 

      I like to give myself thematic challenges when crafting.  Can you imagine the theme for this one?  I lovewedding cake and thought it would be fun to make a paper version.  This is perfect for a bridal shower that could double as storage for all the small momentos that come from a wedding or to have at the wedding itself with a slit at the top for family and friends to give gifts of money.   It was painted white prior to being covered with an embossed cream paper.  I then added Dresden paper trims and ribbon. The final touches were the "icing" roses and strands of pearl beads.  

      ©2013Lindsay-Obermeyer-Paper-Wedding-Cake.jpg

      Thank you to Larry Sanders of Sanders Visual Images for the great photo of the finished product! 

       

      video love :: on handwork and why we need it

      "Quiet the mind, and the soul will speak."  -- Ma Jaya Sati Bhagavati

      A former student recently reconnected and sent me this lovely video.  I had to share it with you. Enjoy.

      Renate Hiller speaks beautifully as to why the crafts, in particular the fiber arts, are an integral part of our development as children and how they reflect the very nature of our cosmos.  I am not a spinner, but she has me wanting to pull out my drop spindle.   

      Free Pattern :: Pearly Queen Dog Collar made with Buttons

        Real friendship, like real poetry, is extremely rare - and precious as a pearl.  --  Tahar Ben Jelloun    

      Real friendship, like real poetry, is extremely rare - and precious as a pearl.  --  Tahar Ben Jelloun

       

       Toony joined our family 4 years ago when we adopted her from the local Humane Society.  She is quite a character and brings us endless joy.   As she is no ordinary pooch, she deserves a collar befitting her ladyship.  Inspired by the history of the Pearly
      Kings and Queens of London, I made her this pearly collar using buttons from my stash.  It makes a great gift for the canine lover on your gift list.

      You will need:

      • dog collar with plastic clip, not buckle, and sized for your pooch
      • assorted pearl buttons
      • Nymo or other beading thread
      • sewing needle (sharp or milliners)
      • matches or lighter
      • scissors

      Let's create!

      1.     Fit the collar to your dog, adjusting the nylon strap as necessary. 

      2.     Cut an arm's length of Nymo and thread your needle.  Tie a knot at the end. Use a match to melt back the tail of the knot.
              This will secure the knot and prevent it from coming undone.

      3.     Stitch the buttons along the collar.  As I used a narrow collar made for small dogs, I stitched a single row of dress shirt
              buttons. If you have a Great Dane, your collar's width will be wider and will require 2-3 lines of pearl buttons to cover it.

      4.     When you have finished sewing the buttons in place, tie a knot on the back of the collar.  Clip the thread and use a match to  melt back the knot's tail.

       

      Handmade Holidays :: Mistletoe Ornament

        Christmas doesn't come from a store, maybe Christmas perhaps means a little bit more....   -- Dr. Suess from How the Grinch Stole Christmas

      Christmas doesn't come from a store, maybe Christmas perhaps means a little bit more....
      -- Dr. Suess from How the Grinch Stole Christmas

      A few years ago I began making the majority of my gifts.  I would make jam, knit socks, bead a necklace.  Making your gifts is fun as you think about that loved one during the entire process of making and then have the fun of giving away the fruit of your labor.

      This mistletoe ornament will look equally good suspended in the doorway as it does on a tree. It's a great way to make use of the spare white buttons you have rolling around in the bottom of your junk drawer.

      You will need:
      3" Smoothfoam ball
      1 sheet of emerald green craft felt
      Christmas green acrylic paint
      5-8 white buttons in assorted sizes
      scissors
      hot glue gun (with dual low and high setting)
      6 " 20 20 gauge wire
      sponge brush
      awl or knitting needle
      ruler
      1/4" double-faced white satin ribbon
      wire cutters

      Let's create!

      1.     Paint the ball.  Paint the ball green using your sponge brush.  HINT: You may want to stick a toothpick into the ball in order to hold it without getting your fingers covered in paint.  Allow to dry.  Paint a second coat if necessary.

      2.     Make leaves:  Cut the felt into 1.5" strips.  Cut pointed ovals.  Don't worry about perfection.  Have you ever seen the exact same leaf twice?  Make approximately 40.  

      3.     Punch hole in ball.  Use an awl or a metal knitting needle to punch a hole straight through the ball. Touch up entrance and exit holes with paint if necessary.

      4.    Glue leaves around the ball.  With the hot glue gun set to low temperature, glue 4 leaves at the top of the ball.  Continue glueing the leaves into place. Tucking the lower layer under the top layer so that leaves overlap each other. 

      6a00d83451d4c869e2019b00a25fcf970d.jpg

      5.    Add the buttons.  Turn your hot glue gun to high temperature and add an assortment of white buttons to the top. 

      6.    Make the hanger.  Cut a 6" piece of wire.  Make a spiral at one end with the round nose pliers.  Push the wire through the bottom.  Make a larger spiral at the top.  Cut a 6" piece of ribbon.  Thread it through the large spiral.  Pull the ends even and make an overhand knot.  Trim edges even.

      Video Love :: Arachne versus Athena

      We all have our own life to pursue,

      Our own kind of dream to be weaving...

      And we all have the power

      To make wishing come true,

      As long as we keep believing.
       

       

       

      I'm preparing for several children's textile courses this fall.  As I was doing
      research, I came across this delightful cartoon of the Greek myth about Arachne
      and Athena. Arachne, a mere mortal, dares to challenge the goddess Athena to
      a weaving competition.  Athena is jealous of Arachne's talent and transforms her
      into a spider.  It is from this myth that the word "arachnid" is derived, as well as
      the condition "arachnaphobia" or fear of spiders.


      Sorry Spider Man, but you have nothing on the original Spider Woman. Cultures from around the world feature spider woman myths and legends including Aztec, Hopi, Navajo and Japanese.

       

      embroidery :: a pillow inspired by antique crewel work textiles

       A bird does not sing because it has an answer.  It sings because it has a song.  --  Chinese Proverb

      A bird does not sing because it has an answer.  It sings because it has a song.  --  Chinese Proverb

      Lately, I've been tidying and organizing my studio.  I don't believe I have previously shared this pillow I made.  Inspired by traditional American crewel work of the 18th century, I blended embroidery stitcheson a scrap of wool fabric with some needle felting.  Crewel work is a form of free embroidery as opposed to counted embroidery such as cross stitch.  Linen and cotton fabrics are typically used, but I thought this tartan was especially festive. 

      I used a cardinal shaped cookie cutter as my needle felting form for the bird.  This makes it
      quick and easy to develop an image with the added bonus of protecting your fingers as you stab at the wool.  The eye is a black bead stitched into place. To give the wing and bead more definition, I employed satin and back stitches.

      The tree is composed of chain stitched limbs and back stitched leaves. I sketched their placement on paper prior to using transfer paper to trace the pattern onto the fabric.   This saved me hours of guess work and ripping out misplaced stitches!  The thread is a single strand of Persian embroidery wool that is more typically used for needlepoint.  I like its slightly rough texture.

      To finish off my pillow, I knit an i-cord for trim.  The pillow is a basic knife-edge shape, so super simple to work up.  I used another plain wool in navy for the back.  I need to make a trio for my studio couch.  Maybe a robin next?  Or a golden finch?