in all blogs
Viewing: Blog Posts Tagged with: Crafts, Most Recent at Top [Help]
Results 1 - 25 of 306
Here’s one of many projects that has been mostly finished for a long time. It’s finally wearable! It’s based loosely on the Burda Anda pattern, like the one I made here.
As with my previous version, I petitified it using existing clothing as a guide. This version is color-blocked, obviously, with no sleeves. I used a top from my closet to guide armhole sizing. I lowered the waist a bit and used elastic on the inside, rather than an outer drawstring casing like the pattern calls for.
I also used the bias tape as a facing rather than as an exposed detail. The tutorial for doing this with the Sorbetto top was very, very helpful and applicable to any number of projects. It’s not as tricky as it might sound, if you’ve used bias tape before. I’m beginning to get the hang of the bias tape thing. It’s really handy once you get used to it.
Lastly, I made a self belt, a little wider and shorter this time than last.
The reddish linen came from the bargain booth at the Hannover, Germany Stoffmarkt last June. The cream-colored linen was a remnant given to me by a friend. Earrings by Claire’s, circa the dark ages, and the wooden beaded necklace was a gift from my Granny a bajillion years ago. I want to say she picked it up on a trip to Israel.
I have to say I’m pretty happy with the dress. Think I’ll wear this one a lot. I’ve almost finished another Anda-inspired dress, if I can find my sewing scissors, so hopefully I can share that soon.
If you want to see some of my other sewing projects, click here.
Blog: Darlene Beck-Jacobson
(Login to Add to MyJacketFlap
, Home Schooling Ideas
, Science activity
, art projects for young children
, the science of art
, Add a tag
Today’s post is presented by my guest blogger and science buff Betty Gail Gallender who will demonstrate how art and science join forces to create unique projects. Here’s Betty:
I have always loved the art of creating. But what I try to understand is the “how and why” of it. This is the “Science of Art.”
Today’s experiment starts off as an art project- but helps us see that science is behind everything we make.
Our kindergarteners created the “stain glass” butterflies pictured in this entry, which inspired me to do the same lesson with the 2nd graders using “dinosaurs of the deep” as the theme.
My questions were how did they make their “stained glass” and why did it turn out like it did?
The “How” involves some pre-work on the part of an adult. First cut out the shapes you will use on black construction paper leaving a wide outline. Trim away the inside of the design. (I used an exacto knife.) Glue the outline onto a sheet of wax paper. Turn old crayons into shavings using a pencil sharpener, a sharp knife or pair of scissors to scrape them like a carrot.
Divide the shavings by color. Then, let the kids lightly sprinkle the shavings into the open spaces on the back of the wax paper design. (Don’t use too much–a little goes a long way!) Cover the picture with another piece of wax paper. Help them place the prepared picture between a towel or a folded piece of heavy paper.
Have an adult iron over the towel covered wax paper until the crayons melt and seal the design to the second piece of wax paper. Trim the design along its outer edges and hold it up to a window to reveal your “stained glass.” Take another copy of the cutout design and glue to the back to give the picture support and a finished look.
The “Why”—your work of art looks like stain glass is due to the heat and pressure of the iron combined with the translucent qualities of the melted crayons and wax paper. The heat melts the crayons turning a solid into a translucent liquid while the pressure spreads the liquid out. The wax paper is always translucent.
Things to discuss with your kids:
Explain to them that while unmelted crayons are solids that you cannot see through, the wax paper and melted crayons become translucent. This means that you can see through them, but not clearly because they diffuse the light that is passing through them. Point out that the glass in the window is an example of something that is transparent- you can see clearly through it.
Ask them why the crayon shavings changed and discuss how heat and pressure from the iron caused the crayon shavings to melt and spread out.
I love experiments like this because they are a perfect example of ways to engage your kids in fun projects that are both educational and entertaining. Science is not boring or hard- it’s all around us. It is something that becomes obvious when we look into the how and why of the things we make and do.
I hope you enjoyed my guest post. If you try this experiment, I’d love for you to leave a comment here or over at sciencefunwithmom.wordpress.com.
Author: James Dillehay
Publisher: Warm Snow Publishers
Genre: Small Business / Arts & Crafts
Buy it at Amazon
Being profitable in a small arts & crafts business is not a matter of luck. There is a system to pricing merchandise to encourage people to buy your crafts. While covering your own cost to produce the item is important, there are other factors involved in making sure you get the best price for your merchandise.
James Dillehay is a craft artist, gallery owner, and author of nine respected finance books on this subject. In this book, he offers suggestions for an arts & crafts business owner to be successful. Topics such as studying the market and pricing your items appropriately, increasing perceived value, determining the cost per unit and your target profit margin, where to sell your merchandise, how to buy your supplies more cheaply, and working more efficiently are all covered in depth.
As an accountant, I reviewed the financial calculations and strategies closely, and Dillehay is accurate in his advice. However, in the realm of taxes, I would advise caution and the guidance of a tax professional, before implementing some of the suggestions offered. How to Price Crafts and Things You Make to Sell is a wealth of information that can ensure your small business is successful and profitable.
Reviewer: Alice Berger
By: Emily Smith Pearce,
Blog: Emily Smith Pearce
(Login to Add to MyJacketFlap
, Kid Crafts
, kid craft
, party favor
, polymer clay
, Add a tag
Can you say it three times fast?
Sorry I haven’t been around much in the last week or so. Now that a certain girl’s
coronation birth day weekend week is over, I’m coming up for air.
We did it, folks. We survived a sleepover birthday party (plus days of other celebratory activities) and lived to tell the tale. I’m not exactly sure how she
hypnotized talked us into the sleepover. All told, it went pretty well, though, and thankfully, the girls got along.
One highlight of the party was “Pass the Parcel,” which our daughter learned from her British (and half-British) friends in Germany. It’s really a fun, sweet game, and you can organize it so that everyone feels like they’ve won.
Basically, you have a small prize wrapped up in layers upon layers of wrapping paper. You pass the parcel around while music plays, and each time the grown up stops the music, the person holding the parcel gets to unwrap a layer. Ideally, each layer holds a tiny prize (in this case, Jolly Ranchers) and there’s at least one layer for each player.
We got distracted a bit while wrapping our parcel, and some layers—oops!—were empty. Nevermind, the girls were gracious and divided the candy evenly at the end.
At the center, we placed a collection of polymer clay beads and linen string, so each kid could make a necklace, bracelet, or key chain thingy. I had them pass the bead collection around and let each child choose a bead until they were all gone. Thankfully, there wasn’t much fuss about who got what colors. They’re all pretty, right?
Then each child strung the beads into the desired shape. So fun.
My kids and I had made the beads months earlier, with no thought of a party. I was inspired by this lovely post, which includes instructions, but I couldn’t figure out a way to string them in a way that suited me, so they sat around for months. I think I’ll try making some for me again—we have more clay.
Anyway the beads were a hit, and the activity was just enough—not too long, not too frustrating. We may have to make “Pass the Parcel” a party staple!
By: Donna J. Shepherd
Blog: Topsy Turvy Land - Donna J. Shepherd
(Login to Add to MyJacketFlap
, Donna Shepherd
, Bella Sinclair
, tea time
, Ava's Secret Tea Party
, tea party
, Guardian Angel Publishing
, donna j. shepherd
, Add a tag
"Ava's Secret Tea Party" is available in Paperback, Hardcover, and eBook.
Instructions for making the beaded garland is in the book along with other crafts and recipes for your tea party!
I got a bunch of lovely silk remnants (crepe?) from a friend who was leaving Hannover some time ago. I’d never sewn with silk before, but it only took me two years to work up my nerve to actually run it through the sewing machine.
I thought and thought about the best thing to make with it. The remnants are lovely but a little pale for my coloring. I over-dyed some of it, which I’ve been working into a dress. I was planning to use all of it for clothes, but the camel and pale green then turned out to be just right for a throw for our “book nook.”
Ever since reading Handmade Home, I’ve been wanting all sorts of handmade throws to snuggle up with. And natural fibers! But of course natural fibers for a large project get pretty expensive.
But with gifted silk remnants, the decadence could be mine, all mine! And really, was imperfect silk sewing really better than letting all that lovely silk just sit in storage?
My original plan was to quilt the throw. The assembly part went pretty well, not as tricky as I’d feared. I used part of an old sheet for the middle layer. But machine-quilting silk was another story. I liked making crazy lines with the machine, but the silk got all slippy and puckery, but not in a fun way. So I just stopped quilting after a little while and left it at that. I would unpick the quilting, but I think it’d make it worse, and anyway, it’s just for us. The throw is a really nice weight, perfect for a little reading or a quick nap.
And I’m all about celebrating imperfections. Otherwise this throw would still be remnants in the stash box. Hopefully my gifting friend won’t see this and gasp with horror
Stay tuned for another natural fiber throw of a very different kind. And hopefully that overdyed silk dress will be ready soon. It’s allllllmost finished.
If you, too, have silk-sewing fears, here are some tips I found very helpful from Sunni of a fashionable stitch.
Have a great weekend!
Sometime in the last few months I got it in my head that I wanted a cashmere blanket. Like, really wanted one. I think maybe I started obsessing when I was paging through Handmade Home and saw all the cozy, cozy stacks of blankets. I just wanted to curl up with them. I didn’t want to fork over the money for cashmere, though, so I started scheming. Could I possibly find enough thrifted cashmere to make a blanket?
Sometimes it’s hard to come by, but lo and behold, there was a bumper crop of cashmere at Goodwill this fall. Some of it was in perfect condition, in my size, with classic lines. What?! I washed those and put them in my closet.
The rest of it, the out-of-fashion, the holey, the wrong sizes, I cut into rectangles (excluding the holey bits) after washing it. I added in a few washed and shrunken merino sweaters, too, to round things out and make the blanket a little bigger.
In all I used six sweaters for the blanket. It went together pretty quickly, and the kids were very excited to help place the pieces. Everyone was already fighting over it before it was even done.
I had planned to lap the edges, but kind of forgot that plan until midway through. Oh well. Next blanket, maybe. I already have some cashmere pieces waiting.
Personally I like all the little weirdnesses of sweater pieces, the rolled edges, the seams and ribbing here and there. And it’s kind of nice to have a “smooth” side and a “wrong side.” I like them both.
For sewing the pieces together, I used (I think) a regular machine needle and upped the stitch length a bit. I had no problems with it. If you want specific instructions for sewing a cashmere sweater blanket, check out Betz White’s book Warm Fuzzies.
Random: love loved this fire and ice birthday party over at elsie marley. Almost makes me want to live in a frozen place again.
Also, has anyone been watching Parade’s End on HBO? I can’t fully follow the storyline, but wow, the clothes are incredible!
And lastly, next week I’ll be introducing you to a friend of mine, artist/ photographer Dawn Hanna. So excited! Her work is drop-dead gorgeous.
Okay, folks. Have a great weekend.
Inspired by the many, many wonderful robot crafts online, here is my version of a super simple cardboard tube robot. I posted directions here.
By: Roberta Baird
Blog: A Mouse in the House
(Login to Add to MyJacketFlap
a mouse in the house
, children's illustration
, roberta baird
, children's book art
, scbwi houston
, the wild thing bird house
, Add a tag
We’ll eat you up we love you so! And Max said NO!
Every year the Houston SCBWI illustrators create a children’s book themed birdhouse. This is mine, a tribute to the late, great Maurice Sendak.
The front door needed something, something that was NOT the red berry wreath that has seen better days. I wanted to make a wreath that wasn’t permanent, not too fussy or prim, but would give us a burst of spring color.
Also, it had to be easy and quick. I pictured something along the lines of the ribbon wreath my daughter made last year. Or maybe a little like the Anthropologie thread-wrapped bricks I saw on Pinterest. Or the yarn-and-fiber wrapped rabbit I’d seen at the Ackland Museum Store in Chapel Hill. For the life of me, I can’t find the name of that artist or a link to her work, so let me know if you know what I’m talking about.
I bought a straw wreath form at Michaels and pulled out a bunch of spring-colored scraps: leftover strips from this quilt, scraps from this dress and this one, and Kool-Aid dyed yarns.
I started wrapping and pinning on the darker color strips, hoping a little dark poking through from the bottom layer would keep the color scheme from getting too saccharine. Though in the end there’s actually very few darks to be seen.
Next came the lighter and brighter strips, then the ribbons. Last, I started wrapping the yarn, but my five-year-old was really into that part, so I let him wrap until the whole thing had a good spreading of yarn.
In the end, I’m fairly happy with the results. It hit all my requirements, though it didn’t quite match up to my vision. Hubs wasn’t so sure about it at first, but it’s grown on him, he says. Either that or he just wants to make sure I make his favorite chicken salad this week.
For more of my posts about crafts, click here.
Is it spring where you are? We had lovely weather over the weekend, and things are sprouting up in the garden.
Meanwhile, I’m still inching along with the revision on my novel. I’m remembering something Katherine Paterson once said/ wrote….something to the effect that she had to sculpt her plot out of granite, using straight pins. My process is feeling something like that. I keep making headway but then realizing there’s so much more to do. What are you up to?
If you’ve been reading this blog for awhile, you may remember my first encounter with real Easter grass, in my son’s German kindergarten. I was almost amazed at the simple thought of growing something that we’d always bought manufactured from plastic, in plastic bags.
But really, it’s the simplest, easiest thing you could ever grow, and the payoff is huge. This year, we’re growing our own at home. I’m just as excited as the kids to watch the green pop up.
I got a package of wheat grass seeds from the garden center, we filled some pots, lay the seeds on top, and watered. My son, now 5, told us not to cover the seeds with any dirt.
It’s got me singing Now the green blade riseth…
P.S. The lovely bird pot was a gift from our friend Sally Brotman, she of chicken kebab fame I love, love this pot!
I had to whip up something quick for my daughter’s Wax Museum Day at school. This is a grade-wide project where the students read a biography, dress up like their historical figure, and prepare remarks to present to visitors.
The students are supposed to stand still like wax figures until a parent gives them a ticket. Then they animate and introduce themselves as “so-and-so.” It’s so totally cute I can’t even tell you. I’m partial to the costumes involving mustaches.
Little Miss wanted to be a princess, of course, so she chose Russian princess Anastasia Romanov. We went to the thrift store and chose some pieces to alter.
The key elements, we decided, were a white flowy dress with a square neckline, plus pearls. I flipped the blouse backward, sized it down, and made a square neckline using a tutorial I can no longer find. It wasn’t as difficult as it might sound—-actually pretty easy. The skirt I just sized down but left otherwise as-is.
Then I added, at her request, a sash made from blanket binding. It was once a part of this costume but got accidentally ripped off. I also made a little medallion from lightweight cardboard and sequins.
She did a great job with her presentation and is now reading everything she can about Anastasia. I guess we should try that movie that was made in the 90s, although I’m sure it’s more fiction than not.
Did you go away for spring break? We visited family in California and went skiing. It was a blast, but coming back to East Coast time is not. Oh well, it was worth it!
* The Anastasia image is from Wikipedia.
By: Pam Bachorz ,
cake before decorationA few weekends ago, my mom and I put on a baby shower for my sister Patty. We debated lots of choices: what theme, what sort of menu, whether to have any games. But we knew one thing for sure: we wanted to have a diaper cake for Patty.
For the uninitiated, a diaper cake is a multi-layered centerpiece that's shaped to look a lot like a tiered wedding cake. It's The Thing to have for decoration at baby showers.
Mom and I disagreed on who would make it, though.
"You buy diaper cakes. Someone else makes them," my mother said.
"How hard can it be?" I asked.
Insert here: worried silence from my mother. Likely she looked around her house at all the crafty things that her sister has made, that her mother has made, that Patty has made. Then she probably looked at her bookshelf. Pam writes, she likely thought. Pam does not make pretty things.
"I'll just make it in advance, and fly with it. You'll see," I insisted.
Insert here: more worried silence punctuated with terrified coughing.
Finally: "It sounds pretty difficult, honey," Mom says.
Well, if you've known me awhile, then you know that the moment you say something will be difficult, I decide I must do it. Perhaps that was exactly the psychological game my mother was playing with me. If so--it worked. I was determined to make the diaper cake.
ready for some baby shower crazinessAnd you know what? It wasn't hard. Not at all. The most difficult party was washing the smell of rubber bands off my hands. And, speaking of rubber bands, it was an excellent use of the giant "manuscript" bands I've had lying around for years. Nobody mails printed manuscripts anymore, and I fear there is no future for these things. I ought to list the rest of them on Etsy's craft supply section as "diaper cake bands"!
Plenty of people far craftier than I have posted great instructions for making a diaper cake. I relied on Crafty Chics for a diagram with counts of diapers for each layer. And I watched Carolyn Braden's video a good number of times. You can run a simple Google search and come up with lots of great resources, and also pictures of decorated cakes for inspiration.
The thing I'm most proud of is the custom yellow and gray giraffe-patterned paper that I bought as a cake decoration. I ordered it as a custom scrapbook paper graphic from Pretty Different Design, on Etsy, and then I printed it on my home printer. When I got to Mom's house, she helped me tape and hotglue it around each diaper layer, and then we ran a broad, sheer silver ribbon on top of that. Finally I tied on an adorable handmade giraffe toy from another Etsy shop, babydarling.
Even Mom had to admit--it was pretty cute. And well worth making.
By: Brimful Curiosities,
Blog: Brimful Curiosities
(Login to Add to MyJacketFlap
, Book crafts
, Harcourt Children's
, Book Review
, Imaginative Play
, Add a tag
As I child, I understood the poetic magic of origami even before I knew the name of the art. One of my great-great aunt's many skills was paper-folding. She could swiftly make an origami bow tie appear out of a paper scrap. That fascinating talent was as magical ability as anything I'd ever witnessed, and it was always an honor to receive one of her tidy, crisp bow ties.
Since it's National Poetry Month, the kids and I picked up a few new poetry books at the library. One picture book we particularly like has an origami theme -- Fold Me a Poem
by Kristine O'Connell George, illustrated by Lauren Stinger.
The summary on the copyright page states that the book is "a collection of poems about origami animals." In reality, the Fold Me a Poem
is much more than a collection. The poems, read together in succession, collectively tell a story about an imaginative boy who plays with his origami creations all day long, from the moment he wakes up in the morning until he falls asleep in his bed at night. The short poems are rather like private thoughts as he brings the origami animals to life, folding them into splendid creatures and playing with them afterward: "Forty bright sheets / of colored paper, / a world of animals. / Who will be next?" The animals race each other, hide, and get into trouble. Even the boy's cat joins in the fun, by attacking and injuring a poor pink ostrich during a "wind storm" produced by a fan. The cleverly designed square book has end papers that look like origami paper. In total, the book contains 32 original poems; it does not include instructions for creating origami animals -- however, the illustrator in her end note mentions various book resources.
This poetry book provides wonderful inspiration for showing children how to capture their own thoughts in poetry form on paper! All children need to do to write their own poems is describe their own play. O'Connell's poems are written in many different forms including haiku, apostrophe (poems of address), mask or persona poems, and process poems, making the book a useful springboard for teaching these styles. Lauren Stringer's painted illustrations beautifully accompany the poems and are instrumental in helping the reader visualize the poems. Stringer skillfully captures the origami creatures -- folding origami is hard enough, but painting all the shadows, showing the folds through illustration takes real talent indeed!
As for favorite poems, I adore "Night," a poem that tells how the boy adds his own star to the night sky. My son likes the poem "Tub" mostly because the illustrations for the poem show many of the origami creations waiting for a ride on an origami boat, including a bandaged ostrich. My daughter especially likes "Mystery" because it fully captures the wonder and joy of creating your own origami. Anything, yes, anything is possible with a little imagination.
Fold Me a Poem by Kristine O'Connell George, illustrated by Lauren Stringer. Harcourt (April 2005); ISBN 9780152025014; 32 pagesI am an Amazon affiliate and may receive a very small commission for products purchased through my Amazon links. (View my full disclosure statement for more information about my reviews.) Related Links:Kristine O'Connell George - Author WebsiteLauren Stringer - Illustrator WebsiteTeacher's Guide - Fold Me A Poem
Book Source: Borrowed from our local library
Baby Chick in Egg - Origami and Poem
Today is Poem in Your Pocket Day! When thinking about combining origami and poetry, we chanced upon a verse by the brilliant children's poet, Aileen Fisher. The poem "Baby Chick
" questions how a chick knows its way out of the egg. We've created a neat origami project to go along with the poem (plus the paper egg shell makes a neat, handy pocket to tuck the poem into!)
The directions to fold the chick and egg origami can be found at http://www.kutchuk.com
. The design is made from a single piece of paper. This is an easy, beginner origami project for kids. I created a pdf template with folding guides to make it even easier to fold your own origami if you'd prefer to use that instead. One is full color and the other can be colored-in by a child. Make sure to print with page scaling set to "none" or unclick
"fit to page" so that it doesn't resize the document. Click on the google doc links below to print your own copy (clicking on the image won't work).
To extend the poetry in a pocket idea and fold a poem, you could have your child write the poem on the paper before folding it into the chick/egg shape! Or, if your child can't write, print out the poem and tuck it into the pocket formed by the folded egg shell.
By: Emily Smith Pearce,
Blog: Emily Smith Pearce
(Login to Add to MyJacketFlap
, Add a tag
Here’s one of my recent sewing projects. It’s made from the free Sorbetto pattern from Collette. It’s really a lovely pattern, well-designed with clear instructions. I used exposed bias tap on the neck and used the bias tape as a facing on the arm holes. There are no fasteners—it’s just a simple popover top with a pleated front. It came together pretty quickly and was really satisfying.
I even finished the insides properly, which I meant to show you, but oh well. The only thing I would ask is, how are you supposed to finish off the darts?
The cotton batiste/ voile (?) fabric came from an open-air market in Germany. I was in love with the print at first, but now I think it would actually make a better pillowcase than a blouse. Oh well. I’m wearing it anyway. I may make another Sorbetto in a different fabric.
Skirt by Old Navy, belt by Target, earrings by an etsy seller whose name I sadly can’t find. Necklace (a favorite) by Gaines Kiker, silversmith in Blowing Rock, NC.
Anyone remember Sally Field in The Flying Nun? It’s a ridciculous show from the late 1960s. Ms. Field plays a nun with an enormous cornette (headpiece for her habit) that, yes, helps her fly. Hard to believe it was ever made into a show.
When I first finished it, this dress looked like it was going to launch me into the friendly skies. I had sized the pattern down a bit, but I guess I didn’t size down the cap sleeves. That, and stiffness of the double layered fabric gave me wings.
So, I hacked them down. I’ve worn it several times (when it was warmer), but I didn’t get the sizing quite right and it kind of pops open when I sit down. So attractive. And I made loads of mistakes on the dress. I may retire it now, but all in all, I’m pretty proud of it. I’d never made anything with so many buttons. Or persevered through so many mistakes and such a horrible pattern. And the sizing, while off, was still a good exercise—it almost worked.
Please, I beg you, don’t ever use this free pattern from Bernina. I was going to link to it, but really, I don’t even want you to know where it exists. It costs you more time than the free-ness is worth.
I found it through Kathleen Frances’s excellent sewing blog, grosgrain. I love her Frock by Friday sewalongs, but this one, as Kathleen herself says, is just a bad pattern.
That said, I love a shirtdress, and they’re hard to find in different colors, so I may try again with this pattern. If I’m feeling brave.
Speaking of failed sewing projects, here’s one from a favorite blogger. It’s great to know other people fail. And to remember you’ll never get good at most anything if you’re not willing to fall on your face a lot.
In other news, I had some amazing baked oatmeal the other weekend at our cousins’ house. Must try. Related to that, I finally got from the library the book Vintage Cakes because of this blog post about the oatmeal cake with coconut. It looks like so my thing.
Have a great weekend!
I have an almost 4yo little craft monster in my house. He's also obsessed with Christmas. So we turn to OwlKids My Beastly book of Tangled Tinsel
for creative, chaotic, fun. It's certainly geared at slightly older kids, but there is still plenty for him (and I) to do. I also plan on pulling this out for visiting cousins.
As an artist, it was really interesting to see him try and draw the expressions on the faces. I highly recommend picking up this book
. The illustrations by Christine Roussey are so fun and creative. Visit her website for more of her amazing work.
I've been making ornaments!
I joined the Blu Penny ornament exchange
this year and I've been getting crafty. Sometimes, you need an excuse to get messy. Well, I gave myself one this year by joining in the fun, and I'm so glad I did.
By: Emily Smith Pearce,
Blog: Emily Smith Pearce
(Login to Add to MyJacketFlap
, Fiber Arts
, Christmas craft
, easy craft
, kid craft
, Add a tag
This is one of those last-minute inspirations that happened to work out. I was trimming bits from a Christmas sewing project (to be pictured later) and had all these great strips of cheery prints. It seemed a shame to waste them.
I grabbed a balloon, blew it up just a little (you could do a bigger version if you wanted) and tied it off. Then I made a water-and-Elmer’s-glue mixture, dipped the strips, and wrapped them around the balloon, just like papier mache—-only one layer of strips, though. I left a few holes here and there, but if I had to do it again, I’d leave more holes for effect.
This would be a great quick craft to do with older children, though of course you have to be able to stomach glue mess. Not a problem in my case.
Family members who shall remain nameless were skeptical, but in the morning, when the glue was dry and the balloon popped, it DID actually detach from the cloth and leave this little egg-shaped vessel. It could’ve dried a bit more, though. Make sure it’s dried ALL the way for best results.
Then you just make a thread hoop/hanger thingy and presto! change-o! You’re done.
I’d been wanting to do this for ages and finally tried it. There are lots of ways it’s been done—-most notably, of course, Japanese furoshiki. And there’s lots of ways I’d like to try making wrapping cloths, but this time, I just made a simple rolled hem on rectangles of fabric. Directions for “cheater” rolled hemming here. Thank you, Pinterest for that great tutorial via Meg of elsiemarley.com.
The Santa and angel fabrics are thrifted linens (already hemmed) from my favorite thrift shop in Hannover, Germany where we lived the last couple of years. And the new green and red stripey fabric is from Joann’s.
To wrap, I just folded the fabric and held it in place with the ribbon. Easy peasy. They wouldn’t hold up to a toddler’s inspection, but they’ll work fine for us.
I scooped up these beauties at the last Waldorf craft basar we attended in Germany. I got them as much for myself as for the kids.
Don’t the stove and tiny pot, just like, kill you? I realize it’s hard to tell the scale here, but the pot has about the same circumference as an acorn top. I’m powerless before this kind of stuff. Makes me want to take up whittling, because, you know, I totally need another creative hobby.
A teensy Fair Isle cape!
I think one of the things I like best about these is the bark. For some reason it never occurs to me to make things out of actual sticks from trees.
Hope you had a good weekend. I’m pressing forward on my novel revisions, though I had a reminder this morning of just how slow I am when I looked at where I was last year this same week. Yipes!
Are you in a reflective mood about what you’ve done over the past year? Celebrating goals met? Making new ones?
If you’ve been following this blog for a while, you may recognize this project. I started it a short four years ago. Four?! I finally finished it!! *Happy dance*
For those of you who are new (and btw, welcome new subscribers!) or don’t remember the project, it’s my take on an Amy Butler pattern in her book In Stitches. She calls it the “Patchwork Duvet Cover.” Mine is a bit different from the original pattern, mainly in the placement of the ovals and the background fabric.
This project took so long for many reasons. I got sick of it many times, and by the end I almost gave up because a) I wasn’t sure I liked the color scheme anymore and b) The oval appliques were giving me such a headache when I tried to sew them on.
My hubs wanted me to finish it, though, so I changed my machine needle and soldiered ahead, and now I’m glad. After putting it on the bed, the patchwork has grown on me, as out-of-favor crafty projects sometimes do. Here’s to perserverance!
For more info on this project in its earlier stages, check out this post and this one. The fabric was all upcycled, with the background made from twin duvet covers and the patterned fabric from thrift store finds, one of them over-dyed to suit.
If you want to see my other patchwork projects, check out this one and this one.
And oh yes, that painting is by yours truly. More info on it here.
Hope you had a great holiday weekend. I’ve had some unexpected sustained writing time, which has been great.
VALENTINE'S DAY is only two weeks away now. So if you need to make some special Valentines for the special people in your life, here is a fun craft video from HIGHLIGHTS magazine on making "secret" Valentine cards.
And if you'd like to read a story about two new friends and a super-fancy Valentine's Day card, then please read my story, "The Fool Proof Valentine Plan."
Do you have a plan for Valentine's Day???
I’m just a teensy bit late with this Halloween post. Our little man just had to, had to be the green ninja from Ninjago. It was a bit of a trick figuring out how to make up the costume, especially the sword-holding thingy in the back, which, according to my son, was absolutely essential.
I bought cheap green jogging pants and used gold fabric paint (the kind you squeeze out) to make the little gold shapes on them. On the figure they’re actually silver but, whatever.
The top is a green fleece I refused to paint on since I wanted him to be able to wear it plain later. I did add black cardboard-and-toilet-paper-roll epaulets on the shoulders, tacked on with thread. These were only semi-sucessful. You can see them hanging off his shoulders. We probably should’ve skipped them.
The headpiece is another simple balaclava I made like the ones for the knight costumes, only with a silver piece sewn on. The green is a thrifted sweatshirt and the silver from the same thrifted sweater that I used for one of the knight helmets.
The black belt is actually Daddy’s bathrobe sash. Ha! And the sword-holder-thingy in back (sorry, no picture) I made by cutting slits in a small cardboard box that I painted black. Four slits for the swords, then some small holes for the ties cut from sweatshirt material. We then tied the ties around his chest to hold the box on his back.
It’s not fancy, but it worked. This is kind of my costume philosophy—-I want them to be comfortable and re-usable but inexpensive and quickly slapped together. Thrifted knits are great for this.
For other low-sew costumes with thrifted parts, check out our fireman suit, knight, and turtle costumes. Oh, and here’s a princess for good measure, with maybe a little more sewing involved.
In other news, I’ve been doing some development work on secondary characters in my novel, using this questionnaire. The questionnaire was originally written for role-playing gaming, but totally works for novel-writing, too. I’ve been surprised at some of the interesting things that are coming from it. Hope I can put them to good use.
Northern friends, I hope you’re not stuck in the snow, or at least if you are, that you’ve got power, food, and board games.
View Next 25 Posts
No, we aren’t expecting any pitter patter of (more) little feet. Nope. No, seriously, these aren’t for our family.
I found pieces from a cloth diaper pattern I’d cut out ages ago, in a pregnant nesting phase (loooooong story), and decided they had to be made up for a certain Viking baby who was just born. His cloth diapering mama has several older boys, so I thought baby Viking needed a little something new that was just his.
Good gravy! There’s just something about itty bitty cloth diapers that I find totally irresistible. Maybe a strange object of affection, but I’m so goo-goo over these.
Below is a shot of the inside, wrong side out, before the edges were sewn. The middle rectangle is what’s called a soaker, the absorbent pad in the diaper. In this case it’s flannel and, I think, old cotton T-shirt material.
The outer yellow fabric is also flannel. The hook and loop closure is called Touch Tape and is like velcro’s much stronger and gentler brother. It rocks, basically. The blue fabric, used on the inside of one diaper, is hand-dyed terry cotton velour leftover from a semi-failed attempt at making a custom Boppy cover. Hand-dyed, because yes, I’m exactly that crazy.
Like I said, my nesting phases = long story.
Anyway, these came together pretty quickly because I’d made so many of them before. Mama-friend was very pleased with the diapers, which made me so happy. Hopefully they will fit Baby Viking for more than a few days!
If you’re interested in diaper sewing yourself, there are tons of resources out there, but here’s a free pattern for ones similar to these. I would definitely recommend having some sewing experience under your belt before trying them. They’re not really soooo involved, but they wouldn’t be a good beginner project.
Hope you have a great weekend. I’ve been getting so excited about the seedlings I’m growing for our garden. Stay alive! Stay alive! I tell them. What are you up to?