Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Christmas Tree and Snowflakes

This isn't really  a craft, but I wanted to journal this years decorations.

Christmas Tree 2014...it was suppose to be 8 feet, but is really more like 6.5 feet.
The snowflakes are part of this years Snowflake Blizzard.  (Here is the blizzard from two years ago.)

Mantle...


This is a neat little candelabra I purchased at a yard sale for $2.00 last summer.  It was a 1955 wedding gift and is silver plated.  The silver plating was scuffed and coming off when I found it, but after I took it apart and cleaned it up...it was beautiful!!  I was going to put some small candles in it, but instead I found a string of seed lights and placed them all helter-skelter and the effect was really fun...


Glass block was made with a decal I found on Etsy and is filled with twinkling lights I found on Ebay!  If I had this to do over, I'd mask the front of the block with a matte finish or contact paper and then place the decal.   

May the joy of the season surround you and yours.  

Merry Christmas and a very Happy New Year,

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Mercury Glass & Crepe Paper Flowers

This is a combination of two projects I found online.  
Wonderful for Halloween.
Phase one is from:  http://www.livingwellspendingless.com/2013/04/23/how-to-make-mercury-glass-diy/
It was here I learned how to "make" faux mercury glass.  It's a great little tutorial I'll be using again in the future! 


Phase two is from:  http://www.countryliving.com/crafts/projects/best-halloween-crafts-ever#slide-34
Here you'll find instructions on how to make crepe paper flowers.  


Here's the project in a nutshell:
Krylon Looking Glass spray paint:  $8.99
Clear Candy Dish (4" inside diameter) found at Goodwill:  $1.99
Green Floral Foam:  $3.99
Floral Clay:  $2.99
Floral Tape:  had in stash, exact cost unknown
Scotch Double-Sided Tape:  had, exact cost unknown
22 gauge Floral Wire:  $1.99
2 rolls Black Crepe Paper:  .89 each
Ruler 
Scissors

I foolishly forgot to photograph the candy dish before and after, but it was extremely easy and the directions were concise.  Having sprayed the dish, I used 4 pieces of the clay, pressed into the bottom of the dish, to hold the floral foam in place.  

Now make the flowers...
...and poke them into the foam.  You may need to trim the wire to the perfect length.

Keep it up and this is what you'll get.  You can make it as full or sparse, tall or flat, as you'd like.
This small candy dish took approximately 50 flowers to fill.  I think it's beautiful and am so happy. 

Until the next entry, Diary...

Friday, October 10, 2014

Country Living's "Bird's Eye View"

I love this project so much, especially with Halloween on the horizon.

It comes from Country Living Magazine's website.  The project is "Bird's Eye View".  If you're a Pinner, you've probably seen it.
(Print it on your "Best" setting, for a nice dark bird!)

Country Living most generously provides a free download of these cute birds, which you print on and cut out of window decal paper. 

You then follow the manufacturer's directions for sticking them in your windows.


These are so-o-o-o cute and fun.  I love them.  
Since I'm not much into witch and ghost decor during the Halloween season, this is right up my alley.  I'll be making more.

Project costs & supplies:
*Office Depot Window Decals:  $16.99 for a pack of 10 sheets
Ink Jet Printer
Scissors

*My only note on the project is that this is not "Static" Cling Film.  It has a tacky backing, which isn't really a problem.  It just won't be reusable.  
If anyone knows where to purchase printable static-type cling film.  Please let me know in the comment section!!

FYI: There is a similar project at: http://thegraphicsfairy.com/halloween-window-silhouettes/ 

Until the next entry, Diary...


Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Dutch Treat Designs "Thistle Tabletopper"

This one has been sitting in my stash for quite some time now.  
I purchased this, and several other Tabletopper patterns, at Claudia's wonderful shop located in Livermore, California. 



These patterns make up fairly quickly, though this one was by far the longest project of the bunch.  I think it was due to the corner panels where there is an awful lot of color change going on.

There are several wonderful elements in these designs.  My favorite in this particular pattern was the use of Kreinik Fine Braid #8.

And of course, there is the Nun's Stitch "hem".
(See tutorials here and here)


It is completely explained in the pattern and quite fun to do, though very hard on the hands.  I recommend wearing a bandage or using first aid tape to protect the side of your fingers while pulling on the thread.


My project kit...


Since I bought this pattern, material and threads between 2001-2003, I don't have current cost information.  More details may be found at Dutch Treat Designs.

Until the next project...

Saturday, August 16, 2014

DIY Smashed Penny Bracelet including Chain

Wanting to do something fun with the smashed pennies I've been collecting,
I used an idea from Pinterest to make a bracelet.  Since there were no directions linked, I collected all the items needed and thought I'd give it a go.

"Ingredients":





Directions:
1. Stamp the year on the back with 1/8" numbers.  I think it will be a nice way to keep track of when the attraction was visited.

2.  Punch a hole in the penny for the jump ring.

3. Add the jump ring and set aside.  Don't close the jump ring yet.


4.  Grab your Lobster Claw clasp, two jump rings and a length of copper chain.  Measure your wrist, cut the chain, add a jump ring to one end and a jump ring and the clasp at the other.



5.  Add the pennies by evenly spacing them around the chain.  As time goes by, it will fill up, so don't worry too much about how they are spaced and which way they hang.

6. Done!
Adding a nice bead near the clasp would be a nice touch. 

Though it IS a very noisy bracelet, like wearing a wind chime on your wrist, I see it as something that will be handed down for its memories.

Enjoy!

Monday, May 26, 2014

The American Pillow, Finished

Hello again, needlework diary!

Finished this one last night, just in time for Memorial Day.  

It's from Handwork Primitives, which I can no longer find anywhere online.  

It had a very folk art feel to it...
...along with a lovely dark border. Normally I shun working with black.  It's so hard to see.  But this was no problem at all.

I love this red and white combination.

Here is my kit...

Cost & Info:
I probably won't be making this into a pillow.  I think I'll put a nice little black frame on it and hang it in a grouping,
This was a gift from my sisters-in-law (a gift certificate) Thank you!!
Purchased from Nease's Needlework
Pattern Cost:  $8.50
Stitch Count:  36
Fabric measures 8 1/2" x 11 3/4"
I used 1 strand floss over 2 threads
Floss used:  DMC


Monday, April 28, 2014

DIY Yardstick Holder

My husband came to me a couple weeks ago, asking if I could make another yardstick holder for him.  His grandmother had made the previous holder and over time, in the shed, it had rotted.
Grandma's holder was made of burlap, so I decided I would try to replicate it as close as possible.
I purchased 1/2 yard of burlap...which was more than enough.


I opened the fabric up, so I had the full length to work with, measured 7" and pulled the thread.  I then had a nice cutting line to follow.

I folded the 7" strip in half, pinned, and placed a 1/2" seam all the way around the piece, leaving one of the short sides open.
(See Grandma's holder)



I put the yardstick in the tube (which was 2½ inches from seam to seam) and placed safety pin to mark the top of the stick.

Next I needed to duplicate the top.
Grandma used a piece of wool and fabric to fortify the top.

Here's how I approached it.  I took a 4" piece of wool (I had some leftover scraps from a quilt Grandma had made us!) and fabric...

I folded them in half along the diagonal, and stitched all the way around, just to hold it together, making it easier to work with...

I cut the top off of the burlap to match the height of the triangle and cut the folded side of the strip open, just to the safety pin...

 ...inserted the triangle in the opening, pinned....

...and stitched all the way around.
As you can see, Grandma did a lot of back stitching for reinforcement.  I figured she was a wise women and I would follow suite.

Before I trimmed away the excess, I placed an extra large eyelet at the top.  It was the only "upgrade" I gave Grandma's design.

Now it was only a matter of trimming away all the excess, evening all the edges to measure 1/2 inch, and fraying.

Now all that's left is cutting a slit where the yardstick can slide in. Be careful to only cut the top layer!!!  Burlap is tricky.
Easy-peasy.

The only trouble I had along the way was a hole I found near the top, which I just stitched over in several different directions to shore it up.  You can see a little of that in the above photo, in that rectangular box of stitching. It actually made a neat kind of star pattern!

And so there you  have it...hope it made sense.  It's not fancy, just very utilitarian, if not rustic.  I'm sure if you wanted to get "fancy" you could do any number of things with this.  I'm just giving you the basics.