Archive for the ‘homestuff’ Category

It’s here!  “Thing” number thirty!  I completed my Thing A Day Challenge with another crafting first: making a candle.  When I saw the wedding candle favor tutorial on 100 Layer Cake, I had to try it for myself.  It’s such a cute idea for a personal, hand-made thank-you or hostess gift.  And it’s really easy to make.  I bought the wax, fragrance (vanilla), wick, and glass container at a craft store and used some scrapbook paper and hemp rope that I already had on hand.  All I did was preheat the glass container, melt the wax and mix in the fragrance, secure the wick to a chopstick resting atop the glass (to keep the wick centered and standing straight), pour in the wax, and wait for it to dry.  The options for embellishing the outside are endless.  Twine, tags, charms, whatever.  I’ve seen embroidered felt candle cozies in the store, which would also be cute.  I think it turned out pretty—and it smells really good!

Wow, I can’t believe the Thing A Day Challenge is over.  It has been so much fun.  I’ve learned new things, discovered new talents, met new people, found new stores, and purchased a bunch of cool new craft supplies.  But most importantly, the challenge helped me return to my creative passions.  And that was the whole point.  I’m pretty much obsessed with crafting now, and I am excited about the future.  I have so many ideas—for this blog, for new creative projects, for a potential Etsy store—that I can’t wait to make happen.  Thanks for coming along with me on the journey!

P.S. – My boss asked me to write an essay about the experience for Diablo magazine, so I’m excited (and a little nervous) about that.  I’m working on it now, and I’ll be sure to post some excerpts here in the coming days—and link to the real deal when it’s published.


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Soooo, I had this grand plan to make Peeps bunting tonight from the tutorial on the MADE blog for “thing” number twenty. But my mom made crazy yummy dinner (“noodles and gravy,” artichokes and melted butter for dipping, carrot and raisin salad), which put me into a food coma right before I sat down to figure out how to work this:

That beauty is a mid-70s Singer Futura 900.  It used to be my grandmother’s, and I’m pretty excited not only to have a sewing machine, but to have hers.  My sister read from the instruction manual while I tried to string thread through all the right places.  This instruction manual:

Seriously, how dramatic is that photo!?  And the type, oh, the type.  It’s pure 1970s perfection. I love it.  Unfortunately, though, we couldn’t get the machine working.  We figured out how to wind the bobbin after a few tries, but every test sew on material went badly.  It would get out a few stitches and then start gobbling up the material and thread into one knotted mess.  So, we decided the machine needs some maintenance, and I took one last peek at that instruction manual.

These illustrations are wicked sick.  No sarcasm in that at all.  Look at the ink sketches layered over fabric photos—totally cutting edge for the time.  Anyway, back to the recap of the night.  Without a sewing machine, I spent a couple hours doing prep for the Peeps bunting while catching up on American Idol.

Due to the sewing machine situation (and some concern over whether, with my ability, I can actually sew the edges of these Peeps on any machine), I think I’m going to hand-sew everything and perhaps embroider the eyes and noses.  It will take longer, but it might look better in the end.  Stay tuned.

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Whew! “Thing” number nineteen was, by far, the longest and messiest project I’ve taken on during this challenge. Following Tatertots and Jello blog’s burlap wreath tutorial, I cut out hundreds of burlap and fabric circles and glued them to a wreath form. I’ve never worked with burlap before, but I quickly learned it frays easily and creates quite a lot of dust. I have burlap particles from one end of my condo to the other. Hehe. For the fabric, I used leftovers from my not-yet-finished quilt. I also got to use hemp leftover from my days making hemp necklaces as well as some mini clothespins I purchased back in elementary school. Seriously. I’ve kept them that long. Yay for projects that use stuff I already have (though I did need to purchase new brads and some pretty Martha Stewart twill-tape ribbon.)

Wow. A rare moment of decent photo-taking from my camera there. Nice. I love the versatility of this wreath. Practically any color theme would work well for the fabric circles, and the lettering can be changed anytime. I originally used “JOY,” but with so many reds and greens in the fabric, it looked Christmasy. The burlap can be frayed a whole lot more, too, for a more rustic look.

I’m realizing as a comb through creative blogs each day (go, go Google Reader!) that I have very distinct interests. I go ga-ga for flowers, buttons, and wreaths. (You’ll be seeing a yarn wreath before the Thing A Day Challenge is over.) It’s something to ponder as I continually refine my own artistic style. I’d like to someday home in on a line of handmade stuff, but what will it look like? Exciting times ahead. Until then, I leave you with adorable Pepper, who quite enjoyed sitting inside the wreath form—that is until the hot-glue gun came out and I had to put an end to her fun.

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For “thing” number fourteen, I followed LollyChop’s video tutorial on how to make delicate little paper flowers. (Her blog is packed with dozens of übercool craft ideas, so check it out.) I absolutely love how these look! And they’re really easy to make. I used patterned scrapbook paper for three of the flowers, and solid red cardstock for the fourth. All you do is cut (freehand) a swirly shape out of a circle, and then wind it up tight with tweezers, leaving a small base at the end for adhering all the layers. Lolly suggested Zots clear adhesive dots, which I’ve never used before. They’re great—incredibly sticky and strong. Seriously, I wouldn’t try sticking one to your skin. The leaves are cut from a linen-textured cardstock, and I added little ribbon curls to amp up the “cute” factor.

The whitewashed wooden frame is a cheap, $1 guy from JoAnne Fabrics & Crafts. The dowel it came with for support is about twice as big as the hole it’s supposed to go in. Hehe… oops. But that’s okay. I think this frame would be better hanging on a wall with red ribbon (maybe with white polka dots) stapled to the back and tied in a bow.

I love, love, love these little flowers. I want to put them on everything!

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I’ve died and gone to quilted pillow heaven. I pretty much need these cute, handcrafted accessories made from vintage and reclaimed materials designed by Sébastien Lepitre from Quebec-based Odd Buttons. (Via Ethan Fletcher)

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