Friday, June 6, 2014

Mother's Day Gifts

I have been in a huge craft slump for months. It is exhausting—I so want to craft, but just spin in circles staring at ongoing projects, some fun supplies I have on hand and do want to experiment with, and working with some ideas I have. But I can't seem to do anything.

My last significant project was these scarves (napkins? bandanas?—they are not silky and light) I made for mother's day.

The fabric is 100% polyester. The ink is Ink Effects, which I had never used before. Cotton can be used, but you need to add another step and another product.

• Choose some flower photos
• Place about 8 copies into one page-sized file
• Print
• Paint the flowers with Ink Effects
• After drying, cut apart the painted pieces
• Dry-iron onto fabric—each piece can be used 3 times, or more depending on your tolerance for fading

It was interesting, and I learned a lot about this product. I have some ideas about other things to try—especially on pillows or aprons—but haven't managed to do any of those. And I really need to get a shade of green!

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Initial Keychains with Air Dry Clay

I need some small personalized gifts for a few people, and decided that some simple keychains would be perfect. Rather than a split ring, I chose this style of finding because it is easy to attach to a purse strap or bag handle. Keychains aren't just for keys, they can also identify your bag!

Take a small piece of your air-dry clay, and roll it out flat. I used an apple corer to cut my circles. It was the perfect size, and I already had it. Lots of little nubs to sand off after drying though.

See the bits that had to be sanded?
Then a quick hole, made with a toothpick.

Next, I used scrapbooking stamps directly on the soft clay. Most I did with no ink, for one I tried ink.

Then I let them dry for a day or two. After they were dry, I got rid of those nubs with an emery board. Then I painted the fronts and backs—some with acrylics, others with simple kids' watercolors. After that dried, I used a glue pen in the stamped letters, and then added glitter.

When everything was dry and extra glitter brushed off with a big soft paintbrush, I added 3 coats of acrylic coating, 10 minutes apart.

9mm jump rings connect the keychain finding to the clay pieces.

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Air Dry Clay Bowl

The December 2013 Whimseybox came with a pack of air-dry clay, a small doily (to create texture), a large circle cookie cutter, an orange stick, and a small emery board.

The suggested project was a small bowl, and I decided to go for it, since I have never used this stuff before. It also only takes up about 1/3 of the pack of clay, so there are a lot more possibilities.

I found the clay a little difficult to warm up with my hands, as it was not a small piece—and then hard to roll out. I used my kitchen rolling pin with wax paper over the clay. Cutting was easy; I chose a stamp and used a silver ink pad. I am not thrilled with the letters—the size was right, but the font has a bit too much detail for this kind of project. Live and learn!

The drying—oh the drying! The project directions say to let it dry overnight. Mine took 3 days to fully dry. And the thickness matches what is in the project direction photos.

I also let it dry while perched on a coffee mug, to get the bowl shape. Unfortunately, over 2 days of sitting on the cup, you can see where the rim of the cup was on my bowl! Ah well, maybe I should have given it a plate shape when I realized this was happening.

I am considering spraying this with acrylic sealer, but have not just yet. I have another few small things that I made at the same time (I need to add some paint and whatnot), and I will try sealing those first.

Also—the smell of this clay. I kind of liked it (in a weird way), my husband hated it. One of the boys kept asking what that "weird smell" is. As in "that weird smell isn't dinner is it?"


Linked up:
Take a Look Tuesday
Fluster's Creative Muster

Monday, January 27, 2014

Colorful Mini Vases

Painted mason jars, wine bottles, and so on and so forth have been soooooo popular on Pinterest lately. But what's the point of a vase if you can't put water in it without making the paint run?

These vases are recycled bottles—the green is a white truffle oil bottle, the pink is a bottle my hens dig up in the yard, and the purple is from a reed diffuser air freshener.

I got all labels off by soaking in water and then using glue gone. The truffle oil bottle was difficult.

Cleaned bottles
Alcohol inks
Acrylic clear coat
Cotton balls
Paper plate
Small dowel

For the small bottle, I used butterscotch (yellow) and wild plum (pink) inks. I applied a bit of each to a cotton ball...

And dabbed onto the bottle.

And dabbed and dabbed—but not on the bottom. I did the threads as best I could, but did not worry about them.

After letting the bottle dry for awhile, I sprayed it with acrylic clear coat. Though the alcohol inks won't run in water, the bottles did feel a bit tacky without a sealant. I held the bottles upside down on a dowel to spray all sides evenly. Three coats, each 10 minutes apart.

The only flowers I have? Dandelions! The green bottle is butterscotch with stream (blue), the purple is wild plum with stream.

So many possibilities! I only have 1 set of alcohol inks, and there are a whole lot more colors I would love to try. Rubbing alcohol will clean up any mistakes.

Ideas: using alcohol on a q-tip to draw a design, trying a stick-on stencil with more ink or alcohol, using just one color to create a solid effect, stamping a design, maybe even trying to add gold leaf of some sort. So many possibilities...

Linked to:
Take-A-Look Tuesday 
Fluster's Creative Muster 

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Cat Mat

A cat mat for cat food—this pattern is from the Summer 2011 issue of Stitch magazine. This was my first time using iron-on vinyl. Yes, there really is such a thing! And it worked great. I won't know how it holds up, since this is going to my aunt on the other side of the country, but it was easy to use. This project went surprisingly quickly once I dedicated some time to just work.

Fabrics used: a Kona blue solid (from Joanns) and a light blue non-Kona solid (from Joanns) and a variety of scraps and fat quarter bits from my stash. Managed to find several birds, cats, and fish prints to include. Backed with non-slip fabric.

Rather than use double-sided tape to hold the vinyl-covered patchwork and backing fabric together, I used quilt basting spray. I tested it first (to make sure the vinyl wouldn't disintegrate or refuse to stick). It worked just fine.

fully pieced

cutting the iron-on vinyl


with vinyl applied; appliques used fusible web, mouth is embroidered
cutting to shape

cats for scale

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Smock of All Ages, #2

I made this one for my mom. I did not take a picture of me wearing it, nor did she model it after unwrapping it. And now looking at this picture I see this print is a little busy—I can barely even see the neck ruffle.

The main difference is that I accidentally bought single-fold 1/2" bias tape—the pattern calls for double-fold 1/2", which is what I used for smock #1.

The single-fold 1/2" turns into 1/4" when folded again—so it was a little hard to work with. But I think  I like it better.

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Smock of All Ages

Smock of All Ages from One-Yard Wonders by Rebecca Yaker and Patricia Hoskins.

Even though this pattern is from a book of one-yard patterns—it doesn't fit into one yard! It calls for quilting cotton, but if you prewash it it won't fit (and who doesn't prewash before sewing a clothing item?). Also, the pattern also calls for a package of bias binding—Wrights, the only packaged bias binding I can find, is cotton/poly. So you have to prewash your fabric in order to add cotton/poly binding. Ugh...

I had 2 yards of this Hoffman California Penny Lane print stashed, so it was fine. The ruffle piece is 22" wide, so does not fully fit onto the prewashed fabric. I cut it, and then trimmed it. This worked fine. The ruffle, ties, and pocket could all be done in a contrasting fabric.

The ties are placed so as to be nearly impossible to tie yourself. But this smock is cute and comfortable and offers excellent coverage for the kitchen—which I need, being a messy cook. I may use it for some crafting as well.

I am also making another, as a Christmas gift. This is actually my muslin....