Friday, December 24, 2010

Merry Christmas!

No Tutorial Tuesday this week, I've been busy getting the house ready for our first Seattle Christmas.


This year we got a LIVE tree. Live trees are HEAVY. Erik and I had a heckuva time getting it from my car into a pot, then another heckuva time trying to get it straight. Seriously, it must weigh 300 pounds. There was no way we were going to be able to lug it up our stairs so we put it in the downstairs rec room instead. After Christmas we're going to plant it in our to always remind us of our first Christmas in this house.

I managed to make a few Christmassy things this year. Our frogs George and Harold and their snail Mr. Krup have their very own Christmas tree, so I made a tree skirt for it:

Our previous stockings had all been made in different years and there was no cohesion whatsoever, so I figured since we have a new house and new mantel, new stockings were in order:

I'm not really fond (or good) at baking, but I did manage to make these with the kids.
(Not pictured, the giant mess we created in the process).

Also, I made these matching Christmas pants for the kids:

But not the dog.

I hope this season finds you warm and happy and surrounded by love. Happy Holidays!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Tutorial Tuesday: New Life for Old Embroidery

Since McKenna doesn't read my blog I figure I can share this Christmas present I made for her. When I was her age I had this embroidered piece hanging in my bedroom:

I think my mom made it, but I'm not sure since it doesn't have the M.A.P. initials she usually stitches on her work. I remember it in my bedroom in the first house I lived in, but I think it went into storage after that. When I got it back a few years ago it was falling out of it's frame and had a water stain at the top. I won't recommend doing this to your vintage embroidery, but I took it out of the frame and threw it in the washer. Luckily, it held up well. Next, I folded it in half:

and carefully cut around the boy and the girl making sure not to snip any important parts. If you want to do a project like this and don't have two similarly shaped embroidery pieces, you could simply use fabric for the backing.

I machine stitched those pieces together and when it was still inside-out, I cut out a circle of velvet and stitched it around the base leaving a two-inch opening. I then turned it right-side out, stuffed it, and stitched it closed. In a matter of 15 minutes an old embroidered piece became a brand new two-sided doll.

 I love that something I used to stare at on my wall when I was a three-year-old is now something my three-year-old can hold.

Tuesday, December 07, 2010

Tutorial Tuesday: Scientifically Impossible Snowflakes

Nothing says winter like paper snowflakes. I was in my studio the other night playing around with paper and scissors and decided to take this craft one step further and make fabric snowflakes backed with HeatnBond.  After a few mangled mishaps, I came up with these:

A wall decoration:

A relatively easy project - just pop it in an embroidery hoop and hang it on the wall.

This shirt for McKenna:


I stitched this one around the edges, which took forever.

This bag:

Vinyl on vinyl. I like the silkscreen effect.

And two-sided this ornament:

If you want to do this project for yourself, the instructions are easy. Simply iron the HeatnBond onto fabric (thinner fabric is best, I used shimmery satin), cut as you would cut a snowflake, peel off the paper backing, and iron it down.

Here are some tips:

1. Practice on paper first. Get a design you like and use it as a template for your fabric snowflake.

2. Don't get too intricate - especially if you plan on stitching around the edges.

3. If you plan on stitching around the edges use HeatnBond Lite. If you aren't going to sew it use HeatnBond UltraHold.

4. When ironing vinyl on vinyl, cover it with a thin piece of cotton so the iron doesn't melt the vinyl.

5. Snowflakes have SIX points, not EIGHT like I made mine. It wasn't until I'd completed most of these projects that I watched Martha Stewart this morning and she was discussing snowflake making and I heard her say, "Remember, your snowflakes should always have SIX points." And I looked down at the snowflake I was ironing and counted one, two, three, four, five, six, seven, EIGHT! Crap! I should have paid attention in science class. Damn you Martha Stewart and your crafty perfection.

6. For instructions on how to make a proper snowflake, check out this website. I wish I had.

Even my 8-year old son said when he saw all my snowflake projects, "Um, mom, snowflakes only have 6 points. Everyone knows that." Gahhh! Erik told me he didn't even notice they were snowflakes, he thought they were medieval crosses. Jeez. CraftFAIL. Oh well, they say no two snowflakes are alike. Mine are apparently all the more special since they're scientifically impossible.


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