Tag Archives: craft

Past Projects: Cards and Little Foil Tape Houses

20160101_100319

Just after Christmas, Rem and I went up to Sea Ranch with my mom. Although I planned a marathon of crafting and bought a bunch of supplies, the actual crafting that took place was more modest in scope. Sitting and gazing out the window interrupted by the occasional nap seemed to be the best use of my time.

I did manage to create a batch of cards, making sets of similar cards with variations in the paper and stamps.

20160101_100418

I make cards for my mom that she can use whenever the occasion calls for it. I try to give her some cards that will work for guys – with a color scheme or designs that aren’t too frilly or feminine.

20160101_101005

Several of the cards had illustrations from a vintage style alphabet poster, printed on scrapbook paper. The picture below was for “W – wave.”

20160101_101109

This “Wish” card is one of my favorites.

20160101_101047

I made these cards before the end of last year and it has taken me a month to post them! Since I’m catching up, here’s another project from last year.

20151217_141954

These little houses were primarily made as Christmas ornaments, but with a pin-back glued on the back, they were also very cute on a lapel. Made from thin cardboard recycled from cereal and cookie boxes, they’re covered with aluminum foil duct tape and copper tape (used to repel snails in the garden) – two great craft supplies from the hardware store.

These ones were made at a holiday party on the campus where I work, that included a few craft tables. I brought the supplies and gave a hand if needed.  A little something layered under the foil tape, or covered with the copper tape and glued to the front of the houses adds interest.  I also like to press tape over corrugated cardboard for the roof.  The tip of your finger is a great tool to start, but for getting all the details, I used a bone folder.

20151217_120814

You can find directions here at Mich L. in L.A.

They are also quite similar to these projects: Pumpkins, Charms, and Leaves.

Thank you for your visit.

 

 

4 Comments

Filed under Crafts

Art from the Heart 2015

IMG_0018

Rem and I exchanged handcrafted Valentine projects with each other.

Last year we did it a little differently and instead of each of us working on an item for the other, we created something together:

IMG_0102-002

I had an idea for a message for my project this year but hadn’t figured out a medium or design. Rem wanted to think about the whole thing and after doing a little research (at Michael’s) he agreed to another swap.  I am glad because I really love the items he’s made for me over the years and the little gallery of Art from the Heart we have on either side of our bed.

We worked on them independently and save the finished projects for Valentine’s Day. This might mean I hastily grab some paper to cover my project when Rem comes out of the bedroom or I might find glue out on the dresser after work.

My heart for him this year has a number on it.  I cut each tag out of aluminum flashing and used metal stamps to stamp the number on each tag.  I used ink to enhance the numbers.

IMG_0066-001

The rest I just wanted to look kind of mechanical and the antithesis of a lacy, flowery, sweet Valentine.

IMG_0070-001

It doesn’t actually turn or move (except the little tags with the numbers, which will swing on their pins if you tip the heart), but it looks kind of like it could do something.

I picked up different gears and wheels at Michael’s and also used a small roll with a gear on one end from a tape runner, covered in copper foil tape from the hardware store. A larger roll held ribbon before I covered it in aluminum foil tape. A few brads and buttons were from my craft supplies and I picked up a piece of aluminum flashing and a small brass knob at the hardware store.  That visit included a fun conversation with a salesman (I need to take the finished project back in to show him how it turned out).

IMG_0064-001

There is a small heart, which I punched from corrugated cardboard and covered with aluminum foil tape with wings that I also found at Micheal’s. A piece of foam core backed the aluminum flashing and I used gold embossing powder around the edge.

The number represents this:

IMG_0071-001

Rem told me he found two hearts, the larger one made of wood and the smaller one of foam.

IMG_0015

He wanted to cover them with something red.  He asked for help finding the red stones, which when he saw them, he said thought they were perfect. He got a bag with several shades of red, some translucent, some not.  I love the rich color.

IMG_0021

He looked for something smaller to put in the center to cover the smaller heart and found red beads.  He said he considered covering the base with aluminum foil before gluing on the glass stones, but decided he didn’t like how it looked.

IMG_0014

It is very sweet having someone craft something just for you and this shiny red-covered heart looks luscious, kind of like a cherry pie filling.

Thank you for you stopping by.

IMG_0069-001

4 Comments

Filed under Crafts

Little Paper Houses

IMG_0120

When it comes down to it, I’m a big homebody.  I enjoy the warmth and simple pleasures of home.  I haven’t traveled that much but loved it when I did, but I also am very happy to come home. Maybe that’s why I’m drawn to these sweet Little Paper Houses, and my recent Art Journal: Home page.

I made these for my mom for Christmas.  I know it’s it’s a little late but these are too cute not to share. They have battery operated votive lights inside so they are really house-shaped Luminaries.

IMG_0126

I saw them on Cathe Holden’s fabulous site Just Something I Made. She has several variations, but these ones with vintage-style paper and button embellishments were what caught my eye.

IMG_0118

I enjoyed changing things up a little bit by using different paper for the walls and roofs, cutting different windows and doors and using different embellishments.

IMG_0092-002

I found another site (Little Glitter Houses) that had a pattern for a steeple.  The first one I made for a friend was a little bit too large in scale for the rest of the building.  I also cut the slot for the roof a bit too wide so the steeple was a little wobbly.  Luckily it was only made of paper so it wouldn’t have hurt anyone in the case of an earthquake.

IMG_0089-002

IMG_0093-002

I scaled it down a little and my second church worked out better.  I still think there’s room for improvement but for now I’m finished with paper house construction.

IMG_0128

Little clips on the roof of each house come off to give access to the votive light.  I included embellishments on the back of the buildings as well.

IMG_0123

My initial trial didn’t work out because I made the mistake of using double-sided paper.  Unfortunately, it hadn’t occurred to me that when you put a light inside, both sides of the paper would show through.  But I’m very happy with these completed Little Paper Houses.  I’m also content to be at home, crafting and writing blog posts about it.

Thank you for coming over to see my post.

IMG_0125

 

 

 

 

5 Comments

Filed under Crafts

Painted Feathers

Pair of Painted Feathers

This is something I made for some friends and family members, or, I should say, something I embellished.

As I’ve mentioned before, after my dad died I started finding feathers everywhere. I found them pretty often and started to collect and save them.  Now I have them in jars and vases around the apartment and mixed in with pens and brushes on my craft desk.

When I saw a picture on Pinterest of painted feathers, I thought it would be a good way to use some of them. I clicked on the link and found this post by Julia at the Free People blog. I was inspired to try painting feathers and adding a little loop to each one so it can be hung up.

First I picked out a nice selection of feathers and gave them a bath in warm, sudsy water.  After a good rinse, I let them dry on paper towels.

drying feathers

They look a bit ruffled, but once they were dry, I could smooth the barbs back in place with my fingers. I used a combination of watercolors, and Caran d’Arch Neocolor water soluble artists crayons and after the paint dried, I added more details with white gel pen, black, silver and sparkly-clear markers.

feather detail

Most of my feathers were black, so I needed saturated colors to show up.   I used waxed linen thread with a few beads to make a loop on each painted feather.

feather with loop

Four Feathers

It was really a pleasure working on each small feather, adding some color and pattern and then finishing it with the waxed linen thread hanging loop.  I’m very pleased with how they turned out and also glad to be sharing these small items that seemed to turn up for no reason, when I wasn’t even looking for them.

Many Feathers

Favorite Feather

I’m not finding feathers nearly as often as I did for awhile, but I still do occasionally.  By the way, I’m just noticing that this shows as 1 hour later on WordPress than it is on my computer. This really is my last post of 2014!

Thanks for stopping by.

6 Comments

Filed under Crafts

Little Yarn Pumpkins

Mantle Pumpkins

I’m ready for Fall, even though we’ve been in a heat wave that feels very summery.  It’s been getting into the 90’s but we expecting “only” a high of 87 today. I made a batch of these cute little Yarn Pumpkins at the free weekly Craft Gym at Once Around. They had directions from the parenting site Make and Takes which has lots of kids craft projects and recipes. Make and Takes made Yarn Apples first but I think the project is more suited to pumpkins.

They are very simple to make and look pretty adorable in little groups.

White, Orange, Green

I brought some to work and put them on the counter by our Department Administrative Assistant, Monica, and she said people were commenting on them all day long.

Supplies needed:

  • Yarn
  • Pipe cleaners
  • Scissors
  • A little scrap of cardboard is helpful but I usually just use my fingers

Yarn and Pipe Cleaners

Cut your pipe cleaner into two pieces, about 2/5ths and 3/5ths.  I used tan in this picture but green for the stem in some other pictures.

Pipe Cleaner

Now take your yarn and start wrapping it around the piece of cardboard or around your fingers.  Don’t wrap your fingers too tight!

Wrapping Fingers

My big hand with my fingers spread out like this made a pumpkin similar in size to a grapefruit.  Wrap at least 100 times around – for smaller pumpkins or if your yard is pretty chunky you can do less.  My smallest pumpkins were between 80 and 100 and wrapped around two fingers, spread out a bit.

Once you finish wrapping, take the shorter piece of pipe cleaner and put it under the yarn then bring the two ends together and twist very tightly.

Full Wrapped with Pipe Cleaner

Twisted Pipe cleaner

Trim the ends.  If the wire in the pipe cleaner is poking out,  mush the pumpkin down on the table to press the ends flat.

Take your second, longer piece of pipe cleaner and put it through the opposite side of the yarn, twisting it tight. This is the top of the pumpkin and the ends of the pipe clear make the stem.  After twisting close to the yarn, I fold one end of the pipe cleaner than wrap the other end around  it.

Top of Pumpkin

Now you just need to foof it out!  Bang it on the table a few times, get your fingers into it and squish the yarn around until you are happy with the shape.  I think it looks more pumpkin-like if it is a little flat, not completely round and spherical.

If you use the cardboard, the steps are the same.

Wrap the yarn around the cardboard.

Using cardboard

Put pipe cleaner under the yarn and twist the ends tightly together.  Folding the cardboard makes this a bit easier.

Yarn on cardboard with pipe cleaner

Trim the ends of the pipe cleaner on the bottom and put the second piece of pipe cleaner through the yard and twist tightly for the step at the top.

Bottom

Top

After twisting pipe cleaner for the top of your pumpkin, bend one end down and wrap the other end around it to form the stem.

Twisting Stem

Now just fluff it and foof it and play with it until you’re satisfied with the shape.

Mix of real and yarn pumpkins

Here’s a mix of yarn pumpkins and real mini-pumpkins together.

2 yarn, 1 real

I like how it looks with pumpkins made from different yarns, especially the plushy, soft chenille yarn they had at Once Around (the green one in the photo, above).  It was great going to the Craft Gym because everyone was sharing the various yarns around the table which meant more variety without having to buy all the different yarns.

I made a few using two colors by adding orange or green yarn on top of white.  Several people in our craft class made pumpkins by twisting two strands of yarn from different skeins at the same time, but I didn’t try that.

White with Green

This is wavy white yarn wrapped around the cardboard with a bit of green wrapped on top, before the pipe cleaner step.  The finished pumpkin is in the top photo.

Little vines

After I took some pictures at my mom’s house, I decided to add a bit of curly “vines” to some of the little pumpkins.  I unraveled a strand of green yard and using single ply, I wet it and wrapped it around the handle of  paint brush.  A chopstick or pencil would also work.

Wrapped Yarn

Using a heat tool, I dried the yarn while it was still wrapped around the paint brush.  I experimented a bit, trying hairspray, hair gel and mat medium but found that just using water and heat was effective.  If you don’t have a heat tool, a blow dryer should also work.  You can easily loosen the curl to look more like a vine.

Staight to Curly

Drape a strand or two of curled yarn around the stem of your pumpkins if you want to take the extra step.

Texture

Now I’ve got some cute fall decor, maybe fall weather isn’t too far behind

Thanks for the visit.

Curly vines

 

5 Comments

Filed under Crafts

Little Clothespin Doll Ornaments

Two Elves

Belated Christmas greetings to one and all!  I’ve been a busy elf, crafting these cute little clothespin doll ornaments and I didn’t want to share them before the holiday because they were all gifts.

To be honest, I’ve also been using up all my discretionary time on Christmas projects: these ornaments, a bit of cooking, a little shopping, another craft project (washer necklaces – I’ll show you those another day soon) and wrapping, mailing, and tagging of gifts.  I’m sorry that I really haven’t had time to catch up with you here.

Santa Lucia (dark hair)

The awesome  Once Around, a craft shop in Mill Valley, offers free, weekly, drop-in workshops.  Earlier in December, I had a delightful Tuesday evening at “Craft Gym” making Santa Lucia clothespin dolls.  I went online before the class and found lots of cute pictures on Pinterest, like this one and this one.

A wonderful bonus to the craft gathering was seeing a friend from grade school, Victoria Murphy, née Thomas, and her sister, Phoenicia.  So not only did I get a free class, some craft-shopping time and a fun evening, but I had a nice visit with old friends.

Mrs. Claus

The store is a well-stocked with beautiful arts and craft supplies, and it is always a pleasure to visit and browse.  Here are some pictures are from a previous visit.  As you can imagine, I’m like the proverbial kid in a candy store!

Ribbon PunchesRubber StampsOil Pastels

Yarn Card Stock & Envelopes

Once Around has a “Do-Dads” section with jars of little goodies like tiny shells, miniature candy canes, sequins, itty-bitty baskets,  little jingle-bells, buttons and bows which were perfect for this project.

Do-dads

Little Doodads

The clothespin dolls (also called peg dolls or clothespeg dolls) are fun to make.  I like how small they are and how each little detail can really add character and personality to the finished dolls.

Striped Socks

Striped socks and buckled Mary-Jane shoes and a little basket for Little Red Riding Hood.

Red Riding Hood

Music for the caroler

Tiny sheet music made from washi tape for the caroler.

Caroler

Candle Wreath

Toothpick candles and embroidery floss braids for Santa Lucia.

Santa Lucia

Another aspect that amps up the adorable factor of these dolls is their big heads.  I’ve made clothespin ornaments before and found the small head of the clothespin to be a little unsatisfactory.  When I saw dolls with the wooden bead added for the head, I knew that was the way I wanted to do it.

Clothespin Doll Supplies

The dolls are pretty simply: old-fashioned wooden clothespins (I prefer the one that is flat at the end, but the pointed-end ones also work and look great for some of the designs), wooden head bead, pipe cleaners for the arms and paint for the facial features and hair.  I first grabbed some paint at the dollar store because I was short on both time and brains. Don’t waste your time on dollar store paint.  It looked almost the same as these paints, similar containers and all, but the paint was thick and gloppy and had very little pigment.  It was very frustrating and wasted my time and money (yes, only a dollar, but still).

By the way, I couldn’t find the heads in local shops and ordered them from Clickety Clack Collectibles on Etsy.  These are the dimensions: 1-1/4 inches in diameter with a 19/32 inch hole x 5/8 inch deep.  There are little wooden stands that I’m going to buy too but for these I used a small screw eye screwed into the top of the head so I could attach an ornament hook.

I work on the dolls in stages – use some folded tape on a clothespin to attach a head so you can paint the face and hair.

Tape on clothespin head

Head attached with tape for painting

A round toothpick dipped into paint is a perfect tool for dotting on the eyes.

Round toothpick into the paint

Dot on the paint for eyes

After painting the mouth and cheeks with a very small brush, I set the peg to dry on the edge of a glass.

Drying on the edge of a glass

Most of the time I painted the hair on.  I started with a darker color and then added detail with both lighter and darker colors.  For a few of the dolls I glued on a bun or ponytail from embroidery floss, pipe cleaner or felt.

Painted Hair plus ponytail

Mrs. Claus with Felt Bun

With Mrs. Claus I started with all-white hair and added a few details with grey.  Her bun is made from narrow strips of white felt, braided then glued into place with hot glue.

The acrylic paint dries pretty quickly but you don’t want to mess it up, so while the hair is drying, I start working on the body.  Sometimes I paint  the whole peg and sometimes I paint the feet and sometimes I don’t paint it at all. Don’t glue the head on to the body until the clothing is completely done because it will be in the way and make it difficult to get the clothes on the body.

After the body paint is dry, take a pipe-cleaner and, with the peg aligned so the space is centered between the legs in front, wrap the pipe-cleaner from the front, twist tightly in back and bring the two arms around to the front. I like the arms right up at the top of the cylindrical portion before it narrows to the neck. Use craft scissors (not your good fabric ones) to trim the ends to a good arm length, leaving enough extra to bend little hands. I use more than half a pipe-cleaner for one pair of doll arms.

If you aren’t paying attention, you might end up with the legs and body out of alignment.  Some of my little sweeties ended up that way, but I decided not to sweat it.

Ladybug

Felt is great for clothing because it doesn’t fray. But I also bought “fat quarters,” quarter yards of fabric sold for quilting and other projects, and used pinking shears to cut out circles for the skirts and triangles for headscarves and shawls.  A scrap of eyelet lace trim makes an apron.

Babushka with a pot

Babushka with basket

Using colored pipe-cleaners to match the felt tops made sleeves for my little cardigans and jackets.  The little dog walker has felt mittens and pipe-cleaner ear muffs (not to mention a pipe-cleaner dachshund).

Dog Walker

Miriam Elf

I also made little sleeves of felt or lace for some of them.  The sleeves were cones or tubes that I glued on individually after putting on the bodice.

Angel

Skier with mirror sunglasses

Pink & Green Girl with bird

Rosie the Riveter

For Rosie the Riveter, the sleeves had rolled cuffs and I pushed the tube sleeve back and glued it in place.

For skirts, trace a circle on your fabric using a lid of a Tupperware container or something similar.  You’ll have to experiment to learn what size circle for what length skirt.  Cut into the circle from the edge to the center and cut out a small inner circle for the waist.  A larger inside circle made for more gathers in the skirt.

If you know me, you know that I really don’t sew.  I grew up with my mom and two sisters all very talented in that department, and I never had the knack (nor patience) for sewing. But for this project I got out my little Ziploc bag sewing kit, threaded a needle and ran small stitches around the waist of each little skirt.  Lay the doll down on the skirt and tie the thread tightly around her waist. I dabbed some glue (sometimes hot glue, sometimes Ailene’s Tacky Glue) where the skirt overlapped in back.

The rest of the clothing was made from snipping, folding and gluing with hot glue. When working on collars and necklines I would try on the head to check scale and once the clothing was finished, I used hot glue to attached the head.

In one instance, the clothing was more minimal.

Mermaid

A little felt for the tail fins, a tiny scrap of fabric for the top and lots of sequins created a beautiful mermaid.

After making about 18 of these little ornament, I’m still enjoying it and coming up with more ideas.  Once I get stands, I’ll make some that can stand on their own.  It’s been a real pleasure thinking up the right doll for each person and crafting each one with that person in mind.

Box of Clothespin Doll Ornaments

Looking at this box of dolls I’m reminded of “It’s a Small World,” and as the song says, it’s a world of laughter, a world of tears.  I experienced both this Christmas.

Thank you for your visit. Wishing you all the very best for a happy, healthy New Year!

14 Comments

Filed under Crafts

Tag Tree Christmas Cards

Christmas Tree Card

I made a little batch of Christmas cards this morning, and I like how they turned out.

First I sketched a simple Christmas tree shape on a shipping tag and cut it out.

Shipping Tag and Tree Tag

I saved the tree shape to use as a template.  I covered other tags in a collage of bits of paper, postage stamps, paint swatches and washi tape, using a penciled rough outline of the tree shape as a guide.

Collaged Tags before trimming

Next I used the original tree-shaped tag and traced it on the back of each of these tags and cut them out.

Trace tree shape

Trimming Tree Shape

I made some tiny tags to add to my Christmas trees.  I have a rubber stamp with a tag shape  but you could also draw it.

These are stamped onto a dictionary page that I’d glued to a scrap of card stock for sturdiness.

Making Mini Tags

After stamping the tag shape, I stamped a heart on each one, then cut out all the little tags and punched a little hole in each one.

Tiny Tags

Using foam dots, I adhered the tiny tags to the larger, tree-shaped tags and added a bit of baker’s twine.  I mounted the trees onto folded red cards with more foam dots.

Here’s a few of the finished card fronts.

6 Tag Trees

5 cent tag

I still need to stamp a greeting inside each card, but I’m pleased with my progress.

I worked on a few other creative endeavors this weekend but both of those project are gifts, so I’m not ready to share them here. Yet.

Thanks for visiting.

7 Comments

Filed under Crafts