March 31, 2014

Air plant afloat

The chain is actually an old bracelet, the connecting loop a fancy swirl paperclip, and the base a toy whisk a la IKEA (inspiration for using a kitchen implement from this lovely pin). I am pleased with the simplicity of it.

March 28, 2014

The shape of the melt

Darker objects absorb more heat and therefore melt the ice and snow faster. Look at the way the oak leaf has "cut" into the edge of the ice.

March 26, 2014

a change in quilt plans

I've actually started on second daughter's quilt. Washed up a bunch of fabric, ironed the pinks, and started cutting out some of the big squares. You know I had my plan: teal blue, pink, dark blue/purple. Then she announces "I want green on my quilt."

So this morning, I pull up an extra chair at the computer and make a digital map of her quilt. Then we talk it over and color it in. After our first layout, she decided she wanted both the yellow and green to be bigger (which made the blue smaller).

So if you'll see, it ends up being a nice pattern: 4 rows, 3 rows, 4 rows, 3 rows. I will probably combine teal blues and light blues and dark blues all together in the blue section. I am pleased with this plan and assume she is too!

March 24, 2014

I want to make one: belly cast!

Since I'm sporting a beautiful baby belly of my own these days, you certainly can't be surprised I would be interested in making a belly cast. I just did one for a friend a few weeks ago (twins! surely a once-in-a-lifetime experience?!) and am looking forward to doing mine when I am gloriously grown at the very end of my pregnancy.

There a zillion crazy ways people have decorated them (look on Pinterest). Some are gorgeous and some are just… odd. My current vision is to cover mine with pressed leaves and flowers, all green and summer. This baby will be born in the summer and my others were born in spring. And certainly the metaphor of "growth" is more than appropriate?

The first image above was the closest thing to what I had in mind since it uses dried flowers and leaves. I want my covered though, overlapping lushness. I keep pictures lacy ferns growing upwards. I think lots of Mod Podge will be called for! The second image above uses fake flowers but is covered more solidly. I wonder if I could securely attach a dried flower that was left more dimensional like that?

My poor husband wants to know what the heck I am going to do with it. I have reassured him I will hang it downstairs in my art room. It will be art for my very own self to enjoy!

March 21, 2014

Ooh la la – an air plant!

Taking a bath submerged in a jar!
A sweet friend of mine gifted me with an air plant and I am so very excited! I have been wanting one (some?) ever since I saw a column of them strung on wire in a magazine. I never got around to doing anything about it until this lovely gift arrived for me.

I've pinned a few favorite display ideas on my "nature decor – ideas" board so I figure I better get crafting soon. It isn't very elegant to leave the poor thing flopped on the counter!

March 19, 2014

I want to make one: funnel light

Image from Click to pin original page with full instructions.
I saw these in the latest issue of Martha Stewart Magazine and I was enamored. We have kind of a blah generic light hanging in our back door entryway. Now that the kitchen is looking all sassy with its Sweet Rhapsody paint job and my updated curtains my wandering eye couldn't help but ponder the light fixture. I've had my eyes open for something appropriately vintage when I'm out thrifting but this would be just as charming. Head back to the original link for complete DIY instructions.

March 17, 2014

Fabric File Folder Holder Tutorial

So… this project has been done, hung, and put to work for at least a month. But I've been dragging my feet on writing this tutorial because I knew it would take some major effort. And then I realized I lost my notes with all my measurements on it. Not that I couldn't take out a tape measure and figure a few things out. Somehow that seemed too difficult! Combine that with lots of family illnesses (including my own) and this post just kept being left unwritten. No more! Here it is at long last.

Step one: Find your fabric and interfacing. Cut out the sizes you need.

I used fabric I already on hand so I wasn't thinking in terms of yards to purchase. So I am giving my measurements in inches.

Additionally, I should note that you could get crafty and customize this to be any length with any number of pockets you need. The width of mine (and of the original inspiration from Cottage 4C) is designed specifically to hold file folders.

Read on for the rest…

March 5, 2014

Tutorial: Quick Sew Handkerchiefs

As I posted in my current crafty ambitions post, we have a bit of a need for some handkerchiefs around my house. At least as a supplement to our tissue use. I have no fantasy that this first round of 36 handkerchiefs will last us a full week, especially when multiple family members have colds. But it is a start to being a titch more sustainable. And besides, they are very cute!

These handkerchiefs are sewn in much the same way that flannel burp cloths are done, if any of you are familiar with that. Only instead of both sides being flannel, one side is cotton. The softer flannel side is, of course, the side your nose gets to enjoy.

Step 1: Choose your size and your fabrics
I chose to do 7-inch squares not after extensive research on the most pleasing and functional handkerchief size but merely to accommodate the scrap flannel I already had on hand. You will need an equal number of flannel squares and cotton squares. Iron as needed and place them right sides together (fronts facing each other). I didn't bother to pin these but you may do so if you prefer.

Step 2: Sew around the edge but leave one opening
My stitch line is 0.25-inch from the edge. I left an opening that is oh, maybe 3 finger-widths wide. Keep in mind you will be sticking your thumb and index finger in there when it comes time to turn these babies right side out. Notice that I back-stitched on either side of the opening. This keeps the stitching from unraveling later.

Step 3: Clip the corners
This removes bulk and makes tidy, pointed corners much easier to achieve. Just be careful not to cut through your stitching!

Step 4: Turn the handkerchief right side out
As I mentioned, I put my thumb and index finger into the opening and grab for the farthest corner. Gently pull that corner through the opening and continue working the handkerchief right side out.

Step 5: Use a blunt tool to poke corners out
Generally the corners won't be crisp without a little assistance. The little wooden tool in the photo came with a package of batting (the stuffing you put in things like stuffed balls or mermaid dolls). A not-too-sharp pencil would work too. Poke it in through the opening and push into each of the corners. Be careful not to stab completely through the corner.

Step 6: Sew around the edge again
Before you begin, make sure the little fabric edges near the opening, lips if you will, are folded in and laying flat. This last go round of stitches should ideally catch those tiny flaps of fabric in it. This would be a good time to use a fun stitch. My sweet old machine keeps things simple with a straight stitch so I don't have that option.

Tah-dah! You've completed a homemade handkerchief!