All posts filed under: Handmade

make it pretty.

On my last visit home my Mommy set aside some broken jewelry to be fixed. She usually packs them all in a baggy with a note that says broken or Can you fix these? It’s basically become tradition for me to take a container of broken jewelry home for fixing. I use my the Bead Smith tray to keep all the beads in place as I create pieces. Sometimes I can fix the pieces to look like the original jewelry; sometimes she let’s me get creative and I add some beads from my current stash. Here’s what I’ve been working on. I love creating long necklaces to showcase beads. I’m not super confident in working with stretchy jewelry (I feel like I can’t get the knots right to be secure.), so I prefer working with beading wire. My current favorite is Soft Flex brand which I use in all my necklaces. For all of these necklaces I’ve combined some of my Mommy’s jewelry with my bead stash. She has a broad collection of jewelry so …

egg hunt: succulents.

I’m sticking with a plant theme for this year’s egg hunt (Did you catch the first one?). Egg #2 for 2020 is a succulent Easter egg! You might remember my cactus eggs from last year; this one is a total felt upgrade! For this craft you will need: Plastic eggs Felt in succulent colors, plus flower colors of choice Fabric scissors Hot glue Cut out succulent leaves. I like to cut out rectangles and cut the shape out two at a time. Succulent leaves can take on any shape; I went with teardrops in different sizes. You will need between 18-30 leaves for each egg, depending on how many rows of leaves you want, and how far apart you space each leaf. For a fuller succulent, use more leaves. Begin glueing on the smaller leaves to the top of the egg, and work your way to the larger leaves. Add hot glue to the bottom of a leaf and attach to the egg. Create one row of leaves around the egg by overlapping leaves. Add …

punch.

Ok, don’t laugh. I attempted punch needle on my own and this is all I could come up with. Ha! Here’s my experience plus some lessons learned. I purchased a supply kit from Jenny Lemons. It came with yarn and monks cloth. I also purchased a #10 Oxford punch needle. I thought I could use a basic embroidery hoop for this project – it worked, but the monks cloth kept slipping. Lesson 1: I must learn to stretch monks cloth like an artist canvas so the monks cloth will stay in place as I punch. Lesson 2: It helps if you have a pattern in mind. I didn’t. I just punched! The punching itself is pretty satisfying and the technique can be easily mastered with practice. The Oxford punch comes with helpful tips, too, so take a look at the manual. Given my yarn color combo I was going for something Earth-y / planet-y. Perhaps it was achieved, but next time I would definitely pick a pattern or draw a design on the monks cloth …

egg hunt: roses.

Yay! You found the first of my hidden Easter egg crafts! For this Easter egg, I was going for tulips, but couldn’t get the petals to sit right on the shape of egg, so I went with more of a rose look, sans thorns. For this craft you will need: Plastic eggs Felt in rose colors of choice plus green Floral wire Fabric scissors Hot glue Pliers x2 (optional) Cut rose petal shapes; you’ll need between 12-18 petals for each egg, depending on the size of the egg and how far apart you decide to space your petals. Petals for each egg should be about the height of your eggs; they don’t need to be exactly the same size. Begin gluing petals to the top half of the egg with a little petal overhang onto the bottom half of the egg. Add a line of glue to the petal and attach to the egg. Make sure glue only touches the top half of the egg or else the egg will get glued shut. Keep adding …

all the poms.

So, I made a ton of pompoms and tassels with my yarn stash. (Gotta use the yarn to buy more yarn, am I right?) I was thinking of creating some colorful decor for my office cubicle. I started winding pompom donuts in December of last year and every now and them would trim a few. I finally finished! I love all the fluff! And I’m very pleased with the color combo. I ended up making a garland (or panda scarf?) plus a tassel chandelier. Tahdah! Here’s to working through my yarn stash!

natural dyes.

I’ve been wanting to learn how to dye with natural dyes so when Craft + Work offered a class I totes fangirled and jumped on the opportunity! Our instructor was Heather Marano, hand-dyer, designer, and knitter extraordinaire. She brought some samples of her hand-dyed and knitted projects for inspiration. Heather walked through the dyeing process and showed us swatches dyed with different plants and food scraps – like turmeric and red onion skins. We prepared our fabrics by soaking them in water and creating optional folds and knots. Heather prepared our dye baths. We decided on cochineal (bug scales!) which produces reds/pinks, logwood which produces purples, and weld and marigold which produce yellows. Dip and soak! For some pieces I soaked my fabric in one color; for others I layered dyes. We experimented with different types of fabric and different soak times. My favorite dye bath was the marigold; it smelled like a vat of tea. Or maybe it was the cochineal because those pinks! Our color palette was very Spring. So pretty! I love …

earth rainbow.

Embroidery kit fun! I met embroidery artist and kit maker Rosanna Diggs at the Etsy Indie Holiday Emporium; she was my booth neighbor. I snagged one of her earth rainbow embroidery kits. The kit comes with a pattern, cloth, embroidery floss, hoop, needle, felt backing, fabric pen, and instructions. You just need to supply your own scissors. I’ve tried my hand at embroidery before, but it’s mostly been practice stitches and not an actual ‘piece’ with an image. I was very excited to try working with a pattern to create my first embroidery art. The water-based fabric pen is so cool! I had never used one of these either. It writes well on fabric, and washes away cleanly with water (no scrubbing required!). I used the pen to draw guidelines. Then, embroidery! This piece used running stitch, couching, and satin stitch. Also, can we talk about this color combo? Yez, so pretty. Once I finished all the stitches, I ran the fabric under running water to remove the pen marks, then let it dry. I …