February 23, 2012

Lessons Learned...

We still had a bit of fabric left after the great no sew vest, so we continued with our ideas from Pintrest. We saw an awsome no sew scarf here that we wanted to try with the rest of the fabric.
We decided to try a little spin on the pattern that we read, and tried various size plates as patterns. We cut two circles of each of the three sizes. That seemed like a good idea and we thought that we would end up with a nice full scarf.

Just like the instructions say we started cutting the fabric in a spiral. So far so good... What we didn't realize was that we should have been cutting a little wider strips. We cut around a one and half inch strip. You will be able to see that was too narrow and a two inch strip would have made a much fuller scarf and been more pleasing to us.
You can not really see in the picture that we took the strips to the sewing machine and ran a quick line of stiching in the middle of the back of the scarf where all of the strips meet. We just had to sew something. To complete that step we wrapped a strip of fabric over the stitching and tucked in the ends.
Here is the finished product. We are only 5 feet tall so this is a little long for us. We ended up trimming the ends a bit shorter. What we learned is cut the strips a full two inches wide and that the different size plates was a good idea. I hope you will give this a try.

February 12, 2012

Waste Not, Want Not

On on blustry winter Sunday afternoon what else would a crafty girl and her mama do but look through the fabric stash? Marissa and Sheryl got together to make sure no good fabric was left untouched. We all have been on Pintrest (like so many others) seeing really cute things that we CAN do. We had pinned this really cute 5 minute draped vest. Thank you Wobisobi for the great tutorial!!
She gives directions on how to create this really cute draped vest from a man's XL tee shirt. We didn't have a tee shirt but we DID have yardage. This was a really nice plum colored piece of jersey left over from another project that just needed to be used. Knits come in about 54-60 inch width. This piece was the end of the bolt so the price was reduced for this 2/3 of a yard (24 inch)cut. Bonus!! We folded the yardage in half and cut the circular opening in the center that would be equal to what is trimmed out of the neck of a tee shirt. We weren't sure how big of a circle to cut so we just grabbedd a saucer to use as a guide. It turns out for a 5 ft. tall woman about an 8 inch circle works really well. It is better to make it a little small in the beginning and cut it a little larger if needed.

Here is what it looked like after we cut the circle from the folded edge of the yardage. We are ALL DONE!! That is really ALL there is to making this sweet little no sew 5 minute draped vest. No sewing because a knit will not ravel. This nice jersey or a tee shirt knit will curl on the edges some and that makes the drape flow very nicely.
Here are the views of the back and front of the vest. The drape is so feminine and lovely. I want to make another! Stay tuned for the next post of what we did to make sure that we used all of our fabric. We don't want to waste any of this beautiful rich color and texture. See you soon with the next project!!

February 11, 2012

Wedding Cards

I just got my first of MULTIPLE wedding invitations in the mail today and was talking to my mother about inexpensive wedding gift options. She is a wonderful stamper and offered to make a "card kit" for me like the sample card below.
Sample card.
I enjoy stamping but find it a little overwhelming so I was very excited that she was willing to make a kit for me. Once I got home I eagerly started stamping with the pre-cut paper below.

Contence of "card kit."

I started by folding the 8 1/2" x 5 1/2" piece of white paper in half. This served as the card base that I built the card front on.

Card base.
Next I added a purple layer and glued it in place.

Purple background layer.
I don't have the textured presses that my mother has, so these came pre-pressed in my kit. (I'm spoiled, I know!) For this step I punched slots at the top and bottom of the purple textured section.

Hole punch textureed layer.
Then I threaded ribbon through the slots and tied it off to make a cute accent for the front of the card.

Add textured layer to top of purple background.

I used Stampin' Up! Together Forever stamp set and made a floral background.

Floral background.

Next I layered the floral piece on a purple background.

Layer floral ground on purple.
I also stamped a phrase for the front of the card and layered it a purple paper as well.

Sentiment for card front.

Finally I layered the floral piece and phrase on top of textured card front and glued everything down. Voila! I love my version of my mother's wedding card. Stay tuned for wedding gift crafts!

Finished card!

February 1, 2012

Simmering Potpourri

What a wonderful way to chase away the stagnant air of the winter house. Do you want to try it?
Here is the recipe:

Chop and dry peels of:
1/2 large orange
1/2 large lemon
Mix with 1 broken cinnamon stick
6 whole cloves
2 large bay leaves
Simmer in 2 cups water.

We dry our orange peels on the corn burner stove. (Similar to a wood stove) While they are drying they leave a citrus fresh scent in the house. You could dry them in the oven on a cookie sheet with just the pilot light or they will dry very nicely just on the counter if they have good air circulation. It is important that as much of the white pith as possible be peeled away before you start to dry. It helps the peels to dry more quickly.

I usually pick up the cinnamon sticks after Christmas at Hobby Lobby or Michaels. The price is often greatly reduced. They do not need to be food quality so it is easy to get craft quality cinnamon stick. Cinnamon stick is very hard and breaking it into smaller pieces might be a little challenging. I usually use something to help me break it apart. Often I use a nut pick that I can insert into the shaft of the cinnamon stick and apply enough pressure to break the stick into smaller pieces.

I use cloves and bay leaves that I get in the bulk food section of our local dry goods store.
I usually gather all of the ingredients and hand mix them. I like the fragrance in the house while I am mixing the dry goods. I use the recipe only for a guide line for ratios of ingredients and interchange what ever citrus peels I have dried at the time.

This batch of Simmering Potpourri is going to a craft show soon. I thought that because it is just before Valentine's day it would be fun to package it appropriately. I have a thing for reusing whenever it is possible. I have been saving the red mesh bags that onions and other produce come in because they looked useful and I was fairly certain they wouldn't compost very well (not at all).

I sewed small individual bags to put the potpourri in. I found that a very narrow short zig zag stich seemed to work best. I made all of the seams then cut the bags apart.

Here it is ready to give as a gift or as a token of your affection.The red and white gingham ribbon is a sweet little touch, don't you think?

You can simmer the potpourri in a pan on top of the stove, or corn burner, or in a simmering potpourri burner. It will smell wonderful which ever way works best for you.