Saturday, October 29, 2011

Total Bits of Randomness

The title of this post says it all...

#1.  The Magic of Felting

I love to knit and a couple of years ago I discovered "felting".  Love it!!  I made felted slippers for everyone, but the other night I found a free pattern on the internet for mittens - Felted Eskimo Mittens.  They are quick and easy to knit and took me an evening to knit a pair. 

This is how they look before they are felted...HUGE!!! 

Now, for the felted magic...

Love the pattern, love the mittens and now I'm knitting a pair for everyone I know! 

#2.  Did You Know?

You don't have to throw out the leftover wax left in the bottom of the jar candles.

I use the wax in my tea light burner and the scented wax makes the entire house smell wonderful.  Just use an old knife to dig out the wax from the bottom of the jar.

Break the wax into smaller chunks and I store in a plastic ziploc bag.

When ready to use, throw a piece into your burner and enjoy the wonderful scent.

No more wasting!

#3.  Canvas Pillows

Just a couple of pillows I made for the couch in the family room.  I love the gathered center.  Looks like ruffles without being ruffles.   

They were very easy to sew up, especially after I discovered how to ruffle/gather fabric using waxed dental floss.  Perfect gathers every time!

That's it for the randomness.  Thank you for stopping by...hope I didn't bore you too much!  Have a great weekend.


Monday, October 24, 2011

Reindeer Plaque

The plan this year for my holiday decorating is to scale things down and simplify AND I am hoping to make most of my decorations using what nature has to offer.  (this is the plan, however, things could change!)  I've been gathering pinecones, twigs, logs, etc. and am hoping to turn them into rustic, yet beautiful Christmas decor.  Hmmm...we'll see.

My first project that I'd like to share with you is my reindeer plaque.  (I saw this in an old Canadian Living Christmas Idea magazine from 1986.)

  Here's what you'll need to make your own:

1 - log approximately 3" in diameter and approximately 6" long
2 - 5/8" dowel pieces cut 2 3/4" long (for ears)
2 - 3/8" wooden plugs (for eyes)
2 - branches/twigs for antlers
Scrap piece of pine 9 1/2" x 10"
Drill bits, wood screws, wood glue, drill
Self-leveling hanger (for back)

1.  Cut the log at an angle approximately 1" from the end.  Now, turn the long end of the log (the head) around 180 degrees so that it is at an angle to the shorter piece (the neck).   Secure using wood glue and wood screws.

2.  For the plaque, at the bottom of the pine find and mark the center.  Measure from the bottom 3 1/2" up each side and mark.  From these points, draw your angles and cut off.  (I used my scroll saw.)  Sand using 100-grit and then 220-grit sandpaper.

3.  Attach the reindeer's head/neck onto the plaque just below the center using wood glue and wood screws. 

4.  Drill 5/8" holes in the side of the head for the ears and secure the dowel with wood glue.

5.  Drill 3/8" holes in the top of the head for the eyes.  Use wood glue to secure the wooden plugs.

6.  Drill holes at the top of the head for the antlers and secure the twigs with wood glue.

7.  Attach the self-leveling hanger to the back of the plaque, for hanging.

You can leave it as is or finish it any way you desire.  I stained the plaque, reindeer's head, neck and ears with a dark walnut stain.  And, for the pictures, I added a burlap bow and some berries to the antlers, however, I think rusty bells would look cute tied around his neck. 

I hope you enjoyed this project and, thank you, for stopping by for a visit.  Have a great day.


Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Paint a Design - Transfer to Fabric

Now that Thanksgiving is over (for us in Canada), my attention is now focused on Christmas.  I'm not much of a "Halloween" person, so decorations around my house do not exist.  I'm planning ahead for how I am going to decorate my home for Christmas this year.  So, from this point on, you will probably be bombarded with some of my Christmas ideas and projects!

So, yesterday I decided to sit down an paint something...and this is what I painted. 

Some berry branches in neutral colors with a pop of color in the berries and ribbon.  While painting this design, my thoughts were to come up with something that I could use to decorate napkins, a table runner, placemats, pillows (maybe) and the list goes on.  My idea...come up with a design to paint,  scan it to my computer, resize the image to my project needs and print the image directly to fabric or transfer paper...whatever!  I think the possibilities are endless.  But, before I carried away, I thought I'd give it a try FIRST...

The top is the original painting, the left is printed directly onto muslin and the right is printed directly onto canvas.

I scanned my painting onto my computer and then printed the image directly onto canvas.  You will notice the black marks on the fabric...I just finished changing the printer ink and my printer always leaves a mess after the first printing, but you can get the idea of how it looks on heavier fabric.

I then printed the image onto muslin. 

I love the look of both! 

I couldn't just leave the idea hanging, so I thought I would design a canvas basket and add my printed muslin to the front and this is what I came up with...

I'm not sure how I will use this basket...possibly throw in some branches, greenery and berries and simply use it as decoration.  We'll see.

So, now that I know the results, I am going to come up with my theme and get to work on my table accessories.  Who knows, I may use this design!

Thank you for stopping by for a visit.  If you are interested in sewing the basket, let me know, and I will put together my instructions for you.  Have a great day!


Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Chalkboard Desk Blotter

Here's a project I'd like to share with you....

It's a chalkboard desk blotter.

If you'd like to see how I made it, please read on...

First decide how big you want your blotter.  I made mine 18" x 24".  So, I cut two pieces of matboard to that size.  Then, using spray adhesive I secured the boards together - having two gives the blotter some strength.

Cut a piece of canvas 20" x 26"...this will allow approximately 1" on each side to wrap around the back of the board.  Next, cut a piece of Heat n Bond the same size as the canvas and adhere to the back of the canvas following the manufacturer's instructions. 

Once cool, remove the paper backing.

Center the board on the back of the canvas and using your iron, secure the canvas to the board. 

Fold the edges to the back of the board and secure with your iron.

I made my own cording to wrap around the edge of the board, however, you can buy it from your local fabric store.  I secured the cording to the edge using hot glue.

Now, cut a piece of scrap paper or brown craft paper to the size of your blotter and design your chalkboard can get creative here. 

Once you are happy with the design, cut it out, place it on your board and trace it with a pencil.  Mask off the areas you don't want to paint.

Next, I primed my chalkboard area.  Once dry, I sanded the primed area lightly with 220 grit sandpaper and then applied a second coat of primer. 

Then, apply two coats of DecoArt's Chalkboard paint.

I added the word "Notes" to the top of my blotter using DecoArt's Blue Mist paint.

Cut two pieces of elastic long enough to wrap around the blotter.  Cover with fabric and then sew the ends together.  Slide onto the blotter, one on each side.  These can be used to hold photos, business cards, notes, etc.

That's it! 

Hope you have a great day and thank you for stopping by!