Monday, December 17, 2018

Hairpin Tin

A spiffied-up Altoids mints case to hold my daughter's bobby pins and hairpins for ballet. This will make my life so much easier! This will go in her Christmas stocking, so shhhhhh!

I free-handed the embroidery on felt. Other tools: my good ol' pinking shears and trusty E-6000 glue.

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Owl Ornament Frames

Hi blog, remember me?

I painted some little owl ornaments my boys got in their stockings once upon a Christmas Past. I followed the craft wood outlines only vaguely and looked at a photo of a great horned owl for coloring.

Hangin' on the tree
(This is the first time I've had an artificial tree since childhood.
I have mixed feelings, but boy, is cleanup easy!)

Before the paint job, hanging from the boys' stockings.  Santa originally thought the boys would want to paint them themselves, but in the end they asked me to do it... 5 years later!

Excellent bird!

They're almost camouflaged on my counter!

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Mod Podged Halloween Frames

I'm not big on scary Halloween, but I love costumes! Most years we do a family theme (and they're often based on the year's current school theme). We love to look back at all the costumes we've had in the past. This is a great way to display them and decorate at the same time. Inspired by Carrie's Christmas frames here

These are made from inexpensive, unfinished craft store frames. I painted the edges of the frames, then Mod Podged them with scrapbook paper. I distressed some of them with stamp pads. There is a frame for every year so we can look back at all the fun Halloween costumes we've had. The year is printed on each photo.

This is how I have the frames set up for this year. I'm working on last year's Halloween photo right now.

 (There's bad lighting in my family room, even in the middle of the day)

I like how the white distressing turned out on this frame. The framed photo is a good example of what to do if you didn't get a great family picture where everyone was smiling and holding still at the same time, as I didn't that year. I just collaged individual photos into one.

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Small World and Sleeping Beauty Bags

I wanted to make something to keep some of my girl's toys organized. Instead of reinventing the wheel I went to the always-inspiring Dana of MADE. She has a great tutorial for her Hobo Sacks, with some fun variations. I figured if I was making one for Ivory's new Sleeping Beauty toys I might as well make another for her Small World little people.

This Small World fabric from Alexander Henry is one of my favorites. You've seen it on some bibs I've made, and eventually you'll see it on Ivory's Small World quilt, if I ever remember finish the binding! (She's been sleeping with it for a year without the finishing touches. I just ever remember to finish it and take some pictures!) The striped and polka-dot fabrics are leftovers from the quilt.

 I got the Small World toys from Disneyland. They are adorable! I bought them when I was pregnant with my Girly-o. There are 3 more little characters... somewhere. I need to search her closet! If only we had had this handy sack from the beginning.

Ivory likes opening and closing the drawstring ribbons of the sacks. 

I love her little tongue sticking out as she concentrates on putting her toys away.

Next up (and the reason I started this project in the first place)... a bag for the Sleeping Beauty toys Ivory recently got for her 2nd birthday. I had this small panel of Sleeping Beauty fabric that I got years ago for some unknown future endeavor. It was perfect for this project! I love that it's a still from the actually Sleeping Beauty Disney movie: none of this Let's-put-all-the-princesses-together-and-make-Aurora-pink business. Flora the fairy may disagree, but to me Aurora's dress has to be blue.

I don't remember where I got the green paisley fabric, but the flowery blue fabric is actually from some cloth napkins I bought at Target years ago. (Yes, I do hang on to stuff.)

Here are the characters toys. I also love that this set came with Aurora in her Briar Rose clothing (Who I was sort of named after, by the way). Now where have Flora and Sampson the Horse gone too? They were missing BEFORE I made the sacks. I'd just like to point out that we haven't misplaced any more since. You may have guessed it, but I got this character set before I had a girl, and possibly even before I was pregnant with one! I had been saving it.

The square Sleeping Beauty panel prevented me from turning down the drawstring casing any further. It ended up fairly narrow so I could only fit one drawstring through. But check this out: I made the drawstrings from the hem of the cloth napkin. I just twice-folded the raw edge and stitched it down. No turning required! There's even a right angle on the drawstring where the napkin had a corner!

Ivory thinks this bag makes a good hat, too. I love 2-year-olds.

Monday, January 7, 2013

Leonardo da Vinci Costume

I was just going through my blog drafts and saw that I had never published the rest of our Halloween costumes. Here's the second one. One more to come!

My four-year-old wanted to be Leonardo da Vinci for Halloween and he wanted his little sister to be the Mona Lisa. Here's how his costume turned out. It's based on the sculpture of Leonardo da Vinci in Florence, Italy.

The sleeved cape is vintage--it belonged to my grandmother.

The hat is a large felt circle with stretched elastic zig-zagged to it. If fit just perfectly, but I would have liked it bigger since it shrank in the wash.

For the beard and hair I took a length of fleece long enough to go all the way around the cap (and a little extra, just in case). It's about 8 inches wide (the length of the hair/beard). I left one of the long edges intact and cut strips to about 1 1/2 inches from the edge for the hair portion. For the beard I cut a mouth whole about half and inch from the edge and cut the beard hairs up to about another half inch from the mouth hole. The I sewed the wig to the hat from one ear to the other, leaving the front unattached. It fit snugly to his face, but was a bit stretched out by the end of the night (and covered in candy-yuck!). A few more stitches will fix that when it's needed.

I tied a paintbrush into the hair over one ear.

And here's my handsome Leo. The name tag helped with recognition.

Soon to come: Mona Lisa!

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Toddler Shoes Makeover

I have a fairly strict no-characters-on-shoes rule. I got these shoes on clearance a few months ago with the intention of covering them with SOMETHING. Paint? Felt flower? My baby girl really liked the Dora on them (though she's never seen the show), but I never let her wear them outside the house.
I used a couple samples from my extensive supply of vinyl to make the flowers and leaves to cover the obnoxious cartoon on these shoes. I used regular hot glue, but I plan to use E-6000 if the flowers start to come off.

I must admit I was nervous at first that she'd be upset about covering Dora, and I was greatly relieved when she was excited about the flower. SCORE!

There are a few little parts of the design underneath that show around the edge. I could have been more careful and covered them up, but I'm okay with the way they turned out. And so is my daughter, which is what matters. 

Friday, January 4, 2013

Leonardo Tees

I made these Vitruvian Man t-shirts for the kids for Christmas since we studied Leonardo da Vinci in homeschool. He became somewhat of an icon for us.

I used freezer paper stencils (tutorial on MADE) cut out by my SIL & BIL's handy-dandy Silhouette machine (I think I need one of those... Oh, the possibilities!).

I used the same cut twice - once each for the image and reverse of the image. I like the way both of them turned out. This also helps the kids keep track of their shirts.

I made a few sets of these for cousins, too. I tried doing a few with spray paint instead of fabric medium paint, but it turned out so badly I had to start over. I tried fabric spray paint, too, but I was not pleased with the results. I guess I need more practice. For now I'll stick to the traditional method.

If only we had these shirts when we went to the Leonardo Museum a few months ago!

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Scarlet Pimpernel Costume

My almost-8-year-old chose to be the Scarlet Pimpernel for Halloween. Sir Percy Blakeney is known for his impeccable fashion taste. I don't think he would have worn rolled-up jeans, but that's okay.

Step One: The Coat - My son tried on several women's coats at the thrift store. This is the one he chose because it's supposed to be "really fancy." He didn't like the solid navy wool coat that I chose because it wasn't fancy enough. I relented because I'm trying to let him make more choices (even though I wouldn't have needed to modify the navy one to fit him!). He knew what he wanted and it was perfect. Or soon would be. Once home, I put the coat on him inside-out and pinned along the underarm seam and down the sides of the coat. He helped with the sewing. After sewing I trimmed the seam allowances with pinking shears. I also turned up the sleeve cuffs. Simple and easy. I even sewed and trimmed right over the pockets! The coat is nice and long on him. He seemed upset when I seam-ripped the shoulder pads out, but I didn't feel like giving in on that point.

Next comes the lace: The jabot (jah-boh), cravat (not pictured, but what is just a rectangular strip of white fabric tied around the neck), and the cuffs (which have elastic on them). I never thought I'd ever buy lace for my son's Halloween costume!

The jabot is made of strips of gathered lace sewn to a trapezoid of cotton (actually, two), then sewn to a ribbon with a velcro closure. This particular ribbon and velcro originally came around the Christmas pajama pants I got the kids from Target last year. Yes, I saved it. Yes, I used it. I think I deserve a pat on the back for that. I just realized that I forgot to make lace and/or buckles for his shoes. Ah well, Halloween is always rushed. I don't think I would have had time, anyway!

I didn't know if anyone would recognize "what" his costume was supposed to be, so I asked Alexander if he wanted me to make him a name tag. He said yes, as long as the writing was fancy enough. Apparently my penmanship met his approval. I used some parchment paper scraps I just happened to have around.

The oversized scarlet pimpernel flower was a cheap-o poinsettia from the dollar store. It used to have seven petals but I cut off two to make it star-shaped and hot-glued the empty spaces together as I was gluing the flower to the name tag. Yes, I also have a stash of brooch pin backs.

The green vest was from an old white rabbit costume that my sister wore in a ballet recital many years ago. I'm glad it didn't clash with the coat. Black trouser socks and dress shoes finished off the bottom half of the costume. The sword helps balance out the masculinity of the costume. Sink me! If only I had time to find a magnifying glass for a chain around his neck.

They seek him here, they seek him there...

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Halloween Tree

I had this branch and I had this base (for a flag) so I put the two together to make a spooky Halloween tree. TA DAH!!

I got some cute scrapbook paper with vintage Halloween greetings. The kids helped me laminate, cut out, and glue ribbon to each one to hang on our Halloween tree.

The tree got a makeover for Thanksgiving: I added silk autumn leaves. It was a long time before we got our Christmas tree this year, so we left this up in the meantime (bare). It truly looked like Charlie Brown's Christmas tree--probably worse!

Monday, August 6, 2012

How to Make a Wax Seal Stamp from Sculpey Clay

I was making some test wax seal stamps today for a project and I thought I might write up the instructions to share.

Here's a wax seal stamp of a leaf that I sculpted when I was 17. I've kept it all these years, but for some reason I had never actually used it until today! I can't remember specifically what tool I used to sculpt it. Probably a toothpick, paperclip, pencil, or something similar.

Now I'll show you how to make one using a small item as a mold:

1. Start with Sculpey Clay. You can find it at most craft stores. It's $11.99 at Hobby Lobby.

2. Take a lump of clay and warm it up by kneading it in your hand.

3. Roll the clay into a cylinder. Try to get it as perfectly round as you can, ideally 3/4" in diameter.

4. Next pick the item you want to use as your mold. I used these jewelry charms. You could also use interesting buttons, small toys, etc. 

5. Take your item and place it face down on the clay and press it in. Your wax seal will come out in mirror image.

6. Use a pin or toothpick to carefully pull out your item and then smooth down any imperfections in the clay.

I made the owl on the opposite side of treble clef. I also made the owl stamp a little more oval.

7. Next bake your clay (or let it air dry, depending on the kind of clay you use). You should bake Sculpey at 275 degrees F for 15 minutes per 1/4 inch of clay. I baked these for 15 minutes.

8. When your wax seal stamp is cool get it nice and lubricated with some oil (I used olive oil). Here are some links to wax seal instructions from Nostalgic Impressions: 
Instruction page here
Instruction video here

9. Let your wax cool a bit longer before stamping than you would with a regular metal wax seal stamp. The first time I stamped it came out mushy, so I tried again letting it cool slightly longer, adding more oil, and also holding the stamp down longer while the wax cooled even further. I'm not not sure which one was the magic ingredient, but it definitely came out better the second time:

Here's the treble clef:

Fun, isn't it? I'm excited to try out more. I'll be making these with my kids for school this coming year. We'll try both sculpting and mold-style wax seal stamps.
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