Friday, August 31, 2012

Relatively Unscathed

Yesterday I got a lot of craft supplies put into general bags to be sorted out later.  At one point I had to move and even pick up some boxes which were to heavy for me to lift.  But today I feel a lot better than I deserve to.  So now I'm torn between organizing and just lounging and making something small like buttons or tatting.  So many projects to finish. 

During the organizing I found my long lost Tenerife wheel.  I've never been able to do tenerife work, it is also know as Sol or sun wheels.  So I was very tempted and even got a couple of books out to read.  Then I remembered That I still had a card to make for the Fiskateers contest.  So I made a tunnel card using the love circle that they sent as part of the contest.  Using card stock from the "Happily Ever After" pack.  It is hard to see because the card colors are so close.  The first image the Love circle flips up and reveals the "Is Our Magic" on the circle back. The second layer the circle reveals a fairy and behind that is a misty castle. It was more difficult to make then I was expecting.  Cutting the circles evenly was tricky.  The small accordions on the side create the dimensional look.

Front of the card.

Opened card.
I plan on making another card but first have to find an easier way to make it.  I posted it on the Fiskars page on Facebook.  It only allowed one image so that was rather pointless.
The rest of the day I spent trying to work on an ATC.  Now that I have the pen set I am practising alphabets so I can start writing directly on the cards.
Lee made a lovely meal for us.  Rice and vegetables with chicken thighs.  It was very tasty.  Here is a picture.
I made some Snickerdoodles.  Actually they aren't Snickerdoodles because I cut 1/2 of sugar and didn't roll them in sugar.  So they really are just great sugar cookies.  They went to fast to take a picture!  Hopefully I will get more done tomorrow.

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Ribbon Flowers

Well the dyed ribbon flowers came out really well.  I have not heat set them yet but the colors are more blended then when they were wet.  I took the yellow flower and did some figure 8's behind the center to make looping petals.  I don't know if I like the petals or not.  I got out the polar bear project and the ribbon flowers are to big for the size of the bears head.  Too bad, it looks like I will have to use silk ribbon.  The polyester ribbons are to thick to make flowers that are small enough.  I wanted to use the polyester ribbon because it is more durable for a children's toy.  I'm sure it will look beautiful when it is done, and with three brand new grand nephews I'm sure the polar bear will find a home.

Dried ribbon flower.
Ribbon flower with figure 8 petals.
It has been a long day and I deserve a rest after all the sorting!  I just found my Teneriffe wheel!  So I may stay up after all!

Madly Trying to Organize the Craft Supplies

Now you know why I chose Mad Crafter for this blog.  Trying to organize the ton of craft supplies is a constant battle.  So today I got some small trash bags and I'm just roughly sorting the piles of stuff.  Then once I have the piles of bags I will do more detailed sorting.  The biggest issue is that I need containers that can hold all of the sorting.  I use a tool box for all my rubber stamps but now I have to many stamps.  So it is an unending struggle going up a container size.  I have gotten a few cool ideas of how to store supplies and even make it decorative.

At first I would purchase suitcase ensembles and break up the supplies per bag.  This worked great because I would just wheel around my supplies to craft meetings and when I occasionally taught.  But that ended and so it seemed to bulky using the suitcase since I wasn't taking them anywhere.  So I found things over time to hold the stuff.

For my linen fabrics I have a beautiful treasure chest.  When even weave linen goes for $55 a yard and up it is really holding treasure!  It also holds lavender which is nice when you open the lid.  It is quite large and hold a lot of fabric.

Treasure Chest.
Treasure chest open to show some of the fabric.
I have 5 foot high paper racks for storing paper and card stock.
There is a large filing cabinet that holds projects that have been organized in large plastic bags.  At first I didn't want the cabinet but there was no where else to put it in the house.  So I didn't have enough papers to really use the amount of cabinet space.  Then I started putting projects in it and it really works great!  It is worth the space it takes up.
There is a room divider/television holder in the room behind the paper racks.  The treasure chest is where a television would be placed.  So I use the structure to hold tool boxes and cardboard boxes of supplies. 

I have a lovely set of decorative boxes.  The hat box was a paper box from the craft store that I painted and decorated it with Japanese prints.
Decorative boxes.
The pink and green boxes were already decorated when I bought them.  The pink box holds cotton embroidery threads.   Then green holds needle weaving supplies and projects.
This plastic box has three shelves and contains unused perle cotton and instruction books for my tools.
The house is where I keep used balls of perle cotton.  I'm not sure how to decorate it yet!  But I think a small print fabric or even paper would be nice.
There are several tool drawers in the craft room.  This one hold brads and other paper supplies.  Another one holds most of my seed beads.
Seed beads.
Paper and book binding supplies.
This is a tall slender shelf.  I keep finished books, cardboard, tiles and other stuff I used for book binding.  This shelf is very handy.
This is the new shelf for my craft books.  Some of the shelves are rather short so I also store fabric and card stock to recycle into other projects.  Also the bottom of the self holds some of the tool boxes for crocheting and knitting supplies.
Spice rack.
We got a nice wooden spice rack that we never used.  So I put beads in the bottles.  This works great as long as the beads aren't fragile.  Glass beads will eventually break against the bottles.
Pink Basil?
Thank you for taking the tour and I hope this helps someone else with storage needs.

Past Projects

Yesterday I picked up some past projects from Beverly's and thought I would post them.

First a cute pincushion made out of gold velvet and a cotton print image of a fairy.  It is decorated with organza and ribbon flowers.  It was my first ribbon embroidery and it came out nice.

Another project was a paper tea cup that I made from a paper design book.  However I had to make many changes to the pattern so it seems like my pattern now.  Also I made a handle out of brass wire instead of paper.  The cardstock used had fairies.  Really cute!
Inside of Cup.
Handle made of wire.
My blue purse is back!  But it is now going on to be a gift!
It really makes me feel great that I made lovely things years ago and that I am growing as a crafter making even better things!

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Dyeing Ribbon Flowers and cool stuff

Today I actually did some pick up after all the projects I have been working on.  It is actually possible to get into the craft area.  I even got out the candle fixings for a future project.

This evening I went out to dinner with friends which was great but I had to catch up tonight.  So I got together some fabric paint and the ribbon flowers that I've been making.

First thing I did was to wet the flower with a paint brush.  Then I directly painted the full strength fabric paint on the wet flower.  I was surprised that the paint did not run when added to the wet flower.  So I painted in a lot of the flower. 

Next I put more water on the flower and then painted it with a yellow fabric paint.
It didn't blend the way I expected it to so I watered the yellow paint and still the colors were not blending.
So I put water on the flower and then worked it between wet hands and that blended a little.  Well it seems pretty enough but it will have to dry to see what it really will look like.  I love doing experiments and I always seemed to get surprises.
Before dyeing.
I also dyed a small flower.  After the last flower I went right to watering down the fabric paint and got the ribbon really wet.  Then I spread the watered down paint directly on the ribbon with a brush and my hands.  Then I rolled the ribbon attached to the flower back and forth on the work surface.
After dyeing.
I really love how the yellow flower came out and the variations in shading by rolling the ribbon on a surface.  Tomorrow I think I will try using Rit Dye in fuchsia and see what happens!

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Today I was working on more ribbon flowers and started decorating a box.  But I also went out today!  Making the ribbon flowers is easier with same colored threads.  So we went to Office Depot to return a mouse and walked out with an amazing calligraphy set.  It is a 33 piece set in a tin.  It has 5 nibs, 4 pens, 20 ink cartridges, pump, paper pad and instruction book.

Then we went to Joann's because we were close to it.  They had a 50% all their thread.  So I bought several colors of cotton and even some silk and glow in the dark thread.  So glad I stopped there today.

Gutermann thread,

This is another flat ribbon rose which I made this morning.  It is made with a thinner polyester satin ribbon.  It came out really nice.  So nice I started making other flowers so they could be decorations on a small box.

Flat ribbon rose.
Two flat ribbon roses.
Small box covered with handmade paper with Japanese symbol decorations.
So that was a very hetic day.  Tomorrow I hope to hand dye some ribbon flowers to finish the box decorations.

Monday, August 27, 2012

How to Make a Flat Ribbon Rose

Flat ribbon rose.

When I started making ribbon flowers a few days ago I wanted them to decorate a black jacket.  But the flowers I picked were to large and dimensional to decorate the jacket.  So I started looking for flowers that would work and found the flat ribbon rose.  It is quite lovely and flat and can be made as large as desired.  So today I made one and took pictures so I could share on this blog.  I used a nearly 1 inch wide polyester satin ribbon.

Ribbon with crinoline.

All you need to make a flat ribbon rose is ribbon, crinoline, and a sharp strong needle like a milliners.

To start cut a piece of thread about 12 inches and make a knot.  Using the whole length of ribbon tie a knot at the end.  Don't tighten it to much, it needs to be bulky because it becomes the flower center.

Knotted ribbon.

Sew the ribbon to the center of the piece of crinoline.

Fold the ribbon at an angle across the knot.  Then stitch the ribbon to the crinoline with small stitches.  Fold under the ribbon edge toward the middle of the flower.  The stitch down both edges of the ribbon with a couple of small stitches.  Always stitch the ribbon where the stitches won't show.  Or where the next folds will cover the stitches.  Keep folding and stitching until the rose looks the right size to you.


When the rose is the right size cut the ribbon and the fold the ribbon edge under and stitch the end.  The last step is to fold under the beginning ribbon edge and secure it to the crinolin.  Now that it is done carefully cut the rose from the crinolin paying attension to both the front and the back so the thread and the ribbon don't get cut.  I hope that someone will try and make these roses.  They would make a wonderful decoration for a wedding gift!

Sunday, August 26, 2012

How to Make a Dorset Crosswheel Button

A Dorcet Crosswheel Button.
Why make buttons?  They are so easy to buy and usually not that expensive.  I find button making an easy and inexpensive hobby.  It is a great way to match the colors and design of a garment and for quiet days it is an easy project to make in an hour.
To make a Dorcet Crosswheel button you will need:
1 small sharp needle
1 small blunt needle
4 to 5 yards of size 12 perle cotton
3/4 inch plastic curtain ring
The best way to start a button is to wrap the thread a couple times around the ring.  If you make knots they can show on the button, so do whatever is comfortable.  Then holding the thread in place using a blunt needle make a button hole or blanket stitch around the ring.
Beginning a ring with button hole stitch.
Another angle of buttonhole stitch.
Use as long a thread as you feel comfortable sewing.  I used 4 yards and after a few stitches got a horrible knot and had to cut the thread.  Below is showing how to add a thread.  On the backside changing to a sharp needle run the needle under the button hole stitches and pull through leaving about 3 inches of thread on the end.  Next while making the button hole stitch make sure it captures the old thread.  After a few stitches cut off the end.  Keep stitching until the ring is almost covered.  You may want to change back to a blunt needle to save a few finger stabs.
Oops had to cut off a knot and start again by securing the working thread.
Another angle of button hole stitch.
Half way around the ring.
Nearing the end of covering the ring.
Now that you are close to the beginning of the stitches make sure to capture the starting thread.  Just sew over the starting thread and ring at the same time.  Cut any starting thread left over.  Once the ring is covered it is time to start decorating!  But first take a moment to make sure the rim of the button hole stitch is not twisted.  Below you can see that my stitches are twisted on the right side of the ring.
Finished thread covered ring.
Now that you are starting the next phase of the button you may want to end off the sewing thread if you don't have 3 feet or more.  It is easier here to start a new thread.  If you decide to start a new thread run the sharp needle under a few stitches, on the button back, pull through and then cut the thread.  Then with a new thread run it under a few stitches on the back.  You may want to change back to a blunt needle after securing the threads.  The next step is to wrap the thread around like spokes on a bicycle wheel.  You can make as many spokes as you want but six wraps is a good start.  From the top of the button wrap across the button to the bottom.  Thinking of a clock is helpful.  Then from 12 o'clock wrap across to 6 o'clock.  Then up to 1 o'clock and down to 7 o'clock.  Working the spokes around the ring.  While doing this it looks messy.  Just try your best!  It will be adjusted with the next step.
Starting the wrap.
The wrap.
Even more wraps.
It looks an absolute mess but don't worry!
The next bit is to work a cross stitch to help center the spokes.  With the front of the button facing you look at the threads and try to go up or down through the spokes.  Then across the center and pull the thread.  Next make another stitch across the center finishing the cross and tighten.  Don't worry if one of the spokes does not have a partner it will be fine.  Take as many stitches to tighten the center as you need.  You can move the spokes at this point to even them out.  I use the tip of the needle to lift and move the spokes.  But while weaving the button you will still have the ability to make small adjustments.
Tightened center.
Now the fun really begins!  Stitch up through the button between two spokes.  I work counter clockwise but you can reverse the instructions to be comfortable for you.  Stitch down the left side of the spoke. Stitch up again on the left side of the next spoke.  Stitch down the right side of the same spoke.  Then up again on the left side of the next spoke to the left and down on the right of the same spoke.  Continue this around the center of the button.  Keep the thread tight but be careful of tightening unevenly and moving the spokes off center.
Starting the weaving.
The design after a few rounds.
Back of button.
Running thread with a sharp needle under the button after finishing the weaving.
Finished button.
The buttons are really simple to make and I hope some one reading this may give it a try.  I have been writing and rewriting this so please excuse any typos.  I will review this later today for errors.  If you would like to buy or borrow a book I suggest "50 Heirloom Buttons to Make" by Nancy Nehring.  She explains the history along with how to make 50 buttons.  Very cool book!