Saturday, November 28, 2009
Monday, November 9, 2009
I never gave much thought about wreaths and how differently they can be made until my visit to Bugs and Fishes blog. Three very resourceful and talented artists are featured here. Their use of yarn and wool is unique and inspiring.
Although I don't knit or crochet, I do incorporate yarn into my work because some are exceptionally beautiful. They also give unusual textures to the pieces; but, I would like to see what else I can do with them.
Take a look-see. You won't be disappointed.
WAIT! Before you go, believe me on this one. I know the toilet paper roll isn't the most pleasing site in the world; but, honestly, take a moment to look at the tutorial from the link below. It's only 3 minutes long. The ornament was made by recycling empty toilet paper rolls. The end result is beautiful and gorgeous. I was blown away.
As I was watching the tutorial, I was very skeptical, thinking, "C'mon, now! How nice can this really be? It's probably a little crafty looking thing you can do with the kids." While you can do it with children, it really is a WOW piece. I never would have thought it was made from toilet paper rolls.
Happy Bird's Crafting Haven has a lot of cute ideas for making ornaments and some very yummy-looking recipes, too. One idea talks about recycling cards and making little charms from them to use for other projects. Cut out the images you want and tie them onto thin ribbon, twine, yarn, or fibers. If you don't want to tie them, attach them with glue or brads you find in the memory making aisles at your craft store. You can also glue a series of the charms onto thick ribbon. Imagine these snowmen on a midnight-blue, wire-edged ribbon covered in sparkly snowflakes. It's a little snow scene to use as garland, collages, trim on a doll's dress, or anything else you can dream of.
You can also embellish the charms further with glitter, fabric scraps, paint, anything.
Friday, November 6, 2009
Hi! I'm Spicy Blinking Bum; and, it's my job at Santa's Headquarters to make sure you receive your elf name. Let's see if you have already been listed. Yup, here you are. Right here on my list. See?!
It's also going to be officially entered in Christmastown's Official Big Book of Elf Names. You can read yours here. . Click on "What's Your Elf Name" under the big green box. Don't worry about the scary pictures on the next page. That's just Freckles Snow Bunny and Giggles Mince Meat all dressed up for Halloween. They're always playing jokes on us! Wonder when they snuck these in here...
Friday, October 30, 2009
Mini Wall Art Quilt
6" x 6"
It's completed! This is my version of a Mini Wall Art Quilt Ornament. Each one of those little crystals and adornments on the black felt and trees were painstakingly attached, one by one. It looks a lot better in person. I'm almost tempted to keep it for myself because a lot of work really went into this.
Materials: felt, rayon, corduroy, fiberfill, crystals, beads, buttons, embroidery floss, trim, misc embellishments. Hand stitched.
6" x 7" including feathers
4" x 4" wreath
Last night, ideas came flooding to me regarding this piece that was previously posted. I wound hand-dyed fly-away yarn in between each of the beads which gives it a look of more fullness and aesthetic appeal. The yarn is blended into a combination of running blue and sea green colors. It's so beautiful, I'm always very selective what to use it on.
Each of the feathers had to be individually attached with Fabri-Tac which makes this a delicate ornament. Everything is holding well and very secure. I would have been more comfortable wiring the feathers onto the wreath instead; but, there weren't any stems to use.
The final touches, each teeny tiny bead was also individually set.
Thursday, October 29, 2009
In Progress: Mini Wall Art Quilt
Here's another one in progress I had to show you because I really like how its coming out. This one is supposed to be my Mini Art Quilt Wall Ornament. (The first one, which was very different, didn't turn out well and has been tossed to the side.) It's put together with scraps of fabric and all different types of floss. The material ranges from corduroy to sheer organza to rayon silk to cotton. Can't wait until its done.
Here are a few finished ornaments for the swaps I'm in. The others are still in progress.
Who doesn't love snowmen? I love all types. For my first one, I wanted something country and primitive, but not too primitive. This is a hand-stitched 6" snowman made from cream plush felt, scraps of fabric, buttons, twigs and a pom pom.
His mouth and the snowflakes on his hat are hand embroidered. The edging of his hat has blanket stitches. His nose was made from clay and painted. Blush was used for his cheeks. To make him glisten like snow, he's been sprayed with glitter.
In Progress: Feather Fly-Away
This was actually the first one I made. Large vintage pearls were strung onto wire. (I received these from eBay. You can get a lot of wonderful vintage pieces here at inexpensive prices.)
The pearls were inter-spaced with purple aurora borealis beads from a necklace I purchased from a kids accessory store in the mall.
Moss colored organza ribbon was then wrapped around the beads and the ribbon edges were tied together to make a hanger.
Velvet leaves were added on top. Their stems are wire which made it easy to attach them. Just wrap their wire stems around the wreath and hide it under the ribbon.
A dragonfly pin with crystals was tied to the wreath at three sections (the clasp, the wing, and the tail). Since his head was missing, I replaced it with a citrine colored stone.
There's a little spray glitter on it because I like the shimmer.
6" x 4"
These are the most fun and very addicting to make. Very popular, too. People want me to make a little herd for them. I expect these would make great holiday craft show items from the response I received.
Another View of Baaaaah
I found a picture of a sheep and drew around it to make it the size I wanted, about 6" for this one. (I didn't want to be bothered going to the copy store to enlarge or reduce the image.)
Then, I cut it from black felt and stitched all the way around it. No turning the body inside out. Just leave the top of the sheep open so you can stuff it a bit. Then, stitch closed.
Find fluffy, maybe a little knotted looking, yarn or wool. Tie a knot around his neck and start wrapping him up in it until he's nice and fluffy like a real sheep. You can use different colored wools, too, on the same sheep. They all came out great! You might also need a little glue to keep a piece of wool in place by his tushie.
Cut two little triangles, softly rounded, from black felt for his ears. Bend it in half a little and glue the bottom edges together. The top of his ears are not glued. Glue the ears in place on his little head. I use E6000 for mostly everything; but, you can also use Fabri-Tac, too.
Tie ribbon, raffia, or something else around his neck with a little bell. There are buttons that come in the shape of little cow bells which would make this even cuter. You can also use chenille pine stems to make a little wreath for around his neck, too, with a red velvet bow attached to it. Way toooo cute.
On some sheep, I sprayed glitter to give them the look of freshly fallen snow from being out in the fields.
The hanger is gold embroidery floss sewn through the body so it holds better. In this way, the wool won't pull and become loose after years of tugging on it and hanging.
Thursday, October 22, 2009
Do you need an assistant? Or a team of them to help organize the chaos and share the trade secrets to a meaningful and joyous holiday season? We found a few great sites that actually, kind-of, offer this! Although they’re not there doing the work for you, you are guided along the Gingerbread Brick Road into creating and rediscovering what Christmas is meant to be.
Christmas Organizing acts as your very own Christmas Coach! There are so many resources you can access here. The complete list is on their main page. Membership is free unless you choose to also join their "Candy Cane Club" which is $25 for an annual subscription. Aside from the free basic membership, which offers a lot, you can also sign up for their free newsletter. On top of that, you can join their discussion group called Christmas Organizing Yahoo Group.
Another outstanding club is the Christmas All Year Yahoo Group . The main topic is, of course, Christmas. However, once a new holiday rolls around, there are so many great decorating and crafting ideas, as well as family traditions, shared by its members. This is a very giving group that shares a wealth of information with each other. You can easily add a lot more sparkle and fun to your holidays with what you find here. Oh! I almost forgot to mention, if you love cooking and baking, check out their tempting vintage recipes.
Everyone will wonder where you came up with so many great ideas and how you effortlessly created a joyous occasion for everyone without ever looking frazzled! The stress so many often feel during this time will decrease and the meaning of the season will flood back to you as you implement the tips and tools others have learned before you.
Wednesday, October 21, 2009
Thursday, October 8, 2009
If you enjoy making handcrafted ornaments and receiving them, then you really should check out this Yahoo Group called "Big Holiday Ornament Swap".
An edited portion of the main details can be found on the main page. I joined and am already sketching out designs for what to make! Hope to see you here!
Monday, October 5, 2009
Pssst. Take a lookie. Mrs. Santa's secret Christmas recipes that Santa and all the elves love!
Mrs. Claus' Family Cookbook
You can even see what her kitchen looks like!
Mrs. Claus' Kitchen
If you're lucky enough to sneak a gingerbread cookie or a fingerfull of that batter, you can scamper off to hear the two stories read by one of Santa's Senior Elves! You just have to find 'em!
Wednesday, September 16, 2009
Have you seen all the ornaments you can make over at the Better Homes and Gardens Christmas site? Whoo-hoo! I don't know about you; but, I am always on the search for patterns and how-to's on making handcrafted ornaments. What a heart-felt sentiment to be gifted with a box of these little wonders! Admittedly, some people do not appreciate handcrafted items but prefer commercially-made pieces. Each to her own. They are all wonderful. Me, personally, I see memories being made, a new history of stories being passed down through the family (whether biological or self-made) and soon-to-be-heirlooms to be treasured. Imagine opening this box of magic! All of the love and time poured into creating them, just for you! That's what I see.
My favorite are the miniature Pearl Wreaths. Why, you may ask? Well, I just acquired a boat-load of loose vintage pearls that I planned to use for another project. However, since I'm lover of Christmas ornaments and decorations, I couldn't help but to use them for this instead. The nostalgia is so appealing.
The Ribbon Candy Twists and Sweet Treats are so much fun to behold! Personally, I enjoy enlarging the patterns because I find the over-sized look to be very whimsical and fun. You can even make the Sweet Treats and Candy Canes from felt, like little pillows...or giant ones! Just imagine these large sized candies hanging from the tree or really large candy canes sticking out from an old wooden basket or silvery tin pail. If you make them with muslin instead and coat it with a strong tea or coffee stain when you're done, they will get a nice, aged, vintage look. It depends upon the look you're after: bright and cheery or country primitive. I love 'em both.
Haven't tried this one yet; but, it looks like it produces a very nice heirloom ornament. It has that country, primitive look to it, which is always homey. They refer to it as a 19th Century Ornament.
If you know of any other really good sites that offer patterns or instructions on how to make handcrafted ornaments or decorations, please share them with us.
Saturday, September 5, 2009
A blog dedicated to Mrs. Santa and her many talents that keep Santa and his team of reindeer and elves happy, content, joyful, and jolly! View these pages to see what she has been handcrafting lately or reading her online diary or trying out a new recipe she's making for the elves or fitting Santa for a new suit this year. Oh! And don't forget her talents as a seamstress, toymaker, and decorator! She has dozens of Christmas ornaments and patterns to share with all the other Ms. and Mrs. Santa's the world over! Like most women, she holds many talents; and, it takes a great deal of organization to keep Santa and his team of reindeer and elves all organized and happy!