Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Gift Idea - Handmade Ornaments

Handmade ornaments are such an easy thing to do.  Have you looked at all the tutorials out there?  Just about anything you could want to do is available.  How about this 3D Paper Snowflake?

Last year my family did the 12 Days of Christmas for my parents.  (Had to get it in before babies 13 and 14 showed up this year.)  Since my kids are the oldest, we did the first few.  Larissa had done a partridge and a pear in one of her posts.  These were such a cute idea, I got the kids working on a set.

They had such a good time!  My oldest (who has the attention span of a fish) almost made her ornament in one sitting.  

Were they perfect? No.  But, the grandparents really appreciated the kids' work and effort, and the kids were so proud of the finished products.

Another Idea...

Make the ornament sentimental.  My husband's aunt made snowmen for all the grandkids out of his grandmother's chenille bedspread.
Such a wonderful addition to our Christmas tree this year!

Other ideas...
3D Star from Sawdust and Paperscraps
Icosahedron Ball from The Quilted Turtle
Beaded Snowflake Star from Bead Jewelry Making
Owl Plushie
Or any number of other ideas  (Just click on a picture to be taken to the original site.)

Any other ideas out there?  Let me know in the comments or on Facebook to share what you know!

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving!

Wishing you all a wonderful holiday weekend!  For those of you outside the U.S. not celebrating Thanksgiving,  eat a slice of pie just for the fun of it.  :) Enjoy your wonderful food and fun time with family.  Stay safe in your travels and I'll see you all back here next week!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Gift Idea - Kid's Apron

My kids love helping in the kitchen.  What kid doesn't?  So, my mother sewed up these pretty little aprons for all the girls in the family one spring.  If you look at the picture closely, you can see she even made matching aprons for each of the girls' Bitty Babies.  They were all thrilled!

These are great ideas for being in the kitchen or getting into character when playing 'house', too.  My kids pull them out all the time.  Do a quick Google search for 'kid's apron patterns' and you will have several free patterns from which to choose.  Or, head over to Joann's during one of their sales and get a pattern for $2 or less.

**Patterns used - Simplicity 3802, Simplicity 4286, Simplicity 2626

Friday, November 18, 2011

Ladybug Applique Tutorial

Well, I've been able to get a few presents put together and finished.  This bag project took me much longer than expected. {Isn't that always the way it goes, though?}  I'm very pleased with the overall outcome even if it took more time.

You want to know where I got the idea, right?  About 6 or 7 years ago, one of my sisters made a bag for me and my oldest child.  I LOVE this bag!
I get complements every time I take it out.  Unfortunately, I've had a diaper bag slung over my shoulder instead of a purse for the majority of the past 8.5 years.  That will change soon enough, though, my friends.
This is the bag she made for my oldest.
Colorful and fun - just perfect for her!

Here's the secret behind these bags.  They are made out of placemats!  Yep.  Couldn't tell, could ya?  Such an easy project.

Now, I'm not going to give you a tutorial on the bag itself, since there is a perfectly good one right here at JCaroline Creative.  I will give you a short tutorial on how I did the ladybug on the front of one bag.

**Any embellishments will need to be done before sewing the bag together if you will be using the machine.**

What you need:

*Sewing supplies - scissors, thread, sewing machine, iron and ironing board, etc.
*2 Fabric colors (mine were red and black)
*Iron-on adhesive - I used Heat n Bond lite - follow the directions that come with whichever brand you get when ironing
*Ladybug printable pattern {I apologize.  I can't remember how to put it on my website, so you will have to get it off of MediaFire.  It's 11pm and I'm tired.}

1.  Download and print off the ladybug pattern on card stock.

2.  Cut out the pattern pieces and trace them on to the paper side of your iron-on adhesive.

3.  Iron the pieces on to the corresponding fabric colors on the wrong side of the fabric.  Don't worry about cutting out the individual pieces - you will do that in the next step.
 4.  Cut out each of the pieces of your ladybug.
 5.  Peel the paper backing off the fabric.
 The shiny side will now stick to whatever you are embellishing.
 6.  Do a dry run.  Place all the patten pieces on the front of the bag (shiny side down) making sure to leave room for seams.  Also, take the time now to make a mark down the wings with an air or water soluble marker, if so desired.
 7.  Leaving the head and body pieces in place, remove the wings carefully.  Iron down both the head and body.  Place the wings back on the body and head and iron in place.
 8.  Do a dry run with the spots.  You can always leave the line off and keep all the spots whole.  However, if you choose to have overhang, now is the time to trim the spots before ironing them down. Once you have them the way you like, iron them down.

 9.  Next is the process of satin stitching around all your pieces.  Each machine is different in settings and temperament with this stitch.  I highly recommend using some scrap material to get the setting the way you like - stitch length, stitch width are both factors.  When the stitches look the way you like on the scrap switch over to your project.
Stitch in this order - antenna (starting at the head and moving out), head, body
       all spots - notice I did not stitch all the way around the spots that were trimmed.  You don't want to have a doubled up stitch.
 Lastly, you will stitch down the wings.  Start right behind the head down the center of the wings flowing all the way around.  This will give you one long continuous stitching.

There you have it!  Once you get the hang of it, it goes pretty quickly.  The spots are more of a challenge, but can be done.  This gives such a nice finished look to your project.

Any one, young or 'old' would be please with such a gift!

Thursday, November 17, 2011

A Little Sneak Peak

I thought I would give you all a little peak at one of the finished Christmas gifts.
I'm putting a pattern and short tutorial together for the ladybug and I'll share that with you tomorrow.

Did you all know there are only 37 days left 'til Christmas?!

Monday, November 14, 2011

Microcrafts Book Review

Not too long ago, I received a package.  One that literally made me squeal and do a little jig in my front yard - causing my kids (and maybe a few neighbors) to give me some strange looks.

The above book, Microcrafts: Tiny Treasures to Make and Share , was the reason.  Not only did I have a new craft book, but it was one a friend, Larissa Holland, helped author!  

Okay, down to the nitty-gritty.  The main premise of this book is crafting tiny crafts - all smaller than a spool of thread.  {Clicking on any of the pictures that follow will bring it up in a new window for a better look.}
A few of the projects available:
Tiny little cats

Bottle-cap pendants

Button Earrings

Felt Pendant

Tiny Greetings

Cute Little Bugs

Monsters With Accessories

Bears and Beds

This book is full of step-by-step instructions and patterns for over 25 crafts.  Don't limit yourself with these projects, either.  While all of these are cute in miniature form, many of the patterns can be enlarged on a copy machine to any size.  Plus, I'm sure there are many creative ways to use the projects between these covers.  My second daughter can't get enough of this book.  She quickly went through the book and told me all the crafts that could be turned into earrings and then looked at me full of hope that one would end up in a birthday package.  (Something I should get busy on.)

This book is great and its amazing the creativity of these authors!  

Christmas is coming up, people!  Wouldn't this be super as a gift?!

Monday, November 7, 2011

Craft Fair

Those of you who follow me on Facebook know I visited a craft fair this weekend.  It was hosted by our local high school which is only a few minutes from our home.  A perfect excuse for me to get out of the house, do something fun and maybe get a few ideas for Christmas.
 There were several booths (around 200 probably) with all kinds of goodies ranging from original art, jewelry, kids' boutique items, Thanksgiving decor and of course Christmas decor.
 I was able too look through everything in no time at all.  But, I must admit, I did go around for a second look just to extend my time out.

One purchase was made.
Yep, I really splurged!  {Heavy sarcasm intended}  I'm a sucker for snowmen, though.

We have some rainy weather today.  Several loads of laundry have already been done, so the rest of my day is devoted to Christmas gift production.  I'm excited and a bit scattered in my thinking, right now.  Sounds like a perfectly good excuse for something sweet and a hot beverage to take some time and get my ideas on paper before I start sewing.

Enjoy the rest of your day!

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

What Now?

Halloween is over and my life is no longer consumed with costumes and candy - well, at least the costumes are out of the picture.
Pirate, Lanie (AG), Cinderella, Dora and Special Forces
The kids had a blast and everyone was pleased with the final costume.  (A huge relief for a stressed out momma.)  The candy haul was extreme this year, too.  We have some of the most wonderful and generous neighbors!  Although, I'm trying to decide if I need to remind the kids or the husband that trash goes in the trash can.  Hmmmm........

So, now I'm on to crafting and sewing whatever I want, right?  Definitely true - to an extent.  I have Christmas on the brain and that makes it hard to think of much else.  'What about Thanksgiving?', you ask?  I really enjoy Thanksgiving, but I don't feel the need to DO anything for that holiday.  Thanksgiving is just a great time of the year in which I know I get to spend a lot of special time with family.  Christmas is family time and stress time.

Now that you all know where my mind is, you know where this blog is headed for the next couple of months.  (Really - 53 days?!)  I've got some new ideas of my own and lots of ideas rounded up from other places I'm hoping to share with you during this time.  {If you are family, don't read this for the next month or so if want to be surprised.}

I've already started.  Here's a sneak peak at one Christmas project/gift idea I'll be sharing with you all very soon.
If you haven't yet, now is a good time to like This Too! on Facebook.  I'll be on there quite a bit adding little snippets and comments (or questions!) as the time goes by.  Feel free to post any of your own links, pictures, questions and comments, too.  Just please keep it craft related and G rated.  Maybe we can help each other make it to the end of the season with our crafts all wrapped and ready to give!


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