Friday, April 8, 2011

Blown Easter Eggs: The Mod Podge Way


Where we currently live, decorations for Easter consist of an Easter Tree (aka; cut Forsythia, Cherry, or Cattail branches) decorated with blown and decorated eggs.  Since I've taken the stash busting oath until April 22nd, I thought I'd Mod Podge ours.  


 In order to make your own you'll need:  blown/hollowed eggs, Mod Podge, toothpicks, twine or embroidery floss, fabric scraps, paintbrush and scissors.

In order to "hollow" your eggs, use a sewing needle (a thicker embroidering needle works best) to poke a small hole in the top of each egg.  The make a larger hole in the bottom of the egg, insert a toothpick to break the yolk, and blow on the top of the egg to remove the white and yolk.  You'll of course want to do this over a bowl to catch the contents.  I recommend later using those for a yummy Greek style omelet or 7 egg pound cake.  I then like to let water from the faucet run through the egg and rinse out any leftover egg-i-ness.


Then for each egg you'll want 1/2 a toothpick and a length of twine to make each hanger.


I'm not sure what to call the knot.  Make a knot to form a loop, then knot the bottom through the toothpick.

Turn the toothpick vertical to insert the larger bottom whole.  Another option would be to hot glue an eyelet or scrapbooking snaps to cover the hole and twine entrance.


Use small scraps of fabric to Mod Podge the eggs.  The variations here are endless.  I found odd shaped and long strips to be more effective in covering while leaving a flat surface.


Some were done with complimentary colors or one color with a few accent pieces here and there.


 For others, I chose fabrics from one color group.


I think this one might be my favorite.  I love the splashes of red throughout the green.


They go a long way to add a little extra oomph to the lovely yellow blooms.


 I'm so glad we've come to learn about this great Easter tradition.  I like it so much more than the boiled and dyed Easter eggs.  You know, the ones that no matter what you do, turn the egg inside into a muted version of the shell, rendering your egg salad or deviled eggs into a rainbow of food dye.


And, as always, I'm blown away by how beautiful Anna Maria Horner fabrics are.  I mean, come on. It even makes yolk-less eggs look good.


That woman's a genius!

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Wednesday Wickedly Awesome- Feltaroo

I might be the luckiest lady.  I get to live right down the street from the wonderful lady who's shop is my pick for this week's Wickedly Awesome.  Not only is she literally the nicest person I've ever met, she's an amazing wool worker.  Kate blogs a bit, but I'm most thrilled to bring you a piece of her Etsy shop, Feltaroo.

One of my favorite things are these A-dorable wool needle felted gnomes.  A whole family in fact.



She sells lovely crowns and dress up accessories, which make me (just ever so slightly) wish I hadn't sworn off future pregnancies in order to try for a sweet little princess of my own.  Because if you know anything about me and my husband at this point you know the likelihood of that happening is like negative 500.


She also has a few adorable baby hat and bootie sets, like this elfin trio.


I'm dying for a pair of these princess slippers of my own.  Too bad they probably don't look as cute on my huge feet.


And how amazing is this Tooth Fairy,


which includes a little pocket in the back for the tooth.  That'd be okay for a little boy to put under his pillow, right?

Kate also has a few finger puppets and felted animals in the shop and I know she's working wool each day while her kids are in school so I have a feeling her shop will be overflowing with new felted creativity often.

Cuteness abounds over at Feltaroo, making it this week's Wickedly Awesome.

Monday, April 4, 2011

How to Make Pillow Piping Without a Piping Foot

On to part two of the Knightly Pillow series.  I've always wanted to try my hand at sewing piping but just could shell out the money for yet another presser foot.  I mean, how many piped pillows can a girl make (if you know me and my obsession with pillows, you're probably laughing right now)?

Since I've also agreed not to purchase craft/sewing supplies until April 22nd, in an attempt to whittle down my stash, purchasing said presser foot was out of the question.  But since I knew this pillow need something more, I thought I'd give the piping a try sans foot.

It turned out to be fabulously easy.

Cut and sew 2 inch strips of fabric just like you would if you were making bias binding for a quilt.  (If you not sure how to do that, you can hop back to this post for a quick tute).

piping without a piping foot

Once you're strips are sewn into one long strip, fold it over a length of cotton piping and pin closed (you want your pins just under the piping).


Now what you need to do, if you don't have a piping foot, is attach the zipper foot to your machine.  Set your needle to the left hand position so your needle will be sewing just under where your pins are.


You want your piping to be snug inside the casing but there also needs to be space under the piping so this seam will not show once it's sewn into the pillow.

Now make your "pillow cover sandwich":  right side up bottom fabric, piping (facing inside so the raw edge is sticking out), right side down top fabric.  Make sure to "clip" the raw seam of the piping at the corners.  This will allow the piping to curve more easily.

Pin in place, sew around using a 1/4 inch seam, making sure to back stitch at the beginning and end.  Go slowly and make sure that your piping is caught in the seam, especially around the corners.

Leave about 3 inches unsewn so you can turn and stuff your pillow.  Then hand stitch closed.


And there you have it.  Piping achieved, no piping foot necessary.


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Saturday, April 2, 2011

A Knightly Freezer Paper Stenciled Pillow

I've decided that the title of this blog really should have been "A Work In Progress".  Because really, that's my life summed up nice and neat for you.  I've had grand plans for a Big Boy Bedroom Reveal but since the switch over to a Knight theme has been slow going, I thought I'd show you what's been completed so far.  Let's start with bedding.

knight pillow

When beginning the "Big Boy Bedroom" switch over, I quickly realized that the quilt I made last year is less than knightly.  Since the other two boys have yet to receive a handmade quilt for their rooms, it hardly seems fair to make a new one for C.  So there needed to be another way to spruce up his bedding and tie it all together.

I've searched the internet high and low for knight themed fabric but have found NOTHING.  Plenty of soldiers and camo but nothing close to Medieval.  What's a girl to do?  I decided I'd have to come up with my own knight fabric.  Enter the freezer paper stencil.

If you've never delved into the arena of the freezer paper stencil, here's a quick little run-down:

First, make the stencil.  Draw or print out your graphic and trace it onto the dull side of the freezer paper, using a sharpie marker.  Color in the parts that will be cut out so you can see how the paint will lay.

Then use an Exaco knife to carefully cut out the dark spaces.  Cut 2 pieces of  fabric (one for the top and one for the bottom) for your pillow (I cut my fabric for a 20" X 20" pillow form).  Iron the stencil (shiny side down) on to one piece of fabric.

I ended up with a few little white space issues which left some parts disconnected.  The coolest thing about freezer paper stencils is that if something accidentally gets cut out, you can just iron it in place.

Now use your paint brush and acrylic or fabric paint to paint over your stencil.  You can choose, once the first coat is dry, to go back and re-coat for a darker image or layer with a separate color.


One the paint was dry, I placed the fabric in an embroidery ring and used thin bakers twine to outline the shield and added a line down the center of the sword and feather's plume.

Knight Pillow

When the embellishments are set the way you like, it's time to make the pillow's piping.  In order to save you from the world's longest tutorial, I'll tackle that issue in a separate post.

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Friday, April 1, 2011

The Save Your Voice Necklace

Are you as tired as I am of saying the same things over and over again?  Had a late night, up with your baby or toddler, and feeling your voice is scratchy?  Then you've got to make yourself one of these:

The "Save Your Voice" necklace.  

This lovely accessory is worn around the neck so it is easily accessible.   It voices your most commonly used phrases so you get your point across without straining your vocal chords.

To make your own:

Simply print out the PDF below. (Each phrase includes a graphic to outline the commands for those children who do not yet read.)
Save Your Voice Necklace

Cut on the lines and glue each on to card stock.


Punch two holes on each card, string onto a ribbon and you're set to go.


Flip the sign to the proper phrase each time you use it for about 1 week.  Younger children may need a bit more practice with the process.



After that, catch your child's attention and just turn to the correct phrase and point. 


Good behavior achieved.  Voice saved!

Oh, by the way, Happy April 1st!  Looking for some more "Fresh" ideas?  Check out some amazing tutorials linked up over at Crafterhours.  They'll make your day!

 
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