Friday, December 28, 2018

Felted wool garland

I have been playing with felted wool this Christmas season in order to get a few gifts made.  I made these felted wool coasters last week.  I have been investigating what can be done with small scraps and found this idea on line - a garland made with felted wool circles!!  This was very fun to make though it did take a while to cut all the little circles using a die (SX) and my Big Shot.  I used 6 colours - light blue, green, yellow, dark blue, purple and red.  I cut about 60 ( 1" ) of each colour and then stitched them together in the same sequence using strong green thread in my sewing machine.  The actual sewing took much less time than the cutting but I am very happy with the way it turned out.  I did add a red ribbon tie on each end just to finish it off nicely.  It does allow it to be tied to the holder and will prevent tangling.  It is about 10 yards long so will certainly make a reasonable garland for a tree or a birthday party or any sort of celebration!!      Therese

Sunday, December 23, 2018

Large cards for my sister using her stash!

 I will be seeing my sister this coming week at our family Christmas celebration so I took some time yesterday to make her a few cards.  She came over about three years ago and brought along a load of supplies for cardmaking.  We made a few but upon leaving she opted to leave the supplies and I promised to make her some card with the supplies.  I am not sure how many cards I have made for her but she seems OK with getting some every now and then and the supplies are out of her house.

 These were created using supplies on hand.  The top green and pick one was a commercial card which I had to cut apart on the bottom to make it have the right proportions so I added a ribbon and a layered decorative flower accent.  The green and orange on on the right was the perfect size so I simply glued the card front to a card and I was done!! 
The card with the flowers in the cup had to be cut apart because the greeting was too wide.  I trimmed the edged of the card using my scallop border punch, pierced each scallop and then glued them to a dark green card front.  I added a yellow ribbon and a little laser printed punchie greeting which I watercoloured to coordinate with the flowers.  The teal one with the feature was a bit short but I could not trim it so I added copper accents on the top and bottom and mounted the whole thing to a dark brown card front.  The current greeting is current but it is completely adhered using 3D foam tape of a very sturdy nature so I opted to leave it instead of ruining this beautiful card. 
 For the one on the left I used a piece of scrapbook paper that featured this cute little pig.  I cut it to fit on my red card and then wanting to add a greeting I found the one I had trimmed off the flower card!!  Perfect colour!!  So I created a dark green layer for it.  I trimmed both sides with my scallop scissor, pierced each scallop then embossed it.  I glued little coordinating ribbon ends to the back before adhering the strip to the top of my card.  I finished it off by gluing the greeting over the it using double sided tape.  Perfect!!
For the last two, I reused calendar pages!!  The floral one I trimmed to fit the width of the card and then added a strip of green embossed cardstock to the bottom.  I added a length of yellow ribbon gluing both ends to the back of the layer.  I glued this large element to a blue card front.  I watercoloured a little oval punchie greeting and then mounted it over the ribbon using 3D foam tape. 
For this last one, I trimmed the page to fit the width of the card in the same manner but instead of adding at just the bottom I trimmed two strips of brown card that would fill the gaps.  I embossed them using a tape measure embossing folder - the first time I have used it though it has been in my possession for a few years!!  I love the way they look!!  I adhered them to the top and bottom of my image and then glued this large element to my red card front.  I found this stamped greeting in my stash, sponged its edges just a bit with brown ink and them added the red cording before adhering it to my card front using 3D foam tape.  I used a hole punch to make a small hole on the spine of my card so I could string my cording all the way around the front and then tied it on the front to the right of my greeting. 

Really happy with how well these all turned out!!!  Only a few more sleeps before Christmas!!           Therese

Saturday, December 22, 2018

Fabric packaging for a set of cards

I created a set of small cards for a gift and was wanting to wrap them nicely.  I have been doing this sort of folded packaging using squares of paper and it has not worked out quite as well as I would like so I got the idea from a posting on Crafsters to try fabric circles instead.  The posting was for snack packaging using waterproof fabric to wrap a sandwich.  It was nice and neat and just seemed so clever.  So I decided to give a go and see if it would work for packaging cards with a few modifications.  I did a little math and decided that a 13" circle should accommodate the little stack of cards I had
created so I went looking for a piece of fabric which I was willing to sacrifice in case it did not work out.  I used a sturdy 100% cotton fabric sample that I have had for quite a long time.  It perfectly accommodated a 13"circle!!  So I cut the circle and then stitched all the way around three times.  Once I tied off the threads and snipped them I ruffled the edge to loosen as many threads as I could.  I used my scissors to trim off the loose ones without cutting into my stitching.  I found a coordinating piece of 3/8" satin ribbon and cut a piece about 18" long and stitched it to the center back of the circle.  I placed the stack of cards in the center of the circle with the ribbon on the back, folded the right hand side over the cards and then the left hand side over it.  Next, the bottom up and then the top down over it.  I brought the two ribbon ends to the front and tied them into a bow.   A very nice package!!!  I expect these sort of packaging could be used for any small gift but it wrapped these little cards perfectly!!  This environmentally friendly packaging will hopefully be saved and reused many more times!!!  Due to its size it is also a stash buster!!!                Therese

Friday, December 21, 2018

Cards as a gift feature serendipity die cuts, stamped backgrounds and embossed focal areas on small cards

 I was gifted some beautiful turquoise envelopes and have been working on finding a way to make cards that fit in them that coordinated as well as worked with their smaller size.  Overnight, I decided that if I created a serendipity collage that coordinated I would be able to die cut my focal elements.  So I made up this serendipity collage background and let it dry.  

 Next, I needed to work out the size of the cards (3.5" x 4 7/8") which I cut from white cardstock.  Wanting to highlight the die cuts I decided to use my Nestibilities circle dies to emboss a circle frame on the front which I have not done in quite a while but I did find my embossing mat and made up well over a dozen little cards.  Once they were embossed I wanted to stamp an all over design to coordinate with the envelopes and the serendipity die cuts.  I chose the Worn (SU) stamp and it took a few goes to get the ink colour right but then it was fairly quick to get them all done.  So the next thing was to get some die cuts which would stand on their own without greetings.  After a perusal of my dies I came up with these - a daisy (SX red), a butterfly(SX black), TH bird (TH), flower with a stem (Sizzlets), butterfly (SU Embosslit), tipsy heart (SX red), layered flower (CB), heart (Sizzlet strip) and bird (paisley on Sizzlet strip). 

For several of them I used silver cardstock to coordinate.  For the butterflies I used silver cord to make their antenna and I added fun bling to the flower with a stem and the larger heart.  The paisley so easily makes a little bird by adding a tiny black brad, a black cardstock beak and some legs just drawn in with a black marker.  I added two little green branches (MS) to the layered flower.  
I am super happy with how they all turned out and I will be packaging these cute little cards up to pass back to the person who gifted me the envelopes.            Therese

Sunday, December 16, 2018

Christmas gifts - bento bag tea cozy and potholders

I created this bento bag tea cozy for my son and his fiance for Christmas.  I usually give him Christmas food - baking, meat pie, etc but he will be overseas this year and bringing food with him was not practical.  I asked for a few suggestions and a tea cozy came up.  Having just made a bento bag to wrap my grandson's birthday gift I thought maybe I could add some quilting to the bottom of a bento bag so it could be used as a tea cozy.  I had to work out the details of exactly what size the inner piece of quilting should be by allowing for the seam allowances, etc.  The outside piece was cut 28" x 10" which allows 1/2" seam allowances on all four sides and leaves the dimensions of 27" x 9" in the center which satisfies the requirements  for a bento bag of three equal squares.

I cut another piece from the same fabric and trimmed two triangles - one from each end in opposite corners.  The remaining corners which create the ties will then be only one layer and make tying the tea cozy easier. I quilted the cotton batting to the inside layer in even lines and then hemmed the right and left sides where I cut out the triangles.  I marked the squares for the cozy on the under side of my rectangle so I could line up the layer which worked well.  I quilted the inner layer to the to the outside rectangle using several lines of stitching going in line with the diagonal edges and finished off with the two sides.  

Next, I stitched the side seams that create the cozy.  I trimmed away the batting and the inside layer a bit from the seam allowance before finishing the 1/2" seams with decorative stitching.  The edges of the ties are simply turned over once and stitched with the decorative stitching.  This helps soften them and therefore makes tying them easier as well.  I had thought I might add fusible webbing in the seam allowance of the tie area to make that more secure as it will be a place of the most wear but I completely forgot once I was in that stage of production.  Maybe next time!!  
This is the finished bento tea cozy which because of how I made my seams is finished inside and out with no unfinished seams.

I did sew the bottom corners diagonally which  helps make the cozy stand up more easily and I was able to finish them off by sewing the little triangles to the sides.  I could also have stitched them to the bottom.  As you can see, the ties easily fold down to the outside which makes putting the tea pot into the cozy quite easy.  The spout and handle are easily accessible as well.  The teapot they have has a large handle which goes from front to back so the ties will simply tie underneath the handle.

I really like the look of this little tea cozy and it is versatile enough to be used with a variety of teapots.  The single knot on the top is easily undone which allows the pouring in of more water for a few more cups.  With this tea cozy the bottom as well as the sides are insulated which should keep the tea nice and hot!  I will get some feedback once it has been used a few times to see if there are any changes that need to be made to the design to make it more efficient or practical.  I did not get a chance to try it before it was on its way to its new home.  
Because of its bento bag design it could easily be used to keep buns warm or to transport a casserole  for a potluck event.  I appreciate the flexibility of this design and expect will be used often.  

I also made two trivet/hotpot mats that matched.  I filled them with five layers of old flannel sheet which should be enough to protect the table but also leaves them flexible enough to be used as potholders if you wish.  I put two 8" squares of 100% quilting cotton with their right sides together and then added the five layers of flannel over them and pinned everything in place.  I stitched around the edge leaving about a 3/8" - 1/2" seam allowance and leaving an opening of about 3" - 4" on one side.  I trimmed the corners diagonally and also the flannel in the seam allowance all the way around leaving about 1/4" before turning them inside out.  I poked the corners to make them nice and square and then pressed them well making sure that the seam allowance on the gaps was well pressed and flat.  I stitched all the way around about 1/16" - 1/8" from the edges which sealed the gap I used to turn them over and gave them a bit off stability.  I drew a swirly design on one side with a pencil and then stitched it to add a bit of texture and interest to the mats and effectively attach all the layers.   I am pretty happy with how they turned out!!!  I expect they will both appreciate the handmade gifts!!!


Saturday, December 15, 2018

Christmas gifts - felted wool coasters

I usually send my friends little gifts in their Christmas cards and in the past I have sent handmade ornaments.  This year I made felted wool coasters.  My daughter has gifted me with bags full of wool - some felted, some not and a few weeks ago I started going through the bags to see if I could make use of any of it for gifts for this year.  I did a bit of internet research and found a few small projects that would be conducive to the supplies available and the time I had.  So with a few pieces of this duplex ivory/tan felted wool I decided to make some coasters.  I cut the felted wool into 4" x 4" squares using my rotary cutter, clear ruler and my cutting mat.  Makes the job pretty quick.

 I used wool fiber from kits which I have purchased here and there when I found them at thrift stores or yard sales.  I chose a simple floral design and embroidered it on my coasters.  I was careful not to go too deep into the wool so that the threads did not show on the back side.   I used the back stitch for the stems and then just running stitch for the branches.  The flowers are french knots.
I made five for this time around but have fabric for making more.  On the first four in used different greens for the stems and branches and used lavender, blue, pink and red for the flowers.  On the last one I used brown for the stem and branches and orange for the flowers.  I added decorative machine stitching to the edges though it is not necessary.  I used contrasting thread - darker on the front and lighter on the back.  I used a three stitch zigzag which worked out really well.  I was careful to line up the stitching when I connected back to where I started.  I tied off the ends and used a needle to hide them into the felted wool of the coaster.  I am super happy with how they turned out!!!!  Looking forward to inventing a few more flower patterns to go on the next batch.    Therese

Friday, December 14, 2018

Christmas cards - swirly trees, decorative paper and some different embellishements

I had a stack of these images which I put aside when I was getting ready for one of my classes.  So when I was making up Christmas cards to get enough for what I needed for this season I decided to make them up into cards.  As you can see I used decorative paper in a variety of ways to create the background I needed for them.  I had printed both green and red trees which were digitally manipulated before printing.  Love the versatility that this process provides.  I did use my tracing wheel on all the images because I love the texture added by the fun little lines of holes!! They were all mounted to coordinating rectangles of cardstock and adhered to the card fronts using 3D foam tape.
For the top left:  I used a piece of decorative paper 4" x 5.25", added bits of ribbon to the right hand side of the image before adhering it to my card front.
For the top right: I cut the decorative paper in two and added a strip of embossed cardstock in between.  I did flag both ends for more interest.
For the one on the left:  I cut the decorative paper into four pieces and mounted it to the coordinating card front then added green strips in between.
For the one on the right:  I tore the paper twice before mounting to a coordinating card front.

For the one on the left:  I tore the paper twice before mounting to a coordinating card front and added a strip of coordinating cardstock which I had embossed and flagged both ends.
For the one on the right:  I combined strips of cardstock to make the layer behind my image and added gold embroidery thread to my image gluing the ends to the back before adhering it to my card front with 3D foam tape.

So a few more cards for my stash which will be sent off to those on my Christmas list this year.


Thursday, December 13, 2018

Christmas card - digital Merry Christmas, ribbon and some torn decorative paper

This card was a sample created for one of my Christmas card classes which was modified to be more class friendly.  I removed the ribbon and added a strip of embossed cardstock of which I have much more options for colours.
For this card I colour printed the digital image onto white cardstock and trimmed it to 2.75", added lines of texture with a tracing wheel and then mounted it to a coordinating square of cardstock.  The 4" square of decorative paper was torn in two and the two pieces were mounted to a coordinating card front that was previously embossed and sponged.  I added short lengths of ribbon to the right hand edge of my image/greeting and then adhered it to my card front using 3D foam tape over the gap in the decorative paper.  I like the texture added by the ribbon!!    The colour of this image was digitally manipulated to provide several options for colours which made it versatile for the class.       Therese

Wednesday, December 12, 2018

Christmas card - swirl wreath digital, decorative paper and some bling

I created this card as a sample for one of my card classes and after a bit of evaluation when I was preparing kits I decided to modify the design a bit to make it more class friendly.  I did make up the samples well in advance of the class due to my other commitments and before I had any idea how many would be attending the class.  So this one was added to my stash and will be sent to someone on my Christmas card list.
I started with decorative scrapbook paper  - a 4" square.  I tore it in two and found a coordinating card front.  After a bit of consideration I decided to emboss the area in the gap before adhering the two pieces - one on top and the other at the bottom.  I colour printed the digital swirly wreath image onto white cardstock, trimmed them to 2.75" and added textured lines to them using my pattern tracing wheel.  I mounted the image to a coordinating square of cardstock.  Wanting to add a bit more interest I punched a label using the Decorative Label punch (SU) from red cardstock, cut it in half and embellished each half using a glittery rhinestone and dots from a clear glitter gel pen.  I mounted these to the back of my image before adhering this large element to my card front using 3D foam tape.  Love the look of it but it became impractical for the class due to the amount of small pieces.  The digital wreath was digitally manipulated which produced some in a variety of colours.  Makes it coordinate with a variety of papers that way!!             Therese

Tuesday, December 11, 2018

Christmas card - swirly tree digital image, decorative paper and some texture from a tracing wheel

This is another sample I had prepared for one of my classes which was dismissed due to the amount of people signed up for the class.  I features a digital image of a swirly tree which was colour printed on white cardstock, trimmed to size and then embellished with a tracing wheel to give it a bit of texture before being layered onto a coordinating rectangle of cardstock.  The 4" square of decorative paper was torn in two and the mounted onto a coordinating card front which was embossed with a Swiss Dot embossing folder.  The large focal element was mounted to the card front using 3D foam tape and positioned over the gap in the paper.
The digital image was manipulated digitally to create both green and red trees.  Fun to be able to change the colour of an image digitally which make is it much more versatile!


Sunday, December 09, 2018

Christmas card class - Colour printed digital greetings, scrapbook paper and an embossed flag ended strip

For this card we started with a 4" square of scrapbook paper which we tore in two and then adhered to a coordinating card front.  The colour printed digital greeting was embellished with a pattern tracing wheel to give it a bit of texture and it was then mounted to a coordinating square of cardstock.  We had the option of using the distressing tool on any of our edges which is featured on the blue card.  Each kit had an embossed strip of coordinating cardstock which could be modified on the ends and was adhered over the gap in the decorative paper.  The greeting/focal element was then mounted over the strip using 3D foam tape to give this card a bit of dimension. The digital image has been digitally manipulated to vary the colours which allowed it to coordinate with a wide variety of papers.  As you can see this kit could be made up in the portrait or landscape format.  A very flexible sketch which can be made up in a wide variety of papers and colours.           Therese

Christmas card class - scroll frame on coloured cardstock, decorative paper ovals with embossed tree die cuts

For this card, I started with oval die cuts (Nestibilities) cut from colour printed decorative paper which was part of one of my previous Christmas card classes.  I chose coordinating cardstock and embossed the quarter sheets with the Swirl Frame embossing folder and them trimmed them to 4" x 5.25" ensuring I did not cut off any of the design.  The decorative ovals were glued inside the opening in the embossing on the cardstock and then embellished with little embossed tree die cuts (SX).  We added the little silver star sequins with a silver brad and then adhered this large element to the front of white cards.   These did not have any greetings on the front but included a Christmas greeting on the single panel insert glued inside.             Therese

Christmas card class - sponging through stencils, silhouette images and some embossing

For these cards I laser printed a compilation of silhouette digital images and a greeting onto white cardstock and trimmed them down to 4" x 5.25".  I embossed the top edge and side with a Christmas embossing folder that features swirls and snowflakes for the trees one and used the an embossing folder that features ornaments for the others.  At class I provided a variety of inks pads with sponges along with circle stencils which were created using transparency plastic and Nestibilities Classic Circle dies.  We secured our cardstock with painters tape and then positioned the circle stencil over the area of the image we wanted to highlight.  Next, we slowly started sponging on ink in a light handed circular motion.  We were able to mix colours and create a night sky that complimented the card front.  Once finished and dry the images was adhered to the card fronts and clear rhinestones were added to embellish the embossing.  The sponging is almost magical as it develops and enhances the printed image.  Love how they turned out!!        Therese

Saturday, December 08, 2018

November cardmaking - torn paper, an embossed strip and a colour printed gift focal element

For these cards, we started with 4" square of decorative paper.  The left hand card features scrapbook paper and the one on the right is colour printed digital paper (SU).  Each one has been torn and adhered to a coordinating card front.  The gift image has been digitally manipulated to produce a variety of colours which coordinate with a wide variety of papers.  The gift images were trimmed to 2.75", textured with a tracing wheel and/or a distressing tool and then mounted to a square of coordinating cardstock.  Each kit had a strip of embossed cardstock which was trimmed and mounted over the gap in the decorative paper and then the gift image element was mounted over the strip using 3D foam tape.  Each kit included a single sheet panel insert which featured a Christmas greeting.  A few more examples below. 


November Cardmaking - embossed swirl frame, a decorative paper oval die cut and a die cut ornament hanging from a sprig of green

For this card, the embossed quarter sheets of coloured cardstock were embossed with the swirl frame embossing folder and then trimmed to include the whole embossed design.  These were coordinated with the decorative colour printed ovals which were die cut for a previous Christmas card class.  The ovals were glued inside the embossed design.  The little ornaments were cut from coordinating cardstock using a Nestibilities set and embossed using the center element from a Christmas tree embossing folder.  The ornament was adhered onto the oval using 3D foam tape.  After positioning the little branch punchie (MS) I drew a line from the ornament up a bit so they intersected with each other using a fine tip black marker.  Next, I glued the branch to the back of a small silver snowflake confetti and then added a small piece of 3D foam tape and adhered it on the edge of the oval in a way that it also intersected with the line I drew above the ornament.  In some cases, I also attached the snowflake with a silver brad which replaced the piece of 3D foam tape.  I adhered this large element to a white card front.  These were made up in a few colour combinations which coordinated with the decorative paper ovals.          Therese

November cardmaking - sponged circles on laser printed images with some embossing on the edges

For these cards I printed a variety of silhouette digital images in black onto white cardstock and trimmed to 4" x 5.25"  This image is a compilation of several images from CLKER to which I added several wavy lines to create a bit of a horizon.  Once trimmed I emboss the images with several Christmas embossing folders just using the areas of the embossing folders that worked for each design.  Each person was supplied with a circle stencil which was created using a quarter sheet of transparency plastic from which a central circle had been cut using Nestibilities Classic Circles dies.  They secured their cardstock with some painters tape and then positioned the stencils over the area of the image they wanted to highlight and secured that with painters tape as well.  Next, they used a variety of little sponges to add colour to the open area of the stencil which created  a beautiful circle on the image.  We used 1" sitcky note circles to create white "moons" in our landscapes as well.  I used the edge of torn paper to create a bit of interest just above my horizon line which sort of mimics mountains and/or clouds and used several coordinating colours of ink to get a beautiful circle.  To finish off the cards we glued our layers to coordinating card fronts and embellished them with clear rhinestones.  

Sunday, December 02, 2018

Christmas card - gold holly and greeting with an embossed background and some red fiber

I found these two elements in my Christmas card stash.  I cut them from a used card that was donated to me for cardmaking.  I wanted a textured background so I embossed an off white quarter sheet of cardstock with the poinsettia embossing folder from StampinUP.  I trimmed it to fit on an A2 card and tied red fiber to it before mounting it to a red card front.  I mounted the gold holly image to my card using 3D foam tape and overlapped the fiber.  I added the punched greeting using 3D foam tape on the right and double sided on the left.    Therese

Saturday, December 01, 2018

Christmas card - branch tree image, gold embossing and a simple sketch

I am still making Christmas cards!!  This one reuses a simple card front which I thought was most elegant in its simplicity.  I stamped and gold embossed a Merry Christmas greeting and used an embossing pen to highlight the star and added gold embossing powder to it as well.  I trimmed it to fit on an A2 card, added a layer of red cardstock, then a layer of gold before adhering this large element to a green card. 
Quick and easy!!