Thursday, September 26, 2013

Bow Brooch

 Over the last few weeks I have been digging around in my numerous baskets and bags and boxes (and...!) and have found many little projects that can be finished quickly and make me feel like I have accomplished something, craftwise that is.  This is helping me to get through the creative block I have had for a long time and these little projects are just darn cute!  I will be sharing them with you as I complete them.

The first I want to share is a brooch I made from a kit that comes along with the magazine Mollie Makes.  This magazine is published in the UK by Future Publishing Ltd.  I usually find my copy at Barnes and Noble.  It is a wonderful magazine, full of vintage crafts and ideas and always features one artisan and one city with a craft center.  And every month there is a project attached to the front cover!  My favorite part!

Attached to Issue 28 was the kit containing everything to make this adorable bow brooch.  (The button was from my stash).  It was very simple to make.  Just chain 25 stitches, join together and single crochet around and around for 10 rows.  Then make a 10 stitch chain, single crocheting 2 rows to tie the piece into a bow.  That simple!  The yarn, crochet hook, and pinback were all included!  The only thing I forgot is that in the UK, what we in the US call a single crochet, is referred to as a double crochet.  So I did have to rip it all out after getting about half done and realizing I was running out of yarn.  But it was so easy that it took no time at all to catch it back up.

Anyhow...this is the finished brooch.  I have a pretty light green cardigan that this will look perfect on.  And I'm thinking of how it will look next Saint Patrick's Day!  Never too early to be thinking ahead!

Happy Crafting!


Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Jewelry Organizer

I have a ton of jewelry!  You're thinking...don't we all!  The problem is that I forget what I have and end up wearing the same thing over and over again.  I have organized some of my bracelets and earrings, but the necklaces have been kept in boxes and I can't figure out what is what without opening up each one and making a big mess!  I am always on the lookout for new ways to organize and recently found one I want to share.

The original for this can be found on Melony Bradley's blog Mel Designs.  Melony provides great instructions for this project.  I made mine a bit differently as I used only one sheet of scrap book paper.  This is what I love about crafting and blogging.  We can all make the same project and no two will be alike!

I found the plaque at a local craft store for $2.99.  This one is 9 x 12 inches.

I painted the edge of the plaque with sample paint I had purchased a while ago from Lowe's.  Did you know that they sell sample jars for less than 5 bucks!  I think it a lot less but can't remember exactly.  I bought 2 jars of this color, which is a rosy peach.  So far I have painted one of those small media shelving units that are about 3 1/2 feet high and 12 inches wide (to hold jewelry and scarves, what else!?) and a Pottery Barn shelf that I bought second hand.  I still have enough to paint another small shelf that I bought second hand.  All of these shelves and plaques have ended up (or will end up!) in the dressing area of our bedroom.  I eventually plan on painting the walls a pale peach and this color will be a great accent.  Enough of that...

I had this piece of scrap book paper on hand and loved the colors and designs. 

  Head on over to Melony's blog, Mel Designs, for complete instructions.  Thanks, Melony1

Happy Crafting!!


Monday, September 23, 2013

Fabric Necklace

I haven't had much crafting inspiration lately, so I spent some time browsing through my collection of craft magazines and books to see what I could find.  I love the magazines published in the UK as they are big and glossy with great ideas and tutorials and essentially all of the ads are at the back.

One I like in particular, but cannot often find, is Homestyle Sewing, published by Immediate Media Company Ltd.  Lots of vintage sewing ideas that I love.  In the Spring 2013 issue there is a necklace made from fabric.  I had seen these at craft fairs a number of years ago and thought they looked "old lady-ish" (like I am one to talk!).  But the one in the magazine was made from Liberty of London fabrics and was very feminine and vintage looking.  Thought I'd give it a try.

Now most of my cotton fabrics date back to my quilting days and were not what I wanted.  (Actually I was too lazy to look through the 10 or so plastic bins I have.)  A trip to the fabric store was needed!  I didn't have anything in mind other than to take advantage of the 40% fat quarter sale that is going on at Joann's.

This is what I found.

I love batik fabric and thought this would look funky made up into a fabric necklace.  The black fabric looks like galaxies and, since I plan on bleach-dyeing a galaxy shirt (coming next), I picked up this one.  The other batik is to go with a tie-dyed shirt I bought at a craft fair this summer while visiting my family in NH.  The shirt was made by The Edge, located in Center Harbor, NH, and the blues and purples in the batik match the shirt. 

I also needed to pick up some wooden beads. I bought 20mm beads (and used a 40% coupon as these weren't on sale).  The holes of these beads are not large enough to push fabric through, as the design calls for one bead to be strung on the fabric.  I happened to have a similar sized wooden bead with a large hole in my stash and spray painted it a glossy black.  I also found some Sulky thread in a mark down bin for 50 cents.  It is a blue and black metallic and I thought it would look good somehow mixed in with the black bead and batik fabric. 

So, here is the supply list, rather than the supply discussion....

- a fat quarter of fabric or a 3 1/2 by 36 inch piece, preferably a cotton
- 7-10 wooden beads of two different sizes.
- any additional embellishments you may like, such as coordinating thread
- a matching button for the flower adornment, if desired.

I ironed by fabric first as it had been folded up rather tightly.  Next, since I used a fat quarter, I cut two pieces 3 1/2 inches by 18 inches and stitched 2 of the short ends together.

The thin piece is used for a fabric flower to finish off the necklace.  This I cut 3 inches by 18 inches and ironed in half, raw edges together, making a strip 1 1/2 by 18 inches.

I used 5 plain wooden beads wrapped in the fabric and randomly placed the 2 shiny black beads on the necklace.  Basically you wrap the bead in the fabric and tie a know up close to the bead securing it in the fabric.  You can see in the photo that I found a use for the shiny metallic thread.  I wrapped the black beads with it to give it a bit of sparkle, using Mod Podge to hold the thread in place.

Once I had the beads tied into the fabric, I cut the remaining loose ends into 3 strips for braiding.

Once finished with the braiding, I tied knots at both ends to hold the braids in place.  I then stitched a loop of black beading elastic into the knot to close the necklace.  Make sure the loop is large enough to stretch over the knot on the other end of the necklace!

Then I added a fabric flower.

This I made using the thin strip of fabric.  Using a length of thread about 24 inches long, I stitched a running stitch along the raw edges, stitching them together.  I then drew the thread up tightly, pulling it into a circle and stitching the short ends together, closing the circle.  I found a button in my stash that had the galaxy look that the fabric had and used that to hide the raw edges on the inside.  Next I stitched it to the necklace.

I love the way it turned out, but when I make another one out of the other batik I bought, I will make it longer.  I like my necklaces to hang a bit lower and this one is close to my neck.

Hope you enjoyed this!

Happy Crafting!