September 25, 2015
Spider Web Pillow
One of the first stencils I designed for StencilGirl was the Spider Web stencil
. I’m not sure what that says although I’m betting I was prepping for Halloween and thinking how I needed
a web stencil. I’ve used it for many of my Halloween projects including this pillow. If you’re interested in making your own, the complete tutorial
can be found over on the StencilGirl blog. What projects will you be creating this fall?
July 2, 2015
Today I’m showing some state love over on the Stencil Girl blog. These personalized, embroidered hoops make great gifts for family and friends. Click here for the full project!
April 30, 2014
Sea Tea Towels
Today, I have two new stencils debuting over at Stencil Girl: sea urchin
and sand dollars
. In their honor I’ve whipped up a batch of tea towels that are super easy to make. As a bonus they make great gifts, think Mother’s Day and end-of-the-year teacher. For the complete how-to click here
August 9, 2013
Down by the Sea Pillows
The latest stencils I designed for StencilGirl had me thinking of boardwalks, foamy waves and saltwater breezes. If you want to transport yourself back to your favorite days on the beach, forget holding a shell to your ear and try stenciling instead.
I made the three pillows above using my hot-off-the-press stencils (above) plus other materials I had on hand. Granted I have a pretty decent material stash (hoarder alert), but I promise these pillows are simple and quick to pull together. Here’s a general tutorial of how to create your own comfy beach pillows.
MATERIALS: (but feel free to improvise)
fabric paint (I used Lumiere acrylics for a bit of sparkle) . stencils . stencil brush . canvas on a roll (click if you want the exact stuff I used) . burlap (for pillow back) . material scraps reminiscent of the sea . trim . pillow form . sewing machine . needle . thread
1) Cut the fronts and backs of your pillow from fabric sized to fit your pillow form. I used burlap for the pillow backs and the unprimed side of the canvas for the pillow fronts (I liked the natural canvas side better for this project.)
2) Plain out your design before stenciling on the fabric. Taking the time to do a practice pillow on a similar size piece of scrap paper will be time well spent. You get one shot on that fabric folks!
3) When ready to stencil on the fabric: lay ironed canvas flat, position stencil and apply paint. Make sure your brush is not too wet. Again, practicing before will allow for better results on the real deal. Take my word for it.
4) I used several warm Lumiere colors to add depth and interest. Subtle, yet awesome. You can kind of see the variation of colors above, but admittedly it’s hard to capture in a photograph.
5) Let your pillow fronts dry. Above see how I chose to design my pillows (Wet, please don’t touch.)
6) Add some fun! Buttons, trims, fabrics etc. Stitch embellishments to the pillow fronts before you sew the front and back together. Otherwise you will have a seriously difficult time here.
7) Now place the front of the pillow under the front of the back of the pillow (inside out). Add some side trim if you desire and sew together. Remember to leave an opening to insert the pillow form.
8) Insert pillow form and hand stitch the pillow shut the rest of the way.
9) Enjoy a bit of the sea even if like me, you don’t have an oceanfront address.
Thanks for stopping by. It was certainly nice to meet you if you’re new over here. The blog hop party continues below with the Original Stencil girl, Mary Beth Shaw! (that must be how it feels to be a presenter at the academy awards. I sure lucked out.
October 25, 2011
Quilted Halloween Potholder
Wondering how you’re going to handle your hot caldron this Halloween? How funny…so was I! Witch, I mean which : ), is what inspired me to design a couple of quilted caldron/pot holders. Follow along for a quick tutorial.
4 assorted fabrics (9″ x 9″ top; 9″ x 9″ bottom; hat and star according to pattern
; 40″ x 2″ binding; 6″ x 2″ loop hanger); batting (3-10″ x 10″ squares); fusible web; iron; sewing machine; thread; needle; embroidery floss.
Use my free pattern (click here
) to trace the hat bottom, middle band, hat top and star onto the smooth side of the fusible web, leaving a 1/4″ allowance all around each shape. Cut out the shapes just outside the marked lines. Press the hat shapes and star onto the wrong side of each of the chosen fabrics. Cut out the shapes accurately along the marked lines. Iron the shapes to the quilt top.
Make a quilt sandwich with the bottom/back fabric, three pieces of batting and finally the top/front of the potholder (a.) Pin together with safety pins.
Use a variety of machine stitches to quilt your block together (b.-c.) Use hand stitching to quilt the twirly line connecting the star to the hat.
Trim the excess batting from sides to make a perfect square.
To make the hanger loop, fold a 6″ x 2″ fabric strip in half lengthwise and press. Open out and fold each raw edge toward the center fold. Stitch along the long edges (d.) Set aside.
Cut a 40″ x 2″ strip of fabric for the edge binding. My new favorite way to machine attach binding is courtesy of my quilting instructor, Heather. She has a fabulous picture heavy tutorial here
. Attach the loop hanger into the left hand corner of the binding.
For an alternative design, I attached a spider to the end of the hat rather than a star. The spider consists of two fused circles and hand-stitched legs and eyes.
Enjoy creating a funky piece of functional decor just in time for Halloween!
January 31, 2010
Maybe it’s that time of year or the weather or something, but I’ve recently caught myself starting to google, half-seriously, “What should I do now?” If only I could bing the Internet to provide a personalized step-by-step artistic path…what to prioritize and/or what to let go. Cold, dreary weather is a creative drain. Fortunately, I was able to snap out of it this weekend to organize my studio. In the process, I realized a thing or two. I’m pretty sure that one of the best cures for a muddled and disorganized head, is a neat and organized work space. Messiness is distracting.I marvel at design, craft and sewing books that manage to keep a single focus from beginning to end with beautifully, illustrated step-by-steps along the way. This is not possible in actual life.
I believe in being prepared for any occasion. However, it’s also important to be able to see what you already have.I sorted through overflowing fabric bins and let go of uninspiring pieces. Extra stuff adds weight rather than inspiration.
Now the challenge is to keep things in place while I let go of January. Hello to a clearer, warmer (fingers crossed) and brighter February.
November 17, 2009
Hanging Acorn Frame tutorial
My girls and I went for a fall walk the other day. Crunching under our feet were hundreds of little acorn hats. We stopped to inspect them closer, loving their tiny details…an absolutely gorgeous crafting material. We collected as many as our pockets could hold and brought them back to the studio for some acorn brainstorming. While my daughters dreamed up a family of acorn people, I worked to create an acorn frame with a hanger.
acorn tops of various sizes
flat wooden frame with at least an 1 inch border
hot glue gun
brown craft paint
20 inch piece of 1/2 inch wide brown ribbon
a photo or piece of art to frame
step one. Remove the glass and back of the frame for crafting purposes. Paint the frame with brown craft paint. step two.
Attach the ribbon middle to a large acorn top by hot gluing the ribbon into the acorn.
Hot glue the ends of the ribbon to the top of the front frame corners like so.
Hot glue acorn tops to the front of the frame. You will cover where the ribbon was previously attached.step five.
Insert the frame glass along with a photo or a piece of original art and hang your finished creation on a wall or a doorknob.
Giving thanks for the little things including time to paint, craft and look for acorns. : )
September 29, 2009
When I entered the scene of a particular yard sale a month or so ago, I almost turned around and walked right back out before doing a thorough investigation of the goods. At first glance, the sale seemed to have an abundance of overpriced Tupperware and plastic novelties. But since I had taken the time to stop the car, I figured I’d at least check out the pile of books on a back table. And that’s when I saw it. A small box shoved to the side. I gulped. Vintage scrabble?! My heart skipped a beat. There wasn’t a board, but the letters and letter racks were enough for me. With the asking price of 50 cents for the set, I realized that some people value Tupperware, while others prefer vintage letters. Absolutely nothing wrong with that.
I knew those little blocky letters would be great in a mixed media piece, but I also realized they were cool enough to stand on their own. So I spelled out our name and let them rest on the light switch plate in our entryway. Hubby please stop reading…
(actually they are attached to the wall with a little dab of hot glue. Yes, I was aware that the painter of the house would not be happy with the decision to take a glue gun to the walls, but at least it’s not hay or plastic flowers, right? …anybody see those Trading Spaces episodes??!)
Hubby continue reading…I also came to the conclusion that my fabric covered studio switch plate could benefit from letter additions so I “attached” more tiles. I love spelling out the obvious.Less daring I suppose is choosing to display a word on one of those charming, old wooden racks. The X is on its side on purpose. You get it right?! This also spells what to do when you discover how your wife attached scrabble letters to the walls. XOXO : )
August 17, 2009
Chalk it up
Here’s a summer project that’s been on my list. I’ve had a quart of chalkboard paint in my studio closet for the longest time. My original intention was to add some chalkboard real estate to the basement/kids area. However, my recent read of Jen’s blog about her chalkboard paint tray transformation inspired me to do something similar, but I changed my chalk tray up with a button twist. (disclaimer: please don’t worry as the poor children weren’t left out of the quart…this tray was in addition to giving them chalk space, but that’s another post.)
Back to the tray, starting at the inner edge of the rim (where the black meets white), I attached various sized buttons. It’s kinda like a jigsaw puzzle fitting the right size button into the space. I kept my button palette mostly in the white family, but inserted a few chalky colored buttons for interest.
tahDah! I positioned my finished plate on a plate stand (a stand that was an ugly bronze, but a quick coat of black spray paint changed all that) and wrote my welcoming message.I’ll undoubtedly personalize the message for the various family and friends that visit and stay in our guest room over the year. We love our visitors, so I’m very excited to have this extra welcoming touch.
April 2, 2009
Making it up as I go
I decided it was about time I signed on to be a vendor at an art fair. It’s one of those things that I knew I wanted to try on for size sooner or later to see if we were a fit for each other. So when opportunity knocked, I answered and signed on for what I felt was a good fit for novice me (good fit for my first show = one day, inside, laid back yet professional, whimsical vendors with a humorous, friendly organizer.) Now with a little over a month to go, I’m working on my booth design. If you’ve ever peeked over at my etsy wares you know I’m all about bright colors and fun. The goal is for my booth to match, yet not overpower the goods. My vision includes a pennant garland to add to the festive atmosphere I’m working to create. I didn’t use a specific tutorial or anything to make…this wasn’t wheel invention. I just created a triangle shape from cardboard for a pattern, then cut, interfaced and pinned together more triangles than I ever cared to count.
For the triangles, I used three solids (found at yard sales for pennies) and then sprinkled in my more cherished prints. I powered up my sewing machine and had fun sewing triangles with funky multi-colored thread and zigzag stitches. Nothing too serious…this garland was all about having a good time. Next, I laid out a pattern of sewn triangles (yes, there is a pattern, but heck no, it’s not obvious.)
After rummaging through my rick rack box, I found yellow bias tape perfect to string the flags together. (disclaimer: my rick rack box filled with vintage bias tapes, trims, etc. does not exist due to years of sewing. I picked it all up at a yard sale years ago before I sewed anything more than buttons. I knew it was a jackpot for $1, even though I had no idea what to do with the stuff. Self pat on the back…glad I didn’t pass that find by.)
Yards and yards of flag later, I can check ‘garland’ off my booth prep list. Next up is signage. The 3′ x 5′ piece of primed canvas I ordered from Dick Blick came in the mail yesterday. I’m excited to roll that baby out on the floor and go to work. I’ll keep ya updated as the days tick down. It’s exciting to see it all come together. Making up a space design and loving it.