Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Recycled gift basket (Valentines)

I made this basket yesterday to bring some cookies and Haw Flakes over to a friend yesterday for the Lunar New Year. I think it would work really well for Valentines with some heart cut outs or for Easter with some bunny cut outs.

Small paper bag
1”x11” strip of paper
Stapler and staples
Paper/stencils/pens for decorations

Fold bag to top is even with bottom
Fold again so new top is even with bottom
Smooth out wrinkles
Decorate as desired
Staple ends of paper to sides
Line with paper towel or colorful napkin if sweets are homemade or unpackaged
Fill with sweets to give away

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Leaf Printing

I saw some really great leaf prints on Etsy and got very excited about trying it. They can look really sophisticated and complex with very little work. I tried it out with my son on one of the many snow days this winter break. He loved it and has been proudly wearing the shirt he made.

Fresh clean leaf – pressed in a book for a couple of days
Fabric paint – water based
Blank – t-shirt, tote, pillow, kitchen towel etc. – natural fibers work best. Wash and dry first to remove sizing
Foam paint brush
Shallow containers for paint – I use old baby food jars with lids, that way I can mix the paint and save it for later if I don’t use it all up
2 or more sheets of newspaper

Place sheet of paper inside blank so it fits from side to side with no wrinkles. This keeps the paint from leaking through to the back. Lay the blank out on a work space, again be sure there are no wrinkles.
Lay a leaf, vein side up, on a half sheet of newsprint.
Brush with thin layer of paint.
Carefully place leaf on blank paint side down.
Cover leaf with clean piece of newspaper and gently press down so all parts of leaf make contact. Be sure not to move leaf while pressing down.
Carefully lift leaf.
Repeat as desired. Try mixing colors on leaf.
Let blank completely dry.
Turn inside out and press with iron. Iron should be as hot as fabric will allow. More iron around and be sure not to burn fabric.

Care: turn inside out, machine wash cold, gently tumble dry low.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Hanging Garden Art

My son noticed something very similar at the Volunteer Park Conservatory gift shop. He really wanted to buy one, but they were pretty expensive and I thought we could make one ourselves. The materials were pretty hard to find and it took awhile for me to find them all. But once you have the materials, it takes only a few minutes to assemble.
When it spins it looks like the marble is climbing or descending.

2-3feet Thick copper wire (I found it in the cut by yard electrical wire area of Ace. I bought 5 yards and made 3, but the larger one looks better and I think that used about half the wire.)
1-2 big glass marbles (I used 2” ones I bought off the internet. The ones we saw in the gift shop had a smaller one at the bottom and a larger one at top.)
Sturdy glass bottle or other firm form to wrap wire around (I used a wine bottle)
10”-20” Twine or string

Twist wire around form as desired
Remove form and reshape wire as desired
Don’t work too much or wire becomes too hard to bend
Crimp hook or loop at top
Place marble inside and gently squeeze wire to keep in place
Tie twine ends together
Slip twine loop over top wire hook
Hang from tree and enjoy

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Custom sewn slippers

Save the socks!
I have worn through every pair of socks I own. I devised this version of a bootie to custom fit my hard to fit feet (short and wide). They fit so great, I don’t kick them off all over the house.
My son loved his so much he wore them to bed for a week.

Clear quilter’s ruler
Fabric – amount depends on size of foot (Buy at least your foot length plus 1 inch) a fat quarter will be enough for most feet – I used bonded fleece for the bottom to reduce slipping
¼” elastic 10-18 inches depending on size of foot
Sewing machine
Thread - match or contrast fabric

On large piece of paper, trace foot with sock on. (If you are doing your own feet, have someone else trace)
Measure from the floor over the top of highest part of foot (usually next to ankle) and back to floor again
Add ¼ inch around tracing of foot and cut out on outer line (if you are using bulky fabric add 3/8” to ½”) you now have the pattern for the sole
Fold sole in thirds lengthwise
Trace the toe to the second fold onto another paper
Slash and spread to meet measurement over the top plus 1” (1 ½” if bulky fabric)
Smooth out edges. Cut out on this new line. You now have the pattern piece for the toe box.
Measure remaining 1/3 of sole (heel area)
On a piece of paper, draw a line that length plus ½”.
Draw a parallel line centered 2” above and 1” longer than the other line.
Connect the lines. Now you have the heel pattern piece.
Pattern is made for ¼” seam allowance.
See- http://www.poopockets.com/free/footies/footies.htm - for great step by step sewing instructions
Cut 2 paired of each pattern piece. If using contrasting fabric pair or each. I recommend a fun woven on the outside with soft fleece inner. If you can find a less slippery fabric for bottom is safer. I used a bonded fleece with water proof side out for reduced slippage.

Friday, January 2, 2009

Happy New Year!

My camera broke Christmas morning.
I will be back in about a week when the new one arrives.