August 28, 2010

Scraps Bag

I have this cute little hutch to hold my sewing machine and supplies, with a flip up lid to shut it all cleanly away when I am not using it - and I love it.
I sit and sew at this table, and it is my own little craft space so that I can attempt to keep the kitchen table clear (my previous craft space).
As any sewer knows, you accumulate a lot of scraps and strings throughout the course of a project that need to be thrown away.  Previously, I was tossing them in a little paper bag, which got dumped over, or squished, or lost frequently - and wasn't very productive. 
When I saw the tutorial for this car trash bag, I figured that this would be a good fix for me!

Since I have very little table top space in this cabinet, I wanted a little scrap bag that I could affix to the wall.

Once I was done sewing it (it took me only about 30 minutes), I sewed a piece of velcro on the back,

and put an opposite piece of sticky velcro on the wall to hold it up.

Now, I have a nice, out of the way (and more permanently affixed) scrap bag that I can easily take to the garbage can to empty when I have filled it up.

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August 27, 2010

Crayon Bucket

Meet the old crayon bucket. It originally held foam stickers, and became the dumping ground for all drawing things.
It sits around, looking ugly no matter where it is, and I finally decided that I really need a new place to dump all the crayons.
I went to the craft store and found this great wooden bucket – with sturdy latch and handle – for just a few bucks. I love to woodburn (don’t know what woodburning is? Find out here!) so I decided to make it cute and give it a title with woodburning and paint.

First, I sketched my design on the wood with pencil. The little face on the front was patterned after the first picture that my daughter drew of her daddy – and I thought it was cute.

The back has tracings of the girl’s hands.
Then I woodburned over my pencil lines. Here are pictures after that step.

Using acrylic paint, very watered down, I painted the sections in bright colors, painted the crayons to match, and painted the hands in contrasting colors.

Finally I sprayed it with a clear coat – and transferred the crayons to their new home.
Yeah! I love it :)

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August 21, 2010

Princess and the Pea Quilt

I have had my eye on this pattern for a long time.  I think it is so clever.
You can find it here at Moda Bake Shop.

I did use a Honey Bun - because it is so easy to have everything cut straight and even.  The other pieces for the back and ruffle I found at the regular fabric store though - just chose something I thought matched.

You might notice that on the finished product I have those extra yellow blocks of fabric on the sides in order to make it the right width.  That is because once I had sewn all 40 strips together, it was NOT straight.  I had to cut of a substantial amount to make the edges straight.  It was bad.  I don't know exactly what I did wrong - though the fabric was a bit stretchy - so I guess I just pulled at it a little too much while I was sewing. 

After sewing the 40 strips together, it says to iron the seams toward the top.  This took me a little while, until I could get the iron just right.  I found that if I put the tip of the iron just to the left of the seam, and had the iron up at an angle, it folded the seam in the right direction before ironing it flat.  These pictures try to show it a little. 

Here is a picture of it inside out. 
And the final product!  (Although I still havn't sewed my pea button on yet).
I am pretty happy with it.  Not that we need one more blankie around the house though:)

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August 19, 2010

Antique Key Holder

Recently, we had a family reunion and I made a small commemorative gift for each family.
My husband’s parents were celebrating their 40th wedding anniversary, and every single one of their children, sons-in-law, daughters-in-law, and grandchildren were there to celebrate with them!

My idea all started when my mom and I saw a bowl of antique keys in a great little antique shop in Concord, MA. We couldn’t resist buying a bunch of adorable, ornate antique keys – even though we didn’t exactly know what do to with them.

Since the 40th anniversary is the ruby anniversary, our color scheme was red, black and white – and I wanted my gift to adhere to these specifics.

I started by purchasing a 5”x8’ board from home depot, and had my husband help me cut it into 8 pieces, each about 9” long. Then I sanded the edges.

I painted each board black, using acrylic paint, because black was one of our theme colors.

After the paint was dry, using a scrap of sandpaper, I sanded all the edges and the top of the board, to give it an antique look.

You can see the difference with this unsanded one next to this sanded one.

Once the base was done, it was time to put on the metal sheets. The black wood made a nice contrast to the silver metal, and framed it nicely. I was planning on putting vinyl lettering on the metal, so the bright silver color stood out and provided a perfect backdrop for the black vinyl lettering.

I bought these 5x7” metal sheets online from Roberts craft store(link is on the right). They are thin, and easy to cut with scissors.

I cut them in half and rounded the cut edges. Then, I sanded the top of the metal to add texture.

Using Amazing Goop glue, I glued the metal sheets down in the middle of the wooden board.

I also applied the hanging hardware. I chose hardware that screwed in to the back, and hung outside of the board so that it would be more secure on the wall. I have used those jaggedy teeth picture hangers that you nail in with little nails, but I like these a lot better – especially for something that holds any weight.

Next I chose hooks and knobs from the hardware store which would become the places to hang keys.
I spray painted them red, to match the ruby anniversary theme.

Then, I screwed the knob screws through the back at even intervals.  I had to make a large hole first, and then screw in the screws quickly through the back, so they would punch all the way through the metal. 

Next came adding the vinyl lettering. I am lucky enough to have an aunt with a machine that cuts vinyl letters, but there are companies who will cut customized vinyl for you. I spoke to my parents-in-law and asked them what the “key to their happiness and success in marriage” was. They each came up with one word, and I used those words for my saying.

It became “Trust and Oneness are the Keys” – a key metaphor that went along with my key holder.

Once the vinyl lettering was on, I was able to screw the knobs on, and the key holder was done!

To finish it off, I took little lengths of red cord and looped them through the antique keys, and hung them on the big middle knob.
Now, the key holders can be functional and used to hang real keys, while being a pretty decoration and meaningful reminder of our amazing family reunion.

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