Monday, 29 April 2013

Hand Crafted Butterfly Teabags

I saw this idea around the blogosphere and my first thought was 'Oh my God that is so nice, but that's a lot of work.' But then I realized that although I wouldn't invest that sort of time for myself, it's the sort of thing my mother would love, and I'm willing to invest the time for her.  With Mother's Day coming up, I set to work.

I'll show you how I made them after the cut.

Friday, 26 April 2013

Crochet Jute Flowers

I crocheted these easy-to-make flowers which can be used in many different ways.

The pattern is:

chain 8, join in the round

chain 3, form 2 triple crochet, chain 3, slip stitch (this makes one petal)

repeat until you have six petals.

Tuesday, 23 April 2013

Altered Round CD Case

I altered this CD case which is holding my circular knitting needles.  The echinacea was simply cut out of thick woven cotton, each piece separately.  I stitched around the pieces and then coloured them with markers.  The head of the flower is done in french knots.

I love how the butterfly turned out, he was drawn onto thin cotton and then embroidered.  His body, legs and antenna are drawn in ink.

The zipper pull is an earring I haven't worn in ages, and I took the second one apart and glued down the beads.

The lyric was printed on tissue paper and Mod Podged, and it's still wet in this photo but will dry completely clear.  It says 'and I think to myself, what a wonderful world'  for those who are curious.

I know that I'm going to be changing a few things on this because it doesn't feel right to me yet. 

The basic construction is similar to the little tutorial I posted here

And here is the before.

I was in the process of removing the zipper and handle, and remembered to take a shot.

Sunday, 21 April 2013

Altered CD Case

I enjoyed making the altered notebook which is posted here so much that it gave me the desire to alter a CD case that I keep in my kitchen.

I'll show you how after the cut.

Thursday, 18 April 2013

Felt iPod Case

 I seem to have lost the iPod case I made and posted photos of a few weeks ago, so until it turns up, if it ever does - I've made a new one.

I'm not concerned about the case showing up, but I sure would like the headphones that were in it.  Ugh.

The back of the case is different but my camera refused to photograph the true colours, so I'll try again and post them later.

Wednesday, 17 April 2013

Tuesday, 16 April 2013

Greenery Wreath

I made this simple wreath today for my bedroom door.  I am crazy about wreaths and I'm pretty sure I have too many.

I like doing things cheaply, so to make this one, I took apart a coat hanger, shaped it into a circle and then wrapped it in taupe fabric and held the end down with hot glue.  As you may notice, I can't do much without a cat helping.

From time to time when I am at a dollar store, I check the greenery and buy a cluster so that when it comes time to craft, I have several kinds on hand to make things interesting.  This wreath has six different types in it.

Sunday, 14 April 2013

Altered Notebook Tutorial

After having bought Mod Podge to do an image transfer, I gave some thought about what other sort of project I could do to use up some more of it, and decided to try my hand at altering a dollar store notebook.

I am in love with how it turned out so much that I'm going to cover my address book in the same way.  

I'm going to give this one to my mother on Mother's Day.

Here's a tutorial 

Saturday, 13 April 2013

Breadboard With Vintage Ad

I transferred a Graphics Fairy vintage ad onto a breadboard (image transfer tutorial using Citra Solv is here) and I know that I am obsessed with vintage advertising but the pieces I have made are spread out over the house so I don't think it's overkill.  Yet.

Maybe I worked in advertising in a previous life...

Friday, 12 April 2013

Rolled Paper Rose Ball

I made this paper rose ball a while ago and was iffy about it and it lived out of sight for a while. I decided to display it atop a vase and I'm still not sure about it but it's living there a while until it grows on me, or not.

Here's how to make rolled paper roses: 

Wednesday, 10 April 2013

Image Transfer Onto Bedside Table Using Mod Podge

I was on the verge of putting this little bedside table into a yard sale and then decided I really should use it in the guest room instead.  Since I'm crazy for image transfers, I hunted for one (at The Graphics Fairy, of course)  that would suit the piece.  I simply enlarged the image into three separate parts that fit on letter sized paper using Word.

After painting two coats of white acrylic, I set to work using the photocopies printed using toner and burnished the image using Citra Solv and to my surprise, it blurred badly.  I painted over the drawers and tried again.  Another fail.  This method worked perfectly on my J.P Coats sewing box project so I was at a loss to figure out why it wouldn't work on this piece, as I had even used the very same paint on it.

I thought I must be doing something wrong so I found some tiny images I had on hand and tried to transfer them onto the sides of a drawer where it wouldn't show, and all three times every one of them blurred badly.  I am completely stumped as to why it wouldn't work this time.

I was not going to give up easily, so I did some research and decided to try out the Mod Podge image transfer method.

I followed the directions as outlined in this really good tutorial, and the dang image rubbed off as I worked on the first drawer, so - another fail. 

I felt defeated but began to work on the second drawer, gently rubbing off only a thin layer the wet paper as instructed, and then decided I was tired of it, so I left it alone overnight to be worked on the next day.

Leaving it to dry overnight after wetting it again and removing a thin layer of paper seems to be the key.  

The next morning, I saturated the leftover paper again, gently rubbing it off, and the image had firmly set onto the paint and didn't come off this time around.

So in a nutshell, this is how I managed to get a good transfer:

Brush a moderate amount of Mod Podge over the image on your photocopy - use cheap thin paper, it's easier to remove later.  Don't brush the Mod Podge onto white spaces  - you'll waste time rubbing it off later.  Don't use an excessive amount of Mod Podge, but don't be stingy either.


Position and then lie your copy onto the painted item print side down and gently remove bubbles or wrinkles with your fingertips or a flat item (a credit card would work well).  Do this step gently or you will rip the paper.  Also! make sure your print is properly oriented.  I put one upside down on a drawer by mistake. FUUUU....!  If you are transferring the image to drawers, make sure the images line up perfectly.  I taped my image down and used an Exacto knife to cut the print between the drawers.

Let your piece dry for 24 hours.

Put down newspaper because the next step is messy.  Completely saturate your photocopy with water (I used a spray bottle) and gently rub the paper off with your fingertips using a circular motion. Key word: Gently.  You won't be removing all the paper, there will still be a layer left.  Keep your paper damp as you work.   You will find this step to be time consuming. It's tedious, but be patient and stop yourself from wanting too rub hard because you will end up removing the image.

Let your piece fully dry again for at least 10 hours. 

Completely saturate the paper and gently rub it off with your fingertips again, some more, ad nauseum. 

You may have to repeat these last two steps a few times based on how much Mod Podge you used and whether Jupiter is aligned with Mars or not.  It's hard to say which affects the process more.

I much prefer the quick and easy method using Citra Solv, but if this is the only way to transfer an image onto a painted surface, then it was worth it in the end.

After the image had set and was ready to go, I painted a thin coat of Mod Podge all over the drawer fronts to make sure the faux finish would cover evenly over the areas of the image where trace bits of paper remained.

Next, I applied a glaze (half glaze, half leftover acrylic taupe paint) to give the piece an aged look, and added some drawer pulls that were salvaged from a dresser that was given a makeover a while ago.

Cost of project: zero.  My favourite amount to spend on stuff.

Here is the bedside table before the transformation, in danger of a rehoming: 

As an aside, I often see comments from people who use French ephemera saying that they have no idea what the words mean.  I read an entry where a woman said she chose to believe a transfer she used meant something dreamy and romantic and it literally said 'Quality chicken feed wholesalers.' 


This particular image I have used is either the work of someone not very knowledgeable in French who threw some unrelated and random items together for this ad, or else stores in France sold a weird assortment of goods way back when.

This place sells clothing, stationery, bootmakers' items and cutlery.  That's sort of like a pastry shop selling doorknobs and pillows.

Friday, 5 April 2013

Sewing Box Makeover with Vintage J.P. Coats Ad

I was given a wood box which contained bath products a really long time ago.  It's got sentimental value (and I have a thing for boxes) but it wasn't very pretty, so I've wanted to transform it for a while.  

I turned it into a sewing box that I can keep close at hand in the living room instead of having to run a flight of stairs to gather up the essentials which I am constantly in need of, or so it seems.

The image comes from The Graphics Fairy as usual (love her!) and the Citrasolv image transfer method tutorial is here.

I painted two coats of acrylic wall paint, then mixed up a glaze using the same black paint to add a distressed look and tone down the white paint.

Here is the box looking overdue for a change before:

Wednesday, 3 April 2013

Zip Lipped Fish Pouch With Tutorial

Dear Lord, a fish pencil case with a zipped mouth, can you even believe how adorable?  I saw this idea floating around the internet and decided I had to have one, then filed the thought away, and then promptly forgot about it.

Then my son sent me some fabric from Taiwan that arrived yesterday and one of the prints reminded me of fish scales, and I said EUREKA!! I must make a fish pencil case! So I did.

I had to develop a pattern and figure things out for myself, so I'm making a tutorial (click the read more link) for anyone who needs a fish case for pencils, double pointed knitting needles, or whatever one would like to stuff in a fish who has zipped lips.