Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Decor, a Sleep mask and my Pets

Hello and welcome to 2018! I know, several weeks late and almost a month so (ha haha!). Winter has been a mixture of storms, warm spells and my pets having little colds. I know, the poor fur babies!

So if you have not paid my etsy shop or Instagram a visit ~ you should! I update with photos, new listings and projects I am working on. I also enjoy posting short videos of projects, techniques or things I have found in craft stores. You can also keep up with me on those places since I enjoy posting often.

my DIY fawn sleep mask
An ongoing project is my Fawn sleep mask. This is a project I've had going since last month. I used a homemade pattern based off a current sleep mask I have. From there I sketched ideas of what I wanted to make, coming to the idea of a fawn or deer. I used cotton printed fabric, flannel for the back (against your eyes) and felt for the ears and antlers. You can use any elastic for the piece that goes around your head, I used soft elastic used for clothing.

I also made a new front door decoration for the coming of spring. I based it on Saint Brigid's cross. She is often associated with Ireland and Gaelic stories and lore. Her cross is unique in it's shape and is weaved from many types of materials. I used faux grass reed, flower and ribbon for my decor. And on the back I did add some glued spots to keep it together in the outside weather. 

my St.Brigid's cross

So far no birds have decided to use my decor for their nests. It was an afternoon project that I greatly enjoyed making. You can also find many tutorials online about how to weave the middle cross part. Once you get the hang of it it's not too difficult for children to learn as well. Mine is hung on my front door but can also be made smaller and hung on the hearth of ones home.

And now for my pets - goodness me! Our calico got sick and needed medicine. And if you have a large cat (she is 13 pounds) you know what a challenge it is to trick them into taking it. The dog got quite sick after a vet visit, we think he caught something while there. The poor boy, you could tell how uncomfortable he was. Off to the vet (again) to give him medication and a shot, he has since recovered. And the boy cat, my fluffy mutt. He surprised us all! He is newly diagnosed as diabetic. The veterinary first suggested we try a special RX food for him. We return for a follow up next month to see if insulin daily will be the next step.

my boy, Howl cat
So next month I hope to share more projects, new listings in my shop and pet updates! Be well friends. Please be sure to visit my Etsy shop and Instagram, links on the side bar.

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Decorations, Felt Ornaments & DIY sleep mask

Hello and happy holidays! Winter has arrived and we already have five inches of snowfall. The air is crisp and the birds are out in song. I wanted to share some of my holiday decorations inside and outside.

letters ready to send

metal rustic star, front door

My front door has a big red rustic star! I bought it plain (already painted) and surprisingly on discount for early December. I used wide ribbon and green bells to add a festive look. During other holidays I can switch the ribbons or put faux flowers on this. You can find most seasonal decorations at craft supply stores or even large shopping stores.

my wooden banner with lights (kitty is not for decoration, ha!)

I bought some lovely wooden banner pieces last year. They came plain and I glued scrap paper on the front, then cut around them. They come in many shapes to pick from too, so you can make some for other occasions or holidays. 

fawn on mantle

The branch tree also came plain. I made garland from fabric scraps and added some ribbon. The berries are faux and on little wires, so you can place them anywhere. These come in other shapes, sizes and are very affordable. Round of globe shaped ones could be hung from a ceiling and could even contain lights.

felt gnome ornaments

felt mistletoe

This year I made some new ornaments for my Etsy shop. The first three are gnome ornaments! Each is different and has delicate hand stitched faces. They have a small bell at the top and are about 4.5" in length. The felt mistletoe is available in two shades: dark sage and light sage. They have beautiful matte beads for berries. Each is topped by a glitter red ribbon and are about 5" in length. If you want to view more photos or make a purchase please visit my Etsy shop

Coming soon I will be sharing a DIY for beginners: sleep mask! If you follow me on Instagram you may have seen some photos up about it. I will be making a post devoted to the making of it, along with directions and photos. You can trace your current sleep mask for a pattern or sketch your own (I promise it's not difficult!). And you will be able to use scrap fabric or just fat quarters. 

So that should catch you up for this month of crafting! I hope you are having a festive season with sweet treats and much crafting.

Thursday, November 23, 2017

DIY holiday garland & Shop Local/Support Handmade

It's that time of year ~ time to break out some seasonal decorations! Each year I do enjoy making something new. But to start, I am putting up a faux berry & fruit garland I made. This is a very easy do it yourself project for the beginner! Almost every craft store will start to bring out the holiday decorations and supplies. They might have leaves, fruits, berries, flowers and pine (all faux) in bags or sold as a pack. It's easy enough as picking out what you like and stringing them together. Many are made with foam as the main body, such as the ones in my photo. So it's easy to use a large needle and thread to make the garland. As an added decoration to the garland, I used cut pieces of ribbon tied on every few inches.

faux berry & fruit garland

As winter approaches I will begin to put more up and will share them! Including my new front door decoration this year: a rustic metal star. But now for a bit of 'shop local' this year!

Every year I encourage shoppers to consider buying from small local businesses. This year is no different with small business Saturday coming up. This is held each year to encourage people to go out to their own small shops within their town or city. By shopping small you help support local business & local artisans. You can also do this through websites such as Etsy, Artfire and more. When you buy from an Etsy seller such as myself  help skilled artisans, seamstresses and crafters. I use my skilled trade to create products that are high quality and learnt from three generations of family. You also help by reducing how far a product must travel to reach you PLUS you get sweat-shop free goods!

fair trade small business locally

I went out earlier this week to avoid the chaos of shoppers. I was happily surprised to find a small shop devoted local artists & fair trade goods for sale. They had local artists and crafters goods for sale with the promise of everything being sweat-shop free. You might be surprised to learn how many brands today are made in sweatshops. But don't fret, many high quality brands are made without the use of dangerous sweat shops (and sadly, child labor) such as these brands. Be sure to do some research if you want to try and support well made, ethical brands this holiday shopping season.

Monday, October 30, 2017

A handmade Halloween

A fun & frightful Halloween to you! I hope you are in the holiday spirit and ready for a evening of trick-or-treating, maybe you prefer a scary movie marathon or going to parties. This year I wanted to show some of the Halloween decoration I have made in the past. And a glimpse at the Halloween costumes my spouse and I are wearing this year.

I love lanterns and used paper bags for jack-o-lanterns. You simply cut the face or design onto one side, then spray the bag with glitter. I use battery powered candles inside, so no fire risk here! The cute skeleton was a bought plain wooden decoration. I painted it with acrylic paint and used a all-weather purpose sealant. I then added a bow and some tulle to it. But my large hanging ghost is made from scrap fabric I had. You make it like a pillow case, I used felt for the eyes and mouth - and just poke a hole at the top. 

To fill the ghost body, I take a old plastic bag and stuff it with whatever I have: other plastic bags, some stuffing or even crinkled up paper. I use a stick to make the 'arms' stay out. If you want to view a video of it, please visit my Instagram page. 

And now to marvel at this years Halloween costumes! Our costumes are part thrift store part handmade. The capes are handmade and I'm very proud of them. This year our design was Sith Lord and Apprentice from Star Wars. It was so much fun dressing up and I took our photos. I also did our makeup for them as well. 

The Force is strong in us! I hope you have a fun Halloween and get many sweet treats. 

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Finished ~ sage green dress

It took me months, but it is finally done! The sage green full length dress is finished! It had been put on hold several times due to fostering adorable kittens (see previous posts) and just needing the space in my craft room to lay out such loooong pattern and fabric pieces.

This was the first sewing on my dress. I had done the back zipper and was trying it on for fit. To anyone who sews, you may already know that pattern sizes aren't 100% accurate. I used Simplicity pattern 1137, misses & women's sizes. But even with my measurements the fabric had more stretch to it then I anticipated. I had to bring in the bust and torso and bring the hem up by at least 3"s. 

I also decided to give this dress a square neck. I wanted something delicate but with ribbon. I found a beautiful ribbon with gold thread and sewed this on completely by hand. Don't be afraid to add embellishments and decorations that suit your taste. The actual pattern suggests flowers (the pattern includes directions) at the neckline. But you could add lace, embroidery or even jewels. This pattern can be a challenge if you are unfamiliar with sewing clothing. I'd suggest it for intermediate or those comfortable with sewing & altering their own clothes. 

And hey cool cats ~ I'm on Instagram now! Just follow my link and the new icon on my page to follow me. I include current DIY, short videos on projects and always a pet photo (or five). Here it is: Craftinessbyb on Instagram