January 2011Occasionally Crafty: January 2011

Monday, January 31

DIY Flower Decor

Most of the time, when I make things, it's because I like something, but don't want to pay the asking price at a store.  Or, maybe I want to give something with meaning to someone.

Well, in this case, I made something because I just could not find what I was looking for.  My mother in law had these cute little flowers in a long basket on her sofa table.  I don't know where she got it, but after searching and searching, I finally just made my own version.  It really ended up looking nothing like hers, but has the same idea in theory.  So, thanks Lark, for the inspiration!

I started off with a bread basket from Target.  Why use something for its intended purpose?  Where's the fun in that?

After my fruitless flowerpot/vase search, I bought the metal buckets from IKEA for $1 each.   I filled them with floral foam squares from the dollar store, cut down to fit. 

The flowers are from Hobby Lobby- they were $6 each but on sale for $3.  

I covered the foam with spanish moss, also from the dollar store.

It works perfectly as a centerpiece on my kitchen table or as an accent on my sofa table.  I'm glad I can stop searching for that "perfect" flower arrangement and just enjoy my little flower basket.

Friday, January 28

Mr. Darcy's Plate- PB Knockoff

I love Pride and Prejudice.  I love Mr. Darcy (well, the later, humbled by love Mr. Darcy).  I DIE for the BBC adaptation and all its glory.  (Keira Knightly?  Not so much.  Not bad, but in comparison.....)

So when I saw this Pottery Barn Knock-off, I had to make one for myself.

I kept mine more true to the original, found here, but since I never saw the original until I found Lisa's blog, Grey Luster Girl, I am sending a huge thank you her way.  This might be my new favorite decoration.

BTW- I made this on a dollar store plate, and cut the vinyl with my Silhouette (on hand).  I used a full size plate for impact.  I think PB's was a small one, used to hold jewelry or keys.

I think it's time for a Pride and Prejudice rewatch.

Wednesday, January 26

Scrappin' Wednesday no.3

I did it!  I finished my family reunion pictures and moved on!  I don't know if anybody actually looks at these, but posting my scrapbook pages here at least keeps me motivated.  I have done about 10 pages in the last week, but I am still about a year and a half behind. 2009 was a big year for us- we took three trips and had a baby, so there is a lot to document!

Anyway- on to this week's layout.  I got this layout idea from Scrap Girls.  I like the idea that your title can go anywhere- it can be any direction, and in any spot (that makes sense) on your page.  So often I find myself putting the title in the same three places- across the top, across the bottom, or up the side.  It's fun to play around with it a little.

Tuesday, January 25

A Tutorial- Ruffle/Rosette Heart Shirt

In case you missed this, here is the Ruffle/Rosette shirt I posted over at Craftaholics Anonymous.

So, with Valentine's Day coming up, I thought all us girls need a cute shirt to wear.  I made this for my daughter, but you could easily make it for yourself too.  Enter the Ruffle/Rosette Heart shirt!

First, you need a t-shirt to use as your base, and either fabric or another t-shirt to cut up for your heart.  Knit fabrics are great because they won't fray.  $5 dollar Target shirts are great for this if you want them the same color!  I decided to repurpose, and used an old red tank top my daughter had outgrown.  She has two little brothers, so no need to save it for hand-me-downs!

Next, open the shirt at the seam so you can cut nice, long strips.

I cut my strips about 3/4" wide.  Adjust your width to how big you want your ruffles, and how many layers you want to do.

Ruffle your strips.  For this shirt, we are sewing along the edge of the fabric, not down the middle.
Most of you probably know how to ruffle fabric after the trend of ruffles this last year, but if not, follow one of these methods:
1.  Set your top thread to the highest tension and your stitch length to the longest setting.  Sew.  Your fabric will automatically ruffle.
2.  Set your stitch length to the longest setting and sew.  Leave both ends of the thread long.  Remove fabric from sewing machine.  Pull the bobbin thread gently to gather fabric.  Spread ruffles evenly throughout the strip until you get the look you want.

Once your strips are ruffled, pin them into a heart shape.  You can cut out a template to use as a guide, but I am lazy and just eyeballed it.  I used one strip for each side, then cut off the excess.  It just seemed cleaner that way.  Also, make sure to trim your threads.  They just get in the way.

Two helpful hints:  #1- Put a piece of cardboard or cardstock inside the shirt before you pin.  This way you can keep from pinning the layers together without having to distort the shirt with your hand.

#2- When using stretchy knits, USE A LOT OF PINS!  I get frustrated easily, and this helped me keep things where I wanted them.  It may sound obvious, but if you tend towards the lazy crafting, as I do, trust me-- it's worth it to take the extra time.

Sew your heart in place, following the stitch line from your ruffle.

Now, you can stop here if you want.  This is pretty cute on it's own.  But let's keep going, just for fun!

Pin another layer of strips into a smaller heart shape, making sure your new layer of ruffles slightly overlaps the first.  Sew in place. Continue for as many layers as you want.  I went with three.

Now for the fun part.  You can just make hearts all the way in, if you want.  Or, you can use your extra ruffle strips to create ruffle rosettes.  Following the technique I learned here, I hot glued a whole bunch of rosettes together.

Then, using a combination of hand stitches and fabric glue, I attached them to the center of the shirt.  I made little buds by wrapping fabric around my finger to fill in the gaps.  When I got the placement the way I wanted, I took a book and smashed them all flat.

Now you have a striking shirt for that special girl in your life.  I went with a contrasting heart because I wanted to match her tutu, but you could make yours the same color for a totally different look.

I won't say this was quick, but it was actually pretty easy.  I'm not a great sewer/seamstress by any means, so if I can do it, so can you!

Linking up!
Visit thecsiproject.com

Monday, January 24

Quick and Easy Felt Flower Hair Clip Tutorial

Thanks to all those of you who checked out my Ruffle/Rosette shirt tutorial at Craftaholics Anonymous.  Welcome to new followers and visitors!  I'm glad to have you!

After making that shirt, I needed a cute somethin'-somethin' for my little girl's hair.  I had several felt circles left over from making this heart wreath, so I made this felt flower.

 This is really simple to make, and I'm sure you can find it all over blog-land.  Just in case you haven't seen it before, here are the quick, easy directions:

1.  Cut five circles out of any fabric.  I used felt (off the bolt at the fabric store) but you can use ANYTHING.
I traced mine using a plastic cup- they are about 3 inches in diameter.  Adjust yours to how big you want your finished flower.

2.  Fold your circle in half.

3.  Fold it in half again.

4.  Hand sew it across the pointed tip to one of your other circles (which will be your base).  Use enough stitches that it stays firmly in place.

 (sew where my fnger is)

5.  Repeat steps 2-4 three more times, placing each folded circle next to your previous one.

6.  Finish with a cute button or other embellishment in the center.  I used a brad.

7.  Glue the barrette of your choice to the back.  I used an alligator clip.  Fluff as desired- or don't.  This makes a perfect clip, or would look cute on a headband.

 That's it!  Easy, peasy, lemon-squeezy- as my daughter would say.

 I'm Blog Hopping and linking up to some parties this week- so leave a comment if you're stopping by, and I'll return the favor!

Friday, January 21

I'm Guest Posting at Craftaholics Anonymous!

My title says it all!  I'm so excited to be doing my first guest post!  Go check out how to make this shirt

over at one of my favorite craft blogs, Craftaholics Anonymous.

Thursday, January 20

Embellished Frames

My friends and I spent a busy morning assembling these embellished frames for gifts. 

 I love that not only do they get to display our 2011 Theme in their home, but they also get a cute frame to fill with their own picture when the year is through.  We made each frame different.  Here are just a few of the frames we created:

Here's the finished product!

 Since these Rosette Frames are UCreate's "Create With Me" project for January, I am sharing these over there, as well as at some of these other linky parties.  Thanks for looking!  Now go make some of your own!

Wednesday, January 19

2011 LDS Primary Theme Printable

We are throwing an appreciation dinner for the people who work in the children's organization at our church- the Primary- and we've decided to give them embellished frames with this year's theme as gifts.  That way, when this year is done, they still have a cute frame to use!  I'll post a finished picture of the frames soon, but for anyone who might find it useful, here is the theme printable I made up.

It prints as a 4x6 with great quality.  I think if you go larger than that the clarity will be lost.  Click on the image to copy or print it at full-size.


Monday, January 17

Valentine's Day Decor

You know how you scroll through linky parties and bookmark all the projects you'd like to make?  Or maybe you see something in a store and say "I could make that"!  Then, if you're anything like me, you get so many projects in your to-do list that you just don't get them done- especially holiday-themed items.  These first two items have been in my folder since last Valentine's Day- and I finally got around to making them last week!

Both of these are inspired by Lindsey at Inspiring Creations. First up is my version of her Heart Tree, found here:

I absolutely love this idea, and it was extremely frugal.  I bought a dollar store frame and ribbon, then cut the hearts out with my Silhouette.  I didn't even buy scrapbook paper- I printed out my digital papers in patterns I liked.  I inked the edges with a red ink pad, then raided my stash of buttons for the accents.  Total cost- $2.

I also loved Lindsey's "Be Mine" sign, found here.  Here is my version:

For this I used a cheap plywood board from the craft store that I painted white, dollar store ribbon, and buttons from my stash.  The hearts were cut from red cardstock on my Silhouette, and the letters are vinyl, also with the Silhouette.  

These are my "love letters" I made last year.  I bought the letters at JoAnn and Mod Podged patterned paper on the front.  Buttons and ribbon made some great accents.

These boards were crafts/gifts from Relief Society, the women's organization at our church.  I added the glitter heart- one of three I made that are placed around the house.

My mom, who is the original Mrs. Crafty, made and sent this to me last year.  I love it!  If you've seen my felt stockings you know I am a sucker for felt applique.  

I particularly like these sweet little lovebirds.  Aren't they cute?

And finally, my pillow that I designed and stitched, modeled after one I saw somewhere out there.  I lost the link, so if you recognize it, let me know!

I have a few more projects to complete, but it's been fun marking some of them OFF my To-Do List.  What's your next project?

Saturday, January 15

Saturday Sweets- Butterfinger Cookies

Oh, I love Butterfingers!  Today, I went to Culver's and had a Butterfinger Concrete Mixer (kind of like a Blizzard for you uninitiated- only with frozen custard- yum!).  Then I made these Butterfinger cookies for church. 

 Butterfinger Ice Cream and Butter Finger Cookie Dough..... how many times do you think I can say Butterfinger?
Anyway, versions of this recipe are all over the internet.  I decided to try the shortening version instead of the peanut butter version.  I found the recipe on Food.com, then followed some of the suggestions on Cookie Madness to personalize it.  So, here is my version of the recipe:

Butterfinger Cookies:
1/3 Cup butter-flavored Crisco shortening
3/4 Cup granulated sugar
1 egg
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup all purpose flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
2 Butterfinger candy bars, chopped
1/2 cup butterscotch chips (optional)

1.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2.  Beat shortening and sugar together until smooth and well-combined.  Add in egg and vanilla and mix well.
3.  In a separate bowl, stir together flour, soda, and salt.  Add to shortening mixture and mix until well combined.
4.  Chop Butterfingers with a large knife.  You'll want chunks and shards, so don't be to exact in how you do this.  Add to dough along with butterscotch chips.
5.  The dough will be quite dry.  Form into rounded teaspoonfuls and drop onto greased cookie sheet.  Bake one sheet at a time for 12 minutes.  Let cookies rest on the cookie sheet for about 3 minutes before removing them to cooling racks to cool completely.  Serve when fully cooled.
6.  Makes 2-2 1/2 dozen.

So good......I have a leftover Butterfinger bar.  Maybe I should eat that too and call it a night.

Linking up to some parties found here: Please go check them out and join in the fun!