Saturday, March 29, 2014

My Cooking Buddy

I spent Christmas Eve and day 2013 with my boyfriend's family. I was charmed when I saw my boyfriend's mom pull out a project that had clearly been around for a couple decades. It holds recipe cards!
As a children's librarian at heart, I had to get a picture of this project. It seemed like something I'd be able to replicate. I picked up the supplies for the project, waited until I used up cooking spray to keep the lid, and then realized I didn't know how to cut the dowel. Eventually I figured out a small-toothed hacksaw would work well.
I knew when I saw clothespins on the list for this month's project that I would wait to replicate the giraffe.
I have to say it was really fun to make. Hint: glue the clothespin to the dowel before you paint. And super glue works better at that point than hot glue.

 I love his googly eyes. He is SO cute! I made bigger brown spots on him too, to replicate a real giraffe. I also painted the inside of his ears a bit instead of leaving them blank.

I don't use recipe cards very often, so I'm not sure how often I'll use him. Maybe he'll find another use for him.


Sunday, March 16, 2014

Clippity Clip

A couple weeks ago, I had some fun with my mom pulling apart, gluing back together, and painting some clothespins.

First thing I did was pull the springs out of a couple clothespins and glue the two halves back together - one the normal way, and the other back-to-back.

First little guy I made was a kitty (of course)! I got my inspiration for it from this pintrest post.

The grandma was mom's idea. I'd taken the springs I'd removed earlier and stuck them together, and said it looked like a little bicycle. Mom said, "it looks like a walker for a grandma!" Along with regular size clothespins, she had also bought some tiny ones, and it was one of those that fit on my new "walker" perfectly.  

"Only you would think to use the springs as part of your project."  - Mom

The ballerina idea just came to me as I was looking at the shape of my last clothespin. Mom found some fabric older than I am for her dress. The flower came as an extra at the last second when I realized I'd gotten some orange paint on her from the still-wet cat tail.

"No one said they had to look like normal clothespins." - Jeanne

It was an extremely fun crafternoon. So fun, in fact, that I went back the next week and did another crafty project with her!  (More on that later ;) )


Saturday, March 8, 2014

Hippity Hoppin' on the Top o' the Mornin'

Jeanne joined me for a crafternoon this week. Together, we completed our clothespin challenge. I made these two characters.

We had to dig deep into the garage to find two clothespins this style.  Otherwise, how could I get those ears?

He really is a pink snaggle-toothed Easter Bunny.

Our leprechaun looks dandy in polka-dotted leggings and his ribbon-bedecked felt hat.

Where are the hearts in this challenge? Why, the 4-leaf clover is made of hearts.


The bunny was inspired by a pin I found on Pinterest

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Frame of Fame

I'm a huge ModCloth fan -- I check out their new products on the daily. So as soon as this beautiful piece went on sale, I swooned.

But at a price tag of $30 and a frame color that doesn't match my decor, I knew I could do better.

Meet my version:

Ahh... lovely. Some of my favorite memories on display, like a Wall of Fame of Jodie's life. Or maybe a Frame of Fame?

I like how it doesn't have backing -- and if I felt like changing the look and feel, I could easily pop in some colorful paper.

Wait. Do you see that? Let's look closer...

Clothespins stamped with polka dots?? Challenge. Complete.

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

March Clothespin Challenge

New month, new challenge!

This month: Fun With Clothespins! Any size. Any variety.

Use it as a base for your artwork. Combine it with any other material, but let the clothespin be the star.

Extra points for making it a St. Patrick's Day theme. There's a board on Pinterest with ideas to get your juices flowing. Go!

Sunday, March 2, 2014

How Do You Mend a Broken Heart?

For my birch bark challenge, I decided to make a heart pendant. I combined a couple ideas I found on Pinterest to come up with my design. The finished product looks like this:

Here's how I made it. I started by tracing half of a heart shape onto some light cardboard. I used a stamp for the shape, and an old cereal box for the lightweight cardboard.
I then flipped the stamp over to trace the same half heart, creating a teardrop shape. I did this process twice so I had two teardrop shapes. Then cut them out.

Next I placed the teardrops on top of each other with a slight overlap to recreate the heart shape. I drew a reference line along the left side of the top teardrop onto the bottom teardrop where they met. Then I drew dots onto each side of the intersecting line to mark the lacing hole placement.
Next I placed the teardrops onto the back of my clean bark, traced the shapes and cut them out. The birch bark is very pliable and easy to cut with regular scissors.

Using a hole punch with a very small bit, I punched holes in the cardboard pattern. I then placed the cardboard shape on top of the birch bark shape, and using a pencil, transferred the hole placement onto the birch bark. I then punched the lacing holes into the bark.

Because the bark overlaps, a second set of lacing holes needed to be punched in the bottom teardrop. So I marked the placement line onto the bark, aligned the teardrops to recreate the heart, and marked the second line of lacing holes onto the bottom teardrop, using the top teardrop for placement.

After punching the holes, the teardrops now looked like this:

Next I turned to making the beaded tassel. Using a long piece gold beading wire, I threaded five small pearl beads. Then I added a larger pearl. I doubled the wire and re-threaded it through the small beads. I repeated this process twice more, then aligned the three sets to form the fringe.

 I gave the wires a twist to hold the fringe in place. Then I threaded the the doubled wire through another large bead to form the head of the tassel.

Using that same doubled wire, I began threading the teardrops together. After the first couple stitches, I couched the tail wire behind the stitches as I continued threading the heart together. I put the wire through each set of holes twice. I had to move the teardrops around a bit as I stitched to align the top and bottom holes on the right side of the heart.

Once the teardrops were laces together, I used the newly formed heart shape to trace another heart onto the back of birch bark (wrong sides together). This way the back of the fob will align correctly with the front of the fob. I then cut the heart shape from the bark.

I next used the pencil to mark the lacing holes around the edge of the front of the fob, and punched the holes. With wrong sides of the bark together, I marked the placement of the lacing holes onto the wrong side of the back of the heart. I punched the holes. Then using the wire, I laced the front of the heart to the back, again lacing the wire through each set of holes twice.

To make the fob's hanger, I looped the wire (over a pencil) from one top hole to the other several times. I then wrapped the wire around and around this loop until it was well covered. I then snipped the wire close to the birch bark and tucked the end in between the bark pieces.

 Here's the back side of the completed fob.

And here's the front of the fob:

I temporarily attached the fob to my sweater as a zipper pull. It can be used this way, or as a fob for a key chain, or as a pendant for a necklace.