Wednesday, 30 January 2013

Tuesday, 22 January 2013

Dress Up Dolls


Well hello there! I feel like it has been an age since I've last posted, but I think it was just last week. I just wanted to share the project that has been consuming a lot of my time in the last week. The prize from my most recent eNewsletter giveaway - a custom made Dress Up Doll brooch, with four dresses of the winner's choice. And here it is, ready to be posted out to our lucky winner, Stephanie. Apparently, she and her daughter are a wee bit excited.





Here's a barefoot dress up doll with different colouring:

(Please ignore the fact that I haven't done her shoes yet!).

It is my goal to have some ready made Dress Up Dolls - some as brooches and some as toys - in my Etsy store and available at the next markets (dates to come soon.)

Thursday, 17 January 2013

And Mari Was Happy At Last!

A friend I have never met, who lives on the other side of the world, has allowed me a very special privilege. She has commissioned me to stitch a portion of a recent story her six-year-old daughter wrote and illustrated.

My friend's little girl, Mari, has a serious medical condition that is increasingly impairing her mobility (and therefore, her ability to do things for herself). Mari is currently in training to have a helper dog, thanks to WAGS - Wisconsin Academy for Graduate Service Dogs.

She and her family are so excited about the new freedom Mari will be able to enjoy with her service dog. Mari recently had the special treat of meeting her assigned helper dog, Olive, earlier than she expected. That precious meeting prompted her to write a beautiful story, a snippet of which you see here.





Although I have never met her, I know that Mari has a heart of gold, just like her Mum. In the midst of the intense challenges that this precious girl is facing, I hope that this wall hanging will serve to remind her of the joyful first meeting with Olive, and help to keep her positive in her journey.

Mari with her service dog, Olive

Sunday, 13 January 2013

How To: Make Paper Heart Embellishments


On my wish list for Christmas, I wanted a large heart cutter. You see, I had this plan to make some packaging embellishments from paper hearts. I had been given a sheet of these from a popular stationery and homewares store, and I loved using them to pretty up my packages last year. I loved the simple beauty of these embellishments, and thought I could make something similar pretty easily. 

Well, lo and behold, I received a cutter for Christmas...a round corner cutter, that is. Exactly the same as the one I already have. But my loved one who gifted this to me kept the receipt (smart person) and I was able to take and exchange it for a heart cutter. I couldn't find a plain one, so I ended up with a scalloped edge heart. Which I have decided I love, by the way. 

So, here it is. 

How to make paper heart embellishments:

 Materials: 
  • Large heart cutter/punch
  • Scrapbooking paper, or other thick paper or thin card, with pretty matching patterns
  • Sewing machine threaded to match the paper/card
  • Paper scissors
  • Double sided tape





Method:

Use your heart punch to cut hearts out of a variety of matching scrapbooking paper/card.





Choose three hearts to go together. The three hearts are going to sit in a pile, so the top one will be most visible, but the others need to look good with it.


Stack your three hearts in the order you want them.


Sew straight up and down the centre line of the pile of hearts, making sure you keep them neatly together.




Flip the hearts over and cut a strip of double sided tape the length of the centre line of the heart. Place the tape on, leaving the protective strip on the second sticky side in place until you want to use it. [You can store the hearts at this point, in their flat state.]



















When ready to use the heart embellishment, gently fold the top layers back towards the centre line, like little wings. Fold the second layer a little in the same direction.



Remove the protective strip from the double sided tape and place in desired position.
Voila!

Sunday, 6 January 2013

Treasures From Home

In our recent trip to my parents' home for Christmas, I came across some beautiful hand embroidered vanity sets my mother did many years ago. I remember loving them as a child - cute and quirky designs, with such life and character. This time, however, I saw them afresh for the artworks they are. My mother's handiwork is gorgeous!






Another treasure from home: my mother gave me one of her old sewing boxes that I have always loved.



Lovely, huh?

Friday, 4 January 2013

Completing Another Unfinished Project

Belated holiday greetings! And Happy New Year to all. I hope you have all had a lovely time over Christmas and New Year. 

Here's another unfinished project that I completed prior to Christmas, and this one has a little "full circle" kind of story. The pink patchwork panel on the front was made by my Grandmother-in-law more than 15 years ago. It was intended to be a cushion cover, but never got finished. Grandma gave me several panels of different patchwork designs that were in various stages of completion, as she said she is never going to finish them now. She hoped I could find some way to make use of them. 

When my Father-in-law asked if I had anything in my store that would be a suitable present for his Mother (the same Grandmother-in-law), I immediately thought of the unfinished patchwork panels and said I could whip something up. 

So I made a simple tote bag, using this tutorial to get me started (though I altered dimensions and a few other elements).



I made a kanzashi flower brooch to use as the centre of the patchwork panel as a decoration, or it can be removed and worn as a brooch.


I made the outer portion of the bag with an upholstery-weight cotton canvas that I purchased at a thrift store, and the inner (lining) portion of the bag with a vintage sheet (also thrifted). The inner pocket was from thrifted linen. 

I always love the satisfaction of completing something, especially using thrifted materials. But with this project, the greater satisfaction was in knowing that the finished product would return a piece of lovingly-made textile craft to its maker in a form she can use every day.

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