Monday, November 22, 2010

Fabric Flower Tutorial/Video

Over the last couple of months I’ve posted various projects on my blog that have included a little fabric flower—those little flowers have generated interest on how to make them. Since this is my month to hostess the monthly challenges over at ACP, (I’ve been doing vintage themed challenges and swaps), I thought it’d be a good time to share my version of how I make them.

I learned how to make this flower with a group of friends during a kind of “show and tell” flower making day at my friend Kathie’s house. It was a fun day and we learned how to make several types of flowers. Kathie told me she learned how to make this particular flower from an E-Workshop she took from Teresa McFayden. I’ve never taken one of these E-Workshops, I may have to try one!

I wonder if you’ll be as resistant to learning how to make this flower as I was.  Because this flower involved hand sewing, it wasn’t one of my favorite flowers to make that day. I was pretty resistant to picking up the needle and thread – but I did try it. And after I did it, I thought, nope, not gonna make that one again --- too confusing…where to start, which sides to stitch, my thread kept knotting up, which strings to pull first? don’t pull too tight…definitely confusing for someone that already didn’t want to pick up a needle and thread! My first flower looked pretty bad and I’m pretty sure it ended up in the trash as it didn’t resemble a flower at all…more like a crumpled bundle of fabric. I thought to myself, I’ll stick with heat-gun flowers! Quick and easy.

As the months passed, Kathie kept making these large, beautiful flowers (larger than I would use on my projects…another reason I didn’t need to learn it, right?) and putting them on various fabric projects like bags and purses or making pins out of them. The more I saw them, the more I was willing to take up that needle and thread and give it a try again.

I posted the picture of this little muslin flower on my blog last month.  It's the same sewn fabric flower.   I remember showing the flower to Kathie, and she said I had to show her how to make it. I laughed and told her that she is the one that taught me how to make it!  So you see, you can make these flowers look different depending on how large or small you make them, how tightly you pull the threads, and how you embellish them when you’re done. Adding a flower center creates a different look.

We all have different ways of learning. And, as I made more of them, I  developed my own version/style that I found easier to make.  So this video shows a slightly different way of making the flower than the original way I was shown. Hopefully, you won’t be as resistant to giving it a try as I was.

Supplies needed:
Needle and thread—coordinating color is preferable but not necessary

Square of fabric (4x4, 5x5 works best to begin with)
*lightweight, soft fabrics works best…think muslin, velvet, organza…or recycle clothes headed for donation. Kathie and I like looking for inexpensive velvet children clothing at yard sales and thrift stores. I’ve also made these flowers with a wide sheer (removing the wire first), fabric ribbon, died and scrunched coffee filters, napkins and paper towels.  The end of the video shows samples of some of these as well.

And while making this video yesterday, I discovered an even easier version of making this flower, (easier if you’ve already been making them…but maybe not if you’re new to making these)…it involves less sewing…so to me that’s easier. Here are a couple of practice ones I did...not too bad...maybe I’ll do another video on that one too.

So, what do you think? Are you gonna give it a try?

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Glimmer Glam and Glimmer Mist Textured Backgrounds

Today, I posted this beach project as my monthly post for the Tattered Angels Educator’s Blog. You can see the steps for preparing the glass for this project HERE.

Here on my blog, I will show you the steps, in pictures, to make the textured background. The steps are the same for both the beach project and the halloween project pictured here. Only the colors used were different, as well as the project background. For the beach project, I used a microscope slide holder (which is several layers of chipboard pressed together). For the halloween project, I used a recycled Tattered Angels Embossed Chip Tile. I also tried this technique on regular chipboard, but it buckled in the middle. I will try using regular chipboard again, but next time, I’ll be sure the layers are completely dried before moving to the next step.

Here's how I made the textured background for the halloween cover.

Start with a Tattered Angels Chip Tile (I recycled used ones from Expo).

Use a paint brush to add Glam to the edges (be generous)....

Heat until bubbly...
Add a second glam color...and a third color if you want (which I did)

heat again until bubbly
Spray some glimmer mist on top and heat to dry quickly...
Add a couple of more glimmer mist colors that compliment your project...and heat to dry...
I got a little heavy-handed with that Fully Purple Glimmer Mist, so I added a little more Paprika Glam and heated it again. Basically, you just keep layering color until you like it...

And after that last addition of Paprika Glam, I liked I stopped!
 I did the same thing for the backside of the chip tile. Except, this time, I decided I didn’t need to put glam all over the chip tile, because I’ll just be covering it with a picture. So, instead, I first attached a black mat to the chip tile (and you’ll have to hold this down with your scissors or something while heating, otherwise the heat will want to lift the mat---remember that for the next time you’ve glued a paper to your project and then decide you don’t want it there…use your heat gun to get it off).
and the end result using the same layering technique..
Here are a couple of other pages from the book...

and a few close-ups...

Hope you enjoyed this and will give it a go play!

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Altered Tin Swap

My secret sister, Joy, received the altered tin I made for her, and she likes it so I’m very happy! I don’t know about you, but I always worry that what I create for someone will be good enough, or their style, or…or…or!

And I’ve received an altered tin (and more!) from my own secret sister too. My secret sister is my friend, Lani, and she was apparently having some of those same doubting thoughts that I was, which just made me giggle. I guess we all do it to a certain extent. It was so cute to read in her card to me (and she also gave me permission to say this heehee!) “Girl, you know how much I love you, and have to know how super excited and scared I was when I got your name, you are on an inspiration to me! And yes, you can say princess said it…I tried my best girlfriend…”

Well, princess, you did an awesome job! I love the alcohol inked tin which was filled with lace. Since I’ve been working with fabric, needles and pins lately, I think I’ll keep my needles in it. And I really got spoiled and received an altered box too! And it’s ivory colored…with buttons and bling and glitter, and filled with more things that I love. As I've said before...I'm a sucker for ivory colored things and it's going to look lovely sitting in my scrapbook room! I think it will sit on my table and hold little bits and pieces of lace to use on my projects.

Here’s a picture of the altered tin and box that Lani made for me…

along with some of the goodies she sent. Oops…I included a picture of the popcorn – that wasn’t for the tin swap…that was a bingo prize. And as you can see from the half-ful bag…I loved that too…but I did have a little help with it.

Notice the little package of “Princess Posies”pictured on the right? It’s a package of blue organza type flower shapes, and I’ve never noticed those before in the scrapbooking world. I always cut my own from fabric either freehand or using my diecut machine.

If you haven’t made a heated flower before, here’s how. Just take a few layers of flower shaped, thin fabric – think organza – any thin polyster type fabric. I like to use at least six layers – and I also like to vary the size going from large at the bottom to smaller at the top. These Princess Posies came with two different sizes.

Stack them together like this -- I like to alternate the pedal shapes...

Put a brad into the center –the Princess Posies already had holes in the center. And don’t use a rhinestone brad or it will melt. Or, you can keep the pieces together by attaching a small safety pin to the back.

Put the flower onto a heat-safe surface (I use my craft mat) and then I hold it down with something (I usually grab my scissors) so that when you heat the flower, it doesn’t take off on you. I give the top of the flower a quick heat shot using my heat gun….we’re talking really quick! and you’ll also want to move the heat gun around a bit to get all sides.

Then, still holding the flower down with my scissors, I take the heat gun to the side of the flower to get to the lower flowers without reheating the top flowers I just heated. When I heat from the side, then the flower will usually spin a bit which is great because all sides get heated. I will then just take a quick shot of heat to wherever I feel it needs to be more flower shaped.

And the final results --- I added a prima bling center to it…
Thanks Lani!

Sunday, September 26, 2010

My "Practice" Piece

Yesterday, I showed you this inspiration piece that I bought at a parking lot sale.

I really liked it until I started making my "practice" piece. Here's my "practice" piece...and I love it even more than my inspiration piece.

I'm not one to measure much --- I just "eyeball" things. And since I wasn't being very precise, I decided I didn't want to "practice" using some of my pretty pieces of ivory upholstery fabric, so I used muselin instead. And I'm really, really liking the muselin.
I'm keep referring to this as a "practice" piece because most everything I used on it were things I had laying out on my craft table...little bits and pieces that I had been playing with and were left over from other projects.
Little bits and pieces like the little wand I made as part of a swap, and a pink rose from my Pretty Little Things album.

and the "happy birthday" banner, also from that same swap,

a clothespin I had distressed and stamped on, a left-over sheet of music and a defective piece of shaped chipboard to insert into the pocket.

And, my first hand-stitched muselin flower -- which I thought was not too bad for a first try. And, of course, I always have charms from ACharmingplace around - so I stitched a few of those on as well.

I also didn't want to "practice" using one of my pretty pieces of lace, so I grabbed a scrap piece of doily that I had cut up and stitched seam binding to. I was originally going to use that piece of doily around the bottom of an altered tin I made for my friend Kelle (I made her a tin similar to the altered tin I posted earlier). Well, that cut up doily piece didn't work out well on the tin, as the doily was too long. So I figured it'd work great for my "practice" piece.
I love the pleated bottom (I'll make that piece of fabric a little bigger next time so I'll have more uniform pleats) and the elastic pocket to insert fun things into. The "happy birthday" banner was just something I threw on because it needed "something" on that spot, so I grabbed it and it worked for "practice". Now I'm thinking this would make a nice birthday card -- a pretty little gift card holder.

So there you have "practice" inspiration piece. I think there's a mentality about saying the piece is a "practice"'s not final so I feel more free to just throw stuff on. After all, it's just for practice!
I think I'll make a few more of these and use them in various ways. Fun!

Saturday, September 25, 2010

An Inspiration Journey and Yard/Estate/Parking Lot Sale Finds...

Last weekend, Kathie and I went to the Tinsel and Treasures Art Show. It was so much fun, especially when you come back feeling so very inspired! So many talented ladies there.

On the way to the show, I saw a yard sale up ahead and immediately spotted something on the sidewalk that I wanted, and shouted “Stop!” to Kathie. I’m a sucker for ivory painted items…be it a wooden picture frame, or a piece of metal…like this.

I love the bird cage shape…and for $5.00, I loved it even more.

I also spotted an ivory colored tree in a very high spot at the yard sale. It was decorated in an easter theme, but that's ok--it's easily removable. I thought it would be great for displaying Kathryn’s jewelry. She wants to be a vendor at a craft faire at her school, so I thought this would be perfect for her…and perfect for me to use as well. Except one thing—looking at it while outside, up high, and then having someone else put it into Kathie’s large van, it didn’t seem quite so big…until I tried to put it into the trunk of my Mustang. Getting it home, well, that’s another story. Let’s just say when Kathie’s husband saw the tree, he was more than relieved when he heard it wasn’t taking up residence in their home. He thought my husband is a very lucky man to be getting that tree…I told him he can have visitation rights.

Here’s the tree…it stands about 4 feet high and is 3 feet wide…for $5.00. That seemed to be the magical number at that yard sale.

Kathryn has already tested it out and has some necklaces, rings and earrings on it. She likes it.

At the show, I found some very cool black ribbon – when you pull the center string, it creates a ruffle. I also bought this make and take from Dede Warren because it had fabric on it, and I’m so into fabric right now, it’s very inspirational. We stopped at an estate sale on the way back, and I picked up a few old books so I can make more…my own version...and of course, I’ll have to add a twist to it as usual.

And finally, we stopped at Room with a Past for their parking lot sale. I found this piece for $3.00. It looked so beautiful, I wanted it for inspiration. I couldn’t wait to go home and start pulling out pretty fabric and lace to recreate one. And I already knew I’d be substituting that button with a piece of vintage bling.

Well, I did start working on it, a “practice” piece…and vintage bling didn’t end up on it since it was a “practice” piece. And I’m really, really liking my “practice” piece better than this inspiration piece.

I’ll show you a picture of my "practice" piece in my next posting…I even hand-stitched a flower – and those that know me, know I don’t usually hand-stitch. Machine stitch, yes…hand-stitch, not so much. I'm just not that patient...but I’m kind of liking it now…

Friday, September 24, 2010

My MDDD Entry - Before and After Pictures

In my post below, I said I was working on my MDDD (Mystery Double-Dog Dare You) Challenge but I couldn’t post my finished project. Well, the challenge is over now and I can show you what I did. It was so much fun.

Those that were ready to accept the challenge (meaning, you didn’t know what you were going to receive, but you knew you would have to alter it) received one of these in the mail. It's a small matchbox - about 3" x 4" and 3/4" deep.

  • I altered my matchbox and turned it into this...

The idea is to alter the object, keeping in mind the following categories that you can win in:

  • Who fooled the most people with their entry...
  • Who fooled the least people with their entry...
  • Voting: Person with the highest number of correct guesses.
  • Voting: Person with the highest number of incorrect guesses.
  • Voting: Favorite Entry...
We have some “super sleuths” on the board (myself included) who look at every detail in the picture to try to determine the creator’s style, and if we can’t figure it out from the creation itself, we also do a little “sleuthing”. We’ll watch their forum posts – hoping for a slip of the tongue that would give us a clue regarding their entry.

We also “sleuth” in the gallery to look at their past creations and their blogs, looking for any type of clue…the background, a reflection, the photography angle. It’s pretty crazy but definitely fun!

When the voting started, I noticed that pretty much everyone had MY entry nailed! I’m apparently not good at hiding my “style”.

Besides my entry being very detailed (which is what the other entrants said was a dead giveaway...), this usual photo angle of mine was another clue to it being my entry. I usually photograph my projects on fabric, so I switched to a "rafia" background...nope, it didn't help...they had me pegged...they are good!

They say I also like to use vintage images...which is true...

So since it seemed that many people were doing well with guessing correct, I decided to try and win the “most incorrect guesses” voting category, and I did win that category.

I also tied in the “fooled the least people with their entry” and “Favorite Entry” categories, but you can only win in one category, so the person I tied with was the winner for these categories.

Here’s what I did with mine. I turned the inside of the box into a little shadowbox by creating shelving and dividers made from folded cardstock.

I framed the inside box with charms which I patinaed (which checked another “to do” thing off my challenge list), and filled the shadowbox with a bunch of halloween do-dads.

I turned the shadowbox into an accordion book by hinging the outer shell of the matchbox to the shadowbox using Tim Holtz’s tissue tape. For the inside of the book, I actually made it more of a display sign “BOO”. I’d already spent enough time on the shadowbox portion, so I went for the easy display sign “BOO”. The spiderweb background pages (as well as the small oval frame on the shadowbox cover) are scraps from a spiderweb clear gift wrap cellophane roll.

I also put a “bottom” on the outer shell of the matchbox so that I could also insert chipboard pages into it.

And here are all the other MDDD entries.