Mud & Suds: Indigogo

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Good morning Thursday Crafthackers!

Though you may know about these guys, there’s big changes happening. Prouse’s Pottery and Soaps is rebranding and changing locations. After a long time in their current shop – which really didn’t have the space to house the creative making that goes on there, they are moving to a new, beautiful space. A space that really does justice to what an artisan needs to have not only a studio, but a full retail shop.

Not just a full reatail shop. It will be an artisan shop with enough space to have a making area where you can watch the Potter do his thing, but space for events and workshops, a full retail store that won’t need to be moved around to accommodate the workshops that go on.

Please go and check out the Indigogo campaign and show some love for this business that has been a core part of the Hamilton artisan community and Ottawa Street community for years. Just a small donation can get you a hand crafted bowl or soap, and let me tell you, the soap is absolutely divine and worth the donation.

Not only can you donate to receive an item, Mud & Suds is also preselling classes, which are tonnes of fun and you can buy them for pottery classes, bath bomb or soap making classes. Go ahead and check it out and throw some money at local artisans who are expanding – that is an incredible feat in this day and age where artisanal products are combatting high rents, taxes and all the other red tape of owning a business. Let’s help this dream come true and help this business find it’s true home.

~Megan

 

 

 


Small Business Feature: Oddity Apparel

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Good morning Thursday Crafthackers!

I was at a local Anime convention a few weeks ago and was booth neighbors with a lovely lady whom I discovered was the creator behind Oddity Apparel.  Though she wasn’t at that convention selling her wares, we certainly got to talking about them as, of course, I’m a fan of nerd fashion.

She is based out of Montreal, Canada, but goes to conventions all over North America. Not only that, she sells lots online (she’s on Etsy and Facebook) and will take on a custom order if you ask nicely. She sells a dress style that is flattering on many different body types and makes plus size clothing as well. If you would like to see a dress or skirt in a style that you don’t see in her shop, just send a message along and see if she can put together what you’re looking for.

Her fabrics are amazing, and I learned, are created by her. They’re beautifully balanced and avoid the things that I hate about repeating prints. That they either look too repetitive, are too big or are unattractively stretching in inappropriate places.  I’ve even seen patterns that were so unbalanced that the dresses they were printed on made the body look unbalanced. She avoids that by having her own designs printed, and just looking at the fabric, you can see what I mean.

Make sure you go check out her shop to get an idea of the vast array of fabrics that are available. I guarantee that you’ll love the Timelord fabric, and find so many more that you didn’t even know were a thing. Remember, these are hand made, and you’re supporting a real person and their art. Go and have fun with fashion with these prints that are all just so fabulous, you’ll have to start collecting!

Happy shopping!

~ Megan


DIY Casette Tape Wallet

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Good morning Thursday Crafthackers!

This morning, I have a lovely DIY tutorial that works those retro stylings with a cassette tape wallet. Now, I know there are those of you around who have never seen a cassette tape in real life before but they do still exist! Raid your parent’s basements or you can find them at second hand stores or used music stores pretty easily.  By the way, I took this tutorial from Wonderful DIY and you can check out the original here.

Your tools are pretty simple: You’ll need glue (E600 is excellent as it will work on porous and non porous materials), and a screwdriver. You’ll also need some materials: a fabric zipper, scrap fabric, a disposable plate for mixing epoxy and a wooden stir stick, if you’re using a glue that is an epoxy.

Next, you’ll need to open your tape. If your cassette is screwed together, you can use the screwdriver to loosen the screws so the tape will come apart. If they’re welded with fasteners, gently pry the sides apart until the fasteners break. Be gentle and it should come apart just fine.

Empty the cassette of the tape and any other bits, and make sure that you take off anything extra with pliers or a box cutter. You basically just want the shell.

Measure your zipper. It should be the same length as three sides (the bottom long edge will basically be the hinge). Trim the zipper at the right length and sew the end so it doesn’t come off where you cut it. Glue the zipper around the edge of each side of the cassette.

Open the zipper, and start at one side and then the other, apply glue around the inside edges of the plastic and carefully press the outer fabric of the zipper into it. Make sure the side of the zipper with the pull is facing outwards so you can open and close your wallet when it’s done. Let everything dry.

Along the edge of the cassette that doesn’t have zipper attached to it, create a fabric pouch. This will help the wallet open and close. Unzip the wallet and lay the sides open and flat so the unglued sides lay parallel. To do this, measure a rectangle of fabric as long as the middle side. The strip should be about as thick as the zipper when it’s zipped. glue the pouch fabric in place and let it dry.

Cover the holes in the sides of the cassette by gluing paper or fabric over them. Cover the insides of the wallet. You can use graphic fabric or the paper booklet that came with your cassette. Let it dry. Test it, and make sure the zipper works.

Now you have a totally awesome retro wallet that you can reminisce about the good times with your friends when you pull it out of your back pocket.

Happy crafting!

~Megan


DIY Colourful Suncatchers

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Good morning Thursday Crafthackers!

Today is a special post because this is my last post as a single lady. In fact, I’ll be getting married tomorrow! So you’ll have to forgive the simplicity of the post but I wanted to find something colourful, beautiful and easy to match my mood. So I’ve got a really easy sun catcher tutorial that is just so cheerful that I couldn’t resist. The original tutorial is from Life In the Nuthouse, which can be found here with all the photos you might need.

So I love that this can be made into an upcycling project as you will need plastic cups. Look for ones that are clear and colourful, rather than just the red solo cups. So if you’re at birthday parties through the summer, maybe save some, or you can buy some at the varying places around that carry plastic cups :).  Look for type 6 recycling plastic as those will be the ones that will shrink down. You can buy ones for you to use or you can buy some to bring to parties and then reuse them.

First, you will need to start with clean cups and cut off the base.

Next you will need to punch two holes across from each other.

Preheat your oven to 250 Farenheit, and line your pans with parchment paper. Place the cups top side down. They won’t really melt too much, but leave a little room between them so they can collapse. If they aren’t completely flat, use a spatula right after you remove them from the oven to flatten them. If your oven is hot, it will only take 2 minutes for them to melt. Scoop them off and let them cool either on a cool pan or if you have a granite counter top, you can let them cool on there. Don’t use cookie racks or you’ll have indents.

When they’re cooled. use some string/yarn/fishing line to string them up with an outer circular layer and an inner one.

For the top of the chandelier, you can use any round plate but the packing boxes from clocks from Ikea can be repurposed and painted. Since the clock used was octagonal, 8 strands of discs made sense, as well as an inner ring of 8 for a total of 16 strands. The outer ring has 5 discs (one of each color) and the inner ring has 7 discs, so that they would hang down a little more.

Hang your strands how you like them, and for your last step, you can glue a last ring to the top of the sun catcher facing the ceiling (with a string hanging from the holes) so you can hang it. And voila, you have a cheerful, beautiful sun catcher.

Hope you guys enjoyed and as always…

Happy crafting!

~Megan

 

 

 

 


Mr Rogers Amigurumi

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While I may not be the first to feature crochet works, I’m always on the look out for well made pieces that I admire. So after seeing the trailer for the upcoming movie, today I wanted to share a beautifully made doll of a beloved childhood tv show host: Mr. Rogers.

Designed by craftyiscoolcrochet on Etsy, this doll is simply as adorable and wholesome as it’s name sake. It has so many little details to it, but my favorite is that he comes with 2 of his most well known puppets, Daniel Tiger and Mr. King. He’s also quite a large doll measuring at about 13″ tall making each of the puppets right around 4″ each.

If you also find he to be absolutely adorable, fear not for if you can crochet then you can get the pattern yourself for only $7. Allison has done an excellent job to make sure that it is easy to follow with 14pages filled with pictures and step by step instructions. You want some sewing experience for some of the details, but overall it is a well received piece. Give her shop a look if you like her style for more wonderfully designed pieces.

 


Friendship Bracelets

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When I was a kid, one thing I remember doing was sitting and hand-making lovely little bracelets that we called Friendship bracelets. I used to love doing that so I thought it would be fun to revisit. They are really easy to make, don’t require any additional tools (like needles or hooks) and can be made almost anywhere! Heck, I remember my sister sitting in the back seat of the family car on long road trips, her floss pinned to the knee of her jeans, braiding & knotting away as we traveled.

All you need for this project are the following items:

  • embroidery floss (thin yarn also works)
  • scissors
  • scotch tape or safety pins
  • tape measure

First step is to cut your floss. I always used to hold the floss in my left hand and measure it up to my shoulder (that’s how my mom taught me). But you can also measure the width of your wrist and multiple by 5 to get an appropriate length. This is going to seem really long but remember, you are braiding/weaving/knotting it so it will shorten the finished product. If you are using different colors for patterns, cut one stand with measure and then you can use that as a ruler for the other strands/colors!

Let’s just focus this post on easiest, basic beginner so we will only do six strands of floss and only three colors in one bracelet. Once your floss is cut, you will lay all three colors together and tie a knot into one end. Then adhere it to a table top or your pant leg or a pillow. Braid a simple braid three inches down (you will be doing this at the end of the bracelet too). After you have your 3 inches of braid, knot under the braid again.

 

Now to the detailed part of our bracelet! Choose what order you want your colors to go in. Example: I’m using yellow, green, pink, blue, orange and purple in that order. Arrange your floss in the order you want from left to right. The first row will be the farthest left-hand color. So my first row will be yellow, followed by green, then pink, then blue, then orange, and finally purple.

Take the first two strands (yellow and green) and pass the first strand OVER the second, then behind the same strand. Basically, you are knotting your first color around the second strand. Pull this up toward the top knot gently to tighten it. Don’t pull it super tight, just pull it up lightly so that it is knotted around the strand snug. Do this a second time on the same strand (there should be TWO knots on each strand). Follow these same steps for the rest of the row. So same snug knot of yellow around the pink strand, then the blue strand, then the orange strand, then the purple strand.

You will now have a row of yellow bumps across the top of your bracelet.

Start again at the left (this would now be my green strand) and do exact same steps across the row. Continue doing this until you have 3-4 inches of knotting done.

Once you have the amount of rows you need (roughly 3-4 inches worth), gather all the strands together and make a large knot (like we did at the very start). Then simply braid three more inches, knot again and snip excess floss from ends.

Voila! Friendship Bracelet Achievement Unlocked!

Happy crafting, friends!


DIY Spindle Windchimes

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Good morning Thursday Crafthackers!

Last week I posted on a DIY for sun catcher wind chimes. This week, I have a tutorial for you from Confessions of a Serial DIYer on making some wooden wind chimes, and the full tutorial can be visited here.

I love wooden wind chimes for a number of reasons, but the biggest is probably the sound. Its pretty unique and you can use different wood types and lengths to make different sounds. The other part of this tutorial that I love is that the tools and materials are very simple.

For this project you’ll need spray paint in the colours of your choice, spindles from old chairs (for a good size). You can also use wooden dowels in various lengths for different sounds, or cut these ones to varying lengths. You’ll need fishing line, scissors, a drill and a very small drill bit (the size just needs to be big enough to drill holes through the wood for the fishing line) and super glue. For the hanging base, you will need a round piece of wood like the one pictured, but you can find bases like this attached to lamps or candle holders at thrift stores, or you can just buy a round disk of wood to use to the same end. You’ll also need a metal ring, the size is up to you, but you will just need something to tie your fishing line to so that you can hang your chimes.  Your last thing is a topper. it isn’t necessary, but it can be something you find in a thrift store, or something at home you’d like to repurpose.

Your first step is to spray paint your wooden parts. Please do this in a well ventilated area outside, and give them some time to dry.

When they’re dry, your next step is to drill tiny holes horizontally at the top of each spindle. For safety, wear safety glasses and have a spare piece of wood underneath where you’re drilling to catch the drill bit. This should keep you and your furniture safe.

Next, mark and measure where the spindles will hang on your base.  They should be hanging around the base in a circle, and be more or less equidistant from each other along the outer rim. The tutorial writer sanded everything to antique it a little, but this is a step that you can skip if it isn’t your preference.

Next, you can thread your spindles. Cut enough fishing line for each of your spindles. Cut half of the lengths at 12 inches, and half at 24 (so if you have 8 spindles, you’ll be cutting 4 and 4).

Thread the sorter string through the hole in the spindle, and then thread both ends through the top of the disk. Tie the string so that there’s a knot big enough not to fall through. If your holes are a little too big, you can thread a button onto the end and tie the thread around the button so that you basically have an easy peasy stopper.

With your 24 inch thread, thread it through the spindle and tie a couple knots a few inches up from the spindle before pulling it through the holes in the top piece – this will keep them from pulling through the top  and you can use the same trick with the button if your holes are too big.. Try to keep them hanging at about the same length as the 12 inch pieces, and then tie them to the ring when they’ve been threaded through.

Next, use superglue to affix your topper, whatever you’ve chosen it to be. Hang in your garden and enjoy!

Happy Crafting,

~Megan

 


DIY: Suncatcher Wind Chimes

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Good morning Thursday Crafthackers!

I have a really neat DIY project for you. I was looking around at DIY wind chimes, as I absolutely love them. I grew up with someone in my family who always had them, and though I can’t remember who it was, I am always transported back to that time. There’s quite a few different tutorials online for making your own wind chimes, and I might post another one next week. But I came across this:

… and I just fell in love with the idea of suncatcher wind chimes, and thanks to this tutorial from Hands On as We Grow, there’s an easy way to make them, and not just that, but to have it be a project that you can do with your kids. You will need some supplies to do this though: Contact paper (you will want transparent rather than a patterned one) that can be found at any craft store, and maybe even some kitchen stores, scissors, a marker or pen, rings (your choice of size) from mason jar lids, string or cord, and a sturdy stick. Outside of these materials, you will need to go in search of foliage to actually keep inside the suncatcher portion of these chimes.

Your first step (other than collecting flowers) is to cut a piece of contact paper and trace mason jar rings onto the paper side of the stuff. Do as many as you have the rings for. Then you’ll want to peel the adhesive off and – very carefully – lay it on the table with the sticky side up.

When you have your foliage where you would like it, peel the other contact paper, and try to stick it as smoothly as you can over your creation. Cut out the circles.

Tie a knot around the rings using the string, and then simply push the suncatcher circles into the ring. They might be the right size enough to fit, or you might have to tape them in place. Then just attach them to a stick to turn them into some beautiful windchimes to hang near your window.

Hope you enjoyed this easy and beautiful tutorial.

Happy Crafting,

~Megan

 


Small Kitchen? Maximize Your Space!

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Happy Monday, friends! First off, I apologize for my absence. Had a bit of a family emergency but everything is looking better now. So I’m back to provide you with some fun ways to organize your kitchen!

I’m going to brag for a moment. I have been blessed to live in a lovely, LARGE and affordable apartment in Chicago-land. There really is only one thing I don’t like about it and that is the size of the kitchen. I love to bake and am getting more into cooking as I age so the lack of counter space has been a real challenge for me. There is also fairly limited storage space. Because of this, I am always looking for ways I can make the most out of the least space.

One problem with my storage is that I LOVE coffee cups; the geekier, the better (which explains my absolute and total adoration of the lovely HandPainted Nerd whom I’ve featured on this very blog). But I find I am running out of room in my cabinet for all my pretties. Some of the mugs are larger than standard size too. So when I saw this wall mount, I thought, “What a gorgeous idea!” Not only would this clear up some cabinet space but it also creates some awesome decoration for my blank walls in the dining area and puts all my beautiful mugs on display.

I also don’t have a lot of under the sink space and this is where I keep both my garbage can and recycle bin (so my HeloKitteh can’t get into them). Right now, I have sponges, scrub brushes and extra rubber gloves along with bottles of cleaning solutions just sort of strewn about under there. However, with some adhesive hooks and plastic baskets attached to the insider of the cabinet drawers, all those sponges and gloves can be put in one, easy-to-reach spot and never get lost in the bowels of the under-sink. Using an adjustable curtain rod can give you a place to hang those bottles out of the way. Doing this allows me space to put my dish drainer under the sink when not in use and opens up a bit more counter space.

One other thing I struggle with is where to put my fruits and veggies. Sure, some of them go into the fridge but the majority don’t require refrigeration so they end up on my one already small counter top.

This is where the wonderful ModernMomLife comes to the rescue. This tutorial walks you though an easy and inexpensive way to get your produce up off the counter. And it looks great too!

But what about those fruits and veggies in the fridge? Some of our readers my have gorgeous new appliances with crisper drawers and the like. My fridge is older than God so it’s pretty much just wire racks. Solution? Office supply store! Plastic desk organizers can be re-purposed into your very own fridge separation and organization.

 

 

The other thing that takes up a lot of space in my kitchen are my baking and cooking supplies; namely the baking sheets, muffin tins, and pots & pans. Now, the pots and pans can nest and for the most part, don’t take up a lot of room. But those lids…there’s just no easy way to stack them. So I say, don’t even try! You can hang a magazine rack or even a metal towel rung onto the insides of your cabinet doors or a wall in the kitchen and just slide them onto it. For the cookie sheets and muffin tins, a simple wicker basket from Target will suffice and you can mount a floating shelf on a door (if you have high ceilings like me) to store it out of the way.

              

There are always very simple and easy solutions to maximizing your storage space. I hope today’s blog helped someone out there to really open up their kitchen.

Happy Organizing, people!


Finch and Cotter: Personalized Gifts

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Good Morning Thursday Crafthackers!

I have a small business feature for you, and this is one that I just used myself to buy a gift and I was so thrilled that I had to share it with you all. Especially given that everything can be done online and not only that, but this business was started by a husband and wife team that employ a small team of employees.  You can check out their website here to see their full range of products, but they specialize in custom printed pillows, prints and maps, and I can tell you that what they offer is all reasonably priced and of quite a high quality.

Their personalized pillows are amazing they make it easy to create something custom and meaningful to you or your gift recipient. You choose from a gallery of templates for a design that will best suit what you’re looking for and you can give them your own information to fill in, or to add into the design.

You can personalize places, names, coordinates, lyrics, almost anything you like that is meaningful to you. And this trend travels across their full range of products.

Personally, I bought a star map of the night’s sky. You can select a particular date, time and place to be immortalized on your wall and they will produce it for you, framed if you desire, in custom colours, with custom details – I ordered mine without a grid on the sky, but including constellations.

What is even better, is you don’t have to just rely on your information being taken and processed correctly. Finch and Cotter will send you a proof so that you can OK your design before they create your beautiful piece. I know it made me feel very secure in my ordering and I appreciate the personal touch – this really screams small business  in the best possible way. If you pay a little extra, they’ll even gift wrap your gift for you.

Please check these guys out. They are so great, and their product is so sentimental and amazing, I just love it.

Happy crafting!

~ Megan