Kids Animal Coats

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In the spirit of staying warm and enjoying Halloween, I found a clothing maker who can help your child dress up all winter long. 😀

This adorable coat (and many more like it) were designed by British best friends (Naomi and Nat) to create a clothing line they’ve called Oliver and Vince. It’s all clothing specifically for children that’s made in bright and bold colors and patterns that children are drawn to. Their coats are so popular that you can only pre-order right now for coats to arrive in Spring of 2017. If you know how to sew however, there may be hope!

They’ve just released a new pattern book that you can order right here, and make your own super cute coats and clothes for your own kids! It ships world wide and you can even chose the option to have your copy signed for no extra cost. 🙂 I was already thinking of experimenting with clothing making, and now I think I’ve found some motivation!


A Pumpkin a Day

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Hello Sunday readers!

I know I promised a wreath this week but unfortunately I find myself struck down by a terrible cold. So the wreath will have to happen next month but I still wanted to keep with the theme. Tomorrow is Halloween! What small crafts could I do while still resting in bed? Definitely not anything with glue or paint so I suppose we are back to our fiber crafts. I’m really feeling like pumpkins today so I went looking for some free patterns.

I’ve always fallen back on small cross stitch projects since my Mom taught me how to stitch so many years ago. This one is super cute and could still be completed before tomorrow:

It's positively boo-tiful.

It’s positively boo-tiful.

My newer go-to is definitely crochet as my skills continue to improve with every project I try. So how about some cute pumpkin coasters for the mugs of tea I’m dosing myself with:

Definitely an effective place to squash a mug onto.

Definitely an effective place to squash a mug onto.

Or perhaps I could learn something new and try out some knitting. Especially because this pumpkin tea cozy would be very useful for those gallons of tea:

A perfect warmer for those cold days.

A perfect warmer for those cold days.

While I attempt to recover, everyone else have a safe and happy Halloween!

Stay crafty!

~Laura

 


Quilt a Long – NES Sampler

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Time for the twelth and last block of the NES Sampler Quilt a Long, Mario!  There is still one more month to go with the assembly instructions.

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To remind you, this is what the entire NES Sampler Quilt will look like.

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The NES Sampler quilt will have a finished size of 51″ by 67″.

For those not familiar with a Quilt a Long we will be releasing the pattern for one block each month on the 1st.  You then have the entire month to make the block.  Don’t feel rushed though.  The patterns will always be free and available in the forums so you can join and catch up at any time.  You can pick and choose which blocks to make and in what order you would like to arrange them on the quilt.  You just don’t get the instructions for the next block in the series until the following month.

This quilt can be made by experienced quilters, or those new to quilting.  You only need to know how to use a sewing machine and a rotary cutter.  New quilting tips will be highlighted so experienced quilters can skip over them.

You can find the pattern to Mario here.

Please let us know if there is anything in the patterns that are confusing or need to be explained further.

Happy Quilting!

-Toni


Place mats for Charity

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Last weekend was the quilt show for my local quilt guild.  I had a lot of fun, conducted a quick workshop, and saw a lot of beautiful quilts.  The biggest thing the quilt show did for me is to motivate me to sew more for charity.  I know I do a lot now, but I think I can do more.

One of the great programs my quilt guild does is create place mats for Meals on Wheels. (US site and Canada site).  So I plan on taking all of my scraps over the next few months and turning them into place mats.  Want to do the same?   I scoured the web for some great easy place mat patterns that anyone who can use a sewing machine can make.

placemat1

Craft and Fabric Links has a super easy and quick way to make place mats using fusible batting.

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Want a little bit f a challenge with a quilted place mat and applique?  Sew4Home has the pattern for you.

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The Crafty Quilter has a more traditional quilted place mat.

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Monkey See Monkey Do has a place mat with no batting at all so it is thin and easy to make.

Can’t sew but crochet or knit?  Meals on Wheels will take those too!

-Toni


Tree Lights

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Good morning Thursday Crafthackers!

I bring you a small project that is super cute and can lead to a lot of different customization depending on how creative you are. I’ve taken the photos and you can find the full tutorial from The Fanciful Miser, who provides a lot of excellent photos and tips.

To make this beautiful piece, you will need some supplies:

Two colours of ribbon

Six glass votive candle holders (you can easily find these at a home store, dollar store or craft store)

Six battery operated tea light candles (so there’s no homes burning down)

Wide burlap ribbon

Branches – sturdy ones (either scavenged outside or bought from a garden or craft store)

A large glass vase

Sand and medium sized rocks

Glue gun and stick and thread (for the sewing)

 

 

Your first step is to arrange your branches with the medium sized rocks in the base of the vase. These rocks will help to keep the branches sturdy and keep them from moving.

For further stabilization, you’ll need to add the sand and smaller stones. so that those branches won’t be blowing in any breeze.

Next cut your burlap ribbon to wrap around the vase to hide the sand and branches. Glue the ends together with your glue gun to secure it around the vase.

If the burlap is too plain for you, you can tie some of the ribbon around the burlap or decorate it as you see fit. Next, take your coloured ribbon and cut two strips of the same size and cross them under the glass votive holders at the middle. Use your glue gun to affix the ribbon to each other and to the glass.

Hold your votive upside down and pull the ribbons together tightly and folding the ends over. (Make sure the ribbons are held so that the votive will balance without tipping to one side.)

Take a look at the image below – this is how you want your votives to hang.

After you have balanced your ribbons, you can fold the ends over so they look a little more finished and either sew or glue the ends of the ribbon together

Complete those steps for all the other votive holders, and make sure that you have three in each colour of ribbon.

I hope that you enjoyed this tutorial. Remember that your creativity is your friend with this project. Use ribbons that match with the season or your decor, you can fill the glasses with glitter covered fruits for the holidays, or candy for halloween. You could fill your little votives with some water and even put fresh flowers in each. Have fun!

Happy Crafting!

~ Megan

 


Embracing the Mess

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The rise of “Pinterest Perfect” crafting fills me with dread. It looks beautiful, it is arranged beautifully, it is made to look easy. But, to me, what it never particularly looks like is fun.

Halloween is such a fun time, and it doesn’t necessarily lend itself to Pinterest Perfection the way other holidays do. The types of decorations and costumes and crafts that I think of in conjunction with Halloween are messy, dirty, fun.

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You cannot make a jack-o-lantern without getting messy. Your hands will be messy, your plate will be messy. You will later find pumpkin stuck in places and on furniture that will surprise you.

Haunted House staples are not just scary, but disgusting and gross to the touch or to look at. Eyeballs in jelly, messy blood spatters, We celebrate that which we normally avoid when Halloween comes along.

This is one of the reasons I feel Halloween has always been beloved by crafters. We understand that the Pinterest Perfect end product can only be found through a period of absolute, downright mess.

Yes, you can get that perfect photo, but you have to be willing to put up with the mess to get there. And in fact, the Halloween ideas and photos that strike me most are the ones where you can still feel that mess, that uncontrolled disaster that is lying underneath the surface.

For me it’s like the difference between the beauty of a highly groomed garden and the beauty of wildflowers. They both hold beauty, but the raw, natural chaos has a striking quality that never ceases to draw the eye.

And this is also why Halloween is the perfect time to get your children involved. Children are inherently less bothered by mess. They are happy to get their paws in the mud, the blood, the crafting mess.

I am once again pleased to be involved in the Halloween costumes for my friend’s children this year. We will have bloody vampires and zombies running forth.

Embrace the mess this Halloween. A little blood never hurt anyone.

~eliste


Knowing Your Resources – Scaling Images

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Yesterday I talked about programs you can used to do free digital work to your creations. Today I’m continuing the digital side of crafting and taking it a step further to provide a new program and an example of how it can be used to effect your crafts/art. Say you’ve got a great design for a T-shirt you want to make. You’re in love with it and it looks perfect. You go to print it out and start your screen printing process and…crap. You made your design way too small.

What do you do? You spent hours on this design and now when you go to make it bigger it’s likely not going to look as good and isn’t suitable to print. Well, I have your answer. You go take a visit to waifu2x. Not a great name, I know, but here is an example from their site of the change in quality their program provides (you’ll have to click for the larger image to see everything better)

You simply chose the image you want from your files and select the level of customization for upscaling it that you need. While it’s likely not going to be perfect if your image is fully colored and fleshed out, it will expertly upscale and clean just about any image you give it better than most free image editing software. I wouldn’t use it all the time (you should always try and work in high resolution images whenever you make a digital design), but it’s great for those moments when you forgot or were in a rush and have a time crunch to get something finished by. 🙂


Knowing Your Resources – Free Computer Art Programs

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So I hurt my left arm last week and I’m having to take it easy and not crochet (cries forever at all the lost work time) to let the muscles recover from the strain. I’m doing more digital based work instead to keep from just lounging around and playing video games, so I thought I’d share some great art programs that can be used to create digital art on your computer that can all be downloaded at no cost to use. This way you can explore and see what programs work best for you. 🙂

Photoshop CS2 – You’ll have to create a free adobe login first if you don’t have one, but once you log in and go to this link you should be on the agreement page that leads you to the download. It’s all free, but no longer supported by adobe with updates. So if you have a system running newer versions of windows (like windows 10) it probably won’t run.

FireAlpaca – This is a nice simple paint/illustrator tool for Windows or Mac. Still supported and updated as well, while planning to always be free.

GIMP – Another free program that works for Windows, Mac or Linux.

Inkscape – My personal program of choice as a back to photoshop. It’s available to Windows, Linux, Mac and even as the source code; for all the people out there that are much for into programing then I’ll ever be.

As a bonus: CTRL+Paint Is a great resource to teach you how to you digital programs to make art, touch up photos, or do graphic design stuff like make vector based logos.

So get out there and get creative! 😀


Hook Up Some Halloween

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Halloween is getting so close, Sunday readers!

But it’s not too late to work up some super cute decorations. As I’m pretty sure I’ve expressed many times over, I’m a big fan of cute amigurumi and I’ve definitely found some Halloween themed ones that fit the bill. For instance, first there are these adorable little traditional pumpkins:

So plump and traditional.

So plump and seasonal! They could double as Thanksgiving décor.

Or if you are a fan of the most notorious Halloween candy, these candy corns with a twist would make an excellent addition:

The eyes have it!

The eyes have it!

I personally like to indulge in a little bit of harmless deviltry around this holiday and these little cuties can help with that:

It's really wickedly cute, isn't it?

It’s really wickedly cute, isn’t it?

Or, of course, appealing to the geeky fandom side of things is always a good way to go. This crochet Oogie Boogie from Nightmare Before Christmas is a sure bet:

You can definitely opt to not fill it with bugs...

You can definitely opt to not fill it with bugs…

So there we go! Have fun adding to your ami collection while prepping some spooky décor.

Next week, I’ll take you through a nice tutorial for making a creepy and elegant Halloween wreath.

Stay crafty!

~Laura

 


Spider Web Quilt (2 sizes)

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In 2013 Life in the Scrapatch shared an amazing tutorial for a small Spiderweb quilt.

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This amazing quilt uses these materials:

Small Spider Web Quilt Fabric Requirements
80 2.5 inch squares (two mini-charm packs, a charm pack, strips, FQs or yardage … or just use up scraps!)
1/2  – 2/3  yard of black (for web sashing and border and binding)
2 inch black circle for the center applique 
30″ square of backing fabric and batting
The quilt will finish at about 30″ measured across the points of the web.
Then in 2014 they updated the Spider Web quilt to be a little bigger.
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The materials for this quilt include:
168 squares 2.5″, 21 are needed for each of eight sections
2 yards of black fabric for web, backing and binding
40″ square of batting
 
Quilt Finishes at about 34″ point to point.
I can’t believe I didn’t see these tutorials until now.
They are both really cool quilts and I am really tempted to make one!  The directions are really easy to follow and free!  Click on each of the pictures to be taken to the site for the instructions or to check out the other cool projects that Life in the Scapatch has to offer.
-Toni