Adorable Octopi Ornaments

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Like Sea Creatures? Well, then I have got some of the most adorable ornaments for you this Holiday Season.

This beautiful pieces was hand blown by Etsy studio Full Blown Glass. Based in North Carolina, they have a wide variety of all things nautical (which I respect as a fellow East Coast artist ^_~ ) but their Octopus Ornaments really caught my eye.

Their work is beautifully detailed, and their spheres are simply on point for shape and size. That it’s all hand blown means it’s just wizardry to me. Besides the decorative pieces in this shop (which include a face hugger ornament!) you’ll also find practical everyday use glass wear at their sister shop; Andromeda Glass. While they won’t get to you in time for Christmas, they do have some non-holiday decorations should you find yourself in need of a fancy straw or maybe a terrarium? If you love nautical creatures their shop is at least worth a look through. 🙂


Recycled Gifts to Warm the Heart

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Happy Sunday, all!

There is only one week left until the big holidays hit so if you still have some gifts to find, I have a few suggestions that are not only budget and environmentally friendly but also rather thoughtful. First up is a tutorial to help you make a nice new pair of warm mittens out of old sweaters:

Just think about how many mittens could be made out of some thrifted ugly sweaters!

Just think about how many mittens could be made out of some thrifted ugly sweaters!

Even if you don’t have many older sweaters to use, the second hand stores (pun intended) should have plenty in all kinds of awesome patterns. One sweater usually has enough fabric to make a few pairs of mittens OR you could use this tutorial to make a matching hat.

So now that you’ve made some gifts to keep warm outside, I think an inside warmer is in order. Let’s make sure that it’s fun and stylish, too! A tea wreath is a cute present for those tea drinkers in your life:

This may also help to get rid of some of that excess tea in the cabinets. Or is that just me?

This may also help to get rid of some of that excess tea in the cabinets. Or is that just me?

Using recycled cardboard, old clothespins, and bright paper with some colorful teabags would make a wonderful, functional decoration. Maybe tea isn’t their thing? How about music? I don’t know about you but my ear buds always get tangled or lost in my purse. I could really use something to keep them contained and I bet others could, too. This earphone holder made from a recycled mint container is just right:

Super adorable and just the right size. No more tangled cords!

Super adorable and just the right size. No more tangled cords!

I think the only issue would be mixing up mints and earphones when digging around in the carry-all. The last tutorial I have pains me a little because it requires you to cut up a book but I think the prospect of “saving” an old book from the trash is incentive enough to make this neat portable art case:

Never fear, the tutorial also includes links to further crafts you can use the pages for.

Never fear, the tutorial also includes links to further crafts you can use the pages for.

Any artist on-the-go should be well equipped with it in hand. So there we are, folks! I hope one of these at least inspires an idea or two for that hard to buy for relative. I’ve got a lot of crafting to do in the next week so I’d better get to it. See you in a week for the big day!

Stay crafty!

~Laura


Van Gogh Cherrywood Challenge

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While in Houston I was lucky to be at the unveiling of the next Cherrywood Challenge, Van Gogh.

From the Cherrywood site:

Quilts are Due: August 1, 2017

$45 includes registration fee, shipping of fabric, return shipping of quilt, and one fat quarter each of black and three official VAN GOGH blues.

Goal: Use van Gogh’s paintings as inspiration to push yourself creatively, think outside the box and create new fiber art. You do NOT need to choose a painting and copy it inch for inch. Put a little bit of yourself into it. Take inspiration from WHAT he painted, HOW he painted, WHY he painted, WHERE he painted, etc…

Quilts must measure 20″ x 20″ and must be square.

The entire quilt top and binding must be made from Cherrywood Fabric. Backing is your choice of any fabric.

Most of (about 60-75%) of the quilt top must use the official VAN GOGH blues and black. The quilt should “read” blue. (We were pushed to list an actual percentage, but please do not get uptight over this number. The challenge is to use as much blue and black as possible.) Accent colors of Cherrywood may be added. White may be a different brand (we do not carry white).

Any technique or fabric manipulation is acceptable as long as it maintains the color and character of a textile quilt (if so much paint is applied that the original color of the fabric is not obvious, it may lead to disqualification). Embellishments may be added, with the exception of glitter, but must stay within the 20-inch size.

Finished quilt must have a top, a middle, and a backing. Maximum thickness: 1 inch. Note that the quilt will be packed and unpacked many times. No sleeve is required.

First Place – $700 Gift Card
Second Place – $200 Gift Card
Third Place – $100 Gift Card

Ever since I saw the Wicked challenge two years ago I have been wanting to participate in the Cherrywood Challenge.  I decided to take the plunge this year!  I purchased the basic Van Gogh pack.

I won’t be making a pixel quilt (what I am known for), but want to challenge myself and make another art quilt.  I am definitely going to make it geeky!  I am starting the brainstorming process and hope to get started on it after Magfest.  August 1 may seem like it is a long way away, but it will be here before I know it.

Want to participate in the challenge?  You can buy the kits right from Cherrywood or from your local quilt shop that carries their fabric.  Let me know if you are participating!  I am creating a special Facebook group for everyone I know that is making a quilt so we can support each other and cheer each other on.

-Toni


Redesigning my Studio

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You may or may not remember the Spring Clean your Studio Blog Hop Cheryl Sleboda hosted in April.  I participated on my Quiltoni blog and turned by studio from this:

before-2

before-bookcase

To this:

after-bookcase

after-1

after-3

I was pretty happy with it, but it still felt cramped and like I didn’t have any room to move around.  While I was in Houston for Quilt Market I met the amazing people at at Arrow Sewing Cabinets.  I fell in love instantly with their style of furniture and wanted them.  They helped me measure and pick out what I and needed.

I decided to get their Olivia in Blue as well as some of the other great cabinets they sell.

blue-olivia-green-elna-600sq-456x456

I picked everything up last week.  I just need to paint the walls, rearrange, and I will have a new studio!  If you would like to follow my progress, make sure you keep an eye on my Quiltoni blog on Wednesdays.

-Toni

 


Giving Zen

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Hi there Thursday readers,

During the holiday rush of trying to find the perfect gift or just trying to get a little shopping done without being stampeded by crowds while trying to replace your worn out winter boots, everyone can use a little extra zen. So here’s a couple lovely, and easy gifts that you can make either for your home or to give as a gift to someone special who needs a little extra relaxation. This is from Gardenista (you can find the full DIY here)

To make this fabulous and innovative take on the mindful garden, you will need a Calocehalus or Silver Plant , a European or “false” cypress or Port Orford Cedar, and Club Moss. You should be able to find these at garden stores. You can use other plants, succulents or air plants if you won’t be able to water them. It’s all about how much upkeep you’re going to want to do, and this example is just a template.

You will also need a shallow vessel like a pie plate or something similar in depth but a different shape. Take a look at kitchen stores and I’m sure that you can find a serving vessel that would work in interesting shapes.  You will need some beach stones (you can collect them or you can buy them – sometimes in specific colours at pet/dollar/garden stores), and you will also require some potting soil.

Next you will need to create a base. Place the potting soil in the area that you’d like to have the plants, and rocks in the remainder.

A couple things to note, if you’re planting a mini cypress tree, it will need upkeep like a bonzai tree and so it will need to be trimmed and taken care of. It will also need to be anchored in place by another plant (the moss is used here). Also remember that this is a zen garden that requires a little sunlight for these plants, so make sure there’s a little light available to help them out.

You can add a second layer of rocks of different shapes, if you have them. Instead of raking sand in this garden, you will be moving the stones and changing the scene in this way.

 

You can choose whatever other accents you might like to add, like branches or flowers (fake if you prefer not to change them out) and play around with the rocks to find pleasing ways to arrange them. And you’re done!

If you would prefer to make a simpler Zen garden, here is a tutorial for a sand garden where you can use succulents or air plants or even fake plants to achieve your goal, and you can find the tutorial from Dwell Beautiful here.

Happy crafting!

~ Megan


Closet Cosplay 2: Leia

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Its Rogue One premiere day here in Ireland! Like last year, I’m out to it in a casual costume. Last year I went as Han, which turned out to make the evening a heck of a lot more heart-wrenching, so I chose a character who I was fairly confident would not die in this movie, Leia. So here are some closet outfit suggestions from me to you in case you want to represent Her Highness on your way to the cinema.

The classic and easy option is her senatorial gown that she spends most of her time in early on.

screen-shot-2016-12-14-at-11-38-43

All white dress, white shoes, and a silver belt and you will definitely be giving a nod to the original trilogy’s heroine, especially if you add the classic Leia buns. But I’m more interested in another, warmer option out there- that of her Hoth outfit.

screen-shot-2016-12-14-at-11-33-31 White shirt and pants with an off-white fuzzy “Wampa” furred vest and grey boots and you’re done! The hairstyle for this will be a bit more difficult, with the long braid around the head, but this will keep me much warmer as I venture out into the rain that has finally come to Dublin.

Rogue One is looking like it will be amazing. Have a happy Star Wars week ya’ll!

~ eliste


Wear Your Food

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In a move typically only seen in food fights, one fashion designer has decided to make purses and jewelry that look remarkably like food. Like, really, really look like food.

Yup. That is a purse, not a real cake. Made my Netherlands artist rommydebommy, they are all handmade out of various materials including special foam to get the correct food shapes/look. Some of them come very over-sized and are a bit comical looking, but still incredible in their life like detail.

This looks so much like a real cake it’s just ridiculous.

She didn’t forget about the men folk either! For them she has a selection of bow ties (like this apple core one) that probably won’t get approved for formal wear. 😉 You should definitely check out her etsy store to see more of her incredible work.


Illuminated Illustrations

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Created by Etsy artist Trysogodar, these Paper Cut Light Boxes are beautiful scenes cut straight from fantasy worlds and stories. The way they’ve layered their paper (not to mention the expert precision cutting of the designs) is nothing short of beautiful.

To quote the artist,”The paper cut light box are made using layers of hand-cut 160g art paper which are placed in shadow boxes and illuminated by LED light strips.

At first glance, the light box appear like any other paper cut work. When the lights go out, however, the light box suddenly take on a magical quality; The LED strips make the backgrounds glow and cast rich shadows, revealing tiny worlds within the boxes.”

These would make excellent replacements for nursery nightlights, imho, and I may even look into them just for that reason in the future. They are very reasonably priced as well, but they do ship from the UK, so maybe not the best idea for this holiday season. 😉

 


Stockings to be Stuffed

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Hello Sunday readers!

We now have some ornaments and wreaths that have been made out of recycled materials so to make the place even more festive, let’s make some stockings! I’ve seen a lot of tutorials on upcycling sweaters and this one is pretty straight forward:

Super cozy stockings for lots of swag.

Super cozy stockings for lots of swag.

Or how about that favorite pair of jeans that you just can’t seem to part with but have holes in embarrassing spots? Let’s make them into a festive memorial:

More pockets = more room = more treats!

More pockets = more room = more treats!

Do you still have some ties leftover from last week’s wreath project? Use them to make a matching/accenting stocking:

So colorful!

So colorful!

This last one was actually pretty near and dear to my heart. What if you have a quilt that is just so old and loved that it is literally falling apart? You don’t want to completely trash it and there is really no saving it so make part or parts of it into some beloved stockings:

Just don't pack it too full unless you line it with something heavy duty!

Just don’t pack it too full unless you line it with something heavy duty!

So now that you’ve got all of these lovely stockings to hang by the chimney with care, what if you don’t have a mantle, let alone a chimney? There is a recycled solution out there for you, too. It involves an old headboard, paint, and some pegs:

Just make sure to mount it properly otherwise there will be new holes in the wall from the weight of the loot!

Just make sure to mount it properly otherwise there will be new holes in the wall from the weight of the loot!

The whole place should be looking cheery and festive now! There’s only one more Sunday before the big day so I’ll be back next week with some recycled gift ideas.

Stay crafty!

~Laura


New Quilt Patterns

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Over the last two weeks Nicole and I released two patterns in our Quilt Pattern series!

Navigate the maze, eat the pixels, and dodge the ghosts. This pixel eater pattern was inspired by Pacman and will create a lap sized quilt top.

pixel-eater-cover

Keep a smile on your face as you float through the land to save all the creatures. Eat all the things while humming a happy little tune!  This pattern is inspired by Kirby and will make a lap sized quilt top.

puffball-cover

The only skills you need to make the patterns are using a Sewing Machine with a 1/4″ seam and using a Rotary Cutter with a Straight Edge!

To check out all of the available quilt patterns we currently have, visit our Craftsy store.

-Toni