Custom Felt Witch Hats

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I know it’s not the ~typical~ season for it, but too bad cause these things look awesome!

This is just one example of a custom designed felted witch hat made by etsy shop owner HandiCraftKate. You can customize each of the main 3 parts (brim, colors, and end curl direction) to suit your needs. Wanna be a rainbow witch? Done. How about a frosty Ice Witch? Done. Or perhaps you’re less witch and more Pixie or Druid? She even makes custom woodland inspired things like these lovely fox and deer hoods.

All her hats are handblocked from 100% wool, and will keep you warm and looking cool come this fall. Her items are on the higher scale ($200+) for cost, but you’re getting a wonderful and unique piece that will certainly last. I highly recommend giving her shop a look through.


DIY Pom Pom Rug

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Got a nice simple project today with spring break coming up for many. It’s a super cute and easy DIY rug that would work great in the kitchen, kid’s room, or heck even a dorm room.

Here’s your materials list:

  • 4-6 yarn balls (thick or ultra thick)
  • Large container lid, chair back or other household item to wrap yarn around
  • Scissors
  • Rug base canvas

And if you don’t like videos, you can find the full written out steps here on Hello Giggles. 😀


Sweet Smells of Success

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Happy Sunday!

This week has been all ups and downs as far as weather is concerned here in the Midwest U.S. The beautiful amount of sun and pleasant temperatures have got me thinking about all of the activities I enjoy in the Spring/Summer, one in particular being my trips to the local Renaissance Faire. I love the fun and frolic to be had at Faire but as I’ve also mentioned before, I love the vendors as well. There are certain vendors that I patronize every year but I always look forward to finding new ones (or at least new to me)! One I was very pleased to stumble across last summer was Beeswyck Chandlery/Scenter Square body products. A note for the “non-Rennies” (those that don’t attend Faire), when you are a merchant at a Ren Faire, you are often expected to create a period appropriate character, name, and ambiance for your shop. So at Faire, Shannon’s (the proprietor) shop is known as Beeswyck while online she runs Scenter Square. I have fallen head over heels for her soap. It’s light, airy, doesn’t strip my skin of all moisture and comes in a wide array of scents/colors. It’s all vegan, natural and, of course, handmade!

   

Her formulas are safe for my sensitive skin and her often whimsical (and geeky!) scent blends evoke their namesakes. Two of my absolute favorites are the Honey Meade and the Scottish Heather but the Princess Bride themed As You Wish soap was sweet/light and definitely made me think of “twoo wuv”. This is not to say that we are limited to just the soaps. I have not personally used any of the other products YET but from the reviews, it appears I absolutely need to get my hands on some of her natural deodorant, solid shampoo/conditioner, and lip butters.

   

Coming from someone that cannot use most commercial deodorant sticks, I think a further future product review is in order. After all of these lovely items, I can’t very well forget her Faire shop’s focus, either. The candles come in most of the same scents (some additional ones, too) in beeswax pillars or tapers or in soy tins or even wax melts! The whimsy is here as well with names like Pixie Dust and Unicorn Farts (I seriously laughed out loud at that one).

 

I highly recommend a look through her wares and if you find yourself at the Bristol Renaissance Faire in Wisconsin this summer, stop by for a sniff! Shannon is very willing to work with you for the best in customer service, online and in person. Scenter Square can be found on their website and on Etsy.

Unfortunately, my Renn Faire dreams have to stay just dreams for a few months yet but at least I have the scents to keep me going.

Stay crafty!

~Laura


New Schmetz Chrome Needles

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I am a mostly self taught quilter and sewer.  I took a few classes on the basics of quilting when I first started years ago, but since then discovered things on my own.  Because of this, I don’t have a lot of knowledge of sewing and the best tools to use.  I am trying to fix the gaps of my knowledge and over the past year have taken more classes and asked more questions about why things happen.

One of the questions I asked was “why do I get a gunky build up on my needles when I applique”.  The answer was the glue from the applique was building up and causing the needle to stick which caused skipped stitches and uneven stitches.  The answer, a friend told me, was the new Schmetz Chrome needles.

They resist heat, wear, and allow the needle to pass through the fabric with less resistance.  I tried them out this week with the Link Stained Glass Quilt I am making for Nicole and LOVE them.

I used a single needle for the entire quilt top and didn’t have any build up at all. NO BUILD UP AT ALL!  I was pretty amazed and told Schmetz that I don’t think I could ever use any others now!

They are only in Sewing and Quilt stores.  So if you want to try them for yourself check your closest Sewing store.  If you don’t have any Sewing or Quilt store near you, you can buy them on line from Schmetz directly.  Although PLEASE support a local brick and mortar store if you can.

For the next few weeks let’s learn about needles together!   I will be talking about the Anatomy of the needle and how different needles can be used for different projects (and why you would want to).

 

 


Ghee’s Zipper Tutorial

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While I was in Vegas I met a very talented amazing person, Linda McGehee.  She is known for her unique designer-styled handbag patterns and accessories.  A lot of her patterns include zippers and use them in innovative ways, such as her new Zip to Shape Handbag Pattern.

In order to make this pattern you need to know how to sew a zipper.  So Linda gives you a free tutorial!

You can find more tutorials and free projects at Ghee’s website.  Want to buy some of her patterns or materials?

Linda has given us a discount code just for Craft Hacker readers!!

Enter code cos315 at the checkout and receive 20% off everything in the store!!

Are you making one of Ghee’s patterns?  We want to see it!  Show us your pictures in the comments we may feature you on the blog.

-Toni

 


DIY: Stenciled Glass Tabletop

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Good morning Thursday readers!

I found something that’s super cool that I thought I should share with you, for anyone who has a table with a glass top inset who wants to spruce it up.  I am using this tutorial from Nomadic Decorator as a how to, and you can go to her website to check out the full tutorial for this and other really neat ideas.

Now that you’ve seen it, don’t you want to make it? You will need some tools and supplies for this project. Obviously, your clear glass surface (that has been cleaned with glass cleaner), a ruler, a stencil of your choice, stencil brushes and stencil cream paint. You can see the specifics of brand and paint colours in the original tutorial. There are paints that are designed for glass, though you can be a little less concerned about that if you are painting the underside of a table that won’t get bumped, scratched or cleaned. Which you use is up to you though.

With stenciling on glass, you need to paint your colours in reverse – so your background should be the last thing you paint. You will also want to make sure that your glass is clean so that dust, fingerprints or anything else won’t be forever painted onto the glass. So the first step is to do any foreground detail you would like first, and this blogger did copper specks all over, so she did that first by flicking a brush with paint on it to get a very fine spray.

The next step is to use the ruler to find the centre of the table, and put the centre of your stencil there. After your stencil is where it should be you can use one paint colour or a combination of hues to paint your design. Just remember to use your stencil brush properly, so rather than brushing in strokes, you will be tapping the brush up and down onto the stencil, so that the paint doesn’t run, or move the stencil or have a harsh blending of colours. This will almost be like painting with a sponge. Remember that you can have the paint be as thick or thin as you choose, and this technique will allow for a smooth transition between multiple colours. This tutorial mixes 3 different metallic shades, but use whichever colours speak to your soul. Just make sure your design paint is thick enough that you won’t see your background colour through it. You might need a couple of layers for this.

Your last step is to remove the stencil and use your background colour to paint over the entire stencil, making sure to get to all the edges. Again, you might want to do this in a couple coats to make sure that you get good coverage. You can also use a bigger stencil brush to speed the process along.

Though I can’t take credit for it, I thought that this was just a beautiful way to give new life to old pieces of furniture, and gives an option to those who are shopping through second hand and vintage stores a new idea for how to turn a regular coffee table (or something larger…) into something with a definite wow factor.

Happy crafting!

~Megan

 


Gearing Up For Show Season

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Good morning, Wednesday readers! This is Kim, from Fantastical Menagerie. I know its winter still, but show season for crafters will be here before you know it! Whether you have been participating in shows for years, or are thinking about starting out, there are always things to learn. I do a combination of Sci Fi Conventions, Art Shows and Festivals throughout the year. All have different requirements. Most have applications that need to be in at least six months before the show is scheduled. When trying to decide if a show is right for you, its important to do some research.

  • Does your product fit the show? This should be the first thing to consider. If you sell Star Wars handbags, then the Pickle Festival might not be the best fit for your merchandise.
  • How long has the show been running? Is it a first year event or have they been in business for years? Shows that are established have worked out many of the issues with hosting or holding an event, and are, for the most part, running smoothly with set guidelines, a devoted fan base and regular customers.
  • Where is the event being held? Is it downtown on the main streets of your town or city? Is it at an event center with ample parking? A pop up shop in a well curated store, with a reputation for events like these? Or is it somewhere less reliable? I haven’t personally found shows in parking lots, gyms, country parks or farms (all examples) to bring out huge crowds with spending money. There is always an event that exceeds expectations, but event location can play a huge role in your success.
  • What is the purpose of the event? If it is a charity or church event, they might be more concerned with their side of making money instead of how vendors or crafters will fare. A family friendly festival might cater to a crowd that has a lower price point, and not necessarily care about whether things are handmade. If at a convention, the celebrity guests might be expensive and cut down on what people have to spend. Its always a good idea to attend an event the year before to see if your goods will fit, how things are run, and if there is competition for what you sell.
  • Is the show Juried? A juried event is one where you send in photographs, slides, or digital images of your work, display, and sometimes WIP pictures with your application. It is judged by category, level of art, and whether its a good fit for the show. If your goal is to do art shows, this means that all vendors at the event should be at similar levels, with a good variety of art represented, with no Direct Sale or commercial companies there. Some other events will ask to see your work, but mostly to make sure you are a good fit for the show. If you are looking at Conventions or local Festivals, this may not be something you need to worry about.
  • What is the expected attendance of the event? You can ask for previous year’s ticket sales, estimated counts, or presale for the current year’s events. Check their Facebook page to see how many ‘Likes’ they have, or how much effort they put into online marketing.
  • Cost vs. Profit. How much is the booth or table fee? Do you have to donate an item for an auction or charity? Make sure to estimate or research additional costs such as gas, hotel, all meals and snacks, and if you need to pay someone to help you with your booth. If it seems to high for what you are likely to sell, it may be an event to skip.

If you have done your research, you can make an educated decision on whether on event is right for you to participate in. Next Wednesday, I will be focusing more on Juried events, and the best way to get those photos taken. *Festival picture is Orange Beach Arts Festival*


DIY Crochet Owl Blanket

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Returning to my love of crocheting today, I’ve found a super cute and fairly simple pattern to share with you all!

It’s a super bulky Owl Imitation afghan! Designed by Ravelry user MJ, this afghan is one of many designs they’ve released but one of my absolute favorites. 😀 The pattern includes instructions for Child or Adult size for only $6. Besides looking super cute and comfy though, I love how it looks when it’s all folded up.

They’ve also included lots of info about hook and yarn yardage required to make, as well as estimation for yarn substitutions. Overall it’s designed to be worked up in about a day for an advanced/experienced crocheter, with some possible extra time for working on the owl hood part. If you’re intimidated by the hood, fear not! MJ has included a video tutorial for how to sew/attach it all together on her youtube account. I’m definitely considering making some of these as gifts for my nephews this Holiday season. ^_^


Learn to Knit

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Back when I was but a child, I was actually horrible at crocheting, but was able to pick up knitting. While I don’t find the medium as versatile since I’ve become proficient at crocheting, it’s still a great skill to learn if you’re looking to make clothing. I’ve always stood by that knitting is superior for several clothing items, most notably: socks, sweaters, gloves, and dresses. Crochet does alright in these areas, but man, the tubular nature of the weaving really lends it’s self to superior socks. Crochet is just way too thick.

With all that in mind, I’d like to point you in the direction of Instructables user Carleyy. She has free online guides on teaching yourself to crochet, as she also learned entirely from online sources and adds increased awareness of how to translate some terms/actions better others. There are currently 4 Beginner level, and 1 Intermediate level guides/classes available, but you can follow her on Instructables to get updates on her next lesson/guide. 🙂


Cute in the Kitchen

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Happy Sunday, all!

The unseasonable warmth continues here in the midwest US but that does not mean that I’m not spending time with a warm oven on! I do spend a great deal of time in my kitchen as I have an especial passion for baking. Creating comfort foods is one of my favorite activities for stress release. If you’ve followed the Sunday posts for a while, you may have also grasped that I love all things cute. So imagine my surprise and delight to come across many of the adorable Studio Ghibli oriented kitchen utensils in Zeniba’s Attic:

No Face, Catbus, and Totoro spoons for that geeky chef in your life!

Joanne, the artist, burns the images into the very functional pieces to create these wonderful and adorable items.

Some soot sprites to help scoop with the spatula?

I think many of them would make fantastic gifts for any Ghibli enthusiast.

Like this Totoro cutting/cheese/serving board!

She not only creates cute kitchen utensils but also paints ceramic items to match!

Maybe you shouldn’t have a Calcifer oil burner near your bacon, though.

Since she makes her items to order and they are shipping from the UK, it may take a while to receive your lovely pieces but it looks like all are well worth it! Zeniba’s Attic can be found on Etsy and Facebook.

Have a wonderful week, everyone – I’m off to bake!

Stay crafty!

~Laura