Snow, Snow, Beautiful Snow

Posted on

Happy Sunday, all!

As the name of today’s post implies, I’ve been thinking about it a lot lately. We’ve only gotten a couple of light dustings so far here in the Midwest and I’m ok with it snowing from the end of November right up until the new year but then I’m done! So while I’m hoping for a little more of the flakes, I’ve gathered some cool (pun intended) snow-inspired decorations for the season. First up is one large but very easy way to get your fix, shiny popsicle stick snowflakes from Making Home Base:

Silver can certainly be an option, too!

For the second option, do you happen to have some clothespins sitting around with no clothes to hang (I do but then I am a noted craft supply hoarder)? Then how about turning them into some of these lovely glittery snowflakes from Eighteen25:

Yay glitter everywhere!

Ok, so let’s say you don’t have clothespins but what about wine corks? I have a whole big bag of them from Mom and the girls that are just screaming to be turned into these cute cork snowflake ornaments from Virginia Sweet Pea:

These are getting made for everyone…I have that many corks.

So far these mostly require adult supervision but I swear I have at least one kid friendly option. This is really adorable and a great idea for any shape – glitter snowflake window clings from One Little Project:

Seriously, can’t you imagine making your own Nightmare Before Christmas window scene like this?

Finally, because the classics can’t be discounted, what about paper snowflakes you may ask? Let’s take them up a notch and make some large 3D paper snowflakes with instructions from Handimania:

There are some great ideas through the link for different kinds of paper to use!

So there we are, hopefully this will keep us both happy until the real stuff descends from the heavens. Next week is right before the big day (I can’t believe it, either) so I’ll dig up some ideas for last minute but awesome wrapping ideas.

Stay crafty!

~Laura

 

 


Twitch Updates

Posted on

If you follow my social media you may have seen this posted on Monday.

If you haven’t watched me on Twitch you may not know what this meant.  In Twitch when someone finishes their stream they can choose to “raid” another streamer.  Basically they take all of their viewers and bring them to another stream.  This raid can be announced with a “raid call” or other ways to let the new streamer know they have joined them.  It is a lot of fun and a great way to introduce people to new streams.

I am trying an incentive to encourage people to raid me so we can grow the channel.  From now until January 3 if we get raided the streamer gets 1 pixel for every raider they bring (pixels are the currency that I use to make quilts for viewers).  I will also immediately do a give away!  I will still do giveaways for viewer counts, subs and followers.  So there could be more than one giveaway if we are raided!

I would also like you to mark your calendar for December 23.  If you have ever wanted to watch me make a quilt start to finish this is your chance.  I will be making a quilt start to finish the entire day to raise money for St Jude and will be streaming it live!  Cutting, piecing, pinning, quilting and binding.  For every $5 donation you make to St Jude through my link you will earn 1 ticket to win the quilt I make!  The stream will start at 9am and will last until I finish the quilt and conduct the drawing.

So make sure you sign up for a free Twitch account, follow me and tune in!


Paint Chip Crafting

Posted on

This week I am in that mad rush to get so many things done and too little time to do it in.  Yes, that includes taking care of the holiday presents for the majority of my family (that is what this weekend’s project will end up being).  With that in mind, I began to think of ways how I can knock out a few more things on my list while I did a project for this week’s post.   And one thing that came to mind as I played with ideas as I looked online, was how my friend who offered some supplies she has stashed in her spare room.   And in the photos she sent, there were many color books from the paint supplier she and her husband used to work for.  Here are many projects you can use them for- holiday cards, ornaments, garland, holiday banners, and decorations.

So I snagged what I could at the local hardware store in order to get me started and when I babysit her daughter this weekend, I will have her help me make some cards for her parents before I take the rest home to add more checkmarks on my to do list.   For most of these projects I am suggesting you use these cards for, the supplies are very similar so I am going to create one list and you can work your magic from there.   These are also fun and easy projects for kids to help with and get created with.
Supplies:
Paint color chips in the same color families
Glue (glue sticks, double-sided tape, or stapler/staples depending on project and age group)
Hole punch
string/twine/yarn
Scissors
Optional supplies:
glitter/glitter glue
Sequins
Buttons
Markers
Stencils/Cookie cutters

For ornaments and holiday cards, you can free hand some shapes and use the color variations bring a new dimension to it.  I am not that hot at it so I tend to print out a stencil on cardstock paper to use or use a cookie cutter.  You can do whatever shapes you’d like on your tree.   I’d theme it with the colors you use on your tree.  For instance, if you are doing whites, blues, and silvers, then you’d pick paint chips in those color families.


If you are doing all trees and stars, then you’d do those shapes.  In my case, I actually made a few for my desk at work in the shapes of menorahs with the menorahs being orange, the candles being blue, and the flames yellow. If you are using the shapes to hang on the tree, then use the hole punch to punch a hole to string the ornament.  If you are making holiday cards, you can paste or tape them onto the cardstock.  The only variation for garland- you put it on one long string.  I thought the idea of a garland shaped like lights would be great for places that don’t have easy access for real lights to be plugged in or if you are trying to be more energy efficient for the holiday season.


The last part of the projects that would be holiday themed and paint chip cards are trees for centerpieces or accent pieces or even a wreath.   Now how can you do that?  You will need poster board or cardboard.   So if you child’s science project has passed it’s prime or you have some boxes not already being used for wrapping holiday presents, I’d recommend those.  If you have a gift box that is missing one half, this would be a good way to reuse it without tossing it to the recycling bin or throwing it out.   It won’t even matter if there’s a pattern or a store logo.
So if you are creating a standing tree, I’d make a cone shape.  You’ll likely just want to use primarily green paint chips for this but other colors will come in handy.   What you want to do is create little loops and layer them to create the body of a tree.   Here is where I add to the other colors.   You can make a tree topper out of yellows.   Another use for the hole punch especially if you have one that cuts shapes, you can hole punch different color paint cards to create the ornaments.  The wreath will mostly use greens but it you want holly berries, be sure to use some reds.  For this you will just cut a large donut shape and tape or glue loops of paint cards to resemble the greenery.  Then you can cut berries or use hole punch for whatever size you have the materials.


 

Have fun and just create!


Felted Decor and Ornaments

Posted on

The Holidays are always the time to show off your best crafting skills. The one time of the year you can fill the house with what you love and no one will bat an eye; they’ll simply call you festive. 😉 I’ve got 2 artists today that both specialize in wonderfully detailed hand felted items that work great on a tree or even around your home!

Miri of Noristudio specializes in making adorable woodland creature who often have an adorable acorn beret on their head. I personally loved this little hedgehog, but you can find a whole collection of them in her shop, including a set of ornaments to hang up in your home! Another thing I love is that they’re interested in bringing new people to the medium with their DIY kits for beginners. Something that could make an excellent gift for the crafter in your life that’s seeking a new and challenging medium to tackle. 🙂

The second artist is just as exciting with their dedication to realism in their pieces. I mean, if I didn’t know better, I’d swear some of these pieces were real.

Made by Natalja of TaFiOLand, these pieces are really quite wonderful. They are a German based artist of quite some talent, imho, and I just find their precision with the medium to be considerably well honed. Several of their pieces can be used as table decoration or hanging on your tree, but there are even a few pieces that can be used for lighting fixtures around the home. Really just lovely work that I highly recommend checking out. 🙂


Pattern Release Day: Light Mage

Posted on

Tuesday was pattern release day for Quiltoni! We would like to introduce you to Light Mage.

Heal and Protect your comrades using White Magic with the Light Mage.

Basic Skills Necessary:
Use a Sewing Machine
Use a Fabric Cutter or Rotary Cutter and Straight Edge
1/4″ seam

Learn how to sew strips, nest seams, and piece efficiently to save time.

Sizing / Finished Measurements:
40″ by 50″

Materials:
1/4 Yard Tan
1/4 Yard Brown
3/4 Yard Black
1 1/4 Yard Light Blue
1/2 Yard Red
3/4 Yard White

You Will Also Need:
Sewing Machine & Preferred Thread
Rotary Cutter & Straight Edge
Pins
Scissors
Iron & Ironing Board

You do not need knowledge of making quilts, you just need to know how to use a sewing machine! So take a look at Light Mage and may your heals be beneficial to your party.


Pharerings by Pharewings

Posted on

Being a part of the Twitch world I get to meet some pretty amazing artists.  I had the pleasure of meeting Pharewings a few months ago and watched her create some pretty cool pieces of jewelry on her Twitch stream.  Take a look at these amazing pieces.

Three stands of stainless steel captured Swarovskis make up this lovely bracelet. Each crystal individually captured with no strings.
Hand wrapped hematite beads and drops grace the elegant line of this stainless steel chainmaille necklace. The necklace base its self is accented with a simple gradated effect. This necklace is 20 inches long with a small tail with a bead on it for an extra pop.
This is a made to order necklace made out of stainless steel. It is made out of a Japaneses weave to simulate lace and closes with a slide lock clasp. This necklace comes out to 18 inches long. It takes between two weeks to four weeks to make. The color of the swarovski drop can be changed upon request.
Made out of stainless steel this elegant headdress is accented with over 50 Swarovski crystals. Fome the crown top to the last crystals it is around 18 inches long. This was made live on Twich.tv/pharewings.
Speaking of Twitch, Pharewings is having a stream to benefit St Jude hospital tomorrow!
You check out Pharewings Etsy shop here and watch her live on Twitch while she raises money for St Jude here!

DIY: Rag Rug

Posted on

Good morning Crafthackers!

I have for you today a tale as old as time… well. Maybe not quite that old, but it is something that’s been around for quite some time and I have to say, it makes me feel great that these things are still being made. Rag rugs. That’s right. I know people who had them, I used to make yarn rugs, and the process is similar. They’re easy to do, and the best part is you can use your fabric scraps and you can also customize the colours you want for whatever room they will be staying in.

As with many older crafts, there’s many places to find tutorials, and many different ways to do it. This one  has a few extra photos on the site and is from Craftaholics Anonymous.

This rug is super simple to make. You will need strips of your choice of fabric about 1 inch wide by 5 inches long, and you will need thousands. Lots and lots in the colours of your choice. I would personally recommend cotton (quilting or otherwise) as anything else would probably fray too much. The bottom of the rug is a non skid rug mat, which you might need to order, but also may find in home stores and possibly craft stores.

Basically, this tutorial doesn’t even tie the stips. They are just looped through the mat so that the centre of the strip hugs the rug mat. The rubber of the mat should hold it in place, but keep in mind, if you are going to be washing this mat, you will want to tie a knot or slipknot them like rug hooking. The tutorial also recommends that you skip some of the holes as the pieces are fluffy and big and having a piece of fabric on every part will make it overly fluffy. You can also use a latch hook like for rug hooking, if you would like. It’s simple, but it’s a great way to use your scraps and to make something that colour coordinates so easily with whatever your rooms are like.

 

Enjoy, and happy crafting!

~Megan


DIY Holiday Decorations

Posted on

Keeping on with the Holiday theme, I have three small  projects that can give your decorations a personal touch.   This week, I am going to tell you how to make three different items that can be use anywhere but mostly on trees, garland, and wreaths during this season.  I like to surf the internet to get some ideas started and then I let my imagination fly while I stare into the area of my home with all of my craft supplies.  Then I hope I can make whatever crafts I have planned with as little as interference from my cats and bird as I can.   As you can imagine, that may be the most difficult part of crafting projects.

The first item I made this week was button garland for a tree.   It is so easy as long as you have the correct supplies.  First, you will need buttons.  This is a great way to temporarily or permanently reuse buttons that have fallen off clothes over the years and never sewn back on.  I collect mine because I rarely know which garment they go to until I put the garment on and realize I’m missing one.  However, if you don’t have enough around the home for the size project you are doing, I did find packages in my dollar store and then I found cheap larger packages at my fabric store.   In my case, I wanted to get certain colors as my tree is made out of bright green tinsel type material so certain colors would work because of clashing.  If you going with a certain color theme, this may require going to fabric stores that have more variety in colors and packaging.

Button Garland requires:

Lots of buttons
Thread or twine
Pair of scissors

One thing I am going to point out with this project- make sure your thread or twine is small enough to get through your button holes.   I had to get a bit creative for that.  Measure out the twine or thread ahead of time or use the spool to hold buttons on as you continue to thread the buttons. Then when you are ready, thread your buttons onto thread or twine until you have enough of the buttons to space how you’d like.  If you are using a pattern be sure to keep size or color of buttons piled in the order you are planning to thread them. Cut and tie it off with a knot large enough on both ends so buttons won’t slide off.  Then hang on the item you are decorating.

 The second craft for today is salt dough ornaments.   These are great to add personal and homemade touches for any celebration regardless if it is Christmas.   In my case, I wanted to create the best personal touch I could to my Chanukah and Christmas decorations for home and office.

 I, also, have thought about how I can make more for each of the holidays using fun shaped cutters. I stared at my Easter and kid’s toys themed cutters and got a bit excited about using them throughout the coming year to make decorations to hang.  One year, my parents left the tree up all year and decorated it for the year with the right colored lights and other random decorations.

 The Salt Dough Recipe

4 cups of all-purpose flour
1 cup of table salt
1-½ cups hot water

Mix flour and salt until it is well mixed.  I would recommend putting them in the sifter and sift at the same time then mix around a few times.   Once you have it well mixed, slowly add the hot water and mix extremely well.  Then hand knead the dough and add flour or water until it works for you consistency wise.

Then flour a working station and rolling pin.  Tonight, I had to use a cutting board on top of my room temperature stove top because of space issues in my kitchen.  If you have a small kitchen that may work best. Once you have rolled your dough to ⅛ to ¼ inch thickness, go ahead and cut out the ornaments or decorations with cutters and/or knife.  I wanted to utilize the help of my “assistants” and standard biscuit shaped cutter in my home which is a measuring cup.   Keep in mind, you can use anything you have around as a guide for a shape.   What I did for the personal touch was a paw or foot/beak print of each of my animals.   My bird decided it wasn’t just his foot that was going to be imprinted.    Now, I’d preheat the oven to no warmer than 350 degrees Fahrenheit.  You can do longer at a cooler temp but I recommend nothing lower than 250 degrees.

Once you have the shapes cut out, you can either use coloring to paint the cut outs then.  I didn’t do this first but rather cooked them first then will paint afterwards.  Be sure to add a hole big enough to add a piece of string or ribbon thread in it.  Once they are cooked which is about an hour (or longer if done at a lower temperature), you can also paint and varnish.   String them and hang once they have dried after the paint/varnish process.  However, I looked around and found that I can super glue a piece of ribbon to the back to be able to hang it.   Sometimes, you have to be creative about mishaps like this.


The last project for this week is animal themed ornaments.  In my example, I made a polar bear look but using a matte silver ornament bulb using white pom poms.  I have an issue with my hands today so I had to use more of the self- adhesive tape.  If you have another favorite animal, you can use your imagination.

 What you need for animal ornaments:
Solid color ornaments
Pom poms (of different sizes)
Super Glue and/or double-sided tape (if you are working with less time or small hands, use pre-cut squares of double-sided tape)
Self adhesive eyes

 
I was hoping to find white bulbs in three sizes so I can make snowmen with just using self sticking felt sheets cut out for the hat, buttons and carrot.  I know I have the least well rounded dollar stores where I live currently.  I used to live in an area with three chains of dollar stores and were well stocked with everything.   However, all the items as I made them were available at the local dollar store.  I even found super glue there if I needed it. Just glue pom poms in a way that takes shape of the animal then apply other details.  Just be sure to put it so it hangs from behind the animal’s head.

 
Now, as a friendly reminder, reuse or use leftover supplies around the home.  In my case I used scrap pieces of paper to make the face and some old bulbs until I saw that glitter bulbs will not work with double sided tape as I tried.  Another mishap I had was I thought I put a bag of eyes in my basket.  Apparently I saw them, and didn’t pick one up.  That is why I used scrap paper. You may see those silly posts about Pinterest failures.   I take what some would deem failures and get a bit creative to work around it.  If you really can’t salvage it, don’t get down and just try again. Don’t get discouraged and remember these projects are supposed to be fun!


Art, No Matter the Medium

Posted on

For centuries, and especially during the last one, the question has been raised of ‘What is art?’. The Expressionist movement, started it in the early 20th century, with particular note to the Dadaist movement within it, were some of the first to really explore this question thru art and it’s something that has continued to be explored up to today with the post abstract modern art movement. It’s a fascinating mind think to ponder and define for yourself, as my art teachers have always been firm believers that art is in the eye of the beholder, and therefore can only be defined for that person’s tastes. The question I’m posing today branches off of this with ‘What can be used to make art?’.

For some people there are only a few mediums that are available to one who wants their work to be defined as art: paints, inks, wax, clay, and marble. The invention of Photoshop and it’s subsequent take over of the art world has often remained a strong contention point since its introduction in the late 80s as to whether or not a digital medium can be considered as skillful and praise worthy as working in something like oil paints. As someone whose gone thru formal training in the program I certainly believe it’s worthy of being considered a recognized art medium, but that’s not the program I wanted to show today.

No, today’s artist uses a medium that I highly doubt any artist would’ve thought to try right away; Microsoft Excel.

This video highlights the beautiful digital paintings created by Japanese artist Tatsuo Horiuchi entirely in Excel. The 77-year old burgeoning artist decided he wanted to take up painting after retiring, but didn’t want to spend money on expensive paints or canvas, and decided to try the digital route. Not wanting to pay for an art program either if he could avoid it, he discovered Excel’s graphic abilities one day and started experimenting with them (not just filling cells with colors as some knitters are wont to do to design patterns). It’s truly amazing to see some of his finished work and it definitely makes you ponder the question I mentioned above. Since he only uses already available assets and manipulates them into images; ‘Is it art?’ Only you can define that for yourself.


Drinking your way through the Holidays

Posted on

Happy Monday, friendly crafty folks!

Whether you live in the frigid Midwest or the sunny LA coast, the Christmas season is one of the best seasons for tasty (and sometimes alcoholic!) beverages! From classic eggnog to German gluhwein worthy of Christkindlmarket, there are tons of options to imbibe throughout your December. Here are a few recipes I have either always wanted to try and make on my own (gluhwein) or are some of my holiday favorites.

Classic Gluhwein Recipe

Ingredients:

1 bottle of robust red wine

1 cup water

1 lemon peel

3 cinnamon sticks

10 cloves

Juice of 2 oranges

1 star anise

Dash of allspice

Directions: Combine all your ingredients in a large pot on the stove top. You can also do this in a crock pot on low/med heat (depending on your crock pot’s cooking temps). Heat all ingredients without boiling. Once warmed, simply strain and serve. If you’re feeling extra festive, you can add a dash of rum!

 

Homemade Healthy Eggnog (serves 4)

Prep time: 5 minutes

Cook time: 20 minutes

Ingredients:

2 cups almond milk

1/3 cup raw organic honey

3 egg whites

1 tsp pure vanilla extract

1/2 tsp cinnamon

1/2 tsp nutmeg

Pinch of ground ginger and/or cloves (optional)

Directions: Blend together all ingredients. Pour into a large pot and simmer (without boiling!) for 15 minutes. Serve in mugs with a cinnamon garnish.

Peppermint Cocoa

Ingredients:

Your hot cocoa of choice

Peppermint schnapps

Directions: This one’s super easy. Make your favorite hot cocoa. Add peppermint schnapps (to taste). Enjoy!

 

I hope that these yummy drink recipes keep you warm and happy throughout this holiday and winter season!

~Scribe Sarah~