Fall is in the Air

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Happy Wednesday! This is Kim with Fantastical Menagerie. Fall is in the air here- I can smell it! While it doesn’t get as cold this early in the season here, I still love fall. Pumpkin spice everything, leaves changing, sweaters and crisp evenings. I have been searching Etsy, and these are some of the things that reflect my love of the changing leaves.

This leaf handbag is the perfect blend of autumn tones. LA Boutique Art has this gorgeous felted bag. The colors are vibrant and the bag looks soft and cozy.

The Leather Fan Shop on etsy has gorgeous, brightly colored fans in multiple shapes, including fall leaves. They can do custom fans as well. These can be hung on your belt, or carried to your favorite Renn Faire or ComicCon.

 

Folk Owl has some amazing felted leaf belts. These would be great with a gorgeous skirt or a maxi dress. I love the colors, the texture. It can also be a headband or tied around a leather top hat.

This Leaf Shawl is amazing. the work, the colors and the shape is really pretty. NatKaLV on Etsy has some lovely things.

What makes you think of fall? Let me know!


Hand-Knitted Ear Warmer/Headband

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The days and nights are getting chillier. Fall is just around the corner. And beyond that…winter is coming… (Sorry, had to make *some* mention of the Game of Thrones finale).

For the knitters out in our little crafting world, I wanted to pass along this very simple pattern that I came across on the interwebs. I have adapted this a bit to custom to varying head sizes. This pattern works best with chunky soft yarn. I prefer the Lions Brand Hometown USA. Whichever yarn you use, make sure that it has a little give because you will want the headband to stretch.

You’ll want to have US size 10 needles and a pair of scissors and a yarn needle handy as well. You will need two different color yarns; one will be what you knit the band out of and the other will be your accent color to finish the warmer. If you want to dress up your headband, you can also have a plastic or fabric flower handy or some felt shapes cut out to be stitched to the band. This is also a slightly more difficult pattern in that it uses the seed (or moss) stitch. This requires knowledge of the knit stitch and the purl stitch.

First thing to do is the make sure you’re spotted. I like to have a knitting buddy for this.

Just make sure your buddy doesn’t try to play with the yarn. *wink*

Cast on 10 stitches. On row 1, start with one knit stitch, then purl. Repeat this to the end of the row.

Row 2: *p1, k1; rep from * to end of row.

All odd numbered rows will start with a knit stitch; all even numbered rows will start with a purl stitch. I highly recommend using a stitch counter to track your progress. You can lose track of which stitch you need to start on very easily if you’re not paying attention. Your seed stitch should look like this.

Continue this pattern for 70 rows. You’ll want to keep your tension loose so that the headband will still have some stretch and give. If the tension is too tight, the headband will not fit. Once you get to row 70, bind off your work.

Then stitch the ends together to make a knitted circle. Then take the ends and tie around the ends to bunch the band in one spot.

 

Once that’s tied off, you will take your accent color and pull it through the center of the band. I usually have about 3 feet of yarn on each side, then wrap it around in a chunk. Once you have it fully bunched up and covered in your accent color, you will tie off the ends and snip it close. Then tuck the knot into the threads to hide it. Flip your band inside out and you are finished! You can decorate the band with anything you choose; buttons, flowers, whatever ideas you can think of.

This pattern can also be adjusted for head size by either increasing or decreasing the number of rows stitched. It can be completed in a couple hours and make great gifts!

(Note: you also may want to make sure your buddy doesn’t fall asleep on the job. LOL).

~Scribe Sarah~

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Bellabagu: Silver and Pretty Things

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Hi there Thursday Crafthackers.

I have a wonderful artisan to share with you. She is a jewelry designer from Mississauga, which is just a hop, skip and a jump away from where I’m living. Her jewelry is all silver that she designs and puts together. She makes bracelets, earrings and necklaces, and I’ve seen them in person. They’re all classic in design, and yet very creative, all of them quite beautiful.

You can shop through her wares on her website, or you can visit her Facebook page to see what are the latest collections she’s cooking up.

I have a number of reasons why I love and was impressed by her designs. One of the big reasons is that she normally works with sterling silver. This might not seem important but I have so many friends who can’t wear any costume metals, just gold, silver or steel. And I love that you can get something like this as a gift for someone without worrying that their skin will fall off.

I also love that her designs have this beautiful combination of a timeless feel (like a string of pearls) but they certainly don’t feel old fashioned. The designs are creative and innovative while still having the ability to be worn as either statement pieces or as every day wear, depending on your style.

She also does custom work (see above photo), which, as you can see, turns out beautifully.

If you’re involved in all the social media, you can follow her on Twitter and on Instagram to keep up to date with all the latest that she’s putting out.

I hope that you enjoyed looking at the lovely sparklies. Don’t forget that Mother’s day is coming up, so if you’re local you can find something great for Mom, and there are lots of lovely ladies (myself included) who have birthdays they are celebrating in the summer, and ladies love a little bling.

Happy Crafting!

~ Megan


DIY Vinyl Art for Bags & Purses

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I’m not a big purse person, never have been, and I don’t care to have decorated ones as a result. The idea of customizing one though? Sign me up!

This idea comes from the folks at StudioDIY, and is all about making a custom donut image for your round purse, but if they’re not your thing, I don’t see why you can’t apply these methods there to any purse/bag you like! You’ll want to visit the DIY page to make sure you understand the process to tweak it to your needs, but here’s the quick run down of supplies required for this project.

It involves lots of spray adhesive to get everything together, so you’ll want to make sure you’re in a well ventilated space or outdoors so fumes don’t become over powering. I’m not sure if this would work on fabric, but I think it would since it’s mostly the adhesive keeping things in place. So if you’ll excuse me, I have a blank to tote to customize.


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.


Unique Little Book Purse, DIY Style!

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Good morning, Thursday Crafters!

Today I have a nice little tutorial for you that I thought was super cool. It is all about finding a great hardback book and turning it into a purse. How, you say? Well I’ll show you. This tutorial is from Instructables, and you can find the whole thing here, though there are many tutorials that float around online.

First you need to find a book that you like. There’s a few really good places to go to find unique, hardcover books. Thrift stores will be one of your best friends as well as antique and used book stores. A lot of them are pretty cheap too, so you shouldn’t have to spend a lot of money to get a super cool book to be the cover of your purse.

You will next need to remove the pages of your book. Use an exacto knife/box cutter to remove everything cleanly. If you selected a book with really cool images or you’d like to reuse your pages, there are several tutorials floating around (and maybe I’ll post another one next week) where you can use the pages as a crafting material. You will need to cut a piece of fabric of your choice in the same size as the book cover, fold the edges in 1/2 inch and iron the fold so it will stay.

Your next step (you can skip this if you’re planing on making a clutch) is to get your handles ready. At many fabric or craft stores you can buy purse handles separately. But keep in mind this isn’t your only choice. Keep your eye out in your closet for purses you don’t use anymore or you can even check out the second hand or vintage stores to see if there is anything you can easily take apart. Every set of handles is going to be different. You will basically need a way to attach your handles to your purse, so if you only have metal D rings or places for straps, you’ll need to get creative and buy/make your own (as seen above).

Glue your fabric strips to the book. You can use a glue gun, though I prefer stronger industrial adhesives (like E6000) for things like this.

You will also need to glue your fabric with the fold side down onto the cover, covering the handle straps.

Use a large piece (or a couple frankensteined small pieces, and tracet he cover of your book onto the paper, making sure to MARK both ends of the spine of the book on your paper.Measure the width of one side of the book, and draw a line that is that same length about 75 degrees from where you marked the beginning of the spine.  This angle controls how wide your purse will open.    The smaller the angle the wider your purse will open.

You will need a mirrored image on all the other sides, and you can do so by strategically cutting and folding at the centre lines so that you don’t need to keep finding angles. 🙂 When you’re finished, cut two pieces of lining fabric out of this stencil.

Next you will want to sew the angles that you made to the straight sides with the right sides facing each other. This will help to create a box-like shape for the inside of your purse.

Do the same with the second piece, and then when you’re finished, turn one of the pieces inside out (so you have a result like the photo above).

Put the right side out piece inside the wrong side out piece, and sew around the top edge.  You need leave a hole big enough for you to put hand though so that you can…

… turn it inside out! You will need to seal the hole you used to do this, so you can either slip stitch it by hand or do a neat little top stitch on your machine.

Sew some velcro into this section of the purse so you can close it (or you can improvise and glue a clasp or tie across the top of the book when it’s done… or both)

Your last step is to glue the inside pocket of your purse to your binding. And voila! You have just made a pretty cool book bag. Literally, a book that’s a bag. Love it.

Happy Crafting!

~Megan


Mermaid Tights

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For all you mermaid fans out there, one etsy creator has come to meet your call to proclaim your love of scales. Yup. You can now purchase tights that have a lovely scale pattern attached to them.

The creator, Daniel Struzyna, is a German artist that makes all sorts of ;lovely things, but their tights have become quite the stir on social media lately due to their beautiful design. You’re not seeing this picture incorrectly either, the silicone scales are actually attached to the tights so that they look like you’re about to sprout fins at any moment. XD I think they could make a really cool addition to any marine based character cosplay, but they’re probably great to wear about town too just to see how people react.

Sadly they have gotten so much attaention that they’re out of stock right now, but they seem to be working on more, so just hold tight and bookmark the tinkercast store for now if you’re interested. 🙂


Declare your Team

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I, like many others have become obsessed with Pokemon GO in the last 5-6 days. I’m not to the point yet where I can pick me team, but once I do? I know what I’ll be snagging to declare it.

These awesome team patches are the quick design work of artist Animinis (Jessica Pizarro) on etsy. The team patches are a really well made and reasonably priced at only $6 each. She also makes other really cool fandom patches, but let’s be honest. We all know Pokemon GO is the only thing anyone will be worried about for awhile. 😉 Team Blue all the way.

~Nicole


Little Asian Sweat Shop

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Hello Thursday Readers!

As some of you may have known, I was at New York Comicon a little while ago and I got a chance to do a little bit of shopping while I was there. Not much, mind you, since there were so many people pressed into one building, but being a vendor I was able to wander around a little bit at times that weren’t so busy. I came across this one booth, right around the corner from us.  I met a wonderful woman who is the creator of the designs at Little Asian Sweat Shop and got a chance to peruse her wares.

She has some wonderful ideas where she takes premade cardstock items – so things like playing cards and comic books, and she transforms them into accessories for both men and women.  Because she uses these types of materials, all of her designs end up being a one of a kind piece, even if they’re “cut from the same cloth”, so to speak – just like no comic book page in one book is the same.

Beautiful Full Metal Alchemist flowers.

She has a range of different products for both men and women that she sells, from a large range of fandoms as well. There are some that are obvious like her Dr. Who hair flowers but some that are a little more subtle like the picture below. Can you guess what it is?

I actually bought this one myself and I didn’t realize what it was at first, only that I was attracted to it. It is actually from the Sandman graphic novel series, which is one of my favourites, incidentally.   She also uses alligator clips (large ones on her big flowers) which is a really important point for me, since I find that I just don’t wear any other type. This also makes her wares all that more versatile since you can clip them anywhere: In your hair, on a jacket lapel, on a hat or even on a belt or purse. Anywhere you think could use a flower.

A beautiful Alice in Wonderland Boutonniere.

This Little Asian Sweatshop is online. You can shop at her online shop here, and you’ll find that she’s very active on all her social media. There is her frequently updated Facebook page as well as Instagram and Twitter.  You can find a full list of her social media at the bottom of her webpage, should you like to add others. Have a look! Check out her list of conventions for where she will be to see if she’ll be near you and if not, her products are just like how they look in her photos so you can order with confidence.

 

Happy accessorizing!

 

~Megan


Tie One On

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It’s wedding season for our family and you know what that means…dressing up! (You may insert moans of sympathy here.) I, very luckily, happen to be in one of the wedding parties so I don’t have to worry about choosing attire. My husband, however, was not so lucky. He is really not one for wearing a suit and tie on a regular basis but since it’s family, he wanted to look spiffy for the occasion. One of the quests I was set upon was to find him a new tie. Not just any tie but a subtly geeky one. I have satisfied this quest goal! Behold! I give you Cyberoptix Tie Lab. All of their ties are hand printed on your choice of either microfiber or real silk and they are gorgeous!

Wow, that's a great t...is that a circuit board?!

Wow, that’s a great t…is that a circuit board?!

Their subtle yet sophisticated selection comes in a wide array of colors and styles. All inks are water based (better for the environment) and the cloth is sourced from responsible, sustainable vendors. The best part? These are made to order, so if you want to create your own design for a wedding, graduation, bar mitzvah, or just because, they can do that for you!

Ooooh. Fancy bow ties for game night! Bow ties are still cool, right?

Ooooh. Fancy bow ties for game night! Bow ties are still cool, right?

I went with a beer themed tie complete with hops, wheat and barley but there are so many other styles. The designs were all created by their founder, Bethany, and these ties are doing so much more than making your neck look good. They are helping to revitalize the ailing city of Detroit. That’s right, they are also very much into their community by being part of the Grow Detroit’s Young Talent initiative which helps youth in the city to gain experience in the workforce. Before I leave you to browse these a bit more, ladies (or guys) if ties aren’t your thing, just wait…there’s more. They also hand print lovely pashmina style scarves.

Feeling brainy today? You will in this!

Feeling brainy today? You will in this!

So if you need to look smart for a grand occasion, I highly encourage you to check out their wares!

Cyberoptix Tie Lab can be found on Shopify, Facebook, and Etsy.

~Laura