Monday, August 31, 2009

Did I mention I'm ready for fall? Plus, an AMAZING sale!

Maybe I mentioned, just once or twice, that I'm ready for fall. My recent fabric purchases can surely attest to that. . . .

I found these at SusieBee1's Etsy shop. Super-quick shipping, and very nice packaging. (And gorgeous fabrics!)

Even my thrifty finds are along these lines. . . .

And an amazing sale!
Today is a rare 5th Monday, and our street team celebrates this special Monday with a $5 sale. Right now, there are almost 600 $5 items listed for this event! Just search ETC5 on Etsy, and you'll come up with a nice, fat list of bargains to peruse. I personally snagged a cute crayon roll. I think Monkey 5 will love it.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

I've been up to. . .

. . . some rather boring pursuits. Necessary, but boring:

More cutting. A lot more cutting. . . these are for sachets.

I did hit the thrift stores yesterday. . .

So cute, and all mine. My teen Monkeys are scheming to "borrow" it.

We also found that the thrift stores are beginning to set out their fall and winter wear, so we were able to scoop up several wool sweaters! My daughters and I sit together in the evenings and unravel the sweaters to make these:

I've decided to have a healthy stock of dryer balls made up before I list any in my shop this year. They sold out so quickly last year, that I always felt that I was playing catch-up from the start. I'm also making them a little larger than pictured above. I started doing that after the first couple of batches last year. I just liked them that way. So be on the look-out -- I'll be sure to post when they are ready.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Blisters


I really did have blisters after cutting these out.

Now, on to something less blister-creating. . . . I'm looking forward to some swap-craftiness this weekend. Maybe something autumn-related? We'll see.

Oh -- HUGE thanks. . .

. . . to Craftster for featuring my flower hair clip tutorial on your blog! That totally made my day. (pssst.... and if you hurry, you might see my very first ad for my Etsy shop flash across the top of the screen -- how exciting!)

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Cool Craftster swag, and hurry and vote!

I just received this awesome shirt from Craftster yesterday. . . .

Even my Monkeys approve. (Thanks, Craftster!)

Did you vote?

Did you remember to vote for your favorite entry in our monthly Etsy Texas Crafters Design Challenge? August's theme is The Elements, and there are over 30 interesting entries. Please take a moment and choose your favorite! (The top 5 vote-getters win cool prizes, too.) You can cast your vote here, and follow the link to the voting page.

This entry is from CordovaStudios -- beautiful!

New 'do. . .

I hate getting my hair cut. Really, really, hate it. And no, it's not from some silly Mom Martyrdom Syndrome where I neglect myself. Honestly, it's because you have to make small talk. And that completely drains my introverted self. I haven't had my hair properly cut since before Owen was born.
BEFORE. Ugh. No shape, no body, no nothing. I mostly wore it in a ponytail, every day.

So my very sweet youngest sister, who just so happens to be in cosmetology school, paid us a visit last weekend, and cut my hair. I love it. Really.

Thanks, Sister! You're the best!

No craftiness to post today. Two little Monkeys are under the weather. I'm hoping it's just a 24-hour bug, and one they didn't care to share with the rest of us.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Pretty little flowers for your hair

We recently spent an afternoon crafting some lovely hair bobbies. These are so simple to make! The flowers can be used in many different ways, as well -- hair clips, brooches, pins, embellishments. . . .

We used reclaimed dress linings to make these -- I had plenty left over from my deconstruction for sachets, and I never knew what to do with this type of fabric before. It's a synthetic fabric, a silky polyester.

(CAUTION: please use extreme caution when using this tutorial, as a flame is used in this process. Do NOT allow children or pets near the flame, and do not allow children to play with the flame, burn themselves or anyone/anything else. I am not responsible for any accidents or injuries resulting from this free tutorial.)

To make these little hair bobbies (or clips, brooches, pins, etc.), you will need:
  • synthetic fabric, such as polyester
  • scissors
  • candle and matches/lighter
  • glass jar, filled with water
  • clothes pin
  • a piece of foil
  • needle
  • thread
  • beads, buttons or other embellishments
  • hair bobby, clip, pin blank, etc.
  • strong adhesive, such as E6000

1. Cut out circles (or whatever shape you like) from the polyester that are slightly larger than your desired finished flower size. We used concentric circles for ours for a fuller, layered look. Be sure to cut a few extra, to allow for experimenting and mess-ups.

2. Light your candle, and place on a sturdy surface, away from flammables, pets and children. Place your jar of water within reach.
3. Using a clothes pin, hold one fabric circle over -- not in -- the flame of the candle.
Quickly rotate the fabric circle above the flame. The fabric will curl and may change colors.


This video illustrates how quickly these fabrics change and curl.
video

You'll want to experiment with a few extra circles, as different fabrics will act uniquely when held near the flame. Some will curl in one direction, some turn colors, some crinkle. Holding them closer to the flame or longer will also achieve different results. Once you've achieved the look you want, set the circle aside on the foil to cool.

4. Repeat on all the fabric circles. Extinguish your candle when you are finished.


5. EXTREMELY IMPORTANT: If you hold the fabric circle still for too long, or too close to the flame, it will scorch and/or catch on fire. If this happens, quickly and carefully place the burning fabric in the jar of water to extinguish the flame. Be very vigilant -- as some fabrics tend to ignite quicker than others!
6. Next, arrange and stack your fabric circles (petals) into flowers.

7. Using your needle and thread, sew a few stitches through all the layers of petals -- just a little "X" will do -- fastening all the petals together. Tie off thread in the back of the flower.

8. Now, attach your flower center. If you are using beads or buttons, stitch them in place, tying off the thread in the back of the flower. If you are using other embellishments, a strong adhesive (such as E6000) may be used to attach them to the flower.

9. Finally, attach your flower to a hair bobby, clip or pin back using your strong adhesive.

10. Set aside on the foil, and allow it to dry thoroughly, according to your adhesive's recommendation.

And that's it! So simple, and so pretty. The possibilities are endless -- imagine these flowers layered with ribbon, mesh, tulle, organza. . . or topped with an antique brooch or cameo! These would make sweet little gifts for teachers, co-workers and friends, or even lovely stocking stuffers. Have fun!

Time to VOTE!

I need your help, sweet readers! It's time for our street team's monthly Design Challenge, so we need your votes! The theme is The Elements -- Earth, Wind, Fire and Water. There are over 30 entries this month (wow!) so please drop by for a minute or two, take a gander, and cast your vote for your favorite entry!

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Hurry, autumn!

Autumn always arrives late in Texas, and is very fleeting once it does arrive. I'm already looking forward to the cooler days, early sunsets and crispy falling leaves. We decided to pretend a bit like it was early autumn, and have a fun little outing at the same time.

We woke up really early, and baked some pumpkin spice muffins from scratch. We packed up our muffins, some canteloupe and drinks, and headed out to our favorite local park for a cool breakfast picnic.

We went for a short hike. . . .

Owen's little legs ran as fast as they could, the entire time (thus, the short hike!)

The Monkeys gathered some interesting leaves, acorns and sticks (for later) and then played a bit on the playground. Owen was exhausted!

That afternoon, the older Monkeys made some artwork from their findings. . . .

Monkey 7's work. . . "Mr. Lettuce and Mr. Tomato."
Monkey 6's work. . . "Leaf Monster."
Monkey 5's work. . . "Another Leaf Monster."
Monkey 4's work (and my favorite). . . "The Waiter."
Monkey 2's work. . . "untitled -- it's just pretty."

Hurry, autumn!