Saturday, December 31, 2011

Fabric Bracelet

I've been seeing all kinds of different fabric bracelets on Pinterest lately. Some have multiple coordinating fabrics, some are wrapped around cuffs, and others are just strips tied together with dangling charms. I love them all and wanted to try my hand at it. I like the rough edges of torn fabric, so that's the idea I started chasing. There are as many ways to make a fabric bracelet as there are fabrics - this is just the way I went about it.

First, pick your fabric. I love this bold pattern! This is a remnant and so was pretty inexpensive.

Give yourself a little bit of a start by cutting in notches, about 1 inch apart. Use these to start tearing. I made two braids, so six strips total.

Gathered my tools and some additional supplies.
Looks orangish - but everything is black, white or red.
I even used some of the fabric to cover buttons. 
Braid three of the fabric strips together. I use a safety pin to attach it to something solid so I can pull it tight. Do this again to make a second braid.
Now, I tied the two braids together with some coordinating ribbon.
The ribbon I was using was too fat and too stiff. I ended up cutting off the small seams along each side and that seemed to help with both problems.
I restrung some pearls onto wire to make them stronger, I knew I'd be tugging on them. 10 inches seemed to work perfectly. Leave a couple of inches of wire on each side, you'll use this to attach it at the start and then again to finish it at the end.
Use excess wire to attach the pearls to your bundle and anchor it to something solid, this box is filled with magazines and wasn't going anywhere no mater how hard I pulled. Begin braiding all your strands together. (I added the button just above the knot with some strong quilting thread.)
Close-up of the braid 

Once you get to the other end you need to tie another tight knot to keep it all together, keep the knot a little loose and don't include the pearls yet. I have extra wire from the pearls, don't cut it off!

To make the closure, I used an elastic hair band. Slide it into the knot, tighten the knot and use the excess pearl wire to help attach it.

Weave the end back down into the braid if needed. Now cut off the excess fabric and ribbon to make everything the same length.
Check the size and make any adjustments needed to your bracelet.

 Add a few well spaced buttons, bows, charms, etc. 
Voila! You are done! 

I can't wait to make a few more of these, my first two were given as Christmas gifts. I bought a remnant of green/purple fabric that I want to make into a bracelet - that one may end up being mine. We'll see....

Friday, December 30, 2011

Honestly, not LOL

Okay, it's almost the New Year and I have decided to try and be more honest and transparent this year. What that means to you is that I will no longer be typing LOL if I'm not really Laughing Out Loud,

Instead, I am submitting a few new acronyms that I will be using from now on. Please learn them so that I do not have to continually explain myself and therefor, defeat the entire purpose of using an acronym.

CTMS - This is Chuckling To Myself, which I guess I could even shorten to CTM since Myself is one word and not two.

GIMH - Grinning In My Head. I mean really, how often do you actually LOL? Most times I am grinning in my head and if I find it really funny, I may even have a smirk on my face.....

SOMF - Smirk On My Face.

JSCOMC! - Just Spewed Coffee On My Computer! Now, that was funny!

Happy New Year!

Friday, December 16, 2011

Christmas Crafts - Part 1

I was going to wait and post the things I have been working on in these weeks leading up to Christmas all in one post. Then I started looking at all the things I have plans for and decided it would be way too overwhelming. So, this is part 1 of my Christmas Crafts blog post. (The presents have been given to their recipients already, so I'm not ruining any surprises).

Today was AJ's last day of school this year and he is now on Winter Break. His teacher had an all day party for them including pizza and cookies, etc. She and I spoke months ago about me coming in and doing a craft project with the kids and like the insane person I am, I decided to do two!!

The projects were both Christmas ornaments and the kids did incredibly well! I will be a much better teacher the next time around, because my verbal directions did not always transfer into them making a similar result. (It was a learning process for all of us!) This first ornament is a "stained glass" ball that is made from a glass ornament, white glue and tissue paper squares.

They may not have been big, but they made a big impact! 

The next one is a wreath made from puzzle pieces. After gluing all the layers the kids then painted it green and added glitter and a ribbon. I tried making a tree as well, it turned out cute, but was definitely way too advanced to try and teach!

I have always given two gifts for Christmas, one for the teacher and one for the class.  For the class gift,  I buy a gross of colorful fun pencils from OTC - I figure at this point in the year some new pencils are definitely needed. AJ's teacher is not big on sugar so coming up with her gift was more challenging. I kept seeing these signs on pinterest but with the subject being Grandpa and knew I had to make a personalized one for Ms. Martinez.

It is made on a wooden plaque and then just painted with acrylic craft paints and rubber stamped flower designs. I love how it turned out and she seemed to get a kick out of it. I had AJ do some re-con at the beginning of the year and found out her favorite color is green (that's also how I found out she doesn't do sugar).

This next one is a gift I made for a gift exchange with our bible fellowship group. Our name is "OinC" and it stands for One in Christ. We all love to eat and so it seems to work for us so we made a pig our mascot. The frame was purchased at Kohls, then I made the beaded dangles which can be detached and used elsewhere. One has a pig charm and one with a cross. The Christmas tree can live there until the person finds another picture they want to display.

Last are two clay crosses. I posted a tutorial HERE and these were done in the same fashion. The first one is for an ornament gift exchange and the second was just a little something for my bible study teacher.

That's it for this post, I hope you enjoyed seeing some of my projects. I have two more that I'm currently in the middle of - but those will have to wait until after Christmas!

Looking forward to sleeping in and a couple of weeks of a more relaxed schedule  - and no homework! (Thanks Ms. M!)

Monday, December 5, 2011

It's A Kid's Christmas Blog Hop

Thanks to Cathy for inviting me to her Kid's Christmas blog hop! This is my first one so I hope I get everything posted right.

There were so many ideas for what I could do for a Kid's Christmas project and decided an advent calendar was perfect. Around our house presents rule - second only to presents is candy... combine the two and you can't go wrong! This advent calendar counts down the 12 days prior to Christmas with a little metal tin that can be filled with sweet treats (a good way to use up that Switch Witch booty), money, or little toys.
The base is a large wooden picture frame. I used paper called HollyDays by CTMH, it's retired now. I don't recall where I purchased the tins from, but they can be found lots of places.

Cover the frame with the HollyDays paper, the tins are then attached with pieces of Velcro so they can be removed. The numbers and letters are all cut out using a cricut. It goes together very quickly once everything has been cut out and layered.

Start on December 13th and count down, pulling the 1 off last when there is only 1 day left until Christmas Day! (Yes, my picture is backwards - it's showing the last 4 days instead of the first 4).

Merry Christmas!! Please continue on with the blog hop by following along to these links:

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Ribbon Trees

Starting to put up Christmas decorations and came across these two trees I made last year.

Brian was deployed in Afghanistan (again) so I decided AJ and I were going to do what we normally would do and spend Christmas with our best friends. Oh, except they were no longer on base, 20 minutes away, but in Texas! So 12 hours of driving with the kid and the dog and we were back home with our friends. I had taken a picture of a tree very similar to this that my bible study teacher had and thankfully my girls were ready to give it a go with me!! A quick shopping trip later and we are up to our eyeballs in ribbon and pins.

We chose non-traditional colors which makes them look like they belong in Whoville. The cones were more expensive than we thought, who knew Styrofoam shapes cost so much - plan to use a coupon! The ribbon on the bottom needs to be wider or plan to use more of it. Start at the bottom, figure out how you want your loop to look and use that to measure the rest of the ribbon cuts. Only cut as much as you think you'll need, otherwise you'll have tons of little pieces of ribbon leftover. I think next time I would probably have some glue ready and dip the small pin in glue before tacking it down, but it seems to be holding up so far. Overlap the next row of loops so they cover the pins. The snowflake on top is glued in with some green glitter glue to finish off the top. Cute!! Now I want to do a button one ....

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Just a few things...

Well, now that Thanksgiving is over I have a little time to post a few things that I've been working on.

The very first thing I'll share is my super secret recipe that everyone raved about this last week. I made turtles for AJ's class and also to take to Thanksgiving at our friend's house. It's one of those recipes that isn't even a recipe because it is just THAT easy, but they taste oh-so-good!!

First buy a bag of pretzels, I like the ones called Snaps, they are a little square grid shape and perfect for this. Next, buy a bag of Rolos (or three actually!) If anyone out there knows the manufacture personally, please let them know of a need for these to come bagged but NOT individually wrapped. Until that time, you'll have to unwrap each little golden treasure. Layer like so:
Parchment paper makes this so much easier and less messy. I also did aluminum foil and it worked, but they stuck a bit and were harder to pry up. Top each of these with a pecan half and place in the oven at 300 degrees for 5 minutes.
Once the chocolate is melty and the caramel soft, press down on the warm nut to squish it all together. WA-LA - very addictive little bites.

The next thing I'd been working on is a pennant banner. My friend wanted to make one since she hosts Thanksgiving at her house each year, so I ordered the same paper packet and made one with her. I must say it turned out very cute!!

Here are a few close ups:

We've also been working on a few tags for a swap. I signed up for three spots hoping to coerce my friend into her first swap and it worked! We had to make 10 tags each. The first one is the ones my friend did, they are soooo cute! Love the little snowman.
These next two are the ones I did, I love the colors of the tree one!

Well, that's it for my creativity right now... next in my future is decorating for Christmas! My husband thinks I need to purge a bit.... what do you think??

Friday, November 18, 2011

Through the looking glass

I love glass. I love that it can be recycled.... but it never seems to make it to my recycle bin.

My favorite are fancy vases and mason jars, but in a pinch any glass will do. I have glass all over my kitchen and try to put as much into glass as I can get away with. Thankfully, AJ is a little older now and it isn't such a problem as it used to be. I love finding new ways to re-purpose glass and make it decorative.

These are areas in my kitchen where I've got glass hanging out:

So, yea. I like glass. Here are two sets of the same glass jars that were ready for the recycle bin. Instead I played around. I made this set for a friend for a Thanksgiving swap, this is her picture since it turned out so much better than mine did:

I painted each jar in a different fall color (cheap acrylic craft store paint and a sponge brush) 2 coats and then painted over them again with mod podge - glossy. I used the same mod podge to add some scrapbooking paper backgrounds and then glued on black buttons to spell out T H A N K S. I was thinking they would look good with bare branches, wheat stalks or yellow mums. :0) Oh and they are from left to right - starbucks frap, sliced green deli peppers, salsa, cheez-whiz, cream soda, and starbucks frap.

I was on pinterest and saw some wrapped jars and made these:
They take a little more patience than the paint did. I used double sided tape to hold everything down while I was working and went back over the ends with glue to tack it down. I was thinking of using the black buttons again and this time spelling out W A R M T H . What do you think?