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Friday, January 28, 2011

Felt Hearts and Their Many Uses

I was browsing the Valentine's Mantel Linky Party at The Stories of A to Z to get inspiration for my mantel, and saw this really sweet Valentine Tree from Krafty Kat.  I knew I needed to make something like it!  I already had a vase of branches in my Winter Mantel that would work for hanging the hearts on.

I picked up a few pink sheets of felt at the Dollar Discount, to add with some white and red from my supply cabinet.  Then I cut out a bunch of hearts.

I had just gotten a replacement shank for my sewing machine that day in the mail, so that I could snap on the satin stitch foot (Etsy shop projects in the works!).  It was a great thing for me to practice with, to do applique hearts on felt.  I got a little more comfortable with the machine satin stitch, and it wasn't bunching up all lumpy like my first attempts, because I now had the correct presser foot.  It helped me work out some design kinks by doing this, so yay for I ended up with some cute hearts, too : )

I satin-stitched small hearts onto the bigger ones in various color combos.  I ended up making two of each.  Then I made a few with "x" and "o" on them.  You may remember these from their temporary spot in my Valentine Ribbon Wreath.
I cut backs for each heart, some in the same color as the front and some the same color as the applique piece.

Then I began zig-zagging the fronts/backs together.  I would stop where there was a little left open, and sneak a pinch of fiberfill in there.  Then I continued zig-zagging till the whole thing was closed up.  In these pics, the stuffing step occurred at the curvy, top part of the heart, but I then found it easier to begin sewing to the left of that, sew across the top of the heart and down just over the point, then stop/stuff when there was the one straight side remaining.

Cute lil' puffy hearts!  I went back and zig-zagged a little loop of ribbon to the back, right along the edge seam I had already sewn.  I put the hanging ribbons on in such a way that the hearts would hang at an angle.  It was easier than trying to go back and attach them in the little nook between the curves anyhow (because I wasn't thinking ahead for this part, as usual).
I thought some other flat hearts with stitched designs on them would make a nice overall mix.  So I cut out some more, and as I was laying them out I noticed they were gradually getting smaller.  It worked out perfectly in the end to make five hearts, biggest to smallest.

I put these hearts in an assembly line and zig-zagged lines 1/4" apart.  Three of them, I went back and did 1/4" zig-zags the opposite direction as well, so that they alternated striped and plaid when finished.  When I got to the last heart, I lifted the presser foot, pulled just enough to have some room on the thread, flipped the line of hearts over and fed them through the opposite way to sew the next 1/4" line of stitching.  Then I just had to clip them apart afterwards.

I sewed to the end...
Pulled enough thread loose to flip and reposition for the next line...
Kept going till each heart was stitched top to bottom.  The little ones will be done first...
 Then finally cut it loose from the machine and clipped them apart.
I ended up using these cuties in my Valentine Ribbon Wreath, by pinning them on a piece of ribbon with teeny clothespins. 
I hung the hearty-hearts, that I attached the ribbon loops to, on the branches on the mantle...
Perhaps my favorite result from these felt hearts, was clipping the "x" and "o" ones to a ribbon with the teeny clothespins, and then wrapping that ribbon around the top of a photo frame.  I simply taped it on the back with scotch tape.  It looks adorable on the mantle!
Valentine decor is not complete, but this is a great start : )

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Thursday, January 27, 2011

Valentine Ribbon Wreath

Remember this ribbon wreath from Johnny In A Dress?  It's made by knotting pieces of ribbon onto a grapevine wreath.  I posted a pic of it in my Things To Try - Christmas and Winter Wreaths post.  Here's another look at it...She attached some ornaments and a glittered letter, too.
I decided to try a ribbon wreath for Valentine's Day.  I had picked up 4 different ribbons at the Discount Dollar, and planned on using a styrofoam wreath as a base....but then I happened to pass the grapevine section at the craft store and remembered the above wreath.  The grapevine was cheaper than the styrofoam, and bigger, so I went with it.

I also found a heart-shaped...garland....thingy...and was going to try to hang that in the middle, like this one from The Speckled Dog that I came across a few weeks ago.  I linked it on my FB page, because it's so charming!
So my combo attempt, was to use the ribbons by knotting them onto the grapvine, and then hang the heart in the center.
When I started cutting the ribbon, I realized that it wasn't fabric ribbon (like I thought it was when I bought it), but instead like ribbon you would decorate a present with.  Stiffer, and kind of plastic-y, but oh well.  I didn't have to worry about fray at least (I seem to be paranoid about things fraying).  I cut about 6-7" sections, slipped it under/through a piece of the grapevine, and then knotted it once.  Annnnd I just kept doing that over and over.

I tried to hang the heart in the middle and it wasn't doing it for me.  So I cut the hanging ribbon off and wired it onto the wreath in the spot where I would have put a large, fluffy bow.
Hmm.  Eh.  I don't know.  I wasn't feelin' it too much, but hung it on the door as it was.  Later, I went back and added some more tied-on ribbons.

That evening, I was making some felt hearts (a post on that soon).  The wreath was still bugging me, so I brought it in and tried a few other options.

1) I attached a flat strip of ribbon across the back of the wreath, so that the patterned part was visible in front.  And I used some mini clothespins to hang four of the felt hearts I had made.  Cute!  I liked this so much better.  I almost kept it this way...

2) I switched out the "x" and "o" hearts for some others I had made.  Five hearts, biggest to smallest, hung on the "line" with the itty-bitty clothespins.  We are a family of five, so I thought this was fitting for a Valentine wreath on the front door : )  Done!
I used the "x" and "o" ones to decorate a photo frame instead (post coming soon).

Here's the wreath on the door...

That knocker being smack in the middle background is going to make me grumble every time I make a new wreath.  Ha!  But I doubt Hubby would ok a new front door just so my wreaths have a good backdrop ; )

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Wednesday, January 19, 2011

What I've Been Doing

I have had the most fantastic week!  First, after a freak snowstorm totally shut down my county all last week, my kids are now back in school.  What's that?  No one beckoning for an apple juice refill?  No one else beckoning for an apple juice refill, after I just put it all away and sat down to work again??  No one screeching for brothers to stop hogging the DS game, no one tattling on who said "stupid," no one complaining about the cartoon choice, no one beckoning for an apple juice refill (yes, again)?  Nope.  Because they are at school!  HA!  Three cheers for being able to finish a thought without a crisis happening!  After five snow days and a three day weekend, I think all the moms in my county are cheering ; )

Please.  I do love my children.  But I also love uninterrupted time to be productive!

Second, I found out that my other blog was nominated for an award!  I was so surprised to have been nominated, and so honored to be in the same category with some other blogs that I highly esteem...I teared up a little when I read the email.  I don't expect to come in first, but I'm on pins and needles while voting runs this week!

Third, I began work on setting up accounts for my shop.  Yay!!  Craft, Interrupted now has email at and a store front  ByCraftInterrupted at Etsy.  It's empty, but it's there, which is very exciting : )  I'm hard at work on design and production for a Grand Opening!

Here is a sneak peak at what I've been doing...

This is the redesign of the Pocket Activity Wrap I posted about.  I had made a dozen of those for family and friends as Christmas presents.  However, it wasn't my pattern to use for selling.  SO, I made some changes to the pockets, placement, and overall size.  After working out some kinks along the way, I came up with:
The Scribblet (aka The Scribble Wallet)
I used this tutorial at Silly Gilly to make my own Craft, Interrupted ribbon labels, with iron-on transfer paper through my printer.  Thank you Gillian for sharing how to do this!  Check them out!!

Gotta love the mom network - I'm thrilled to say I've sold seven of these before I even get my shop open.  WOOT!  If you like what you see, stay tuned for shop announcements.  These Scribblets are getting my foot in the door, but there is more up my sleeve : )

Friday, January 14, 2011

Winter Mantel Reveal

*phew* I think I got all my tutorials up and running.  That was a lot of blogging for one morning!  In case you missed any, here is the list of what went into my Winter Mantel.
In addition to the above tutorials, I had a few more things that went into my finished mantel...

1) I collected sticks from the yard, added some glue and white glitter to the branches, and arranged them in a clear glass vase with a few handfuls of fiberfill stuffing in the bottom.

2) I printed off the winter banner found here, glued it to cardstock, trimmed it, and hot glued each letter to a length of trim.  I hung this above the mantle across two pieces of framed artwork that we keep there (courtesy of my five and six year old).  The extra pieces of trim from the banner went into flowers on the wreath.

3) I had started making my own set of felted wool dryer balls at one point.  I found these in my supply cabinet, various sizes, in various stages of felting.  It worked well to nestle them in with some pinecones.  I moved these around a bit, so in some photos they are in different spots.

4) I used what was left of the white tulle after making the scarf, to gather up along the back edge of the mantel.  Poofed out a bit here and there.  I snuck a tupperware container under it to set the snowman on.

And now, picture overload.


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