Saturday, February 13, 2016

HOLIDAY DIY: Conversation Heart Gift Card Sleeve Envelopes

Need a last minute Valentine's Day gift? Head to Fairfield World to make my Conversation Heart Gift Card Sleeve Envelopes. You can customize them for the giftee, for Valentine's Day or any other gift giving reason. They fit a gift card perfectly, but can also hold cash, small jewelry, notes, or other small items. If you want it to be a coin purse, I suggest using velcro instead of a button, as a closure. Choose from any of the 18 regular OlyFun and 4 metallic OlyFun colors, to design the envelopes. I used a Silhouette Cameo to create this project. The cut files are included with this tutorial.

Today, is Galentine's Day, which is like Valentine's Day, but celebrating your lady friendships. Though today, I seem to be celebrating my guy friendships by hanging out at the VMFA for Chinafest with my husband and best guy friend, and our daughters. Followed by celebrating the soon to be born little lady of a lady and guy friend. (Pssst I'm actually creating a tutorial for the baby quilt I'm making them. You're surprised right? Cause that never happens. I learned real quilting for this y'all!) Then, we finish off the evening with Zoolander 2, and my hunky husband...sans kid. My momma planned a much needed sleepover with our little lady. I hope whatever you do this weekend, you have fun with the people you love, including awesome friends. Love is more than romantic, it's those dear friendships that are like family, only better. Make them your Valentine, in a totally platonic, awesome date together way. Happy Valentine's Day and Makery!


As you probably already know, I'm a Master Maker for Fairfield World. They provided me with the OlyFun for this project, and paid me to create the tutorial. They are awesome folks to work for, so I'm continuing into my third term with them. Cool right? I have a ridiculously long list of project ideas to create with their products, so I'm not stopping any time soon! 

Sunday, February 7, 2016

HOLIDAY DIY: Sweethearts Arrow and Heart Set

Valentine's Day is in a week! I made this "Sweethearts" arrow and heart set, to pair with my OlyFun Hearts Garland, on my front porch. We got snowed in recently, and this project popped into my head. The day I was able to finally leave my house...after 6 days of being at home...I immediately went to Michael's and hunted for the wood pieces. I choose a rustic wood arrow and heart from Michael's store brand. This rustic "reclaimed wood" style is very popular in home decor currently, so they were easy to find. DecoArt sent me paint and other products back in December, which I've been using for various projects. I'm really into these colors lately. For this tutorial, I share two techniques you should add to your craft skills...dry brushing for faux distressing, and base coating for opaque metallics. You can change up the colors if you wish. The dry brushing should complement the main colors. The lettering basecoat should match with the metallic color, for the metallic to pop well. You can make your lettering fancy, but simple lettering is all I know how to do. Ok, onto the tutorial!


SUPPLIES:
These are Amazon Affiliate links. If you purchase anything using these links, Amazon will pay me a small commission. DecoArt provided me with the paint for this project. These products are likely available at your local craft store. The rustic wood arrow and heart are from the Michael's store wood line. I linked to Walnut Hollow products as an online purchase option.
INSTRUCTIONS:

1) With the wide flat paintbrush, paint two coats of DecoArt Americana Acrylic Paint in Sea Aqua. Let the paint dry in between coats.

2) With the wide flat paintbrush, paint two to three coats of Carousel Pink onto the wood heart.

3) Time for some dry brushing, to make the arrow look worn. Pour a little Turquoise Blue onto the plate. You won't need much. Dip the stiff paintbrush into the paint. Tap off the excess onto a clean plate section or a paper towel. Brush the sparse paint onto the arrow following the grain. Dry brushing makes the paint coat light and almost airbrushed. Add more paint to your brush as needed. Make some strokes heavier than others. The idea is to make the paint look as if the green has worn down to expose the turquoise. 

4) Clean the stiff brush with water and a paper towel. Repeat the dry brushing process with Bubblegum Pink, around the heart edge. I tried a few different colors and techniques with the heart, but ended up only liking the Bubblegum Pink around the edge. I meant to take a photo of the dry brushed heart alone, but instead you get the heart and arrow together.

5) I chose "SWEETHEARTS" and "XOXO" for my words, but you can pick something else. Whatever you choose, figure out what the center of the word will be and start there when lettering onto the wood pieces. Use a ruler, if you have trouble keeping letters an even height. I eyeballed them. Lightly write your letters in whatever style you like. I'm not great at fancy typography, to my calligrapher mother's dismay!!! I keep my lettering simple and straight. Keep the letters at least 1/2 from the top and bottom. Keep them along the center strip if possible.

6) You can either make grey paint on a plate by mixing a lot of white with a little black. OR, you can use the neutral grey I recommended. I didn't have any of that on hand, but I'll totally be asking for some on my next DecoArt product request. Pre-mixed colors are a total time saver, and keep your color consistent.

7) Using the small flat paintbrush, paint the letters, following the drawn lines. Using a grey base makes the semi-sheer silver become opaque! A little painter's trick for ya! Let dry completely and wash the brush well, before moving on.

8) With the small flat paintbrush and Dazzling Metallics Shimmering Silver, paint over the grey letters. Let dry completely and wash the brush well, before moving on.

9) If the arrow and heart didn't come ready to hang, you can staple or glue twine to the back. Otherwise hang them with nails and a hammer. I used upholstery nails, because they hold the heart and arrow straight and I don't have to worry about wind knocking them off.

That's all for this project! I hope you all have an excellent week and Valentine's Day. You don't have to be in a relationship to enjoy the day of love. Treat yourself to something special, whether you'r single or not. As RuPaul says "If you can't love yourself, how the hell are you going to love somebody else!" Happy life and makery!

Thursday, February 4, 2016

HOLIDAY DIY: Valentine's Day Crafts Roundup

Valentine's Day is coming soon. Whether you celebrate love that day, never, or everyday, the best gifts are handmade and from the heart...or maybe have hearts? I'll let you decide that one. Here is a mega roundup of Valentine's Day crafts, with plenty of time before February 14th, to make the ones you like. I have a few of my own past heart infused projects, with some even suitable for the anti-valentine's folks. My husband doesn't like the holiday, for some reason I've yet to comprehend. However, my daughter enjoys it, so I dote on her with fancy chocolates and little special treats. Enough of me talking about Valentine's Day for one post. Go forth and make treats for your sweetie or yourself...I'm talking to you single folks.



Wednesday, February 3, 2016

HOLIDAY DIY: Valentine's Day Hearts Garland with OlyFun

Valentine's Day is quickly approaching, so I'm finally getting around to changing out my Christmas decor. For this project, I used OlyFun in both regular and metallic colors, and fabric paint. I sewed this project, but you could totally use hot glue. I made intricate arrow patterns, but something abstract would be cool too. As you see, this garland or banner (interchangeable words apparently) is outside. We have a covered porch, but OlyFun is weather resistant. I added an extra nail in the center, after I photographed it, thanks to the wind blowing hard today. This garland would look fabulous along a mantle, above a doorway, along a chalkboard, or draped along a wall. I had made this garland long, for intentions of decorating my mantle, but thought it would look prettier on my porch. OlyFun comes in 18 regular colors and 4 metallic colors. Fabric paint can be mixed to your desired color. The combinations are endless. I chose a classic Valentine's Day palette of pink, red, white, silver, and rose gold. Bright like conversations hearts would look fabulous too.


SUPPLIES:
These are Amazon Affiliate links. If you purchase something using these links, Amazon will pay me a small commision. This money goes to pay for projects and time. I'm a Master Maker for Fairfield World. They provided me with the OlyFun for this project. OlyFun doesn't fray, is durable, and cuts like paper, making it perfect for this project.
INSTRUCTIONS:

1) There are many ways to create a heart pattern. For this project, we need a small and large heart that fit together symmetrically. I hand draw patterns when possible. I'll leave the size up to you, based on your mantle size...or wherever you're hanging this garland. With a pencil on paper, draw half a heart. Cut out that side, along the drawing, leaving the middle connected to the remaining paper. Fold the heart over onto the remaining paper. Trace the 1st half to create the 2nd half. Cut out the 2nd half.

This makes the small heart.

2) To make the large heart, place the small heart on top of sheet of paper, about 1" from a corner edges. You can use a ruler to help with making an even large heart. I eyeballed it, but did check some measurements after drawing. You'll want the large heart to be about 1" larger than the small heart. For ease in making the large heart pattern, trace the small heart onto the paper. Now, following the small heart shape, draw a larger heart. If you're using a clear drafting ruler, you can mark dots 1" away from the small heart edge. Then, connect the dots together. I drew half of the large heart.

3) Then, repeated the duplication technique I did for an even small heart.

4) Trace your patterns onto the OlyFun. You need 2 large and 2 small for each color. Trace the patterns on the back of the metallic OlyFun and one side of the regular OlyFun. You can use straight pens to hold the patterns to the regular OlyFun. You can't do this for the metallic OlyFun, as the foil front isn't forgiving. I just held them down with my hand and carefully traced the hearts onto the fabrics. This makes the patterns more durable and doesn't pierce your fabric. I used a pen to trace, but a disappearing ink marker would be better. Cut out all the traced hearts and stack them by size.

5) Lay a sheet of wax paper on your work surface. For the small regular OlyFun hearts, I painted arrow patterns on them. For the large regular OlyFun hearts, I painted an arrow border. You can paint the arrows all going the same direction, or change the directions, like I did. Use the liner paint brush, to keep the pattern clear and intricate. These photos show them dried, laying with metallic hearts.

6) Pair up the painted hearts with the metallic hearts. I matched them in sets, pink and silver, red and gold, white and red. Pin the small heart to the large hearts. With the metallic small hearts, keep the pins minimal and close to the edge. Use thread that matches the small heart. Switch the thread for when the heart color changes. Straight stitch around the heart edge, removing pins as you go.

7) To hang these hearts, I recommend creating Bubblegum OlyFun yarn, but you could use twine too.

8) There are two methods of stringing you can use. 

One, you can cut two small slits at the heart tops along the small hearts. Then, thread the OlyFun yarn through the holes. The hearts will still slip back and forth.


Two, you can hand sew the hearts onto the OlyFun yarn, with thread that matches the heart stitching color. This will keep the hearts in place and keep the OlyFun yarn behind the hearts.

9) When you are finished adding the hearts to the OlyFun yarn, hang the garland up somewhere. I used a hammer and white upholstery nails.

Whether you're celebrating Valentine's Day or not, I hope you have an awesome February 14th. My husband doesn't like the holiday, for some bizarre reason I've yet to understand...being his WIFE and all. Instead of doing something special with him, I get our daughter some little treats. When I was her age, I used to get bummed that no one got me a Valentine. Remembering that one sad Valentine's Day where my little brother bought me a rose, I make sure she knows how much we love her on that day that is about love. We do special things year round, for each other, but it's nice to get a special treat occasionally. I should mention that if hearts aren't your thing, you can do this project with other shapes too. The techniques are the same, regardless of the shape...so get your brainstorming on. Happy Makery!

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

HOME DECOR DIY: OlyFun Jumbo Tassels

I made some OlyFun Jumbo Tassels on Fairfield World, which I'll eventually string for a mantle garland. My house needs some redecorating, so I'm working on some festive home decor items. I have garlands stuck in my head lately, so expect a few of those in different easy to make variations. These jumbo tassels are the durable answer to the ubiquitous tissue paper tassels. These tassels are just as easy to make, but last for many uses. OlyFun comes in 18 regular colors and 4 metallics. I've been trying to incorporate the awesome metallics into as many new projects as possible. Metallics are classic and whoever doesn't like shiney things probably doesn't need to hang out here. 

You may have noticed a dip in new tutorials and content here...BUT, if you follow me on Instagram, you'll see I make and post something pretty much every day. I've been snowed in for 5 days now...and my perk left after day one...or two. I have an outdoor project I wanted to do this month. Thanks to freezing temperatures and snow that's not melting fast enough, I'll have to wait a little longer. (insert frowny face emoji) Can we get back to the false winter weather already? 60 degree sunny days anyone? I have Valentines and Spring on the brain, which is actually why I sat down at my desk to use my computer...vs scrolling the internet...ahem Facebook and Pinterest...on my phone and tablet. I needed a little break from what seems like endless amounts of X-Files, Supernatural, and Murdoch Mysteries...which I finished the last one. Anywho, off to do my task I came here for...and you should head to Fairfield World to make OlyFun Jumbo Tassels, because this momma told you to. 


I don't know if I really to reiterate, that I work for Fairfield World as a Master Maker. They supplied the OlyFun for this project and paid me to create a tutorial. I design all the wacky projects. The one I sat down to work on involves anatomical art...which if you're here from Skull-A-Day, you'll appreciate something a little morbid. I know, the bright colors are a little much for even me sometimes.

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

CROCHET DIY: Crocheted Metallic Striped Bowl

CHA Mega Show is wrapping up, so I wanted to share the Crocheted Metallic Striped Bowl that I made exclusively for the Fairfield World booth. If you aren't familiar with the acronym CHA, it's Craft and Hobby Association, which is for craft industry professionals, including bloggers, designers, manufactures, and store owners. I fall into the blogger and designer categories. I didn't attend this year, because I had no reason to. I did however watch a lot of Periscope videos from friends who were attending and demoing. That made me feel like I didn't completely miss out. Anywho, back to the bowl. This is made using new Silver, Rose Gold (a hot trendy color), and Gold Metallic OlyFun. The metallic OlyFun also comes in Red. You're going to see a lot of this in future projects. This project is on the intermediate to expert level of crochet, as it's working in the round with a stiff fabric yarn. Follow my DIY OlyFun Yarn tutorial to make the yarn. Regular OlyFun is available in 18 colors. I used 6 colors to crochet this Rainbow Striped Crossbody Bag. While the crocheted projects take up a lot of fabric, they still come out cheaper and more sturdy than regular yarn. If you want to challenge your crochet skills, make some yarn with OlyFun and break out your big hooks.

I'm currently working on another OlyFun crocheted project for Valentine's Day, and a OlyFun tassel banner to change out my mantle decor. I'm a Master Maker for Fairfield World. They provide me with all the OlyFun and pay me for my projects. I design all the projects to my style, using good products, and write tutorials in the most simplified way possible. I'll be getting back to sharing artwork on here soon. I got away from that over the last couple years, while I figured my art style. There probably won't be tutorials for all of them. SURPRISE! I counted that I wrote between 60-80 tutorials last year, which is a huge increase for me. I'm scaling that back this year, but providing a change in content, so it's a win win for me! And, maybe for you, if you're missing my fashion week posts and other things I used to write. "Don't work harder. Work smarter." is my new motto for this year.



Thursday, December 31, 2015

HAIR ACCESSORY DIY: Metallic OlyFun New Year's Eve Headband

Today is New Year's Eve, which always makes me think of lavish parties, glitter, and metallics. Tonight, we're relaxing at home, out of the way of crowds of revelers, and safe with our daughter. Using gold, silver, and rose gold Metallic OlyFun, Adhesive Technologies Two-Temperature Full Size Cordless Glue Gun and hot glue, flat back gems, and a headband blank, I made a quick no-sew headband for our daughter. While I had NYE in mind, this headband can be worn year round for any special event. I'm sure I can convince her to wear it Saturday for her best friend's Bat Mitzvah party. Make your own Metallic OlyFun New Year's Eve Headband over at Fairfield World.


I'm a Master Maker for Fairfield World. They supply me with OlyFun and pay me to create projects. Adhesive Technologies (AdTech) partnered with Fairfield World to provide us with awesome hot glue guns and hot glues. The one I used is very nice and the glue is clear, but any low-temp gun will work. I only use products that I like. 

Friday, December 25, 2015

HOLIDAY DIY: OlyFun Christmas Pickle

Christmas has arrived! One of my favorite ornaments and traditions is hiding a Christmas pickle on our tree. While the existence of the Christmas pickle story might be German folklore or a marketing scheme, it's still a fun game. You hid it in the tree branches, close to the trunk. The child who finds the Christmas pickle gets a small prize. I have a cheap dollar store pickle ornament, that many people have. I've been determined to have all handmade ornaments, and not purchase more mass made ornaments if I can. I even made Colorful Handpainted OlyFun Rainbow Garland this year!

I designed a Christmas pickle project using OlyFun, and basic sewing skills, which were perfect for my tween daughter to make. She has some hand sewing experience. I drew the pattern and gave her my instructions, but she did the rest! OlyFun doesn't fray, cuts like paper, and is easy to sew through, making it perfect for beginner sewers and small stuffed ornaments.


SUPPLIES:
Some of these links are Amazon Affiliate links. Any purchases using the Amazon links, will result in Amazon paying me a small fee. The other links are to Fairfield World, for their products, just for your reference. Many Fairfield World/Processing products can be purchased at JoAnn, Hancock, and Wal-Mart. The linked ones may not be available there, hence why I'm linking to them. Fairfield World provided me with the OlyFun and PolyFil for this project, because I'm a Master Maker.
PATTERN:
This is for Christmas Pickle shape reference. This is not to scale or the exact pattern I used. You can draw on by hand on paper if you prefer.

INSTRUCTIONS:

1) Print or draw a Christmas pickle pattern. Cut out the pattern with paper scissors.

2) Trace the pickle onto Clover OlyFun twice. Cut out the pickles and a strip 1/4" wide by 6" long.

3) Stack the two pickle pieces, lining up the edges. Fold the long piece over, creating a hanging loop. Sandwich the loop ends between the pickle pieces, at the top.

4) Thread a hand sewing needle with a long piece of green thread. Match the thread ends together. Overhand knot them together twice. Straight or running stitch around the pickle, making your stitches as even as possible. Do this twice, filling in the stitch gaps on the 2nd time around. Alternatively, if you are good at sewing curves on a machine, you can machine sew this project.

5) Leave a 2"-3" gap along the side towards the bottom. This leave access to stuff the ornament.

6) Pull off some Crafter's Choice PolyFil from the clump in the bag. Stuff the ornament a little at a time. If you can't get to the end with your fingers, I find a chopstick to be handy. If you don't have a chopstick, a straw, pencil or pen bottom will work too. Stuff it completely. You want it to still be squishy, not hard.

7) Hand stitch the opening, with the same straight stitches. Knot off your thread on a previous stitch, and cut the excess thread.

8) Now for the pickle bumps...that's a term right? Shake the green puffy paint, to mix it well. Tap the tip down on a paper plate. Remove the cap. Make a few test dots on the plate, so you get the hang of making them evenly. Make dots on the ornament front. The amount is up to you. This paint takes 2-4 hours to completely dry. I recommend letting it dry overnight, before handling it.

9) When the ornament is dry, it should look similar to my daughter's finished Christmas pickle.

That's all for this ornament. Need more ornament ideas for last minute gifts or something the keep your visiting relatives busy and quiet? Check out my Holiday Tutorials. I normally write more here, but I'm late for Christmas brunch at my parents' and brother's house!!! Have a fantastic day, whether you celebrate Christmas or not. Go see a movie and eat Chinese food if that makes you happy! Take a long nap through a yearly parade. That seems like a lovely day! Happy holidays and makery!

Thursday, December 17, 2015

HOLIDAY DIY: Wood Bird Ornament

Another day, another batch of ornaments. This one is a cute wood birdy, I found at Jo-Ann while hunting for wood ornament blanks. Really lacking there craft stores! I was think about the Tween Patchwork Wood Bird Wall Art, I made last month, and wanted to redo it in smaller scale. I gave it a featherlike appearance with little paint strokes. I chose a palette of green and blue with gold accents. DecoArt Americana Acrylic Paint comes in a rainbow of colors. If you don't have a growing collection of their paints, like I do, I suggest getting this DecoArt Americana 34 Color Value Pack Set from Amazon with a lot of colors and shades to choose from. For metallics, this DecoArt Dazzling Metallics Sample Pack is great to start with. Group the wood bird (or several wood items), paints, and brushes together for a neat crafty gift. This is a great beginners project, as you don't need to be an amazing perfect painter to make something little and cute. DecoArt sent me the paint for this and many more projects. A little paint goes a LOOOONG way!


SUPPLIES:
These are Amazon Affiliate links, unless otherwise noted. Any purchases made using the Amazon links, will result in Amazon paying me a small commision. This money normally goes to pay for more craft projects and things for my family.
INSTRUCTIONS:

1) Mix your colors on a paper plate, to get the shades you want.

2) I started painting at the beak and worked to the tail. With the detail brush and one paint color, make small spaced out strokes around the beak. Repeat with other colors, cleaning brush in between colors.

3) Continue painting the bird with the small strokes, working one row at a time. Work in sections, to optimize drying time. Stand or hang the bird up to dry, to prevent paint smears.

4) Paint the beak bright green.

5) Define the wings with the detail paint brush and Glorious Gold acrylic paint. For the eyes, dip the handle end into the paint, and make a dot on the bird in the eye area. This trick is handy for even polka dots.

6) My bird had an eye screw at the top. If yours doesn't have a hole for hang, drill one at the top. Add a ribbon or ornament hook to the hole, squeezing it closed.

You can use this little strokes painting technique on any wood or paper blank ornament. It would also be cool on a picture frame, if you want something more gifts...because you know it's that time of year and what not. I worked on this birdy while watching the entire Xena series on Netflix...for the 4th or 5th time. I really wish the series was longer, or um was still playing. I'm in season 6, and being miffed about it ending soon. Whatever series you repeatedly watch, I hope you enjoy it and make cool stuff at the same time...multi-tasking for show freaks. Happy holidays and makery!

HOLIDAY DIY: Watercolor Wood Tree Ornaments

I've been making several new ornaments, exploring painting techniques. I bought this large wood circles with laser cut tree designs, at Hobby Lobby, with the intention of making them into ornaments. One night recently, I was playing around with paint and several of the ornament blanks. For these trees, I wanted something that mimicked leaves in an abstract manner. I chose a watercolor effect using DecoArt Americana acrylic paint that was slightly watered down, and a small flat paintbrush. This technique blends the colors together, while still leaving a paint stroke look. DecoArt sent me a bunch of paint, per my request. Thank them by making something awesome.



SUPPLIES:
These are Amazon Affiliate links, unless otherwise noted. Any purchases made using the Amazon links, will result in Amazon paying me a small commision. This money normally goes to pay for more craft projects and things for my family.

INSTRUCTIONS:

1) Add a little of each paint color to your paper plate, for one ornament.

2) Wet your brush and dip it into one paint color.

3) Paint strokes in various places on the wood disc front. 

Repeat steps 2 and 3, with different colors, until the ornament is covered with paint. You can paint both sides if desired, but I just painted one side.


4) Add a metallic color to your paper plate.

5) Using a detail brush, add little accent paint strokes in top of the color, resembling flying leaves. Let the ornaments dry completely.


6) Insert one end of an ornament hook into a hole at the top of the tree. Squeeze the hook closed over the hole. Twist the hook top to the side. Hang the hook top on a tree branch. Squeeze hook over branch to secure.


While I used this watercolor with acrylic paint technique on these trees, you could use any wood shapes you want. The trick is that damp brush, as the bit of water helps thin out the paint and make it flow better on the wood. You can mist the wood with water before painting, if you want a more blended look. However, if the wood is thin, too much moisture can cause the wood to warp. You can use any colors that you like. I used a Autumn, Spring, and apple themes for my trees. Check back for more ornament tutorials. If you need more inspiration for festive decor, check out my Holiday Tutorials. There's more than Christmas in there, but you'll quickly find the correct section for this month. Whatever you make, have fun with it! Happy Makery!

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