Crafting Days of November

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Crafting Days of November, otherwise known as The Week My ADHD Got Really Out of Hand and I Made a Bunch of Stuff as a Result and Burnt Myself At One Point.

It started out innocently enough. I wanted a fun banner in the dining room space to give our little mirror a little added something until I could figure out Christmas decor and more permanent design for that space. I went over to Memories for the Making here in little ol’ Lodi which is a scrapbook store my friend, Chelsea works at, and loaded up on some Bunting 101 and Ink Shading 101 for this sweet little banner. She hooked me up with cutting the banner pieces, letters, pumpkins and leaves for the piece. After we went to town on the shading (I did 2 letters in the time it took her to do all of the other ones), we had a fun little gluing party. The banner is actually two pieces because I couldn’t decide actually how I was going to hang this.

After getting ready to hang the banner, I accepted that I would have to do more to that wall because hanging the banner alone was not enough. INSERT OBLIGATORY TRIP TO JOANN’S HERE! Honestly, I went for flowers. I came out with flowers, floral wire, fabric, zippers, thread and biased tape. >_> Don’t judge me. Especially because I pulled together such a fun little garland using a few sets of the cheapest, and also on clearance, fall flowers they offered! I probably had this done in about 5-10 minutes and spent about $10 total on it. It’s an easy project and doesn’t require a lot of effort to show you applied effort at all into decorating. I’m planning on doing a bunch of craft tutorials soon for Christmas and Winter season prepping that I’ll be sharing with you all soon!

Once these two quick projects were done and out of the way, I set forth to washing and ironing the fabric for my pillow covers (a project I’ve been trying to accomplish for, seriously, the last 4-5 years). I’ve been seeing a lot of tutorials on Pinterest popping up lately on how to easily sew zippers onto pieces of fabric that were way easier than my sewing instructor and Grandma ever taught me. In the past, I was lucky enough to have had sewing machines that came with a zipper foot, but the one I was borrowing from my friend didn’t leave me so lucky. There are a lot of dress and skirt projects I want to work on in the future and figured that starting out with a pillow case is the best way to get back into the swing of things. Please note that you should not watch an intriguing movie and/or show whilst ironing. It is a good way to get burned. Also, measure your pillows before purchasing fabric. And make sure you’re working with 60″ wide fabric. I didn’t not do these things and ended up with a burn mark on my arm that looks like I tried to killed myself, black ombre pillows that barely had enough material to cover, and scrambling around my craft supplies area trying to find a spare 1/4 yard of black cotton to create a black center stripe for the muslin pillowcases.  Sad face is sad. The pillows came out great, though! You’ll see those in the future home tour I have planned!

Once I had the banner and floral garland hung and the pillows covered in their new cases, the next project I had lined up was my burlap stamped placemats based of this pinspiration and this pinspiration. I made great timing with starting this project because my Darby Smart Spoon Stamp Kit came in the same day I started working on the placemats! I’ve only made two placemats so far because I really want to do a quick tutorial on them. They ended up being a little bit harder than I expected, only because burlap material is difficult to deal with when cutting. Fibers get everywhere, it’s a mess. Unfortunately, I had no patience for cutting it the proper way. Here’s a link to those tutorials for those with the patience.

I don’t know if it was just my box/experience, but I ended up having to turn to Pinterest to figure out the best way to deal with stamping. I left a comment on Darby Smart regarding my missing instructions, but haven’t received a reply yet. I’m a little peeved off about that. I get that it’s pretty self explanatory, but I still would have liked the instructions in my box just in case. For those of you looking to move into the hobby of metal stamping, I would like to warn you that: 1. it’s a lot louder than you might expect it to be, so don’t do it late at night if you live in an apartment or your neighbors might complain; 2. you have to use your muscles extra here and pound the letters/numbers/symbols 3 or 4 times to get the indent; 3. you can move your letters a lot closer to each other than it might seem like you can; and lastly 4. the spoons in this set are the dinky little spoons used at tea time so keep that in mind when ordering. There’s nothing wrong with them being tiny because it gives you great practice material whether you’ll be using the tools for jewelry or serving ware. I was thinking they’d be normal-sized spoons.

I have to say that I’ve been having a blast with these projects. It’s been years since I’ve gotten to do hands-on crafts like this and I forgot how much I loved doing them. I’m really looking forward to the winter season and upcoming holidays for making more pieces.

What crafts have you been working on lately? Have they been season-related, or just general stuff you love to work on? Send me links to your blog posts or Instagram photos! I’d really love to see them!

Craft Time: Cross Stitch Logo

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I finally finished my first cross stitch project about a week ago! I’m so happy with how well it turned out. I think the only thing I would change is having an extra shade difference between the two purples. It’s a little hard to see the shading, even in person. I used a 14 Aida white canvas, a 3″ hoop, embroidery needle, and DMC 211, 208, 3873 and 310. It’s been years since I last attempted a needlepoint project and was very nervous going in. I knew the basics of how to do cross stitch, but had no idea what type of needle and canvas would be best to use. Thankfully, there’s a ton of resources on Pinterest that I was able to click through an get a better understanding of how to go. I know once I’m super comfortable with doing cross stitch, I’ll have a solid understanding for the best needles and canvas sizes to use. For now, though, I’m having fun with it.

I didn’t really create a pattern to work from with this piece. Luckily, I made my logo by the pixel and the number of squares was still fresh in my mind. From there, I lightly marked the basic outline with a pencil and did the black (DMC 310) first knowing I’d need my perimeters set up before getting too deep in. Next, I did the light purple (DMC 211) highlights because I wanted to get the easiest steps out of the way. I would say doing the medium purple (DMC 208) and the dark purple (DMC 3873) was the hardest, primarily because the shades were too close in color and I was working in pretty poor lighting.

At one point, the thread in the back became a jumbled mess that took me nearly an hour to untangle. If you’re working with a particularly long strand of color, be mindful of what’s happening in the back because you might end up getting tangled and losing half your length. I originally wanted to have the full URL at the bottom. I realize now I could have achieved this if I had done a simple straight stitch instead of the cross stitch, but didn’t want to risk it not coming out legible. Instead, I went with just the letters PNG. To get the curves on the letters I did a half cross stitch.

Overall, this project took me about a week to complete, but I was only working on it for maybe 5-20 minutes at a time. If I was able to give this my full attention and complete in one sitting, I would say this would probably have only taken me an hour or so. The total cost for this project was about $15-20, and that was for the hoop, canvas, embroidery floss spools, embroidery scissors and pack of embroidery needles with a case. The thread I already owned for a different failed project (friendship bracelets). I still have a TON of canvas and spools left, so really this project probably only cost about $4. I got this particular set of supplies at my local Hobby Lobby and saved with a 40% off one item coupon from their app.

I’ve already started on my next project which is Bulbasaur from Pokemon. He’s so tiny on the medium sized-hoop I bought, so I’m thinking about having his evolutions layered behind him and stitching “I choose you” at the bottom. it’s for a set of Pokemon ones that I’m doing based off the initial Pokemon I’ve chosen for each of the version I’ve played. Bulbasaur just happens to be my favorite of all the Pokemon, despite having never really chosen him as a starter. He’s just so cute and cuddly looking!