Thursday, August 22, 2013

Reverse Stenciling

First the back story...
Last fall I joined a weekly Bible Study/craft group. We shared our worries and our joys and discussed our Daily Devotion and how it applied to our lives. THEN... we made a craft.
Yes, I know! THAT is a great combination!
I'm going to share the awesome book I worked on from week to week in another post. But, out of all the techniques we were taught from our inspirational leader Diana, this reverse stenciling thing was so easy and packed a punch.
I knew right away I could use it in more wedding crafty goodness.

Daniel and Katie's wedding was taking place in a barn with the reception taking place in a big fancy tent.
And in between the two was a trailer housing the bathrooms!
Then there was the thought 
"how can those bathrooms look crafty and charming?"
With some cute signs of course!
So, with the bride's blessing, I began this simple little project

•First I cut scraps of paper with mostly yellows and grays and used a mixture of white glue and water (very watery) to adhere the pieces all over the canvas board.
•I cut out photos of Daniel and Katie from when they were little.
The 'photos' were actually photocopies that I did on a laser printer at a local FedEx Office Print and Ship Center.
•please note that the photo is just printed on
regular paper not photo paper!

•Next you will need a set of alphabet stickers
You select the font and size
The color doesn't matter
you'll be throwing away the letters that you use in this project

•I placed the letters right on top of the paper scraps
that were already glued to the canvas board.

•Next I used an artist palette knife to spread Patching Plaster OVER the background of the canvas board
INCLUDING over the letters!
I went close to the photo's edge but not over the photo.
I used the Patching Plaster by DAP sold at my local Lowe's
This is actually a great compound for lots of art projects.
I keep my tub in my studio, not in the garage!
Also, it's nice to let a little of the background paper
show through here and there.

• Before the Plaster dried, I removed the letter stickers.
I used a straight pin to pick at a corner of a letter.
With the pin I was able to lift the sticker up and off of the canvas.
I did this step immediately after I finished spreading the plaster.
Once you get a corner lifted with the pin
you can gently pull up the entire letter with your fingers!
Here is the result!

When it is completely dry
you can apply a protective finish.
Then just add a ribbon to the back for hanging!

As I said at the beginning of this post
I learned this technique from my good friend Diana.
Below was my first attempt.
I will show off my little book in another post.
You'll even see how these pages
changed and took on new life.

Another thing to note by looking at this example
is how bold the paper is for some of the letters
and not for others
•Lesson learned•
use strong colors
such as what I used for "my"
and the "han" of "hand"

Sunday, July 28, 2013

how to sew beads onto a wedding veil OR handmade wedding part four!

When my sisters and I got married (a long time ago!) our talented mother made our wedding veils. Well actually, she made the bridesmaids dresses for two of the weddings and even one of the wedding gowns...
that's how talented she is!
So when my daughter-in-law was trying on dresses (yes, I was blessed to be invited to tag along with Katie and her mom), I volunteered to make the veil. Katie wanted a long veil, Cathedral length, but simple in design. 

First I purchased a VERY inexpensive veil from a bridal website. It was sort of a 'Craigslist for weddings' website. Turns out it was long and skinny, oh so skinny! It looked like a long tail. Not to mention the color white was practically a purple/blue white. Since it was only $15 there was no harm done there. And I've since used it at a bridal shower just for fun!
In the meantime Katie's mom purchased the correct color white veil from the Bridal Shop where her dress was purchased. 
Even when it comes to tulle...there are a lot of different whites! Keep this in mind if you make your own veil.
Now, all I needed to do was sew thousands of tiny beads along the perimeter of the veil.
Katie picked out the beads and made a pattern about an inch long.
First an 11/0 (that's seed bead size talk) silver lined crystal followed by a tiny pearl. Next up 3mm pearl, then back to the seed pearl, 3mm pearl, seed pearl, 3mm pearl, seed pearl and back to the silver lined crystal.

Maybe a list is better for clarity?

silver lined crystal 11/0 seed bead
tiny round pearl seed bead
3mm pearl
tiny round pearl seed bead
3mm pearl 
tiny round pearl seed bead
3mm pearl 
tiny round pearl seed bead
silver lined crystal 11/0 seed bead

and repeat
again and again and again 
and here is how much I purchased:

silver lined crystal 11/0 seed bead - 4 containers (600)
tiny round pearl seed bead - about 1,950
3mm pearl - about 1,350
I didn't use everything but this gives you an idea of what will cover such a long veil. 
NOTE: I compared the glass 3mm pearl to the Swarovski Crystal 3mm pearl. HUGE difference in price.  I DO love the real thing but, the fact is, you are looking at the veil from afar and it just becomes a tiny row of beads. Only in examining the beads up close could you tell the difference.

When sewing on tulle you can't pull very hard or it will bunch up. There just isn't a lot of actual fabric to tulle!
Notice that my sewing line is about 1/2 inch from the edge.
I tried it closer to the edge at first but it was hard with how fine the tulle is.
I realized that it would be more stable like this and it would actually look as though it is right on the edge anyway.

My tried a few sewing techniques to keep the line of beads as straight as possible and this is what worked for me.

1. I put my needle through 3 beads then I went around the last bead and down through the tulle BEHIND the last bead. 

The thread can be seen on the side of the bead but barely. And I'm telling you, it can't be seen by people who don't sew and are gazing at the beautiful bride in her beautiful veil.

2. Now the needle comes back up through the tulle in front of the last bead, then through three new beads, then finish step 1.

3. After you have strung the third set of three beads on the needle and pushed the needle down through the tulle behind the last bead, 

go to step 4 BELOW.

4. Bring the needle up two beads back from where it went down and make a knot there.

5. After making the knot put the needle back down through the tulle and bring it up again in front of the last bead.

At this point you will repeat the process all over again. Going back every third bead and making a knot every 9th bead will secure your line of beads. It will become routine and you can probably vary it a bit. I may have done 4 beads instead of 3 every now and again!

If you notice your line going crooked or pulling too tight, just unthread the needle and gently use the tip of the needle to pull some stitches out.
Don't be alarmed by how little you may progress in the first hour. When I first started this project I barely went over an inch in an hour. Once I got my rhythm I was sewing 11 inches in an hour!

I spent 31 hours sewing over 3,000 beads onto Katie's veil and I enjoyed every minute of it!
And here's a little secret...
that beautiful photo of Daniel and Katie with the veil drifting in the South Carolina breeze?
happened like this:
oh, and that's my beautiful daughter Holli!

say you love it!

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

handmade wedding part three • Origami Kusudama flowers

The second type of flower I made for my son's rehearsal dinner was an Oragami design called Kusudama. Kusudama is a modular Oragami flower that is made in units. It seems to be most common to make a 5 unit flower however, I made mine with 6.

PS I LOVED when my dining room table was covered with these beautiful bouquets leading up to the wedding!

Here's how it's done

 #1 • cut a 4 inch square 

#2 • fold in half as shown • use a bone folder or the dull side of a table knife to make the crease sharp

#3 • fold the right corner up to the top and make another strong crease

#4 • repeat with the left corner

 #5 • fold the a-c edge (refer to previous photo #4) 

on the left side over to meet the d-c edge

#6 • fold the a-c edge on the right side

over to meet the b-c edge

continue to make strong creases

with the bone folder

#7 • open the fold on the right side by placing your finger

in the outer pocket

gently pull it open and then flatten it in it's new fold (#8)

This is when your sharp creases will pay off.

It makes this step much easier! 

#9 • repeat #7 and #8 so that both sides are now flattened open

#10 • fold the tips down on both the left and right sides

toward you as shown

#11 • fold the left side in and the right side in

this fold will be easy because of previous sharp creases!

#12 • join the left side to the right side

I've ONLY used a paperclip to hold it together for the photo

so DO NOT fold it here!

just join the two sides together

use hot glue to join them.

repeat all the steps above five more times to create a six petal flower

a pile of petals  

Gluing the petals together to make the flower

#1 • a little hot glue on one side

#2 • gently squeeze together

do steps 1 and 2 for all six petals

#3 • a little hot glue on the outside

#4 • attach another petal

#5 • adding the third petal

press lightly keeping in mind that this is already half of your finished flower

#6 • you can add the stem here or after your 4th or 5th petal, just squeeze a line of glue on the inside of the flower as shown and lay your stem in the glue

finish adding your petals • six total

#7 •  Doesn't the bead look pretty in the center? Squeeze a dot of hot glue in the center

#8 • gently press in the bead

make sure that the hole in the bead doesn't show

#9 • TA DAH!


Sunday, July 21, 2013

handmade wedding part two • DIY paper flowers • Swirls

ok, where were we?
Good thing it didn't take me as long to make the flowers as it did to blog about them!

I made two types of flowers for the rehearsal dinner. The solid yellow ones were super easy. I used two different yellow papers. One was plain and one had a texture in sort of a linen look with a slight shimmer. I thought this subtle difference would add a little depth.

start with a six inch square

draw a swirl and cut on the line

 start rolling from the outer ring to the center

 in the first section of the photo below

 I am holding the rolled up flower fairly tightly

in #2 I have let go

in #3 I have bent the wire stem, bringing

the end up through the punched hole

that I punched earlier with a 1/16th paper punch

if you look closely at the first photo on this post

you will see the tiny punched hole

I used hot glue here to secure the stem to the flower

#4 shows a pile of flowers BEFORE I added the stems

you may or may not 

want to add some dots of hot glue

here and there between the layers

of swirls.

I did because I wanted each flower

to look a little different.

the glue holds some layers closer together

while pulling some further apart. 

My niece Emma made her own version of these for her wedding in July. She painted sheet music and book pages with water color to create her own paper. I'm guessing that she drew more swirls than I did as she had many 'layers' to her flowers. 
What a beautiful version.

her bouquet 

real greenery 
paper flower

even on the cake!  


Monday, June 10, 2013

handmade wedding part one • DIY felt Craspedia flowers

other than June 23rd, 1979, the closest to my heart that a wedding has ever been, happened on March 9th, 2013 in Aiken•SC

it was the marriage ceremony of my first born son Daniel to the love of his life Katie

since the wedding ceremony and reception is traditionally planned and carried out by the bride and her family, I took on the rehearsal dinner and a couples shower with joy and anticipation!

I had wanted to make felt ball flowers for some time. I was also curious about paper flowers and wondered how I could incorporate them into the mix.

I was very familiar with felt balls from my days working at I used 2cm wool felt balls to make a flower that looked much like a Craspedia, commonly called Billy Balls.

••• this is the look I was going for•••

and this is how I did it

photo 1

poke a hole in the felt ball with a very sharp needle • poke ALMOST all the way through but don't ACTUALLY go ALL the way through! this hole is just to get you started

photo 2

the second needle I used was thick and dull • this needle came in a pack of upholstery needles • keep in mind that some of these were sharp but this one needs to be a fat dull needle so that you can create a hole big enough for the stem to go into the felt ball

this time you REALLY do not want to go all the way through the ball

but what you DO want to do is move the thicker needle around in a circular motion to create a bigger hole (see photo 3)

photo 4 

dip the end of a floral stem wire in white glue • I used green covered wire stems that I purchased at AC Moore • 12 pieces in a pack for $1.99 • I poured some glue in the bottom of a butter tub, it's easy to use and you can put a lid on it to store it • I bought a gallon of white glue years ago for all my projects • sometimes I need a mixture of 3 parts water to 1 part glue so these butter tubs are handy for that

dip about 1/2" of the stem in the glue and immediately insert the stem into the hole (see photo 5)

photo 6

no need to worry about any glue showing on your felt ball as it will dry clear • you can lay them on your work table to dry or stand them in a glass or vase to dry


sometimes the green thread on the stem wire will push back as you insert them into the felt ball • no need to worry about that as it can make them look more realistic! has a great selection of felt balls in many color combination packages. However, for this project I needed many of one color so I purchased 100 in Lemon from Felt Supplier on Etsy • and don't be fooled by the fact that they came from Poland, the turnaround time was pretty fast

you'll notice that some of the stems are curled • that's simple!

 the first bouquet of felt ball craspedia flowers ready for a party to 'shower' Daniel and Katie

 next up... paper flowers

Monday, April 1, 2013

one week later............... April Fools!

the baby quilt from Craft Camp 2012 .....goes to...
{Madison Grace Haynes}
born October 8th, 2012
she joined big brother Elijah
and big brother Sam
two lucky boys with two sweet loving parents

I loved working on that little quilt. I even missed it after it was complete! I hope Maddie Grace loves it to shreds!

Here are some step by step close-ups on how I finished the quilt

after piecing the front it was time for the batting
I didn't have quite enough batting in one piece so here is how I pieced it together  
 look closely above (near the bottom of the photo)
you can see where I overlapped the batting
I used a large zig zag stitch on the machine so that the 'seam' was flat

on top of batting
on top of backing

lots and lots of safety pins  
 keep smoothing the fabric with your hands
I kept checking the back
while the pins were still open
that way I could re-do sections that needed it
without opening pins again!

next up...
adding the binding

cut strips 2 1/2 inches wide

sew them into one long piece
enough to go around the entire quilt
here is how you connect one piece to another
on the diagonal
trim about 1/4 to 3/8 inch next to the sewing line

 press in half - lengthwise

attaching the binding to the quilt

leave a pretty long tail
when you begin to attach the binding to the quilt
start attaching the binding
somewhere near the middle
of one of the quilt sides
how to handle the corners 

 stop sewing 1/4 inch from end of raw quilt edge
(the blue bicycle fabric)

turn the entire quilt a quarter turn
flip the binding tail away from you
then flip it back down toward you
careful to hold the top fold 
along the top edge of the unfinished quilt
this will create a nice corner
when you do the finishing work by hand

what the corner will look like on the front

 {the hardest part!}
this is the part I have the hardest time with
this just may be the reason that I decided to
take all these photos
document how it should be done!
 even is no one else ever refers to this
I probably will!
first step
 leave a nice long tail of binding
at least 7 inches
this should be in addition to
the extra inches left at the beginning
of attaching the binding

second step
 smooth each side of the binding
against the quilt to see where the left piece
meets the right piece
mark that spot
open each side of the binding
line up the right edge
of the left piece
to the spot you marked
on the right piece
{right sides together}
I pin and mark my sewing line
I only pin it temporarily
so that I can see if I have indeed
marked the correct sewing line

inevitably, I seem to sew in the wrong spot
 but try and try again
I always get it right in the end! 

when you do sew on the line
you need to sort of pull
the binding away from the quilt
this is why you start with
such long tails   

 now is a good time to
lay the binding flat
making sure you've 
closed it correctly
{do this before you cut off the extra tail}
 the second and third photos below 
show the extra tail cut off

third step 
finish sewing
this last section
of binding
to the quilt

fourth step
trim the excess
with your clear ruler and rotary cutter 

 fifth step
fold the binding over
to the back of the quilt

 sew the binding
by hand
hiding the stitches
inside the fold

the quilting
I cut a four petal flower
out of plastic
I traced this each time
I was ready to quilt
that square
sometimes I used blue tailors chalk
sometimes I used white 

the tailors chalk washed out after a couple washings

check out the tv in the background
I even took my quilt project
to Rudino's on a Sunday afternoon
to 'watch' the Vikings!

the finished project
{after multiple washings}

the finished project
in the hands of
{before Madison arrived} 
and this is what it was all about!



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