Wednesday, September 28, 2011

{Bench Makeover #2}

Do you remember THIS BENCH?

My sister-in-law gave it to me a few years ago, originally hunter green with red undertones.
When we moved into this house, I decided it should be black.
You can read all about it HERE.
I lived with that for several months but never really got into the black.
So...I switched it up this week and came up with this:
I really love the color, although I'm still debating on putting a little bit of my chocolate glaze over it...just to tone it down a touch. I know I definitely like it better than the black. Only time will tell of course. :)

I really like the black showing through where I sanded the edges.
Paint is the ultimate home miracle worker!
Have a good one,

Monday, September 26, 2011

{Twine Candy Corn Pennant Wreath}

That seems like a lot of buzz words in the title, no?! LOL
We put up our Halloween decorations over the weekend and I've been adding to them like crazy. Did I mention this is my VERY favorite time of year??!! I'm so nuts about Halloween!
I made a few simple twine wreaths last year, and didn't add any embellishment except a ribbon for hanging.
I don't have a before pic of them, but I found the tutorial over at Brown Paper Packages.

After making some Candy Corn Bunting , I saw my scraps lying on the sewing table and the empty twine wreath and I knew I needed to do something else 'candy corn' with them!
I think it turned out cute and was no-sew, too!
If you want to make the wreath, you need a foam circle and I used jute twine. You can see the easy tutorial over at Brown Paper Packages. Once you've made your wreath, you're ready to go!
I started with this:
Some strips of leftovers and an empty wreath.
First I sewed my strips together in a candy corn pattern, just like with the candy corn bunting, only much smaller.
Then I made myself a small penant template out of old file folder, traced it onto my candy corn fabric, and cut out a few.
They are tiny!  :) Too tiny to sew, and I wanted this to look a bit 'rough', so it works out perfectly.
Next I used Liquid Stitch to adhere my candy corn pennants to a length of hemp cord.
My wreath is a smaller one, so 3 pennants was plenty.
Then I wrapped the ends of the hemp cord around my wreath, and secured them with Liquid Stitch. I angled the whole cord a bit. I added a last strip of leftover fabric (already cut to size as is) to use as my hanging ribbon. Again with the rough edges that I love. :)
And there you have it. It looks great hanging inside my front door, and I got to use scraps! Score!
Funny thing is that I don't even really like to eat candy corn...I just like looking at it. ;)

Have a wonderful day!

Friday, September 23, 2011

{Candy Corn Bunting}

I {loooooooove} them!
I found a really great tutorial over at Tatertots & Jello for super simple and amazingly cute reversible candy corn bunting .
The tutorial is really easy to follow and in no time, you have this:
Isn't it darling??!  I made my own bias tape instead of using ribbon, and I altered the measurements a bit on the pennant. I made 2 of them and can't wait to start decorating!
I have been making Halloween projects galore and having a blast, like I always do this time of year.
I absolutely love Halloween!
What have you been up to?
Thanks for stopping by,

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

{Coaster Tutorial}

My Mom really needs a tutorial for the Halloween Coasters I made last week, so I thought I would post it here. These are super simple, and a good project for a sewing machine beginner (like my Mom, whose been faking it all these years, as I learned this week!) But that's okay...she's learning! :)
So maybe someone else can benefit from this, too.
These are made with Halloween fabric, but obviously you can use whatever you want.
My pictures are of ONE coaster, but I actually made a set of 5 all together. 
Here you go, Mom!

Halloween Coasters
1. Cut the following for a set of 5 coasters: 
(5) front fabric pieces, 5 1/2" x 5 1/2"
(5) back fabric pieces, 5 1/2" x 5 1/2"
(10) pieces of fusible fleece (2 for each coaster), about 4 3/4" x 4 3/4"each
(as long as they are SMALLER than your fabric all the way around, it really doesn't have to be exact)
This photo shows only enough for ONE coaster.
 2. Iron the fusible fleece to the wrong side of your front fabric and your back fabric. Put the glue side of the fleece to the wrong side of the fabric, then turn it over and iron from the RIGHT side. It will look like this when you're done:
3. Now pin the two pieces of your coaster, RIGHT sides together, on 3 sides.
4. Sew on 3 sides.

5. Turn right side out, pushing out the corners with a pencil. It will look like this:
6. Turn under the open edge, line it up, and pin it together.
7. Topstitch the open end together, then continue all the way around the coaster. You will topstitch in a little way from the edge.
Your finished border of topstitching will look like this:
I like to add another row of topstitching just for interest. If you do that, just use your first topstitch line as your guide and go around again. If you do 2 rows, it will look like this:
 Voila! just made a coaster! Now repeat with your remaining pieces to make a whole set.
Hopefully they all turn out like these...
Thanks for stopping by!

Creative Itch

Monday, September 19, 2011

{Wild my Backyard}

Here's a little bit of what we've been experiencing lately...and loving it.
We have about an acre and a half of property, with 150 acres of woods behind us. It's private, very country, and yet still somehow close to everything. You know what they say...location, location, location! But enough about that.
The best part is that it feels like Wild Kingdom! :)
We see 3 different coyotes at least a couple of times a week. Two are usually together, and then one that seems to travel alone.
This one is the loner and seems comfortable with us watching him/her. He just seems to enjoy snacking on walnuts and watching us watch him. We named it Wile E. :) The 2 that hang together are very skittish though, and I've yet to get a pic of them together.
There are tons of deer coming through the yard day and night, but we have a few regulars that we recognize. The sneaky ones:
 And 2 with twins, and one with an only. Haven't been able to get a pic of the twins, but the 'only' has been left in our yard more than once while mom goes off to feed. Isn't she beautiful?
Then there are the sneaky squirrels, who we kid about but actually don't mind them stealing the birdseed. They are too fun to watch to care!
 One of the coolest things we've found in the yard was a big surprise and wonderful...if only for a few hours.
I stumbled upon a turtle nest while walking our dogs. Many eggs were crushed and mangled, so I assumed something had eaten them. Then I saw an eye, peeking out of a shell, just beginning life.
 He was the last and final egg, completely untouched I guess, and I happened to find the nest as he was pushing his way out! I spent the afternoon checking on him every 30-45 minutes, taking pics and video like crazy. It was pretty amazing! I nearly went to the school to bring my daughter home to witness the whole thing!
Unfortunately, he worked so hard to get out, and even made it completely out of the nest and facing the woods...but then went to the happy turtle grounds in the sky. :( I was so bummed! We're still researching to try to figure out what kind of turtle he was, if he needed mom, etc.
 My daughter made a burial place for him, and named him "Sam". (It seemed like a good unisex name.)
And then there are all the miscellaneous cool critters we see...HUGE, interesting insects like cowkillers , cicada killers , and this luna moth:
Little snakes and tiny cabbage loopers...
I saw a baby skunk one night as I was about to take the dogs for a walk. Of course we steered clear, but can we just say CUTE!! So small and waddling all over. I'm just glad we didn't run into Momma skunk.

I love living in the country! We are huge lovers of nature, and the surprise of what we might see outside every day is such a neat thing to experience.  I'm never sure what I might find or see on any given day, so the camera is always at the ready. livin'....sitting on the deck eating dinner, waiting to see what will come out next.
If you want to join us for dinner, be sure to bring your camera!
Thanks for dropping by,

Sunday, September 18, 2011

{Trick or Treat Photo Hanger}

I love to look at pics of my kiddo in all of her Halloween costumes over the years, and even better yet, to compare them and watch her grow from year-to-year. I decided to make a place to showcase a trick-or-treat photo from each year so we could do just her grow, all in one place. I came up with this wall hanging, and I love how it turned out!
I decided to go with 12 picture pockets total, still leaving me with 5 years of photos left. (She's 7, so if we're still dressing up by then, I can make a second one!) If you have multiple kiddos, you could take a group pic each year and showcase them that way.
This really wasn't a hard project at all, so new sewers I think will be just fine with it! I'm new to tutorials, so if you have questions or I'm not clear, don't hesitate to shoot me an email and I'll do the best I can to help you out! This fits nicely on a narrow closet door, so you could surely widen it if you wish with no problem. Each picture pocket is 5 x 7, so old photos (regardless of direction) fit nicely.
Total fabric you will need:
1/2yd front facing fabric, 1/2 yd backside fabric, 1/2yd black felt, & 1/2 yd (8 gauge) vinyl

Cut your pieces to:
(1) front facing fabric, 38" x 18.5" 
(1) backside fabric, 38" x 18.5"
(12) vinyl sheets, 5" x 7" (I used 8 gauge)
(12) black felt, 5.5" x 7.5"
fusible fleece, ~ 37" x 17.5" (or something close to want to leave a border of fabric around your fleece to make sewing easier)
long strip of homemade bias tape to use as your hanger OR ribbon
fabric adhesive spray
skinny dowel rod
thread, sewing machine, scissors, etc.
1. First cut all of your pieces.
 2. First you will sew your vinyl pieces onto each rectangle of black felt to make the photo pockets. Don't be afraid of the vinyl, but I do have to tell you...I tried multiple ways to keep that stuff from sliding and couldn't do it. I resorted to investing in a can of fabric spray adhesive and it was a piece of cake to use. It works great! So I recommend it highly (unless of course you know some wonderful trick that I don't!) 
So...spray the edges of each piece of black felt (one at a time) on three sides, then align your vinyl piece to each one and press down. It's a miracle I tell you! :)
 I put a scrap piece of 12x12 paper underneath to keep things clean.
   3. Once you have all of your photo pockets adhered with the spray, simply stitch along 3 sides to seal them up completely. The vinyl is noooo problem to sew on, so don't be afraid of it. The spray is made for this, so you won't gum up your needle.
 4. Now you have all of your photo pockets made, so set them aside. Next iron your fusible fleece to your backside fabric. You want to cut it so there's a border of fabric all the way around. Believe me, this makes sewing much easier and also looks much better, too.
5. Set that aside. Now take your front fabric and line up your photo pockets how you want them. I did 6 along each side. Pin them in place, then stitch all the way around each one. You really have 3 options here: a)You can use Liquid Stitch to adhere the pockets on permanently (that stuff is phenomenal and really works like it has been sewn on); b) you can use the spray adhesive again to hold the pockets in place for sewing, or c)you can pin them on and sew.  It's up to you...all those choices work well. Pinning them is a bit cumbersome just from lining things up repeatedly. 
TIP: Make sure each pocket is facing the right direction for you to insert a photo!!
 6. You're almost done! Now pin the front fabric and back fabric, RIGHT SIDES together on 3 sides. Sew along 3 sides with a 1/4" seam allowance, clip the corners, then turn right side out.
7. Now fold under the opening and topstitch it, along with a topstitch all the way around. This is an optional step, but I think it looks much more finished this way! You can see the top stitching in the next photo.
8. Now fold under the top about 1/2" to 3/4" to make the dowel rod pocket, and just sew it down right along your topstitch. Again, make sure you're folding under the TOP, for your photo pockets to be in the right direction.
 9. Turn it over, insert your dowel rod, and add whatever you choose to hang it with! :)
I made a bias tape "ribbon" with leftover black fabric, but you could also use wide grosgrain ribbon that would look great. I just didn't happen to have any on hand. If you need info on making your own bias tape, it's SUPER simple and you can find a tutorial over at Made.
Or you can use a length of wide ribbon for the same effect!
And Voila! There you have it!
 All ready for this year's photo!
Another thought I had would be to use vinyl stickers to put the year in the corner of each photo pocket. I decided against it for this one, but I think that would be cute as well.
Good luck making one of your own, and please email me with questions or if you note something I've inadvertently left out.
Take care,

Creative Itch