Sewing: Visual Interest

March 31st, 2012

Have you considered grabbing some thread and your sewing machine to stitch on cards? Sewing on cards is so easy and quick,a and adds just the right touch. It can make a great stamp even better…it can make a good design into a top notch showpiece.

For my card today, I chose a pretty image from the Rosy stamp set from Lost & Found 2 Collection by Jen Allyson for My Mind’s Eye. I stamped and colored the image, as well as stamping the sentiment onto a neutral piece of card stock. I then flanked that with two strips of the paper from the Lost & Found 2 Blush 6×6 paper pad and a touch of lace, adhering the elements to the kraft card base on only the top and bottom portions.

Here’s what the card looked like without the stitching. A good enough card but I felt it needed a bit more.

I extended the line of the trapeze wire which rounded out the the design of the card too by completing a visual triangle.

Here are some tips to consider:
1. You don’t want to gum up your needle or machine, so be careful to not place adhesive where you will be stitching.
2. Draw light lines with a pencil to use as a guide when sewing, and erase later.
3. Attach lace or ribbon to your card with sewing to avoid those unsightly adhesive marks.
4. Choose your thread color to coordinate with your ink pads- also keep staple colors in your stash such as dark brown, black, white and tan.
5. Most machines have a few basic stitch designs, vary these on your card for added variety and texture.

I hope you’ll be inspired to pull out your sewing machine to add the little bit extra to your card!

A Lime Twist Photo Prop

March 29th, 2012

I work with one very talented lady in my office, who just so happens to have the cutest of cute granddaughters. After a dry conversation concerning work, the subject our hobbies came up (she is a photographer and I a paper crafter, see my blog The Bald Dragonfly…). She had been searching for a long while for a simple, colorful photo prop and I knew right away that I could help her out.

My husband got to work framing out a sturdy box  from 1/2 inch plywood and after about 30 minutes he presented me with the unfinished prop (he’s the best, isn’t he!) I had to ask him how he did it and here’s what he came up with: Cut two 12×2 inch panels, two 12×11 inch and two 11×11 inch panels.  Attach one each 12×11 piece flush to the edges of the 12×12 pieces with screws, making sure the 12×12 pieces match up. Complete the cube with the 11×11 pieces. (Sorry, no pictures of the assembly or unfinished piece… they were accidentally deleted from my camera!)

The next step was to sand the surface area of each side of the cube. I then started covering the exposed sides with papers from the My Mind’s Eye Lime Twist Collection by Jen Allyson, being careful to keep boyish patterns and hues on three visible sides and girlish patterns and hues on the other three sides (although either could work for both sexes!). I did so by dredging the plywood with Mod Podge as well as the side of the paper not being exposed. After carefully removing all air bubbles from the surface, I added few more layers of the sealer, drying between each.  I  finished by distressing the box by sanding the edges and swiping a thin layer of satin stain on each side of the cube.

Karleen from Starlight Productions, Auburndale, Wisconsin  was so pleased with the end result. Here are a few more pictures of the Lime Twist Photo Prop in action!

This photo prop was so quick and easy to make, and what a great way to showcase the fabulous and diverse designs from the My Mind’s Eye Lime Twist Collection by Jen Allyson. Even if you don’t know a professional photographer, why not make one of these for yourself? It would be a great constant prop to document the growth of your child, or you could even change up the paper in a few years too for a whole new look.

Project House Mantle Plans

February 21st, 2012

Since the kitchen has been finished, we’ve taken a little break from house projects. This has been a nice respite after 7 solid months of house projects. It’s also been nice to just enjoy the house. We love our little house and how comfortable and beautiful it is.

We’re really done with most of the work (yay!) with the exception of a few things…

The fireplace mantle.

It’s boring and was just old dirty brick when we bought the house, here’s a before:

Once we were finished with the majority of the renovation, Mr. Project took out the wood stove and primed the existing brick:

Which took a much longer time than we thought it would… and a lot more primer. Then we dove into painting it a dark charcoal gray…

And apparently decorating it for Halloween.

This is how it’s looked (minus the Halloween decorations) for the past 7 months.

But we have a vision for what we want it to look like… we want to create a big white mantle and then built-in bookshelves next to it. I drew some rough sketches, and Mr. Project translated them into this illustration:

So… if all goes well in the next several weeks, we’ll have a beautiful hearth area which will turn the existing blah fireplace into a beautiful focal point in the house.

Next up after the built-ins are the closet organizers. Right now we’re living with a $15 ikea clothes rack. I’ll be so excited when I can actually organize my closet and unpack my coats!

So that’s what we’re up to on the house. Hopefully I’ll be able to update sooner rather than later.