Monday, December 17, 2012

How to make adorable hair clips

Sometimes I get into patterns of obsessive glue gunning.  I also happen to be lucky enough to have three beautiful nieces that like hair accessories, or what we called "hair pretties" when they were younger.  This is a tutorial on how to make adorable hair clips for girls (or grownups!).

1.  Materials:  I started with tulle, white felt, scissors, needle and thread, glue gun, lace, feathers, clips, and ribbon flowers I had previously made on a loom.

 2.  Measure out the felt so that it is about twice the width and a touch longer than the length of the clip you will use.
 3.  Cut different pieces of  your materials and start to layer and glue (or sew them) on.  Experiment with fabrics and lace and ribbon and feathers and see what works best for you.  I have a hard time with feathers and glue guns--usually I do some basting stitches and a touch of glue if the feathers are big.  These babies are small so I just glued them.
 This is what it looked like before I put the ribbon flower on.
 Affixed the ribbon flower...
 3.  Glue on the clips to the backs of the felt.  Let dry.  They should be ready to wear in about 5-10 minutes.
 The final product:
 I also made some tulle and bead ones as well.  I cut the tulle in different size circles and then sewed them together and affixed beads to the middle.
 Here are the beads:
 I sewed the beads through some felt on the back so that there was an anchor for the clip.
 Next I made another circle the same size in the felt to cover the stitch marks and glued. 

 Then I glued the clips on to the felt.
 The finished product:

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Very easy soap making

Soap making is new to me.  As in, I've been doing it since Saturday and it is only Tuesday.  I have to say I've totally fallen in love with it.  It's EASY and the product is beautiful and you can create something useful in very little time.  This is very very easy soap making because you will be buying pounds of glycerin that you break up and melt and make fabulous. 

I bought two different kinds of glycerin.  One was the "olive oil" clear variety in the picture below.  And the other was the white version that was "goat milk."  I found mine at Michaels.  They sell different pound sizes of glycerin.  I stuck with the two pounders because they were easy to cut, but you can buy 5 and 10 pound blocks as well.  I also bought a number of other scents and soap colorings.  That big bag of lavender has been sitting in my closet for three years and I finally had a chance to use it!  You will also need some plastic tupperware to melt the soap in the microwave in, as well as plastic utensils for stirring.  The essential oils go a LONG way in terms of scenting the soap, so use them sparingly.  I also used tons of stuff from my garden and pantry--cinnamon, mint leaves, poppy seeds, rosemary leaves, etc.  For the soap forms, I experimented with cream cheese containers, plastic cups, candy molds, and different size ice cube trays.  The ice cube trays were by far the easiest!  And this is all about easy soap making, not rip your hair out soap making.


The soap you buy will probably come with instructions, but microwave test all of your soaps in small increments (5-10 seconds at a time so you don't light your house on fire).  I used about 8-12 cubes at one time.  Each cube appears to be approximately one ounce, but it may depend on what type of glycerin you buy.

Heat the soap until it is melted.  Mix in with whatever ingredients you want to use.  Seriously, get creative!  And then pour into the mold that you want.  Pop the molds into the freezer for at least 20 minutes.  Take the molds out of the freezer and pop your soap out of the molds.  I would recommend only using plastic molds.  Make sure the molds you are using can withstand some heat otherwise they will melt all over your freezer.  I left the soaps out for two days for them to "harden" but they are ready to be used right away.  Here are some of my creations:

Top is a satsuma with poppy seeds, bottom is mint with mint plants from my garden.

 Top is crazy electric blue again with satsuma, and bottom is BEAUTIFUL lavender soap.  I have to say the lavender turned out super fancy and great smelling.
Top left going clockwise is rosemary, then cinnamon, then satsuma, then mint.  These were also ice cube tray molds!

Made these this morning---they look tasty!  Don't eat the soap!

The finished products so far.
What they look like bagged.  Enjoy!

Friday, December 7, 2012

Re-post: How to make shiny Christmas Ornaments!

This is a re-post from winter 2009.  I've made these every year since then, either for my own tree or for gifts for people.  After making about 40000000 of these, I've stopped doing step 2 during step 2 and left it until the end.  You want to do step 2 if the ornament is going to have a top and bottom.  If it's just random patterns, then you don't need to put the ribbon in until the end.  Here's the tutorial on making sequined Christmas Ornaments:

Merry Crafting!

1. Supplies you will need: Foam balls, ribbon, pins (get shorter ones depending on the size of the foam), and lots and lots of sequins!!!!! You will need more pins that you initially think. One ornament I made had about 180 pins in it!
2. Pin the ribbon into the ball.3. Pin the sequins in any shape and direction you want around the ball.
Here are some pictures of my finished products. It takes awhile to do one ornament, but it's a good activity for a rainy day or while watching tv! Try it! It would make a great holiday present too.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Organizing the Craft Room

Life has been crazy lately and I have been extra lazy about cleaning.  So much so that everything around the house was getting thrown into the craft room and the door shut.  The craft room became the CRAP room, and my projects started leaking out into the rest of the house, much to the distaste of Husbando who is basically relegated to a corner of the living room.  Poor guy!

Last year we worked with Belinda Beebe of Organize for Joy to help us pack and move and unpack multiple times.  Belinda is fantastic--her blog has all sorts of great organizational tips.  She helped me decide how to store all of my fabric and other notions and craft stuff, I just haven't been keeping up with it.  So this last Sunday, I spent the entire day (except for the evening SF Giants game) cleaning and purging the craft room.  This is what it looked like before:

Fucking embarrassing huh?  I like to broadcast my shame to the world because it encourages me to keep things clean.  So I cleaned all day.  I organized things into piles and then plastic baggied most of the stuff into categories that would fit into a small clear plastic bin.  Here's the beginning of the thread and bobbin storage.  If anyone has a baby in your life--save those baby food jars!  They are great for little knickknacks like buttons or sparkly things that would otherwise get lose.
 I have a ton of ribbon and lace.  I don't know if this is how I'll keep it forever because I actually need better access to it, but I got it organized so we will start there.
I placed all of my fabric into two LARGE bins.  One bin is for fabric under a yard, and the other bin is for fabric significantly over a yard.  That really separates my collection into two categories:  for the fabric under a yard I can make bags, purses, and anything small; the bin with the longer yards will most likely be apparel fabric or for multiple smaller projects.  This was a great success in my mind as so often I start a project thinking I have more fabric than I really do and have to go back to the fabric store.  This way I know from the get go!

Here is an after picture--yes I know there is still stuff on the floor.  This is pre-vacuum and for some reason I don't have pictures of after that.  What an improvement!  I even changed the layout.  Now I have a sewing table and a cutting table and a reading corner.  The fabric is in the storage containers under the cutting table.

 Here's the closet.  Look at that!  I can actually find stuff!

I decided to make some curtains since that window is naked.  Now I have a nice little sewing and reading corner.

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

A Nice Day in Petaluma: Part II Lagunitas Brewery Tour

A few weeks ago we ventured to Petaluma for a fabulous day of eating, drinking and shopping.  One of the stops on our tour was the Lagunitas Brewery.

We did a beer tasting and tour with KQED.  My favorite beer by far was the Day Time beer.  Low alcohol content (also known as perfect for DAY drinking).  I tracked it down at Safeway--but it's in limited release so keep your eyes peeled.  We were in the "upstairs" bar area that is reserved for non profits having parties.  Here are some of the fun things that were upstairs:

 Yup--that's the leg lamp from A Christmas Story!!!!!!!
 The bar with our gift bags!  Thanks KQED!
 I wish we had a set up like this in our house. 
 The dog face on the beer glasses.  We now have two of them and they are the coveted glasses in the house.
 There's husband riding a Lagunitas saddle!  Love that Cynget shirt baby!
 Too funny--the bartender said the upstairs was "decorated" by dudes who got married whose wives wouldn't let them keep their bachelor stuff in the new grown up house.  So basically decades of storage lockers and bachelor pads came to die up here.  I loved it!
Here are some pics from the actual tour.  I was pretty drunk by this point (and was not driving) so I don't really remember much but Husbando remembers all the stories.  Definitely worth a venture up to Petaluma to do the tour!