30 October 2011

Handmade Christmas Part 1: Shabby Rag Wreath

Confession: I have too many wreaths. About six at last count, yet I only have one front door. However, that's not going to deter me from making yet another one.

I've had some simple bamboo hoops laying around for ages which I intended to turn into more dream hoops but never quite got around to it. So I figured, because I really need another wreath, to turn one into a shabby rag wreath. Here's how to do it:

I found some Christmassy fabrics in my stash (red striped ticking, calico and a pretty fleur-de-lys voile plus some other scraps) and cut them into a big pile of 1 x 6 inch strips (a rotary cutter comes in handy for this). Then, you might want to put something good on telly because tying them all on can be a little  brain-numbing.

I gave my fabric strips a haircut when I was finished because it looked a bit like a shaggy dog with lots of uneven straggly bits. Then I found some glittery gold ribbon and wrapped it loosely round the wreath with a loop at the top.

Now comes the fun bit - I had a MDF star shape in my box of tricks (that was meant to be turned into a door hanger for Holly's room, but that never happened either) so I covered it with lots of PVA glue and strips of old sewing pattern. Once it had dried I layered it with red ink, vintage photo distress stain, black cherry glimmermist, silver glimmermist and gold ink until my hands were so red and sparkly I looked like I'd just murdered an elf.

I found a little iron-on applique to glue to the middle of the star, glued the whole thing together and gave it all a liberal spray of silver glimmermist. Voila!

Now I just need another door to hang it on...

06 October 2011

Upcycled bag: Boring to awesome in 5 easy steps

A few weeks back, one of my work colleagues gave me a stack of advertising leaflets he'd picked up at a recent firefighting industry expo. This little mound of assorted paperwork was handed to me by Nick inside a simple black shoulder bag, with the expo logo emblazoned on the front. It had little pen pockets and nice long straps and was made of sturdy cotton drill... and it was big enough to fit all my usual necessities plus nappies plus a million kid-sized snacks... the perfect bag! But how to make it less ugly?

1. My initial thoughts were to sew a few crocheted doilies over the logo - but then again, sticking a doily on it is my solution to a lot of things. A large hot pink lace doily, a small green one and a cross stitched napkin fitted over the logo perfectly. But it was a bit too frou-frou frilly, and I was intending to use it for work, so I kept looking for something a bit more modern, but still pretty.

1. At the bottom of my fabric box, I found this little Apple & Bee cotton drawstring bag which was a freebie giveaway with a magazine years ago. It fitted perfectly over the screenprinted fire logo, so I sewed it on with contrasting red thread. Then I realised I needed to add velcro to the inside, as the pocket gaped open and wasn't very practical.

3. The back had great pockets but was pretty dull, so I added a little ribbon pull tab and some velcro to the main pocket.

4. So I had a front pocket for my Moleskine and my diary, a back pocket for my keys, but where do I put my phone? A bit of salvaged navy cotton drill from my hubby's old work pants made a neat little inner pocket. I also put a strip of velcro along the top of the bag itself, in between the handles for extra security.

5. A bit of dangly stuff on the front pocket - a jump ring from my scrapbooking stash, an old skeleton key and some pretty blue cotton ribbon - and I've got a great little bag that suits my work gear during the week and comfortably holds all the kiddy junk on weekends!

What kind of things have you turned from drab to fab?

03 October 2011

Sneak peek...

Look what I've been making... lots and LOTS of lotus flowers!

I love making these, folding paper repetitively is very therapeutic. Plus, they are my own little design, discovered whilst fiddling with paper shapes in front of the telly one evening!

Many different packs to be listed in the RaineCloud store soon.

Enjoy the remaining hours of your long weekend!

01 October 2011

A fresh start!

As you will note from the date of my last post, my blog has been somwhat neglected of late. In fact, the last time I posted was on my 30th birthday, so this could be some kind of age-related re-evaluation crisis / rethink of priorities, or maybe I just need a broader canvas for everything that wants to tumble out of my brain.

Anyway - onward and upward! This fresh new look is a mash up of my personal craft and scrapbooking projects, as well as representing my two online stores, RaineCloud (for vintage papercrafty goodness) and Porkchop (for baby gear, funky gifts, and doily garlands).

Love to hear your comments as always!