Saturday, January 8, 2011

Jewelry Wrap: No Sew Project

Joseph and I have our own business with Premier Designs, a wonderful high fashion jewelry company. Our incentive for someone who hosts a jewelry party is one of our petite tennis bracelets. I've been carrying them around in one of those plastic craft/jewelry boxes. I've been thinking recently about purchasing some sort of roll-up jewelry travel case for them. I decided today that I would at least attempt to make something on my own before I purchased one. I had everything I needed already, so it wasn't really going to cost me anything to try. So far, it seems like my project was a success, but we'll see if it ends up in the file with the clock that doesn't work (oh, yeah - my clock doesn't work - I am determined to figure out why it's so finicky!)

Materials Needed:
  • linen dish towel (I purchased mine at Dollar Tree)
  • thin ribbon (1/8 inch?)
  • thicker ribbon (3/4 inch to 1 inch)
  • no sew hem stuff
  • iron
  • hot glue

I started by ironing the dish towel. I bought it a while back, so I ironed it on both sides to smooth out the creases it had from being folded for so long.

Judging by this photo, you'd think I REALLY like pink, but I promise I'm not super froo-froo and dressed in pink all the time.

I also folded it in half and ironed along the folded edge, for two reasons: 1) I didn't need it to be the full length of a standard dish towel, and 2) I wanted it to be a little thicker so it would be a little more sturdy.

I used the no sew hem to seal the "open" edges. I wasn't sure if it would work or not, but I placed two pieces of ribbon (that would become the tie closure) between the two layers of fabric before I ironed the no sew hem. It sort of worked. I added a little hot glue for extra reinforcement.

Once all the edges were fused together, I added the top and bottom pieces of ribbon using hot glue on each end. The thin piece of ribbon is thin enough that I can clasp the bracelets onto it. The thicker ribbon is to help the bracelets stay in place. I just slide the bottom of each bracelet under the ribbon. After I started adding the bracelets, I decided to add an extra dab of hot glue in the center of each ribbon for added stability.

This is what the jewelry wrap looks like when I roll it up.

This is the other side where I tied the ribbon. I made it so there are two pieces of ribbon. I wrap them in opposite directions and then tie a loose knot.

This is what it looks like with the bracelets in it. I think it will hold about 40 tennis bracelets. In case you're curious, I fold the wrap in thirds. I fold the left side over to the middle, then the right side over to the middle, so that it overlaps. Then I fold from top to bottom twice. If you try something like this, you may choose to fold it in a different manner. This just seems to work for me.

I like this project because it was another project where I had everything on hand (I had purchased the dish towel and the thick ribbon for other projects that I never attempted, and I had the thin ribbon and no sew hem as well). Even if I had gone out and purchased the dish towel and ribbon, this would have been a very inexpensive project. The no sew hem would have been the most expensive item, and I only used a small amount of it, probably the equivalent of hemming one pair of pants. A roll of no sew hem lasts a while, and I highly recommend keeping a stock of it. :O)

Disclaimer: This started as an actual sewing project. I had my sewing machine out, and I actually attempted to sew the edges together. The thread kept breaking, and I grew frustrated. Then the no-sew project was born.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

A Clock to Match My Desk

Over the last few days, I've been pondering crafting a clock for my desk/crafting area. My original thought was to use the Silhouette SD to cut numbers from the ivory vinyl I have. Then I was going to adhere the numbers directly to the wall, with the clock mechanism in the middle. The challenge was making the clock mechanism match and stay on the wall.

When I arrived at home last night, I completely changed my plan. I remembered that I had an oval picture frame that no longer had glass in it. My wheels started spinning from there.

Materials Used:
  • old clock I had in my closet
  • picture frame that had a mat
  • fabric
  • flathead screwdriver
  • spray adhesive (just about anything would have worked)
  • number stickers from a scrapbook set I had (optional, because markers would have worked just as well)

Yes, the clock is an advertisement for a prescription. I got it from my gynecologist's office (is it OK for me to say gynecologist on the internet? uh oh, now I've said it twice. Oh, well. I'm leaving it, because that's where I obtained the clock.)

I started by removing the plastic cover from the clock. This was much easier than I anticipated! I simply wedged the flathead screwdriver between the plastic cover and the main part of the clock, and the cover popped out pretty easily. In fact, I put the cover back on so I could take a picture, and it was harder to remove the second time!

The clock mechanism in the back was easy to remove as well (I did learn that the hands should come off first, so do these steps in reverse order of how I did them). Again, I just wedged in the flathead screwdriver and popped it out. (Where I have the black arrow pointing is where I wedged the screwdriver.) Then the hands were really tight on the front of the clock. All I had to do was pop them off.

Once I had the parts of the clock removed, I cut a piece of fabric the size and shape of the back of the frame. After it was cut, I used spray adhesive to hold the fabric in place.

With the fabric in place, I found the center of the frame backing. That was where I needed to make a small hole for the clock mechanism. I was all ready to use a power drill to make the hole (it seemed like a lot of fun!), but I couldn't figure out the power drill (I've never used it before), and Joseph wasn't home. My workaround: I turned the drill bit by hand and made the hole! HA!

The trickiest part was that the hands of the clock were a little finicky. I could hear the clock ticking, but the hands weren't always moving. They're working now, and I honestly don't know what is different.

For the numbers on the clock, I used number stickers that I had in a scrapbook kit. I didn't plan enough, so I ran out of ones before I made it to 11. I solved that problem by using 2 exclamation points. It added a little extra whimsy to the clock, so I'm totally fine with how that worked out.

Because there isn't any glass in the frame, the back doesn't fit as snuggly in the frame as it normally would. To help with that a little, I slipped a couple of washers into the gap and taped them so they wouldn't move. I also taped the clock mechanism so it would stay in place. No one sees the back of the clock, so tape seemed like a good solution.

Overall, I'm really pleased with how it turned out! I love the extra splash of color on the wall, and now I'll know how much time I've spent crafting!

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

My First Silhouette SD Project: A Gift Card Holder

I wasn't sure what I wanted my first project to be. I have several ideas, but I need some additional media for most of those ideas. As I was sitting in front of my laptop contemplating my next move, my eyes fell on a gift card we purchased for a friend of ours whose wedding was over the summer (I believe that qualifies us for the category of SUPER slack). After pondering for a moment, I decided to search the online store for a gift card template. There were several, and I chose a scalloped version (gift_card_holder_-_scalloped_C20090930133857_20509 09/30/2009 ). I also downloaded a group of 3 hearts that I thought were pretty (3_hearts_with_swirls_C00435_19210 01/04/2010 ), with the thought of adding at least one of them as a simple embellishment to the gift card holder.

Then I had the task of selecting paper. I flipped through a few multi-packs I had and decided to use a somewhat masculine patterned paper. It is green, blue, and brown stripes on one side, and it is more of a solid green on the back. I thought that would work well to cut both the gift card template and the hearts out of one sheet of paper (the gift card holder would be the striped side, and the hearts would be the solid side).

Once I made all of my selections, I set up my templates in the Silhouette Studio:

I trimmed the paper down to about 8 inches wide so it would fit through the feeder (it started as 12x12).

I loaded the paper onto the carrier and fed it to the machine (please say it with me: "nom nom nom nom nom"). One of the trickiest things for me at first was lining up the paper on the carrier. I've gotten better at it. Part of my problem originally was probably the fact that I was using printer/copier paper to test out the machine before I started using good paper. It was thinner and seemed to stick to the carrier more than scrapbook paper does.

I left the lid open so you could see inside the Silhouette SD. It looks a lot like a printer, but there is a blade that moves around rather than ink.

I'm going to be honest. I am not incredibly pleased with how my images came out. The cuts look great, but the paper tore. After I wasn't pleased the first go 'round, I decided to try a second time. That time I selected the option to double cut. It didn't seem to make a difference. Perhaps the problem was the paper I used? I'm sure there will be a lot of trial and error, and I'll learn all the little in's and out's soon enough.

Because the paper tore in some spots, I decided to forego using the hearts. The gift card holder seemed good enough. I added a little double sided tape to assemble it (super easy because the Silhouette marked where I needed to make the folds and perferated them a little). I put the tape in the wrong spot on one side, but the gift card still fit. It just isn't centered. I'm trying to let that go.

I thought the outside was too plain without any embellishments at all (since I decided to forego on the hearts), so I opted to add a couple of the pre-fab embellishments that came with the scrapbook paper. The Mother Teresa quote seemed appropriate enough. :O)

The perfectionist in me wishes it were at least a little better. The sleepy, sleepy girl in me thinks it's just fine!

Erica, if you happen to be reading my blog, sorry to spoil your gift! And sorry we didn't give it to you in June. :O)

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Blog #4 - Totally Reasonable

If you know me, you understand why I have four separate blogs. For those of you who don't know me, I'll explain. I'm one of those people who has separate journals for everything - prayer journal, travel journal, diaryesque journal, etc. It seems easier to me to segregate my life into separate journals, and I've taken the same approach with blogging. People who are interested in my photography blog may not be interested in my everydaylife blog, and people interested in my everydaylife blog may not be interested in my weightloss blog, and, of course, the people who read those blogs (people do read them, right?) may not be interested one bit in this new blog. So, long story short, I segregate my blogs for the sake of my readers, not because I'm neurotic.

I've contemplated starting a craft blog for a long time now. It's not because I'm awesome at crafting or because I craft every day (neither of those two things is true). Craft blogging just seems to have helped so many others grow in their crafting abilities. Surely it could help me as well.

I'm starting with a clean desk (I didn't have a slate). When we bought our house, we created a large desk for me that would hopefully be ideal for crafting. The work surface is made from a door, so it's 80 inches wide by 30 inches deep. This is one of the first times it has been free of piles of stuff!

The door rests on top of bookshelves, so I have a lot of storage space for both office and craft supplies. I also use the closet for supplies. I'm well stocked and well organized, so I have no excuse to procrastinate (well, except the fast-approaching bed time and work and our 2 small businesses and ... you get the idea).

I will likely begin with projects that involve my new Silhouette SD. I'm super excited about experimenting with it! I'm especially looking forward to projects involving vinyl (hmmm ... I should put vinyl on an old vinyl album - is that the correct spelling? I don't have time to research.). I have several ideas swirling around in my head.

Some of my Silhouette SD ideas:

  • personalized magnetic "paper dolls" for my little cousin, Juliette

  • a restroom sign to assist guests when they head down our hall

  • Subway art of our goals for 2011 (I know - I'm already late in the game!)

  • etching our last name on some of our Pyrex dishes to assist in identifying our dishes when at potluck dinners (then hosting a potluck dinner so it was worth the effort)

  • JAR Photography decals for our cars

I'm excited to get started! Maybe I'll have time for a project this week. :O)