Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Pokemon ABC Cross Stitch Pattern

Hey guys!

Time for another cross stitch pattern! This one is a Pokemon-themed ABC cross stitch.   Download here: Pokemon ABC

This pattern is 126x230 stitches, or 6.89"x12.67" on 14 count aida!  The colors in the pattern use DMC numbers.

Now for the boring stuff:  I am in no way affiliated with the Pokemon Company.  This pattern is not intended for sale or resale, nor is the finished product.  This is simply fan art!

Happy stitching!

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Minecraft ABC Cross Stitch Pattern

Hi everyone!

So, you all know I like to make geek-themed cross stitch patterns for the shop.  I'm going to start giving some of them away, as I'm looking to a bit of a new direction to take the shop in.  My first love is (and probably always will be) plush and pillow making.  I'm at a point where I can continue doing what sells, but give up what I want to do.  And what, may I ask, is the point of running my own tiny business if I'm not doing what I'm most passionate about?  Sure, I may only make enough to pay for my gym membership and pay my Wild Star fee per month,  but I'm having fun doing it!  In other words, I'm really more into doing this for fun than for profit.  Obviously.

However, I hate for the hard work I put into these patterns to go to waste as I slowly change my shop around to incorporate more geeky plush and pillows this fall.  So, I'm giving some away for free!  Starting with the Minecraft ABC pattern.  I know a lot of people like it, and I spent a long time making it.  So you can download free!  Consider this fan art!

Download the pattern here!

This is in no way endorsed by Notch or Mojang, or an official Notch/Mojang/whathaveyou product.  It was made by me, for fan use only, and not to be sold or have the finishing product sold!

The ABC's of this pattern are as follows:
Axe, Bucket, Creeper, Diamond, Enderman, Fence, Ghast, Hoe, Iron Ore, Jukebox, Kitten, Lava, Melon, Nether block, Orange Tulip, Pig, Quartz, Redstone, Sword, TNT, Unbreaking Enchant, Villager, Water, X-Axis, Yellow Dye and Zombie!

That seriously took me forever and a day to come up with.  Especially X.

Enjoy stitching, guys!  I'd love to see some of them completed!!

Monday, August 4, 2014

How to Make a Hollowed Out Felt-Lined Book

For some reason, my husband loves hollowed out books.  I had been promising to make him one for forever, and I finally got around to it!  I love it when those back-burner crafts get done!

This is a rather time consuming craft, for what it is.  It took me the better part of two hours without drying time.   With drying time, I'd say about six or seven hours.  It also uses a sharp blade, so be careful!!

I'd say a beginner (with patience) could do this!
For this project you will need:
A sponge brush
A book
Plastic wrap
Modge Podge
A blade
A pen
Cardboard scrap
Hot Glue

Before we even get started, let me tell you a few pointers to make this a lot easier for you.  Use a brand new blade!  It will help you immensely!  Of course, the thinner the book, the less time it will take, but the smaller the compartment will be.  And lastly, do not skimp on the Modge Podge! If it takes three coats instead of two, then give the book three coats!  Patience will pay off greatly in the end for this project both in quality and how long this lasts. That being said, my husband has been using this book for about two months with no problems at all!  So I'd say, yes you can give this as a wonderful and unique gift.

The hubs has an obsession with old books as well, so of course I went on eBay and found a set seven of these books for less than $10.  I know, some people will be screaming obscenities at me for cutting up a book.  Believe it or not, I'm a huge book reader.  But I wouldn't read these books, and I figure I'm saving them from a much worse life than being turned into a hollowed out amazingly awesome Shawshank Redemption-esque book.  Plus, I have SEVEN copies.

Now let's all breathe, and continue!

You'll want to preserve your cover and save it from the stickiness of your Modge Podge, so the first step is to cover your cover in plastic wrap!  Open the book to the covers, and tuck in your plastic wrap all the way to the binding.  The wrap sticking to itself was enough for me to keep the wrap in place, but if you need a little more security, feel free to use a few pieces of tape on the plastic. Just be careful not to catch the book pages!

Once your cover is safe and sound behind it's protective barrier, it's time to break out the Modge Podge.  Using your sponge brush, saturate the pages (while the cover is closed!).  Only get the edges of the pages, do not open the book and saturate the inside! We need that part to stay soft!

This is the difficult part.  Place your book underneath something heavy and walk away!  Let it dry!  This will take a few hours, my first coat took about an hour and a half.  I just used old college textbooks to weigh mine down (I knew I had been keeping those for something!)  When you check on it, and it is dry, you can remove the weight from the book and open the cover.  Be sure all of your pages are stuck together!  If they aren't, repeat the Modge Podge process over and over until they are.  I recommend at least two coats for durability!

Once your pages are all stuck together, it's time to start hollowing out your book.  I measured a one inch border around my book, and cut a piece of cardboard to that size (see the picture for what I mean... the cardboard is two inches smaller on the width and length than the book is!).  I traced around the cardboard onto the page of the book.  This will be your guidelines for cutting out the pages.

Now it's time to start slicing away.  Only try to do a few pages at a time, it will be easier on your hands and you have to push a lot less.  Your lines will also come out cleaner.  Once you have a good indent started, you can start making "X" shapes through the pages after you cut the border around them and it makes it a lot easier to pull out pages.  This took me an entire Disney movie to do, but at least the kids were entertained.

Ta-da!  A hollowed book!  It doesn't have to be perfect, we are going to line it with felt, afterall.  This is such a messy project, I really wish I had a trash bag there.  But, it was worth it.  You can see how the first cover page in my book decided to come up after a while of cutting, but that's ok.  A little Modge Podge, some time to dry, and it stuck down just fine.  Be sure to do all the re-Modge-Podging before you line the book.  

I decided to go almost all the way down through the book pages, but not all the way.  This way, I didn't take a risk of damaging the back cover on accident. All that time and work, it would be a shame to have to scrap a project because I poked a hole through the back cover.

To line the book, I just used a cheap 25 cent sheet of felt I picked up at my local hobby store.  I measure how deep the book was carved out, and added twice that measurement to the cardboard cutout I used to measure how large to cut the hole in the book.  Then I cut that measurement out of the felt!    For instance, if your cardboard template was 6x4 inches, and the hole in your book is 1" deep, then your felt you cut out should be 8x6 inches!  

Snip the corners of your felt diagonally toward the middle on each corner.  If you are cutting something off you are doing it wrong!  All you have to do is cut a slit on each corner! This is so there is no bunching of fabric when you glue it in.  Using hot glue, glue the felt (centered well!) into the book, then glue on each side.  Lastly, glue each corner in, and overlap the fabric where you need to to get it nice and smooth looking.  

Let it dry, and voila!  Your own hollowed out book to hide all your goodies in!  I really do suggest, if you are planning on using this to actually hide things, use a book you would actually have on your bookshelf.  Nothing says "look at me" like a huge book on Psychology on your manga-filled shelf!

Have fun and happy crafting!

Thursday, July 31, 2014

How To: Make a Pincushion Jar

Of all the things I own in my crafty stashes, I didn't own a pincushion.  You can imagine... this resulted in a lot of lost pins later being found by my feet, and in even worse scenarios, the palm of my hand.    What I really wanted was a pincushion jar, so I could put my safety pins along with my needles and stick pins.  Try as I might, I couldn't find anything like this in my local hobby stores.... so it had to be DIY'ed!

This project is relatively simple, and a beginner could easily do this!
You will need:
A scrap of fabric, mine was about 4"x4"
A jar - I found mine half off at my hobby store for less than $1
A piece of cardboard
Thread and needle
A pen
Hot glue

Most of the things I had on hand already, and the only thing I had to buy was the jar - so this project cost me less than $1!  It would be easy to make this project completely free!  You could always save a jar from the trash when you finish up that pasta sauce or jelly, save some cardboard from a box you are going to throw away, or save those sad beat up stuffed animals that your kids murder and reuse their stuffing (yep, I do it!).

My lid wasn't like one of those mason jar lids that come apart into two pieces, but if yours is you can skip this step and just use the inner part of the lid as your cardboard piece instead.  Take your lid, and trace around it onto your cardboard, then cut it out.  It should fit on top of your lid without going over the edges - trim it down if you need to!  We aren't looking for perfect, just no overhang.

Next, we want to add our stuffing so our pins have something to punch in to.  I took a wad of stuffing and balled it up as tightly as possible.  I like my pincushions very very firm!  Then you'll take your scrap fabric (be sure it will fit all the way around the fluffings and all edges will hit underneath the cardboard!)  and cover the stuffing.

For me it was easiest to put the fabric over the stuffing, then flip it over so that I had access to the bottom.  I began sewing with a running stitch, first hitting each corner, then going around again and again, each time gathering the fabric in tighter by putting the needle and thread through loose areas of the fabric.  I probably went around about three times before I was satisfied.  This doesn't have to be pretty!  Just strong enough to hold it together.  Flip it over and voila!  Pincushion top!

Now you'll want your hot glue.  Center your top onto your lid, and glue that sucker down really well.  Be careful if your lid is metal, it will conduct heat from the glue while it cools and you don't want to burn your fingers!

Now, you could technically be done.  But I like my work to have a pretty, finished look about it.  I didn't like that seam of space between the cushion and the lid.  I took a drop of hot glue and attached the end of the ribbon to the lid near the seam between the lid and cushion, then wrapped it tightly around twice.  I made sure all the metal was covered, then I ended the ribbon at the same area where I began wrapping.  Cut and glue!  To hide the ribbon seams, I made a small bow, and attached with glue.

Now you're done!  Super cute, right?  This has come in so handy, and I have been using it for about ten weeks now with no wear or tear on it.

Thanks for looking - and have fun crafting!

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Back from Break!

Goodness, it's been a while since my last post!  I didn't mean to take the summer off from blogging, but it seems I almost did.  I have a lot of projects lined up for the next few entries.  Let's just say, life  has been super hectic!  A lot has been going on.  We found out my sister was pregnant with twins as well (yay, a boy and girl!) So I have been planning her baby shower, which happens to be on Saturday!  Also, I have upgraded my camera to a Nikon D5200 24.1 MP digital SLR camera.  We also built our office!

Our living room was enormous... and I mean GIANT.  Crazy giant.  It was a lot of wasted space.  So we decided to put up some walls in the living room to create an office, so I'd have a dedicated business area.  That took weeks!  You can see the before/after below!  I am going to dedicate a post to it once it's completely done, we are still waiting on the crown molding and the rest of the trim for the doors.  What's GREAT about my new office is the upgraded lighting! We opted for natural colored light bulbs (instead of those yellow tinted ones) so my pictures for the blog will be super updated and fancy-shmancy with my new camera.

And here's a preview of the projects coming up!

I'll have to do a post on some of the baby shower prep I did, too.  It's super cute!

Also, I have a slight confession... yes, I am a complete dork.  I have been doing costume work for a con called Geekfest that I will be attending with my (also super geeky) husband next month.  May do a few posts about that, too - costuming is fun, and is sewing, afterall!!

Oh, we also adopted a new kitty, Midna!  You can see her in some pictures, being super "helpful".

Until a bit later this week, after baby shower madness, when project how-to's resume!

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

The Twin's My Little Pony Themed Second Birthday Party

And birthday month comes to a close!  This month has been insane!  My husband's birthday, along with the twins and my grandfather's... not to mention Easter.  Nuts!  But it's over now, and we're prepping for Mother's Day in two weeks!

I thought I'd share a few pictures of the twin's birthday party.  As you know, it was My Little Pony themed.  They had a really good time!  I'm sad I didn't get more pictures, but I was so busy.  

This was our table spread, nothing too amazing!  I had tulle in rainbow colors coming down from the ceiling against the windows as a backdrop, with white paper lanterns to simulate clouds at the top.  I loved it.  When the light went though it, it was gorgeous!  Decorating was a lot simpler than I thought it would be.  I just got all the girl's Ponies and placed them everywhere - even on the cake!  I believe in reusing things as much as possible.  The other small detail that was one of my favorites, and I'm sad I didn't get a closer picture of, was the silverware and container.  The kids had a BUNCH of jelly beans from Easter, and I needed something to fill a vase so I could put the silverware in it.  So, I filled up the vase with jelly beans by sorting them by color, and then placing them in the vase in rainbow order.  You can see it in the photo above, really tiny! 

Needless to say, the twins got a lot of gifts.  Our kids are very lucky, and very loved.  We went all out this year, instead of making everything by hand, we saved ourselves some time and bought themed items such as tablecloths.  In the picture above you can see the girl's presents from us.  We took them to Build-a-Bear in Austin and they chose a Pony to make for themselves.  They loved it, and hey! They turned into more decoration!  You can also see their themed outfits.  The girls got a My Little Pony shirt each, which by the way is very difficult to find in 18 month size!  Our girls are small for their age, even though they were full term. Our solution?  eBay. 

For the cake, I kept it pretty simple.  By the time I took this picture, the frosting was beginning to melt from the heat of so many people in our house.  But - still cute!  I made an ombre cake and put the small $4 Ponies on the top, with some small bunting made from felt scraps I had lying around, ribbon and wooden skewers.  Then each girl got one candle to blow out!

Did I say I was getting an office?  Yep!  And my husband is getting one, too!  We have an impossibly large living room in our house.  I'm talking over 20x20 feet. So, we moved our dining table to the breakfast nook (which fits an eight seater table comfortably), and the dining room (which will be my husband's office once we get walls up) is temporarily a play room while we do construction on the living room to make a part of that my office.  Confusing, yes.  I live in a state of flux here, when it comes to construction.  Any way, this is the kid's playroom.  We got a fold out table for extra seating, and you can see our Pinkie Pie pinata being used as temporary decoration before the kids were set loose upon it.  Up on the ceiling is a balloon dragon I made up for my husband's birthday, and he didn't want me to pop him just yet.  He was on-theme, so I kept him out for the party.  There ARE dragons around Ponyville, you know! More on him later in my next post!

 And finally, the pinata.  What kid doesn't like to beat something and get candy for it?  My kids sure do.  However, their daddy had to deal the ending blow!

That was it!  Our My Little Pony twin's second birthday party.  It was a lot of fun, a lot of work, and the kids had a great time so of course it was all worth it.  My son is saying he wants a Sonic or Angry Bird's birthday in September.  We shall see.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

DIY Dry Erase Weekly Calendar Frames

Hi guys!  This week has been super hectic for me, with numerous trips to the doctor with sick kids (my oldest one has spots, even... viruses. Sigh..)  So I have a quick and easy project! I'm a little obsessed with calendars, and keeping track of dates.  It makes life so much easier when I can just look at my notebook and see what's going on that week.  The rest of my family, however, isn't so schedule-oriented.  So, to help, I decided to make this neat little dry erase set of frames!  This took me a little over an hour to do, and cost me less than $10 total.  

For this project, you'll need:

7 frames 
Scrapbooking paper (for each frame)
Alphabet stickers

And that's it!  I went to my local dollar store for the frames.  Can't beat a dollar a piece.  They aren't the highest quality, but they surely do the job!  The stickers and paper I had in my scrapbook box.  I absolutely always check out the clearance section when I go to my hobby stores.  Their sticker packs I find there may be missing a few letters here and there, but the price reduction is well worth a missing sticker. 

To begin, take apart your frames.  You can keep the glass in the front of the frame, you don't need to remove that.  Simply take the back of your frame, and trace it on to your scrapbook paper.  Then cut it out!  It should fit perfectly into your frame.  Double check before adding stickers!

Once you're sure the paper fits, spell out a day of the week on your paper with the stickers.  Remember when you do this, there is a lip on the frame that will cover part of your paper, so don't put the stickers directly in the corners or they will be covered up a bit!

Put the paper into your frame, close it up and voila!  You're done!  Now just to repeat it six more times with the other days of the week!  

The twins had a blast with this one.  They didn't get to help much, but they thought they were (which was adorable and made them happy!)

Once you finish all of your frames, hang them up!  You can use any old dry erase marker on the glass, it will wipe right off.  You can also use ribbon, decorative stickers, or anything else that will fit under the frame to decorate these and make them super cute!  

I'm working on a few stuffy patterns, so those will be up soon! Happy crafting!

Monday, April 7, 2014

Baby Name Embroidery Hoop Art

The twin's birthday party is coming up, and one of the people we have invited has just had a baby girl.  I felt like I couldn't leave her out, but she is much too small for a goody bag like her brother would be getting... so I went to Etsy to see what was trending for baby!  I saw a ton of these embroidery hoops with baby names, but they were charging an arm and a leg for them.  So, to the scrap closet I went!  You can make your own hoop, too... If you know basic sewing like a back stitch, and can use a pair of scissors, this is completely easy (and cheap!)

For this project you will need:
An embroidery hoop (I used a 6" wooden hoop)
Fabric to fit your hoop
The name you want to use, printed
A writing utensil
Felt, soft and stiff
Thread (optional: Embroidery thread)
Ribbon (optional, for hanging)

You'll of course want to start with the prep work!  Go on to your computer and choose a font you like (one that you think will be easy to cut out).  I used Pump Demi Bold in Photoshop for my text.  Choose a size text good for your sized hoop.  The longer the name, the larger the hoop you will need. Print!   You will then cut out the letters of the name, and trace them on to the felt you chose for the name.  Be sure you flip the letters backwards when you trace.  This way, if any marker/pencil/what have you is left on the letters after you cut them out, it will be on the back side of the felt!  For the bunting, you will need to cut out triangles of different colored felt.  Mine were a bit over an inch a piece.

I used cotton quilting fabric for the background of this hoop.  Wash, press and stretch your fabric inside of the hoop you want to use.  Before you lay down your felt pieces to sew, be sure your screw is at the very top, so it will hang straight later. I used three strands of embroidery thread and a running stitch to sew the bunting on, using three stitches per each triangle.  For the name, I used a back stitch and three strands of embroidery thread.  I simply stitching through the middle of each letter.

Backing your embroidery hoop is an optional step.  Some people like to leave their hoops open, but I prefer to close mine to give them a more finished look.  I use stiff felt for backing.  Simply take the inner circle of your embroidery hoop (preferably before you start making your project) and trace around it onto the stiff felt.  Then cut the circle out.

Next, you'll need to fold the fabric into the back of the hoop, like the photo above.  Use a running stitch to tightly hold the fabric into place.  Then place the felt circle you cut out earlier over the back of your hoop.

Start by bringing your thread through from the back side of the felt, then use a whip stitch around the entire felt circle securing it to the cotton fabric underneath!

Usually I use a matching thread, so the stitches are less visible, but I used a nice pink so you could see what it looks like completed!  I had the twins "helping" me ... they seem very amazed by sewing, so please excuse the wonky stitches.

Since you can't hang your closed embroidery hoop by the back anymore, you will need some other way to hang it up.  I make a ribbon hanger.  It's really simple!  Just take about one foot of ribbon, and double it over.  You will want to tie a slip knot about half way down the length of your ribbon.  After this is done, place the knot behind the screw at the top, and tie a bow around the screw, underneath it.  

It should look like this when you're done!  Just trim  up the ribbon and you have a hanger!

Ta-da!  Super cute, right?  I think I'm getting a bit obsessed with hoops, now I want to make an entire wall of them for my house...