Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Spring Mantle Reveal

Well, here it is, finally! The Spring Mantle is complete! Well, almost. I can't help but continue to adjust and make changes, so it already looks different. And, it will be changed again, since I am putting my Patriotic Wreath back on the front door, I will move what's there to here and switch it up a bit more. Anyone else do that? Is it to keep things fresh, or because you want to display everything and you continue to get or make new things? I'm guilty of the later, for sure.

Sorry for the blurry pictures. In a bit of a rush to take them before guests arrived for a birthday party :)

So, to re-cap, I shared three new projects with you for Spring (I know, it's Summer, now - don't judge!). 

The Crochet Hoop Art was a fun little project. I loved creating the trim pattern. I'm sure I will use it on future projects, maybe some pillowcases?

This little Spring Crochet Tree will surely show up again in the future. Removing the daisies opens it up for a lot of possibilities. The crocodile stitch was really addictive once I got the hang of it. And, the tutorial I found was such a big help.

The final project, the Spring Yarn Wreath, so the most fun. The ombré yarn made such a cool pattern. And, the pink flower added just the right punch, but can so easily be changed.

The added touches were mostly things I had around the house or were given. The green bird - a cute ceramic watering can - was a gift from a student, as was the potted ivy. The dragonfly tea light holder was another gift. The "SPRING" blocks were a sale purchase from Hobby Lobby. The cross, tea cup and saucer, lantern, and pillow were mine from the past. The ivy vine trimming the windows and the bird houses is also from Hobby Lobby. And, the bird houses were from Michael's, finished with a bit of craft paint for a bright touch. Oh, and the "B" you've seen in my post My 1st Attempt at Washi Tape. The rest you've seen before in my Touch of Vintage Mantle.

Share with us your favorite part of this mantle. I'd love to hear from you!

Monday, June 24, 2013

Spring Yarn Wreath

This Spring Wreath was a last minute addition to my Spring Mantle, but it turned out to be my favorite part. Even made a few adjustments so it would the the focal point.  Although, since then, I put it on the front door to show it off more.

This project follows the same instructions as the Patriotic Wreath from July 2012. Although, my materials are different.

Yarn Bee brand yarn in Breeze
Round styrofoam Wreath
Yarn needle

Simple list for a simple craft. Begin by holding the end of the yarn at the back of the wreath with a tail. Wrap the yarn over the front and through the hole around the back and over the top again. Repeat. Be sure to wrap over the tail end. 

As you wrap, overlap the last round of yarn on the underside of the wreath (toward the center) for every other or every third round. Do this by laying the yarn over the last wrapped strand and hold it as you make the next wrap around, laying the next strand against the one previous to what you are holding. Release the strand and it will lay on top of the two. This allows the yarn on the outer part of the wreath to cover the surface fully while the yarn on the underside must be made more "condensed." Repeat around. 

Note: the yarn used in this project is ombré, and you will need to adjust your pattern of overlaps as needed. Try to overlap strands of matching color in case they slip over the other side as you can see in the following picture.

At the end, check to make sure all of the surface of the wreath is covered. Finish where the last wrap matches or coordinates with the first wrap.

Hold tight (or temporarily tape the end while you cut it and thread the needle) and use a large eye yarn needle to sew the end into the back of the wreath under the last rounds. 

Attach flower. This one came with a pin backing and alligator clip attached.

To mount, this wreath needed two loops attached to the back, one on each side, which were used to hang it on two thumb tacks on the window. Use small pieces of the yarn and sew each under several strands on the back of the wreath then tie the ends together to make a loop. To place on my front door, I tied a ribbon to it at the top and hung it from that.

Hang your creation, and enjoy! I'd love to see yours. Share them with us here. 

You've now seen all three projects from my Spring Mantle. 

Next up, I'll share the final reveal, so stay tuned . . .

Friday, June 21, 2013

Spring Crochet Tree

Here is the second installment of projects for my Spring Mantle. So appropriate on this first day of Summer, don't you think? You might have figured out, I am quite the procrastinator. But, at least I am getting these posts done. You have no idea how many projects I completed, but never posted because they were passed the season. Looks like I have my New Year's Resolution for next Year - how's that for planning ahead!

I had a lot of fun making this little tree. I found the original at The Crochet Crowd. The original design was for a Fall tree, but then was re-created for an elaborate Spring tree. This one is far simpler. I wanted to feature the crocodile stitch used instead of the added ornaments. One tip: because the styrofoam cone used here (I actually reused the one from my A Touch of Vintage Mantle), is white, I first covered it with a piece of scrap fabric of the same color. This kept the white from showing through between stitches and made it easy to remove the crochet piece. I chose a bright green color yarn for Spring, but I think this one can be altered for Christmas, as well. And, I think it would be beautiful in white with snow decorations. Or pink or red for Valentine's Day. Oh, what about red, white, and blue? So many possibilities.

Now, my daughter thought it looked a bit goofy and outdated. I admit it falls into the more traditional category of crochet crafts - reminding me a bit of those crochet dolls made to cover air-fresheners. Anyone else remember those?

So, be gentle - but I'd love your comments. What do you think - is it something you would make - or use for decoration?

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Crochet Trimmed Hoop Art

This is the first project of three I will post about my Spring Mantle. I realize, it is nearly Summer, but I'm sure you can understand how crazy Spring can be with three kids! I will roll this project out beginning with each separate craft, then a final reveal of the entire mantle. I have seen several printables and machine cut-outs with cute spring shapes, like bunnies and chicks. I thought I would do this, but a little differently.

You can create art out of nearly anything. This project proves it. These are made from muslin fabric with paper cutouts applied to it, inserted into an embroidery hoop with a crochet trim. Sounds like a lot, but it's really very simple.

Embroidery hoop
Muslin, or any scrap fabric
Embroidery floss, one skein for each hoop size 8" or smaller (you may need a second if you tend to crochet loosely, or for good measure - mine was nearly the perfect length, but I had to substitute a similar color for a couple because it ran short)
C2/2.75 mm crochet hook
Yarn sewing needle
Scrapbook paper, printer, scissors
Mod Podge
Sponge paintbrush
Wax paper

Begin with the crochet trim.
Chain the length needed to fit around the hoop. This project used an 8" hoop, so I crocheted a chain 120 ch long. (For other lengths, chain a multiple of 3 plus 2) Do not turn. Begin foundation chain, in 2nd bar (underside of chain) from the end; sc, *ch2, skip 2 stitches, sc in next stitch*. Repeat between *s to end.

Turn, *ch1, in ch2 space [dc, tc, dc], ch1, sc in next stitch*. Repeat between *s to end. Fasten off leaving length of floss as the tail.

Thread the remaining floss on sewing needle. Whip stitch onto outer hoop ring, place stitches into sc of foundation chain. At the end, sew to beginning of trim around the screw closure.

For paper cut outs, search for clip art of your choice. Print onto scrapbook paper in a light gray. Cut out.

Trim fabric to fit the hoop frame. Mod Podge entire piece of fabric and insert into frame while wet. Apply paper cut out to fabric. Be careful not to have too much mod podge on fabric, or the paper will wrinkle. Dry on wax paper. Once dry, mod podge over paper. Allow to dry again on wax paper.
Then hang and enjoy. These could be made for any occasion, holiday decor or even using photos.

Share yours with us, I'd love to see them!

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Father's Day Frame and 1 Year Blogiversary - A Bit Belated

Ok, so those of you who have forgotten a family or friend's birthday or anniversary might relate. But those few of you who have forgotten your own anniversary, can really relate. I FORGOT my own BLOGIVERSARY! With so much going on right now it slipped right by. I should have posted this celebration last Sunday, June 9th. Sorry for the delay.

In celebration, I want to share with you a quick, last minute Father's Day craft. This Washi Tape Frame.

This is great for those rolls of washi tape you have been collecting, or to try it for the first time.

Chosen picture with same size paper mache or wooden frame
Washi Tape - I used 3 different prints
1" cube of polymer clay
Scrap of heavy card stock - can use tags, or artist trading cards
Select scrapbook embellishments, stamps and ink
E6000 glue

First, prime your clay and shape it into a heart, press stamps into the heart of the kids names or initials. I had hoped to use their thumb prints, but this clay doesn't take on the print only the shape of the thumb. Oh well,I liked the initials, too. Bake as directed, and cool.

Cute, Huh?

While baking, apply washi tape to the frame as I showed in my My 1st Attempt at Washi Tape. Although, note, this project went much better than that one. Use the directions for modpodge if desired for the wooden frame. For this project, I used a paper mache frame, and the tape stuck well enough. So the modpodge was not needed.

Space out where you want to apply your embellishments, leaving space for the clay heart. I used miniature letter stamps for both my quote and kids initials in the clay. I suggest you glue everything on even if they are stickers. You know how rough Hubby can be handling things. And, you want this to be sturdy enough to sit on his desk :)

Note: the frame labeled "Papa" is for Grandpa, that's their nickname for him. I couldn't find a sticker for that, so I printed the name, and traced the shape of the "Father" sticker onto scrapbook paper and onto the same cardstock as the quote. I then used foam tape to stick together with a bit of dimension. If I had more time, I would have laminated them, but this was a last minute gift, of course. 

Insert your picture and it's done. In just an hour or so, too! Well, not including drying time for the glue - it needs about 24 hours. You could speed it up by using tacky glue or hot glue.

Be sure to add a big hug and kiss from everyone when he opens it - and have a Happy Father's Day!