Friendship Bracelets

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I’ve really enjoyed using “Hand Made Gifts Made Easy” instructions to make embroidery cord.  You create a wheel out of cardboard, download the free patterns, and then follow the very clear instructions on how to make the bracelets.  Check the bracelets out, I’ve already tried the checkered one, and it worked really well.  I used it as a loop on a pouch, but you can make a longer version for a bracelet.

 

Christmas Bunting Advent Calendar

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I know I’m talking Christmas already however I start making things for the holidays at the beginning of September.

I’ve wanted to make an advent calendar for a couple of years.  So after working through various designs this is what I came up with.

Twenty four little pouches, for each day of advent.  Add a little surprise to open each day, e.g. quotes from your favorite authors, or a homemade decoration for the tree, or a homemade gingerbread man.   I took photos before I added the numbers, however this gives a sense of how the bunting will work.

Next blog will step through how to make the pouches, and then I’ll talk about the different designs.

 

Straw Seed Bead Holders

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Just a little project today. I’ve been making strings of seed beads for necklaces. While I was working on the necklaces I found I had a small amount of beads left. I only had large seed bead containers. I had a few plastic straws that I’d received in take outs, so I decided to seal the end of a straw, fill with see beads using a purpose built scoop (instructions below). Then seal the top using cello tape.  The straws are easy to store, and recycles plastic straws that otherwise wouldn’t have been used.

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Scoop
1. Cut a three inch length from a straw.

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2. Seal one end with cello tape. I pinched the end of the straw, and then placed the tape across the pinched end, then I placed another piece of tape around the top of the straw.
3. Cut through the straw at the other end, and cut the top off, leave the bottom.

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4. Curve the bottom edges, to create the scoop.

Lessons Learned: Weaving

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During the weaving project I tried to reduce the amount of sewing required to finish the project.  So when I cut the felt, I created slits in the fabric rather than cutting through the one end.

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Then I tried weaving through the slits using needles.  It took me a lot longer because it wasn’t easy to weave the felt.  I realized by having the loose strands of felt (like below) it made it a lot easier to work with the felt.

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So although I had the additional step of sewing, overall it was the better way to go.

 

Imperfect projects

It’s easy to post the results of a great craft project, the photos look great, you get lots of compliments and you are really pleased with it. How many attempts did it take you? Often the answer to that is, a lot. Until I get the hang of a technique, for every successful project I have 3 or 4 attempts that haven’t quite worked out.

However over time I’ve realized the lessons learned from the failures are more valuable than showing you what to do.

So I’m going to start a “Lessons Learned” section where you can see the failed projects and maybe learn what not to do.

Decorating Bar-b-que Snacks

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I love bar-b-que season.  This year my gift at my friends party is home-made olive tampenade.  Tampenade is a mixture of finely chopped olives and sundried tomatoes (1 cup of sundried tomatoes to every 3 cups of olives) that you spread on toasted bread.   I had a spare mason jar, which I filled to the brim and added a square of fabric (secured with a rubber band) and added one of the tags I stamped with a jar rubber stamp. Note that i didn’t use paper. In the art section of Dick Blick I found very thin sheets of wood. You can cut them with scissors.  I stamped a jar, then added the “olives” with alphabet rubber stamps.  The wood came in long thin strips as you can see below.  I then cut them into tags and punched a hole in the top!

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Crafty Tip: Loom bands container.

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A little plastic snack box from wholefoods makes the perfect transportable container for the rainbow loom bands! I hot glued two pieces of felt together and made a little pouch, to fit into the top of the box.  It keeps accessories tidy, and ensures the different color bands do not mix together too much when you close the lid.  If I had more time I’d embroidery the top, or add some ribbon!

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