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1  OCCASIONS AND HOLIDAYS / Winter Holidays / The knitty knitty bang bang wreath / Crafting under the influence on: October 07, 2009 06:15:13 PM
The final result:



It started with a sale on wreath forms at Hobby Lobby. I'd seen and blogged about some cool wreath ideas that used up scraps of fabric or ribbon, so I picked up a form.

Then I got a migraine that ended up lasting 9 days. Halfway through those days, my doctor tried me on a different medicine to alleviate the pain. All it did was give me the attention span of a hyperactive puppy. Like this one.



(thankfully I did not make that costume for him, or I would have been ticked that he ate it off of himself in 5 minutes flat.)

To pass the time between doses, I decided to craft. The wreath form looked tempting enough, so first I covered it with ribbon. Halfway through, I hated it and covered it with fabric. Halfway through, I hated it and tried another fabric. Halfway through, I hated it and drank some chocolate milk. Then I decided to knit a cover for the wreath.

I used Lion Brand Homespun yarn from my stash, and it was my first time using it. I'm not a fan - to hard to keep the stitches clean and the tension even. But it's easy enough to adjust and fake that when it's on the form. I cast on 28 stitches and knitted in garter stitch until I had a 3 foot long scarf. Then I used a kitchener stitch to join the ends, put it on the form, and stitched the edges together (and rotated the seam towards the back of the wreath so everyone on the internet could not see how rusty my kitchener stitch is).

Once on the form, it was nice but a bit bland. I used some scrap ribbon, a large button, some leaves cut from green velveteen cloth (leftover from this projecthttp://www.craftster.org/forum/index.php?topic=281303.msg3185864#msg3185864) and scrap yarn.

Why yes, I do have a close-up!



Hope you like it - thanks for stopping by!
2  HOME SWEET HOME / Interior Decorating: Completed Projects / Re: Embroidery hoop wall art A.K.A. I DECORATED THE LIVING ROOM FOR A DOLLAR! on: September 25, 2009 05:05:29 AM
This is awesome! I love the idea and I want to copy you. I hope that's ok. Smiley

I take it as a huge compliment!
3  HOME SWEET HOME / Interior Decorating: Completed Projects / Embroidery hoop wall art A.K.A. I DECORATED THE LIVING ROOM FOR A DOLLAR! on: September 24, 2009 05:38:32 PM
My husband and I have been living in our house for over a year and a half, and we still have a woeful amount of blank wall space. I had been wanting to put up some original work, but was having trouble figuring the right piece for the right space. It took Ambers wedding shower and the idea of lots of fabulous ladies spending time in that room for hours at a time to move me to action. Time to fill some wallspace!

(Unfortunately, I did not take pictures during. But its pretty self explanatory, so bear with me)



Tools:

    * Embroidery hoops (I bought a huge batch of them on ebay for dirt cheap. Brand new wooden ones are a bit expensive, but theyre easy to find in thrift stores, craigslist and ebay)
    * Fabric (I had this fabric in my stash it was actually a bedspread from Urban Outfitters that I bought many years ago and used it as an all-purpose picnic blanket/tablecloth/whatever. Even after filling 9 big embroidery hoops, I still have a ton of fabric left over, and I have the perfect project in mind for it. But thats another post entirely.)
    * Hammer & nails to hang the finished works up
    * 30 minutes to spare

1. Snap embroidery hoop over fabric, adjusting so that the pattern shows how you want it to. I adjusted it so that there was at least one full bird in each hoop, and so that each hoops pattern was unique.

2. Tighten the fabric, and tighten the screws of the hoop.

3. Hang on the wall.

4. Hug the dog.





Why yes, that IS a miniature R2-D2 on the left side of the photograph, thanks for asking!

The only cost for me was the embroidery hoops. And I got such a great deal on them that the cost of these 9 hoops was probably $1. Sweet!
4  CROCHET / Crochet: Completed Projects / Re: Granny blanket finally completed! on: February 25, 2009 06:31:09 PM
Absolutely stunning! I am in awe of this. Great job!
5  HOME SWEET HOME / Crafty Housewares: Completed Projects: General / Re: You've Got the Button: From Yard Sale Find to One-of-a-Kind, a Side Table on: February 21, 2009 10:19:11 AM
I LOVE THIS! Absolutely gorgeous and so creative!
6  HOME SWEET HOME / Crafty Housewares: Completed Projects: Reconstructed / Re: Ugly Kitchen Table - be gone! (Image heavy, blargh) on: February 21, 2009 10:15:54 AM
The fabric is to die for -- mind sharing where it's from?

I picked it up almost a year ago at Hancock Fabrics, in their home decor fabrics department. It's a pretty thick weave, and it's called "Harmony" by DIVERSITEX Kingway. I think it was like $15 - 20 per yard, and it took just less than a yard to recover the chairs. Funny story: Last year, I picked up enough to recover these chairs and our bench in the hallway. But after I recovered the bench, my husband moaned and groaned about how it was GIRLY and had FLOWERS and he wanted his house to look MANLY. Fast forward to almost a year later, and he asks "What fabric are you going to use to recover the chairs? It should be the same fabric that you used on the bench. I like that fabric."

Lesson: No matter what I do to decorate the house, he's going to protest but eventually like it. So he needs to just agree with me in the first place AMIRIGHT?

Anyway, I still see the fabric at Hancock every once in a while. The best part about the fabric is it's pretty easy to get pet hair off of. The chairs were previously covered in canvas and hair stuck to that like glue.
7  HOME SWEET HOME / Crafty Housewares: Completed Projects: Reconstructed / Re: Ugly Kitchen Table - be gone! (Image heavy, blargh) on: February 20, 2009 11:12:58 AM
Quote
Did you use some sort of spray varnish, or was it actually spray-paint?

Spray paint - Valspar spray paint in Java Brown. Since the chairs were made of both plywood and MDF, I know that I couldn't strip it and get a woodgrain finish that was consistent all over. So I just went with MANY coats of a dark brown.

Quote
Very glad the dog gave his approval for a job well done.  What you have done if he decided it was not worthy

Been even MORE mad when he peed on the floor five minutes after taking that picture. Damn dog.

Thanks for the compliments, everyone! All of this work is a surprise for my husband, btw - he comes home from a business trip tonight and has not seen the table. He's only heard me bitch and moan about it. So hopefully, he'll like it! I don't think I'm spoiling it by posting here - he just knows Craftster as "that site where Karen posted about the desk I made and people liked it".
8  POTTERY, CERAMICS, POLYMER CLAY / Polymer Clay: Completed Projects / Re: Not your ordinary needlepoint project: Polymer Clay Embroidery on: February 20, 2009 10:30:53 AM
Absolutely gorgeous!
9  HOME SWEET HOME / Crafty Housewares: Completed Projects: Reconstructed / Ugly Kitchen Table - be gone! (Image heavy, blargh) on: February 20, 2009 10:03:42 AM
After:


Before:


How it was done (more or less - Im going to leave out the parts where I realized I was doing it wrong, had to sand it off, had to sand it off some more, painted it, repainted it, repainted it, so on and so forth. However, I will add in my DUMBASS TIPS so you dont make the same mistakes I did.)

1. Remove chair pads from chairs and remove the existing fabric. If they are stapled on with heavy duty staples like mine were, I suggest using a flat-tip screw driver and a pair of needle-nose pliers.



2. The table and chairs had a glossy finish before, so it needed to be sanded to allow the primer and paint to adhere to it. You dont need to sand off the existing paint, just scruff it up.  DUMBASS TIP: make sure you sand as evenly as possible so there are not spots where the wood/particle board are bare and others that still have some paint. This will make a difference in the finish when you put the new paint on top of it.

2. Wash the chairs and table to remove all dust and flotsam from the sanding. Let dry completely before moving on to the next step.

3. You can use paint from a can, or you can use spray paint. I used spray paint (eventually) because I needed a really smooth finish for the table top - no brushstrokes, please - and to make it easier to cover the bars in the chair backs. First, use a tinted primer thats close to the color of the paint youll be using. DUMBASS TIP: I didnt use primer on the chairs, and ended up needing 3 more coats of paint on them than the table. Save yourself the grief and use primer.

4. Once the primer is dry, use the spray paint. Youll need anywhere from 2 - 6 coats, depending on if you used primer, if it is windy outside when youre spraying, how evenly you spray, etc. DUMBASS TIP: Take the time and do it right with the spray paint - rushing through and doing a sloppy job WILL show. This means even strokes with the can, holding it a proper distance from the work, and doing even coverage. Let dry for at least 2 hours between coats.

5. Time for the design. For mine, I traced a flower from the fabric I was using for the chairs and transferred the tracing to leftover craft paper I had (this is Martha Stewarts crosshatch paper). Once transferred, cut out the design carefully with an X-acto knife. I made the dots with just a hole punch. DUMBASS TIP: Transfer the drawing on to the back of the paper, and cut out there, so its nice and clean on the front where the design is.




6. Once you determine where you want the cut-out to be on the table, brush a layer of Mod Podge Hard Coat (for furniture) on to the area. Carefully put the cut-out on the glue, and smooth out to ensure that there are NO bubbles or ripples. Line the hole punched dots in a row to mimic the design. DUMBASS TIP: Try this with a couple of lights from different angles. It will make it easier to find bubbles/ripples.



7. Once placed, brush a thin, even layer of Mod Podge Hard Coat over the design, being careful not to disturb the paper or move it at all.

8. Once that dries COMPLETELY, spray table and chairs with 2 coats of clear finish spray paint, to protect it.

9. Chair pads - Lay each pad face down on your fabric. Cut around it with an allowance of about 2 inches from the edge. Fold the fabric over slightly, pull to the back and staple it to the back of the chair pad. Continue all around, making sure the fabric is taut against the chair pad. DUMBASS TIP: make sure the fabric is not too bulky, or it wont fit properly when you reattach the chair pad.

10. Once the chairs are dry, reattach the chair pads.

11. Make sure the dog likes it.


Success!
10  KNITTING / Knitting: Completed Projects / Re: Holy smokes, I knit something! on: February 06, 2009 04:50:02 PM
Lovely! It looks so soft and warm.
I'm all for teaching yourself to knit, I'm a self-taught knitter and always found it difficult when someone would try to teach me something. I find it very amusing because I teach people to knit.
So, are you knit-addicted now?

COMPLETELY! It's ridiculous how fast I became addicted to it.
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