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11  OCCASIONS AND HOLIDAYS / Winter Holidays / Re: Tutorial: Paper Snowflake Garland on: November 28, 2010 04:05:16 AM
so glad that someone will find it useful! It's a fun and easy way to make some quick decorations, that's for sure!  Smiley
12  OCCASIONS AND HOLIDAYS / Winter Holidays / Tutorial: Paper Snowflake Garland for Christmas on: November 27, 2010 03:18:02 PM

I've been saving up all of my opened security envelopes - you know, the ones with the great patterns printed on the inside to make them more difficult to spy through - knowing that one day I would come up with a use for them.

I've covered sketch books in them and used them to make designs on cards... but the other day, an idea came to me which I had to try out.  The varying patterns on the envelopes make a great Christmas garland of snowflakes.

I thought you might like to try this at home as a cheap and eye-catching Christmas decoration, so I've written a tutorial on how to make this simple yet effective snowflake garland.

Snowflake Garland Tutorial
1. Round up some security envelopes.  It works best if you have a few different patterns otherwise your snowflakes won't stand out against each other.

2. Using a circle template, trace and cut out as many circles in various sizes as you'd like for your garland.  Don't worry if you don't have a circle template at home.  Just use anything circular you can find around the house to trace around: hairspray can, drinking glasses, bowls, food tins, formula lids... you get the idea!  
You can also use square pieces to mix it up a little and to give your garland some varying shapes and designs.

3. Once you have your circles, you need to fold each one in half, over and over as many times as you can without it getting too bulky.  You need to be able to cut through them with scissors without too much hassle.

4. Now the fun begins. Get your sharp pair of scissors and start cutting small shapes into the folded edges.  You can basically use any edge of your folded shapes to cut into.  You can also use a hole-punch to punch out areas in the middle of your surface that you can't get into with your scissors.  Try cutting triangles, half-circles, half-hearts and squares.  If you cut the tip of your folded triangle off you will get a hole in the middle of your snowflake.

5. When you're satisfied that you've cut enough cheese-holes out of your folded piece, set down your scissors and carefully unfold the snowflake making sure to remove any bits of cuttings still attached to your main piece.

6. When you have made enough snowflakes, it's time to get the creases flattened out.  The best way to do this is to spray each snowflake with a little water from a spray bottle before carefully ironing both sides.  You'll find this also stiffens up the paper a little.  Make sure you spray each snowflake with water individually prior to ironing otherwise you'll find that the snowflakes waiting to be ironed will have curled up from the water which will make it harder to get them flat to iron.

7. Snowflakes ironed? Now it's time to string them together.  Using white cotton thread in your sewing machine and a mid-size stitch length, pull out a decent lenght of cotton from the machine (top and bottom) so that you have something to string them up with when you're done.  Insert your first snowflake into the foot of your machine and making sure to stitch through the centre of the snowflake otherwise you'll have a lopsided garland that doesn't look quite right.

In between each snowflake, let the machine run at least a dozen stitches to space the snowflakes out.  You don't want them too close to each other or they will not hang or look right.

8. When you're done, you can hang your new upcycled Christmas decoration on the wall using blu tack or sticky tape - depending on your walls.  You can hang a few strings vertically to create a feature area or string them up like you would bunting.  It's up to you.

I hope you this inspires you to make your own garland and if you do, drop me a comment or email me pics of your finished garland.  I'd love to see what different snowflakes you come up with.

For the full tutorial with all images, please visit: http://thecraftrevival-magdalena.blogspot.com/2010/11/tutorial-snowflake-garland.html

<3 Magdalena
The Craft Revival
13  ORGANIZED CRAFT SWAPS / The Swap Gallery / Re: I <3 Owls Swap Gallery Sendouts 6/7/10 on: June 06, 2010 07:58:39 PM
Great stuff ladies! 

Lindsay614 - we made similar things for our swap partners with very different outcomes... how funny!

I ADORE that owl mask.  I want to make one for me.  But I don't think it would look half as good.
14  ORGANIZED CRAFT SWAPS / The Swap Gallery / Re: I <3 Owls Swap Gallery Sendouts 6/7/10 on: June 03, 2010 07:02:48 PM
Wow- I love the owl pincushion!! And those pins!! What are the pin-heads made out of? I've been meaning to make some fancy pins, but I have no idea how you do it!

sadly I can't take credit for the pin heads PirateColey.  They are store bought Sad
15  ORGANIZED CRAFT SWAPS / The Swap Gallery / Re: I <3 Owls Swap Gallery Sendouts 6/7/10 on: June 02, 2010 08:17:12 PM
Magsb80 I love it, please, please please if you took a photo can you post it as this photo is not doing justice to the thing of beauty and function you have made for me. It is reversible and just truly too perfect.

Sadly my photos of the apron aren't much better (awkward thing to photograph - especially late at night!), but here's a couple.

close up of the pocket on the front

Also, in your camera change over you must have forgotten to take photos of 2 other items... the owl pin cushion and a 3 pack of scented drawer sachets.  So I've added photos here for you.

So glad you like your goodies spectrumsparksie!
16  Craft Swaps / ARCHIVE OF SWAPS THAT ARE TOTALLY FINISHED / Re: I <3 OWLS (SIGNUPS CLOSED; MAIL BY 6/7/10) on: May 29, 2010 05:25:44 PM
I'm done. Items all finished (some with a little more pain than anticipated). All itms wrapped with care. Parcel addressed, doodled on and lodged with the post office. Phew!
17  ORGANIZED CRAFT SWAPS / The Swap Gallery / Re: I <3 Owls Swap Gallery Sendouts 6/7/10 on: May 27, 2010 04:42:02 PM
I adore that I-Spy bag!! It almost makes me want to have a kid so I can make them fun stuff like that... almost...

My son hasn't stopped playing with it.  And you know what?  It is quite addictive.  My husband picked it up last night and then HE couldn't stop playing with it!  Then he said to me... that is so cool.  And the fact that it's personalized (with the use of letters spelling my son's name) is even cooler!

My swap partner has definitely outdone herself and I can't stop looking at all the cool things she sent.  I woke up to owl bunting staring me in the face this morning.  So cool.
18  ORGANIZED CRAFT SWAPS / The Swap Gallery / Re: I <3 Owls Swap Gallery Sendouts 6/7/10 on: May 26, 2010 11:12:45 PM
Oh my goodness.  I don't even know where to start.  When my swap partner Spectrumsparksie told me that she was going to send me more than the required 6 points, I thought, that's ok - because I was also planning on making and sending more than the 6 points worth of owl goodness. 

But when the swap parcel arrived on my doorstep today and I started unwrapping it, it's fair to say I was overwhelmed by all the effort my partner has gone to.  So with this post comes a warning... this is very picture heavy because one group shot just wouldn't do it justice.

There was a cute little poem on the outside of the parcel...

First thing I pulled out of the package was this gorgeous owl eye-spy bag.  It came with a laminated photo postcard of all the hidden gems inside the owl.  My 4 year old son Jaxon has been having fun with it all afternoon, finding the hidden items of which include letters which spell out his name.  Genius!

I got not one, but two owl necklaces/pendants...

A feather-covered pouch.  Kind of like a hard coin purse, but I will be using mine to store trinkets.  Not coins!

A screen-printed top...

And a close-up of the print on the top...

And adorable china, hand-painted owl dish... I'll be it to put all my earrings in...

A paper-covered and owl rub-on embellished cardboard chest/craft bits organiser...

Filled with more surprises in the drawers...
A laser cut owl, owl button badge and an owl jewel/bead

And lots of cute magnets (already pride of place on our fridge!)

A gorgeous canvas entitled "Doreen's Dilemma" which my swap partner alluded to in one of her secretive posts

A fabric and felt, hand-embroidered postcard


And possibly my most favourite item of the entire scoop... this GORGEOUS paper owl bunting.  Yup, that's right.  Bunting!!

already up in our bedroom.  Hubby help me put it up.  Even he was impressed at the detail that went into that gorgeous sucker!

Carolyn - you are freakin' A.M.A.Z.I.N.G.  I ADORE everything you sent me (I'm already wearing one of the necklaces you sent). 

I was going to send your parcel today.  But I've thought of a couple more things that I want to include before I send it off.  So sadly you're going to have to wait patiently over the weekend for Mister Postman to deliver it to you on Monday.  I hope you love your things as much as I love mine!!

P.S. have I said AMAZING yet??
19  HOME SWEET HOME / Crafty Housewares: Completed Projects: General / Super Cute Owl Cushion + TUTORIAL! on: May 25, 2010 07:26:10 PM

There are so many of us owl lovers out there these days that I thought I'd share an owl cushion tutorial which I created.

The text-version is below, however if you would prefer a printable tutorial with accompanying photos, you can find it on my blog here: http://www.scribd.com/doc/31708500/Owl-Cushion-Tutorial-by-The-Craft-Revival

Happy owl decorating!

What youll need:

   A sewing machine nothing fancy
   3 x pieces of complimentary fabrics (fat quarters work best and are cost effective!)
   2 pieces of different coloured felt
o   Optional you can have a third colour if you choose to do the inner eye also
   Complimentary coloured sewing thread (for machine and hand stitching)
   At least one embroidery floss colour.  You can use two different colours if youd like a little more contrast
   Embroidery needle
   A piece of heavy-weight cut away stabiliser a little larger than the eye mask (cut-aways are permanent stabilisers that remain on the back of the fabric and keep it stable during and after embroidery. They prevent the designs from stretching out during embroidery)
   Clean toy and hobby fill a 500gm bag will be plenty

Lets get started!

Firstly, print and cut out each template piece.  Once you have them all cut out, pin them to the wrong side of each fabric piece and trace around them using a fabric pencil.  For this tutorial I have used a fabric pen so that its easier to see the outlines in the photos.  You can use a fabric pen if you prefer as long as you cant see it through the right side of the fabric (it wont wash out).

When cutting out the body and belly pieces, leave a 2cm allowance around the lines youve traced.  These lines are going to be the ones you follow when sewing your pieces together.

For the mask, eyes and nose cut along the lines.

Take the front body fabric piece, stabiliser, felt mask piece and embroidery floss.  Sandwich the body fabric between the felt (front) and stabiliser (back) making sure that they are in the right position (you dont want your eye mask to end up too far down the body).  

Make a knot in the end of your embroidery floss and starting from the back (through the stabiliser) stitch the felt mask in place by making simple straight stitches ensuring you capture the stabiliser, body fabric and felt mask with each stitch.

Once your felt mask is attached, you need to follow the same process with each eye.  Place both circle felt pieces over the mask to make sure youre happy with how theyre going to look.  The further apart the eyes are the better and cuter it will look in the finished product.

With either the same colour embroidery floss or a different colour, start stitching one eye on following the same straight stitch method which was used to stitch the eye mask on.  Or if you want to do something different, you can use a running stitch around the inside rim of the felt eyes.  

Remember to start stitching from the back so that youre embroidery floss knot is hidden!  Once youve attached one eye, attach the other. It should look something like this once youve finished this step.

To finish off the eyes you can stitch an asterisk onto the felt using embroidery floss, or you can add another smaller circle to create an inner eye, stitching it on in the same manner that you did for the larger eye piece.

Next, its time to attach the nose.  Again, you can use whichever stitch you prefer.  Ive included photos of both options so that you can pick which youd like to use.

Once youve finished embroidering the felt pieces of the owls face, turn it over and the back should look something like this.  Pretty!  But dont worry, you wont see any of this when youre finished.

Now onto the belly.  Take your belly piece and trim along the curved edge (every 1-2cm) towards the outline making sure not to cut through the line you traced.  

Once youve done the cutting you need to iron the pieces down (wrong side) following the line you marked so that you get a nice smooth hem-line when you turn it over to the right side.  Otherwise you would have the ugly raw edges of the fabric exposed.

You then need to pin the belly piece into place onto what will become the front of the owls body.

Then as close to the edge of the belly fabric as possible (without running off the fabric), sew it into place to give you a nice neat finish.  Alternatively, if you feel more confident with a blanket stitch you could stitch the fabric into place using this method instead.

Now that youve embellished the front of your owl, its time to start assembling it.  Sandwich the front and back pieces of fabric which will make your owl bodys front and back with the right sides facing in (youll be looking at the wrong sides of fabric from both back and front).

Pin around the edges ensuring you catch both pieces of fabric in the pin.  Then stitch around the entire piece following the line as a guide.  Make sure to leave an opening where you dont stitch (as marked on the template) so that you can turn your owl right side out.

Now its time to trim off the corners on an angle so that when you turn it right side out, you will get nice clean corners.  If you miss this step, you will get the fabric bunching on the inside and it wont look right.

Also trim around and into any curved areas such as the sides of the owls body around the head and ears.  And make sure to take care and NOT cut through any stitches.  If you do, you will have to sew over the area again. Just remember if you dont trim the curves, you will get the fabric puckering once you stuff your owl.

Now comes the fun part.  Carefully turn your owl right side out.  To help you can use a wooden skewer or a pen (with the lid on) to carefully push out the ears, corners and curves lines.

Your new owly friend should look something like this now.  A little flat, I know, but youre almost there.

Now you are ready to stuff.  Take handfuls of stuffing and using the small gap in the bottom seam, start with the ears, make sure you stuff them so they are firm and plump.  You dont want saggy ears!

You wont believe how much stuffing this little guy will take.  As you stuff, make sure you hold the seams of the area you are stuffing so that you dont over do it and stuff yourself a new hole.  That would be a shame.  Keep stuffing until you have a nice even plump owl body and you think you can stuff no more!

When you finish stuffing, youre ready for the very last step.  You need to close the seam of the opening.  Using a ladder (or blind) stitch will ensure that you cant see where you have hand-stitched once youre done.
If youve never used a ladder stitch before, theres a great tutorial on it at Melly and Me right here http://mellyandme.typepad.com/melly_me/2009/11/cicada-season-tt-tuesday.html

And then youre done!

Enjoy my lovelies!
20  Craft Swaps / ARCHIVE OF SWAPS THAT ARE TOTALLY FINISHED / Re: I <3 OWLS (SIGNUPS CLOSED; MAIL BY 6/7/10) on: May 24, 2010 06:16:15 PM
Checking in.  I will be posting on Monday or Tuesday at the latest.  Hopefully my partner has received some little surprises in her mail box already?

you're so sneaky and cute. I have indeed received a couple of litlle surprises in the mail. The adorable postcards are now up on my inspiration wall! You are too sweet my dear.  I'm not far off sending you goodies either. Just finishing off a couple of things. Yay, it's almost time. So excited that I've even been dreaming about it!
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