Friday, November 20, 2015

November Pinterest Project - In Time For Christmas

Here's a project I've been looking forward to making for a while now.  So I figured that this would make a fun Pinterest project for November because it's a Christmas wreath.  If it came out as cute as in the picture the pin showed, then I'd have another wreath to hang up at my favorite time of the year.  You can see the instructions HERE at Little Birdie Secrets blog.  Go on, take a look.

Back to my attempt.  It was filled with a LOT of setbacks.  But keep reading.  I didn't scrap this project because I knew I could get past these difficulties!  And the finished product would be worth it.  Such optimism!

The first thing I did was gather my supplies.  I mean, buy my supplies.  Aside from the hot glue, I had no Christmas scrapbook paper or wreath form.  It calls for a wooden wreath form, and after checking two craft stores, I ended up ordering one from Amazon. 

Then I set off to do the fun part which was cutting the stars.  I got out my Slice machine and cut a perfect 4" star.  That was encouraging, but when I came back to cut the rest, I couldn't get the Slice to work.  It made all kinds of strange noises and showed an error message on the screen.  Mark took it apart (he likes a mechanical challenge) and found that the problem was due to a cracked drive gear.  (No easy fix and I've since found that the company that makes Slice has gone out of business.)
R.I.P. Slice
I found a pattern for a perfect 4" star online and made my own template out of heavy card stock.
My star template
I hand cut (thanks, Slice) a bunch of stars out of my Christmas paper and then creased them using the creaser attachment on my Fiskars paper cutter.  I ended up using 13 of the 4" stars for my wreath.
Then I found a 3" star pattern for the background stars on my wreath.  I cut a bunch of those but didn't have to crease them because they're just glued on the wreath form so that the form doesn't show.  I quickly found out that the 3" stars would not do the job because I had bought an extra-wide wreath form!  Arrrrrrrgh!!!  And that mistake would affect how my pretty 4" stars would look too.

I felt like I was back at square one.  I went into the third craft store in our area for inspiration, and there it was - a 12" diameter regular width wreath form. 
The 3" green stars were overlapped on the form using hot glue.  I used 17 of them.  They look brownish in the photo, but they're a dark green.

Then the pretty stars went on.  I forgot to tell you that I bought little stick on rhinestones and some other stick on things, but I don't know what they're called.  I stuck one in the center of each star.
When it came time to glue the 3-D stars on, again I used the recommended hot glue.  This was not easy however.  Dots of glue are supposed to be applied to the inner corners of the stars, but because my stars overlapped, the inner corners didn't always make contact with something.  Therefore, some of these stars are hanging on with only a couple of drops of glue.  Should be ok though.

And here it is.  After all of that, I finally had a completed wreath!  All of the silly stuff that happened during its production were worth it and quickly forgotten!
Things I learned about this project: 1. Cutting out simple shapes is no big deal.  I should have remembered this from teaching preschool.  You don't need a machine for this.  Just draw all of your shapes, get a good pair of scissors, and then when you're sitting in front of the television, cut away! 
2. Measure, measure, measure.  3. Work quickly with hot glue.  Not my favorite glue in the world, but I can see why it was suggested for this project.

Here's a list of what I finally ended up using for this pretty star wreath.

-A 12" diameter, 1-1/4" width wooden (could be pressboard, I don't know) wreath
-3" stars for background, heavier card stock, 17 of these
-4" stars (stars of the show, haha) out of Christmas scrapbook paper, 13 of these
-hot glue
-rhinestones, buttons, flat-backed shiny things for the center of the big stars.
-Something to cut out those stars - scissors are fine, but if you have a cutting machine that actually works, more power to you!
-Something to crease the big stars
-ribbon for a bow, if you want one

Like this wreath?  Now go make one.  Because I'm not giving ANYONE this one! Please understand why!

Friday, November 13, 2015

Catch-Up Post!

Time to catch up so you can see what I've been doing.  First of all, you know how I like to make beaded jewelry, right?  I saw a very pretty bracelet online and decided to recreate something like it.  It contained some jewelry findings that I'd never seen before.  These tube beads gave a really cool look to the bracelet, so I was off on a mission to find them.
And here it is.  I found the silver tube beads in different sizes at Beadaholique.  All of the other beads were found in my stash.  I used two of the tubes on each side, strung on their own piece of jewelry wire.  Then for the center section, I threaded the two wires through every bead. 
You can also use one tube with nice results.  When the bracelet is worn, the tubes lie one on top of the other. 
This was a fun project.  Quick and easy to make and I'm very pleased with the finished product!

I'm also still working on Kaleidoscope, although I may take a break to stitch some Christmas ornaments.  It's coming along well!
See? Actual progress!
My next project wasn't so crafty, more like a necessity.  I have some jeans that were just too long.  Even with my highest heels (not all that high, I'll admit), they dragged on the ground and got soaked with all of this rain we've had.  I saw a new hemming idea on Pinterest and decided to attempt it.  It actually may not even be new, but I've never seen it.

Basically hemming the jeans this way saves the original hem, with the orangey/gold/brown thread.  That's left intact, while some fabric just above the top of the original hem disappears.

This is what they look like when they're done. You can hardly see the repair from this angle, which is handy because this is the angle you and anyone else is going to see your jean's hems.  And who looks at other peoples' jean hems?  I mean, really.  But looking at them from the other angle is a different story.  I think that another steam press may help that.
Oh well, who cares?  They're now at a length that won't allow them to drag in the rainwater and get frayed and all that.  I personally don't like rolling them up - too bulky and uncomfortable.
This is how they're finished on the inside.  Nice and neat.  If you're interested in trying this, you can find the instructions HERE.

Just a note about my November Pinterest project.  I found something perfect to make, but am having problems at every step!  It includes an item that "can be found at your local crafts store".  Not so much.  I had to order it online.  THEN the device that was going to make a step of this project quick and easy decided to break.  I believe it is non-fixable.  Is all of this going to stop me? NO!  I will forge ahead with great success!  I'm just not sure when it will appear in a post here after all of these roadblocks.  Just stay tuned.  It will be worth it!