Thursday, October 27, 2011

Wrap it up Thursday - Newsprint

Happy Thursday!  Each Thursday I'm going to focus on gift giving, wrapping, packaging and in general the unique way people wrap up their goods.  And Thursday is kind of leading into wrapping up the week ... sort of ... give or take 24 hours.

My best friend's little guy had his fifth birthday on Monday.  He is a huge super hero fan.  When they are driving in the car he always says to his dad, "Tell me another story about Batman, Daddy." How cute is that!  Now with a small family of mostly girls I must admit the super hero thing is a little out of my  "league"  but I decided to just go for it.

I found one retro looking hardcover book and then found some early reader comics.  I thought it might encourage him to start to read on his own (and that maybe they wouldn't be too violent!)

Then I found some extras that fit the theme. Striped straws, striped twine, lego superheroes, comic strips and best of all - a pdf of comic pows and zaps from one charming party.

I wrapped it up with parchment paper so he could see inside.  I thought that would make it more exciting.  The phrases I printed out looked so cute peeking through the paper.  And his mom told me that was his favorite part of the gift.  So I'm glad I went to all the trouble.

Here are some other newsprint/comic strip wrappings.

My friend Tiffany, of Glitter Pie, wraps a mean package.  Newsprint looks great with the right topper.

You can even top your newsprint, comic strip etc with another newsprint bow.  There is a tutorial at How About Orange for this.

I guess that wraps it up (sorry)

Look for another wrap up next Thursday!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Better Homes and Gardens - Simply Handmade

I picked up the November issue of Better Homes and Gardens and unexpectedly came across this gorgeous spread.

I love the cut felt letters and brackets.  I just makes me want to start making something with my felt stash.

This article is all about Etsy.  There are some really great ideas and shop finds.

I was happy to see someone I have followed for quite awhile.  Heather Shaw, of pi'lo has a thriving business making beautiful items for babies, kids and homes.
My mom and I used to visit her display booth at the Toronto One of a Kind for years and she was always a big hit with her gorgeous take on the letters of the alphabet.
She made our "go-to-gift" - a bear in a pillow pocket  - for every baby shower we went to.  About 12 years ago, my mom had her make two gorgeous linen duvet covers - they are still in perfect condition.

On this page she contributed the felt cracker in the top left and the sewing kit.  Both can be found in her etsy shop (see below) but this issue also gives directions so you can make them yourself.  Heather has a beautiful crafted simplicity to her work.  I remember once visiting one of her studios and she kept her invoices in silk pouches hanging from the wall!  The whole space was a dream.

You can visit Heather's blog here or visit her etsy shop and pick up a sewing kit or wonderful pillow.

find here

find here

Now, back to BHG..

 it's time to find a reason to cut out letters from felt ...

Friday, October 21, 2011

Felt Flower Ring

I love to use old scraps of felt or wool to make a ring.  It is the kind of ring I love to wear in the Fall when the leaves have changed color and the temperature dips.

I use scraps of felt or wool - approximately 1 inch long and 5 inches wide.  And you need a ring form (adjustable) for your base.  For this example I am showing three different ring bases that I found at my local beading store.  You can make any of these forms work.

Once you have your strip of felt (mine is from felted second hand scarf) you fold it in half lengthwise and press or pin it so that you can cut into the fold.  Make sure you don't cut all the way.  Basically you are making fringes about 1/4 inch wide stopping 1/8 of an inch away from the end.

Now make a running stitch along the length of your fabric through the both layers of fabric, opposite your fold.

Now cinch the fabric into a flower by tightening up the running stitch.  Then you sew the bottom of the flower together through all the layers so it will keep it's shape.

Continue to stitch the flower base onto your ring base.  Some bases will require just a few stitches to hold it there but others will require a row of stitches.  I like the simple one if I am giving it as a gift but if I can only find the fussier ring form I will use that for my own stash of rings.

I get together with my girlfriends for a lunch before the holidays and this would be a great gift to give each lady in her favorite color.  But these ones are in my favorite color... hmm....

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Energized with Inspiration

Fueled by Blogging Your Way and a really good cup of coffee...

... and I'm using this really lovely book I made from a class I took with Leslie Shewring from
  A Creative Mint.  

She quilts these amazing scrap pages with happy tape.

I think they are so beautiful.  This is how I would like to receive a special gift.  Actually with a wrapping so beautiful the gift doesn't even need to be so special...

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Happy Birthday

Today would  be my mom's 70th birthday.  I lost her almost 4 years ago to a very unexpected aneurysm.  Her birthday falls on Canadian Thanksgiving and she was always hosting a family dinner.  She was always ripped off when it came to a special celebration just for her.  This is a birthday ribbon I made for Amy Power's Inspired Ideas magazine - birthday issue, inspired by her.  I think she would have liked it. 

 I miss her everyday.  She was my best friend.  I don't know what she would have thought about turning 70.  Probably not much.  And I think she would have begged us not to have a party - but I am pretty sure we would have done something special to honor her today.  I am an only child - so we are just having my dad over tonight and we will have a nice dinner with her favorite cake.  

This is a picture from about 5 or 6 years ago from her favorite place - her home in The Florida Keys.  She was so excited because she had just finished setting up a new place right on the ocean.  It is really stunning and when I am there - I feel her all around me.

The following is a quote Holly used on decor8 the other day and I think it really resonates with me when I think of my mom here on the beach outside our door...

“The tide recedes, but leaves behind bright seashells on the sand. The sun goes down, but gentle warmth still lingers on the land. The music stops, yet echoes on in sweet, soulful refrains. For every joy that passes, something beautiful remains.” – unknown.
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