Friday, August 31, 2012

Flash Diffuser

I am by no means a photography expert, but I discovered a cool trick the other day.  I was taking final pictures of this project and it was a bit too dark to take the pictures without the flash, but the flash was way too bright.  It was quite a dilemma, let me tell you! Ha!

Well, I was standing next to my printer and I suddenly had an idea.  What if I tried to diffuse the light by putting a piece of paper over the flash?? Well after folding the paper in half a couple times, it did the trick!  Check it out:

I normally edit my pictures a bit before posting them on here (again, no expert), but these are just as the came straight off my camera except for the words that I added.  I am not a fan of the look of pictures taken with a flash, so I think this is a going to be a handy trick for me in the future!

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Jewelry Design: Wire Wrapping

So in my final semester of college, I pretty much was only lacking elective credits... so what class did I choose?? Metal and Jewelry Design of course!  So be prepared to see a lot of pictures of my projects in the next few months!

Today was our first class and we made a matching set including:

A bracelet . . .

A pair of earrings (with hand made earring hangers) . . .

And a ring!

I was surprised at how much we did in just one class!  They taught us a technique called wire wrapping where we took a thick gauge wire and literally wrapped it around the beads.  It was a lot easier than I expected, and a lot of fun!

I can't wait to see what's in store for us next week!

Monday, August 27, 2012

Glass Marble Cross

On Wednesday, my best friend and I took a trip to Hobby Lobby in honor of the end of Summer and the new school year.  We were looking around in the aisle with all the wooden frames and such that you can paint. Well I found this wooden cross and had the idea to put some of those flat clear marbles around the center.

I stained the cross portion and then decided it would be better to paint the base.  Next I attached the
marbles with tacky glue.  I had to let them dry for a while with the cross laying down because when I stood it up the marbles started to slid off.  But once it was dry the marbles stayed on just fine.

I used this cool stain marker on this project.  I found it a while ago at Michael's I believe.  Anyway, it has lasted a long time and worked on so many projects, I love it!!  I need to find more of them in other colors, they are soooo much easier than regular stain!

Finally I decided it still looked to plain so I added some paint details.  And Ta-Da!  What do you think?

P.S.  I apologize in advance if my posting is kind of hit and miss for a while... the semester is starting to get into full swing and I will unfortunately be busy with homework a lot in the near future.  It is my last semester so things will be busy, however I will still do my best to keep up with you all in the blogging world!

Monday, August 20, 2012

"Love Cakes"

My main squeeze and I celebrated the first anniversary of our first date on Sunday! Eeek! Exciting, right??  Neither of us are in much of a positon to give extravagant gifts or anything, so my man got creative. . . and super sweet!

He kind of made up his own cupcake recipe for me, what a genius!  He used a white cake mix, strawberries... and the best part. . . strawberry soda, that's right, soda.  I admit, I was a bit skeptical at first but they turned out great!  And I ate far too many. . . too quickly. . . but that's totally what special occasions are for, duh!

He decided to call them our "Love Cakes," sort of on the cheesy side, I know, but how incredibly sweet!  Gotta love him!  I think we just might have to make these strawberry love cakes a yearly tradition... :)

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Coat Rack Re-vamp

A long while ago, my mom gave me this old accordion style coat rack.  It is quite rickety, so I used to use it to keep my necklaces on.  I just recently took it from my room at home in my parents house to my dorm room. But it didn't quite fit in here, because this is what it used to look like:

Cute, but kind of boring, right?  Well it is amazing what a coat of paint can do!! I had some leftover turquoise paint from a bookshelf I painted awhile back, and it was perfect for this project!

Here is the finished product, minus the scarfs from above:

Much better!  I love giving old items a new life, and it was super easy!

Friday, August 17, 2012

No-Sew Ribbon Headband

A few months ago I saw some where that you can make your own stretchy headbands with a hair tie, so I thought I would experiment with it and this is what I came up with!

What you will need:

  • Wide ribbon (I used a silky, flexible one, but I'm sure pretty much any ribbon with work)
  • Elastic hair tie
  • Scissors
  • Hot glue gun
  • Small decorative ribbon (optional)

First cut a piece of your ribbon that will go across your head from just below the back of your ears.  I think mine was about 8 inches long.

Then, cut your hair tie (at the seam if it has one) so that it is a straight piece of elastic. Next, attach one end of your hair tie to one end of your ribbon with a bead of hot glue.

Glue and fold over one side of the ribbon, then the same with the other.  This will help the ribbon to fold neatly, and not curl, when you wear it.

Then repeat these steps on the other side of your ribbon and hair tie. If you don't have any decorative ribbon to wrap around the seams then you are finished!

If you do have small riboon, measure how much you will need by wrapping it around the seam between the ribbon and the hair tie and cut it to size leaving a little extra on the end.  Then put a bead of hot glue down the underside of the ribbon and attach it, folding the raw ends under before you glue them down.

Viola! I really love it, and the elastic hair tie helps it not to slip! I think this has to be my favorite blog project yet, what do you think?

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Updated Pictures!

Be sure to go and check out the updated pictures on Fun with Ceramics!  It took me a while, but I finally remembered to do it...

Here's a preview:

Check it out!

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Vase Paint

Have you seen those tutorials that are floating around about painting glass vases and other containers by pouring acrylic paint in the bottom and swirling it around inside?? Well I really wanted to try it for myself, and boy am I glad I did!

This is my lovely creation!  However, I suck and forgot to take a before picture....

I chose to use a pearly white paint on this one because it already had a frosted finish with a pattern in it, so I wanted to highlight that.  And it definitely worked!  I know its only August, but I think this will make a cute Christmas decoration... picture it: red ribbon, and some holly coming out of it, pretty perfect right??

Well the painting processes was a lot harder than I thought it would be...  I had to use A LOT of paint, like half of my regular sized bottle, and this vase if fairly small.  But I think a big part of that was because this was a strange shape for a vase and I was wanting to cover all of the inside and not just a portion of it.  However, aside from the massive amount of paint it took to be able to maneuver the paint around inside by just rotating it, it wasn't that hard to get the painting done.

The long process came while it was drying.  That excess paint all started to pool in the bottom once I got the whole thing coated, and I had to keep draining it all out back into the bottle.  I ended up having to do this every few hours for a whole day to get rid of enough paint for the bottom to completely dry.  But on the bright side now I have a much more full bottle of paint again to use on future projects!

There are many more variations on this project out there, have you tried any? Please share, I will always appreciate comments, or suggestions for future projects!

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Zig-Zag Finish

Have you ever been really tight on fabric and not sure you have enough to do a proper hem to finish out your project?  I've definitely been there time and time again... you'd think I'd learn to get extra fabric by now!!

Well just this week I was making a couple curtain panels for my sister's first dorm room.  We were not 100% sure of the exact dimensions of the window so I didn't want to waste a single centimeter!  So, I came up with a solution, I finished the bottom of each panel with a thick decorative stich, instead of a normal hem.

I positioned the needle as close to the bottom edge as I could without risking it slipping or sewing over the edge.

We picked out a thick zig-zag stich, shown above in the diagram on my machine.

When I was finished, the stich was less than a half inch from the edge of the fabric, even at it's tallest points.  I saved a whole inch easily, and I was very pleased!

I did accidentally go over the edge of the fabric at one point, but I was able to undo the messed up section with a seam ripper and continue the stich from the top of a point seamlessly.  So I recommend going slow on this type of finish, definitely worth the extra time!

Then to finish it off I simply cut off the fabric below the stich as close as I could without cutting into the  thread.  This step can be kind of time consuming, but I think the result was well worth the effort.

Give it a try and let me know what you think!

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Flat Iron Hemming

Do you hate having to press a tiny hem with a full size iron? Do you not want to have to invest in a small appliqué iron?  Do you have a flat iron for your hair? Then problem solved!

This is a travel size flat iron (though a full size flat iron would also work) that I now keep with my sewing supplies.  I first tried this out of laziness, but it has turned out to be the best way to press hems that I have ever found!

First I just measure and pin the hems.  I also do both folds at once.  This hem is a half inch, so I folded the fabric in a half inch and then over once more to cover up the raw edge.

Then I simply ran the hot flat iron over the hem.  The great thing about this is that it heats the fabric from both sides at once, so, no matter how thick the fabric, there is never a need to iron twice.  And, there is no need to lug out the ironing board!

Then you can take out the pins and sew up the hem in a breeze, with no need to stop to take out pins along the way!  It's great!