For Steve's 33rd birthday yesterday, I went with a very specific, one time only theme. One of his all time favorite bands is the Smashing Pumpkins, who happen to have a song called "Thirty-Three". It also happens to be one of my favorite songs of theirs, which is good because I've had it stuck in my head a lot in the last month. The Goal: Create custom wrapping paper (inspiration) with the lyrics from the song as well as the sheet music, and do it on the cheap.
The Supplies: Kraft paper Packing paper (I don't know what to call this, it came from a Sephora box) Gift bags Alphabet stamps Ink pad Gray paper (optional) Sheet music Scissors Rotary cutter & mat (or paper cutter) Glue stick Tape Pencil
I made sure I had the lyrics for the song and divided them up based on the number of gifts (it worked out to be about 2 lines per gift).
I precut the kraft paper to the sizes I would need for all the gifts.
For each piece I drew some rough guidelines to try to keep the spacing consistent.
I stamped each letter separately (to get them closer together). Each piece took about 30-45 minutes (I have plenty of time on my hands so this wasn't a big deal). I wanted each piece to have a handmade feel so no agonizing over making perfect lines.
Tissue paper: Rather than stamping the plain bags I bought, I decided to stamp the tissue paper instread. I figured normal tissue paper might be too thin to stamp on, but luckily I had some paper from a Sephora box lying around that was thicker. Upcycling!
Sheet music: I scanned a couple of the pages of the sheet music, worked some Photoshop magic on them to clean up the scans before printing them out. And then...
The Make It Work Moment: I didn't realize you can't wrap a cd using a single sheet of paper until after I'd spent time scanning the sheet music (which was fairly time consuming). So instead, I found a tutorial on creating bows from magazine pages from How About Orange. I followed the tutorial except I used a glue stick rather than stapling all the parts.
The Results: In the end, I spent less than $10 out of pocket on this project, thanks to using supplies I already had on hand, getting things for free (my mom very happily gave me the alphabet stamp sets cause she didn't want them), and shopping at the dollar store.
I don't usually make resolutions of any kind, but I like the idea of having some crafty goals for the year. These are definitely subject to change depending on my employment status this year.
1. Make those Christmas cards I flaked out on last year.
2. Try knitting again. It was a frustrating, borderline disaster that really made me question wanting to knit in the first place. I'll try again in the fall.
3. Open an Etsy store. this is going to be my big project of the year (like my site redesign was last year). I've gone back and forth on the whole Etsy thing for a few years, but I think I'm ready to do it and see what happens.
4. Finish (and stitch) at least one pattern that I've put on hold.
5. Stitch something I'm really proud of. It's been awhile since I've done that. Still taking my stitchy break though.
Since they've started to arrive, I'll finally share my Christmas cards. My original idea was to do stitchy ones but after the whole moving/losing my craft room thing I decided it wasn't the best idea because I would've had to buy supplies that I really don't have the space for. So I made some stamped ones instead. The idea was to keep them pretty basic and modern. The hardest part was finding modern "Merry Christmas" and "Happy Holidays" stamps for the insides. I made 2-3 of each card design and there were some color variations to make them unique.
Card 1- Trees This was a stamp my mom already had that I liked (and then stole). Just colored the trees in. Simple. Basic. BSTL.
Card 2- Ho-man Used scraps of ho ho ho paper, and circle punches to create the "ho-man" cause I thought it would be funny. Super easy.
Card 3- Modern Tree This stamp was originally an easter one I found on clearance. I removed the happy easter bit, leaving just the tree and colored the ornaments with Christmas colors instead. Upgrade!
Card 4- Loose Seal Another one of my mom's stamps (that I didn't steal, but should have). Not only is he cute, but I turned him into an Arrested Development card. On the inside I wrote, "Beware of loose seals this holiday." Then I had to make sure to send them to people who might actually get the reference.
Here's the sentiments from the inside of the cards.
I had fun making my cards this year, so I'll definitely do it again next year. I don't send that many cards, so I always have extra if a buy a box of cards. This way I only have to make the number I need and I can get creative with it. DIY or die!
Also, no stitchy pics because I'm experiencing some raging laziness right now. I blame the rain.
Finally got around to taking pictures of some of the cards I made while I was in Texas. I was trying to keep them pretty simple/minimalist and ended up using a lot of my mom's scraps and trying to get a feel for the whole card making process.
I did make some Christmas cards but I'll save those for later.
First full day of my trip home, I have tons of crafty things planned including hitting up the used bookstores for new cross stitch books (always a priority) and going to a cross stitch store and hoping my brain doesn't explode like it did the last time.
As far as making stuff. I'm planning to make my Christmas cards, moving/new address cards (for when I actually have my own place again), and cards to include in swaps. All in a week. I will be running on Taco Cabana and sweet tea.
I started a new stitch for the plane ride. And there's supposed to be a picture here but I can't use the interwebs on my laptop. I can't live like this.
My plan was to create a pattern that incorporates 3 random words and work on that during my trip. But the combination of the words (crooked, bake and cryptic) and my slow pattern making pretty much killed that. I have a general idea of what I want to do though. I'm mildly excited about it.
I also tried and failed to finish my nsfw stitch before I left. It's very close though so I should be able to show that off after I get back.
Waaaay back when, I stitched this little number for my bf. A couple of weeks ago I came up with the idea to do a stitchers' version of it, minus the binary because frankly, I didn't want to stitch all those ones and zeros again.
I'll be adding the pattern in the next few days, depending on my level of laziness. (Edit: Pattern for this and l33t crafter on the Patterns page now!)
I also started a new crafty thing- spool knitting. I used to do it when I was a kid and somewhere in my mom's garage is my original stuff. I decided to start up again to give myself something relatively simple to do while watching tennis or golf over the summer. Particularly when I'm not stitching something. It worked nicely while I watched the final round of the US Open on Sunday.
Few weeks back I was at Target and noticed they had penalty and challenge flags with their Super Bowl party stuff. However they were selling them for around 3 or 4 dollars for 2, so I wasn't going to buy them, but it gave me the idea to make my own for my Super Bowl "party". My general goal when I make things is to spend the least amount of money possible. It's more fun that way.
Went to the fabric store in hopes of finding suitable remnants but had no luck. Ideally, they would be made out of ripstop fabric but that stuff is expensive. Instead I found some relatively cheap cotton in the right colors. I ended up buying 1/3rd of a yard of red and yellow. I cut the fabric into approximately 13" squares, which gave me 3 flags of each color, with minimal leftovers. For the ends, Sammy the Shark, kindly donated some of his innards. I didn't want them to have anything too heavy in them just in case they get thrown in anger. I used rubber bands to cinch them up, but I may change to silver twist ties or wire to make them more accurate.
So the only thing I purchased specifically for the project was the fabric, which was $2.66. But Sammy and his plentiful innards were $1 and I'm sure you could get a package of rubber bands for $1 as well. Beats what Target was selling them for.
My new bag for all my stitching supplies. By far the most complicated thing I've sewn. Despite my serious lack of sewing abilities, I think it came out fairly well, although there are some definite flaws. Namely my complete inability to sew straight, which I blame on being left handed because it sounds like a good excuse. Plus I think my sewing machine hates me. It must sense my growing hatred of sewing.
It's approximately 8" x 8" and holds up to a 6" hoop comfortably. An empty 7" hoop fit, but with the extra fabric, it wouldn't fit as well as it should. Most of my work is in 4 or 5" hoops anyway.
Above is the view of the inside. I added a pocket for my scissors and a slightly larger one for thread and a little cushion i made for my needles (better view of it in the photo below). Right now it's not attached to anything, but I'll probably attach it to the pocket. I also added a button (the yellow thing on the left side) to put my unused thread on. More specifically the leftover thread when you take the strands you need.
The hoop in the photos is 5".
Took the bag to work yesterday for a test run, and other than the needle cushion probably needing to be attached to something, it held up well. Most likely I'll add another button and use some kind of ribbon to attach the cushion to it. I may also add some extra flair on the outside.