Monday, April 27, 2015

crafting confession april - hand carved stamps

hand carved stamps septemberhouse

I am here with another installment in my "Crafting Confession" series. This month I gave stamp-making a try and I had a ton of fun with this one! The good news is that this is a project that is both practical and easy to do. 

moo carve stamps by septemberhouse

I decided to make some stamps I could use on envelopes for packages or just letters. Since I was a little unsure about how difficult the carving would be I tried to stick with pretty simple designs. Making sure your image is reversed before carving is so important - especially if you have text incorporated into your design. Once I transferred my image onto the block it was time to carve away all the portions of the image that I did not want to print.

hand carved prints septemberhouse

The my final designs were carved using a basic carving set and Moo Carve blocks. I highly recommend using Moo Carve if you are a beginner like me. I actually tried another type of block that was a clear plastic. I thought that would make transferring my design and positioning my stamp easier. Plus, the label said that it 'carved like butter' I have to disagree with THAT. It turned out to be pretty stubborn and I found Moo Carve really does cut like butter. This makes the carving part of the project fun and easy but it also makes your block pretty delicate and I actually ended up accidentally nicking mine in a few places with just a fingernail. Still, I would definitely use it again.

I hope you had a chance to try a brand new technique or project this month. Thanks for checking out this month's 'confession'!

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

a bit of DIY fun

mosaic cuff darby smart

It's time for a bit of DIY fun - this one brought to you with a little help from some friends over at Darby Smart
DIY embroidered cuff materials

These cuff bracelets were made with some surprising materials (like small mosaic tiles) as well as some near and dear friends (like embroidery floss - of course). To make these I used: one blank vegan leather cuff, some small mosaic tiles, super gel adhesive, a lightweight awl by Clover, a micron pen, a needle and some embroidery floss.

embroidered cuff DIY tutorial

The first step was to just play around and come up with an arrangement for my tiles and embroidery. This was lots of fun because there are so many possibilities. I encourage you to try many different options before deciding on a final design. 

The tiles look pretty great on their own but I wanted to incorporate some stitching as well which I am sure comes as no surprise. You can add embroidery stitches however and wherever you like. They look great as an outline for the tiles, stitched over the top of the tiles, or as an independent accent. 

The tiles have a small ridge on one side and are flat on the other so I took that opportunity to incorporate some texture into my cuffs and used the tiles ridge side up. Either side will work though.

embroidered cuff DIY tutorial

After deciding on an arrangement I glued down my tiles using super gel adhesive. It provides a very strong bond but has a strong smell and dries quickly so I recommend working quickly and in a ventilated area if possible.

embroidered cuff DIY tutorial

I decided I wanted to mark my holes for the embroidery which takes a little extra time but I think it is worth it to insure a precise final look. A ruler can be used to space out your holes perfectly.

embroidered cuff DIY tutorial

Next I pierced through the cuff with an awl as a way to 'pre-drill' my holes. A needle just won't do the trick on it's own and the embroidery goes so smoothly once those holes are in place. You won't regret taking that extra step, I promise!

embroidered cuff DIY tutorial

My last step was to thread my needle with some embroidery floss and "connect the dots". The pre punched holes made this part a breeze. With that step complete I was all done. 

embroidered cuff DIY tutorial darby smart
Thanks to Darby Smart for being a part of this project! 

Thursday, April 9, 2015

craft confession March - sewing

sunglasses cases sewing project septemberhouse

I am finally documenting my craft confession from March and even though it's a little tardy, I am still so glad to be able to share it with you today. For March I took on a sewing project. I know I said I would be trying things I have not done before and I HAVE sewed so there is another confession right there. BUT this is a project that has been sitting there on one of my Pinterest boards for quite some time but I never had the guts to try to make it.

sunglasses cases sewing project septemberhouse

I figured my intimidation made it the perfect project to take on so I gave it a go. The pattern and tutorial for this sunglasses case were so generously provided by Thread Riding Hood She gives directions for three variations too. A big huge Thank You to her for that.

sunglasses cases sewing project septemberhouse

This project called for plastic canvas as a support which I have never used in a sewing project before but it is actually pretty ingenious! The result is a very sturdy and cute case to keep your sunnies secure and protected. I had some of vintage lawn chair fabric leftover from the totebag I made a while back so I thought it would be a fun design for Summertime. My stitching isn't perfect and there were a couple of steps in the process that my sewing machine did NOT like but overall it turned out to be a much friendlier project than I anticipated.

I am so glad I took the time to do this. Without the Crafting Confession prompt I probably would have just let this project sit on Pinterest for years. More experienced sewists would find this project to be oh sew :) easy peasy so if you have a fabric stash to bust through or are looking for a quick gift this might be just the thing for you.

Thursday, March 26, 2015

pattern premiere week - holiday angels

Angel embroidery pattern holiday embroidery designs from SeptemberHouse

Hello again, I am sad to see these premieres come to close - they are so much fun. After months of tweaking in my quiet basement it is really exciting to let these patterns see the light of day! This last pattern set has a holiday theme and it's one of my favorite Christmas motifs - angels. You can find the Holiday Angels Pattern Set over at SeptemberHouse.

Angel embroidery pattern holiday embroidery designs from SeptemberHouse

Angels have found their way onto a few of my other projects in the past, mostly Christmas ornaments and I have always enjoyed coming up with ideas for these little gals. For this set I have three different embroidery designs and one more little freebie pattern too just for fun.

Angel embroidery pattern holiday embroidery designs from SeptemberHouse

Normally I put all my examples in hoops but I wanted to branch out a little more for these new pattern sets so one was sewn into a banner (don't you love that crochet lace trim?) and one was made into a stocking. Now, as you may already know, sewing is not exactly one of my superpowers BUT I used this pattern/tutorial that I saw on Pinterest and was able to sew this up without a hitch. A big thank you to Amy Smart for putting this wonderful tutorial together and for making it available for free - it is appreciated!

Angel embroidery pattern holiday embroidery designs from SeptemberHouse

Thanks for sharing premiere week with me. I hope to have some more projects to share soon! And yes, I am working on my Crafting Confession installment for March and I hope I can post about that next!.

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

pattern premiere week - modern monograms

alphabet embroidery patterns by septemberhouse monogram patterns

Today I am revealing what has kept me so quiet over the past few months. After hemming and hawing over whether or not to take on a project this big I decided to give it a try. There are not one but three alphabet pattern sets now available at SeptemberHouse!

alphabet embroidery patterns by septemberhouse monogram patterns
starlight letter patterns
These are available as full alphabets or single letters (the single letter patterns have designs for all three styles but for a single letter).

alphabet embroidery patterns by septemberhouse monogram patterns
floral letter patterns
No, I did not stitch up examples for all 26 letters in each style (let's see, that would be 78 examples to stitch!) that might have been the end of my eyesight and maybe even my sanity. Hopefully the examples I did stitch give a good sense of how the style looks. There are some digital renderings on the pattern listings too so I hope that will be helpful too.

art deco alphabet embroidery patterns by septemberhouse monogram patterns
art deco letter patterns

The three styles I narrowed it down to were a floral style that is kind of swirly and fun. It has a few options for stitching too - the 'shadow' and the outline can both be omitted if that is preferred so it can be made a little simpler than it is shown. And art deco inspired design is also available. I love the way the colors look together on my stitched example but I confess, I had an inkling to try it in metallic gold or silver - can you imagine? That metallic thread can be so tricky though so I chickened opted out. You have to admit though - that would have really given it an art deco flair, am I right? Perhaps a bolder embroiderist will take on that challenge.

The last design is probably my favorite. It's the simplest but I think it's also the cleanest. I called it "Starlight" due to the starburst in the center (and because I could not think up anything else). I added some lengths of 1.5mm cording underneath my satin stitches to give it some added dimension and I LOVE the way it turned out. That is a really easy way to add a little something extra to your embroidery.

Thanks for taking a peek at these new designs, I am thrilled to be able to share them with you today. One more pattern premiere is coming this week!

Monday, March 23, 2015

pattern premiere week - Happy Houseplants

Hand Embroidery Patterns Happy Houseplants from SeptemberHouse

The time has finally come to share some new patterns from SeptemberHouse! Normally I focus on one set at a time but over the past few months I have experimented with working on several patterns at once. These Happy Houseplants are the first to debut!

Hand Embroidery Designs Happy Houseplants from SeptemberHouse

This collection of patterns is completely customizable. The set contains designs for eight different plants and eight different pots. Choose the combo you like, trace them together onto your fabric (or trace onto stabilizer - whatever method you prefer) and stitch them up. I added some stitch guides for the combinations I embroidered but there are so many more possibilities beyond that and I hope people will just have fun coming up with different color and stitch variations.

Hand Embroidery Designs Houseplant Mis and Match from SeptemberHouse

Here is a little close up of one of them. They fit in a three inch hoop as they are but the patterns can be enlarged or reduced on a printer or copy machine too. I think they would be cute in a little collection of hoops but I wanted to try a wall hanging idea I had too so I gave that a go for my example.

Terrarium hand embroidery pattern by SeptemberHouse

I also decided to include this friend that you might recall from a while back. It seemed to fit the theme and I hope people will find it to be a nice addition to this collection. It has so many different stitches in it as well as some experimenting that I did when I stitched it up originally. It can be embroidered with more basic stitches as well but if someone wants a challenge they can really have fun with this one.

Oh and I think there might be a couple of little freebie patterns too - or that might just be a rumor that is floating around. I really cannot confirm at this point *wink*

You can find Happy Houseplants Here.

Watch for more new pattern sets to hit the shop shelves this week!

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

crafting confession #2 february

This post almost didn't make it online because at just month #2 I already have doubts about this whole crafting confession series. I liked the idea of it when I envisioned beautiful completed projects that I could share here on my blog. I had not really thought through what I would do on those months when my end results fall short of my expectations. But - the point was to have fun and try new things and I promise I am continuing with that mission.

This month I took on some basic beadwork. I was so excited about this one. What ended up happening though, was that I would end the month in frustration and my seven year old would end the month with a new favorite thing to do. I had not intended this to be a mother-son venture but once he saw me working with the beads he wanted to give it a go as well. The projects on the left are his and the ones on the right are mine. He started with perler beads and embroidery floss which worked beautifully for someone his age. We set up an embroidery hoop 'loom' found here - which again, worked great for him.

I used a really simple bead loom which also worked fine for me as a beginner. Somehow though, I was not happy with anything I made. I actually had another completed project but when I tried to put some jewelry findings on it to turn it into a bracelet the whole thing ended up falling apart. (grumble grumble). So I am left with just some practice pieces that may never turn into anything. Adam doesn't know what to do with his either. He just liked the process but didn't care what became of them (maybe I should take a lesson from him).

Please know that I am not saying that there is anything wrong with beadweaving. Just do a quick search online to see what amazing things can be done with it. My main problem (I think) was that I bought the wrong materials. They worked but with better beads and beading thread my odds of making something I could be happy with would be much greater. First there was a lot of sifting through information online about what to use (do you know how many different sizes beads, thread and needles come in?? good grief!). Then I assumed I could just hop down to my local craft store and pick those things up and well, I couldn't. So I got the next best things in the interest of time and the results reflected that. I would definitely do this again but I would purchase the right tools for the job.

So, there's my crafting confession for this month. I am glad to be sweeping up the last of the beads for now at least and moving onto next month's adventure - one that I confess, I am very intimidated by.