Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Mixed Up Holidays

So, I realized I never posted our completed Christmas card, and it has a picture of the husband and I, so it seems appropriate for this time of year... right? There's no better way to celebrate one belated holiday than with another one. (But to be fair, we might really do something for Valentine's Day this weekend, since we couldn't do anything on Monday. So it's not as belated as it might seem.)

Card designed by SugarTreeStudios on Etsy - cute designs, did exactly what I asked - not super impressed with speed but liked the final result. Photo by Swafford Photography.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Hook-ed on P-honics

Um, can anyone explain to me how this is supposed to be helpful? This actually came in the mail today. Really.

Maybe this would help?

Thursday, February 3, 2011

How to Make a Felt Heart Garland

Over the weekend, I got several items made or started for my Etsy shop. One of them was a felt heart garland. Now that it's officially February, I thought I'd share a tutorial for making one - a quick and fun way to decorate for Valentine's Day!

You can freehand cut each heart if you really want to, but I started by making a little template from thick scrapbooking paper (like cardstock) that I got from someone who doesn't scrapbook any more (I don't either, but it's great to have a nice stock of paper around!) You can see that the line I drew wasn't the line I cut... I decided that I wanted my hearts a little bigger than what I'd drawn. These ended up being about 2-3/4" at the widest point and about 2-1/4" high. You could make tall, skinny hearts, little bitty hearts, or giant fat hearts - whatever you want.

Next, you need your felt. I used a thrifted 100% wool scarf that I washed and felted (wash in hot water, dry with high heat). I like using this method for getting my felt because you can get patterned felt this way. It also tends to come out thicker than premade felt. You could also felt a wool sweater, buy wool felt, or use a synthetic felt. Again, it's up to you - this is a very customizable project. If you want a multi-colored garland, go with the felt sheets you get at a craft store, for example. They're cheap, easy to find, and come in lots of colors.

The next step is to cut out your hearts, as many as you want. I only cut from the ends of my scarf, because that's where the bands of plaid were. I ended up cutting out 25 hearts. To get a consistent shape, I just placed the template on top of the scarf, held it with my left hand, and cut with my right. Being right-handed, I found that the right side was a lot easier to cut, so on some of them, I cut out the right side first, then flipped the felt over, repositioned the template, and cut the right side again (which was the left when viewed from the other side).

After you have a nice little stack of hearts, it's time to sew them together. Just stick the first one under your needle (leave longish thread tails at the beginning), sew sew sew, and slip the next one in there to sit as close to the previous one as you can. The tricky part is keeping them lined up and not getting too much of a gap between them. Since the sides aren't straight, it takes a little extra attention and effort to place one heart next to another while getting them to feed through the machine. It's really not difficult though - go ahead, you can do it!

Once they're all sewn together, tie the ends off leaving little loops and hang above your bed, over your couch, around the door... the possibilities are endless (well, sort of). Let me know if you try this!

 And if you'd rather buy than make, my garland is for sale here. :) Handmade with love, of course! [UPDATE: The garland has been sold - but contact me if you'd like a similar one!]