Thursday, 22 June 2017

Watercolour and doodle cards

I have had so much fun recently getting a watercolour effect just using regular kids colouring pens then doodling over the top when they were dry.
Watercolour and doodle mandala cards
I'd seen on Instagram a few people using Tombow pens as watercolours and it got me to wondering if those regular, inexpensive felt pens the kids had loads of over the years for colouring would work to. What I discovered is, that if they are the ones that say they wash out of clothes, then yes, they do - huzzah! 
I do have a pack pf pastel coloured Tombow's as well and I can confirm they work really nicely too. 
fake watercolour and doodled mandala cards

To make your own watercolour and doodle cards you need:
Washable felt pens
A fine line permanent pen - mine is a sharpie
Paint brush
Watercolour paper
A card blank & envelope
Watercolour and doodle cards

For the mandala cards I started by drawing round a tin lid, then filling in concentric circles with colours of your choice.
Watercolour and doodle cards
Then wet it with your paint brush until it's all smudged, the colour will start to spread immediately but your circle will still be pretty "line-y"
DIY fake watercolour and doodle cards
Leave it to dry, after about an hour mine looked like this:
water colour effect with felt pens
Nice, but still a bit lined. At this point I thought it wasn't going to work with the cheaper pens.
fake watercolour
Next morning when it had completely dried I was super pleased to see the lines had almost disappeared.
Now you are ready to doodle with your fine pen. Mine is a sharpie but i think other fine liners would work too.
These ones I did freehand, you can see they are a little wonky but I'm not unhappy with that look. 
Watercolour and doodle cards
You can see my tutorial about drawing more symmetrical mandalas here if you want some more ideas. 
Next I simple cut them out and glued them onto card blanks.
fake Watercolour and doodle mandala cards

Next I tried a more rectangular shape of felt pen 'watercolour' and drew feathers on top.
fake Watercolour and zentangle cards
I added the greetings with stamps.
fake Watercolour and zentangle cards
There are no step by step photos here but they are done in exactly the same as the mandala ones. Scribble with the water soluble felt pens, wet with the paint brush and then leave to dry completely.
Then doodle whatever you fancy. I did feathers filled with doodle but I'm thinking they could easily be tweaked into leaves.
fake Watercolour and zentangle feather cards
fake Watercolour and zentangle cards
The colours don't blend quite perfectly but I love that you can get this effect with something as simple as a kids felt pen or two.
I do have some bits and pieces of actual water colour and some water soluble colouring pencils that I had as a teenager (never throw anything away that might be useful!) so I'm going to do some more experimenting soon. 
There are millions of ideas online for zentagling and doodling (I have a board on pinterest if you want some more inspiration). If you are not feeling very artistic then you could use stamps, but honestly the doodling doesn't have to be complicated to look pretty. It's all about overall effect rather than expert drawing - have fun! 

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Sunday, 18 June 2017

Handmade Monday #30

It's time for another Handmade Monday!
Welcome to Handmade Monday, the place to share your makes, bakes and other handmade craft ideas or just find some new inspiration.

How is everyone? Spending time making a fuss of any Dad's in your life I hope. Have you had any time for making or baking this week? I rustled up a quick Father's Day card for my dad inspired by the idea shared here last week by The Crafty Lumberjacks. I did mine a little differently from their tutorial in the end, just using what I had, but "Thanks guys" for the idea!

Now, without further ado, here are the features from last weeks linky:
I'm amazed by the beautiful attention to detail that Lina from Sew Historically put into this beautiful Edwardian Lace combing jacket. To be honest I'd never even heard of a combing jacket so it was a little history lesson at the same time.

Wendy from My French Twist shared this beautiful macrame hanging herb garden. As a child of the 70's I have a soft spot for macrame so I love to see a modern take on it like this. 

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Handmade Monday is all about building a craft community, please so take a few minutes to visit some of the other links, leave a comment, and maybe share your favourites on the social media of your choice if you can.
The world is full of sadness at the moment with a host of tragic events so let's spread a little kindness but taking time to support one another.

The rules for Handmade Monday are simple:
  • Did you make it? Yes - hooray, we'd love to see it!
  • Add the link to a specific blog post, not your main site URL.
  • Link up to 3 posts each week.
  • Mingle - visit some of the other links - comment - sharelet's support one another and grow our craft community.
If you're not sure on anything, more information can be found here.



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Wednesday, 14 June 2017

Mandala Painted Sewing Box

I'm really excited to share this sewing box makeover with you today. It's been on my 'to do' list for a few years so I'm happy it's finally done and that it turn out as well as it did. 
Mandala Painted Sewing Box
This sewing box belonged to my mum, I think she had it as a wedding present back in 1967. Growing up it was always in the corner, stuffed full of sewing bits and pieces. I remember we always used it as an extra seat at the dinner table at Christmas and other family get togethers too. 
It had definitely seen better days, the legs were very scuffed and the top was quite badly scratched and watermarked. I use it as my sewing box now and it sits in the corner of our dining room which is all whites and greys so it looked a bit out of place. Time for a makeover.
sewing box before its makeover
I unscrewed the hinge, took the lid off and the "don't open too far" chain thing, gave it a good clean and a light sanding.
The green fabric lining inside was ok and so I didn't even try to remove it. I just taped it up carefully and painted the sewing box with 3 coats of Painter's Touch Satin paint.
Once it was all put back together it already looked much better.
Mandala Painted Sewing Box
sewing box makeover
I wanted to do something a bit fancy on the top and after a little thinking time I decided on a simple mandala.  
I drew some circles with a soft pencil, just drawing round a mug, a saucer and a plate, then filled in a mandala pattern. You can see a more comprehensive tutorial about drawing mandalas here.
I've not balanced the colours on these photos - it is all the same thing, honest! - but any messing about made it impossible to see the pencil lines!
Mandala Painted Sewing Box
I painted the lines with a grey acrylic paint and a fine paintbrush. The finished mandala is clearly hand painted, it's not perfectly symmetrical or even but I like that. If you wanted to try a more perfect look or were just not confident to draw your own design then a stencil would be a good way to go.
Mandala Painted Sewing Box
The sewing box has a tray that sits on the lip inside. No 'before' photo I'm afraid but it was the same wood as the main box. It had 3 coats of the same Painter's Touch satin paint.
sewing box tray
I lined the base with some scrapbook paper. I didn't stick it down, this way I can change it easily if it gets grubby. 
sewing box makeover
I needed something to keep my sewing machine bobbins under control so I took a small cardboard box (this one had had pritt glue sticks in it) cut it down and covered the 2 halves in the same scrapbook paper.
bobbin storage
Ta-dah! This is as tidy as my sewing box has ever been, or is ever likely to be!
sewing box makeover
Sewing box makeover
I'm so happy with how this turned out. I was a bit worried that I might mess it up and wish I'd never started but no, all is well.
Mandala Painted Sewing Box

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Sunday, 11 June 2017

Handmade Monday #29

It's Handmade Monday time!
Welcome to another Handmade Monday, the place to share your makes, bakes and other handmade craft ideas or just find some new inspiration.

How has your week been? I've been enjoying participating in a colourful Instagram challenge for June. It's organised by Adventures and Tea Parties and is #ColourMyEveryDay. The daily prompts have been pretty vague which always makes this kind of thing easier. I've not done a daily challenge like this for ages and to be honest I never normally manage everyday but as they are supposed to be for fun I don't beat myself up about it!

Now here are the features from last weeks linky:
Vicky Myers made this beautiful chevron cushion cover from old jeans. If you read her step by step instructions it is actually much simple to put together than it looks. 

I LOVE Rhubarb and so I couldn't resist these lovely looking rhubarb crumble muffins from Of Faeries & Fauna

And a final bonus honourable mention that goes to the super talented daughter of Ginny from Ginx Crafts who made her mum a most fabulous toy Alpaca. Isn't he just fabulous? She did cut up her dressing gown to make him, but how could you be cross about that?!

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We are all about sharing and caring here at Handmade Monday so if you do link up please take some time to visit some other links and share a few on the social media of your choice. If you are not a social media fan then comments are lovely too (I know the world of tweets, likes, shares and hashtags is not for everyone!)
We have a Handmade Monday Facebook Group where we share tips and ideas. If you like to link up here regularly you are welcome to join us, just send a request. Every entry to Handmade Monday gets pinned onto our Handmade Monday pinterest board too.

The rules for Handmade Monday are simple:
  • Did you make it? Yes - hooray, we'd love to see it!
  • Add the link to a specific blog post, not your main site URL.
  • Link up to 3 posts each week.
  • Mingle - visit some of the other links - comment - sharelet's support one another and grow our craft community.
If you're not sure on anything, more information can be found here.



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Wednesday, 7 June 2017

Polka Dot Embroidered Tote Bag

Some simple embroidery on bright polka dot fabric turned into a sweet little tote bag.
Polka dot embroidered tote bag tutorial
Red and white polka dot is a favourite pattern of mine, and last November the lovely Caroline from CJ Made had a sewing supplies giveaway that I was lucky enough to win which contained a load of red and white polka dot fabric. I made a top for myself and with some of the left overs I thought I'd try a little embroidery inspired something that I'd seen on pinterest.

To make an embroidered polka dot tote bag you will need:
1 x piece of polka dot fabric 36cm(14") x 77cm(30") for the main body of the bag
2 x pieces of polka dot fabric 10cm(4") x 61cm(24") for the handles
Embroidery thread in your choice of colours, mine are DMC 3824, 3753, 3819 and 973
A sharp needle, scissors, sewing machine, sewing thread

First you need to decide on a design and where you want it. I did a band of flowers to run across the top of the bag. The rest is a centralised band of running stitch. This is a gift for my niece so I added her name to the back too just as an added extra. Just make sure any fancy design element is at least 3" away from the short edge of the fabric or it will get in the way of the top hem later.
The embroidery is worked with 3 strands of thread throughout.
Starting roughly in the centre, stitch about 5" (12cm) of running stitch then lazy daisy flowers on 3 dots in a row, then continue with running stitch the full length of the fabric.
Then pick another colour and repeat the process, doing the same number of rows each side of your original central one.
flower polka dot embroidered tote bag tutorial
I did 3 lines of each of my 4 colours so 12 lines in total. To add the name on the back I used a water-soluble marker to write in a fancy font where the last line of stitching was due to go, then worked it in backstitch.
personalised Polka dot embroidered tote bag tutorial
I then waited about for nearly 3 months and this birthday was imminent to make it up into a bag. You don't have to wait this long! Originally this was going to be a cushion but my brother and his family are moving overseas later this year and I suddenly realised that a cushion would just be an extra bulky thing to pack. A bag can roll up to nearly nothing and just tuck in a case so a much better present under the circumstances. Maybe it was just as well I didn't rush to make the cushion cover after all!

So, now it's time to turn your embroidered piece into a tote. Start by pressing everything with the iron, then fold the main piece in half WRONG SIDES TOGETHER and using a small seam allowance (1/4" or 1/2 cm ish) sew up either side. Now turn the bag inside out, press the edges flat and then stitch these seams again, this time with a 1/2" or 1.25cm seam allowance.
Polka dot embroidered tote bag tutorial
This makes a french seam which just makes the inside a bit tidier, especially for people like me who don't have an overlocker (serger). Turn the bag back out the right way and admire your lovely neat seams. 
Fold and press a narrow hem at the top open edge then fold over again an inch (2.5cm) Pin but don't sew yet.
Polka dot embroidered tote bag tutorial

Now make the handles, make both the same. Fold and press a narrow hem on both long sides of your handle pieces, then fold in half again, lining up the edges.
Polka dot embroidered tote bag tutorial
Top stitch down both sides.

Tuck one end of one handle under the hem you made on the front of the main bag piece, about 5cm (2") from the side seam.
Polka dot embroidered tote bag tutorial
Fold it back up on itself and secure with a pin. Repeat for the other end of the handle on the other side of the bag, making sure your handle is smooth and not twisted.
Now repeat on the back half of the bag with the other handle. 
Top stitch round the top of the bag, just away for the hem edge. Repeat another line of top stitching around the top edge of the bag.
Top stitching on a Polka dot embroidered tote bag tutorial
Polka dot embroidered tote bag tutorial
See how nice and neat that french seam makes the inside - makes me so happy!
French seams on a Polka dot embroidered tote bag tutorial
Red & White polkadot fabric bag with embroidery
Personalised Polka dot embroidered tote bag tutorial

Polka dot embroidered tote bag tutorial

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