15 July 2019

A Rainbow Pouch

Here is a project cobbled together from things I found in my sewing kit.

Fabric remnants, a zipper, and embroidery thread.

Inspired by something I saw at a shop, I decided to do a little DIY.

I sewed a rainbow! I like to use the term "sketching with thread".

I added a zipper, sewed this on and also closed the seams (you can use a sewing machine or do this by hand).

Here is my finished rainbow pouch...TADA!

Because I had thread left over, I made a tassel. No need to waste even a small piece...TADA!

08 July 2019

Handmade Gift Bows

It's all about gift wrapping today!

I saw this at a store and thought I could make it myself. Why buy when we can D-I-Y?

I found some pink tissue in my craft stash.

I used some basic supplies like scissors, glue, and tape. 

I folded the paper in half and cut a fringe along the fold. I opened up the paper in the opposite way so that the petals form these arches. Then I rolled the paper onto itself and glued the edge in place...TADA!

Here's another idea:

I cut a fringe from the strip of paper. Compared to the first fringe I made, this is not cut along the fold giving the fringe a grass-like look. 

I wrapped the paper around the box and taped it in place. 

Then I embellished with stickers...TADA! 

Using the same technique, I made a flower by rolling the fringe and attaching it to the box with washi tape...TADA!

Doesn't it look like a carnation? 

And here's a final idea:

I cut multiple circles and stacked them on top of each other (adding a bead of glue between each stack). Then I cut fat fringes and twisted the bottom of the paper to bunch up the circles.

Now the paper looks like a pompom flower...TADA!

Even if you don't have bows on hand, you can make them yourself, turning plain paper from blah to TADA!

You'll find more D-I-Y bow ideas here, here, and here.

01 July 2019

The Gift of Calligraphy

Several years ago, I took a calligraphy class from the endearing and talented Maybelle Imasa-Stukuls. I was elated to discover that she published a book last year!

Inside, she gives a short history on calligraphy and how it has evolved to "Modern Calligraphy" or a style derived from one's own handwriting. And that is confidence-building for sure! I've pored through books and observed some demos on the rules of proper calligraphy, feeling insecure that I'm not doing it correctly. Well, Maybelle encourages us to let go of perfection

The book is a resource on how to set up a work space, the best tools to use, and the proper way to hold a pen. 

The art direction, a collaboration with Rebecca Thuss and Patrick Farrell, is just lovely!

Like any other hobby, it's important to practice, practice, and practice!

And these are my practice sheets...TADA!

Once I got the hang of it, I tried out the different project ideas in the book:

(1) Pictorial Calligraphy: fill a shape with words written in calligraphy (ex. the classic song "New York, New York" inside an apple)

(2) A favorite quote that you can display (with or without a frame) on your work desk

(3) Make your own gift wrapping sheets

(4) Parcel Mail Art: in the book, Maybelle decorated a wooden box with a label, twine, vintage postage stamps, and a wax seal. Here is my version where I re-purposed a cardboard box:


(5) Brush lettering on fabric: I added "Cheers" to this cloth gift bag using a permanent marker

(6) Draw your own Botanical Poster (I was inspired by spring blooms)

(7) A Message in a Bottle! I wrote some letters and put them inside these empty vanilla bean/pod vials

(8) Labels and Tags for packaging, mailing, and gifting 

I love how these projects help improve my calligraphy style and double as gifts or packaging for gifts...TADA!

"The projects in this book range from easy to advanced, and I created them with the idea of making and giving something handcrafted. I hope you will find that the act of making a gift to give is also an invaluable gift to yourself. Take pride in the fact that you created the gift by hand -- and let go of the idea of perfection. If you are patient with yourself and remember to have fun, you will discover the many ways that the gift of calligraphy can spread love and kindness in unexpected ways." - Maybelle Imasa-Stukuls

24 June 2019

Treasures from the Trash: A Chalkboard Easel

Hey guys, look at what I found in the trash:

It's a chalkboard easel!

One side has a chalkboard 

The other side has a whiteboard 

On top there's room for a roll of drawing paper and there are shelves to put all the drawing materials one could possibly need.

It just needed some cleaning up. Sadly, I didn't take it home -- I just don't have the space for it. But if I did, here are some ideas to turn this chalkboard easel from blah to TADA! 

How to turn kids' playrooms into creative spaces to maximize their ingenuity and stimulate their artistic ability.
via Popsugar
Clean it up and paint it in a new color. Use it to dress up a small corner as a child's creativity space.

IKEA Hack, Kids room IKEA hack, paint an IKEA chalkboard with chalk paint
via Pinterest
Use the chalkboard easel as an inspiration board in a craft room or a vision board in a home office. 

via Pinterest
Use it to welcome guests at your next party...TADA!

Menu chalkboard easel for a wedding
via Pinterest
Turn it into a menu board for your next potluck. Decorate the shelf with flowers that guests can take home afterwards.

via Pinterest
Here's another menu board idea for "Taco Night".

Creative use of a child's chalkboard easel as signage (painting it red and adding silk flowers are a great idea).
via Pinterest
Use it to invite potential customers into a local shop or booth at the craft fair...TADA!

via Pinterest
Or use the chalk board easel to display your merchandise at the farmer's market or craft show.

Maybe you have some furniture that need a new lease on life? Turn them from blah to TADA!