28 December 2020

Fabric Face Masks

The year is finally coming to a close. This 2020 was difficult for all of us because of COVID. But I am extra grateful for all that I have NOW and what I've taken for granted before the pandemic. I am still hopeful and look forward to new opportunities to turn blahs to TADAs.  

GSV crafters
via Lancaster Online

One of the things that defined this year was the face mask. When there was a shortage of PPE in March, crafters from all over the world sewed face masks from their stash of fabric and patterns they found on-line. Then sent these to hospitals and nursing homes to protect frontliners and patients. Doing what you can to help, I think that's TADA!

Hedley and Bennett, Ellen Marie Bennett, Wake up and fight mask, face masks, cloth masks, Covid crafts, Rifle Paper Co. fabric, handmade, face coverings, fabric crafts

Even I have started a small collection of face masks. I prefer these cloth ones because they can be washed and used over and over again. I add a coffee filter in the filter slot for added protection. These ones are from Hedley and Bennett. They're in the business of aprons but they quickly converted their factory to make face masks to fill the need. Their buy one, give one model (buy one for yourself and a mask will be sent to an essential worker) encouraged me even more to support them. 

face mask, cloth face mask, handmade face mask, epicycle old t-shirt into face mask, fabric remnants, fabric crafts, elastic, embroidery, embroidered flowers, COVID crafts

I also sewed some myself using remnant fabrics and old t-shirts...TADA!

And I received this package for Christmas -- masks and hand sanitizer. So cute and useful!

When walking around New York City, landmarks remind you that you must wear a mask to protect yourself and others:

New York City Landmarks, Atlas, Atlas by Lee Lawrie
The sculpture of Atlas across St. Patrick's Cathedral

New York City Landmarks, Atlas, Atlas by Lee Lawrie, Atlas sculpture wearing a mask, Covid, pandemic
Atlas wearing a mask 

New York City Landmarks, New York Public Library lions, Patience and Fortitude, Covid, pandemic in New York City
One of the lions outside the New York Public Library

It's a good thing many locals and visitors are compliant:

New York City, Fifth Avenue, Covid, pandemic, wear a mask

A new year is just around the corner but these masks aren't going anywhere.

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That's why I made a lanyard for my mask, so it's still on me for the occasions I need to take it off (in the car or while eating).

ace mask, fabric face mask, cloth face mask, COVID crafts, handmade, crafts, necklace, beads, lobster clasps, jewelry making,
It's fashioned out of an old necklace.

face mask, fabric face mask, cloth face mask, COVID crafts, handmade, fabric crafts, necklace, beads, lobster clasps, jewelry making, elastic, embroidery
And the two ends have lobster clasps to easily attach to any mask I own...TADA!

To end this post, here is a photo of one of my plants:

My dear friends gave this to me when my Dad passed away in 2018. While I don't know how to care for orchids, it's still alive to this day with regular watering and sunshine. The buds developed and bloomed in late December. This orchid is always a reminder of a painful season in my life. But every time it blooms, it tells me that life must go on and that there is still beauty on the other side.  

21 December 2020

Hand-painted Ornaments

One of my favorite Christmas traditions is to admire the shop windows along New York City's 5th Avenue. They are always decked out and you don't need to purchase a thing to feel the holiday spirit. I'm not sure if I'll be able to see them this year because of Covid precautions but maybe we can take a look back.

A few years ago, the Dolce and Gabbana flagship store had these huge trees with larger-than-life bows.  

Hanging on the branches were these colorful ornaments. 

I made sure to take these photos as a reference for a future craft project:

Aren't they lovely? I thought these hand-painted ornaments brought a very homey touch to a commercial space. 

Well, I thought I'd try my hand making them.

I found these clear plastic balls from the craft store. I re-purposed an empty egg carton to hold them steady while I painted them. 

I used acrylic paint and a small brush.

via State Symbols USA
I love painting flowers and I couldn't help choosing flowers to paint on my ornament. The rose is the National Flower of the USA where I currently live. Aren't roses so regal?

Here is my interpretation of a rose. 

And I added a few rose buds.

I likewise added some details like leaves...TADA! 

via Choose Philippines
I also chose this flower, the Sampaguita, the National Flower of the Philippines where I was born. They are delicate and very fragrant. 

My version of the Sampaguita.

With a few buds painted, too.

With the addition of some leaves, a plain plastic ornament has been transformed from blah to TADA!  

I've always been drawn to ornaments with personal meanings. 

Hand-painted ornaments
And I'm excited to add these to my collection...TADA!

14 December 2020

Felt Gift Toppers

The holidays are here and as much as I think of thoughtful presents to give away, I also contemplate gift packaging. I'd like them to be pretty and ecologically responsible. I usually go for paper (gift wrap, bags and cards) with reusable elements.

gift wrapping, felt crafts, gift embellishments, holly decorations, Christmas, blah to TADA, clothespin crafts
I saw this gift embellishment at a shop. It's a gift topper made to look like holly (made of felt) and berries (made of jingle bells) with a card and an elastic belly band to fit any kind of gift box. It's adorable! 

Instead of buying it, I'm making my own. Why buy, when I can D.I.Y.?

Since I didn't have elastic on hand, I'm using these wooden clothespins.

I used felt remnants to make the berries and holly leaves, and attached everything on the clothespin using a hot glue gun. They're similar to these gift clips I made a few weeks ago.

Clip it on a gift as a festive accent.

Use it to hold a card in place instead of tape.

It's an alternative to ribbon and it can be used over and over again...TADA!

Little touches that turn packages from blah to TADA!

07 December 2020

A LOVE-ly Birch Ornament

Hello! If you've been following my blog, you know that I fancy making my own Christmas ornaments. I've made some here, here, and here

A few years back, I came across these Scandinavian-inspired wooden tree decorations:

heart shaped wooden ornament, Christmas tree, Nordstrom decorations

heart shaped wooden ornament, Christmas tree, Nordstrom decorations
I love the simplicity and color-blocking, I decided to make something like it myself!

I used this piece of unfinished birch wood as my base. 

I traced around a cookie cutter to make a perfect heart.

Some strips of washi tape or painter's tape to segment the heart. 

Then I added different colors of paint in each segment:

 Peel off the tape.

Add a border detail to define the shape.

Another handmade ornament that I can add to my tree this year...TADA!

Hand-painted birch ornament
Have an awesome week!