Archive for the ‘Holiday’ Category

* crochet heart

Posted on February 14th, 2011 by maitreya. Filed under Crochet, Holiday.


Happy Valentine’s Day!

crochetheart

This is part of a treasure trove of crochet and embroidery from my great grandma and various great aunts.

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* pinprick valentines

Posted on February 6th, 2011 by maitreya. Filed under Holiday, Paper Crafts, Projects with Instructions.


Someone posted this handpunched letter poster by Anna Farkas to Pinterest the other day and it lit a little crafting fire.  I decided to try to make an “M” for Mark and Maitreya.  The idea is to make it for Valentine’s Day, but non-holiday-specific enough that we can hang it up year round.  Instead of the lacy pattern they created, I decided to go geometric to make it more unisex too.

punchedm

It was shockingly easy.  First, I printed out a giant letter m, using a bold font with a chunky line.  This one is Arial Black 450 pt bold, printed in outline to save ink.  Then I cut out the inside of the letter to make a stencil.

To help keep the punch pattern even, I used a page of isometric graph paper from my paper pack.  I played around with a few different patterns before settling on this one.  The key is that the pattern needs to be dense enough to fill out the letter and create good edges.  My first try was too sparse, and you couldn’t tell what it was.

isometricm

(graph paper template after punching)

The pattern was easy enough to follow that I didn’t draw it in first, but you could do that for something more complicated.  Use a bit of masking tape to keep the stencil on the graph paper on the real paper.

I used a cork tile as a nice soft base to punch into.  The paper is from a thick watercolor pad.  In a moment of cleverness, I decided to try my embroidery punch needles, since they have a comfortable holder, make rather large holes, and I have two size needles.  It worked!  Until the smaller needle bent in half :/  I was able to use a pin for the rest of it, with an improvised masking tape wad to make it easier to hold.  If I’d had any sense, I would’ve used a pushpin.

Anyway, punch away at the pattern, staying inside the boundaries of the stencil.  It’s really as easy as that.

Here’s another one I made with a heart stencil.

punchedheart

The pattern is from a paper towel!

punchedpapertowel

You can tell I overdid it just a bit on this one.  There’s at least one spot where two neighboring holes ran together.  The paper towel was also more difficult to follow than the graph paper, so my lines aren’t quite as even.

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* origami fabric ornaments

Posted on December 11th, 2010 by maitreya. Filed under Holiday.


These are cutouts from a piece of Ikea fabric I got on my last visit.  I ironed the first one on to a felt backing + another layer of fabric, but it’s still a little on the flimsy side for the antlers.

deerorigamiornament

The second two are ironed on to heavy watercolor paper, and they are much sturdier (and easier to cut out).

origamiornaments

I didn’t sign up for any ornament swaps this year, so if you’d be interested in swapping for a couple of these, leave a comment or drop me an email (maitreya@craftlog.org).  I’m planning to make them on demand, so you can even choose which animals you want (deer, moose, wolf, or birds).

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* stamped clothes pin gift tags

Posted on December 5th, 2010 by maitreya. Filed under Holiday.


Gift tag idea for this year: clothes pins stamped with names.  The plan is to wrap yarn around the present and then clip these on.

clothespins

As you can see, 6 letters is the limit, which luckily is only a problem for a couple of people on my list.  I’m using a stamp pad recommended for wood (VersaMagic Multi-surface chalk ink, initially gotten to use on fabric) and it seems to actually work pretty well.  These are bamboo and have a glossier finish relative to normal wood pins, so ymmv.

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* Christmas village 2009

Posted on December 20th, 2009 by maitreya. Filed under Holiday, Martha.


The Martha Stewart village kit back from the Martha-by-Mail days, finally all assembled, on the mantel.

img_2707

One more house to paint, though.  You can also see our new Lego space needle addition this year, which was a present from Becket.

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* gocco pinecone cards

Posted on December 13th, 2009 by maitreya. Filed under Gocco/L Letterpress, Holiday, Paper Crafts.


Remember the sketched felt pinecone ornaments I made way back when?  You might even have one if you swapped with me.  I decided to see if I could reuse the screen for card-printing this year.  I think 2X is about the lifespan of a Gocco screen, though.  It started blebbing because the screen wasn’t pulled as taut where the cardboard frame got wet when I cleaned it after the first use.  They’re not bad, though.

I printed onto paper bags.  Even taking only the nicest parts of the bag (no seams, no bad folds), I got 21 prints to the bag!  The craft room is blanketed with them.  I am now envelope-limited, in fact.  About half of them I made like this:

paperbagcone

from the pieces of the bag that are blank on both sides.  I’m just writing a note directly on the back of them and sending them as my xmas cards.  The rest were smaller pieces from the sides of the bag, or they have printing on the back, so I’m going to mount them on card stock or something to use as notecards later.

I wanted to use up the dregs of my tube of ink, so I printed a few on other paper I had laying around just for fun.  This Martha Stewart paper is my favorite.

mslpapercone

If you’d like to trade cards, email me (maitreya@craftlog.org) and we can swap addresses.  I didn’t enter any of the ornament swaps this year, and I’m missing the mail from my imaginary internet friends.  :P

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* paper ball ornament

Posted on November 13th, 2009 by maitreya. Filed under Holiday, Paper Crafts.


I am fascinated by the trends that sweep through blogland (I used to do a column for Whip Up called memewatch).  Envelope security linings appears to be one that’s been picking up steam for quite a while, and I am not immune to their charms.  Recycling bin diving tonight came up with 7 envelopes of various blue and gray shades.  I added a few other papers (graph paper and origami prints and solids) to bulk it up.

I cut 3.5 inch circles and stiched them down the middle in packs of 4-5, stiched the packs together, then fanned the “pages” out to make a ball.  I left long thread ends to tie in a loop as a hanger.

paperball

Did I mention that this was difficult to take a good picture of?  Yeah, sorry about that.  Also, what am I doing making xmas crafts before Thanksgiving?  Thanks a lot, Christmas-industrial complex.

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* Christmas Packages

Posted on December 24th, 2008 by amy. Filed under Holiday.


I arrived home in Ohio with carry-on luggage only.  A day later, I was met by the box of gifts I shipped ahead.  I didn’t do much crafting for gifts this year (though I can’t wait to see what Maitreya has made!), but my mom and I really had fun using odds and ends and “recycled” wrap to decorate our packages. I really liked the green and magenta combination we pulled together for the gift bag.  A sprig of “evergreen” stapled to the bag dressed it up.

Mom had purchased two lovely Paul Strauch bronze doorbells for family members, they came in pretty chocolate brown boxes too nice to wrap. Instead, we sprunched together some crinkly brown paper shreds (rescued from a package last year) along with a sprig of silk “berries” leftover from last year’s Christmas wreath and tied it all with a bit of raffia.

A bit of leftover silk holly brightened up a necklace box, and coordinated with the red and gold paper. This was the last 8 inches of gold ribbon on the roll!

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* wood stain sample gift tags

Posted on December 9th, 2008 by maitreya. Filed under Holiday, Paper Crafts.


I’m home sick today, wrapping presents. In thinking about gift tag ideas, I saw the stack of stain samples I’ve been trying to come up with uses for. They are conveniently blank on the back, and exactly the right size. Punch a hole, thread with a loop of waxed twine, done. I think they’re pretty.

Easy to mass produce too :)

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* sewing machine sampler ornaments

Posted on November 27th, 2008 by maitreya. Filed under Cross Stitch/Embroidery, Holiday, Projects with Instructions.


I entered the annual ornament swap run by freshlyblended and cake & pie. It’s going through swap bot this year, which I am not a huge fan of, having done a couple of swaps through there. In one, someone accused me of purchasing the pinecone ornament I made, and in the other I was called “rude” for not replying to an email right away. The “rude” comment was even made using my last name, which is seriously not cool. Hopefully nicer people signed up for the ornament swap.

Anyway, my idea this year is machine embroidery on thick felt. My machine doesn’t have any of the fancy decorative stitches, but the weird useful stitches look pretty cool anyway. Here are the prototypes.

I think I like the band on the ball one better than the all over pattern of the long one, so I’ll probably do them all that way. Less is more. What’s awesome is that these are crazy easy to mass produce. In case anyone else wants to try them, here are instructions (though you can probably figure it out yourself).

  1. cut a strip of thick felt as tall as your ornament and as long as you want.  The beauty of this is you embroider them all at once and cut them apart at the end.  As for the felt, I just got a swatchpack from fitzfelt and they are awesome. They also sell precut rounds if you’re a perfectionist like that.  I also made a post on whipup a while back with thick felt suppliers.
  2. using contrasting thread, sew a straight stitch down the middle of the strip, longways. I did a tension test on a scrap first since the felt is so thick. For bonus reversibility, put a different color in the bobbin thread.
  3. sew decorative stitches on either side of the central stitch, keeping everything parallel as best you can. I made mine symmetrical above and below the equator, but you don’t have to. What with variations in stitch length, width, style, and spacing, there’s pretty much infinite combinations here.
  4. for the circles, I pressed a cookie cutter hard onto the felt to make a guide impression to cut around. For the long ones, I used a rotary cutter and eyeballed it. Once you’ve done one side, you can use the scrap as a template for the other side.
  5. Make an embroidery thread hanger.

The one thing I’m worried about is that the stitches aren’t secured and they might pull out. Since the ornaments won’t really be handled, I decided it probably won’t matter.

If instead of making your own, you’d like to swap me for one, send me an email (maitreya@craftlog.org). I love all my collected handmade ornaments from swaps. :D

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craftlog is under a Creative Commons Attribution Noncommercial license. That means that you are all welcome to take and repost my photos, replicate my projects, remix my ideas, whatever you want as long as you give attribution (a link is fine) and it's noncommercial. Thanks!