10/18/18

Color Me Creative

I was browsing at the library during Trevor's book club meeting and came across a really cool book by Kristina Webb. Kristina is a young artist from New Zealand, best known for her Instagram art. Her book is unlike anything I've seen before. The first half of the book is an illustrated autobiography (which is fascinating) and the second half has 50 creative challenges. 

Color Me Creative (affiliate link)

The autobiography portion is reason enough to get this book. Despite her young age, Kristina Webb has led an extremely interesting life. The text is beautifully illustrated with her artwork from throughout her life, including scans of drawings from early in her childhood. 

But the real treasure for me is the second half of the book. Kristina has included 50 fun and unique challenges, designed to be completed directly on the pages of the book. I was so inspired to jump in and create. Because it was a library book, I obviously couldn't start coloring on the pages. (Bummer.) Instead, I figured out a way to cut an arc from copy paper, line it up with Kristina's face drawing, and draw on the paper rather than the book. 


The prompt for the Headdress Challenge says, "Finish off the drawing of this girl and give her something fun on the top of her head. A flower wreath, perhaps, or a beautiful crown? A massive bow? Maybe even animal ears. Whatever you decide, just have fun with it."

And I did. I styled her hair with a bun on top of her head. Then I added a whimsical bun wrap.   


I colored in her blonde hair first, then dotted her chocolate brown bun wrap with colorful sprinkles. The cherry is part of the bun wrap. 


In retrospect, her hair looks more like spaghetti and meatballs than the ice cream sundae that inspired me... except for the sprinkles. My nephew went through a stage in life from about age 2-5 when he put sprinkles on EVERYTHING he ate, but other than that, I can't recall ever seeing sprinkles on spaghetti. So I'm committed to my original idea. It's an ice cream sundae. 

I did a few more of Kristina's challenges before returning the book to the library. I'll wait to complete the rest of them when I have a copy I can write in. 

I highly recommend Color Me Creative! The book is so much fun and would make a wonderful gift for girls and women who love to be inspired creatively and enjoy drawing. 

10/17/18

Trevor at 12

Here's my annual "Trevor at..." layout. It's crazy that he's 12!

Trevor at 12 (affiliate link)

This was the third of three layouts I recently finished away from home. I somewhat like it, but I would have chosen a different font for the title and a different way of highlighting the 12 if I'd had my entire stash at hand. Still, I am very happy to have finished it and pleased that I was able to do something I'd never done before. 

10/16/18

Dimensional Beaver Cards

When I said I'd created gifts for the Beaver Patrol, you knew I'd made coordinating cards, right? 



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Dimensional Beaver Cards



Materials: 

  • brown cardstock
  • white cardstock 
  • paper trimmer
  • scissors
  • brown marker
  • black marker
  • craft glue


Steps: 


Prepare the materials. Use the paper trimmer to cut:
  • brown cardstock - 9" x 3.5"
  • white cardstock - 8.5" x 3" 

With scissors, cut: 
  • two white teeth
  • two white eyes
  • two brown ears
  • one brown nose
  • one brown tail 


Use the brown pen to outline the nose and draw crosshatches on the tail. Use the black pen to draw pupils on the eyes. 


Fold the brown paper into thirds. Glue two teeth onto the top and two ears on the sides. 


Center the white paper on the brown paper and glue it in place. It will trap the ears and the teeth. Refold the brown paper, which will add folds to the white paper that is now glued to it. 

Glue the nose and eyes to the front of the card. 

Fold a small flap on the end of the tail, then glue that tab to the card. You want the tail to flop down when the card is out of its envelope...


.... but fold up for mailing. 



Quick trivia question: What do you call a group of beavers?


Answer: Colony.


Steve used all of the beaver cards I made, but I like them so much I may need to make more. Although now that I think about it, are there occasions that really call for a beaver card? International Beaver Day is April 7, so maybe that's just the occasion I need to justify more cards. 


10/15/18

How to Sew a Drawstring Bag (Even if You Don't Know How To Sew)

If you know how to sew anything more complicated than a straight line, this tutorial is not for you. Feel free to follow one of the many drawstring bag tutorials out there that assumes you speak fluent Sewing and are adept at the basics. My tutorial will be WAY too basic for you.

If you don't know how to sew anything more complicated than a straight line, and (like me) even that is iffy, you've come to the right place! Welcome and read on. I am optimistic that by the end of my tutorial, you will know how to sew a drawstring bag.




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How to Sew a Drawstring Bag



1. Pick your material. Avoid anything slippery, silky, prone to snagging, super thick, or otherwise a pain to sew. In other words, choose a printed cotton. (I used a Mini-C 1815 by Timeless Treasures.)

2. Determine the size you want for your finished drawstring bag. Mine is 6" tall and 4.5" wide. Cut the fabric twice as long as the final length you want plus two inches, and a half-inch wider than the final width you want. So I cut my fabric into a rectangle 14 inches tall (6 x 2 + 2 = 14) and 5 inches wide (4.5 + 0.5 = 5).

3. Choose a coordinating cord for the drawstring. I used this (affiliate link). You will need TWO pieces of cord per bag, each a minimum of 3 times as long as your finished bag is wide. So my cords were about 13.5" (4.5 x 3 = 13.5).

4. Thread your sewing machine and bobbin with a color that goes with your fabric. I used black.

5. Heat your iron to the appropriate setting (cotton, if you followed my advice in Step 1). Even if you hate to iron, don’t skip this step. It makes the sewing so much easier. Put the fabric wrong-side up on the ironing board. Working with the long ends first, fold over 1/4” and iron it flat. Now do the same for the shorter sides.


6. Sew a line down the center of the folds on each short side. This will trap the folds on the long sides. 


7. Fold each of the short ends over 3/4” and iron them flat.


8. Sew the flaps closed by stitching along the seam that is already there. This will leave a large enough pocket to hold the cord. Backstitch each end to reinforce it.


9. Fold the fabric in half with the right sides touching. Orient the pockets you just created toward yourself. Starting at the fold, sew until just before you reach the pocket that will hold the cord and stop. Reinforce the seam. Repeat on the other side.  


10. Trim any threads and then turn the bag right side out.

11. Now it's time to feed the cords through the pockets. I was taught to do this with a safety pin, but it's much easier with a dowel (or a chopstick) because it is difficult to poke through paracord without unraveling it. Tape the end of one piece of cord to the dowel.


12. Thread the cord through one pocket and then the other until both ends are on the same side. Remove the dowel. 


13. Tape the second piece of cord to the dowel and insert it from the opposite side as the previous cord. Continue through the second pocket and out the same side where you started. Remove the dowel. Your cords should look like this:


14. Tie the two ends together on each side of the bag using an overhand knot. Cut off any extra cord close to the knot and use a match to seal the ends. 


As you might have guessed, these were gifts for the Beaver Patrol. I'm ridiculously proud of myself for figuring out how to make them and actually sewing something that Steve would want to give as a gift. I hope the tutorial has helped any of you who feel as incompetent with sewing as I do!

10/12/18

Mini Me

This is the second of the three layouts I finished away from home. I'm particularly proud of this one because I made do with random scraps of paper, a very incomplete alphabet sticker sheet (look closely and you'll see that I had to frankenstein some of the letters I needed), and very limited embellishment choices.

Mini Me (affiliate link)

I'm super happy with this page. Love my little Mini Me!