Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Some Ideas on Ways to Play and Help Others Too!

Art 2 Heart- Missions Gift Shop in Hamel
 One of the absolute best things about the product development roll I took on last spring with Art 2 Heart is the ability to match people with hearts to projects that help. That involves knowledge of both the skills required or possessed, and the interest of the crafter. It's sheer torture to tell someone who works with knits to make bracelets if they don't want to. So, if you've considered using your mad craft skills to help others, a first word of advice, stick to your interest group. Only participate if it's something you'd genuinely enjoy doing. Next, do you want to work alone or in a group? If you can't find a group- would you consider making one? It's super fun to create with others. You can approach the group in two ways as well. You can see it as a bunch of gals pounding out the projects, or you can see the group itself as a mission. Are you willing to bring in newbies and teach them the how-to's? Would you like to involve local immigrants or the handicapped? Also, consider that just because you're an at home sort of person, groups can and do form online every day around a specific interest. Spend a little time searching and I'm sure you'll find something of interest! I've also included a few at the end of this post to get you started.
The cutest! A doll pattern from Oh So Dollin- LOVE!!!
Third consideration, how much are you willing to donate? Is is just time that you have, or do you have a stash of fabric that you'd love to use up? Are you willing to finance your work with the goal of donating it? I thought that to support a group I needed to make all my contributions donations. A friend suggested to me that I do consignment to cover the cost of materials and donate what's profit. Additionally, you can work with a gift shop that donates it's proceeds to missions and consign with them. They get a percentage of the sale plus you can gift them with whatever is above what you need to cover your costs.
More ideas then crafting time?Consider donating ideas. There are really great groups of sewers, jewelry makers, diy crafters and pinterest devotees who are just dying for a way to play and help too. But they need ideas. They need to know what they can make that will really make a difference. Maybe that's baby blankets for a local crisis nursery, or knitted newborn hats for a local preemie ward, or maybe it's something else. I ran across a blog asking people to knit sweaters for penguins once. They'd been saved from an oil spill but weren't able to keep themselves warm. They needed sweaters. SO SO cute! Or the crafter might be creating goods for sale with proceeds going to a mission organization. Then they need someone with an eye to current trends who is able to pinpoint projects and help them get off the ground by maybe supplying step by steps and/or samples or someone willing to come and teach. We had a student at the shop who wanted to help but the paintings she donated weren't selling. I heard they were great but wall art just wasn't moving there. SO my group suggested she try the stamped jewelry and found her a class and aided with the set up and it's been a fabulous success! She is truly truly amazing and what she's done for others has just rocked our world.

 But today I wanted to start to share just a few more with direct links. Maybe you'll decide to help out one of these missions, maybe it'll give you ideas for starting your own. God can and will use every skill you have if you allow Him too. Trust me!

First up today- as I was looking for a cute baby doll pattern I stumbled across the blog, Dolly Donations. They provide the pattern and you donate the dolls. Then they distribute them in places like Rwanda, Uganda, and Haiti. Dolls are both companions and security for little girls, I think this is a great ministry. Maybe you want to take this idea and provide Korean looking dolls for your local adoption agency. I bet that new parents would love to gift their child with a special doll as they prepare to bring them home. Once, when I called 911 and and rescue truck came they gave my son the cutest little bear to help him be brave. It was something I appreciated with my whole heart.
Here are a couple more cute patterns that you can purchase and adapt to whatever you have in your heart to do.
This cute pattern by Wendi Gratz  is available to purchase on Craftsy

Another cute pattern by oh so dollin  on Craftsy

There are lots more groups like this and I have a feeling there'll be lots more to show you so check back in the next few weeks for more! Thanks for Reading and have a great day!!!

Monday, July 9, 2012

Vintage Style Jewelry Displays

I know, I know... you've seen it done before. An old frame turned granny chic fab as a jewelry display. I even posted this tutorial showing you how to turn an old frame into a ribbon holder. It's been done. I know...

 I've also got a peak at a new idea I've been playing with using my collection of old trays. We're trying to redo the jewelry displays at Art 2 Heart for summer and these were the ideas I've come up with. I think these turned out pretty fab so I thought I'd show you the pics and do a little how-to.

First, you need an old frame or two. You also need corkboard or foam core cut to fit said frame. Then, you take that big ol' roll of muslin you have stashed and cover the corkboard with it. I wrapped my frame and then used a staple gun to secure it. I've also used duct tape. It works. 

 Next, you get to decorate. You can either choose option a) and glue on doilies, or b) stencil a doily border, c) both of the above, or I guess d) leave it as is.

In this next pic you can get an idea of the finished concept. I used wire flowers I'd sprayed cream and just hung them on a push pin that I'd inserted into the corkboard. They look like little handles.

 Another idea I had was to use my old tray collection. With a crop-a-dile big bite and a package of Tim Holtz brand decorative hardware you can make this in about, oh, 5 minutes. I'm going to use E6000 to attach a hanger to the top back of this but it would look great displayed in a small easel as well.
So there you go- a little daily dose of inspiration. Hope you enjoyed it!!!

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

A Little More Fourth.... Fourth of July Fabric Corsage

Encore from Last Year's Fourth on the blog: Enjoy your day!!!!

Happy Fourth of July!!! To celebrate today's holiday I whipped up this sweet little holiday corsage yesterday. It's red, white and blue at it's best. With a little imagination and fabric you can easily adapt this tutorial to any holiday or special occasion. I think this would be a lovely finishing touch to your outfit when worn to a wedding or garden party. The design is meant to be reminiscent of the ol' time corsages worn high on the shoulder but because of the versatile pin back/clip combo it can also be worn as a hair accessory or you can clip it to a long necklace for a focal accent. However you choose to wear it- Enjoy!

Fourth of July Fabric Corsage Tutorial

Tools and Materials
Embroidery floss or thread
Variety of coordinating fabrics (I used Moda)
Canvas cloth
Bit of ribbon or other trims if desired 
Glue gun with glue stick
Pin back/clip combo (found it at Hobby Lobby) 

Step One: Rip or cut a strip of fabric approx. 2' in length by 2 1/2" in width. 

Step Two:  Fold the strip in half width-wise, hold and tie a knot an inch or so from one end of the strip 

Step Three: Thread your needle and pierce your knot in the center then begin to wrap the strip around the center knot, adding a stitch here or there as you go to hold the shape. 

Step Four: Give the fabric a twist here or there before adding a stitch to create the form and appearance of petals.

Step Five: When finished, add a few more stitches to the base of the flower to secure. Then add a couple of stitches up and through the center. Knot off at back and cut thread. 

Step Six: Choose a couple of coordinating fabric and cut 2-3 leaf shapes. Place on canvas and leaving a 1/4" border cut around your patterned fabric. Rip a few more strips to hang down decoratively from corsage as well.
Step Seven: Play around with your positioning and then stitch leaves to back of fabric flower as desired. Feel free to embellish your leaves by stitching around their edge or adding some buttons or beads. To add dimension to the leaf, pinch bottom and stitch to hold as shown. 

Step Eight: When you've finished assembling your corsage and stitching it all securely in place heat up your glue gun and adhere pin back to back of flower. Hold for a few seconds for better bond.  Alternatively, you could stitch on a pin  back. Make sure to position slightly high on back of corsage so it hangs well.  
Wear with patriotic pride (and 'cause you know you look good). :)

Best Wishes to you and your family- I hope you have a fabulous Fourth of July!!!!!

Monday, July 2, 2012

Catch Up- Pics of Projects

 I just finished writing up a tutorial for you that I 'll post tomorrow but I wanted to toss in this little post to show y'all some of the projects I've been working on the last month or so...

This is a little tote bag for a friend who just had a baby

A Bride badge in the wedding's theme color of indigo

A 18x 18 pillow cover (appearing soon in my etsy shop)

Another pillow cover with hand carved stamps, embroidery, buttons, etc

More of the kid's art totes!

And another....
And here is the inside. A friend helped me finish these up- I think they turned out great!
I'm still working on the sewing skills- here's a little wallet based on this design I found on pinterest
New art for my etsy shop!

Another new piece- I love it!!!
Experimenting with paint...