Sweet, sweet curiosity.

This blog is all about things I have made. You can find intense embroidery, paper quilling mania, crazy gingerbread houses, masks, puppets, steampunk clothes, ornaments, wackiness and sculptures on this site. So have fun and check it out!

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

To the moon and back...

Okay, I am warning you all - this is pretty sappy, corny, lovey dovey stuff. For the Hubby this year, I wanted to do something kind of special. We have a had a crazy year with a lot of unexpected ups and downs and I just wanted to give him something that wasn't commercial and meant something to us.  One of our favourite children's book shares this title and we often say this to each other, so I decided to make a little watercolour of it to remind him that I do love him - to the moon and back.

Put a bird on it - with buttons...

  This Christmas, I had a hard time finding something I thought my mom would like. I looked in a lot of stores, and most of the time, I kept thinking to myself, "she has everything! What do I give her?" So I decided ( as I have many years... ) that I would make something for her. I had seen some versions of something similar to this in bright colours, but I just didn't think that suited my mom.  I found a picture of a bird, and took the outline, lightly traced it onto a sheet of watercolour paper with carbon paper.  I then went through ALL of my buttons. I got a lot of these buttons from a fabric sale that the Stratford Shakespeare Festival had.  Most of these buttons are extremely tiny and white and a lot of them were the spare button that shirts come with in a little baggie. Quite a few of them are pearl and different shades of pale pink, blue white and clear.  I then glued each button inside the outline and voila! a cute little "Button Birdie". It's simplicity makes me kind of happy.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Harry Potter Gingerbread House just keeps going!

Hey Folks, So Last year I made this Harry Potter, Weasley's Gingerbread house which I did a post about last January, however I was recently  asked to do an Instructables step by step instruction manual on how to build this. It took me way too long because I only had about 14 pictures so I did some watercolour renderings ( that are a bit ridiculous) to demonstrate the points I didn't have pictures for.  I also entered the "Cookies challenge" with this Instructable and would super duper appreciate it if you could make your way over there and vote for my entry! I could win an Ipad 2 of which I have been drooling over, since they came out.  ( Let's be honest here folks - I work in theatre, there's no way I can afford to buy one!) That being said here is the link to the instructable which I am not sure is public yet, but it will be so check it out. Here is an example of one of my silly drawings:

This one is to show how I imagine what all of the ingredients of the 4 double batches of gingerbread in a big pile would look like.

This one is what mixing all the dry ingredients up together looks like...

So go check it out on Instructables.. cause it just gets sillier...

Here is the link to the actual contest - My entry is now eligible so please vote!.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Oh such Sad Felt Pinecones...

I am still going crazy with the ornaments. This one was very quick, it only took me about 2 hours to make three of these. I am not entirely happy with these little guys, but I think they are kind of funny, so I will share. Well, not every craft can be a total success but we learn from them all the same! I feel like my problem with these was I should have maybe made the under shapes a little more carefully, and perhaps kept the size of the pinecone tines not quite as long.


4 pieces of felt, 2 blue, 2 cream
Hot Glue

To start out I bought 4 pieces of felt, 2 blue and 2 cream.  I used spray adhesive to glue the blue to the cream. 

I then squished together some tinfoil to make a shape remniscent of a pine cone or perhaps a little tinfoil cone.

I cut the felt up into 3 different widths of strips, probably about 8 strips of 3/4" length, then a bunch of strips of 1" then a bunch of strips of 1-1/4" length. ( Sorry I didn't actually count...) I then cut those into triangle shapes, alternating on the strip as to get the most out of it. Then I rounded the ends off.

I then began gluing them on the to the tinfoil shapes.  I started with two small size at the very tip, then began circling around that, alternating at each layer so they weren't all right on top of each other.

 At about a third of the way up, I moved to medium sized pieces, then again at 2/3rds of the way up I moved to the largest.  I then put a loop of felt at the top to attach it to the tree. 

This one kind of looks sad, not quite right? Yes, I think so. One of them turned out okay -

It wouldn't be Christmas without something that felt really homemade right?

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Snow Globe home for a wee lil' owl

This is a fun recycled stuff project! I got everything I needed for this from the Sally Ann, except for the cork board! I probably spent 2 dollars on this.

 I got this neat glass bulb dome normally used for ceiling lamps, a bunch of ornaments, and a small piece of cork
 I traced a circle in the cork board, then cut it out with an exacto blade, I kept checking to make sure that it fit, I had to shave a couple pieces off here and there.
 I then began assembling my vintage ornaments in a happy fashion, then glued and stuck them into the cork.  I consistently check before gluing to make sure that I would be able to put the glass ball over the arrangement, other wise I wouldn't be able to get it into the space.
 I then added Cotton Balls as my snow. Super cheap, and oh so effective.
Once I got everything the way I wanted it on the cork board I stuck it in, and glued it down. Make sure your ball is clean before you do this though, cause you aren't getting back in there. 
 I wanted a little star on the back out of shiny, tiny beads so I put double sided tape on the outside of the ball, drew a pattern on it, then cut into it with an exacto blade.  I peeled off the rest of the double sided tape and got a wicked shape that I then sprinkled with sparkles!

Here is the finished Dude! Isn't he adorable in his little star sparkled dome!

Kusudama Ornament with tutorial

Remember those medicine balls in gym class? Well, even though Kusudama means the same thing in Japanese, I don't think throwing these at someone when someone is yelling "Good job! Now Twenty more!" is what these balls are all about.  These balls are papercrafted flowers that apparently at one point may have been made of herbs and flowers that helped to heal ailments- hence the translation "medicine ball". I am totally fascinated by the beauty of these paper decorations and decided to try this out myself. Here is how I did it!

 5 Pieces of 8-1/2 by 11 paper
12 beads for inner flowers ( I used faux cranberries, but pearls, or gems would work too.) 
Glue or Hot Glue
9-10 Bobby pins

This is how you make each petal - mine are made with 2-3/4  inch square paper. 

You can click on the image to see it larger. The most confusing part is where you see my hand - What you do there is you open up that part and push it down flat. After you have got your petal to the last stage you attach the two inner petal parts curving the back part not folding it. 

I use a bobby pin slid down the petal to keep the glue together as it dries.

 Once you have all 60 of your petals done you attach 5 petals together along each edge with glue, so that you create a flower.  Once you have finished all 12 of those flowers you can then start to make your ball.  You join the flowers at each petal so that they eventually create a wreath like shape.
 Then you add the top piece in, the petals on the top petal will meet at the juncture of the two petals below it.
 You then repeat this process, to create the bottom and glue the two together.

As there is a hole in the centre of each flower a bead, or pearl or gem looks best when inserted in the hole.  I chose some red faux cranberries, because I thought it made the colours reminiscent of Rudolph and his nose.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Great Balls of Foam make Super Colourful Ornaments!

So my previous post I did a tutorial to make these same balls out of paper.  Well.. I went looking about my house for colourful paper and I did not have ANY! I did, however, have scads of this foam you can buy from the dollar store.  To do all five of these balls, I used 6 sheets of foam. So lemme make that clear $1.00 = 12 sheets so that will get you 10 balls. Pretty sweet deal.

Lemme save you some heartache. Dont put foam through a printer. The Printer will hiss at you, and make this awful chug, chug, cough, sputter that you think is the death of your printer. As luck would have it, I didn't kill my printer, but neither did it want to print on my foam. I must admit it was a bit of a long shot in the first place. Seeing as that didn't work, I ended up tracing the pattern onto the foam which worked just fine!

I cut out 6 different sheets of colour and I got 11 shapes out of each piece of foam.

I then made a loop out of foam as well and hot glued that on. And voila a myriad of several colours of flowerballs made from Foam! On Another note: The foam was actually very easy to work with, much easier than paper and had a higher tolerance for bending without creasing... Plus you can throw them at people and it doesn't hurt, or give paper cuts!

On the tree they are such a vivid pop of colour, I also think they would make a great mobile if done in several different sizes for a kids room.

Friday, December 9, 2011

Great Balls of Paper! (IMG Heavy)

Who doesn't want a pretty ball of paper for Christams? Seriously, these are really neat and can be done in so many different ways. That they are now my new favourite thing. I have made 8 today. Ridiculous.

8-1/2" by 11 paper any colour
Glue or Hot Glue
Some ribbon

I haven't really done a lot of tutorials on my site but I just thought this was so cool I needed to share it. So here goes.  The basic shape of each piece is a pentagon with a halfmoon attached to each side. The ones I made are about 2-1/2" wide and make about a 3 " ball.  I figured out the pattern on AutoCAD, and then printed them off on brown sheets of paper.

I then cut each one out ending up with what looks like a five sided flower.

Then you cut in on each of the lines going across the pentagon ONLY HALF way. This will be how each piece slots in together. You need to be very consistent with which side you cut. I made it easy for myself by always cutting from the bottom to half way up, then rotating the shape to do it all over again.

You will need twelve pieces altogether and once you have gotten them all to look like the above picture, you can start putting them together.

Pretty simple stuff really you just slide the two sides in together. Kind of like IKEA furniture.

You keep adding in more pieces and attaching in the same way. It can get a bit tricky once you are attaching 4 or 5 sides but with a bit of patience and practice, it ain't nothin' but a thing.

Once you have the entire ball slotted together you may want to do a once over. Making sure to tug all the pieces together and lay them a bit flat so you get the neat effect you see above.  I did this with really simple brown paper but  I also tried it with GOLD card stock which was a little tougher only because of the weight but other wise it looks really cool.

These go really fast and are super fun to do, I would suggest this would be great to do with kids, and maybe older folks can help them when it gets to the point where you are attaching 4 and 5 sides on each piece but they are super fun and end up looking SO cute.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

All the little Steamships hanging in a row...

Here is an example of another of my Steampunk ornaments that I made for a craftster swap.  This one is a series of Steamships that I found on old 18th century drawings.. I found this great topographical map fabric and embroidered them on that.  I also found these great brass rings that came in a couple of different sizes. I embroidered the images, then cut it out and stretched it over the brass rings. I then added a little bit of gimp and voila a cute little ornament. This is the first time I incorporated felt into my embroidery and I think it went rather well.
 So these are my silly little doodles on how I finished the back of these.  I put the brass ring in the centre of the fabric circle. Which I had made about 3/4 of an inch bigger than the brass ring.

 I then took embroidery floss and stitched the top and bottom together, folding the fabric over the ring, stretching that taut. Then I moved on to stretch the sides. Similar to stretching a canvas except it is by pulling threads together.
Then I continued this process all the way around the back until the fabric sat nicely. I then put a piece of felt on the back and it finishes quite nicely! 

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

A princess dress for a Mexican Wedding!

Recently my Friend Leslie was the flower girl in a jet-setting wedding to Mexico.  As the flower girl, she needed to "sort of" match the wedding party which were wearing these very pretty, diagonal ruffle dresses, with a black belt and strapless tops.  As she is a beautiful curvy woman, she felt that the length and the strapless top might be a problem for her, so she approached me about making a dress for her.  As I am not the best seamstress in the world ( I do my best, but gosh darn it, I am just not..) I didn't want to risk cutting my own pattern, so I went with a simple pattern from simplicity and modified it. The cool part about the ruffles was that you can just buy fabric already ruffled so it was really easy that way. Basically I made the dress as it was in the pattern then I added the ruffle bit on top gathered at the waist. Then I added the belt which is the white fabric covered in black lace. I did the same with straps which I made wider as to give a bit more of a cute look. My friend had a great time at the wedding ( SO jealous of a trip to Mexico during our first snow fall..) She said she felt like a princess and I am so glad. The very best part about the whole thing is her and I worked out a trade for the dress - She got a great dress and I got a mattress set that is so comfortable and awesome. I think trading is an awesome way to do business!