Saturday, October 17, 2009

Pin cushions!

I've made several pincushions from thrift store teacups and creamers. These are cheap and cheerful presents and they aren't that complicated.
Here's how I do it.
You'll need a teacup or creamer. Look for older ones, the patina of age adds to the charm.
Use a saucer or a small plate to trace a circle of fabric. Cut it out.
Turn under a scant hem and sew a running stitch around the circle using strong thread. When you've completed the circle, pull up the threads. You now have a cup-shaped circle.
Stuff with circle tightly with fiber stuffing. I've heard that fiber fill encourages pins to rust, but I've not experienced this as yet. Emery is the traditional filling for pincushions, but it isn't that easy to find, so live on the edge and use fiber stuffing.
Keep stuffing, and as you go, try to flatten the cushion into a sort of domed pancake. This takes a little while. Just keep going and you'll soon get a pleasing shape. Keep testing it for fit in the cup. You want the dome to rest about 1/8 of an inch from the top. Ideally, it should be large enough so that it will sit into the cup snugly. It's a bit of trial and error, since all cups are different.
You will need to weight the tea cup (or other vessel) so that it doesn't tip over. I use decorator sand, which you can find in the candle/floral aisle at Michael's. I used about 1/4 cup of sand, just pour it in.
Once you have your cup weighted, and your dome ready, it is time to put the two together.
I use Aleene's Thick Tacky glue. Run a bead of glue around the cup rim and some around the stuffed dome. Then, then gently set the dome into the cup.
Let it dry for at least an hour. Then, you can do the embellishing.
I like to run some kind of trim (like ric rack) to cover the space where the dome and cup meet. I have also used some ribbon embroidered flowers, or some yo yos to add visual interest. I think the accessories look better glued on closer to the handle, but play around with your design until you like it.
When the glue has dried, I add three fancy pins from my collection. Et voila! A lovely little gift which gives an old teacup new life.
P.S. If you use a cup and saucer, glue the two together. The saucer is a great place to store a spool or two of thread, a timble and a little pair of scissors.
Have fun with these. But, I warn you, they are kind of addictive!

Thursday, October 15, 2009

If only the world was calorie free...

Cupcakes are the best treat in the world. It's like cake, but only a little bit. And there's just a little pretty bit of icing.
These Halloween cupcakes are the result of a class I did at our local Longos. It was a lot of fun learning all about piping bags and fondant icing, and spending time with an old friend who shares a love of things hand made.
When I picked her up at her house I found she had created a family message board from an old mirror.
She just turned the mirror around in the frame and painted that side with blackboard paint. She has hung this blackboard right beside the door. Now family members can keep track of each other easily. Classy and practical! Now it just a matter of remembering where the chalk ended up. I see another project on the horizon...

Sunday, October 4, 2009

I will set my bow in the clouds....

On Saturday evening, we had a double rainbow. Of course, I really only managed to capture one part of it. It was a wonderful sight! However, the camera doesn't quite capture the full beauty. Trust me, it was a spectacular display, and a nice pay off after a soggy, soggy day.

UFOs find home in magazine rack

The magazine rack has spools for feet (all but one was still attached so I got it cheap). I used Craft Goop to adhere all those vintage buttons, some scrapbooking bias tape, and a rubber stamp alphabet to print the label. Yep, that's my 'to do pile'. At least it has a pretty place in which to live and be ignored...

This is the detail from my rejuvenated magazine holder, along with some one not quite ready for her close up. I am working on her overskirt right now.

The other house was found in the same store, but on a different trip. It had been painted enthusiastically in a style quite unlike my own. The junior architect had a fondness for pink glitter paint. It took a great deal of sanding and gesso to make it go away. If you need a permanent paint, may I suggest Barbie pink glitter? These shelves are headed up to my creative space/den.

But, you can always have rainy day fun

I found this box shaped like a house and I added a shelf for all the lovely ladies waiting for their pin cushion dresses.

...and sometimes, it's just raining

Whoa, I can't believe all the rain we have been having!

Although, it does mean time to read and even sew some stuff. I did some hemming, and I finished a few projects. Photos to come. I also picked up a really sweet book on the weekend. The author has a blog site too:

She loves vintage sewing notions too. The book is a feast for the eyes, and a lovely way to spend some time planning what I will be doing this winter as the snow piles up.

Hope it is sunny where ever you are, and even if it isn't, books can take you anywhere!