Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Homemade for the Holidays

I was excited to hear that more people than usual were making gifts this holiday season. I am hoping that it has helped the financial health of the fabric/craft stores. Since I don't sell much fabric myself, I depend on them to provide material for my slipcover customers, and, hey, I can't imagine life without a place to go and "get lost" in the fabric.

I did some gift-making myself this year. I have been inspired by monograms lately, as I mentioned in this post. (Be sure to click on "Angie's blog".)

I wanted to make some pillows for my mom and dad and since silk screening was a little too involved for the time I had, and because of my lack of experience, I found an easier way.
It involves the computer, a Dover book of ornate letters, and freezer paper. I explained the whole process and then accidentally deleted it, so maybe there will be a future tutorial.

My dad is always asking about Max, so I put his face on a pillow to keep them company.

I also had a vision of big monogrammed stockings made from some of my slipcover left-over odds and ends. Here are four of the nine that I made.

Now I am all inspired and will have to carve out some more "creative" time since I am thankfully keeping pretty busy with slipcover jobs.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Thankful for crafting supplies and inspiration.

We had a small group for Thanksgiving this year, just me and the husband and our two younger daughters, 24 and 19. I decided it would be fun to decorate the Christmas tree after we gave thanks and stuffed the turkey (into our mouths). We have never bought a tree this early before. I think I may have been the first customer at the lot, the day before Thanksgiving.

I wanted to do a "crafty" tree, so I took inspiration from Martha Stewart, and her creative team. I got ideas from the book Christmas With Martha Stewart, published in 1997. Some of the ideas are repeated in this years magazines, the Holiday issue, and "Martha Stewart Living". The candy holder was made from a pattern in "Romantic Homes Magazine."

We cut ornaments from card stock, fancy junk mail, old sheet music, and pages from old World Atlases. I also bought an aluminum oven liner to cut shapes from. The book said I could find rolls of heavy foil at the craft store, but that was not true. The oven liner was a little too stiff and heavy duty kitchen foil a little too thin, so not too many aluminum ornaments made it onto the tree. We added glitter to some of the white card stock shapes, and I got out my collection of craft birds. Some of them are vintage. I love to get them out and enjoy them while they are waiting for their turn to be included in a craft project.

My husband suggested using a crown as the tree topper, and I loved the idea. I found a gold paper crown at the party store, glued some rhinestones to it and put it on the tree. I was so proud of my paper crown until someone suggested that it looked like it came from a certain fast-food chain. I will now make a replacement.