Monday, March 31, 2014

DIY Plaster Roses

I just went on a plaster rose-making spree! I have a silicone rose mold by Martha Stewart and decided to attempt to fill it with plaster. As you can see, the plaster picks up the fine details of the mold so it worked quite well. It also dries quickly, which allowed me to whip out several batches in a short period of time. I am going to use these flowers in embellishing furniture, frames, and the like.

Friday, March 28, 2014

I'm Happy Again

"What a glorious feelin'...I'm Happy Again!" This fabric design was inspired by an afternoon I spent singin' in the rain with a lovely friend. It's in this week's Wellies and Galoshes challenge on Spoonflower.

Monday, March 24, 2014

Peach Gerberas

 When it comes to store-bought flowers, gerberas are one of my favourites. They are available in a variety of colors, last quite a while, and make an undeniably cheerful bouquet. These particular flowers started out a peachy yellow and then, after a few days, turned a delicate coral in their vase. I love to arrange fresh flowers into vignettes to liven up a room.
Their detail is stunning.

Friday, March 21, 2014

1st Blogiversary!

 Today's the day! The traditional gift for a 1st anniversary is paper and the modern gift is clocks, so here you are: a paper clock, paper slice of cake, paper flower, and paper diamonds! In response to my PaperLove post I received a request for a tutorial on how to make paper flowers like the one on top of the slice of cake. So, for some celebratory crafting:
Thin paper (I used blank newsprint. Weights between tissue and multiuse paper work best)
Step 1: Cut about 8 rectangular sheets of paper and layer them on top of each other. They don't have to be exactly the same size (the imperfection makes for more realistic petals), and obviously the bigger you make the sheets the larger your flower will be. The width is the approximate diameter. These pieces are about 3'' wide.
Step 2: Accordion fold the sheets, parallel to the width.
Step 3: Knot string around the center of the folded sheets, perpendicular to the width.
Step 4: Carefully separate the sheets to arrange them into petals.
Step 5: Sometimes the paper tears slightly on the folded ridges, so cutting the sharp corners off the petals makes the whole flower look more natural.
Also, if you are interested in making these satisfyingly geometric diamonds, I used this post's template, which I printed on cardstock, painted metallic, cut out, scored, and glued together with hot glue. Here's to the coming year of creativity!
Pssst! You can now follow my blog with Bloglovin!

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Quick Tip: DIY Painted Hanger

Since I often display garments on my walls I like to have them on pretty hangers. I painted this simple wooden hanger with polka dots on one side and floral on the other. The floral was freehanded, but the polka dots can be easily made by dipping the end of a dowel in paint and using it as a stamp. You'd be surprised by how these functionally pretty, reversible hangers brighten up your storage. 

Friday, March 14, 2014

Vintage Baubles Restoration

These costume jewellery necklaces, which were my great-grandma's in the 1960s, have been in my dress up box since I was a toddler. I've always loved their smooth, colorful beads, but I never wore them for real because they were an awkward length. 
I hesitate slightly when it comes to taking a pair of scissors to a vintage item, but, since the necklaces were just sitting uselessly in their jewellery box getting more and more saggy as their string disintegrated, I figured it wouldn't hurt to try to salvage them.
All I had to do was shorten them on some fresh string and now I can wear them as bright, chunky statement necklaces! Plus, there are several beads left over that I can use for another project down the road.

Monday, March 10, 2014

PaperLove Blog Hop 2014: Paper Dress

I have always wanted to make a dress out of paper, and my recent mannequin acquisition has made that dream possible. There was a pile of paper in my basement that my mom had saved from purchasing breakable items at stores, so I grabbed it and got to work.
I draped the paper over the mannequin to create the bodice, which was manageable enough to piece together. Then I had to set up a card table to accommodate the sewing of the swath of skirt-to-be. At this point, as I supported the crinkly mass being fed through the machine, I questioned my rationality but was too motivated by the fact that, yes, what I was doing was crazy yet strangely awesome. This is the kind of project I foresee myself staying up all night to create for future window displays or what have you, so I may as well get used to it now. Side note: never try to gather paper--pleats are much more effective.
Once I finished the basic dress I had the delight of embellishing it with numerous paper flowers. It was like frosting a cake! 
Oh, and I got to read some poetry while I was at it. I love the versatility of paper!
The PaperLove Blog Hop is a celebration of all things paper! Follow the links to discover more bloggers who love paper and use it to inspire and delight. And if you want to explore a whole world of paper, and stretch your paper passion further with a host of creative projects, why not join the innovative new online course PaperLove (starts March 31). Led by book artist Rachel Hazell, PaperLove is a five week creative adventure for paper lovers. Find out more here.
Majo Bautista / Tona Bell Louise Best Cathy Bluteau / Jennifer Bomgardner / Giova Brusa / Lindsay Buck / Beka Buckley / Joanna Caskie / Jonathan Chapman (Mr Yen) / Halle Cisco / Sarah Clare / Cathryn Clarge / Dawn Clarkson / Rhiannon Connelly Jenny D'Fuego / Molly Dhiman / Ian Dudley / Ayisatu Emore / Akmal Farid / Monika Forsberg / Claire Fritz-Domeney / Louise Gale / Chrissy Gaskell / Julie Hamilton / Emma Hawman / Rachel Hazell / Holly Helgeson / Claudine Hellmuth / Kim Henkel / Sarah Hoffman / Joanne Hus / Paula Joerling / Beth Kempton / Julie Kirk / Eos Koch / Katie LaClair / Kristy Lankford / Michelle Manolov / Doreen Marts Rosie Martinez-Dekker / Tori Mears / Maria Mederios / Lise Meijer / Debbie Miller / MaryJane Mitchell / Suzy Naidoo / Grace Noël / Hannah Nunn / Camilla Olsson / Jo Packham / Rachelle Panagarry / Monette Pangan / Melanie Paul Nicole Piar / Jen Pitta / Liz Plummer Julie Reed / Michelle Reynolds / Lisa Rivas Angee Robertson / Natalie Ryan / Aisling Ryan / Elisabet Sapena / Kyrrha Sevco / Jamie Sprague / Elizabeth Steele / Terri Stephens / Juniper Stokes / Mary Tanana / Maike Thoma / Linda Tieu Gabrielle Treanor / Tammy Tutterow / Deborah Velasquez / Jordan Vinograd Kim / Cat Whipple / Brooke Witt / Katie Wood Amelia Woodbridge

Friday, March 07, 2014

It's Later than You Think

It's definitely true that as I get older and older the years go by faster and faster. We're already coming up to Creatively Graceful's 1st Blogiversary! Here's my illustration of the lyrics to this plucky little tune (I can't listen to it without chuckling) to get you into a celebratory mindset. Woo!

Tuesday, March 04, 2014

Quick Tip: DIY Ruffled Edge Scarf

I've had this scarf for a few years and I love its bright color and airy texture, but the fringe always got tangled in my hair. It made for a generally ratty sight, so it frequently sat in my closet. Now that spring is around the corner I am obsessed with everything yellow. This time of year reminds me why it's technically my favourite color (I say technically because, in practice, I usually favour pink.) Anyway, I snipped those dangling strings right off and sewed down the two ends of the scarf to reduce the likelihood of it fraying. The scarf now has a slightly scalloped, ruffled edge, which I love because it looks like a daffodil!
How perfect for light spring outfits!

Saturday, March 01, 2014

Collared Shirt Repurpose

I had this men's dress shirt kickin' around and decided to experiment with it.
I whacked off the sleeves, picked out the pocket, took in the side seams, hemmed the bottom edge, and finished the sleeves with bias tape.
I was originally going to leave the white collar on the shirt, but its sharp points looked too severe against my face. I opted for a peter pan collar in a calico instead.
Then I stumbled upon a fat quarter of this gorgeous fabric (yes, fruit and polka-dots!) and knew it would be perfect for the embellishment.
And here's the result!
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