Quick, Floral, Mother’s Day Cards

pressed flower cards for mother's day - withcraftsandlace

At a recent yard sale, my mother found an original flower pressing kit with the same flower press we have had for many years. Now, we each have a press and one even has all its pieces. It’s safe to say we had some pressed petals on hand from playing with the presses. I used these to make quick and easy but lovely mother’s day cards for my extended relatives to be mailed out today. I hope these give you some inspiration for any last minute cards of your own.

pressed flower cards for mother's day - withcraftsandlace

To make these, I just used a layer of liquid adhesive (the remaining of a very old mod podge that has now been thrown out), placed pressed petals on top, and sealed the petals with another layer to keep them from being rubbed off in the envelope.

pressed flower cards for mother's day - withcraftsandlace

I used the blank cards and envelopes that came with the kit for convenience. Don’t have a flower press? I made one from recycled materials here.

I hope you/your mothers’s have a wonderful Mother’s Day this year!

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Watercolor Flowers with My Cat

Watercolors with Cats - Withcraftsandlace

A few weeks back, my friend requested I “make her one” while exchanging Snapchats of my watercolor experiments. Kristy didn’t leave room on the backdrop for taking many photos. I couldn’t move her because she looked so comfy, so I decided to use her as a prop. I wanted to play with multicolored flowers and the blended, floaty look watercolor can make rather than some of my simpler, monochrome flower patterns.

Watercolor flowers pattern in blended peaches, purples, and yellows for a friend. Kitty paw in the corner - withcraftsandlace
Check out that kitty paw sneaking in by the lower corner

I wrote “By: Jane Austen” as a reference to her novel, Emma, which I am quite fond of. My friend is a book-type so she will get the allusion. I just used sketchbook paper that I had on hand which doesn’t work as well with watercolors but I like the color, size, and weight of it better than the only watercolor paper I currently have.

Painting practice for a friend with my kitty cat - withcraftsandlace

You may be able to tell from this that I am particularly into shades of peach right now. Keep that in mind for a post I will be doing later!

Mood Board Update: Blues in Spring

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Quite a change from the previous pink, I went for blues and clean lines with this board. All the blues and water references make me think it is my subconscious begging for rain this April. We Californians can’t help it, water is exciting. After England, I feel a bit dry in my natural habitat.

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This navy tag of threads was one of those from given to me by a Frenchie for Christmas while the boat illustration came in my vintage paper pack bought at an English Vintage Fair.

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I really love this playing card, it’s simple but a bit ‘boho’ in nature. I also love that it’s feminine without being girly.

Stay inspired and I hope you create something you love this Spring!

Do You Call it a Mobile or a Chandelier and How I Made One

My friend has one month left in her pregnancy. To both our excitement, she is going to have a baby girl. So naturally, I needed to make her a baby-related craft. Now I remember these as “baby mobiles” but often when I see crafted versions, they are called “chandeliers.” I don’t know if that’s a way to make us feel like we can hang such things in our non-baby households (which we totally can) or if I’m just old-fashioned. What do you like to call them?

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Anyways, here’s the finished mobile (above) and I’ll give you a quick walk-through on how I made this baby (pun intended) happen.

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First thing, you need to make the lacey pouf thing-a-majigs. I had some scraps of old lace from my grandmother that I chose to use up. I cut the lace into small circles, with the guidance of a mini embroidery hoop, I cannot cut a circle freehand to save my life. I popped a paper coaster in the back to keep it still and then snipped the edges.

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So once you have a circle, fold it in half and then either in half again or in a triad. You’ll get a bit of a triangle-like shape, consider it a petal. Make three-four of those and gather the tips to make a pouf-flower-deal. I clipped mine in place with clothespins to hold them in place for the next step.

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Now that you have some nice little lace poofs. You will want to stitch up around the tail poking out of the clothespin. I knotted the thread and strung it through the inside and up out of the tail before sewing them together so as to hide the end. You could extend the thread a long way for hanging the poofs but I chose to just tie it off and trim the thread and use a different string to hang them.

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Around the time you’ve finished catching up on Better Call Saul, you should have a collection of lace flower/poofs/poufs/bulbs/petals/whatever-you-want-to-call-them. I made 5 whites, 4 pinks, and 3 blues. Now put those to the side and prepare your hoop.

I am using the inner piece of an old, large embroidery hoop. You could use the outer, I just already used that piece to make a dreamcatcher a while back. You need two sticks, mine are just old pieces of bamboo. I don’t know about you, but I have quite a few laying around. Cut the length of the sticks to about the diameter of your circle.

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Form an X with the sticks and glue or bind (or in my case, both glue AND bind) where the sticks connect. Pop your X in or on (however it fit, mine fits inside one way and on top the other way) and glue them in place. I honestly just used some basic tacky glue, hopefully it stays together. Now back to the cute part of this mobile (chandelier).

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So at this point, I was worried all these pastel lace poofs weren’t girly enough and decided to add some pearl beads. (I didn’t use the pink ones because they are not rounded.) I didn’t trust regular thread to be durable enough so I used some beading thread that I, once again, just happened to have on hand.

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I did as before, knotting the thread and stringing it through the lace flower from the inside through the top. Use string that is cut a few inches longer than you want the pouf to dangle. Then, at random points, I strung on a bead. I found I needed to tie some of the bigger sized pearls in addition to just looping through to keep them in my desired position. Repeat this for all your lace-y bulbs. Now back to the hoop.

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This is optional. The mobile looks really cute with the embroidery hoop showing but I wanted to give this one a bit more finish. And of course, it was still not girly enough. For the hoop covering, I grabbed a floral ribbon/sash strip that was in my grandmother’s lace box and folded it over a lace ruffle to hide the ruffle’s raw edge. You can see it pinned in place in the photo above. I sewed it once, normally, to keep it folded and attach the lace. Then, I sewed it with a loose stich so I could lightly gather it a bit. Now to put all the pieces together.

I didn’t take a photo in between the steps here, my apologies. I tied my lace poofs onto my hoop. I did this while the hoop was hanging so I could better see how they would fall. I do not recommended doing that, try to plan the lengths of your flowers and where to place them ahead of time so you don’t hurt your shoulders and neck as much as I did. I arranged the flowers like so:

  • white poofs on the hoop part, placed as though on the points of a ‘star’
  • pink poofs on a slightly higher level than the white and placed on the X part, one on each section
  • blue poofs higher up but also on the hoop part, following the points of a triangle

Glue the fabric around the hoop, I used hot glue this time, and you are done!

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I’d also like to enter this in Simon Say’s Stamp Monday Challenge, though this is not as paper-y as I usually do, but I can’t resist because B is definitely for Baby! http://www.simonsaysstampblog.com/mondaychallenge/

 

Scrappy Junk Box with a Floral Touch

Finally posting photos of a wood box I covered in scraps and anything else on hand. I like to stick mail and art journals and loose pieces of papers, like coupons, in it.

Altered Embroidery Hoop Art: Daisy-themed

I decided I wanted more doily hoop wall hangings. Here’s the one I made last night. It’s as huge as it looks.

I used the daisy crochet tablecloth scraps and various lace trims and fabric scraps. I like embroidery hoop crafts like this because it’s all tied together rather than glued- in case I ever want to change it or take it apart.

Edit: I had used the term “dream catcher” loosely to reference posts that inspired me including some wedding blogs and Free People articles that had titled their similar craft projects as “dream catchers” to help readers find me. I apologize for any confusion or offense.

Prepping my Travel Journal 3

The back of the first page and the front of the second. I don’t do a lot of traditional journaling, writing that is, in notebooks so my pages will have more decoration than some pre made albums you see.
One page has a mini envelope with a kraft tag in it and the next has a white tag that was distressed and written on paper clipped

Prepping my Travel Journal 2

Inside cover and first page of my pre made travel journal. Try and keep in mind I take these photos on an iPhone in a bedroom with yellow tinged lighting. The inside cover has a tie close envelope I made attached for travel craft scraps or just souvenirs.

6 ways I make my crafting more green

I realize that my paper hobby is not particularly environmentally friendly. It’s something that constantly bothers me and so I have adapted some methods to lessening my guilt while continuing to act on my compulsions.

  1. Altered projects – Almost everything you will see on  my blog, outside of cards, is an altered item I had on hand or found. Most of the time these are boxes I no longer liked the look of but needed for storage and therefore redecorated to my preferences. In fact, that’s probably how I really started all this, though I’ve always been involved with crafts and junk due to my family background. Occasionally I will buy something from a second hand store or flea market to alter for the fun of it such as my yellow floral suitcase. I am also fortunate enough to receive random crates and little boxes from relatives, though they probably don’t realize I will be modifying them. woops. Jars given to me are also reused like crazy, though not always decorated. Ugly journals are always used for quick notes, ripped into useable sheets, or altered.
  2. Recycling – An obvious one. I try to throw any unusable paper and fabric scraps into the recycle. Since I don’t keep a recycling bin in my room (I haven’t found a pretty enough or size appropriate option ha) this can get real messy but it is much better than trashing the pieces.
  3. Hoarding – A lot of times leftover scraps don’t reach the recycling bin and go back into my stash. I always think I can use them for some random project someday. Sometimes I am right. I’d probably be right more often if I organized my paper better.
  4. Collecting – I have a really bad habit of holding onto little things I pick up on outings. I somehow think scraps of tickets, coffee sleeves, receipts, and the like are “souvenirs” and should be saved for memory’s sake. These don’t as often reach the projects you see on this blog but are fun for my personal art journal.
  5. Handmade paper – This is my more extreme attempt at lessening my guilt. A lot of those scraps, deemed too good for the recycling bin but too inconvenient for the stash, go into a separate bag. Eventually, when the bag is too full, I’ll shred them up and try and blend them and press them into new sheets of paper. Some of these turn out more useful than others but my insane mind seems to think this method is worth it. Something about being told  “reusing is better than recycling” in environmental class really stuck in my brain.
  6. Not buying craft supplies – This is the hardest one, especially recently as I have discovered more and more stores and better and better craft brands. In fact, I could use a reminder for this step. I try to remember that making my own embellishments, dying my own paper, and using my own found scraps can look just as good and often more authentic than store bought decorations while saving some cash. I’ve been considering buying more of my scraps and embellishments from vintage stores but they tend to run at higher prices than hobby stores with continuous sales and coupons. Not buying supplies is a tricky step, but I think it would be worth it and something I want to start practicing more heavily again.

Do you have any alternate methods for greening your crafting?

Altered Embroidery Hoop Art: Round 1

My dream catcher, somewhat inspired by free people blogs. It’s not as dark as the photo shows.

Used a doily my mother made a while back for the netting. Lovely, don’t you think?