Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Ribbon Frenzy

Milk chocolate colored satin ribbon and translucent beads with a gold shimmery undertone make up this sweet bracelet.

Okay, I feel another obsession happening here. Off to the store to purchase ribbon in every color imaginable. Hmmm....I think I need a pink burgundy necklace to wear with my white shirt and blue jeans and what about that cute summer dress I just bought........
Oh, this is going to be fun.


Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Lei Making in Hawaii

**This tutorial is intended for personal use only.**

It is lei making time here in the islands and the store shelves are bulging with supplies. The months prior to Lei Day and graduation is when you will find lei making enthusiasts hard at work.

In the last decade or two, lei made from ribbon, rattail cord, and yarn have exploded onto the scene. Although islanders have made lei using these materials before, the resurgence of interest in these materials brought out new design and lei like no one had seen before. They became very popular, and with it, promoted the writing of many innovative lei making how-to books.

Today, lei are made from almost any medium you can think of. This is the time of year when creativity abounds. It is always fun to create unique lei, perhaps something new that has never been seen before.

When pulled back to expose it's foundation, you can see that this lei was made from grosgrain ribbon and several colors of eyelash yarn.

Local nuts and berries continue to be popular lei making material. The kukui nut lei is quite masculine and is often worn by males.

There are so many fabulous artificial lei designs that mimic fresh flowers. The best part of having an everlasting lei is that you are left with a meaningful momento of the occasion and one that you can wear over and over again.

I sometimes give a fresh flower lei to go along with an artificial one because there really isn't anything better than the sweet smell of fresh flowers around your neck.

This is a fresh cigar flower lei made from over 2000 flowers from the Cupea Ignea shrub.

I would like to share a very basic ribbon lei design, one that mimics a double carnation with roses. This is a very feminine lei and is perfect for a young female.

You will need fifteen, 10-yard spools of 1/4-inch ribbon plus several more yards of a contrasting color for the bow. You will also need twenty, 3/4" paper roses, a ruler, pen, sewing needle, and quilting thread.

Remove the ribbon from the spool. Lightly tap the ribbon with the tip of a ball-point pen at 2-inch intervals. Repeat this for all 15 rolls. This is the mark that you will be following when assembling the lei.

I find that marking all my ribbon prior to sewing is very time efficient.

To prepare the roses, sew through the base of 4 roses and tie the threads together to form a ring. You will need 5 rings consisting of 4 roses each.

Thread your needle with a double strand of quilting thread measuring approximately 55-inches in length. Place a knot at the end of the thread.

Take the first bundle of ribbon and cut it in half making two 5 yard pieces. Set one aside for use in the last segment. Begin the first segment by taking a running stitch in and out of the 5-yard piece of ribbon, using the markings as your guide. (Place your needle down through one marking and up through the next.)

Push the ribbon to the end of the thread, stopping 4 inches from the knot. Be sure to really pack the ribbon close together. Failure to do this may leave gaps of bare thread once the ribbon settles. Add another 10 yards of ribbon in the same manner.

Once you have 15 yards of ribbon on the thread, add a ring of roses. Catch the base of one of the roses with the needle as you pull the needle through the center of the ring. This will secure the roses and will eliminate shifting.

The next 4 segments each have 30 yards of ribbon followed by a ring of roses. The sixth and final segment consists of 15 yards of ribbon.

Once you have completed adding all of the ribbon and roses, tie the lei together with a secure knot. Adding a small drop of fabric or crazy glue to the knot will prevent it from coming apart. Clip off any extra thread.

Tie a pretty bow over the knot and add some beads to the ribbon tails if you'd like.

A lovely lei for a special occasion.


Tote Bag Tutorial from Sew Prim Khris

I would like to introduce you to a very creative blog pal of mine by the name of Khris. She is the author of a blog called Sew Prim Khris. I know that all you tote bag lovers will be interested to know that she has just released a free tote bag tutorial. Her tutorial is clear and precise and includes detailed pictures outlining each step. The method of construction that she shares is a little different than the "standard" way and I know that you will certainly enjoy it. Soooo....hop on over to her blog for this wonderful tutorial. While you're there, don't forget to check out the sidebar for a couple more fun tutorials.

The polka dot and owl print fabric that she chose for this tote is just perfect and suits the design well. In my opinion, it just can't get any cuter than this!

Have a creative day!


Friday, April 16, 2010

A Petite Posy

**This tutorial is intended for personal use only.**

I often wonder why I have such an immense desire to create flowers. I just can't seem to get enough. Here is yet another flower project, a sweet petite posy.

I have chosen to use my 6-petal paper punch as a pattern. You can use any 6-petal paper punch for this project or draw one free hand.

Begin by punching out a pattern from lightweight chipboard.

Trace the pattern onto the non-glue side of a piece of Heat 'n Bond Ultra. Allow 3 flowers per posy.

With an iron, fuse the Heat 'n Bond to the wrong side of a piece of fabric. This is the perfect time to dig out those fabric scraps.

Cut out each of the flowers along the traced line.

Cut a slit into the center between 2 petals.

Remove the paper backing from 5 petals, keeping the paper attached to the 6th petal that sits alongside the slit.

With an iron, fuse the flower to a small piece of felt.

Trim the felt from around the 5 fused petals leaving a narrow border of felt showing.

Cut the felt away from under the 6th petal.

Remove the paper backing from the 6th petal. Overlap the petals next to the slit, keeping the petal with the felt on the bottom. With an iron, fuse into place.

Fold a 9-inch piece of cloth covered floral wire in half. Feed the open ends of the wire through the front of a button. Tint the wire with a fabric marker that matches the color of the button before pulling the wire completely through.

Make 2 small holes in the bottom of the flower with a large needle. Feed the wires through the holes.

Give the wires a single twist at the base of the flower to keep it from shifting.

Here is my little spool garden. They are happily awaiting their floral tape. I kind of like this simple arrangement just as is.

Place 3 flowers together at varying heights and wrap securely with floral tape.

I have chosen to use purchased paper leaves for this project. Place 3 leaves together at varying heights and wrap securely with floral tape.

Combine a cluster of leaves and a cluster of flowers and wrap securely with floral tape. You may choose to cut the stem to approximately 1-1/2-inches in length and leave it straight or curl the full length of the stem around a skewer to form a spiral. Add a bow if desired and don't forget to include a pretty corsage pin too.

I got carried away and made way too many.

The leftover posies make an adorable wreath.

How about a red, white, and blue wreath for the 4th, a red, pink, and white one for Valentines Day, and a red and green one for Christmas?

Oh, the possibilities!

Happy weekend!


Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Paper Flower Topiary

**This tutorial is intended for personal use only.**

Paper is a fantastic medium for creating quick and easy projects. I've chosen to use pastel colored card stock to make this cheerful Spring topiary.

For this project, I am using a 1-1/4" 6-petal flower punch and a 5/8" circle punch. This is the perfect opportunity to use up those scrap pieces of card stock that you have laying around. Punch out as many as you think you will need for this project.

Glue the circles to the center of each flower. Cut a slit into the center between two petals. Overlap the petals, one over the other, and glue into place.

You will also need straight pins and pearls for this project.

Place a pearl onto a straight pin and pass the pin through the center of each flower.

Aren't they pretty? It looks like sweet sherbety goodness to me!

Cover the styrofoam base by wrapping it with strips of fabric 1" in width. Secure the fabric into place with straight pins.

Arrange the flowers onto the base by pressing the pins into the styrofoam.

This is a very satisfying project that looks very labor intensive, but it's not. If you don't tell, I won't!

Happy creating!