Tuesday, September 5, 2023

Fabric Flowers

Hello friends,

I have been sharing many of the Eclectic Elements fabric makes on Instagram, but today I have a step-out tutorial for the fabric flowers here on the blog.  I did not create this pattern/idea.  I found it on Pinterest back in 2013 (I'll link it at the bottom).  The flowers are easy to make but you do need a sewing machine for the gathering stitch. When you make them assembly line style (cut all fabric, iron all fabric, stitch all fabric, gather all fabric, etc...) a bunch of flowers can come together in an afternoon.  

What you will need:
sewing machine
5 x 44" fabric strips (one for each flower)
sticks for stems (about 12" long)
hot glue gun (with lots of glue sticks at the ready)
fabric marking pen
pinking sheers (optional)

So lets get started with the fabrics I used:
Spellbound - orange damask
Crossbones - skeletons
Manor - rosette 
Foreboding - Plaid
Spells - text (flower is in the back and not shown above)

I cut the five different Eclectic Elements fabrics into 5" strips (5 x 44").  
(My fabric came from a bolt so it is 44" wide)
Fold the strip in half and iron so you have a strip that is 2 1/2 x 44".
Move to the sewing machine and run basting/gathering stitch, using the pressed seam as your guide (you will gather this later so leave your threads long).
Use a marking pen to mark the fabric about every 2 1/2 to 3".  
NOTE: You can mark the fabric on either the raw edge side or the folded side.  If you mark on the raw side, the marks will be cut away, so you can use whatever pen you want (like a Sharpie in a pinch).
On one end of the strip, you need to cut a 4-5" tail. Mine is kind of a hack job so I am sure yours will look better.
Use the marks as an indicator to sew the scallop shapes. I like to sew at least half way down the width of the 2 1/2" strip so I get a floppy petal.  You can see my sewn scallops are not even and kind of wonky.  You could use the Mark-Be-Gone pen to draw the scallops before you start but I just went for it.

NOTE: There is also the option to cut the scallops and then sew, but I thought this way was easier and came out fine in the end.  
Next is to cut around the scallops with pinking sheers.  If you don't have pinking sheers, just use regular fabric scissors.
Now that you have cut around the scallops, it's time to gather the basting thread to begin shaping the flower.
Take the tail of the fabric and make a knot around your stick (your stem). Think of the shape of the center of a rose, it kinda looks like that!  Your goal here is to cover the end of the stick.
Use a hot glue gun to secure the tail to the stick (this area will get covered up).
Now start wrapping, gluing, wrapping, glueing until the flower is formed.
What I have learned is that at first, the fabric is glued to the stick, but after that, the fabric is glued to itself.
This makes much more sense when you see the finished flower from the bottom.  You can see the flower is flat at the bottom because of gluing the fabric to itself, not to the stick.  This method makes the flower full rather than being stretched-out down the stem.
I bought black leaves at Joann (they were part of the bunch of black roses). Five leaf stems came on the black rose bush which worked perfectly since I was making 5 flowers.  I just hot glued the leaves into place.  
NOTE: You never really see the underside of the flower, but if you were concerned, you always could add some Spanish Moss with more hot glue.

Well, there is the flower tutorial. I hope this was helpful and NOT too confusing! Once you make one, you will know what method works best for you.  
The flowers look great in an old apothecary bottle.  I could swear I just saw bottles like these at Joann!

Props to the original maker of these fabric flowers - see her blog post from 2010 here.  She stopped blogging in 2015 but the blog post is still available.

Now carry on,

Monday, August 21, 2023

The Dead of Night

 Hello Friends,

I have a step-out tutorial over on the Ranger Projects Page today.  I used lots of Ranger products (listed below) to create this Halloween panel.  It is an easy project to learn how you use each of these stains and pastes.  Halloween idea-ology is also a feature because...well, it is just so good this year!  The bat wings added to the boy are my favorite.  I love how it looks like he's either guarding the gate or pushing them open to allow you in!

Mica Stains
Texture Paste Black
Crypt Grit Paste
Crackle Paint

Now carry on,

Sunday, August 20, 2023

From A Long Time Passed Away

 Hello Friends,

My second make that I'm sharing from Saturday's Live with Tim is a Vignette Divided Drawer.  It's a fun structure that can be used so many ways.  I dare you to count how many of these boxes were used in Saturday's live!  The funny (and very cool) thing is they were all used in such different ways that it's sometimes hard to spot them!

I don't have a step out tutorial for this project, so I took a couple of close up shots to see some of the details.  It really is just about creating a miniature scene in each box.

The Divided Drawer has been covered in Halloween Backdrop paper, with Design Tape added to the lip edge.  I drilled a hole in the back of the center compartment to add purple Tiny Lights as a focal point.

All the paper (like the pharmacy label, the eye, the web, the 106, etc) are from the Halloween ephemera pack).  The Bubbles have been colored with Lettuce Alcohol Ink and the poison label added to the new cauldron.  Drippy Candles were painted with Pearl Mica Distress Crayons so they shimmer.
The center compartment has a photo from the sticker book that I added a heavy chipboard backing to so that it would stand up.  The book were all created from the book covers that are part of the ephemera pack.
The last compartment is a faux graveyard scene using the two new tombstones. 
You might notice the metal leaves that are adhered to the front of the tray.  They are my FAVORITE!!! I love the way the curve to appear so realistic! I'm not going to mention how many I have already bought!
I hope you like this simple Halloween piece. I love the purple Tiny Lights and how they add to the overall eerie effect. It is a simple Halloween project that is full of potential to be as easy or and detailed as you want. I hope you will give it a go!

Now carry on...

Saturday, August 19, 2023

Curious Things Vignette Tray

Hello friends,

idea-ology Halloween is ALWAYS exciting! And today is the first day of samples to share with you.  The LIVE was epic so I HIGHLY encourage you to go to Tim's blog to watch the replay if you missed it!  The makes are ABSOLUTELY Amazing!
Today I am sharing a favorite project that I made for the LIVE.  Absolutely inspired by a visit this summer (my 3rd time actually) to the Warner Bros Harry Potter Studios outside London.  Always a treat for us to go there and be inspired by the magic of Harry Potter!
The first thing I did was to take the large Vignette Tray and start layering ephemera into back.  I needed to see how the pieces work together to cover the tray back, before stitching.  After a few tries, I came up with this configuration.
I then cut a piece of paper the same size as the back of the tray to tape the ephemera to. You can also see I added some additional strips to the arrangement as I went along.
Once I was done with the arrangement of the ephemera, I turned the paper over to cutaway the excess that was hanging off the edges.
Next step is to move to the sewing machine to stitch the pieces into place (that is why I could use a tape runner on the back instead of Collage Medium).  Stitch along the seams with any color thread.  I chose a neutral, but black could be cool too. I left the threads long so many appear in the find piece.
This next step is optional depending on the ephemera you used.  I QUICKLY painted over the entire piece and brushed on Gathered Twigs Distress Ink with the glue was wet so that it would embed into the glue as it dries.  This gave it an over all aged look, some light places and some dark.
The last step to the background was to add some small pieces, so back to the sewing machine to add a few piece that I hand dipped into the ink puddle and dried before adding.
Next, paint the inside of the tray black and add Design Tape Trims to the edge.  I did add Backdrops paper to the outside of the tray but I forgot to take a photo of it!
Adhere the stitched background to the tray, leaving the strings loose from the glue.  Add a bunch of string to the eyelet on the tag.

These are Curio Frames that I have painted black and then sanded to look old. I added the images from the sticker book to chipboard and then to the frames.  You might notice that I added the metal frame The Manor to the inside of the frame with the gentleman.  It fit perfectly and added another element to the layers.
I wanted to use the Entomology bugs so I colored them different ways, using paint, Alcohol Pearls & Alcohol Ink.
I used foam squares to adhere the frames so they stuck out from the back of the tray.  That gave me the opportunity to add the bugs crawling out from under the frames.  A small detail but one that I loved.  
For the bottom of the tray I used a few things to create an eerie scene:
Tiny Vials
Drippy Candles
Candle Stands
Figure Stands
This year the candle stands come in a pack called The Manor.  Thats how I got the metal frame!
You can see I colored most things with paint and/or Mushroom Alcohol Ink. I added string and more Mummy Cloth and a bit of wire too! I also used the Figure Stands to add the top hat on a stand, that I thought worked perfectly in the scene. There really is no right or wrong for the bottom of the tray, just use what you have.
I hope you love this as much as I do. I think the stitched ephemera background was the catalyst for the entire scene. Never discount your background!

Now carry on,

Monday, July 31, 2023

Full of Wonder Panel

Hello Friends,

This is one of my favorites that I made from the Etcetera release.  Here I have used a Etcetera Panel + the house shapes from the Facades pack.  I actually used two house shape (because it was just easier) but I have given you an alternative in case you only have one pack.
Lets get started...
Cover the Etcetera Panel with Backdrop paper  - this paper is from Backdrops Volume 5.
I added Design Tape Trims to the edges of the panel.

This is just a test run to show you placement on the panel - NO GLUE YET.

I chose two transparent layers from two different packs. The moon transparency is from the "Transparent Things" pack. I chose it for the stars in the background, not the moon, so I placed it as far to the right as I can.  *This will make more sense when the top transparency is placed on the second layer.

The photo is from the Photomatic pack - I just cut around her, then added a thin foam square to the back so she is raised off the surface.
I squeezed some Stickles out onto the craft sheet, then picked some up with my fingertip and pressed it onto the transparency to dry.  Its hard to take photos of glitter, so trust me it looks better that it does here!
So here is how I put all the pieces together...
I used a cutting knife to cut paper for the top of the house shape (Etcetera Facades). I had multiple packs of Facades so I am going to use two house shapes for this project.  If you only have one package, then you can use Foam squares to raise the house up from the panel.
Tape the 2nd transparency to the FRONT of the house Facade. 
*notice my cut piece on the left, waiting to go in top.
Add Collage Medium to the back of the cut piece.
Then flip over and place on top of the Facade, covering the tape.  Press down till smooth and flat.
Now, using the second Facade house shape, adhere the moon transparency to the back as shown. I used Scor-Tape to add the transparency to the Facade.

PLEASE NOTE: If you are going to use foam squares instead of the second house shape, then the moon transparency will be adhered directly to the panel, with facade 1 + foam squares placed over the top.
So your piece should look like this.
The double house gives maximum space between the top transparency and the moon transparency.  And you can barely see the moon off to the right!
I added Hardware Heads to the corners.
And a Word Band to the top. I used Foundry Wax in the recessed portion and sanded the letters to bring out some contrast. I believe I added some Mushroom Alcohol Ink with a small brush to grunge the gold wax up a bit.
On each side I added some ephemera and then pieces of "Leafy Twigs".  This is a Sizzix Thinlit that I cut and inked.  I splattered it with white paint. Once dry I added the bright green Distress Crayon, Crushed Olive.  It has been snipped apart to use the individual pieces as I wish.  I adhered it to the panel with Collage Medium.  The tiny beads were added at the end.
I also added a tiny label from the Snippets pack.
Here is a close up of the left side.
I used the Feather from the "Quill and Arrow" pack as a grounding piece on the front. I painted it black and then added Foundry Wax to the high parts. Once heated, the gold and black work really well together.
I love this piece - it is so ethereal with the double transparency.  You could use any photo you wanted inside and really go with any theme.
Now carry on,