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Archive for the ‘DIY’ Category

I’ve been having a lot of fun playing around with Illustrator lately.  I come back to it off and on to try and experiment with different styles and swatches and what sorts of things I can do to sell.  Anyhoo, I am a super novice at it since I’ve never taken a class so I thought that maybe it would be fun to give some of my experiments as free downloads!  I definitely don’t feel comfortable selling anything that I’ve produced but I don’t want them to just sit on my computer and not get any sort of feedback.  So, anytime I do something new or come up with something fun I’m going to offer it here!  Woohoo!  Here is the first download, I designed it to be a desktop wallpaper but if you can think of any other uses let me know!  Hope you enjoy it and I would love to hear any feedback, good or bad!  Hope everyone had a good holiday weekend!

Good Morning Wallpaper:

good morning

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I have always been partial to using natural light but I’m writing an article on using natural light vs. using a light box (will link to article when it’s posted) and I needed to get some firsthand experience.  I found this post on making a light box for $10.  But it cost me nothing!  All you need is a box, tracing paper, tape, a box cutter, and a piece of poster board (or something similar, I used the back of a poster)  Here is my process, all the instructions are in the link!

All in all, building and using the light box was a lot simpler than I thought it would be.  It always seemed more technical I guess (I don’t really know why!)  You should try building yourself one, it is super easy and I do like the result!

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I love making messes with my sister on rainy days!  But I don’t like cleaning it up…..

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It’s grey and rainy here in Minneapolis!  No fun, I was wanting to be outside for a little while today but no dice.  Instead, I guess it’ll force me to get some things done inside.  I have discovered a fun new thing: fusing fabric to paper!  The possibilities are really endless and you could use any fabric/paper combo you would like (although I’ve had the best success with cardstock).  I’ll show you one simple project you  can do with fabric fused paper, but expand out and think of all the fun things you can do!

What you need: a piece of fabric, a piece of cardstock (I had an 8 1/2 by 11 piece), fusible webbing, iron and ironing board, scissors, and a punch (but you can always just cut out tag shapes)

Iron your piece of fusible webbing to the back of your fabric per the brand instructions.  The general rule is put the shiny/textured side down onto the back of the fabric so that the paper-like side of the webbing is facing up.  This is the side you want to iron, also make sure your webbing is a little smaller than your fabric so you don’t get the webbing gunk on your ironing board.  Then let it cool for a few moments.

Peel the paper backing away from the fabric.  You should be left with a nice shiny surface on the wrong side of your fabric.  If the paper doesn’t peel away easily, you may need to iron it more to make sure that the webbing adhered.

Now, place your fabric shiny side down onto your cardstock.  Also make sure that the webbing doesn’t touch your ironing board (again, it is really quite gunky!)

Iron your fabric onto the cardstock.  This process can take anywhere from 8-12 seconds.  I found it helpful to leave the iron in one spot for a second or 2 and then move it around some.  Continuing to do this on the entire piece, you can always lift the corners and see if it’s adhered.  When it cools it adheres more.  You will want to let it cool almost completely before you do the punching or you won’t get a very clean punch.

After it’s cooled, use your tag punch (or any punch) and punch out your tags!  It’s helpful to have a very sharp punch, I read that you can punch some aluminum foil with your punch a few times to sharpen it up and it seems to work for me.  You can also cut out any shape you would like: letters, birds, anything at all.

I also did some circle punches!

Sometimes, there are little frayed bits left behind but they are easy to get rid of with some nice sharp and pointy scissors.  Or you can keep them on there for effect, your choice!

Finally, take your little hole punch and make some holes for the strings or ribbon.

And voila!  Some fun and unique gift tags for giving!

What are some other ways we could use fabric fused paper?  Leave all of your great suggestions in the comments!

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My friends and I went to the St. Paul Farmer’s Market this past weekend and I picked up some rhubarb among other fun things!  I have been wanting to make some jam, so I thought this was the perfect opportunity to play around with a recipe and see what I come up with.  Here is a recipe for Strawberry Rhubarb jam with some blueberries (because I had a half pint sitting in the fridge so I thought why not!)

You will need:

1 bunch of rhubarb

1 quart of strawberries

1 cup of sugar

and the zest and juice of 1 lemon

Chop the rhubarb and strawberries into decent sized chunks.  No need to dice or make perfect cuts.

Put all of the chopped pieces into a nice heavy pot.

Next, you want to zest your lemon into the pot.  Make sure to only use the zest and not scrape any of the white stuff (or pith) into your jam.  It’s really bitter and unpleasant!

Then juice your lemon.  I like to hold the lemon up and juice through my fingers incase any seeds pop out.  If you don’t have lemon you could always add 2 tbsp of lemonade or water.  I like the tart lemon flavor with my jam so that it’s not too sweet.

Next, add your 1 cup of sugar.

Now set your stovetop to medium/medium high heat and stir everything around so that all the ingredients are mixed together.

You want to keep stirring, letting the sugar draw out all the juices.  This jam recipe doesn’t require any thickening agents, instead it relies on the natural pectin found in fruits that will make it jell up nicely.  It will just take some time.

It’s hard to see in this picture but, you will want to bring this up to a boil/bubble and keep cooking it and stirring it for about a half an hour.  If you have a candy thermometer, you can temp it to 220 degrees.  Then, turn off the burner and let it sit for 3 hours.  This is when some serious jelling will happen!  Then just jar it up.

This recipe makes about 24 oz of jam.  I didn’t can it using a traditional canning method, so the shelf life (refrigerated) is about 2 weeks.  It won’t last that long in this house, and I gave some to friends.  Eventually, when I make bigger batches I’ll do some more real canning.

What are some of your favorite homemade jams?  Do you know any good homemade bread recipes that I could try out with this??

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Hello everyone!  I will make no excuses for the hiatus, instead I am going to give you a lovely tutorial: enjoy!

We’re going to be making a fabric wrapped bracelet.  You only need a few materials to make this awesome project for yourself or as a gift (no selling please!)

Materials needed:  a bracelet of any sort (you can find tons of cheap plastic ones at thrift stores)

a piece of fabric that you like 12 in by 12 in about

and some Aleene’s fabric fusion ( found this to work the best)

You want to cut some slits into your fabric about 1/2 inch to an inch wide. You want just enough to get a tear started.

Tear a few strips, I usually do 4-5 because I wrap tightly and close together.  The longer the strips are the less you’ll need.

You’ll want to start the bracelet by tightly holding one end of the strip to the inside of the bracelet.  Wrap tightly 2-3 times around the same area to get a good hold.

Continue wrapping tightly leaving about 1/2 an inch between the frayed edges.  You want to really get a tight wrap going because you won’t use glue until the end.

Eventually a strip will end.  Make sure it ends on the inside of the bracelet (cut if you need to)

Then start wrapping over top the end piece the way you started the bracelet and continue.

Woohoo!  Wrapping is done.  Once again, make sure it ends on the inside of the bracelet.  Now grab your glue!

Now put a thin line of glue on top of your loose end.  You don’t want too much, we’re going to smear it around anyway.

Now rub the glue onto the edge, making sure that you have every part of the loose end glued down.

You can always add more glue if you need it, but really smear it in there!

Now let dry and wear!!

I’m still new at writing and photographing tutorials so any suggestions or comments on how to improve them or what you like: just let me know!  I’m more than open to your thoughts!

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pencil stamped bag, originally uploaded by Creature Comforts.

Hello! Just popping in real quick to show you something that I have seen floating around the interwebs! This is a cute picture that comes with an even more adorable tutorial.  Creature Comforts is a beautiful blog filled with gorgeous pictures and fun tutorials like this one!  Hop on over and stamp something up this weekend!

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