Friday, 25 April 2014

Here Chicky!

Hello again crafty friends! Today, I thought that we would make a scrappy chicken brooch. It really goes to show what all crafters know already - you cannot throw ANYTHING away! Not even a tiny piece of fabric.

This little brooch is a perfect example of this. The wing is made from such a tiny whisp of fabric and the whole brooch measures a massive 7cm x 7cm so you can see, it doesn't take much! 

Consider making these in bulk for craft markets and for gifts. I am happy for you to sell the brooches that you make as long as you give me credit for the pattern in the first place. 

Now. What do we need?  As you will see from the first photo, the requirements are small so a beginner without much kit can do this.

You will need:
- some scraps of fabric in  a couple of co-ordinating colours. 
- about five layers of thin ecru cotton fabric
- a thread to compliment your fabrics
- a brooch back
- a water soluble marker
- glue stick
You will also need the things to set your sewing machine up for free motion embroidery. I won't go into details here as each machine is different so go to the manual. If you have some general questions, leave a comment and I will do my best to help.

Next comes the line drawing:

You have a couple of options here. Either freehand it (and that is where the water soluble marker comes in) or print the drawing off and adjust the size so that it is 7cm x 7cm and then transfer it to the fabric using your favourite method.

Layer up the fabric with the ecru fabric at the back and your chosen main colour on top....

Pin it all securely. You will notice that the chicken is not cut out. Leave a margin of fabric around the chicken. This makes it much easier to sew and you will cut it away layer. Cut a wing from your accent fabric and cut it out exactly. glue it on with the glue stick.

HOT TIP: an ordinary glue stick is better than anything else for this task. It does the job quickly and cheaply and is far easier to handle on a small area than an iron on alternative.

Embroider the chicken adding all details. Go around twice - it looks better and more substantial.

Cut the chicken out leaving a small border. This does not have to be perfect. Spritz with water to remove the water soluble marker lines.

On the back, attach the brooch back....

I have added a dab of hot glue over the stitches to make it stronger too. This is optional.

Here it is again, all finished! A few minutes work and a very small bite into the rag bag! 

Thanks for stopping by and happy sewing!

Monday, 14 April 2014


Hello fellow crafters!

It has lamentably been a little while since we spoke but here I am again. Those of you who are really paying attention will know that I have set up a sister blog for my travel stories and general observations about life called Take a look and let me know what you think.

Last week, my family and I spent a magical two days in France with some dear friends and I thought that this was a perfect occasion for a thank you card with a french vibe. As I said, magical! For an Australian born family, going to France for a couple of days to do some shopping is a surreal concept. Worth it though in every way. The food selections there for a foodie like me are wonderful. I was in heaven and I bought my Mum back a glorious selection of cheeses - she has always been a closet mouse so this was pretty good for her too.

Well then, back to the matter in hand which is my card - destined for the lovely family who showed us around Calais.

This card has a bit going on actually but it is not really hard. You will need to get your hands on some nice paper in pink floral themes. I have used some pages from Rose Garden by First Edition. 
You will need a pieces of A4 sized cardstock, some Ranger Distress Inks in a couple of greens and a pink (you can choose your favourites or whatever will fit nicely with your paper). Ranger Archival in Jet Black too. I have used some flowers that I made in an earlier post so I won't go into details again, take a look in the archives for those. 
There is a ribbon bow, some self adhesive pearls and you will need some flourish stamps and some French ones too. Mine is Marianne Designs and it has an Eiffel Tower and the wording. The flourish is a Panduro Hobby design which you can easily find online.
DecoArt Americana Warm White Paint and Champagne Gold Metallic Lustre come next and a couple of butterfly dies complete the picture. My trusty Dremel hot glue gun and a glue stick are helpful too. Of course, your usual card making needs will be needed.

Begin by folding the cardstock in half vertically, scoring and pressing. Cut a piece of rosy paper to fit the front, distress  the edges with some medium sandpaper  and glue on with the glue stick.

Cut a piece of a second, complimentary pink paper and use the white and gold paint to shabby chic it. Not a verb I know but I am sure that you all know what I mean!

As you can see, the white and gold really looks the business. next stamp some corner flourishes and the word 'merci' with black ink. Make a large Eiffel Tower in the centre too.

Create some pink flowers and some green leaves. Some of these should be medium and some small. As I mentioned, I have an entry in the archives about this. Colour the edges of the leaves with green inks. Have the bow ready too. I made an over large organza bow. It looks better if it is soft and it doesn't matter if it overlaps the flowers and stamp. Because it is organza, you will see through it anyway.

Lay the design out onto the card and make sure that you are happy with it. How glue everything into place. 

I have grouped the larger flowers to the bottom and allowed the others to form a tapering pattern towards the top. I found a paper flourish and some pearls which made the design complete. Notice how the Eiffel Tower is still visible but not totally in the middle of the page? This looks better stylistically. Everyone knows what it is....
Here is a close up to show some detail.

I thought that the card needed one final detail - butterflies! They really make a garden. In the Rose Garden pad, there is a page with a really big rose, painted in crackle paint. I used this to make the butterfly and then a little bit of the leaf to make the smaller butterfly at the bottom.

This card has deep dimension and the layers make it really luxurious. Here it is again...

Have a go at it and you will find that it comes together very nicely.

Thank you so much for stopping by and happy crafting!