Saturday, 22 November 2014

Loving Christmas Pot Holder and Cute Snowflake Pebbles

I still cannot get enough of winter and I am so in a Christmas mood at the moment. Because it is Christmas, this is another double whammy blog with some super cute painted pebbles too!

Here are the images that are holding me captive at the moment...

I am also learning to crochet (I have been at it for just over two weeks and I am teaching myself so please be kind!). I wanted to make something really different this time and combine some of my favourite things. I love heart motifs and I love my crocheting so far and I am so into felt cutouts - one look at my elderly potholder in the kitchen and the answer suggested itself!

Here it is.....

And here are the pebbles....

Nordic inspiration, beautiful greys and the most perfect reds combining to make a very quick make which is easy too and very functional. The pebbles have a northern vibe too and the red and white theme features although you could do blue and white too.

Let's start with one thing at a time though. We will begin with the pot holder.

You will need to gather these supplies:
-a nice heavy yarn for the crochet bit. I used Wendy serenity super -chunky in a grey marl. Tarmac is the name that you are looking for.
a bit of red yarn for the edge.
-a square of red felt
-a wooden button
-a wooden button slightly larger than the red one
- a piece of red and white gingham fabric
-small piece of red ribbon
-pinking shears - mine are scalloped
-glue stick
-fray stopper
-water soluble marker
-perle 5 cotton: white
-Your usual sewing supplies.

Start with the crochet bit. I made a chain of 20 (expert crocheters please forgive me for this method of pattern writing- trust me, we will look back on this one day and laugh). The next bit was to crochet rows with double crochet (UK) or single crochet (US) until a square of roughly 19cm is achieved.

Take the red wool next and make a blanket stitch around the outside. This doesn't have to be super perfect as we are going for a rustic look but don't make it it messy. Block the square next by wetting it thoroughly and then squeezing the excess water out into a towel (don't rub though because we don't want felt). Shape it into a square and pin until it is dry. I used a computer mouse mat for this and then put it into the airing cupboard overnight. This is what it looks like so far....

It needs a little something though...a red heart is just the ticket! So, enter the heart diagram! 

When you print it off, it needs to be about 13 cm across the widest part. Transfer it to your fabric with the water soluble marker and cut the heart out. Lightly glue it to the felt square with the glue stick. 

We are going to leave the edges raw on this project but there are lots of alternatives if you want to take them. I am using a perle cotton in white to sew the heart on with a simple running stitch. But let's not get too far ahead! The first job is to pink around the edges of the felt....

To do this, simply follow the contours of the heart and try to get the pattern to match so that you don't have choppy bits.

Now lightly glue the heart motif to the crochet square using the glue stick. I am putting the button and the ribbon hanger in the corner so my heart will be on the diagonal....

Hold the image down with the flat of your hand to slightly warm and set the glue. This removes the need for pins so that you don't have unsightly marks. 
Here is what we have now....

As you can see, the stitching is quite subtle which is fine because to isn't supposed to be the feature in this case.
Cut a piece of ribbon about 15cm and then treat the ends with fray stopper. Tack it to the corner of the square and then sew the button on securely over the top....

I did add a small edelweiss flower to the heart too. Edelweiss is not a Christmas flower despite it being all over the place most of the time. It blooms in the summertime but I am a bit homesick and it looked so right...

Now it is the turn of the pebbles. Here they are again...

Now don't worry if you have never painted before. Firstly, you don't need very much kit so if you are buying from scratch, you will not break the bank. Secondly, the techniques are very simple. 
Here is the collection of what you will need to find....

You can see some unpolished river pebbles, some acrylic paint; I am using DecoArt Santa Red. You need some white paint (Snow White) and a couple of brushes. I have DecoArt Traditions 3/0 liner and a #12 flat brush. I also have  a stylus for making dots. To finish, I have some DecoArt Matt varnish to protect your masterpiece.

Firstly, paint the stones red and allow to dry. You may have to do this more than once. Allow to dry between coats. Use the #12 flat brush.

Now draw a snowflake design with a pencil onto the pebble. Here is an idea of the progression of the snowflake....

Start with the cross (liner) and add another over the top. This will be painted in white with the liner. Now you can use the stylus to make dots. To make a dot, dip the stylus into the paint and dab it onto the pebble. Repeat. Play with the sizes of the dots (brush or stylus) and remember that no two snowflakes are the same. Here are some variations...

Now varnish the pebbles with the matte varnish and the #12 brush and arrange them into a bowl or place them around the house to add bright spots for Christmas. I have carried the Nordic vibe a little further with a chunky crochet mat in grey marl. Add some wood with bark on to complement the look.

Well that was a long one! Thanks for staying with me and I hope that you all found something really nice to do with these Christmas crafts.

'Till next time...

Debbie xxx