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Letter From Laurieann
Happy New Year, everyone. With the craziness of the holidays over, we now have the chance to change gears and look ahead to all those new craft ideas we want to try out this year, as well as to follow through with our New Year's Resolution to complete our undone crafts from last year. To get you started out right this year, we have some wonderful Valentine crafts that promise to be lots of fun. Enjoy!
It is my sincere wish that 1998 brings only the best to all of you and as always, thank you for reading Crafty Visions Newsletter.
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by Bluebonnet Crafters
Following the diagram arrange 3 rosebuds and one bunch of baby's breath between 1:00 and 2:00 o'clock on the wreath. Using the floral wire, wire them in place and add a 4 looped shoestring bow midway on the rose stem. Trim the stems to approximately 6", 7" and 8" long.
Using seven rosebuds arrange from 9:00 o'clock back to 6:00 o'clock along the edge of the wreath. Add the remaining two rosebuds coming straight up from the point at the bottom. Trim stems so they all end at the lower point of the heart but the buds themselves are staggered following the diagram.
Baby's breath is added at the 9:00 o'clock rosebud and again at 7:00 o'clock. The remaining ribbon is tied in a shoestring multi looped bow with one 7" and one 10" streamer hanging down from the point at the bottom of the heart.
Trace a 4" heart on each of the three paper backed fusible web squares. Iron them to the wrong side of the bandanna fabric watching the design in the fabric so that all three are slightly different. Cut out the hearts and arrange them across the chest of the sweatshirt until you have the designs arranged as desired. Remove the paper from the back of the hearts and iron them in place. Using your fabric paint outline each heart half on the heart and half on the sweatshirt to seal the edges. Allow to dry thoroughly and it is ready to wear.
Option: As an option you can add two conchos between the first and second and second and third hearts using 1/4" ribbon approximately 8" long as your thread. Sew beginning on the top through the concho, through the sweatshirt back up through the sweatshirt through the concho and tie so the concho is removable for washing.
How often have you said "There must be an easier way !"? Well, now there is. In this feature, our contributing crafters share some of their secrets with you.
TIPS: (by Bluebonnet Crafters)
# 1. Cut your embroidery floss in 18" lengths and to separate the strands hold the ends and pull one strand at a time to prevent undue tangling. If you need several to sew just place them back together.
# 2. When working with items attached to wreaths if you wire them in place they are removable and you can use both components again in other designs.
# 3. If using a metal or glass form when shaping paper mache you can cover the form with Petroleum Jelly which will allow the form to be removed easily.
# 4. To add seeds to your rolls or bread brush the top with an egg wash of 1 egg yolk and 2 TBS. water. You can then sprinkle poppy seed, sesame seeds etc. over the bread and bake as directed.
OUR FEATURED ARTIST
Cylinda Mathews has been involved with thread crochet for 25 years. She also does embroidery, crewel embroidery, needlepoint, cross stitch and other crafts.
In her early days her mom was helping her to improve her sewing skills by making a dress. As Cylinda tells it "I ended up cutting the dress with the back on the fold of the material when the back should have contained a zipper. Discovering my error mom told me just to cut down the center of the back and we would adjust the seam allowance. I placed the back on the table and proceeded to cut down the center only to discover I had both the back and the front and was cutting through both. I was trying to be so careful and methodical. I was so upset I wadded the whole thing up and threw it in the trash. I am sure it was quite difficult for my mom to keep from laughing. Happily I have improved my sewing skills and while my children were young I sewed quite a bit. Now I'm rusty, the sewing machine is dusty and I'd rather be crocheting."
Her mother taught her the basics of crochet and while in Hawaii a neighbor taught her to read patterns. She enjoys crochet as she says "you don't have to stop and re-thread a needle to keep going. Just grab a large ball of thread and you're set. Crocheting has been fun but also had moments of frustration especially when designing something new."
Cylinda started crocheting as a hobby but over the years has turned it into a business. She has written and sold several patterns to craft magazine but finally decided to publish her own. Being unable to find a lot of thread crochet patterns that interested her started her on the road to designing her own. One thing led to another and she is now publishing a quarterly magazine based on her own designs.
Her patterns are available online at the present although she has sold her products to craft stores for over 15 years.
She is currently looking for a distributor with plans to expand circulation of her magazine beyond Southern California with hopes of national distribution.
Stop by Crochet Memories (http://members.aol.com/crochetmem/index.html) to see her original thread crochet patterns and hand crocheted gifts for all occasions.
CRAFTY Q & A
In this feature, we invite readers to ask a crafting question. Questions will be printed in each issue. We then would like for anyone who has an answer to these questions to please send them to firstname.lastname@example.org .
In the following issue, we will print the questions, the answers we received, and new questions for you to answer.
Please submit your crafting questions to email@example.com
Question 1: Does any one have a recipe for fabric stiffener?
Answer: To make fabric stiffener - just mix equal parts warm water and sugar. Deb
Question 2: I have been a crafter for over 16 years and as much as I do love crafting, I have become a little tired of the hustle of creating and shipping out to craft malls. I would really like to design now; new ideas are always forthcoming. I create many lovely originals. My question is, how does a designer, experienced in the task but new to the field, break into the designing world in an effort to become published? Also, how is the pay? Sincerely, Cindy
Answer: The subject of being published is a very complex question. I have been published in several craft and sewing publications over the years. Woman's day published a issue with a crafting contest and I entered my silk flower shadow quilting technique applied to a pillow. I did not win, but woman's day called and the pillows were published in the magazine and a book. The question of pay is relative to the complexity of the design and the publisher. Here are a few tips
1. Know the market of the publisher ( don't send a quilting project to a crochet publisher)
2. Can the materials you use be purchased everywhere in the u.s. ( yes you still have to go to all the craft mall and see what is hot and what is available.)
3. Send a self addressed envelope with a request for sase to the publisher (this is a request on how the publisher wants projects submitted to them )
4. Be your own publisher and create a web site.
IF YOU HAVE ANYMORE QUESTION E-MAIL ME AT firstname.lastname@example.org
GOOD LUCK SUSIE ADAMSON
This Month's Questions:
Please submit your answers to email@example.com
by Bluebonnet Crafters
PAPERWEIGHT OR PLAQUE
This project should be done with adult supervision. Plaster of Paris heats when it is mixed and should not be handled with bare hands. This project makes a good group project for Scouts, Sunday School, School, etc.
Instructions: Place the sand in the bottom of the box and gently shake to level. Arrange all the trinkets, pieces of jewelry, beads, buttons, etc. in a single layer, the pretty side down, against the sand. Some of the larger pieces can be pushed gently into the sand to make them stand out. Sprinkle the entire area with a little glitter.
Use a disposable container and mix the Plaster of Paris following package directions. Note** do not mix in the sink because Plaster of Paris will plug up the drain. Throw away any unused mixture in the disposable container in the trash**. Gently spoon Plaster of Paris over the sand to completely cover. Continue to pour or spoon gently to the depth of 3/4" for your wall plaque and 1" for a paper weight.
For the wall plaque at this point bend open the paper clip and place one half in the Plaster of Paris with one loop sticking out for your hanger. Set aside and allow to dry thoroughly (this may take several days, especially if the humidity is high). When completely hard and dry tear the cardboard box away from the Plaster of Paris shape over a waste basket to catch the sand etc. With a toothbrush remove the excess sand from the front of your plaque/paperweight and expose the parts of jewelry and trims. With a permanent fine point marker sign your name along one edge or on the back. You can also add the date and give your finished paperweight/plaque as your Valentine gift.
GLOVE FINGER PUPPETS
With this project the children write the story and then make the puppets to match their own story. Sample shows Mother, Father, brother, sister and pet.
Each finger becomes a different character. Glue pompom or yarn hair with a hat or hair bow over a felt "U" shape face. Add other trims and embellishments to complete the characters.
Fold each sheet of paper in half, design and decorate the cover (give journal a title and decorate to fit title), cut the tape in 2 pieces, place a strip of invisible tape down the inside of the front and back cover on each side of the fold, place 3 evenly spaced holes centered on the tape strips. To bind the journal take the cord etc. go down in the bottom hole up in the middle hole, down through the top hole back up through the middle hole and tie the ends in front of the bottom hole.
by Bluebonnet Crafters
Thaw the frozen bread dough following directions on package. Spray the cookie sheet with a vegetable spray. Cut the loaf in eight portions shaping each to form a flattened heart approximately 4" across and place on the cookie sheets two inches apart. Cover with clean cloth and allow to rise until double. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and bake 15 to 20 minutes until golden brown. Remove to a cake rack and allow to cool. Slice horizontally and spread, dress and fill with your favorite ingredients and serve as desired.
by Bluebonnet Crafters
Using refrigerated cookie dough bake according to package directions and decorate with colored sugar, sprinkles and tube frosting gel and pack in a paper mache heart shaped container for presentation.
PAPER MACHE HEART SHAPED CONTAINER
Use any heart shaped box, cake pan or aluminum foil pan as your form. The outside should be covered with clear plastic wrap and paper mache to form a flat bottomed container to hold your cookies.
Mix equal parts of craft glue and water to form the paper mache paste. Place the heart shaped form bottom side up on a newspaper protected work surface. Place a piece of plastic wrap covering the bottom surface, sides and extending slightly onto the work surface. Dip each newspaper strip into the glue/water mix and smooth onto the form. The first layer should go from right to left, the second layer is placed at right angles to the first and then two more layers are added criss-crossing to completely cover the form. Roll the newspaper strips extending onto the work surface back to form a rolled edge along the heart shaped form. Allow to dry overnight.
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Remove the paper mache container from the form and remove the plastic wrap. Place the paper mache container open side down in the oven directly on the rack. Turn off the oven and allow it to remain until completely cool. Remove and paint either with acrylic and a brush or spray. When dry give it a coat of either brush on or spray water based varnish. When varnish is dry you can embellish the outside of your container with buttons, glue on jewels and other trims of your choice.
Line the finished container with two sheets pink or clear plastic wrap, one going from right to left and one going from top to bottom with 6" to 8" overhang on each side. Fill with cookies, home-made candy or treats of your choice. Gather the four extensions and form a pouf in the center of the heart and tie with a bow.
by Bluebonnet Crafters
LUCKY SHAMROCK PIN
Using the pattern cut two Shamrock shapes from the felt. Beginning at the stem end blanket stitch around the first two lobes of the Shamrock using three strands of embroidery floss. Lightly stuff these two lobes and continue blanket stitching around adding stuffing as you go to complete the entire circuit. The entire Shamrock should be stuffed very softly.
Sew or glue the pin back to one side. If you are using the gold coins set one aside. On the front take a single stitch on the center front of your Shamrock pin, come down approximately an inch and tie one coin, bring the floss back to the center, take a second stitch and repeat using the remaining coins. Stagger the coins between the first and bottom of the pin as you come up from the last coin take your stitch and then sew the reserved coin to the center of the pin to cover the stitches.
These make quick inexpensive (and treasured) little gifts and are good bazaar sellers.
The following project was provided by Lorraine Albert as a Valentine gift to the readers.
TEDDY BEAR CONTAINER
by Lorraine Albert
Clean the container, take label off etc. Measure the container bottom and top separately and cut your fabric to proper measurements. For top piece I used a 10" X 7" piece. of fabric. The bottom was a 12 1/2" X 3 1/2" piece of fabric. Apply tacky glue to the container first then press on your fabric, smoothing out as much wrinkles as you can. Trim off any excess of material when you do the top piece. Make sure you do not cover threads on container when you do bottom. Measure a circle to cover the base of the bottom of container and glue on.
Tighten the lid on as far as it will go, make sure the seam area of the fabric is in the back. Hot glue the bear head on top, glue the arms on sides of container. If legs from bear parts are too long, cut the feet off and just use the feet. Glue feet on in the front on the bottom of container. Decorate as desired with ribbons, bows, pearls, etc.
Plastic Canvas Perpetual Calendar
The main portion of the perpetual calendar is complete in this newsletter. Each newsletter for the rest of the year will contain additional special blocks that can be added to mark your special days.
Cut white plastic canvas as follows:
Cut two S's, two T's, two M's (one is used as M the other as W) and one F.
Anchor the short white strips to the colored backing using a running stitch beginning at the left side, come up from the back over one white bar, down through both layers over one bar at the back, up through both layers, carry your thread over two bars, down through both layers, over one bar, back up through both layers. Continue working to the right until you reach the end of each white strip.
The first short strip is placed on the second colored bar from the top and the third bar from the left. The second short strip is placed on the twelfth bar. This holds the month.
Using the back stitch anchor the first S the 6th bar in from the left side and the 20th bar down from the top place the second S 6 bars in from the right and the 20th bar down from the top. Due to the uneven number of bars there will be one less space between the T and W and the W and T. Skipping four bars place the M, the first T is placed skipping four bars to the right of the M, skip three bars and place the W, skip 3 bars and place the second T, skip four bars and place the F, this will leave four bars to the final S. All are 20 bars from the top.
On the first bar below the letters place the first long strip. The second will go on the 7th bar down from the bottom of the first strip. The third strip is the 7th bar from the second and continues bringing the bottom of the last strip along the second bar from the bottom. These strips hold the dates and the bottom strip holds the year.
The months and numbers are all done with a backstitch over each bar.
The area to the right of the month and above the day letters is for your personalization.
For the back of the calendar take your second sheet of colored canvas and begin at the bottom placing the first white strip on the second bar up and third bar from the left. The bottom of the second strip is placed 7 bars up and each successive strip is placed 7 bars up from the one below it. As you reach the center of the top strip include a yarn hanger and continue to anchor the strip.
Placing both colored pieces wrong sides together use a running stitch covering three bars on the front and one on the back sewing both sheets together. Add the month between the short bars at the top and slide the date numbers in order between the long strips with the year single digit numbers placed between the bottom two strips. The special squares can be placed beside the year date or used to replace the actual date such as the heart replacing February 14th.
Store all the unused blocks between the strips on the back. On the heart block use a Continental stitch and the Christmas tree is made using long stitches.
Some of our readers are trying to roundup the answers to the following questions:
Learn to make a Teddy Bear Online!
Bluebonnet Crafters receives how-to questions on a large variety of subjects. We use these questions and comments as an idea for the projects in the newsletter. The classes we teach in Crafty College (http://CraftyCollege.com) take this process one step further. We are able to provide a project that targets specific how-to techniques and go into them in more depth than the newsletter allows.
Our next class will be a Beginner Teddy Bear. The class is divided into four sections that will be presented a week apart. The first lesson we'll talk about the specific tools and supplies you will need and also give hints and tips about working with fake fur. These tools and techniques can also be useful in any project using fake fur.
The second lesson is a basic beginner bear. The pattern is for a small bear but it can be enlarged up to 16". Lesson three is an entirely different pattern for another basic bear. This pattern is excellent as a "teaching children to sew" so if you have younger crafters have them take the class with you.
Lesson four will deal with dressing and embellishing the bear. We will show you how a purchased China bear (the little tan bears sold with craft supplies) can be embellished and dressed for fun and profit.
Crafty College has a number of excellent teachers. If you have specific crafts or techniques you would like to learn drop us a note at bluebonnet@BluebonnetVillage.com
To find out more about the Bear Class go to:
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