Monday, January 31, 2011

Homemade Valentine's Day Cards

First off let me give credit where credit is due.  Thank you Martha, Queen of all craftiness for this idea.  I have made a couple of twists, based on what I had available at the time.  So here goes...

Supplies needed: corrugated cardboard (you know, the kind you get on your oranges box that has the little notches in the middle)
Ink in your choice of colors, I used hot pink for the roses and turquoise for the leaves
Sweet Potato: to make a leaf stamp  (I was too cheap to actually buy a leaf stamp)
Card Stock: White for stamping and Color or Pattern of your choice for card base
Spray Glue

Cut your cardboard in two sizes.   4" x 12" for larger rose and 4" x 4" for smaller rose.   Roll up the cardboard until it resembles what could be an abstract rose stamp.  Tie tightly with twine.

Cut your Card stock in half, this will be 12" x 6".  Fold this in half and that will make your card.  Take the white card stock and cute a shape that is pleasing to you to be glued onto the front of the card.  I made sure to leave a border so you can see the cute patterned cardstock behind the white card stock.  Here you can round your edges, or make scalloped edges or whatever pleases you.

Carve your leaf stamp.  Take your sweet potato (or any kind of potato you have on hand or a wine cork which is what Martha recommended), draw the shape you want to carve, make it simple.  With a pairing knife, cut around the shape 1/4" deep.  Cut around the outisde of the sweet potato 1/4" down and move knife in towards your stamp shape until you meet your pattern.  Pop out the unnecessary pieces of sweet potato.  Continue until you have a 1/4" edge around your leaf stamp.  Voila!  You have made a stamp.

From here, just get creative.  Using the two different sizes of rose, dip in the ink until saturated and place at random.  Make sure that the edges of your rose are as even as possible so that every part of your stamp shows up on paper.  This took some experimenting on my part and I found I got the best results when I pushed on each part of the rose from the top to ensure it all touched the paper.  Add your leaf stamp as you feel is necessary and deliver to somebody special.  Happy V-day!

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Why? Because I can!

Welcome to my blog.  This is about many different things.  It's about getting back to making things ourselves.  It's easy enough to go to the store and buy whatever we want, but why not make it ourselves?  It lets you express your creative side and gives you a sense of pride and accomplishment.  It's awesome!

This was partially inspired by my sister who when I told her I was going to make some fingerless gloves because my fingers get cold typing in the morning said, "Why don't you just go buy some?"  I mean, where's the fun in that?  I won't get to pick my own yarn, I can't get the experience in making gloves (which I've never done before) and I don't get the satisfaction of making something awesome. 

I've gotten more interested in getting back to the basics of making things for my family for several reasons.
I quilt because I love to express myself creatively in fabric and enjoy the warm coziness afterwards. 
I crochet because I love making amigarumis for friends who are having babies and for my own kids and nieces to run around playing with something made from the heart.
I grind my own wheat and make homemade bread for my family because I like the idea of giving them the freshest, healthiest food available without all the preservatives and added sugar in the grocery-store options.
I embroider because I like to see my ideas manifest themselves onto fabric, it's a creative thing again.

So here's to doing it ourselves because we can.  It's fun, it teaches us something and allows us to express ourselves with love and creativity.

Bottled Tomatoes
Home-made bread from freshly ground wheat
Quilt and pillow-cases with crocheted edging
Youngest's big-girl blanket
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