Tuesday, July 7, 2015

2016 DIY calendar fun

2016 DIY calendar panel fabric calendar by septemberhouse

There's really no reason why I can't have a little fun with these too, right? I just couldn't help myself and whipped up a 2016 calendar panel for myself using some simple flower designs. 

floral applique fabric DIY for 2016 calendar panels

I found these beautiful flower templates when I read the book, Urban Scandinavian Sewing: 18 Season Projects for Modern Living by Kirstyn Cogan. They were tucked in among all the wonderful project there.

floral applique tutorial DIY fabric applique project

I finished off my sides with some homemade binding tape and used solid cotton fabric is a variety of colors. Oh and don't forget buttons - everything pops with a few buttons thrown in the mix, right?
This was a super easy project that I was able to complete in just a few hours and I love the results. I still want to make one of the tall skinny panels because I have a few ideas for those as well!

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Craft Confession June Hand Lettering

Hand Lettering Spanish SeptemberHouse

It's hard to believe but I am nearly to the halfway point of my Crafting Confessions series and have managed to produce something every month so far. No one is more surprised by that than me. This month I took on the daunting challenge of hand lettering. You see it everywhere - it's so popular right now and how hard could it be, right? wrong! I humbly bow to those talented folks who can do this. I feel okay with this for my first try but there were a LOT of hours of fussing trying to just get it to this point.
Hand Lettering Spanish SeptemberHouse
The point is, practice makes perfect - and that is exactly what this says so it's kind of the perfect phrase to start with in my opinion. I packed this with even more significance because I have been working on learning Spanish for a couple of years now. I took it in high school and college but recently picked it up again once Adam started school. Choosing a Spanish version of a popular phrase made me even more motivated to working on this project.

Hand Lettering Spanish SeptemberHouse

And guess what - I actually DO practice it every day. I am having fun with it so that makes it easy to stick with it. I don't remember it being fun in high school but I put a lot more pressure on myself back then which makes a huge difference.

But back to hand lettering. I forced myself to keep away from my computer for this and I am sure that shows. Oh how very dependent I am on my computer to draw my straight lines and to space everything evenly. I suppose it's good to force yourself to use your own eyeballs and fingers once in awhile, right?
Would I try this again? Yes, I would. I would actually love to try this exact design over again (practice makes perfect you know!) For now though I should focus on a new adventure for July. I need to pick something I can do with my kids. Stay tuned for that!

Thursday, June 4, 2015

Crafting Confession #5 Polymer Clay

  polymer clay hair slides

I know you are too polite to say anything but yes, it's true, I am late with my confession this month. I had some photo issues and well, I also got off to a late start with these so there is that as well. I'm here and ready to share today though! I chose polymer clay this month and was really looking forward to it. I love looking through all the great colors and tools that are available for this medium and I couldn't wait to get started. Deciding what to make was the trickiest part. I wanted to make something I would actually use (I can be stubbornly practical that way) and something I had never made before.

polymer clay hair slides

I have eyeballed some of these beautiful hair slides on Etsy and thought a polymer clay version was definitely in the realm of possibility. I wanted to keep that open delicate look but with some fun color and clean designs. Hopefully I got close to achieving that, even if I didn't I had fun trying. (I did make a third one with a pretty stamped design that I planned to paint. The painting part did not go as well as I hoped so that one got scrapped.)

polymer clay hair slides

It did occur to me about halfway through this project that I would probably have to try to take a photo of these in use. I almost abandoned it right then and there - how was I going to get a photo of the back of my head?? Well, I tried but it ain't easy! This 'way too close up' version was the best I could do and I hope you will be kind enough to use your imagination a bit and fill in the blanks with these fuzzy muddy pics.

polymer clay hair slides

If you haven't played with polymer clay I would recommend it. It's an inexpensive and versatile medium that you can do on your own or with any young ones in your life. Like all my crafting experiments though, this one did also give me a new appreciation for those artists who do this really well. Creating pieces that are super smooth, highly detailed, strong and sturdy and beautifully color coordinated is not nearly as easy as it seems and I admire those who have mastered it.

As a final note I want to quickly share my small reservation I had with this project. As I tiptoe into middle age I have found that I am asking myself a lot of "am I too old for 'x'?", "am I too young for 'y'?" questions and I did the same with these. I must have known an older woman who wore these at one time in my life or something because there was a tiny voice telling me that I should maybe save hair slides for another decade, that maybe I am too young for an accessory like this. And then I said 'who cares' I like them right now and that's that. Still, that second guessing what is appropriate for my age is happening more and more, have you heard that tiny voice too?

Now I need to clean up all my clay bits and maybe even share some of my leftovers with my kids who are begging to make little monsters with them. Onto another crafting adventure!

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

some ornament updates

2015 Baby's First Christmas Holiday Ornaments by SeptemberHouse

It's update time at SeptemberHouse and one my "to-do's" was to tweak some of my holiday ornament designs and get them ready to go for 2015.

2015 Baby's First Christmas Polar Bear Ornament by SeptemberHouse

When I look at the two bear ornaments now it's almost difficult to recall what changes I made to them and how I managed to spend hours working on such teeny tiny upgrades. The differences between last year's versions and this year's are subtle but I don't let any year go by without trying to make my ornament designs better than they were the year before.

Baby's First Christmas Woodland Bear Ornament 2015 by SeptemberHouse

The elephant pull toy ornaments however, saw some bigger changes come their way.

Baby's First Christmas Elephant Personalized Ornament 2015 by SeptemberHouse

There are new colors, new backgrounds and text changes too. I like the soft look of these and I LOVE aqua blue even at Christmas time so I was glad to have a chance to add that in to both the girl version and the boy version. These guys are all in the shop now and ready for an exciting Holiday Season!

Baby's First Christmas Elephant Personalized Ornament 2015 by SeptemberHouse
And yes, I DID create something for my "Crafting Confession" series for May but haven't had a chance to get some decent photos to share. I have not forgotten, I promise and will be sharing that project very soon!

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

2016 calendar panels arrive

2016 Fabric Calendar DIY

I think I am going to make it folks! My personal goal each year is to have calendar panels ready by the end of May and it looks like I am going to squeak by this year without too many more days to spare. So without any further delay allow me to share what is new for 2016.

2016 Fabric Calendar DIY Kit

There are three varieties this year and each one has three color choices. I added in this Tall & Skinny style that has room at the bottom instead of the top for embroidery (or whatever else you might like to add in here). When completed these are about 7 by 19 inches. These come in three colors: Sunflower, Poppy and Dusty Turquoise

2016 Modern Floral Fabric Calendar

The next option features a pre-printed floral design. There is no need to choose a pattern or to transfer a pattern with these - they are ready to go right out of your mailbox. Each panel will include a skein of matching embroidery floss too.

2016 Modern Floral Fabric Calendar Embroidery

The three color options are Blueberry, Raspberry and Pear Green (hmm...anyone else hungry now?) The design here is detailed but can be done using basic stitches so while it would require a time commitment I don't feel like it is something that a beginner could not handle. Just following along the lines is going to result in a beautiful piece of embroidery but I like the idea of going back in with some filling stitches too to add some pops of color.

DIY tea towel calendar with floral design for 2016

Hand Embroidery Blanks 2016 fabric calendar

I also have included some panels that are more along the lines of the standard panels I have offered for years. These  have a finished size of approximately 11.25 inches wide by 15.5 inches tall and have room at the top for whatever embroidery design you would like to add. Three different colors are available: Navy Blue, Stone and Paprika.

Hand Embroidery Blanks 2016 fabric calendar

And finally, each of these panels comes with a full color guide that provides suggestions for finishing and hanging your calendar panel plus gives matching floss color recommendations for both DMC and Anchor floss. I hope people will like these new styles and will have a lot of fun creating these calendars for themselves or as gifts for friends and family!

Monday, April 27, 2015

crafting confession april - hand carved stamps

hand carved stamps septemberhouse

I am here with another installment in my "Crafting Confession" series. This month I gave stamp-making a try and I had a ton of fun with this one! The good news is that this is a project that is both practical and easy to do. 

moo carve stamps by septemberhouse

I decided to make some stamps I could use on envelopes for packages or just letters. Since I was a little unsure about how difficult the carving would be I tried to stick with pretty simple designs. Making sure your image is reversed before carving is so important - especially if you have text incorporated into your design. Once I transferred my image onto the block it was time to carve away all the portions of the image that I did not want to print.

hand carved prints septemberhouse

The my final designs were carved using a basic carving set and Moo Carve blocks. I highly recommend using Moo Carve if you are a beginner like me. I actually tried another type of block that was a clear plastic. I thought that would make transferring my design and positioning my stamp easier. Plus, the label said that it 'carved like butter' I have to disagree with THAT. It turned out to be pretty stubborn and I found Moo Carve really does cut like butter. This makes the carving part of the project fun and easy but it also makes your block pretty delicate and I actually ended up accidentally nicking mine in a few places with just a fingernail. Still, I would definitely use it again.

I hope you had a chance to try a brand new technique or project this month. Thanks for checking out this month's 'confession'!

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

a bit of DIY fun

mosaic cuff darby smart

It's time for a bit of DIY fun - this one brought to you with a little help from some friends over at Darby Smart
DIY embroidered cuff materials

These cuff bracelets were made with some surprising materials (like small mosaic tiles) as well as some near and dear friends (like embroidery floss - of course). To make these I used: one blank vegan leather cuff, some small mosaic tiles, super gel adhesive, a lightweight awl by Clover, a micron pen, a needle and some embroidery floss.

embroidered cuff DIY tutorial

The first step was to just play around and come up with an arrangement for my tiles and embroidery. This was lots of fun because there are so many possibilities. I encourage you to try many different options before deciding on a final design. 

The tiles look pretty great on their own but I wanted to incorporate some stitching as well which I am sure comes as no surprise. You can add embroidery stitches however and wherever you like. They look great as an outline for the tiles, stitched over the top of the tiles, or as an independent accent. 

The tiles have a small ridge on one side and are flat on the other so I took that opportunity to incorporate some texture into my cuffs and used the tiles ridge side up. Either side will work though.

embroidered cuff DIY tutorial

After deciding on an arrangement I glued down my tiles using super gel adhesive. It provides a very strong bond but has a strong smell and dries quickly so I recommend working quickly and in a ventilated area if possible.

embroidered cuff DIY tutorial

I decided I wanted to mark my holes for the embroidery which takes a little extra time but I think it is worth it to insure a precise final look. A ruler can be used to space out your holes perfectly.

embroidered cuff DIY tutorial

Next I pierced through the cuff with an awl as a way to 'pre-drill' my holes. A needle just won't do the trick on it's own and the embroidery goes so smoothly once those holes are in place. You won't regret taking that extra step, I promise!

embroidered cuff DIY tutorial

My last step was to thread my needle with some embroidery floss and "connect the dots". The pre punched holes made this part a breeze. With that step complete I was all done. 

embroidered cuff DIY tutorial darby smart
Thanks to Darby Smart for being a part of this project!