Monday, October 31, 2011

Happy Halloween from the meat skull

Yup this skull is made of meat! Pretty cool hu?
What else is cool are these links that my fellow crafty bloggers have to share!

Craftside-A behind-the-scenes peek at our crafty world
This week at Craftside there are tutorials on how to needle felt a bat and a pumpkin with a cute mouse, an early recycled sweater Christmas tree designed with the new Sizzix die, a chance to win a copy of How to Draw Steampunk, how to build garden row covers, a reportage video and a recipe for a fast fruity skillet cake.

Aileen's Musings
Hard to believe but Thanksgiving is just around the corner! Aileen is gearing up by offering you a freebie pumpkin biscotti recipe card and a pumpkin label for you to download and print for your own use.

Carmi's Art/Life World
Carmi creates one special Christmas card using rubber stamps and paint.

Cindy Gimbrone Beads
Cindy and her blue fingers review The Handbook of Metal Clay.

Crafty Princess Diaries
Combine some basic crochet skills with soap collecting for this charity donation idea.

Eileen - The Artful Crafter
Rather than stashing your mom’s jewelry away to tarnish and gather dust, combine some of your favorite pieces into a M.O.M.s (Memories of Mom) necklace.

Mixed Media Artist
Cyndi's hand stitched silk top quilt is all finished! Whew!!

Stefanie Girard's Sweater Surgery
See how to make a secret window in a glitter decoupaged book with a Fiskars Everywere Punch.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

How to make a secret window in a Glitter decoupaged book with a Fiskars Everywhere Punch

You know how I love new tools! Today's new toy is the Fiskars Everywhere punch. This paper punch will make a square anywhere you want!
I decided to try it out by making a secret window in a book. The Fiskars Everywhere punch worked like a dream! I punched about 3 pages at a time and I was done in a flash.
The outside of my secret hiding place book (or I was thinking this would be a fun way to give a small gift item like one of my shotgun shell necklaces) needed some help!

I flipped through the book Encaustic Workshop: Artistic Techniques for Working with Wax and saw this page featuring these leaf skeletons and I happen to have a pack of them.

I know this book is all about encaustic but some of the ideas work for decoupage which is what I did with some Plaid Extreme Glitter Paint.

I used both black and gold. I put down an irregular coat of each first. Then another coat of gold. While the 3rd coat of gold was still wet I pressed the skeleton leaves into it and topped it off with a 4th coat of gold.

I have a few other books that will have a "window of opportunity" soon!

More about the book from North Light Books:
Encaustic Workshop: Artistic Techniques for Working with Wax
Patricia B. Seggebruch

Find out what happens when mixed media meets melted medium

In its purest form, encaustic painting is as simple as applying melted beeswax to an absorbent surface. In Encaustic Workshop, it becomes much more: a dynamic medium where anything goes and the possibilities are endless.

Packed with step-by-step techniques, helpful tips and diverse examples of completed works, Encaustic Workshop brings all the accessibility and excitement of a mixed-media workshop to your own workspace. If you're a beginner, you'll find everything you need to know to get started. If you're a more advanced crafter or fine artist, you'll discover things you never knew you could do with encaustic.

Instructions and photos will guide you as you learn to:

  • Apply, layer, color and carve wax to create artwork rich with texture and depth.
  • Create collages that combine encaustic with papers, fabric, found objects, image transfers and more.
  • Experiment with charcoal, inks, watercolors, pastels and other mediums to create unexpected effects in the wax.
Then, complete step-by-step projects and an extensive inspirational gallery will show you how you can combine the techniques you've learned to create more complex works.

Sign your creativity up for this Encaustic Workshop - then just melt, paint and play!

A graduate of the University of Colorado, Patricia Seggebruch has been painting in water media, oil and encaustic for about twelve years. She has been teaching workshops at retreats (such as the enormously popular Artfest) since 1998, and she conducts demonstrations for Daniel Smith in Seattle/Bellevue, for ArtMedia in Portland, and for Ampersand Art Supply in Austin, Texas.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

The old saying, "running around like a chicken with its head cut off" photo

Photo du jour that makes me giggle. A friend of mine has a fun little flock of chickens and I felt like I was running around with my head cut off trying to photograph them! This shot made me think of the saying about chickens with their heads cut off because you can't see her head. But rest assured she had a cute one fully intact.

Not onto some cute crafty links!

Craftside-A behind-the-scenes peek at a crafty world
This week at Craftside there is a blanket stitched felted flower pattern and tutorial, a chance to win a copy of The Wine Lover's Devotional, some high fashion clothing details, and a recipe for an oven smoked roast.

Aileen's Musings
Herm and Ethel have arrived for their annual visit. Stop by and say hi and grab this year's freebie Halloween postcards to download and send to friends and family.

About Family Crafts
The current craft challenge is all about crafting with plastic bags. Submit your project and browse through the pumpkin projects submitted for the last craft challenge.

Cindy Gimbrone Beads
Cindy reviews Craft Activism just in time for Make a Difference Day!

Crafty Princess Diaries
The Crafty Princess takes a trip and talks a little about the benefits of attending functions away from home.

Eileen - The Artful Crafter
Got tea lights? Look at this darling mini birthday cake favor you can make with them. You’ll find directions for a coordinating birthday card as well.

Mixed Media Artist
Cyndi's painted silk fabric quilt is almost finished!

Stefanie Girard's Sweater Surgery
How to make a recycled wool sweater pumpkin with flower die cuts.

About Family Crafts
The current craft challenge is all about crafting with plastic bags. Submit your project and browse through the pumpkin projects submitted for the last craft challenge.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

How to make a recycled wool sweater pumpkin with flower die cuts

This project came about in kind of a funny way. So you get the story first then the tutorial.
I was recently at a craft show that let's just say had a bit of a slow start. I don't know how many of you, my Sweater Surgery readers do craft shows as vendors but if you do then I bet you have participated in a slow one here and there. Well I first did what the teenage girls were doing across the way and started texting like fiend to everyone I could think of to come to the show.

Then I said to myself, "I am sitting here with a pile of wool felted sweaters and my Sizzix die cutter. Get off your but and make stuff!" So that is exactly what I did.
I cut a whole bunch of flower shapes using all the different flower dies I had out of two different orange sweaters and stacked them up in a pumpkin shape.
To secure the stack of flowers I bent a piece of floral wire into a "u" shape and poked it through the stack from the bottom to the top. I twisted the wire together and trimmed one end short and left the other about 3/4 of an inch long to put a small piece of green sweater over to form the pumpkin stem.

The recycle wool felted sweater pumpkin is crocheted eyeball approved.

Monday, October 17, 2011

This is how we celebrate our Birthdays

This is my birthday twin Amanda (left) and the Mommy who made her Lori on the right dancin' with fire! When we say we're on fire, we really mean it!

They were awesome.

But now there's crafting to do!

Craft Buds
Pick up some free Halloween printables at Craft Buds, including subway art and a cut-and-assemble Halloween banner for your mantle. While you're there, you can look for the easy fabric pumpkins tutorial, and get your home ready for fall!

Crafty Princess Diaries
Tammy shows the results of doubling up on yarn to make a loom hat using school colors.

Eileen - The Artful Crafter
Here’s a quick and easy tutorial for making vintage-look bottle vases.

Lindsay Sews
Modern quilters unite to host the 12 Days of Christmas Sample Quilt Along. Each block will be different, and with only two blocks per week for 6 weeks, it's easy to join in! Get your fabric ready, because it kicks off in two weeks.

Mixed Media Artist
Piecing the top of a hand-painted silk quilt is like doing a giant puzzle!

Stefanie Girard's Sweater Surgery
Free crochet tiny ghost pattern.

About Family Crafts
Looking for a fun Halloween gift for your neighbors? Check out these fun ideas that will have you ringing the door bell and running!

Craftside- A behind-the-scenes peek at our crafty world
This week at Craftside there is a chance to win a copy of the book The Art of Vintage Journaling and Collage with a tutorial on how to make a rock collage paperweight, a link to enter to win 12 design books along with quotes and eye-candy from Quilt Hall of Fame inductee Nancy Crow and the book Design Matters.

Aileen's Musings
Aileen shares a couple of holiday Artist Trading Blocks she created for a swap. Don't know what an ATB is? Stop by and check them out!

Carmi's Art/Life World
A sweet pop out card featuring a rubber stamp launch from the Crafter's Companion is this week's special post.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

How to crochet tiny ghosts for Halloween

Tiny ghosts are just a little spooky, well really they are just darn cute.
I was inspired to crochet these tiny ghosts after seeing these great knit ones featured in the book Teen-Tiny Mochimochi: More Than 40 Itty-Bitty Minis to Knit, Wear, And Give.

When making dimensional projects out of yarn I prefer to crochet, but that's just me. If you like to knit little adorable things than grab yourself a copy of Teen-Tiny Mochimochi: More Than 40 Itty-Bitty Minis to Knit, Wear, And Give and you'll be in cute heaven!

If you like to crochet and want to make some tiny ghosts like mine here is how I did it:

Crochet Ghost Pattern:

I used Lion Wool-Ease White Multi 301 (it has a strand of sparkle in it)
and for a hook I went down a from the suggested size of J to an I

As far as the pattern it's more like a suggestion as each ghost can be a little different and free form as ghosts tend to be, I know this!

Chain 2
Single crochet 8 into the first loop
Slip stitch to join
Single crochet around increasing approximately every 2nd or 3rd stitch until you have a nice dome shape and there are at about 14 stitches.
Then I did about 4 rows with no increasing or decreasing.

For the final row to get an irregular edge I alternated 2 treble crochets in one stitch and then a slip stitch around the base.

For the eyes I grabbed some black yarn and knotted it twice to make each little eye and stitched each one on.

Repeat to make a set, because you know one is not enough!

My crocheted eyeballs look on in admiration :)

More about the book from Potter Craft:

Teen-Tiny Mochimochi: More Than 40 Itty-Bitty Minis to Knit, Wear, And Give

Anna Hrachovec

"This title is suitable for advanced beginner to intermediate-level knitters who want fun, witty, irresistibly tiny patterns to make as gifts for friends, cute accessories and decorative items. In "Teeny-Tiny Mochimochi", toy knits designer Anna Hrachovec presents more than 30 super-cute, humorous patterns for miniature toys, plus techniques for tiny knitting; ideas for using the tiny knits as wearables, decorations and gifts; and instructions on how to convert a pattern for a tiny project into a bigger toy.

Anna Hrachovec launched Mochimochi Land (, a website and brand of knitted toy patterns, in early 2007. To design her toys, Anna draws inspiration from Japanese kawaii (cute) culture and children's illustrators such as Dr. Seuss. Her original knitted creations have been featured on The Martha Stewart Show and have been exhibited in galleries in New York, Seattle, San Francisco and Tokyo. In addition to her website, Anna maintains a blog ( and a Ravelry group for her fans (Mochimochi Land Lovers). Anna's first book of knitted toy patterns, Knitting Mochimochi, was published in 2010."

Monday, October 10, 2011

Pipe cleaner skeletons just hangin' out

These little pipe cleaner skeletons just make me smile. They were made by my friend Bev of the infamous StarPrompt! Pop on over to her site for a giggle and a listen to her on American Public Radio.

Craftside- A behind-the-scenes peek at our crafty world
This week at Craftside there is a crochet cone flower granny square pattern, how to make a mood board and chance to win a copy of the book One Drawing a Day that it's from and a recipe for slow cooker vegan pizza.

Mixed Media Artist
Cyndi messes around with the layout for a new quilt made from hand-painted silks.

Eileen - The Artful Crafter
Did you know that you can recycle greeting cards into cute little gift boxes?

Crafty Princess Diaries
Tammy takes a look at a crochet book that promises simple projects.

Carmi's Art/Life World
Carmi has a cricut cartridge give-a-way this week!

Aileen's Musings
This week Aileen shows you how to make a frightful Halloween mail art tin.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

How to make a recycled milk jug movable Halloween skeleton

This makes my 3rd skeleton/skull project this year. I guess it's this year's theme.
He is most assuredly not scary. And I didn't plan this but I wired him up onto my screen door and then after photographing it I closed the door and look he peeks in through the window looking like he's sayin' hey!
All you need is a recycled milk jug and the Sizzix movable skeleton die. I used a bit of wire and seed beads to attach the joints together.
I think I will make another one that is going to get a bow!

Monday, October 3, 2011

Happy Halloween Spider Web crochet skirt finished!

Last year I posted the almost finished crocheted spider web skirt pattern and yup, I finished in time to wear it this year! Here is a fun photo my friend Maria took of me in my spider web skirt hamming it up for the camera holding a giant pair of scissors she scored on Ebay!

A side note I will confess I had to tear the house apart to find the tiny zip lock baggie the little ball of yarn, hook and almost completed skirt was in. Because where do you keep your Halloween unfinished crochet projects? In with all the Halloween decorations? No. In your "works in process" area? No. I finally found it in the drawer I keep projects I have written about already. These are the done ones but I must have thought I would finish it sometime during the year. Go figure.

OK now onto craftastic links!

Craftside- A behind-the-scenes peek at our crafty world
This week at Craftside there is a chance to win a copy of Modern Calligraphy and Hand Lettering by Lisa Engelbrecht, two ways to position a patch pocket, a cool finger print poster, an eye dropper drawing tutorial and how to nalbind from the book Knitting Around the World.

Mixed Media Artist
Cyndi's got a rack full of freshly painted fabrics, and she knows how to use 'em!

Stefanie Girard's Sweater Surgery
Learn how to make a recycled #6 plastic shrunk skull necklace.

About Family Crafts
Do you have a fun and fabulous collage idea? Share it!

Carmi's Art/Life World
Carmi had new 3D rose cards to showcase this week.

Crafty Princess Diaries
Don't be a wash out! Learn to make a simple crochet wash cloth with this free pattern you can download as a pdf file.

Eileen - The Artful Crafter
Eileen had fun learning how to create fine art with Photoshop.

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