Felt fruit for a berry bowl display

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Oftentimes, people ask me, “What is the purpose of felt food? What do people do with it?” My answer is simple: I make felt food with the intention of it being toys for children and pretend play. But then occasionally, I’ll meet a customer who buys them for other reasons.

Recently, a customer told me they purchased my felt strawberries to help display her handcrafted “berry bowls” at craft fairs. I loved this idea, and I freaked out a little when she sent me this beautiful picture. You should check her out: Rebecca with Willow Avenue Pottery.

A Simple, Floral Wedding Embroidery Hoop

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Another wedding, another embroidery hoop. But I think this one is my favorite so far. I’ve been following a few artists who use very small embroidery stitches to create these precious floral arrangements with thread, and I was inspired to try to here. I love how how the flowers turned out.

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Homemade invitations for a pineapple-themed dinner party

 

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I firmly believe that one’s 25th birthday should be celebrated in a big way.  Not only does 25 years mark a quarter of a century, but I see it as an important mile marker in the transition into “adult.” Postgrad life can be tough learning how to handle big-time jobs, real-life bills and grown up relationships. By turning 25, you have a couple of these years under your belt, and you’re no longer considered a rookie.

So when I made plans to visit my best friend in Florida for her birthday celebration weekend, I knew a party had to be planned. First stop, the invitations!

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I wanted to pick a theme for the party – mainly for the decorations – that was simple. The party is going to be a casual event with friends: dinner, cake and a few games. I wouldn’t be surprised if after dinner we simply sit around, tell stories and laugh. So I decided to pick a simple icon that would stand as the theme of the party, and I selected the pineapple.

For the invitations, I made flat, felt pineapples to place like a letterhead. I cut out the two pieces of felt by hand, and then using black thread, I stitched the design (as well as attached the two pieces together). Once complete, I used Elmer’s glue to glue the felt piece to the card stock.

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I bought the card stock at Paper Source, and simply wrote out the information by hand. I’m so happy with how it all turned out. Now with these in the mail, it’s time to plan a party!

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Fabric “Fishing” Set for Pretend Play

Let’s talk about how cute this is for a second.

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One of my favorite memories from my childhood was going to the Fernbank Museum in Atlanta. My mom must have loved that place because it seemed like we went all the time (to my joy). Though the dinosaur in the lobby was cool, I adored this children’s exhibit dedicated to nature (I mean, it had a tree right in the middle of the room!)  And though my memories are vague in the details, I distinctly remember “fishing” in the room’s pretend pond. I could have played there all day, everyday.

This memory came to mind when I was trying to come up with a gift for my 3-year-old nephew, and it couldn’t be more perfect. He loved fishing when he was at my parents’ house earlier this year, and I can see it providing hours of endless playtime.

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Another pro: I can use scrap fabric. I made my own template by free-handing the fish shape on card stock and cutting it out. I didn’t take the time to make sure the template was perfectly symmetrical, but it all worked out in the end.

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After using the template to cut out the fabric, I sewed on two eyes, one on each piece.  Then keeping right sides together, I sewed the two pieces of fabric together with a 1/4-inch seam allowance, stopping short to leave a hole for stuffing.

IMG_0625Once complete, I flipped the fabric right-sides out, and used polyfil to stuff the fish. Now the keys to “fishing” are the magnets. I found mine at Hobby Lobby, including these magnet hooks. I added a little stuffing to the fish’s “nose” before adding the round magnet. Using the hook magnet, I made sure the right side was facing out for the two to attract. (If the magnets repel each other, just flip the round magnet to the other side.

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With the magnet in place, I finished stuffing the fish and used a whipstitch to close the hole. I then repeated this process with three more fish. I didn’t create a fishing pole. My mom is actually delivering this gift for me, and I knew a pole would not fit in her suitcase. But I found this cool idea online. But let’s face, poles can turn into swords, and all you really need is a piece of string.

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Celebrating Christmas in July with Yarn-Wrapped Ornaments

The folks over at Patience Brewster reached out to me last week with a question: How are you celebrating Christmas in July?

I loved the line they used in their email, “Though we do flourish when the sun is high in the sky and the flowers are blooming, our minds are always on Christmas!”

I’ll admit, I have a hard time thinking about Christmas when it’s 100 degrees outside, but looking through Patience Brewster’s Christmas line, I was inspired by the colors she uses. Despite winter being a cold, dark-colored month, Patience uses bright, bold colors that remind me of summer.

So I reconsidered the question, and I have an answer.  I celebrate Christmas in July by making the projects I ran out of time to make last year, like these yarn-wrapped Christmas ornaments.

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I had all of the materials to make this project because I had purchased the Styrofoam balls last December. Alas, you can only do so many Christmas crafts before the magical days finally arrives. (I understand why Santa needs all year to prepare.)

This project is also a great way to use leftover yarn (which I have by the basketfuls). Otherwise, you’ll need Mod Podge, a paintbrush (for the glue) and a knitting needle (which I used to poke a hole through the ball.)

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Using the knitting needle, I guided a long piece of yarn through the hole, and then brought it back around the ball to knot at the top. And as you go about gluing on the rest of the yarn, try to keep these pieces out of the glue. When you’re done, tie the two loose pieces together to be the string that attaches the ornament to the tree.

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Starting in the middle, I painted the Mod Podge along the circumference, and then I slowly wrapped the yarn around the ball, gently pressing the yarn into the glue. Though you can continually work until you’re done, I think it’s beneficial to occasionally stop and let the glue dry, especially if you get too much glue on your fingers. (I find it helpful to let them dry as they hang. My chandelier proved to be the perfect drying spot.)

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For the more colorful ornament, I applied the yarn in pieces instead of continuing wrapping it. This version definitely takes longer (and if you’re like me and dislike glue, it definitely requires more patience).

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I think I’ll let these decorate my gardenia bush for a little bit before I store them away with other Christmas ornaments. But thanks to Patience, I definitely have Christmas on my mind. Once you start to think of Christmas ideas, it feel like the opportunities are endless.

  Summer Wedding Embroidery Hoop

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I attended a beautiful wedding this weekend of my sweet friends Kathleen and Drew. It took place at Ephesian Farms, which I was told is a relatively new wedding venue about 45 minutes outside of Birmingham. Every detail of the wedding was so thoughtful, but knowing Kathleen, I was not surprised. So I knew I wanted to return the thoughtfulness with a sweet gift. I made this embroidery hoop and attach it to a gift – a book all about Atlanta, the city they are moving to after their honeymoon.

A Lulie Wallace Study

As a kid I was always fascinated by the painters who would set up in museums, right next to the most famous paintings, and replicate them color by color. I thought why is this famous painting so famous if it’s easy to replicate.

I laugh now at my younger self.

I’ve grow to learn that famous painting are famous for reason – no matter how hard you try, you can’t replicate the genius. Instead, you learn to paint by trying to replicate a master’s strokes, color choices and style.

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I’ve been following Lulie Wallace for a little while now. Recently, she’s posted a collection called a Southern floral series that I am obsessed with, specially her painting of magnolias. So I took the afternoon to try to learn from a master.

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Again, it’s impossible to replicate the genius, but it was fun to attempt to capture its style. Plus, I get a beautiful painting to hang on my wall.

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