Monday, July 28, 2014

Summer Souvenir Jar

My kids had to make a lot of dioramas in elementary school, and I have to admit I liked helping them create the miniature scenes from plastic plants and animals. I used those dioramas as inspiration for this project--a souvenir jar that lets me revisit the beach whenever I like.

For the background of this seashore-themed souvenir jar, I printed a photo of the beach from my computer onto plain paper, trimmed it to size, and tucked it inside the jar. Next, I added an inch or so of white sand and topped it with shells and a small piece of driftwood. I completed the scene with a miniature sandcastle, crab, and starfish.

If your vacation destination was further inland, use pebbles, pinecones, a miniature canoe, and woodland animals in your souvenir jar. For a city scene, use a photo of skyscrapers for the background, black beads for filler, and add a toy taxi, ticket stubs, and miniature street signs.

Monday, July 21, 2014

Cross-Stitch Op Art Pin

This cross-stitch pin is super easy to stitch, but I think the end result is quite high-end. I worked the design with black six-strand embroidery floss on 18-count white Aida, and then framed it in a silver-tone pin setting from the Etsy shop Kailea. The finished piece is about 1¾" square. You can use any pin setting you like, or just sew it onto a fabric backing and add a pin finding.

The directions are pretty straightforward. Just follow the chart and use two strands of black embroidery floss. Click here to download and print a copy of the chart.

Monday, July 14, 2014

Crocheted Summer Cowl

When my stash of embroidery floss gets out of control, I tie skeins together to make custom balls of crochet thread. For this cowl, I made a ball of about two dozen skeins of floss in shades of pink and magenta. I alternated light and dark shades so the finished project would have a variegated look. The pattern is a lacy double crochet-chain stitch combination.

With a size F hook, chain 150. Slip stitch in first stitch to form ring.
Round 1: Single crochet (sc) in each stitch around. Slip stitch to join the last stitch to the first stitch in the round.
Round 2: Chain 5, skip 1 stitch, double crochet (dc) in next stitch, (chain 2, skip 2 stitches, dc in next stitch) around; end chain 2, slip stitch in 3rd chain of starting chain. Repeat Round 2 until the cowl is the desired length. (Mine is 10 inches.)
Last round: Chain 1, (2 sc in chain-2 space, sc in dc) around. Slip stitch to join the last stitch to the first stitch in the round. Break off thread and weave in ends.

Monday, July 7, 2014

Felt Watermelon Coasters

 These cute watermelon coasters are perfect for serving summer drinks on the patio. They're easy to sew and super inexpensive--they're made from red and green craft felt.
To make the coasters, cut 3½" circles from red, light green, and dark green felt, then cut the red and light green circles in half. With black embroidery floss, make straight stitch "seeds" on the red half-circles. Use green floss to embroider green zigzags on the light green half-circles.

Pin an embroidered red half-circle to a dark green circle and stitch the straight edge in place with green floss. Pin an embroidered green half-circle beside the red half-circle and stitch the straight edge in place. Whipstitch around the outer edge of the coaster with green floss.