Monday, August 25, 2014

Glass Pebble Charms

We all need a few words of encouragement and inspiration to help us through the day. In the morning, it's easy to remember an intention to be more patient or thoughtful, but our focus often fades as the day's distractions get the better of us. I made these little "charms" so I can carry words that are important to me in my pocket or purse.

If I could print really small and very neatly, I would have hand-lettered the charms. Since I can't, I used my computer. First, I measured my glass vase gems (available at craft stores) and created color circles in my word-processing program slightly smaller than the gems. I then typed and sized an inspiring word--love, confidence, patience, trust, strength, imagine, etc.--to fit inside each circle.

I used a round paper punch to cut the circle out and then glued them to flat side of the gem so the word shows through the top. When the glue dried, I covered the exposed paper with a coat of Mod Podge. 

When you make your pebble charms, use words that are special to you. Keep the pebbles in a dish by the front door so you can choose the word you need each day.

Monday, August 18, 2014

Felt Circles Gift Bag

This little gift bag (it's 5½" by 6½") is a great project for using up scraps of felt. I cut two panels for the front and back of the bag (one from blue, one from brown) and one bottom panel and two side panels from blue felt. To decorate the bag, I cut circles in a variety of sizes from light blue and chocolate brown felt and stitched them in layers on the front and back panels. I used coordinating embroidery floss and whipstitch to attach the circles, but running stitch and blanket stitch would work well too. Tan and brown buttons accent the center of each circle.

To assemble the bag, I stitched the side and bottom pieces to the front and back panels and added a blanket stitch border around the top. A length of brown ribbon makes a simple handle.

The dimensions listed for this project are just guidelines, of course. You can make a bag in any size or color, depending on the felt you have available in your stash.

Monday, August 11, 2014

Mini Cat Cross-Stitch

I made this cat cross-stitch picture for my sister's birthday. She is definitely the animal lover in the family. I worked the design in black DMC floss on 22-count hardanger fabric. I framed the finished piece, which is just 1¼" wide by 1¾" tall, in a tiny vintage frame. Click here to download and print a copy of the chart.

To make the same design in a larger size, use evenweave fabric with a lower count. For a 1½" by 2" design, use 18-count Aida; for a 2" by 2¾" design use 14-count; and for a 2½" by 3¼" design use 11-count. Frame it as you like or make it into a little pillow.

©2014 Kathleen Berlew

Monday, August 4, 2014

Beach Bookmark

I like the fact that my e-reader automatically saves my place when I finish reading, but I still appreciate the experience of holding a real book in my hands. That means I still need to keep a supply of low-tech bookmarks on hand. 

I made this beachy bookmark from a paint sample card that features shades of marine blue. The seashell rubber stamps are from the Uptown Design Company, but you can use any sea-themed stamp you have. I applied each design onto the colored blocks of the card with an embossing pad, added gold embossing powder, and then used a heat gun to create the embossed effect. To finish the bookmark, I fastened a small grommet to the bottom of the card and attached a starfish charm with a jump ring. The charm makes it easy to find my place and puts me in vacation mode whether or not I'm at the shore.