Monday, February 29, 2016

National Craft Month Roundup

March is National Craft Month!To celebrate, I've rounded up six of my favorite spring crafts. Whether you like to work with felt and floss or paper and glue, there's a project here for you. Click on the title of the project below to visit its original blog post. Happy Crafting!

Silver Lining Sun-Catcher
This easy-to-sew sun-catcher hides a surprise. One side is a fluffy felt cloud; the other is a shiny silver lining.

Recycled Greeting Card
Use the pretty greeting cards and gift wrap you've been saving to make an all-occasion gift card.

St Patrick's Day Welcome Cards
Welcome guests to your St. Patrick's Day gathering with these pretty place cards. They're super simple to make from paper, rubber stamps, and a bit of wire.

Easter Bunny Eggs
These adorable Easter eggs use two of my favorite craft supplies--pompoms and wiggle eyes. Best of all, there's no messy dyeing involved--just a bit of paper and glue.

Garden Party Cards 
Beatrix Potter's Peter Rabbit tales inspired these garden party cards. The Beatrix card features paper cabbages; pea pods decorate the Peter card (not visible here).

Sweet Easter Egg Ornaments
My childhood Easter basket always included a big chocolate egg decorated with colorful icing. These felt versions use buttons and trims to mimic the real thing--and they're calorie-free!

Monday, February 22, 2016

See My Designs in Spring Issue of Craft Ideas Magazine

So excited to receive the Spring 2016 issue of Craft Ideas magazine. Three of my designs are inside--Cross-Stitched Lavender Sachet, Embroidered Irish Brooches, and Easter Peeps Basket. (And yes, that's me in the Contributor Spotlight.)

The issue is filled with Spring and Easter projects to craft and stitch. Look for it on your newsstand. Happy crafting!

Monday, February 15, 2016

Mini Cross-Stitch Kit

I like tiny things, and I like working on projects that are portable, so I came up with this mini cross-stitch kit. Everything you need to stitch a little busy bees cross-stitch fits inside an Altoids mint tin. Make one for yourself or give it to a stitchy friend.

First, assemble your materials. You'll need an empty Altoids tin, a 3-inch piece of 14-count Aida fabric, an embroidery needle, and DMC six-strand embroidery floss in black (310), light topaz (726), and dark straw (3820). I wound my floss on cardboard bobbins, but you could just use full skeins if you like.

Next, click here to download and print the Cross-Stitch Kit Printable. Cut out the cover picture just outside the yellow line. Trace the top of the Altoid tin on a piece of clear adhesive-backed paper and cut that out too. Place the cover picture on the top of the tin and seal it in place with the adhesive paper. Press the edges down tightly so it stays in place on the lid. Cut out the chart and fold it into thirds.

To assemble the kit, cut a piece of colored paper to fit the inside lid of the tin and fasten it in place with double-stick tape. Attach the needle to the Aida, roll it up, and tuck it inside the tin with the floss. Place the folded chart on top and close the lid. Your mini cross-stitch kit is ready to go. Happy stitching!

Monday, February 8, 2016

Claddagh Design in Just CrossStitch Magazine

The April issue of Just CrossStitch magazine is out, and my Claddagh design is inside! The Claddagh is an old Irish symbol of love, loyalty, and friendship. It's a popular motif in rings and other jewelry, but I decided to adapt it to cross-stitch. The design is stitched in shades of green and gold embroidery floss, and it features lots of shamrocks. If you start stitching now, you can make your own in time for St. Patrick's Day.

Monday, February 1, 2016

X-Stitch Paper Heart Accessories

These perforated paper cross-stitch hearts are simple to make, even if you're a beginning stitcher. They're also very addicting. You can make a bunch in time for Valentine's Day. I glued mine to plain hair clips and pin backings, but you can use them to decorate cards. Or how about refrigerator magnets? Or bulletin board pushpins? The possibilities are endless.

I recently rediscovered how much fun it is to cross-stitch on perforated paper. You can find sheets of this awesome product at craft and fabric stores. Trust me, it's much sturdier than it looks. You stitch on it just like you would on Aida fabric, and when you're finished, you just cut--carefully--around the designs.

Follow the chart above to stitch hearts on the paper. I'm not giving you specific floss colors; just use whatever shades of red, pink, and rose embroidery floss you have on hand. 

I used three strands of floss when I stitched my hearts to cover the paper completely and give the designs a fuller look.

When the stitching was finished, I used a sharp scissors to cut around each heart. Be sure to leave a border around the hearts so the stitches don't come undone.

Aren't they pretty? If you want to show your cross-stitched paper hearts off, you can make them into Valentine's Day accessories. Glue them--or, if you're very patient--sew them to hair clips and pin backings. They make sweet Valentine gifts--but only for adults and older children.