Printing Tips

Check out my printing tips if you're having problems printing to the right size
If you'd like to support this site and all the free things I post- please check out my Don't Eat the Paste Mandala collection coloring book for 9.99 at Amazon.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Fezzes are cool - bead patterns and Halloween pics

I've mentioned before that my daughter is all about Doctor Who right? I mean, the rest of the family likes it of course. But her favorite color is TARDIS blue, she can name everyone who played the Doctor in order, including the people who were on Comic Relief. So her costume was decided ages ago.
She made the fez, and the bow tie, for the bow tie, she took apart a clip on we got at a thrift store and used the pieces for the pattern. The fez is made with broadcloth over buckram. The jacket and shirt are both from thrift stores, and she added the patches to the elbows. The sonic screwdriver is purchased from ThinkGeek.
I graphed out these two bracelet patterns. I'm going to make both for her for Christmas this year. I hope you enjoy them too. Odd count peyote. First picture is a preview, second picture is both bracelets vertically oriented for printing out the patterns. Click on the second image to download the full size pattern.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Printable Paper Wallet- octagon- swirl

This is based off an old style of leather coin purse that dates back to the first part of the 1900s. Recreated in paper, it can be used to hold flat items like pins, earrings or pieces of candy for favors and gifts.

Print on cardstock at 100 ppi. Score all lines before folding. Really really important with this one to score the lines first. When you're folding, work from the outside in. Folding the center lines for the petals first, then the inner lines, then finally the lines on the inner octagon. As you fold each set of lines, the next inner round folds more easily. When it's done the whole thing goes together very easily. Arrange the petals so they overlap in the same direction. To open, hold two petals that are opposite each other and pull gently. After it's folded together right, it closes just as easily.
You can buy a blank 300 ppi digital delivery version of this template at my Etsy shop.
Click on the images for the full sized version.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

2011 Bright Calendar- year at a glance

I'm planning to do a few more calendars in the next couple of weeks, but here's the first one! Click on the image for the full sized version, and print at 300 ppi.

Please take a moment to vote on Spoonflower's Calendar Contest
This is my entry, I resized it to 25% of the original, the art I submitted to Spoonflower is a lot bigger. If you'd like, feel free to print this one on landscape settings. I really don't expect to even get in the top 10 this time. There are some amazing designs!!! Including a gorgeous quilt inspired design that I'd love to hang on my wall.

Book Review- Little Green Dresses

Little Green Dresses: 50 Original Patterns for Repurposed Dresses, Tops, Skirts and More by Tina Sparkles is themed around the very popular idea of making new clothes out of old clothes. There are lots of books covering this subject but this one takes a very different take on the concept.
Instead of being another how to turn jeans into skirts or teeshirts into shrugs type of book, this one is about actually drafting new patterns and creating very polished finished pieces of clothing. It's very in depth about how to make patterns to fit you perfectly.
For that reason, it may not be good for re-vamping an existing wardrobe of clothes that already fit you well, but it's a great use for thrift store and garage sale clothes and linens that will have the yardage necessary to completely remake them into something very wearable.
Most of the patterns are geared towards a younger audience, stylish 20 somethings, but the skirts and dresses are easily lengthened for people who more comfortable in more modest clothing.
The other thing I like about this book is that the pattern drafting information can also help someone fit their existing wardrobe better.
There is a lot of information in here and a lot of very nice clothing designs. Skirts, tops and dresses that have classic lines and are well tailored and fitted. The patterns you draft for yourself can be used and worn for years. In someways it reminds me of my Mom's old Vogue sewing book, but with designs that are a lot more current and suggesting use of  salvaged table linens and curtains instead of buying new fabric. Although new fabric is completely usable as well.A wonderful addition to a sewing library, and a great resource for people who want to learn how to make clothes to fit them perfectly.
You can get this book directly from Taunton Press or below from (affiliate link)

Saturday, October 23, 2010

2010 Witch Box

I've drawn a new witch every year for a few years now. Unfortunately I've lost of a few in computer crashes, and a few more because I was unhappy with how they looked later on.
Kathy reminded me that I hadn't posted a witch box for this year. So here's this year's witch! I decided to give her fairy wings because I wanted to try drawing them.

 Click on the image for the 100 ppi full sized version.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Miniature Printable Witch Hat

Like my printable Princess crowns or Alice printables, this can be printed and strung on elastic to wear as a hat.
It is however, just a little tricky to put together.

Click on the images for the full sized 100 ppi printables. 
I curved the top part of the hat by pulling it at an angle across the edge of my desk. I really recommend using double sided tape to put together the cone and put the top of the base into the hat, the tabs are wide enough for it. Then use a thin coat of glue to put the bottom part of the base of the hat on it, and go over the cut edges with a marker so they aren't white against the rest of the hat.Take 3 sheets of card stock. 2 Halloweenish color ways and I'll work on more designs this week.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Patterns from my Facebook page

If you're friends with me on Facebook, you might have noticed the last few days I've had 2 different Halloween patterns as profile pictures. Here are the patterns as used on Facebook and the flat versions if you'd like to bead them. Jennifer B. already did one of them and if she gives me permission I'll post that photo later! Click on the images to see them full sized.

I posted a new article on BellaOnline, Copper washer necklaces!

Crochet Pattern- Eco Friendly Makeup Remover Pads and Bag

Make up remover pads are a nice gift for eco-friendly women who wear make-up. They are also a great ends and bits stash burner. These can be laundered, and I'd recommend washing them in a bag. But hey, the pattern for the bag I made for them is on this page too! 

For this very easy version, I used a slightly textured stitch to make squares.

ch= Chain stitch
sc= single crochet
dc= double crochet
sl st= slip stitch
tr= treble crochet

American terminology
Size F hook, worsted weight cotton yarn
Textured Makeup Remover Pads

Chain 12 - 11 stitches plus 1 to turn, doesn't count as first stitch

Row 1: Sc in first chain from hook, sc in each chain (11 sts)
Row 2: ch 1 to turn (does not count as first sc here or throughout), sc in first stitch, *tr in next stitch, sc in next st*, repeat ** across
Row 3: ch 1 to turn, sc in first st, sc in each of the rest of the stitches
Rows 4-7: Repeat rows 1 and 2

Edge by doing a sc crochet in each stitch around with 3 sc at each corner. Break off and weave in ends.

The matching bag is easy for anyone who can make a granny square to make. 
Mini Granny Square Bag

Ch 6, join with slip stitch to make a ring
Round 1: ch 3 (counts as first dc), 2 dc in ring, ch 2, 3 dc in ring, ch 2, 3 dc in ring, ch 2, 3 dc in ring, ch 2, sl st to join at top of first ch 3 to join
Round 2: Sl st across dcs to first ch 2 space, ch 3 (counts as first dc), 2 dc in space, ch 2, 3 dc in same space, *ch 1, 3 dcs in next sp, ch 2, 3 dcs in same space*, repeat ** around, ch 1, sl st to top of ch 3 to join
Round 3: Sl st across dcs to first ch 2 space, ch 3 (counts as first dc), 2 dc in space, ch 2, 3 dc in same space,ch 1, 3 dcs in next sp,ch 1, 3dc, ch 2, 3 dc in next space, ch 1, 3 dcs in next sp,ch 1, 3dc, ch 2, 3 dc in next space, ch 1, 3 dcs in next sp,ch 1, 3dc, ch 2, 3 dc in next space, ch 1, 3 dc in next sp, ch 1, sl st to top of starting ch 3 to join
Round 4: Sl st across dcs to first space, ch 3 (counts as first dc), 2 dc in same space, *ch 1, 3 dc in next space*, repeat ** around, ch 1, sl st to join.
Rounds 5-11: Repeat round 4
Round 12:  ch 1, sc in each stitch around, sl st to join
Round 13: ch 4 (counts as first dc and ch 1) *skip 1 stitch, dc in next st, ch 1*, repeat ** around. Sl st to 3rd ch in ch 4 to join.
Round 14: ch 1, sc in each stitch around, sl st to join. Break off and weave in ends.

Chain 70, sl st down the chain, weave the chain through the spaces in the dc/ch row on the bag, tie ends together, and weave in ends to make a single loop. 

The same technique used for the makeup remover pads also works for tawashi for washing dishes. I just used a longer starting chain and did 2 rounds of single crochet, the second round is in the back loop of the first. Just remember, use an odd number of stitches! This was 13 stitches to start, and 13 rows. I use cheap acrylic yarn for most of my tawashi and they hold up very well. 

I've disallowed comments on this entry due to incredible amounts of spam. 

Crochet Pattern- Scrubbie II

I was asked for a scrubbie by a member of my family who will go unnamed because he's an adult man who doesn't want the world knowing he wanted a soft cotton bath pouf.
He also didn't care about colors because nobody is going to know he has a soft cotton scrubbie except for his family, so I used yarn I got at a garage sale. I got a big bunch of cotton yarns at this sale for 5 dollars and I'm using it on things where color isn't important. (which also explains why the next pattern I'm posting is out of this same yarn)

So.. all that said- gauge isn't important for this project. I used Peaches and Creme Spring Meadows colorway, on a cone for this. You can probably make one with one ball, but buy 2 just in case. My next project is a great yarn burner for bits of cotton yarn.
ch= Chain stitch
sc= single crochet
dc= double crochet
sl st= slip stitch
tr= treble crochet

Scrubbie II
Size G hook, cotton worsted weight yarn, American terminology
Ch 40, sl st to join (makes hanging loop)
ch 6- sl st at join from ch 40

Round 1: ch 6 (counts as first sc and ch 5), sc in ring,*ch 5, sc in ring*, repeat ** 8 more times, ch 2, treble in first chain of round to join (12 loops)

Now it starts increasing by a lot.
Round 2: ch 6 (counts as first sc and ch 5), sc in same loop, ch 5, sc in same loop,*ch 5, sc in next loop, ch 5, sc in same loop, ch 5, sc in same loop*, repeat ** around, when you get to the last ch 5 to join the round, ch 2, tr in first chain of round to join.
Round 3-4: Repeat round 2, on the last ch 5 space of the last round, ch 5, sl st to join.
You can add a 5th round if you want it even bigger and fluffier
Break off and weave in ends.

For a denser scrubbie using the same principles, check out my Easy Ruffled Scrubbie Pattern.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Halloween boxes- 300 ppi

I keep forgetting to buy more ink for my printer and my test prints are getting some kooky colors now. So the printable mini witch hat I made will have to wait until I get more ink!

So today's printables are a tried and true template, I used the 300 ppi version because these have photos in them. They are both photos taken by me that I thought looked a bit Halloweenish. I hope you enjoy them!
The first one is raven. The second a full moon. Appropriate for the werewolf in your life!
Click on the images for the full sized versions.

Blank version to use at a place setting or something else.

The photos I used. These are at 50%, and the raven is grey scaled. Personal use only.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Book Review- Start Scrapbooking

I have a secret to tell all of you.
I don't scrapbook. I want to, take tons of pictures, plan layouts in my head and occasionally buy scrapbooking magazines. But I don't actually scrapbook.
So that's where the book Start Scrapbooking comes in. It's written for beginners, for people who are just getting interested in preserving memories more artistically and in more detail than just keeping boxes or SD cards full of photographs.
The book starts with an introduction to scrapbooks, what scrapbooking means past just putting pictures into an album, some of the reasons to scrapbook and some of the things you could make a scrapbook for. Important memories, friendship, events.
The next chapter is about the tools to get started. Punches, cutters, papers, embellishments, brads, adhesives and album types and how to use them. Lots of great photographs and explanations.
Chapter 3 is about journaling, which is an important part of modern scrapbooks. Telling the story you want to preserve with your images. A message written with a photo of a child of what you were thinking or feeling, or what they felt. A quote, a quip, a bit more detail. The author shows a bunch of different ways to do it in both style and format.
Chapter 4 covers designing a layout. Showing how balance, color and everything else work together to create the mood or memory you want to preserve.
Chapter 5 is all about bringing together all the elements to work in themes.
The book has resources through it, a lot of ideas, and for me, it was a great introduction. It wasn't overwhelming. Some of the most effective layouts are very simple and seeing how they go together is inspiring.
There isn't a specific chapter on digital scrapbooking, but the same principles apply if you have a graphics program you are comfortable in.
The book is available from the publisher, Memory Makers Magazine, along with a lot of tips and techniques that are on the website, or you can get it from below. The link is an affiliate link and helps pay some of the costs of maintaining this site.

Crocheted Bracelet Pattern

First, thank you for the nice comments on my post about my mother's birthday. My family had a lovely time going out to eat and going to the thrift store. Someone had come in and bought ALL their craft books that day so I missed out on those, but I did find a great little pamphlet of honey recipes and some pressed glass dessert dishes exactly like mom's. The teens both found things they wanted and I found a mechanical egg beater for a 1.00 that just needed a minor fix. Mike fixed it and the Turnip is thrilled. She just thinks it's the neatest thing ever.

2 Color Crochet Bangle Bracelet
The ribbed crocheted bangles are still being worn a lot by my daughter. Last night I made her this one as well.

It's very quick to stitch, 2 chains, 7 rows total, and 2 hook sizes, then sew it together.
You'll need:
yarn- worsted weight - 2 colors- I used stashed kitchen cotton yarns (the kind you use for dishcloths or potholders)
a size F hook
a size G hook
yarn needle

sl st= slip stitch
sc= single crochet
dc=double crochet

With the base color,  F hook 
Ch 32, slip stitch to join, being careful not to twist the chain
Round 1: Ch 1 (does not count as first stitch), sc in each stitch around, sl st in first sc to join.
Round 2-4: Repeat round 1 (I said this was easy right?)
Break off yarn and weave in ends. 
The inside of your bracelet is done. Now to do the outside.
Contract color, G hook
Leave a 12-15 inch long tail for stitching one side of this part of the bracelet to the other part. 
Ch 32, slip stitch to join, being careful not to twist the chain
Round 1: Ch 1 (does not count as first ch), sc in each stitch around, sl st in first sc to join.
Round 2: Ch 3 (counts as first dc and ch space), ch 1, skip one stitch, dc in next stitch,* ch 1,skip one stitch, dc in next stitch*, repeat ** around, ch 1, sl st in 2nd ch of starting ch 3 to join. (16 spaces total)
Round 3: Ch 1 (does not count as first ch), sc in each stitch around, sl st in first sc to join.
Break off yarn leaving a long tail for sewing and weave in ends.

Put the first part of the bangle inside the part you just finished, and sew them together using a running stitch. Try not to pull the stitches  tight, you want to have some give in the bracelet. Weave ends in.

Friday, October 8, 2010

Mom's Birthday

Today is my mother's birthday. Since she died, I've made a list of things she taught me. None of those lists are complete or even close. It's just what I think of at the time, what's important or what's meaningful or just what I'm doing at the time that she taught me.

My mom, Carolyn Elizabeth Bradley always said-
"Boredom is a choice and I know you're smarter than that."
"Get your hair out of my eyes dear."
"Every dollar you spend is a political or social statement. I couldn't sleep under a quilt made by children in a country that doesn't have basic human rights, but I'll sleep sound under even the ugliest blanket if it was made with love."
"You know what kind of girls wear red." (As she donned a red wool coat)
"Women's liberation means if I choose to cook dinner for my husband and find empowerment in that, I can." (Mom fought hard for equality and was adamantly feminist, but made it clear that it opened choices. A woman should be able to choose her lifepath without the criticism of other women or men)
"Do something, whatever else you do, do something. Learn, use your hands, find out how things are made and do it yourself at least once so you'll appreciate the work that goes into it."
"You can be liked, or you can be loved. Very few people manage both."
"Living an effective life means that some people won't like your choices or you very much. If everyone you encounter thinks you're nice, you're doing something wrong. Not standing up for the things you believe in or not doing the things you can."
"I look at Mother Theresa and all she does, and try to be a better person because she exists."
"The more you understand yourself, the more you know other people and can empathize with them. If you dislike someone strongly, it's can be something you dislike about yourself."

What she taught me-
Thrift stores are full of treasures, if it's a wrap skirt from the 70s, a silver toast rack to organize mail in, or a cast iron bacon press with a picture of a pig, you'll always find something good in a thrift store.
On that note- At least glance at dumpsters and see what's in them. Mom loved dumpster diving and was very good at it. I have a lovely end table she found for me in an alley that way.
Look at things and imagine what they could be. Clouds, fabric, that table (which was covered with an ugly dark varnish that was peeling up in spots) and people.
People are people. It's both the greatest and worst thing about them.
How to do hair- because she couldn't, but she grew her hair long out of love for my dad. I taught myself a 5 strand french braid she loved, how to do updos and twists, and lots of other hair styles to get her hair off her neck and back.
Good manners- which fork to eat with, how to introduce people in proper order
She taught me by doing. She did needlepoint, made her own coffee tables, sewed my dresses for most occasions, cooked gorgeous meals, and marched in demonstrations. She cold called various businesses in town to raise donations for charities and social causes she believed in.
That taking your children to cultural events for other cultures is important. Let children grow knowing how big the world is.
To really enjoy reading, to enjoy books. That everything is in them if you find the right one.
That coffee wouldn't stunt my growth
Having should mean sharing.
Enjoy yourself. Don't stint yourself the little luxuries, you'll regret it in the long run.
Good quality costs, but if you find it at a thrift store, someone else already paid most of the cost!
Bargain, barter, shop off season. Never pay retail if you can avoid it.
Following other people's recipes and patterns helps you learn how things are made- then you can start designing your own.

If you get along with your mom, hug her please, tell her thank you for what she's taught you. When I was about 13 I started a tradition with my mother, on my birthday, I'd give her a gift for all she gave me including life.
On her birthday, I took her out for dinner every year. A place of her choosing. Usually she chose Chinese or some other kind of place that would make it a real treat. Dad doesn't like much but steak and potatoes type places.  Her last birthday, she chose a pancake house telling me "Oh! I want a Reuben!" She was like a kid plotting and thinking I didn't know. But a block away from the specific place she chose is a thrift store. She wanted to go there. I made sure I had extra money with me, and sure enough, after we were done eating, she asked "Can we go to the thrift store?". I said yes. And we went over there. I paid for her purchases as she thought I would, but most of them were for my son and her husband. That's how she was. The perfect gift for her, the chance to shop for the two people she loved most.
Every year on her birthday, we go back to that restaurant, and we go to the thrift store. It's a family tradition. The restaurant is now a very nice Mexican place, the thrift store is still there.
I miss you mom. Thank you.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Circle Dot Printable 2 inch cube box- 300 ppi

A while back I posted a circle and dot design that's been fairly popular. I always meant to re-do it in 300 ppi and finally did this week. 
When you click on the images, it will bring you to very large images, save those to your computer and print at 300 dpi from a graphics program. I hope you enjoy these boxes! The grey box can be recolored to suit your wedding or favor needs.
Click on the images for the full sized versions. 

Monday, October 4, 2010

Recycled Ornaments

I recently had an opportunity to review Create Colorful Aluminum Jewelry for the Beadwork site at BellaOnline. It's a very inspiring book, and it inspired these ornaments.
It's made using a bottle cap, an empty soda can! I'm linking the tools I used to their pages on Amazon, it's an affiliate link, but mostly I'm linking them so if you want to know exactly what brand/type I used, you can see it. All of these punches should be available at your local Michaels.

You'll need:
An empty and rinsed out soda can
Old scissors you can cut a can with or tin snips
A bottle cap- also cleaned
An image- 1 inch square- 300 ppi looks best because you can get more detail in it. Print on cardstock or thick photo paper and seal with acrylic clear spray
2 inch punch- I used a 2 inch circle punch
Decorative punch- I used this star
Metal punch or a hammer and nail
1/16 inch hole punch or any hole punch really. That was just what I had at hand
Wire, string or decorative yarn
Decorative beads if you'd like
Eyelets or brads- I recommend brads, more on that later.
Dimensional glue- the clear kind that you can cover an image with
An old phone book - I use one for almost all my drilling and punching to protect the surface I'm working on.
Sandpaper or nail file

Cut the top and bottom off the can, then cut the can open. By the UPC is a good place to cut if you want to center designs for your ornaments. Flatten it by running it across the edge of a table working against the curve. It won't flatten the can completely, but it will be pretty close.
Punch out the 2 inch shape and the decorative shape. If you have any sharp or rough edges, smooth them with the sandpaper or nail file. My punches are punching out the shapes pretty cleanly and need very little finishing.
Punch a hole in the middle of the large shape, and in the middle of the bottle cap, and put them together with the open side of the bottle cap out. I used an eyelet on mine, but because of the thickness of the bottle cap and how it bowed slightly when I punched it, I plan to use brads next time. The dome part of the brad would be on the back of the can piece, and the little arms spread on the inside of the bottle cap.
Cut the image out using the 1 inch circle punch, a 1 inch circle punch will fit perfectly into a bottle cap. You can do fan ornaments like my daughter and I are making, or you can do pictures of your children. It would be a good grandparent gift!
Glue the image into the bottle cap, and cover with dimensional glue. You can add glitter or all sorts of little inclusions at this point. 
Let it cure according to instructions. 
After it's cured, punch a hole in the top of your decorative shape, and the top and bottom of your framing big shape. Use wire, thread or yarn to connect the pieces and make a hanger.
If you want to decorate the metal, you can use paint markers, or let your kids design them and color them after you cut out the pieces. 

My daughter wants a full set of the Doctors for our tree. This is the art for them, click on the image for the full sized 300 ppi version. Personal use only please!