Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Free Form Crystal Bracelets

Happy Leap Day!!!
Last night I was trying to complete some fabric Easter baskets and have just been using up fabric instead! I haven’t quite figured out how to master that exactly yet, but I am hopeful I will make one today… I can make fabric baskets, but I have an idea in my mind that just isn’t coming out yet for the Easter baskets…

I then began to wonder what I could possibly post today that would be fun and interesting… And I figured it out! An easy and fun project, my Free Form Netted Bracelets! I got the idea after completing my necklace, “Midnight in the Garden”.

These are easy and super fun bracelets that can really add that little bit of *sparkle* to an everyday outfit… or for that formal outfit that you don’t want a piece of jewelry to over power, just a splash of shine!
They are very fun and actually quite quick to make. After starting with a base of two rows of larger beads, I then incorporate Swarovski Crystals and various complimentary colors of seeds beads. You could however use any beads for that matter!


There is no rhyme or reason to how you add beads, and in a short hour or two you have a beautiful free form bracelet.
I have these two for sale in my Etsy shop.

The sky is the limit with what you add or how you make it! I love this about free form anything! It allows your mind to just create as you go, with different splashes of color!
These bracelets have endless possibilities!!!

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Monkey Fabric Basket Liner with Tutorial

I have been a busy little bee getting ready to host a baby shower for my sister this coming weekend! She is having her second child and this time around it is a boy! She found she had many items that she would have liked to use in his room but they unfortunately were more for a girl’s room.

She had purchased this dark woven basket with a pink and brown fabric liner from Babies R’ Us a few years back to match my niece’s room. I told her I would love to change the liner to match the jungle theme of the new baby’s room.

First I had to measure the old liner. I did so from seam to seam on the backside of the original liner. I had 4 trapezoids and a rectangle bottom and I measured out a strip to attach to the top to create the outside edge. With these measurements I added a ¼” on every side to account for a seam allowance. Adding an additional inch to the long side of the outside edge so that I could turn in over and create a nice finished edge.

I then cut the four sides pieces and bottom piece out of the cotton quilting weight fabric and a fusible interfacing. This would make the inside of the liner a bit sturdier than the original version. I did not cut interfacing for the flap that comes over the side. I only cut that from the cotton fabric.

For this basket liner I purchased ¾ of a yard of quilting weight cotton. I still have a little left over. Just enough to make a fabric block or to add to my stash for a smaller project in the future!
(Here are all the cut pieces with interfacing)

To assemble the liner, first sew together sides using a ¼” seam.
Once all four sides have been sewn together, I find it best to press the seams to one side and create a nice crease at each corner.
Once that is done you need to take the outer sides and pin them to the bottom rectangle. At the corners you will fold the fabric to one side in order to go all the way around the bottom piece. I’m sorry I don’t have a picture for the pinning…. I knew I forgot something! But once it is completed the bottom will look like this…
And this is what it will look like from another view...
At this point I checked to make sure the liner fit in the basket correctly…. And it did!
I put aside the liner and than began work on the outer flap. I used this nifty Straight Folding Template from the Scientific Seamstress which can he found here and used it to press over a ½” inch. Once I had made one hem it was easy to roll over another ½” and press again. 
I used a 1/8" seam allowance and straight stitched along the hem as shown below...

Then I stitched the ends together and used a ¼” seam to create a ring with the flap and pinned it right sides together to the top of the inside liner. I used for a ½” seam to create an extra wide seam in the top so that it would be stronger around the top edge. At this point you could zig-zag stitch close to the edge to prevent more fraying or use pinking shears close to the edge. I did not do either of those.

 Now the last thing to do is to press the outer flap over so as to create crisp edges.
 And voila! You now have a new basket liner... And it looks like a brand new basket! Perfect for my new little nephew's room!

I hope you enjoyed this! But mostly I hope you'll give it a try with an empty basket in your home! It took only a few hours ... while trying to take care of a 15 month old at the same time! And you really feel accomplished upon completion! This is an easy and inexpensive way to spruce up an old basket!

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Craftster Challenge : "Just Bead It"

I have been meaning to start this for a long time! I found my "crafty" outlet through and realized I could sell the jewelry and crafty items I make and that I wanted to show others how to make easy and elegant items as well!

I thought I would show off the item I made for the February Craftster Monthly Challenge, "Just Bead It." If you are unfamiliar with how it works you have one month to create an item to fit the theme. And when they posted that February was beads, I couldn't not enter!

I was actually getting ready the next morning after seeing the theme and had this amazing idea for a necklace with a garden and a web on it. And to somehow create a beaded spider on the front... That night while watching TV, Adam said it would be amazing if it was a Black Widow and well the next day I got to work...
 I knew I would have to "bead" over larger beads, but the legs really had me stumped... but once I figured it out (and for next time I have an even better idea!) it really came together. I went so far as to put the red hourglass on the underbelly and then realized it would never been seen but it just had to be there!

I used a large stone donut for the center of the web and based my necklace from that piece. I made each leaf using peyote stitch and various size and shape seed beads for the leaves and made small buds to give it more of a garden feel.
 I made the "web" using free form netting with crystals and pearls and when it was finished I was shocked at how easy it had been to create!
 Once the netting was done I had to decide how to attach the various leaves and with a basic base I found I could attach the leaves where I wanted and could hide the base beads easily.

 I added the flowers as I went along so I could visualize the completed project better.

Here it is completed! It took just over a week to make. Due to the fact that each leaf took about an hour to create. I was so pleased that I decided this one could not go up on Etsy, plus I have worked out few kinks... I would hate for a thread to come undone for someone other than myself!

I entered it into the monthly challenge and just this past weekend it took 1st prize!

Here is a link to the original thread on Craftster with all the entries! Craftster Challenge 71 Entry Forum