Category Archives: Crafts

A crafting weekend…

I do love my various crafting hobbies. Last evening, you could find me mending my daughter’s large backpack. There was a bit of grumbling about the poor quality fabric that is used to create many of the backpacks today. Today, as I drove her to school, I told her I would be making her a backpack.

Daughter: “Oh no mom, don’t do that just buy one!”

Me: “Silly girl, you do realize that those backpacks are made by someone, right?”

Daughter: Oh… wow you can really make a backpack?”

Me: Mmmhmm

Daughter: Squee… ok, can I pick out the colors?”

Me: Sure you can, but I won’t be starting on it this weekend…

Daughter: Awww… (gives me the sad face)

Me: I look at her and shake my head laughing. “You know that’s not possible, your uncle and nephew will be in town tomorrow.”

Backpack pattern by Cindy Taylor Oates

Backpack pattern by Cindy Taylor Oates

I’m currently looking at the Backpacks Pattern Book by Cindy Taylor Oates. I’m hoping it actually includes an actual pattern since I really don’t feel like drafting one for a backpack. Pattern drafting for clothes? Sure, no problem, I do that all the time! However,  I rarely make bags, so I’d much prefer an actual pattern.

Vinyl Sheets to use with my Brother Scan N Cut

Vinyl Sheets to use with my Brother Scan N Cut

Last evening besides the backpack mending, I also made designs for my daughters school notebooks. I did those with my Brother Scan N’ Cut.I used vinyl sheets for the lettering. She was so thrilled to have her own personalized notebooks. Simple things make my daughter happy and I enjoy doing them for her.

Pulling out the Brother Scan N Cut: Stainless Steel Bottle

My fathers birthday was July 24.

I believe I mentioned in a post about the stainless steel bottle that I’d purchased for him. He loves practical gifts. What I didn’t post was the personalized message that was imprinted on the bottle with my Brother Scan N’ Cut. The reason was simple, I hadn’t created it in time for his birthday.

Brother Scan N Cut Stainless Steel Bottle_1

I finally got around to adding a personalized message. This was my first time using vinyl with my Brother Scan N’ Cut. The blue is actually much darker than what appears in this photo. In fact, it looks black in person.

Knowing that my father doesn’t like anything fancy, I went for a primitive vibe. Result? My dad likes his workout bottle even more. He told me he takes this every time he works out at the gym. He works out several times weekly.

I would consider my father to be a Bible Scholar. He is very knowledgeable about the Bible and will study and read about it hours daily; that’s no exaggeration. While simple, my father’s favorite Bible verse is John 3:16. I decided to include three crosses on the bottle and the scripture.

16 For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.
John 3:16
New American Standard Bible (NASB)

Sure it’s easy to become a Christian, but not too many are. All too often, people will insert their personal reasons on why they aren’t. Well guess what, at judgement day there will be many that find that the gates to heaven aren’t open to them since being “politically correct” or doing good works isn’t enough to save you.

3 “Enter through the narrow gate; for the gate is wide and the way is broad that leads to destruction, and there are many who enter through it. 14 For the gate is small and the way is narrow that leads to life, and there are few who find it.
Matthew 7:13-14
New American Standard Bible (NASB)

Accepting and believing in Jesus is the only way to get to heaven.

 

Memorial Day & Brother ScannCut makes fussy cutting easy

Here in the United States, it’s Memorial Day. Many businesses are closed on this day.  Some will visit graves of those who lost their lives fighting for this country. Others pay tribute in a variety of other ways to; parades, reenactments, visiting special events, etc.,

 

 

Vietnam memorial

A few years ago I shared a lot of Memorial Day facts

I love history. Over the years, I’ve read a lot about this particular holiday. Did you know In 1865, freed slaves took part in a huge celebration in Charleston, South Carolina? The celebration was held at the Washington Race Course now known as Hampton Park.

What’s interesting is that this location had served as a temporary Confederate prison camp for captured Union soldiers. Mass graves on the site contained Union soldiers. I found it fascinating that in 1865 freed slaves removed bodies from the mass graves and placed them into individual graves. They also placed a fence around the graveyard, and declared it a union graveyard.

So do stop by if you’re interested in reading additional Memorial Day facts, check out that post… you might learn something new.

Brother ScanNCut and a Memorial Day Card

Today, my daughter and I visited family friends. We had a lovely time with them. To say thanks, my daughter made this lovely card.

BrotherScannCut_Card 3 05.26.14

 

I really love how the Brother ScanNCut handles fussy cutting. It means one less thing that I have to do with my X Acto Knife.

BrotherScannCut_Card 2 05.26.14-

The above picture is a coloring page that I printed and scanned into my Brother. The Brother ScanNCut did an excellent job cutting on the line, don’t you think? I can only show you part of this cards page, since the families information could be seen from the other side.

 

BrotherScannCut_Card 1 05.26.14

My daughter thought it would be a nice touch to add a grill and so I printed an image of a grill that was scanned into the Brother ScannCut. Both pictures were direct cut and my daughter colored the pictures.

Photo Source: Mass Casualties

 

Brother ScanNCut: Unboxing

Well, look what arrived yesterday!

Unboxing Brother ScanNCut_1.05.20.14

Unboxing Brother ScanNCut

 

It’s my Brother ScanNCut! I have not had a chance to do too much since it’s been busy, but I did at least give a few test cuts. Surprisingly not on fabric, but on paper. Jennifer, I think you’d love some of it’s capabilities.

Unboxing Brother ScanNCut_4.05.20.14

Unboxing Brother ScanNCut

I’m brand-new to electric material/paper cutting machines. I’m finding that I have to actually pay attention to the manual. The Brother ScanNCut can scan images, convert to the proper format and actually cut what it’s scanned. You can also convert images to the appropriate file, load onto USB and upload to your Brother ScanNCut.

Get this… you can actually draw with this machine too! It uses pens, that are inserted into a cartridge that’s similar to an ink cartridge dispenser. I’m looking forward to trying out that feature. There are permanent markers that can be used, along with erasable markers that are great to make seam allowances on fabric.

My daughter seems to enjoy this machine. I cut out a few images that she’s added to her birthday invitation cards. Although her birthday is today, she won’t have a party until next week. I’m looking forward to more time with the Brother ScanNCut and after I’ve used it for a bit, I’ll be sure to post a review.

 

 

Crafting Adventures: Super Sculpey Sculpturing Compound

Earlier today, my daughter had a play date with her best  friend O.

In a post earlier this week I wrote this…

This Friday, my daughter, her best friend and I will be having fun with soap making. I’ll be making several pounds of liquid castile soap. No this isn’t one of the partially prepared soaps since I’ll be making the real thing. I have plenty of sodium hydroxide aka lye available. It’ll be a nice learning experience for my daughters friend and fun time for everyone involved.

But, we didn’t have her as long as we’d originally planned. I found that out a few days ago. That meant many of the activities I’d planned; hay rides, making cold processed soap and making lip balms had to be put on hold. Which is fine… My daughter (and her friend) weren’t the only one’s slightly disappointed; I was too. But, there will be other times when they have much more time together.

Today, they hung out together for about three hours. O, is crafty like my daughter and so after about an hour of running around my daughter’s room being silly, they were ready to settle down and make something with clay.

Super Sculpy

Since their play date was shorter, I decided a nice alternative to all the events I had planned was to  create items with Sculpey Super Sculpturing Compound (clay.) My daughter and I worked with this clay a few months ago and really liked it a lot. Since the girls love to be creative, I thought this was the perfect activity!

Making clay figures, pendants, beads, jewelry and Christmas ornaments

The two girls made human figures and I made  a few pendants, beads, jewelry, and some Christmas ornaments. After everything was assembled, I baked the items in the oven at 275 F. I kept a watchful eye on the clay to make sure it didn’t burn. By the time O’s mom came to retrieve her, her items were ready.

We sent O home with her sculpted doll that she made (which looked a lot like her.) Additionally, I gave her a few of the pendants that I made. And as an added bonus, she received her very own box of Super Sculpey Clay. She was thrilled! Her mom, is into craft making also, so I won’t be surprised if she starts purchasing that clay for some of their crafting adventures.

Upcoming clay projects: Making Buttons, stitch markers and other items…

The few hours spent with them was a lot of fun. So much so, that my daughter and I are planning on making more items from clay tomorrow, after her school project is completed. Tomorrow, I plan on making buttons and stitch markers. I’ll be designing and sewing a few holiday outfits for my daughter and one for myself. I would love to make my own funky buttons to compliment the outfits I create.  My daughter has no idea what she wants to make. I’ll be sure to post pictures of some of our creations.

Crafty cravings…

knit all the yarnsThe past few weeks I’ve been wanting to doing a bit of knitting and sewing, but unfortunately I really haven’t had a chance to do too much besides about thirty minutes of knitting within the last month or so.

Today, I had that opportunity… I had a chance to knit for about two hours while my daughter and nephew played. It’s a simple project, a hat. The yarn used is a washable wool and the color is dusty rose with silver thread running though the yarn. It most likely will be a hat for my daughter since she loves that color.

I must say, knitting,  was the perfect way to spend my pass the time after playing with my daughter and nephew for several hours outside. I was able to start the hat while I watched them ride their bikes. I didn’t have time to take pictures, but hopefully I’ll get a chance to do that tomorrow.

There are a few (quick) sewing projects I’d love to create for my daughter, after we return from our Lutheran church tomorrow, but I’m unsure if I’ll have the time. Tomorrow will be another busy day, but hopefully I’ll be able to do some sewing. Over the past several weeks, my sewing machines have been begging me to get creative with them, but unfortunately I haven’t been able to do anything. Hopefully that will change soon.

Playing with stitches – Brother PC420

Earlier this evening, I sewed with my Brother PC-420. The fabric used was from repurposed jeans.

Repurposed clothing: These cut up jeans will be used for a few sewing projects

Repurposed clothing: These cut up jeans will be used for a few sewing projects

 

Recently, my father gave me a pair of his jeans. He no longer wears them. I cut them and earlier today I started sewing…

Having read numerous reviews about my Brother Project Runway PC420PRW, I already knew that it should be able to handle several layers of fabric without any issue… and I was right.

 

Sewing: Jean bag, work in progress

Sewing: Jean bag, work in progress

 

With this “jean bag in progress”, there were several occasions where I was sewing through four layers of fabric at a time! My Brother PC-420 blissfully sewed through all layers without any issues.

My daughter guessed that I was making a bag, and she was thrilled to learn that it was for her.  There’s still a lot to do with before it’s finished. I’m going to add an embroidered design; I’ll be using my Brother Se-400 for the machine embroidery.

You want to know something interesting, my Brother PC420 is very similar to some of the Baby Lock machines. It wasn’t too long ago that I learned that Brother manufactures some of the Baby Lock machines.

I’m already familiar with Brother sewing machines… when I was helping to make quilts at our Lutheran church. The church has sewing machines available for the quilting group. The quilting group was my first time working with Brother sewing machines, and I left being impressed with some of the Brother sewing machines. These machines were used exclusively to create machine sewn quilts and they consistently sewed through multiple layers of fabric without any issue.

 

Brother PC-420 a few of the decorative stitches

Brother PC-420 a few of the decorative stitches

 

I’ve already checked out the basic machine stitches when my nine year old daughter and I sewed a dress for her Springfield doll. I must say, this machine does a wonderful job with basic sewing stitches.

Since I got the basic stitches covered, I decided to check out the Brother PC-420′s decorative/embroidery stitches…

Theses stitches aren’t elaborate, so if you’re looking for a machine that really embroiders you’ll need to purchase an embroidery machine. For sewing machine embroidery I use the Brother Se-400, it sews and embroiders but I only purchased it for its embroidery features. Even though it can only embroider a 4″x4″ area, I’m extremely pleased with my Brother Se-400.

 

Brother Sewing machine needle plate

Brother Sewing machine needle plate

 

While sewing a few of the decorative stitches on my Brother Pc-420, I almost got the muslin fabric caught under the throat plate! Whoops! The machine wasn’t at fault, it was mine! The design I chose had a lot of stitches in a tiny area. I attempted to do this without stabilizer. If I was using a sturdier material like jeans, I might have been fine… but since I was using muslin the machine wasn’t liking that. Fortunately, I stopped the machine in time before I got a lot of fabric caught under the needle plate.  Although I’m still a new at machine embroidery, I know better.

This past week, I’ve put the Brother PC420 sewing machine through it’s paces and it’s doing an excellent job. It’s a computerized machine, which makes. I normally sew with mechanical machines, but I’m enjoying the computerized features that the Brother Pc-420 offers. Such as the automatic thread cutter and needle threader. Who knew something as simple as that, would be a big sell for me? Having the option of selecting stitches using the screen is a nice touch also.

It’s still too early to write a detailed review of this sewing machine, but eventually I’ll get around to reviewing it here on Celebrate Life.