Sunday, September 7, 2014

Thread Spool Necklace

I haven't blogged in quite awhile.  Always seemed to be something else to do, but recently I have been interested in making jewelry.  I used to do a lot of seed beading, but since my vision isn't what it used to be, now I am enjoy making fiber jewelry.  This necklace was inspired by an article in one of my magazines and used empty thread spools and bobbins.  The original jewelry didn't really appeal to me but it gave me this idea.  Besides what could be better than recycling and using an item that most sewers/quilters have plenty of.

 First I started with an empty, plastic, thread spool, heavy felt or peltex, and crushed velvet that I probably got at the thrift store

 I measured the felt and wrapped it tightly around the spool and hand stitched it in place.

 I cut the velvet about an inch larger than the spool, and a couple of inches longer than the spool. The  fleece was cut slightly smaller and I used that on the back of the velvet.  I measured the amount of space I thought would be seen and embellished that area.  There was no need to embellish more than that area since only that would be seen. I couched down some threads both heavy and lighter.  I used button, beads and sequins.

 This is the back. The fleece also gave it a fluffier look.  I cut the fleece down close to the size of the spool.  Then I wrapped the velvet piece again tightly around the spool.  Lined everything up, trimmed and hand stitched the fabric closed.  I then trimmed the sides of the velvet down about 1/4" past the edge of the thread spool and ran a gathering stitch around the edge of the 1/4" of velvet and pulled it tight around the edge of the spool and tied it off.

 To finish the sides of the spool, I cut a circle of fleece just slightly larger than the spool and put it inside a circle of black velvet.  I decided that I would need a hole for the necklace strap and also a hole for the fringe.  The only colored grommets I have are small, so I used it for the fringe which I decided would be the center hole of the thread spool which is totally round. I decided that the thread spool would work better if I used a top section of the thread spool for the strap.  Those sections are not totally round. After putting the grommets in, I ran a running hand stitch around the outside edges of the circles and gathered the fabric and tied it off. Then I hand sewed the circles to the top and bottom of the thread spool.  

This is the finished piece before the fringe and necklace strap were done. The skewer is in the top hole of the thread spool where the necklace strap will be.  You can see that the hole lines up so the embellished area is what you see.

 The necklace strap is made with E beads and a double strand of fireline so I could get it through the grommet hole.  I put the fringe on a heavy beading wire so it would stand out from the thread spool instead of droop. 

 I love how it turned out and how it looks.  Can't wait for cooler weather to wear it.  I think I might make another black one.  I have some great black embellished velvet from the thrift store ready to use. Hope this inspires you to try one of these recycled thread spool necklaces of your very own.

Saturday, June 7, 2014

Funky Furniture

Sometimes I just can't figure how out this blog picture thing works.  Anyway I wanted to say at the top of this picture that the dresser I decided to funk up was an old, dark, small chest of drawers from my husband's family.  What I did first was use sandpaper and scruff up the piece.  Then I used TSP and wiped it down to clean and get the dust off.  I did two coat of Kiln 2 to prime the piece.  I purchased several small sample cans of house paint from Home Depot for $3 apiece and decided what color I wanted to paint the chest.  I decided on a light lavender. I believe I put two coats of the lavender paint on.  I had decided that rather than paint a design on the furniture I would use fabric and decoupage the piece on the two sides and the top.  Painting designs are not my strong suit. I cut my fabric and used painters tape to secure the design so I could  see how I liked the placement.  After okaying the design, I used Liquitex Matte Medium to adhere the fabric pieces down. or rather decoupage the pieces down.  The wonderful Pamela Allan from the quiltart list gave me lots of info on decoupaging, which was immensely helpful. 

 As you can see I did something different with the front of the piece.  I used black house paint from Home Depot and gave it two coats.  Then I used a dauber to paint the white polka dots on the chest.  The funny thing is that I did the polka dots while the drawers were out of the chest.  I should of put the drawers in the chest and then put the polka dots on the drawers.  It didn't look like that many polka dots with the drawers separate, but together in the chest, there is A LOT of polka dots.  Good thing I like polka dots.  The pictures below are of the finished decoupage side pieces.
 The stripes on all the sides of the piece is from a wonderful fabric I bought a couple of years ago.  Goes to show you never know what you are going to do with fabric.  I never thought I would be using it this way, but it is really fun and saved me from having to paint the black and white checks and polka dots on the chest. The center flower stems are from another wonder stripe fabric. 
     The second side.  I did paint the black and white checks on the top side of the chest and on the very top of the chest. This piece is finished with several coats of water based varnish.
This is the top of the chest.  I really like how this piece of furniture turned out and it will look great in my bedroom.  I already have several pieces of furniture that I want to funky paint and reupholster.  I want to add that my husband doesn't mind all this excess of color I am bringing into the house.  In fact he enjoys it.   After he read this he said with a big grin on his face,  well, he tolerates all this color !!!  As always he is my partner in crime. 

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Altered Bike Helmets

 My husband and I don't wear bike helmets.  I know, I know we should, and we have gotten a lot of grief about this lately from our friends.  We are getting ready to go see our children and grandchildren and this summer we are going to bring our bikes.  Most of our grandchildren are old enough to ride bikes now and we want to be able to ride with them.  Of course they all wear helmets and as a Papa and Nana, we don't want to set a bad example so we are going to wear helmets.  One of my problems with the helmets is that they are so ugly.  So I decided to see if I could alter the helmets to something more fun and funky and not effect the integrity of the helmet. 

First I started with a trip to the store and my husband and I bought two of the bike helmet above, which is certainly not very fashion forward.  I know, I know, safety first, but why not have both?  My husband used sandpaper and scratched up the surface.  Then I used a cotton ball and alcohol and cleaned the surface of the helmet. Actually this is my husband's helmet.
 I painted the inside of the black air vents and the black outside foam band with navy craft paint on my husband's and purple on mine.  I started on one area and then I used Liquitex Matte Medium and a small paint brush and painted a small area with the matte medium and then put a small piece of fabric down, smoothing down the fabric as I went.  I then covered the fabric piece with more matte medium and went to the next area overlapping the fabric pieces and repeating the process with the matte medium and fabric so there were no open areas of white on the helmet. Covering the whole helmet.  I used approximately 1 1/4 to 2" pieces of fabric.   I put fabric just inside the curve of the air vents.  I did not put fabric on the foam pieces around the outside of the helmets that touches your head.  I thought it might not be too comfortable.  I found using a bias piece of fabric on the points of the air vents worked really well covering that area.
 After covering the whole helmet with fabric and matte medium, I checked to make sure the helmet was totally covered and that the fabric pieces were flat.  Then I covered the whole helmet with another coat of matte medium and let it dry overnight.  After letting it dry completely, I put on one coat of Liquitex Gloss Varnish.  Let that dry completely and finish with one more coat of gloss varnish.
This helmet is mine.  What happened is that my husband liked my helmet so much that I volunteered to do one for him and the USA one is his.  He picked out the fabric and I think both of these bike helmets look super cool and very funky.  I am very happy with how they turned out.  One last thing.  Modge Podge is also a product that could be used, but I  have found that a Modge Podge finished product is sticky, which is a problem.  The Liquitex product is not sticky.  It costs more but is well worth it.  Now my husband and I are ready for our bike time with our grandbabies.  Next is to alter my motor-scooter helmet. 

Monday, March 24, 2014

2014 Easter Hat

 Last year as president of our Church Ladies Auxiliary, this was the hat I entered in our decorated Easter Hat contest.  This year I am again president (a two year term), and we are again having a decorated Easter Hat contest.  Unlike other members of the Auxiliary, I take this contest seriously as a hat to wear for Easter and afterwards.  Most of the members do something funny.

This year as with last year, I started with a premade hat.  This hat I found at a thrift store about 4 years ago when I was attending the Houston Quilt Festival.  Below is the front view.

 I decided that the front view did not give me much room to decorate.  The front decoration was hot glued on and I pulled off the sequins designs and used the heat gun to loosen the remaining glue on the hat and I was able to scrape most of the glue off.  What remained was mostly invisible.  I decided to reverse the hat and use the front of the hat as the back and the back of the hat as the front.  Picture is below

 I ended up taking the trim off that covered the seams of the hat.  Recently I was in the LA Fashion District and found some great white flocked netting.  I also had found some lovely white with black polka dot netting on a roll in a ribbon store in Phoenix.  I knew I wanted to use these items.  In LA I had also picked up some flowers for 50 cents apiece.  These flowers I wanted to use on my hats and fascinators.

 I wanted to use some black to break up the large expanse of white on the crown.  I tired this horse hair tube and it didn't work like I wanted, but I did like the black so I knew I was on the right track.

 This is the finished version.  I ended up using black and white trim that I got on one of my trips to the LA Fashion District a couple of years ago. 

This is the back view.  The bow is out of horse hair braid.  The nice thing is that I sewed the flowers on the hat and the back flower is clipped on, so they can definitely be used again.  I have always loved the hats that Audrey Hepburn wore in My Fair Lady.  I have to say, that I was channeling Eliza Doolittle from My Fair Lady with this hat.  This is a lot of hat, but doesn't touch her hat which is good since I want to be able to wear this lovely lady.  I am so pleased with how it turned out and can't wait to wear it on Easter. I believe this might become one of my favorite hats, and believe me when I say I have many summer hats I love to wear.  I definitely feel that with this hat I could definitely attend any Royal Family outing, go to the Ascot races or go to the Kentucky Derby and be right at home.  The best thing is that the design was my very own idea.  What could be better than that.