Wednesday, February 13, 2019

Be mine, Valentine!

Valentine's Day is upon us once again. I love love! And I always feel it's best to use this holiday to show my love with cards, candy, or even text messages to people I care about. I'm fortunate to have not only my husband to share it with, but my parents, siblings, and plenty of friends I like to call my "Galentines." One of my Galentines hosted a brunch for us gals over the weekend, which was a lot of fun!

Another one of my very best Galentines, Julee, is known to many of you for her blog DIY Louisville. This year the two of us have decided to take our love of holidays, crafting, and party planning to the next level by collaborating on a new project called Party in Lou! I hope you'll check out our website and follow our Instagram page @PartyinLou!

My creation for this Valentine's "Smooch" party decor was an ombré pink pom-pom banner. I love making pom-poms with yarn. It's so relaxing, and which a plastic pom-pom maker it's super easy, too! All I did was buy one skein of the pink ombré yarn and made several pom-poms in varying sizes (from 3-4 inches) in diameter with the pom-pom maker. Then I trimmed the pom-poms down with scissors, which is how you get such a soft, fuzzy look for your pom-poms.

Using a large sewing needle, I threaded the pom-poms onto a length of yarn to turn them into a pom-pom banner. It is a great decoration, and easily customizable for your theme. Julee came up with the idea of a "Smooch" lips theme for a Valentine's Day party. With her crafted cake toppers, my pom-pom banner, and some simple red, pink, black, and white decor, we were all set to have the cutest party decor.

It didn't hurt that there was cake to match the theme as well! Julee and I agree that handmade items go a long way to make a party feel special. That's why we're so excited to be collaborators on Party in Lou. We hope you'll join us on Instagram and follow our website.

Not it's your turn: What is your favorite party decoration to handcraft? Or, what is the party decoration you would like to learn to make?

Thursday, January 10, 2019

Kentucky State String Art

A few years ago I was able to do a community craft at BlockParty Handmade in downtown Louisville. The craft that we made was Kentucky state string art. We were lined up on the sidewalk with our hammers and nails, crafting away. It was so much fun that I wanted to share a tutorial on how to make this easy project. 

What you will need:
1 wooden board (from craft store or hardware store)
1 small box of nails
String in the color of your choice (should contrast in color to your background wooden board)
1 hammer
1 computer print out of your state shape (in this case, Kentucky)
tweezers (optional)

Start by selecting a surface to hammer on that won't cause any damage. Here, I've chosen a tile counter top but places a piece of cardboard between the surface and the wooden board to protect the counter.

Next, take your print out and begin to hammer nails along the outline of the state's shape.

Continue hammering around the outline until you are satisfied with the shape.

Slowly tear away the paper from the nails. (Tweezers can help pull out stubborn pieces of paper if needed.)

Once all the paper is removed, you are left with your state shape!

Now for the really fun part! Get comfortable on a couch watching your favorite show, and go to town running your string through the nails. Start by tying off a piece of the string to one nail and then tightly wind the string in a random way around the nails to create your string art.

Your string art can be woven through the nails as thick or thin as you like, it's up to you! 

When you are finished, tie off the string on one nail and clip the string from the spool leaving a tail. Weave the tail ends of the string through the string art (try the tweezers again if you need help).

Now you are finished! Look at the beautiful project that you created!

Feeling stressed in the New Year already? Try this satisfying project and hammer your frustrations away!

The Kentucky state string art piece can be displayed on a shelf or mounted to a wall. No matter how you display it, you can proudly tell everyone that you made it by yourself!

Tuesday, January 8, 2019

2018 Quilt Round-Up

One of the things I enjoy most about year-end is reflecting on the things I did that year. Of course, setting goals for the year ahead is always fun, too, but of all the crafts I made for 2018, I was really proud of myself for making and finishing four quilts! Three were baby gifts for my newest nieces and nephew, plus the Halloween Haberdashery quilt I made in October.

Halloween Haberdashery (Witch Hat) Quilt

Baby Girl Quilt #1

Baby Girl Quilt #2

Baby Boy Quilt

The best part about making quilts for me is picking out and piecing all of the different fabrics. The designs for the three baby quilts were all made up on my own, while I did use a pattern for the hat blocks on the Halloween quilt. I've learned a lot of new tips and tricks since starting my journey of self-taught quilt-making and am proud to say I conquered my fears of free-motion quilting! (YouTube really can teach you just about anything!) 

Now that it's 2019, I already have plans (and fabrics) for more quilt-making in the New Year. Plus, maybe I'll finally finish the quilt I started for my Mom years ago. Here's hoping!