I find everyday presents inspirations for projects. Hope you enjoy my ideas.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Burlap Wine Gift Bags

It's Christmas time, thought I'd make up some new wine gift bags. I made some last year, they're super cute but labor intensive.  These went together quickly, mostly because they're not lined.  I had burlap leftover from the placemats so figured I could put it to good use.
I started with pieces of burlap approximately 9"x15".
I used my Cricut and cut designs out of freezer paper

once they were ironed on it was time to dab on the fabric paint

after you've put on a good coat of paint, peel off the freezer paper stencil

once dry, heat set with an iron
To sew the bag,  place a printed piece with a blank
piece, right sides together and sew side seams.  Serging is best
because the burlap frays easily.
to create the "box" pleat base fold in the sides like this:

and sew along bottom (careful to "catch" all the raw edges)
you might want to double stitch to make sure it holds securely 
turn right side out and iron the box pleat to create the base

serge (or zigzag) the top raw edge 
fold the top edge in about 3"- 4"and iron
(this will make the placket for the twine and
create a ruffle along the bottle neck)
Put two eyelets in just above the bottom of the turned over edge
and topstitch all around the bag above and below them 
(makes about a 1/2" wide placket)
feed twine thru the placket you created, cinch up and tie with a bow

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Reversible Placemats and Matching Napkins

I've been seeing lots of things made of burlap lately and thought I wanted to give it a try.  The rough texture is appealing and I thought an image silkscreened on it would have a fun bumpy look.  Placemats  are something I can always use and figured a fun nautical theme would work best for the Hawaii House.  I knew these needed to be lined...and if I did a good enough job they'd be reversible.  I found some great ticking in blue and white that I thought would go with my concept.

 I used my Cricut to cut out the stencil of 
randomly placed lighthouses using contact paper.
I adhered the contact paper to my silkscreen
and printed on the roughly cut rectangles

When I mixed the ink it matched the ticking quite well,
unfortunately when it dried it was not close...oh well
I serged the ticking to the burlap to make sure nothing raveled, 
turned right side out, ironed, then topstitched around the edges.

I made matching napkins with the leftover ticking...
mitered corners make for a finished look.


Saturday, November 19, 2011

Chalkboard Placecards

I bought a can of chalkboard paint the other day to spruce up some old projects...and since I had a lot leftover I came up with a simple way to make placecards for our Thanksgiving table.  I found a free turkey silhouette of clipart and turned it into an svg. file for my Cricut.  I cut a bunch of turkeys out of Contact Paper and used them as my stencils.  The contact paper stuck well to my little wooden squares.  All I had to do was spray several coats of chalkboard paint, peel off the stencil and write the initial of each of our guests on "their" individual turkey.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Beach Paintings

the weather has turned cold, windy, rainy...ugh...definitely NOT Hawaii.  My thoughts turn to nice warm days at the beach.  I paint from photos so decided to dig out some shots I took last summer when the days were long and warm and beautiful. Here are a couple I did last week...

Friday, November 4, 2011


My friend Martha asked me to paint a portrait of her "grand dog" Emma as a Christmas present for her son and daughter-in-law.  Emma is a lab-ra-doodle and has a mass of curly hair...I was worried I couldn't capture her in watercolor so asked Martha if it would be okay if I tried it in oils.  I figured if it didn't turn out well I just wouldn't give it to her  :)  Here's the progression of Emma...the photos are from my iPhone...so not the best, but you'll get the idea.  I'm pretty happy with the final results...

here's the beginning...I start with a sienna background on the
canvas...makes the finished oil much warmer.  With animals,
if you get the eyes right...the rest falls into place
starting the fur...I did lots of colors...the light hits her curls
and creates tons of shades of tans/siennas/browns even though
she's really just one shade of beige
working on depth...adding darks and lights
I asked Martha what colors they had in their house...
light blues, tans and light greens...thought the blue
brought out the rich tones of her fur best

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Gift Tags "take 2"

Well, Halloween has come and gone.  Thanksgiving and Christmas are right around the corner, yikes!  With the new grandbaby due any day I figured it was time to start on holiday stuff...the more I can accomplish early the more time I have to spend with Kipp and her new bundle of joy.  Yesterday Maya at Completely Coastal had a post on "nautical gift tags".  It reminded me of the tags I made last year and how a little coastal twist would be cool.  I got out my Cricut and cut a bunch of tags from card stock, then cut stars and anchors.  The anchors are not on any cartridge I have, rather free clipart from the internet I turned into an svg file using Inkscape and Sure-Cuts-Alot.  Those two tools turned my cricut into a very versatile machine...I don't need to rely on expensive cartridges anymore...I can cut almost anything I can dream up...so cool.  Anyway...here's what I came up with in about 15 minutes.  Thanks Maya for the nudge :)