Friday, September 30, 2016

Pinterest Project For September

I don't know about you, but I get a lot of suggested pins on my Pinterest feed. They know that I like various crafts, so they send all kinds of crafty ideas my way. I kept seeing pins for coasters made of maps and I thought they were pretty cute. And practical. My son had just moved into a new apartment, which would become his and Steph's first apartment together. I decided to try some of these coasters for a cool housewarming gift for them. They have a lot of significant cities in their lives so I thought these would be perfect.

The instructions I used are no longer available on Pinterest, so I found a similar set of directions that you can use if you want to try these. Click HERE for the how-to's provided on the blog "Recycled Interiors".

I started with some 4X4 inch tiles that I found on Amazon. You can definitely find these at home improvement stores as well.
I made a template slightly smaller than the tile out of thin cardboard.
I didn't have an old atlas or any old maps to cut up, so I found a 2007 atlas on Ebay! Apparently people other than me find these useful. Using my template, I cut out squares of six different cities.

Next, each paper map was glued onto the tile with Mod Podge. I then coated each map with a layer of Mod Podge. Each one eventually got three coats of Mod Podge. I waited 24 hours between each coat because I read somewhere that this would prevent bubbling. I did have an issue with bubbling anyway - not too bad, but I was still slightly annoyed by this because I glued the paper on so carefully, smoothing out all bubbles. With each coat of Mod Podge however, some of the coasters would bubble up again. Luckily most of the bubbling dissipated as the Mod Podge dried.

When the Mod Podge was completely dry, I used a clear acrylic sealer spray to seal them. And this also caused some bubbling! Ack! Again, I waited 24 hours between each additional coat of sealer, ending up with three coats. If that sounds like overkill, I reasoned that I wanted these to be very durable.

I found some thin cork at Joann's and that worked perfectly for the backing. I used the template to cut out squares of cork and glued them on with craft glue. And here's how they looked when completed.
I liked creating these, and am happy with the result. When completely dry, the bubbling that occurred wasn't too bad. Only time will tell how they hold up, but I have a feeling that they'll look great for a long time. Matt and Steph liked them and that makes me glad.

I would recommend this project. Think about how many other kinds of paper you could use to make these - wrapping paper, origami paper, or scrapbook paper. Just think of the possibilities to craft some really unique coasters!

If you decide to make some of these, I'd like to see your finished product!

Sunday, September 25, 2016

The Secret Project Is Revealed

You may remember my mentioning my secret project in previous posts. I'm going to reveal it today, and the reason for the secret project is my excuse for not posting for most of September.

You see, last Saturday, September 17th, was the wedding day of our son, Matt, and our beautiful new daughter-in-law, Stephanie. My secret project was a wedding gift for them.
The design is "Two Shall Be As One" by My Big Toe. I chose a natural linen color for the fabric and used DMC bright white for all of the stitching. I enjoyed stitching this and love the way the border looks like lace. Sorry for the crooked photo, but I was trying to avoid glares and shadows. Good excuse.
A little closer and a little straighter.  

Some will ask why I didn't stitch this in a color, and the reason is that I really wanted that "wedding day" effect, with the white lace look.

And here's a photo of the happy couple.
I guess I was so preoccupied with the wedding that I ignored my blog a little, but I think that's a good reason, right? So now I'm back to stitching, concentrating on my blocks for the Rainbows for Peace and Comfort Facebook group. You can find out more info about this project HERE.

And speaking of stitching, who has seen the 2016 issue of Just Cross Stitch's Christmas Ornament issue? I think this is one of the best issues I've seen in a few years. It's just full of lovely projects. I'd like to stitch some for Christmas, but that will depend on my progress on other stitching projects. Isn't that the way it always is?

So check out this issue and see what you think. Which designs will be your favorites?

Saturday, September 3, 2016

Talented And Crafty Friends

From time to time I like to include the craftiness of others in my blog. I hope that you like it. I feel that we would all be missing out on something if these non-bloggers' work isn't shown. I call this segment "Other Peoples' Creations" I haven't featured this in a long time, so today is our lucky day.

One of the reasons we look at crafting blogs is to see what everyone is up to in the creative world. Let's not let this creativity go unnoticed! This post is picture-heavy but I hope you'll have fun seeing all of the gorgeousness.

First off is Peggy's "Angel Of Summer" by Lavender & Lace. Peggy really likes to stitch big projects and is mostly a one-project-at-a-time stitcher. Nothing wrong with that. That kind of discipline is why she always completes complicated and large stitching projects in such a beautiful way.
All framed.
I've included a couple of close-ups so that you can see the detail. Look at that flower garland, so detailed.

My sister, Sheila, and I recently went to a wire wrapping class at a local bead store. It was fun and I did learn a lot, but Sheila is definitely the more talented wire worker of the two of us. At our last stitch day, she gave this as a gift.
Sheila took her wire wrapping skills and ran with it, creating this necklace made with wire-wrapped beads and wrapped loops. Just gorgeous!

Thea is talented at the sewing machine. She showed our group her latest project, a sewing/cross stitch organizer. She used quilted fabric in coordinating colors.
I really like this. It's such a pretty to carry all of your necessities! Thea calls this a prototype, but I don't think there's much to improve on!

In just two short weeks, Stephanie will become my daughter-in-law. She is also a talented knitter, quilter, stitcher, and seamstress. It's wonderful to have these shared interests and I always like seeing what Steph has created. Here's her latest.
Just look! A sweater! As someone who doesn't knit, I appreciate knitters' work all the more. And when you can make something that can actually be worn, it's more amazing to me. It looks so professional and well made. I'm sure that this will be perfect for those Boston winters. Oh, and the orange/yellow/red quilt in the background is another of Steph's projects.

Last and definitely not least, is a gift that I received from my friend, Suzanne, quite a few years ago. I don't know why I've never featured this here, but I'm finally going to show it off.
Yes, Suzanne made this beautiful knitted and felted bag just for me. I just love it. When I'm not using the bag, it is on display in the craft room.

I hope that you like this edition of "Other Peoples' Creations". I just believe that it's so inspiring to see what other crafters make.

Come on back to my CraftyCat blog and see what's going on. Comments are always appreciated, and I love getting new followers!