ideas - inspiration - stuff

Saturday, March 30, 2013

easter baskets

one more quick little easter project, made with vintage circular doilies. soak the doilies in water and wring them out (they should still be humid), then dunk them into elmer's glue. make sure the glue completely drenches the doilie, then wring out and stretch over a round upside-down tupperware container. when dry (takes about a night), carefully pry the bowl loose using a knife blade. happy easter!

Thursday, March 28, 2013

easter eggs - part 5

one last one for the road, and then i will retire my glue gun for a while. for this one, pick out the smallest mother of pearl buttons you can find, glue them on blown-out egg, starting at the top and work your way down. a retro-vintage egg that works well with this retro-vintage bunny egg cup.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

easter eggs - part 4

and now for a pop-art interpretation of easter eggs: perler eggs - again with the glue gun - and a newspaper nest. the perler beads add quite a bit to the circumference of the eggs, so they won't fit in a regular egg cup. hence the nest.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

easter eggs - part 3

it's amazing what you can glue gun to an egg once you get started. i have now moved onto yarn, strié yarn to be exact, which makes for the fun striped effect here. start at the top of the egg, and work your way down.

Monday, March 25, 2013

easter eggs - part 2

this is really a variation on the rhinestone eggs from a few days ago, except now i've used sequins, also attached with a glue-gun. note that the red vintage egg cup is in the shape of a duck (or goose?)... any fowl will do I guess. the background is a cotton batik-style print.

Saturday, March 23, 2013

easter eggs - part 1

over the next few days, i will post some ideas for easter egg crafts. i am starting with this blinged out number. very simple: blow out the egg, clean and dry the shell and cover the entire surface with small rhinestones from the craft store, using a hot glue gun. i love the contrast between these jeweled eggs and a rustic bird's nest. the latter was purchased at a floral supplies store. do not steal an actual nest from a bird, that would be bad karma.

Friday, March 22, 2013


last week, i went to the yearly silent auction, organized by the pta of ozzy's school. i bid on and won this amazing stetson cap. who knew stetson was so cool! i'm ashamed to say i really only thought of stetson as the "cowboy hat people". boy was i wrong. i want to sleep in this cap, it's that good. it is super soft, and has earflaps that fold out when you need some extra warmth. so of course, louise and i had to do a photo shoot...

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

egg hats

it's still chilly out, so those soft boiled eggs you made for breakfast need a hat! cut the foot off a baby sock, do a small running stitch along the edge, cinch and secure with a few extra stitches. use same thread to attach a mini pom pom, made with the smallest size of the clover pom pom maker. bon appetit!

Saturday, March 16, 2013

happy st patrick's day!

in honor of st patrick's day: a green craft (though this could really be any color). these bobby pins are decorated with fabric yoyos, made from vintage silk ties. carefully open up tie with a seam ripper and iron flat. for each yoyo, cut a circle that is about twice a large as you want the final yoyo to be. fold over the edges slightly and do a running stitch all around the edge (make sure there is a thick knot at the beginning). cinch the stitched thread (and fabric) and flatten the yoyo in place. attach to the bobby pin with a dab of hot glue. for the best results, use bobby pins with a gluing pad.

Friday, March 15, 2013


easter is coming, so of course my thoughts turn to bunnies, chicks, eggs and ... ribbons! the sheer bunny ribbon was a brimfield find, the second one came from my grandmother's stash of notions. here's hoping the groundhog was right and we can enjoy springtime soon.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

cuff bracelets

my colleague recently gave me a stash of old textiles swatches: just large enough to recycle into these embellished cuff bracelets. i sewed two rectangles together (the longer side being one inch longer than the circumference of your wrist), leaving one short side open. turn inside out, iron flat and hand sew opening shut. then stitch all around the edges. now comes the fun part: sew on sequins, beads, buttons.... whatever strikes your fancy. i followed the stripes of my textile pattern, but free from is good too. sew two or three snaps on to close.

Monday, March 11, 2013

bugs - i think alber elbaz was in my head

imagine my surprise and delight when i saw the first images of the lanvin fall 2013 ready-to-wear collection (via alber elbaz loves bugs and beetles as much as i do! remember fred the beetle i made two summers ago? seriously though: this is one of the most beautiful and creative collections i have seen in a long time, just utterly inspiring. then again, neither one of us are that original: elsa schiaparelli's celluloid bug necklace was created in the 1930's, image from "fashion - the century of the designer 1900-1999" by charlotte seeling (konemann, 1999).

Saturday, March 9, 2013

spool knitting

when my grandmother passed away last summer, i was given her sewing and knitting supplies, which i treasure greatly. among them was this little guy, he brought me right back to my childhood. it's a spool knitter, we called this "punniken" in my native flemish. i spent hours doing this as a child, making enough knitted rope to sew into placemats, toys, what have you. check out the spool-knitted rug below from "make it yourself - the complete step-by-step library of needlework and crafts" volume 3, published by columbia house in 1973. usually the spool knitters come in a mushroom shape, more recent additions in my collection also include a bee.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

delft blue necklace

inspired by the blue-and-white delft style dinnerware i photographed a while ago, i toyed with the idea to make "soft" trompe l'oeil jewelry. this necklace is made up of several oversize beads, each is made from a rectangle of print fabric (some by suzanne tucker home), cinched at both sides and filled with batting. i strung bottle caps in between, you can easily making a hole in the middle of each by hammering a big nail into them.

Sunday, March 3, 2013

pom pom

i recently made a major discovery: the clover pom pom maker. it changed my life... craft-wise that is. this clever gizmo seriously cuts down the time and hassle to make a pom pom. so now, when i crochet a scarf (see second pic), i can quickly use up all my remnants to make a pom pom scarf as well (see first pic). the clover is available is different sizes, and there's even a heart shaped one too!

Friday, March 1, 2013


easter is coming soon, so of course my thoughts turned to baskets. these are a fun way to use up textiles scraps: wrap 3/4 inch wide strips around a thick nylon rope - the kind you find at a home depot or lowe's - securing with a glue gun as you go. i used a fabric that was pre-patchworked, which makes for the colorful, multi-pattern effect. once you have made a good length (you need at least 2 to 3 yards), start coiling the rope tightly, again securing with a glue gun. the beginning is the hardest part: i used jute twine to secure the first fold and to sew the first coils together. after that, the glue gun works just fine. once you have made a circle large enough for the base of the basket, put the base onto a turned-over tupperware container. keep coiling and gluing, following the shape of the container. of course you can just stay with the flat circle, in which case you end up with some cool-looking coasters and trivets.