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Tag Archives: Flowers

  • Chalk Coloring Added to Birdhouse with Mod Podge®

    I simply love my Leisure Arts' coloring books with their different themes! The latest one I used is also a new book from Leisure Arts; it is 6903 - Art of Coloring Nature. Having several wooden birdhouses at home, I wanted to incorporate using my coloring with a birdhouse. I got the perfect inspiration from another leaflet carried by Leisure Arts, 6569 - Family Activities using Mod Podge® products by Plaid. For anyone who used to decoupage, using Mod Podge® will be a breeze by comparison! Next, I explored using chalk pastels as my new coloring medium!

    For this birdhouse project, I used two books from Leisure Arts: 6903 - Art of Coloring Nature and 6569 - Family Activities showing the versatility of the Mod Podge® products by Plaid. For this birdhouse project, I used two books from Leisure Arts: 6903 - Art of Coloring Nature and 6569 - Family Activities showing the versatility of the Mod Podge® products by Plaid.

    I chose a page from 6903 - Art of Coloring Nature that had various designs with enough white space to easily add color using my chalk pastels. I was most excited about using a color for the vast amount of background space that seems to grow (ha, ha) as you near completion of your coloring in the main design area. I reviewed the Book Birdhouse project that is included in 6569 - Family Activities; I modified its steps and the products used to fit my current project.

    Chalk Pastels are a great medium to add a softer, yet intense amount of color to your coloring book designs. Chalk Pastels are a great medium to add a softer, yet intense amount of color to your coloring book designs.

    Chalk pastels give a softer, looser, or more impressionistic look to your coloring. Some artists would say it gives a more organic feel to a design. I love the way the colors remain intense and rich, with excellent coverage. I colored the background of my page first.

    Using Chalk Pastels, a neutral background color is added "loosely" without too much concern if it crossed over any black lines [see the upper left portion]. Then, use a cotton swab to spread the color evenly [see the bottom right portion of the page]. Using Chalk Pastels, a neutral background color is added "loosely" without too much concern if it crossed over any black lines [see the upper left portion]. Then, use a cotton swab to spread the color evenly [see the bottom right portion of the page].

    After blending the background brown color, I freely placed my colored chalk pastels in the remaining design spaces of the flowers, butterflies and ladybugs. I was not concerned if the chalk did not cover the entire white space because my next step would be to blend using a cotton swab.

    Loosely add some bright colors to the main pattern; flowers, butterflies and ladybugs are featured in this page from Leisure Arts' item 6903 - Art of Coloring Nature. Loosely add some bright colors to the main pattern; flowers, butterflies and ladybugs are featured in this page from Leisure Arts' item 6903 - Art of Coloring Nature.
    The after-effect of blending all of the bright colors. Be gentle as you loosely wipe over the Chalk Pastels with cotton swabs. The after-effect of blending all of the bright colors. Be gentle as you loosely wipe over the Chalk Pastels with cotton swabs.

    Now that my chalk coloring is done, I did not want the colors to smear. I sprayed my page with Mod Podge® Clear Acrylic Sealer; I chose the gloss finish. My next preparation was to spray paint my wooden birdhouse. I chose Krylon® Colormaster™  for indoor/outdoor use in a khaki color. As my spray painted birdhouse was drying, I considered what portion of it I would use to add my chalk pastel coloring book page.

    My advice is to read and then re-read the application process using the Mod Podge® product outlined. Easy steps and tips are outlined in the easy-to-follow instructions.

    Follow the Mod Podge® application directions specific to the product you are using. Leisure Arts' item 6569 - Family Activities outlines the Mod Podge® products with user-friendly tips and helpful hints. Follow the Mod Podge® application directions specific to the product you are using. Leisure Arts' item 6569 - Family Activities outlines the Mod Podge® products with user-friendly tips and helpful hints.

    To my amazement and delight, as the khaki spray paint was drying I realized that it was a very close match to the chalk pastel color I chose as my neutral background color. I could place my design almost anywhere on the birdhouse! I chose the left side of the roof and house, with cut out portions used as embellishments on the back side of the birdhouse.

    Following the Mod Podge® Classic Gloss application instructions, I added my coloring book page cut to fit the left portion of the rooftop and side panel of the birdhouse. After the colored designs were added, I applied Mod Podge® Gloss Sealer over all. Following the Mod Podge® Classic Gloss application instructions, I added my coloring book page cut to fit the left portion of the rooftop and side panel of the birdhouse. After the colored designs were added, I applied Mod Podge® Gloss Sealer over all.

    I couldn't resist adding some more cut designs onto the back panel of the birdhouse, too!

    I cut a free-form piece of my coloring book page and applied it using Mod Podge® Classic Gloss onto the back panel of the birdhouse. I like the visual effect of having some of the cut design area on the backside of the birdhouse; it assists to move your eye around the birdhouse project to view its different sides. I cut a free-form piece of my coloring book page and applied it using Mod Podge® Classic Gloss onto the back panel of the birdhouse. I like the visual effect of having some of the cut design area on the backside of the birdhouse; it assists to move your eye around the birdhouse project to view its different sides.

    I'm still playing with ideas regarding a final set-up inside my house where my birdhouse will live. My kitchen has great windows to view an open area with water and pine trees in the distance, or close-up viewing of a hummingbird feeder and patio flowers. Currently, I have a wooden bar stool near a window. Perhaps I could stack reference books on gardening and birds on it with the birdhouse on top of this stack?

    One idea: stack your themed items together: print books on birds, flowers, gardening, nature, and coloring! I'm still working on my setting: a wooden stool, a basket or a hanging shelf; the ideas keep coming to me! One idea: stack your themed items together: print books on birds, flowers, gardening, nature, and coloring! I'm still working on my setting: a wooden stool, a basket or a hanging shelf; the ideas keep coming to me!

    But, I might just make a more eclectic resting place for my birdhouse by suspending it from a ceiling, or near my Mac perched on a shelf with books on graphic art, impressionist painting and marimekko.

    Doesn't that extra bit of coloring onto the back panel of the birdhouse add so much more interest? It is a 3-D object so it really should have an interesting design element on more than one side. Doesn't that extra bit of coloring onto the back panel of the birdhouse add so much more interest? It is a 3-D object so it really should have an interesting design element on more than one side.

    Yes, I embrace both the digital and print worlds of life; it's part of my dimensional design. Whatever it is that you enjoy, incorporate some coloring into your world!

    Martha

  • Adult Coloring Books

    I bought my first adult coloring book years ago. I love to color. It really helps to relieve stress and anxiety. It is very cheap therapy. I was so excited when I saw that Leisure Arts had come out with not 1 but 5 different coloring books. I was coloring at my Monday night knit group I felt like coloring instead of knitting and I have colored while having my coffee at Starbucks. But what I thought was funny was when I realized I was coloring like I was a little kid. Laying on my tummy on my bed, while coloring with my left hand and cuddling with my little dog on the right. It was truly a wonderful feeling. I was having some art and dog therapy. I cannot tell you which book I like the best. Yesterday, Ocean Wonders Color Art, today Living Wonders Kaleidoscope. I am bringing the 80's back with the iridescent colors. I cannot remember where I found them. But for the rest of my color pencils I had from art school at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock. I bought them at my local art supply store called Art Outfitters.

    IMG_4936

    Leisure Arts has really done a fabulous job with these. I have had so many friends and strangers ask me what I am coloring. Many get really excited. It also helps get the creative juices flowing. Something else that I like about this book is that on the inside cover in the front and the back they have really helpful tips for color theory and blending. One of my friends pointed out that this would be good for people in nursing homes or in the hospital. The books have really nice bold lines. Some of the pages are so pretty that I don’t want to color they remind me of wallpaper or wrapping paper. So check out the adult coloring books and have some art therapy.

  • Birthday Bouquet

    I recently bought a jar filled with buttons that I found at an antique mall. I have been playing with buttons the last couple of weeks. Then came the fun part I stopped off at my favorite store the ‘Container Store’ to get something to put my new beads in. But before I started the first thing that I did was to wash the buttons because I didn't know where my new buttons have been. Once they were dry I sorted them according to size and color. I might be slightly O.C.D. but that’s OK. I don’t think I need an intervention just yet!

    I made two friends a Birthday Bouquet made of Button Flowers and I used some of my new buttons along with some buttons from my craft and sewing box. I found the image in Crafting with Buttons and Ribbons by Leisure Arts. I think that this book might be my favorite book that Leisure Arts has. So many cute things to make and too few hours in the day to try make them all some of the projects will have to wait to Christmas to do the button Christmas tree. But one project at a time if I start too many projects at once then they don’t get finished right away or I loose interest. I used 19 gauge wire, 2 to 4 buttons per flower stem. The tools that I used were crotchet hooks, wire cutters, and needle nose pliers. You will need some sort of vase. I tried a mason jar for a vase but I didn't like how it looked so I chose to use milk bottles for my vases.

    After wrapping the buttons I thought that my flowers needed some leaves so I contemplated going and getting some green seed beads and load them up and bend them to make leaves. I decided not to do that because I thought that green leaves would be way to busy and take away from the cute buttons. So I took like 2 feet of wire and slowly started wrapping the wire around the bottom of my Boye crochet hook keeping the wraps right next to each other and leave a good couple inches on the end that will be your stem for your leaf or whatever you want to call it. When I was done wrapping I slid it off my crochet hook and with my needle nose pliers I grabbed the top and pull to whatever length that I wanted. I used my size H and K crochet hook. I always have fun playing with wire. I hope that you give them a try. Oh!! With wrapping be careful that you don’t swing the wire around and into your eye.

    Button Flowers Button Flowers
  • A Project Full of Posies

    I made a posy motif from Beginner's Guide to Crochet Motifs.  So cute!

    I'm not exactly a beginner to crochet motifs, but the flower ones used in the Posies Cowl pattern were new to me and I had to try it out!

    I love those pointy petals.  They're my favorite feature.  I want to glue little flowers like this on notebooks and stitch them onto baby blankets or hats because they're too precious for this world.

    In addition to being unbearably adorable, the pattern is also good practice for joining a new color, and it's good practice for joining, period.  Ta da!

    I am not especially skilled at joining.  And by that, I mean I don't know how.  But I've wanted to learn.  I know how to seam blocks and motifs just fine, but it's time consuming and I want to learn more ways to join my work.  The Posies Cowl is made from twenty of those pretty little flowers joined together at various points--don't worry, there's a diagram.  The book explains several joining techniques, but this particular pattern calls for joining a stitch to picot stitch on top of one the petal's points.  I probably should have taken some pictures of how that happens, but I don't really know what happened.

    I followed the instructions really intently and then realized, oh! I had joined!  I should have tried this out forever ago.  But that's how learning most techniques turns out.  I have a vague knowledge of a technique, and then it turns into something incredibly difficult and scary in my mind, and then I try it out only to discover it's not that big a deal!  Whoops.

    I don't plan to make the Posies Cowl--at least not right now.  Something with petals seems more appropriate for spring, and I'm more interested in thicker crocheted fabrics and warm tones for fall.  But I might make a few of these pretty flowers to practice joining, because it's fun and not even remotely scary.  Who knows what joining techniques I'll try next?!

    I may have to psych myself up for it, though.

  • Just a Little Bit of Loveliness

    I love crafting because it's pretty. I like to make pretty things for pretty little babies, or find ways to make my home a little bit prettier.  For the past few busy and baby-filled years, though, I've held back on more decorative crafts because they seemed a little impractical.

    But even though I love to make things that can be worn or used to keep warm or clean up a mess, there is something to be said for breaking out the glue gun and making something that's purely decorative.  And I was in that kind of mood this weekend, so I checked out Crafting with Ribbons and Buttons

    As someone who likes to think I live pretty simply, I was both appalled and delighted to discover that I had enough supplies to make several of the projects here.  If you have ribbons and a button jar, you're pretty well set!

     Since I tend to get a little clumsy with ribbons, I thought I'd start myself off small with the Button Bouquet.  Well, just the vase for it.  I don't have a picture from the book to include, but the bouquet is made of buttons and floral wire.  Mixing floral wire and a toddler sounded like a bad idea (and I've misplaced my wire cutter.  But go me for actually remembering that I have one!), so I just stuck with the vase. 

    I used a spice jar for my little vase.

    Then I grabbed my ribbon that I bought for $1 a few summers ago, and a button from my button jar.

    Who knew these two things would make my little spice jar look festive and dressed up?

    But it did!

    I picked some of the scraggly little marigolds from the pots on our balcony and my little girl put them in the vase.  As short as they are, they look much better in the vase than they do in a jelly jar.  Not even one of those quilted half-pints could compete with some bright ribbon and a button!  I loved this craft and can't wait to try some more of the projects in Crafting with Ribbons and Buttons.


    Oh yes. This will involve both paint AND a glue gun.

    But for now I'm going to enjoy this small bit of loveliness on my table.

  • A Quick and Easy Felt Flower Project: A Tutorial

    Sometimes I step outside my comfort zone of mostly knitting and crocheting and go crazy with a glue gun.  Sometimes it doesn't end in disaster.

    I mean, it typically does.  But sometimes it doesn't, so I thought one of the times it didn't warranted a blog post.  Plus, this was a quick and cute project! 

    The cute, quick, and post-worthy project I tried out is the Felt Flower Clutch from Crafting with Felt.  My fingers survived, I learned how to make a felt flower, and now I have a nice little clutch to show for it!

    You will need:
    -a bag.  I bought mine to match the one in the pattern photo, but really any bag will be fine.
    -one piece of felt and scrap pieces of felt
    -a brooch base pin back.  I wound up using a blood donor pin that was smaller than the recommended size, and it held the flower just fine.
    -tracing paper to make templates for the petals and pin base
    -a glue gun

    First, you will need to cut out 10-12 flower petals and the base.

    Then you'll glue the petals to the base, layering them as you work.  Basically, there's a top layer and a bottom layer of petals, and each top layer petal is placed in between two bottom layer petals.

     

    Next, you'll need to cut strips about half an inch wide and 12" long for the center.  I used some pink felt that was the same color as the petals, a bright red strip, and a dark maroon scrap.  I thought the reds would accent the bright pink well because I think reds and pinks are pretty together.  

    After stacking the felt strips, roll them into a circle and glue the pieces as you go along.

    I used little dabs of glue in between each of the strips as I went further along, just to keep things from getting too 'wiggly'.  The center stayed firmly in place and I was able to put to rest my fear that the whole thing was going on fall apart.  I trimmed the edges, and made sure to cut the outside piece of felt slightly longer than the other two to wrap around them.

    Up next, I hot glued the rolled felt to the center of the petals.

    Ta da!  It's a flower. 

    Lastly, glue the back of the flower base to your pin.  Position the pin wherever you want on your clutch and enjoy your new bag!  The final step is a little anticlimactic, I know.  But I kind of like that nice simple step to cap off the process.  After all that hot glue and permanence, you just pin that flower wherever you want to and you're all set! A jacket!  A hat!  Or, you know, a bag just like the pattern because that's fine, too!

     This project took about one hour to do from start to finish (even with pausing every now and then to take a picture) and cost around $5.

    The bag is now, of course, holding toys and toddler treasures because my little girl is apparently a purse person.  I'm not much of a bag person, but I do like crafting.  And now that I know how to dress up any bag she wants to wag around, she gets to be fancy and I get to....play with more craft supplies.  Everyone's a winner!  A felty, floral winner!

    And that's not disastrous at all.

  • Flowers Without Sweating

    Yesterday was the first day of summer, so I had to go out in my yard and celebrate the season a little bit by sweating a lot and checking on the progress of my blooming plants.


    Here’s what’s blooming in my Arkansas yard—




    Shamrocks (I’m so proud of my daughter. She kept this plant alive in her room all winter long!)


    Daylilies


    Begonias


    And a stray, but absolutely perfect, little wildflower…



    After returning to the air conditioning…I contemplated my options for adding some florals indoors and started pulling out the pattern books and browsing through my eBook collection!


    Loving the flower-bedecked beauties in Elizabeth Angus’ Just Add Flowers quilt pattern book! (Also available in eBook!)


    With this Crocheted Flowers For Every Wear pattern book from Kooler Design Studio, I could have flowers from head to toe! (Also available in eBook!)


    How cool would it be to create flowers from duct tape? You can with Patti Wallenfang’s Just Duct Tape It! craft pattern book! (Also available in eBook!)


    Or I could Stitch a Beaded Garden with the 18 nostalgic designs in this pattern book by Sharon Maxwell Kendall Perry! (Also available in eBook!)


    And I discovered that I don’t have to sweat to enjoy watching the flowers bloom! I can just reach for my trusty pattern book or eBook, and I’m ready for anything!

  • Free May Flowers Pincushion Pattern

    So April showers bring May flowers, huh? Well, nothing’s blooming in my yard right now, but maybe this little free May Flowers Pincushion Pattern can bring a little floral fun into my life and yours. (And wouldn’t it make a sweet, last minute Mother’s Day present?)

    May Flowers Pincushion
    Here’s what you need:
    • floral-print flour sack fabric
    • 3-1/4" diameter wooden embroidery hoop
    • embroidery floss & needle
    • glue
    • fiberfill
    • 3-1/4" diameter canning jar lid
    • felt
    • 10" length of pom-pom trim
    Instructions:
    1. Cut an approximately 7" square of flour sack fabric and insert it in the embroidery hoop.
    2. Using 2 or 3 strands of embroidery floss, embellish the fabric details with stem stitches and French knots as desired.
    3. Trim excess fabric and glue to underside of embroidery hoop. 
    4. Stuff with fiberfill.
    5. To create base pattern, use canning jar lid to draw a circle on paper. Add petal shapes to edge of circle. Use pattern to cut base from felt.
    6. Glue pom-pom trim to base.
    7. Glue canning jar lid to base.
    8. Glue underside of embroidery hoop to canning jar lid.
    Hope you have a fabulous Saturday and a happy Mother’s Day on Sunday! Enjoy our free May Flowers Pincushion Pattern. (A special thanks goes out to one of my favorite designers, Anne Stocks, for sharing this pretty design with us!)
  • New Quilt Patterns: Just Add Flowers

    Big, beautiful blooms are popping up on the nature-themed quilts in our new quilt pattern book—Just Add Flowers, and each one is so sweet to sew! These seasonal quilt designs by Elizabeth Angus combine traditional and fun paper piecing techniques. Their applique designs are added using simple needle-turn hand-stitching or blanket-stitch machine applique. The blossoms are easy to create by sewing and turning their petals. It’s also a breeze to add gathered circles for the centers. The quilts range in size from wall hanging to lap throw, so you can decorate your home in pretty flowers all year! Each is accented with 3-dimensional flowers!

    Gentle Snow


    Springtime


    Summer Breeze


    Autumn Leaves


    15 Pumpkins


    Cowboy Christmas

    Meet the Designer: Elizabeth Angus
    Flowers are among Elizabeth Angus’s favorite design inspirations. “I enjoy having a flower and veggie garden, planting seeds and watching them come up,” Elizabeth says. “I get my quilt inspirations from all sorts of things. Sometimes when I am fabric shopping, an idea will pop into my head. By the time I get home, I have a whole quilt designed.” A quilter since her two children were young, Elizabeth and her husband of 40 years recently moved to Idaho. To catch up with this devoted quilter and embroiderer, and to see her latest designs, visit sunflowerfieldspatternco.blogspot.com.

    If you’d like to bring a floral touch into your home no matter the season, add a copy of Elizabeth’s Just Add Flowers (in print & downloadable versions) to your quilt pattern library!

  • Welcome Spring: Daffodils

    Happy Sunday, Everybody! It’s a beautiful day where I am. In two days, it will officially be Spring on the calendar, but the flowers in my Arkansas yard have been convinced that Spring has already sprung for about three weeks now! Check out my favorite part of Spring—my daffodils:

    Now that I’ve taken bunches of pictures of them, I have to go pick some for the middle of the dining table…

    I'm also thinking about crocheting this Daffodil Sachet. It’s from a low-priced, downloadable Leisure Arts pattern, so I could start right now if I wanted to!

    Enjoy today! I am!

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