Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Pearl Bow Pin

Last Friday, I went "window-shopping" with a friend after we had lunch at the mall (I say "window-shopping" because I ended up buying a few things... which I really think are necessary by the way!). I saw this pearl-encrusted bow pin (sorry, wasn't able to take a photo) which I found really pretty but didn't want to buy it at that price because I felt I can make one myself. So I ended up buying pair of earrings from that store instead, and started planning the bow pin in my head.

It was a long weekend for us last weekend, no work yesterday (Monday) so I was able to finish it. Ta-dah!!

Pretty! It's about 3.5 inches wide. The original I saw at the store used pink ribbon at the center of the bow but no matter how many times I tried when I was making mine, I couldn't get it to look right so I decided to use an oval-shaped pearl bead instead.  Total time for me to make this was around 2 hours, spread across 3 days (that's how little free time I have... *sniff*).

Here's a simple how to:

You will need:
  • Small pearl beads (I used what I had on hand... I have a lot of pearl beads left over from when I had my bead jewelry business a few years ago)
  • Felt (use a color to match the color of the pearl beads you are using)
  • Needle and thread (color to match the color of the felt you are using).
  • 1 oval shaped bead (same color as your small pearl beads or a coordinating color).
  • Brooch pin.
  • A template for the bow, see below for the template I used.

STEP 1: Draw the shape of the bow you want your pin to look like. I free-handed mine, but I did a rough rendering and you can just download my template below.

To download the template, click on the image to enlarge. Copy and paste to a Word file. Resize to the size you want your pin to be, and then print.
Bow Template
STEP 2: Cut your drawing/printout and use as pattern to cut the felt. You will need 2 pieces of Part A and 1 piece of Part B.

STEP 3: Sew the small pearl beads into a piece of Part A. I started from center, then moving to the edges of one side of the bow. The illustration below shows how I filled out one side of the bow.

As you get to the center, make sure the beads look evenly spaced and there is no big empty spot. Repeat for the other side of the bow.

STEP 4: Sew the center bead or whatever you plan to use for the center of the ribbon.

STEP 5: Sew beads on to Part B.Sew below the dotted line (see illustration below).

STEP 6: Use glue to attach the part ABOVE the dotted line of Part B to the back of Part A.

STEP 7: Glue the 2nd piece of Part A to the back of the combined pieces of Parts A and B.

STEP 8: Glue the pin to the back. Cut a small piece of felt and glue it across the pin to secure it.

And you're done!

Mine ended up a little heavy... I don't know why. Maybe because it's a little big and the pearl beads I used are bigger than the ones I saw on the pin at the store. After I was done, I started thinking what to do with it. See, I'm not really the pin/brooch-wearing type. I initially wanted it for Andrea... but it's so pretty I want to use it!

(EDITED 12/1/2010)
Here's me wearing it to dress up my plain black shirt:

I think I can also use it on a purse, we'll see. If you decide to make one, I hope you can share it with me. Have fun with your pearl bow pin!

(Edited again! 12/2/2010)
and again and again :)
I joined the following link parties:

100 Books

I saw this going around on Facebook. Not really sure where this came from but I found it interesting. So here's how I rate :)


Have you read more than six of these books? The BBC believes most people will have read only six of the 100 books listed here. Instructions: Copy this into your Notes (told you got this in Facebook). Bold those books you've read in their entirety and italicize the ones you started but didn't finish or read an excerpt. Tag other book nerds. Tag me as well so I can see your responses!

  1. Pride and Prejudice - Jane Austen 
  2. The Lord of the Rings - JRR Tolkien
  3. Jane Eyre - Charlotte Bronte
  4. Harry Potter series - JK Rowling
  5. To Kill a Mockingbird - Harper Lee
  6. The Bible
  7. Wuthering Heights - Emily Bronte
  8. Nineteen Eighty Four - George Orwell
  9. His Dark Materials - Philip Pullman (just the first book!)
  10. Great Expectations - Charles Dickens
  11. Little Women - Louisa M Alcott
  12. Tess of the D’Urbervilles - Thomas Hardy
  13. Catch 22 - Joseph Heller
  14. Complete Works of Shakespeare
  15. Rebecca - Daphne Du Maurier (watched the movie version...does that count?)
  16. The Hobbit - JRR Tolkien
  17. Birdsong - Sebastian Faulk
  18. Catcher in the Rye - JD Salinger
  19. The Time Traveler’s Wife - Audrey Niffenegger
  20. Middlemarch - George Eliot
  21. Gone With The Wind - Margaret Mitchell 
  22. The Great Gatsby - F Scott Fitzgerald
  23. War and Peace - Leo Tolstoy
  24. The Hitch Hiker’s Guide to the Galaxy - Douglas Adams
  25. Crime and Punishment - Fyodor Dostoyevsky
  26. Grapes of Wrath - John Steinbeck
  27. Alice in Wonderland - Lewis Carroll 
  28. The Wind in the Willows - Kenneth Grahame
  29. Anna Karenina - Leo Tolstoy
  30. David Copperfield - Charles Dickens
  31. Chronicles of Narnia - CS Lewis (I read the complete set when I was 12.)
  32. Emma - Jane Austen
  33. Persuasion - Jane Austen
  34. The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe - CS Lewis (why is this separate from #31?)
  35. The Kite Runner - Khaled Hosseini
  36. Captain Corelli's Mandolin - Louis De Bernieres
  37. Memoirs of a Geisha - Arthur Golden
  38. Winnie the Pooh - A.A. Milne
  39. Animal Farm - George Orwell 
  40. The Da Vinci Code - Dan Brown
  41. One Hundred Years of Solitude - Gabriel Garcia Marquez
  42. A Prayer for Owen Meaney - John Irving
  43. The Woman in White - Wilkie Collins
  44. Anne of Green Gables - LM Montgomery 
  45. Far From The Madding Crowd - Thomas Hardy 
  46. The Handmaid's Tale - Margaret Atwood
  47. Lord of the Flies - William Golding
  48. Atonement - Ian McEwan
  49. Life of Pi - Yann Martel
  50. Dune - Frank Herbert 
  51. Cold Comfort Farm - Stella Gibbons
  52. Sense and Sensibility - Jane Austen
  53. Jurassic Park - Michael Crichton
  54. A Suitable Boy - Vikram Seth
  55. The Shadow of the Wind - Carlos Ruiz Zafon
  56. A Tale Of Two Cities - Charles Dickens
  57. Brave New World - Aldous Huxley
  58. The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time - Mark Haddon
  59. Love In The Time Of Cholera - Gabriel Garcia Marquez
  60. Of Mice and Men - John Steinbeck 
  61. Lolita - Vladimir Nabokov
  62. The Secret History - Donna Tartt
  63. The Lovely Bones - Alice Sebold 
  64. Count of Monte Cristo - Alexandre Dumas
  65. Fear of Flying - Erica Jong
  66. On The Road - Jack Kerouac
  67. Jude the Obscure - Thomas Hardy
  68. Bridget Jones’s Diary - Helen Fielding (watched the movie version)
  69. Midnight’s Children - Salman Rushdie
  70. Moby Dick - Herman Melville
  71. Oliver Twist - Charles Dickens
  72. Dracula - Bram Stoker 
  73. The Secret Garden - Frances Hodgson Burnett
  74. Notes From A Small Island - Bill Bryson
  75. Ulysses - James Joyce
  76. The Inferno - Dante
  77. Swallows and Amazons - Arthur Ransome
  78. Germinal - Emile Zola
  79. Vanity Fair - William Makepeace Thackeray 
  80. Possession - AS Byatt
  81. A Christmas Carol - Charles Dickens
  82. Cloud Atlas - David Mitchell
  83. The Color Purple - Alice Walker (watched the movie version)
  84. The Remains of the Day - Kazuo Ishiguro
  85. Madame Bovary - Gustave Flaubert
  86. A Fine Balance - Rohinton Mistry
  87. Charlotte’s Web - E.B. White 
  88. The Five People You Meet In Heaven - Mitch Albom
  89. Adventures of Sherlock Holmes - Sir Arthur Conan Doyle 
  90. The Faraway Tree Collection - Enid Blyton
  91. Heart of Darkness - Joseph Conrad
  92. The Little Prince - Antoine De Saint-Exupery
  93. The Wasp Factory - Iain Banks
  94. Watership Down - Richard Adams
  95. A Confederacy of Dunces - John Kennedy Toole
  96. A Town Like Alice - Nevil Shute
  97. The Three Musketeers - Alexandre Dumas
  98. Hamlet - William Shakespeare
  99. Charlie and the Chocolate Factory - Roald Dahl
  100. Les Miserables - Victor Hugo

That's 20 out of 100 for me! Not bad... made me miss reading. I used to read a lot. Come to think of it, I used to do a lot of stuff. Used to. Oh well :)

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Felt Pucca "Doll"

My baby loves Pucca. But their time slot on the Disney Channel jumps from time to time so we don't really know when to tune in. One night last week, Andrea and I chanced upon Pucca while channel hopping on TV. When she saw Pucca appear, she broke into a big smile and yelled "Pucca!" (Andrea's first words are usually the names of her favorite cartoon characters). And a light bulb went off in my head... IDEA!
I made her a Pucca "doll"!

I'm saying "doll" with quote marks because I still keep trying to convince myself that it's a doll. It's a little flat, see... but Andrea likes it so all's good. I initially just wanted to make her a Pucca patch to sew on one of her shirts. After finishing the face, I can't find shirt to attach it to so I decided to make it into a doll instead.

Here's a simple how-to (this should work for other cartoon characters, as long as the parts are simple and not too complicated to cut):

You will need:

  • 2 copies of a template: search for an image online, resize, and print 2 copies
  • Different colored felt: red, black and cream for this one
  • Sewing needle
  • Matching thread: red, black and cream
  • Marker
  • Polyester stuffing
STEP 1: Find a template and print 2 copies. I used this one for mine:
STEP 2: Pin the template on the cream felt and cut. This will be the overall shape of your doll. Cut 2 pieces for the front and back.
STEP 3: Cut up the other printout into the different parts of the doll to use as pattern. Pin on corresponding color felt and cut. Here's a summary of "parts" for my Pucca doll (each "part" is labeled with a letter):
  • Part A - 2 pieces
  • Part B - 1 piece
  • Part C - 1 piece
  • Part D - 2 pieces
  • Part E - 2 pieces
  • Part F - 2 pieces
  • Part G - 2 pieces
STEP 4: Put the front together. Using black thread, attach Part B, E and F to the first piece Part A. I used back stitch, sewing across all the edges of Parts B, E and F.
STEP 5: Attach the red shirt to the front using black thread. Using back stitch, I traced along the edges of the red shirt. I also sewed lines from the "shoulder" to the "hem" of the shirt to copy the original black lines of Pucca's shirt on my template.
STEP 6: Draw the face. I actually sewed thin strips of black felt for the eyes and brows and just drew the mouth. But looking back, I think you can just draw the whole face and it won't make much difference.
STEP 7: Repeat steps 4 and 5 for the back, this time, using Parts C and the 2nd piece of Part A.
STEP 8: Sew the front and back pieces together, I used blanket stitch for mine and I used the same color thread for the color of felt that it will be sewn on. Start with the left bun.
STEP 9: After stitching around the bun, stuff with polyester stuffing, then attach Part G using back stitch, sewing through front and back parts:

STEP 10: Repeat the process for the right bun.
STEP 11: Finish attaching the front and back parts of the head using blanket stitch and fill head with polyester stuffing. The reason my "doll" is flat because I couldn't stuff too much. It bulges when I do.
STEP 12: Close off the head part using back stitch, stitching between Parts B and D on the front:
STEP 13: Sew along the edges of the shirt and pants using blanket stitch to close. Remember to stuff the body with polyester as well before closing off all edges.

And that's a wrap!

Front of the "doll".
Back of the "doll".
I actually don't get why Andrea likes her. I guess because of the red shirt? My finished product kinda looks like a voodoo doll to me, but Andrea's face lit up when I showed it to her. Anyway, I plan to make her another one of a much cuter character next time.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Reminiscing crafts gone by

I have about 3 projects in progress (and only around 30 minutes per day to work on them so I think they will be finished like next month?) and about 50 others developing in my head. I think it's really sad that I don't have much time left for other things after work and Andrea. But I guess that's just how it is.

Anyway, I was trying to make room for my new craft supplies which led me to dig out the old ones to see which ones I can let go. Let me see... I tried paper embossing once, and bought several brass templates because I had grandiose plans of marketing personalized invites and crafted cards:

They were a little pricey but I do tend to get really involved when I get into a hobby so I wanted a variety of templates because of several design ideas in my head at the time. However... after a few hours of embossing, and 10 numb fingers... I figured this is not something I can do as a business. It will kill my hands! But I kept the supplies because the brass templates are pretty and I still use them on occasion, like the time I made my Christmas CD envelopes.

I also tried my hand at bead jewelry making. This one was a little more profitable and I enjoyed my small side business for about a year before my real job caught up with me and I didn't have much time to spend on my little hobby. I still have a lot of supplies left over (more like a small fortune tied up in semi-precious stones, swarovski crystals, pendants, tons of beads, etc):
 I did mention that when I get into something... I can get really, really involved? And back then, I didn't have a baby spend on attend to so...

My old product boxes with my logo. I  must have changed my logo a couple more time after this. I still use these as gift boxes whenever I give small personalized gifts.

Here's a few of my earlier pieces when I started out. I was able to sell all of these, but looking at them now, I think I should have kept a few of them for me...

You can click on the photos to enlarge them. These pictures were from before I had the patience to set-up my jewelry in better lighting and better backdrops for "real" shoots. My latter works, before I stopped, were more commercial-fad pieces (with better pictures!) but I think I like my earlier works better. I closed my online store already, but maybe I can take this up again one day (like when Andrea is 12?).

Anyway, to go back to my story... I didn't end up throwing anything away. Aarrggh! I'm like this sometimes. I'll just worry about this again when I need the spare room we're using as a store room for something else... like guests staying over at our place... which will be soon... but still, soon is better than now so for now, my stuff stays :)

Monday, November 22, 2010

Felt flower obsession - Part 1

This was another project I came across on Delia Creates that I wanted to try. The original idea and tutorial is from Holidash.

Here's how mine turned out (I realize now that I took the photo before I glued the center... I was too excited and too impatient at the time):
My petals look too close together, compared to the original. Instead of attaching the petals by glue, I sew them to the base. I also did not include the pocket at the back since I'm not planning to put anything in it.

Now after I made it, I really had no idea how to use it. I'm not the brooch-wearing type.

I decided to wear it when we visited my grandmother last week. They liked it :) So a little more confident, I decided to wear it in public: to my office.

 I had it pinned to my shirt when I left for work... and it was still pinned to my shirt when I reached out building lobby. But then... I saw the holiday poinsettia flower pots scattered across our lobby and I thought to myself how much my bright red brooch resembled the bright red poinsettia bunches on the plants. I chickened out and took it off when I reached the elevator. Maybe next time, and in a more muted hue :)

I've been addicted to felt flowers ever since I made this one. I spent all my free time last week googling "felt flower templates" and "felt projects". I have several others lined up that I'm excited to try. I will be sharing more soon.

Happy Monday!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

God's little blessings

Last night, I experienced one of God's little blessings which I just had to share :)

Due to a recent traffic law passed in Metro Manila regarding buses, it has been difficult to commute. Since I was tired and a little dizzy from lack of sleep the past few nights, I decided to just take a cab home. The line for cabs at the mall was a little long, I think there are about 30 people ahead of me, but I decided to stick with it anyway. The entire time, I was praying to God in my head to send me a "reputable" cab like MGE or R&E. By reputable, I meant those big name cabs whose cab drivers won't cheat you or give you trouble because those companies have reputations to protect. I was too tired to deal with worrisome cab drivers by then so I kept praying during the 30 - 45 minutes I was standing in line and I was specifically asking for an MGE or R&E cab, although for my entire wait, I hardly ever saw cabs from those company show up.

When it was finally my turn, there were no available cabs so I had to wait a few more minutes. And then, when one did show up... can you guess what the cab was? It was an MGE!

And it was a new unit so my ride home was comfortable. I kept thanking God the entire time and I knew I just had to share the experience. Don't you just love answered prayers like this?

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

A visit to great grandma & ruffle shirts

As I mentioned before, I was working on a project for my 2 girls. I had this post from Disney's blog in mind but since I didn't have my computer on when I started... the end result looked a little different. Not sure if I saw this somewhere else, I can't remember, but I'll link to it when I do remember.
Anyway... I wanted to make matching shirts for Andrea and Helaena. I saw cheap plain shirts from SM Best Buy for P80 each last Friday. The color options were limited for the sizes I wanted. I think my choices at the time were purple, white and blue. I wanted pink but I ended up with the purple ones.
Then I bought 1 meter of cream-colored ribbon. Knowing nothing about measurements... I thought that would be enough to ruffle the necklines of both shirts. I was wrong of course. That 1 meter was only good for Andrea's shirt (the smaller one). I had to improvise when I started working on Helaena's (the bigger one).

I had left over material from when I made this doll dress. Good thing it was also cream-colored so the color scheme for both shirts will still be the same. I cut 2 strips from the same lace tank, each strip 1.5 inches wide and used that as ruffle. The lace material from the tank doesn't fray... lucky me (I hope!), I didn't have to hem.

The bow ties was an afterthought after I finished with the ruffles on both shirts. They were looking a little plain so I played around with the idea of satin flowers (ruffles and satin flowers looked a little too much), buttons (they were ok for the design on Andrea's, but not for Helaena's), and ribbons. I think the bow ties looked best.

And yesterday (a non-working holiday here), we visited my grand mother (which makes her the little girls' great grandma!) and I thought that would be the perfect opportunity for both girls to wear their matching shirts.

 I don't think they were in the mood for photos. As you can see, I added another layer of ruffle on Helaena's shirt a few minutes before she had to wear it.

 A closer look at Andreas shirt.

Playing with great grandma's walking gadget (I don't know what it's called).

My little girls trying their talent on the piano. My cousins and I... we all had our pictures taken at my grandmother's piano when we were little. It's still a favorite spot for family photos.

I started reading the manual of my sewing machine and hopefully, I will learn how to use it so that projects like this won't take up so much time. I loved seeing my little girls wearing their matching shirts and I want to make more!

Monday, November 15, 2010

A busy weekend... and a new toy for me!

Weekends at our house means chores. Chores pile up during the week because I leave early for work, and get home late. I only have time to play with Andrea a little in the morning when she wakes up before handing her to our nanny... and then playing with her and reading to her in the evening before she goes to sleep.

So many things to do! So little time... I had several things lined up last weekend. First, I had to go to my friend's designer to get fitted for my gown for her wedding on December (aaarrrgggh! Sorry Cecille, I didn't lose the weight I was planning to lose for your wedding... but maybe it's not too late for Marvin's wedding in January and Honey's wedding on February, I hope). And then Gingersnaps started it's annual sale! To be honest, Andrea really doesn't need more clothes for her current size. But I heard Gingersnaps sale have really, really marked down items and I love their clothes! So I wanted to get some bigger sized shirts for Andrea for later this year (hey... I like planning ahead!). And then there are chores I have to do at home. And I wanted to squeeze in a little time for a project I'm working on for my 2 best girls, Andrea and Helaena. I'll post about it when I finish. Oh... and there's Andrea! We do have a nanny, but I like taking care of her on weekends when I'm home, even if if means I don't get any rest. Oh well.

So I was able to go to the fitting... got stuck in traffic... reached the Gingersnaps warehouse only to find out they close at 4PM (aaarrrgggh!!)... decided to pass by the mall for a while before picking up Andrea from my mom's house... got stuck in traffic for an hour on a 150m stretch of road trying to reach that mall (aaaarrggghhh again!!)... took a detour to go to a different mall to get out of the traffic jam... and came home with this:

Are you ready to see this?
And... ta-dah!!!!!!!!!!!

My early birthday and Christmas present from my husband *insert big smile here*. He noticed my buying spree lately and thought I was serious about pursuing this new hobby. So he got me a sewing machine. It's a Brother BM 2600. I haven't checked online yet if it's a good brand, but it was the only brand being carried by appliance stores at nearby malls. I haven't read the manual yet so I don't know how to even turn the thing on, but I will get to it next week.

Sunday was Pacquiao's fight with Margarito so as was expected, we stayed home. With my husband glued to the TV all afternoon, and Andrea quietly playing on the floor... I was able to run upstairs to "Andrea's room" (she sleeps with us in our room so she doesn't really use it... it's more for her stuff), re-claim my old worktable which is now being used for her diapers and other bath things, and work on these based on an idea I found on Delia's blog:

I added straps across Andrea's flip flops to keep them from falling off her feet when she's walking. I was looking for orange or yellow elastic headbands but then, I saw a few yards of colored elastic at the mall... and  can you guess what color it was??? Orange! 
They were only available in green and orange and there were a few yards left. I was contemplating getting the green one as well, just in case I might need it... but I decided not to. I will probably just lose it if I keep it. Anyway, here's another one.
These is a pair of shoes I got for Helaena last year. She wasn't able to wear them much because they also keep falling off her feet. When they got small for her, my sister gave it back to me for Andrea. Now, they are her size but they keep falling off her feet too, so I decided to add straps to them as well. I was able to buy a pack of 3 elastic headbands at a supermarket for P12.50 (approx $0.25) and used that. 
Sometimes, the simplest ideas really are the best. I never thought to use headbands before I read about it in Delia's blog. Anyway, I sew the elastic directly to the leather, an idea I got from Disney's blog (I did mention I've been immersing myself in several blogs lately).

That's it for today! I found several other ideas I love from Delia's and Disney's blogs that I would love to try...  when I find the time.

Friday, November 12, 2010

The hunt for scrap fabric in Manila

I briefly mentioned that I bought fabric which I never got to use. Thing is, there are times I only needed a small piece for something like a patch, but the smallest dimension you can get in my part of the world is half a yard. Which is pretty big when all you need is a 4" x 6".

I've read other bloggers (from halfway around the globe) advise that you can get scrap fabric from some fabric retailers. I really didn't know how that works because the only fabric retailers I know about are at the mall (I know about Divisoria... I just don't get to go often and I usually have other things to buy when I do so I never really had the chance to check out the fabric sellers there) and I have never seen anything like a "scrab bin" anywhere. Anyway, since I've been on a craft kick since last week, I've been frequenting the fabric and craft stores again. And last Wednesday, I was over at Carolina's at Megamall when I noticed a box piled high with different types of fabric near the entrance. It looks like a scrap bin to me so I asked one of the clerks about it. They were scrap fabric they were for sale! Any piece on the box for P50 (approx $1.10) only! It's not as cheap at the $0.25 I read about but it's cheap enough for me.

Their "scrap" are samples they are working on which had flaws... tears, discolored areas, wrong stitches. Fabric choices are limited to organza and tulle at the time I was there. I dug around the box for a while (forgetting that my husband was waiting for me to meet him at another mall!) and came up with 2 items:

Ok... you might not see the "pretty" in my choices but the truth is, I bought them for the flower appliques. There were a lot on those 2 pieces! The first one had about 3 dozen purple satin flowers, and strips of purple and gold ribbon I'm sure I can rip out and re-use running the entire length. And I'm sure I can find use for the purple organza and tulle base. For the green one... we need a closer look to start what I found:

I don't think those squiggly string-like thing running from the middle of the flower will be of any use to me, but those green flowers are actually appliques and the scrap I got had a LOT of them. Those I'm sure I can use, as well the green organza and tulle base.

Carolina's also carry more expensive "scrap" for P500 each piece. Those pieces are bigger and those do not have flaws on them. They were used as samples for the stuff they export. They look like big pieces of fabric lace with embellishments. Some are really pretty but a little expensive for me (who just wanted to make ONE little tulle flower for one of Andrea's dresses, that's why I was there). Maybe when I have a really nice project on my head, I'll spring for one.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

DIY Dora Birthday Party Invites

I've been planning to share this for a while because I was so happy with how it turned out. We gave our princess a party for her first birthday with a Dora The Explorer theme. She loves Dora. She starts giggling and dancing whenever she hears the Dora theme song.

Anyway, we held the party at a restaurant so I won't have to worry about the food and hired a photographer and party planner to host and decorate the venue. However, I decided to DIY the invitations and loot bags to save a little on cost because I like doing stuff like that.

I went online to look for party ideas and I was surprised that there were a lot! I liked the party favor container ideas on this site.

So creative. However, my loot bags were all set. I was able to buy backpacks with Dora print for the little girls, and blue paper bags which I plan to decorate with Diego stickers for the boys. Here's a picture of party loot bags with the items we got to put inside:

I decided to use the idea for a character on the invitations instead. I made "Backpack" character envelopes and "Map" invitations :)


You will need:
  • Purple paper (to make envelopes) or purple envelopes
  • Image of Backpack that clearly shows the eyes and mouth (template provided in this post)
  • Printer
  • Yellow paper
  • Red paper
  • White paper
  • a Printer
STEP 1: Make your own envelopes (you can find several tutorials online) using purple paper or, buy purple envelopes (like me!).

STEP 2: Search online for images of Backpack. Using Photoshop (or other image editing software), re-size the image to fit your envelope. Then create 3 separate images: 1. Eyebrows, 2. Eyes, 3. Mouth.

Here's the template I used:
To download: 1) Double-click the image. 2) After the image loads, right click and choose 'Save Image As'

STEP 3: Print the image of eyebrows in Yellow paper.

STEP 4: Print the image of the eyes in White paper

STEP 5: Print the image of the mouth in Red paper.

Here's what I had after printing.

STEP 6: Cut out the brows, eyes, and mouth images.

If you will notice, my image wasn't so good. The mouth had parts that are nothing but printed lines! My fingers went numb after all that cutting.

STEP 7: Paste the cut outs on your envelope. Make sure the facial features are positioned to resemble Backpack.

Here's what mine looked like:

Cute huh? :)


You will need:
  • An image of Map
  • Photoshop and Photoshop skills preferred, but Word editing skills will do
  • White card paper
  • a Printer
STEP 1: Draw a map to your venue. I used MS Powerpoint to draw because I find it easier to draw lines there.

STEP 2: Layout! (using Photoshop, other software, or MS Word). Paste the image of Map on the upper left side of the invite... kind of how it looks on TV when Map sings "I'm the Map!" and shows Dora the way to wherever she wants to go.

STEP 3: Print

Here's what I came up with:

I downloaded clipart of buildings and trees to add dimension to my map because it looked a little plain. I was trying to look for free font online that resembles the font for Dora the Explorer. I found a forum online and someone suggested Creative BB. Sorry, I forgot which forum I got that tip from :(

I also created an image for a birthday banner which we had printed on tarpaulin to be used as backdrop:

Of course, we got a Dora cake from Goldilocks (they are the only ones authorized to carry Nickelodeon character cakes here, I think).

So there, my little baby turned 1 already! How time flies.

Edited 03/08/2011
I finally posted the image of 'Backpack' I used. I used to have a note here that says leave your email and I will send it via email. But since I'm a little busy, it might take a while for me to check my emails so here you go!

Some of the projects on this post are linked up to the following link parties:

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

My First "Rosette" Attempt

I'm all giddy with happiness because after an entire weekend of feeling inspired, I was able to finish my first fabric flower applique last night. It took all of 2 hours to complete but I'm just happy it resembled a flower in the end.

Yes 2 hours. You see, I can't sew. I still remember a little of what they taught us in Home Economics class back in high school so I can stitch by hand a little. But I can't really create something out of fabric... even the really "simple" ones my mom kept telling was so simple it will only take a few minutes. Some things just aren't simple for me, mom. You know, stuff like sewing straight using a sewing machine? Never happened for me in spite of 4 years in high school trying.

Anyway, here's what I had before I started:

This dress was a gift for Andrea from my aunt. I love it! I don't think the photo did it much justice but it's eyelet lace in a muted green color with matching tights (the tights will be another project... I think).

Here's a picture of her wearing it:

The monochromatic look can get a little dull though, and after reading several craft blogs since last week, I decided this will be my first project. I will embellish with pink rosettes on the right shoulder to give it a little flash of color.

STEP 1: I started looking for materials I had on hand. The itch to start something came to me at 10PM last night so I didn't have many choices. Luckily, I found this pink sheer fabric printed with white leaves which I bought 4 years ago.

Back then, I only needed a small strip to cover the low neckline of a shirt I had but since I can't get scrap fabric, I had to buy a yard of it. (We will talk about other fabrics I bought in the past but never used... I actually have a lot of craft materials I bought and uh... never seldom use, but that story will be for another day).

STEP 2: Cut a 2 inch strip from the fabric. I had no idea how long I needed so I cut a 2 inch strip from the entire length. I figured, if I made a mistake, I have room to cut.

My fabric is the type that frays a lot... so I also had to cut of the frayed edges.

STEP 3: My mind went blank. After reading several blogs on how to make fabric flowers, I realized I never really "read" them. I only looked at the pictures. Aaarrggh!!

My plan was to put 3 rosettes here:

I tried to free hand it. I later found out, it was ambitious for someone who doesn't know anything about what she's doing. So I folded my 2-inch strip into 2 halves... you should end up with a 1-inch strip. And then, here's what took me an hour... I twisted, turned, pinned, scrunched up the fabric to make it look like a rose. FAIL.

I decided to sew directly on the fabric. I pinned one end of my 1-inch strip to the center of the neckline. Since it was already around 11PM at the time, I didn't think I can do 3 rosettes. I will have to settle for one, in the center. Open side of the fold is facing down.

STEP 3: I created small folds (pleats?) trying to create a circular shape. I put pins in each pleat so keep them in place (sorry, no photo... I was already too stressed about the entire thing at the time). After I completed the first circle, I stitched each pleat in shape. I stitched by hand and I have no idea what kind of stitch I used 0_o

STEP 4: Continue making small folds, creating a smaller circle than the first one and repeat previous steps to complete the smaller circle.

STEP 5: Twist the remaining fabric and "swirl" into a rose shape in the middle. Cut off remaining fabric if there are any (I had to cut off around 6 inches of excess fabric strip from mine). Make sure to tuck and fold all edges under. And then stitch with no rhyme or reason. As long as you can secure the center and tuck in all edges that should be fine.

Here's what I ended up with:

Yaaay!! It actually looks like a flower, doesn't it??? Let's take a closer look:

I used white thread to stitch. If you look closely, I think you can see my stitches, the frays. My initial fold from the 2-inch to 1-inch wasn't perfect so I compensated by stitching way above the open edges and then cross my fingers that the fray won't reach the stitches and unravel the whole thing.

STEP 6. I wanted to cover the middle to hide some of my ugly stitches. I initially wanted to do this:

But that flower bead is a little heavy and bulky. And it's glass... it might not survive in the wash. So I tore off a rosette glued to a gift box I had and sewed that in the middle (I didn't have glue within reach and it was nearing 12 midnight by this time... I didn't want to go looking for one). Then I sewed small pearl beads on one side to... hide frayed edges accessorize? I have no idea how the finished product will fare in a washing machine, even if I use a laundry net, but I thought that if the flower fell apart... I can just remove the stitches and Andrea will still have her plain lace dress.

This is my final product:

Closer look at my flower:

*insert BIG smile here*

I hope to make a proper tutorial some day, when I consider myself good enough. But for now, I'm thinking of how to add matching accent to the leggings (though in reality, I just want to get Andrea pale pink tights from the mall to match the flower... let's see how it goes).