Pin Cushion Cactus

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It has been way too long since I have made something for me.  So long, in fact, that I cannot remember what the last thing was. I have been looking for ideas for a super cute pin cushion now that I have started sewing again and when I came across some felt cacti, I knew I had a winner. Cacti and needles just go together perfectly, plus it is super cute and something you would not mind to keep out as decor.

Disclaimer: I apologize for not always putting my supplies in the photo but a lot of what I come up with are last minute light bulb moments. 🙂



You will need:

  • Green felt for cactus
  • Pink felt for flower
  • Glitter canvas for flower (I am obsessed with this stuff)
  • Mini yellow pom poms
  • Mini pearl beads (not pictured)
  • Embroidery floss or sewing machine
  • Fiberfill
  • Small clay pot
  • Styrofoam for inside pot (not pictured)
  • Rocks to cover styrofoam (not pictured)
  • Hot glue

p.s. Check out these amazing iridescent colored scissors! I have been looking for some fun, unique craft scissors, especially for all the craft photos I take and I could not resist these.

Cut out 6 pieces of green felt into oval like shapes but with a flat bottom.  The length could be as tall as you want it, just make sure the width is about as wide as your pot. Using your sewing machine or by hand, sew together two pieces at a time around the arc leaving the bottom flat side open. Repeat with the other 4 pieces to make 2 more pairs. Take all 3 pairs of sewn green felt, layer them on top of each other and sew them together with a line right down the middle. For thinner wool felt, I was able to use my machine, but for craft felt, I had to sew it by hand as it was too thick.

Using a chopstick or pencil, stuff your cactus sections with the fiberfill.  You should have 6 sections to stuff.  Make them nice and full to give your pins something to hold on to.

To make the flower, I used 3 different types of flower shapes to layer on to each other. (It is not necessary to have the hole in the light pink flower. I made it thinking I was going to do some things differently but ended up not needing it.) Hot glue them together and stick the little pom poms on top. Take your little pearl beads and glue them onto the spines of each section.  You could use the ball pins for this part of the decor as well, but I wanted mine to be a more permanent feature of the cactus.

For the pot, an old styrofoam ball happened to fit inside perfectly. I used some decorative rocks to cover the sides of the ball and hot glued them on: hot glue, rocks, let cool, shake off, repeat. This required quite a few layers to get the height and coverage I wanted.When you are satisfied with your rock coverage, add a generous amount of hot glue to the center of the styrofoam and put your cactus on top.  Hold it down for a few seconds in order to make sure it sticks. It was so easy, that I made a darker, circular shaped cacti for my mom as a thank you for re-teaching me how to sew. Instead of oval shaped felt, cut out circular ones with flat bottoms for this type of cactus.




Add your pins and you’re done!








Paper Mobile

Whew…do you have that one month where it seems like every other day is someone’s birthday? And not just anyones birthdays, but our twins, both of my sisters, my mom, my husband, mine, a handful of close friends and family… June is our month and it even trickles a little into May and July.  I was crafting crazy! One of the last of these is my little sister, Emily.

I wanted to make her something for her adorable post college, #bosslady apartment. I took the opportunity to finally use my sewing machine for the first time since I got it at Christmas. But I wasn’t sewing fabric, I used paper for this super easy mobile!

This post contains affiliate links, which means I receive a small compensation if you make a purchase using the links below.

You will need:

  • Printed cardstock paper
  • Sewing machine
  • White thread
  • Embroidery hoop
  • String for hanging

Emily recently traveled to Morocco and I felt a lot of these prints were very appropriate. I cut out triangles with my handy Cricut machine because I wanted them to be the same size.

My mom set up my machine and gave me a quick refresher course as I have not sewn for at least 20 years! Putting two pieces together, back-to-back as they were not printed on one side, I ran them through the machine with a straight stitch. Make sure to have extra thread out when you begin so that you can tie the row onto your hoop.For an unplanned, organic feel, don’t worry too much about spacing them equally apart.
After completing each row, I tied them onto the inside portion of an embroidery hoop. Tie string to four equally spaced sides of the hoop and bring them together in the center for hanging.

That’s it! A super modern yet delicate mobile for your home.




Mini Bouquets

I don’t know what it is but I love mini bouquets! They are such a sweet, little sentiment to give someone and are perfect for those “just because” occasions. If you hate the clear plastic wrapping as much as I do, here is a super easy way to dress up your mini bouquet.Grab a sheet of your favorite printed scrapbook paper. Glitter and double-sided paper would be super fun too! (Have you heard about my scrapbook paper addiction???) Turn it over and fold up one corner.Place your bouquet on top and start to wrap the sides around the bouquet.Once you fold over the last side, fasten with a piece of clear tape or even a pretty printed label or sticker. You could even wrap a ribbon around it if you wanted to get extra fancy.That’s it! Really! Pretty market flowers that no longer look like they were from the market.

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Macrame & Yarn Wall Hanging

This post contains affiliate links, which means I receive a small compensation if you make a purchase using some of the links below.

For my sister’s 30th birthday, I wanted to make her something because she is always making something for either me or my kids. Since she liked the yarn wall hanging I made for myself, I decided to do a spin on it and try macrame with the actual rope you are supposed to use.This is only the second time I have tried macrame and this post is not a tutorial, but I wanted to show you how you can mix different types of textiles, fibers, and techniques to create a unique piece. After looping the macrame rope onto a wood dowel with a lark’s head knot, I taped it down to my cutting mat to hold it in place.  The macrame was made entirely with diagonal double half hitch knots using a tutorial from Parlor. I wanted my pattern to be somewhat geometric and clean.After I decided the pattern was finished, I tied rope around both edges of the dowel, knotted it and then brought both ends up and to the middle to make a triangle shape and then knotted it again.

To play on the macrame pattern of circles and triangles, I tied the triangle into the gold hoop. I had previously looped the dark grey yarn along the bottom of the hoop with the lark’s head knots, similar to my other yarn wall hanging project.

I always cut the ends last because I want to see the entire project before I do something so final. For this piece, I decided to go super short thinking about my sister and her love of clean lines with a touch of mid century modern. I actually left the dark grey yarn for her to put her own touch on it and decide how long or short to go. Although the macrame did take some time, it was the same knot over and over again and that made it a little less complicated. I love taking something that I have done already and putting spin on it to create something unique and new.

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Monogram Flower Box

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Why is it so hard to find gifts for Mother’s Day? Maybe it is because our moms never ask for much and have almost everything they need. I know I am always caught in the last minute scramble and there isn’t much that I hate more than giving a gift without meaning or thought. Thankfully, inspiration struck just in time.

I always eye the artificial flowers in the dollar store but some don’t particularly look great, not a surprise being that they are $1.  On this trip, they had some really good ones and I immediately envisioned them filling a letter shaped box.  I didn’t have much time for shopping and in a quick detour to Target, I found a hexagon shaped box and the letter “G” for grandma. My vision had to be reworked a bit, but  I knew it would still be pretty and personal.

You will need:
  • Artificial flowers
  • Wood box in the shape you choose
  • Floral foam
  • Styrofoam
  • Wood letter to fit inside the box
  • Paint
  • Glue gun/E600 glue

 

Fill your wood box with the floral foam, cutting them into pieces and filling all available areas. To secure the pieces together, use a hot glue gun to fill in the cracks like a caulking gun.

For the wood letter, I let my daughter do the painting. She has a tendency to mix all colors together until they turn to brown, like all four year old kids do. 🙂

TIP: If you are having your young child help with the painting, pick out a palette of colors ahead of time and have them paint in layers so all of the colors will show through.

We started with ivory, added silver, gold and then pink. I asked her to add a little more pink but when I came back to the room it was all pink!  Luckily she was a good sport and was willing to add a few more gold and silver layers on there!

I love my glue gun, but it can dry super fast.

TIP: If I have to cover a large area with glue but still want the hot glue hold, use E6000 glue. It takes a little while longer to dry and I had more time and flexibility to place the letter.

After gluing to the foam, I used the glue gun like a caulking gun again and filled in the edges with hot glue.

Now it was time to add the flowers.  I cut all of the flowers with just a little bit of stem, enough to push into the foam.

TIP: For this type of floral arranging, start with the largest ones first and stick to the rule of three’s.  Similar to actual gardening!

After getting three different types of flowers in, I started to question my project.  Something didn’t look right and the letter looked lost in the flowers.  I ripped it all up and glued in some styrofoam to lift the letter up a bit.

TIP: Do not be afraid to start over if you are not satisfied with your project.

If you are anything like me, it would have driven me crazy to see it that way knowing that I could have made it better.

Ahhhh, much better!!! After making a complete mess, I continued adding flowers and making sure my pops of color were even spread out. It was difficult to push some of them into the foam with the letter raised higher, but some needle nose pliers helped.

We celebrated Mother’s Day a little early, so this post will not ruin the surprise!  It is sitting proudly on top of the buffet in her dining room right now! She loved it but I think it made it even more special to know that her daughter and granddaughter both put time and love into it. That is probably the most important thing to remember when looking for a gift idea for your mom!

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GUEST PEACE: DIY Nursery Letters

When I found out I was pregnant with our little girl I was so excited to create her nursery. My husband and I have been married for almost 9 years so we had waited a long time to start a family. Needless to say, my Pinterest baby board was chockablock with fun crafty ideas.

I was inspired by some decorative letters I saw on Pinterest and I decided to replicate them adding my own flare. I didn’t want to make anything that would age too quickly so I avoided child-like designs. I really love the beautiful floral clothes from Anthropologie so I thought that if I could find some paper inspired by my wardrobe I could share with Indie a little bit of myself. There was, of course, only one place to look… Paper Source!

I love contrasting different patterns and textures in my clothing and I found these papers that captured exactly that. I spent an obscene amount of money on them but it was well worth it.

I bought the wooden letters from Michael’s craft store and was able to use their online coupons to reduce the price.

I drew around all the letters and cut them out which took forever. I used a regular glue stick to attach them and the good thing was, when I didn’t get the alignment right, the paper would peel right off without ruining.

My husband nailed them to the wall in the nursery. We didn’t go all the way around the room because I wanted to leave space for the canopy that I wanted to hang over the crib.

I am really happy with how they turned out, they go beautifully with the rest of the aesthetic. It was a lot of work but I am glad I took the time to do it. Indie will be saying her ABC’s in no time!

Samantha is from England but has been in the us for 9 years. She is a new mummy to her daughter Indie who was born in December, 2016. She has been an amateur knitter most of her life after her grandmother taught her at an early age. She loves crafting but struggles to complete projects. Samantha loves making gifts for friend’s kids and any time she completes a project she is very happy. She says that the best part about crafting is the relaxation it provides so she never takes any project too seriously.

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Yarn & Gold Hoops

I am always looking for things to hang on the walls but sometimes a room already has too many frames or mirrors.  The spot I was looking for needed something more organic with texture.  When I saw the DIY Yarn Wall Art by Harlow & Thistle, I knew I had to give it a try.  You can find the full tutorial here.

You will need:

  • Metal hoops
  • Yarn (in coordinating colors and textures)
  • Butcher’s twine
  • A good pair of fabric scissors to trim the bottoms
  • THAT’S IT!

I actually found these gold hoops from the craft store first, but picking out yarn textures and colors took me forever!  There are so many shades of grey, khaki and white, finding the three that go together was challenging. The khaki and cream are pretty standard but I love love love the silvery grey bulky yarn I found.  I love the texture and that it has a slight sheen to it.

Cut the pieces of yarn in 4 foot strips, and two at a time, looped them over the ring with the knot portion facing forward.

After deciding how far you want to go along the bottom of the ring, start on the second loop with the next color. I did the same with the khaki: 4 foot strips, bunched in twos and then looped over the ring, knot facing forward.

For the smallest ring, I wanted to try macrame. I used a tutorial by Parlor. Her illustrations made the process way easier than I expected. Next time, I would like to try it with string meant for macrame as the yarn was quite stretchy and the fibers did not give the knots the definition it needed.

I used cotton butcher’s twine to wrap all of the rings together and create a hanging loop as the yarn would not hold up all of that weight. To finish, trim the ends into whatever shape you choose! I also knotted the bottoms of the grey yarn as they were starting to unravel.

I love this because it was really easy and something different to add to your wall space! Every part can be customized to fit the look and feel of your home.

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Scrabble Art

Looking for a really simple, easy but meaningful gift for the grandparents? When my husband was a kid, his family used to play Scrabble all of the time. I had seen large scrabble tiles used for wall collages saying words like “FAMILY” or “HOME”. I wanted to do a pared down version using all of the grandkids’ names.

This post contains affiliate links, which means I receive a small compensation if you make a purchase using the links below.

You will need:

  • Strong adhesive (glue gun, E6000, etc…)
  • Scrabble letters (Tally up how many of each letter you will need so you know how many sets to buy.)
  • Shadow box frame preferably with matting
  • Printed or colored paper for the background (enough sheets for a redo if needed, see below)

Lay out your “scrabble board” on your background paper with the mat board so you know where to center them. I took one of the letters I knew I probably would not use (Q) and drew a heart with a black sharpie on back.

One thing I always think about when using the grandkids or kids names is what happens when you know your family is still growing? That’s why this project is so perfect, because of how simple it is, it would be easy to pull off the letters and make a new one for additional names!

Edited:

We have a new addition to the family, my niece, Kelsie! We were able to find a spot for her without moving too many names around.

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Twin Baby Room

The twins are 8 months already (!?!) and I have been meaning to share the nursery. (Can you even call it that anymore?)

img_0673It was very hard to come up with a theme for the room.  I knew the color palette I was looking for (orange, lime green, blues, grey).  The question was how to make this room their own while still reusing a lot of my daughter’s baby things and for us, the answer was in the artwork.

Our cousin, Laura from The Corner of Knit and Tea, is a superstar knitter (you may remember her from her Guest Peace!) and crafted these adorable bunnies.  I love how they are similar but different, plus they make great companions for the boys’ monthly photos.

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This gorgeous piece is from my sister, Sara. She painted two canvases that fit together as one but also relate to the La Luna painting she made my daughter.

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Pixar’s The Good Dinosaur happens to be one of my daughter’s favs.  I love Disney fan art and seeing someone else’s interpretation of the characters. I fell in love with the colors and illustrations in these pieces by Joey Chou.

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Another dreamy rendition is this one by Hayley Brynn.  I just happened to stumble across her work on Etsy and I am so glad I did! I love the companionship of Arlo and Spot and how they are so different yet such good friends, perfect for my boys.

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This work is from a good friend, Gail from Nightengail Art (Yes! Another Guest Peacer!)  Made for my daughter before she was born almost four years ago, we couldn’t move it as it looks too perfect here.

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And the best drawing of all was made by my daughter in anticipation of her two brothers’ arrival.

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The main thing I try to keep in mind while designing the nursery is to make it a space that has room to grow and I can picture the boys in here for a very long time.

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Guest Peace: A Creative Space

scarethread Rowley familyI share my home with my awesome husband, Ben, two gorgeous children, Jenson and Johanna, and my two hairy feline friends, Fluffy and Shiny. I was born and raised in Vienna, Austria, and moved to England to go to University, where I lived for 10 happy years and met Ben. We decided to move back to Vienna 7 years ago for various reasons, and we are so happy we made that decision! We both love living in this wonderful city so much.
I work for a non-governmental organization, and spend most of my weekends with my children hanging out in a park or lake somewhere. After hours, I am usually eating great food that Ben has prepared for me (he’s amazing in the kitchen!), drinking a cheeky glass of wine and watching Netflix with some embroidery on my lap. I try to make time to sew and draw as often as is humanly possible. If I could have one wish, other than the usual (end poverty, peace on Earth, etc..) it would be to have more time in any given day, or to not have the need to sleep (hmmm…., I love sleep, so scrap that idea). So if it could be arranged that a single day could be extended to 30 hours, and then the extra 6 hours could be used exclusively for creative and leisurely pursuits, that would be wonderful.
Photo: Sarah and her family

The goal: to have a space that was exclusively mine. As a full time working mum, I really felt the need for a space where I could sit and relax and be creative once the kiddies were asleep. It had to be functional, yet Pinterest-worthy. And in this space I would be creative, I would have all the time in the world to create masterpieces, enjoy the quiet alone time I sometimes so desperately craved, all the while sipping blissfully on a glass or two of wine. Happy! scarethread_01.JPGI decided that the bedroom would be the perfect spot. We drove to IKEA and found some amazing grey geometric wallpaper, and this happy looking yellow chair, and table. It was lovely. And I enjoyed sipping my coffee in the lounge chair during the occasional quiet moment.

But it wasn’t quite the creative space I desired. So, for my birthday in April, I asked Ben for my very own desk. Off we drove to IKEA again, I love IKEA!

I decided I wanted a bamboo top rather than the standard white top. In our excitement, we bought it without measuring (helpful tip: always measure before you buy!). The bamboo top wasn’t wide enough!! But that’s okay because the bamboo looked way better than the white, so I just got Ben to “fix” it by sawing the trestle legs a bit. Photo Aug 28, 8 51 59 PM.jpg
This is the table all ready to go, I just needed to add some finishing touches (notice how we tackled this project with a glass of rosé on the go. classy! And there’s Jenson, making himself at home). While we were at IKEA we bought that plant (now called Agatha, she has since been relocated to the living room, where the cats take a nibble out of her once in a while… sad times), and we also bought that chair, but I think I would like to replace it with something else in the future. I’m not sure what I’m looking for yet but I’ll know it when I see it!

My brother recently bought a gorgeous house just outside of Vienna, and he found a bunch of old window frames in the basement that were used in the house originally. He was going to throw them out anyway, so I think I was doing him a favour taking them off his hands. Best find ever!
Photo Aug 28, 8 59 23 PM.jpgI was tempted to sand them down and paint them an awesome colour, but when I put them against the wallpaper I thought they looked awesome just as they were. They had a rustic charm to them. That decision saved me a lot of work, which meant more time for crafting and wine. Hurray! (There’s Ben again, doing all the manual labour.)

I slowly started to add more personal items to the area to make it a place that I would feel inspired and happy. There are two photos taken by Ben when we first moved to Vienna: he took the same photo over the Danube river for about a year and some of the results we just stunning; an old photo illustration that I had custom made for me back in my early twenties and a number of little cacti plants and other bits and bobs.

scarethread_08.JPGThis space continues to be a work in progress. Eventually I want to add some shelving so that I can put the cacti and other more useful items on it, which will allow the desk to be a bit more spacious. I also want to add some extra storage to house my small fabric stash that I am desperate to transform into a LARGE fabric stash.

scarethread_11I would also like to get a record player in the room somewhere. I’m in the habit of automatically turning the telly on in the evening, and then I inevitably find myself distracted by zombies or Tom Hardy, depending on what I’m watching. I think it would be lovely to listen to some records and fully immerse myself in my creative little space. I have my heart set on a Crosley X UO Sterling Vinyl Record Player in turquoise from Urban Outfitters. I think this would make the perfect Christmas present (she says with her fingers and toes crossed, hoping a certain husband will get the hint).

Thank you so much for listening! Sarah xxx

For more of Sarah’s creative adventures, make sure to follow her on Instagram! @scarethread

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