Mitten and Stocking Ornaments (Blog Cross-over)

IMG_8368One of the thing I love about the techniques I shared in Fanciful Utility is that they can be used for so many projects. This time of year, FanU is great for fun, festive projects. For the next few weeks, I am going to share some of the ways FanU gets Festive.

This pair of mitten and stocking ornaments can easily be made using the Fanciful Utility techniques for making needle-books, just in a single layer. Each one holds its own possibilities.

IMG_8372The mitten and stocking could be made in pairs with wool or even cuts of a sweater. Soft country flannels in small plaids or holiday prints would give a cozy look.

IMG_8373Leave them plain or trim them with a little embroidery or fuzzy wrists or cuffs.

The stocking could look oh-so cute with a couple patches.

Hmm… What a fun matching game these could make if done up in pairs of colorful patterned fabrics on one side.

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Need a copy of Fanciful Utility ? for yourself or to give as a gift? Visit www.thesewingacademy.com to order today.

A Pyramid Box (Blog Cross-over)

wpid-2015-11-05-20.35.40-1.jpg.jpegOne of the things I love about the techniques I shared in Fanciful Utility is that they can be used for so many projects. This time of year, FanU is great for fun, festive projects. For the next few weeks, I am going to share some of the ways FanU gets Festive.

wpid-2015-11-05-20.35.01-1.jpg.jpegThis Pyramid Box is an extra special kind of box. It can be made to open on one side. Or, it can be made to fully open to lay flat revealing the gift inside.  I envision this box holding a single small, special item such as an ornament, a figurine, or an extra special piece of jewelry. This box could also be made to hang from the tree.

wpid-2015-11-05-20.35.14-1.jpg.jpegMy examples are made from a single, festive cotton fabric. You could make yours from one fabric, alternating fabrics, or with a different fabric on each side.

Make your box, or boxes, up using one fabric, alternating fabrics or a patchwork of fabrics. You can use Christmas fabrics for a festive holiday look, favorite prints to personalize the box, homespuns for a folk look, modern batikis for a flurry of color…. there are so many options.

Pyramid Box Template

Need a copy of Fanciful Utility ? for yourself or to give as a gift? Visit www.thesewingacademy.com to order today.

Hanging Rope Shelves

This is my second set of shelves this fall. I probably scrolled by the photo of the white shelf hanging by rope a dozen times on Pinterest in the past. While cute & rustic, it hadn’t caught my attention before. Well, that was until a couple weeks ago. I finished my livingroom shelf and my mind was storming with “make something to….”
Throw in this problem area in the kitchen. This is actually one of several. How is it possible to have a kitchen 4 to 6 times larger than my previous kitchen but have a fraction of the space?!? One word = pantry. Hopefully, I’ll get to that. Back to the space. This space:

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This is the sort side of our kitchen with this little cut-in housing pipes. Well, I assume that is what is in there. Just to the right is a window; further is the sink. When hubby got his “soda stream” this became the designated spot. With the actual machine come bottles, lots of bottles. Bottles with mix. Bottles for the drinks. Well, bottles become clutter. We attempted to use one of those shower organizers to store the bottles. It would have been a good idea, but…. the ‘shelves’ curve in just enough to make only one flavor bottle fit. Not ideal.
Thus, the need for a better organizer, up off the counter with making minimal wall holes.
Hubby brought home some scraps of wood. (You’ll find that I love making things from scraps.) I picked two that were 18″ long. (Pre-cut is a current must as all I have is a small craft hand saw.)

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They needed to be sanded. Really, really sanded. Being a soft pine, they sanded up quickly. I managed to conceal the two holes fairly well.
After sanding, they each got 4 quarter inch holes. These were 2″ from the end and 3/4″ from the sides.
Then came staining. (Thought I took a photo, but guess I didn’t.) I had a dark walnut on hand from my previous projects. (This walnut will be used a lot.)
The 12′ of rope was cut into 2 pieces. I wrapped the ends and cut spot with tape before cutting. This helped with the fraying and acted like the ends of shoe laces Each was folded in half and marked 18″ from the fold. I threaded the rope through the top shelf and made the knots at the marks. I then marked 10″ below the knots. Threaded the next shelf and made the second set of knots.
To keep the rope below the knots from fraying, I melted about an inch of rope below the knot with the grill torch. Then cut the rope to length.
I hung the rope on a pair of 25 pound hooks.
Here is the results:

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(I’ll be better about taking step by step photos as we go.)