Wednesday, 21 November 2012

Medicine Bag

The Medicine Bag is traditionally used by the First Nation's people to keep their sacred medicines close to the heart. The four most common medicines are sage, sweetgrass, tobacco, and cedar.

Its nice to keep meaningful things with you where ever you go. These silver coins where given to me by my bf, one of them, he engraved for me with the Tree of Life on one side and the Orion constellation on the back. He calls it an Uli Buck, lol. Sometimes i'll flip a coin when i cant make my mind up about something and before i even look i'll know what i really wanted in the first place.

Leather - you wont need very much for this project. I recently found an XL vintage coat on Kijiji for 15 bucks that i've cut up and have been using for all my crafts. You can buy leather at Michaels but its stupid expensive and not of a very good quality. The kind that they make jackets with is the perfect thickness for this project.

Needle - There are special leather needles that have a razor tip but if you cant find one, than just struggle with a regular one.

Thread - Upholstery thread is the best, i used high end quilting thread i bought at Michael's, alternatively you can just use regular thread but double up on it.

Nailpolish - put a dab of it on all your knots to secure them (this is a good trick for all projects.)

Cord - about 100 cm to 38 inches will do, but you can adjust this for the length you want around your neck.

Nylon waxed cord - Used to sinch the bag shut (on the picture, its the string with the silver beads.) This stuff is amazing because you can melt the ends and they secure really well. Ill do a separate tutorial on how to do this kind of macrame for adjustable knots because its super handy. If you cant find it, just use whatever string you have that's thicker and tie your bag shut, you can always redo it later.

Hole puncher - the one i have is a fancy one, you can buy cheaper ones at most craft stores or you can just cut slices into the leather instead of holes. It wont look as nice but it will still work.

Instructions for the pattern - print pattern
1. Cut out two patterns by cutting along outside solid line.
2. Cut top fridge on both patterns.
3. Mark the holes with eyeliner on the good side of the fabric.
4. Sew along doted line with bag turned inside out (good sides touching)
5. Tie off stitch securely and dab with clear nailpolish on knot.
6. Turn bag outside in.
7. At the arrows, fold the sides of the bag in, and lay flat.
8. Punch holes out through 4 layers of leather on each side.
9. Pull leather neck cord through holes (all 4 layers of leather.)
10. Double back 5 cm, so that bag can open and close. (see photo)
11. Secure the end to the rest of the cord by wrapping string around it.
12. Using waxed nylon string, go through the holes again,
but this time around the middle to create a closing mechanism.
Tie the two ends using the macrame knot . (see pic)

If you don't have nylon string, use whatever you do have, and just
keep the bag closed with a knot.

♥ Ulianna


Wednesday, 14 November 2012

Tile Photos

Every time I visit my grandma, I need to prepare myself for her speech about how digital cameras these days  are useless because you can't have a physical copy of the photo... She doesn't seem to understand that you can just print off the photo at any grocery store, but I digress...
She does, however, have kind of a point. Something about putting in that minimal amount of work is so off putting. And then you need to worry about picture frames and such. Well if you suffer from the problems I just described... then here is your simple solution!
There can be used for wall decorations, or even coasters :)
They are super cheap, and take about 5 minutes each

Your Materials:
 Tiles- Most hardware stores will sell you samples of these for super cheap. I know Canadian Tire doesn't do this,  Rona does, and I got them for about 0.40$ each
 Paint brush
 Sponge- I used a makeup sponge!
 Pictures- I printed these out on plain white printer paper. I feel like this craft is more for artsy photos, more things rather then people... but I had way too many photos I wanted to display- I couldn't help it!

Cut out your photo

Coat your photo with paint. You need to make sure you coat it evenly, or else you will get weird bumps in your final product. To achieve this, avoid pressing the paint brush to hard into the photo, try to gentley stroke the photo with your brush. Also you might want to  use a bigger brush than I did

Now quickly, before your paper dries, paint your tiles with some paint and blot it with the sponge... this will make sure it is even
The reason why I didn't do this with the picture is because it doesn't let you get a very thick coat of glue

Use two fingers to gently smooth out all the bumps, air bubbles, and creases
One important thing to note at this stage is that the paper will rip very easily, and the top layer of the paper might come off, leaving just a white space :( watch out!

Generously Mod-Podge any excess paper you have hanging over the side and then smooth it down over the side of the tile

Once again, paint the photo with your mod-podge, but this time on the coloured side
I've never experienced the ink running, but it is totally possible that that could happen... however I'm sure it would add to the painting feel

This step is optional... If you can get an even enough coat of paint on the top with just your paint brush, then you can just leave it at that... but I find blotting a sponge over the picture gives it a great painting like texture :)

Now that I have figured out how to make these, I'm going to go whip up a bunch for my grandma so maybe she will forgive digital cameras and the technological revolution :)

Tips and Other Stuff
♥ Even if you think you totally screwed up, wait till the next day. Although it may appear dry, but it really takes about 12 hours for it to be completely dry
 This takes a couple of tries to get a hang of... don't get discouraged, and just try some different techniques... for example, more glue, less glue, et cetera


♥ Olivia


Tuesday, 13 November 2012

Provincial String Art

British Columbia, Canada
In my entire school career, my favorite school project was in grade 5 when our teacher (probably foolishly) gave us all plywood, nails, hammers, and some colourful yarn, and let us make our own geoboards during our geometry unit.

Vancouver Island, BC
A while ago I saw a board that someone made of their home state (Texas I think?) and it really brought me back, so I thought I would make my own Canadian version! So here it is... maybe you guys can make your own patriotic boards!

Your Materials:
 A Cork Board- I used cork because I thought it would be easier than plywood, but I still had to hammer it in, so if you have a nice piece of plywood laying around, then feel free. Especially considering how expensive cork is, and also because you will be hitting up the hardware store to pick up the nails
 Paint- You don't need to use paint if you like the colour and texture of your board. I used white because I thought it would take away from the busyness of all the colourful string
 Paint Brush- Only necessary if you are painting your board

 Embroidery floss- I'm sure you can use yarn, but I think embroidery floss looks much better
I had a whole bunch left over from some craft kit I got when I was a kid, but Michael's has a whole section where you can hand pick your colours, and its about 0.50$ per piece. You also only end up using about... maybe 1/6th of the roll anyways, depends on how much of every colour you use
 Hammer- Optional (I had to use one), you will also need tape, but I thought all of you would have some form of tape
 Nails- These nails must be very thin. If you are having trouble locating some at the hardware store, just ask for linoleum nails (nails for linoleum must be very small and thin), but just in case, here is a picture of the ones I used:
Escutcheon Pins: 3/4"x16 Ga. Onward

Lightly brush your paint over your board. I wanted mine to look more derelict, like it had been weathering  the BC rain for a few years, so I just used light strokes, but if you want a neater look, just use more paint

Print off the outline of whatever image you want. I had a fairly large board so I had to use a few pages to print my province out on. This is all stuff you can work out on the computer, just remember a regular sheet of paper is 8x11, so if you enlarge your picture to 16x22 then it should print on two pages... just make sure to consider your margins. As you can see, I ignored the margins and had to draw on my own bits of land in pink
Tape this on your board so it doesn't move around

Start pushing your nails into your board. I found this pretty challenging because my board actually had a layer of wood on the bottom, so I just used a hammer, but otherwise this should prove to be pretty easy
Another technique I used was I put a thimble on my thumb and used that to push them in, because it hurt too much to just use my thumb

Once you are done that, it gets to the complicated stuff.
Math has never been my strong suit (right brain thinker), but unfortunately you are going to have to use it for this little project... luckily it's simple counting and dividing

Count the number of pins/nails you have, then count the different colours of string you have. Divide these numbers... for example, I had 205 pins, and I had 21 colours, so I divided them and got 9.8. This means I can use each colour on 9-10 of the outer pins.

Not so hard right?

Now, the next step

Count how many pins you have in your heart (or whatever you put in the middle), then divide that by how many colours you have. This is now many colours you use per pin, for the pins in the middle.
For example.... I had 32 pins in the middle, and 21 colours, so that means I wrap each colour around the middle pin 1.5 times. So that means, for every 3 pins in the heart, I use 2 colours.

If this still isn't making any sense to you, then it will probably become clearer once we start
Also feel free to leave questions in the comment box if you need additional help!

OKAY! Now we can get started!
Gently rip off the paper

Make your first loop from one of the pins in the outline of your province to one of the pins in your heart, and tie a knot tightly in your string.

Cut the string (closer to the knot then in the picture)
Also, try to push the knot to the side, so it is partially concealed

Wrap the string around the outer pins

Then wrap the string around the middle pin

Once you are done with your colour (remember, I used each of my colours for 9-10 of my outer pins), tie another knot on the inner pin you were using
I like to take the string (as shown in the picture above), and put it under the string, so the knot is on the bottom, and harder to see

Tie your string in a knot!
Make sure your string is still tight once you tie the knot...

Once again, cut the string (but, again, closer to the knot then in the picture)
Do this till every pin has some string

This is my cat, she has great taste in art

And there you go! Here is my tribute to my west coast province!

Tips and Other Stuff:
 Since the left side of my province has a lot of bumps and ridges, some parts of the stringing got tricky
If you look at the green part of the board, some parts of the string overlap, but you honestly can't tell... I bet you didn't even notice till now!
♥ Make sure you get those nails/pins in the board pretty deep. I wound my string pretty tight, so it was really important the nails were firmly in place

Have an awesome week! More crafts to come very soon... I had a super productive weekend haha

♥ Olivia


Pretty Fabric Mason Jar Votives

You guys may have seen my floral material lined Mason Jars back in my tutorial about the 3D Hand Print. Here is the link in case you missed it :)
So I just thought that I would show you guys a tutorial of how I did them!
They are super useful for storage or even just as lovely lanterns (who doesn't love lanterns?)

Your Materials:
♥ Mason Jars- I got these from my grandma... but I have seen big boxes of these in Save on Foods and other grocery stores :) I seriously recommend you invest in these. They are a crafting necessity!
♥ Mod-Podge
♥ Cloth Material- It's usually pretty easy to find sales on material. I got mine from Fanny's Fabric. There was a 50% off sale for a meter of material... I got 3/4th's of a meter of the pink, and 1/4th's of a meter of the blue, which cost me about 6$, and that has lasted me a number of crafts! You can also just cut up some old clothes or a table cloth... anything you want!
♥ Ruler- Measuring tape would be best, but a normal ruler will work too!
♥ Paint Brush- optional... you will also want a cup that you can get gluey, and some water, but I was sure most of you would have cups and water

Measure the circumference of your jar
I couldn't find my measuring tape, so I just used a piece of string that I then measured on my ruler

Measure the height of your jar
Measure it to the top of the jar... for example, I used 11cm for my number
I do this so I can avoid it being too short. You can always cut it down later, and I usually keep the lids on, so it doesn't make a difference aesthetically

Use these measurements, and mark them down on your material
Make it a little longer than you think you should, only by a few mm

Cut the material into inch wide strips

Mix your glue solution in your cup
Mix roughly half water half glue- it doesn't really matter

Dip one material strip in your glue mixture
Completely saturate your entire strip... your fingers will get gluey!

Stick your material strip to the inside of the jar

You can use your paint brush to squeeze out any air bubbles. This is sometimes a bit of a hopeless battle, especially if you have a square jar, but in the end, it doesn't look very much worse when it's dry
Continue sticking the strips all around the inside the jar and pushing out the air bubbles.
It's okay if the material overlaps a bit if you need it to. If you look at mine, I do a whole lot of that

And there you have it!
Your own floral mason jars :)

Make sure you hold onto the material, because I will be showing you guys more crafts that will require material!

If you liked this craft... you might also like...
Take the same mason jar you used, and a piece of material from the last project, and take the lid off the jar. Place the piece of cloth over the jar, and then screw the lid back on- getting rid of the circle part of the lid. Then cut the material around the lid... and there you go

Well it was fun procrastinating here with you guys, but I've got a history essay due tomorrow that I haven't started.... so till the next time!

♥ Olivia


Monday, 12 November 2012

Tin Can Lanterns

So I saw a picture of something like this on the internet a while ago, but I could never find a tutorial for it, so I thought I would make one myself!

Your Materials:
♥ Sharpie
♥ A press drill- you can use a hand drill if you are desperate; however, that might be a bit of a challenge to hold! I got my dad to help me, but if you don't have someone as tool savvy in your life, then here is a link to a video to teach you how to use one :)
♥ And a tin can- Any tin can will do... this is just a can I got from some pumpkin I used for my scones...

Here are the scones!

First: Draw a guide for where you want to drill your holes. I like hearts but you could really do anything

Next: Pick your drill bit. I used a 1/8 bit, but I'm sure anything will do. You don't want it too small, or else you won't be able to see the light poking through... but you also don't want it too large or else it will just look strange.
When you lower the drill onto the can, make sure to go slow. The can has a tendency to jump away from the  drill, so if you let the drill lightly graze the can at first, then you can make an indent that will keep the drill in place.

Watch out! The holes will be sharp! I learned this the hard way :(
You can try to sand it down, but I think it's just easier to just slap a "caution" sign on it and let it be

Lastly: You can wash off any remaining sharpie using nail polish remover and a cotton swab.... Also, your can will probably have some glue residue left over from the label. For that, I found this stuff called "Goof Off" at Canadian Tire. It is AWESOME. It completely takes off that nasty left over glue off anything. I recommend you invest in this stuff... but I also recommend you only use this outdoors- the smell is very strong!

And there you have it!
Your own tin can lantern!
I can just imagine a bunch of these strung up in a tree or something... beautiful!
(fyi, I had to brave the rain and Canadian Cold to take that photo! What I do for my crafts ;)

I have heard of people filling the can with water, freezing it, and then using a hammer and nail to punch out the design, which seems like a good option for those who don't have a press drill

More crafts to come soon!
Write any questions you have in the comment section...
Hope you all have a great week

♥ Olivia