Wednesday, 27 July 2011

Metal Tassels and a Book Embellishment/bookmark

The one in the middle is the Travel Journal Bookmark The two either side are
my first attempts at metal tassel making
Im in the process of making another journal and the theme for it is a travel journal but vintage and girlie too.  I wanted to make a nice bookmark for it, but instead of adding the normal ribbon bookmark, I wanted something different.  Something that could be used as a page marker, a book embellishment or tassel but also something that could be removed and hooked onto a luggage bag or suitcase as an extra identity tag for your travel bag or hook it onto a room key or safety deposit box as a keyring, or hook it onto a belt, mobile phone, necklace or handbag just as a pretty little bit of blingy embellishment to add to your every day items.  I didnt want it to be just a bookmark alone, I wanted it to be a multi-tasking bit of jingle jangly loveliness!!

So as you can see from the photos I have tried to put as many travel/holiday related charms as possible onto it.  Theres a pair of sunglasses, a wee sun, starfish, Eiffel Tower, currency, bicycle a boat and loads of other little jingly jangle bits.

So once I had made that, there was no stopping me.  So I decided to make a couple of less jingly jangly tassels which you'll see below.

I just dismantled chain that I had, made them all around 7cm long.  Took a piece of 28 gauge wire and threaded one end of all the cut chains and twisted it at the top to secure.  I then threaded the wire through a bead cap and made an eye/loop with the wire at the top of the bead cap and cut off the excess wire.  Took a thicker piece of wire which happened to be a head pin (thats all I had) and making another loop/eye, I attached the bead cap to it.  I them just threaded on whatever beads and spacers I wanted, formed a loop/eye at the top again and added another length of chain and a lobster claw clasp.

If you would like a tutorial on how to make the tassels, please leave a comment and let me know and I will certainly do one for you.

I tried to use as many travel/holiday related charms as possible along with bling

Sunglasses, boat, starfish, Eiffel Tower, bicycle, currency charms

The charm can be removed by the clasp which will simply
hook back onto the spine which will have a hole and an eyelet inserted
near the top of the spine of the journal

Full length of the charm

The charms as they hang

This tassel was made with a pink heart bead and a pink pearl

I added little metal spacers and metal wings

This was made using an acrylic clear bead and cream pearl

I also added metal spacers and wings

This tassel can also be attached to things

This tassel also has a claw to attach to items
Both completed tassels

My thoughts on what I made and other things I like to make

I have had so much fun making these and they took no time at all to make.  They are by no means flawless pieces, but to me, that's the point of hand-crafted items.  They were never intended to be in pristine store bought condition.  And I will never set out to achieve store bought perfection with anything I make because I feel that that is setting myself an unachievable goal.  Im not a machine in a factory churning out item after perfect item.  All my creations will be hand-crafted with all the love, care and attention I can afford the project but that means it also gets all my quirks, mishaps and imperfections and as far as Im concerned....theres nothing wrong with that!!  My way of doing things means I don't stress out if something goes wrong.  If it goes right, well and good....its a hand crafted masterpiece!!  If not, well we'll just put it down to being another Lee-ism.  Ahhhhh, the joys of crafting!!

Thanks for having a wee look and any comments are always welcomed and appreciated.  Again if you would like a tutorial on how to make the tassels please comment below.  Thank you and bye for now.  

Toodles Noodles.....Loops xx

If you want, you can buy me a coffee which helps me maintain this blog so I can make bigger and better content, simply click on the image or copy the link below.  No pressure at all, its just if you want to.  Cheers big ears!

Sunday, 24 July 2011

Flower Tutorial - Lace flowers

Pretty Lace Flowers
Yes, I know!!  ANOTHER FLOWER TUTORIAL!!  BUT, if people want to see how they are made, they ask.  And if they ask, I make the tutorial.  And lets face it, you can never have enough beautiful flowers!!  Ive been asked to do a tutorial on the lace flowers I showed in a previous post.  These are very quick and easy and they can look however you want.  I was taught to make a lot of flowers when I was in Primary 4, from my lovely Primary School Teacher and this running stitch flower is just one of the things she taught us.  Big, small, single layered, double layered, pink, blue, green, frilly, flat, gathered......whatever you want, you can have with these flowers. They are so pretty with different layers and make any project look amazing.  Flowers are becoming very big again, especially in Fashion and I'm seeing them back on headbands, dresses, tops, name are back in. All you need is a needle and thread, some lace and whatever embellishments if you want them, for example buttons for the flower centres.

Please also excuse my mucky, inked and glued hands in the photos!!  Its the risk we take to make pretty things!!


Needle and thread and lace of your choice

You dont need much for this tutorial.  Pick whichever lace you want to work with.  Obviously the thicker the lace, the bigger the flower.  Im using a pretty narrow lace so this will make wee flowers, perfect for cards.
Needle and thread - double your thread and knot at that end
Whatever embellishments you would like......button in the centre, pearls or bling....or just plain and simple.


Start your stitch as close to the as possible

2.  Do a simple in and out running stitch

I havent told you a length of lace and there is a very good reason for this.  And its simply.....I dont know how much I need until I start stitching!!  So dont cut your lace, just start at the end and place your needle as close to the edge as possible.  The reason for this is because this edge will be your centre.  And if you start to sew in from the edge, the centre of your flower will have a lot of extra material in the middle that is wasted when it could have been forming your flower.

Do a simple running stitch along the edge of the lace.  See photos 1 and 2.


3.  Your flower starts to take shape

4.  Your flower shape complete
As you are sewing your running stitch you will start to see your flower forming, see photo 3.  However if you look at photo 3 you will see the flower still doesnt have much body or ruffles and is still quite flat.  This is how you know to sew on a bit more.......but not too much as you are almost there.  You will know if you've done too many stitches as the flower will start to almost overlap on itself.

When you have done enough stitches and you are happy with how it looks you need to cut you lace.  MAKE SURE you cut the lace just a wee smidgen after the last stitch as you want your needle and thread still attached to your flower.  See photo 4.


5. Sew a stitch through both raw ends through the middle

6.  Put a small stitch in the flower edge if you want

7.  Small stitch at the flowers edge

Finished flower without embellishment
Now what you need to do is gather the lace together on the thread to ruffle it.  Bring the two raw edges together and slightly overlap.  At the centre of the flower put a few closely stitches stitches through both overlapped pieces and secure a knot. See photo 5.  Cut the thread free as close to the centre knot as possible.  

Now at this stage you may leave the flower like this.  However as you can see from photo 6 above, there is a raw edge on the outside of the flower.  Now the material has been overlapped slightly so you may never notice this raw edge, but I personally dont like to leave it like this.  I use my needle and thread and just put a tiny securing stitch near the edge to secure both sides.  You wont see the stitch its that small.  See photo 7.

And that is it as far as the basic flower is concerned.  See photo 8.

Now the fun begins and you can add whatever you want to your flower.  As you can see from the photos below I have used buttons which I glued on with my hot glue gun.  Some have wee sparkly bling gems.  Its up to you.

You can then think about different colours and layers.  To do multiple layered flowers like those in the photos below, simply add another contrasting coloured ribbon and sew these together, one on top of the other with your running stitch.  Its a nice touch if one is wider than the other.

These also look amazing with feathers behind them with some stringed pearls and stick pins, they look beautiful on cards or tags.  

Just have fun, experiment and see what you come up with.  Next stop....fabric flowers!!

Thank you for visiting my blog and for leaving comments too, they are all very much appreciated.  If you have any questions, please ask all you want.  Loops xx

A SMALL NOTE:  I had a few questions asked by Kathleen about affixing the buttons and using crochet lace.  Yes, I have used crochet lace to make these flowers before and they turn out lovely.  As regards to placing the button, you can sew it but for a more secure fix I prefer to set it with my hot glue gun.  Loops xx

If you want, you can buy me a coffee which helps me maintain this blog so I can make bigger and better content, simply click on the image or copy the link below.  No pressure at all, its just if you want to.  Cheers big ears!

Flower Tutorial - Cabbage Roses

Cabbage Rose Tutorial

Hi everyone.  In my last post I showed some more flowers I was having a wee play with and I offered to make a tutorial on the cabbage rose if anyone wanted it.  Well, you ask and so you shall receive.

Just a wee note on the open roses from my last post too.   If you look at my tutorial for the Prima like roses these are the instructions you need to make the open roses....HOWEVER, there are a few wee differences to tell you about.

The open roses were made using a 5 petal tonic punch and not the Tim Holtz tattered florals die as in the tutorial.  I used 5 layers and 1 leaf layer rather than the number stated in the tutorial and finally the open roses petals werent curled back as such.  They were just left to do their thing!!

NOW...for the cabbage rose tutorial.  These are so simple to make you could do them in your sleep.  Heres what you are going to need and do......


Now as far as Im concerned there are 2 ways to make these flowers and thats with using a hot glue gun OR a wet glue like PVA or Anita's tacky glue for example.  For the purposes of this tutorial and in an attempt to save my fingers from scalding whilst trying to take a photo, I have used the tacky glue.  However, I personally prefer to use a glue gun and I will show examples of why.

In the photo above you will notice that the cabbage rose's centre is more closed and uniform.  This is because when using the hot glue gun, the petals go into the shape you want them and then the hot glue cools much quicker moulding the petals into place.

You will then notice how the centres in the above photo are open more and not quite as neat.  This is still fine and its completely up to you which you prefer.  But the reason these roses are more open is because I used a wet glue.  Now because the wet glue takes a bit longer to dry, the petals are able to settle and therefore pull back from the centre.

Which glue you prefer is entirely up to you.  As I said, I prefer the hot glue gun but for this tutorial I have used the wet glue.


What you will need

A 5 petal punch or die, whatever you have will be fine.  Tim Holtz tattered florals die can be used too.  Punch out at least 6 flowers for the rose and 1 green flower for the leaves.  Again...the amount of flowers you cut is up to you, as the more you use the bigger the rose.  The less you use, the smaller the rose.  Ive used 6 and 1 leaf which I find a perfect size.
Adhesive *See note on adhesive above
Embossing stylus or the rounded end of a pen,
foam or the underside of a mouse mat,
Paper, cardstock, patterned paper, vellum......whatever you want to use.  Ive actually made these ones with the cheapest of the cheap £1 shop kids paper pad!!  The paper is that recycled cheap stuff we used to draw on in primary school.  The paper may be cheap....but the flowers are still beautiful.


1.  Emboss each petal in a circular motion

2.  All flower petals embossed including leaves

You need to emboss all the flower petals.  A little tip to help shape the flower is when you are embossing....DO NOT hold the flower in place.  Let it move around the foam as you emboss in a circular motion.  The movement helps shape and pull in the petals.  Make sure you emboss down to the bottom of each petal BUT DO NOT emboss the centre.  This needs to stay flat.  See photos 1 and 2.


3.  manipulate the first flower to make the bud, keep underside flat

4.  Centre bud, flat underside
Take one of the flowers, and this flower will be the centre bud.  You need to mould this flower into a tighter bud shape but ensure the underside is flat so it can sit on your card etc., properly.  See photo 3 and 4.


5.  Add big blob of glue to the bud underside

6.  Place the bud into the centre of the next flower

Place a big blob of glue to the underside of the bud and place it inside one of the other embossed flowers.  There needs to be enough glue because as you glue it into the next flower, the glue sort of travels up the sides a bit, helping to mould the flower into its shape.  Mould the new flower around the bud.  See photos 5 and 6.  

Then add glue to this underside and place into your next embossed flower and mould the flower around it again.  Do this with all the rest of your flowers until all 6 layers make the rose. You may find you need to press lightly on the top of the flower just to make sure it is in its chubby little bulbous shape. See photo 7.

7.  All 6 layers making the cabbage rose

Now place one last blob of glue to the underside of your flower and place it into the centre of your green flower which forms the leaves.  Remember to mould the leaves up around the body of the flower which helps the glue travel up the sides which glues the leaves to the side of the flower.

And that is it.  Such an easy peasy flower to make.  Just as long as you remember to mould each layer around the other you should be fine and dandy.  This gives it the bulbous shape.

Please excuse the glue glob, I meant to pull it off!!

And again...ignore the glue strand!!

I hope you enjoyed this tutorial.  And as usual if you have any questions or queries, please do ask me.  I'd rather you ask than be wondering what I was on about!!  Thank you for any comments in advance. 

Toodles Noodles......Loops xx

If you want, you can buy me a coffee which helps me maintain this blog so I can make bigger and better content, simply click on the image or copy the link below.  No pressure at all, its just if you want to.  Cheers big ears!

Friday, 22 July 2011

More Flowers....this time paper ones

Here are a few other wee flowers Ive made just using a 5 petal flower punch.  The roses have 5 layers and I used the same technique to make these flowers as I did in my Prima like roses tutorial.

The other little flower has a few more layers using the same punch and a smaller punch again for the smallest cabbage rose.

If you would like a tutorial on the cabbage rose please leave a comment and let me know you want a tutorial.  For the rose flower, please see my Prima like tutorial but use 5 layers,  That tutorial was done using the Tim Holtz tattered florals die whereas these flowers used a punch but the technique in that tutorial still applies for these roses.

Thank you for visiting my blog and thank you in advance for any comment.  Don't forget to tell my if you want a tutorial on the cabbage rose, its very simple to make.  Loops xx