Friday, June 27, 2014

Sparkl(er)ing Decorations

As the 4th is almost upon us, my RSS feed and Pinterest are filling up with red, white, and blue everything. I don't really like it. I'm just not into it. What I love about the Fourth of July is sitting on a blanket with my family and watching the fireworks explode in the sky. I wasn't introduced to sparklers until I was a teenager, but they're pretty awesome too. (I was deprived and also deeply afraid of fire as child. I'm a little better now, on both accounts.)

So I pulled together some sparkler and fireworks related crafts that don't scream FOURTH OF JULY too badly. Besides you could easily change the color scheme a bit and enjoy them anytime of year.

Straw Sparklers from HazelflyThese straw sparklers from Hazelfly are pretty adorable and I probably want to make them for my next birthday party.

 

Sparkler Cupcake from Bayside BrideThis photo is from a wedding blog called Bayside Bride. Sometimes wedding blogs have the best party-related DIYs. I love the idea of sticking a sparkler in a cupcake.

 

DIY 4th of July Matchbox Printable from Almost Makes PerfectAnd for lighting all of your sparklers and fireworks (are they legal in Portland?) Almost Makes Perfect has a wonderful DIY and printable.

All photos in this post belong to their respective and linked sites.

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Hanging Kitty Planter

Before I start gushing over this planter. I want to remember to remind everyone that I'm hosting a craft night tonight in downtown Portland. I'd love to see you there!

Kitty Planter | Red Circle Crafts

This is my favorite thing right now. Ages ago, I pinned this adorable tutorial from BruDiy to make these kitty planters. The tutorial is in Spanish, but has really cute info-graphics.

What you can't see in my photos is that this is actually a mutant cat. My 2-liter bottle is from seltzer water and has five bumps on the bottom so it ends up looking like my kitty has five legs instead of four. I think most soda bottles just have four.

Kitty Planter | Red Circle Crafts

I literally spent all day waiting for paint to dry while making this. I attempted the face 4 times. The fourth time was deemed good enough. Although I can't help thinking I could still do better if I had another go at it. The wonderful thing is that, if I didn't like the face I'd just made, I could just take it back outside and spray paint over it again. So super easy.

Kitty Planter | Red Circle Crafts

What ended up working for me was making two stencils, one for each color I wanted to use, gold and black. Spray painting the gold nose and ears was kind of a disaster, but a little white acrylic paint touched it up fine. If I'd been smart, I would have used fat sharpies for both colors, instead of just black. I love the look of the sharpie stenciled on. I couldn't get it to look so clean and precise free-handing it, even drawing in pencil first wasn't enough.

I put three holes evenly spaced so I could hang it. Using some simple knots, attached it to a small key chain and hung it up from a hook screwed into the wall. I posted a photo last night on instagram of it hanging by my windows.

Kitty Planter | Red Circle Crafts

 

Friday, June 20, 2014

Happy Summer Solstice!

Ducks at Tanner Springs ParkPhoto taken at Tanner Springs Park.


Summer is probably my favorite time of year, hands down. It always has been. Of course what kid can resist the joys of summer vacation and their birthday in one season.

Portland absolutely comes alive in the summer. There's some sort of happening everywhere you look and so many excuses to get outside.

Some of my favorite summer haunts:
The Willamette Greenway Trail between the Steel Bridge and NW 9th Ave.
Sauvie Island Farms where we U-Pick.
The Portland Flea
12th and Hawthorne Food Cart Pod, especially Potato Champion.
Wednesday Farmer's Market

Hope you enjoy the sunshine on the longest day of the year tomorrow.

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Toy Boat DIYs

I have this image in my head of little children chasing after small rafts of twigs and leaves hastily made and then raced (I use this term loosely) down a creek. It seems to embody summer for me in a lot ways, except for the fact that I never did that. But I still manage a wave of nostalgia for all the sweet little paper and driftwood boats I've been seeing in handmade stores and on pinterest. I think I may need to make some newspaper boats and float them in the Willamette. Would that be littering?

Or maybe I'll make something more like these and hold onto them because they're too cute to let float away downstream. (Also would they actually float?)

Newspaper Boats from Diaper Style Memoirs

I love these newspaper boats from Diaper Style Memoirs. The rest of the photos of the nautical-handmade-party-just-because are super cute.

 

Driftwood Sail Boat from Blackbirds & Bumblebees

This more traditional driftwood boat from Blackbirds & Bumblebees gets points for style.

 

Twig Boat DIY on Delia Creates

I love the look of this twiggy raft. Link includes a tutorial on how she made it. Though I think half the fun of these projects are the jury-rigging unusually shaped materials.

 

DIY Cork Sailboats In A Jar

Handmade Charlotte has a great tutorial for making itty bitty sail boats out of wine corks.

 

All photos in this post belong to their respective and linked sites.

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Dragon Finger Puppet Tutorial

Dragon Finger Puppet Tutorial | Red Circle Crafts

Do you remember the finger puppets I made for my niece in March? Well I finally put together a tutorial so you can make your own dragon!

Dragon Finger Puppet Tutorial | Red Circle Crafts

Materials:

Felt (Whatever combination you'd like. I used Brown = horns, purple = belly & wings, and yellow = everything else.)
Felt tip pen (The Frixion* erases with heat -- hello, hair dryer!)
Embroidery thread in contrasting colors
All-purpose thread in matching colors
Scissors
Needle
Pins
THE PATTERN

*This is an affiliate link. I make a few pennies if you choose to purchase through this link.

 

Step One

Print the pattern and cut out the pieces.

Dragon Finger Puppet Tutorial | Red Circle Crafts

You'll need two each of ears and horns and one of every other piece.

Cut along the outlines of the pattern and use the inner lines as guidelines for the embroidery.

 

Step Two

Embroidering time!

Dragon Finger Puppet Tutorial | Red Circle Crafts

I drew on the pieces with my pen because I knew it would come off. Although it didn't show up well enough on the purple. So I took a black felt tip pen and drew the lines on the back to follow.

Try your own face if you'd prefer. Less is more on this tiny little head.

On the belly I used a back stitch in pink embroidery thread. And on the head, I used french knots for the eyes and back stitch for the nose and mouth, all in teal. The teeth, in white, might have been satin stitch if it was large enough to see what I was doing.

 

Step Three

Dragon Finger Puppet Tutorial | Red Circle Crafts

Attach the belly to the front body piece, use a color matching the belly felt and a whip stitch with small top stitches.

 

Step Four

Dragon Finger Puppet Tutorial | Red Circle Crafts

Attach the head to the front body as well. I laid the front body on the back body and lined up where the head should sit so that it would match the back piece when sewed on.

Use a matching thread color to the head/body and attach again with a whip stitch.

 

Step Five

Dragon Finger Puppet Tutorial | Red Circle Crafts

Attach the wings to the back body (be sure you attach to the correct side!) with a back stitch. I went over it a few times to make sure it was there securely, using a thread color that matches the wings.

 

Step Six

Dragon Finger Puppet Tutorial | Red Circle Crafts

Lay down the back piece with the front piece lined up on top of it and then insert the ears and horns. A dab of glue helps to keep it all in place while you're sewing. A pin through the head holds the front and back pieces together.

 

Step Seven

Dragon Finger Puppet Tutorial | Red Circle Crafts

Sew the back and front together! Use a blanket stitch in the thread color that matches the head/body. Make sure you leave a hole for your finger. I sewed from one edge of the tail around to the other leaving the part where the tail is open. Pull the wings back as you're sewing so you don't accidentally sew them down.

When you're sewing the head together, go carefully over the ears and horns, be sure that you sew them in securely. I did a few stitches over them each. The blanket stitch can get a bit messed up there. I found myself making it up as I went along, with a few whip stitches thrown in just because.

 

Step Eight

Play Time!

Dragon Finger Puppet Tutorial | Red Circle Crafts Dragon Finger Puppet Tutorial | Red Circle CraftsDragon Finger Puppet Tutorial | Red Circle Crafts

Monday, June 16, 2014

June Craft Night

June 24th Free Craft Night | Red Circle Crafts

I'm getting back to doing monthly craft nights again. So excited! Behind the Museum Cafe (which happens to be one of my favorite places downtown) is graciously allowing us to use their big table by the front windows.

Date: Tuesday, June 24th
Time: 6 - 8 pm
Place: 1229 SW 10th Ave. Portland, OR 97205
Please RSVP

I'm bringing some supplies to make upcycled envelopes. You are welcome to use my templates and make some with me or bring your own project to work on!

Please do RSVP so that I can get an idea of how many people are coming.

June 24th Free Craft Night | Red Circle Crafts

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Father's Day Cards

Father's Day, not being too long after Mother's Day, always requires a bit of thinking on my part. I usually go all out for Mother's Day cards because I know my mom and my mother-in-law both really appreciate the things I make for them. The two dads in my life are appreciative because it's from me, but not so much on the actual craftiness. But if I'm making something for Mother's Day, I think the dads would feel slighted to get anything less. And, I have to admit, the challenge is fun too.

I'm pretty happy with what came out this year.

For my dad:

Handmade Father's Day Cards | Red Circle Crafts

Hand-lettering is something I'd really like to get better at. It's so beautiful, and so hard. It's hard enough to figure out which fonts to use when I'm working on a computer and can switch them around, re-size, and rearrange at will. But once I commit to paper there's only so much rearranging I want to do without completely starting over.

 

For my father-in-law:

Handmade Father's Day Cards | Red Circle CraftsInside: ... Awesome

I followed this video to make the adorable, origami dinosaur. And I got the idea for the card from here.

Monday, June 9, 2014

Screen Printing With Stencils Class July 12th

Screen Printed Notebook Class | Red Circle Crafts

I'm excited to say that I'm teaching a class through PDX Skillshare on July 12th in N. Portland. It's a day of free classes taught by Portlanders.

My class will be a hands-on experience in which students will be cutting their own stencils and screen printing on provided notebooks. It's a chance to get your feet wet in screen printing without purchasing your own equipment. This method is also a great way to screen print at home without spending big bucks on a dedicated screen printing set up.

Screen Printed Notebook Class | Red Circle Crafts

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Celebrate Pride Month With Rainbows

I'm happy to say that June is officially Pride Month, although people have been celebrating as such for much longer than it's been officially recognized by the white house. I'm hoping that we can see Same Sex Marriage recognized in Oregon this year, after the Supreme Court "refused to block gay marriages in Oregon." The legalese of that statement is ridiculous.

So it's time to pull out the rainbows and get crafty. Make yourself something to celebrate.

Rainbow Cake from Whisk KidThis cake would make me so happy. I wonder if I could convince J to make it for me. (He's a fantastic baker and went to school for it. My baking attempts often require his coaching.)

 

Rainbow Stache Bag Tutorial from Sew Can DoSew Can Do has an excellent tutorial that will walk you through the finer points of applique, in case you're relatively new to sewing. This is a pretty easy project with an awesome final product. Portland is all about the 'staches.

 

Rainbow Lace Tank from P.S. I Made ThisI had completely forgotten that spray fabric paint exists. But this is whole tutorial is just brilliant. I can imagine that once I started, I wouldn't stop. Nothing white would be safe.

 

DIY Rainbow Fascinator from Studio DIYStudio DIY has SO many rainbow crafty ideas that it was hard to pick just one. I think this would make an excellent headband to wear to the parade.

 

Rainbow Tie Dye Socks from I Love To CreateI am not the hugest fan of tie dye. It reminds me too much of summer camp and elementary school birthday parties. I am a big fan of tall socks and these are done so so well that I can't help but be in love with them.

All of the photos in this post belong to their respective, linked sites.

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Screen Printing Adventures

Owl Screen Printed Baby Tee

I have been screen printing a lot lately. In what feels like my previous life, I screen printed only in large batches of the same designs over and over. Making a new design was exciting and I had to be really sure of it before I committed to burning a new screen with it. Now, I make a stencil and print only a few copies of whatever I make before throwing away the stencil. If I want to make it again, I have to go back to my original drawings and recreate the stencil. And I really only did that the one time.

It's completely liberating to try out different ideas and just see what will work without worrying about any kind of permanence. I can make a design that I really only intend for one purpose and not worry about spending money on burning a new screen.

This adorable little t-shirt was sewn from this free pattern out of some scraps of fabric I had lying around for the purpose having a few more items to screen print on when I had the idea for this adorable owl. If I'm only using a stencil once, I like to get as much out of it as possible so I tend to screen print any blank item I have handy.

Also, I'm going to be teaching a free class through PDX Skill Share next month about screen printing with stencils. More info soon about it!