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Thursday, March 29, 2012

To Etsy or Not...that is the question?

I've been thinking about trying out a little etsy shop.... but what to make?  I've decided if I go there, it will be with some beading.  Love, love, love beading!  And it's very in right now.  So I tested out a couple of ideas, including the bracelet below, using fabrics, leather, beads, semi-precious stones and other bits and pieces.  I actually gave this bracelet as a gift to a good friend.  What do you think?  Comments anyone?





Saturday, March 17, 2012

Bring Back Creativity.

What has happened to us?? Birthday presents have turned into vouchers, money inside cards, and electronic gadgetry! I vote to turn the tide and go back to the good old days of presents with a bit of heart!
My niece turned 13 recently and although I know she would have been thrilled to get a voucher to use at the shopping center, I decided I would give her a different voucher... A "learn to crochet with Aunty Debbi" voucher. This idea quickly became a bit more than just the printing up of a voucher to pop inside the card.
I crocheted a granny square, sewed it onto some nice paper and backing - making a little tag pocket for my voucher. Then I got a plain calico bag and personalised it with her initial appliqu├ęd on to some fabric which I embellished with some crocheted flowers and buttons.
I filled the bag up with colored wools and a selection of crochet hooks.



She was delighted! And we will be starting our first lesson this weekend.
My grandma would be so proud of me! There should be a world wide movement to get kids off the couch, away from gadgets, out of malls, and back to creativity and sports!!

I'm all for that concept.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Personalised Recipe Binder



I just finished a beautiful personalised recipe binder - made for a client who wanted something special for a pre-wedding kitchen tea bridal gift.

























I love taking ordinary stuff and giving it a WOW factor!

The client asked for whites and neutrals, and explicitly asked for it to be extra chunky and textural. So this is how the front detail looked:






















As you can see, I embossed a wooden spoon as the focal point for the front, and added a beautiful big coconut shell button, which I wired up with beads to make the flower. I added the natural meshy leaves which were originally part of a big bow that I found in the millinery section of the craft store.

The divider pages have been detailed with a strip of paper which I cut to size and machine stitched onto the plastic divider sheets. I then used my label maker to make the labels for each section.

















I made a cute pocket for the inside of the binder - to put magazine recipe cut outs.























I also designed a sheet that can be photocopied - to keep track of all the dinner parties/celebrations/entertaining that the couple will do. (I actually have my own book which I've kept for the last 23 years, with all the dates/visitors/afternoon teas/birthdays/entertaining etc. that we've done!! - It's a wonderful thing to look back on and see what we ate and who came over!)
























Here are the instructions if you want to have a go at making one yourself.
Materials List: Binder, dividers, Fabrics, iron on interfacing, papers/buttons/embellishments, label maker, spray adhesive.
Tools: Scissors, sewing machine, iron, paper/pencil, hot glue gun, double sided tape, bull clips

Step one:  Measure your front cover fabric adding about 6cm all around.  This extra will be folded around the binder edges and glued down later.  I used 2 fabrics and sewed them together.  Iron on the interfacing to the wrong side of the fabric.


Pin the cover around the binder and press with your fingers.  Lightly press with the iron.  You can now see where the edge is - which makes it easier to decorate the front cover.


Put the cover aside, and now get to the fabric lining the inside of the binder.  Measure the inner fabric to the exact size of the binder.  Cut a piece of interfacing 2cm shorter all around and iron on to the fabric.


Fold the edges of  the lining fabric and iron down.  Stitch around the edge with your sewing machine.

Now, we come to making the template for the hole for the binder rings to fit through the lining fabric.
I used a piece of scrap paper and eyeballed the size and shape of the binder rings and drew it onto my paper.  Then I cut out the paper to check I had the right size and that it fit around the binder rings.  You need to cut the paper as you see here - with a notch and fold to the edge.  This is where the fabric will be folded and sewn around the binder rings.


To position the hole on the lining fabric, line up your lining fabric with the binder cover, and place your paper template in position.  It will be uncentered, as the binder rings are not usually centered.


Trace around your template.  Check measure before cutting, that your opening is in the right position from the top and bottom of the fabric lining - remembering that you are about 2cm away from the actual edge of the binder, as the lining is 2cm shorter all the way around.




This is how it looks on the fabric lining.


Cut out the hole and diagonal notches to the corners.


Fold the edges to the inside and pin down.  Check that it all fits over the binder rings!


Stitch around the folded edges.



Now you are up to decorating the front cover and making a pocket.  Pin everything down using the ironing lines as your guide to where the edges are.  Then stitch in place. 


Cut your pocket and iron on some interfacing to the wrong side.  Add your embellishments and sew into place.  Then stitch pocket onto fabric lining.  You won't be able to stitch anything onto the pocket or front cover once they are glued down onto the binder.  So make sure anything you want to stitch down is done now.


To make the dividers, put double sided tape at the very edge of the divider - including on the very edge of the tab.  Stick down a strip of scrapbooking paper.


Stitch the paper in place using your machine.  I used a zig zag stitch. Turn the divider over and trim around the divider tab shape.
 I made 10 divider tabs - starters, soups, salads, pasta, fish, meat, chicken, cakes & desserts, inspirations, and entertaining.  Use a label machine to make the label tabs.  I used a similar one to this.

Now, for covering the binder.  
Spray the  outer side of the BINDER with spray adhesive.  Position the cover and press into place.  
Carefully spray around the inside EDGE of the BINDER and fold over the cover fabric.  Clamp down using some bull clips.
Spray the inside of the binder carefully, and up to about 2cm AWAY from the edge.  Stick down the lining fabric making sure the edges are firmly glued down.

Lastly, add on the chunky details using your hot glue gun.

Add the dividers and plastic sleeves and voila... you have your recipe binder.
If it's all too hard... you can contact me and I'll be happy to make one for you!!