Thursday, 12 December 2013

Help me design my business cards...

So now that my Etsy shop is open, it's time to start promoting myself.

I've started working on some designs mock-ups for business cards.

What do you guys think?

This one...

Or this on the front with...

This on the back?
Thoughts? Suggestions? I'd love your feedback!

Wednesday, 11 December 2013

Now presenting (doo doo doo DOO!) my Etsy shop!

So I finally got around to opening my Etsy shop!

I'll be listing some items from my tutorials (for those of you that might think to yourselves "Yeah. Nah. I'd rather just buy that one.") and eventually I'll be carrying clothing made for my fellow Curvy Crafters!

So let me know which items from my tutorials you'd like to see up for sale and I'll do my best to make a listing!

In the next few weeks I'll be working on a whole bunch of pretty flower crowns like the ones in my last tutorial to put them up for sale.

So without further ado, I present:!

Also, let me know if you'd like me to work up a tutorial for my first ever listing:

the Cowl Scarf Hood! (or: How to Knit Something Straight in a Day That Looks Really Cool.)

Thursday, 5 December 2013

Buy it or DIY it: Flower Crowns

So flower crowns are super in... for going to music festivals, as wedding accessories, for wearing to your next Mason Jar convention... for pretty much anywhere that you want to feel extra pretty.
However, seeing as I'm over the age of 17 and I rarely wear jorts (jean shorts for those of you that aren't cool enough to be in-the-know) and NEVER wear bikini tops instead of shirts, I'm pretty sure that the only time I'm ever going to be able to pull one off is at my wedding. I also think that my four-year-old niece/flower girl will look insanely adorable wearing one, especially in combination with what she has been calling her "Harry Potter princess dress"- I have yet to figure out exactly what her imagination has decided this is, but I assume that purple and tulle will play a large role.

So I went a-searchin' on the internets to try and find some purdy flower crowns that she and I can don for the big day.

And obviously this one from WhichGoose is gorgeous, but at nearly a hundred bucks a pop, they're a lot out of my price range.

So I took a closer look and thought to myself, "I could totally make that." (as I pretty much always do with crafts, because I'm ambitious and arrogant and assume that I can conquer anything, so long as I have a glue-gun in my hand.)

And here's how I managed to save myself a lot o' money:

What you'll need:

1. Artificial Flowers- Smaller is better unless you're going for that massive boho look. I got mine at a dollar-type store for $2 a sprig, but I suggesting checking eBay for their huge selection.
2. Florist Wire- This is a roll of 18 gauge Rustic Wire by Oasis that I got at Michael's for $7.
3. Any other accessories you might want to add. (I put the pearls on my bridal crown, but here I'm just going to show you how I made my niece's- don't want to spoil the surprise!) If you like them, you can find them on eBay here.
4. A glue-gun and sticks.
Optional- Wire cutters. I learned that big, hefty scissors work, but my hands sure would have appreciated some lil snipperoonies.

So with two sprigs of flowers and one roll of wire, my total cost was just $11 per crown (and I used the one roll of wire for both crowns with plenty left over)- not too shabby!

So now to start assembling.

Take your wire and start articulating it in about one inch wide curves. Keep doing this until you have something about the size of your head.

Once your crown is big enough to fit your head, cut it off of the rest of the roll leaving about two inches to spare on either side.

Wrap the spare ends together to keep the crown together and to keep the sharp ends from poking out.

Now do the same with another piece of wire in the opposite direction.

Wrap the ends around the other wrapped portion.

Now it should look like this. Pretty, right? Just wait until it's all flowery. OoOoOoh.

The flowers I chose have wired stems- this comes in pretty handy when you're attaching them. Leave them with a nice, long stem when you detach them from their sprig-buddies.

Then strip the rubber/plastic decorative crap off. We ain't gon' be needin' that.

Twist the wire around a crossing section of the crown. This will both secure the crown into shape and attach the flower to the crown. Then add a dollop of glue to the back to keep it in place and to cover any pointy wire bits that might become annoying head-stabby bits in the future.

You can spread your flowers evenly or group them together or... whatever the heck ya want! It's crafts! WOOOOH. Fun.

Mix in different kinds of flowers, different greenery, cover half the crown, the whole crown, just put on one flower, drown the thing in flowers. WHATEVS. It's your party, and you'll glue if you want to.

Et voila! You have a pretty flower crown that you can subtly mention you made. All of the time. Because it makes you feel good when people go "really?!" and you get to act a little bit smug.

Saturday, 23 November 2013

Buy it or DIY it: Lace Appliqué Shoes

Whilst on the hunt for my wedding shoes, I came across these gorgeous lace appliqué shoes:

They're from Walkinonair on Etsy. They carry them in tonnes of colours, different styles and heel heights, and every size, perfect for matching your wedding theme and personal style!

Too bad they're $72 before you add on the shipping and handling...

So I decided to make them myself!
This is one of the easiest DIY's ever, so if you're worried about screwing them up, don't be!

Here's what you'll need:

1.  Spray adhesive- super useful, so I happened to have some on hand, but you can get it at just about any hardware store for about $5 a can.
2. Shoes- these are purple suede flats, but you could use pretty much any shoe you want. I found mine on eBay for $16.
3. Lace appliqués- make sure that they'll fit on your shoes somewhere (about an inch wide at their widest point should fit.) You could have different colours, but I liked that these made my shoes a little more... 'bridal.' Again, I found them on eBay for $4.
So all total, my supplies cost just $25.

So now that you've acquired the necessary items, let's glue this bitch!

First, head outside. Spray adhesive has a lot of angry looking ~*DANGER*~ symbols on the can, and whenever something I work with has fire and an exploding skull on it, I take it outside. That makes it automatically safe.

Second, put something on the ground that you're okay with getting spray adhesive on.

Like this fancy deconstructed Life Cereal cardboard box. High tech.

Next, play with the placement of your appliqués.

Now figure out which side is the back of the appliqué and mist it with adhesive. Seriously. Mist. No need to soak it, this spray glue is strong-like-bull! A little bit goes a long way.

Now wait a couple of seconds for the glue to get tacky and then REALLY EFFING CAREFULLY (because this glue will make suede shoes ugly if it gets on a spot it's not supposed to be on) place the appliqué on your shoe wherever you decide you want it. Push down on any bits that are sticking up to make sure they adhere.

Repeat on the other shoe.

Leave them to dry.

Pose them and take a bajillion photos of how frigging pretty they are.

Now wear them to boogy the night away!

Sunday, 17 November 2013

Buy it or DIY it: Feather Boutonnieres

On this week's episode of Buy it or DIY it, we take a look at some beautiful Etsy feather boutonnieres that you can buy and later I'll show you how to make your own for a fraction of the cost.

As someone who is both a. crafty and b. cheap I almost always choose the DIY route. I like knowing that I can customize things to my own personal taste AND get them for a lot cheaper than I would pretty much anywhere else.

For our wedding we wanted to have something a little bit different for the lads, we're also having a Harry Potter themed wedding, so what better to have than feather quills instead of boutonnieres?! They won't wilt, you don't have to worry about picking them up from the florist and they add the perfect amount of whimsy!

So here are some lovely Buy it options from Etsy if you would rather make the splurge and pay for them in money instead of suffering mild glue-gun burns.

From Kirahley Kreations for $17 each:

From Love Mimosa Fleur for $11 each:

And from Corrine O'Neill for $12 each:

But when we're going to need nine of these bad boys, spending more than $100 without including shipping on boutonnieres seems a bit ridiculous to me.

So here's how you can make your own Feather Quill Boutonnieres:

What you'll need:
A selection of feathers in your preferred colours- I got all of my feathers off of eBay, mostly from House of Adorn - $23
Ribbon that is about 1 cm wide- I got a whole roll from my local fabric store and I'll be using it for a LOT of wedding crafts- $3 (for the whole roll)
Glue gun and low heat glue sticks- I always have these lying around
Optional: Quill Pen Nibs- I got ten off eBay for just over a dollar.

So all total this craft cost me around $27 and I made 9 boutonnieres and had a whole lot of feathers left over for future crafts! So these cost me a total of less than $3 a piece!

This craft is pretty easy so long as you have opposable thumbs and a heckofalot of patience.

Start by playing around with your feathers.

See what they do when you bend them...

Check out what it looks like when you layer them.

I decided to go with a layering of goose feathers.

Now you're going to have to pick out the ones that curve in the direction that you want them to. The boutonniere is usually worn on the left side of the chest, so you'll want your feathers to curve away from the centre of the chest.

The feather on the right is perfect. The one on the left, not so much.
Now choose the feathers that are in the best shape, curve the right way and are the right size and group them together so that you have all of your feathers chosen and ready to go.

Now you can start gluing those bad boys together!

Put about a half-of-a-pea-sized (very specific, I know) dollop of glue on the point of your bottom feather that you plan to have all of the feathers intersect at and then smoosh your next feather into it. I suggest going from boutonniere to boutonniere gluing pairs of feathers at a time so that each has some time for the glue to cool down and solidify.

Try to keep all of the feathers flowing to the same point, it'll keep things tidier for later.

If you're going to add a quill nib to the end of your boutonniere, you're going to want to trim off all but one of your feathers. This will give you a single, thin end on which to put your nib.

Glue the end of your ribbon to your boutonniere, starting from the connecting point of your group of feathers.  Wrap your ribbon down your boutonniere, adding glue dots as you go to help keep it in place. If you are planning to add a quill nib, leave the end of the feather that you left untrimmed bare, if not, cover the entire bottom and secure the ribbon in place.

To add your quill tip, cut the end of your feather on an angle...

Then push the nib on and secure it with glue.

And now you've got your own custom feather boutonnieres for super cheap!

I wish that I had been a little bit more careful gluing the ribbon in place- it looks a bit chunky, but all-in-all, I'm pretty pleased with how they all turned out.