I've always admired leather cuff bracelets. The problem is that I have scrawny little wrists and bracelets are always too big for me. In fact, one of Larry's nicknames for me is "T-Rex" (and not because I'm a beast in the mornings, though that, too, is appropriate) because I have such wimpy little arms. So I wanted a cuff bracelet, but knew that one sized for a normal adult would a) overwhelm my wrist and b) slide off. Enter my sewing machine, a thin piece of leather, some metallic silver thread, and grommet-style snaps, and in 10 minutes I had whipped up a couple of DIY leather cuffs. This isn't the most expensive-looking leather (probably because it wasn't expensive!), but I like that it's extra thin and soft because it makes the cuff a lot more comfortable to wear. Will they last forever? Probably not, but at $3 in materials each, I can always make another one!
Speaking of T-Rex, have you seen T-Rex Trying? Hilarious!
FELT BALL FLOWERS
Porcelain milk bottle vase by Alyssa Ettinger.
A few years ago, I bought a bag of multi-colored felt balls thinking that I would make them into a garland for our Christmas tree. I quickly realized that it was going to take a million balls and cost a fortune to make a garland long enough to wrap a tree. So I used the red balls to make a garland for our mantle and ended up making our Christmas tree garland out of felt circles.
This left me with a bunch of leftover felt balls that I had no use for...
Until I was going through my art supplies and found some green floral wire! Aha!
For the past few years I admired those yellow ball flowers that showed up on all the design blogs (which after googling "yellow ball flowers", I learned were called billy balls or craspedia). I even bought some dried ones last year for a vase in our library. But I wanted more, and while I'm not usually a fan of fake flowers, I think these guys may even be cuter than the real thing and they're easy to DIY. (Use a thick upholstery needle and some elbow grease to poke a hole in the felt ball, then insert the floral wire with a dab of glue.)
HAND-CARVED HAND-STAMPED VALENTINES
Several people asked for a tutorial for this project. The stamps are made using a block of rubber and block-carving tools that are easily found in the printmaking section of your local art store.
ABSTRACT WAX PAINTING
You might not know it from the art that's currently available in my shop, but abstract art is my first true love. I've been experimenting lately with mixed results (but the process sure is fun!). This one is wax, gouache, and seed beads on wood.
Also, my studio is now covered with bits of colored wax. D'oh!
There's a reason I keep blueberries in the freezer during the off-season - so I can tell winter to F off have a little bite of summer in February!
800 paper hearts for Valentine's Day! They're still up and I'm tempted to keep them up year round!
EMBELLISHED ROPE BOWL
I had some rope leftover from the first rope bowl I made in December and decided to make a second smaller bowl, embellished with metallic embroidery thread. (I also got smart this time and wrapped the mixing bowl I was using as a guide with aluminum foil to protect it from hot glue.) It's currently in my bathroom being used as nest for my Lush bath bombs - which now that I look at it, would make a pretty sweet alternative Easter basket.
BLUEBERRY MUFFIN BREAD FRENCH TOAST WITH BLUEBERRY-MAPLE CREAM CHEESE FROSTING
Chaps, a restaurant in Washington state makes something similar that was recently featured on Diners Drive-Ins and Dives. As soon as I saw it, I knew I had to recreate this recipe for myself. Just bake your favorite blueberry muffin recipe in a loaf pan (you will need to double or triple the baking time). Soak slices of the bread in an egg/milk/vanilla/cinnamon/sugar/salt mixture (I never measure) and pan fry. Top with cream cheese frosting (add some blueberries and a squirt of maple syrup, to taste).
YARN-WRAPPED BOTTLE VASE
As part of my Handmade Holiday, I became obsessed with making yarn-wrapped Christmas balls. I made nearly two dozen of these things and once Christmas was over, I had plans to wrap other things with yarn - like a yarn-wrapped vase. When I saw Elise's take on this, I knew I had to copy her black and white color-scheme.
I'm always planning projects that use beer bottles (we typically have a surplus of these...), but when it comes down to it, a beer bottle looks like a beer bottle no matter what you do with it, and beer bottle decor looks like something that belongs in a dorm to me. So I used a square-ish olive oil bottle for this project and I think it makes a nice shape for a vase. (It's from Safeway brand olive oil.)
A few tips if you want to start wrapping things with yarn:
1. Use all cotton yarn, no synthetics or blends. Glue doesn't stick to synthetics and you will be very frustrated if you try to glue acrylic yarn to anything.
2. I used a really thin smooth mercerized cotton yarn for this project to give my bottle a sleek, modern, non-fuzzy look.
3. My favorite glue for just about everything is Scotch Quick Dry Adhesive. It dries super fast which is great for projects like this where you don't want the yarn slipping while the glue dries. And, I learned that it even works on glass!
I've got a lot of creative ideas lately, so hopefully I can keep up the momentum in March...