Friday, August 31, 2007

Frugal Friday--Organizer Boxes

You'll need: Small cardboard boxes, fabric or cardstock, ribbon and/or raffia, white craft glue, large paint brush, water, hot glue gun and acrylic sealer spray.

1. Decorate each cardboard box by decoupaging the outsides with patterned paper or fabric. To make your own decoupage medium, use equal amounts of white craft glue and water. Squeeze some white craft glue into a small container or cup. Add water and mix until this reaches a milky consistency. Mixture should be paintable, but not too thick.

2. To decoupage, dip your paintbrush into the decoupage medium, your paint brush should be wet but not dripping. Paint a layer of decoupage onto the box and begin putting on your fabric/paper. Paint over the fabric/paper with the decoupage medium, smoothing out with your brush. Work in sections until entire box is covered. Set aside to dry and repeat with each box.

3. Cut out strips of solid fabric/paper for the brims of the boxes. Repeat the decoupage process to apply the brims. Use alterating colors and compliment the patterns with your choices. Allow to dry completely, about two hours.

4. Make small bows out of ribbon, raffia and/or twisted paper. Hot glue the bows onto the fronts of the boxes. Alternatively, you can use ribbon to make a border line between the brim and the rest of the box if you like. Simply hot glue in place.

5. Spray entire surface with acrylic sealer spray and let dry overnight.

More Frugal Friday

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Transferring Embroidery Patterns to Fabric

I found this article on transferring an embroidery pattern on Bella Online, and was very impressed with it. I love the history content as well. I'm linking to it here so you can get the design transferred onto your project and be ready to start embroidering. Please note that with SRE you do not need to transfer the design as shown on the pattern. Transfer the lines for the stems (even changing their direction if you prefer) and just use simple marks (dots, lines, circles) to show the location of the flowers and leaves. You'll refer to the pattern itself for what to stitch where.

The Bella article:

As anybody who has had to either paint, or embroider on fabric will understand, much of the frustration comes, not from the actual work, but from actually getting the design onto the fabric.

With light coloured fabric, the problem becomes very easy – it is easy to use charcoal to draw the pattern straight onto the fabric. In fact, there is substantial evidence that this was done from medieval times. Parts of the Bayeux tapestry show evidence that the design was first drawn onto the fabric, and then stitched over.

There is also some evidence that designs were also painted straight onto fabric – in living colour no less.

These were not done by the actual embroiderers, or the embroidery guilds, but often by a commissioned artist, and then the embroiderers sewed directly over the paintings. Very useful, especially if there was a lot of intricate shading involved.

By far the most common method – especially after the introduction of embroidery pattern books in the 15th century – was prick and pounce.
Continued at Bella Online.

Monday, August 27, 2007

Beginning Silk Ribbon Embroidery

First of all, I apologize for taking so long to get this post up. Something very unexpected and unpleasant occurred this weekend, and it really has us thrown for a loop. Please say a prayer for us, and if you have any hints on how to deal with highly neurotic, bordering on the paranoid delusional relatives, please let me know! Also, if you scroll down the sidebar, you will see why this month is the hardest month of the year for us. This really is difficult to handle right now.

Okay, on to the SRE.

Like most needle arts, SRE's exact origins is difficult to pin down. It appears that SRE (also called ribbon work or Rococo embroidery) first embellished court gowns in France in the 1700s. Traditional designs involve floral themes, but modern embroiderers have found ways to stitch butterflies, birds, mermaids, angels and tin soldiers, to name a few imaginative ways silk ribbon has been used.

SRE is easy to learn and you only need simple supplies.

Needles: Sharp, large-eyed needles such as crewel and chenille needles.

Hoop: I like the 2" to 7" plastic spring hoops.

Embroidery scissors

Marking tools: Possibilities include water soluble and disappearing pens, white pencil for dark fabrics, dark marking pencils for lighter fabrics.

Cotton floss or silk thread for embroidering "stems."

Needle grabbers (small rubbery circles that help you pull the needle through the fabric).

100% silk ribbon in 2mm, 4mm, and 7mm widths (4mm being the most common).

Fabric project (napkin, blouse, pillow top, etc.)


Embellishments, if desired: beads, buttons, laces.

Here's the supplies I've gathered for my project:

The piece I'm working on is a brown premade napkin. I inherited the set from my husband's late grandmother.

You'll also notice a hoop, embroidery scissors and two needles. One needle is an embroidery needle for the floss I'll use to make the stem part of the design. The other is a crewel needle for the ribbon.

I've shown two marking pencils. One is white and the other is graphite (in fact, I think I inherited that white pencil from DH's grandmother too).

Also pictured is some green cotton floss that matches the green ribbon. The silk ribbon I've lined up is all made by Bucilla. #7102, 7mm Variegated Jungle Greens, #503, 7mm Pale Honey, #502, 4mm Banana, #666, 4mm Sunflower, #113, 4mm Purple. I bought these some time ago, and I believe the numbers may have been changed. You will be choosing your own colors depending on what you have chosen for the project. I may not be using each of the colors. I want to see how it develops. I will be using this for teaching SRE to my DD, so she will be giving her input as well.

Here is the design we will be using. Click on the pic to enlarge it and to print it out when you're ready.

The design can be worked in whatever colors you like and suit your purpose. Each flower could be a different color or in the same tonal shades (remembering that buds are often darker than the open flower). You could even use holiday colors. I hope you find this inspirational and not overwhelming. I don't want you to be standing in front of the ribbon display in a trance repeating "Pretty colors" over and over.

Again, I apologize to the tardiness of this post, and I will try to be much more timely with the rest. I hope you are looking forward trying your hand at silk ribbon embroidery.

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Ladies' Finishing School--It's My Turn!

This coming week I'll be sharing about silk ribbon embroidery. This is such a fun needlecraft to do. It produces beautiful results in a short time, and looks as if you spent ages creating it. Very satisfying.

First, you need to find a piece on which you can work your own personal silk magic. Silk ribbon embroidery is washable on gentle cycle, perhaps in a laundry bag, or by hand. It is heavier than cotton thread embroidery, so your chosen piece needs to have a bit of weight to it. Possible items to embroider include:

Napkins, tablecloths, tablerunners, blouses, gowns, jackets, pillowcases, girls' dresses, pillowtops, fabric for framing (including small pieces of fabric for jewelry pins and pendants), vests, and evening bags. A hankerchief could support small amounts of silk ribbon embroidery, such as rose buds with cotton embroidery for the stems.

Figured out what you'll work on? I hope I've at least got the gears to moving for you.

Please come back for more about silk ribbon embroidery, and feel free to leave comments as we work our way through the steps this week.

Satin boudoir slippers with silk ribbon embroidery, c.1920, from Vintage Textile. These cost $550. Perhaps I should use these posts for Frugal Fridays! LOL

Thursday, August 23, 2007

August 23, 1980

August 23, 1980, originally uploaded by Redbud.

27 years! I think if we had known then all that would happen to us, we would have hidden in fright!

What a blessing this man has been. He's an incredible example of what a godly man should be.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

My Peculiar Aristocratic Title

My Peculiar Aristocratic Title is:
Entirely Miss Reverend Lady Sherry the Brobdingnagian of Lesser Cheese Winston
Get your Peculiar Aristocratic Title

Thursday, August 9, 2007

Frugal Friday--Furoshiki

Here's an interesting idea for carrying things. It's both green and frugal.

The furoshiki is basically a square of fabric, like a large bandanna , that can be used in many ways for carrying items.

As you may have guessed, the furoshiki comes from Japan, and there are whole shops dedicated to selling them. They come in many beautiful silk designs, but you could also use something like broadcloth. The fabric does need to be soft enough to easily tie.

It can be used to wrap your lunch. Simply set your lunch items in the middle of a large cotton square, and tie up the opposite corners, leaving a little bit of slack for a handle. When you're ready to eat, The furoshiki opens up to make a placemat. When you're finished eating, the furoshiki can be folded and tucked away for carrying back home.

Large fabric squares can be use to carry larger loads, such a laundry, toys, craft projects, and groceries.

They make great gift wraps, which then in turn become useful to the giftee.

The furoshiki is easily washed and stored.

The link below shows tying diagrams for carrying an amazing variety of items, all with a simple piece of square cloth.

How to use Furoshiki

More Frugal Friday at Biblical Womanhood

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

College Campuses Toxic Environments?

From Charles Colson:

The Truth about Campus Health Care

A young coed named Heather paid a visit to her campus health clinic. She told the doctor she was suffering from depression. The doctor explored possible causes, but Heather could not come up with any reasons for her sadness. Oh, wait—there is one thing, she remembered. Since Thanksgiving, she said, “I’ve had a ‘friend with benefits.’” That is, a male friend that she is not in a relationship with, but has casual sex with.

“I’m really unhappy about that,” Heather said. “It’s hard to be with him and then go home and be alone.”

Heather’s story is told in an explosive new book titled Unprotected. It’s a memoir of misery by Miriam Grossman, a college psychiatrist who says the exaggerated place of sexuality on college campuses “is grotesque and destructive.” But far from warning young women of the dangers of such a toxic lifestyle, colleges go out of their way to glorify promiscuity. At her own clinic, Grossman says, she routinely treats women who are suffering the consequences of casual hookups. They suffer from eating disorders, depression, self-mutilation, a multitude of STDs, and post-abortion syndrome.

And yet, instead of declaring war on the hook-up culture, Grossman says, political correctness decrees that campus doctors pretend the problems it causes don’t exist. If they do acknowledge them, they risk being fired—which is why Dr. Grossman originally published this book anonymously. After all, doctors are not supposed to be judgmental. But as Grossman points out, doctors pass judgment all the time when it comes to other health issues.

“We ask about childhood abuse, but not last week’s hookups,” she writes. “We want to know how many cigarettes she has each day, but not how many abortions are in her past. We consider the stress caused by parental expectations but neglect the anguish of herpes, the hazards of promiscuity, and the looming fertility issues for women who always put career first.”

When it comes to sexual harassment and date rape, campus health professionals are eager to help. But they don’t support groups for women who want to practice abstinence or who are suffering the after-effects of an abortion.

We ought to get angry about this. The secular world is engaging in something they often accuse Christians of—living in a “false reality.” But anyone who ignores a mountain of medical evidence is not only living in a false reality, they’re endangering people’s lives.

Dr. Grossman is doing something I often urge “BreakPoint” listeners and readers to do. When arguing in the public square, instead of pointing to Bible verses, she’s making a strong prudential case against promiscuity.

We need to do the same, especially if we have children or grandchildren attending college. The next time you get a fundraising letter from your alma mater, ask them what they’re doing to discourage hookups. Send them a copy of Dr. Grossman’s book. And give copies to your kids, your church youth groups, and the local high school.

Our daughters deserve better than to be treated after they’ve suffered permanent harm. And we ought to use Dr. Grossman’s book to challenge the campus orthodoxy that sexual promiscuity is not only not harmful, but is actually good for you. We should insist that they stop lying to our daughters—and tell the truth.