Friday, 29 August 2014

Your Royal Princess-ness: DIY Fabric Crown

Mr Cheeky Monkeys has a niece who turns four next month and I thought a dress-up crown would be a fun gift for a girly little girl.  It was really very easy to put together (even for someone like me who hates having to iron sewing projects).  So I've put together a quick tutorial to help you make your own fabric crown for your little Prince or Princess.

image fabric crown tutorial diy flower embellishment floral

- fabric for the front of the crown (a fat quarter should be more than enough)
- lining fabric for the back of the crown
- scraps of fabric or felt for embellishments
- buttons
- fusible interfacing/stabiliser
- 50cm ribbon

How to:
1. Draw out a crown shape which meets your fancy.  I opted for a simple pointed crown, but feel free to pick whatever shape you feel comfortable sewing.  To ensure your crown is symmetrical, draw one half of the crown and trace your template onto fabric which has been folded in half (make sure to line up the edge of the template with the folded edge of your fabric).

2. Cut out your fabric and fusible interfacing and fuse the interfacing to the wrong side of the crown shapes.

3. Pin the crown pieces together, right sides facing, and sew up the bottom straight edge of the crown and the top zig zag edge (or whatever your top edge shape is).  LEAVE THE SIDE EDGES UNSEWN.  Clip all corners and curves, then turn the crown right side out.  Iron the crown flat to remove any creases and fold in and iron down the raw edges of the crown sides.

4. Cut the ribbon in half.  Place one ribbon half between the crown layers at one open edge; sew down the edge to close the seam.  Repeat with the other ribbon half and open crown edge.

5. The fabric flower I made is a simple flower consisting of folded fabric circles and a button (see here for a tutorial).  Attach the flower embellishment with fabric glue and set aside to dry.  And that's it, you're all done!

image fabric crown sew your own tutorial diy tie on ribbon

1. Further embellish your crown by sewing a strip of lace to the bottom edge of the crown before attaching the fabric flower.  Don't like flowers?  Then add other fun embellishments such as hearts, buttons, butterflies or acrylic sew-on/glue-on jewels.
2. To make the crown a double-sided one, simply use pretty fabric for both sides.  For younger children, either leave off the embellishment or securely attach flat embellishments to both sides of the crown (simple felt shapes would work well).  For older children, attach the flower embellishment to a brooch pin so that it can be removed and re-attached depending on the way the crown is worn.
3. To make a crown for a little Prince, try using fabric with stripes or chevrons (or even his favourite dinosaur or robot design).  Embellish with buttons or felt shapes.

Wednesday, 27 August 2014

Anne of Green Gables

I don't know about you, but I avidly read LM Montgomery's Anne of Green Gables series of books when I was a child and young teen.  Some characters I loved, whilst others I loathed, but I still read almost every book in the series before moving on to other interests.

image anne of green gables thumbtack set domum vindemia anne shirley gilbert blythe marilla matthew cuthbert avonlea

Due to the popularity of the Pride and Prejudice and Jane Eyre items I have been creating for Domum Vindemia, I decided to expand the range to include AGG.  You can find both magnet sets and thumbtack sets in both my Etsy and Madeit stores and I am contemplating adding some stitch marker sets too.  So what do you think - who was your favourite or most loathed character in the AGG series?

image anne of green gables magnet set domum vindemia literature classics diana barry marilla matthew cuthbert anne shirley gilbert blythe avonlea

Monday, 25 August 2014

Creating with household items

I think a lot of my non-crafty friends and family imagine my workspace to be full of expensive tools, storage units and the like.  But in reality, while I have a set of trusty jewellery pliers and crochet hooks which I use for various projects, you will often find common household items in use on my desk!

1. First off is Blu Tack. Have you ever stopped to think about how many uses can be found for this innocuous little item? When working on pieces such as the Mr Darcy cuff below, I often struggle to visualise the best layout of my cabochons.  I like to be able to see and feel exactly how each cabochon fits around the others while attached to the curved and bumpy surface of the piece I am creating at the time.  Blu Tack allows me to try out my imagined design on a temporary basis; in this way, my cabs can get moved around, added or removed at my leisure before I settle on the final design.

image mr darcy bangle cuff blu tack

2. Another highly useful household item is my container of toothpicks!  I have a bit of a love-hate relationship with glue (and other adhesive liquids), so toothpicks are probably my most common go-to household item.  With my handy toothpick I can dob on exactly the amount of glue or adhesive glaze I want onto a cabochon without worry about blocked applicator nozzles or squirting too much out.  Toothpicks are also great for evenly spreading adhesive glaze across pieces such as my literature brooches and thumtack sets below.

image anne of green gables thumbtack set toothpicks

3. My third handy household item is definitely my set of slant tip tweezers (and hey, when your eyebrows are nearly non-existent as mine are, you don't need them for tweezing hair).  As already mentioned, glue and I don't play well together, so tweezers are great for holding onto tiny cabs so that I can apply glue and attach them to their correct position rather than getting them stuck onto me or completely coated in glue.  Jeweller's tweezers are available at most craft stores, but for my kind of work, the cheap tweezers I already owned are fine for the job.

image tweezers slant tip two cheeky monkeys mr darcy headband cabochons red turquoise pride and prejudice

4. My final handy household item is the ubiquitous fishing tackle storage box.  I have been given any number of these by friends and family and they are GREAT for storing beads and other supplies.  I love that each different supply can have its own compartment and, even better, I can see what's in a box just by looking through the see-through lid.  And should I ever have any boxes not in use, they are also great for storing small hardware items and for organising the Two Cheeky Monkeys' loom band collections!

image fishing tackle box bead storage

Do you use household items in your creative or other endeavours?   Are you a lateral thinker when it comes to finding alternative uses for common items?

Friday, 22 August 2014

Running, Running, Running

I have been a little desperate for new running shoes in the past few months after discovering that my ganglion cyst which was removed last year might be re-growing (apparently I'm in the 5-15% of cases who suffer from cyst re-growth, gah).  I have also been suffering from a bit of foot pain during my running, which I have also been putting down to the need for new shoes.

So anyway, I finally got round to hunting for new running shoes and got these.  No, not my first choice of colour (I don't like pink or garish), but when you have a small and wide foot (not unlike my whole body, really) there really isn't much available on the market unless you are willing to pay hundreds and hundreds of dollars.  Eye-glare aside, these shoes are quite comfortable and I have been seeing an improvement in my running already.  Now let me ask you, are you a fan of the latest trend of fluorescently bright and rainbow colourful sports shoes?

Wednesday, 20 August 2014

New Glam It Up Additions

image two cheeky monkeys jewellery glam it up necklace range vintage glass jewel stone jonquil yellow brass pendant melyn necklace

Life has been even more hectic than usual these past few weeks with my Ausmumpreneur award shenanigans, the littlest Cheeky Monkey having school swimming lessons EVERY DAY (and me stupidly volunteering to be a parent helper) as well as working on a custom bridal order.  But, I have managed to snatch some free time here and there to work on new pieces for Two Cheeky Monkeys' Glam It Up range of jewellery.

image azalea ring glam it up ring range vintage cocktail ring estate style pink brass adjustable two cheeky monkeys stone glass jewel

The Melyn necklace and Azalea ring are just two of the new additions I'm adding to my stores.  All the new additions are limited edition or one of a kind, so it's almost literally "first in, best dressed" with this range of jewellery!

Monday, 18 August 2014

Things I Love - Bags

I'm sure that I have confessed to it before: my name is Deb, and I love handbags, totes, purses and basically any type of bag available.  In fact, I love bags so much that my mum refers to me as "The Bag Lady" (and Mr Cheeky Monkeys can tell you just how true that is).  I love to buy bags, be given bags and to make bags.  So today I am sharing some of the fun bag, purse and tote tutorials I've found in blogland.

image graceful kelly bag handbag frame kisslock tutorial
The Graceful Kelly bag by u-handbag.

image necktie bag purse handbag tote tutorial diy paisley

image tutorial diy messenger bag
Heart of Mary's messenger bag.

image tutorial diy crochet crocheted ruffle bag purse
Crochet ruffled purse at Craftsy.

image tutorial diy toiletries bag toiletry pouch
Toiletry bag by Pretty Prudent.

Friday, 15 August 2014

Work in Progress: Crochet Blanket

image work in progress crochet blanket with doilies

I haven't had much time to crochet this winter with everything going on chez Two Cheeky Monkeys, but I wanted to share a project which I am slowly working on whenever I have a snatch of free time.  It's basically a simple patchwork crochet blanket with a little twist.  Inspired by dottie angel's "ordinarily extraordinary blanket", I am adding small doilies to some of my patchwork squares to give my blanket an eclectic shabby chic look.  What do you think so far?
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