Music in your mail

Music mail 6

Already 4 years! A project which is already going on for 4 years and who is still not coming to an end. What am I talking about? Well in March-April 2009 my friend Marit from the Netherlands came to visit me in Germany and after a few drinks and hours of musical conversation we decided to send each other every month a cd of a band or artist, the other might not know.

Music mail 4

Nowadays we always give USB sticks to friends which are full of music but usually we never really get through them because of the huge amount of music at once. So it had to be only one cd per month and about one artist only so that we have time to discover this artist during the month.

Music mail 3

Since I moved to the U.S. I have been terrible because I never sat down to make new cds for Marit… until now!

Music mail 1

The fun thing about creating those cds is also to design the covers. We are even considering making our own photos if we are inspired.

Music mail 2

I love this project until now! There is nothing nicer than getting a packet in your mailbox between all the bills and ads and then putting on a cd and discovering new sounds. Thanks to Marit I discovered for example a lovely Dutch artist called Pien Feith. She is definitely not known enough if you ask me!

Music mail 5

So let’s get old school and send cds to your friends! It is fun and the great thing… you might get something back in return!

Music mail 7

Nathalie

Little hand-made creature

little creature 9

With a few friends we decided to meet up once in a while to do some sewing. I am still a bloody novice when it comes to sewing. My problem is that I still always want to make to complicated projects to start with. I’d better follow my friends Susi & Jess who decided to make that day simple pillows. Anyway I ended up creating a little outer space. It was simple enough to practice simple straight lines and have the occasional turns.

What you’ll need:
– Some fabric for the body and a plain colour for the face
– Some little eyes to stick on (much quicker to realise but not recommended for small infants. If it is meant for a baby, I would suggest to sew some eyes on the little man)
– A button or anything else to make the little creature more attractive!

little creature 3

1. Decided on how your little man should look like, draw it on paper and cut the pattern out. Make sure to add a generous border everywhere for the seam.

little creature 1

Little Albert was very busy with his beloved ropelittle creature 4

2. Then draw the pattern on the fabric you chose working with. Use two pieces of fabric. One for the front and one for the back of the little creature. Then cut it out.little creature 5

3. Next part: Pin the two pieces of fabric together, making sure that on both sides it shows the ‘inside’ of the creature (we will turn it onto the right side once we finish sewing. Now sew along the needles making sure to keep a part open to turn it  around. I suggest to keep the opening along one leg since it the easiest from there to access all areas of the fabric.

little creature 2

You always need a few treats during creative sessions!

little creature 6

4. It still looks quite funny. The important part is now to use some stuffing to fill out the little man.once it is well filled, close the area along the leg. To close it, simply sew by hand.

I then cut out of a white piece of fabric little ears and a ‘face’. I glued them all with a glue especially made for fabric. Then I added the little eyes and a big fat black button.

little creature 7 These are the awesome pillows made by Susi & Jess.

little creature 8

Get creative and awake lots of little creature to life!

Nathalie

Laminated Bookmarks

IMG_0784

I am constantly reading other blogs and visiting Pinterest, looking for new and interesting ideas. I can’t remember now where I saw a craft using a thermal laminator machine. I don’t know why I was then so obsessed to get one, I felt like I couldn’t live without this machine. So, yes, I placed an order on Amazon.

“What is this thing?”

Maybe I do know why it fascinated me so much. While I was at the University in Brazil, my internship was to teach Portuguese, English and Literature classes to Middle and High School kids. I had to prepare lots of fun activities, games and this kind of stuff every week, so the students would like my classes better than the one from the “official teacher”. It worked, because they loved me! I was the one who made exciting games, posters, boards – anything to catch their attention. At home, my room was a mess: adhesive tape everywhere, cardboard, crayons…

One of the things that I used most was adhesive tape. I liked to make card games, so to laminate the cardboard cards, I had to use lots of adhesive tape. I dreamed about having a laminating machine, it would have made my life so much easier.

So I think when I saw a craft being made with a thermal laminator, it woke up the teacher which was sleeping in me.

Now, let’s talk about the first thing I’ve done when my laminator arrived. Since I love to read, I decided to make some cute bookmarks. I have a collection of them (Barnes & Noble have some cute ones), but bookmarks are never too much, right?

IMG_0776

I had some old magazines (with thick paper) and some other cute papers. I just trimmed the images, put them between the “laminating sheet”, and let the machine do all the work:

IMG_0768

IMG_0770

Then, I just trimmed the bookmarks and made a hole, using a hole puncher, on the top of them:

IMG_0788

And last but not least, I used some ribbons to make it more pretty:

IMG_0774

IMG_0784

Cute, huh? And it makes a great personalized gift and party & wedding favors!

Tip: if you don’t have or don’t plan on buying a thermal laminator, you can do the technique that I used at my University time: lay the pic flat, pull out a strip of tape, and carefully lower down, trying to contact the middle first. Then smooth from the middle out to the edges, and repeat on the opposite side. Trim up the tape edges and that’s it! Also a cool laminating project.

P.S: You can use cardboard to make your bookmark thicker, if you’re using a paper that’s not thick enough.

Just be careful not to become a laminating freak (I’m trying!).

Gabriela

Personalized media storage

A couple of weeks ago I bought a simple and cheap media storage at Walmart, since we needed to find a way to organize games, DVDs and books. I just used “cheap” and “Walmart” in the same sentence so, yes, the quality is not so good. Although it’s good enough for now, when I opened the box, I thought it was very generic and blend. So I decided to do something to make it a little bit more unique.

First I assembled the shelves. Then I had to put the “back” of the media storage, the “background”. Like I said, it was cheap, so it was a very thin piece of wood, like a MDF board. So I had the idea to cover this board with a fabric, so my unit’s background would have a nice look. I’ll show you how I did it:

I used:

  • MDF board
  • Piece of fabric
  • Spray adhesive

1. First I measured the fabric and cut it. I didn’t worry that much with measurements while I was cutting, because in the end I would have the chance to trim the excess of fabric.

IMG_0246

2. Now I just sprayed the adhesive until the middle of the board.

IMG_0253

2. And I pressed the fabric against the board, making sure it doesn’t have any wrinkles. I went until the middle of the board, pressing very well.

IMG_0254

It DOES have some wrinkles…

3. I used more spray adhesive until the top of the board and pressed the rest of the remaining fabric.

IMG_0260

4. Trimming the excess of fabric

IMG_0258

5. After the board was covered, I pinned it down to the back of the shelves. Here’s the result:

IMG_0263

IMG_0275

IMG_0278

I wanted a more colorful background, but I just had this fabric in hands that day.

I put the unit close to my new study spot. I’m sorry about the quality of the picture (or the lack of it), it was dark and this room has poor lighting. Now I’m planning on buying wall shelves to storage my books. I think this one and this would look very nice.

Hope you enjoyed this tip! And remember: there’s always a way to give generic things a fun and unique look. 🙂

Fabric-covered hangers

One day I was surfing the web and I found this really simple and cute idea of covering hangers with a piece of fabric. I can’t remember where I saw it, maybe on Pinterest. Anyway, I tried it and liked it a lot. It can work as a sun glasses holder, necklaces holder or even in the most conventional way — just a place to hang your clothes on.

Here’s what you’ll need: foto1 – Any type of hanger; – Nice fabric; – School glue; – Spray adhesive. If you don’t have spray adhesive you can use just the school glue, I think it should work as well. I just used the spray to make sure the fabric would stay firmly on the hanger.

foto2

First, cut a large strip of fabric. Don’t worry about measurements, it won’t make any difference when you cover your hanger. Just make sure it’s quite long.

foto3

Let’s begin with the top part of the hanger. Spray the tip of your hanger with spray adhesive and fix your fabric down.

foto4

Don’t worry about the glue showing through the fabric, it will dry and disappear. Make sure you leave the tip of your fabric out of the hanger, we will fold it back later.

foto5

Now, just pass the fabric through the top part, clockwise direction. Make firm movements so that the fabric won’t be loose; it must be very tight to the hanger.

foto6

Now it’s time to finish the top part. Cut the excess of fabric and glue the end tip to the hanger already with fabric. You can use both school glue and spray adhesive to make sure it will be really glued together.

fotoooo

And now we’re going to give a better finish to this part. Fold back the tip that we left at the top of the hanger and glue it. Cut a small square of fabric and put it on the top of this “folding”, just to give it a better look.

fotoA

It’s time to do the “body” of the hanger. Repeat the same steps from the top: glue the tip of the fabric on the hanger and keep covering it, doing clockwise movements, making sure it’s really tight to the hanger.

foto12

If you run out of fabric, don’t freak out. It happened to me here. Just cut another long piece of fabric and continue covering it.

fotoB

Because the top of the hanger stays in the way, in this part we can’t continue doing the circular movements. Just cut another small square of fabric and glue the part of the hanger that is not covered. Also cut out any annoying thread that keeps getting out of the fabric. And…

foto15

Tad-ah! A 99 cents hanger looks much nicer.

foto16

You can use it in many ways. I am using this one as a necklace holder. I put it in my bathroom.

foto17

I made this one a couple of months ago. It’s close to my front door and I use it to hold sun glasses and keys. Looks cute, right?

Hope you all like it, and let me know if any of you give it a try! I would love to see pics as well.

Gabriela

Home-made Calendar

Calendare 9 Every year I like to make calendars for family and friends. In Germany they sell a lot of empty calendars where you simply glue your photos or any artwork you may like to do. Living in many different places in the past few years, I have found it sometimes tricky to find those calendars. Therefore I have ordered a few times calendars online. They are nice too but I thought it could be a great challenge to make a calendar from scratch. And it is really not that difficult.

Calendare 1

You simply need:

Sticky tape or glue (I prefer to use the sticky tape, it is less messy)
Cardboard or any thicker paper you may like to use (I used those scrapbook papers. The size was 20 cm x 20 cm)
Photos 
Stickers (or anything else you’d like to put on your calendar to make it look pretty)
– A hole puncher
– Some thread
– You might also need a pair of scissors to cut the thread and a pen to draw the grid.

Calendare 2

1. This is the longest part: Making the grid for the calendar. Figure out what size you want to make each grid. And then measure and draw it. It takes really a bit of time. Watch a movie meanwhile or listen to an audio book to make this task more entertaining. Alternatively you can make a grid on the computer and then print it out. But I believe the hand-made version is nicer to look at.

Calendare 3

2. Now fix the photos on each page. Make sure you put them upside down to the calendar grid since you want to flip the pages, right?

Calendare 4

3. Embellish each page with what ever you like. I still prefer to keep it simple but be as creative as you like! Also you can embellish the calendar grid: I added a few stickers here and there on the grid.

Calendare 5

4. Now it’s time to make the holes to get the thread through. It is important that the holes are aligned. I helped myself with the little black stick which comes with the hole puncher so that all pages are nicely stacked (you can see the black stick on the top left of the calendar).

Calendare 6

5. Now get the thread through the holes. Lay the calendar like on the picture. Allow enough room for the thread so that you can easily flip the pages without breaking the paper.

Calendare 7

6. Last but not least make a hole at the bottom of each page to allow to hang up the calendar on a hook.

Calendare 10

Surprise your beloved ones with good memories! The great thing about calendars: they are useful for at least 365 days!

Nathalie

DIY: customized dish towels

This is the first post in the “Do” section of the blog. Here, the girls and I are going to post sewing and DIY tutorials, craft projects and a bunch of nice ideas to make your things look unique.

Today I’ll show you how to make a cute dish towel. It looks great and took only 20 minutes of my time! It can embellish your kitchen in a functional way, or it can be a nice Christmas gift for friends and family. I found it in an awesome blog called Craftiness is not Optional.

What you’ll need:

IMG_2106[1]

– Dishtowel;
– Nice fabric.

Huge list of materials, right?

Now let’s do it! First, you need to cut the fabric according to the size of your dish towel. Mine was 18 inches wide, so I cut my fabric 19 by 4 inches.

Next you’ll have to lay the fabric down, wrong side up. Now with your iron, press the edges in about 1/2 inch:

IMG_2121[1]

Flip over and put the strip in the center of your dish towel, pin it down, and (the best part now) go to the sewing machine!

IMG_2126[1]

Finally, topstitch around bottom and side edges:

IMG_2129

And…

Untitled-1

That’s it! Now have fun choosing your cute fabric and go make some dish towels! This is also a good opportunity to be creative: you can sew different strips together and put it in your towel, like a patchwork thing. Just use your imagination 🙂

Gabriela