The Newest Addition

CAM00406My last few posts, well mainly all of them besides tutorials, have been about completing the mass amounts of Patchy Patch dolls. Well they are all now completed and I am happy to say I finally got the break I needed to re energize my creative crochet mind! I wanted something quick and simple that I could start out with, something that I can pump out quite a bit and build a stock and start loading the small things onto my Etsy shop in order to allow myself the time I need to grow the stock of larger products.

It came to me that my purse is overloaded. I have always known this, what woman doesn’t know that her purse needs to be more organized? Anyways, I always have sanitizer , creams, and lip balms in my purse. All of which I am constantly having to remove almost half of my purse in order to find. So why not make a cozy for them to simply hang from the purse or even a key chain? I have seen a few out there on Pinterest and other Etsy shops and figured it would be quite easy to whip up a pattern. In doing so I came up with this little one.

Rummaging through my craft cupboard once again for something to decorate it with I found these little fabric flowers and it just suited it perfectly especially with spring just arriving you have to love the pop of vibrant color!

So what do you think?

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Cheers!

 

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DIY Toilet Paper Roll Wall Art

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Yes, you read it right. This wall art is made from empty toilet paper rolls! This post has been a long time coming, but it took a little time to gather all the rolls needed and find a little time to get it finished.

What you will need:

  • empty toilet paper rolls (depending on the size of what you are making depends on the amount you will need.)
  • scissors
  • glue gun
  • black matte paint
  • frame

CAM00225Now let’s get to it! Gather your toilet paper rolls and scissors. For the width of each strip you can measure if you like and make them even, I just figured 6 strips out of each roll and guessed.

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Now take your toilet paper roll and crush it in half and start cutting! This will make the petal decals, or the oval shapes

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(Sorry about the flash in the next few pictures) To make the curls, shown on the right here, do not crush the roll, simply cut it in half, length wise and cut out the strips and they will resemble a cut hoop. You can then roll them tighter to curl the way you want them to.

For mine I was aiming for a wrought iron look, with the flowers and curls. So now we put our creativeness and imagination into action and start to layout our design before we begin gluing it all together.

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My craft mat coincidentally is the plastic cover for the frame I am using for this project so it was the perfect size to judge by. Otherwise you can either measure your frame, or you can simply lay it out in the frame itself. (Again the flash in these pictures, the mat is the culprit)

**At this point you can also paint each individual petal if you would like and just touch up after gluing it together. I began doing this but it just seemed to be taking too long and I wanted to get it started.

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Now GLUE GLUE GLUE! Don’t forget to ensure there are a few decals glued to the frame. This will help ensure it is steady enough to hold its own weight once its hung up on the wall.

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Once everything is glued on you can begin painting. Again we are going for the wrought iron look so I am using a matte black paint. I ran out of black spray paint while doing the cork board tutorial so I had to hand paint it all, takes a lot of time, but still as effective.

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Now that you wall art is all painted and dried, find the perfect place for it and hang it up!

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Mine is to become the center of a photo area on my walls.

So my fellow creators and crafters, get creative and do what we do best and craft your hearts out and put the creative minds to work to spruce up your walls for almost nothing!

Cheers!

Snazzing up the filing cabinet

So today is clean up day, trying to organize my room and craft supplies as they seem to have taken over my entire room. Laying on tables, in their proper place in drawers etc… So in the midst of cleaning up I also ended up cleaning up the filing cabinet as well. Now, my cabinet was passed around from my mother to my sister and eventually to me. There is a dent in the bottom drawer that prevents it from closing properly but it still does the job and works just fine. But it was just a flat scratched up black. In the midst of cleaning as well I found a roll of contact paper. Put two and two together and what do you get? A snazzy new looking filing cabinet! YAY!

 

 

 

 

 

 

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So on the left we have the “Before Picture” I forgot to take an official before picture but only one drawer was done so it’s pretty much completely undone.

On the right we have the “After Picture” I think it looks much much better! Although the dent is still there, it is at lest a bit more tolerable and not much of an eye sore.

 

 

 

So here is what you will need:

  • Filing cabinet
  • Contact paper
  • Ruler or measuring tape
  • Scissors or X-Acto knife

Measure each drawer dimensions and match on the contact paper

Mark out each drawer and cut out

The tricky part is the handle, for this I measured the drawer to the top of the handle, as well as from each side to the ends of the handles to get the height and width of the handle. I drew out a rectangle and cut along the top and sides of the handle so there is something like a flap.

Without peeling off the back of the contact paper, fit the flap over the handle to ensure it fits and no adjustments need to be made. From here, I marked the inside of the handle.

Taking off the contact paper i cut out the squares to fit the handle without having the black show through in between the handle.

It looked something like this

CAM00379From here peel off a portion of the contact paper, I found it easier to start from top to bottom.

Slowly peeling off the back and gently pressing along the filing cabinet in case adjustments need to be made. Once it fits how you want it, take a card and smooth out all the little bubbles that remain.

You may need to do some trimming on the sides for over hang, or simply fold them over to the sides.

And there we have it! A simple upgrade in about 15 minutes!

Cheers!

 

Fun With Sharpies


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Today is just another Tuesday, and while I am injured due to a fall down my stairs, I am still crafting! Being stuck in bed sucks, and with limited motions I needed to find something that was quick but entertaining to fill a bit of time while I lay in bed. I have seen this craft pop up on Pinterest numerous amounts of time and kept telling myself that I would try it. I just never had a reason. Well, yet again I bring up Easter. It is right around the corner and I needed something to fill up the baskets I am putting together for my parents and my sons other grandparents for helping me out.

I had already picked up some mugs from the dollar store when I first came across this, hoping to find something to put them to use. I pulled out the stash of sharpies and scanned through fonts to find the perfect one for the header on each mug. Traced out each word for Grandma and Grandpa and went to it.

By far the trickiest thing was trying to figure out how to transfer the words from paper onto the mug without having to do some intricate cutting. *Tip* Place the paper on the mug how you want it positioned, traced over the words or design on the paper with your sharpie. Enough of the ink will seep through and leave a faint look of what you are wanting on the mug. Just fill it in after removing the paper**

After you are done you art work on a mug simply place it in the oven turn up the heat to 350 and leave for 30 mins. I suggest leaving it in the oven until it is fully cooled.

And VOILA! Awesome personalized mugs ready for the Easter baskets!

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These are awesome and cheap ways to put something together for many occasions. I think this might become a regular craft to include in baskets or gifts. I’m sure it would work out great on plates, bowls and other dinnerware or vases as well.

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Cheers!

2 For 1 Crafting!

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Taking a break from my crochet projects, I began to think about upcoming events that I need to prepare for and what I will need to get for them. Thinking about this brought up, well, Easter. In the next few weeks Easter will be upon us and I just don’t want to go out and buy cards and other little things. So instead I raided my cupboards first. Noticing my massive stack of card stock for scrap booking, I figured that I would make my own this year. It makes it more personal, as do all crafting gifts, plus it gives my fingers a rest from all the crocheting I have been doing.

So naturally I hit up Pinterest for some inspiration for my Easter cards, and in doing so I discovered this wonderful technique called paper quilling!  There was only one picture of it and for the life of me I cannot find it again but it got me thinking. Got the gears moving away from yarn and into paper. So I researched the technique and it really is quite easy, but there is a catch. You need a quilling tool. So, again, taking a look at this tool that is needed I thought to myself hmm well I can make that!

So now I bring to you the results of my day along with the wonderful site that helped me learn this very easy and cheap crafting technique that can be used for many of things. From cards to pictures, from words to wall art!

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Here is the quilling tool that I made. Using once again the wine corks!

I am sure that I will find many of uses for the remainder of the corks that I have left. But for this project, I simply took the one cork that looked most like a good handle.

I pulled out my sewing box and found that stash of needles, took the one with the largest eye and headed for the garage. Pulling out the wire cutters I cut off the tip of the eye so it is left open, stuck the needle in the cork and VOILA! Instant paper quilling tool! Yippee! Now off to quilling I go!

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Now, there are many different ways to go about this. There are many different shapes that can come of this and I am sure the next tutorial will be on the different shapes, but at the moment I simply do not have the time to sit and take pictures of all the different techniques but I am sure you will love it too.

Simply put, you take an 8.5″ X 11″ colored piece of paper, cut into 1/8″ strips

Insert the end of one strip into the slot of your tool, and twist, twist and twist some more until it’s fully coiled up.

Now you can leave it tightly coiled and glue the end down or you can allow it to naturally loosen and create different shapes and designs like the one I have done for one of my Easter cards.

Origami Resource Center is the best site thus far that I have found for instructions and is where I picked this cute little craft up from.
So have fun, roll some paper up, create and enjoy!

Happy crafting!
Cheers!

Facebook page or new business Facebook account

Among the many social networking sites available to businesses, especially handmade items, I can agree that Facebook is one of the biggest for networking and putting your business out there. It boosts everything from Etsy shop visits to views and followers of your blog. This all I am very aware. But as I sit here with Facebook wide open, cursor hovering over the create page button, I ask, should I just create a new Facebook account all together for Via Hand?

I don’t want my personal account linked to the business, what with games and friend comments and such, its just too… well.. personal. It’s just not the best way to do business. So, if I were to create a page via my personal account, will this then allow others to view my personal account? Or is it just best to create a new account? I have had mixed results with my readings and I just wanted to get everyone’s opinion on this.

Cheers!

Your Hands Are Your Tools, Take Care of Them

I am currently working on another large order. In doing so, my hands have been non stop working. As a result, my arms, wrists, shoulders are aching for me to stop. Knowing I still have quite a bit to go, I sat there and thought of all the lessons that have been driven into my head by my college professors. You see, not only am I an avid crocheter and crafter, but I am also a graduated massage therapist. Throughout my years in school, it was always drilled into us that our hands and arms are our tools and we need to take care of them. They  gave us little tips and tricks to keep us from wearing out early with the added stress that we are putting our bodies through.

Then it dawned on me, why am I not doing these things when I am trying to finish off orders? Or doing them at all period whenever I am creating? I am quite sure that most of you out there have had these sames aches and pains. Wrists cracking, forearms getting sore from the constant turning and weaving of yarn. Shoulders screaming for you to rest and stretch. But do we all know these little stretches that can save us from these pains? Probably not. Most people just shrug it off as tension and jump into a bath, or run a hot shower. Not bad ideas, if you are continually stretching and strengthening those muscles that you need to keep up with your daily work or hobbies.

So I thought I would share with you today a few little tricks that will save your hands.

Forearms:

  • We all know that simple stretch, extend your elbow, flex your wrist downwards and hold. Usually we are told to hold for 30 seconds and then stop, but the best way to stretch is to keep holding until the stretch feels like its going away. 
  • Next, with your elbow still extended, flew your wrist upwards toward the ceiling. Again, hold until the stretch starts to feel like its going away.

**Note: Do not overstretch! A stretch should not hurt. If it starts to hurt, lessen the pressure until you feel the stretch but it does not hurt**

Wrists:

  • Place your palms together, like you are praying, hold your elbows out at a 90 degree angle. This stretch you will feel along the under side of your wrists
  • Clasp your hands together, and rotate them in a sort of figure 8 pattern, repeat this 10 times
  • Hold your arm out frontwards again at a 90 degree angle. Tuck your thumb into a fist, and tilt your fist towards the floor. This stretch can be a bit difficult, and if causes pain,  again decrease the amount of stretch until it does not cause you pain. 
  • Do a range of motion with your fingers – For each finger pull gently 4 times, and rotate  it in a circle and up and down.

Now I personally have shoulder issues, knowing that I tend to hunch forward with my shoulders rolled forwards as well, need to stretch my pec muscles. 

To do this:

  • Find a corner of a wall
  • stand parallel to the corner with your arm outstretched at a 90 degree angle to the side, with your palm flat on the wall. (For example, you are stretching the right side, stand with your right arm out to the side palm against the wall)
  • With your palm still on the wall take ONE step forward
  • You should feel the stretch from the the top of your shoulder joint and into the chest, pec area. 
  • Repeat on opposite side

A lot of people have troubles with their trap (Trapezius) muscles. They are the ones that are on top of your shoulder, running from your neck into the shoulder joint. 

For these:

  1. Sit on a chair
  2. Again we will use the right side as an example: Grasp the bottom of the chair with your right hand
  3. Tilt your head to the left,
  4. using your left hand, apply slight pressure to the stretch by pulling your head a bit further to the left side
  5. Once the stretch feels like it is dissipating, bring your head back up to a neutral position, Turn your head from side to side
  6. Repeat steps 1 – 3, before applying pressure to the stretch, while tilting your head to the left, turn your head to the left as well, as if sniffing your armpit (I know doesn’t sound pleasant does it?)
  7. Again apply pressure slightly to further the stretch if needed.
  8. Repeat on other side

Another quick tip, if you are suffering from tendinitis or carpel tunnel, you can do a quick ice bath to help relieve the pain and burning that accompanies it.

Ice Bath:

  • You will need a large basin, ice and cool water
  • Fill the basin with cool water, and add the ice (Yes very simple)
  • Submerge your elbow, wrist, forearm, what ever is bothering you, into the ice bath
  • REMEMBER – Only keep your arm in the bath until it goes numb. No longer! If you keep your arm submerged longer than initial numbness, you can risk further damage.

I am happy to help with any other areas needing care if I haven’t touched on them. 

Just remember, your hands are your tools and you need to take care of them.

Cheers and happy healthy crafting!