Kimara's blog

The Reader's Path

Several weeks ago I stumbled upon this picture somewhere... out there... on the net. After a bit of searching, I came up with the original. It is titled "The Reader's Path", which was digitally created by "jerry8448". I purchased a 20" x 30" print of it from Deviant Art. http://browse.deviantart.com/art/The-Reader-s-Path-345536889 (Notice the names of the books on spines :)

There is a few things you should know about me, if you don't already. First off... I love the world of fantasy. Duh, right? I love fantasy books, I love creating toys that allow children to play with fantasy characters, and I love letting my imagination soar in these worlds.

Next, I am a "geekish"... not brilliant enough to be a true "geek", but I've manage to surround myself with a cozy little nest of geeks :) 

Finally, I'm a "gamer". When my children were in college they started playing online games like Everquest and World of Warcraft. In the beginning, they dragged me kicking and screaming into these fantastical worlds, where I continually got lost and I would have thought I was more hassle than I was worth! But, I suppose I had long ago taught my wee ones that "A family that plays together, stays together", and they had no intention of leaving me behind! A 58 year old Gammy certainly isn't your typical gamer, but Azeroth has become a bit of a "home away from home" to me, and you'll still find me running amuck with my children in WOW.

Having said all that, I think you can understand why I fell in love with this picture. It appeals to my sense of fantasy, my interest in computers, my love of reading, and it resembles the worlds in which we game. Tim loved the picture, too, and after it came in we had it professionally framed using a wide, distressed frame and museum glass.

Then, came the question of where to hang the picture. I knew I wanted it in our family room where Tim and I have our computers. (They are side by side... very romantic :) I knew from the start that I didn't want to hang the picture in a traditional way. Pictures hung flat on a wall can be overlooked. I wanted this picture to "pull you in" to a world of fantasy. I decided to hang it on a 45 degree angle in the corner. I went on line to try to figure out how to accomplish this. I couldn't find a single posting where someone hung a picture in a corner.

Well, leave it to Tim to accommodate my wild whims!  He came up with an awesome way to hang a corner picture, and I thought I'd share it, incase you were ever so inclined :)

He began my cutting a 1" x 3" board an 1/8" smaller than the width of the picture frame. He than cut the ends on 45 degree angles. We determined where we wanted the board, and he screwed both ends into the wall. (He used molly bolts in the dry wall.)

Our picture had a wire on the back for hanging. Using 2 pan screws (wide, flat headed screws) we simply attached the picture to the wooden bar.

Wah-lah... a rather unorthodox way to hang a picture, but it creates an interesting effect, inviting you to walk up the path into a world of fantasy. Note: I am disappointed that my photos really don't do this justice. It really is quite striking. My work table faces the picture. I must admit I often find myself daydreaming as I cautiously climb the books, on the lookout for fairies and gnomes :)

Photos 2-26-13

  

Peg Owl Tutorial

Whoooo wants a couple of adorable owls to come stay at their house? I think the real question is Whoooo wouldn't :) Using traditional wooden pegs and felt, these little guys can take their place with your gnomes, fairies and other woodland animals. And, using our basic pattern, you can personalize these wee owls to suit your fancy. Make one or make a "parliament" of owls. This duet will fit easily into my travel bag when I go visit the wee ones in Wisconsin next week. I hope they like snow :)

Materials:
Wooden pegs - 2 3/8" x 7/8" 
Wool felt
Embroidery floss in coordinating colors
Crafting glue
Stuffing material
Batting - I used thin cotton batting
Pattern

READ ALL INSTRUCTIONS BEFORE YOU BEGIN TO PREVENT MISUSE OF MATERIALS.

IMPORTANT: There can be significant variations in the sizes of the wooden pegs even from the same manufacture and even in the same shipment! Before cutting the body wraps out of felt, cut the pieces out of paper, and "try them on" your wooden pegs. Make adjustments to the paper pattern before cutting out your felt.

The pattern for the Owl Peg can be found HERE.

The tutorial on How to Cut Out Felt can be found HERE.

The Stitching Glossary can be found HERE.

Directions:
Make a copy of the pattern.

Following the photo or your own imagination, cut out felt using the pattern.

Glue body wrap to the wooden peg. Match the bottom edge of the wrap with the bottom edge of the wooden peg.

Following the guidelines on the pattern, stitch appliques to owls body as follows:
-Stitch chest to body using a blanket stitch and 3 strands floss.
-Stitch beak to body using a running stitch and 2 strands floss.
-Stitch eyes to body using a blanket stitch and 3 strands floss.
-Add eye detail using a straight stitch and 6 strands of floss. If you would like, using the same piece of thread, you can tack down every other straight stitch in the center of the eye using a small stitch. This will help secure the stitches. (Please note: the pattern says "3 strands" of floss. I simply couldn't ask Michelle to make another PDF to fix it!)
-Add detail to the chest using a straight stitch and 6 strands of floss.

Now, with wrong sides together stitch the front of the owl's body to the back using a blanket stitch and 3 strands of floss. 

Add the feather detail to the wing using a stem stitch and 3 strands of floss.

With wrong sides together, stitch a wing front to a wing back using a blanket stitch and 3 strands of floss. Only stitch the sides and bottom of the wing, DO NOT stitch the top of the wing above the "attach line". Refer to pattern. IMPORTANT: Do not cut thread! 

Position a wing on the side of the owl. Use photos and patterns for positioning. Pin in place.

Using the same thread, continue blanket stitching the top of the wing, but now you will also be sewing it directly to the owl's body. Do the other wing in the same manner.

You are now done with the owl's body.

To attach the body to the peg, begin my cutting a strip of batting 3/4" wide. I used a thin cotton batting.
 

Depending on the thickness of your batting, wrap the batting strip around the peg to get the width you want. With my thin batting, I wrapped the peg twice. Cut off additional batting. Note: Use enough batting so when you slide the owl body over the peg, the owls chest is firmly stuffed. Before you glue the batting to the peg, "try the body on", by carefully sliding it over the batting, to make sure you are happy with the fit.

Place glue on the peg where the batting will go. Glue the batting to the peg. Note: If you are wrapping the peg twice, start wrapping the batting around the peg, then place more glue on the batting that is wrapped around the peg, and finish wrapping the peg. Press together and allow to dry completely before going on to the next step.

Using a small amount of stuffing, stuff the ears of the owl and place a little at the top of the head. When you place the body over the peg, you want the top of the owl's head to almost sit directly on the top of the peg. Do not over stuff!

Place glue on the batting and the top of the wooden peg and carefully slide the peg into the owl being careful not to get glue on the outside of the owl's body. Note: Position the peg so the seam of the body wrap is at the back of the owl.

Before glue dries, fuss with the owl's positioning, making sure the body is centered. Hold the owl's body against the peg until the glue begins to set. This should only tack a couple of minutes.

Allow to dry completely. Now, make a friend or two for your new owls and introduce them to your gnomes, fairies, and other woodland animals :)


 

 

http://www.weefolkart.com
Copyright © Wee Folk Art 2008 - 2013. All rights reserved.

All photos, text and patterns are copyright protected. You may not copy, reproduce or redistribute any material found on WeeFolkArt.com without written permission. Wee Folk Art retains all rights.

Photos 2-21-13, 2-21-13

 

Making Rolled Paper Beads

Making rolled paper beads is so easy, and they turn out so beautiful, that you will find that you can easily get addicted to this nifty past time. What do you do with the beads when you are done? Anything you would do with any other beads. The durability of the bead really depends on how the beads are finished. So, let's just jump in and get started.

Materials Needed:
Paper - I love using colorful catalogs. My favorite are Fossil Catalogs. Usually they have beautiful theme colors. You can also use used wrapping paper, newspaper, or use regular printer paper and color your own. If you do that, however, make sure to use markers that will not bleed with wet.

Scissors

Pencil and ruler - optional

Glue - I like using glue sticks but any of the crafting glues are fine

Rolling bar - You will be rolling strips of paper around something. You can use skewers, round toothpicks or small sized knitting needles. (Note: the needles may be damaged by glue so only use old needles : ) Obviously, the smaller the diameter of the rolling bar, the smaller the hole in the bead. I used size 4 knitting needles. This left a bigger hole making it easier for the wee ones to thread.

Finishing/Sealer - Optional - You can use Modge Podge, clear nail polish, crafting glue watered down about half and half, polyurethane or leave unfinished.

Begin by cutting the paper into long triangular strips. I simply eyeballed the process. I'd take a piece of paper, say an 8 1/2" x 11" sheet of paper or magazine page, and starting at one side, cut across to the other side. Then I'd make another cut, about 1" to 1 1/2" from my last cut, but angling my cut so I'd be down to a point on the other end. I'd flip the paper over and go back the other way. My triangles were about 8 1/2" long. The triangles weren't perfect, but when you rolled them, it really didn't matter. If you prefer, you can actually use a ruler and pencil and mark the paper giving yourself cutting lines. I tried that once, but it dramatically slowed me down so I just cut willy nilly : ) The paper can be cut wider and narrower and longer and shorter to change the size of the bead.

When you have your strips, begin rolling one at a time on your rolling bar. Start at the wide side. You want to roll them tight so the beads are solid, but not so tight you can't get them off the bar. TIP: If you are having trouble getting the end to stay in place as you begin to roll, you can moisten the very end SLIGHTLY. (Barely moistened.) Uh, would I totally gross you guys out if I told you I just stick the end between my lips for a second? If I did gross you out, umm... I was just kidding  :)

When you get down to the last couple inches, put glue on the end. This is really easy to do with a glue stick.

Let the glue dry. (With the glue stick, I was able to take the beads off almost immediately.) You can now remove the bead. Try twisting the bead as you remove it from the rolling bar. If you pull it straight off, sometimes the bead will unravel.

Finishing the beads: If you decide to finish the beads, which I do recommend, simply coat the bead with your sealer of choice and allow to dry completely. If you are using a hard finish like polyurethane or clear nail polish, it works well to use toothpicks. Instead of removing your bead, leave it on, and put on the finish. You can push the toothpicks into Styrofoam so the beads do not touch one another. When dry, remove. This will give the hardest finish that should not stick together if moist. (Humidity or skin moisture.)

Using glue or Modge Podge is faster and children can help, but it won't give you as tough a finish. I found I could string the beads side by side on a knitting needle and coat several at a time with Modge Podge. When they dried, I slipped them off the knitting needle and they easily popped apart.

Now, simply decide what you want to do with your beads and string them together :)


http://www.weefolkart.com
Copyright © Wee Folk Art 2008 - 2013. All rights reserved.

All photos, text and patterns are copyright protected. You may not copy, reproduce or redistribute any material found on WeeFolkArt.com without written permission. Wee Folk Art retains all rights.

 

Photos 12-5/16-12

 

Dishclothes

When learning a new craft, there are several scenarios that you should try to avoid. First, avoid projects that are FAR above your abilities. It’s okay to be challenged, but if the project is too hard, you will inevitably become frustrated,... and this can result in the abandonment of a craft before you've had a chance to really get to know it. On the flip side, stay away from projects that are mind numbingly booorrrring! I remember a friend of mine went to a knitting class, and came home with enough beige yarn to make a 14’ scarf… true story! It took her 2 years to finish it. Not because it was hard, but she felt knitting wasn’t stimulate. Uh, ya think? Finally, to use William Morris’ quote, “Have nothing your house that you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful.” You can easily change this quote to “CREATE nothing that you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful.” Don’t get me started on the projects my children created in shop class. Point of discussion… how long must a parent display a hideous paper napkin holder on the dining room table (we actually had to buy some paper napkins to use it) before you can guilt free use it as kindling?

Anyway… this is a really, really long winded introduction to the array of dishcloths pictured here. If you are new to knitting or crocheting, I think dishcloths are a wonderful way to learn a new skill. Why? First, there is an almost infinite variety of dishcloth/washcloth patterns for beginners and advanced knitters/crocheters. Do a Google search on "knit or crochet dishcloth patterns", and you could easily make something different every day for a year. I did a Google search on "Pinterest dishcloths". Let me tell you, there are a ton of people that seem to like the little buggers. Another reason I like them as a beginning project, they are quick to complete. Nothing breeds success like success. Before you can get bored, you are done and ready to move on to your next project. Finally, they are very useful AND can be very beautiful. Not only can you create a stack for your home, they also make great gifts. Using a light weight yarn, make a stack for a baby shower. As a new mom, you can never have too many washcloths! Make a few, include a bar of handmade soap, and you have a lovely gift for a friend. AND, they make great rugs in a gnome home!

There you have it… my ode to the seemingly lowly dishcloth. So, for all of you out there that have been lamenting your inability to knit or crochet, start out with the simple dishcloth. There are a ton of patterns online. You will easily find one that matches your skill level : )

You can get the pattern for the dishcloth pictured HERE.

Reprint on Facebook 2-11-2013

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Cup of Cocoa Applique Block

With Valentine's Day quickly approaching, we are prompted to think about romantic love. But I must admit, I've never really bought into Valentine's Day. Don't get me wrong, I love romance, really, big fan of it, HOWEVER, I don't like "traditional holidays" that mandate romance. Getting flowers on Valentine's Day or Sweetest Day does nothing for me. I guess I'm as cynical as Lucy Van Pelt when she references Christmas, but I extend the message to Valentine's Day... "It's run by a big eastern syndicate you know." : ) No, to me, romance is when Tim brings me coffee in bed, sits next to me instead of across from me at restaurants so he can hold my hand, or when he works from home on days when I am sick so he can let the dogs out. Valentine's Day can't hold a candle to real, everyday romance for me.

That's not to say I don't appreciate Valentine's Day. I love the red and pink hearts, and take it as a gentle reminder to appreciate all the people we love. At Valentine's Day, I tend to think about all the friends that have touched me life. The friends that I have laughed and cried with, those that have remained over the decades, and those whose names have long since been forgotten. Each one has touched my heart, and I use Valentine's Day as a Memorial Day of the Heart : )

Yesterday I had the joy of connecting up with a friend I haven't chatted with in 10 years. As we sat around drinking coffee, I felt as at ease with her as ever. When we left Panera's, I realized we had talked for over 3 hours. Lovely! It is to all of my friends, past and present, that I thought about when I created this applique. I can think of no finer Valentine's gift than to be able to sit around with my friends, sharing, laughing and whiling away the hours. This yummy mug of hot cocoa... actually, for me it works to call it a frothy cappuccino, is meant to be shared with friends. That's why I'm sharing it with all of you : )

On to business : ) This applique block was created to fit a 6" x 6" block, but it can be enlarged or reduced to meet your needs. Enjoy : )
 
The pattern for the Cup of Cocoa Applique Block can be found HERE.

The tutorial on How to Enlarge and Reduce can be found HERE.

The tutorial on How to Cut Out Felt can be found HERE.

The Stitching Glossary can be found HERE.

DIRECTIONS - Refer to pattern and photo for applique placements and cutting instructions.

Make a copy of the pattern.

Cut out felt. Transfer any embroidery markings.

Using a blanket stitch, sew cup to block using 3 strands floss.

Using a stem stitch, add the cup lines using 6 strands floss.

Using a blanket stitch, sew the side edges of the bottom scalloped band using 3 strands floss.

Using a blanket stitch, sew the side edges of the top scalloped band using 3 strands floss.

Using a running stitch, sew handle to cup using 2 strands floss.

Add French knots in the center of each scallop of the two bands using 6 strands floss.

Using a blanket stitch, sew the whipped cream to the block using 3 strands floss.

Using a stem stitch, add whipped cream detail using 6 strands floss.

Using a straight stitch, add "sprinkles" to whipped cream using 6 strands floss.

Using a lazy daisy stitch, add flowers to cup lines using 6 strands floss.

Add French knots to the center of each flower using 6 strands floss.

 

http://www.weefolkart.com
Copyright © Wee Folk Art 2008 - 2013. All rights reserved.

PHOTO: 1-19-10

 

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