Saturday, February 12, 2011

Pirate Valentines

Aren't these Valentines perfect? The perfect weekend project for me and my littles of course! The creative mind behind these pirates is Mer Mag -not only does she share her idea but also a printable pdf as well (in boy and girl pirate). Thanks Mer Mag!

So simple you could still pull it off before Monday -Mer Mag's stitching on the felt eye-patches is super cute but you can also make it Kindergarten friendly by pulling out the glue stick. Doesn't the pencils make it look like little ship sails? Arrrgh, Valentine!

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Valentine Felt Cookie Tutorial

I love nothing more than hearing about what people are making with Benzie Blend Felt. When Jahje contacted me about a sweet valentine tutorial -I couldn't pass up the opportunity to share it with you! All you need is some Benzie Blend Felt, needle and floss, scissors, scrap paper and a bit of polyfil. Jahje has graciously allowed me to share the instructions on Benzie but here is the original post. Then you must visit Jahje's soft and whimsical mobile shop, Baby Jives, simply beautiful!

Now on to the cookies!

1. Fold your pattern paper or tracing paper in half and cut out half a heart.  Think back to making valentines in 2nd Grade - you know how to do this!

2. Pin your heart pattern onto your red felt and cut around the edges of the heart with your regular shears.

3. Pin your heart pattern on top of your 2 pieces of tan felt which you have stacked and cut around the edges of the heart with your pinking shears.  Follow the edge, don't cut into the paper.

4. Separate your tan felt pieces and fold 1 piece in half along the center line.  Cut a smaller heart into this piece to create a hollow center (see photo below of finished pieces).

Now you have all your pieces cut out and you are ready to start stitching.  I did this all by hand but if you are in a hurry you could do this on your sewing machine instead, you just won't get the nice embroidery detailing.

5. Pin your top cookie piece to your middle red heart layer and pull your embroidery floss through from the red piece up through the tan piece so that the knot will be under the red (and won't show).  Now sew around the edge of the heart window with a running stitch (see this tutorial for refresher).

6. Once you are done it should look like this.  Now get your other cookie piece (the one without a heart cut into it) and place it beneath and pin all three layers together.

7. With all 3 layer pinned together - start a new length of embroidery thread from under the red layer and pull through to the front tan piece so your knot will be hidden inside the cookie.  Sew all three layers together with a running stitch around the edge approximately 1/4 inch from the edge.

8.  When you are a few inches from where you started your stitch at the center take a little bit of polyfill (one small handful worth) and place it in the heart.  Then continue your running stitch around the remainder of the edge.

9.  Wrap the thread around your needle and pull the needle through to make a knot.  Then pull the knot into the heart and clip the thread so it will not be seen.

You are done!  You now have a beautiful heart cookie to share with someone special in your life.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Thoughts on Plagiarism in the Creative Marketplace

Subliminal hand work created by Nea.

It's dirty.
Deep down, in the very core of my being, I believe that we were created to be unique, and to create unique things. Sometimes designers, artists and crafters fall below their creative potential and steal someone else's work.
The truly amazing world wide web has flashed images of art and design, craft and photo into our minds -one after another with increasing speed. The delivery is exhilarating and overwhelming -but is any of it really new? A wise man once wrote "Nothing is new under the sun". Our ideas have grown and matured and changed -but at its very core -is anything really original? But we are created to create and what artists share is meant to be enjoyed. We are naturally inspired by good design -sometimes we may even desire to recreate that product as an exercise in learning -that is okay. Don't put your name on it and don't sell it. Give credit where credit is due.

What do I do if I like someone else's craft?
  • Think long and hard before you choose to copy; a designer's income and reputation is at stake. Ask yourself what do you like about the artist’s work? How can you use the inspiration as a stepping stone to something even greater?  It may be best to simply appreciate your neighbor's talents and focus on developing your own unique brand of photos, presentation, copy and design. 

What do I do if I think someone else is copying my work?
  • Think long and hard before you accuse someone of copying. The accused could actually have the same thoughts about your work -could it be a mere matter of coincidence and therefore even be used against you? We are influenced by the same culture and visit the same circles. Give your competitor the benefit of the doubt. If the copy and paste is blatant -please stick up for yourself, politely and professionally. And never slander in a public forum. We're trying to avoid being dirty -right?

I also encourage you to read DIY is not Duplicate it yourself from Decor8.  Also, if you don't read this thought provoking article from Paper n Stitch, at least view the poster!
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