Sunday, June 21, 2015

Birthday gifts

We've celebrated a couple of birthdays lately-- meaning more Personalized Name Pillows pattern from Kimberbell Designs!

Flynn's favorite color is green:

Flynn's pillow, front view

I used a green dimple dot on the back. So soft!

Flynn's pillow, top view

Max's favorite color is white.

Max's pillow, front view

I couldn't bring myself to make a white pillow for a 5 year old, so I went with blue (a second favorite) and silver (which is kind of white-ish, right?).

Max's pillow, detail view

I used a cool textured silver lame for the star accents.

Max's pillow, top view

The back has a silver-grey minkee stripe. Super cozy!

As ever, the pillows were fun to make and were received with great cheer. Truly, this pattern is fabulous!!!

Saturday, June 20, 2015

Teacher gifts

The last day of school for Big Bear was on Thursday. I made a couple of gifts for his teacher.

First was a collaborative gift I put together from the class (heavily inspired by Pinterest, of course!).

framed butterfly art

Each student painted a 4" square of watercolor paper and signed the back of the square. I then used a Cricut machine to cut out the butterfly shapes from the painted squares as well as from colored tissue paper. I glued tissue paper butterflies to the back of each cutout both to cover the writing on the back as well as to give some more color. I then pasted the tissue paper cutouts onto the background (a 12" x 12" heavyweight scrapbook paper) to act as sort of "shadows" for the dimensional butterflies. The background paper turned out not to be heavy enough and was bowing/curling from the glue even before I added the dimensional butterflies. So I backed the whole thing with some thick paperboard cut to size which flattened everything back out. Then I scored each of the painted butterfly shapes on either side of the middle, carefully folded up the wings and antennae and used hot glue to position each atop a "shadow."

butterfly art in profile so you can see the shadows

The quote was one I found online that I printed onto vellum and glued to the background. It was perfect as they spent the last 2 months studying butterflies as a part of their second grace curriculum.

butterfly art, unframed

I didn't have time or space (12" x 12" was a tight fit for all those butterflies!) to have the kiddos sign the actual piece. So before cutting, I photographed the names on the back of the squares. Then I used Paint Shop Pro to resize the names so they were proportionally the same size. I printed them out and then traced them onto the corner of the background.

I found a relatively inexpensive 12" x 12" shadowbox frame at Michaels to finish it off.

As papercrafting is not my thing, I'm pretty pleased with how this project turned out. And Big Bear's teacher was happily surprised and touched by the gift. Yay!

In addition to the class gift, I also decided to put together a little gift basket to the teacher from our family. I used Pink Penguin's happy little patchwork basket tutorial, but enlarged it a bit so that it finished at 5" x 7".

gift basket, back

I used some linen for the body of the basket and a cute linen/cotton charm pack (purchased from Michelle Engel Bencsko's Cicada Studio way back in 2008) for the patchwork. I interfaced the linen before sewing to give it some stability and used fusible fleece for the inner lining. The lining fabric is quilting cotton from my stash.

gift basket, inside view

The basket didn't go together entirely as expected. The thickness of the charm square fabric did not lend itself to finishing in the manner as called for in the pattern. So I improvised, resulting in the narrow border of lining along the top of the basket. It worked out okay, but it is not as tidy as I would have liked.

gift basket, side view

I didn't get a picture of it all filled with goodies, but they included a Starbucks tumbler (one of the fancy duo-chromatic ones that just lately came out), a Starbucks gift card, a gourmet chocolate bar, and a gift card to her favorite restaurant, along with a heartfelt thank you card.

gift basket, front

Hopefully, she enjoys it!