Paper and Fiber Arts

Welcome to my mixed media blog. Thanks for stopping by.

Thursday, October 31, 2019

Happy Halloween! Trick or Treat Idea for a Toddler

For some of us, Halloween is all about candy.  For others, it is about the costumes, parties, decorations, cooler weather, walking the neighborhood and seeing neighbors. The candy is kind of a bonus as you get a little exercise. When you are small, you do not have the chops to be able to even eat candy and you do not understand the rest of the hoopla, either.
Nor do you have long enough legs to do the marathon walking for which veteran trick or treaters pride themselves. And since you have to be in bed by 7:30, you aren't going out to get candy anyway. But, if you have a Gigi (or someone else who sews) who wants you to begin to learn about Trick or Treating, you may get a little Halloween game to play at home. This was designed for a 16-month-old to use until she gets bored.  Or about 3 or 4 minutes at a time.

 Yesterday, I posted about some machine embroidery that I had been doing. That post is here.  While working on those projects I came up with some In-the-Hoop projects of my own design.

These are simple shapes that I embroidered in the hoop. After making the faces in my embroidery software and stitching them out, I put the back piece of fabric on and embroidered most of the way around leaving a gap to add stuffing. Pictured below is the chocolate candy bar.  These are made from felt.  It is a very inexpensive fabric that holds the designs quite well. 

The game is to practice Trick or Treating, so she needed a bag to hold her little play candies.  Here is the design that I stitched on the small tote bag that I made for her.  I hope she will be able to use the bag next year, even if the candies are no longer of interest to her.

This next picture is just because it makes me laugh every time I see it.  Amelia has been into yoga since she could stand.  She is visiting me next week and I can not wait to see what new poses she has mastered!
Lastly, I decided that I need something else to do to keep me busy so I have started a new venture and a new blog.  More to follow in the next day or two.

 Wishing you all a safe and Happy Halloween!

Wednesday, October 30, 2019

Machine Embroidery Projects Make Great Gifts

My sweet little granddaughter is now back home in Arizona with her parents. Her extended stay with us was so much fun!  It was hard getting used to the quiet after she left but I revved up my sewing machine and got to work making some gifts. The noise of the embroidery unit doesn't bring me as much joy as dear, little Amelia - but it was productive, at least!

Embroidery design from Embroidery Library
 First up, is a book bag. We have a wonderful public library just a short drive from home and I thought my daughter might like a new bag in which to carry her haul. We go there almost every week and usually check out a movie, also.  These designs are ones that I purchased from Embroidery Library and Urban Threads. The bag I sewed from two heavy denim fabrics that were leftover from other projects. I didn't have enough black for an entire bag so I sewed it to the off-white denim and cut it out using an Accuquilt die for a tote bag. I purchased the die a long time ago to make Christmas presents for people and never got a chance to use it.  I absolutely love it! It is so easy!
Embroidery design from Urban Threads

Next up is this adorable little penguin.  He is an In-the-Hoop design from Urban Threads. I made one for Amelia before she left and my 14-year old daughter wanted one, too!  I learned a lot about embroidering on Minkee and fur fabrics with this little guy and a couple of other stuffed critters from Urban Threads. Unfortunately, I do not have a photo of the pink hedgehog or the big stuffed sloth because they moved to Arizona with Amelia.
 If you aren't familiar with in the hoop embroidery designs and you have an embroidery machine, I would recommend giving them a try!  They are very satisfying to make because they are so quick! The instant gratification factor is huge with this type of embroidery.

 The designs stitch out a placement line for your fabric. Urban Threads gives you a pattern to pre-cut the fabric to the correct shape.  After it sews the line, you put the shape on top and sew a tacking stitch. Then follow the directions until you have your completed project. Easy!

Minky Embroidered Penguin Body
Topping Stabilizer on top of Minky Fabric
One of the main things that I learned in embroidering on top of fur or Minky fabric is that it is really important to use a topper so that your stitches don't get lost in all of that snuggly fabric.  This particular kind uses heat to get rid of the tiny pieces that you can not cut-away. If you use this, make sure that the fabric you are applying it on can take the heat.

Last up is this apron with an Urban Threads design on it.  I bought a bunch of aprons last year for Christmas presents and sewed different designs on each.  This design was still on my USB stick and I had not embroidered on it yet.  I think it is perfect for most of the introverts that I know!

Tomorrow, I will post a few more pictures of some additional embroidery that I did with my own designs for Amelia.

I hope all is well wherever you are and you are getting some crafting time in to keep your heart singing.

Tuesday, July 30, 2019

Second Interactive Countdown to Christmas Advent Calendar Card

I had so much fun with the card that I posted here, that I thought I'd make another one.  This second interactive Countdown to Christmas Advent Calendar Card took a little less time because the numbers were cut from washi. Instead of stamping a greeting under each door I thought it would be fun to use the card for a lift-the-flap scavenger hunt. I am going to write a clue under each door so that my daughter can seek out a small treat or gift hidden somewhere in the house.  She will be 15 years old when we do this in December.  Hopefully, she won't think it is too corny!

The other difference on this card from yesterday's is that the numbers were made from washi tape instead of die cuts.  Stickers would work well, too! This is a standard A2 size 4.25 x 5.5 inch card. That means it is easy to mail!

If you have made anything for Christmas, I would love to see it!
Thanks for stopping by today!

As always, if you are in the market for any new goodies, listed below are the currently available supplies from You are not charged anything extra for shopping with them and I make a small commission if you purchase something.  Thank you for supporting a fellow crafter!

Monday, July 29, 2019

Christmas in July - Countdown to Christmas Advent Card

Hero Arts Presents Background Stamp with Peek A Boo Doors Die to create an Advent Calendar Card

On the one hand, I love Christmas so I think it is great to get a headstart on crafting for the holidays as soon as Christmas is over. On the other hand, I feel a bit overwhelmed if I haven't started crafting holiday gifts and cards by this time of the year. Bearing that in mind, I just made my first Christmas item for this year.  It is a Countdown to Christmas Advent Card.

The idea behind this card was actually my 14-year old's as she was watching me stamp, emboss and die cut. She suggested turning the card into an Advent Calendar.  I've made many Advent Calendars over the years and here are some posts with a variety of different kinds of creations, here, here, here, and here. The last post has a list of activities that a child or family could do on each day as they count their way to Christmas.

Tim Holtz Sizzix die for numbers and Christmas Greetings Stamps from Hero Arts

This card was considerably more complicated than most of the ones I have been making this month. However, it was fun! And it really did not take a huge amount of time... just some searching for numbers to die-cut that were the right size.  It would have been easy to use the Cricut or Silhouette, but I had my Vagabond out and wanted to use that if I could.  It turns out the Sizzix Tim Holtz Thinlet Mixed Media set pictured above was a perfect match.  Adhering 4" wide strips of double-sided adhesive to cardstock made it very easy to cut, peel, and stick the numbers to each of the little doors.
Please let me know if you have any questions.

Today is the last day of both Sizzix and's Christmas in July sale. I am posting the links to for the current products I used in case you are in the market for any of these things and want to hit up a good sale!  Hero Arts Stamps just released their Winter Catalog. You might want to check out their site for inspiration. Here is the list of items that I used:

Sunday, July 28, 2019

Quick & Easy, Clean and Simple Die Cut Cards

Hero Arts Die-Cut Butterflies from Glitter Paper

Are you a fan of Clean and Simple (CAS) cards?  I love that they can be impactful in their beautiful simplicity. These quick and easy die-cut cards did not take very much time to make. However, I don't think they suffered for their ease.

Penny Black Die-Cut Framed Thanks Layered on Vellum
It has been a long time since I have used vellum paper. This is mainly because I sort of forgot about it! The Penny Black Framed Thanks die seems like the perfect cut image to layer over vellum.  I wanted to keep this card all white, but it still needed something a little extra.  The edge-cut lace die from Pinkfresh Studios added the perfect step-up.

This last card took the longest amount of time because I cut tiny pieces of Scotch tape to adhere the lattice looking die-cut onto the red cardstock card base. The dies were cut out of gold glitter paper using a Hero Arts Confetti Die and black cardstock from the Penny Black Love and Miss You set.