Topic: Homemade Craft Connection

Paper Zodiac Astrology Doll :: Capricorn

This year I wanted to do a monthly project. I first had an idea or each month to do calendar dolls with tearaway tabs, kind of like a Lenten Counter. But that then morphed into Paper Zodiac Astrology Dolls.

I’m pretty happy with the way the first one turned out. I’m going to have a new doll for you each month and by the end of the year there will be a full set of Paper Zodiac Astrology Dolls. So here is the first of a series.

 

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Capricorn

(December 22nd- January 19th)

Element: Earth

Stone: Dark Sapphire

Famous Capricorn: Marilyn Monroe

(Click here to download the PDF printable of the Capricorn Paper Doll)

These Mountain Goat ladies are quite ambitious and determined to make it to “the top of the mountain”. However, sometimes they get a little too one track minded that they can forget to enjoy in the little pleasures and just have fun.  Check here to learn more about the Capricorn Zodiac Sign.

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(Click here to download the PDF printable of the Capricorn Paper Doll)

Homemade Craft Connection: Angelic Ornaments

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Over the holidays I hosted a private Ornament Making Party to help raise funds for my daughter’s school.  It was such a fun evening of laughing and crafting and getting to know these lovely ladies much better. Since it was an intimate affair I wanted to have everyone make something that was personal to them and their families. I asked everyone to send me head shots of the family members that they wanted to make ornaments for and we transformed them into pint-size angelic ornaments.

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I wish I had taken a few better pictures, but I think you can get the gist on how cute they all turned out!!

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Wouldn’t these also make a fabulous Valentine’s day Gift for a loved one. I’m thinking about taking commissions, so if you are interested in having someone turned into a pint-size angelic ornaments for valentines day, a birthday, or just because you love them, send me an email and we’ll make it happen.

The Winter Solstice is a time for letting go

Print

Right before the holidays, under the new moon of the Winter Solstice each member of my family sat down and wrote and created a Fire Release Packets. I first got the idea a few years back from Pixie Campbell  and we’ve been doing it ever since. It’s a lovely ritual to release and leave behind those things that no longer serve us and invoke peace and wholeness while inviting in our good intentions for the start of the new year.
Feeding the solstice fire is a way for us to transfer our energy and reclaim hope. Turning our bad habits and obstacles into something rejuvenating, new and reborn, just like the phoenix rising from the ashes.

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This is how we made our Fire Release Packets:

You’ll Need:

  • A contained fire (either in a fireplace or an outdoor fire pit)
  • A brown paper bag or craft paper
  • Strips of scrap paper
  • Pen or Pencil
  • Scissors
  • String or twine
  • An assortment of symbolic and meaningful herbs  (Pick 3-5 to include from our List)

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SYMBOLIC & MEANINGFUL  HERBS

Ash – is an herb of the sun, for protection
Bay Laurel – to bring in the light of the sun and ward off illness
Camomile – to soothe and cleanse, love and purification
Cinnamon-  success, power, healing, the spice of life, lust, protection, intuitiveness and spirituality
Eucalyptus- wealth, abundance and foretelling
Frankincense – an antiseptic herb to bring purification and protection
Ginger- passion, success, wealth and power
Holly- hope, protection, the co-existence of human and plant spirit and life
Jasmine- sweet love, modesty, sensuality, grace and elegance
Juniper-  staying true to oneself and never compromising your integrity
Lavender – devotion, virtue and acknowledgement
Mint- virtue eternal refreshment, wisdom
Mistletoe – healing, peace, and beautiful dreams
Pine- peace, healing, joy  and humility
Rosemary – remembrance, love, loyalty, fidelity, faithfulness
Sage – wisdom, long life, banish and ward off evil and cleanse spaces of negative influence
Yellow Cedar – for cleansing and purity

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To Make A Fire Release Packet:

  1. Cut your brown paper bag into 5 in squares. One for each person participating in the Fire Release Ritual.
  2. Place a pinch of each of your selected herbs in the center of you square.
  3. On the strips of scrap paper write down what you would like to release and in exchange what you would like to invite into the new year. (See below for some release writing prompt)
  4. Fold each strip and place them in the center of your square.
  5. When you are finished writing fold your paper together to enclose the contents and tie it closed with the twine.
  6. As a group give witness to each other as you gently place your release packet into the fire.
  7. Gaze into the flames in a symbolic gesture of letting go and watching your thoughts and intentions transform.

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RELEASE WRITING PROMPTS to help get you started

  • Write about how you can turn a negative into positives.
  • What do you want to manifest and hold dear.
  • What fears have been holding your back? It might be time to let them go.
  • What are you are working on changing in your life?
  • Align and empower your goals by changing your mindset and thoughts.
  • What old connects are no longer serving you? Let go and release them.
  • Let go of grudges, hurt feeling, petty grievances, emotional wounds and debts owed to you.
  • Where can you turn to for inspiration?
  • What part of you do you want to awaken?
  • Is there an opportunities or some bit of knowledge available to you that you have chosen to overlook or ignore?
  • What intentions would we like to put forward for the next phase of your life?
  • How can you rejuvenate yourself physically and spiritually?
  • What have you taken for granted ? Offer thanks.
  • State and restate personal dreams, goals and desires.

Pixie also offers some really good writing prompts. But most of all remember to be honest with yourself no one but you and the flames of the release fire will see what you’ve enclosed in your packet.

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The Winter Solstice is the time for the releasing so you may step into a new year free and clear of the burdens you have carried.

Homemade Craft Connection :: Potato Print Infinity Scarf

Ava Blu and I made these T-shirt scarfs over her summer vacation, but I thought with the colder whether now upon us it was the perfect time to share. This is a super easy project and a great way to stay warm this winter. No fancy tools or techniques needed here :)

You’ll Need:

An old T-Shirt

Scissors

Cardboard or Chipboard

Potatoes

Kitchen Knife

Craft Knife

Pencil

Cookie Cutters (optional)

Fabric Paint or Acrylic Paint with Fabric Medium

Wax paper (to use as your palette)

Craft or Newspaper (to protect your table surface)

MAKE YOUR SCARF and prep for printing

1. Fold your T-Shirt in half vertically and then in 1/2 again. (This will make it easier for your to cut in a straight line.)

2. While folded cut off the bottom seam of your T-shirt (if it has one).

3. Cut off the bottom third of your T-Shirt. This will be your infinity scarf.

4. Wrap your scarf around your piece of cardboard and stretch it flat. (This will protect the bottom side from getting paint on it while you are printing. 

MAKE YOUR POTATO STAMPS

1. Cut your potato’s in half.

2. Draw a shape or design into the flesh. Simple shapes are easier to carve.

3. With your Craft Knife carve around your design. Cutting away the background.

 

START PRINTING

1. Pick your color palette. 1-2 complimentary colors tends to work best.

2. Squeeze your paint onto your wax paper.

3. Dab your potato stamp into your paint being sure to cover the stamp fully.

4. Press your potato stamp onto your scarf firmly. Lift up and stamp again until the print become paint and reapply paint.

5. Let dry and then stamp the other side.

TIPS: 

  • Use a cookie cutter as a stencil for your stamp. Press it into the flesh of your potato and cut out the negative space.
  • Make multiple stamps of the same shape if you would like to easily alternate colors while stamping.
  • You can preserve your potato stamp for a couple of days by wrapping each in wet paper towels and placing it in a zip lock back in the refrigerator.

Homemade Craft Connection :: Gratitude Mobile

November is the month of Gratitude.

It’s a time to be reminded of all the good in your life. A time to remember your love ones and a chance to be introspective and reflect. What have you learned this past year? How have you grown? What challenges and obstacles did you face and over come? A lot can happen in a year and it’s sometimes too easy for us to keep going and not take the time to stop and remember.

This gratitude mobile is an easy way to pay homage to the past while also inviting thoughtfulness and generosity into the future.

Each printable strips has space to write down your thought and feeling of the year past. Ask each guest at your Thanksgiving table to help you add to your gratitude mobile. And if you have a message that’s a bit too personal to openly share just fold over your paper and seal it away in the wax. It’s the thought and action that hold the most meaning in this ritual.

And remember Thanksgiving doesn’t have to be the only time these positive messages hang in your home.

You’ll Need
2 wire hangers
Wire cutters
Strips of scrap fabric
Glue gun
String, twine or ribbon
Bee’s wax
A double boiler or old crock pot
Basting brush
Tissue paper in assorted colors (I also used sewing pattern paper)
An iron
Printable Gratitude Prompts or scraps of paper
Scissors
Hole punch
Pens, pencils and markers
Decorative scissors and paper punches (optional)
Craft paper or newspaper (to protect your work surface)

PREP:

1.  Bend 1 hanger into a circle shape.

2. Cut a piece of wire out of the second hanger and shape it into a smaller circle.

3. Wrap your wire frames with strips of scrap fabric securing the ends with a dab of hot glue.

4. Tie a piece of twine to the top of the smaller circle and attach it to the larger circle.

(Click here to download the PDF printable gratitude prompts)

5. Cover your work surface with craft paper.

6. Print out and trim the Printable Gratitude Prompts.

7.  Cut or tear tissue paper into approximately 5 X 11” rectangles.

ADD THE GRATITUDE :

1. In a double boiler or old crock pot melt your bees wax.

2. Write down your gratitude messages.

3. Sandwich your message in between 1 to 2 sheets of tissue paper and brush on the wax.

4. Cover the message with a piece of craft paper and iron it smooth.

5. Peal off your message and let cool.

6. Trim the tissue paper edges. You can uses decorative scissors and punches. Think about cutting them into fun shapes like leaves, hearts and stars.

7.  Hole punch the top of your waxed message and thread a piece of twine or ribbon thought the hole.

8. Tie each message to your Gratitude Mobile and you are ready hang your mobile.

Homemade Craft Connection :: Autumn Leaves

November is for falling leaves. Autumn is the one season this East Coast transplant totally misses.We don’t get to see the turning leaves here in Northern California.

I can’t even begin to tell you how much I miss bundling up in the clean crisp air to go out to see the fall foliage over the Delaware Water Gap. It’s totally a stunning site. (Can you tell I’m feeling a bit nostalgic :) We just don’t get that wonderful red and orange landscape here. So as a reminder to me of Autumns past and as a good way to brush up on your tree botany. Here’s a printable with a few of my favs.

(click here to download PDF)

And did you know that certain trees are thought to hold magical properties. Maple is associated with strength and wisdom. Oak is linked with success, strength, courage and longevity.  Beech is know for knowledge, understanding, balance and luck. And Aspen is often paired with intuition, communication and the power of vibrant speech. It’s good to know these things when you need a autumn pick me up:)

Homemade Craft Connection :: Glow in the dark trick-or-treat pillow bag

With Halloween quickly approaching Ava Blu made it very clear that she was “way too old” to be going trick-or-treating with the plastic pumpkin that she’s been using for the last 6 years. It was time for an upgrade.

So, it got me thinking, when I was a kid we would just use pillow cases as our trick-or-treat bags. Every kid in my neighborhood had one swung over their shoulder.  So I wanted to do an updated version of the trick-or-treat pillow case bag, but this time with a strap for your shoulder. Here’s what we came up with :)

You’ll Need:
A pillow case (we used a plain white pillowcase)
2 buttons
Needle and thread
Pencil
Fabric paint (or Acrylic paint mixed with fabric medium)
Glow in the dark paint
Painter’s tape
A sponge

1. Fold your pillow case.

  • Placing the side seam in the center and form 2 triangles. One on the front and one on the back.
  • Fold each triangles up, wtih the triangel point on the center seam of your pillowcase.

2. Place a button at the point of each triangle and sew them in place.
 * If you’d like you can also turn your triangles into pockets. Just stitch half way up the seams on each side (like we did).

3. Fold your pillow case in half vertically.
4. With a pencil lightly draw the shape of your strap.
5. Cut out your straps. Unfold and lay flat.

6. Apply your painters tape to your pillow bag in your desired design (we did a plaid design). Make sure the tape it is pressed down securely without any air pockets.

7.  With a sponge apply your paint and let dry

8. Repeat steps 6 and 7 on the other side.

9.  Remove the painter’s tape on both sides.
10. Apply your glow in the dark accent paint (we put ours on the “white” stripe areas).
11. Sew the top of your straps together.
 *  As a no sew alternative you can just tie the straps in a knot.

And you are ready to go trick-or- treating in style!!

Homemade Craft Connection :: Day of the Dead Calaveras Mask

My daughter is studying the Day of the Dead in school, so I thought it was quite fitting for us to make our own Calaveras Masks. The Day of the Dead or Dia de Muertor is a celebrations that takes places annually on the 1st and 2nd of November.

It’s a festivity that honors the lives of family and friends that have passed. The belief is that the souls of dead family member’s come back and visit for the first two days of November. And traditionally they are welcomed with alter’s full of their favorite foods, marigolds flowers and candles.

Dia di Muertor is laden with rituals and symbolism from skulls and butterflies right down to the chosen colors of the decorations.

The skull is an iconic symbol of the Day of the Dead, and while this may initially seem morbid it is actually done quite beautifully with a playfulness that signals an uplifting sense of positivity.

Today it is common to find public procession or parades hosted in cities with large Latin communities. Folks often wear skull masks and dance to honor their deceased relatives.

Wearing a mask on this day is a powerful symbol of overcoming your fear of death. It give people a change to become a different version of themselves, a braver more fearless self. A self that is in touch with their darker side if only for a day.

Butterflies are also a very important symbol of the day. They are often thought to represent transition and resurrection. And in a small Michoacan town in Mexico where the Monarch butterflies migrate every fall they are believed to be the returning souls of the deceased.

(Click here to download the PDF printable template)

To Make your Calaveras Mask You’ll Need:

THE BASICS:
Calaveras Mask Template (download here)
Acrylic Paint
Chipboard
Scissors or Craft Knife
Glue Stick

EXTRAS:
3D Paint
Black Glitter
White Glue & Paint Brush (to adhere glitter)
Fake Eyelashes

FLOWERS:
Tissue Paper
Crepe Paper
Chenille Stems
Floral Wire
Floral Tape
Thread

INNER LINING AND TIES:
Ribbon
Felt
Glue Gun

1.  Print your mask pattern.
2. Cut out your pattern and back it with chipboard.
3. Paint in your mask. Use the color guide as a reference.

4. Add details

  • Use 3D paint to outline the boarders and add dot accents.
  • Apply white glue to the “eye circles” and then sprinkle with black glitter.
  • Glue on the Fake Eyelashes to the edges of the eye holes and let dry.

5. Make Your Flowers:

Flowers are also an important part of the Dia di Muertor celebration and more specifically the marigolds which are known to be the flower of the dead.  They are a symbol of life and love and it is believed that the strong sent of the  flowers helps guide the souls back to earth. Petals are often sprinkled on the ground leading up to the altar.

Paper Marigold Flower

  • Cut 8 sheets of tissue paper into squares.
  • Accordion fold the group of tissue paper.
  • Twist the chenille stem around the middle of the tissue paper.
  • Trim the ends to points.
  • Make 2 slits on each side.
  • Fan out and spread out the layers.

Paper Rose Flower

  • Cut your flower petals.
  • Roll each petal around a pencil and form the petal.
  • Make the stigma with the floral wire.
  • Secure the petals to the wire by wrapping it around with thread.
  • Continue adding petals and wrapping them with the thread.
  • Finish off your rose by wrapping the stem with Floral Tape.

6. Arrange your flowers and hot-glue them to the back side of your mask.

7. Finish your mask with the Inner Lining & Ties. Sandwich the ribbon between the inner liner and the outside of the mask gluing it into place with the glue gun .

Enjoy!

Homemade Craft Connection :: Halloween Garland

This is a quick and easy way to add some Halloween spirit to your home. I had originally intended to do this craft in neon pink but orange and black felt more fitting for October.

This bow-tie garland is so unexpected sophisticated when normally pasta art and preschool tend to go hand in hand. I actually saw a version of this garland when I was visiting ABC Carpet in NYC last May and just knew I had to try to make it myself. So here you go:

You’ll Need:

  • Bow-Tie Pasta
  • Orange & Black Spray Paint (you can also use acrylic paint. The painting/drying process just take a bit longer)
  • Orange & Black Glitter
  • Spray Mount (or as an alternative white glue)
  • Black Thread

    1.     Spray-paint your bow-tie pasta the desired colors and let dry.
    2.     Divide your pasta in half. Spray half the painted bow-ties with spray mount and sprinkle with glitter.
    3.    Measure the thread to the desired length.
    4.    Tie the pasta to the thread in the center.
    5.    Hang up your garland.

Enjoy!

 

Homemade Craft Connection :: Hang-up Halloween Cat

The Black Cat is one of the most commonly recognizable icons of Halloween. Legends of black cats have been shrouded in mystery and superstition since the Dark Ages.

Cats have been both loved and feared though out history and the connect between black cats and Halloween is so complex and confusing that it’s hard to know the true historical source.

Since the days of early witchcraft cats were believed to be the familiars that were know to assistants witches. And some even believed that witches, themselves could transform into a cat as a way to covertly spy as well as to make a quick getaway in the face of danger.

To this day a large population of people are still very superstitious about black cats and go to great lengths to avoid crossing paths with one.

You’ll Need:

  • Crepe Paper (black & orange)
  • Tissue Paper (black)
  • Cat Print Outs
  • Glue Stick
  • Scissors & Craft Knife
  • Ruler

Gather your supplies and cut out your pieces. You will need a front and back for each piece.

Fold The Arms and Legs

  1. Measure and cut approximately  25” of each color streamer. (2 pieces for each arm or leg).
  2. Fold the streamers in half.
  3. Using two streamers glue the ends together (laying in opposite directions).
  4. Fold over and over again alternating streamers to make a square.
  5. Keep folding until you reach the desired arm length.
  6. Glue the ends together and add the paws.

Fold The Torso

  1. Fold 2 to 4 sheets of black tissue paper together to the width of the cat torso’s body.
  2. Lightly glue the final folded seam together.
  3. Accordion fold the body folding the paper back and forth.

Assemble Your Cat

  1. Glue the arms and torso to the cat’s shoulders.
  2. Attach the legs to the bottom of the torso.

If you would like to add a little extra sparkle to your cat like I did you will need:

  • White Glue
  • Paint Brush to apply white glue
  • Glitter ( black, orange & white)
  • Embroidery Floss and Needle for hanging your cat
  • Floral Wire

  1. Apply white glue with a paint brush to the areas that you would like to glitter. I did the hat, eyes, cheeks and teeth.
  2. Use the Floral Wire to create some whiskers and glue them into place.

To hang your Cat use the embroidery floss and needle to puncture a hole thought the cat and create a hanging loop.

(Click here to download the PDF printable)