Friday, April 29, 2016

Friday Finds: My Favorite Woodland Themed Products on Etsy

I'm working on a woodland themed project myself right now and since it's on my mind I decided to check out what the shops on etsy had to offer.


Happy Fox

These animal portraits are so amusing and make me smile. I think the raccoon and the bear are my favorites. They are fabulous all grouped together like this, but equally as cute if you only had 2 in your child's room.




These are the most adorable wood play pieces. I'd put them in my studio on a bookshelf just because they make me happy. And children would love them too.




Need cupcake toppers? Then these are my pick for the super cute award. You rarely see skunks in a woodland set and this one rocks the cuteness factor.


What fun woodland creatures made from cardboard! These would be fantastic for so many different party ideas and also as props for craft shows too. I'd love to have that rabbit and fox!


Drop dead adorable bear face comforter! You can also get the pillow cases and decorator pillow. What kid wouldn't love this? What a fun and unique way to add a woodland theme to a kids room.


This deer face headband is a little over the top for my taste but I can see little girls loving it and I picked it because I really, really love the sweet long eyelashes.

I hope you enjoyed these picks and I'm letting you know that I'm working on a pattern club (in a woodland theme) that I hope to have available by mid Summer-ish. Make sure you sign up for my newsletter to find out more!

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Worktable Wednesday: The Step By Step Guide To How I Design A Felt Craft Pattern

I've been working on a new pattern for weeks now and I'm almost done.

I thought my lovely readers might like to see the process of making a craft felt pattern. So here we go with a quick overview. I have a gift for you for reading this in the very last paragraph.

DESIGNING A PROTOTYPE

This process usually starts with a simple pencil sketch of an idea I had. But in this case I decided to re-design an old pattern of mine, The Fat Penguin.

Cute right? But it was time for an update. I took this original design that I already had a template for and tweaked it a bit on the computer.


Not much is different except the face, which I love, and an addition of feet. So using this graphic I made more tweaks until I came up with something I really liked. 

When I make my soft sculpture pieces I tend to hand draw patterns and leave them that way. I never digitize them. 

Next I digitize my pattern pieces.

 

WHAT IS DIGITIZE?

Digitize is basically a sewing term that means to make a pattern computer friendly so that it can be downloaded and printed. This is how clothing patterns, embroidery patterns and any patterns for sale are made. It gives a professional look to your patterns and allows you to add informative instructions and details to help the sewer complete the project successfully.

I come from a graphic design background, not a sewing one, so I usually refer to this process as making a template. Same process. Here's an example of my pattern.


Wow, where was I? Oh yeah, then I made a pattern on the computer using a graphic software. All my templates have pattern pieces and positioning guides that show where to place pieces and other helpful information.

These templates are only a starting point for me because when I make the prototype I usually will made changes to the design and will later go back and make those same changes to the template.
  

MAKING A PROTOTYPE. 

 A prototype is something you make to see if the pattern works properly. It's an important step when designing a pattern and you make it out of the material you intend it to be made in, ie. fabric, felt etc.

The Happy Earth Guy pattern, from this post,I made was absolutely perfect at the beginning pattern stage, so I took photos while making the prototype for the step by step tutorial. This rarely ever happens, but did that time.



I print and cut out my beginning pattern pieces and start making the penguin.

 

As I sew the prototype, I write notes about each step of the process so I know what works and what I changed to work better.

I'll then use those notes to make changes to the pattern template graphics. I also will use those notes when planning and taking step by step photos and writing the pattern instructions later.

Another thing I do at this point is to think about if I never made something like this before, what questions would I have? What information would I need to complete this project successfully? Then I add answers to that to my notes.



Prototype done! The body of this pattern remained the same from my template but I had to make the feet design 4 different times and figure out the best way to attach them that would make sense to other people.

Once I have all my photos shot, I spend time editing them.   

WHAT IS PHOTO EDITING?

Photo editing is a process where you open your photos in an imaging program, like Photoshop and make changes to the photos. The kinds of changes I make are color brightness, cropping the images to a certain preset size I use for my patterns so all the photos are uniform in size.  

Next up is page layout.

WHAT IS PAGE LAYOUT?

Page layout is how the pattern PDF pages look. It's also where the photos are placed, the size of the text, fonts and the flow and order of the pages. Some programs that can be used are Illustrator, InDesign and even Word.

All of these things have to be worked out and presented in a cohesive and pleasing manner.



Above is an example of one of my pages. I lay out my photos corresponding to my notes and then go back and start writing the instructions. Sometimes I'll remove a photo that doesn't help the reader and everything behind that page has to be re-organized.

After that's all done, spelling, punctuation, grammar checked and photos double checked for proper positioning, I have someone else read through the pattern looking for good flow and mistake.

Sometime I have to re-shoot a photo at a different angle and insert. I kind of hate that, but it happens. Mistakes if found are fixed.

Then finally I move on to the beauty shot.


WHAT'S A BEAUTY SHOT?

A beauty shot is the great looking photo for the front of the PDF. I also use my beauty shots for marketing my patterns and for photos on my website.


This was one I was considering showing the 2 versions of penguins you can make from this pattern, I think it's too plain though. So I had another idea which I still need to shoot that will be much better.


 Here's a shot I did for my Happy Earth Guy Pattern.



 And a shot I did for my Bunny In The Grass Ornament.

Lastly it's time to make the PDF.

WHAT'S A PDF?

 PDF is short for Portable Document File. It allows you to take multiple pages and combine them together into a single document that can be sent by email or downloaded. It's seriously the best thing ever. PDF's can be opened by a free program called Adobe Reader.

So if you read all the way through to the end, yay and I have a gift for you! 

Sign up for my newsletter now and you'll get FREE access to this pattern when it comes out AND be entered into a GIVEAWAY of one of the prototypes! I know, so cool right?  You can sign up with the pop-up, the clickable tab at the top right of the blog and on the side bar. Sign up now and don't miss out!

Friday, April 22, 2016

Friday Finds: 6 Great Earth Day Crafts For Kids

Happy Earth Day!

For today finds I pulled together a series of 6 Earth Day crafts for kids from around the web. I also added my own craft, cause it's my blog and I can do stuff like that, lol. But seriously check out these other great crafts. I would have loved to do them as a child. Enjoy!






 

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Worktable Wednesday: FREE Earth Day Plant Marker Printable

I love our Earth and the environment and since Earth Day was coming up I thought I'd make something special to give you, that you could share with your child or friends and pass along the importance of taking care of our plant. 

Everyone can do one small thing and growing your own vegetables is a super fun learning experience for your children. Reusing empty yogurt containers is a great way to start seedlings. 
 I made some FREE printable plant markers to help make identifying your seedlings easy and fun.

 So cute, right?! Keep reading along for the tutorial put these together and other ideas.

O.k, you'll need:

Glue gun - I recommend a low temp one so no one burns themselves. (like me, always!)
  (other glue can be used but there will be a drying time to factor in).

Scissors

Popsicle sticks or craft sticks. (I melted some old Popsicle's from the freezer just for these sticks, cause that's just how much I love you guys and cause I'm thrifty that way!)  

PDF page
  

Download and Print PDF out on card stock, I used 65# stock. (you could also print on paper and then glue that to a piece of cardboard if you don't have card stock) Then cut the plant markers out. 
 
 The PDF gives you 2 of each design.

 O.k. cause I'm slightly obsessive, I want the sticks to line up evenly on the marker so I measured 1-1/4" from the bottom of the marker up with a light pencil line, so I know where to place the stick.

 Then make the same measure with a pencil on the sticks. This mark tells you where to stop the glue, so you don't go overboard with the glue and get it everywhere.

 And ta da! Glued on and ready to use.

Get some yogurt cups out of the recycling bin, add some dirt, plant your purchased seeds and you are all set for the miracle of plant growth!

 Wait! Don't go! There's more!

So, because I'm a giving person I figured out another crafty way to use these plant markers. They would make super cute seed packets!
Print another PDF and cut the markers out. Tape the like sides together (tomato to tomato, etc) at 3 sides.

 This creates a sweet little pocket.

 Pop some seeds inside. (yeah, these are actually sesame seeds, again using what I have)

 Lastly tape up that 3rd side to seal those seeds in there.

 What a cute little gift for your child's teacher, or grandparent, or if you are a teacher, for your students.

Please do share this printable with everyone and enjoy! If you make these please tag me on Facebook or Instagram I'd really love to see your completed project!

On a last side note, for more Earth Day fun, I have a DIY Happy Earth Guy Plush PDF for sale in my shop.
  


Friday, April 15, 2016

Find It Fridays: Adult Coloring Pages

Coloring pages for adults are all the rage right now. A lot of people see it as a stress reducing activity and well coloring is just plain fun in my book.

I was an only child for many years so coloring was an activity my mom had me do to keep me busy and I really enjoyed it. As a child I'd take my favorite coloring book, go over to my friend's houses and we'd have 4 to 6 kids all hanging out and coloring together.Obviously this was before video games, lol!

Keeping those fun times it mind, I pulled together some coloring pages that I thought were super fun. Most could be done as an activity with your child, which makes it an even more attractive pastime. 


Wonderland is a favorite theme of mine and this is one I'd love to color. The fun thing about Wonderland is all the colors are weird and mixed up and there is no right or wrong.


Mermaids are always so cool and fun to draw and color. This one isn't overly intricate and can be done in one sitting.


Fairy tales are my my all time favorites and I adore this Gingerbread House. Don't you just imagine an old witch peeking out the window waiting to catch Hansel and Gretel nibbling on her house? Click on this pic or go to this shop to see all the great little details in this drawing.


Mandalas make such a unique coloring page. I love this shops mandalas, they aren't overly intricate like most mandalas are. I personally find too much detail to be anxiety producing, but that's just me. This feels like just the right amount of detail.


This is an lovely page that can be colored and then given as a gift. The details are so sweet and it's not an overwhelming project.


While this is probably for children a Star Wars fan of any age would enjoy coloring this. This shop has a lot of great sci-fi coloring pages.

I also found you some FREE coloring pages too.




I hope you enjoyed my finds today and start coloring soon!

LinkWithin

Blog Widget by LinkWithin