Friday, January 12, 2018

Felt, Felt, & more Felt projects! Christmas banners & Christmas Ornaments

Happy 2018!!!  I am finally getting a break from all the holiday crafting and activities.  I wanted to do a blog post with all the Christmas crafting that I did and also what I am working on for NEXT Christmas!  Yup....I am already looking towards next year's Christmas crafting!  Even better, I've already started on my projects!!!!  

One of my Christmas projects was to do some ornaments and a banner for my son's school's Christmas tree.  I wanted to do some last year and ran out of time.  This year I was a little bit better prepared but I was also crafting up until the last possible minute! 
This is a simple set of tree ornaments I did for the school's tree.  The school is named Christ The King Catholic High School so I wanted at least one  ornament to have the letters on it (CTK).  Stitched letter dies are from PaperTrey Ink.  I used these dies a lot on my banners as well. 
I used the Papertrey Ink Christmas Tree Change Up Box die and the coordinating stitching dies that match that set.  These are a lot of fun and pretty easy to do.  I used the school color's to make the ornaments.  The felt was from The Felt Pod.  
One of the things that I do while working with felt is to cut out flowers and buttons (small dies shown above) out of scraps of felt.  I keep them in a container and often dig through the container to find an accent to use on a project.  This is a great use of little pieces of felt that might normally be thrown away and these accents can be used on felt projects, cards, or even on scrapbook layouts.  I have various small dies that I use, often they come in other die sets.  Keep these in mind when you are cutting your felt, and die through your dies to see if you have any accent pieces that you can use!  Some of these accent pieces were used on the ornaments as buttons and flowers.  I love to layer them as well.  

On each of the ornaments, I wanted to put a little something on the bottom panel.  



I also used some regular buttons on this project.  I just used what I had on hand and what matched. 

This picture shows the variegated thread that I used to stitch them.  Variegated thread is my favorite to use.  Some people like to hide the stitching, and use matching threads, I thought these were fun to use the variegated threads on.  You can see the detail on the bottom panel the best and on the heart.  


I also used some seed beads and sequin on one.  




Just some fun ornaments for the school that they can use year after year and since they are felt, there is no worry of breaking while storing them!
The other school project I did was a Christ The King banner out of school colors. This was hard to picture and fit it all in.  I store all my banners off the ribbons to keep the edges from curling in.  




This is a silly picture of my dish of felt holes.  I love working with felt but I have the little stitching hole plugs all over my work area.  I use a mini LeCreuset dish while I assemble my felt projects. It is just what I have that works.  I can hold my project over the dish and push the stitching plugs out with my Tonic poker thing....see that official name??  The dish helps collect the plugs, keep them off me and from getting everywhere!  
I also did TONS of crafting for the teachers at my son's school.  As a family, we do the group donation through the PTO for Christmas gifts for teachers and staff.  I like to also do something personal for each teacher, just as a little something.  This year, I stitched a felt banner for each teacher.  I used a Christian theme for each banner, so every banner related to the over all catholic message of the school.  I hope they can use them in their classrooms or even in their homes.  All banners were put into little gift bags that I made out of Designer Series paper.  This was a FUN but needed project for me.  I have so much DSP paper that I needed to use some of it.  I think I made a total of 19 gift bags, and each gift bag uses 2 sheets of 12X12 DSP!  Is it bad to say, I could have easily made 100 bags and STILL have tons of DSP!!!??  Anyone else hoard DSP?  I am trying to get better about it.  My rule has been if it doesn't fit in my DSP bin, then I can't buy it.  But this year I am determined to use more of my DSP up...my bin is packed full!  So time to use it!!!  (cross my fingers I stick with this resolution!!!)
My good friend Jenny gave me tons of paper swigglies, yes I think it's a word, to use.  I love repurposing!  Jenny does a lot of subscription box reviews for hellosubscription.com and she gets tons of these in her boxes.  She nicely bags them up for her friends and we raid her supply when we are at her house!  They worked perfectly for these gift bags!
I also created some other ornaments from the same tree die I used for the school projects.  These were a lot of fun with some accent stitching on them....also cut out using a die in the set.





I also did a big box of banners for my sister as a gift.  I did many seasonal sayings and holiday themed banners.  I didn't take pictures of all of them, but I did ask her as she hangs them in her house (she has a gorgeous rock fireplace) if she would take a quick picture and send it to me so I will share any of those she sends.  I was working on these banners day and night!  Literally up until the night before we exchanged gifts.  I hope she and her family enjoy them.  This is one of the banner pieces I did take a picture of.  I think this was part of a Happy Birthday banner I did for her.  You can see that I used some more of those little accent pieces from my dies to create this banner piece. 
So after Christmas I finally got to do some playing.  I bought the Bear Hugs plush die from Essentials by Ellen at EllenHutson.com . I loved the stamp set when it came out and was thrilled to see a stitching die of the same bear...he's so cute!  So I got to play a bit after the Holiday rush of crafting.
He is adorable in white felt but you can cut him out of ANY color felt. I have some precut of different brown felt that I have.  

I experimented with the bear eyes a bit.  On the white bear, I used a pearl pen.  I used some beads on the brown bear below.  They ended up looking to messy for me,  I liked the pearl pen better.  

I liked the pearl pen's cleaner look to the eyes, but I wanted them bigger......
This bear below, I used the pearl pen but did the eyes larger...I was pleased with this result.  While the pearl pen gives good results, you do have to make sure they fully dry before you move the bear.  I like to do them right after I cut the felt, put the bear on a a tray, draw the eyes, then set aside to dry overnight.  I use a small tray so I can move the bears to dry off my desk without ruining the wet pearl pen.  It is always handy to have a small tray or two.  I also use small bowls often in my crafting.  
These bears are fun to play with, you can dress them up...I gave this one a long scarf and santa hat!  

So after the holidays, I really wanted to work on a fun project I have my eye on.  I placed a large felt order from Benzie Design.  What a happy package to get in the mail.  My orders are always nicely packaged and arrive quickly.  Top notch!!!!  I love that they offer color palettes in their felt.  Benzie Design has some great color ideas!  And I have the PERFECT project in mind!!
I also ordered the coordinating floss packages to go with the felt palettes.  
Okay, now for my new obsession.  Twelves days Of Christmas felt embroidered ornaments.  Now I have looked at looked at these ornaments.  I saw them on Instagram and kept coming back to them.  I will admit, I thought they would be to complicated for me to do.  I mean, I stitch all the time, but I cross stitch, I stitch felt stuff, but I use dies.....these are patterns!!!!  LOL!!  Yes, this was a big step for me!  
I finally decided to try them out.  The patterns are available on easy from mmmcrafts.  I bought one pattern, printed it out.  And spent the next half hour reading through the pattern.  All the directions, all the supplies....and .......the patterns are SO well written, very clearly done, and this is coming from someone who admittedly HATES to read directions, I was sure I could do them.  I bought ALL the patterns after that.  They are very reasonably priced, and the best part is you can use the pattern over and over and with different color combos and get different looks.  There are obviously 12 patterns in all (the set at this time is not complete....ONE more pattern to come out sometime this month) but a couple of the patterns include two ornaments in them so I think it will be a total of 15 ornaments when the set is all done.  
I started with the first in the series....seemed like a logical starting place, and that pear didn't intimate me at all!!!!  There is a simple secret to creating these embroidered ornaments which is fully explained in the patterns but you use a printable sulky stabilizer to print your patterns on.  This gives you the embroidery lines to stitch...and the shapes to cut out.  Then you soak off the stabilizer in cold water and you end up with your pieces ready to assemble once they are dry!  EASY!!!  Trust me, if I can do them...you can!!!  mmmcrafts.blogspot.com has a blog where she shows all the ornaments in the series and fun extras.  Check her out!  It is really an awesome set!  
This was the first attempt.  As I stitch them more and more, I am getting better on my stitching and spacing.  I used the Bejeweled palette from Benzie Design for these.  I liked jewel tones normally, it's what I reach for first normally.  I like these are nice and bright, deep rich colors.  But before I moved on to another pattern in the set, I wanted to experiment with colors.  Now THIS is the fun part to me.  My idea is to stitch these as gifts next year for Christmas,  so experimenting with colors is fun.  
I love that the pattern includes the No on the back of the design.  These are from the Partridge and the Pear pattern.....you know how it goes...partridge and a pear tree.  
I love the embroidery on each piece and let me say, they only get better as the project goes on!!  Ladies dancing is my FAVORITE one!!!  
The size is perfect as you can see they fit in my hand.  Oh, and funny story for anyone other than me.....:  I often have ink on my hands from crafting....BUT...this wasn't from me.  Somehow when we were packing up the Christmas stuff, our new puppy Leo got a hold of some food coloring dye......yes those little liquid bottles of food coloring.  I have no idea where he found it but I expect one of my boys dropped it out of the spice cabinet and Leo was soon to find it.....and find it he did.....he made one lap around the house and was on his second lap when my youngest realized he had something.....sooooo guess who spend the next hour cleaning food coloring up off the floor?  The hardwood floor wasn't bad to clean but his lap also included the one large area rug in our family room.  UGH!!!  I had some dye on my hands for awhile.




The next set is out of the Harvest palette from Benzie Design.  I love these colors!!!  Each palette has 10 colors in them so the color combinations are endless!  I like the muted colors.  This set is for a gift and these colors will match the person's Christmas tree better than the first set.  
On this set I did some beading instead of french knots.  I liked the look and also it used some of the beads I've been hoarding!
There is also room on the back of the ornaments where the ornament is numbered to embroidered a year or even a year and a name.  Some ornaments are already stitched for gifts and may include a name that I've stitched on the back so if I don't show you the back of an ornament, that's why.  Just in case that recipient reads my blog. 

For the partridge, I used a bead for the eye as well.  While it looks fine, I think a smaller bead works better and used something different in the next color palette.  




Here are both done, I have a hard time deciding which I like more!  
This is the second in the series.  This one was a lot of fun!  The secret is to use interfacing in the wings to make them stand up nicely....all in the pattern directions and supplies!  This is using the same Harvest palette as earlier.  I love the creamy color on the main body of the bird, I liked this color scheme much better than the first but they look good together....they look as a set as they should when completed. 
I also used some beading on this bird as well.  
I've used a combination of satin floss, metallic floss, regular DMC floss, variegated floss, and also some pearl floss!  I like the satin but I think less "strands" looks better so I'll be changing that in future ornaments.  I also used a smaller bead for the eye of the turtle dove....I think it looks better on this one.  
This is the set of Harvest so far.  I am in love with how they are turning out.  

There is also a wooden bead on the turtle dove for the feet....I think it can be left off and be nice as well but it's a fun extra.  
Now this is my current palette I am working on.  This is the galaxy palette.  I LOVE LOVE LOVE this palette.  

For this set, I am trying to let the felt colors really shine so I am keeping the embroidery to coordinating colors, less pop than the last set.   But I do have some pop just not as much.  I wanted to use colors of purple, pink, white, grey, and black.  Even though those are simpler colors than pop colors they make a big impact too!


If you made it this far....thank you!  I know this was a big blog post.  Hopefully you enjoyed it.  Please check out my other felt project posts.
Thanks for stopping by!
Michelle
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