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(*Okay, not really–but one can dream!)
Right, my sincere apologies for not updating this blog in months (I kind of blame Take That–how can I possibly top that post-concert blog entry, right?). However, the “radio silence” doesn’t mean that I have not been crafting all those months.
The short of the long is that I opened a design-related link on Twitter which led me to another site which featured pixellated/8bit-ish iterations of superheroes and comic book characters. I took one look and thought, “Hey, that could be translated into cross stitch!”
I chose Captain America because I know someone who loves the character, and whose birthday was coming up. A few hours and a trip to a local bookstore to find a suitable frame later, here’s what me and my insomniac self produced:
The frame I used is a 2R one, which is around 8.5 x 11 cm. You can use an even smaller frame, stick this into a thick folded board paper as a greeting card cover or make this into a luggage tag or a keychain.
After my friend HK saw this on Instagram, she requested one for her boyfriend, who’s also a massive Captain America fan; of course I was happy to oblige! There now exists two very happy (Mini Cross-Stitched) Captain America fans in my circle!
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The Cross-Stitching Inner Grandma in me has returned and this time, with F1 on her mind.
Sebastian Vettel (currently with Scuderia Ferrari) and Nico Hulkenberg (currently with Sahara Force India) are two of the German F1 drivers I like most after Michael Schumacher, and so I’ve decided to celebrate their general racing awesomeness by making a crafting project inspired by them.
Materials: Cream-coloured cross-stitch cloth (leftover from my previous bagtag project); red, yellow, black, orange, gold, grey and light grey cross-stitch threads; cross-stitch needle; regular sewing needle; red and grey felt fabric; graphing paper; pencil; coloured pens; soft plastic ID cases; metal binder rings; belt-like bracelets.
Before anything else, the geek in me insisted that I carefully make patterns in order to have a clear idea on what the designs will look like, so I unearthed graphing paper from the depths of my office supplies stash and grabbed a pencil and a few coloured pens and started drawing away.
These are what I came up with:
The helmet patterns (and Hulkenberg’s logo) were pretty easy to draw, what I had quite a difficulty drawing was Vettel’s logo. I had to use a bit of math know-how (hello, Geometry!) to figure out the best way to depict it via cross-stitch!
I still had some leftover cross-stitch cloths that I cut into 2.5 x 4.0 inches from my previous bagtag project, so I decided to use them for this project as well to keep the guesswork out of sizing. Time to stitch!
After finishing the helmets and the logos, I took the red and grey felt fabrics and secured them to the backs by doing a simple running stitch. Make sure to switch to a regular sewing needle when working with the felt fabrics as the cross-stitch needle isn’t sharp enough to penetrate them.
And here are the multi-purpose finished products!
As Bookmarks: Use them as they are.
As Pop Art: Display them as they are or frame them
As Keychains: I simply bought soft plastic ID cases, placed the cross-stitch works inside, and then attached a metal binder ring and the black-and-gold/red belt-like bracelet. Alternatively, you can also use a ribbon of your choice, a thin rope or a metal carabiner.
As Bag Tags: Same with the keychains, except I inserted a card at the back where you can write your personal details such as name, address, email, etc.
There you have it, four different uses out of two cross-stitch works. Mini in sizes but maxi in function!
Update: I held a giveaway via my Twitter page for these, and I’m pleased to report that the Vettel one is now with a fan in Quezon City, Philippines and the Hulkenberg one is now with a fan in Boston, USA! 🙂
Ah, insomnia: Oftentimes my enemy, but some times, it provides me some much-needed crafting inspiration.
Thankfully, this time it was the latter. One sleepless night, I was racking my brains for a good “Christmas group gift” for my high school friends (Sidebar: I’ve been giving them personalized, small group gifts for Christmas since 2006, I think) and bag tags suddenly came to mind. I then made a mental note to look out for inexpensive bag tag kits, and as if on cue, I found some on sale at a Sleepcare store.
Now how do I elevate its style factor and personalize them? The internet to the rescue. I researched on monogram cross stitch patterns and found one that looks good and timeless. I decided to use a cream cloth, gold thread for the letters and black thread for the border for an elegant look. Time to get stitching!
Four days (or should that be “insomnia-ridden nights” instead) later, I finished cross-stitching all 6 and proceeded to fill in the information cards that came with the bag tag-making kits using a 1.0 disposable calligraphy pen. After I sealed all the cards inside the plastic cases, I used super glue to stick mini gold crowns on top of the monograms (because I treat my friends like royalty. Ha!), bonded the cross-stitch to the plastic cases, attached the rings and carabiners to the holes, and voila—personalized bag tags!
My friend HM is a huge Tennis fan, so for her birthday last year, my presents for her came in strong, Tennis themes:
This present is actually Serena Williams’ autobiography, On The Line. One of HM’s fave color is pink, so I used Japanese paper to wrap the book and then took a scrap green felt fabric and drew the outline of a tennis court on it with a white permanent marker. To make it even more tennis-y, I dug around in my “Stickers Reservoir” and found some neon green round label stickers which easily became tennis balls once I drew the lines on them with a silver permanent marker, and then arranged them in a heart pattern and tied everything together with a satin silver bow.
Her other present contains several stuff related to her fave male tennis player, Roger Federer. I found this cute plastic tennis ball keychain that opens up to hold a disposable plastic poncho in a pharmacy, and I just had to snap it up to use as an accent for the wrapping. I got rid of the poncho and placed the RF stickers inside the ball instead. I used a neon yellow Japanese paper to wrap the box, topped it with a silver Japanese paper and tied it all together with neon pink, silver and white ribbons.
The two presents weren’t wrapped alike but their color schemes and theme still coordinated. Can I get a Grand Slam high-five for my efforts?
Confession: I started this Hello Kitty cross-stitch project when I was 13 years old. Yes, you read that right, 13. Laziness and Life both got in the way and it got confined to my Caboodle “Cross Stitch Paraphernalia Holdall” unfinished. Fast-forward 17 years later, I opened my Caboodle and found this. Coincidentally, my friend HK were to celebrate her big 30th Birthday a month later, and she is a huge Hello Kitty fan like me so…Lightbulb/Eureka Moment: Why don’t I finish just the Hello Kitty figure, cut it off and use it to decorate her birthday present?!
And so with the determination of multiple Herculeses, I used my insomnia to my advantage and quickly finished the project. I cut off the Hello Kitty figure, found some yellow felt fabric in my crafting stash and used it as a backing material (so she wouldn’t see how messy the reverse side of my cross-stitch project is. Ha!). Sheer black polka-dot ribbon layered with a satin white one and cherry red Japanese paper wrapping complete the whole look.
Here’s to landmark birthdays and projects that prove the saying, “better late than never!”
The Holidays have come and gone yet again! I’m not sure if it’s a sign of aging, but time does seem to move quicker than usual for me these days.
Anyway, last year I have promised myself that I will not buy any gift-wrapping related items, not just to save money but also to finally use up even a portion of my bulging, arts and crafts stash. It was not easy to restrain myself from shopping but I’m proud to say that I actually did it!
Here are the fruits of my labor and restraint, so to speak:
For my university friends, I decided to go with a traditional red, green and gold color scheme:
And an aqua blue wrapping with silver star accent for the boys:
For my high school friends, I veered away from the traditional and decided to use a pink and silver (with accents of violet and green) color scheme. Funny thing was, a couple of my friends also decided to use that theme! Great minds really do think alike!
And for the record, after I wrapped what seemed to be a small mountain of gifts, I found that my arts and crafts stash still hasn’t considerably diminished! Oh well, I suppose I will have to uphold my “no shopping for arts and crafts stuff” rule for another year. Challenge accepted!
The impending return of Formula One has gotten me into a crafting mood recently, and while I’ve done this project inspired by my favourite “active” driver Kimi Raikkonen some days ago, I’ve decided it won’t be fair if I don’t do one in honor of my all-time favourite (and recently retired) F1 driver Michael Schumacher:
The finished Schumi-inspired Mobile Phone Charm, front & rear views:
The finished Schumi-inspired Bracelet/Wristband*
*I used an old wristwatch band for this.
For the complete, detailed instructions on how to do this project, please see the previous post here.
This Flying Finn is my second-favourite Formula One driver of all-time, and to celebrate the first year of his remarkable return to F1 racing, I’ve decided to make Kimi bookmarks as some sort of a tribute.
– Royal blue felt cloth
– White board paper
– Black board paper
– Silver sticker paper (or silver paint pen)
– Red paint pen
– Fine-tip red pen
– Fine-tip gold pen
– Fine-tip silver pen
– Fine-tip black Sharpie
– White sticker paper
– Gold, stick-on letters
– Star stickers
– Finland flag sticker
– Number “1” sticker
– Thin gold ribbon
– Crystal crafting borders
– Double-sided tape
– Hot glue gun
– Self-adhesive reinforcement rings
– Xacto knife/ regular cutter
– Circular template
– Cutting mat
- Take the blue felt cloth and measure a 2” x 6” rectangle, which will serve as the main bookmark body. Cut it out and set aside. (You can make this bigger or smaller, depending on your preference.)
2. Take the white board paper and draw the “body” of the Mini PaperKimi on it. Again, you can make him as big or as tiny as you want, I just eyeballed it based on the scale of the foam board. Cut it out.
3. Take the red paint pen and carefully color in the “hands” of Mini PaperKimi, to represent his racing gloves.
4. Take the black board paper. Place the body on top of it and draw an outline of the “racing suit” with a pencil. Cut it out carefully and then take the glue or double-sided tape and stick the racing suit on to the body.
5. Take the fine-tipped gold and silver pen and proceed to draw the details on the racing suit, such as the belt, shoulder creases, etc. Feel free to add as much details as you want, such as the shoelaces, etc.
6. Take the white board paper and the circular template and approximate the size of the helmet in relation to the body. Trace the circle and cut it out.
7. Add the details such as the visor (cut out a thin trip of silver sticker, then place a thinner strip of white sticker on top of it and fill in a small part of it with the gold pen), then draw in the helmet design using the fine-tip black and red markers.
8. Stick the finished helmet on to the body using glue or double-sided tape. Set aside “Mini Kimi” first.
9. Take the star sticker and carefully position it (representing his WDC, of course) along the bottom part of the main bookmark body. Gently push down to stick it on once you’re satisfied with their positions (you may need to use the hot glue gun for this).
10. You can then carefully position Mini PaperKimi on top of the star and stick him on, but I chose to go the extra mile and add a strip of clear-and-blue crystal crafting border and a mini-podium in between Mini PaperKimi and the star.
11. Turn the bookmark over. Take the gold, stick-on precut letters and position the letters K, I, M and I vertically. Push firmly once you’re satisfied with their positions. (You can write his initials manually or use a letter stencil with a gold paint marker if you don’t have pre-cut stick-on letters at hand.)
12. Take the small Finland flag sticker and stick it below the gold letters (You can also draw this flag manually by using the white sticker paper and blue felt-tip marker).
13. Punch a hole in the middle of the bookmark’s upper part, stick the reinforcement ring stickers on both sides and thread the gold ribbon through.
There you have it, a small but heartfelt tribute to a man who only really cares about racing and winning. And we (at least I) love him for that.
Thank you Kimi, for making your way back to F1 and making us millions of fans happy again! Here’s to another year of pure bouncebackability!
Key chains, key charms, key fobs–whatever you choose to call them, they are a fun, and relatively inexpensive way to express your personality and diverse interests.
Last week’s Belgian GP marked the 300th GP of one of my favourite Formula 1 drivers of all time, Michael Schumacher, and to celebrate this milestone, I’ve decided to make a keyfob in his honor.
The Project Materials are as follows:
-Small, transparent photo frame with a keyring attached (this is also called a DIY keychain kit, may be found in crafting shops and some bookshops)
A closeup and approximate size of the kit I got:
-White board paper
-Dark gray board paper
-Silver paint marker
-Silver fine-tip pen
-Black fine-tip marker
-Orange paint marker
-Double-sided tape or glue
1. Carefully measure the size of the photo frame interior, or just use the removable insert and trace it onto the dark gray board paper. Cut out the shape and set aside first.
*You can choose another color for the board paper, I just chose the dark gray one to evoke the Mercedes GP color scheme and the color of the race track.
2. Take the circular shape and approximate the size of the helmet that will fit
inside the frame. In this case, it’s more or less 1″. Trace the circle on to the
white board paper and carefully cut out.
3. Take the orange paint marker and completely paint the “helmet”. Allow a few minutes to completely dry and then use the silver and black markers to draw in the details, such as the visor and helmet designs.
4. Use double-sided tape or glue to stick the helmet on to the dark gray background.
5. Turn the paper over and add more details, in my case, I have flag stickers and alphabet stickers in my crafting stash so I put the German flag and his initials MS.
6. Place the finished “artwork” on to the photo frame, and firmly press the
removable plastic insert to secure it.
Here’s the finished product:
Congratulations Schumi and here’s to 300 more GP’s to come!