This blog is now exclusively devoted to crafting in general, and the shop in particular! Pretty much all of my personal content has been moved to a new blog, one that is intended primarily to help keep our family and friends in the loop. (If you are interested in following the new blog, you will find it here.) This blog will continue to feature shop news, new listings, sales, giveaways, and all of my share-worthy crafting exploits.

Sunday, December 30, 2012

Floor Cushion

For my brother- and sister-in-law, I made a floor cushion (or mini ottoman) and matching (lumbar?) pillow for him to use at his desk, or for her to use whenever.

I used the same "pattern" for the cushion as for the ones I made for the girls, but this one is filled with polyfill rather than the microbeads.

They're both over-stuffed, because I wanted them to stay full even after the polyfill settles.  I really like the way that they turned out---except that the red of the piping does not match the red of the fabric.  I didn't think it would be so obvious when I chose the materials, but it is.  Boo.

Friday, December 28, 2012

"Oma" and "Gigi" Necklaces

I made personalized necklaces for my girls' grandmothers for Christmas this year.  I chose 3/4" sterling heart charms (ordered from Wickedly Mod on Etsy), and put them on delicate 18"sterling chains with tiny Swarovski crystals in their favorite colors.

"Gigi" is short for Grandmother Gager

all of the kids call my mom "Oma", which is German for "grandmother".
They were both huge hits!  I loved the charms themselves, if you ever need to order custom pendants, I would definitely recommend Wickedly Mod!  

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

The Green World, Streamlined

This blog is now exclusively devoted to crafting in general, and the shop in particular!  Pretty much all of my personal content has been moved to a new blog, one that is intended primarily to help keep our family and friends in the loop. (If you are interested in following the new blog, you will find it here.) This blog will continue to feature shop news, new listings, sales, giveaways, and all of my share-worthy crafting exploits.  

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Sam's Bridal Jewelry

I know I posted a few pictures of Sam in her wedding finery when I posted about Brandon's trip to California, but now I have a few more official wedding shots to share!

Designing bridal jewelry is one of my favorite things to do.  Working with each bride to produce exactly what she wants for her day pushes me beyond my comfort zone, and encourages me to try new designs, styles, and combinations.  Sam's necklace was the most challenging and the most rewarding project I've taken on.  I love that I was able to have some part in putting that wedding together, especially since I wasn't able to be there in person.  Thank you, Sam, for that opportunity, and congratulations to you both!

Friday, October 26, 2012

A Star Trek Bleach Shirt!

Using freezer paper to create a fabric stencil is something I've been wanting to try for what feels like forever,  and Brandon has been seeing some awesome t-shirt designs on Reddit that were done with bleach.  We decided to give it a go using this video tutorial, and while my first effort didn't turn out so well (I didn't leave the bleach on the short long enough), I'm really pleased with the way my second one turned out.  It's a Christmas gift for my Dad, but since he never sees my blog, I can share it!  I'd seen these shirts on Reddit, and knew they were the perfect inspiration for Dad's shirt.  

He's a die-hard Trekkie who wears black t-shirts almost exclusively.  What could be more perfect??  I decided to go for a two-sided design, with basic logo on the front, and the ship in a star field on the back.

There was some over-spray here, which kind of ticked me off (I was so careful to cover the rest of the shirt!) but I figured Daddy would love it regardless and chalked it up to a learning experience.  The back turned out much better:

I love it!  I cannot wait to give it to him, because I know he's going to flip over it.  I'm a little sad that I won't get to see him open it, since we won't be going home for Christmas this year, but I'll get over. it.

I've actually been working on a lot of Christmas presents, but since most of the recipients also number among my readers, I'll have to try to remember to photograph them now, and post them later.  :)

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Tutorial: Decoupaged Memory Book Cover

Ever wondered what I do with all my digital scrapbook pages?  I have them printed as books, for myself and my family.  I started out using Shutterfly, but if you don't have a coupon code, they're pretty pricey.  Then I discovered Scrapping Simply, whose prices are more reasonable.  The only draw-back is that their covers are just boring black (or white or blue, depending on which book your order), with no options for sprucing them up.  My answer?  Decoupage.  Here's how I do it.

To do this, you'll need your book, a piece of fine-grit sand paper, 2 sheets of scrapbook paper, some Mod Podge, paint brush, exacto knife and cutting mat, a ruler and some ribbon.  Any kind of scrap paper will work.  Regular weight paper will be easier to fold over the edges, but will be more prone to wrinkles and bubbles, while card stock weight will be a bit more difficult to fold but won't wrinkle or bubble.  Personally, I like them both and choose my paper solely on the pattern.

First off, take your sand paper and use it to rub down the outside of the book.  It roughs up the glossy finish   on the cover, and helps the paper to stick and stay.  You might be able to get away with skipping this step-- but I don't know as I've never skipped it. I always ant to make sure that my pretty paper is going to stay put.

The next step is to cut your paper down to size.  You'll need to measure your book to get the appropriate dimensions.  Add two inches to the height for the vertical, then measure from where you want the paper to start to the outer edge of the width, and add one inch for the horizontal.  I used a rotary cutter to cut my paper, just because it's easier, but the exacto knife will do just fine as well.   Use your paint brush to apply the Mod Podge to the entire sanded surface, starting about 1/2" to 3/4" from the spine edge and going all the way out to the other three edges.  (Don't try to go all the way to the edge of your spine, because the paper won't hold where the book bends!)  Align the edge of your paper parallel to the spine edge, again, about 1/2" to 3/4" away from it.  Make sure the paper is aligned correctly, and centered vertically over the book.  Then carefully press it down, smoothing out any bubbles or wrinkles.  

Next, flip your book over and prop the cover open so that you can get to the bottom inside cover.  I just used my supply caddy for this, and it worked great.  As you can see, you should have about 1" of paper extending beyond the edges of your book on all three sides.  Using your exacto knife, start at the point of one corner and cut on a gentle diagonal away from the point, removing the corner of your paper.  This is kind of hard to describe, so please look at the photo to see what I mean!

Paint a 1" line of Mod Podge along the top edge of your book, then carefully fold the paper around and press it down, again smoothing any wrinkles or bubbles.  Repeat this step at the bottom, then at the side.  If you cut the corners correctly, the edges of your paper should overlap enough to create an unbroken border of the paper about 1" wide all around the outer edges of your book, without hanging off the outer edges of the cover, like this:

Once you have the front cover finished, repeat these steps to decoupage the back cover.  Once you're done, cut 2 pieces of coordinating ribbon or ricrac about 1.5" longer than the height of your book, and use the Mod Podge to glue them along the seams where the paper meets the spine.  I think this gives the books a more finished look, and just that little bit of extra pizazz.  You can also decorate the front cover with a title for your book, or the year, or whatever.  There are a lot of ways you can do this, so have fun with it!

Actually, I'm not as happy with the lettering on the pink one.  I think I am going to re-do it, the way I did the blue one.  I'd love to see what you all do with this!

Friday, August 10, 2012

New Items in the Shop

I've been busy, busy, busy!  In between my normal mother-ly and wife-ly responsibilities (which now include taking Elora to the potty, cleaning up her "accidents", and doing all the laundry generated by those "accidents"), I have been making jewelry.  Lots of jewelry.  I finally stopped making jewelry today, just long enough to photograph some of the new stuff.  This is as far as I got with the listings tonight:

All of these are now available in The Green World Shop.  More coming soon! 

I haven't forgotten about give-away number three!  I am waiting, no longer patiently, for an order to arrive.  (I ordered this stuff on July 20, so I think I've been more than patient already!)  I cannot complete the super-secret give-away item until that order arrives, and I can't post the give-away until the item is finished!  

Oh, and while you're here, please take a moment to leave me some love, and answer this question:  What kind of jewelry would you like to see more of in my shop?  This question is VERY open ended on purpose! I'm looking for guidance here, folks.  

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Necklace Give-Away Winner!

 Give-away number two is closed, and once again, I let random.org choose a winner for me:  

So, the winner is.....

Merryn!  Congratulations!  I'll be getting this in the mail for you just as soon as I can.

Thanks to everyone who entered!  And don't forget, I will be doing one more give-away this summer, so stay tuned to The Green World!  This next one is going to be big.  :)

Monday, July 23, 2012

Give-Away Number Two: A Necklace! (Closed)

The colors and designs that are popular in jewelry right now are fantastic.  Coral, turquoise, and royal blue?  The earthy antique brass and organic shapes?  Yes, please!  And I have the honor of working on bridal jewelry designs for not one, but two brides right now!  Each has her own style, and brainstorming with them has provided me with a ton of new ideas and inspiration. I've been haunting Pinterest, Etsy, and Fire Mountain, searching out new elements and trying to narrow down my choices to what I absolutely must have to work with.  I got my first round of new goodies last week, and my first batch of new jewelry is ready to post:








To celebrate, I am continuing my give-away series!!

This time, I'm giving away this fabulous tiered necklace in antiqued brass!  It's 21" at its shortest, and just shy of 24" at its longest.  I will happily shorten it for the winner, if it's too long. The rules for entry are essentially the same as before.  
  1. To enter, you must leave a comment on this post.  
  2. Up to FOUR additional entries may be gained by following this blog; sharing a link to this contest on your own blog (snag the give-away banner!); "liking" my page on Facebook; and/or sharing a link to this give-away on your Facebook wall or timeline.  Please leave a separate (different!) comment for each entry, and indicate what it's for (FB, following this blog, etc.).  If you post this to your own blog, please include a link to the post in your comment.
  3. The contest will close at midnight eastern standard time one week from today, on Monday, July 30, 2012.
  4. This contest is for the 24" tiered necklace only.  The winner/recipient will have the option of having the necklace shortened, but not lengthened.
Once again, good luck, and thanks for your help in promoting The Green World!

I've decided to extend this give-away until Wednesday!  You now have until midnight on August 1 to enter, and I will announce the winner on Thursday!

Saturday, July 21, 2012

As Seen on Pinterest: "Land of Nod Inspired Floor Cushion"

A few years ago, I made a pair of bean bag chairs from Amy Butler's gum drop pillow pattern.  I was sure that I'd blogged about them at the time, but I couldn't find the post in my archives so I'll tell you about them now.  The pattern said to fill the pillows with polyfill, but I wanted bean bag chairs for lounging in front of the TV.  I spent a small fortune on the tiny polystyrene beads used for filling bean bags, and had Brandon help me get them filled.  They made great bean bags chairs, and lasted us through a good four years of abuse use.  Recently, though, I noticed that one of the seams on the brown one had started to come open, and was leaking those filler beads. It wasn't bad yet, but I knew it wouldn't take long for them to be all over the place.  

Enter Pinterest.  I'd seen and pinned this tutorial for Land of Nod inspired floor cushions quite some time ago, but happened to see it again right around the time that I noticed the bean bag leak.  Coincidence?  No, I think it was Destiny.

photo from original post on Living With Punks
Ok, so maybe it wasn't Destiny, but it certainly was convenient.  I headed on in to JoAnn's to get some home dec fabric, and lo and behold, they had the perfect brown and cream floral on clearance for $5 a yard.  They didn't have the ready-made piping in the right color, though, so I snagged some quilt binding and made my own.

If you've never done piping before, it's actually pretty easy.  This is the tutorial I used the first time I did it, and it helped a lot.  Since I bought the quilt binding, I got to skip the part where I have to cut the bias strips, which made me very happy.  All I had to do was open up the binding, press it flat, cut it in half lengthwise, and voila! I turned 3 yards of quilt binding into 6 yards of 1.5" bias tape.  

And I didn't have a compass, and really didn't want to mess with doing that anyway, so I just went looking for the biggest circle in my house, which turned out to be the lamp shades on my bedside lamp.  I ended up with a 16" circle, instead of her 17" circle, and I decided to make the outer panel 10" instead of 9", so it would be a little taller.

When it came time to do the handle, instead of folding the ends in on themselves and stitching it to the top of the outer panel like she did, I stitched them into the outer panel when I pieced it together.  

My fabric was only 45", so I had to add about 7 inches to it to make it long enough to go all the way around the circle.  That 7" panel was just about the right width, so the handle was stitched onto it at either end.  Then I went back and top stitched it with the X, and I think it looks a lot better.  The only other thing I changed was to fill it with the polystyrene beads from my leaking beanbag, rather than using polyfill.  

We had some filler left in that beanbag, and the first one turned out so well that I had to make a second one. I was originally going to make them exactly the same, but I accidentally cut the strip for the outer panel at 6" rather than 10".  I stared at it in consternation for a moment, then decided it would be cool to have 2 cushions at different heights.  (Photography props, anyone?)

I am in love with the way they turned out. They match my decor to a "T".   I even got the piping right.  I had to sacrifice some of the filler from the green bean bag for the second cushion, but I don't care.  The new cushions are perfect.  They're really full, so they're really firm and don't sink down too much when someone sits on them.  The big one is the perfect height for Elora, the little one is the perfect size for Kaylie.  They can be stacked for extra height.  I like sitting on them, especially when playing with the girls at the coffee table. 

Seriously, what is not to love?  I'm already wanting to make more.  My MIL has requested one.  Or two.  And how does it work, if I want to offer custom cushions in my shop, since I got the idea from someone else's tutorial?  Would any of you purchase something like this?