Sunday, February 20, 2011

Ric Rac Flowers: By SARN

For my birthday my dear friend SARN gave me a gift with this adorable ric rac flower tied on as a bow. A few weeks ago she taught me how to make them and gave me permission to share the directions on this blog. They are fairly fast to make and simple. They make wonderful embellishments for crowns, mittens, hair clips, bows and just about anything you can come up with. Oh, and they are fairly sturdy as well.
1. You will need stiff felt, ric rac, a button, and embroidery floss. I used red so that you can see the stitches, but you will probably want it to match your ric rac so it blends in.

2. Use a template to draw a circle on the stiff felt. Then cut it out. The circle I used for these flowers has a 1 1/2 inch diameter.

3. Sew an end of your ric rac with the edge pointing towards the middle of the circle. You will stitch over this later to hide it.

4. The side of the ric rac that goes up I call a mountain, the side that goes down is a valley. Stitch the valleys together as you make your way around the circle. (Use the photos for this).

5. This picture shows what it looks like once you have gone completely around the circle.

6. Begin your second layer. You will spiral towards the middle. Make sure to cover the stitches from the first row as you go.

7. Keep spiraling in until you reach the middle. Once there snip the end of your ric rac off. Fold it under and put a good stitch or two in to hold it in place.

8. This picture shows you what the back should look like at this point.

9. Sew a button into the middle of the flower and you are done.

Thank you SARN for letting me share this tutorial. What will you embellish with these adorable flowers? Have Fun!

Friday, February 4, 2011

New Things; Timeless Things

Good morning everyone. No, I have not dropped off the face of the earth again. Bear and I have been hard at work getting AppleCrateToys ready for this year's shows. There are so many things we are proud of and I thought that you might like a sneak peek of some of our projects in progress. We have lovely bunting banners of felt made from100% post-consumer recycled plastic bottles. There are a lot of these that we are working on but the one in the picture is my favorite so far. It features the Alphabet and is made with warm earth tones. Next to that is our version of a bendy doll. The wire we used for her core is lead free steel wrapped in soft rubber. This is another alphabet we've been working on. No lead or cadmium here either. Each square has been carefully cut and sanded from bass wood till it is baby smooth. Using a wood burning tool I then carefully burn in each letter. These make lovely tools for learning the alphabet and beginners spelling. They also are wonderful sensory tools. I may have to keep a set for myself. I love the way they feel; the ridges of the letters against their smoothness and the way the light hits them in my wooden bowl. They even retain a slightly smokey wood smell that is just delightful.
Since we are making alphabets out of wood it only made sense to make number sets as well. These squares number 0-9 and each set comes in a wooden box with counting chips.
And finally because they were just so much fun to make here are some tiny embroidered pins that I've made. Everything will posted very soon. Bear and I are very pleased with the direction AppleCrateToys is taking and we hope you all liked this sneak peek. Take care and Have fun!