A little box based on a breed that thinks it is big
For Easter, I keep seeing these items that use a minimal bit of artwork to give the impression of a rabbit, chick or other small animal. This (not an affiliate link) is a good example.
I kept rolling the idea around in my mind, wondering how to do it in paper, SuzerStyle.
It was Mr. SuzerSpace who provided the obvious answer – a Westie face. Up until a few years ago, we’ve had a Westie as a housemate. If you aren’t familiar with the breed, they are a small white terrier, bred originally for ratting on the coasts of Scotland. They do not know they are small. In fact, I’m not sure they know they are dogs.
Possessed with no small amount of self-esteem, the West Highland White Terrier is an all-white, compact, sturdy package of frolicsome energy. His ears stand up naturally and his tail is short by nature’s design. The breed was developed in the Highlands of Scotland for the hard and dangerous work of destroying vermin. Though independent in nature, they enjoy participating in Conformation, Agility, Obedience and Tracking, but their favorite activity is Earthdog Tests — designed to test his natural instincts. Life with one of the ‘little white dogs’ is never dull and can be a challenge to the unsuspecting first-time owner.
The only part I’d disagree with is the “enjoy participating in Conformation, Agility, Obedience …” part. They don’t enjoy being obedient. They only enjoy being in charge 🙂 .
They have a distinctive shape, and their big heads are big part of their cuteness. And a big head is what you need for this craft to succeed.
And it turns out, a new skill with the Silhouette.
One glance at Pinterest or Instagram will tell you that paper flowers are in right now.
Rolled paper flowers are the most popular, and everyone is offering their tutorials on them. I’ve referenced one version before, which I liked, but wasn’t sure I could commit to the entire project.
Another blogger (Jennifer Maker) has offered up a whole series of these, and with her encouragement (and her videos) I’ve been pretty successful in making some pretty flowers. I have a few project ideas in mind for spring decorating that will use those.
You know when you start looking at one thing on Pinterest it keeps on serving up more pins in that genre, so it wasn’t long before I saw a pin that landed me at Hey Let’s Make Stuff, on a post where she makes Tissue Paper Flowers four different ways. In it, she describes how she turned to paper crafting for decorations for her wedding. And she made 500 flowers for table pieces.
I have a vague memory of making these before. Maybe with a babysitter? Anyway – I searched the craft bags (I store my craft supplies under my desk in Chipotle paper bags), and turns out I do not have any tissue paper.
Bummer. But I do have a bunch of shoeboxes that I was getting ready to cut down into good cardboard squares. And inside? Tissue paper!
Cori’s post about making Tissue Paper flowers is easy to follow. The photos step you through the folding, and while it isn’t rocket science, it is a little tricky to get started. I really liked how she showed how changing the cutting on the edges totally changes the flowers. And I love a forgiving craft – if you pulled too hard and tore the sheets a little, the flowers just ended up a little more rustic.
I made three in about three minutes. And then made myself stop.
Because suddenly 500 didn’t seem that weird after all.
Bicycle riding season is getting close, so I’m crafting to get ready.
In the Spring and Fall, I’m still wearing jeans when I ride, and even though my chain has a guard on it, I’m still pretty fearful my pant leg is going to get caught. I tend to have a more pant leg around my ankles than the average person, because I’m short.
For several years, we’ve been walking for exercise, and one of the many benefits is the bird watching.
We’re also lucky to live in an older neighborhood with established trees, which also brings in the birds.
Some time back, we bought a field guide for birds and used the illustrations to figure out what we were looking at. The inside cover has a couple of pages for recording when and where you’ve seen a bird, and we’ve noted quote a few. I’m sure there’s an app for that now, but we like to do this old school.
One bird that we could hear, but never quite see really interested us. We’d hear it in Spring mostly, early in the morning, and to us, it sounded like it was calling “Sue Za Zee” which is pretty close to “Suzy” which is what my family calls me. (Suzer is my work nickname). We’ve heard this bird for several years, while living in several states.
Naturally, we started calling it the Suzy Bird.
Recently, we finally saw the bird that was making that call, and it turns out he’s the Black Capped Chickadee. Oh sure, the bird scientists think he’s calling out “Chicadee”, but what do they know?
Of course, this calls for a craft!
I’ve made a print & cut project to create a garland of Black Capped Chickadees to adorn my wall. To make this one more nature-inspired, I used a dried day-lily stem to hang them from.
Click the arrow below to see how I made this. At the end of the post, I’ve also included the files as a free download if you’d like to make your own.
If somehow you haven’t heard about this, Aldi is a chain of discount grocery stores. They originated in Germany, and have brought their shopping strategy to the US. The stores are purposely small, with limited offerings in smaller categories than the big US chains. Most of the brands are their own private label. There are no frills – the stores are mostly warehouse style with items stacked in boxes or on basic metal racks. There are no staff roaming the aisles – they are all either at the cash registers or are unloading items. You bring your own bags, and bag your own items.
We’ve found Aldi a great way to stretch our food dollar. We had previously been doing that by couponing and leaving expensive treats (like good blue cheese, nuts and olives) off our list. But Aldi lets us have all that back, plus better pricing on many basic items.
If you google “what’s good at Aldi” you will be presented with pages and pages of bloggers views on what to buy there.
And of course I’m going to add in my top 5:
Cheese. Sliced, block, shredded or specialty. All good.
Flatbread. Better and cheaper than the name brand.
Produce. Especially 50 cent avocados and the multi-color peppers
Garlic Flatbread Pizza. It’s in the frozen section. And it rivals Papa Murphy’s Garlic Bread.
Eggplant Parmesan. Also in the frozen section. Comes in single serve or family size portions.
The good thing about waiting so long to shop at Aldi is they used to not take credit cards. But now they do.
There is one big trick though – you have to bring a quarter. You use it to unlock a shopping cart at the front of the store. You get it back when you lock your cart back in.
I can’t be trusted to keep a quarter in my wallet. What if the Cheez-Its start calling me from the candy machine when I’m at work?
My mom is great seamstress. She makes clothes, some complete with matching doll outfits. Her quilts are just amazing.
Me? I never really got beyond the one-yard skirt with an elastic waistband. Although honestly, that pattern served me very well my first year in an adult job.
I’m more of a utility stitcher. As a short person, I’ve got a very good grasp of how to hem. And take in waistbands. But I know my limits (topstitching/zippers/buttonholes).
And I’m going to tell you something that will make anyone who sews for a hobby cringe. About three years ago I decided to rearrange the office/exercise room and I moved my sewing machine into the basement. Which of course means … I haven’t used my sewing machine in more than three years.
So when I saw this little project for sewing Pocket Pack Tissue Covers, I knew I had a decision to make. Drag the machine upstairs and set it all up, or do it by hand.
After looking at the pictures and the technique involved, I knew that I could attempt this one by hand. All of the stitching is hidden.
Is my stitching so crooked that the ends are uneven? Yup.
Did I check three times to make sure I had the right sides in where they were supposed to be but still somehow get the back on inside out? It’s like you know me 🙂 .
I really like this little craft. The measurements are easy, the stitching technique is super simple. It would be way faster and much straighter if I used a machine, and when I get brave enough to see if it’s in working order, I will definitely put this one on the top of my list. Until then, my little wonky version is going straight into my backpack to be used with pride!
I didn’t have a real solid plan for using my Silhouette Cameo when I bought it. I knew it would be a helpful tool for all my paper crafting, and it would be great boost for holiday crafting (banners, garlands, gift tags, cards).