30 September 2015
25 September 2015
While writing my book, Crafting With Nature, I started looking at my crafting supplies with different eyes. I have always loved natural materials, but spending months and months working with natural ingredients and supplies made me realize that half the joy of crafting is the feel of the tools and materials in hand. Sure, the finished product is a boon, but the slip and tug of natural fibers while crafting, the silky smooth crush of petals or even just the nubby warmth of cotton string in hand is the real joy of crafting with nature.
One of my favorite natural materials is leather or suede. The feel of soft hide is a soothing material to craft with and as I craft, I am grateful for the animal that provided it. The leather I am using is courtesy of the Leather Hide Store, where remnants from upholstery (couches, chairs, pillows, etc.) are sold to crafters like me. Instead of wasting the cutting room floor pieces, Leather Hide Store is embracing the use of remnants for beautiful, luxurious little crafts. Join me today as I show you a little slouch bag inspired by an old tutorial Onel wrote here at A Nest for All Seasons and I will have another little leather project coming up for you soon! Let's start with this cute little bag though, shall we?
|Look at that BEAUTIFUL leather!|
2. Cut out your pieces with sharp leather shears, tracing a circular lid to make life easier on yourself. You need one long piece, around 8x18 inches (20x45 cm), two leather circles and one leather circle cut from cardboard or several pieces of cardstock glued together. Use regular scissors to cut the cardboard, NOT your new leather shears!!
3. Sandwich the cardboard inside the two leather circles with the outer, smooth leather side showing on both sides. Glue together with plain old craft glue or Elmer's.
4. Fold over the top edge of the long piece of leather and place a string inside the crease is you want a drawstring. (I omitted this, but see the photo where the string should go below.) Use the awl to pierce the leather and then thread waxed string through the holes. You can use any stitch you want, but I liked this overcast stitch. A blanket stitch would work nicely too.
5. Trim any leather below your straight sewn line and roll leather into a cylinder. Sew down the seam from top to bottom to secure.
6. Place the round bottom on the cylinder and attach with leather glue or stitching. I used glue (see Onel's bottom stitching HERE) and it has held up nicely. The top o the slouch bag will of course slouch, while the bottom will keep its circular form thanks to the cardboard.
I've shown the little bag with pencils and craft supplies, but think how perfect they would be for little gift bags this Christmas that your friends and family can use "after the gift"! Consider enlarging this little bag for a large planter or add in that drawstring for a beautiful backpack! Leather is so versatile and fits with so many different tastes and design styles. Pick out your favorite remnant HERE at Leather Hide Store and get crafting with nature!
Crafting with Nature is available NOW for pre-order on Amazon and BarnesandNoble.com, with a price guarantee (Amazon only) if there is a drop between now and March 22nd when the book officially releases. After that date, you will be able to purchase Crafting with Nature at Books-a-Million, Barnes and Noble, ibooks, Indie-Bound, Indigo, The Book Depository, Amazon and other fine booksellers.
Pre-order RIGHT HERE on Amazon and HERE at Barnes &Noble!
21 September 2015
This is how THE BOOK began.
NOW, it looks like THAT
Crafting with Nature is available NOW for pre-order on Amazon, with a price guarantee if there is a drop between now and March 22nd when the book officially releases. Update: It is now available on Barnes & Noble as well! After that date, you will be able to purchase Crafting with Nature at Books-a-Million, Barnes and Noble, ibooks, Indie-Bound, Indigo, The Book Depository, Amazon and other fine booksellers. If you are not ready to pre-order, consider adding my book to your Amazon wishlist -- it helps make the book more visible to other shoppers and a big help to me as I try to promote it!
Pre-order RIGHT HERE on Amazon and HERE on Barnes & Noble!
Let's start back at the beginning...
When I first knew that the book was going to be a real THING, I sat down with two big posterboards and wrote out the table of contents. Then I scratched a bunch of stuff out and rearranged things and had a giant rough draft that was life-sized and tangible. Once I submitted my table of contents to the publisher, it was fairly set in stone. We made a few adjustments, but the basic outline is still very much the same. The chapters went from that big posterboard onto:
|In case you were wondering, I was able to make those perfectly straight lines because I used the handy dandy |
vertical lined wallpaper to measure before issuing it a death sentence. See? Even ugly things can be helpful!
The 14 clipboards to the left are for the kids -- star charts, hanging artwork, working math problems, etc. The two in the middle held a running schedule of current projects for the book (bottom) and blog (top) and the 14 clipboards on the right were separated by chapter for the book. (Some chapters were paired up at various times -- there are 19 total chapters). In the corner of each clipboard is the chapter number and the month that I planned to work on it. The light green post-it notes had projects that needed to completed for that chapter, the yellow post it was an alert that text was not complete and the dark green post-it was for submitted chapters. Once the wall started winding down to less and less yellow and more and more dark green, my stress level started easing right along with it.
The Workspace:To recap, the "front" of the room is devoted to the kid's art and all the cubbies that organize our life. The left of the room is almost all clipboards. Straight in front of you when you walk in is this:
1. The old crib mattress springs held my table of contents until it was set in stone and up onto the clipboards. Now it has started to hold finished products along with the other IKEA grids (to the right of frame).
2. There are three dressers and a rolling paper cart from IKEA that fit snuggly along the back wall. They are divided by color and/or season and filled with decor/props. (Remember my color-coded prop drawers in the old house? Same idea...new dressers)
3. The big wooden drop leaf table is also IKEA, but we grabbed it off Craiglist for a song. The burlap runner is a $4.97 Consumer Crafts "fabric" and is far cheaper than the same $20+ burlap table runners you can find elsewhere. Bleach the burlap yourself for the even more pricey bleached burlap runners!
|What is looks like under actual work conditions...|
|The pictures in this shoot are from THIS POST if you are curious :)|
Future Plans for the Art Room
|The BEFORE shot of the Art Room -- note the red/purple carpet and striped wallpaper!|
For now, if you are interested in pre-ordering 'Crafting With Nature', you can definitely do that!! (PLEASE do!)
If you aren't ready to pre-order, remember that ADDING THE BOOK TO YOUR WISHLIST is very helpful as well and FREE!
Crafting with Nature is available NOW for pre-order on Amazon, with a price guarantee if there is a drop between now and March 22nd when the book officially releases. After that date, you will be able to purchase Crafting with Nature at Books-a-Million, Barnes and Noble, ibooks, Indie-Bound, Indigo, The Book Depository, Amazon and other fine booksellers.