May 8, 2012

Becoming a Crafty Woman

I have this amazing friend, Michael Ann, who can just about take whatever she has lying around the house and make something amazingly awesome out of it. I do not have that talent. Which is why Michael's blog project for the month of May on becoming a confident crafter made me a little excited. If anyone can take the uncraftiness that is me and turn me into something somewhat resembling a crafter, it's Michael Ann. 

So the deal is, during the month of May, Michael will be posting different tips/tutorials about what you need to become a confident crafter, and then there will be a "homework assignment" at the end of each week for you to work on the following week. This week Michael talked about creating a space for crafting. Since I don't really have the space or the money to create one (and let's be honest, I'm just going to end up on the living room floor no matter what), I decided to jump right into the crafts!

Last year for Valentine's Day, Michael made this really cute banner (since this includes all instructions, I won't include them in my post). I thought that it looked so simple, even I could make it! (Famous last words, as you will see.) Instead of a Valentine's banner, I decided to make a banner that could hang in the living room I don't have in the house I don't own. Planning ahead and all that. (Can I just say I kind of like this whole decorating a nonexistent home thing; I can decorate however I want because money doesn't matter!)

So, I gathered my supplies and "created" my "space" (ie, my mom's living room floor. She loved that, especially since she had just picked it up. :) ).

Materials: Gingher fabric scissors, embroidery box (including thread and foldable sewing scissors), paper scissors, paper, pen, cup (for circles), felt (2 colors), fabric (2), and yarn
And here is my first beginner's mistake. I had no idea that you could buy less than a yard of fabric. Truly. They price it by the yard (probably on purpose to make unsuspecting beginners like me spend more money), so you must have to buy at least a yard, right? Well, I came home with TONS of felt. Then my mom told me I could have just bought a half, or a third, or whatever, of a yard. So, if anyone wants to make something, I have a lot of blue and yellow felt!

I have a vague memory of learning about some tribe, or people, somewhere who would purposely make mistakes in their handicrafts in order to praise God. If that's true, I've been praising God a lot this weekend! The sewing of the fabric onto the felt went alright, though my stitches aren't very even, and on a couple the fabric puckers a bit. For the record, I used four strands of embroidery thread.

Then came the felt letters. I asked Michael how she did her letters, and she just free handed hers. I decided to use a font as a pattern. I chose "andrea karime". It was the tracing and cutting of the letters that was really tedious to me and I almost wanted to give up, but I have a box full of unfinished crafts and I was determined to finish this one.

I finally got the letters cut out and hot glued on. (I did not do this on the living room floor. After the Rubber Cement Incident in the sixth grade, I know that glue and carpet do not go well together.) Then the yarn, which I had when I decided I wanted to make a Harry Potter scarf about a gajillion years ago (a scarf which is still unfinished). Then came something I feel really stupid about:

Notice anything wrong here? I could either hang it up opposite a mirror, or take it off the yarn and glue it on again. Le sigh. I thought I was finished, but not so much. 

So, three days later I tried again. They came out backwards. For the second time. Le sigh again.

And this reminded me why I don't like doing crafts: 1) It seems like everyone else can do a craft perfectly the first time, while I invariably always mess up. 2) Once I mess up, it's hard to want to continue on, especially this close to the end.

Anyway, in frustration, I attempted to do it again. This time my mom helped me figure out which way the letters had to go to end up right side up, but my two previous attempts at hot gluing (which I hate doing. You always burn yourself and there are those little glue strings that get everywhere) had made it so I could no longer attach the glue at the top of the letter, so instead I did it in the middle of the circle. I have no idea if this will work when hung on the wall (I'm picturing floppy letters falling forward, thereby being rendered unreadable), but I don't care at this point anymore. 

Here is the final product: 

Well, it's finally done. Blog points to whomever
knows what this is referencing. Whitney points
to whomever can give specifics.


  1. Maybe you could hot glue another strand or two to the top half? It would kind of look like a multi-chained necklace.

    And how on earth did you do it wrong twice? Maybe it's because I'm not fully understanding that attaching step, but it looks like you can just set the yarn down on the table, line up the letters above it (spelled out, as seen in your last picture) and the hot glue each letter. Hmmm . . .

  2. What happened is I turned the circles upside down to hot glue the yarn on (other hot glue would have ended up on the table), but the first time I forgot that you need to have the letters right to left instead of left to right so when you turn them up again, they are the right way (like putting type on a printing press, it's backwards so it will print forwards). The second time I thought I had fixed the problem, but all I did was attach them upside down and backwards.

  3. I think it turned out cute. Way to be brave! I have also been loving Michael's Becoming a Confident Crafter. I just put together my Crafty Kit.

  4. aaaah i love it! every single bit of your whole experience! this is what becoming a confident crafter is all about, i can't tell you HOW many silly mistakes i've made (and still make) when trying to do projects. may i have the honor of stealing a couple of your pictures to post on my blog tomorrow? i think making a pretty banner totally counts as "sprucing up your space" and i think you should hang it up even if you don't have your own living room ;] way to go girl!!

  5. Hilary, thanks!

    Michael, of course you can steal some pictures! The only reason I made it was because of you. I'm looking forward to more "Confident Crafter" stuff!

  6. The thing is, Whitney, those of us who craft just don't TELL you about all the silly mistakes we took getting to the finished product. It makes us look good. Now you know the secret for next time. ;)

  7. Dana, that is exactly why I did put when I messed up. I'm all for letting people know I make mistakes so they don't make the same ones! :) I'm the same with my cooking posts too, if I make a mistake, I try to remember to put it in.