- Arts and Design
Crafts in the House of Sylvestermouse
Let's Play, Create and Make A Lifetime of Treasures
I love handmade gifts and crafts! I guess I have been crafting all of my life. I honestly cannot remember a time that I did not have a hook or needle of some kind in my hand or a project in some phase of construction.
One of the most frustrating problems a crafter or needlework enthusiasts faces, is getting patterns, ideas, or instructions without spending a lot of money. The supplies alone will often deplete any crafting budget.
Because I understand the real desire to make original treasures, I am sharing some of my own personal ideas and instructions for making unique heirlooms. I have also written several articles that teach basic skills for beginners.
Have fun and craft on!
Cross Stitch Memories
My favorite needlework is cross stitch. It is certainly one of the easiest forms of needlework and there are tons of patterns and kits readily available.
I started cross stitching when I was in jr. high school (I believe it is called middle school today). One of my earliest projects is still one of my favorites. I cross stitched the flowers in the photo for my grandmother. I made one for my mother as well. My mom helped me make them into pillows.
After my grandmother died, my step grandfather put a lot of her personal treasures in boxes. He later gave some of them to my mother. She discovered the pillow among those items and brought it back to me. The pillow was stained and the cross stitch cloth was "aged." I cut the cross stitch design off of the pillow and carefully cleaned it with Woolite in my kitchen sink. This cross stitch heirloom now resides in my bible.
A world of memories right there in that one little square.
Tutorial: How to Cross Stitch
Beaded Ornaments ~ A Gift to Cherish from Year to Year
Another one of my favorite craft projects is beaded ornaments. They are fairly easy and require very little talent. They do, however, demand patience since they entail working with small beads and pins.
Not only do I enjoy making these ornaments for our family tree, I like making them to give a gifts. The ornament in the photo was a gift I made for my son. I bet you can guess his favorite color :)
In just a few hours, I made a lovely treasure, a precious gift and a lasting tradition.
Tutorial: How to Make Beaded Ornaments
Crochet With Love
When it comes to home décor, there is nothing prettier than the lacy effect of a crocheted doily or tablecloth.
I enjoy browsing in antique stores and it never fails to bring tears to my eyes when I see a beautiful crocheted afghan or tablecloth in one of the display cabinets. I know from experience how many hours are lovingly stitched in these beautiful heirlooms. I simply can not imagine selling one of these family treasures. I am always tempted to buy them, take them home and give back the love they deserve.
Tutorial: Learn How to Crochet
Beaded Easter Eggs
If you are really looking for something original, this craft project is for you!
Out of sheer determination to find a new, unique gift for my children one Easter, I dreamed up these eggs. They are really very easy and require a minimal investment for the supplies. I actually made the first few with beads and glue I already had in my craft supplies.
They make a great surprise or grand prize in the traditional Easter egg hunt.
Tutorial: How to Make Beaded Easter Eggs
Let's Party ~ Mad Hatter Style
Inspired by another writers idea, I made this Mad Hatter's Hat for my son right before the debut of the new Tim Burton's Alice in Wonderland movie.
Yes, he actually wore it to the movie on opening day!
Can you imagine how much fun he had with his group of college friends when they donned their "Alice" attire and stormed the theater doors? I wish I could have been there. I would have at least like to have had a picture, but you know kids, they don't worry about such things.
Tutorial: How to Make a Mad Hatter's Hat like Johnny Depp's in Tim Burtons Alice in Wonderland Movie.
My Decoupaged Purse
One of my most treasured gifts is the decoupaged wooden purse that my grandmother decoupaged for me when I was a young girl.
I loved it when she originally gave it to me back in the 70's. I carried it everywhere I went and actually used it as my everyday purse. My grandmother died several years ago and I treasure the gifts she so lovingly and painstakingly made for me. I can't touch this purse without thinking of how her hands touched it so many times as she turned a wooded box into a beautiful work of art just for me.
Tutorial: How to Make a Decoupaged Wooded Purse
A Very Special Valentine
I love the stories behind the original sailor's valentines!
I can assure you, the sailor's valentines that I have made reflect a greater depth of love than those 19th century sailors felt for their valentines.
In the article below, I have told about the origin of the Sailor's Valentine and given instructions to make your own. There really isn't a prettier way to express your love.
Tutorial: How to Make a Sailor's Valentine
Beaded Cross Stitch Pin
Beaded Cross Stitch is simply a joy! I love adding beads to my cross stitch. The beads add another dimension to cross stitch.
I use the beads to highlight and accentuate focus areas of my cross stitch work. I love the way the little beads will pick up and reflect light and color.
I made the beaded cross stitch pin for my son for Halloween. As I was making it, I took the time to take lots of pictures and to write the tutorial on How to Make a Beaded Cross Stitch Pin.
I made the original ghost over a decade ago for my son who just loves ghosts and anything Halloween.
This is my own pattern with step by step instructions and photos, which I have shared exclusively on Hubpages.
I hope you enjoy my friendly ghost! I am certain he will enjoy being with you :)
A Unique and Impressive Centerpiece
During the holidays, we decorate our homes with glitter and sparkle that reflects the beauty of the lights on our trees and in our hearts.
I originally made this centerpiece with beaded fruit for autumn and Thanksgiving, but when it was time to decorate for Christmas, I changed the floral picks to gold and red berries.
Since I was changing it out anyway, I photographed the process and wrote an article describing the steps to make a sleigh centerpiece.
Regardless of the holder or vase, the steps in the article below will show you exactly how to make you own original arrangement.
Some Things Really Are Just Too Easy
These ornaments are probably the easiest crafting project I have ever made.
You will be surprised and thrilled to find out just had simple these ornaments are to assemble.
We had a bit of an unplanned craft party one year when our family was gathered during the holidays. I had just purchased some glass ornaments and I had a wild idea for all of us to make something and exchange them with each other.
These ornaments are the results of our afternoon of antics and fun. A wonderful memory!
They smell good too!
Tutorial: How to Make Quick & Easy Glass Ornaments
Just Playing Around
As a seamstress, I can really appreciate a large pincushion. If it is pretty, that makes it even better.
I was inspired by a pattern book that gave some basic instructions on how to construct a felt pincushion. Intrigued, I gathered my supplies, called my mother and we went to work creating our own pincushions.
I also created the article below. I have given step by step instructions with lots of photos so you, too, can create a felt pincushion.
This really is a very easy project. The hardest part is choosing the supplies.
I will never again look at my pincushion without thinking of the day my mother and I were just playing around!
Tutorial: How to Make Felt Cupcake Pincushions
Mosaic pictures are rather impressive when complete, but they don't have to be hard to make.
I recently made the raccoon mosaic picture for my father for his birthday and he loves it.
Making the mosaic was not hard since I used a kit, but I do have several tips and suggestions for making the craft easier.
This is a craft that does take a good bit of time, so organization and taking your time is key to successfully creating a beautiful mosaic picture.
Tutorial: How to Make a Mosaic Picture
Do come back and visit me again!
You never know what I will do next :)
A Few Books for Inspiration
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© 2010 Cynthia Sylvestermouse