Friday, December 24, 2010

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Blog!

Happy Holidays!

First I would like to wish everyone a happy and safe holiday, and secondly I'd love to announce the arrival of my new baby blog: Collected.

I have always been an avid photographer, and have often found my most interesting subjects to be random collections of things. I got the wild idea this Fall to start a blog and post a new collection every week, and so Collected was born! It's first post will be tomorrow, Christmas, with a Christmas themed collection of course shown above. If I have good feedback and people are enjoying the blog I might even offer prints of my collections to purchase :)

All the collections I photograph are things from my very own home, and are often vintage or antique things. I hope you take some time to check out my new blog, and keep coming back in 2011 to The Angry Pincushion for more new stuffs!

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Last Minute Gift Tags

If you have any last minute shopping to do for Christmas you better get right on it! And if you have any presents to wrap, you should probably get started on that too :) I saw these festive and super cute free tags from Hip Hop Candy yesterday on their Facebook fan page, I think they'd make an excellent addition to any package. Happy wrapping everyone!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Crafty Repeat: Gingerbread Man Pin

Original Post: December 15th 2008

If you are like me and love the smell of gingerbread you'll love wearing this unique pin! These are easy to make and cost almost nothing, are a great project to do with kids and make excellent teachers presents. And look how cute he is! You can use this recipe to make ornaments as well. I have had mine for years and can still say that he smells as good as the day I made him.

You'll need:
  • -1 cup brown sugar, packed
  • -1 cup shortening
  • -1 cup white glue (Elmers)
  • -2 cups molasses
  • -1 tablespoon baking soda
  • -1 tablespoon ground ginger
  • -6 to 8 cups all purpose flour
  • -1 and 3/4 cups water
  • -cookie cutters
  • -pin backs
  • -hot glue gun

You can certainly cut this recipe down depending on how many pins or ornaments you want to make. Remember these are NON-edible!

Mix the brown sugar and shortening together, add molasses and glue, mix well, set aside. Combine baking soda and ginger with 6 cups of flour, add this to the glue/brown sugar/etc. mixture and add the 1 and 3/4 cups water while mixing. Add enough remaining flour to make the mixture into a stiff dough and knead it well. Roll to about a 1/4 inch thickness and start cutting out your gingerbread men, and other shapes if you wish. If making ornaments using a straw poke holes in the dough for a string to be tied through. Place on an un-greased baking sheet. Bake at 300 degrees for one hour or until color is golden. Repeat with any remaining dough. To thoroughly dry gingerbread men, place them in the oven on oven racks and bake an additional 3 hours at 100 degrees. Let cool completely.

After gingerbread men are cool, using a hot glue gun glue a pin back onto the gingerbread man, let cool and you have a yummy smelling, cute holiday pin!

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Advent Calendar

As I was changing all my calendars to December yesterday I found myself thinking about a advent calendar I had when I was young. It was made of fabric, it was from Avon I believe since my Mom was an Avon lady, and had a little mouse that you moved to a new pocket everyday. I remember waking up in the morning excited to move the little mouse another day closer to Christmas. As I thought of my adorable advent calendar from my childhood I remembered another advent calendar I had featured on The Angry Pincushion several years ago by a talented, crafty, British gal named Britta. So for old times sake, and because this advent calendar is absolutely lovely, here once again is Britta's cuddly, felt advent calender!

Original Post- Dec. 17th 2008

I belong to a craft community forum called Cut Out+ Keep, it's an amazing site where anyone is allowed to post their crafty creations and how to's. I encourage anyone who loves to craft to check it out and sign up! Cut Out+ Keep is where I found Britta Jarvis's lovely felt advent calendar. The first time I saw this advent calendar I thought it might be one of the cutest things I had seen, so I wrote Britta and asked if I could showcase her work on my blog, and thank goodness she said yes! So here it is, all the way from the UK, the how to for this most festive, and adorable felt advent calendar made by Britta for her boyfriend! Thank you Britta!

You'll need:
  • -tracing paper
  • -various colored pieces of felt
  • -a few colors of embroidery thread
  • -a length of dowel or bamboo cane
  • -scissors
  • -needle
  • -small drill or hand drill

1. For your advent calendar you're going to need 25 days. I did 5 rows of 5 pockets to hold a sweet for each day. I decided to make the 25th day larger than the rest so it could hold more booty, but this also meant the the other 4 on its row were made slightly smaller. You can choose to do as I did or to leave them all the same size. First, draw out the pieces you're going to cut. I planned mine on tracing paper and then cut
around them to make the rectangles. I also made some simple felt christmassy shapes and sewed them on to every other rectangle in a checker-board fashion to decorate it.
2. Here are the rectangles laid out in sequence. The designs I added are a bell, holly, Christmas pudding, snowflake, snowman, candle, star, stocking, Christmas tree, present, mistletoe, a robin and a candy cane.

3. The next step is to embroider on numbers from 1 to 25 for the days of December. I dotted the dates around so it could be fun searching for the right pocket every day. I used back-stitch but I'm no sewing expert, so if you know a better way then go for it :)
4. Get a piece of felt large enough to back all the pieces, minus about 5 cm horizontally but plus enough vertically to be able to roll the top around your dowel and write a message... call it 5cm again. The 5cm horizontally is so that you can bunch up each pocket a bit and make them more pockety and able to hold sweets :)
5. Decide what message you'd like to write on the top of your advent calendar. I chose 'Merry Christmas!' but you might like to add a name in there of the person you're making this for. Cut out the letters from different colored felt and sew it on just touching the top line of pockets, leaving the rest of the felt free at the top. next, get your dowel and cut it to the width of your calendar plus 2cm either side, then get your drill and make a hole through each end 1cm from the end. Roll this into the top of the felt and sew the felt closed around it. Get some of your thread (I used about 35 cm) and tie it through the holes in your dowel so that you can hang it up.

6. Add sweets! This is a very important stage and will be noticed if you forget it! I try to get several types of sweet so that every day you get something different than the last. Hang up your completed advent calendar with pride!


Thanks again Britta for this great tutorial and pictures, and I'm sure all my readers enjoy your advent calendar as much as I do! Check out more of Britta's creative stuffs on her blog, and her Cut Out+Keep page!

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Pumpkin Pincushion & Decorations

I know it's getting to be a little last minute for Thanksgiving crafts, however this project is pretty simple and one that can easily be accomplished in a few hours with a few materials, one of which you can find in your own backyard! :) Plus, you know I can't resist the urge to create a pincushion.

You'll Need:
  • Orange Fabric, I used an orange lightweight fleece.
  • Sewing supplies-Needles, thread, scissors, etc.
  • Thick twigs or sticks
  • Glue
  • Rice
I know I don't have any pictures of this project in the making, but I tried and found it extremely hard to take pictures while I'm working on things, especially when they involve sewing, sorry :( Maybe I need an assistant, any takers? :P Also, my current camera leaves alot to be desired in the whole DIY pictures area, still hoping to have that new camera soon. If only good cameras grew on trees and didn't cost an appendage.

How to:
  1. Using a template if you want, like a lid, or a circle cut out of newspaper, cut out a circle from your orange fabric.
  2. After you have your fabric circle cut out, use a simple running stitch to gather the edges and start forming your pumpkin.
  3. After gathering the top of your pumpkin, fill most of the way with rice before you start to close it up. I used rice instead of fiber fill to give it a less "plush" look, and so these guys would set nicely on their bottoms. Fill pumpkin to your desired amount, more rice=plumper pumpkin, just remember to leave room for your stick "stem".
  4. Insert the twig in the center of your pumpkin, gathering the fabric around it. Then using a glue gun, or fabric glue, run some glue around the stick where the fabric will meet it, just to make sure it stays in place.
  5. Finish by tightly gathering the fabric the rest of the way around the stem, pull tight, holding fabric to glue for a few minutes. Then cut the thread and tie your knot!
  6. Use your pumpkin for a pincushion or decoration. Make more than one, in a few different sizes, as pictured below for Thanksgiving, or also cute for Halloween!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Thanksgiving Plushies

I often say that I inherited all my creative talent from my Martha Stewart like Mother. She is a crafty, domestic goddess and taught me well. That being said, have a look at these Thanksgiving plushies my Mom made! I love them, and think they are sooo cute!

My Mom used green felt for the stem, a fake fall leaf, and green wrapped floral wire for accent.

Turkey with a ric-rac and lace tail!!

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Zombie Leaves

It's that time of year again, time to rake up all those dead leaves laying around in the yard. What you may not know is that sometimes a few of these dead leaves rise again to become... zombie leaves!! :)

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Happy Halloween & Last Minute Costumes

Happy Halloween!
Perry loves dressing up.

Looking for a quick, easy, last minute costume that won't break the bank? How about looking through old magazines, I found Rolling Stone is best for this, and cutting out head sized covers. Using a pair of scissors cut out the face, and the eyes...cause you'll want to see right? Then using some elastic or rubber bands punch two small holes in the sides of the "mask" and make it to fit your head before tying a knot in each end.

Look at Bruce and Mr. Penn having a great time!

My turn as Shawn Penn, and a chance to creep my brother out.

Another last minute idea is from the goddess of Halloween crafting, Martha Stewart. I saw this idea the other day on her show to create a simple ribcage t-shirt for a fast costume. Instructions and the template are on her website.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Halloween Shakers

I know it's the day before Halloween, but I just had to post this finished project. I hope it gives you some inspiration to create for next Halloween...or this Halloween, if you're right fast at whipping up craft projects!

These shakers are made in the style of Victorian Halloween noisemakers, made from simple and very inexpensive round paper-mache boxes, uncooked rice(for inside the box), wooden dowels, some decorative trim, a hot glue gun, fabric, and acrylic paint. Painting the faces on these is really the time consuming part. Look for inspiration for these in old Victorian Halloween decor and pictures, and Halloween folk art.
They kind of look like candy, don't they! :)

Pom-pom trim slightly aged on all the pumpkins.

Decorative braided trim glued around the edge.

Black felt ears.

Strips of Halloweeny fabric tied in bows around the base of the dowel.

Cheshire Grin

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Halloween Boo-quet


For Valentine's Day you put red Roses on the table, for Easter, Lilies, Christmas bouquets are almost always Poinsettias, but what kind of a bouquet can you display for Halloween? How about a spooky BOOO-quet of dead flowers, & creepy looking seed pods!

I usually collect unique looking seed pods and dried flowers or seed heads during the fall and preserve them using clear acrylic coat before bringing them in to display or craft with. For Halloween I thought dead small Black Eyed Susans, or the seed heads, and a sprig of some random dried orange colored weed from the yard were perfect for this boo-quet. It was pretty simple, using a hand-held garden clipper I snipped the amount of Black Eyed Susan and unknown orange weed I wanted in my vase and then stuck them in, arranging them as I went, no water needed because they're dead!! Muahahahaha!

The small version of the Black Eyed Susans in my yard.

Of course AFTER I had finished this and uploaded my pictures I decided to take some of that fairly inexpensive fake spider webbing, that you can find at almost any craft or drug store, and drape it around in this arrangement. Then I added a fake plastic spider and voila! a whole new and more festively spooky boo-quet was born! Just too bad I didn't think about it before I photographed and uploaded all my photos. :(

If you want to try this you'll need:
  • Some sort of vase, or vessel for your arrangement.
  • Dried foliage, seed heads or pods, and or live flowers.
  • Clear Acrylic coat for dried things.
  • Fake spider web and fake spiders (optional)
  • Florist's foam, if you want to get fancy.
  • Water of course, if you are using live flowers.
Below are a few pictures from my garden for ideas for another version of a dried foliage boo-quet.
Neato and a little spookyish weed seed pods.

Globe Thistle seed head

Dried Sea Oats.

Martha's version of a boo-quet

If you don't have a yard with any of these things in them, and you don't have any friends or family with any sort of dried fun stuff either in their yards, then try an arrangement with live flowers like the ones above from Martha Stewart. Mums are great for fall arrangements and so are dark colored sunflowers, or how about blood red roses in a black vase? I like it. Pictured below is a lovely and spidery looking purple plant on my deck, & for some reason I am having brain issues right now and can't for the life of me think of it's name... but it would also make a great addition to a live Halloween boo-quet!Purple spider plant that I can't think of name of right now... pretty good caption huh.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Halloween Acorns

Halloween Acorns

Last week I was at my Grandma's house, in the back yard, walking around and picking up acorns off the ground that had fallen from her oak tree. I have always loved acorns, and I usually pick up a couple nice ones each fall, stick them up in a box full of naturey things that I'm never quite sure what to do with, and there they sit. Well, this year I was struck with a idea as I picked up these acorns, and so was born the Halloween acorn project! It's a pretty simple project with mostly basic craft supplies: acorns, a few bottles of acrylic paint, paintbrush, and some patience for painting tiny things :)

You'll Need:
  • A bottle of black acrylic paint, and a bottle of orange acrylic paint.
  • A small paint brush
  • Cup for water (I use old yogurt cups)
  • Acorns, how ever many you want to use & any size will work.
  • Acrylic clear coat spray, you can use either shiny or matte, I used matte.
  1. First step is to clean the acorns, I made the mistake of starting to paint a couple and realizing that the fine dirt on them was keeping the paint from sticking.
  2. Squeeze your paint out on a old plate or I usually use an old plastic lid from a butter tub or something similar. Get a cup of water, and start painting!After the first coat of Orange
3.Let the acorns dry completely overnight, then give them another coat of paint. After two coats of paint

4. Let the acorns dry completely again, and then outside in a garage, deck, some other well ventilated space, lay down newspaper and spray one coat of either shiny or matte clear coat on the acorns. I used matte this time, but think I will try shiny next time!

5. After the acorns are dry, you can throw them in a vase, a bowl, or where ever suits you! I got a little fancy with some of my orange acorns and using a black fine tip paint pen I drew tiny little jack-o-lantern faces on.Finished product!