Monday, October 29, 2012

Going Green: Sweater Hearts Tutorial.

What to do with sweater scraps? Can a passionate eco- crafter throw them away? ... Noope! :)
The white and cream scraps left from this project were truly small... yet perfect for some sweater hearts. To add a cheerful note, I also upcycled a very tired red sweater I loved to wear when I was about 15 (ahem... I know, I know!!). Cream, white and red- such a pretty color combo!


Here are the simple instructions for the beginners. I know several of my readers don't sew, but would love to, and this is such a fast and easy project! 

You'll need:
- a sewing machine
- old sweaters or scraps of them
- matching thread
- a needle
- scissors
- polyfill
- pins
- a heart template (you can draw it easily just folding a paper sheet in half)
- small buttons

1. Fold the sweater, right sides together (the right of the sweater is inside the fold). Pin the template onto it.


2. Cut around the heart, leaving a nice seam allowance.


3. Machine stitch, leaving an opening to stuff the heart.


4. Trim off any excess of fabric and zig zag all around the shape. This is not mandatory, as these hearts are not meant to be used and washed, but this step prevents the fabric from fraying and keeps the inside of your work neat too. Even if it's hidden, I encourage you to always put care in everything you make!


5. Cutting along the seam allowance will help reversing the heart.


6. Reverse.


7. Fill the heart with polyfill. A pencil can be a helpful stuffing tool, if you don't own a proper one. Close the opening with invisible stitches.


8. Finish off with a button.


You can use them as: lavender sachets for your drawers (add a spoonful of lavender buds for each heart), stocking fillers, decorative hearts, ornaments for your Christmas tree, little gifts, photo props etc etc etc.
Happy crafting!
Monica x

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Joyful Simplicities: Old- fashioned Correspondence.


"To send a letter is a good way to go somewhere without moving anything but your heart."
Phyllis Theroux
Monica x

Friday, October 26, 2012

Chalkboard Inspiration Stones.

Just wanted to show you close- ups of my inspiration stones in black... love making these and putting them around my home!










You can find them in the current issue of Somerset Life too. They are usually very appreciated as gifts, so you might consider doing some for Christmas. A humble thing, indeed, but oh, so inspiring!
Hope you have a great weekend,
Monica x

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Messages.

I love when the Universe sends us messages of love and hope just when we do need them. Found this gentle reminder on my way a few days ago...


It would be lovely to start collecting pictures of hearts found out there in the world. I know many of you already do!
Monica x

Saturday, October 20, 2012

A Peek into my Art Journal.

Even if I love journals- and keep several (... is this typical of creative people?), it's the very first time I have an art journal. I felt the urge of starting one, as I believe it's somewhat liberating- working all day long on art that has to be perfect (as it's meant to be used for commercial purposes), I really needed a place to be free, messy, experiment, make my feelings tangible- and allow my fears or anxiety come out of myself. Maybe it's a way to see more clearly, something it's not possible when our thoughts remain in the intangible sphere.
I love when I don't think too much about the creative process, as the result always surprises and amazes me. I had been thinking way too much before starting an art journal- its external face, its pages and type of paper, the style I wanted it to have. Simply paralyzing. Then I happened to bump into these fabulous antique sheet music books at the antique market and purchased several with the idea of ripping them and use in my art (the poor man must have thought I was crazy to spend my money on them, telling from his face! LOL).  Later at home, out of the blue I grabbed one and thought- THIS IS my art journal! And immediately started putting paint and my heart onto the first page.
Worn, tattered, yellowed by age, even a bit dirty to be sincere :) but it called me so loudly and I just couldn't resist its spell.


As I'm currently facing (yet again) the home topic, I believe this had to come out of me. It was the only way to find peace of mind, I suppose.


My most private thoughts will be written on these pages. I'm finally embracing a more spiritual idea of home... I am starting to really realize it's not that I'm not taken care of or am homeless, even if I live in such an uncomfortable situation.


My dearest sister friend gave me this rubber stamp that I ♥

To me, the signs of time make this book even more fascinating.  Now it's my turn to cast my own magic spell onto it...



"Home wasn't a set house, or a single town on a map. It was wherever the people who loved you were, whenever you were together. Not a place, but a moment, and then another, building on each other like bricks to create a solid shelter that you take with you for your entire life, wherever you may go."

Sarah Dessen

Monica x

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Pincushion Love!

I have reopened my little Etsy shop Handmade, I'm working on new woolen scarves I hope to list soon. A couple of my Bear Doll Pincushions and one scarf are already available. Hope you'll like having a look!
If you are interested in the pincushions, I offer layaway for them. Just drop me an email or convo me.
Monica x
FYI: comments are closed on this post.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Found Beauty #11- Back from the Antique Market.

I hit the jackpot today!!


I had these at super- bargain price. Kept beaming all the way home! :)



Among my treasures- fabulous antique linens and vintage lace (from Italy and France), old books and lots of sheet music, some of which handwritten. They will surely find their way to my art and photography. At the Antique Market, I'm like a child in a toy store!
Happy Sunday everyone!
Monica x

Friday, October 12, 2012

Sweater Pumpkins!

My own version of them- I have been saving old sweaters and real stems for a couple of years now. I love to use wool as crafting material, especially when Autumn and Winter come.



I've kept a natural palette, so these cuties can be displayed anywhere in my home.



Linking to Pink Saturday- this week the theme is Pumpkins and More Pumpkins. The upcoming Autumnal Theme Weeks for Pink Saturday include: Autumn Flowers and Foliage, Breast Cancer Awareness, An Autumn Welcome, Serving Up Autumn, We Gather Together and Giving Thanks.
Visit Beverly's blog for more infos if you want to join in.
Have a terrific Fall weekend!
Monica x

The Power of Words.

Maybe because I'm an introvert, I've been a lover of the written words since my childhood. You could always found me (and still find!) reading, and writing. I write on my mac, on journals, spare sheets, Post-Its, tickets, grocery receipts, toilet paper, calendars, envelopes, masking tape- virtually anywhere I can fix a thought, a quote, an idea. Words inspire me, make me think, make me grow. When paired with art and photography, they're even more powerful.
I hope you'll enjoy my new series of posts, and leave my little online place inspired.


"The thankful receiver bears a plentiful harvest."
William Blake
Monica x

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Open.

I have to remember to keep an open heart. An open mind. Open arms to embrace hope and goodness. I need to stay open to possibility, open to new ideas, open to what is calling me. Open to receive healing when healing comes.
I just have to remember that.

My wonderful necklace by Liz Lamoreux. You can see me wearing it often these days.
Monica x

Monday, October 8, 2012

One Book a Month: #6 and #7

I'm a little behind with One Book a Month, so I'm sharing with you two books: "Dekorera Vackert" (Swedish for Decorate Beautifully) and "Blomstrande Idéer" (Flourishing Ideas) by fellow blogger Minna Mercke Schmidt.
I have admired Minna's work on Country Homes and Interiors and on her own blog, Blomsterverkstad (The Flower Shop), so I was sure these books would have been a gorgeous addition to my personal collection. I've always loved pretend play flower shop, not only as a little girl! ;)


"Dekorera Vackert" is printed on beautiful recycled paper, yet the quality of the printed photography is brilliant! Love each and every idea presented in this book! 


Lots of ideas for the upcoming Holidays...


... for Spring...


... and plenty of adorable things to make all year round!


The other book is a bit smaller, yet gorgeous. Minna presents here other sophisticated arrangements for every season. What about the cabbage leaves to wrap a bouquet of roses? Splendid!


You'll find beauty and inspiration at every turn of the pages!


Really want to make these balls. Heather is so delicate and fragile, this is a nice way to make it last longer!


You can find these books for sale on Minna's blog, here. Hope you liked sneaking a peek on my shelves once again!
Monica x