Monday, November 27, 2017

Paperless Post Review


This Post is Sponsored by Paperless Postin collaboration with Anagram Interactive.
*I was compensated for trying out the website and for  my review. All opinions are mine.* 



I realize that this is not really Fiber Arts related. Bare with me while I share this company to you. I would not share anything that I did not think was worthwhile or that I would not think my readers would be interested in. Even though Paperless Post has nothing to do with yarn, it is a fantastic time saver. 

As creators,  I know that you put you heart and soul into all the projects you make. Your love language is probably acts of service and gift giving. You want to put your personal touch in everything you do. I know because I am a creator too. 

Paperless  Post is an online card service. They are a "company that designs customizable online and printed stationery, to show that communication can be personal and well-designed regardless of the medium. Paperless Post has partnered with several world-famous designers and lifestyle brands, including Kate Spade New York, Oscar de la Renta, Jonathan Adler, and Rifle Paper Co., and has delivered over 85 million cards to date."

These cards are paperless, meaning that they come in e-mail form. I personally love this. Being in Canada and all of my family being in the US, sometimes  it's hard staying in touch.  Sending personal touches across the border does not happen very often because of the hefty shipping costs. 

Canada Post is also not known for being a great mail service. Two years ago I received a Christmas card in March. The sender was a half hour drive from my house. I love that I can send a super personal card through e-mail and I know they are going to get the card when I want them to get it. 

As you can see from the photo above, their birthday cards are beautiful. I would call them classic, sophisticated, very clean line, and modern. 



You can also customize cards and personalize them as much as you like. You can't go to a store and pick out a card with a personal picture on it, but with Paperless Post you can. In the above photo I have a screen shot of a card I was making. You can choose the picture, font (size, color, and print), what the card says, background, envelope, and stamp. 

When you sign up for paperless post you get your own dashboard where you can keep your contact list, rough drafts, and your favorite cards. Most cards come out to be under $2.00. I find that to be extremely reasonable. Especially for a card that is so personal. 


I think one of my favorite things about the website is that I can schedule when the card gets sent. I can take the time I need to make the card when I want,  then I can schedule the card to be sent on time.  
Give Paperless Post a try. 

Monday, November 20, 2017

Embroidered Swirly Christmas Tree

A Free Embroidery Tutorial


Sometimes creativity needs a kick start or a reboot. That is what embroidery is for me. I love the colors and the motion of sewing in and out of the fabric. It is an art that makes you go slow and think through the creative process. If I am drawing blanks when it comes to crocheting or knitting I always turn to embroidery. It is just a slightly different medium to give my brain a rest and think on different things.

I made a few of these last year during my Christmas break. It was to late in the season to blog about them, so I have been holding on to them until now to share them with you. These trees were a fun way to express my creativity. There was no right or wrong, I just let the curls make their own rules.

Tutorial 

To start I marked my fabric where I wanted to add the buttons. I made a long triangle and then I staggered where I would put the buttons on the tree.


After that I rough sketched where the swirls would go. (It might be better to put the buttons on first then add the sketch of swirls). 

I put the fabric in the hoop and stretched it tight and added the buttons using 3 strands the silver thread. I made 6 long stitches through the button holes and then put 2 stitches over each of the 6 long stitches.

I picked 6 to 7 colors and just went to town with the stem stitch all around the tree. I started at the bottom and worked my way up. I tried to work it so that one color never touched itself, and that the swirls went across the whole tree at some points.


The point is to have fun and to just let the stitches speak for themselves.

As you go along you can go back to the empty spaces and fill them in with other colors.


What colors would you make your trees?



What do you like to do to express your creativity? I'd love to know in the comments. 

 More Embroidery Projects You Will Love:

Finding Inspiration in Nature

Embroidery Bookmark



Monday, November 13, 2017

Crochet and Knit Christmas Tags

A Free Crochet and Knitting Pattern



I love wrapping presents. It's one of my favorite things to do around the holidays. There is just something about folding the paper and finding creative ideas to make them look festive and beautiful at the same time. There are a lot of options for these.


I have a knit and crochet version for whatever craft you prefer. You can design the tag however you like. You could choose different holiday shapes like me, or you could embroider the monogram of the person you are giving the present to. Another idea would be to number them for an advent present calendar. Whatever you chose they will last for as long as you want them and they will add a personal touch to any gift.

Where can I get this pattern?

These are free patterns. Just keep scrolling down to find these patterns. These are also available for a free PDF download through my Ravelry Store. It's my way of saying Merry Christmas to you. Be sure to check out my other patterns in the shop if you like what you see.
 <------------>download now<------------>


Crochet Pattern


Yarn: worsted cotton yarn
Hook: H/8 5mm
Notions: tapestry needle, embroidery thread
Size: 4 by 3 inches
Gauge: 13 sc and 14 rows
Copyright:
Julia Schwartz. Do not reproduce, copy, distribute, or sell this pattern without permission of the designer. This pattern must not be translated, reproduced, or circulated in another language without prior consent. If you have questions about this pattern please contact Julia.diligence@gmail.com.

Instructions

Row 1: Ch 9, 1 sc in 2nd ch from hook, sc in each ch across. (8 sc)
Row 2: Ch 1, turn, sc in each sc. (8 sc)
Row 3- 9: Repeat row 2. (8 sc)
Row 10: Ch 1, turn, sc2tog, sc in the next 4 sc, sc2tog. (6 st)
Row 11: Ch 1, turn, sc2tog, sc in the next 2 sc, sc2tog. (4 st)
Row 12: Ch 1, turn sc in each st. (4 st)
Edging: Ch 1, sc in each stitch around, ch 1 at every corner.

Finish off
Weave in your ends.

For embroidery, use all 6 strands of cotton floss to add a simple design to your tags.

Optional Grommet:  Follow the instructions on the package to insert the grommet in between the stitches of rows 7 and 9.

Knitting Pattern


Yarn: Worsted cotton yarn
Needles: 4.5 mm (U.S. 7)
Notions: tapestry needle, embroidery thread
Size: 4 by 3 inches
Gauge: 20 sts and 26 rows 
Notes: I tried to make his pattern as beginner friendly as possible. so if you like to keep your edges extra crisp and flat with a beg. sl st and end with a purl Go For It.
Copyright:
Julia Schwartz. Do not reproduce, copy, distribute, or sell this pattern without permission of the designer. This pattern must not be translated, reproduced, or circulated in another language without prior consent. If you have questions about this pattern please contact Julia.diligence@gmail.com.

Instructions

Cast on 12 st. 
Row 1: p 12
Row 2: k 12
Row 3- 14: repeat rows 1 and 2
Row 15: p 12
Row 16: k 1, k2tog through back loop, k 6, k2tog, k 1
Row 17: p 10
Row 18: k 1, k2tog through the back loop, k 4, k2tog, k 1
Row 19: p 8
Row 20: bind off

Finish off
Weave in your ends.

For embroidery, use all 6 strands of cotton floss to add a simple design to your tags.

Optional Grommet:  Follow the instructions on the package to insert the grommet in between the stitches of rows 14 and 16.


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