Sunday, February 26, 2012

Folk Hearts on Books!

Here is what I've done! These are folk hearts - longer rather than rounded - and they are sooooo easy to do!  I will be making these patterns available in my Etsy shop later this week. I have tons more heart patterns in my sketch book which are just bursting inside of my head. I am so grateful to Maria J for her help with solving the pattern problem! She is my hero today... :)

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Hard-Hearted Hearts

I have burned out my brain trying to create heart patterns for folded books. My hope has been to make a 7" heart for wedding decorations, but I haven't figured out how to make it simple enough for people to make their own. The way I'm doing it now requires eyeballing the marks and folds because you need too many marks too close together to put on a fore edge. Curses. And my prototypes keep having only one perfect side of the heart- NOT BOTH. It's more of a broken heart right now. :(

But I found these great eye-shadows at Rite Aid for $4.99 which are the same colors as my watercolors. I look like I have a skyscape on my eyelids. :)

Watercolors in a box, ready to work on...

Friday, February 17, 2012

Future Library Programming with String Art

Yesterday my supervisor asked me to do a teen program this summer. I offered to do string art. I showed her my blog (eeps!) and was given permission to look for stuff we had at the library on hand to make up a prototype.

I found four boxes of thumbtacks from fifty years ago down in the basement. I found craft thread in the children's workroom (friendship bracelet activity?) and I'd brought a book from home to play with during breaks.

I decided to string three different layers and this is the result... She liked it!

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Heartstrings - a Love Day Book Tutorial!

Remember how I talked about string art the other day? Well, that first one I've been working on has been taking FOREVER!!!! I'm still not done putting all the nails in it and my fingers hurt. Soooo... I decided to try another tack. Literally.

To make a string art heart you will need:
  • 1 book
  • 1 screwpunch (if you like)
  • pencil to draw design
  • enough tacks (GET IT? A different tack? Hi-LAR-ious) to space evenly in 1" intervals around your design I used 35, I think. Mine were also upholstery tacks because I had a few left and I'm *really* tired of all these bits and pieces of stuff around my house. Ugh.
  • Metallic crochet thread (or any darn thread you choose)

To begin...

Draw a heart (lightly) on the best cover of your book. This particular book was red (appropriate for V-day), but was icky on the front. I used the back. I'll say it's symbolic if anyone notices...

I then used my fancy dancy screwpunch to make little holes on the cover through the buckram. I spaced them about 1" apart, but I did not measure it - just eyeballed it. I started at the point on the bottom so I could make it centered. I use my screwpunch to take off the top layer of fabric. It makes it easier to stick the tacks in.

Put the pins in. Upholstery pins are pretty long so I could put them in snugly but still have them sticking up enough to wind thread around. Yes, there are two different textures of pins. It's symbolic.

See? They stick up a little

I chose silver metallic crochet thread to use. I bought it at Michael's a few months ago, thinking I could actually crochet with it. It's AWFUL for crocheting. I had to think of some way not to have wasted $6. This is perfect for using up weird threads.

Tie your thread on the bottom of your heart. I tied it twice (square knot). Then I used a dab of clear nail polish to make sure the knot didn't come out.

Start stringing your thread up to the center of the heart. I wound it around once all the way before going down to the next tack. Make sure you do the same type of winding around all the tacks so they don't look goofy (symbolic).


I took the string down from the top and wound it around the tack to the right of the bottom point. Around all the way and then...

... back up to the top, but to the LEFT of the point. I'm stringing in opposite directions from the center points. I'm going right on the bottom and left on the top. It makes the pattern. I suppose you could do it all chaotic and that, but that's not what I'm doing today. :)

Continue stringing in this way. Here I am about halfway done.

This is the end of stringing the silver thread. Carefully knot the string and dab a bit of nail polish on it. I left a tail which I taped down while the string dried. I do not think this is absolutely necessary, but I was nervous.

dab dab dab

Because I'm a fancy person, I decided to add another color of thread - metallic red! Again, I knotted my thread to the bottom point.

This time I wanted to give some definition to the heart shape so I wound the thread around the tacks right next to each other.

Continue all around the heart. When I got to the bottom point again, I did not knot the thread, but continued with this...

I took the thread up to a different point of the heart. Instead of going back down the tack right next to the one on the bottom, I decided to skip a tack and wind around every second tack. 

You can see how the next winding at the bottom is the second one up on the left . I wasn't sure how it would turn out, but this is such a fun adventure that I didn't really worry about it.

Continue winding up and down every other tack. When you get up to the top right, you will have to do something weird. In order to still wind around the top right curve of the heart and then go to the next tack on the opposite side of the heart, you will have to...

TUCK the thread under the tacks as you go around the curves. It works. Trust me.

Wind, wind, wind. All done!!! Tie off and dab with polish to secure. I only let it dry a moment before I cut off the tails of thread. I wasn't nervous anymore.

Next I hammered all the tacks in all the way. If you don't want to, no biggie.


Here it is, all done!!! Enjoy. :)

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

A Girl, A Hammer and a Screwpunch

I was pulling requested books at the main library the other day when I came across a book of string art. Remember that horrific 70s craft? Well, this book actually had some beautiful examples of string art. I have been mulling it over in my mind about how to do it with books. Why not use books as the foundation for the nails and string instead of wood? Duh, paper is made of WOOD!

Anyway, here is my second attempt at working on this project. Yes, I know I'm supposed to be making folded book hearts, but I'm just not in the mood for that. (I think I do best when it's not the right holiday for something.)

Here's how it looks so far...

I only have time to work on it a bit each day...

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Be Still My Heart - Pattern!

Hello friends! It's February and time for l♥♥♥♥♥♥♥ve!

Have a heart. As always, I'm still futzing with the patterns, trying to make them easier to construct and read, so this month's pattern looks a tiny bit different with the added circles at the ends of the lines. You'll love it. Remember, hearts, love? If you don't have it already, you may want my basic tutorial to make it easier to fold your books or read the patterns.

Click on the below picture to make it big and print it out for yourself...

I have had several people asking about wedding-related patterns and I will see how quickly I can do stuff like that and list it in my shop.