These ladies were truly in their prime back in the 1960s. Look at how shiny they are!
I have a vague tactile memory of this type of plasticky, crinkly ribbon, that's bright and shiny in a way that only spun polyester fiber can be. I don't even know if it's made anymore, but I imagine that a modern-day wired satin ribbon would give a similar effect.
Want painfully-detailed directions? Of course, who doesn't?
Enjoy, my flouncy friends! xo
How does your garden grow? Mine's doing pretty well, except for the flowers I planted in pots on my patio. Those were blooming nicely until the chipmunks discovered they can hop right on up and munch away. Now the plants are all crewcutted and sad. So, to make up for my lack of flowers, I made these yarn blooms. They remind me a bit of Devil's Paintbrushes and Cornflowers. The construction of each is so quick and easy, you'll soon have a pot-ful of your own. All you need is yarn and cloth-wrapped stem wire, which is available at all the big craft stores. I cut my stem wire in half to make them shorter (and to get twice as many). That part's optional.
Use your thumb to hold the end of a ball of yarn against three fingers. Wind the yarn around your fingers a bunch of times — the exact number of times will determine how thick your flower will be.
When you've reached a pleasing amount of thickness, cut the wound-up yarn from the ball. Carefully slide the yarn from your fingers, and slide a wire through the center of the loops.
Fold a half-inch (or so) of the end of the wire over the yarn, as shown. Twist the wire's end around itself to secure. Use scissors to cut through all of the loops.
At this point, your flower will look like this:
Lay the flower on top of a short piece of yarn. Tie the piece tightly around the rest of the yarn, close to the base.
Trim the ends of the knotted yarn, if you'd like. Pick up your yarn tassel flower and shake it a bunch to fluff it up. You may want to do some trimming and shaping; I did, because it's fun.
Different kinds of yarn produce different results. Here's a range of flowers made from my yarn stash, from thick to wavy and all in between.
Happy summer! xo
Have you met Danielle Clough? She's an embroidery artist from South Africa who has taken the art form far from the bounds of the traditional stretched-fabric hoop. She has put yarn and needle to sneakers, city fences, and, as you'll see, old tennis and badminton rackets.
I appreciate how the colors of the rackets inform her yarn color choices.
Some neat pixelization going on in this one:
Hooray for transforming trash into treasure! Visit Danielle's website to see all of her work, including plenty of "traditional" embroidery (of the poop emoji, Chewbacca, etc.) on fabric.
Here's Franklin, soaking it all in earlier this week. We are actually both standing on a very narrow pathway, a section of trail I like to call "tick alley." (Haven't found a tick on either of us for a few weeks, knock on wood.)
Not enough Franklin for you? Here's a close-up:
And here's another shot, taken just after the one above.
Franklin and I hope you get to soak up some summer this weekend!
Welcome back to McCall's Summer Make-It Ideas from 1966! These two projects — the pop art cards and the paper mobiles — share a spread and a text box, I guess because they both involve paper and wire. I like the simplicity of the girl on the cards: Just a half-circle for a head, sequins cut in half for eyes and mouth, and then a yarn hairdo. And the perfection of the paper mobiles is pleasing, and is certainly on-trend (would something like this ever not be on-trend? I hope not).
Need directions? Here ya go!
I did google Margreet Akkerman, the craft designer for the mobile, and it looks like she designed a bunch of crafts for McCall's over the years. Unfortunately I can't seem to find out more about her! If anyone knows Margreet's history, drop me a line and satisfy my curiosity.
Here's a tween- and teen-friendly activity inspired by the artist in my last post. It's as simple as can be: Draw something that might need an interesting pattern (or color, or texture), then use a craft knife or scissors to cut out part or all of the drawing. Then, go on a photo safari! I made four photo stencils to show you a range of ideas.
Have fun pattern-hunting!
Have you met Shamekh Bluwi? He's a fashion designer who shares his sketches and ideas on his Instagram and Facebook pages. One of the many creative things he does is use the world around him as the clothing for his virtual paper dolls. It's like those textured plastic fashion plates from the 1980s, but using real landscapes, trees, and architectural details instead. Take a look:
It's especially cool to see the same outfit in different locations.
Yet another artist looking at the everyday in a whole new way, which you know I adore! I can see this idea being a fun addition to a photo scavenger hunt activity. I've thought up some tween- and teen-friendly alternatives to this high-fashion-oriented idea, and I'll be exploring them (and sharing them!) later in the week.
I'm Debbie Way, an artist and writer who enjoys making things.