Tag Archives: crafts

Quoth The Raven “Nevermore”

24 Oct

At my baby shower, one of the goodies I got to take home was a birdhouse. I picked a fancy Victorian style one with no plans of what to do with it. Then a few weeks age I was at Michael’s and it dawned upon me.

A haunted birdhouse.

My husband laughed when I told him about my idea. Sometimes he cannot see my visions of absurdity creativity.

In my defense, this is what happens when you are busy with grad school, analyzing just how Article 1, Section 8 of the constitution applies to discrimination (the answer is interstate commerce, my friends), and autumn creeps up on you to say, “HEY! Eat some damned pumpkin butter and do a craft already, loser!”

I picked up some Halloween themed Washi tape and stickers from Michael’s to help bring together my birdhouse. I had much of the paint at home from past projects.


To start, I painted the entire birdhouse black.


Next, I added a crackle coat (I did this last year on a reindeer) and then a top coat of gray on the walls of the birdhouse, which gave the house an aged effect. I left the roof black for the contrast and painted the bird openings yellow.



Once the paint set, I went to town with the Washi tape. I added a fall foliage tree I picked up from Beverly’s and a little cobwebbing that I made from the stuffing of a gift box. I realized a few stickers go a long way, so I only used a few of what I picked up the other week.




I think Edgar Allen Poe would be pleased.

Welcome Back

9 Oct

I’ve pretty much fallen off the face of the earth – at least when it comes to Teal and Tulle. It’s been a whirlwind of a month – starting my grad program, looking down the barrel of pending motherhood in another month, amongst other events and commitments. To get up to speed – let’s start back and work forwards.

Criminology Book Worm

I started my graduate program with UC Irvine last month. That involved a one week intensive in-person session followed up by the start of fall quarter with two classes (Legal Institutions & Society and Police, Courts, & Sentencing). It’s been a huge time commitment, but of the best kind. I’m in love with this program and would probably settle into a common law relationship with it if I wasn’t already committed to a real life human. He’s pretty awesome too.


On my way to class.

Woodland Shower

I also had the world’s most amazing baby shower. Like, seriously. The best. I’ve never been to a nicer baby shower. I had so many friends and family come from all over the state – it was a really touching day.

My friends who put it together (Kristin, Jackie, Cassie & Lauren) didn’t miss one little detail. They crafted, you guys. CRAFTED. These are women who have much better things to do than fiddle with burlap, fabric, and a glue gun, but they did it for the baby shower. Amazing. They are simply the best friends a girl could have. Here are a couple of pictures (too many to post them all), courtesy of my friend Kristin. In case you don’t recognize me, I’m the ginormous orb of a human in stripes.






My hosts!

Autumnal Surroundings

Autumn has finally set in. It’s an old hat in the blogging world – pumpkin spice lattes, crisper days, layers. Today it’s raining and it feels like the perfect day to kick off some fun holiday decor ideas. My oldest friend was in the state last week and we got together for a great shopping trip in the Bay Area. While up there, I picked up some fantastic card-stock cutouts of witches and pumpkins from Paper Source. Once home, I added some Washi tape to the witches hats and thin green ribbon bows to the pumpkins. I then hole punched each one and ran black tulle through the holes to create a garland for our staircase. The whole thing cost under $10.




As for my extended absence – I can’t make any promises that I won’t go off the grid again in the near future (hello baby! and hello wine!), but I have some new fall craft ideas lined up for the rest of the month to keep myself sane.


Animal Instinct

15 Aug

As you have probably noticed over the past month or two, I have practically burned up my sewing machine’s motor with projects recently.

I decided it was time to transition to something that didn’t include fabric or needles or a pattern… wait a minute.


Ok, so embroidery has some of the same components as sewing, but it has been a welcome reprieve from sitting hunched over a sewing machine, stitching fabric together.

I downloaded this adorable pattern for the nursery and decided to make little animal portraits to frame and hang on the wall.


I opted for a satin stitch instead of a traditional outlining stitch (like a split or back stitch). Here is a tutorial on how to do a satin stitch.

The project ended up coming out very well (for my first larger satin stitch endeavor). I had a few false starts (as in, I had to throw out and restart the fox three times – THREE times), but eventually got the kinks worked out. I would recommend outlining your work in a braided thread for a nice finished touch.

Don’t know how to embroider? Any pattern you pick up will include a quick lesson how to embroider and you’ll discover it’s incredibly easy.

Once finished, I used 8×10 frames and mats with a 5×7 opening. Frames and mats are from Michael’s.







Cardboard Safari

8 Aug

Our nursery’s theme is something along the lines of woodland creatures. So far I’ve only been working on sewing projects for the space, so up to this point it looks like a showroom for my novice skillz.

Yeah, that’s right.

Skillz with a Z. Get over it.

Anyway, the room is in dire needs of wall art. I have a few ideas in mind, but while ruminating on those, I came across Cardboard Safari.

This little business makes animal busts out of cardboard that you assemble and hang on your wall. Talk about whimsical fun!

Image c/o Cardboard Safari

Image c/o Cardboard Safari

So, I ordered a small buck bust for the nursery. When it arrived, I assembled it and it seemed…. unfinished.


I contemplated what to do. Do I cover it with paper? Do I decorate it with a bedazzler?

I eventually opted for the high-risk route of painting it.

Paint + cardboard = certain disaster, right?

At first, I felt like I made a huge mistake. As in, I almost threw the whole thing into the garbage a few times. Each side took three layers of paint, and I was certain the whole thing would turn out terribly.


However, I stuck with it. Tenacity, am-I-right?

I’m glad I did – the project actually turned out pretty well.

The moisture of the paint did warp one or two of the cardboard pieces just a tiny bit (where they bowed in a certain direction), but that was straightened out once painting was finished and I reassembled the bust.

I think the final result adds a fun element to the nursery.


OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAI used Martha Stewart’s craft paint in Satin, color Surf.

Recovering Crib Bumpers

29 Jul

Crib bumpers are one of those obnoxiously controversial items in the baby world. Whenever I utter the phrase “crib bumper” I feel like it should be followed up by this.

So, I am going to preface this post by saying I am not going to have the crib bumper (this again) and my baby in the crib at the same time. For those of you who live in fear of crib bumpers (yup), recognize that I am using it as a decorative item that will be in the crib when the baby is not. Save the lectures for someone who cares about your concerns. I’m pretty sure that is why Internet forums exist.

Now that my disclaimer is out of the way, I can proceed with my fun sewing project.

I have sat on this project for weeks and weeks. Mostly out of worry that I would irrevocably screw up the project and I’d be out of fabric and patience.

Ends up the project was substantially easier than I originally assumed.

The crib bumper came in four separate pieces, instead of my envisioned-single-super-long-impossible-to-work-with-piece.

That meant I was able to recover each section of the crib bumper as I would a throw pillow.

Recovering Crib Bumpers

What_You_Need_Crib_BumperStep 1: Iron fabric, measure it, and cut. You will need enough fabric to cover both sides of the bumper, plus the hem.


Step 2: Pin fabric together. Remove ties from crib bumper, pin to fabric

You may need to iron your fabric again.

Crib bumpers come with ties already attached. To save yourself a step in making ties (unless you need to do a color match), cut the ties off the crib bumpers and pin them to your fabric. Make sure the ties are in between the fabric pieces, the ties going inward to ensure you sew the ties on correctly.

Step 3: Sew three sides of the fabric cover together. Leave one short end open.


You may need to iron your fabric again (I know, right?)

Step 4: Stuff crib bumper into fabric cover. Close last end with a hidden stitch.



Here is a tutorial on how to do a hidden stitch.





Easy Valance

19 Jul

As I posted last week, I’ve been working on various projects for the nursery for this life we are bringing into the world (crap-crap-crap-crap!).

The first project I took on was creating and building a valance for the window. It ends up being a very easy project with BIG results. I find myself sitting in there admiring my work – and I know how easy it was to make!

I didn’t document the steps as I normally do with pictures, so hopefully my written instructions suffice. And if they don’t suffice…. eh. I can’t muster the umph to come up with a witty response that doesn’t borderline on inappropriate or bitchy.


Step 1:Preparation

Lay your board flat on the ground and calculate the measurements for your fabric. I painted my 2×4 the same color as the walls, but this step isn’t necessary.

You’ll need enough fabric to run the length of the board, as well as the edges on either side, plus an inch on either side for the hem.

Fabric length can vary on preference – but I recommend 10-12 inches (add an inch on either end for the hem).

Measure your fabric at least twice and double-check your calculations before cutting anything. Once you are sure, go ahead and cut your fabric.

Step 2: More preparation

I swear, the actual sewing part of any project is sidelined by all the prepping a person does.

If your fabric is thick or heavy, then don’t worry about lining it. If your fabric is thinner, like mine, then you may want to line it.

Lining the fabric is simply cutting out a light, solid material to the size of your valance fabric and sewing it together. Make sure your fabrics are ironed completely and pinned together to ensure no wrinkles or folds.

Measure where you want your hem to be. Usually you will want to fold over the edges of the fabric twice, so 1/2 inch for each fold, 1 inch on each side. Mark the measurements with a sewing pencil or chalk.

Iron the hems of your fabric, following your measurement marks, for ease of straight sewing. Pin the hems for extra hold while you sew.

Step 3: Sew

Sew the hems of your valance fabric close to the ironed edge of the hemline. Iron again if necessary.

Step 4: Staple Fabric to 2×4

This step may take two people – one to hold the fabric in place and the other to staple.

Lay out your fabric on the ground and place your 2×4 over it. Make sure the ends of the fabric will go around the board – at least a 1/2 inch to the back of the board for stapling.

Staple one end of the fabric to the board, folding over the edge like you would wrap a gift. Staple going down the board, which will help keep the fabric taut. When you reach the other end, staple your fabric in the same fashion as the first end.

Step 5: Hang Valance

This step will definitely take two people. One to hold the valance and the other to screw it to the wall.

Drill the L brackets onto the valance, flipping up the fabric and drilling part of the L bracket to the 2×4, and leaving the other side free (to be drilled into the wall).

Measure your wall and hold the valance up above the window. Use a level to ensure evenness of the valance. While one person holds the valance in place, have the other person drill the screws into the open spots on the L brackets. Make sure your fabric isn’t tucked behind the 2×4 where it might get stuck after you are finished hanging it.

That’s it!


Two Hundred

11 Jul

This post marks my two hundredth post on Teal and Tulle.

200 post star

I have posted 200 craft, recipe, and lifestyle ideas. Some good, some bad, some really stupid. I mean, why don’t I delete this one? The pictures are horrible.

I have given little-to-no a lot of thought on what I wanted to post for this monumental occasion. I decided since this is my blog about crap I like to do, I’m going to make this post about me.

You’re welcome.

Five Neat-o Things In My Life, Aside from Giving Myself a Gold Star for 200 Posts

1. This guy.

He is called Fancy Boy. Why? Because he’s my kid and I’ll call him whatever I want.


2. My Grand Grad Program

danland_logoNeat, right?

It’s the 5th best master’s program in the country for this subject and they admitted little ole me. This has been an achievement at least one active year in the making and several years inactively pining away at this goal. I worked very hard to get to this point and I’m very pleased for what may be next.

And NO. This doesn’t mean this blog will become one about the 4th, 5th, or 6th Amendments.

An homage to this group? Maybe.

Just maybe.

3.Tackling My First Counted Cross Stitch Project in Five Years

Anyone who knows about counted cross stitch read that statement and either sucked in a gasp of air or uttered the phrase “why?”

To explain, counted cross stitch is a needle-art where you read a project pattern that is covered with tiny little squares, all denoted with symbols that coordinate to certain tread colors. Here’s a pattern example:


From there, you use a fabric (called an Aida Cloth) that is woven together, which creates little tiny squares that match up with the squares on your pattern. You embroider the squares as directed on the pattern, counting the squares as you work. Confusing, right?

It totally is.

Why am I doing this?

Because I’m stitching a Christmas stocking for Fancy Boy.


I know, I know. I’m adding it to the list of things he’ll never appreciate. Much like his lack of appreciation of me giving up copious amounts of caffeine and booze until his birth.

4. Lula’s Second Anniversary

This little kitten won me over two years ago this week and we haven’t looked back since. She has gone from hiding under the guest bed for days on end to only hiding under the throw pillows in our bedroom when guests (mostly unwelcome in her book) arrive. She is a great companion (to me, not guests) and is always by my side ready for a sewing project.


5. I’m so ready for another 200 posts on Teal & Tulle


I’ll try and keep it mostly about crafts and food, and a lot less about criminal behavior.

However, that statement led me to discover that this is really a thing.

Can you imagine the dialogue behind admiring the piece of art?

Idiot 1: Where did you get that?
Idiot 2: Online. Painted by someone serving 6-9 for gang motivated robbery.
Idiot 1: Neat!

%d bloggers like this: