Friday, 29 August 2014

Your Royal Princess-ness: DIY Fabric Crown

Mr Cheeky Monkeys has a niece who turns four next month and I thought a dress-up crown would be a fun gift for a girly little girl.  It was really very easy to put together (even for someone like me who hates having to iron sewing projects).  So I've put together a quick tutorial to help you make your own fabric crown for your little Prince or Princess.

image fabric crown tutorial diy flower embellishment floral

- fabric for the front of the crown (a fat quarter should be more than enough)
- lining fabric for the back of the crown
- scraps of fabric or felt for embellishments
- buttons
- fusible interfacing/stabiliser
- 50cm ribbon

How to:
1. Draw out a crown shape which meets your fancy.  I opted for a simple pointed crown, but feel free to pick whatever shape you feel comfortable sewing.  To ensure your crown is symmetrical, draw one half of the crown and trace your template onto fabric which has been folded in half (make sure to line up the edge of the template with the folded edge of your fabric).

2. Cut out your fabric and fusible interfacing and fuse the interfacing to the wrong side of the crown shapes.

3. Pin the crown pieces together, right sides facing, and sew up the bottom straight edge of the crown and the top zig zag edge (or whatever your top edge shape is).  LEAVE THE SIDE EDGES UNSEWN.  Clip all corners and curves, then turn the crown right side out.  Iron the crown flat to remove any creases and fold in and iron down the raw edges of the crown sides.

4. Cut the ribbon in half.  Place one ribbon half between the crown layers at one open edge; sew down the edge to close the seam.  Repeat with the other ribbon half and open crown edge.

5. The fabric flower I made is a simple flower consisting of folded fabric circles and a button (see here for a tutorial).  Attach the flower embellishment with fabric glue and set aside to dry.  And that's it, you're all done!

image fabric crown sew your own tutorial diy tie on ribbon

1. Further embellish your crown by sewing a strip of lace to the bottom edge of the crown before attaching the fabric flower.  Don't like flowers?  Then add other fun embellishments such as hearts, buttons, butterflies or acrylic sew-on/glue-on jewels.
2. To make the crown a double-sided one, simply use pretty fabric for both sides.  For younger children, either leave off the embellishment or securely attach flat embellishments to both sides of the crown (simple felt shapes would work well).  For older children, attach the flower embellishment to a brooch pin so that it can be removed and re-attached depending on the way the crown is worn.
3. To make a crown for a little Prince, try using fabric with stripes or chevrons (or even his favourite dinosaur or robot design).  Embellish with buttons or felt shapes.

Wednesday, 27 August 2014

Anne of Green Gables

I don't know about you, but I avidly read LM Montgomery's Anne of Green Gables series of books when I was a child and young teen.  Some characters I loved, whilst others I loathed, but I still read almost every book in the series before moving on to other interests.

image anne of green gables thumbtack set domum vindemia anne shirley gilbert blythe marilla matthew cuthbert avonlea

Due to the popularity of the Pride and Prejudice and Jane Eyre items I have been creating for Domum Vindemia, I decided to expand the range to include AGG.  You can find both magnet sets and thumbtack sets in both my Etsy and Madeit stores and I am contemplating adding some stitch marker sets too.  So what do you think - who was your favourite or most loathed character in the AGG series?

image anne of green gables magnet set domum vindemia literature classics diana barry marilla matthew cuthbert anne shirley gilbert blythe avonlea

Monday, 25 August 2014

Creating with household items

I think a lot of my non-crafty friends and family imagine my workspace to be full of expensive tools, storage units and the like.  But in reality, while I have a set of trusty jewellery pliers and crochet hooks which I use for various projects, you will often find common household items in use on my desk!

1. First off is Blu Tack. Have you ever stopped to think about how many uses can be found for this innocuous little item? When working on pieces such as the Mr Darcy cuff below, I often struggle to visualise the best layout of my cabochons.  I like to be able to see and feel exactly how each cabochon fits around the others while attached to the curved and bumpy surface of the piece I am creating at the time.  Blu Tack allows me to try out my imagined design on a temporary basis; in this way, my cabs can get moved around, added or removed at my leisure before I settle on the final design.

image mr darcy bangle cuff blu tack

2. Another highly useful household item is my container of toothpicks!  I have a bit of a love-hate relationship with glue (and other adhesive liquids), so toothpicks are probably my most common go-to household item.  With my handy toothpick I can dob on exactly the amount of glue or adhesive glaze I want onto a cabochon without worry about blocked applicator nozzles or squirting too much out.  Toothpicks are also great for evenly spreading adhesive glaze across pieces such as my literature brooches and thumtack sets below.

image anne of green gables thumbtack set toothpicks

3. My third handy household item is definitely my set of slant tip tweezers (and hey, when your eyebrows are nearly non-existent as mine are, you don't need them for tweezing hair).  As already mentioned, glue and I don't play well together, so tweezers are great for holding onto tiny cabs so that I can apply glue and attach them to their correct position rather than getting them stuck onto me or completely coated in glue.  Jeweller's tweezers are available at most craft stores, but for my kind of work, the cheap tweezers I already owned are fine for the job.

image tweezers slant tip two cheeky monkeys mr darcy headband cabochons red turquoise pride and prejudice

4. My final handy household item is the ubiquitous fishing tackle storage box.  I have been given any number of these by friends and family and they are GREAT for storing beads and other supplies.  I love that each different supply can have its own compartment and, even better, I can see what's in a box just by looking through the see-through lid.  And should I ever have any boxes not in use, they are also great for storing small hardware items and for organising the Two Cheeky Monkeys' loom band collections!

image fishing tackle box bead storage

Do you use household items in your creative or other endeavours?   Are you a lateral thinker when it comes to finding alternative uses for common items?

Friday, 22 August 2014

Running, Running, Running

I have been a little desperate for new running shoes in the past few months after discovering that my ganglion cyst which was removed last year might be re-growing (apparently I'm in the 5-15% of cases who suffer from cyst re-growth, gah).  I have also been suffering from a bit of foot pain during my running, which I have also been putting down to the need for new shoes.

So anyway, I finally got round to hunting for new running shoes and got these.  No, not my first choice of colour (I don't like pink or garish), but when you have a small and wide foot (not unlike my whole body, really) there really isn't much available on the market unless you are willing to pay hundreds and hundreds of dollars.  Eye-glare aside, these shoes are quite comfortable and I have been seeing an improvement in my running already.  Now let me ask you, are you a fan of the latest trend of fluorescently bright and rainbow colourful sports shoes?

Wednesday, 20 August 2014

New Glam It Up Additions

image two cheeky monkeys jewellery glam it up necklace range vintage glass jewel stone jonquil yellow brass pendant melyn necklace

Life has been even more hectic than usual these past few weeks with my Ausmumpreneur award shenanigans, the littlest Cheeky Monkey having school swimming lessons EVERY DAY (and me stupidly volunteering to be a parent helper) as well as working on a custom bridal order.  But, I have managed to snatch some free time here and there to work on new pieces for Two Cheeky Monkeys' Glam It Up range of jewellery.

image azalea ring glam it up ring range vintage cocktail ring estate style pink brass adjustable two cheeky monkeys stone glass jewel

The Melyn necklace and Azalea ring are just two of the new additions I'm adding to my stores.  All the new additions are limited edition or one of a kind, so it's almost literally "first in, best dressed" with this range of jewellery!

Monday, 18 August 2014

Things I Love - Bags

I'm sure that I have confessed to it before: my name is Deb, and I love handbags, totes, purses and basically any type of bag available.  In fact, I love bags so much that my mum refers to me as "The Bag Lady" (and Mr Cheeky Monkeys can tell you just how true that is).  I love to buy bags, be given bags and to make bags.  So today I am sharing some of the fun bag, purse and tote tutorials I've found in blogland.

image graceful kelly bag handbag frame kisslock tutorial
The Graceful Kelly bag by u-handbag.

image necktie bag purse handbag tote tutorial diy paisley

image tutorial diy messenger bag
Heart of Mary's messenger bag.

image tutorial diy crochet crocheted ruffle bag purse
Crochet ruffled purse at Craftsy.

image tutorial diy toiletries bag toiletry pouch
Toiletry bag by Pretty Prudent.

Friday, 15 August 2014

Work in Progress: Crochet Blanket

image work in progress crochet blanket with doilies

I haven't had much time to crochet this winter with everything going on chez Two Cheeky Monkeys, but I wanted to share a project which I am slowly working on whenever I have a snatch of free time.  It's basically a simple patchwork crochet blanket with a little twist.  Inspired by dottie angel's "ordinarily extraordinary blanket", I am adding small doilies to some of my patchwork squares to give my blanket an eclectic shabby chic look.  What do you think so far?

Wednesday, 13 August 2014

Shabby Chic Scarves

image shabby chic doily scarf vintage domum vindemia crochet cream white

I know, it's been far too long since I last put together some doily scarves for Domum Vindemia.  But, never fear, the shabby chic doily scarves are back in-store!  My obsession with storybook buntings almost had me forgetting all about my beloved doilies - can you believe it?

image vintage doily scarf hand dyed shabby chic spring autumn fall yellow white blue green domum vindemia

Now that Spring is approaching in the Southern hemisphere and Autumn/Fall in the northern hemisphere, I think the doily scarves are back in the forefront of my mind because they are perfect for those days when there's a bit of chill in the air.  As usual, I'm making scarves in both neutral and bright colour schemes.  Which do you prefer, colour or neutral?

Monday, 11 August 2014

Things I Love - Fungi

It is no secret that I am a big fan of fungi, especially funky-looking toadstools.  So today I am sharing some sweet, gorgeous and "I'm not sure how I'm going to resist having to own every one of these" fungi creations.  Enjoy!

image toadstool ornament hanging decoration red cream amanita muscaria willowynn

image drawing illustration art toadstool gnome home red white snail

image chocolate filled toadstool white red fly agaric sweet sweets candy dessert

image toadstool felting kit maker magpie red white fly agaric amanita muscaria felt toy

Friday, 8 August 2014

My Baby Bunting

No, no, don't get excited, the name of this blog is not about to change to three cheeky monkeys!  A sweet friend of mine is expecting a new bundle of joy within the next few months and asked if I would put together a little bunting for the nursery.

image bunting blue aqua light blue navy white spots polka dot

I don't sew fabric buntings very often, so it was nice to have a different project to work on.  And you should have seen my friend and I in the fabric store trying to pick designs which not only matched the nursery decor, but also complemented each other.  We were like two very distractable kids in a lolly store!!!  Anyway, we eventually chose a simple range of fabrics to match the blue/green/red colour scheme of the nursery (after two hours of umming and ahhing, LOL) - what do you think?

Wednesday, 6 August 2014

What's New - Doily Buntings

image domum vindemia doily bunting fuchsia pink vintage cream wedding bridal

After all the hubbub of business award nominations, press releases and minor publicity jaunts for my local newspapers, things are slowly calming down again.  This week I have managed to get a lot of sewing done to re-stock Domum Vindemia with the much-loved doily buntings.  I'd forgotten how hard it is to cut up beautiful doilies for buntings, but I did it nevertheless and can't wait to sew some more!

image domum vindemia doily bunting lime green citrus cream vintage

Monday, 4 August 2014

Cornflower Brooch Giveaway

Today I am a little excited because I realised that I have been writing my Two Cheeky Monkeys newsletter for twelve months now!  And since it's been far too long since my last blog giveaway, I thought I would run a little giveaway to celebrate this achievement.

image cornflower brooch pin light blue sky two cheeky monkeys floral botanical waffle vintage

Up for grabs is the very sweet Cornflower brooch, perfect for adding a little touch of colour to your outfit or even as your "somthing blue" at your wedding.  What do you have to do to enter the giveaway?  Follow the rafflecopter instructions below, making sure to leave me a way of contacting you.
Important stuff: This giveaway is open to worldwide entrants.  Giveaway ends midnight, 15 August 2014.  Winner has 48 hours to respond to my notification email before another winner is chosen.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Friday, 1 August 2014

Ausmumpreneur People's Choice Awards

image ausmumpreneur awards 2014 handmade business

As I mentioned a few weeks ago, Two Cheeky Monkeys was recently nominated for two 2014 Ausmumpreneur awards.  One of my nominations is a people's choice award for the category of Handmade Business.  And I would love, love, love it if my faithful readers would be so kind as to vote for Two Cheeky Monkeys!  Voting can be done over here at the Ausmumpreneur website, just follow this link to vote for my business.  And don't forget to come back here next week to find out how to enter the giveaway for a Cornflower Brooch!!!  :)