Tutorial – Rubik’s Cube Style Tissue Box Cover

I love playing with my Rubik’s Cube. I spent a lot of time trying to solve it over and over again. Now I can actually solve and enjoy doing so over and over. Today I’m going to show you how to make a tissue box cover that looks like a big Rubik’s Cube. Once you get your pieces cut out, the stitching itself is a pretty mindless activity, and I watched anime while doing it.

Materials:

Size 7 Mesh Plastic Canvas

Scissors

Tapestry Needle

Skein of Black Yarn

Your choice of 5 skeins of Yellow, White, Blue, Green, Orange, or Red yarn

I chose to do this as a completed cube. If you like, you can mix it up however you like on yours. Just remember that there are only 9 squares for each color. It may help you to graph it out if you want to do things that way.

First off, you’re going to need to cut out 5 pieces of your plastic canvas to 37 by 37 squares. That’s about 5 and a half inches with the 7 mesh.

One of those pieces is going to be the top, so you’re going to need to cut a hole out for where the tissues will come out. Each of the 9 stitched squares are 11 squares wide, so after leaving space for the black, cut out the center square of one of your pieces. Now choose which color(s) you want the top to be and you can start stitching your first square!

I went with yellow for the top. Starting at the top left corner, go diagonally from the bottom left to top right when you make each of your stitches. The edges will be filled in with black later, so the first place you put your needle in should be 3 down and 2 to the right of the top left corner. Then bring it up diagonally to the square one up and one to the right of that to make your first stitch.

 

As you can see above, each stitch should continuously go from one side to the other until you get to the longest stitch, which will stretch 11 squares across. Then you mirror what you just did for the other side of the square.

Continue in this fashion across with the next two squares, making sure to skip a column between each for the black.

I went down the right side and across the bottom to complete this side, but you can feel free to complete each square the best way that it works for you.

After you’ve finished all of the colors, then it’s time to add the black. It’s easiest to fill out the outside edges first, and then come in for the center. Just make sure that each of your stitches go in the same direction as the colors do.

You whip stitch around the very center to get that part completely filled out. Continue filling out the black for all of the other sides and then you’re ready to put everything together!

If you’re going for a completed cube, make sure that all of your sides are lined up correctly before you start stitching them together. You want to make sure you have a proper cube!

First, whip stitch all of the side pieces to the center square. Then, whip stitch them to the sides and bottom. You can stitch up the sides first and then do the bottom or vice versa. Whichever feels most comfortable for you. Also, there should be two stitches in each corner to fill things out.

And with that, you’re done! This can make a great gift for a teacher, or put it on your own desk at work. Show off your geek pride at the office!

We are able to make tutorials and patterns freely available like this because of our wonderful patrons.Become a patron here to make tutorials and patterns possible, and to help “set free” some of our paid patterns.

Tarot Tuesday – Using Random Cards as Writing Prompts

Tarot Tuesday is a weekly feature in which Kelly talks about how tarot cards can be useful for artists and crafters. You can find a list of decks she has in this post if you’d like to request that a certain one be used to show the art in that deck.

Obviously, we mostly focus on art and crafts around here. Oh, but I do love a good story! Maybe that’s why I lean more toward the “art” in “arts and crafts”. I love projects that are inspired by a great story, or have a story behind them. Storytelling is also creative work, so we’re not about to leave our world-crafting, character-creating friends out!

You do not have to know anything at all about the meanings behind tarot cards for this writing exercise. In fact, having done this myself several times, I’m willing to say it might even be easier if you don’t already associate cards with their meanings. All you have to do is shuffle a deck, start laying cards out, and tell a story about what you see. I’ll be using the Robin Wood deck (affiliate link) for this.

Remember – I’m not drawing cards to fit a story. I’m just laying out whatever I pull from the top of the deck and creating the story around the pictures.

Our story starts with a queen who is hearing a case brought to her by one of her subjects to settle.

A man from the deserts far to the south has been accused of stealing a magical rod from one of the queen’s subjects. The rod has great power, and burns with life-giving energy. Supposedly, this man has stolen it so he can take it back to the desert and grow any plants and crops the people there might want. Not only is he a thief, but this threatens to upset the kingdom’s trade agreements with the desert people!

The man from the desert says he didn’t steal the rod, but that he crafted it himself. He works long hours in the hot desert sun giving these rods their physical form and then imbuing them with magical properties.

“Why then,” the queen asks, “would this man say you’ve stolen the rod?”

“I believe he was hired to bring false charges against me, Your Majesty.” The man explains that the prince of the merfolk is angry with him and may have hired a merchant to make accusations against him. The prince had requested that he craft rods to be used as weapons by the merfolk, but the man had no desire to craft rods to be used in war.

This is not the best storytelling I’ve ever done. I’m not going to suggest that you write a novel you have any hopes of publishing this way. It is, however, a great way to get those storytelling parts of your brain to stretch and flex. Some of the cards were reversed when I turned them over. I don’t turn reversed cards around when I’m actually doing a reading. For this, though, I did turn them around in order to help myself ignore card meanings. You might find that an upside down picture plays right into your story.

So how did the queen decide which man was telling the truth?

The greatest warrior in the kingdom was brought in to wield the Sword of Truth and battle the man from the desert. If he was telling the truth she would be unable to defeat him, despite her skill as a warrior. I don’t know if the man was telling the truth or not. Maybe you could continue the story with your own cards.

 

Tarot Tuesday – 10 Creative Ideas for Incomplete Decks

Tarot Tuesday is a weekly feature in which Kelly talks about how tarot cards can be useful for artists and crafters. You can find a list of decks she has in this post if you’d like to request that a certain one be used to show the art in that deck.

Lovely cards, yes? They’re from the Stuart Kaplan Universal Waite deck (affiliate link) and I’d love to be able to use them. There’s a problem with this deck, though… it has 67 cards. It came with 78 cards and is intended to be used with 78 cards. We’ve searched high, low, inside and out… no clue where the other cards went! It is, in fact, possible that they were lost in a previous move and the deck has never had the full 78 cards while under our roof.

These cards are from the Hanson-Roberts deck, which was my main deck years ago, and I still use my mini Hanson-Roberts deck (both affiliate links) as a travel deck. I had to stop using the big deck, though, after a dog happened to it. I held onto the cards all this time because it was only a few that were terribly mauled, and maybe I could… plans get fuzzy here, but mostly involve just not wanting to let go of a favorite deck, even if it would no longer be used.

So what do you do with an incomplete deck? Well, you could throw it out. If you’re anything like me, you don’t really want to do that. Here’s a list of things you could use those cards for. If you don’t have random cards or incomplete decks lying around, keep an eye open for beat up decks at garage sales. You could also find pictures of tarot cards online and print them onto cardstock for some of these ideas. We’d love to see what you make!

1. Combine cards from several incomplete decks to make a full deck. You may have some cards left over for some of these other ideas!

2. Add some embroidery to a card.

3. Crochet around the edge of a card.

4.  Fold a heavy piece of paper or piece of light cardstock in half and glue a card to the outside. Write a message inside for a tarot card greeting card.

5. Cards + Mod Podge + whatever you want to decorate! (Maybe a wooden box to keep your cards in?)

6. Cut characters and symbols out of the cards to use in a collage.

7. Cut characters and symbols out of the cards to use in creating your own deck with collage art.

8. Cover a card with clear contact paper, punch a hole at the top, and add a tassle to make a bookmark.

9. Slice the cards up and make paper beads out of them.

10. Take a craft tutorial that uses playing cards and substitute tarot cards.

I’m not big on doing decoupage or collages, but some of the other ideas are things I thought of specifically because I’d like to do them with my own spare cards.

We’ve only got a few more weeks of Tarot Tuesday posts here on the blog! I’ll probably post a card on Instagram each Tuesday, but the crafting and tarot posts will end with April. If you’ve only been coming for the tarot posts, we hope you’ll stick around as we focus more this year on tutorials and pattern design. You can also become a patron to support our work. It’s like giving a crafting instruction scholarship to everyone else, and it gets you some awesome perks!

New Pattern – Ganesh Redwork Embroidery

I am so happy to be making our newest pattern available to you! Is it okay to play favorites with your own designs? I can’t help but see this one as my favorite at this point.

Details: This is not a patron supported pattern. That does mean it will be up for voting by patrons to be “set free” when we reach that support milestone. It is a fairly small piece – 56 stitches wide, 80 stitches tall. That is 4 inches (10.16 cm) by 5.75 inches (14.6 cm) when stitched on 14-count Aida cloth. You need to be familiar with running stitch, backstitch, 3/4 stitch, and French Knots. (If French Knots are giving you a problem, we’ve got some help for you.

Ganesh (Ganesha, Ganapati, and many other names) is probably the most well-known of the Hindu deities. He is also important to many Buddhists and Jains, as well as having some level of significance to many people who do not follow any of those three religions.

Ganesh is a patron of artists and scientists – those who do creative work. He is also the Lord of Obstacles. He is often referred to as the “remover of obstacles”, but it’s not that simple. Ganesh puts obstacles in front of us when we need them in order to learn new things. He removes unnecessary obstacles.

I ran into a few obstacles turning my original sketch to a pattern for stitching. There were changes made along the way, and I continued making minor tweaks as I stitched the piece. This was a creation of personal significance, though, and the process brought me a lot of joy.

Ganesh’s big head reminds us to think, and especially to think outside the box and ponder new ideas and experiences. His big ears remind us to listen with compassion. His broken tusk… well, it depends on who you ask. Some says it is to remind us that we will have to make sacrifices. Some say it shows us we can go on even after a loss. Some say it’s a symbol of breaking out of dualistic ways of thinking. Maybe it’s all of those, depending on which lesson the individual needs.

Choosing the correct elephant head to draw was really important. What’s the difference between African and Asian elephants? It’s not just where they live. African elephants and Asian elephants have differently shaped foreheads, and African elephants have bigger ears and longer tusks. I based Ganesh’s head off the Asian elephant.

I would love to see pictures of your work if you stitch Ganesh! The pattern is available now through Craftsy.

Tarot Tuesday – The Crafty Magician

Tarot Tuesday is a weekly feature in which Kelly talks about how tarot cards can be useful for artists and crafters. You can find a list of decks she has in this post if you’d like to request that a certain one be used to show the art in that deck.

Artists, crafters, anyone who has ever said, “I’m going to learn how to do this thing!” and then gone out and done the thing… we are all Magicians. I know, I know! I just told you a couple of weeks ago that we’re all Fools. This is the next chapter in that story, in which the Fool is determined to make something of themself!

The card in the picture above is from The Robin Wood Tarot (affiliate link) and I love how The Magician is depicted. A lot of the more traditional decks have this guy standing in front of a table full of stuff, wand raised high above his head in a clenched fist, lemniscate floating over his head… and I’m just asking myself, “Is he going to hit the table? Does he even know that thing is floating over his head?” I love the balance of things in the Robin Wood illustration, as well as the look of confidence and determination on The Magician’s face.

The Magician is very much about creative energy! I didn’t include him in the Crafty Robin Wood Cards because I was focusing on cards that immediately bring handcrafting to mind when you look at them. He may not look like a knitter, stitcher, or woodworker, but The Magician has a lot to teach us about craftwork. I invite you to let The Magician be your crafting inspiration this week.

This card encourages us to go ahead and get started! Trust that you have the skills and tools you need. So often, I’m afraid of how something will turn out when I try it for the first time. I can read about it, watch videos, even get someone else to show me how they do it, and I’m still scared until I see it comes out okay.

Just between you and me (and everybody else who is reading), I get really uncomfortable when people tell me how talented I am. I know they mean it as a compliment, but “talent” refers to a natural aptitude for things. Part of me feels like they wouldn’t think I was so talented if they saw how hard I had to work to get an adequate result, much less a really good result. (I’m not alone in this. Stories say Michelangelo burned many practice sketches and drawings because people attributed his skill as an artist to a divine gift. If they saw the practice, they’d know it was a skill he worked for. It would be mundane.) Another part of me thinks of how many times I’ve heard people say, “I wish I could do that, but…” As we’ve talked about before, different people have different talents and ability levels, and that is a feature in the species, not a flaw. Not everyone will be able to do everything, I don’t care how many happy fortune cookie clichés your friends who didn’t have trouble learning a skill throw at you. Still, it seems many people give up too easily when their early creative attempts don’t match the work of someone who has been doing it for years. Talent is just a starting point. It takes investing time and energy into developing skill to get really good.

The Magician is card number one. He comes immediately after card zero – The Fool – in a story that takes twenty-two cards to tell. He is not the be-all and end-all of creative journeys. The truth is, he’s just got a little bit of skill. What he really has is confidence and passion! He’s ready to take his knowledge, tools, and little bit of skill and start doing something with them.

If you’ve never done something before, there’s a good chance your results will be crap. Learn from your crap. Where did it go wrong, and what can be changed? If it didn’t really “go wrong”, it just didn’t turn out right, maybe you just need to become more familiar and comfortable with doing it. Get your inner Magician to help you.

“The reason we struggle with insecurity is because we compare our behind-the-scenes with everyone else’s highlight reel.” — Steven Furtick

 

Yes, we have a one time “pay what you wish” option.

Wow! The free cat alphabet pattern we released yesterday got a lot of attention! (It did on Twitter and Instagram, anyway. You’d think there would be cat lovers on Facebook, but maybe not?) It was downloaded over 30 times by the end of the day, and it looks like it introduced a couple of you to our other patterns, as well. Yay for cats!

We were asked if we have an option for someone who wants to show their appreciation for a free pattern or a tutorial that has helped them but isn’t ready to make the commitment to ongoing patronage. We’d love to have you as a patron – whether you choose $1, $5, or more to support our work – but it is an ongoing relationship, rather than a one time donation. We understand not everyone who wants to can make that commitment right now.

If you look over on the right sidebar, this link will now sit under the patron information. Whether it’s because you can’t make the financial commitment right now, or because you don’t particularly want to be part of the artist/patron relationship but have enjoyed our content, we appreciate that you want to show your thanks for our work. Think of it as a tip jar, and put in any amount you wish. Thank you for supporting artists and crafters!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

1 2 3 45