Monday, February 11, 2013

Warm Hands make Warm Hearts

Just another quick tute on making rice hand warmers.  I'm sure you have seen these around for a good while and, I have to confess I have made quite a few as well as larger ones for soothing backaches and sore shoulders.  This set is a small gift for my daughter on Valentine's.  She is an assistant Div. I golf coach and they use hand warmers quite a bit.  This set was made from scraps from my latest pillows.  I keep saving scraps and finally made myself make something with some!  I have another project using scraps for my other daughter that I hope to share soon!
So, it's for Valentine's Day, right?  Why not a heart hand warmer?  
Make a template.  Remember how you cut out hearts as a kid?  Fold the paper and cut out half a heart so it is symmetrical.  But, it doesn't have to be perfect.  No, not at all!  I think next time I will   get a little more dramatic and have fun with it
Materials used:
100% cotton fabric. pre-washed
100% cotton thread
dry rice
You need to use 100% cotton fabric and thread because these babies are gong into the microwave to heat.  You don't want your fabric and thread to have a meltdown in there - trust me on this.
Trace the template onto the wrong side of the fabric.  I took a shortcut and pinned all 4 pieces together to cut.  Oh, I forgot to mention you need 4 fabric heart pieces.  But, you probably already figured that out :)  Pin 2 heart pieces together with right side of fabric facing each other.
I started sewing (back stitching at the start)  on one side of the heart
Sew all around the heart leaving a 1-1/2" or so opening.  Back stitch again to keep this from unraveling when you turn it right side out.
Turn them right sides out, then press.
Now, it's time for the rice (or other dry bean, lentil, or grain filling you choose.  I used rice this time but I have also used lentils.  I think they seem to hold heat longer.
I rolled up my template to use as a funnel.  Sorry, I didn't measure it out- just filled until I thought it was a good amount to hold in your hand.
Did I mention that I often "wing" it?  I'm bad about taking some shortcuts.
You could stitch the opening up by hand but I was too lazy to go search for my needle so, I stitched very closely around the edge of the hearts.
Please test for 15 seconds carefully.  Microwaves vary and you don't want to burn anyone or anything!  Heating time can also vary if you are using a different filler. 

Thanks for stopping by!

Monday, February 4, 2013

Peat Pots and Gesso Love - To the Moon & Back!

Short and simple post here.  Take some 5" peat pots.  They are popping up everywhere in anticipation of Spring!  I used Jiffy Pots for this project.  These came in a pack of six
   Paint one layer of Gesso over the pot.  Let dry.
Design your text (I used Microsoft 2010)   Use different fonts and sizes to make your quote interesting.  Or make it all the same - it is all up to you and what you want and love!
Then, print it on regular copy paper but, be sure to make it a mirror image.  Most printers have that option in the advanced settings for printing.  For my printer, I go to advanced settings and where it has the option for mirrored image, I choose ON.

Print image.
I then cut out each line just because I didn't want the large space my printer used between each line.
I started with the top line - added a liberal layer of Gesso to pot 

and thin layer to printed side of text. 

Applied  the text where I wanted and rubbed it a few times to stick to pot.  This is where it is a little touch and go and you really should test this on something first.  I tested this on a peat pot that had a tear in the back side.
I found that using the back of a spoon to burnish for a bit was good.  But it didn't stop there.  It actually seemed that the transfer started to really happen once the paper was a little more moist from soaking up the Gesso. I burnished with the spoon then carefully used the edge of the spoon to rub more.   Once the image looks darker it means it is starting to transfer.

 At this point,  you can gently peel back the paper to see if it is starting to transfer.  I had no problem laying the paper back down if it needed more help to transfer.  You can work with this as much as you want as long as it doesn't start drying on your peat pot.  And REMEMBER - this is NOT going to be a PERFECT transfer.  It is going to look distressed, antiqued, shabby, or whatever you like to call it.  But, it will have lots of charm that you can't buy in a store!  If needed, if really needed, you can touch this up with a fabric paint pen or Sharpie pen.
Once you have your text on the pot, paint the rest of it with Gesso, if you want, to keep it more consistent with 2 layers all over. 



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