Friday, December 5, 2008

Tossed Chickens

Tossed Chicken fabricTossed Chickens - that's what this type of fabric is referred to . . . tossed . . . when the images are scattered across the surface. Somehow that strikes me as funny. Okay, to really "toss" chickens isn't funny, but the idea, the cartoon image, of chickens being "tossed" strikes me as funny.

Too many goofy cartoons as a kid? Nah! Just a unique way of looking at the world! Tossed chickens is funny, it's just one reason I like this fabric. Another reason is I've noticed I kind of have a thing for chickens. I've been noticing how many chickens I have around in the house. I've somehow been collecting them for a long time without really noticing or trying. (Maybe I have some farmgirl in me). I'll have to one day do a chicken inventory and see just how many it adds up to. In fact I recently purchased an embroidery design to make accessories for the kitchen with chicken designs. I haven't embroidered them out on my machine yet, but that will come someday soon.

Scissors with hand made hanging ID labelI made this hang tag to label my scissors. It is one of the projects I did for a recent class I taught. These quick, easy little hang tags can be used for labeling items, gifts and packages, organizing labels, even on a tree as a Christmas ornament. They would tuck into a holiday card easily.

Here the little chick is the featured image on the front side of my scissors fob. When it is flipped over the label reveals the owner's name (that's me). It's a great way to identify your items when heading off to attend a class and to keep track of your personal items.

An easy way to identify your items in the classroomI printed info onto card stock with my computer to use on the back side as a label. It is an easy project and really doesn't take that much time to make them.

As demos for the class I taught, I made some hang tags at each class session. One doesn't need a fancy sewing machine to make these. Any old sewing machine will do the job. If you want to sew the basic little hang tag, your simplest machine will work. Those who want to make the embroidered ones would need an embroidery machine. And fussy cut fabric is a great way of making use of printed fabric images. These would also be fun with photographs cut to feature the faces of family members as well.

I used a punch from my scrapbooking supplies to cut the circle shapes from the printed paper labels. It is fast and easy. You can get perfect alignment of the words by turning the punch upside down and viewing the words from the back side as the paper is being punched. The cording that forms the handle and the tassle is a polyester or nylon cord used to string window blinds. I also use a similar thin cording like this to make my Piping Hot Binding for quilts. It's fun to think of other ways to make use of these tools aside from their original designated purposes.

This chicken tag features the fabric fussy cut to highlight the chick. The others shown are actually cast offs of embroidery projects that were goofed up and had flaws in them. I didn't want to just throw them out - I save them thinking I could use the flawed sew-outs some day in another project. This was the day. Cutting circle shapes from parts of the sew-outs yielded these cute little hang tags/ornaments.

A variety of tags/ornamentsI glitzed up the hang tags with heat set crystal embellishments. That is another very easy thing to do. The heating tool (mine is a L'Orna Heat Wand) heats up the glue on the back of the crystals. When applied properly the crystals don't come loose even with machine washing and the heat from a clothes dryer. Once set, the crystals are adhered for good.

The heat set crystals certainly add that extra touch of glitz and sparkle. I like the way these little beauties turned out. I'll make a few more and use them on our Christmas tree.

Zoom in close to see the crystal embellishments.This project is also a good way to make use of those practice sew-outs when doing machine embroidery. There's always times something doesn't turn out right - a mis-alignment of the black outline from not stabilizing properly, a mis-threading with the wrong color thread sequencing or something along those lines. I have quite a few un-used embroidery sew-outs I can make use of on small projects like this. Using them up with another project makes it so much better so I don't feel so bad (and wasteful) about embroidering something out that I don't end up using right away.

The idea that's very popular right now - to reduce, reuse, recycle - is manifested perfectly in this project. It goes right along with the current "hand-made" craze that is all the rage and getting so much press of late. I picked up a book a month or so ago called Handmade Nation. To read the book one would think this current generation is the leader and inventor of all things crafts. They've certainly got their spin on things in the current craft world today, but a lot of it is certainly not new. Some of the "new" crafty ideas seem very nostalgic to me. They're not re-inventing the crafts of yester-year, but updating some of the techniques that have been around for awhile for a re-vamped look.

I love it though. To see some of the "new ideas" is pretty cool. It takes me back to younger days in many ways. And I always like to see a new twist on ideas.

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