Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Map Yourself

Here's a fun little thing to do when you have an extra minute (literally, that's all it took). Map yourself on this interactive world map for bloggers from Latte Love.

And when you are done, continue your journey around the world with this post of recycled and repurposed globes (in case you missed it earlier this month).

recycled globe DIY

Make sure to let me know when you travel through Sweden and I'll clear my schedule!

Until next time...

Monday, January 30, 2012

A Day's Worth of Inspiration - Recycled and Repurposed

Here's a day's worth of recycled and repurposed creations for a quick dose of inspiration to get the week started.

Molinelli Design

Design Sponge

Ladies Home Journal

Design Sponge

Rainy Roots Studio

Pavel Sidorenko


Beru Betto

ReMade Simple

If you find something irresistibly inspiring, share with everyone here below (in comments) or hop over for a quick post on the Blue Velvet Chair Facebook page. Everything is better when shared, don't you think?

Until next time...

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Saturday, January 28, 2012

Quick & Easy DIY for Valentine's Day

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Do you have an extra 15 minutes for a quick & easy DIY for Valentine's Day? At no cost? I did, and came up with this cute little recycled Tshirt heart for a no-sew addition to your Valentine's decor this year. And when the holiday is over, poof!, it just comes right off to be stored with all your DIY goodies until next year.

What you'll need:

An existing pillow
A red recycled Tshirt
A cereal box (or any other recycled cardboard)
A large flat surface brooch or pin
Blue tack (which is white in this case)

Cut your Tshirt into small squares. Mine were about 3 1/2 inches, and they certainly don't have to be perfectly square. Actually, this project only required the back side and sleeves of my Tshirt, so I've saved the front to make one of these adorable recycled T shopping bags. Next, begin with a single square stapled in the middle of your heart (cut from the cereal box).

Flip over the side of that first square, and repeat again directly beside.

Here's what it looked like when I had the center row completed on both sides of that center square.

Then it dawned on me! Duh! Use the same technique that everyone is using with the coffee filter lamps. Fold over the square, and then fold it again. Then I finished off the heart by stapling these at the base of the fold and just kept moving from the center of the heart outwards to the edges.

When you are done with the staples, it may not look pretty from the back - but it doesn't need to!

Flip it over, stand back, and give a little smile of admiration to your sweet little recycled T heart.

To get that heart on the pillow without a sewing commitment (anyone else with me on my sewing machine phobia?), simply lather blue tack all over your flat brooch, pin it to your pillow, and press on your heart.

Voila! It's quick, it's easy, and it's temporary! No one knows the difference - so find that too-small red Tshirt hanging around your house and create yourself a smile today!

Until next time...

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Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Creating Success Around the World - European Crafts

I don't have a featured interview for this week's Creating Success Around the World global blog hop, so instead we're going to hop around Europe with a little sampler of creations from across the continent.

Coming to us from Dekoherz in Germany, a little forest glam Valentine goodness. Scoop up some mini pine cones on your next walk and simply glue them to a heart-shaped background (how about some recycled cardboard or cereal box that you've painted white?).

I think the patina on these reclaimed slate clocks from Pachadesign in England is truly spectacular - a piece of art in and of themselves!

I love the mix of old leather belts on this vintage lamp frame from Mrs. Hardy in Norway. You won't want to miss having a peek at her clean Scandinavian-designed blog. 

I'm a fan of the fanciful fun that abounds with the wire creations at Trois fois rien in France. 

How lucky was Grietjekarwietje in Holland to have toilet rolls that were already red! And she created a lovely Valentine mobile to boot!

I hope you enjoyed this little sample of creations from across the Europe continent. Stay tuned for next week's global blog hop with a new interview feature.

If you'd like to catch up with past global blog hop interviews for Europe, check out:
Pouch (United Kingdom)
ReThink Design (Sweden)
Sea Green of Appledore (England)
Stylizimo (Norway)
Ina Olavarria (Spain)
Made by iSa (France)
Handmade by Kallaristi (Greece)
Annemarie's Haakblog (the Netherlands)

Now let's hop over to see who's been discovered in North America, Australia, or Asia.

Are you also in Europe and would like to be considered for an interview feature? Leave me a comment at the end of the post, or send an e-mail with your website/blog to: bluevelvetchair at bredband dot net.

**Don't forget to add your own blog or website to the link party below to connect with new creative soulmates from across the world.

Until next time...

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Forest Glam DIY - Valentine's Day

I admit it. I'm a fan of forest glam (remember my kitchen light and my advent calendar?). Because it's organic. Because it brings the outdoors inside. And because it's free.

So I decided to make a little forest glam DIY for Valentine's Day. I don't know if it is luck, or if these bushes exist everywhere around the world, but here in Sweden we have some fabulous bushes with red branches. And what more appropriate time than Valentine's Day to use them for an earthy red heart. So I headed down to our local playground where there is an abundance of these leaf-less bushes huddling in the newly-fallen snow (unbelievably our first real snow of the year). I have no idea what kind they are, so if your horticulture knowledge surpasses mine I'll let you share with everyone in the comments below.

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Want to make your own? It would be just as fun in natural brown branches - just follow these how-to steps. Begin by taking three of the longest branches and braiding them. It's a bit tricky but I held the base of the three branches with my left hand, and used the fingers on my right to push each branch around the other for the braid.

Next I took both ends of the braided branches and brought them both together at a single point to form half of the heart shape. I tied a piece of twine to temporarily hold the branches together while I worked on getting a good form in place. Do the same on the other side, and you will end up with the general shape of a heart. I repeated this process and even used a thin red branch as a 'tie' to hold the next group together to the first group.

Once you've done the braided twigs twice, you'll have a good heart outline that allows you to start weaving the rest of the twigs throughout the others. I kept the tie at the base relatively loose so that I could slide more twigs down through the bottom point. Keep going, with heart shape within heart shapes, twisting the branches and twigs in and out of each other.

Once I had a good amount of branches intertwined, I flipped over the heart. You'll see a concave shape to the heart which can then be 'filled' from the backside. 

To start filling in more spaces, I took twigs with several offshoots and simply brought the two ends together (same as with the original braided twigs) and tucked them into the concaves from the back side.

Once I had more twigs filled in from the back side, I made a simple wire hoop on the back to hang the heart.

I'm so happy with how she turned out. I've already decided she's either going out on the front of the house after V-Day, or on the backside pool area so that I can enjoy her all year long.

But for now she'll stay inside with us for the holiday. I'm just lovin' the heart-inside-heart-inside-heart effect of the simple twig bends.

Going to try your own? Have some ribbon or twine on hand to hold the base of the twigs as you build your heart. When you have your final twigs in place, re-wrap a new ribbon tightly to hold the base of the heart together (which is the main support for the entire heart shape). After I tied the final twine into place tightly, I was able to easily snip off the original holding twine. And be prepared for twigs to snap out of place every now and then. Just continue to intertwine and twist them back into place. That's the fun part!  

Only thing left? Get out and find yourself some twigs for a little forest glam DIY this Valentine's Day.

Until next time...

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