Purple Hues and Me

Thursday, February 26, 2015

2015 Year of the Sheep Craft

The Chinese New Year was celebrated last week and 2015 is the year of the sheep, goat and ram. The celebration started on the 19th and lasts for 15 days, ending with a Lantern Festival.  People born under this Chinese zodiac sign are polite, shy, frank and honest, are highly creative focusing their energy on artistic hobbies.  Their lucky colors include purple, red and brown.  You might think that I am one of the sheep people, but I'm not.  I am a rooster. 

There are so many interesting facts about the year of the sheep.  I found a site that has a Chinese Zodiac Compatibility Test based on the couples name and birth dates here.  I was curious what it had to say about my hubby and me, married for over forty-five years.  After adding our names and birth date, the results stated that we were 40 percent compatible and need effort in the marriage.  The highlight of this stated,  "conflicts will be more than cooperation in your marriage life."  Whoa, so funny!  Even though we are opposites in so many ways, rarely do we have conflicts of any kind.  Although a lot of the stated traits were right on target.  

Getting back to sheep, I love watching them. There's a farm a couple of miles from where we live and every time I drive pass it, I make a point of seeing if the sheep are out grazing.  They seem so cute, fluffy and cuddly! Watching them inspired me to make these adorable stuffed sheep.

Isn't she precious!
And putting this together was so easy to do!
Here's how:
Start by right-click copying the pattern for the sheep and paste to Word.  From there, you can adjust the size you want and trace the pieces onto faux fur and felt or fleece fabric.

1.  Cut out the six pieces - one top, two ears, two face, and one body. 
2. With right sides together hand or machine stitch around edge of face. 
3. Once stitched, separate the center fabric and make a slit opening in back and turn inside out.
4.  Stuff face with poly-fil.
5.  Hand-stitch opening close.

6.   Insert needle and embroidery thread from the back to make eyes, positioning thread into a slanted line as pictured.

7.    Move the thread into a v shape and push needle through to the back in the same area.

8.    Continue pushing the needle in the same area, under the fabric for the other eye and make the v shape as before.
9.    Move the needle from the back down to the cheek dimples and pull through to the front and back again.

10.  Fold the ears together and sew ends onto top of head.

11.  Gather the body by weaving the needle and thread over and under.

12.  Pull the threads and fabric together leaving an opening to insert the stuffing.

13.  Add stuffing half way to body leaving space.  

14.  Add decorative filler for weight (optional). add more stuffing for a round full look.

15.  Add more stuffing for a round full look and stitch opening close.

To complete the sheep:
        - Make running stitches in top to close and hot glue between ears.
        - Hot glue head to stitched area of body.
        - Use rouge or pink chalk dust to high-light dimples and inner ears.
        - Add bow embellishments.

    I dipped the beige faux fabric in diluted black acrylic paint to make the black sheep on the left.  The fabric became very rough with the watered down paint rubbings and dust smearing on my fingers and everywhere else for that matter.  I don't recommend doing this.  

The Year of the Sheep runs from February 19, 2015 to February 7, 2016.

Wouldn't this be a fun project to make with kids?  Imagine the possibilities!

Take a little time to enjoy


Happy Crafting!

Friday, February 20, 2015

Hand Laced Chalk Cloth & Jute Twine Tote Bag

It's so cold outside that I'm staying indoors and shopping my stash to come up with things to make.   A few years ago I saw a video where a craftsman made a leather bag primarily by lacing the main body and straps together through punched holes.  Unfortunately, I didn't bookmark the video to give him credit and now I've been unable to locate it in my search.  Since I don't have leather anyway I decided to use a piece of chalk cloth remnant leftover from when I made a chalk cloth table runner here

You know how you can visualize something in your head but when you attempt to put it together, it doesn't quite go as you planned.  This might be the project that almost got scrapped.  I thought using chalk cloth to make a no-sew bag a terrific idea.  Chalkboard this and chalkboard that are very popular and trendy right now.  And when I did a google search I found just a "lunch" bag tutorial using the material.  Now I know why.  But I want you to be the judge of this project  .  .  .  as always.  No sewing was involved and I liked that!

Materials Used:
  • Chalk cloth
  • Jute twine
  • Ruler                                                       
  • Hole punch
  • Scissors
  • Chalk
  • Mode podge

Cutout the following from chalk cloth
Main body - 12"x27"
Side gussets (2) - 12"x6"
Handles (2) - 44"x2"
Jute twine - Lacing handles (4) 36",  Gussets (2) 36" 

The surface of the chalk cloth must be primed before writing on the cloth by rubbing the side of a piece of chalk over the entire surface from top to bottom and side to side.  Next, take a soft cloth to wipe off the chalk.  The fabric is now ready to write on.

Main body:
Punch 26 holes one inch from the sides of the chalk cloth and one inch from the top edge of the main body piece on each side.

Punch eleven holes on each side of the gussets and four holes on the bottom, 1/2 inch from the sides and 1 inch from the top edge.
For a better fit, round off the bottom edges of the gussets. 

Punch six holes on each side of the straps, 1/2" from edge, lining up with the holes on the main body. Round off ends of straps as pictured.

Jute twine:
Wrapping straps:
Place a drop of glue two inches on the wrong side of chalk cloth from the last holes and place twine inside and close.  Begin wrapping twine around the chalk cloth strap pressing the cloth together as you wrap .  .  .
until you reach two inches from the holes on the opposite end. Glue as before.

Next, saturate the ends of the twine (cut to apply handles & main body) with mod podge and let dry.  The stiff ends wrapped with clear tape will make it easy to lace through the holes.

Position handles on the main body of chalk cloth two inches from edge and 7 1/2 inches down from top edge lining holes up with the main body holes. Starting at the back bottom, push ends of twine through holes, crisscrossing the twine as you go up. Reaching the top, tie off excess twine and insert ends into crossed twine. Repeat for both sides, front and back, lacing on both handles.  

Adding Gussets:
*Gussets should be placed on the inside next to the main body, but after lacing them, there was too much cloth showing (wrong side) and bulking on the bottom so I laced them on the outside of the main body which looked a bit better.
Match up the holes on the gusset with the ones on the main body and start lacing at the top hole going in and out of the holes, all the way around.

Finish lacing the gusset to the main body by tying off the twine and inserting the ends into some of the inside loops.
Have fun writing on the chalk cloth bag:

What do you think?
I need to find some real leather, suede or pleather and make more!

Take a little time to enjoy


Happy Crafting!


Wednesday, February 18, 2015

2015 Spring Craft Blog Hop - Hot Glue Shamrock Brooch

Welcome to the second in a four-part spring craft blog hop challenge for the spring season! This hop will run from February 18 - March 17 and we're challenging you to create a craft project that reflects St. Patrick's Day, Palm Sunday, April Fools, or a General Spring theme.

I'm excited to have 20 blogs participating in the second installment of the Spring Craft Blog Hop. This means your crafts will be shared on all 20 blogs! Please join us in this challenge and link-up your crafty creation at the bottom of this post.


If you missed the first Spring Craft Blog Hop, you can view it here.

Meet all 20 hosts!

Each host will be sharing their own craft to kick off the Spring Craft Blog Hop challenge, so make you visit each host to see their fabulous creations!
*Please follow your hosts on at least one or more social media platforms of your choice. Let us know you're following from #SCBH2015*

Grab a button and help us spread the word!
My Pinterventures

St. Patrick's Day Arrow Word Wall ArtSt-Patricks-Day-Arrow-Word-Wall-Art

We're starting the second in a four-part Spring Craft Blog Hop series! To kick off the series, I have a St. Patrick's Day Arrow Word Wall Art to share!

Hi!  I'm Gail @Purple Hues and Me!  I am so excited to be one of the hosts for this Spring Craft Blog Hop Challenge.  I've never been a host to any parties before so I was honored when asked to join along with the other creative craft bloggers.  My project for this challenge is something anyone with a glue gun and craft foam sheets can make.  A hot glue shamrock brooch!

Do you think you'll be looking for something green to wear on St Paddy's Day to avoid getting pinched?  Say what now?  You know as the old saying goes .  .  .  people who wear green on that day are invisible to leprechauns and fairy creatures who would pinch anyone they could see, that is, anyone not wearing green.  

Why not pinch-proof yourself by making an adorable green brooch to wear made out of hot glue?  It's so quick and easy to do!

You will need:

Shamrock template
Hot glue gun/glue
Craft foam sheets
Pin back/E6000 glue


  • Trace shamrock onto a craft foam sheet. I used two different kinds, plain green and glitter green.

Using Plain Green Foam Sheet
  • Outline the pattern with hot glue - I found it's best to start with a well heated hot glue gun so that the glue flows easily.  Also, I had to "help" the glue stick by pushing down on it to try to keep the flow even.  I used a cheap glue gun and I could have had a steadier hand but it takes practice for me to keep the lines even.

  • Fill in the rest of the shamrock with hot glue.

Using Green Glitter Foam Sheet

  • While glue is still hot, add rhinestones/crystals and allow to cool.

  • Once cooled, cut shamrock out.

 Sorry about the air bubbles but that's the beauty of handcrafted items - there're always imperfections!

  • Apply pin fastener to back using E6000.  The glitter foam sheet had an adhesive backing so I removed the paper and placed interfacing on the sticky surface before adding the pin.

Cute, cute, cute!

These hot glue shamrock brooches are some of the cutest pieces of jewelry you can make to help celebrate the luckiest day of the year and be pinch-proof, too!
 Happy St. Paddy's Day!

Spring Craft Blog Hop - St. Patrick's Day, April Fools, Palm Sunday, or a General Spring theme

  1. Link-up your craft or DIY tutorial that fit the themes of the Spring Craft Blog Hop. Links that do not fit the themes will be deleted.
  2. DO NOT link-up food or recipes.
  3. DO NOT link-up round-ups unless all the craft posts are yours.
  4. Link directly to your post and not your blog.
Show us what you've created and be seen on 20 blogs!