DIY Abstract Embroidery Hoop Art

 

Welcome to our second new series of 2017! After nearly ten years of sharing the creativity of others, I thought it was high time we started creating more ourselves. These projects are just as much for me as they are for you. Working in a creative industry tends to have the opposite effect of what you might expect, and my own personal art has taken a backseat. I aim to change that starting with this post.

So, what can you expect? A loosely guided art project once a month that leaves plenty of room to explore and make your own. I’ll share my own take on it and leave you to the rest with a list of supplies and your own hands.

 

 

 

Supplies
• embroidery hoop(s)
• embroidery fabric
• acrylic paints
• palette knife (a disposable plastic knife will do in a pinch)
• acrylic paint brush
• jar with water for rinsing
• paper towels
• paint palette (or paper plate)
• scissors

 

 

I began by finding two color palettes I liked that could be easily mixed and matched – mainly blues, corals, goldenrod, and grey. I also knew that I wanted my three hoops to be related in style to look cohesive when hung together, and I accomplished that in two ways. First I made sure to use colors from the first two pieces together in the third, and second I made each painting slightly more organized in style than the previous. (Can you tell the order?)

 

 

Begin by disassembling the embroidery hoop and stretching the embroidery fabric over the inner hoop before pulling the fabric taut and replacing and tightening the outer hoop. I waited until the end of the project to trim off excess fabric from the back, but you could do that now as well.

Next you’ll want to pick up that paint brush and paint the entire “canvas” background however you see fit, making sure to paint over the top edge of the embroidery hoop as well. (Sidenote: this is the only time I used a brush throughout)

 

 

After the background is dry it’s time to put that palette knife to work. Squeeze each of your chosen paint colors onto your palette, and if you’re mixing a new color remember that it’s always better to mix too much than too little because it’ll be nearly impossible to recreate that color again. Load up the underside of the knife with a dollop of paint and use it as though you’re icing a cake. I didn’t bother waiting for colors to dry in between, just used a gentle hand to avoid mixing. The paint should be thick enough on the fabric that you can see definition, no need to refrain.

 

 

Once finished I let these guys hang out for a solid 24-hours to dry. Those thick layers of paint will take at least that long to set up fully. I then used some small finishing nails to hang them on the wall, just under each hoop closure.

I hope you love this new series and will join me in bringing more creativity into your life! And if you complete any of the projects I’d love to see – just tag @designcrush.

 

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An Easy Holiday DIY for You + Your Cat

 

If you share your home with a cat (or three) they’re in the Christmas tree half of the time it seems. I took a cue from them and created this two-for-one DIY project inspired by their antics and Fancy Feast Feastivitieshandmade gift guide for cat lovers.

Fancy Feast Feastivities is a celebration of the ultimate ways to delight cats and cat lovers during the holidays. This year’s theme is all about inspired holiday entertaining, so you’ll find the gift guide contains plenty of gifts for the cat-loving hostess in your life. The creativity of the makers involved pushed me to come up with something I knew my cats would love playing with, rather than buying something they’d probably bat around for five minutes and never look at again (like real kids!).

 

 

Your cat can play to their heart’s content with their mega glitter pom pom toy, while just the addition of ribbon turns it into a sparkly decoration that can bring a festive touch to a doorknob or tree branch in your home. I plan on making a few more of the smaller ones to add to the outside of gift boxes as well because they’re just so happy looking!

 

 

Supplies
• glue gun and glue sticks
2-inch styrofoam ball (for the cat toy)
• 3-inch styrofoam ball (for the decoration)
• various sizes of glitter pom poms
• ribbon
• catnip

 

 

After heating up your glue gun, start by distributing the largest of the pom poms evenly over the ball’s surface and gluing down. Work progressively through the other sizes (I used three different ones), using the smallest pom poms to fill in any leftover spaces. If you’re working on the larger decoration, make sure to leave a small space to attach a ribbon for hanging with the hot glue as well. Allow to cool for five minutes before placing in a closed ziploc bag with catnip for a few hours. Your own ornament should be ready to hang after those five minutes as well.

 

 

My cat, Peanut, especially loved this toy. He batted it around the room for at least ten minutes, picking it up in his mouth and giving a good shake before putting it back on the floor and running around the room like crazy again. I may need to make two more for the other cats! And if you have any of the larger pom poms leftover I guarantee your felines will go crazy for those on their own as well.

This post sponsored by Fancy Feast Feastivities. All words and opinions are my own, as always. Thank you for supporting the brands that help Design Crush create fresh content!

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DIY Wooden Modern Bell Ornaments

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This holiday I’ve opted to keep things minimal, and from what I’ve seen online a lot of you are choosing to do the same. The living room has a simple live potted tree that’s about four feet tall, decorated with a handful of ornaments and lights. The rest of the first floor has a few decorations here and there – a poinsettia, a few wreaths, not too much. And my office has this little silver tree that’s followed me from my last design firm job over five years ago. Since I spend a good part of my days here it only makes sense for it to feel festive as I dig through my inbox and comb the internet.

 

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Inspired by the colors in my workspace and traditional wooden ornaments I came up with these modern bells. Covered in bright paint and fresh patterns, they’re a great match for the sparkle of the tiny tree.

Materials
• wooden cones with pre-drilled holes
• wooden balls with pre-drilled holes
• craft paints
• paintbrushes in various sizes
• jute twine

 

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This little project took me about an hour and was a great respite from what’s proving to be a hectic month. I sat down with a roll of paper towels and a cup full of water for cleaning my brushes and got to work with Christmas music playing in the background.

 

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Once all of my cones and balls were painted, patterned, and dry I cut roughly 14-inch lengths of jute twine. I doubled each up in length and tied off a loop about 1 1/2-inches long, then pushed the loose ends through the cone and ball, tying them off once pulled through with a knot or two. If the jute got hung up I just used a wood skewer to help it through.

And tada! An instantly festive artful tree.

 

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20 Ornaments to Buy or DIY

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1/ Celestial Iridescent Glass Ornament   2/ Leather Stag Ornament   3/ DIY Beaded Gift Toppers/Ornaments   4/ DIY Clay Pot Ornament   5/ DIY Glitter Dust Filled Ornament

 

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6/ Clear Glass Bubble Ornaments   7/ Crackled Globe Ornament   8/ DIY Marbled Tree Ornaments   9/ DIY Metallic Wooden Ball Ornaments   10/ DIY Pinanta Ornaments

 

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11/ Crystal Quartz Ornaments   12/ Gliding Swan Ornament   13/ DIY Recycled Sweater Ornament   14/ DIY Snowflake Pattern Ornament   15/ DIY Color Block Wood Ornaments

 

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16/ Handblown Metallic Glass Globe Ornament   17/ Monogram Glitter Ornament   18/ Porcelain Stamped Tree Ornaments   19/ Quadrilateral Glass Ornaments   20/ DIY Fabric Covered Tree Ornaments

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Happy Thanksgiving

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DIY Thanksgiving Greenery Garland

Happy Thanksgiving! I hope you’re spending the day with friends and family, eating lots of good things and enjoying one another’s company far into the evening hours. I’m hosting the holiday at my house for the third year, and luckily the greenery and some of the flowers have held up since last weekend’s party. Check in later for our cyber week deals post and we’ll be back to regularly scheduled content tomorrow! I’m oh so grateful for your readership, friends.

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14 Advent Calendars to Make or Buy

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24 Day Christmas Advent Calendar

Some things never change, like the fact that advent calendars are one of my favorite Christmas traditions! My Mom still buys me one every November in anticipation of December 1st. I love that they come in any number of forms (paper, garland, wall hanging, display) and serve any number of purposes (countdown, gifts, candy, activities) – but in the end it’s all about the building of anticipation!

 

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Advent Calendar Candle

 

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Advent Calendar Miniature Stockings

 

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Advent Calendar

 

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Christmas Advent Calendar Download

 

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DIY Greeting Card Advent Calendar

 

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DIY Mini Mail Advent Calendar

 

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DIY Modern Advent Calendar

 

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DIY Modern Rug Advent Calendar

 

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DIY Random Acts of Kindness Advent Calendar

 

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Printable Advent Calendar Tags

 

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Santa and Reindeer Hanging Advent Calendar

 

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Tiny Village Advent Calendar Printable

 

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Wood Countdown Calendar

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You’re Invited: Thanksgiving Dinner

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I’m in serious denial that we’re halfway through November with Thanksgiving only a little over a week away – anyone else? I’ll be hosting for my family for the third year in a row, so it’s nearly down to a science at this point without a lot of guesswork or planning. But, you guys know how I love to plan imaginary holiday get togethers (see Thanksgivings past: 2012, 2013, 2014, and 2015) so I couldn’t break with tradition no way, no how.

 

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Earl Grey Bourbon Punch // Grapefruit-Lemongrass Cocktail // Smokey Harvest Apple Cider Margaritas

Few things are more welcoming than showing up to a holiday spent with family and friends and being handed a cocktail. I like to have bar basics on hand for traditional libations, but a few specialties mixed up as well. Pitchers are great for this purpose, just label them with the cocktail inside. A nice punch in a bowl is even easier, just add a ladle and guests can feel free to serve themselves.

 

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Ceramic Marbleized Vases // DIY Acrylic Menu // DIY Blue & White Olive Holiday Wreath // DIY Metal Fall Leaf Garland // Molded Plaster Candlesticks // DIY Origami Cornucopia // Round Beeswax Pillar Candles // Small Brass Candleholders // Translucent Tealight Cups

This time of year I’m especially drawn to all things warm and inviting, so I want to have lots of candles sitting in out of the way places as well as on the dining table. Mix things up a little with different heights and widths to add interest. I also want vases full of greenery, a big full wreath on the front door, and the menu posted somewhere in a fun way so guests know what we’ll be eating.

 

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Butternut Squash and Goat Cheese Tartines // Dark Beer Cheese Fondue // Slice and Bake Cheese Crackers

While guests are milling around talking to one another give them something to nibble on. I like how these particular three contain different levels of involvement – if you’re a little munchy go with the crackers, a little more the tartness, skipped lunch go for the fondue!

 

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Circle Chopping Block // Copper Louise Bowl // Copper Salad Serving Spoons // Faceted Marble Cheese Knives // Glass Cheese Dome with Oak Base // Ivalo Punch Bowl Set // Large Porcelain Serving Bowl // Round Nesting Ramekins // Serving Platter // Serving Dishes // Trap Pitcher // Acacia Tiered Server

Serving pieces are my absolute favorite part of planning any meal. For this one I’m opting to stay close to that warm and cozy feeling I already mentioned by using lots of wood, metal, glass, and ceramic pieces. The warm tones all pull together so nicely, and solid pieces like this are great for any season throughout the year.

 

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Blackline Stoneware Plates // Blue Chambray Cotton Dinner Napkins // Brass and Walnut Rail Trivet // Brass Photo Stands // Dearborn Wine Glasses // DIY Leather Napkin Rings // Flat Iron Trivet // Washed Linen Tablecloth // Aquarelle 5-Piece Place Setting // Brass Salt Spoon and Ceramic Cellar // Latte Mug Set // Porcelain Gray Plates Set

More of the same for the table itself. And though my table isn’t large enough to set out the entire spread of food, I like to pull in a few trivets. If I see guests going back for seconds on something in particular it’s easy enough to make room for one or two of the more popular dishes. I also like for my dinner and dessert dishes to feel related but not match, in this case both are a sort of stoneware grey.

 

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Challah Bread Stuffing // Crispy Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Lemon Parmesan Sauce // Gin Brined Turkey // Hasselback Roasted Beets // Homemade Turkey Gravy // Orange-Cranberry Chutney // Roasted Cauliflower with Breadcrumbs, Capers, Almonds & Raisins // Roasted Sweet Potato Salad with Honey Lemon Dressing // The Ultimate Stuffed Artichoke // Toasted Sesame Mashed Potatoes // Whole Grain Apple Butter Parmesan Biscuits with Honey Sage Syrup // Wine-Braised Rainbow Carrots with Sage

This entire year I’ve been trying to eat close to the Earth, less processed food and more real food. My menu keeps in line with my intention, lots of vegetables and grains to feed and nourish the mass around the table. And all of it delicious!

 

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Cardamom Pear Upside-Down Cake // Mile High Apple Pie // Pumpkin Tiramisu Cake

Ahhh, now we’re down to it. The best part of the meal in my humble opinion, the sweet finish! At my house we usually take a little break between the main meal and dessert for everything to digest and settle, a (very competitive) game of Yahtzee is usually involved. Dessert is then had, to-go bags packed up full to the top, and goodbye hugs given.

I hope your Thanksgiving planning goes smoothly, friends!

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