tutorial: felted wool ornaments

I’d like to point you towards Judy Coates Perez’ sweet little tutorial for making felted wool ornaments.
You can find her instructions here.

12ornaments

tutorial: braided corona star

I spent half a day ignoring all the “shoulds” on my list.
The result was this spectacular piece of origami.Kinard_origami_braided_corona_star6

Braided Corona Star
origami designed by Maria Sinayskaya

Kinard_origami_braided_corona_star2

I have a collection of old sheet music that I use for just such purposes.

Kinard_origami_braided_corona_star1For this project I used 8 pages. Four were painted red, four white. The back of all 8 were painted gold.

Kinard_origami_braided_corona_star9After the paint dried I ironed each sheet nice and flat then cut them perfectly square.

Kinard_origami_braided_corona_star4There were several steps along the way with this star where I was completely smitten…

Kinard_origami_braided_corona_star5… in love with the geometry and beauty of this feat of simple yet complex engineering.

You can find Maria’s step by step and easy to follow video tutorial here:
http://goorigami.com/modular-origami/braided-corona-star/4832

Kinard_origami_braided_corona_star8
I went back in with more paint after the star was finished and cleaned up some of my messy paint.

Tutorial: Snowflake Pinwheel Ornament

This December I hope to post and point you to some lovely tutorials.
Let’s make stuff – bring beauty and light into a world that needs it!

Snowflake Pinwheel Ornament

My children and I were playing around with scissors and paper – it happens every year about this time. We came up with some wonderful variations on snowflakes and I fancied them up for you. Enjoy!

Choose your material – paper, interfacing, whatever you have about. I’ve used some old sheet music and Lutrador.

Cut out squares – I liked mine 4″ as a tree ornament. The kids and I used regular paper and made them much larger. Experiment!

I wanted to brighten up the yellowed paper so I brushed some gesso over it. You could use any white paint you have lying about. This isn’t necessary if your material is white to begin with and it’s optional even if it isn’t.

The paper curls if you only paint one side. No worries. Let the paint dry then iron it flat.

Fold your square corner to corner and crease the edge. (I’m showing you the Lutrador now.)

Fold again, corner to corner and crease the edge.

Fold one last time, corner to corner. DO NOT crease this edge – keep it soft.

Find the side with all the edges showing (from the last picture) and cut a simple wave along the top.

Now find the edge with a few folds on it and cut a couple of shallow shapes from it, leaving some of the edge intact. Leave the corners alone too – don’t cut them off.

On the last edge you should only be able to see one fold. Get fancy with your scissor here and cut a few deep shapes but leave part of the edge intact.

Open up your four sided snowflake and snip from each corner almost (but not quite) to the middle.

Hunt around for whatever you have that will stiffen up the paper or interfacing (or cloth, or stabilizer) your are using.

Brush or spray it on both sides. Be gentle.

Now for the fun part. Find some glitter (this is fancy micro-fine stuff) and sprinkle it on while your stiff-stuff is still wet.

Find a needle and some thread or embroidery floss. Double the thread and make a knot in the end. Pull it through the center then through one of the corners as shown.

Pull that corner down the thread until it meets the center then work your way to the other three corners, doing the same thing.

Make a knot in the thread then cut it. You could add a button here to fancy it up or simply tape, glue (then clamp until it dries) or staple the corners in to make it simpler.

Use the embroidery floss, or thread and poke your needle into the tip and make a loop for hanging the ornament. To make it super simple you could tape the loop on or even use an ornament hook.

I hope you’ve enjoyed this tutorial! 

christmas simplified

Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me Matt. 25:40

It’s that time of the year when America seems to do an odd thing. We develop a split personality. We fuss and stress and go way overboard spending money on truly unnecessary gifts that often go unappreciated. We give more to charities than at other times of the year, we smile, we are willing to be patient and kind to perfect strangers.

Which way do you want to be?

December has become my favorite time of year because we have worked very hard to make Christmas meaningful. We deliberately cut out everything that was stressful and didn’t bring our family together. We try each year to do as many of the things we find wonderful as we have energy for-  and then let the rest slide right on by without any feelings of guilt.

This is what we do to Christmas meaningful. I can imagine that the list would be different for every family.

MUSIC – Several of us play together in a Messiah Orchestra – that’s one of my favorites. There are Christmas Parades where we cheer our children as they march with their school bands. There are school concerts and recitals. I pull down my Mountain Dulcimers (these were custom made by Ron Ewing) and play Christmas music in the evenings. Sometimes we host a neighborhood caroling party – firepit blazing in the cul-du-sac, hot chocolate, and of course singing. It can be pretty rag-tag but we enjoy it.

NATIVITIES – We wait to set up our own collection of nativity sets so that they can first be displayed at the Apex Nativity Celebration. As a gift to the community our church spends a week setting up hundreds of nativity sets from around the world. For three days Thu/Fri/Sat the 10th/11th/12th there is live music (that’s where we get to play the Messiah for a sing-along) and a beautiful reminder of the precious gift we are celebrating. Once our own nativity sets (we have lots) are up in the house, three of our wise men go on a journey day by day. The kids have to find where they are each morning.

GIFTS – Each of the children pull a name from the “Angel Tree” at their school and the kids help me do the shopping for a child in need. I make sure they know we are spending more money on others than we are spending on them. They learn that we are very blessed materially and there are others who have much, much less. Our children receive one gift each, after all it’s not their birthday. We are celebrating Christ’s birthday. What is the best gift we can give him? To love and serve others.

Some years they buy or make gifts for each other but we don’t stress about it. Among extended family members sometimes we trade names, sometimes we don’t exchange gifts at all. We are all very far away from each other so we make sure to call and spend time talking together. Some years (my favorite!) we choose a common childhood memory and each write out version of it.

MAKING THINGS – We love gingerbread houses made out of graham crackers (because baking gingerbread is one step too many for me these days.) We cut out lots of paper snowflakes (come back on the 6th for a Christmas tutorial –  a fun variation on this theme.) Sometimes we bake. Sometimes we decorate. Often our decorating looks like this. No matter. There are more important things to fuss about and with young children about there isn’t time for perfection.

Tell me how you choose to spend this season? 

tis the season to shop…. well. maybe.

I must preface this post by being completely upfront. I don’t really like every day shopping. During the Christmas season I particularly don’t like it. Our family tries our level best to focus on service and kindness during this month. HERE is a link to past posts about our Christmas philosophy.hand_made_heart_pin

I do love giving gifts but kind of like them to be simple and unexpected rather than part of the over-consumptive culture. This lovely pin was a gift from a student – I keep it on next to my computer to remind me of one of the reasons I love to teach. (Because I love my students!) Buying toys that are made in China under horrible working conditions (see this article) that the kids will quickly loose interest in… nope. IMG_6282

Handmade would be best but when I’m honest with myself I know I don’t have the time. I am determined to get this one quilt done though. Remember all those blue scraps you sent me waaaay back when? I pieced some blocks up for The Quilt Show segment I filmed then got them put together – mostly into a bed quilt. Sort of. I got tired of piecing so 3/4 of the quilt is whole cloth. (I’ll just call it modern right!?! And yes, I do love the Modern Quilt Movement.)

il_570xN.523753490_55fn

I have a drummer in the house – I found this on Etsy right in my own home town!

So one solution I’m trying this year is to buy local. Local, local, local. (HERE is an article explaining a few of the benefits of buying local.) And maybe even hand made. Did you know that you can set a filter when you shop Etsy so it will only show you goods made by makers in the country of your choice? It’s under You/Account Settings/Preferences/Region. Or if you are browsing Etsy you can go truly local. As you are on a browsing page there should be a little button on the upper right of your window that says “shop location” and you can set it to your state or even your town!

And if all else fails – support artists. And the companies who support the artists. Of course if you are like me – you end up buying more books and DVD’s for yourself here than as gifts. Ummmmm. They are inspiration so I can make more creative gifts later right? Uh huh. 😛

Save 50% Plus an Extra 10% with CYBER10 at Interweave(Yup – that’s my publisher. )

 

welcome Quilting Arts holiday blog hoppers!

Can you believe it’s autumn already?

I blinked and summer flew by. Before I know it the cold and the holiday season will be here.
It’s got me thinking.
(uh oh – that’s always dangerous!)
beaded_snowflakes2_lyric_kinardSo many people get stressed out about the holidays but it’s my favorite. Believe it or not it’s one of my slowest and most relaxed times of the year. I’ve worked hard to make it that way. I don’t travel and I won’t take on deadlines from Thanskgiving until mid January. My husband and I did something years ago that has made a huge difference for our family. We sat down together and figured out what parts of the holidays we loved and what parts made us crazy.

love_every_momentFor us it is family time, service, and music that bring joy. We absolutely love Christmas and concerts (we play in and go to as m any as we can fit in) and the trees and decorations on the homes and especially the joyfulness of giving – but the commercial aspect of giving has turned us off. Shopping went waaaaaaaaaay down to the bottom of the list. So we decided not to shop. Since they were born our children have only ever received one “Santa” gift and a few small things to fit in their stockings on Christmas morning. The kids know to only ask for one thing and have never come up with long lists of items they are craving. Instead, they come with us for the service projects we take on. They do the shopping with us for the giving tree at school and help us go all-out to help other families. Their favorite thing to do is dressing up like spies (all in black) and doing the ring-and-run-gift-basket-drop on someone’s doorstep. And no – we are not the angelic perfect family you are imagining… we’ve had our full share of whiny toddlers and surly teenagers at all of these events. Getting them to participate in all the things we love isn’t easy. What has amazingly and surprisingly worked is that nobody has yet thrown any fits about what stingy parents we are. At least not where we could hear it. 🙂

beaded_snowflakes6_lyric_kinardAs they have gotten old enough we also MAKE STUFF! We live in the usually temperate mid-atlantic region of the United States where we rarely see snow so often we will have a full day of snowflake cutting and every window of the house will be full of intricate paper beauties. And of course because I am a textile artist and just happen to have, oh, five hundred thousand yards of cloth in the house, we often make things from fabric. My two youngest (I have five!) have been begging me to do some more screen printing with them so this year I do believe we will be printing snowflakes as well.

beaded_snowflakes4_lyric_kinardIt works out wonderfully well as that just happens to be the project that I’ve shared with you all in this year’s Quilting Arts Holiday magazine. Convenient eh? We might even get as far as beading the snowflakes – the kids are perfectly capable of doing it so long as nobody requires perfection. (We definitely don’t do perfection at our house!!!) 

Lyric_kinard_QA_holiday_magazine_2014In the magazine I describe how to use the screens (there are also video tutorials available here on my website) and some basic beading techniques. (You can see lots more beading instruction on my DVD, Bead It Like You Mean It.)

QAHol14 coverYou can find the issue HERE. It is chock full of other fabulous projects for you to create.

And here is a gift for YOU!
I will be shipping out a copy of the magazine to one lucky reader who leaves a comment here. (If you are an international reader please only enter if you are willing to pitch in on shipping costs.)

Leave a comment here telling me your favorite thing about the holiday season.

Really think about it.
What do you love and what stresses you out.
Then DO SOMETHING!
Find a way to eliminate or minimize at least one thing that gets in the way of what you love about the holidays.

update – congratulations to Lauren MacDonald for winning a copy of the magazine!
Thank you all for your thoughtful comments!

Screen Shot 2014-09-22 at 8.47.24 AM

 

And…. if you want to create your own sweet little beaded snowflake ornaments you can purchase a kit from Interweave here.

http://www.interweavestore.com/beaded-snowflake-kitsnowflake_kit

It contains all the beads you will need, beading thread and needle, and two 5″ snowflake thermofax screens. Can’t you just see this with blue snowflakes on a white background? I might need to go make some more.

beaded_snowflakes1_lyric_kinard_And just in case you love these four sweet little snowflakes they are available for purchase.
Four printed, stitched, and beaded snowflakes. Framed at 6.25″ x 6.25″ each.
$210.00 includes shipping.
Please e-mail  me if you are interested.

Merry Christmas (and Giveaway winners)

This is what I’ve been up to the past week. 

image

My girls are home from college and its a delight to see them. I have truly missed them. This is an older picture. My middle boy is now taller than I am.  Christmas at our house involves lots of music, a little bit more good food than usual, and almost no shopping at all so it’s a joyful time.

mormon-lds-ideasI’m the stingiest/meanest mother in the world and the kids are only allowed to ask for one modest gift. They get exactly what they ask for so there are no surprises. Poor things. They have never known any different and so far there haven’t been any complaints. We do service throughout the month so they see that Christmas is about giving and helping and making the world a better place. If you have a moment click this link and watch my favorite video about bringing the spirit of Christ into Christmas. It’s a sweet, and rather unusual christmas pageant.

So Merry Christmas to you and yours!

No matter what your belief, I think we all share a wish for  love and peace and a better world. Mother Theresa said “Let no one come to you without leaving better and happier.” We can do that!

And here are more giveaway winners!

Mini DaVinci thermofax screens
Manuela

Quilting Arts Magazine
usairdoll

America from the Heart
Julie Beard

(and to all the patiently waiting previous winners – everything is packaged up – I just haven’t been able to make myself brave the post office yet. I’m sending most of the books media mail and you have to take those in. I promise I’ll get there – eventually!)

Artspark’s Winter Tutorials

From Jill Berry
Mini-Book Ornament

 From Judy Coates Perez
Speculatius Cookies

From Tracie Lyn Huskamp
For the Smell of It

 From Traci Bunkers
Star Garland

From Lisa Engelbrecht
Easy Gilded Letters for Cards

From Lyric Kinard
Snowflake Pinwheel Ornament

The Kindness Chronicles: a meaningful Christmas

Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren,
ye have done it unto me Matt. 25:40

It’s that time of the year when America seems to do an odd thing. We can develop a split personality. We fuss and stress and go way overboard spending money on truly unnecessary gifts that often go unappreciated. Or we give more to charities than at other times of the year, we smile, we are willing to be patient and kind to perfect strangers.

Choose one.
Which way do you want to be?

December has become my favorite time of year because we have worked very hard to make Christmas meaningful. We deliberately cut out everything that was stressful and didn’t bring our family together. We try each year to do as many of the things we find wonderful as we have energy for-  and then let the rest slide right on by without any feelings of guilt.

This is what we do to Christmas meaningful.
I can imagine that the list would be different for every family.

MUSIC – Several of us play together in a Messiah Orchestra – that’s one of my favorites. There are Christmas Parades where we cheer our children as they march with their school bands. There are school concerts and recitals. I pull down my Mountain Dulcimers (these were custom made by Ron Ewing) and play Christmas music in the evenings. We host a neighborhood caroling party – firepit blazing in the cul-du-sac, hot chocolate, and of course singing.

NATIVITIES – We wait to set up our own collection of nativity sets so that they can first be displayed at the Apex Nativity Celebration. As a gift to the community our church spends a week setting up hundreds of nativity sets from around the world. For three days this Thu/Fri/Sat there is live music (that’s where we get to play the Messiah for a sing-along) and a beautiful reminder of the precious gift we are celebrating. Once our own nativity sets (we have lots) are up in the house, three of our wise men go on a journey day by day. The kids have to find where they are each morning.

GIFTS – Each of the children pull a name from the “Angel Tree” at their school and the kids help me do the shopping for a child in need. I make sure they know we are spending more money on others than we are spending on them. They learn that we are very blessed materially and there are others who have much, much less. Our children receive one gift each, after all it’s not their birthday. We are celebrating Christ’s birthday. What is the best gift we can give him? To love and serve others.

Some years they buy or make gifts for each other but we don’t stress about it. Among extended family members sometimes we trade names, sometimes we don’t exchange gifts at all. We are all very far away from each other so we make sure to call and spend time talking together. Some years (my favorite!) we choose a common childhood memory and each write out version of it.

MAKING THINGS – We love gingerbread houses made out of graham crackers (because baking gingerbread is one step too many for me these days.) We cut out lots of paper snowflakes (come back on the 6th for a Christmas tutorial –  a fun variation on this theme.) Sometimes we bake. Sometimes we decorate. Often our decorating looks like this. No matter. There are more important things to fuss about and with young children about there isn’t time for perfection.

Tell me how you choose to spend this season?
I’ll post links if you have them throughout the month.

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