Thursday, March 31, 2011

Last Day To Enter The Giveaway!

That's right, today is your last day to enter! Tomorrow I'll announce the winner of the pendant and fabric flower accessory! So head over and enter the giveaway!

Closed! Thanks to everyone who entered!! <3

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Whip It Up Wednesday: Placemat Handbag

This one is SO easy, you'll love it! I made this bag, including taking all the *excellent quality photographs*, while my dear OH cooked tea.

I got two placemats and two napkins for a grand total of $5, and had all the other materials on hand waiting around for something to be done with them, so I couldn't resist!

What you'll need:

* 1 placemat for the main bag
* 1 coordinating napkin (or scrap fabric) for a pocket
* A couple of small coordinating scrap fabric pieces to secure the handle ends
* Two handles - I used florist's wire and wooden beads to make mine!
* Sewing machine, thread, scissors and all that jazz...!

What to do:

First off, iron your placemat and napkin/scrap fabric.

Make Your Handles

I made mine with wooden beads and florists wire. Another alternative is to take a long strip of coordinating fabric, fold it in half, sew up one side and turn it right side out and top stitch up both sides. This alternative is probably much sturdier than mine, but I fancied using beads ;)

First, make a loop in one end of your wire.

Thread on half of your beads.

Make a loop at the other end of your wire, to hold the beads in place.

Repeat to make two handles.

Set these aside for now.

Make Your Pocket

Cut out a large rectangle from your napkin/scrap fabric.

If you're using a napkin and some of the edges are hemmed, fold under the remaining edges and iron them into place. If you're using scrap fabric, fold and iron all the edges :)

Fold your placemat in half and pin your pocket to the middle of one side of the placemat. I want my pocket to be on the front of the bag, so I'm pinning it to the side of my placemat that will eventually be on the outside.

Sew around the three sides of your pocket, leaving the top open ;)

Time to add the handles!

Sew On Your Handles

To work out where the handles should go, I folded my placemat in half (same as when we pinned on the pocket) and then in half again. I used air erasable pen to mark across all four edges, so now when I unfold my placemat I can line up the handle edges evenly.

Using the pen mark as a guide, sandwich a loop from your handle between the inside of the placemat and a rectangle of your scrap fabric. I used calico, folded in half for extra strength. Pin it in place.

Carefully sew around all four edges of the scrap fabric, securing the looped end of your handle inside the fabric rectangle. I say carefully because you don't want to hit the needle of your sewing machine on the florist's wire! It will bend at the very least, and could break. You might want to hand stitch the top part. I manually wound my sewing machine to do it, because I'm a loser like that :P

Repeat for the other side of this handle, and then attach the other handle to the other end of your placemat. Tie off and trim all of your threads.

We're nearly there..!

Sew Up The Bag

 Fold your placemat right sides together so that the handles are at the same side and pin it in place.

Carefully sew down both sides of the placemat. Here I say carefully, because my sewing machine definitely did not appreciate it when I tried to get it to sew through the existing seam of the placemat - it was just too heavy duty for my needle! I found it best to sew just along the outside edge of the existing seam.

It looks pretty decent even before turning it the right way around, don't you think?

And when we do turn it the right way around, we get this:

Ta-da! Cheap and cheerful, quick and easy! Just my sort of project!

Monday, March 28, 2011

Mod My Blog Monday: Fun With Tabs

A few of you lovely bloggers have asked me how I get my tabs to be the colour that I want, so today I'm going to show you how to modify that and as a bonus I'm going to show you how to add non-page links to the pages gadget. It's all really easy, so if I don't make it clear enough, please let me know!

Before You Start

 As always, back up, back up, back up!

Changing Tab Background Colour

OK, this tutorial is based on you using the "Picture Window" template from Blogger. If changing your blog to that screws everything up, then.. umm.. Awkward?? 
But send me an email and I'll try and help you sort it out ;)

OK, so first, if it's not already using it, apply the "Picture Window" template to your blog.

Click the "design" tab then choose "template designer" (both in purple below):

When that loads, select the "Picture Window" template. If you look at the lower half of your screen, you'll see a preview of your blog with this template applied. If it looks OK, click "Apply To Blog". When it saves, click "Back to Blogger".

If it doesn't look OK, you can email me ;)

If you haven't already added pages to your blog, do it now. I'm assuming if this tutorial interests you, you've probably already done this ;) If not, click the "Posting" tab, then "Edit Pages" then "New Page" fill in a title, some info and save.

A side note that you can ignore:

Let's have a look in the template designer again ... 
If you've forgotten already, click "Design" then "Template Designer" ;)

If you click "Advanced" then "Tabs Background" in the image below, you'll see that by default, all the "Tabs Background" options are set to transparent. 

Leave them this way!

They don't really help us. What they do change is shown in the image below:
(Remember, you can look at a bigger version of any of these images by clicking on it)

The "Separator Color" changes the colour of the very edge of the tab.
You can choose something that offsets your tab
background colour if you want, or leave it transparent.

OK, you can pay attention again now..!

*** In next week's Mod My Blog I'll show you an even easier way to do this! ***

OK, let's get into it! Click the "Design" tab, then "Edit HTML" and then tick the "Expand Widget Templates" box. The page will reload.

In the text box, the HTML for your blog template is shown. Search for ".tabs-inner" until you find code that looks like this:

(You can search by hitting "Control" + "F" keys on your keyboard. Depending on your browser, a text box or pop up should appear somewhere. If you have trouble, let me know what browser you're using!)

I've highlighted the bit we're going to change

Replace the part that says ${tab.background} with the keyword or number that corresponds to the colour that you want (I'll explain a little more in a moment).

I also like to add a comment before and after the code that I change, so it's easy to find again next time. Since we're actually editing CSS, comments need to start with /** and end with **/

Now the code looks like this:

Click "Preview" below the big HTML text box. Your tabs will now look something like this:

You're so clever, go you! If you like it, click "Save" below the big HTML text box and your blog will be updated to reflect what you just did.

Colours in HTML

To define a colour in HTML, you can either use one of the predefined keywords (like I did in the example above with red) or you can use a hex code. There are lots of HTML colour guides and pickers online.

Here's one example. Visit HTML Color Codes and scroll down until you see the colour picker. Use the tool to select a colour that you like. The code in the red highlighted box below will change. Copy the code from that box.

Instead of using a colour keyword like "red" you can now use "#59BCDA" for the blue shown above, or "#RRGGBB" where RRGGBB is the code you copied from the box. Remember to keep the # though!

Adding a Non-Page Link

Here's your bonus, you lucky people you!

Back to that HTML text box, with the "Expand Widget Templates" box ticked as before!

Find the bit of code that looks like this:

(I search for "tabs" until I find it)

In the image below, 
PURPLE shows the opening and closing tags of the tab link list
BLUE shows the code that displays the links for the Blogger pages
GREEN is the code we're adding!

As before, I like to add a comment before and after the code I'm changing. Because we're now editing HTML code rather than CSS, the comment code starts with <!-- and ends with -->

In between my comment tags, we've got this:

<li> <A HREF="URL">Text</A> </li>

Replace URL with the web address of the page you're linking to. 
I recommend ;) Hehehe!

Replace Text with the clickable text you want to appear on your tab.

The green <li> and </li> tags are opening and closing list item tags. Your link code needs to go between these so it's added to the list of tabs.

The <A> and </A> tags are your link tags.

BIG TIP: If you want the page to load in a new tab, instead of over the top of the current page, add the target="_blank" attribute that we discussed last week! Now the code above would look like this:

<li> <A HREF="URL" TARGET="_blank">Text</A> </li>

We're done! Now you should have something that looks vaguely like this:

Hope that helps! Keep asking me your questions, I love it! :D

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Scrap Box Sunday: Link Party #2

I suppose it would help if I actually post this ;) I'll be featuring some of my favourites from this week and last week's link up in this week's Friday Favourites, so join in the fun!

Link up anything that you've made with scraps lying around your craft room! It doesn't have to be fabric scraps, it could be paper, ribbon, beads anything crafty! You've got until Thursday! 

Just display H&H's button somewhere on the post or in your sidebar, and link up!

I can't wait to see what you talented people come up with!

Scrap Box Sunday: Fabric Coasters

Welcome to the second Scrap Box Sunday!
(From now on the link party will be in a separate post, to keep things tidy!)

Today we're making scrappy coasters!

You will need:
* 4 squares of backing fabric
* 4 squares of sew-in interfacing (slightly smaller than the backing fabric)
* A stack of coordinating fabric scraps!
* Sewing machine, thread, scissors, iron, etc...

What to do:

Use your stack of scraps to plan out what your coasters are going to look like. I like to lay the pieces out on top of my backing fabric so I'm using the backing fabric as a size guide.

Remember to leave a seam allowance when you're cutting your scraps, and try to plan it so you can connect your scrappy pieces reasonably easily. For example, with this coaster, this is the order I would sew it together in:

Sew your scrappy pieces of fabric together and trim them into squares the same size as you're backing fabric.

Press the pieces, flattening the seams (I'm terrible at ironing aren't I??)

Put your backing fabric and scrappy piece together, right sides facing each other, and sew around three sides.

Remember to backstitch at both ends for strength.

(I can put pins in the right way around... sure.. *derpy*)

Clip the corners at a 45 degree angle so that when you turn it right side out, the corners are nice and crisp. Be careful not to cut your thread though.

Turn it right side out, push the corners out so they're nice and sharp, and press the coaster again.

Take your interfacing and slide it inside of your coaster. If you need to, trim the interfacing so it fits nicely and sits flat.

When the interfacing is in, you should have a bit of a gap between the interfacing and the edge of the fabric. 

This lets us roll the edges of the open side in, like so:

You might like to iron the edge down so make sure it stays folded in while you stitch.

Top stitch around the entire coaster, making sure you sew up the open edge.

Repeat these steps to make yourself a set of 4 coasters!
How's that for a scrap buster?

I need a cuppa now...

The next post hosts the link party, so go and enter your ideas! I'll feature some of my favourites of the first and second Scrap Box Sundays very very soon!

Friday, March 25, 2011

Favourite Things Friday: Space Invaders!

This week, an absolutely awesome package arrived in the mail for me!

See this?

This is pure awesome. Let me show you again.

Yes, that is a grey hair you can see.. *sigh*


I bought them from 2pm At The Button Factory, who make gorgeous fabric covered button accessories. 

Aren't these just perfect? Geek + Craft = LOVE

As soon as I opened the package I had to wear them! <3 I'm feeling the geektakular Space Invader love,  so here are some of my other favourite MadeIt and Etsy Space Invader finds!

Loom Beaded Earrings (MadeIt) - Set of 5 Mini Soaps (MadeIt) - Magnet Gift Set (Etsy)
Felt Brooch (Etsy) - Zip Pouch (Etsy) - iPad Soft Case (Etsy) - Felt Collages (Etsy)

Thursday, March 24, 2011

New Things in the Store!

If you like H&H on Facebook then you are clearly awesome! Oh, and you will have already seen these! ;)

** Prices reduced on many items in store! Check it out! **

YES! I do ship internationally! Contact me for a shipping estimate.
YES! I will do custom orders! Especially on these necklaces, I luuuurve making them!
YES! I can post an item on Etsy instead if that's easier for you!

Go and visit the Hazel & Honeysuckle MadeIt store to check out these items and our other pretty offerings, including a selection of glass tile pendants!

Now hurry over and like H&H on Facebook if you want to get an early look at the fabric flowers that the winner of the 100 Followers Giveaway will get to choose from in addition to receiving their pretty pendant! And of course, you should actually enter the giveaway if you haven't already ;) <3

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