SMP Craft
13 Oct

How-To Tuesday: Rock Chick Eyes from Simply Glamorous

If you’re too busy to knit yourself a proper Halloween costume this year, why not put the spooky spotlight on your soul-windows by bringing out your inner rock goddess? In celebrity make-up artist Gary Cockerill’s Simply Glamorous: Make-up Transformations to Make You Look & Feel Fabulous, you’ll find all the makeup tips you need–for day, night, work, happy hour, Halloween–and every time in between. And lucky you, it’s on sale today!

Photo by Vikki GrantWith Gary’s friendly, down-to-earth approach, he demystifies make-up and reveals the best products and application techniques to make anyone red-carpet ready. He begins by showing the power of make-up in creating an illusion, whether it’s to enhance the features you like or to draw the eye away from those you don’t. Gary then takes us step-by-step through a series of breathtaking makeovers on a range of “real” women of all ages, demonstrating the transformative power of cosmetics and explaining how to make up a look to suit any face shape, features, color, or age. Simply Glamorous is packed with useful tricks and practical tips by one of the industry’s leading experts.

To kick off the holiday spirit (mmmget it?), we’re giving away one of the book’s make-up projects so you can replicate this ultra-cool look at home. Click on the link below to download the PDF (and you might also want to brush up on your air guitar).

Download your free project!

For this and other cool make-up projects, buy your copy of Simply Glamorous today.

Simply Glamorous
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12 Oct

Halloween Crafts: Raven Wreath and Hitchcock’s Birds Costume

Once upon a midnight dreary, while I pondered, weak and weary,

Over many a quaint and curious volume of forgotten lore,

While I nodded, nearly napping, suddenly there came a tapping,

As of some one gently rapping, rapping at my chamber door.’

Tis some visitor,’ I muttered, ‘tapping at my chamber door

Only this, and nothing more.’

–from The Raven, Edgar Allan Poe

the-birds-alfred-hitchcock

The Birds: Alfred Hitchcock

I can’t help but recall Edgar Allen Poe and Alfred Hitchcock whenever I see ravens or crows. It can be day or night. They can be alone or in a flock. In flight, still, gathered… no matter. There’s always a little something chilling about them.

With Halloween and the Day of the Dead around the corner, I’m going to pay homage to these black winged creatures and use decorative ravens and crows to recreate Tippi Hedren’s character in The Birds and decorate my door with a Raven Wreath.

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By the way, do you know how to tell the difference between ravens and crows?

crow-raven-285-tgrey

Via Audubon.org

A podcast via the Audubon Society provides some clues: ravens are larger than crows–“the size of a red-tailed hawk”– and tend to move along in pairs whereas crows are found in larger groups. Crows caw and ravens croak.

Raven Wreath

Raven Wreath via Nook17.com

Caw! Caw! Caw! Croak! Croak! Happy crafting!

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30 Oct

Kwik Sew Harley Quinn Halloween Costume by Angela Craft

Today’s SMP Craft piece is written by special guest blogger Digital Marketing Manager Angela Craft AKA Batman villain Harley Quinn!

It’s been an exciting fall for comic book fans! Between new superhero shows like The Flash and Constantine and the huge Marvel Phase 3 announcements, there’s never been a better time to love comics and media. To celebrate the superhero spirit, as well as Halloween, this year I’m dressing up as Batman villain Harley Quinn, and making the costume from scratch.

Harley Quinn has many incarnations, so for this costume I drew my inspiration from the animated DC film Assault on Arkham, creating a Harley costume that wouldn’t leave me freezing in New York City in late October. The base costume is from two Kwik Sew patterns, meaning that from start to finish assembling the costume can be done in just a few hours. The top is Kwik Sew KP-3497 (view C), and the leggings are Kwik Sew KP-3636 (view A – stirrup pants may be passé but I want to keep the pants effortlessly tucked into my boots all night!). I used stretch jersey knit in burgundy and black, about a yard total of each.

Harley-Quin-ArkhamACHarleyQuinnHarley Quinn suppliesThe trickiest part of the costume is putting together the patchwork effect of the top. The trick is to sew your two colors of fabric together before making the first cut. Fold your fabric along the seam, and place the edge of the pattern on that fold just like you would normally. The leggings were easier, as each leg is one piece of fabric, so I could cut one of each color.

The final details are the collar and arm warmers. The collar is cut from a square of fabric as wide as my shoulders, with a triangle pattern cut into it. I’ve bulked it up a little bit with peel-and-stick felt. And while patterns for arm warmers exist, I simply sewed two tubes of fabric and cut holes for my thumbs.

Accessorize with a blonde pigtail wig (not pictured) and a maniacal smile!

Happy Geeky Halloween!

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21 Oct

How to Tuesday: Mason Jar Luminaries!

This week we were lucky enough to have the lovely Lizzie Poteet guest post for us. Lizzie is an assistant editor at St. Martin’s Press.

After years of living on top of my neighbors in a Manhattan high rise where the term “outdoor space” referred to a courtyard you share with 100 other people and where to get any sort of greenery you have to go to the often smelly park down the block—after years of this Urban Life, I’ve finally moved. To Brooklyn. The land of milk and honey for people who want to live in New York, but not live in New York. My new place is precious—high ceilings, older building, brick walls, and more importantly outdoor space. Glorious, private, just for me outdoor space. My backyard is a strip of concrete with a garden bed, but it’s mine, and so in honor of Halloween and moving, I decided what better way to share my good fortune than to host a housewarming pumpkin carving party?

Well known fact one: moving is expensive. Well known fact two: parties can be expensive. Well known fact three: crafting is fun. So in honor of Halloween and outdoor parties, let’s talk about how you can use items around your house to make some kickass party decorations for this spooky season.

Mason Jar Luminaries:

I saw an idea for this floating around Pinterest and immediately thought “I can do that.” The idea is to take mason jars—or if you’re thrifty like me and want to save those mason jars for pickling, you can upcycle that mostly empty jar of salsa in the fridge—and paint their outsides fun festive colors so that when you put a candle in them, they let off this pretty, colorful glow. Check out this one I found on the Crafts by Amanda blog.

However, most of the luminaries I saw online were very childish. Jack-o’-lanterns and ghouls, and being a twenty-something without children, I wanted something a tad classier. So I whipped out my copy of Stencil It and got to work. Once my basecoat was dried (aptly named “pumpkin spice”), I secured my stencil….and failed. Miserably.

Two things I learned: You really should invest in a stencil brush to get the best results. And if you fail, acrylic paint on glass scrapes right off.

In the end, I decided to go Banksy/creepy with a little Russian doll luminary.

What you need:

Acrylic paint of your choice
Mason Jar
Brushes
Krylon Clear Glaze
Stencil
Candle (one that is small enough to fit in a mason jar but large enough to stand on its own)

Step One: Paint the outside of your mason jar a solid color making sure to get an even layer of paint. When the paint dries, it’ll probably look streaky and the perfectionist in you will be severely tempted to add a second coat. Resist the temptation. Let it dry.

Step Two: Tape down your stencil of choice onto the mason jar and dab paint onto the area. Stencil It will have useful hints on how to not mess up like me.

Step Three: Let the paint dry and then spray it down with the glaze. Add the candle and enjoy!

 

IMG_4778            IMG_4780           IMG_4798

 stencil it
Buy a copy of Stencil It and get started today!

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Check out our October and November titles!

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14 Oct

How-to Tuesday: Fabric Pumpkins!

I’m not a fan of Halloween but I’ve always had a soft spot in my heart (and stomach) for pumpkins. Maybe it comes from watching Cinderella so many times as a little girl, or the numerous field trips to the pumpkin patch followed by roasting seeds, but the reappearance of pumpkins is a bright spot in October for me. So when I came across how to make fabric pumpkins on Me and My Shadow, I couldn’t resist the urge to make my very own pumpkin patch. Special thanks goes to Michelle Cashman, one of our guest posters who is a crafting guru.

materialsSupplies
– Orange material
– Green material
– Yellow/light orange embroidery floss
– Green embroidery floss
– Sewing needle (preferably a long one, size 16 or bigger)
– Polyester filling
– Scissors

 

step 2      step3     step 4

step 5     step 6     step 7

step 8     step 9      step 10

            finished one

Step 1. Cut your orange fabric into a rectangle. The size doesn’t matter as long as it is twice as long as it is wide. The pumpkins above were 8″x16″, 6″x12″,     and 4″x8″. We also tried out different material for each pumpkin. The biggest was made with orange felt, the polka dotted with cotton fabric, and the smallest came from t-shirt scraps. Once your material is cut, fold it in half making a square. The inside of your pumpkin is now showing.

Step 2. Using only three strands of the floss, take your yellow-orange floss and stitch the right sides of the square together.  This works best if you use a very long piece to keep using for the whole pumpkin

Step 3. After stitching the right sides together, move to the bottom of the square and sew a running stitch going all the way around the bottom. Once you go all the way around, pull the thread taut creating a pouch. Sew some back stitches to keep in place and turn the material right side out.

Step 4. Stuff the pouch with the polyester filling. This craft works best with stretchy material so don’t be afraid to really stuff those pumpkins!

Step 5. Just as before, sew a running stitch along the top of the pouch. Pull taut and sew a few stitches to keep in place. If you have a little  extra fabric and don’t want to stuff your pumpkin anymore, just tuck in the edges into the pouch and sew shut.

Step 6. Take the needle through the center and come out through the bottom. Repeat this step a few times to have the pumpkin take shape.

Step 7. This step requires a lot of thread or floss so I would check to to make sure you have enough to circle the pumpkin five or so times. Take the needle around the outside of the pumpkin and come back through the bottom giving the pumpkin one of its signature ridges. Repeat as many times as you’d like to finish the pumpkin shape. Knot and cut your floss.

Step 8. To make the stem: cut your green material into a small rectangle and roll it into a sausage shape. We used felt for our stems. Thread your needle with green floss (using 1 or 2 strands) and wrap it around the stem sporadically from top to bottom.

Step 9. Sew the stem to the top of the pumpkin. Make sure it’s secure before knotting and cutting.

This craft is doable despite your sewing experience. I have never sewed anything besides the occasional cross-stitch and with Michelle’s guidance was able to make my own pumpkin. When making your own pumpkin patch, experiment with different material and don’t be afraid to mix up the colors and patterns. The orange polka dotted pumpkin was our favorite!

all pumpkins

 

Check out our October and November titles!

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CAUGHT CRAFTING: SMPCraft’s Spotlight on NYC Crafting

SMPCRAFT #CAUGHTCRAFTING Thursday morning, Astoria, Queens. Accessorizing with a lovely temporary floral tattoo she learned to make from DIY Temporary Tattoos: Draw It, Print It, Ink It by Pepper Baldwin!

PROJECT OF THE MONTH: JUNE DIY Father’s Day Gifts to MAKE NOW

PROJECT OF THE MONTH: JUNE DIY Father’s Day Gifts to MAKE NOW

Father's Day is less than three weeks away -- Sunday, June 19th in the U.S. -- just enough time to start prepping for what would make dear old pops feel loved....What dad, what MAN, wouldn't want to get a bright red tool box full of homemade BBQ, bacon, and chili flavored chocolate? Or a handmade Paracord hammock? Does he play golf?--hand dipped tees? Does he like to hike? Enjoy nature and the great outdoors? How about homemade beef jerky? Or does he enjoy watching sports--Remote Control Cookie? What about beer? One of the coolest new items coming out of Japan is a Frozen Beer Slushy Maker by Kirin Ichiban that perfectly pairs with the DIY black and tan soap! Scroll and click for more homemade DIY Father's Day gift ideas sure to make pappy happy! Hashtag #SMPCRAFT #DIYFATHERSDAY!

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