Not seeing a Scroll to Top Button? Go to our FAQ page for more info. Northbrook Designs: September 2017

Sunday, September 24, 2017

Shabby Rose Fairies 2017

As promised, here are the Shabby Rose fairies for this year. I used approx. 23 different fabrics, and a few one offs. There are mostly two fairies for each fabric and those few one offs. For each set on fairy is flying with straight legs, the other will bent legs.

Their wings are made with a combination of feathers, floral spray leaves, and floral spray flower petals. I buy them at different times of the year, but at Christmas time I look for the flowers because of all the glitter and other effects they are treated with. I think the shop owners are getting used to me coming in for them, they know they are going to be dismantled.  ;o)

The other embellishments are seed beads for wrist and ankle bracelets and the faux perfume bottles I showed in a previous post.

Here you go with the parade of fairies, and at the end, you’ll see how I have half of them hanging on the tree (even through the nose ring), waiting to go to the gallery on Tuesday… You can hardly even see the tree anymore, the fairies are everywhere. lol  A little hard to photograph to do them justice. I would normally pin them to the board, but this time I didn’t put hanging cords on them, just regular hangers. Look in a previous post to see them, they are really pretty gold scroll hangers. I laid them in groups to photograph them. Hopefully you can see them well enough. Enjoy. ;o)


Saturday, September 23, 2017

Tree Fairies or A Fairy Tree?

After a lot of fussing and tweaking and repeat, the tree was dressed with fairies. Then I noticed a glaring blank spot between the nose and the top, so another branch had to be added. I used a pattern by Brenda Coulter, but enlarged it by about 150%, so that it stands approx. 27” tall. Click HERE for Brenda’s Etsy shop. The pattern costs next to nothing, but was just the absolute best thing.

I did the branches a little differently, not by a lot, but because the fairies are displayed there, they had to be carefully placed so the fairies weren’t crashing into each other. Here’s the front view, can you see the face?

Using a selection of batik fabrics, I cut squares for the body and made a patchwork effect piece of material. After cutting out the pattern, you can see how they morphed and formed some nice curved lines, rather than just straight up and down. The branches are made from full pieces of batik, not pieced.


Here’s a profile picture. I haven’t put branches on the back side because this way it can go up against the wall and will hopefully not stick out too much. With lots of visitors at the gallery show/sale, I don’t want people bumping into it and the fairies would be most upset if they got knocked off.


I didn’t do any sculpting on the face, just applied the eyes and eyelids and stuffed the nose well. On the branches, I stitched on split rings to hang the ornaments from, even gave him a nose ring, just couldn’t help myself. ;o)


The finishing touch was to glue on some moss pieces here and there to give the tree a bit of a woodsy feel. Tomorrow I’ll post the pictures of the fairies and how they look on the tree. Half of the fairies will go to the gallery on Tuesday, the rest as needed throughout the 3 month show, along with a few Christmas themed ones. See you tomorrow… ;o)


Thursday, September 7, 2017

Beaded Watering Can

Another day another project. This time I took my inspiration from a Pinterest image. Click HERE. Sometimes there is just that one thing that catches your eye and you can’t forget it. I have it hanging outside now and I really love how it came together.

I will have to bring it in when the rainy season begins. We get a lot of rain and because of that, algae tends to grow. I don’t want that all over the beads and crystals. Might give it that aged look, but not this time and not this project. The cracked glass beads I found on this SITE, and there is so much to see there, it’s a great place to hang out. The shipping is very fast, I think they must have a US source to ship from, because they are based in China. The prices are very good and having ordered a few times, I can say with confidence that they are reliable.

I had a bit of a puzzle to figure out how to attach the strands of beads to the spout. After trying a few different ways, I finally settled on feeding the fishing line (use a heavier brand if you decide to do this), from the bottom up of each strand. I added the tiny bead at the bottom and then ran a double line of cord through the beads.

Then I fed those through the holes in the spout and out through the back of the spout. Good thing the spouts come off. Then I had to use a large eye, long needle to feed the cord back through the holes in the center of the spout to come out at the front. I added a small bead and a crimp and that’s how I did each one. When they are hanging down, you can’t really see the center unless you go looking for it.

I didn’t go into each hole on the outside edge, instead, every other one. There are two strands of each colour combination and in the very center hole, i added two strands of faux crystal beads just to hide the crimped beads a little. Hope you like this and think about trying it yourself. I found the watering can for $20 at a local garden center and I plan to leave it the aluminum colour it is. If sometime down the road it becomes tarnished, I will consider painting it then. Enjoy… ;o)


Wednesday, September 6, 2017

New Pillows

You know those bonus points programs many places have??? I decided to take advantage of them a couple of weeks ago. Our local grocer, Save On Foods took over from Safeway about 3 years ago. At the beginning we were getting tons of points, the staff were mistakenly giving double points, so my points grew exponentially. And thank you for that. Now it’s a slower accumulation, but I still have my eye on a couple more items with my points. ;o)

I cashed in enough points to buy three items. One of those items was this what I’m calling my new Winter White coverlet and pillow shams.


Once the bed was made, it looked pretty impressive, all bright and fresh. But it was missing something. So I quickly ran through my mind to my fabric stash and remembered I had some upholstery style fabric that would be pretty much perfect for new pillows, and it’s more of an antique white with a tiny pink flower here and there, and embossed with a floral print the colour of the fabric, a good contrast to the leaf pattern in the coverlet and the bright white of the coverlet and shams.

If you’re not a sewer, pillows are probably on the list of the easiest possible projects you can make. How do you make them:

1: Measure your pillow along one side, they are generally square. These ones are 16” square.

2: Cut your fabric 1” larger on all sides to allow for seam allowance. In this case, I was able to cut two long strips 17” X 34”, otherwise, just double you fabric right sides together and cut them out. Remember: Measure twice, cut once. I serged around the edges as this kind of fabric can easily fray. Use a zig zag on a regular machine.

3. Pin the sides together and sew around three sides. Decide what you are going to do along the 4th edge. You can add snaps, fancy closures or just whatever suits you. If you don’t want to add anything, then just leave the center open on the last side approx. half the length of side, tuck in the pillow and stitch closed.

I chose to just sew buttons along the top edge. Easy to remove for washing and reapply. Sew a 1/2” seam if using this type of fabric, cottons won’t fray so 1/4” seams will work. Adjust the size you cut your fabric if using cotton, it will be slightly smaller.

4. Pillows done. The edge is folded in 1/2”. I pulled out stash buttons and found 2 each of 4 different styles. What do you think???  I made two of these.


I also had a big bolster pillow that needed a refresh and I had enough fabric for that too. For non sewers, just measure the length and diameter. Add 1” to diameter for 1/2” seam allowance. On the ends of the bolster, I allowed an extra 2 1/2” so I could gather the end and draw it into the center. I finished the edges with my serger, but again, a zig zag stitch will work just as well.

After sewing the long seam, tuck the pillow in. Make sure it’s centered in the tube. Take some button thread and do a running stitch and begin pulling the gathers into the center. I went around twice so the gathers come right to the center with only a small opening remaining. Fasten off securely.


I found two wooden coasters just the right size ( i really enjoy my stash ;o~ …treasures that always get used at some time). The fabric is cut at least 1” larger than the wooden coasters. With button thread, gather the excess fabric to the underside, stitch around a couple of times. It won’t come to the center, but make sure it’s a tight fit as you will be sewing it to the pillow. Once they were gathered, I pinned them onto the ends catching in the fabric.

To finish attaching them, I just used a ladder stitch and went around a couple of times, sewing along the edge of the circle and catching just the fabric, and making sure to only catch the fabric and not the pillow. The final touch was to pull out some tassels I got at the dollar store ages ago. The cord is glued on. Wrap it first to see what look you want. You might prefer to put the tassels on the ends but in the center.

Do whatever suits you. Mine is wrapped around the wooden coasters a couple of times, glued on and finished by wrapping the remaining cord around itself. If you do this. let it dry well overnight and use a sturdy glue like FabriTac or similar. If I do need to wash this, I can just open the center seam halfway, pull out the bolster and give the cover a quick gentle wash, being sure not to dunk the ends in the water, and just gently wipe the ends with a damp cloth. Stuff the bolster back into the cover when fully dry and stitch the seam closed.


Here’s the finished project. Love them, they look so girly. Hubby is very accepting…;o) I am now working on a DYI project for the garden, post to come very soon… Enjoy.



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