I am a firm believer in the power of setting intentions. There has always been something magical for me about writing/drawing/stating goals that sets the universal wheels in motion and brings big dreams into the physical realm. The new year provides us with the perfect opportunity to meditate on what we want to bring more of into our life, what we want to release, and the concrete steps we can take to manifest our goals.
This year my goals are to finally bring the lovely wild into existence (yay!), meditate for at least 15 minutes every day, and practice photography by shooting every day until I have at least one image I sorta-kinda-almost like. What are your goals for 2016? What do you want to attract to your life?
It's easy to make resolutions, but often difficult to keep them in the forefront of our minds once the newness of the new year has worn off. What better way to gently remind of us these goals throughout the year than with a handmade piece of art hung lovingly in our home? And it's pretty! So there's that.
This simple DIY is the perfect way to spend a lazy afternoon with a cup of tea and can likely be made with whatever bobs and ends are rolling around the back of your craft drawer. If you don't have metal stamping supplies, no worries! You can write your intentions on craft paper, ribbons or wooden beads and attach them that way. Even if noone else can read them, you will know they are there and that's the whole point.
*Please note these are merely suggestions. Feel free to improvise and use whatever you have to hand. Embroidery hoops can easily be replaced with wire bent to form a circle, ribbons can be used instead of yarn, etc.
- 2 embroidery hoops of different sizes
- Natural wool yarn (about 1/2 a skein)
- 1.5 ft of wire
- Metal stamping alphabet
- Steel block
- Metal blanks
Step 1: Making the moon
Start by removing the inside hoops (the ones without the metal clasps) of both embroidery hoops. These will be the hoops to form your moon. Hold the smaller hoop against the inside of the larger hoop (shown above) and play with it until you find the crescent moon shape you want. The bigger the difference in size between the hoops, the larger your crescent will be. These were the only hoops I had on hand so my crescent is more of a sliver.
Once you have a shape you like, tightly wrap the wire around both hoops to hold them together. You can use a drop of hot glue between the hoops to help it hold if necessary, but the wire seemed to do the trick for me.
Step 2: Cutting lengths of yarn
Decide what length you would like the yarn tassels to be and multiply it by 2. I wanted my tassels to hang about 2 ft down from the moon, so I cut my yarn into roughly 4 ft length so they would be 2 ft when doubled. I wasn't sure how many lengths I would need, so I worked in chunks by cutting about 10 lengths of yarn at a time, attaching them, and then cutting again until it felt finished.
Step 3: Attaching tassels
Attaching the lengths of yarn is super simple. Fold your piece of yarn in half. Pull the halfway point (or loop side) through the inside of the bottom of the moon. Now bring the tail ends up, through the loop and pull tight so that tail ends trail down below. Thats it! Now push this tassel to the right and repeat the process with the rest of your yarn lengths. The best part of this project is that you can keep adjusting the spacing between loops as you go, and keep adding tassels until you reach your desired thickness/density.
Step 4: Adding texture
Once you have completed all your tassels, now we can add some texture. I braided a few strands and tied knots in strands here and there to add depth. Feel free to add beads, feathers, ribbons, whatever calls out to the raven in you.
Step 5: Preparing to stamp
Metal stamping! One of my most cherished gifts this holiday was a metal stamping alphabet from my ever-crafty mother and I have been looking for any excuse to try it out...can you tell?
Start by using masking tape to attach your metal blank to the steel block. Make sure the tape is straight, as you will use this as a guide for your letters. Next, take a marker and evenly mark a dot on the tape for each letter in the phrase you are stamping. If you are feeling really fancy, you can measure these out, but I'm more of a "wing-it" kinda gal and actually like the look of imperfections.
Step 6: Metal stamping
This was my first time stamping so I am by no means an expert, but it was definitely one of those instant gratification crafts! You may want to place your steel block with the taped blank on a book to dampen the noise a bit. Take your first letter stamp and line it up with the first dot you marked on the tape. I gave mine about 5 - 8 good whacks with a stamping hammer and it made a nice impression. Repeat the process with the rest of your letters, using the tape as a guide to keeping them straight and even. If you miss a part of a letter, you can try to slip the stamp back in the impression and give it a few more whacks. I just love the imperfect handmade feel of these!
Step 7: Attaching intentions
My blanks came with holes pre-drilled, but it would be easy enough to drill a small hole if yours did not. I attached my stamped intentions with a little leftover wire wrapped around the bottom of the moon, in between the yarn tassels. I played with pushing the tassels around until they mostly hid the wire.
Step 8: Hang and manifest
That's it! Now hang your lovely New Year Moon Intention hanging somewhere you will see it daily and smile. Here's to good luck and good health in 2016!
Thanks so much for stopping by.