Tuesday, November 25, 2014

How to String Top Down/Bottom Up Roman Shade

Finally I found a moment to write some notes about how to string a top down/bottom up roman shade. A few readers have asked me questions about this and there don't seem to be any good tips online. Besides, I need to jot this down so I don't forget myself!

This illustration I just made doesn't read as clear as I thought it would. The orange lines represent the cords that lower the top down. The gold lines are the ones that pull the bottom up. Green dots are where you would put the lift rings for the top down cord. Blue dots are lift rings for bottom up cord. 

To measure the amount of cord you need. 

Use this diagram when measuring the length of cord needed for your shade. Measure cord after you have sewn on the lift rings. 

For the cord that pulls the bottom up: run cord from the lowest lift ring up to the top of the shade, then across the top to the right upper corner of shade, then extend the cord as long as you would like to have it hanging when the shade is fully lowered. Repeat this step with any additional cording you will need (the wider the shade, the more rows of cord you will need). The cord will be shorter the closer the row of lift rings is to the left edge of the shade, because it does not need to travel as far across the top of the shade. 

To measure the cord that lowers the top up and down: Run cord from the very top lift rings that will only attach to the top down cords. Then run the cord across the top of the shade to the upper left corner. Extend the cord all the way down to the bottom of the shade, then for the additional length that you want your cord to dangle when the top of your shade is fully lowered. Repeat this step with any additional cording you will need (the wider the shade, the more rows of cord you will need). The cord will be shorter the closer the row of lift rings is to the left edge of the shade, because it does not need to travel as far across the top of the shade. 

Of course, you can choose which side you would like to have your cord handle run out from the shade. For this tutorial, I have the top down cords running out to the left and the bottom up cords running out to the right. Another thing to remember: this diagram shows the back of the shade. Once the shade is mounted. The cords that lift the top down will hang on the right side and, you guessed it, the cords that lift the bottom of the shade will hang on the left side. 

To string the shade.

For bottom up cords: Knot the end of cord to the lowest lift ring. Run the cord up through the lift rings directly above the bottom lift ring. Do not run it through the very top lift ring (the green ones in the diagram). You will then run the cord through the pulleys that were drilled into the mounting board. One row will be for the bottom up cords, the other is for the top down cords. Continue running the cord across the mounting board pulleys and then through the cord lock (if you are using one). Running string through a cord lock takes a little practice. I'll try and get more details up about that later. 

Continue stringing the other rows the same way. All cords should run through the same pulleys and cord lock. Once all your cords have been run through, you can attach a cord handle and knot the cords so the handle stays in place. 

You may find it easier to run the cords through the pulleys and cord lock after you have drilled the mounting board onto the window, but I prefer to do it while everything is laying down flat on the floor or table. 

For the top down cords: Knot the end of the cord to those lift rings at the very top of the shade (marked green on the diagram). The lift rings should be sewn on securely just below the top seam of the stiffener board. Run them through the other set of pulleys and cord lock just as you did with the bottom up cords. Attach the cord handle just as you did with the other set of cords. 

Hope this helps some of you out! 

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Sunday, September 21, 2014

DIY U.S. Map Canvas Art

I think I may have left you in Gary, Indiana a little too long. See my last post if you have no idea what I'm talking about. Sorry about that.

The green room/guest room/craft room has been getting a little bit of an overhaul and it's inspired me to spend a little more time in there.

My dye cutting machine, which lives in this room, hasn't been used in several months, so I thought I'd get cracking on a few new paper craft projects. I'd been wanting to make some map art for a while and today was the day!

What I used for this project:
8x10 canvas (I bought a pack of 10 at Michael's for only $10 with a coupon)
Die cutting machine (mine is a Silhouette Cameo)
An SVG US map file (I used "US States" by BasicGrey, available from the Silhouette online store)
12x12 card stock in various colors
Acrylic paint and brush (pink shown here)
Gel medium (or Mod Podge)

So to start, you'll need to download an SVG file of the U.S. states and open up your Silhouette software. 

Here's what the pattern I chose looks like in the shop (below). 

If you'd like to go global (as I intend to do next week), here's a good option: "world map" by Cali Arroyo. That's also available at the Silhouette online store. 

Pull up the file in your design area. Make sure your cut settings are set for the type of paper you are using, adjust your blade and cut on your first color of card stock. You could definitely enlarge the map, but don't make it any smaller! Rhode Island was a difficult cut for my machine to make at the set size. 

Pull out all the states and use the rest of the paper as a template when you go to lay down the different colors states on a canvas. 

Next. you'll want to highlight the map and then click on the "ungroup selected shapes" button at the bottom left. 
Click individual states that you do not want to cut on the second round and drag them off to the side (see below). After cutting, erase those states and drag the next round into the printing area. 

I tried to make sure that no border states were the same color, although I didn't completely succeed there. 
While laying them out on a blank canvas, I noticed that some of the states were either a little bent out of shape or just completely cut in half (my cutting machine definitely messed with Texas!). So I went back and cut the imperfect states again and got those looking good.
 On a another canvas, I took a tiny bit of pink acrylic paint and watered it down heavily before brushing it over the canvas for a light pink wash. Then I let it dry. 
 Now it's time to stick the states onto the canvas. I used Golden gel medium, which is like the artist's version of Mod Podge. If you're ever at an art supply store and they don't carry Mod Podge, you can go for the gel medium. It does the job. And does it very well I might add.

Whichever you choose, gel medium or Mod Podge, be sure to get some gel on the canvas and on top of each piece of paper.

I didn't think to use the template until after I finished, so I just eyeballed the placement of the states. 
 My U.S. map art is drying in the craft room, but will soon be moved to the girls' room (which is also getting a little makeover.). 
 Hope you liked that! See you next time. 

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Urban Exploring

These are some picture I took of an abandon Methodist church in Gary, Indiana. We stopped there on the way to Michigan.

The church was abandoned in the 70s and has been decaying ever since. I really wanted to go inside to take pictures, but you need a permit for that. 

Monday, September 1, 2014

Labor Day Bike Ride

 We went for a bike ride on the Milwaukee River bike path as soon as the sun poked through the clouds on Monday. 

 A seat at Colectivo cafĂ© by the lake. 
 Johnny's Day at the Beach, a colorful ice cream shack. 

 Soaking up every last drop of warm sunshine before fall weather comes to town. 

Friday, August 29, 2014

Upcycled Gift Tags

Hmmm. What to do with this old gift bag? How about making some cute gift tags? 
 This bag had a really cute floral motif, so I cut out all the flowers that weren't on folds. 
 Then I whipped out my Memory Keeper's Crop-A-Dile eyelet setter. I bought this tool last year at Michael's (with the 40% off coupon) because I wanted to make block printed gift tags for my Etsy shop and I wasn't having any luck with those anvil kits.

If the anvil kit is a Hyundai, a Crop-A-Dile is a Jaguar. Not that I have that much experience driving a Jag and I can't really complain about the Hyundai, but you get the idea. 
 To set an eyelet, you first need to punch a hole at a six that coordinates with your eyelet. Then, after switching the cube to the right size, you push the eyelet through the paper and place it in the setting tool. Then you just press down and viola! 
String some twine through the eyelets and you've got a nice set of tags!