Friday, October 7, 2011 at 10:54 a.m.
Before Astrid Guri Olafsen began selling her handmade creations, she was a scientist with a degree in botany. For 16 years, she was doing research for the Barrow Neurological Institute in Phoenix.
"This is the artistic part of my life," she says. "It's a different aspect of who I am."
Olafsen says she's been sewing since she was 4-years-old. She's been selling her clothing online since 2004, and also sells handmade accessories through her RunzwithScissors line
Olafsen met with us and gave us a rundown on how her popular flower petal hairclips are made.
-A roll of organza fabric.
-Needle and thread.
1. To begin, Olafsen cuts off an 8-inch by 12-inch piece from her roll of organza fabric (this will be used to cut your hairpin's "flower petals" from).
2. Next, Olafsen cuts a series of seven circles from the fabric. Olafsen says the easiest way to do this is to cut out square pieces first and cut them into the shape of a circle from there.
*Each square cut out should be slightly smaller than the last, says Olafsen. So if your first square is 4-inch by 4-inch, the next one should be 3 ¾-inch by 3 ¾-inch, and so forth.
3. After cutting out the seven circles from the fabric, Olafsen lights a candle and sets it on a sturdy surface.
She says it's important that the fire be controlled, so do it in an enclose space so the flame isn't whipping around because of the wind.
4. Olafsen then holds the edges of the circle fabric cutouts against the fire. The flame singes the fabric, giving it the appearance of a flower petal.
5. Next, Olafsen arranges the petals on top of each other from largest to smallest so that they take the shape of a flower.
6. Using a pin, Olafsen pins the pieces together through the middle to hold them in place.
7. After pinning the petals together, Olafsen chooses beads for the center of the piece. These will be the pollen of the flower.
"Three 1/8-in pearl beads look nice," she says.
8. Olafsen then threads a needle with one yard of thread the same color of the petals.
9. Using the needle, Olafsen sews the beads onto the flower.
10. Next, Olafsen removes the pin and locks the stitches on the back with the thread.
11. Now that the organza flower is complete, Olafsn sews a hair clip to the back of the flower.
Olafsen's handmade hair clips can be purchase at Indie Arthouse and her Etsy store.
To learn more about Astrid Guri Olafsen and her other projects (she has a screen-printed t-shirt line called SafetyThird
), visit her website
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