Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Shop Swap fun!

Over at oh,hello friend Danni has started a Shop Swap and it looks like loads of fun!  I checked out a few of the participants' shops and there is some good stuff out there.  It will be like Christmas in February!   Join us!!!!!

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Flowers and a crewel owl

 One of the first arts I learned was stamped cross stitch when I was really young.  Since then I have learned many needle arts, but my favorite is crewel.  I have not worked a crewel piece since the kids were little.   I used to take them to the "duck pond" (a park in Glendale, AZ) and while they were skating and feeding the ducks I would work on an embroidery piece.  After sorting through my many, many UFOs last month I pulled out this owl piece to make for April's birthday.  All hopes of completing it by the 20th of this month were dashed when I really looked at the instructions and found that all of the snow sections were *gasp* turkey work.  This stitch is very time consuming and labor intensive and look at all the snow!!!!!!!!  I started it on the first and finished it last week.  Not bad!  The embroidery work is complete, but I still need to back it and get it ready to take with me in 3 weeks.
 A close up of the owl and the SNOW:
 Cleaning off my table I found a Quilting Arts magazine (April/May 2011 issue) in which I had marked a project that caught my eye.  That led to sorting my small fabric scraps (which is so handy now, I'm glad I took the time) in order to have color schemes for this project.  I played with several color combinations since I had my machine set up for free motion embroidery.  I have one background piece left to work on then I can decide what I want to do with these pieces.  They are approximately 6 inch square since I already had some batting cut in that size.  Needless to say even though I've made four of these so far I STILL haven't made much of a dent in my supplies............ I keep trying!  
Green flowers and purple dots:

 Blue flowers and red dots:
 I think this is my favorite so far:  Yellow flowers and pink dots:
Close up of the flower:
Pink flowers and green dots:
 I had leftover circles from the pieces so I played with them on the felted cover I had made a while back.  I like the flowers and think I'll use them as much as possible:

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Duct tape, paint, stitch............

It's been a busy week........... still cleaning, sorting, moving, burning, etc. all of the stuff I don't want anymore............ got rid of lots, but still have lots............. 
I made some simple books from game cards and Anne Geddes greeting cards using duct tape for the spines.    I like using duct tape and I have rolls in many colors to choose from.  The sad thing is each book takes so little that I'm not making much of a dent in my supplies.
 The recent issue of Quilting Arts had a cool tutorial for surface design on fabric (which didn't really work so I made up my own instructions!).  I painted muslin and some distressed cheesecloth and sewed them together.  The pieces are in my "cover" pile to be turned into books in the near future.  I used blue and green for this batch and have purple/pink drying in the studio right now.  There is leftover cheesecloth that will be used in other projects somehow.  An overall view:
The distressed cheesecloth and stitiching:
I did use some of the cheesecloth with some of my dyed muslin:

 With some of the other dyed muslin in my stash I practiced free motion stitching ( this is a swirl flower pattern) for some more covers:
Close up:

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Corset File Folder Journal

 I made six large (4X6) and 4 small (3 X 3) journals yesterday as well as designing two more (think sweater ruffles!) so I'm on a roll!  I'm listing one journal per day on Etsy (I've heard this is a good way to keep your shop "out there") so today is the Corset journal.  I've had these stickers for eons and what have I been saving them for?  Geesh.......... my whole studio consists of "what have I been saving this for" stuff........USE IT!  I think I'll make that my mantra this year.........USE IT, USE IT, USE IT!  If nothing else April will have less shit crap , er.... stuff (yeah, that's it: stuff) to sort through in 50 years when I die!  Anyway, here is the cover:
A close-up of the corner sticker and purse charm on the spine.
No pics of the cardstock pages, but they coordinate with the cover colors.  Each of the journals (small and large) have 12 pages (24 sides).  This 4X6 sells for $6.00 + $1.50 shipping.  I'm off to finish some more projects!  Stay tuned..............

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Trying to De-Stash

 It would come as no shock if I were to tell you that I have waaaaayyyyy too much stuff here.  The problem is that I can't focus or find anything when I want to create.  It will probably take me eons to really de-stash, but I have to start somewhere.  After cleaning through my collage materials and stickers, making a list (partial) of things I have waaaayyy too much of, and then creating a list (again, partial) of ideas for these items I dove in and made some journals.  It really is an assembly line process, but I am making headway (ok, barely, but.......... I've got to start somewhere!).  I have a shitload ton of decorative file folders so I took some coordinating cardstock from my ginormous stash and started cutting...... and cutting......... and cutting, then folding..... folding....... folding to make these small (appr. 4 x 6) journals.  I raided what was left of my stickers and then dumped out my charms.  I've made 15 so far and many more in the studio that need to be bound, but like I said, I've at least gotten started.  Have I made a dent in my stash?  Meh.......... not enough.  *heavy sigh*  
Anyway.......... I think they came out cute and I did use some of my supplies!
I'll be listing one a day on Etsy.  Here's the first one:
 Each book has colored cardstock pages which coordinate with the cover and a charm on the spine:
I didn't take a photo of the pages for each book (it was cold outside!) but trust me, they coordinate.  Here's the sample photo I took to give you an idea:
The 4 X 6 journals are $6.00 each so go get one on Etsy!

Thursday, January 12, 2012

I'm still having fun over at the STITCHED workshops.  I created my version of Tracie Lampe's Bohemian Bag from her awesome workshop.  It only took two sweaters as they were large ones.  I'll be using this big boy as a tote when I visit my daughter in AZ next month.  Should work nicely to hold all my travel crap goodies!  The next one will be a tad bit smaller so I can use it as a purse.  I LOVE the curly edges and must do something else with that technique.  
I felt the gray and brownish colors were a tad "boring" so I added a pop of red from a fulled wool sweater.  I think the sweater balls beads are cute!  These are at the base of the strap.
I added a twist by sewing several small leftover strips to the front under the bead closure to look like a bow.  The bag closes with an elastic loop and the red bead.
 It's time for YOU to have some fun, make some cool projects, learn new techniques, and maybe win some prizes.... click here for more information on how you can become a member of the SITICHED family!

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Another what?

If you guess another journal, why you'd be correct!  I've found that making a reasonable to-do list each night before going to bed keeps me relatively focused the next day.  By "reasonable" I mean I don't write down things like: make a journal, finish 3 projects.  I make the goals things that really need to be done or finished.  For example I'll put "find and cut pages for journal" and most likely will do more than that, but if I don't at least I've made progress.  I have a Creativity Journal that I record what I've done artistically during each day.  Since this is my "job" now I need to see that I'm making progress and not just piddling around all day.  With my list in front of me I'm less likely to literally spin in a circle and ask myself "What now?" and walk back out of my studio.  Some of my goals involve actively promoting my art and I feel I've made good progress in that area as well.  2012 is off to a good start!
The new journal is similar to my last two so it may look familiar.  The rosette is burgundy moirĂ© taffeta this time and burlap backing.  
 The rosette framed by gathered cotton lace and organza
The pearls and french knot accents
 The beaded spine
 I found some velvet covered buttons I had purchased several years ago that were the perfect color for the closure
 Each of the three signatures of sketch paper have two Basic Grey patterned cardstock folios for a little added pizzazz

The cut-work muslin layer on the cover is open in the back making a secret pocket

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Sweater balls and a new journal

Yes, sweater balls.  Ok, they are really beads, but I'm calling them sweater balls and three of them aren't made from sweaters, but a fulled wool recycled jacket.  But, they're cute no matter what they're called or what they're made from!  Again, the idea came from STITCHED and Tracie Lampe's Bohemian Bag workshop.  Go to her blog and check out her newest bag, it's in black and gray and it's striking!  There is still plenty of time to sign up for all 20 workshops, just click here for the information.
I'm certain they will show up on a journal sometime!
Speaking of journals, I have been playing with paint and paper lately working on some different journals than I sell in Etsy, but did get my mojo working and created another cream journal with a 30's rosette from........ wait for it............ a STITCHED workshop!  Another one of Annie's  tutorials in her Fabric Flowers 101 workshop.  I used burlap over canvas with free motion stitching as the base....
...overlaid with a piece of cutwork on cotton (tea-dyed, used to be one of those circular table cloths that go over the round glass accent tables that were all the rage in the 90's)
 Under the pink/salmon satin rosette I gathered some vintage lace and organza.  Tied some burlap threads and beaded a pearl pin
More pearls intertwined by french knots
The following flower is the same pattern as on the purple journal I made as a present.  This is made from a Moda charm pack in pink and cream and a covered button center.

Friday, January 6, 2012

More STITCHED flowers

I'm having a blast over at STITCHED!  I have watched almost all of the videos and seem to be in a "rut" making flowers from Annie's Fabric Flowers 101........ lol [Side note:  I'm a little stupid where the new blogger is concerned, I haven't figured out how to upload my photos in the order I want.  It seems to be willy-nilly and I haven't mastered moving them around, but I will eventually, so for now I apologize that they are not in the "correct" order.]  I have made quite a few of the ruched flower because............... last year in Phoenix I bought two "jelly rolls" at Tuesday Morning really, really cheap (as far as jelly rolls go) and hadn't used them yet.  Yes, shocker........NOT!  Well, they are the perfect size for making the ruched flowers so I pressed one of each style and then sit at night watching TV and stitching.  My fingers are sore between that and the present I'm making for April's birthday.  But............ I persevere!  These two ruched flowers are my favorites so far.  They do take some time to sew up, but I love the results so much I feel the time invested is well worth it!
 I've experimented with several sizes and fabric types for the 30's rosettes.  Here I have salmon satin, white crinkle satin, two types of printed velvet, and a cheapo piece of printed poly/cotton ( I say cheapo because the design is "painted" on the right side of the fabric and not woven in so it is more difficult to pull a needle through, but it still worked out well):
 They will all eventually have accents, but I'm saving them for journal covers so will wait to see what coordinates when the time comes.  This printed velvet on the left has been waiting around for YEARS to be used!  And I DO mean years......... eons ago I worked at House of Fabrics and bought a small piece of this printed velvet (at the time it was expensive) as I was in my lined vest making phase and had planned to make a vest front, but I never got around to it and my vest days waned.  I loved the fabric so much it is probably the only piece that made it all the way to VA from AZ!  
 And a shot of the five ruched flowers I have made so far.  They will also have accents in the center, but not yet.  I'm just making a ton of things to use on journals right now.  Soon I will be using them and will have a choice!
If you haven't joined STITCHED  yet registration is still open so go here to get the information.  Don't forget  that one lucky student will win a free sewing machine!  Alma also has other prizes lined up!

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Etsy update

These blue lovelies have hit my Etsy shop  and are begging to be taken home and written in!  If one of your resolutions was to journal what could be a prettier way to keep that resolution?  

If one of your resolutions was to learn a new technique or create a great new project or if you just want to do something nice for yourself or your best friend why not sign up for STITCHED?  Workshops went live a few days ago and I can't wait to show you what I've whipped up after watching some of the videos.  There are 20 exciting artists with more than 20 exciting projects........
AND DID I TELL YOU THAT YOU COULD WIN A SEWING MACHINE JUST FOR REGISTERING?   Yes!  Alma (our den mother over at STITCHED) has a Janome Mini to give to one lucky student.  It could be you!  Check it out here.