Wednesday, March 30, 2011

How to make a dotted line and recycled newpaper greeting card

This is my #6 card in my 365 Greeting card project that I am posting over at The Card Album blog but I thought I'd share the tutorial with you here. I used a technique from the book
Mixed-Media Paint Box: Weekly Projects for a Year of Creative Exploration.
You don't tend to think of your sewing supplies as painting tools but that's what Giuseppina "Josie" Cirincione did by coming up with the idea for using a tracing wheel to paint dotted lines.
I grabbed a piece of pink card stock and tried out this fun way to paint dotted lines.
Now that I had this cool dotted line paper it was time to make it into a greeting card.
I had this page from the newspaper that had some cool illustrations by Katherine Streeter and I picked one to incorporate onto my card and off to one of my favorite sources for quotes, One Up Me, and I picked "She's like bell-bottoms, had a fit over boots."

Pop on over to The Card Album blog to see some of my other cards, mostly made out of something recycled and make something too!

More about the book:
Mixed-Media Paint Box: Weekly Projects for a Year of Creative Exploration
The Editors of North Light Books

Play With Paint All Year Long!

Incorporating paint into your mixed-media art has never been easier or more fun. Open up your paint box and delve into a year of creative ideas from 45 of your favorite artists. Whether you’ve used paint for years or have been anxious to try a new medium, you’ll find great advice and ideas inside Mixed-Media Paint Box. Each week, you’ll be guided with step-by-step instructions through a different project or technique that will add instant depth and drama to your art!

Inside you’ll find:

+ 52 projects and techniques, one for every week of the year, to inspire a weekly dose of creativity.

+ Tips, hints and suggestions from some of your favorite authors, including Ruth Rae, Claudine Hellmuth, Chrissie Grace, Bernie Berlin and Margot Potter.

+ Step-by-step instructions for jewelry-making, assemblage, journaling, collage and a variety of painting techniques to incorporate into your own art.

Discover inspiration and new ways to express yourself every week inside Mixed-Media Paint Box!

Friday, March 25, 2011

In Memory of the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire 100 years ago

It was 100 years ago a terrible fire took the lives of so many sewers. So sad. I spotted this wonderful old sewing machine that a charming repair guy had refurbished and gave a new caring case to at the swap meet. Ahhh you can just imagine all the wonderful things this machine has stitched and all the possibilities it still holds.

And speaking of possibilities check out what my fellow crafty bloggers have to inspire your futeure creativity:
Craftside- A behind-the-scenes peek at our crafty world
This week at Craftside there is a free vintage octopus clip art, idea for using steel wool for doll hair, a unique redwork crazy quilt and a tutorial on how to make mini art collages.

Carmi's Art/Life World
Following up on last weeks post Carmi prepared a two part sachet making tutorial.

Crafty Princess Diaries
For those who don't like slip stitching when working in the round, this babay hat pattern discovered by the Crafty Princess is perfect and easy to make.

Eileen - The Artful Crafter
Eileen shares directions for sewing a secret pockets hanger cover. This clever organizer can also be used to organize outfits.

Stefanie Girard's Sweater Surgery
See how to get your rubber duckies to take flight with some recycled plastic.

The Card Album
See how to make a jackalope card with a bunny and deer punch.

The Crochet Dude
Drew announced his "Carnation Bouquet Afghan Project" - looks like a FUN way to crochet for charity! There is also a way to win something from his product line The Crochet Dude Collection!

About Family Crafts
Even if you don't have spring weather where you are, you can celebrate spring with these flower coloring pages.

Aileen's Musings
Aileen offers you an Altered Composition Notebook tutorial this week, stop by and check it out.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Punk rock rubber ducky and super sized winged ducky inspired by the book The Artful Bird

Once a punk rock girl now a punk rock themed crafter. I mean really, don't all rubber duckies need a giant mohawk?
Back in this post I got all my ducks in a row. Now I am putting my crafty touch on them with a bit of inspiration from the fun book The Artful Bird: Feathered Friends to Make and Sew.
At the big box craft store they have these plain white rubber duckies that you can draw on to make them your own. Well, I thought I'd add to them.
Since these little guys were likely to be around water plastic was going to be my material. Off to the plastic bottle stash and I had a nice white bottle to run through the Sizzix die cutter. I was actually thinking a milk jug was going to work but I didn't have one at hand. Imagine that?
This page from The Artful Bird with all sorts of wing surface treatments was my inspiration. Again I had to stick to plastic material to hold up around water and what is great for that?
Why yes, a Tyvek shipping envelope is perfect. And what better way to cut it than with with the Simplicity Deluxe Rotary Cutter with the scalloped or pinking blade to make tons of strips in seconds flat!
I scuffed up the plastic bottle wings a bit with sand paper so the glue would stick better and then laid the Tyvek strips on overlapping them and leaving the outer edges loose so that they would stick up a bit. Then a quick trim for shaping.
Now these guys were too heavy to float without some sponge assistance. I had one wing left and my wacky head thought it looked hysterical as a mohawk, so that is what it became! I had so much fun photographing them floating around.

More about the book:
The Artful Bird: Feathered Friends to Make and Sew
Abigail Patner Glassenberg

Join the flock! Create your own aviary of charming, beautifully detailed, one-of-a-kind fabric bird sculptures with basic machineand handsewing, embroidery, and mixed-media craft techniques. The Artful Bird presents 16 incredibly charming, quirky, personality-filled birds for you to make! Through a detailed chapter of step-by-step basic birdmaking techniques and tips, you will not only learn to make these cute creatures, but also discover how to craft your own patterns for almost any bird—real or imagined.

Inside you’ll also find Glassenberg’s creative ideas to give each bird individual character and personality, from using paint and glitter to adding collage elements. Plus, check out an international gallery of birds from other noted fabric bird makers for more inspiration!

Monday, March 21, 2011

Talk about a Super Moon!

This wasn't a black and white photo but it sure looks that way. I also just love the name "Super Moon" like it wasn't already but it really is phenomenal!

And here on Earth here is what us crafty Earthlings are up to:

Craftside-A behind-the-scenes peek at a crafty world
This week at Craftside there are tutorials on how to make a custom car windshield sun shade, carve novelty erasers into cute rubber stamps, paint pale skin tones, some history about sheet music and a crazy quilt made with techniques from the book Designer Bead Embroidery.

Eileen - The Artful Crafter
Eileen reviews Chapter 4 of Cyndi Lavin's eBook, Every Bead Has a Story.

Mixed Media Artist
Cyndi found a new product to help out with her fabric books.

Stefanie Girard's Sweater Surgery
See how to make an Easter egg locket necklace.

Aileen's Musings
Aileen offers you a couple of Easter Egg projects to inspire you!

About Family Crafts
Follow these tips shared by Sherri to successfully color on fabric.

Carmi's Art/Life World
Carmi makes a sweet sachet with fabric she printed herself.

Crafty Princess Diaries
The Crafty Princess gives you the scoop on some yarn deals she found at her local Michaels.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Easter Egg Locket necklace

The first line in the description of the book Curious Dreams is, "It's all about creating the curious." and I have to say the book inspired me to do just that. One of the most "curious" charms is a locket and the new line Fairy Tale from Blue Moon Beads has 3 charming lockets including one of my all time favorite shapes- an egg. The egg locket and some of their other new clasps, chain and bead strands were the perfect elements to make a spring mixed media necklace inspired by one of the pieces in the gallery section of the eye candy filled book Curious Dreams.
Now this book is packed full of really cool casting and molding techniques that I am so going to try when I score some epoxy clay but right now it's the tiny fun details that have my creativity hatching.
So I wanted the egg locket to be the focal dangle and I linked it onto this great big beautiful toggle clasp. Coming off each side I used super sized chain (this is Blue Moon Bead's as well although it's from their Fashion Findings line) and on the other side I used a smaller chain and the Fairy Tail Acrylic and Metal Bead strand.

I attached each side while the lengths were long and then held it up to my neck in front of the mirror to decide how long I wanted it to hang. I used safety pins to mark each length. I opened the links on each side and then linked the two ends together since the clasp is in the front.
Since this pretty little enameled egg is in fact a locket and opens up it needed something in it like the inspiration piece had. A great source for tiny photos is the contact sheet you get when you have your photos printed. I had the perfect photo of me and my cousin from a few Easters back with our bunny ears on.
I trimmed the photo down and glued it into the egg locket on one side. I will keep my eyes out for another tiny photo or something else for the other side or to layer on top of the photo but for now your curiosity will just have to be sparked!

More about the book:
Inspired Remnants, Curious Dreams:
Mixed Media Projects in Epoxy Clay

Kerin Gale

"It's all about creating the curious. Inside this book, you will be introduced to 26 very unique and unusual stepped-out projects, each offering new techniques using epoxy clay. Two-part epoxy clay can be sculpted and manipulated in a variety of ways and is extremely durable when cured, resulting in amazing effects that are easy to achieve with no sculpting experience necessary! You will learn the basics of working with this new craft medium and then dive into the projects, which feature sculpted and molded epoxy clay inspired by and often combined with altered remnants. Projects include mixed-media pieces such as a small totem, curio cabinet, fish tank and lighting along with personal style and jewelry items fashioned in a curious, Victorian Gothic style.

Kerin is part mad scientist, rogue artist, goddess of software quality, teacher, writer and explorer of all things curious. When not in the studio or garage sailing, she can be found frolicking about deserted beaches seeking out windswept treasures and watching inspiring tales wafting by in a remote area of the southern Oregon coast.

Kerin loves to work with many art materials including resins, found objects, clays of all sorts and metals.

Another great love is sharing with other artists. To that end she has launched an online mixed media art site with their own etsy team, a huge collection of art images, online workshops, featured artists, book reviews and artistic challenges.

She, along with her gifted husband, Charley Slaughter, create mechanical art (automata), sculpture and jewelry and are represented in several galleries. They also teach at national art retreats as well as local venues. Kerin's work can be found in Somerset Studio magazine, Altered Bits Zine, 1,000 Steampunk Creations (Quarry Books July 2011) and 500 Pendants and Lockets (Lark Books May 2008)."

Monday, March 14, 2011

Brackets are Crafty!

This past Christmas my family was all together and my parents have a ping pong table. My little nephew wanted to have a tournament which meant brackets were needed. I bring this up now as one of my FBF posted that she was going to be filling out one for the first time tonight. I really had no idea about any of this not being too much of a sports follower. Within minutes of his arrival he had us drawing numbers for our initial positions and my Mom was the "bye". I am assuming that the WPPC stand for The World Ping Pong Championship and I don't have any idea who the announcers are but he clearly felt the need to include them on the bracket page. It made a crafty aunt so proud when he instantly gathered up the ruler, paper and pen and started drawing this bracket page. Needless to say he won the championship :)

OK now what my crafty peeps are up to this week:

Craftside-A behind-the-scenes peek at a crafty world
This week at Craftside there are videos on how to use henna stencils in your art journals and the 365 skull a day project and tutorials on how to make a recycled sweater clover for St. Patrick's Day and a stitched 2 fold postcard book.

About Family Crafts
Looking for some St. Patrick's Day printables? Sherri has some coloring pages, games, cards, and more!

Carmi's Art/Life World
Carmi makes a gatefold card...with a gate embellishment!

Crafty Princess Diaries
Black Dog is offering 50% off on two books that paper-artists will enjoy.

Eileen - The Artful Crafter
Eileen shares some of the pleasures and perils of working from home.

Mixed Media Artist
Bicycles as art! See what happens when an avid cyclist gets snap-happy with his cell phone camera!

Stefanie Girard's Sweater Surgery
See how to lengthen the straps of a tank top with a recycled t-shirt and little help from a Simplicity Power Rotary Cutter.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

How to add stretchy straps to a tank top to lengthen it

Today's post is brought to you by the motto "If you cut it up, it will come" Summer that is! I am "D", "O", "N" ,"E", done with the cold!!! I was chatting with someone who originally lived here but now was in New England and they made a snarky "oh you are having weather" out there comment. I don't live here to have "weather"!!!! Come on mother nature work your magic!
A girl can dream of wearing her little fun tank tops and skirts can't she? I pulled out some of my summer tanks and while I love this gray tank for the studded details it is a bit short in the waist so I thought I'd lengthen it at the top straps.
Pretty easy, I just cut along the top seams.
Next to make some new and improved long straps I went to the scrap stash and found a nice chunk of gray t-shirt that had enough fabric to use for new straps.
I cut the sleeves open and after a few passes under the Simplicity Deluxe Rotary Cutter at the 2.5 inch setting I had 4 new straps for my tank. (After I first trimmed off the sleeve hems.)
In keeping with my new "trying to do things more rock n' roll" less rigid I opted for a crazy top stitch to sew the new t-shirt strips onto the tank.

Try as I might to be all irregular about this I ended up with almost perfect 5 point stars by the 4th strap. I just can't do things with out some order creeping back in after repetition sets in.
I would like to note I used my zipper foot because I had to work around a metal stud under the top fabric which I later trimmed so as to expose the stud underneath.
All that was left to do was try on the tank and have some fun tying the straps different ways! This was my favorite with a knot tying the front strap to the back seam and the back strap at the front seam. I tried bows at the shoulder and a few other places but the knots with the double strap effect seemed to win.

Happy cutting all y'all!

Giveaway, Interview and Review of Miss Scarlet's School of Patternless Sewing

Let me say that I love reading books by crafty peeps about creative people that I wish I could hang out with in real life. That's what Miss Scarlet's School of Patternless Sewing is all about.

Don't believe me?

Well leave a comment in today's post and you are entered to win a copy of Miss Scarlet's School of Patternless Sewing or Kathy's first book Waking Up in the Land of Glitter: A Crafty Chica Novel. I will randomly select two winners who will receive one of her books. Enter by midnight Pacific time March 15th, 2011 and you are in the running for some good reading!
Two of my favorite quotes from Miss Scarlet's School of Patternless Sewing:

"....she was, being made to feel like a misfit minx by the one person who should have been holding her pincushion."

"I think it is doggone silly that people wait until January 1st to adjust the volume on their optimism."

Kathy was gracious to take the time to answer a few questions I posed to her on her busy blog tour. (This photo is from her product launch at the Michaels awhile back but I just had to share it.)
Here are her fun answers:

When do you make time to write in your crazy (in a good way life) full of family and crafting?

"I LOVE to write, it is my escape and it calms me. It is a sacred thing, it sounds goofy, but I swear it is the truth. I always write late at night after the family has gone to bed. Even with my very first book, Making Shadow Boxes and Shrines - that was in 2002, I had already settled into my habit of night owl typing! It works well with my novels because my mind is free and clear of "kathy" or "crafty chica" and my world transforms into that of the characters."

Do you scribble ideas on napkins and bits of paper when they come to you? Or do you remember them by emailing them to yourself from your phone? Or.....

"Just like with ideas for projects to make, I do anything and everything. I take a lot of pictures, I carry a mini journal in my purse, sometimes in my bra! I email and do voice memos. They all come in handy because I'll forget. I hate it when I finally go to bed and I get all snuggled in and close my eyes - and then a scene pops in my head. I absolutely have to get up and write it down so I don't forget! Just like with any creative project!"

Do you indulge in retail therapy? If so what are your favorite stores?

"You know, I'm not a big power shopper. I'd rather make my own designer purses than buy them. I'm not a big fashionista. I do love big rings and chunky bracelets. Someday when I die and they read my will, someone will ask "Who did she leave her costume jewelry collection to?"

Are the musical tastes of your characters your own? If not what's hot on your current ipod playlist?

"For the first book, Star's music was the music I listen to. But with Miss Scarlet, I forced myself out of my comfort zone. The music ranges from Glenn Miller to John Coltrane to Perez Prado! As far as what I listen to, right now on my play list I have Bomba Estereo, Michelle Blades, Marina and the Diamonds, Pato Banton and Florence + The Machine"

Have you ever made a "Ten things no on else has probably done list"?

"Here's a few!
1. Thought I had a ghost bugging me only to find out it was a baby lizard stuck in my hair. It fell on me while we were cleaning the backyard shed!
2. Woken in my car up by Ziggy Marley.

3. Fell asleep in the wrong tour van and woke up to find a band of Caribbean musicians all around me! (long time ago!)

4. Honked at a happy couple walking down the sidewalk to startle them out of their bliss because I was mad because I was single. (long time ago)

5. Put glitter on my husband's painting when he wasn't looking.

6. Drinking wine to calm my nerves at my mother-in-law's birthday party, only to get "too calm" and jump in the pool with all my clothes on in front of everyone (it wasn't a swim party). My husband told me that he said "Was that my wife who just did that?"

7. Wrote a love note to my dad's leg with a Sharpie on his leg, right before they took him into surgery to have it amputated due to cancer.
8. Got kicked out of the office chocolate club for accidentally eating all the chocolate. (I didn't know it was the group's coveted stash!)
9. Interviewed Matthew McConaughey right after he got out of the hotel shower, he wore nothing but his fluffy white bathrobe and still had water droplets on his chest!

More about the amazing book that makes me torn between reading it and sparking my creativity so that I want to go make something!

Miss Scarlet's School of Patternless Sewing
Kathy Cano-Murillo

The founder of popular pens her second Crafty Chica novel, following Waking Up in the Land of Glitter (2010). Scarlet Santana has abandoned a promising engineering career to follow her passion for sewing. To raise money to attend a prestigious design academy in New York, she works for a local designer, teaches a sewing class, and sells clothes on her web site devoted to Daisy de la Flora, the flamboyant designer who inspired Scarlet's retro look and bubbly approach to life. As Scarlet works herself to exhaustion, the women in her sewing class become their own an unofficial support group. When her big break turns out to be a big bust, Scarlet must consider whether following her dream is worth losing herself. Cano-Murillo lays the quirkiness on thick, but the story amidst the gimmicks has a lot of heart. --Aleksandra Walker

Monday, March 7, 2011

The Aminekos get a ride and "remove before flight flags"

The gracious volunteer "Bob" at the Edwards Air Force Base museum let the Aminekos pose on one of the bombs displayed. This is after a trip to the museum store to get their "remove before flight ribbon tags"
They had so much fun that day posing.
OK crafty link time!

Craftside-A behind-the-scenes peek at a crafty world
This week at Craftside there are tutorials on how to make a yarn wrapped bead necklace, create a story and art about your favorite thing and sketch a sitting woman, a podcast about the book I "heart" design, and a font made from allen keys.

Stefanie Girard's Sweater Surgery
How to make a recycled t-shirt and wire hanger St. Patrick's Day shamrocks.

Eileen - The Artful Crafter
Writing and journaling, whether prose or poetry, can help you move forward as an artist. Here's an example from Eileen that turned out to be quite prophetic.

Mixed Media Artist
Cyndi explores mixing traditional embroidery with her beadwork.

Aileen's Musings
Aileen shows you how to make a colorful springtime tote.

Carmi's Art/Life World
Carmi gives herself a Graphics 45 paper challenge!

Crafty Princess Diaries
The baby afghan granny square is done! Here's what I will change next time.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Giant Recycled T-shirt Shamrock craft decoration for St. Patrick's Day

I love crafting "green", both eco-friendly and for St. Patrick's Day
I like working in all different scales. I did two fun crafts for St. Patrick's day. One tiny little recycled wool felted sweater shamrock pin and these big shamrock wall decorations out of hangers and t-shirts. Read on for the recycled t-shirt and wire hanger wall St. Patrick's day shamrock. I'll be posting the tutorial soon for the recycled sweater shamrock!

First I went to the old t-shirt stash for some green t-shirts and to the closet for some wire hangers.
To cut the t-shirts into strips I ran them through my Deluxe Rotary Cutter. This made the job so easy and quick. I set the Rotary Cutter to about 2.5 and I got about 5 yards of t-shirt strips from each shirt. I just kept cutting around and around.
I bent 4 hangers each in kind of a "heart" shape.
Then I taped them together with a bit of packing tape and wrapped them with the t-shirt strips. I wrapped with one color to cover the hanger and then with the other color loosely to make a candy can like stripe. The big shamrock took 2 t-shirts to cover. So I had one t-shirt all cut into a strip so I bent one more hanger and made a little shamrock.
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