Saturday, March 27, 2010

My latest finished cross stitch and Crafty Blogger links

My latest finished cross stitch that just makes me giggle!
Can you figure out why?

The letters are from the book Subversive Cross Stitch and the plaid heart is from A Rainbow of Stitches: Embroidery and Cross-Stitch Basics Plus More Than 1,000 Motifs and 80 Project Ideas

And if you look close by clicking on the image you can see the reflection across the room of the "bite me" cross stitch from the book Subversive Cross stitch.

Now onto what my fellow crafty bloggers are up to:

Margot Potter The Impatient Crafter
Wanna be a 'trashionista?' Join Madge as she turns old magazines into a fabulous decoupage purse in this week's project for ILoveToCreate Teen Crafts!

Craftside-A behind-the-scenes peek at a crafty world
Craftside's got a how-to on making a zipper necklace, a free pattern template for a cute card jewelry display, a whole bunch of great cat quotes, an interview with Paula Guhin author of Image Art Workshop and announcing-Craftside authors will be doing Make and Takes at the Unique Los Angeles shopping extravaganza!

Mixed Media Artist
Learn a more subtle approach to using the pointillism filter in Photoshop.

Stefanie Girard's Sweater Surgery
How to make a dress from a recycled tank and skirt inspired by one in the book Built By Wendy Dresses

The Artful Crafter
Read some glass etching tips from master etcher Eric Robert.

About Family Crafts
Find out how to get creative while making prints with kids by using a variety of supplies you already have on hand. You can share your ideas too!

About Family Crafts
Find out how to get creative while making prints with kids by using a variety of supplies you already have on hand. You can share your ideas too!

Cathie Filian
The Easter Bunny has been busy over at Cathie's workshop! Check out all the fun Easter Craft Ideas.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

How to make a dress from a recycled tank and skirt inspired by one in the book Built By Wendy Dresses

To continue my thought of "build it, it will come" regarding spring, I made another little dress out of a short tank top with pretty embroidery, a way too big but awesome madras plaid skirt and some recycled lace trim using a design from the book Built by Wendy Dresses (a wonderful collection of dress designs and patterns) as my inspiration.
And yes, that is "not my cat" Pumpkin that just seems to know when I am out in the yard getting my picture taken in one of the outfits that I made. I think this is the 4th or 5th shot he has insisted on being in!

So here is the tank and skirt before it went under the knife and the inspiration dress-"capri sundress" from Built by Wendy Dresses.
First I cut the hem loose to give me that extra inch of fabric.
Then I cut two strips as big as I could between the bottom edge of the skirt to just under the pockets and front zipper.
I then pieced them together in one long loop and serged the edges.
I gathered one side and sewed it to the tank.
All that was left to do was sew the lace to the plaid section.

If you are craving making yourself some cute little dresses for the season you will have tones of great styles and patterns to choose from in:

Built by Wendy Dresses: The Sew U Guide to Making a Girl's Best Frock
Wendy Mullin

From the Publisher Potter Craft:

Product Description Want a fast and easy way to look completely put together? Throw on a dress! Now, with the help of Wendy Mullin of BUILT BY WENDY, sew your own custom-fit creations—25 in all. Dresses are as useful—and as crucial—to your wardrobe as your most beloved pair of jeans. You can throw one on in summer or winter, for a night out in heels or a day in beaten-up boots: It’s maximum style for minimum effort. That’s why Wendy Mullin, designer of Built by Wendy—label of choice for fashion-forward actors, musicians, and artists—has created a book of DIY dress designs that are simple to sew but pack plenty of fashion punch.

All of the featured dress styles are based on three basic dress shapes: the sheath, the shift, and the dirndl. These three full-size patterns are included in the book, complete with step-by-step instructions for how to use them. From those basic dress shapes, Wendy offers multiple customizations, giving a total of 25 different dress options.

Beginner sewers will find all the basic information they need to get started. More advanced sewers will see precisely how slight pattern adjustments, such as changing a collar or sleeve or switching fabric, can create limitless possibilities for unique looks. Built by Wendy Dresses covers the basics and beyond—and proves that dresses are a girl’s best friend.
About the

WENDY MULLIN founded Built by Wendy, a NYC-based line of women's and men's clothing and accessories in 1991. In addition, Wendy authored Sew U and Sew U: Home Stretch and designed a line of sewing patterns for Simplicity. For more information visit
And just because he is so darn cute, another cat picture, he was ready for his close-up.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Burbank Fire Corps Photo Shoot and Crafty Blogger Links-talk about diversity!

Do you know how to shut off your gas in case of an emergency or leak? This weekend volunteer members of the Burbank Fire Corps did a photo shoot for a presentation that will be used to educate people on all sorts of disaster preparedness. Here are two of our volunteers, Grant taking the photos while Lynne holds up the "shiny board" (reflector used to help in directing light)

And volunteer Sherylinn demonstrating turning the gas valve from aligned with the pipe to perpendicular (crosswise).

OK that was your safety tip of the day (make sure you have a wrench or the gas shut off tool handy!) now onto some fun!

Cathie Filian
Check out Cathie's silk screen projects for Better Homes and Gardens. She has something for everyone.

Craftside-A behind-the-scenes peek at a crafty world
This week at Craftside there is a fun Steampunk style socket set bracelet, how to repurpose a canvas tote with applique and make faux patches, a peek into some cool art from the book Digital Illustration, a hot water bottle gets Re-Bound and a how to and tips on vampire drawing.

Crafty Princess Diaries
The Crafty Princess has done some house cleaning, at least she's been cleaning up her blog that is.

Farm Girl Roots, City Girl Style
Looking for an easy way to paint coloring-book art on the walls in a kid's room? Linda walks you through how she did it.

Margot Potter The Impatient Crafter
Where do you find inspiration? Madge wants to know! Share her process from inspiration to design in this inspired post!

Mixed Media Artist
See how you can achieve the look of a hand-tinted print with Photoshop!

Stefanie Girard's Sweater Surgery
How to make recycled plastic bunny ears inspired by the techniques in the book Upcycled Accessories

The Artful Crafter
Have you seen Xyron's Creatopia? Prepare to be amazed by the baby booties going through a Creatopia in the video!

About Family Crafts
Celebrate spring with Sherri and these fun craft projects!

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

How to make recycled plastic bunny ears inspired by the techniques in the book Upcycled Accessories

Upcycled Accessories: 25 Projects Using Repurposed Plastic
is packed full of really cool techniques fro working with plastic bags to recycle them into all sorts of cute and colorful projects.
It got my wheels spinning it did!

I wondered if you could fuse a plastic bag to a milk jug. At about the same time I was debating putting Orval and Wilbur (my lawn deer) away or could I incorporate them into the Easter decorations.
Insert light bulb moment here.
If I make bunny ears they can stay out and if I make them out of plastic they are whether proof! Clearly by the photos it worked!

Here is my test with a scrap of milk jug and pink plastic bag.

I cut the ears out of the milk jug using the corners and curves of the bottle. I will say I had to be VERY careful with the heat. Too cool it didn't fuse and too hot for too long and melt too much. As they are cooling you can form them a bit or hold them (with gloves) in the shape you want while it cools.
These are just some more shots because I think they came out so cute!
Want to learn about recycled plastic bag fusing and projects, grab a copy of

Upcycled Accessories: 25 Projects Using Repurposed Plastic
Tracie Lampe

From the Publisher, North Light Books:
"Product Description
Fused and Re-used

Whether you?re a sewing enthusiast or an eco-superhero, Upcycled Accessories shows you how to upcycle disposable products into fashionable must-haves! Learn the basics of fusing plastic, then sew together colorful wallets, personalized journals and collaged tote bags. Finally, incorporate creative embellishing techniques to whip up one-of-a-kind plastic projects!

Upcycled Accessories features:

25 funky fused-plastic projects for all experience levels that use inexpensive, readily available materials

Embellishing techniques for incorporating crayon shavings, permanent markers, fabric appliqu? and much more

Tips for incorporating more than just left-over shopping bags?everything from food packages to tablecloths can be upcycled!
Fuse. Sew. Help save the planet!

About the Author
Tracie Lampe is a self-taught mixed-media artist and fiber artist/vendor. Her work has been featured in Artist Trading Card Workshop as well as Interactive Art Workshop. Tracie has been teaching at ArtFiberFest for four years and sells her handspun fibers."

Monday, March 15, 2010

Fun Photo of the week and crafty links

When you really "heart" Trolls you tell the world!

Craftside-A behind-the-scenes peek at a crafty world
Craftside has a fun St. Patrick's Day necklace with a tutorial on how to make a flat coil head pin, instructions on how to make an adjustable lace up shirt alteration, a free round topped box template download and some cool Collage Lab stuff.

The Artful Crafter

Looking for canning jar art ideas and supplies? Let Eileen help you out with resources and tips.

Stefanie Girard's Sweater Surgery
How to sew a recycled tank and t-shirt dress inspired by one of the projects from the book Twinkle Sews by Wenlan Chia

Mixed Media Artist
Cyndi wants to know: which of your new years resolutions are you actually going to keep?

Farm Girl Roots, City Girl Style
The cardmaking station is pulled together in Linda's sewing and craft room. Now she's looking forward to making some cards!

Crafty Princess Diaries
Tammy has another book review. This one looks at Pretty Little Presents, a book about stitching up small gift items.

About Family Crafts
If you are planning a slumber party, check out this list of crafts projects that will help the time fly.

Margot Potter The Impatient Crafter
Had your eyes checked lately? Madge did...and was she surprised to find out she needs glasses!

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Recycled tank and t-shirt dress inspired by one of the cute ones from the book Twinkle Sews by Wenlan Chia

I love every dress in this book! But at the moment I am of the philosophy if I sew it (like the cute little dress on the left) the warm weather will come and I have had Twinkle Sews: 25 Handmade Fashions from the Runway to Your Wardrobe open to this project since I got the book. I am a big fan of Twinkle since I got her first knitting book.

I like to recycle I'm sure if you have read this blog before you know to the stash.
I found a cute light blue tank and a nice soft (from lots of washing) dark gray large t-shirt. One of the things this project in Twinkle Sews: 25 Handmade Fashions from the Runway to Your Wardrobe talks about is mixing up the two fabrics that it's made from. I was using a light cotton and a jersey. The dress in the book if you click on the image to enlarge uses a "nude" fabric for the tank part and a fabric with nice drape for the dress part.
Now the book gives you full detailed and intricate wonderful patterns full of really nice details to sew this from new fabric (they are on a disk and you print them out from your computer) but I am just "winging it" 'cause that's how I roll.
I cut the sides of the t-shirt down to an "A" line shape.
Then I cut the t-shirt straight across the top.

This tank was way too wide for me so I put it on and pinned it on the sides to be a snug fit. I then stitched down the sides and trimmed off the excess fabric.
All that was left to do was a gather stitch across the top edge of the t-shirt (about a half inch from the top edge) and then to stitch the t-shirt to the tank top.

I will definitely be making more of the projects from this book! Probably the one on the right is next!

More about
Twinkle Sews: 25 Handmade Fashions from the Runway to Your Wardrobe
By Wenlan Chia
from Potter Craft

"Product Description

Many Twinkle fans were first introduced to Wenlan Chia’s signature fresh, young, whimsical style through her knitting books. But before Wenlan knitted, she sewed. And the pieces in her fashion line, Twinkle by Wenlan, are seen not just on the fashion runways and in the pages of InStyle, Lucky, and Vogue, but in high-end stores with high-end prices such as Barneys and Saks Fifth Avenue.

Now, with the easy-to-follow instructions, keen advice, and 25 full-size patterns in Twinkle Sews, you can create your own couture! Choose from one of Wenlan’s coveted patterns, including favorites like her Annie Hall Skirt, Origami Blouse, White Magic Dress, and Flapper Camisole. The patterns come in five different sizes–from 0 to 16–and are included on a CD for you to print at home. Each garment has its own PDF pattern that can be printed on 8½" x 11" (21.5cm x 28cm) paper. Follow the simple instructions to assemble the sheets and voilà—full-size patterns are at your fingertips.

Along with providing inventive patterns, Wenlan teaches core home sewing techniques–how to sew a seam, insert a zipper, and interface fabric–and gives you the building blocks of garment construction. You’ll have all the tools you need to turn what you see on glossy magazine pages into what’s hanging in your closet.

From helping you pick the best fabric for each project to providing valuable sewing tips, Wenlan gives you everything you need to sew, unleash your creativity in fabric, and bring your fashion dreams to life. To wear a Twinkle piece is to feel both flirtatious and smart. To make one yourself is all that and more.

About the Author
In fewer than eight years, WENLAN CHIA went from taking night classes at New York’s Fashion Institute of Technology to commanding the runway at New York’s Fashion Week. Her Twinkle line now includes ready-to-wear fashion, home accessories, fine jewelry, and hand knitting yarn, available in 300 stores nationwide. She is also the author of Twinkle’s Big City Knits, Twinkle’s Weekend Knits, and Twinkle’s Town & Country Knits."

Monday, March 8, 2010

March on Crafty Blogger links

I "heart" men in plaid and this these bagpipers-The L A Scots rock! They march through the convention hall to open the CHA show and I run around and take pictures and video of them. One of my uncles and a cousin play the bagpipes so I guess the love of the bagpipe is a family thing.

Aileen's Musings
Aileen's altered a pair of old white tennis shoes and gave them a whole new look... they were pretty wild but she's toned them down with some spray webbing. She's even worn them out and about and received some great compliments on them!

Beading Arts
Cyndi is running a contest on Beading Arts, and the prize is an absolutely free advertisement!

Crafty Princess Diaries
Tammy shows off some jewelry she and her husband made for a local charity auction, perfect for animal lovers!

Farm Girl Roots, City Girl Style
Linda's making progress in the sewing and craft room. Check out the closet!

Margot Potter The Impatient Crafter
Ever wondered what it takes to get a craft book published? Join Madge in this first installment in her How To Write and Publish a Craft Book series.

Craftside-A behind-the-scenes peek at a crafty world
Craftside's got a post about working with grids in mixed media, a ribbon embellished quilt from The Quilt Bible, 3rd Edition, tips on outlining a photo and a bunch of journal pages from 1000 Artist Journals.

Stefanie Girard's Sweater Surgery
How to make Egg Cup pincushions inspired by a wonderful project in I "Heart" Patchwork by Rashida Coleman-Hale.

The Artful Crafter
Take a spin with Eileen and Shaaron on the Craft-N-Spin crafting turntable.

About Family Crafts
Sherri shares some suggestions to help you celebrate National Craft Month.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Egg Cup pincushions inspired by a wonderful project in I "Heart" Patchwork by Rashida Coleman-Hale

Before we get to the crafting we have to have our vocabulary word for the day. I did not know one of the words in the title of today's inspiration book:
I Love Patchwork: 21 Irresistible Zakka Projects to Sew

So I "Googled" it because I love learning new words and if you didn't know it I thought you might like to too!

From Wikipedia:

Zakka (from the Japanese 'zak-ka'(雑貨)or 'many things') is a fashion and design phenomenon that has spread from Japan throughout Asia. The term refers to everything and anything that improves your home, life and outlook. It is often based on household items from the West that are regarded as kitsch in their countries of origin. But can also be Japanese goods, mainly from the fifties, sixties and seventies. In Japan there are also so-called Asian zakka stores; that usually refers to Southeast Asia. The interest in Nordic design or Scandinavian design, both contemporary and past, is also part of this zakka movement. Zakka can also be contemporary handicraft.

Zakka has also been described as "the art of seeing the savvy in the ordinary and mundane". The zakka boom could be recognized as merely another in a series of consumer fads, but it also touches issues of self-expression and spirituality. "Cute, corny and kitschy is not enough. To qualify as a zakka, a product must be attractive, sensitive, and laden with subtext."

There will be a not really.

Onto the project!!!
With Easter coming up I have started to get the corresponding decorations out and since I live (and work if you call it that) in the same spaces, I like my decorations to work for me. When I saw this cute pin cushion made from a paint palette I thought I would make a collection of pin cushions from a set of egg cups.
I used the great directions as my starting off point.

I have to say I giggled that the directions even included at what point in the process to plug in the hot glue gun so that it would be ready to go when it needed to be used in the project.

I call that some good direction writing!

I have a Crafting tip to include!
I wanted to fussy cut or be sure that, in this case, the day of the dead skull motif was centered on my in cushion so I used a clear glass as my template. This made centering the image easy-peasy!

The combination of new and recycled fabrics look really fun together but I have a feeling they will end up being spread out to all the different crafting zones I have!

More about this uber pretty book from Interweave press:

I Love Patchwork: 21 Irresistible Zakka Projects to Sew
Rashida Coleman-Hale

"Offering a modern approach to traditional fabric design, this charming instructional illustrates how to create sophisticated patchwork projects by combining linen and print fabrics using simple quilting procedures. Presenting a diverse collection of projects—many inspired by the Japanese zakka aesthetic—such as a travel sewing kit, sewing machine cover, table runner, apron, eco bag, towels, calendar, lap quilt, tote bag, pillowcase, and shoulder bag, all designs are fun, functional, and easy to master.

Combining sewing, appliqué, quilting, and patchwork techniques with thoughtful advice on how to select, work with, and care for linen, this colorful handbook is brimming with sophisticated and innovative projects to challenge and inspire both beginning and intermediate sewers and quilters.
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