Sunday, July 31, 2011

Tuskegee Airmen Richard T. Lee, Purple Heart recipient Brian Bennett and myself at Ventura Stand Down

I volunteered this past weekend at the Ventura Stand Down to sew for the homeless vets. It was truly an amazing experience. Two very special vets I had the pleasure of meeting were probably two of the most different you could possibly imagine. On the right was a Tuskegee Airman! Richard T. Lee attended the event along with his equally adorable wife Madeline who was a volunteer in the clothing area with me. He was so fun to talk to and he sat by me regaling me with stories as I hemmed and repaired clothing at lightning speed! On the left was probably the youngest attendee, Afghanistan vet and Purple Heart recipient Brian Bennett. Another equally charming man who was gracious enough to pose with us and was as thrilled to chat with Tuskegee Airmen Lee as I was!

I was told through out the entire weekend that no one has ever thought to bring a sewing machine to this event and I was so pleased to offer my services to all who came. With just a few stitches new clothing fit properly and beloved garments were back in tip-top shape!
And a very special thank you goes out to Clair Hope (who took a moment for a photo op with me!) for organizing such an amazing event that provides so much to those who served.

I saved all the ends of the pants I hemmed and plan on crafting something special with it to commemorate the event. Stay tuned!

Now onto what my fellow crafty bloggers have to share with you:

Craftside-A behind-the-scenes peek at a crafty world
This week at Craftside there is a tutorial on how to make recycled silverware journal handles, a chance to win a copy of 1,000 Ideas for Decorating Cupcakes, Cookies & Cakes along with a recipe for fondant, an interview with the author of The Urban Biking Handbook and an inspirational quote and art from Camille Kuo.

The Crochet Dude
Drew reviews the Knook - a kit that teaches you how to knit with a crochet hook!

Mixed Media Artist
Continuing with her clothing obsession, Cyndi has taken out her acrylics to use on a summer dress!

Eileen - The Artful Crafter
Look at this cute coffee can recycling project. It also uses craft stash scraps, so it’s both eco-nomical and eco-logical!

Crafty Princess Diaries
Tammy has some important news about a very popular knitting loom.

Carmi's Art/Life World
Carmi has a Crafter Companion paper fairy idea to show off this week!

Aileen's Musings
This week Aileen offers you a re post of her Chunky Canvas Bird Cage Tutorial.

About Family Crafts
Now is the perfect time to get a jump start on your holiday crafting and Sherri will help you get a jump start on making your holiday gifts.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Margot Potter's latest bling sensation-New Dimensions in Bead and Wire Jewelry

Margot Potter tops herself every time! Her latest book New Dimensions in Bead and Wire Jewelry: Unexpected Combinations, Unique Designs is beyond inspiring. I have almost every book she has written and they are just a wealth of sparkly projects and techniques that every jewelry maker can use as a great tool to kick their designs into fabulous-land! (Oh! and want to win a copy? Pop on over to Craft Gossip Recycled to enter to win one)
This pair of upcycled earrings is my first bit of bling inspired by New Dimensions in Bead and Wire Jewelry.
I took my first inspiration from her project titled Amphora. What really caught my eye was her color combo combined with the size and shape elements she chose to work with. I went through my stash to find some square beads to combine with contrasting seed beads.

I used some old plain hoops as my base and wrapped away. I used 3 square beads as Margot did as the rule of 3's makes for a pleasing design and filled the rest of the hoop with the tiny black glass seed beads. I really like light blue and black but I will most definitely be trying the red and sick green combo too!
New Dimensions in Bead and Wire Jewelry:
Unexpected Combinations, Unique Designs

Margot Potter

Discover 30 stepped-out projects that explore the possibilities for using wire as a dimensional design feature as well as a structural one through combinations of both hard, soft wire and beads. In addition to basic wire-working techniques, inside New Dimensions in Bead and Wire Jewelry you'll find a thorough introduction to the various types of wire that popular author Margot Potter uses throughout the book. Projects are organized into five chapters, each with a different focus on the type of wire used. Two chapters focus on hard-wire projects, two on soft wire, and a final chapter combines the two wire types together. Troubleshooting tips are sprinkled throughout the book and three variations per chapter give you great additional inspiration!

Margot Potter has published six jewelry-making books with North Light Books. She's a designer, author, freelance writer, consultant, public speaker, actor and vocalist, video host and TV personality. Margot also creates innovative designs for major manufacturers, books and magazines and teaches popular seminars and classes at major craft and jewelry industry events.

Monday, July 18, 2011

How to make a digital camo quilt block inspired by the book Dare to be Square Quilting

Dare to be Square Quilting is so awesome! I love everything in it. Right now I currently have one unfinished quilt that I must finish before I start a new one but I just had to make something after savoring every page of Dare to be Square Quilting. So I got my creative wheels spinning and what popped into my mind was my favorite print based on a square is digital camo. I have a small stash of scraps left over from the Fallen Soldier tote bags and the quilt I am currently using is a simple white one so I thought I would add a very special square onto it.
I cut a square of the digital camo uniform scrap and placed it in the center of one of the blocks.
All I did was satin stitch around the camo uniform square twice. It is so amazing that 3 square inches of a very special fabric can transform an ordinary quilt into one with so much meaning and feeling that I will cherish now.

If you like making quilts based on squares I bet you will love:
Dare to be Square Quilting: A Block-by-block Guide to Making Patchwork and Quilts
Boo Davis

“Boo Davis is a rock star! Dare to be Square Quilting is the perfect patchwork primer for beginners and a refreshing review for experienced quilters. A must-have book for any quilt or craft library.” --Denyse Schmidt (author of Denyse Schmidt Quilts)

. . . My approach to quilting is an approach for true beginners. I don’t like triangles, circles, hexagons, diamonds, rhombuses, or any shape that makes measuring a chore. (Can we stop right here and ponder the word rhombus? Man, that word is hilarious.) In this book, every project is designed using only squares and rectangles. Why just squares and rectangles? Because straight seams are easy to stitch!

Craft a modern quilt with independent quilt-maker Boo Davis, whose fun, slightly quirky designs take quilts into new graphic territory. Using only simple shapes like rectangles and squares you’ll see robots, skulls, alarm clocks, and owls come to life as fabulous, full-size quilts. With 10 charming quilt patterns, and 15 eye-popping patchwork projects perfect for afternoon or weekend crafting, Dare to be Square Quilting reinterprets quilt traditions such as basket weave, rail fence, and housetop designs in a bold new way. With advice on color and fabric selection, and an extensive how-to section on quilting, Davis teaches the fastest, simplest, and most reliable methods modern quilting has to offer.

Dare to make a quilt that’s funny, fabulous, and from the heart . . . Dare to be square!

BOO DAVIS is a designer, illustrator, and the founder of Quiltsrÿche quilt studio. Her quilts have appeared in The New York Times, Revolver, BUST, HOW, and British Vogue as well as on Boing Boing,, and Thrillist. As a graphic artist she has received recognition from Print magazine, Society for Publication Designers, and Society of Professional Journalists, among others.

One final tid-bit, this is not the first time one of Boo's fab quilt designs inspired me, I did a skull quilt based on the one shown above. You can see the tutorial on how I made my skull quilt inspired by her's at Craftside.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

I took a break from the scissors to spend some time with an axe at the Burbank Centennial

Last Friday night was a big Burbank Centennial celebration. There were some amazing flyovers of new and vintage planes and of course the Burbank Fire Department brought out the 1913 Moreland fire engine for fun photo ops. My fellow Burbank Fire Corps member Ginnie and I took a moment for one propped out with some axes. You know me, I love me some weapons of mass cutting stuff up!

Craftside- A behind-the-scenes peek at our crafty world
This week at Craftside there is a fun tutorial on how to fold an origami fractal geometric, how to create Audrey Hepburn eye makeup, draw and paint Pin-Up Girl lips, two American Flag themed art quilts and Los Angeles Swap-o-rama info.

Mixed Media Artist
Cyndi's artsy daughter moved to Portland OR last week and kept Cyndi very entertained with pictures from her adventures driving cross-country!

Stefanie Girard's Sweater Surgery
See how to make a "deer" card.

The Crochet Dude
Drew has been on tour! Catch up with how it went via his latest blog posts!

About Family Crafts
Want to get a jump start on Christmas crafting? Check out these Christmas in July crafting ideas!

Aileen's Musings
Aileen's gal pal Christy offers up some scrumptious journal backgrounds, and how she achieved each one!

Carmi's Art/Life World
There is a new give-a-way for a jewelery mold that Carmi wants you to know about!

Connie Gee's Designs
Connie shares a free chart based on a saying from Pearl Bailey along with some memories related to the late, great singer.

Eileen - The Artful Crafter
There are probably as many art journal techniques as there are artists who keep visual journals. See which ones Eileen chose for her first art journal page.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Deer Card made with a silhouette from the book and disk Silhouette Style

Today I have a "deer" card design for you using one of the silhouettes included on the disk with the book Silhouette Style: Techniques and Template Sets for Papercut Projects.

I love the deer image and have managed to work it into a lot of my designs so when I got the book and it had a deer silhouette I knew just what I was going to make.
I know it's tough to see but I imported the deer silhouette into Illustrator and copy and pasted it to get a second image. Then I flipped it to get the mirror image. I aligned them along the bottom of the paper and printed it out onto a pretty pink cardstock.

A side note here is that I love doing paper cutout work because it is a twofer, you get the surround and the cut out shape. These two deer will definitely be used in the future.
I placed a fun piece of pine branch paper behind the deer silhouettes kind of ironic "camo" style and got my quote for the card at one of my favorite sources- One Up Me. This one says, "He's like camouflage, when we're together, it's like I'm invisible."

More about the book from North Light Books:

Silhouette Style: Techniques and Template Sets for Papercut Projects

Nanetta Bananto
Discover the modern versatility of the classic silhouette. The bold lines and strong contrasts of the silhouette are no longer limited to flat, two-color portraits to be hung on the family room wall. In Silhouette Style, silhouette designs take on color, dimension and the 21st Century. Nanetta Bananto teaches you to bring papercuts to life in more than 40 projects incorporating her beautiful, original designs. Create tea-light lanterns, gift boxes, cards, paper dolls and fashion accessories using papercut designs in themes such as sea life, animals, flowers and fashion.

The book includes:

  • Step-by-step instructions for 21 stylish projects and more than 20 variations easily created using the same techniques and designs
  • Tips and techniques on how to cut designs either by hand or using an electronic die-cutting machine
  • A CD-ROM containing all of the cutting design files needed to create the projects, plus bonus designs to expand your creative possibilities

Pull out your scissors or electronic cutter and develop a passion for silhouettes as you create art, gifts, home décor and more!

To read the pdf files on the CD-ROM included in this book, you will need Adobe Acrobat. To read .eps files, you will need a software program such as Adobe Photoshop or CorelDRAW. You may need to convert .eps files to the correct format for your cutting machine, according to the machine manufacturer’s instructions.

Nanetta Bananto is a beadwork, sculpture, clay, painting, calligraphy, fiber and paperarts artist and author of Creative Techniques for Polymer Clay Jewelry (North Light, 2005). Nanetta designs projects for Polyform Products, sells art to galleries and museum shops, has designed numerous CD covers, flyers, menus and t-shirts. She has been working with Accugraphic and will soon sell designs for their Klic-n-Kut systems on their website.
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