Thursday, November 20, 2008

Vintage Sheet Swap Package

Sheet Swap

This is what I received, a while back sorry for the late post, from participating in the vintage sheet swap organized by Crafty Little Beana. Here is the bunch of flat quarters I sent into the swap.

Crafty Little Beana sent these cute little glass topped pins along with all my fabric. They were topped with adorable glass flowers. I love all the sheet I got back. Now, what should I do with them.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Maker Faire Swap-a-Rama

In October we made a trip down to Austin for the Maker Faire. We had lots of fun during the two day event at the Travis County Fair Grounds. It wasn't to hot or too cold, just right. During the two days, I attended the Swap-a-Rama event. This is where old clothing is donated and placed on tables in a tent. Then you take the clothing and alter it right there. With the assistance of some wonderful sewing gents and ladies and Singer sewing machines, you can walk away with an upcycled piece of clothing.

In addition to sewing alterations, Studio 3 of Austin manned silkscreening tables. They provided the volunteers as well as the screens, ink and imagery you could have screened onto your new piece of clothing. The owner of the business was in the Bizarre Bazaar giving demonstrations on how to make a simple screen image with an embroidery hoop, sheer material and resist. Beatrice Thomas was very informative, kind, energetic and helpful. I was lamenting about Spoonflower to her and how frustrated I am with Illustrator not being able to flip an image so I could have a mirrored version of it. Beatrice, coincidentally, used to teach Illustrator classes and was able to walk me though the right steps to get Illustrator to flip the image.

Everyone at the Maker Faire, Swap-a-Rama, and Bizarre Bazaar were friendly and excited to share techniques with the attendees of the faire. Coming from an art background where share is not always freely given, this was a refreshing change. The vendors, volunteers and presenters were all about sharing knowledge and empowering people to go out and do things themselves. I highly recommend attending one of the two fairs, either in Austin, TX or San Mateo, CA. I came home all pumped to do my crafts.

Now back to the alterations I did at the Swap-a-Rama. I found a pair of extra-extra wide leg green jeans laying on the tables. I kept going back to them while I was looking to find clothing that struck my fancy. I snagged the jeans and proceeded to cut off the bottom two legs for totes. I had been wanting to learn how to square off the bottom of a bag, so I thought I could use the opportunity to ask the volunteers for assistance. The ladies volunteering that day were lots of help. Thanks!

Squared Bottom View of Green Jeans Bag

The other fabric on top of the bag was from scraps laying around on the sewing table. I was fine with the raw edge applique for this bag, so I just stitched it on. The lines are inspired by Raspberry. I love her work.

Green Jeans Bag

I wanted to have a screened image on the two bags and I was okay with the screened image overlapping the applique. I think it gives some depth and interest to the bag. The image on the bag is from Studio 3, of course.

I made the handles from army belt material purchased in bulk at Sun-n-Fun airshow in Florida. It was fun to get the roll into my suitcase for the flight home, but it was well worth the effort. I have been using it for most of my bag handles. Very sturdy. So sturdy it was munching up my older thread and breaking it :)

Inside Green Jeans Bag

The interior fabric was from my stash. I had actually purchased the fabric to line a bag. It has a nice olive green strip in it that ties it to the green of the jean fabric. I wanted a splash of color to contrast with the green of the bag. I also placed a wide ribbon at the top edge to give it a nice finish.

I plan on giving this tote to my nephew's girlfriend for Christmas. She is a senior in high school. I hope she likes it.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

As Promised - Doll Quilt Swap V

As I promised, here are pictures of my doll quilt. Thanks again, Needles-n-Notions! The quilt is currently hanging on my wall in my craft room. My husband loved it too. He was facinated by all the free motion quilting you did.

Doll Quilt Swap 5 Arrival

Front Side of DQS5 Quilt

Reverse Side of DQS5 Quilt

Monday, November 17, 2008

Doll Quilt Swap 5 - Needles -n- Notions

As I was pulling out of my driveway this morning a o-dark-30, I notices a package on my front door. I wondered, hmmm..., I wasn't expecting a package. Then it dawned on me! I am expecting a package from my doll quilt swap partner. My husband rounded up the package for me and away to work I went.

I just couldn't contain myself, so I opened it as soon as I got all my stuff settled at my desk. Inside was this lovely, adorable, artistic, wonderment of a quilt. Thanks for much Needles-n-Notions for the lovely quilt. The magazine was a nice surprise as well. Here are the photos from the doll quilt swap flickr group, but I will post a shot of the whole enchilada tonight. Along with my progress on the my quilt to my partner.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Back from Austin and the Maker Faire

My husband, a friend and I went to the Maker Faire in Austin last weekend. It was loads of fun. I made some cool bags from the legs of a pair of green jeans. I still need to put handles on them, but they have some lovely applique and silk screen prints on them from the Swap-A-Rama.

I would highly recommend visiting the faire if you are every in the neighborhood of either the one in Austin, Texas or the one in San Mateo, California. Lots of stuff for adults and kids a like. There are demonstrations on electronics, blacksmithing, glass blowing, glass bead making, silk screening, crocheting, knitting, jewelry making, printing, and lots of other DIY projects.

We also visited the missions in San Antonio, Texas. They are lovely 250 year old structures made during the Spanish settlement in Texas. We visited Mission Concepción and Mission San José. Here are some pictures:

Mission Concepción From the Prayer Garden's Path

Arches and Garden

Garden Entrance

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Doll Quilt Swap 5

I joined the fifth Doll Quilt Swap. We have to make a quilt anywhere from 12" x 12" up to 24" x 24". We have secret partners, so I can't mention who I will be getting my quilt. I will keep you all posted on the progress. Until then here is the blog and flickr group for the swap.

I was thinking I could do one of my more drawing like applique quilt designs, but may still opt for one of the many cute quilt blocks I have been dying to try out. We'll see...

Monday, October 13, 2008

Elves' Gift Shop

As you may have read, I joined the Junior Woman's Club. They are a service organization that raises money for the American Red Cross. Every year their biggest fundraiser is around the beginning of December. They provide a place for children to purchase gifts for their family at reasonable prices. It is called the Elves' Gift Shop.

So I have been assigned to help with the Mother's table. I have been making some items with things from my fabric stash and scraps. First was scarves from a pile of polar fleece I have had for a while and haven't done anything with.

Fleece Scarves Boa Scarves

These are no sew fleece scarves cut into 6" widths and a length of around 59" (WOF, or the width of the fabric). The scarves on the right were made using my scrap material to make appliqued designs on one end. The yarn is leftover from a poncho I made one of my nieces. The one on the left is from a pattern found here.

You just sew down the middle of two 6" wide strips the WOF. I placed yarn across the width every inch. By the end, I figured out how to get the yarn in between the fleece. My first ones had it on one side of the scarf.

Wooden Jewelry Box Wooden Jewelry Box II

One of the other members of the Junior Woman's Club découpaged this wooden box. I used some of my fabric scraps to line the interior. I even made a ring holder area. I used fabric glue, interfacing and webbing to make all the panels.

Jewelry Display

In addition to making items for sale, I made these earring stands. I used a leftover cardboard bolt I picked up at a fabric store. I cut the cardboard bolt in two and covering the bolt with black fabric. The blueish lines are yarn to hang the earrings from since some of them have very delicate post and may be damaged trying to hook them into the fabric. I still need to cover the inside of the stands with some fabric so the cardboard doesn't show.

Update (Oct. 14, 2008):

Pouches and Handkerchiefs

I forgot to add some pouches that I altered for the Elves' Gift Shop. They were originally all silver. I ripped out the seams and added some scraps of brocade fabric I had left over from making a purse for my mom and my sister-in-law. I added some free motion stitching to some with a purple metallic thread I had too. Some worked out better than others, but I think the black fabric compliments the silver. The handkerchiefs were made from a second hand sheet from the Goodwill Store. I finished their edges with a zigzag stitch.

Thursday, October 2, 2008


I made some stencils to do some t-shirt prints. I nabbed these two from my sketches I did a little while ago. I used the flower one for my needle felted purse too.


Monday, September 29, 2008


It has been a while! I wanted to share with you all my first design for Spoonflower. I received my invitation to their Beta site recently and spent a couple of nights designing my first images. I am still tinkering with this one in another color scheme, but I am pretty happy with how it looks.

8" x 8"

I used a doodle I did a while back as the basis for the design. The single doodle is replicated and rotated around to create the medallion looking things. I have a couple more doodles I want to digitize and use for two more patterns. I will keep you all posted.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

More Stamps

I completed some more rubber stamps. This time I used some doodles I did during a meeting. Just don't tell my boss ;)

More Rubber Stamps

I also made some reusable fabric gift wrap for my friend's 30th birthday present. I used two flat quarters that were similar in pattern, just different colors. I sewed a 1/2" seam around the edge of the two pieces, right sides facing each other. I left a small gap in the seam in order to be able to reverse the fabrics.

Gift Wrap Side View

Before reversing the sewn piece, I clipped the corners so that they would be able to be pushed out into points. I generously starched and ironed the piece once it was reversed.

The final step was to add a final 1/4" seam around the reversed piece. This effectively "tacked" the two sides together as well as closing the small gap from the original seam. Before sewing around this final seam, I made sure that the gap was ironed so that it had a nice folded finish.

I placed all the bits-n-bobs that I was giving my friend, all crafty supplies and gifts, in the center of the fabric square. Then I gathered up the edges and tied it with a bit of ribbon I had laying around. After tying, I arranged the top to look as it is picture. Gentle tugging got everything into place.

Gift Wrap Top View

By the way, this idea came from the post on Furoshiki, "a type of traditional type of Japanese carrying cloth" (wikipedia).

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Rubber Stamps

A friend of mine gave me a gift certificate, or card, to Michael's for my birthday. (Thanks, Sonya!) I decided to get a set of cutting tools to carve stamps and an ink roller. I only had cutting tools for engraving and woodcutting. I tried to do some rubber stamp cutting with those tools, but it didn't turn out as well as I would have liked.

So tonight I tried to make some rubber stamps with my new tools. Here is how things turned out:

Stamps and First Printing

I made two stamps. The flower was the second one I did. It turned out better than the first I think because the size was larger. I was able to move the tools around the design easier than on the smaller design. These were both from some doodles I did in my sketchbook a while back. Next is a close up of the flower print.
Flower Print
I want to cut out a larger version of this design, but have the flowers alternating back and forth vertically. The printing technique I will try with that design will be silk screening with a freezer paper stencil. I will post pictures of my progress soon.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Pineapple Doily

My grandmother has been crocheting as long as I can remember. She has been making doilies for all the grand children as a wedding gift. And if they don't get married, well she makes them for the bachelors and bachelorettes too :)

I have been searching for some doily patterns to try and take a stab at making them. I want to be able to give my nieces and nephews some when they get married. As old fashioned as that sounds, I really loved getting them as a gift from my grandmother when I got married. It seems like a tradition that needs to continue now that my grandmother has poor eye sight and can no longer crochet.

 (pictures from
A little while ago I stumbled upon a free pattern, left picture, for a pineapple doily over at DMC. They have several free patterns if you want to go and take a look. I just found another doily pattern, right picture today, Cebelia Crochet Shell Edge Pineapple Doily, when I went to find the correct links for this post. I can't wait to try it out.

Here is my progress on the traditional pineapple doily:

The tread is white, not multicolored. Even though after touching up the picture in photoshop, it looks green on one side and pink on the other :) I am on the fourth round of the pineapple pattern. The pattern is really easy to follow. You do a lot of repeating of a set of stitches all the way around the doily. So once you have the new row's first set of stitches, you can easily move around the pattern without to much concentration :)

The tread is a heavier size 10, bedspread weight. I am using a 2.65mm hook. Any smaller of a hook and it would be tough to use the bedspread weight thread, for me at least :) I have a spool of regular size 10 and size 20 that I plan on using for the other doily patterns so I can compare them. For those of you new to crocheting, the size 20 is smaller of the two. In crochet threads, the smaller the number the bigger the thread diameter.

I like how this is turning out. The only problem I have right now is that it will not totally lay flat. But after starching and pinning it should be fine. I have finished 8 rounds and am on round 9. There are 17 rounds total. I was able to whip through about 3 rounds last night in an hour. (I am a slow crocheter.)

I plan to experiment with some Irish Croshet patterns too. I recently picked up some books on thread crochet, two I bought and one I borrowed from the library:

(pictures are from
I will post more pictures of the trims and doily patterns when I get some progress done on them. In the mean time, I have to cut some fabric up for a friend that is just starting to sew. She will be making decorative pillow cases to match the quilt I am making for her and her husband. In my other spare time, snicker, I want to make a hat and bag set. I have some ideas, but nothing has struck my fancy yet.

Monday, August 18, 2008


We had the most wonderful weekend taking care of our friends' pet, Stoli. She is so adorable. We visited her on Friday, Saturday and Sunday this weekend. We went for walkies. And had some meals together, well, she ate and we encourage her ;)

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Just for YummyGoods

Melissa over at YummyGoods posted a lovely fiberglass rooster picture today. I promised to share my own fiberglass-figure-as-a-sign-for-a-business pictures for her. So, here they are:

Carmen Miranda the Zebra

This lovely creature was on top of a roof on Congress Avenue in Austin, Texas. It belonged to a costume rental business with the name of Lucy in Disguise with Diamonds. I have always liked Carmen Miranda parodies, especially when Bugs Bunny dress like her :)
Lucy in Disguise

Fran's Hamburgers Since 1973
This was also on Congress Avenue in Austin, Texas. I actually popped in and had lunch at this place. It was just as you would expect a drive in to look like: jukebox, plastic baskets filled with fries coleslaw and a cheeseburger. Ah, Americana... The food was yummy too!
Fran's Hamburgers

Actually Austin has a lot, and I mean a ton, of great neon signs. Below are a couple of my favorites. If you are interested I have a Flickr set of the neon I have shot along my travels.
El Sol y La Luna II
Staff Theatre

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Vintage Sheet Swap

Well, I finished cutting up my vintage sheets for the flat quarter vintage sheet swap over at Crafty Little Beana. I had to redo one set because I found a hole in the middle of the flat quarter, Doh! It was the green backed flower one in the upper right corner that was the cause of my distress. And low and behold after I cut a second set, I found another hole. Grrrr.... Between the two cuttings I found two whole flat quarters to send to the swap. All is well now and I know the sheets will find new nice crafty homes to belong to :) I can't wait to see what comes back from the swap.

My favorites are the floral prints. I picked all these up at my local Goodwill store in Altoona, PA. My last visit yielded the yellow and yellow-green stripped ones. I think I will make some aprons out of the rest and maybe a quilt too. So many possibilities...

I have used the pink floral and yellow-green floral prints for linings in bags (two in from upper right). This pattern, Silk Pleated & Darted Purse, was from U-Handblog, Lisa Lam. She has great bag making tuts on her site. She also sells bag making supplies. She also posts to a craft business tips clog over on Craft-Boom.