Sunday, July 31, 2011

My Folk Art Dress

Tomorrow begins another new month...August!  Can you believe how fast July has flown by?  Time seems to move faster and faster, I guess, as we age.  Bummer. But, I am looking forward to school starting later in the month and getting back to normal routine.  I'm also looking forward to designing my August dress.  The Artist Theme for August is Pointillism .  I'm very excited about that!  July's Theme has been Folk Art.  Folk Art is fun and encompasses many different mediums.  I based my July dress on matching outfits my mother made my sister and me when we were kids.  I remember wearing my Little House on the Prairie dress on that Christmas shown in the photo.  That's me on the right (brown hair).  My Folk Art Dress is blue and has that patchwork, quilt look to it that reminds me of my Laura Ingalls dress.  Sidenote:  My sister and I played Little House and, of course, I played Laura and she was Mary as she had blonde hair and older.  

So, here is my July Folk Art Dress:

The link to post your August dresses will be up at Midnight (Central Standard Time) tonight!


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Thursday, July 28, 2011

Dress Up 2011: August's Art Theme

A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte By Seurat

Without any further wait, the Dress Up art theme for August is.....


Pointillism is a form of painting in which tiny dots of primary-colors are used to generate secondary colors. It is an offshoot of Impressionism, and is usually categorized as a form of Post-Impressionism. It is very similar to Divisionism, except that where Divisionism is concerned with color theory, Pointillism is more focused on the specific style of brushwork used to apply the paint.

The term "Pointillism" was first used with respect to the work of Georges Seurat, and he is the artist most closely associated with the movement. The relatively few artists who worked in this style also included Paul Signac and Henri-Edmond Cross.  Excerpt taken from Artcyclopedia.  

According to Wikipedia, Pointillism is a technique of painting in which small, distinct dots of pure color are applied in patterns to form an image. Georges Seurat developed the technique in 1886, branching from Impressionism. The term Pointillism was first coined by art critics in the late 1880s to ridicule the works of these artists, and is now used without its earlier mocking connotation.  

I hope you enjoy learning about Pointillism and have fun creating all your wonderful dresses based on this art movement!  I will have the Simply Linked link up and ready August 1st.  I can't wait to get started!

Don't forget to check out July's Folk Art inspired dresses!  If you haven't finished your July dress, don't fret,   just link it on that posting link when you finish!

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Monday, July 25, 2011

Fabric Inspiration

Have I mentioned how hot it has been in my neck of the woods?  Yes, I know I have.  It is so hot and humid here in the Mid West that I'm having flash backs to a few summers ago when my family and I flew to Puerto Vallarta.  I am not over-dramatizing here... I actually thought I would die on that vacation.  I dreamed of diving into snow banks instead of the pool, which was more like warm bath water than anything remotely refreshing!  It was beyond hot there!  Here is the lesson I learned:  DO NOT book a vacation to P.V. in July!  Better yet, never book a vacation to Puerto Vallarta!  Okay, that may be a little harsh.  Maybe P.V. is nice in December??

Rant over.  I want to show you a few fabrics I picked up during my recent vacation to Branson, Missouri.  I shopped two fabulous fabric stores to find these yummy goodies:

"Kids at Play" by Chanteclaire Fabrics & "Space Cadets" by Michael Miller

"ERA-C" by Timeless Treasures Fabrics

I don't know the names of the fabrics pictured in the last two photos.  They both look "vintage-y" and I love them!  If you are ever in Branson, Missouri, be sure to shop at Quilts and Quilts and The Fabric and Decor Shop!

Besides the gorgeous fabric, I also bought a Get Hooked: Rugs From Scraps "kit."  The kit includes pattern instructions and a large crochet hook.  I haven't started a rug yet because I'm a bit concerned as I didn't really think the included crochet hook was actually going to be used for crocheting!  I thought it was probably going to be used as a kind of latch hook type tool.  Yet, after skimming the first pattern direction, it is clear there is actual crochet involved here.  The label reads, "No Experience Necessary-Very Easy."  Hmmm.  We'll see.  I can't crochet.  I've tried.  I even took an online crochet course a few months ago.  I managed to crochet (loosely said) a few amoeba-shaped flower-like "things," but that's it.  That all said, I'm going to give it a go because I thought it would be a fabulous way to use up fabric scraps.  I'm a hoarder; I can't bear to throw out my scraps.  I was also inspired to try this because of my visit to the College of the Ozarks, specifically, Edwards Mill and Weaving Studio, located on the Branson, Missouri campus.  There, I saw students weaving placemats and blankets on large looms.  Their work was so intricate.  I didn't take any pictures as they were working in the studio, but I found a few photos on other sites showing the looms.

Photo from Life at Rora Blog

Photo from the Golden Gang Blog
 Besides the Mill and Weaving Studio, there is also a fruitcake and jelly kitchen, an orchid greenhouse, and a museum on the campus.  As a matter of fact, inside the  Ralph Foster Museum, you can see the Beverly Hillbillies car as well as numerous dolls, including those made by Rose O'Neill, the creator of the Kewpie Doll!  Fun fact:  O'Neill's Missouri home, Bonniebrook, is located about 10 minutes outside Branson.  

I sound like a tourism ad for Branson, huh?  I actually learned a lot about that area of the country during my trip.  For example, I had no idea so many great artists called that part of Missouri home!  Some of these artists include Jesse Barnes, Thomas Hart Benton, Thomas P. Bennett, among others!

Stay cool everybody!  Tootles!
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Wednesday, July 13, 2011

What Makes Sewing Your Own Stuff Great?

Is it hot enough for you?  Honestly, if one more person asks me that, I might scream!  Yes, as a matter of fact, it is hot enough for me!  It is day 3 or 4 (I've lost track) of  being under an "excessive heat warning."  While earlier this summer I proved my theory that tan fat is definitely more attractive than ultra white fat, excessive sweating is not attractive in either hue!  Enough whining.  I am thankful it is summer and not winter!  

Since my last post, I've made a zippy bag using the Owl and Pussycat embroidery I completed.  I used an owl fabric for the back of the bag and a multicolored polka dot fabric for the lining.  I attached a super cute owl charm to use as a zipper pull.  I think the bag turned out pretty cute!  

Amid the cool conditioned air inside my studio, I also made up a quick bag using the fabrics I bought on vacation a few weeks ago.  I really like how the fabrics go together.  Overall I like the pattern, too.  However, I think I made the strap too long.  I do like to carry my purse across my body, like a messenger bag, but I don't think that a longer strap is suited for this particular style of bag.  So, I am going to shorten the strap and carry it just on my shoulder.  That's what so great about sewing your own bags, clothes, etc.  If you don't like it, you can alter it any which way you want!

I'm still working on my embroidery skills.  I really enjoy that actual sewing part of the projects, but I am NOT a fan of separating floss!  I guess that's part of the process!

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Thursday, July 7, 2011

An Owl and a Pussycat: More Embroidery and Applique

Hope everyone is having a great "short" week!  I've been super busy at work and at home, but I wanted to check in and post a few pictures of what I've been working on whenever I've been able to sneak away for a few crafty minutes.  This is basically an experiment in free motion embroidery (flag banner), rough edged applique (flag banner), "regular" applique (brown "tree limb"), and hand embroidery (cat and owl).  I used sequins for the eyes and I'm afraid my little owl looks a bit cross-eyed!  Maybe he needs glasses?

Just for the record, An Owl and a Pussycat is my first attempt at real embroidery.  It was sure slow going.  I've started the Embroidery Project classes I won, but I'm a few weeks behind.  I'm excited about the projects I've seen so far; I just hope I can catch up!

Tootles for now!
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Sunday, July 3, 2011

Embroidery and Applique!

Guess what?  I won!  Backstory:  A few days ago I was reading about The Embroidery Project, an online embroidery class, on one of my favorite new blogs, Wild Olive.  From there,  I hopped over to a "new to me" blog called Ooh Leela and I entered to win a spot in the online embroidery class.  And...I won!  I am super excited about learning proper embroidery skills.  If you've read my blog in recent months, you know that I've been embroidering embellishments on my image transfer bags.  I've also been experimenting with free motion embroidery, too.  But, I haven't taken any classes, etc.  In other words, I've been winging it all this time.  Now, I'm going to actually learn how to do the different stitches the right way!

I've been pretty lazy this holiday weekend.  If you can believe it, I've only just finished the laundry from our vacation return last Sunday!!  I did get a chance to get into my sewing studio Saturday, however.  I worked on a few zippy bag fronts, including the above tattoo inspired applique.  I also made a quilt inspired front and a quirky "Spot of Tea" inspired bag front.  I think they turned out pretty cute....even if I finished them before I start my embroidery class!

When these bags are finished, they will be about 7" X 6".  I'm also adding charms to the zipper pulls.  More stuff for my Etsy Shop!!  

To all you in the U.S....have a wonderful and safe 4th of July!!  Happy Independence Day!

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